A small twist leads to a big reaction

In proteins, amino acids are held together by amide bonds. These bonds are long-lived and are robust against changes in temperature, acidity or alkalinity. Certain medicines make use of reactions involving amide bonds, but the bonds are so strong they actually slow down reactions, impeding the effectiveness of the medicines. Researchers devised a way to modify amide bonds with a twist to their chemical structure that speeds up reactions by 14 times.