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We have developed an algorithm called the universal chemical key (UCK) algorithm that constructs a unique key for a molecular structure. The molecular structures are represented as undirected labeled graphs with the atoms representing the vertices of the graph and the bonds representing the edges. The algorithm was tested on 236,917 compounds obtained from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) database of chemical compounds. In this paper we present the algorithm, some examples and the experimental results on the NCI database. On the NCI database, the UCK algorithm provided distinct unique keys for chemicals with different molecular structures.