Introduction to Biochemistry-Overview, Scope and Applications

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

In this article, the author has explained What is biochemistry, history and its applications in everyday life. This post also explains how biochemistry affects our lives, and why should you study it as a subject.


What is biochemistry?

Bio chemistry is the study of living organisms and their interactions with one another.

It deals with how cells work, what they are made of, and what happens when chemical reactions take place inside them. One might think that this sounds like biology or chemistry but it’s actually both! There have been many significant discoveries in bio-chemistry such as how DNA and RNA work together to create cells.

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Biochemistry is a science that focuses on the chemical processes of living organisms. It also looks at how these chemicals work together in an organism and to what effect they have, while looking for ways to use this information as we develop new medicines or drugs. But why does it matter?

Also read: What is the importance of chemistry in everyday life

The main focus of Biochemistry is on the molecular aspects of living organisms. This includes how they interact with one another and what happens when chemical reactions take place inside them.

All sorts of things need Biochemistry – from research projects like developing treatments for cancer, diabetes, and other major health problems; figuring out how pollution affects our environment; analyzing human DNA sequences to learn more about genetic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or Crohn’s disease; discovering the origins of life on earth by studying ancient fossils.

All these discoveries are possible because Biochemists do experiments in labs around the world; in schools and colleges; or at home.

Biochemists are also interested in how biochemistry has evolved since life first began on Earth, which is why they study proteins to determine the evolutionary history of organisms – like other living things around us, we’re all made up of these protein structures that make it possible for our cells to function.

So, the next time you’re looking at a leaf or a flower and wondering what makes it alive, think about all of the chemicals – like water (H20), carbon dioxide (CO) and oxygen (O) that make up its cells; proteins to store energy from sunlight for photosynthesis; sugars to feed them in order to grow.

To understand what Biochemistry is or why it’s important, let take a look at how this field evolved:

History of Biochemistry?

The history of biochemistry dates back as early as Ancient Greece, where thinkers such as Aristotle would make conclusions about living organisms by analyzing their physical characteristics (i.e., size) and various traits like reproduction rates.

In 1833 German physiologist Albert von Kolliker used chemistry findings to explain cellular functions for the first time in history during his experiments with frog eggs cells under a microscope.

In 1866, even before Darwin’s theory of evolution became mainstream, English biologist Thomas Huxley would apply the findings from his own experiments to this theory and make a connection between animals’ anatomies and their evolutionary history through similarities in basic body plans.

Recent era is focusing on developing new life saving drugs. Corona vaccine is the recent example of this.

How does Biochemistry affect our everyday life?

There are many ways in which Biochemistry affects our everyday life. From the food we consume, to the clothes we wear – everything has some degree of chemical composition that can be analyzed and understood through Biochemistry.

The importance of Biochemistry is not just for scientists or academics – it affects everyone!

For example: We breathe typically 12 times per minute on average (though that can vary depending on our stress levels) which means we inhale about 17 million liters (or approximately 12million gallons) every day. Without knowing how inhalation works, one might be lead to think they need something like an oxygen tank at all times; however when you look at it through the lens of Biochemistry, we only need oxygen because our cells are making energy from sugars that break down into carbon dioxide and water.

Our blood is made up of plasma which contains important proteins like albumin, clotting factors, antibodies…etc. (albumin being one of the most abundant). These components help keep things moving freely in our bloodstream by holding onto fats so they don’t clog up arteries; plus these proteins can also be produced when needed thanks to a process called translation – all without knowing what’s happening on an atomic level!

Another way in which Biochemistry impacts us every day is through biophysics: as mentioned above about how breathing mechanics work with gas exchange and inhaling/exhaling, biophysics can also be used to study how we see. For example:

Lens proteins enable us to focus light and images onto our retina

Rods and cones are able to sense the color of light that reaches them through a process called phototransduction which involves changes in ion channels when exposed to certain wavelengths or colors of light

Another way that Biochemistry impacts vision is with eyesight correction; for instance wearing glasses (which helps correct distance sight) as well as LASIK surgery which helps one’s near/farsightedness.

What are the benefits of studying biochemistry?

The benefits of studying biochemistry are so many, and it’s worth taking the time to explore them. Here is a summary list:

A career in bio-chemistry can be fulfilling if you enjoy solving problems that help people lead better lives or solve environmental issues. You could work for pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs; looking for cures to diseases like cancer as well as rare ones such as Lyme disease and HIV/AIDS; researching renewable biofuels that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while lowering pollution levels in our environment; helping to develop crop strains with higher yields using modern molecular biology techniques without GMO products (e.g., RNAi); improving nutrition by fortifying foods with micronutrients from plants or from animal-based sources (e.g., fish oils, milk); or working on food safety issues such as preventing the spread of harmful bacteria like E. coli and Listeria

The study of biochemistry includes a range of topics that might interest you: for example, computational biology to advance our understanding about how proteins fold into their functional shapes; microbial genomics to better understand plant-, soil- and ocean-dwelling microorganisms; lipidomics, which is all about fats in cells; proteomics – studying protein structure, function and expression at the molecular level; or cell signaling, looking at chemical molecules that are involved with controlling whether a cell lives or dies

Studying biochemistry can help you make sense of the world around you. From the influence of hormones on our moods to how cells convert sugar into energy, understanding biochemistry will give you a new perspective and provide insights about many aspects of life

You’ll also learn some things that are just plain cool! Biochemists study DNA replication in bacteria or the chemical reactions that occur when we eat food, for example

Bio chemistry is an important field because it studies living systems at a molecular level and explores topics such as cell signaling and lipidomics which can help us understand health issues like obesity or diabetes more fully. Bio chemists have helped create revolutionary treatments that cure diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and Lyme disease – advances which save lives every day. They also develop new drugs to help people with diabetes or asthma, and they study the human genome in order to find cures for rare diseases like Lyme disease

Bio chemistry is challenging but rewarding. You’ll learn about topics such as cell signaling that you might not have been exposed to before, which can be fun because of the puzzles it presents. And this knowledge will inform your understanding of issues from health policy decisions related to obesity or cancer treatments.

Applications of biochemistry in daily life activities

Also read: What is the importance of chemistry in everyday life

Some of the many uses for biochemistry in day-to-day life are:

  • DNA fingerprinting to identify criminals.
  • Protein synthesis and enzymes to digest food.
  • Blood typing so that people can donate blood or receive a transfusion safely.
  • Allergy testing because some substances, such as pollen grains, may cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals but cannot be detected by sight or smell alone. A skin test may provide useful diagnostic information when it is positive and a person has symptoms typical of an allergy (e.g., hay fever). Allergens are injected intradermally into the surface layers of skin on the back – where they will encounter mast cells ready with their histamine stores – while control solutions are injected into the skin on the forearm (a control area).
  • Biochemical engineering, for example in bio-diesel research and development.
  • Proteins as enzymes or toxins may be used to diagnose diseases such as cystic fibrosis and aflatoxins respectively.
  • The hydrogenation of vegetable oils is an industrial use of biochemistry; soybeans produce soybean oil when they are processed this way. Biochemists also develop food additives like artificial sweeteners, which enable people with diabetes to enjoy tasty treats without adding large quantities of sugar that can cause dangerous spikes in blood glucose levels after eating them.
  • Their work has some overlap with molecular biology where biochemical techniques are applied to study biological molecules at high resolution under conditions not found in living organisms.

Biochemistry has the power to change your life. It’s not just for scientists, doctors and researchers anymore- it affects you in ways that may surprise you every day. Whether you want to learn more about the history of biochemistry or how this field is used in daily life, we can help get you started with some resources on our website. Want some more information? let me know!

FAQs


  1. What are basics of biochemistry?

    The basics of biochemistry include cellular respiration, photosynthesis, metabolism, and genetic information. Cellular respiration is when cells take in nutrients from food and break them down so that their energy can be used for life processes such as movement or thinking. Photosynthesis happens when plants produce oxygen by using sunlight to make food through a process called carbon fixation.

  2. What is taught in biochemistry?

    Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes in living organisms. It involves many different topics including enzymes, metabolism, genetics, and cellular signaling. Biochemists are often medical professionals who specialize in studying diseases that affect biochemical pathways or bodily functions. The field of biochemistry has grown exponentially over the last few decades with the expansion of medical research into areas such as cancer treatments, diabetes prevention, and finding cures for various genetic disorders.

  3. What are branches of biochemistry?

    Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes and interactions within living organisms. Biochemists use their knowledge to understand how these molecules work together, and also how they can be used in medicine or other areas like food production. There are three main branches: molecular biology, organic chemistry, and biophysics.

  4. What are the five foundations of biochemistry?

    The world of biochemistry is a complex, yet fascinating one. There are five foundations that make up the core of this subject: Lipids, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Nucleic Acids, and Enzymes. These components all perform different functions in the body and understanding them will help you to create a more well-rounded general biology education.

  5. Who is the father of biochemistry?

    The father of biochemistry is none other than the famous scientist, James Dewey Watson. His research is still being studied today and his work is known to have paved the way for many discoveries in genetics. He was also awarded two Nobel prizes, one being for his discovery of DNA’s structure and another for discovering how genes are copied. This man has had a huge impact on medicine as well as science in general!

  6. Is biochemistry related to medicine?

    Biochemistry is the study of molecules, their structures, and their interactions. It can be applied to medicine because biochemists are often needed for research on different drug reactions. Biochemists also help diagnose diseases through testing blood, urine, stool samples or examining cells under a microscope.
    Biochemistry is closely related to medicine because it provides an understanding that physicians need in order to create cures for illnesses and diseases.