Biochemistry: The Chemistry Of Life

Have you ever observed how the chemical reactions or the processes occur within the human body? How the metabolic activities take place? Yes, you will get to know all these life processes through ‘Biochemistry.’

What is Biochemistry?

  • Definition:

    The branch of science dealing with the study of all the life processes such as control and coordination within a living organism is called as Biochemistry.

This term was introduced to us by Carl Neuberg, the father of biochemistry in the year 1930. This field combines biology as well as chemistry to study the chemical structure of a living organism. The biochemists get into the investigation of the chemical reactions and combinations which are involved in various processes like reproduction, heredity, metabolism, and growth, thus performing research in different kind of laboratories.

Introduction to Biochemistry includes wide areas of molecular biology as well as cell biology. It is relevant to molecules that make up the structure of organs and cells which is the molecular anatomy. It describes carbon compound and the reactions they undergo in living organisms. It also describes molecular physiology, which is the functions of molecules in carrying out the requirements of the cells and organs.

It mainly deals with the study of the structure and functions of the biomolecules such as the carbohydrates, proteins, acids, lipids. Hence it is also called to as Molecular biology.

Branches of Biochemistry

The main branches coming under this topic biochemistry are explained as follows-

  • Molecular biology:

    It is also referred to as the roots of Biochemistry. It deals with the study of functions of the living systems. This field of biology explains about all the interactions between the DNA, proteins, RNA and their synthesis.

  • Cell biology:

    Cell Biology deals with the structure and functions of cells in living organisms. It is also called as Cytology. Cell biology primarily focuses on to the study of cells of the eukaryotic organisms, and their signaling pathways, rather focussing on to prokaryotes- the topics that will be covered under microbiology.

  • Metabolism:

    Metabolism is one of the most important processes taking place in all the living things. It is nothing but the transformations or the series of activities that happens that when food is converted into energy in a human body. One of the examples for metabolism is the process of digestion.

  • Genetics:

    Genetics is a branch of biochemistry that deals with the study of genes, their variations and the heredity characteristics in living organisms.

The other branches include Animal and Plant Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Molecular Chemistry, Genetic engineering, Endocrinology, Pharmaceuticals, Neurochemistry, Nutrition, Environmental, Photosynthesis, Toxicology, etc.

Importance of Biochemistry

Biochemistry is essential to understand the following concepts.

  • The chemical processes which transform diet into compounds that are characteristics of the cells of a particular species.
  • The catalytic functions of enzymes.
  • Utilizing the potential energy obtained from the oxidation of foodstuff consumed for the various energy-requiring processes of the living cell.
  • The properties and structure of substances that constitute the framework of tissues and cells.
  • To solve fundamental problems in medicine and biology.

Practise This Question

What is the function of potassium chlorate in a matchstick bulb?