Biochemistry is an experimental science that aims to study chemical processes at the basis of life. One girl biochemistry disciplines, molecular biology has experienced over the last twenty years an unprecedented growth. Biochemistry is the study of the chemicals of living organisms. It has been closely associated with the great expansion in the biological knowledge that has taken place during the twentieth century. its importance lies in the fundamental understanding it gives us of the way in which biological systems work.
This finds application in fields like agriculture, with the development of pesticides, herbicides and so on; medicine, including the whole pharmaceutical industry; fermentation industries with their vast range of useful products, including dietetics, food production, and preservation.
Many of the exciting new developments in biology, like genetic engineering, biotechnology, ‘designer’ proteins and molecular approached to genetic disease, are underpinned by the understanding of biochemistry.
What is Biochemistry?
What is the scope of Biochemistry? Biochemistry in its broad aspects is the most comprehensive of all the branches of chemistry. It includes inorganic, organic and physical chemistry to the extent to which each of these is related to the chemistry of living things, both plant, and animal. the chemical principles involved in the study of biochemistry are necessarily identical with those the student has learned in preliminary chemistry courses, but they are often posed in unique and intricate relationships.
The human body is composed of a few elements that combine to form a great variety of molecules.
C, H, O, and N are the major elements fo most biomolecules. calcium plays a major role in the countless biological process. other elements having diverse roles are Potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, Iron, Manganese, and Iodine.
There are five major biopolymers are present in all living things. they are DNA, RNA, Proteins, Polysaccharides and Complex lipids.
The cell is the basic unit of biology.
Understanding the molecular bases of the carrier of genetic information coupled with techniques for the manipulation of recombinant DNA have allowed biochemists to make breakthroughs in areas as diverse as human genetics, pharmacology, food, the environment, and evolution. Thus, biochemistry has contributed to the development of a new sector of the modern economy; biotechnology.
These techniques associated with the structural study of macromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins allow modern biochemistry to unravel the deepest secrets of life. Here total details covered in What is Biochemistry?
What are BioMolecules and What they are?
Only about 30 of the more than 90 naturally occurring chemical elements are essential to live organisms. Most of the elements in the living matter have relatively low atomic numbers; only five have atomic numbers above that os Selenium. The foremost of atoms are hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon, which together constitute 99% of the mass of most cells.
Six of the most abundant elements in the human body are also among the nine most abundant elements in seawater. Several elements abundant in humans are also components of the atmosphere and were, perhaps, present in the atmosphere before the appearance of life on earth.
Primitive seawater was most likely the liquid medium in which living organisms first arose and the primitive atmosphere was probably a source of methane, ammonia, water and hydrogen, the precursors for the evolution of human life.
Biomolecules are compounds of Carbon:
The chemistry of living organisms is originated around the element carbon. carbon accounts for more than half the dry weight of cells. of greatest significance in biology is the ability of carbon atoms to share electron pairs with each other to form very stable carbon-carbon single bonds.
Molecules containing covalently bonded carbon backbones are called Organic compounds, which occur almost, in limitless variety. Most biomolecules are organic compounds.
We can, therefore, concluded the bonding versatility of carbon was a major factor in the selection of carbon compounds for the molecular machinery of cells during the origin and evolution of life.
Cellular details have been possible due to the increasing use of
- Electron microscopy,
- The introduction of methods permitting disruption of cells under mild conditions,
- High speed, refrigerated ultracentrifuge
- DNA: Building block is deoxynucleotide; It functions as Genetic material
- RNA: Made of Ribonucleotide units, Functions as Template for Protein synthesis
- Proteins: Made of Amino acids; Has numerous activities e.g.: Enzymatic, contractile elements, hormonal, structural, visual, etc.
- Polysaccharide: Units are glucose; Functions as a storage form of energy as glucose
- Lipids: Fatty acid units; Numerous functions such as membrane components and long-term storage of energy as triacylglycerols.
The chemical composition of a man:
- Proteins – 17%
- Fat – 13.8%
- Carbohydrate – 1.5%
- Water – 61.6%
- Minerals – 6.1%
Basic elements found in Living Organisms
Major elements of biomolecules
- H (Hydrogen)
- C (Carbon)
- N (Nitrogen)
- O (Oxygen)
- P (Phosphorous)
- S (Sulphur)
- Na+ (Sodium)
- Mg+2 (Magnesium)
- Cl– (Chlorine)
- K+ (Potassium)
- Ca2+ (Calcium)
- Mn (Manganese)
- Fe (Iron)
- Co (Cobalt)
- Cu (Copper)
- Zn (Zinc)
- B (Boron)
- Al (Aluminium)
- Si (Silicon)
- V (Vanadium)
- Mo (Molybdenum)
- I (Iodine)
BIOCHEMISTS, SILENT HEROES OF MEDICINE
Without a basic knowledge of the molecular basis of life revealed by biochemists, a few important discoveries that have led to advances in modern medicine have been possible.
SOME MAJOR DISCOVERIES MADE BY BIOCHEMISTS
- The discovery of the structure of DNA: James Watson and Francis Crick
- The discovery of insulin: Frederick Banting and Charles Best
- The discovery of acetaminophen (Tylenol): Julius Axelrod
- The discovery of cyclosporine (used anti-rejection drugs in organ transplantation): Jean Borel
- Discoveries that led to the development of inhibitors of 5′-phosphodiesterase (Viagra): Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad
- The discovery of prions – a new biological principle of infection (due tomad cow disease ): Stanley B. Prusiner
Important discoveries in the field of genetic engineering by Dr. Michael Smith, a Canadian, who allow the production and use of therapeutic proteins. This work earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993.
Challenges to overcome diseases that have resisted are important. Meeting these challenges is part of the task biochemists working in research.
What makes Biochemist tasks on the day-to-day?
The biochemist makes a large variety of tasks, according to the orientation you choose and the work in which he plays. Tasks can range from the collection and study of laboratory tests; laboratory research; quality control and food; Nutritional studies; study of the development, production, and control of pharmaceutical products; toxicological studies; research and development related to agribusiness products; control of epidemic diseases; etc. Also often it involved in theoretical research and teaching.
What characteristics should a student of biochemistry?
Of course, there is no list of requirements to start this race, but if you need some personal characteristics properly in this profession. You must have some passion for certain “hard” sciences such as chemistry, mathematics, biology or physics; I am attracted to the idea of working in research; be patient, methodical and organized; have concerns about issues concerning life, conservation, and improvement; be curious about the inner workings of living beings; be observant and persistent.
What is the working out of a Biochemist?
The possibilities of professional practice of this discipline are as broad and diverse as the profession itself. A graduate professional career of Biochemistry can be applied only to give some examples, knowledge in some of the following institutions:
- Clinical laboratories.
- Drug stores or pharmaceutical laboratories.
- Universities and research centers.
- Hospitals and clinics.
- Within the departments of research, development and/or production companies of the chemical, agricultural, food, paper mills, etc.
- Various government agencies.
- As an expert in criminal investigations.
- Advising on biosecurity issues.
What is studied in biochemistry?
Curricula they’ll be as varied as the discipline itself and each house of studies conducted its own orientation, but we can give you some basic courses that you’ll see in most of them, such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, Design of Experiments, Microbiology, Food Science, Endocrinology, Immunology, lab, Statistics, Analytical Chemistry, Mathematical Analysis, Algebra, etc.
Advantages of studying Biochemistry:
- The variety of branches into which it divides allows you to achieve greater specialization and finding the labor niche in which stands out.
- The labor supply is wide and growing every day.
- During your studies, you will acquire varied knowledge that will give you the opportunity to involve in other disciplines in case you cannot find the desired output in biochemistry.
- While not all areas, the majority of your knowledge as a Biochemist will serve anywhere in the world wherever you reside.
Disadvantages of study Biochemistry:
- Most undergraduates in biochemistry have are long-lasting.
- The specialists recommend performing some type of graduate to achieve specialization and appropriately inserted into the workplace.
- The subjects such systems have some complexity, which may involve an intensity of important study.
While working out is different, also it depends on the state of development of some areas in the country where you carry out.