Introduction to Biochemistry

Topics: DNA, Cell, Protein Pages: 7 (1887 words) Published: March 14, 2013
*What is Biochemistry?*
* Biochemistry also known as Chemistry of life is the study of chemical substances and vital processes occurring in living organism. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes. * Study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. * Biochemistry is the science dealing with the chemical composition and chemical reactions happening within, and between the living cells of all organisms.

The study of the chemistry behind biological processes and the synthesis of biologically active molecules are examples of biochemistry. →
Biochemists focus heavily on the role, function, and structure of biomolecules

*Goals of Biochemistry*
* . It seeks to describe the structure, organization, and functions of living matter in molecular terms. * Is to understand the structure and behavior of biomolecules. * Biochemistry can be divided into three principal areas:

1. The structural chemistry of the components of living matter and the relationship of biological function to chemical structure.

2. Metabolism - the totality of chemical reactions that occur in living matter.

3. The chemistry of processes and substances that store and transmit biological information.

*Roots of biochemistry*
Biochemistry had its origins as a distinct field of study in the early nineteenth century with the pioneering work of Friedrich Wohler. Prior to Wohler’s time it was believed that substances or the composition of the living matters are different from non-living. In1828, Wohler showed that urea can be produced in the laboratory without using biological sources like urine instead he used Ammonium cyanate, an inorganic compound. After Wohler demonstrate that experiment, a persuasive viewpoint called Vitalism held that, if not the compounds at least the reaction of living matter could occur only in living organism. But later on, this viewpoint was shattered in the year 1897 when the Buchner brothers discovered that sugar could be fermented from yeast extract. This discovery opened the door to analysis of biochemical reactions and processes in Vitro (Latin word which means “in a glass/ in test tube”) In 1926, J.B Sumner showed that the protein urease could be crystallized like any organic compound and their structures can be determined by the methods of chemistry. In parallel with developments in biochemistry, cell biologist had been continually refining knowledge of cellular structure. In 1875, Chromosomes were discovered by Walter Flemming and identified as genetic elements by 1902. The idea of gene, a unit of hereditary information, was first proposed by Gregor Mendel in mid-nineteenth century. At first, the early scientist believed that only proteins were structurally complex enough to carry genetic information but of course that belief was definitely wrong it is the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that carries the genetic information of one organism. After many decades, the three disciplines, Biochemistry, cell biology, and Genetics became inextricably interwoven and the new science of Molecular biology emerges.

*Biochemistry as a discipline and an interdisciplinary science* Biochemistry draws its major themes from

1. Organic chemistry, which describes the properties of biomolecules

2. Biophysics, which applies the techniques of physics to study the structures of biomolecules

3. Medical research, which increasingly seeks to understand disease states in molecular terms

4. Nutrition, which has illuminated metabolism by describing the dietary requirements for maintenance of health;

5. Microbiology, which has shown that single-celled organisms and viruses are ideally suited for the elucidation of many metabolic pathways and regulatory mechanisms

6. Physiology investigates life processes at the tissue and organism levels

7. Cell biology, which describes the biochemical division of labor within a cell 8....
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