Biochemistry is a branch of life science which deals with the study of chemical reactions that occur in living cells and organisms. Life is a chemical process involving thousands of different reactions occurring in an organized manner. These are called metabolic reactions. The term Biochemistry was first introduced by the German Chemist Carl Neuberg in 1903.
It takes into account the studies related to the nature of the chemical constituents of living matter, their transformations in biological systems and the energy changes associated with these transformations.
Biochemistry may thus be treated as a discipline in which biological phenomena are analyzed in terms of chemistry.
The branch of Biochemistry for the same reason, has been variously named as Biological Chemistry or Chemical Biology.
Modern Biochemistry has two branches, descriptive Biochemistry and dynamic Biochemistry.
Descriptive Biochemistry deals with the qualitative and quantitative characterization of the various cell components and the dynamic Biochemistry deals with the elucidation of the nature and the mechanism of the reactions involving these cell components. Many newer disciplines have been emerged from Biochemistry such of Enzymology (study of enzymes), Endocrinology (study of hormones) Clinical Biochemistry (study of diseases), Molecular Biochemistry (Study of Biomolecules and their functions). Along with these branches certain other specialties have also come up such as Agricultural Biochemistry, Pharmacological Biochemistry etc.
Those who acquire a sound knowledge of Biochemistry can tackle the 2 central concerns of the biomedical sciences
(1) the understanding and maintenance of health
(2) the understanding and treatment of diseases.
Objectives of Biochemistry
The major objective of Biochemistry is the complete understanding of all the chemical processes associated with living cells at the molecular level. To achieve this objective, biochemists have attempted to isolate numerous molecules (Bio molecules) found in cells, to determine their structures and to analyze how they function. Biochemical studies have illuminated many aspects of disease and the study of certain diseases have opened up new therapeutic approaches. In brief the objectives can be listed as follows:
1. Isolation, structural elucidation and the determination of mode of action of biomolecules.
2. Identification of disease mechanisms.
3. Study of in born errors of metabolism
4. Study of oncogenes in cancer cells
5. The relationship of biochemistry with genetics, physiology, immunology, pharmacology, toxicology etc.
Biochemistry is related to almost all the life sciences and without biochemistry background and knowledge, a thorough understanding of health and well-being is not possible.
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