The biochemistry is a branch of chemistry that is dedicated to studying living things in their chemical composition. It is an experimental science.
Its main themes are proteins , carbohydrates , lipids , nucleic acids and the various molecules that make up cells, as well as the chemical reactions they undergo. Intervenes in medicine, pharmacology and agrochemistry, among other disciplines.
Biochemistry studies how organisms obtain energy (catabolism) and use it to create new molecules (anabolism). Among the processes that it studies are digestion, photosynthesis, chemical biological barriers , reproduction, growth, etc.
Branches of biochemistry
- Structural Biochemistry : Study the chemical structure of biological macromolecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).
- Bioorganic chemistry : Studies compounds that have covalent carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bonds, called organic compounds . These compounds are found only in living things.
- Enzymology : Enzymes are biological catalysts that allow the body to carry out chemical reactions such as protein breakdown. This science studies their behavior and their interaction with coenzymes and other substances such as metals and vitamins.
- Metabolic Biochemistry : Study the metabolic processes (obtaining and spending energy) at the cellular level.
- Xenobiochemical : Associated with pharmacology, it studies the metabolic behavior of substances that are not usually found in the metabolism of an organism.
- Immunology : Studies the reaction of organisms to pathogens.
- Endocrinology : Study the behavior of hormones in organisms. Hormones are substances that can be secreted by the body or obtained from the outside, which affect the functioning of different cells and systems.
- Neurochemistry : Study the chemical behavior of the nervous system.
- Chemotaxonomy : Study and classify organisms according to their differences in their chemical composition.
- Chemical ecology : Study the biochemical substances that are used by organisms to interact with each other.
- Virology : Specifically study viruses, their classification, functioning, molecular structure, and evolution. It is associated with pharmacology.
- Genetics : Study genes, their expression, their transmission and molecular reproduction.
- Molecular biology: Study biochemical processes specifically from a molecular perspective.
- Cell biology (cytology) : Study the chemistry, morphology and physiology of the two types of cells: prokaryotes and eukaryotes .
Examples of biochemistry
- Fertilizer development : Fertilizers are the substances that promote the growth of plantations. To develop them it is necessary to know the chemical needs of plants.
- Enzymatic detergents: they are cleaners that can eliminate residues of necrotic material, without producing a corrosive action on inorganic surfaces.
- Medicines : the manufacture of medicines depends on the knowledge of the chemical processes of both the human body and the bacteria or viruses that affect it.
- Cosmetics : The chemicals used in cosmetics must be favorable for body chemistry.
- Balanced pet food: food is developed from the knowledge of the metabolic and nutritional needs of animals.
- Nutrition : whatever the goal of our diet (gain or lose weight, lower blood sugar, eliminate cholesterol, etc.), its design must take into account the chemical needs of our body to function.
- The stomach walls are prepared to withstand digestive acids that would cause serious injury if they come into contact with parts of our body outside the digestive system.
- When we have a fever , our bodies are looking to reach a temperature where the microorganisms that harm us cannot survive.
- When our bodies cannot defend themselves against microorganisms , antibiotics are the chemical response that prevents their reproduction and eliminates them.
- Dietary supplements allow us to ingest organic or inorganic substances that our bodies need for proper function.