The Biochemistry reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Biochemistry

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Biochemistry is the chemistry of life. Biochemists study the elements, compounds and chemical reactions that are controlled by enzymes and take place in all living organisms.

Biochemistry is focused on the structure and function of cellular components, such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules. Recently biochemistry has focused more specifically on the chemistry of enzyme-mediated reactions, and on the properties of proteins.

The biochemistry of cell metabolism has been extensively described. Other areas of biochemistry include the genetic code (DNA, RNA), protein synthesis, cell membrane transport, signal transduction and energy decomposition cycles.

Table of contents
1 Development of biochemistry
2 Categories
3 See also

Development of biochemistry

The dawn of biochemistry may have been the discovery of the first enzyme, diastase, in 1833 by Anselme Payen. In 1828, Friedrich Wöhler published a paper about the synthesis of urea, proving that organic compounds can be created artificially, in contrast to the common belief of the time that organic compounds can only be made by living organisms. Since then, biochemistry has advanced, especially since the mid-20th century, with the development of new techniques such as chromatography, X-ray diffraction, NMR, radioisotopic labelling, electron microscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. These techniques allowed for the discovery and detailed analysis of many molecules and metabolic pathways of the cell, such as glycolysis and the Krebs cycle.

Today, the findings of biochemistry are used in many areas, from genetics to molecular biology and from agriculture to medicine. The first application of biochemistry was probably the making of bread using yeast, about 5000 years ago.

Categories

Biochemistry is principally concerned with the chemistry of substances that can be classified into a few major categories:

See also


General subfields within biology
Anatomy | Bioinformatics | Botany | Ecology | Evolutionary biology | Genetics | Marine biology | Human biology | Cell biology | Microbiology | Molecular biology | Biochemistry | Origin of life | Paleontology | Physiology | Taxonomy | Xenobiology | Zoology


Chemistry
Analytical chemistry | Organic chemistry | Inorganic chemistry | Physical chemistry | Polymer chemistry | Biochemistry | Materials science | Environmental chemistry | Pharmacy | Thermochemistry | Electrochemistry | Nuclear chemistry | Computational chemistry
Periodic table | List of compounds