Biochemistrychemistry 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.
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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.
Biochemistry is principally concerned with the chemistry of substances that can be classified into a few major categories:
- Chemical ecology
- Biochemical key topics
- List of biochemistry topics
- List of biomolecules
- List of biochemists
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