Biochemistry, Professional online Tutor



Have you ever observed how chemical reactions or processes occur within the human body? How do metabolic activities take place? Yes, you will get to know all these life processes through ‘Biochemistry.’

What is Biochemistry?

The branch of science dealing with the study of all the life processes such as control and coordination within a living organism is called Biochemistry.

The term “Biochemistry” was coined by Carl Neuberg, often regarded as the father of biochemistry, in 1930. This interdisciplinary field integrates biology and chemistry to investigate the chemical structure of living organisms. Biochemists delve into understanding the chemical reactions and interactions underlying crucial processes such as reproduction, heredity, metabolism, and growth, conducting research across various laboratory settings.

The scope of Biochemistry encompasses broad areas within molecular biology and cell biology. It examines the molecular anatomy, focusing on the composition of organs and cells, particularly emphasizing carbon compounds and their roles in biological systems. Molecular physiology, another aspect of Biochemistry, explores how molecules function to meet the cellular and organ requirements.

At its core, Biochemistry is concerned with studying the structure and functions of biomolecules like carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. Hence, it is often referred to as Molecular Biology due to its emphasis on molecular-level phenomena.

Branches of Biochemistry

The primary branches of biochemistry are listed in this subsection.

Molecular Biology

The term “Molecular Biology” serves as another descriptor for this foundational aspect of Biochemistry. It delves into the functional aspects of living systems, elucidating the intricate interactions among DNA, proteins, and RNA, as well as their synthesis processes. Molecular Biology forms the bedrock of understanding biological functions at the molecular level, providing insights into the mechanisms governing life processes.

Cell biology

Cell Biology, also known as Cytology, is a branch of biology that explores the structure and functions of cells within living organisms. This field provides comprehensive insights into the organization, behavior, and physiological processes of cells. Cell Biology primarily concentrates on studying eukaryotic cells and their signaling pathways, which regulate various cellular activities such as growth, metabolism, and communication. Unlike microbiology, which encompasses the study of microorganisms including prokaryotes, Cell Biology specifically delves into the complexities of eukaryotic cell biology.


Metabolism stands as one of the fundamental processes occurring within all living organisms. It encompasses the intricate transformations or sequences of activities occurring when food substances are converted into energy within the human body. An illustrative example of metabolism is the process of digestion, wherein ingested food is broken down into simpler molecules and subsequently utilized by the body to produce energy or for other physiological functions.


Genetics is a pivotal branch of biochemistry focused on the exploration of genes, their variations, and hereditary traits within living organisms.

Additional branches of biochemistry include:

  • Animal and Plant Biochemistry: Investigating the biochemical processes and mechanisms specific to animals and plants.
  • Biotechnology: Application of biological systems, organisms, or derivatives to develop products or processes for various fields such as medicine, agriculture, and industry.
  • Molecular Chemistry: Examining chemical processes and interactions at the molecular level, often overlapping with biochemistry in studying biomolecules.
  • Genetic Engineering: Manipulation of genetic material to alter traits or characteristics of organisms for various purposes, including medical research and biotechnology.
  • Endocrinology: Study of hormones and their effects on bodily functions, including their biochemical regulation and signaling pathways.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Research and development of drugs and medications, including the study of their biochemical mechanisms of action and interactions within the body.
  • Neurochemistry: Investigation of the chemical processes and neurotransmitters involved in the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Nutrition: Study of the biochemical processes by which nutrients are acquired, metabolized, and utilized by living organisms.
  • Environmental Biochemistry: Examination of the biochemical interactions between living organisms and their environment, including pollutants and natural compounds.
  • Photosynthesis: Study of the biochemical processes by which plants and certain microorganisms convert light energy into chemical energy through the synthesis of organic molecules.
  • Toxicology: Investigation of the biochemical mechanisms and effects of toxins and other harmful substances on living organisms.

These branches collectively contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the biochemical basis of life and its applications in various scientific and practical domains.

Importance of Biochemistry

Biochemistry plays a crucial role in understanding several fundamental concepts:

1. Transformation of Diet: Biochemistry elucidates the chemical processes responsible for converting dietary components into compounds that are characteristic of the cells of a particular species. This includes the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients to produce essential molecules required for cellular functions.

2. Enzyme Catalysis: Biochemistry delves into the catalytic functions of enzymes, which are essential for facilitating biochemical reactions within cells. Understanding enzyme mechanisms and kinetics is vital for comprehending metabolic pathways and regulatory processes.

3. Energy Utilization: Biochemistry explores how potential energy derived from the oxidation of foodstuff is harnessed for various energy-requiring processes within living cells. This includes the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the universal energy currency of cells, through cellular respiration.

4. Structure and Properties of Biomolecules: Biochemistry investigates the properties and structure of biomolecules that constitute the framework of tissues and cells. This includes proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids, which are essential for maintaining cellular structure and function.

5. Medicine and Biology: Biochemistry serves as a cornerstone in solving fundamental problems in medicine and biology. It provides insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases, drug actions, and genetic disorders, thus informing the development of diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions.

In summary, biochemistry is indispensable for comprehending the intricate biochemical processes occurring within living organisms and their implications for health, disease, and biological function.

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Samuel Barnabas Ifitumi