Biochemistry has become the basis for acquiring knowledge about different biological processes. Without biochemical principles, we would not be able to explain or understand various aspects of our life. By combining biology and chemistry, biochemistry studies living matter and provides solutions to a wide range of issues we face daily. As a matter of fact, numerous scientific fields would not even exist without biochemistry. If you are wondering why, here are ten reasons why biochemistry is so essential:
#1. Biochemistry studies the chemistry of living organisms
As the term suggests, biochemistry combines two of the essential sciences, chemistry and biology. The primary purpose of biochemistry is to understand the chemical processes that occur in living beings. Biochemistry also determines how certain chemicals (proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, etc.) function and what type of chemical reactions take place in living matter. Without biochemistry, scientists would not be able to identify the molecular basis for the chemical changes that arise in living cells.
#2. Biochemistry is involved in nutrition
Evidently, nutrition is one of the most fundamental aspects of life. Proper nutrition leads to improved health, a stronger immune system, and the overall development of living beings. This biochemical and physiological process ensures that organisms receive nutrients performing various functions. Since nutrition is so important, there is a separate branch of biochemistry called nutritional biochemistry, focusing on nutrition, diet, and health.
#3. Biochemistry is essential for understanding metabolism
Whenever you eat or drink, your body initiates the breakdown of complex molecules into simpler compounds. This process is known as metabolism, a set of chemical reactions through which food is converted into energy. The energy produced as a result of the food breakdown is considered the primary source of free energy that your body uses to facilitate various functions, such as breathing, blood circulation, or cell growth. Since biochemistry studies metabolism and related issues, it is of huge importance to living beings’ normal functioning.
#4. Photosynthesis is a biochemical process
Photosynthesis is another essential biochemical process through which plants produce glucose and oxygen. Since photosynthesis is the ultimate source of oxygen and plants are the basis for the food chain, understanding how it works is vital to humankind. Besides, biochemistry looks into different stages of photosynthesis to analyze the reactions and determine how plants, some bacteria, and some protistans are involved in the process.
#5. Fermentation is a biochemical reaction
Fermentation is yet another biochemical reaction during which microorganisms break energy-rich carbohydrates down to produce energy. While fermentation is an ancient technique for prolonging shelf life of various products, we would not be able to understand the rationale behind it without biochemistry. Nowadays, people prepare fermented foods and beverages, including but not limited to yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and pickled vegetables. Biochemical research not only promoted the production of fermented foods and drinks but also highlighted the health benefits of consuming them.
#6. Biochemistry is crucial in medical sciences
Biochemistry is irreplaceable when it comes to medical sciences. Biochemistry uncovers and explains complex chemical reactions that occur in living beings. It is also key to developing effective therapies and producing drugs for treating various health conditions. Hence, a thorough understanding of biochemical principles is essential to diagnosing and treating patients properly. Doctors would not have been able to prescribe suitable medication based on your needs without biochemistry and biochemical tests
#7. Biochemistry allows scientists to study diseases and find cures
Clinical biochemistry is one of the branches of biochemistry that focuses on diagnosing and managing various diseases and disorders, especially those affecting biochemical processes in the human body. Clinical scientists analyze blood, urine, and other body fluid samples to detect health problems. The test results are also fundamental to identifying the most optimal therapy treatment for patients. Without biochemistry, we would not have vaccines or drugs that prevent or treat a wide range of diseases and illnesses.
#8. Biochemistry is fundamental to cell signaling
Biochemistry studies cell signaling, also known as cell communication, which is the ability of cells to receive, process, and transmit specific signals. Cell signaling is key to regulating some of our body’s essential functions and cell activities, such as cell growth, division, differentiation, and others. In a nutshell, cell communication governs various processes and cell functionality in multicellular organisms. Biochemistry, on the other hand, allows scientists to explain how exactly cells communicate with each other or send signals.
#9. Biochemistry enables us to understand genetics
Genetics is not only about heredity. Rather, it unravels various aspects of inherited characteristics while studying both genes and heredity. Genetics explores how DNA sequence changes as qualities or traits are inherited from parents to their offspring. Without biochemistry, scientists would not be able to explain what genes are or how they work. By exploring the chemical structure of genes and taking a closer look at the mechanisms regulating protein structures and synthesis, biochemistry provides detailed information about various genetic disorders.
#10. Biochemistry is essential for analyzing forensic evidence
Forensic science involves examining and analyzing crime scene evidence that can provide valuable information and assist in the investigation. As a laboratory-based science, biochemistry is crucial to solving crime cases. Forensic biochemists perform various tests to analyze samples, identify substances, determine the connection between specific individuals, etc. They combine biology, chemistry, physics, and genetics to perform qualitative and quantitative evidence analyses. Without biochemistry, solving crimes would have been much more challenging or even impossible.