Biochemistry is a very comprehensive branch of science, the scope of which is quite broad. Since Biochemistry connects two separate disciplines (Chemistry and Biology) and also applies ideas of several other minor subjects, it is evident that Biochemistry covers a wide variety of concepts.
The study of Biochemistry is of immense importance in our daily life since it helps us develop and improve clinical diagnosis, treatment of disease, or agricultural aspects. Biochemistry plays an essential role in Medicine, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Engineering. For that reason, Biochemical concepts are applied to various sub-disciplines identified within the areas mentioned above.
Depending on personal and academic interests, studying Biochemistry allows individuals to specialize in a variety of areas which will be discussed throughout the article.
Animal Biochemistry is a branch of Biochemistry which studies various chemical reactions going on in the body of an animal. Moreover, it examines the structure and function of animal cellular components (e.g., proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, etc.).
Animal Biochemistry also contributes to research and veterinary education in animal metabolism and function of animals in health issues and various disease pathways.
The study of Animal Biochemistry is a significant field not only for the development of veterinary aspects but also for a better understanding of chemistry in living organisms.
Plants are eukaryotic organisms, which dominate the terrestrial world. They are one of the principal components of the living organisms on Earth. Plants are responsible for fresh oxygen supply and reduction of pollution level on Earth by taking in carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Furthermore, plants are also essential for human nutrition, production of industrial materials, formulation and manufacture of medicine, biofuels, or pesticides.
For that reason, it is of immense importance to study Plant Biochemistry before applying it to so many areas which affect the quality of our lives.
Plant Biochemistry is not only fundamental for the explanation of the molecular function of a plant but is also an applied science that plays a primary role in understanding various issues related to agricultural or pharmaceutical problems. Plants are considered to be raw materials for the current production of drugs and other agricultural materials. More importantly, it is hypothesized that the development of gene technology might lead to the substantial use of plants in the production of raw materials for industrial purposes.
Molecular Biology is a field of science which studies Biology at a molecular level. Molecular Biology interconnects Biology and Chemistry, more specifically, Genetics and Biochemistry through which Molecular Biologists implement biological techniques combined with ideas from Genetics and Biochemistry.
Moreover, Molecular Biology studies the composition, structure, function, and interactions of cellular components responsible for carrying out biological processes such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. Molecular Biology is mainly concerned with the study of particularly nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and the proteins which are constructed using the genetic information encoded in DNA and RNA.
Reproduction (sexual and asexual) is the biological process, a fundamental feature of all known life, through which new individual organisms are produced. Reproduction is essential for increasing the individuals in a population and creating variations in particular species through genetic recombination.
Reproductive Biochemistry is the study Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Physiology, and Endocrinology connected to human, animal, and plant reproduction. The study of Reproductive Biochemistry is a vital area since it develops and enhances concepts, ideas, and techniques related to various reproductive health issues, including diseases, dysfunctions, syndromes, etc.
Cell Biology is the branch of Biology which studies cell structure and function. Cell Biology is concerned with all the properties and processes involving cells, which means that it is an inclusive discipline since cells are the basic units of life. Examples are physiological properties, metabolic processes, signaling pathways, life cycle, chemical composition, and interactions of cells with their corresponding environment.
For a better understanding of growth and development of the cells, it is of enormous importance to study Biology at the cellular level. Cell Biology covers various topics related to cellular processes such as cell division, transcription, translation, cell death, glycolysis, respiration, photosynthesis, chemosynthesis, signaling, transcript, etc.
Neurobiology is a sub-discipline of Cell Biology and Neuroscience which studies the cells of the nervous system explicitly. The study of Neurobiology is concerned with the examination of neurons which are diverse concerning morphology and function. They are generally specialized to receive, propagate, and transmit electrochemical impulses.
Nervous system is an essential part of the organism since it not only produces emotions or behavior but also controls and regulates vital body functions such as the rate of breathing, blood pressure, body temperature, etc.
Neurobiology is a vital field which provides an in-depth scientific understanding of the human mind employing observation of various biological and chemical processes essential for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions occurring within a living organism to sustain life. There are three major purposes of metabolism which are the following: conversion of food to energy, conversion of food to building blocks for biomolecules, and elimination of wastes. The study of these processes is called metabolomics, which is an essential branch of Biochemistry.
Metabolomics is a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analysis of metabolites (intermediate end products of metabolism) along with, the examination of detailed reaction mechanisms and cycles occurring in living organisms.
The study of metabolic reactions and processes is essential for detection and treatment of metabolic disorders which happen when abnormal chemical reactions occur in an organism which alter the normal metabolic processes.
Immunology is a very important sub-discipline of Medical and Biological Sciences which studies the immune system. The immune system consists of organs and processes occurring in the body which are responsible for protection from infections and toxins.
There are various sub-branches of Immunology which study specific defense systems in living organisms. Here are several examples of such branches:
– Clinical Immunology – the study of diseases caused by immune system disorders.
– Developmental Immunology – the study of factors responsible for the development of immune cells and organs.
– Ecoimmunology – the study of the relationship between the immune system of an organism and its environment.
– Diagnostic Immunology – the study of tests and techniques for immune system-mediated diseases.
– Reproductive Immunology – the study of immunological concepts related to reproductive processes.
– Cancer Immunology – the study of the relation of the immune system to cancer cells.
Enzymology is the branch of Biochemistry which studies structure, function, and kinetics of enzymes. Enzymes are typically proteins that speed up the rate of biological-chemical reactions. Enzymes are essential for the processes occurring in living organisms since, without enzymes, these reactions would have happened too slowly to keep bodies alive.
Metabolic reactions are enzyme-catalyzed reactions which are vital for the proper functioning of an organism. The study of enzymes is significant for the understanding and treatment of various diseases.
Pharmacy is the field which studies the techniques of preparation of drugs and provides additional clinical services. The area of pharmacy is generally divided into three major disciplines, one of which is Pharmaceutics.
Pharmaceutics is the discipline that studies the effective use of new chemical entities of old drugs into a medication. Various drugs are related to the Biochemistry and Metabolism of human health and diseases which is studied by the branch called Pharmaceutical Biochemistry.
Pharmaceutical Biochemistry studies the clinical uses of drugs and their effects on living organisms. It examines chemical processes associated with drug activity occurring in living cells at the molecular level.
Genetic Engineering, also referred to as Genetic Modification or Genetic Manipulation, is the study of the manipulation of genes using Biotechnology. The product of Genetic Engineering is a genetically modified organism, the DNA of which was altered or modified.
Recombinant DNA technology is used to introduce foreign genes into microbes, plants, or animals to convey new desirable characteristics. Generic Engineers modify food, medicines, or organisms to produce more efficient means of nutrition, tastier food, disease- and drought-resistant plants requiring fewer resources, etc.
Biotechnology is a broad discipline which studies the implementation of biological processes and living organisms for industrial or other purposes, including genetic engineering, production of antibiotics or hormones, etc.
Biotechnology is responsible for providing products and technologies for the treatment of various diseases, reduction of environmental footprint, providing nutritious food for hungry, use of less and cleaner energy (production of biofuels from biomass), manufacture of safer and more efficient industrial products.