Biochemistry is a combination of two words. Bios and Chemistry. Bios means life and chemistry means the chemical reactions. The term biochemistry is generally a branch of biology that deals with the chemical reactions occurring in living organisms. These reactions may be the digestion of food, the reactions taking place in the human body during the process of respiration and the process of metabolism etc. Biochemistry is also sometimes called biological chemistry.

Over the last 40 years, the field of biochemistry has become so successful in explaining the life of living organisms that almost all the areas of sciences are now have engaged with biochemistry. Biochemistry is closely related to molecular biology, which deals with the study of molecules and atoms that play role in living things like DNA and genetics.

Much of the biochemistry deals with the study of the structures and functions of the molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids which provide complexity to life. The scope of biochemistry is so vast that one cannot do specialize in it. The outcomes of biochemistry are applied primarily in medicine, nutrition, and agriculture.

History of Biochemistry:

Biochemistry has its roots in the early nineteenth century. The earliest views on the biological chemistry was that it was basically different from non-living chemistry. The single most important experiment that initiated the study of biochemistry was the preparation by Eduard Buchner in 1897, when zymase fermented glucose and converted it into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This work confirmed fermentation as a chemical process.

Another historic event in the field of biochemistry is the discovery of gene. The discovery of gene lead to various advancements in the field of biochemistry.

In this way, several elements that are very important in the field of biochemistry and its history is mentioned below that play an important role in the life of human beings:

  • Enzymes: The nature of catalysis began to be explored early in the twentieth century with the realization that enzymes are the substances that bind their substratesduring the reaction. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Emil Fischer proposed the lock and key model. Then later in 1959, Sanford Moore and William Stein determined the first primary sequence (the amino acid sequence) of an enzyme, ribonuclease. This leads to the discovery of other substances like:
  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Amino acids
  • And membranes

To know more about biochemistry and its history, visit the biochemistry blog.