By controlling information flow through biochemical signaling and the flow of chemical energy through metabolism, biochemical processes give rise to the complexity of life. Over the last 40 years, biochemistry has become so successful at explaining living processes that now almost all areas of the life sciences from botany to medicine are engaged in biochemical research. Today, the main focus of pure biochemistry is in understanding how biological molecules give rise to the processes that occur within living cells, which in turn relates greatly to the study and understanding of whole organisms.
Biochemistry is closely related to molecular biology, the study of the molecular mechanisms by which genetic information encoded in DNA is able to result in the processes of life. Depending on the exact definition of the terms used, molecular biology can be thought of as a branch of biochemistry, or biochemistry as a tool with which to investigate and study molecular biology.
Much of biochemistry deals with the structures, functions and interactions of biological macromolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids, which provide the structure of cells and perform many of the functions associated with life. The chemistry of the cell also depends on the reactions of smaller molecules and ions. These can be inorganic, for example water and metal ions, or organic, for example the amino acids which are used to synthesize proteins. The mechanisms by which cells harness energy from their environment via chemical reactions are known as metabolism. The findings of biochemistry are applied primarily in medicine, nutrition, and agriculture. In medicine, biochemists investigate the causes and cures of disease. In nutrition, they study how to maintain health and study the effects of nutritional deficiencies. In agriculture, biochemists investigate soil and fertilizers, and try to discover ways to improve crop cultivation, crop storage and pest control.
The chemistry behind your body odors. Biochemistry. Biochemistry is closely related to molecular biology, the study of the molecular mechanisms by which genetic information encoded in DNA is able to result in the processes of life.
Depending on the exact definition of the terms used, molecular biology can be thought of as a branch of biochemistry, or biochemistry as a tool with which to investigate and study molecular biology. Much of biochemistry deals with the structures, functions and interactions of biological macromolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids, which provide the structure of cells and perform many of the functions associated with life.
Exploring Life's Origins: Understanding the RNA World. Biochemical Society. Cellular Aging: Telomeres - Telomeres Are Chromosome Caps, Telomere Structure, Telomeres And Replication, Telomeres And Replicative Senescence, Telomeres And Premature Aging Syndromes. Aging is a complex process that occurs on multiple levels.
The end result of aging is that life span is limited in multicellular organisms. The cells that make up multicellular organisms also have limited life spans. The limitation on cellular life span is comprised of two parts: (1) cells become unable to continue dividing but remain metabolically active, and (2) at some future time cell death occurs. Many cells in the human body are continually undergoing cellular division.
Molecular Expressions Cell Biology: Structure of Cells and Viruses. Introduction to Cell and Virus Structure At first glance, the petal of a flower or the skin on the back of a human hand may seem smooth and seamless, as if they were composed of a single, indistinct substance.
In reality, however, many tiny individual units called cells make up these objects and almost all other components of plants and animals. The average human body contains over 75 trillion cells, but many life forms exist as single cells that perform all the functions necessary for independent existence. Most cells are far too small to be seen with the naked eye and require the use of high-power optical and electron microscopes for careful examination. The relative scale of biological organisms as well as the useful range of several different detection devices are illustrated in Figure 1. Yet, until the mid-seventeenth century, scientists were unaware that cells even existed. Questions or comments? Last modification: Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 11:18 AM Microscopes provided by: Home of CELLS alive! The Cell and its Organelles.
Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates The Cell and its Organelles Play the Incredible Megacell Game.
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Synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is the design and construction of biological devices and systems for useful purposes. It is an area of biological research and technology that combines biology and engineering, thus often overlapping with bioengineering and biomedical engineering.
It encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies, and disciplines with a focus on engineering biology and biotechnology. The advance of synthetic biology relies on several key enabling technologies provided at ever increasing speed and lower cost. DNA sequencing, fabrication of genes, modeling how synthetic genes behave, and precisely measuring gene behavior are essential tools in synthetic biology. Its popularity has grown as a result of increasing developments within DNA synthesis technologies; now it is more affordable to synthesize a gene as opposed to cloning it. Also, genome databases can be used as a template for creating viruses at minimal cost. History Perspectives Molecular biology. Structural biology. Hemoglobin, the oxygen transporting protein found in red blood cells Biomolecules are too small to see in detail even with the most advanced light microscopes.
The methods that structural biologists use to determine their structures generally involve measurements on vast numbers of identical molecules at the same time. These methods include: A third approach that structural biologists take to understanding structure is bioinformatics to look for patterns among the diverse sequences that give rise to particular shapes. Researchers often can deduce aspects of the structure of integral membrane proteins based on the membrane topology predicted by hydrophobicity analysis. In the past few years it has become possible for highly accurate physical molecular models to complement the in silico study of biological structures.
See also External links Chronology of Biology and Organic Chemistry. Biochemistry. Biological engineering. The Human Protein Atlas. Mitochondria Research. Bacteria in the body. Human microbiome. A diagram of the microbiome of the skin Bacteria Populations of microbes (such as bacteria and yeasts) inhabit the skin and mucosa.
Their role forms part of normal, healthy human physiology, however if microbe numbers grow beyond their typical ranges (often due to a compromised immune system) or if microbes populate atypical areas of the body (such as through poor hygiene or injury), disease can result. In 2012, some 200 researchers from some 80 research institutions comprising the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) Consortium have used advanced DNA-sequencing to identify and catalogue the thousands of microorganisms co-existing with humans. This study examined, amongst other things, the carbohydrate active enzymes from microbial populations from twelve sites on and in the human body, and concluded that microbes colonise each site to utilise the available sugars.
Escherichia coli (a.k.a. The vaginal microflora consist mostly of various lactobacillus species. Archaea Gut flora