Introduction and definition of biochemistry
CARL NEUBERG, a German chemist was the first who introduced the term “Biochemistry” in 1903.
Biochemistry, as the name implies, is the science related to the chemical nature and chemical behavior of the living matter. Thus, it’s related to the study of the nature of chemical constituent of living organisms whether they are plants, animals or micro-organisms.
Biochemistry may be treated as a branch of science in which biological phenomena are studied in terms of chemistry. This is why it is related to biological chemistry or chemical biology. A French chemist ANTOINE LAURENT LAVOISIER (1743-1794) is consider as Father of modern biochemistry.
Biochemistry is mainly an amalgamation of chemistry, physics, biology, and bioenergetics. This is based upon the following facts:-
i) The body of the living organism is made up of many biomolecules that are organic in nature. The behavior of these biomolecules is knowing by studying their structure and properties under organic chemistry which is a special branch of chemistry.
ii) The transformation of these biomolecules into other molecules is accompanied by the evolution or absorption of energy. Such changes are studied under thermodynamics. It is also called bioenergetics.
iii) Various transformation and physiological processes such as digestion, respiration, excretion, synthesis, photosynthesis, and degradation of biomolecules that take place in living bodies are governed by physical principles that are studied under physics.
iv) In order to study all this, complete knowledge of the internal and external structure of the organism, its genetics makeup and response to various stimuli are studied under biology.
v) Hence, biochemistry is a combination of chemistry, bioenergetics, physics, and biology. A biochemist is an investigator who uses physical, chemical, and biological techniques in order to study the chemical nature and behavior of living things.
HISTORY OF BIOCHEMISTRY
|History Of Biochemistry|
During 17th and 18th centuries, important foundations were laid in many fields of biology. The 19th century observed the development of following concepts :
i) Cell Theory By Schleilden And Schwann
ii) Mendel’s study of inheritance
iii) Darwin’s theory of inheritance
The real push to biochemistry was given in 1828 when the synthesis of urea from lead cyanate and ammonia was achieved by Wohler. He , thus , initiated the synthesis of organic compound from inorganic compounds.
During 1857, Louis Pasteur did a commendable work on fermentation and pointed out the vital importance of enzyme in this process.
In 1897, Edward Buchner made a breakthrough in enzyme research and hence, biochemistry when he extracted enzyme fro yeast cell in curd form. These enzymes could ferment a sugar molecule to alcohol.
In 1903, Neuberg introduces the term biochemistry.
In the early part of the 20th century, a sudden outburst of knowledge in chemical analysis, separation methods, x-ray diffraction, and electron microscope, etc was witnessed. It ultimately resulted in understanding the structure and function of several key molecules such as proteins, enzymes, DNA, and RNA involved in the life process.
In 1926 , James Sumner established that enzymes are proteins in nature. He was responsible for the isolation and crystallization of ureas. It provided a breakthrough in studying the properties of specific enzymes.
During the first half of 20th century , Embdn and Meyerof, elucidated the glycolytic pathway as the first metabolic pathway. Otto Warburg , Cory and Parnas also made unique contribution regarding glycolytic pathway
During 1930-40 , crabs established the citric and urea cycles.
In 1940, Lipmann describe the role of ATP in biological systems.
In 1953 , Watson and Crickestablished the structure of DNA. As a result the biochemistry of nucleic acids entered into a phase of exponential growth.
In 1956 Kornberg discovered DNA Polymerase. From 1960 onwards biochemistry plunged into an interdisciplinary phase that shared much I common with biology and molecular genetics.
The contribution of Frederick Sanger in the sequencing of protein in 1953 and nucleic acid in 1977 was responsible for further development in the field of protein and nucleic acid research.
During 1980 development of recombinant DNA research Snell and coworkers allowed for further development and emergence of the genetic engineering which is a new field
In this way, there was a progressive evolution of biology to biochemistry and then to molecular biology, biotechnology, and genetic engineering.
SCOPE OF BIOCHEMISTRY
|Scope Of Biochemistry|
Biochemistry is the branch of science which is very important in the field of biochemical research. It helps in the study of several subjects of agriculture, medical sciences, and nutrition. The scope of biochemistry is described by classifying it into different categories such as agriculture biochemistry, animal biochemistry, plant biochemistry, and industrial biochemistry.
(1) Agriculture Biochemistry: Under this branch of biochemistry, the relation of biochemistry with agriculture chemistry, soil science, nutrition, dairy chemistry, and food chemistry is studied. J.Von Liebig(1803-73) is called the founder of agriculture chemistry.
(2) Animal Biochemistry: Under this branch of biochemistry the biological reactions related to the cells of humans and other animals have studied subjects like microbiology, physiology, genetics, medicinal science and veterinary science are studied under animal biochemistry.
(3) Plant Biochemistry: The branch of biochemistry which deals with the study of botany is called plant biochemistry. Under this branch, the biochemistry of the plant is studied. It has wide scope. The subjects like plant breeding, plant production, plant pathology, and forestry come under this branch of biochemistry.
(4) Industrial Biochemistry: This branch of biochemistry is concerned with various industries. It includes the farmaceutical industry, food preservation, fertilizer industry, and wood technology. It is utilized in the industries related to sugar, starch, cellulose, and fermentation also.
The scope of biochemistry can be summarized in the tabular form as:
IMPORTANCE OF BIOCHEMISTRY
|Importance Of Biochemistry|
The knowledge of biochemistry is of vital importance in our life. It is very useful in agriculture, medicines, and medical treatment. Some uses of biochemistry are listed below:
· Biochemistry is useful in increasing crop production.
· It is very important for improving the quality of land the preservation of vegetables and flowers.
· It helps in the preparation and preservation of food materials.
· It is needed to understand the action of several genes and their relationships with the enzymes.
· It is helpful in knowing the food requirement of animals. It helps in providing proper nutrition and to remove malnutrition.
· Geneticists depend upon biochemical reactions in order to understand inheritance in plants and animals.
· It is useful in the discovery of medicines in pharmaceutical industries.
· It tells about the proper utilization of medicines.
· It is helpful in the treatment of ill persons and animals.
· It helps in improving the breed of beneficial animals and their nutrition.
· It is involved in the understanding the action of herbicides and pesticides.