Biochemistry governs all living organisms and processes
Biochemists have a choice of fields that include applications in medicine, genetics, food science, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.
Biomolecular Engineering deals with the manipulation of many key biomolecules. These include proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids. These molecules are the basic building blocks of life and by controlling, creating, and manipulating their form and function there are many new avenues and advantages available to society. Since every biomolecule is different, there are a number of techniques used to manipulate each one respectively.
The four main classes of biological molecules are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. These cellular molecules are huge, consisting of thousands of covalently connected atoms and each cell has thousands of different kinds of these molecules.
The diversity of these molecules of life is vast and possible variety is effectively limitless which reflect the differences in various forms of life.
The function of carbohydrates includes energy storage and providing structure and the examples are glucose, fructose (sugar that gives fruits their sweet taste) and sucrose (table sugar). Cellulose made by plants is an important structural component of their cell walls. Glucose is the major energy source in most life forms.
Proteins are chains of amino acids, and enzymes are the most important proteins that recognize specific reactant molecules called substrates and speed up the reaction between them by a rate of 1011 or more.
A reaction that would normally take thousands of years to complete spontaneously might take less than a second with an enzyme. The enzyme itself is not used up in the process and is free to catalyze the same reaction with a new set of substrates.
Lipids are an integral part of our daily diet. Most oils and milk products that we use for cooking and eating like butter, cheese and ghee are comprised of fats. Lipid–containing foods undergo digestion within the body and are broken into fatty acids and glycerol which are the final degradation products of fats and lipids.
A nucleic acid is a complex, high–molecular–weight biochemical macromolecule composed of nucleotide chains that convey genetic information. Nucleic acids are found in all living cells and the most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).