Interdisciplinary Character of Biochemistry

Review Article

Interdisciplinary Character of Biochemistry

Corresponding author:  Monica Butnariu, Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara, 300645, Calea Aradului 119, Timis, Romania. Email: monicabutnariu@yahoo.com

Abstract

Biochemistry is a frontier science with an interdisciplinary character. Biochemistry has close links with organic chemistry, which provides support for knowing the structure and properties of biomolecules. Analytical chemistry and physical chemistry provide biochemistry with methods of identifying, separating and characterizing biomolecules as well as kinetic and thermodynamic interpretation of biochemical reactions. Biochemical processes are carried out at cellular structures, so biochemistry interferes with molecular biology first and with morphology, which can also be approached from the aspect of structural element chemistry. The physiology raises a higher level of knowledge of the laws of life phenomena, and modern genetics has in fact become biochemical genetics, because it has created the basis for the codification of the hereditary message and has established relations between nucleic acids and protein biosynthesis as a premise of self–reproduction of living organisms. 

Keywords: Interdisciplinary character; Biomolecules; Biochemical processes; Physiology; Biochemical genetics

Introduction 

Guided by spiritual and practical evidences, man has continually made efforts to penetrate the meaning of life. At various stages in the development of thought, he broke away finer laws of the existence of living matter. The Ancients did not cease to marvel at the beauty and the mysteries of the nature’s living beings, remarking new and new phenomena, expressions of perfection but they were unable to explain the essence and harmony of the surrounding world [1].

Biochemistry is the arrangement of the atoms in the biomolecule, at the molecular level. ‘‘Bios’’ in Greek language it means life. Therefore, biochemistry is science that studies the molecular basis of life. Simple organic compounds, the constituents of organisms belong only to the living world and are products of biological activity. These compounds are called biomolecules and have a functional role to serve as building blocks in the formation of biological structures. They were selected evolutionarily due to the ability to perform functions strictly determined in living cells. In all living organisms these compounds are similar, interdependent, which interacts, participates in the processes of energy transfer and transformation of substances. By way of example, these biomolecules can be characterized in two ways: chemically and biologically, which suggests that biochemistry is a matter of super–chemistry organized perfectly, which offers great possibilities in the study of the secrets of organisms alive, a chemical of the most perfectly organized matter [2].

Biochemistry is the science that studies the chemical composition of living organisms, the structure and properties of the constituent substances, and the transformations to which these substances are subjected within living organisms. These biomolecules are studied in structural or descriptive biochemistry that is closely related to organic chemistry. Transformation of biomolecules into the plant and animal organisms is a dynamic biochemistry or metabolism [3]. The biochemistry study includes:

  1. Structural biochemistry deals with the study of life molecules: proteins and amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids. This branch also studies vitamins and enzymes.
  2. Metabolic biochemistry studies metabolic pathways through which nutrients are processed inside living cells (anabolism and catabolism).
  3. Static biochemistry–studies exclusively the analysis, the chemical composition of a body.
  1. Dynamic biochemistry–elucidates the complexity of substance changes in plant and animals
  2. Functional biochemistry–investigates the chemical processes underlying the different manifestations of vitality.

There are many differences between plants and animals which primarily concern substance groups and some metabolic processes. These have led to the differentiation of modern biochemistry in plant biochemistry, animal biochemistry and medical biochemistry. As animal life is dependent on plant life, the study of animal biochemistry should also address specific problems of plant biochemistry and vice versa [4].

Biochemical characteristics of living organisms

Compared to non–living matter, living organisms are characterized by a set of principles and features that define organization and functioning at the level of molecules, such as:

  1. Are open systems, i.e. they are in a permanent exchange of matter, energy and information with the environment and have as a characteristic feature the metabolism, a concept that defines the material essence and the dynamism of life
  2. They possess a high degree of organization and complexity, that is they are made up of different types of molecules and macromolecules with various structures and specific functions;
  3. It is a superior qualitative state, both in terms of nature, structure and way of assembly of the component biomolecules, but especially in terms of the interactions between them;
  4. Have the unique ability to absorb and convert energy from the environment, adapting it and using it to synthesize its own structures and maintain structural organization;
  5. Have the ability to accurately replicate from generation to generation in forms identical to mass, conformation, internal structures and properties;
  6. For all living organisms, the cell is the basic structural and functional unit that contains the complete equipment for maintaining and continuity of life [5].

The study of the chemical composition of plant organisms revealed the existence of a number of amazingly large substances, especially organic, that are in constant transformation due to the permanent exchange of substances and energy of the living matter with the environment. The large number of organic substances found in plants can be grouped either according to their chemical structure (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, organic acids, nucleic acids, etc.), or after their physiological role (plastics, reserve substances, active substances and secondary substances) [6].

The transformation of substances into plants is carried out in biochemical cycles located at cellular level in various organisms. As a result of the process of photosynthesis, the green plants biosynthesize carbohydrates (trioses and hexoses) which are precursors for biosynthesis of other organic substances characteristic of photosynthetic autotrophic plants. Another category of precursors are intermediates resulting from biodegradation processes of the organic substances in any of the three stages. The substances resulting from these transformations have different roles in plant life: as plastics, spare substances, active substances or by–products [7]. The multitude and complexity of the biochemical cycles through which organic substances in the plants are metabolized explains their large number and variety in the plants. As a result of the process of photosynthesis, the green plants biosynthesize carbohydrates like trioses and hexoses. Of these substances, the leaflets biosynthesize amino acids, hormones, vitamins, etc. which are transported to all plant cells. At the same time sucrose is synthesized which is transported at all organs and cells of the plant where it is used as an energy substrate or as a primary product for the biosynthesis of other organic substances which is a characteristic of photosynthetic autotrophic plants [8]. 

What is the success of Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is an experimental science, the success of which is indispensable in the ability to experiment, based on modem knowledge, using an advanced laboratory technique, and synthesis of recorded data, interpretation and carrying out a true analysis of your explorations. In the structural hierarchy of millions of different proteins, for example, we distinguish many more levels of organization: atomic, molecular, cellular [9]. For organ activity respectively, the corresponding level is characteristic, and for the whole plant and animal organisms–form superior organization of living matter.

  • Biochemistry has succeeded in elucidating the chemical foundations of a number of related issues to structures of biomolecules and metabolic processes such as: the double helix of DNA, the genetic code three–dimensional structure of proteins, the general pathways of metabolism.
  • Due to biochemistry, the general ways of transforming molecules have been determined and the principles that underlie different forms of expression of life. Men, and bacteria have much in common at the molecular level–the same building blocks for macromolecule formation, identity of transmission of genetic information from DNA®RNA®protein, and ATP, energy currency, is used in both cases.
  • Biochemistry has an increasingly surprising influence on medicine, especially in setting up clinical diagnosis based on enzyme activity. The content (presence) of some enzymes in blood serum can serve as a determining criterion for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction, hepatitis etc. Biochemistry is the support of medication. Of particular importance o has elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying hereditary diseases, an anomaly of metabolism. Biochemistry has a broad application, being designed for students, doctors, biologists, chemists, and every intelligent man. Few realize that a term, simple today to banality, contains a reverse – the titanic work of many scholars, some of whom were awarded the Nobel Prize.
  • The rapid evolution of biochemistry has enabled scientists to investigate crucial issues in biology, medicine, such as: differentiating cells and regulating their growth, determination the role of cells in the formation of the plant and animal organisms, the development of the memory mechanism in the determining the causes of cancer and schizophrenia. Full responses yet we do not have many questions, but one thing is certain–all these problems are determined by the constantly changing molecular factors [10].

The most convincing feature is complexity and high degree of organization that is characterized by its internal structure and diversity molecules. Live organisms are represented by millions of species. Another important fact is that any component part has its specific meaning and fulfils a function that is strictly determined. This refers not only to macroscopic structures, but also microscopic intracellular structures such as the nucleus. These structures are endowed with special functions and compounds contained in the cell – proteins, lipids. Third point that draws us close to the meaning of vital processes lies in the fact that the organisms are capable of extracting, transforming and using the energy of the environment either in the form of nutrient organic compounds or in the form of solar energy. Last particularity allows organisms to generate their own source of energy and to ensure integrity. On the account of this energy, the mechanical work is carried out membrane transfer of substances etc. Living organisms are never able to balance in processes triggered by the body itself, as well in interaction with the environment [11]. But the most striking feature of the body is the ability to replicate, multiply, procreate, assimilate what can be considered as its quintessence. 

Conclusions and remarks

Biochemistry is modern science that studies living matter and specific processes its composition, type, molecular structure, assemblage and correlation of component biomolecules, as well as the biosynthesis and biodegradation processes by which it is used generates and consumes the energy necessary for life. Substances resulting from these cyclical transformations have different roles in plant life: as plastics, stockpiles, active substances or by–products. The goal the final science of biochemistry resides in perceiving the enigmas of life in all its forms. Therefore, we need a student, a future specialist not just to be a “dictionary” of biochemistry teenagers, but also able to critically and constructively appreciate the data experimental basis on which our knowledge of vital processes is based. 

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