What does it mean to study biochemistry?

To study biochemistry is to learn about the details found within chemical processes occurring in living systems. While this may seem incredibly broad, it allows for the integration of numerous scientific disciplines (outside of just biology and chemistry) and methods of research, all falling under the umbrella of biochemistry. It also allows for the elucidation of previously unknown details that are present in living systems, meaning that the understanding of what is really taking place is ever expanding. In many ways, studying biochemistry is problem solving. Biochemists identify areas that are unknown, and seek to uncover what is occurring. Once again this may seem very broad, but it only opens up the door to brand new discoveries that can change our current understanding of living systems, and improve the overall well-being of our society. One of the main reasons why I chose to study biochemistry myself is because biochemistry has helped in our understanding of the chemical processes present within the human body, and also in discovering the cause of many diseases. Given my interest in the medical field, biochemistry seemed like the perfect fit for my major. Biochemistry is essentially the study of the chemistry of life, so what other discipline could provide you with a better scientific background for a future career in medicine? To me, there really isn’t any other discipline that could accomplish this. Additionally, I enjoy the problem solving nature of biochemistry. It’s exciting to read new articles that have made a discovery which can provide the basis for further studies and research. In BCM 341, I think my interest in biochemistry was enhanced in our research proposal project. This project was certainly daunting at first, as reading all of the works of a research group is no easy task. However, after going through all of the journal articles from the group, it was truly fascinating to see the progression of understanding in this particular topic. In around a 15-20 year span, alpha-synuclein aggregates went from being almost entirely unknown, to now having groups working tirelessly to find solutions to this problem in order to combat Parkinson’s disease. To me, that experience in BCM 341 was eye-opening, and showed me the power and impact that biochemistry has on medicine. While my interest in biochemistry is due primarily to its applications to medicine, biochemistry is certainly not limited to just this field. Biochemists can apply their knowledge and research to all kinds of things. For example, research involving GMOs can be used in agriculture in order to assist in crop yield for farmers. Without biochemistry, this sort of situation would be impossible. It would seem that biochemistry is essential in improving the daily lives of all, and will continue to be essential as more research is conducted, new technology is created, and new techniques are developed. Again, I think that studying biochemistry is, at its core, identifying problems and seeking to find solutions to these problems. Biochemists make an effort to take what is unknown, and make it known. Biochemistry takes into account all kinds of knowledge obtained from outside disciplines, and then applies this information to various fields whose goals are to make the world a better place.

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