Biochemistry is the application of chemistry to the study of biological processes at the cellular and molecular level. It emerged as a distinct discipline around the beginning of the 20th century when scientists combined chemistry, physiology and biology to investigate the chemistry of living systems.
The study of life in its chemical processes
Biochemistry is both a life science and a chemical science - it explores the chemistry of living organisms and the molecular basis for the changes occurring in living cells. It uses the methods of chemistry,
"Biochemistry has become the foundation for understanding all biological processes. It has provided explanations for the causes of many diseases in humans, animals and plants."
physics, molecular biology and immunology to study the structure and behaviour of the complex molecules found in biological material and the ways these molecules interact to form cells, tissues and whole organisms.
Biochemists are interested, for example, in mechanisms of brain function, cellular multiplication and differentiation, communication within and between cells and organs, and the chemical bases of inheritance and disease. The biochemist seeks to determine how specific molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, vitamins and hormones function in such processes. Particular emphasis is placed on regulation of chemical reactions in living cells.