Reflection Blog 1

Biochemistry is clinically defined as the study of chemical and structural changes of molecules that occur when a biological system extract/uses them from food/ for energy in both health and diseased systems.  Biochemistry views energy extraction, usage, and storage by analyzing the vast interaction during the extraction process where proteins/ enzymes convert, move, signal, and activate different cycles, targets, and receptors that ultimately lead to the needed result.  However, the field is more complicated than the definition since biochemistry encompasses the many sub-domains of biology and chemistry including genetics, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and molecular biology to name a few.  The overlap originates from the fact that the enzymes that control the bodies metabolism are coded in the organism DNA while the actual breakdown and modification are only facilitated by the enzyme and can happen outside a biological system, mainly in the laboratory setting using reagents and high heat.  However, it is also due to these overlaps that the field biochemist also serves to provide extensive research and discoveries that go on to influence studies in other scientific fields.  Particularly, biochemistry research may be used to differentiate between biological systems and how they interact with certain chemicals/ molecules.

Biochemistry indeed highlights the complexity of all biological organisms and how they have developed such a variety of pathways and signals for the metabolism of different groups of molecules, proteins, and amino acids.  Determining how these pathways operate also helps explain the differences between different species reactions to the same organic and inorganic molecules.  For example, biochemistry can explain how and why a dog develops severe medical problems by eating food items such as chocolate, grapes, and onions but humans have no trouble processing them.  Dogs and humans share some similar enzymes used to breakdown food, but also dogs have enzymes that are not found in humans, and those that are similar have different instructions and behaviors.  Since the two systems have these dissimilarities, they process and breakdown there target differently and lead to different results.  The understanding of the previous example is essential for understanding why biochemistry is so important especially in modern medical research which uses animals to mimic human drug metabolism before using the drug on actual humans.  Thus that is one of the reasons why studying biochemistry is so alluring, from a personal standpoint.

Furthermore, from both a professional and personal understanding, it is the medical properties of certain chemicals and proteins and how they could be used in medicine that is the most interesting.  Biochemistry is mostly utilized in the medical profession by the individuals who discover and develop next-generation antibiotics, painkillers, cancer treatments and so on; however, it should also be a priority for the individuals who prescribe those medications to understand how they operate as well.  Knowing and being able to conceptualize and use that know how is essential to being a proper physician in the modern age.  It may assist in determining how much medication must be taken for maximum effect, the side effects of administrating too high of a dose, or why some individual may not be candidates for specific treatment protocols based on the individual.  The ability to explain these interactions, in the medical profession, to patients promotes transparency and fosters trust between patients and physicians while also allowing the patient to participate in their medical treatment which has been shown to aid in recovery.  The reasons mentioned above should be the goal of any person who studies biochemistry and wishes to enter the field of medicine.

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