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What is biochemistry?

Biochemistry is the branch of science that explores the chemical processes within and related to living organisms. It is a laboratory based science that brings together biology and chemistry. By using chemical knowledge and techniques, biochemists can understand and solve biological problems.

Cell stained blue


Biochemistry focuses on processes happening at a molecular level. It focuses on what’s happening inside our cells, studying components like proteins, lipids and organelles. It also looks at how cells communicate with each other, for example during growth or fighting illness. Biochemists need to understand how the structure of a molecule relates to its function, allowing them to predict how molecules will interact.

 

Biochemistry covers a range of scientific disciplines, including genetics, microbiology, forensics, plant science and medicine. Because of its breadth, biochemistry is very important and advances in this field of science over the past 100 years have been staggering. It’s a very exciting time to be part of this fascinating area of study.

 

What do biochemists do?


·         Provide new ideas and experiments to understand how life works

·         Support our understanding of health and disease

·         Contribute innovative information to the technology revolution

·         Work alongside chemists, physicists, healthcare professionals, policy makers, engineers and many more professionals

 


Biochemists work in many places, including:


·         Hospitals
·         Universities
·         Agriculture
·         Food institutes
·         Education
·         Cosmetics
·         Forensic crime research
·         Drug discovery and development
  

Biochemists have many transferable skills, including:

·         Analytical
·         Communication
·         Research
·         Problem solving
·         Numerical
·         Written
·         Observational
·         Planning

 


The outlook is good

The life science community is a fast-paced, interactive network with global career opportunities at all levels. The Government recognizes the potential that developments in biochemistry and the life sciences have for contributing to national prosperity and for improving the quality of life of the population. Funding for research in these areas has been increasing dramatically in most countries, and the biotechnology industry is expanding rapidly.