Essays in Biochemistry

Understanding Biochemistry is an essential online resource for post-16 students, teachers and undergraduates, providing up-to-date overviews of key concepts in biochemistry and molecular biosciences. The Understanding Biochemistry issues of Essays in Biochemistry are Open Access publications, meaning that these issues are freely available online to readers.
The next issue will be published in October 2017 and will look at Chemistry for Biochemists and Metabolism.

  Essential Chemistry for Biochemists
Amanda L. Jonsson, Mark A.J. Roberts, J.L. Kiappes, Kathryn A. Scott
Essays In Biochemistry Sep 26, 2017, 61(4) 401-427; DOI: 10.1042/EBC20160094

This article provides a brief overview of those areas in chemistry that are most relevant to biochemistry, summarising basic principles and giving examples on how these principles are applied in biological systems.
  The immune system
Lindsay B. Nicholson
Essays In Biochemistry 
Matthew P. Johnson
Essays In Biochemistry 
  Enzymes: principles and biotechnological applications 
Peter K. Robinson
Essays in Biochemistry Oct 26, 2015, 59 1-41; DOI: 10.1042/bse0590001

This chapter provides an overview of the nature and classification of enzymes as well as looking at enzyme structure and substrate binding, the properties and mechanisms of enzyme action. It also covers some of the industrial and analytical applications of enzymes. 
  Biological membranes 
Helen Watson
Essays in Biochemistry Oct 26, 2015, 59 43-69; DOI: 10.1042/bse0590043 
This chapter describes the structure and organization of membranes, membrane proteins, communication and movement across membranes and the role of membranes in health and disease.


BASC 7 - Recombinant DNA Technology


Genetic Engineering is a useful laboratory tool with far reaching implications. Recombinant DNA Technology gives a thorough explanation of how scientists manipulate DNA. It goes on to consider the ethical and safety implications of the new technology. Some simple experiments are included for classroom use.


Biochemistry Across the School Curriculum (BASC)


Between 1985 and 1999, the Society produced the Biochemistry Across the School Curriculum series 

of booklets as a teaching and learning resource for the post-16 sector. The six remaining topics (those that have not yet been updated through Understanding Biochemistry) are provided below.



BASC 9 - Biochemical Basis of Disease


This booklet provides a biochemical perspective on human health and disease. Its content has been chosen to reflect the modules designed by the examination boards to cover human health, nutrition, disease and physiological processes.




BASC 1 - Essential Chemistry for Biochemistry


This booklet gives a brief but thorough grounding in all chemical topics that life-science students are likely to need to know. It begins with atomic structure, bonding and intermolecular attractions and moves on through chemical equilibria, acids, bases, pH and buffers, oxidation-reduction reactions and reaction kinetics. It ends with a comprehensive explanation of the organic chemistry that is relevant to biochemistry.

BASC 2 - The Structure and Function of Nucleic Acids


Starting with the building blocks that compose DNA and RNA and considering their physical and chemical properties, this booklet goes on to explain how genetic information is transferred through generations, how the genetic information is read and how proteins are then synthesized.


BASC 10 - Genetic Basis of Disease


This booklet looks at how genetic disorders may arise including single-gene disorders, chromosomal and mitochondrial disorders. It also looks at how the knowledge of these disorders may help in the treatment and management of affected individuals

BASC 4 - Metabolism


Metabolism looks at the chemical transformations performed by all cells and tissues in building up and breaking down molecules and the properties of the enzymes involved. This booklet covers many metabolic pathways, including those responsible for energy production and toxic product breakdown.