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What Is Medical Biochemistry?

Biochemists stay on the cutting edge of scientific discovery.
Creation of an accurate model of DNA was a major milestone for the medical biochemistry field.
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  • Written By: Charles K. Furr
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2014
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Medical biochemistry is the study of biochemical exchanges that occur within the human body in relation with their application in the field of medicine. Millions of complex chemical reactions are going on in the human body at any given time, ranging from the balance of the endocrine system to the storage of human memory. By studying and understanding these highly complex reactions, medical biochemists have found ways to better fight infection and disease on the molecular level.

Progress in the fields of molecular biology, endocrinology, and cellular biology has been rapid in recent years. Since all of these scientific fields tie in closely with medical biochemistry, it has made keeping up with the latest advancements in the field extremely challenging. Medical biochemists have to study often to stay on the cutting edge of this ever-expanding branch of science.

One of the major breakthroughs in the field was the creation of an accurate model of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. Their model opened up possibilities that had been inaccessible up until that point. Seeing the inner workings of DNA, which contains the genetic instructions for a human being, made it possible to understand human anatomy on a molecular scale, which eventually lead to to many advancements in the field.

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The human genome was mapped completely in 2003 as a result of the 13 year Human Genome Project. Since then, medical biochemists have had access to vital genetic information that has allowed for manipulation within the cell nucleus itself. Medical chemists are finding ways to isolate harmful traits within human DNA and have found methods of sometimes causing them to completely shut down prior to manifestation.

Medical biochemistry has been studied for well over half a century in civilized countries all over the globe. Intense effort on the parts of the scientific and medical communities applied to biochemical research has lead to the discovery of many vaccines, antidepressants, and a myriad of other useful medicinal drugs. These drugs often work hand-in-hand with the chemical makeup of the human anatomy on the cellular level. Without this field of science, much of modern medicine would not be practiced as it is known today.

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