Cellular Biology

Overview of Cellular Biochemistry

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Biochemistry is that branch of chemistry that applies to chemical reactions in cells of organisms as big as a cow and as small as a bacterium.  These biochemical reactions that take place inside the cells are amazingly organized and accurate.  This organization and accuracy stem from the existence of enzymes which catalyze stereospecifically each and each reaction. 

The biochemical reactions inside the body are not only organized and accurate but also are predictable and theri fate is known beforehand and is continuously repeated from person to person.  For example, proteins in the diet are digested in the stomach in a predictable manner to amino acids which are then absorbed into the circulation and are used for the synthesis of proteins in the body. 

This is a well organized and predictable fact that occurs in everybody.  In addition, carbohydrates and lipids are digested in the stomach in a similar way in everyone.  This is also a known fact.  The same biochemical reactions occur in every one of the same race in the same manner.  The synthesis of all biomolecules in the body are done in every person in the same predictable and organized way.

For example cell division whether mitosis or meiosis is a very intricate process which is however very organized and predictable in its manner.  The division process is the same for everyone.  The question that rises here is what is the driving force for this process of cell division.  What drives all these biochemical reactions to occur.  Cell division is entropically favoured as it increases the disorder and decreases the order.  We know also that cells which possess nucleus do divide.  However why they should divide no one knows. 

The question is what sort of life there is in the cell that drive all these biochemical reactions in the cell.  What is the difference between the cell as a unity and its separated structures.  We know that cells with separated structures do not possess life. 

Another point is the aging process that everyone ubdergoes even plants.  Aging is a predictable fact of life that no one knows why it happens.  The question then arises what is the difference between an aging machine and aging human? Why must everyone age and die.  Are we programmed by higher creatures to undergo this process of aging and dying. 

The other question is how the fertilized ovum becomes a fetus? This is a definitely programmed way that is seen with everybody.  Many, if not all, biochemical processes are seen routinely in everyone such as the energy production in the mitochondria as the glycolysis reactions and krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation processes. 

All these processes are unique to cells of humans who have mitochondria or the energy producing machine.  Proteins which are synthesized in the body in a very organized and programmed manner are accurate that error occurs only due to a genetic defect in the DNA of the cell.  Proteins are not synthesized in cells which possess nuclei such as red blood cells. 

Fatty acids which are another source of energy in the body are oxidized in the liver to release energy in the form of ATP molecules which are rich in phosphoanhydride bonds.   This process is also a very organized and predictable biochemical process which occurs in the liver. 

Hormones are important class of compounds which are synthesized biochemically in the endocrine glands in an organized and predictable manner such as the polypeptide oxytocin.  In additio,n there are steroid hormones that are synthesized from cholesterol precursors.  All these hormones are synthesized in a very organized chemical processes which consume energy and are catalyzed by enzymes.  The big question is then to think about is: are we biologic machines? If yes who is our creator and what are the purpose of or role of us in life.  In my opinion the answer is yes.  LIfe is a cycle that humans and animals and plants undergo, everyone in its way.  We all serve a purpose that will definitely be known in the future with the continuous development of humans.

More about this author: Tarek Musslimani

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