Why Study Biochemistry?
Alexander Pope advised, "The proper study of mankind is man." To put it another way, the essence of a liberal education is that we seek to understand ourselves and our interactions with nature.
Biochemistry is the discipline that approaches this quest from the standpoint of the physical sciences – it is the study of the chemistry of life.
Biochemistry addresses fundamental questions: How is food converted into energy or body substance? How is genetic inheritance translated into phenotypically expressed properties? How do enzymes – the biological catalysts – differ in power, specificity and controllability from other catalysts? How are nerve impulses transmitted, and how do we think? What is the chemical basis for health and disease? How are all living creatures alike – and how do we differ? How do pollutants and pesticides affect life? Can we meet human needs by manipulating the DNA of bacteria, plants and animals?
The best reason to biochemistry is to study ourselves and our chemical relationship with the environment.