∞ generated and posted on 2015.12.27 ∞

Study of interactions among the atoms that make up living things.

Biochemistry, along with biophysics, arguably is the most reductionist of areas of biological study, involving biological research that is closest in its emphasis to that of chemistry.

Biochemistry can be subdivided into considerations, on the one hand, of the chemistry of smaller molecules and their reactions as associated with organisms and particularly cells (see too physiology), and on the other hand the chemistry of macromolecules (the latter which fits also into the realm of molecular biology).

Biochemistry is amazingly complex. This is not only because biochemicals, particularly proteins, can be extremely large as well as complicated, but because biochemicals can interact in myriad ways, resulting, ultimately, in complex biochemical entities such as ourselves.

The interface between biochemistry and genetics is termed molecular genetics and the interface between biochemistry and the biology of cells is called cell biology. Biochemistry can also be viewed as sitting at the interface between especially organic chemistry and biology. As such, biochemistry is a very chemistry-oriented discipline and biochemists can be as involved in the discipline of chemistry as they are in that of biology.

Understanding biology requires at least some understanding of biochemistry. To some degree this understanding, however, can be hidden behind what can be described as "black boxes". That is, black boxes are metaphorical entities that are appreciated only in the sense that we have some knowledge of what goes in along with what comes out of the "black box", but not necessarily of what happens inside.

What goes on inside of "black boxes" is not necessarily unknown so much as ignored. If all you care about is that animals take in oxygen (O2) and breath out carbon dioxide (CO2), then all the myriad details of how this process actually occurs may not be of interest. Thus, depending on what level of understanding is required, is desired, or otherwise is needed, many especially biochemical aspects of biology might be treated as black boxes and done so, often, so that the 'forest' of biology might be appreciated without getting too far bogged down in the 'trees'.

On the other hand, ignorance of details also can come back to haunt you, so treating phenomena such as biochemistry as so many black boxes is to be done with caution rather than cavalierly!