For an explanation, see the main splats page
SPLATS about biochemistry
The principles of biochemistry
- The laws of chemistry affect animals and plants in many ways because the operations of every cell are, at the simplest level, chemical operations.
- Biochemistry describes the many ways that chemistry is involved with maintaining life inside the cell, and also outside the cell, all around the organism.
- The basis of all life is the translation of the genetic code into the chemicals of life, in particular, into the formation of proteins in particular ways.
- All cells contain lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates: some are absorbed, others are formed within the cell from absorbed material.
- A simple sugar is a monosaccharide: two monosaccharides can be joined to form a disaccharide such as sucrose, which can be split by various enzymes.
- Larger chains of monosaccharides can be formed: these are called oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. These are important in food storage in many cases.
- The properties of a carbon compound can be altered by changing or adding a functional group which changes its size, shape and charge distribution.
- Amino acids have common and different parts: the different parts make the proteins different, and the common parts allow the amino acids to form peptide bonds.
- Much protein chemistry is explained by the lock and key model, where a protein must have the right shape and charge distribution to fit another molecule.
- In 1934, J. D. Bernal showed that giant molecules, such as proteins, can be studied by applying X-ray crystallography to the crystalline material.
- In 1952, Sanger, Tuppy, and Thompson completed their chromatographic analysis of the insulin amino acid sequence. Sanger and Tuppy reported the B chain in 1951.
- Fred Sanger and Hans Tuppy reported the 30 residues of the insulin B-chain in 1951, now many million bases are added each year, making bioinformatics essential.
- In 1953, Max Perutz and John Kendrew determined the structure of haemoglobin using X-ray diffraction patterns taken from crystallized haemoglobin.
- The genetic code of any organism specifies the construction of proteins by setting the order in which amino acids are strung together in the polypeptide.
- DNA is transcribed to messenger RNA and that is then translated into a protein, following the standard pattern of the genetic code in all organisms.
- In 1883, Pierre Émile Duclaux introduces the custom of naming an enzyme by adding "-ase" to the name of the substrate on which its action was first reported.
- In 1897, Gabriel Bertrand, studied the hardening of lacquer (laccase) and used 'coenzyme' for inorganic substances necessary to activate certain enzymes.
- In 1935, Rudolf Schoenheimer used deuterium-labelled fat compounds to examine the fat storage system of rats and showed that about half the fat was stored.
- In 1939, Ruben, William Zev Hassid and Martin David Kamen first applied radioactive tracers to following the biochemical steps involved in photosynthesis.
- In 1941, Ruben, Randall, Martin David Kamen, and Hyde reported that the oxygen liberated in photosynthesis comes from water, and not from carbon dioxide.
- Some chemicals interfere with metabolic pathways within living cells: if they and their interference cause serious damage, we call these chemicals poisons.
- Some poisons are useful as pesticides, which selectively kill problem organisms such as microbes, plants and insects, but they can also cause problems.
- Every poison can have an LD-50 calculated for it, the concentration which will, in theory at least, kill half of a test population exposed to it.
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