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Carbohydrates

Introduction of Carbohydrates

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Carbohydrates

Introduction of Carbohydrates

(Carbohydrates)Biochemistry, as the name implies, is the chemistry of living organisms.Living organisms, whether they are microorganisms, plants or animals are basically made up of the same chemical components. Biochemistry is the study of the way in which these components are synthesized and utilized by the organisms in their life processes. It bridges the gap between the conventional chemistry and biology.
In other words, life is nothing but thousands of ordered chemical reactions or chemistry is the logic of all biological phenomena.

History of biochemistry (Carbohydrates)

During 17th and 18th centuries, important foundations were laid in many fields of biology.

->The 19th century observed the development of concepts – the cell theory by Schleiden and Schwann, Mendel’s study of inheritance and Darwin’s theory of evolution.

->The real push to biochemistry was given in 1828 when total synthesis of urea from lead cyanate and ammonia was achieved by Wohler who thus initiated the synthesis of organic compound from inorganic compound.

->Louis Pasteur, during 1857, did a great deal of work on fermentations and pointed out the central importance of enzymes in this process.

-> The breakthrough in enzyme research and hence, biochemistry was made in 1897 by Edward Buchner when he extracted enzyme from yeast cells in crude form which could ferment a sugar molecule into alcohol.

->Neuberg introduced the term biochemistry in 1903. The early part of 20th century witnessed a sudden outburst of knowledge in chemical analysis, separation methods, electronic instrumentation for biological studies (Xray diffraction, electron microscope, etc) which ultimately resulted in understanding
the structure and function of several key molecules involved in life processes such as proteins, enzymes, DNA and RNA.

-> In 1926, James Sumner established the protein nature of enzyme. He was responsible for the isolation and crystallization of urease, which provided a breakthrough in studying of the properties of specific enzymes.

->The first metabolic pathway elucidated was the glycolytic pathway during the first half of the 20th century by Embden and Meyerhof. Otto Warburg, Cori and Parnas also made very important contributions relating to glycolytic pathway.

-> Krebs established the citric acid and urea cycles during 1930-40.

-> In 1940, Lipmann described the central role of ATP in biological systems.

-> The biochemistry of nucleic acids entered into a phase of exponential growth after the establishment of the structure of DNA in 1953 by Watson and Crick followed by the discovery of DNA polymerase by Kornberg in 1956. From 1960 onwards, biochemistry plunged into an interdisciplinary phase sharing much in common with biology and molecular genetics.

->Frederick Sanger’s contributions in the sequencing of protein in 1953 and nucleic acid in 1977 were responsible for further developments in the field of protein and nucleic acid research. The growth of biochemistry and molecular biology was phenomenal during the past two decades.

-> The development of recombinant DNA research by Snell and coworkers during 1980 allowed for further growth and emergence of a new field, the genetic engineering.

Thus there was progressive evolution of biology to biochemistry and then to molecular biology, genetic engineering and biotechnology.

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