Biochemists remain at the forefront of scientific discovery.
Medical biochemistry is the formal study of the biochemical changes that occur in the human body in the context of medicine, usually in terms of drug interactions or cellular responses to disease or stimulation. Millions of complex chemical reactions are taking place in the human body at any given time. The balance of the endocrine system, which controls hormone levels, is an example; how the brain processes information from the nerves and how signals are transmitted from one place to another is another. By studying and understanding these highly complex reactions, medical biochemists have found ways to better fight infections and disease at the molecular level. Much of the field is devoted to research. The time experts spend studying samples and creating reactions has led to a number of advances in health care and disease management, and it seems likely that this field will be very “in demand” in the years to come.
The creation of an accurate model of DNA was an important milestone for the field of medical biochemistry.
Biochemistry itself is a combined study of biology and chemistry and tends to focus on how chemical processes happen in organisms and why. In the medical field, the central concern is almost always health and integrity. Researchers spend a lot of time studying things like how the body reacts to drugs, which can help them create more effective drugs; they are also looking for ways to understand how people react to different environmental triggers, such as stress, as a way to provide more direct and accurate care. Biochemical research has led to the discovery of many vaccines, antidepressants, and numerous therapeutic drugs that work hand in hand with a person’s chemical makeup at a cellular level.
Biochemical research is responsible for advances in antidepressants and other therapeutic drugs.
Some doctors and physicians are trained in this field and some aspects are taught in most medical schools, although the devoted specialization is more common for pharmaceutical researchers and disease control specialists. Advances made in laboratories and research centers impact the way modern medicine is practiced and, in many cases, shape the type of care people receive.
Medical oncologists may order laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis of cancer.
One of the most significant advances in the field was the creation of an accurate model of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. DNA is often referred to as the central “building block” of life and contains what is basically a map of a person’s genetic pattern and composition. Watson and Crick’s model opened up possibilities that were inaccessible until that point. Seeing the inner workings of DNA made it possible to understand human anatomy on a molecular scale, which eventually led to many changes and advances in the way doctors approach and care for various diseases.
The human genome, which is the complete gene sequence unique to human life, was completely mapped in 2003 as a result of the 13-year Human Genome Project. Since then, medical biochemists have had access to vital genetic information that allows manipulation within the cell’s own nucleus. Medical chemists are finding ways to isolate harmful traits within human DNA and have discovered methods that sometimes cause them to shut down completely before manifestation. What this means in practical terms is that doctors can sometimes prevent an illness from happening, which can prevent a lot of suffering and pain.
Other advances in healthcare
Progress in the related fields of molecular biology, endocrinology and cell biology has been rapid in recent years. Since all these scientific fields are closely linked to medical biochemistry, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest advances in the field. A lot of research and reading goes into this work just in terms of keeping up to date with new discoveries and advancements. There is a lot to learn and a lot of people dedicated to studying different causes with nuances. As much as experts know about the human body and how it works, there are many things that simply remain a mystery. The more time medical biochemistry experts spend studying, the closer the field will come to providing answers.
invading the field
Getting started as a medical biochemist usually requires a lot of education. A university degree is almost always required, and graduate work in biochemistry, molecular biology, or other health sciences is typically recommended. There are many different sorts of jobs in this field, from working as a lab technician or writing grants to conducting test groups and running drug trials. People with this sort of expertise can work in settings as diverse as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, or universities. There is a lot of demand for this sort of knowledge and individuals with the right training are often very competitive in the marketplace.