Southampton, United Kingdom

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Integrated Master's degree
Language: EnglishStudies in English
Subject area: physical science, environment
Qualification: MSc
Kind of studies: full-time studies
University website:
Master of Science (MSci)
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. By controlling information flow through biochemical signaling and the flow of chemical energy through metabolism, biochemical processes give rise to the complexity of life. Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has become so successful at explaining living processes that now almost all areas of the life sciences from botany to medicine to genetics are engaged in biochemical research. Today, the main focus of pure biochemistry is on understanding how biological molecules give rise to the processes that occur within living cells, which in turn relates greatly to the study and understanding of tissues, organs, and whole organisms—that is, all of biology.
Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with compounds composed of atoms, i.e. elements, and molecules, i.e. combinations of atoms: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other compounds. Chemistry addresses topics such as how atoms and molecules interact via chemical bonds to form new chemical compounds. There are four types of chemical bonds: covalent bonds, in which compounds share one or more electron(s); ionic bonds, in which a compound donates one or more electrons to another compound to produce ions (cations and anions); hydrogen bonds; and Van der Waals force bonds.
I recognize nothing that is not material. In physics, chemistry and biology I see only mechanics. The Universe is nothing but an infinite and complex mechanism. Its complexity is so great that it borders on randomness, giving the illusion of free will.
Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (1931) Monism of the Universe
You don't need something more to get something more. That's what emergence means. Life can emerge from physics and chemistry plus a lot of accidents. The human mind can arise from neurobiology and a lot of accidents, the way the chemical bond arises from physics and certain accidents. Doesn't diminish the importance of these subjects to know they follow from more fundamental things plus accidents.
Murray Gell-Mann (2007) TED talk on beauty and truth in physics — video TC 14m48s (March 2007)
The Joker: You IDIOT! You made me. Remember? You dropped me into that vat of chemicals. That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try.
Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren Batman (1989 film)
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