From Wikipedia: Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes. By controlling information flow through biochemical signalling and the flow of chemical energy through metabolism, biochemical processes give rise to the incredible complexity of life. ~~~ Much of biochemistry deals with the structures and functions of cellular components such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and other biomolecules -although increasingly processes rather than individual molecules are the main focus. Among the vast number of different biomolecules, many are complex and large molecules (called biopolymers), which are composed of similar repeating subunits (called monomers). Each class of polymeric biomolecule has a different set of subunit types. For example, a protein is a polymer whose subunits are selected from a set of 20 or more amino acids. Biochemistry studies the chemical properties of important biological molecules, like proteins, and in particular the chemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions. ~~~ Proteins are very large molecules - macro-biopolymers - made from monomers called amino acids. There are 20 standard amino acids, each containing a carboxyl group, an amino group, and a side-chain (known as an "R" group). The "R" group is what makes each amino acid different, and the properties of the side-chains greatly influence the overall three-dimensional conformation of a protein. When amino acids combine, they form a special bond called a peptide bond through dehydration synthesis, and become a polypeptide, or protein. ~~~ In order to determine whether two proteins are related, or in other words to decide whether they are homologous or not, scientists use sequence-comparison methods. Methods like Sequence Alignments and Structural Alignments are powerful tools that help scientists identi...
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