For post-16 students and undergraduates

Essays in Biochemistry

Understanding Biochemistry is an essential online resource for post-16 students, teachers and undergraduates, providing up-to-date overviews of key concepts in biochemistry and molecular biosciences. The Understanding Biochemistry issues of Essays in Biochemistry are Open Access publications, meaning that these issues are freely available online to readers. The next issue will be published in October 2019 and will look at Recombinant DNA Technology, the structure and function of nucleic acids and model organisms.


The Genetic Basis of Disease
Maria Jackson, Leah Marks, Gerhard H.W. May, Joanna B. Wilson
Essays In Biochemistry Dec 03, 2018, 62(5) 643-723; DOI: 10.1042/EBC20170053

This review explores the genetic basis of human disease, including single gene disorders, chromosomal imbalances, epigenetics, cancer and complex disorders, and considers how our understanding and technological advances can be applied to provision of appropriate diagnosis, management and therapy for patients.

The Biochemical Basis of Disease
Alastair J. Barr
Essays In Biochemistry Dec 03, 2018, 62(5) 619-642; DOI: 10.1042/EBC20170054

This article gives the reader an insight into the role of biochemistry in some of the current global health and disease problems. It surveys the biochemical causes of disease in an accessible and succinct form while also bringing in aspects of pharmacology, cell biology, pathology and physiology which are closely aligned with biochemistry.

Essential Chemistry for Biochemists
Amanda L. Jonsson, Mark A.J. Roberts, J.L. Kiappes, Kathryn A. Scott
Essays In Biochemistry Sep 26, 2017, 61(4) 401-427; DOI: 10.1042/EBC20160094

This article provides a brief overview of those areas in chemistry that are most relevant to biochemistry, summarising basic principles and giving examples on how these principles are applied in biological systems.

The immune system
Lindsay B. Nicholson
Essays In Biochemistry Oct 26, 2016, 60 275-301; DOI: 10.1042/EBC20160017

This chapter focuses on mammalian immunity, the challenges that it faces, the mechanisms by which these are addressed, and the consequences that arise when it malfunctions.

Matthew P. Johnson
Essays In Biochemistry Oct 26, 2016, 60 255-273; DOI: 10.1042/EBC20160016

This chapter covers the basic principles of solar energy capture, energy, electron and proton transfer and the biochemical basis of carbon fixation.

Enzymes: principles and biotechnological applications 
Peter K. Robinson
Essays in Biochemistry Oct 26, 2015, 59 1-41; DOI: 10.1042/bse0590001

This chapter provides an overview of the nature and classification of enzymes as well as looking at enzyme structure and substrate binding, the properties and mechanisms of enzyme action. It also covers some of the industrial and analytical applications of enzymes. 

Biological membranes 
Helen Watson
Essays in Biochemistry Oct 26, 2015, 59 43-69; DOI: 10.1042/bse0590043 

This chapter describes the structure and organization of membranes, membrane proteins, communication and movement across membranes and the role of membranes in health and disease.

Biochemistry Across the School Curriculum (BASC)

Between 1985 and 1999, the Society produced the Biochemistry Across the School Curriculum series

of booklets as a teaching and learning resource for the post-16 sector. The six remaining topics (those that have not yet been updated through Understanding Biochemistry) are provided below.

BASC 2 – The Structure and Function of Nucleic Acids

Starting with the building blocks that compose DNA and RNA and considering their physical and chemical properties, this booklet goes on to explain how genetic information is transferred through generations, how the genetic information is read and how proteins are then synthesized.

BASC 7 – Recombinant DNA Technology

Genetic Engineering is a useful laboratory tool with far reaching implications. Recombinant DNA Technology gives a thorough explanation of how scientists manipulate DNA. It goes on to consider the ethical and safety implications of the new technology. Some simple experiments are included for classroom use.

BASC 4 – Metabolism

Metabolism looks at the chemical transformations performed by all cells and tissues in building up and breaking down molecules and the properties of the enzymes involved. This booklet covers many metabolic pathways, including those responsible for energy production and toxic product breakdown.