WHAT IS ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY?
Analytical biochemistry is the study of the components within cells and biological samples. This branch of science aims to identify, classify, and analyze biological molecules and to determine how those molecules function. In this sense, analytical biochemistry aims to better understand biochemical reactions. This is mainly done by analyzing a reaction’s kinetics—the time it takes for the starting components to become a final product—and a reaction’s thermodynamics—the energetics of both the starting components and final product. The overall goal of these analyses is to improve our understanding of biological processes within the body to support cancer therapies development, medical technologies, and scientific innovation.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMIST?
To be an analytical biochemist, you must be curious, meticulous, and driven to discover. Analytical biochemists are proficient at advanced biochemical techniques such as liquid or gas chromatography—isolating the components of a sample for further investigation. Another technique commonly used by analytical biochemists is liquid-liquid extraction—a technique that uses liquids with different properties to separate contents of a solution for collection and analysis. An analytical biochemist will typically examine and manipulate various samples with the goals of identifying a sample’s components and determining how the individual components can be used for further discovery of new or significant compounds. Biochemists must interpret and write complex scientific reports outlining their analytical findings and are often part of collaborative research teams that make and apply important scientific discoveries.
WHERE IS THE FIELD OF ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY HEADING?
Currently, there is an abundance of new analytical technologies being used and developed in both academic and industry research. Techniques that weren’t possible even 10 years ago are now standard within the laboratory of an analytical biochemist. Looking forward, advancements in data analysis using large data sets and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) for statistical analyses will make this branch of biochemistry an exciting area of research for years to come.