A biomolecule is a chemical compound found in living organisms. These include chemicals that are composed of mainly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus. Biomolecules are the building blocks of life and perform important functions in living organisms.
There are several types of biomolecules. Of most importance are the nucleosides and nucleotides that make up DNA and RNA, the molecules that are involved in heredity. There are also the lipids which function as the building blocks of biological membranes and as energy providing molecules. The hormones serve in the regulation of metabolic processes and many other roles in organisms. The carbohydrates are also important in the provision of energy and as energy storage molecules. Amino acids and proteins function in many capacities in living organisms which include the synthesis of proteins, in the genetic code and as biomolecules that assist in other processes such as lipid transport. Vitamins are also necessary to the survival and health of organisms and though not synthesized by organisms are important biomolecules.
Biochemistry and biomolecules
The study of biomolecules is closely related to several fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics. Biochemistry is the study of the structure and function of biomolecules in organisms. This study has revealed a wealth of information about the biomolecules in living things. Processes such as glycolysis have been detailed by biochemical studies which have identified the roles of the biomolecules and their importance. It was previously thought that the molecules of life, biomolecules, could only be produced by living organisms. This view was however dispelled with the synthesis of urea. Today, a focus of biochemistry is the study of enzymes, biomolecules that are made up of proteins. These biomolecules are essential to organisms as they speed up reactions that would normally take too long to sustain life. Other areas of interest in the study of biomolecules include the genetic code and cell membrane transport.