Tina Chong C2 Biology or Chemistry?

Biology or Chemistry?


Talking about academic major, mine is kind of cool. This cool is the general response I got whenever I talked about my major. I study biochemistry. “cool”. However, whenever I talked about it, I discovered that people often have totally diverse impressions on it. Hereby I summarized what other people think my major is about….. (show the slide)

My parents think (that) I am simply burning their money;

My neighbours think that I may be involved in developing biochemical weapons;

Some of my friends think (that) I am trying to create a zombie;

Actually what I do most of the time is ………

Ok, that’s exactly the reason why I want to talk about my major tonight.


It is obvious that Biochemistry is derived from two subjects, biology and chemistry. Biology is a field about living things, like plants, animals and we humans; while chemistry studies molecules, e.g. hydrogen, oxygen …..As for Biochemistry, it is the overlap between the two (subjects).  Therefore we study the molecules which form life, a.k.a. biological molecules.


Biological molecules are the building blocks of life, just like the bricks in a wall. In fact, all living things including us humans are made up of biological molecules. Some are called DNA, some are RNA and some are protein etc…These molecules work together to maintain the basic unit of life, that is, a “cell”. When cells cooperate for a single purpose, they form tissues. E.g. muscle cell form muscle tissue. And then, when multiple tissues collaborate together as a whole, they form a system. E.g. Muscle tissue form Muscular system, which permits body movement such as running. This is why we are able to run away when we come across a horrifying monster, and are able to “run” after the love of your life. In biochemistry, we study how the biological molecules get together, work together and help us do what we want, such as running, eating, and talking.


up till here, Biochemistry is still cool, isn’t it? But here’s a question: why do we study things that nobody will even talk about in daily life? Certainly you will not greet your friends like “Hey man, how is your DNA today?”, or “Your protein look nice…” So how do we benefit from studying biochemistry?


The fact is, Biochemistry has actually helped us solve a lot of mysteries on earth. It tells us why male and female are different from each other; how our body distinguish the night from the day; why we feel delightful when we are here every Friday night~And most importantly, biochemistry helps us learn more about diseases, enables us to develop drugs to fight against illnesses which were once incurable. For example, leprosy (麻瘋病) was considered a very frightening and fatal disease in the past. People suffering from leprosy would be taken to rural areas, kept isolated until they died. Luckily, by the efforts of biochemist, it was later discovered that leprosy was actually caused by bacteria, which could be treated with antibiotics. Now leprosy is totally controllable and the number of patients has kept on falling. All these are thanks to biochemistry.


By this 5-minute talk, I truly hope that I have provided you a better understanding about biochemistry….. with at least no more weapons, no more zombie………just a better life to the world.






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