Career in Biochemistry

Essay by RightoncroutonCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

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Imagine a man is involved in a severe automobile wreck in New York, which has left him brain dead with no hope for any kind of recovery. His vital organs are still functional. Before the wreck, the man designated his organs to be donated at his death. Upon checking with the donor registry board, it is discovered that the best match for receiving the heart of the New York man is a male in Oregon who is in need of a heart transplant. Without the transplant, the man will most likely die within 48 hours. The second man's tissues match up perfectly with the New Yorker's. This would appear to be an excellent opportunity for a heart transplant. However, a heart transplant is currently not an option for the Oregon man since he is separated by such a vast geographic distance from the organ. Scientists and doctors are currently only able to keep a donor heart viable for four hours before the tissues become irreversibly damaged.

Due to this preservation restriction, the donor heart is given to someone whose tissues do not match up as well, so there is a greatly increased chance for rejection of the organ by the recipient. For the Oregon man, he will probably not receive a donor heart before his own expires. With advances in biochemistry, this scenario will be an unlikely situation in the future.

Biochemistry and/or biotechnology can be seen in everyday life. The results are everywhere. If someone took an aspirin, ate some fruit or even had a can of soda, more than likely that is a product of biotechnology. People are always looking for ways to make their daily tasks in life more efficient or ways to improve their health and biotechnology is a field which finds ways for people...