Biochemical processes are the chemical processes that occur in living organisms, involving biomolecules. Biomolecules are organic molecules produced by organisms and include both polymers—large, complex molecules such as proteins, peptides, cellulose, hemoglobin, nucleic acids, and polysaccharides—and monomers like amino acids, monosaccharides, and nucleotides, as well as small molecules like carbohydrates, metabolites, hormones, vitamins (originally shortened from “vital amines,” referring to compounds vital to an organism's survival but only in trace quantities), and neurotransmitters. One of the first biochemical processes studied was alcoholic fermentation: the conversion of sugars into cellular energy with ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide as by-products. Fermentation often leads to a second process, that of autolysis, in which cells are destroyed by their own enzymes—in this case, the yeast cells that converted the ...

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