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Category Archives: Biochemistry

56 Surprising Things You Can do with a Biochemistry Degree

The average salary you could earn with a biochemistry degree varies based on a wide variety of factors, such as:

The type, size, and budget of your employerThe discretion of your employerYour level of education and experienceYour level of certification (if applicable)The region in which you workHow much overtime you are able to work (if applicable)The amount of responsibility inherent in your positionYour level of experience (people with several years worth of experience can often earn substantially in their profession more than whats listed below)Most importantly, however, the salary you could earn varies based on the career field you enter. Below is an overview of the average earnings of people in a few career fields that are relevant to this degree.Please Note: The salary information listed below is meant only to serve as a guideline. In many cases, workers in these fields can earn a much lower, or much higher, salary than is stated below.

BiochemistAlberta: $79,450 (ALIS)Canada: $75,000 (PayScale)United States: $82,180 (BLS)

BiologistAlberta: $84,998 (ALIS)Canada: $63,381 (indeed)United States: $69,960 (BLS)

Biomedical EngineerAlberta: $98,254 (ALIS)Canada: $63,240 (indeed)United States: $88,040 (BLS)

BiostatisticianAlberta: N/ACanada: $69,308 (PayScale)United States: $89,472 (indeed)

BloggerAlberta: N/ACanada: N/AUnited States: $36,580 (indeed)

BrewmasterAlberta: N/ACanada: $50,825 (Canada)United States: N/A

Cell BiologistAlberta: $84,988 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $69,960 (BLS)

Chemical EngineerAlberta: $107,372 (ALIS)Canada: $83,726 (indeed)United States: $102,160 (BLS)

ChiropractorAlberta: N/ACanada: $69,700 (indeed)United Sates: $68,640 (BLS)

Clinical ChemistAlberta: $79,450 (ALIS)Canada: $51,987 (indeed)United States: $74,740 (BLS)

Clinical TechnicianAlberta: $77,398 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $51,770 (BLS)

Crime Lab AssistantAlberta: $62,913 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $57,850 (BLS)

DentistAlberta: $154,564 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $158,120 (BLS)

DNA AnalystAlberta: $62,913 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $57,850 (BLS)

DoctorAlberta: $230,100 (ALIS)Canada: $271,000 (Global News - Via Canadian Institute of Health Report)United States: $208,000 (BLS)

EntomologistAlberta: $984,988 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $62,290 (BLS)

EpidemiologistAlberta: $84,988 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $69,660 (BLS)

Food and Drug InspectorAlberta: $80,949 (ALIS)Canada: $44,418 to $111,523 (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)United States: $64,660 (BLS)

Food Chemist(See Food Scientist)

Food Microbiologist(See Food Scientist)

Food Safety AuditorAlberta: $80,949 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $71,780 (BLS)

Food ScientistAlberta: $80,949 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $71,780 (BLS)

Forensic Lab AnalystAlberta: $62,913 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $57,850 (BLS)

HydrologistAlberta: $128,940 (ALIS)Canada: $57,391 (PayScale)United States: $79,990 (BLS)

Laboratory ManagerAlberta: N/ACanada: $63,590 (PayScale)United States: $60,174 (indeed)

Medical Laboratory TechnologistAlberta: $77,398 (ALIS)Canada: $67,160 (Glassdoor)United States: $51,770 (BLS)

Patent AgentAlberta: N/ACanada: N/AUnited States: $116,000 (BLS)

Petroleum ChemistAlberta: N/ACanada: N/AUnited States: $69,767 (PayScale)

Pharmaceutical ChemistAlberta: N/ACanada: N/AUnited States: $60,476 (Glassdoor)

PharmacistAlberta: $98,037 (ALIS)Canada: $103,926 (Glassdoor)United States: $124,170 (BLS)

PharmacologistAlberta: $84,998 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $82,090 (BLS)

Quality Control SpecialistAlberta: N/ACanada: $55,114 (PayScale)United States: $37,340 (BLS)

Regulatory Affairs ManagerAlberta: N/ACanada: $82,478 (indeed)United States: $105,290 (Glassdoor)Regulatory Affairs SpecialistAlberta: N/ACanada: $58,942 (PayScale)United States: $67,510 (Glassdoor)

Research AssistantAlberta: $41,027 (ALIS)Canada: $32,796 (Glassdoor)United Sates: $26,560 (BLS)

Sales RepresentativeAlberta: $62,683 (ALIS)Canada: $61,624 (indeed)United Sates: $60,340 (BLS)

Science AdvisorAlberta: N/ACanada: $102,798 (PayScale)United States: $121,768 (Glassdoor)

Science WriterAlberta: $58,979 (ALIS)Canada: $56,634 (PayScale)United States: $57,549 (BLS)

ToxicologistAlberta: $84,998 (ALIS)Canada: N/AUnited States: $74,631 (Glassdoor)

Water Quality AnalystAlberta: N/ACanada: N/AUnited States: $53,460 (PayScale)

ALIS: Alberta Learning and Information Service (, sponsored by the Government of Alberta. For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.PayScale: Private organization owned by PayScale Incorporated ( For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.BLS: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (, sponsored by the federal government of the United States of America. For details regarding their salary survey methodology, please visit here.Glassdoor: indeed is a private organization owned by Glassdoor incorporated ( For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.Canadian Food Inspection Agency: For the career profile of Food & Drug Inspector

To find out more about careers directly related to your biochemistry degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.



Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Research Canada

United States

American Association for Clinical Chemistry

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56 Surprising Things You Can do with a Biochemistry Degree

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Global Bench-top Veterinary Biochemistry Analyzers Market 2019 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 – Breakaway Trends

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Global Bench-top Veterinary Biochemistry Analyzers Market 2019 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 - Breakaway Trends

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Stunning but deadly, see the place on Earth where nothing survives – The Weather Network

Hyperacid, hypersaline and hot ponds in the geothermal field of Dallol (Ethiopia). Despite the presence of liquid water, this multi-extreme system does not allow the development of life, according to a new study. The yellow-greenish colour is due to the presence of reduced iron. Image courtesy Puri Lpez-Garca.

Life on Earth shows up in some surprising places. No matter how extreme the environment, some intrepid lifeform -- often a microorganism -- makes a home there. Species that live near hydrothermal vents in the ocean are an excellent example of these so-called 'extremophiles,' who thrive in under the pressure of 2500 metres of water overhead, in temperatures up to 80C.

But even they don't care for the visually stunning but intensely hostile environment of Dallol.

Located in northeastern Ethiopia, the Danakil (or Afar) Depression sits at the intersection of three tectonic plates where diverging plates are stretching Earth at its seams, so to speak. One of the hottest places on the planet, the Danakil Depression is already well below sea level -- by about 100 metres -- and still sinking. While it will ultimately be filled by the sea to form a new body of water, in the meantime, the depression is filled with intense hydrothermal action.

Inside the explosion crater of Dallol volcano, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia Image: Getty

Even in winter, daily temperatures routinely exceed 45C above pools of boiling water. And not just any water -- this stuff is hypersaline and hyperacidic. In some cases, pH values even dip into the negative. By comparison, the pH of battery acid hovers just below zero.

While there are lifeforms on Earth that love all of those things by themselves -- intensely salty water, very hot water, and super acidic water -- it seems there isn't one that loves all three together.

"We have verified that there's no microbial life in these salty, hot and hyperacid pools or in the adjacent magnesium-rich brine lakes," lead researcher Purificacin Lpez Garcia said in a release to science news agency SINC.

The volcanic explosion crater of Dallol in the Danakil Depression in Nothern Ethiopia. The Dallol crater was formed during a phreatic eruption in 1926. This crater is known as the lowest subaerial vulcanic vents in the world. The surreal colours are caused by green acid ponds and iron oxides and sulphur. Image: Getty

Lpez Garcia and her team recently published a study with their findings in Nature Ecology and Evolution revealing that, while they found a lot of salt-loving microorganisms in the desert and canyons around the site, the pools themselves, along with the region's so-called Black and Yellow lakes, were dead zones.

These findings are not only interesting in terms of what it means for life -- or lack thereof -- on Earth but what it means for our exploration of other planets.

"Our study presents evidence that there are places on the Earth's surface, such as the Dallol pools, which are sterile even though they contain liquid water," says Lpez Garcia. That means that, just because we find liquid water on another planet, it doesn't mean we'll find life.

Small acid lakes in the Danakil Depression. Image: Getty

The team believes it's the three factors combined -- the high salinity, high acidity, and high temperature -- along with a large amount of a particular type of magnesium salts in the adjacent lakes that make the region so hostile to life.

"We would not expect to find life forms in similar environments on other planets, at least not based on a biochemistry similar to terrestrial biochemistry," says Lpez Garcia.

A conflicting study published earlier this year reached the opposite conclusion; that there were, indeed, microorganisms present in these hostile waters. Lpez Garcia says her team's work was based on "many more samples" than the previous work and had a particular focus on preventing contamination -- something that's a distinct concern given the region's attractiveness to tourists.

Either way, the pools are uniquely positioned to help scientists understand the limits of life here on Earth and beyond.

Sources: Nature | EurekAlert | SINC |

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Stunning but deadly, see the place on Earth where nothing survives - The Weather Network

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Battle of the Bands winners mix hard work with passion – Daily Trojan Online

Lori Loughlins Lonely Hearts Club Band, featuring musicians JP Dabu, Niles Miller, Joe Aleshaiker and Bruno Pita (right to left), beat out the competiton at Ground Zeros annual Battle of the Bands. (Photo courtesy of JP Dabu)

What do you get when a biochemistry major, a journalism major, a business major and a civil engineering graduate start a band? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but the four members of Lori Loughlins Lonely Hearts Club Band have proven otherwise. On Oct. 25, they competed against three other groups at USCs Battle of the Bands and won a $300 Amazon gift card as a testimony to their talent.

Lead vocalist and keyboardist Joseph Dabu, or JP, was scrolling through his Instagram feed when he saw the application for the contest. He immediately contacted his high school friend Bruno Pita, a biochemistry graduate student at UCLA who plays the bass. Pita then contacted fellow Bruin Joe Aleshaiker, a recent alumnus and civil engineering major.

Lastly, Dabu reached out to Niles Miller, a junior majoring in business of cinematic arts who he met at Remedy Through Music, a student organization dedicated to visiting local hospitals and retirement homes and playing songs for the patients, nurses and visitors.

Before they even started playing, what first characterized their personality was their groups name witty, original and just a little bit controversial.

We couldnt come up with a name. We had a placeholder name [The Rivals] which was terrible, Pita said. I was actually ashamed of going up on stage like that I couldnt think of anything that was acceptable, Pita said.

On the last day the band was able to change its name for the competition, Pita desperately pulled up the Los Angeles Times and saw a headline about Lori Loughlins indictment. A lightbulb went off in his head. The alliteration of the three Ls was brilliant, and the callback to the quintessential Beatles album worked perfectly.

Its funny because both Bruno and Joe are from UCLA and Niles and I are from USC, Dabu said.

But Pita hopes no ones feelings were hurt.

I like to think of it as making your food spicy, Pita said. It might sting a bit but it makes the food more interesting to eat.

Although the spice in their name is certainly ear-catching, the food or in this case, their music is what kept the audience enthralled and eventually led them to victory. Their renditions of Dont Let Me Down, Something and Somebody to Love showcased their skills as musicians and proved that you dont have to major in music to find your passion in music.

Aleshaiker is living proof of this. Since graduating, he has been working on his music full time.

Ive been playing since I was 9 years old, so its always been a passion of mine, he said. For me at least, its definitely a big part of my life.

Likewise, Miller, the bands drummer, said his passion for music has always been present in his life. He learned to play the djembe and bongos with his dad and went on to play percussion and drums in middle school and high school.

I did do jazz ensemble for about a year, but then I stopped because it was too much with my current workload, Miller said. However, he still considers playing the drums a great passion.

Pita, on the other hand, only started playing music his junior year, learning to play the piano on an iPad app and eventually picking up the guitar. But unlike his bandmates, Pita mostly sees the instrument as a stress-relieving hobby.

Thats how we actually started jamming together, he was just so hyped I think to have someone that played with him, Pita said.

Even though Lori Loughlins Lonely Hearts dont identify as a Beatles cover band, the undertone and general respect for the iconic group is clear in their bands style, and each member identifies with an individual Beatle.

Im George, 100%, Aleshaiker said. I feel like George is always kind of in the background but is always contributing.

The other three have yet to reach some consensus. Bruno says hes a Paul because he plays the bass and sings the higher harmonies. Dabu says hes a Paul because hes left-handed. And although one might be tempted to call the drum player a Ringo, Miller objected.

I decided to leave it up to the BuzzFeed quiz on there, Miller said. And I got that Im a Paul!

Even though Lori Loughlins Lonely Hearts Club Band started out as a one-time performance, their win at Battle of the Bands was a definite confidence booster.

There was a lot of good competition, so I was actually kind of surprised that we won, Aleshaiker said.

Dabu agreed and lauded the other three bands they competed against.

We just banded together in September and the other bands Im sure, had been established, and probably were practicing more often than we were, he said.

But Natalie Williams, a freshman majoring in art who attended Battle of the Bands, dismisses their humble remarks.

I wasnt really surprised they won, she said. They had a lot of energy and were really hyped up. It was obvious they practiced a lot.

In the end, it wasnt just their hard work but their passion for music indisputably paid off.

We just wanted to have a good time, Dabu said. Im glad we did that.

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Battle of the Bands winners mix hard work with passion - Daily Trojan Online

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Semester in the sun – Gazette

Part of a special feature highlighting the student voice, student experience and the range of student supports and opportunities available at Memorial.

Nov. 22, 2019

Amelia Lacey will likely spend some time studying on an Aloha State beach during the winter 2020 semester.

The fourth-year biochemistry (nutrition) major and St. Johns resident will study at the University of Hawaii at Mnoa as one of 20 top Canadian students receiving a Killam Fellowship from Fulbright Canada this year.

The scholarship program allows exceptional undergraduate students to participate in a bi-national academic exchange between Canada and the United States.

I wont be able to come home for a visit while Im there, and Ive never lived away from home for that long before, so its definitely going to be a new experience for me, said Ms. Lacey about the upcoming experience.

But, Im looking forward to all of the adventurous activities there and I hope to explore the islands of Hawaii as much as I can.

Ms. Lacey says her success in receiving the fellowship is an example of what can happen when you dont give up. She applied for the Killam Fellowship twice before being successful this year let alone in the highly coveted Paradise of the Pacific spot.

You have to choose the university that best matches the courses you need to take for your degree, and Hawaii has a great nutrition program, said Ms. Lacey. I recognized that and highlighted it in my application. They also offer a lot of courses we dont have at Memorial, so Im hoping to take a few courses I wouldnt otherwise get to take.

Photo: Submitted

In September she travelled to Ottawa, Ont., for an orientation session. There, she met the other Canadian and American Killam fellows, along with the American Fulbright students and scholars who are studying and conducting research in Canada this year. This spring Ms. Lacey will gather with them once again for a seminar in Washington, D.C.

It was great to meet people who were very different from me, but who also had similar values, she continued. I only spent three days with them, but were still talking regularly. I know well be keeping in touch.

It showed her, as many past Memorial fellowship recipients have found, that the Killam network is a strong one.

Once you get a Killam, youre considered a Killam fellow for life. So, you will continue to get emails, event invitations and other opportunities from them. It certainly opens up doors, thats for sure.

A focus on health and well-being has guided Ms. Laceys academic and personal pursuits.

She has been awarded several research awards, including three MUCEPs, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award and a Faculty of Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Award.

A Deans List student for the past three years, she has also been supported by several generous scholarships. Currently, she is the vice-president (social) for the Biochemistry Society, executive director of communications with the Women in Science and Engineering Undergraduate Society and a member of the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble. Past volunteer work with Global Brigades in Honduras also inspired Ms. Lacey to become more involved in global health.

Kelly Foss is a communications advisor with the Faculty of Science. She can be reached at

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Semester in the sun - Gazette

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Some coffee drinkers claim it causes anxiety. Here’s what the science says – Salon

It seems as if every year a new study rears its head in the newspapers, declaring that coffee is good, or bad, for us. Americans eat up or, drink up, rather coverage on the topic because so many of us are addicted: 64 percent of American adults drink coffee regularly, according to a 2018 study.

Beyond questions of physical health, coffee clearly could affect our mental health, too. After all, it is a mood-altering stimulant. Could coffee be making us anxious? The question is particularly timely as millennials have normalized open discussions about mental health, particularly anxiety or depression.

Now, more of them have begun debating whether coffee could be a major source of anxiety.

Nicole Cole Hernandez, an entrepreneur and certified hypnotist, told Salon she stopped drinking coffee in August because of extreme anxiety that precipitated stomach pains and hair loss.

Within a month [of quitting coffee], my stomach pain subsided without having to take regular medication," Hernandez said. "When I began feeling better, I did opt for a regular cup of coffee, and it was then that I noticed how much it impacted my anxiety, she added. With my heart and mind racing, I realized that coffee contributed to a sense of overwhelm and dread.... I felt rushed to complete tasks as if I was on a deadline.

Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist, also quit drinking coffee due to bouts of anxiety.

I choose to stop drinking coffee because it gave me jitters it actually caused me to have more anxiety, Ziskind said. Now, because I dont drink coffee, my anxiety level has decreased drastically. I feel much calmer and have much more long-term energy.

Given that we live in what has been deemed theAge of Anxiety,perhaps it makes sense that the anxiety-ridden dont indulge in coffee which, of course, is known to cause jitters and make your heart race. But the anecdotal stories aside, does drinking a cup of coffee actually cause anxiety?

Here's what the biochemistry says. When one consumes caffeine, it binds to adenosine receptors in the brain, which allows dopamine to move more smoothly. (This is partly why some studies have found that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of depression.)

However, a study by the Institute of Neuroscience of the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona and the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden found evidence that long-term caffeine consumption can worsen neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as those found in anxiety. Caffeine also promotes the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can lead to a stress response in the body. For some people, a stress response is synonymous with anxiety and panic. This can contribute to mood swings and ruminations.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5) which is the guide published by the American Psychiatric Association and used by healthcare professionals for the diagnosis of mental disorders lists four caffeine-related disorders, including an anxiety-induced anxiety disorder. A 2005 study found that excessive caffeine consumption can lead to symptoms that resemble to psychiatric conditions like anxiety and psychosis.

In 2018, researchers from Italy and the US reviewed dozens of studies to try to come to a definitive conclusion about caffeine, coffee and health. They concluded that coffee can be part of a healthful diet.

Still, because some individuals react differently than others, it can be hard to generalize caffeine's effects.

It varies from individual to individual, but consuming more than your normal amount of caffeine could make you feel nervous, anxious, irritable or jittery, and may cause excessive urine production or irregular heartbeat, caffeine researcher Maggie Sweeney told the Washington Post . And for those who have anxiety or insomnia, it could worsen their symptoms.

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Some coffee drinkers claim it causes anxiety. Here's what the science says - Salon

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