Chemistry vs Biochemistry
The word biochemistry is made up of biology and chemistry,and this is a clue enough to tell the difference between chemistry and biochemistry. However, there is no dearth of people who are unable to differentiate between chemistry and biochemistry. Chemistry is the study of materials found everywhere. In the meantime, biochemistry is a special branch of chemistry that deals with chemical compounds found in living organisms. But there is much more to biochemistry that makes it different from chemistry. This article will help you clearly understand the difference between chemistry and biochemistryby taking a closer look at both subjects.
What is Chemistry?
Chemistry is the study of substances, their energies, and how they interact with each other. Chemistry is a vast subject that is, at the first level, bifurcated into organic and inorganic chemistry. Then, there are special branches of chemistry of which biochemistry is just one branch. That is to say that chemistry is a large subject area that consists of sub-disciplines such as physical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, etc. So, what a chemist does is basically inventing new materials, finding out the properties of materials, understanding what each quality of a material can be used for and also understanding why each substance has the qualities it has.
What is Biochemistry?
Biochemistry draws heavily from the knowledge gained from chemistry as it applies this knowledge to study different atoms and molecules in living organisms. It is true that biochemistry is closer to organic chemistry as most of the compounds found in living organisms are carbon compounds. So there are bound to be overlapping between the two subjects.
In earlier times, scientists believed that compounds found in living organisms were different from those found in non-living things. They thought that chemical compounds found in living things had some sort of vitality or breath of fire. This is what made scientists bifurcate organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry as study of compounds found in living things and those found in non-living things. This was, however, proved to be untrue when German scientist Wohler converted non-living compounds into compounds similar to those found in living beings. This was when a new definition of organic chemistry was developed as astudy of compounds of carbon.
This was also the time when study of compounds found in living beings was referred to as biological chemistry that was also called chemistry of the living matter. Thus, biochemistry is the chemistry of the living world. This includes plants, animals, humans, and even the smallest single celled organisms. However, it should not be misconstrued as study of living beings, which is what biology is. Instead, biochemistry is what happens at the molecular level inside these organisms that forms the study matter of biochemistry. So a biochemist would study about these molecules namely carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. He also studies their reactions and what affects them and in what ways. Biochemistry is thus a study of the compounds found inside the living beings, the processes involved with the focus on the role, and the function and structure of these molecules.
What is the difference between Chemistry and Biochemistry?
• Chemistry is the study of substances, their energies, and how they interact with each other. On the other hand, biochemistry is only involved in the study of compounds found inside the living organisms, their role, function, structure, and reactions.
• The principles of chemistry apply to the molecules studied in biochemistry too, but chemistry as a subject is vast compared to just biochemistry.
• Biochemistry is the chemistry of life whereas chemistry is the study of all materials whether living or non living.
• A chemist invents new materials, finds out the properties of materials, understands what each quality of a material can be used for, and also understands why each substance has the qualities it has.
• A biochemist tries to understand how different processes take place within living organisms. They also try to understand why those processes happen.
• When it comes to studying chemistry or biochemistry at the college level, there are some facts to consider. This is, if you are thinking of choosing chemistry or biochemistry as the major. Both need a deep understanding of organic chemistry. In chemistry major, you will spend more time in focusing on inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry. In the meantime, in biochemistry major, your main focus will be molecular biology.