Chemistry vs. Biochemistry

Difference Between Chemistry and Biochemistry

Biochemistry is made of biology and chemistry. This is enough to tell the difference between chemistry and biochemistry. However, there is no shortage of people who are unable to differentiate between chemistry and biochemistry. Biochemistry is a special branch of chemistry that deals with chemicals compounds in living organisms. But it is much more to biochemistry that makes it different from chemistry. Let us take a closer closest look at the two subjects.

In times earlier scientists believed that the compounds found in living organisms were unlike those found in non-living things. They believed that the chemical compounds that are found in living things had a sort of vitality or breath of fire that made scientists separate organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry as the study of compounds found in living creatures and those found in non-living things. Yet it has been proven to be wrong when the German scientist Wohler converted non living compounds into compounds similar to those found in creatures. That’s when a new definition of organic chemistry was developed as the study of carbon compounds.

It was also the time when the study of compounds found in creatures was called biological chemistry that is also called the chemistry of living matter. Biochemistry is thus the living world chemistry. It includes plants, humans, animals, and even microorganisms. Yet it should not be misinterpreted as the study of living organisms that is in fact what biology is. Instead biochemistry is what happens at the molecular level within the organisms that form the subject of study of biochemistry. Hence, a biochemist studies these molecules i.e. lipids, proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Also he studies their reactions and what affects them and in what ways. Organic chemistry is a study of compounds found inside the living organisms, the processes involved with the focus on the role, function and structure of these molecules.

Chemistry is on the other hand a vast subject that is to say at the first level, divided in the inorganic and organic chemistry. Then there are special branches of chemistry including biochemistry is just a branch. The study of Biochemistry has heavily benefited from the knowledge of chemistry as it applies this knowledge to study various atoms and molecules in living organisms. It is true that biochemistry is closer to organic chemistry as most compounds found in living organisms are carbon compounds. So these two subjects are bound to overlap.


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