Difference Between Chemistry & Biochemistry

Chemistry vs Biochemistry

The terms biochemistry and chemistry are often confused, but they are distinct from one another. Biochemistry is a specialized branch of chemistry that focuses on chemical compounds found in living organisms, while chemistry is the study of materials found everywhere. This article will explore the differences between these two subjects by taking a closer look at each.

What is Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of substances, their energies, and how they interact with each other. It is a vast subject that is initially divided into organic and inorganic chemistry, with further specialized branches such as physical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and more. Chemists primarily invent new materials, determine the properties of materials, understand the potential uses of a material’s qualities, and comprehend why each substance has the qualities it possesses.

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry utilizes knowledge from chemistry to study different atoms and molecules in living organisms. It is closely related to organic chemistry as most compounds found in living organisms are carbon compounds. In the past, scientists believed that compounds found in living organisms were different from those found in non-living things and had some sort of vitality or breath of fire. This belief led to the separation of organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry as the study of compounds found in living and non-living things, respectively.

However, this belief was disproven when German scientist Wohler converted non-living compounds into compounds similar to those found in living beings. This discovery led to a new definition of organic chemistry as the study of carbon compounds. The study of compounds found in living beings became known as biological chemistry or chemistry of the living matter, which is now known as biochemistry. Biochemistry encompasses the study of plants, animals, humans, and even single-celled organisms, focusing on the molecular level within these organisms. A biochemist studies molecules such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, as well as their reactions and the ways they are affected.

Key Takeaways

  • Chemistry is the study of substances, their energies, and how they interact with each other, while biochemistry focuses specifically on compounds found inside living organisms, their role, function, structure, and reactions.
  • Chemistry is a broader subject than biochemistry, with biochemistry being a specialized branch of chemistry.
  • Biochemistry examines the chemistry of life, whereas chemistry studies all materials, whether living or non-living.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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