Biology vs biochemistry

What is the difference between biology and biochemistry?
 
um biology studies stuff like molecular biology, cell biology, plants, ecology, evolution(population dynamics), math, genetics, human biology

biochemistry is sometimes a subfield of biology depending on where you look usually just
lkooking at biology at the chemistry level...macromolecules,drugs,and most things similar to biology just using more chemistry.
 
biology=biochemistry +.....
 
Samanthakrjx said:
biology=biochemistry +.....
I completely disagree with this.

Biochemistry is not biology. It is chemistry. And furthermore, biochemistry is not a subset of biology.

Thats like saying calculus is a subset of physics. While one may have overlapping areas with the other, they are completely different areas of study. Biologists and biochemists don't even speak the same language, for Pete's sake!

So tell me then, Samantha: what is the difference between biochemistry and molecular biology?
 
quetzalcoatl9 said:
I completely disagree with this.

Biochemistry is not biology. It is chemistry. And furthermore, biochemistry is not a subset of biology.

Thats like saying calculus is a subset of physics. While one may have overlapping areas with the other, they are completely different areas of study. Biologists and biochemists don't even speak the same language, for Pete's sake!

So tell me then, Samantha: what is the difference between biochemistry and molecular biology?
Uhm that is what I wanna know... what is biochemistry and what is biology.
 
physicsuser said:
Uhm that is what I wanna know... what is biochemistry and what is biology.
physicsuser, i was replying to samanthakrjx's post.

biochemistry is the branch of chemistry dealing with the both the chemical rxns and forces (i.e. binding) that occur in biological systems. biochemists ask questions like "what is the rate of reaction for this enzyme? what is the Km, or Vmax?". they deal with biological phenomena, like protein pathways, nucleic acids, etc. but from the perspective of chemistry. thermodynamics and organic chemistry play a heavy role for them, which makes them chemists and not biologists.

biology is a much broader area of science, and does NOT include biochemistry (contrary to samantha's post). it does, however, include molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, population biology, zoology, i can go on and on here.

why don't you do everyone a favor and just check wikipedia.
 
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I think biochemistry is part of biology.

Biology is the science of life, so the chemistry happening in living things is part of biology also. Molecular biology isn't chemistry or physics. Its biology with chemistry, physics and some math too. Same with biochemistry.

The chemistry of life is obviously both chemistry and biology.
 
Daevren said:
I think biochemistry is part of biology.
It isn't.

If you go to a university, biochemists belong to the chemistry department, not the biology department. They speak a different language, they do different research.

We can argue whether you think biochemistry
should be considered a part of biology, but it isn't.

Is biophysics also biology? No, it is a branch of physics. If you go to a meeting you will find the biophysicists hanging out with physicists. If you read their papers, they are talking the language of physics, not biology, etc...
 

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quetzalcoatl9 said:
It isn't.

If you go to a university, biochemists belong to the chemistry department, not the biology department. They speak a different language, they do different research.

We can argue whether you think biochemistry
should be considered a part of biology, but it isn't.

Is biophysics also biology? No, it is a branch of physics. If you go to a meeting you will find the biophysicists hanging out with physicists. If you read their papers, they are talking the language of physics, not biology, etc...

On the other hand molecular biology IS a part of biology!
 
I guess to prevent people like quetzalcoatl9 from going over the top and blowing their caps off... most universities now have departments for Biochemistry and Biophysics that are separate, but immensely affiliated with the departments for chemistry and biology for the first, and physics and biology for the second.
 

Monique

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I have studied biochemistry at college, this was part of the chemistry department (I studied biology & medicine at the biology department in the first year, but decided I rather wanted to do the biotech side of things and not the medical diagnostics part that was emphasized). There really is no difference, I missed pathology courses and medical diagnostics courses and did mass spectrometry and hplc courses instead: a bit more physical.

Then I moved on to study medical biochemistry part of the biomedical sciences program, which is part of the universities' biology department.

I did some work at a biochemistry department; they do study enzyme rates and what proteins inhibit enzymes, but that is not where the science stops. Perhaps pure biochemistry should be considered a chemical science, strictly speaking it is the chemistry of biological molecules.. that does not mean that a biochemistry department is not involved with immunology/ protein modeling/ molecular biology/ genetics etc.
 
it does depend on teh school, most cross disciplines are affiliated with both departments though the coordinator my be in one..
 

Monique

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Ok, here is my two-year course summary required for a college biochem degree (there are a bunch of other courses like employment & environmental care, but I didn't include those):

Chemical calculations
Electrochemistry
Physical chemistry: interface/colloidal
Organic chemistry
Liquid separation methods
Spectroscopy UV-VIS
Theoretical applied statistics
General equilibria theory
Inorganic chemistry
Sample preparation theory
Radioactivity
Spectroscopy: NMR, IR, MS
Chemical text processing informatics
Database informatics
Labcourse electrochemistry
Labcourse equilibria
Labcourse organic chemistry
Labcourse separation methods
Analytical biochemistry
Biochemistry topics
Biochemistry metabolism
Biochemistry applied genetics
Cellbiology
Biochemistry enzymes
Physiology, anatomy, pathology: immunology
Genetic manipulation
Immunochemistry
In vitro cultivation
Theoretical microbiology
Physiology for biochemists
Labcourse Cell- and tissue culture
Labcourse Immunochemistry
Labcourse analytical biochemistry
Labcourse microbiology
Labcourse molecular biology
Biochemistry essay
 

iansmith

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Monique said:
I have studied biochemistry at college, this was part of the chemistry department (I studied biology & medicine at the biology department in the first year, but decided I rather wanted to do the biotech side of things and not the medical diagnostics part that was emphasized). There really is no difference, I missed pathology courses and medical diagnostics courses and did mass spectrometry and hplc courses instead: a bit more physical.
My friend would argue otherwise. She started biochem then switch to microbio. She said it was world apart and from my experience, there is difference between a biologist and a biochemist. It is all in the head of a person. My old supervisor was a biochemist and he said that bio and biochem are different.

Also, most biology do not view biochemist as biologist and most chemist do not view biochemist as chemist. That why some biochemist created molecular biology. If you look at the definition for molecular biology is quite similar to biochemistry. It only forces the biochemist to do a bit more biology.

Also the course you listed, monique, only a few would be in biology/microbiology and it is usually where biology meets chemistry.

Here my course load for a microbiology major (minus the research project, the seminars and the "write a review" course):
Comparative zoology (Lab)
Comparative plant science (Lab)
Ecology
Introduction to microbiology (Lab)
Cellular biology
Biochemistry + Lab section
Genetics (Lab)
Introduction to microbiology lab methodology
Statistical methods
Parasitology (Lab)
Microbial Ecology
Eukaryotics cells and viruses genetics & molecular biology
Bacterial pathogenesis (Lab)
Food microbiology (Lab)
Immunology
Bacterial Genetics (Lab)

Some elective class i took:
Veterinary & Medical Entomology
Animal Pathogenesis
Biological control of insect pest

My other electives were in computer science (1), economics (5) and ethics (1).

In my opinion, the biologist study the organism (and its environement) as a whole. The biochemist only study the chemical process of an organism.
 

Monique

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iansmith said:
Also the course you listed, monique, only a few would be in biology/microbiology and it is usually where biology meets chemistry.
I don't think so, see:

metabolism, applied genetics, cellbiology, physiology, anatomy, pathology: immunology, genetic manipulation, immunochemistry, in vitro cultivation, theoretical microbiology, physiology for biochemists, labcourse cell- and tissue culture, labcourse immunochemistry, labcourse analytical biochemistry, labcourse microbiology, labcourse molecular biology

the only courses missing are:
Comparative zoology (Lab)
Comparative plant science (Lab)
Ecology
Parasitology (Lab)
Microbial Ecology

and honesty I wouldn't miss those.
In my opinion, the biologist study the organism (and its environement) as a whole. The biochemist only study the chemical process of an organism.
In the traditional sense that is true, but biology now reaches inside the cell and how cells interact to form an organism (or disease).. that's what modern biology is about.
 
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I was always led to believe:

Molecular Biology = DNA, Genes
Biochemistry = Proteins.
Biology = Macro life processes

Which did hold in my university for the first 2 years. Then for some bizzare reason in third year, molecular bio was lumped in with biochem and mixed it with immunology, genetics, and epidemiology - and called it Biochemistry. hmmmm...
 

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Nowadqays mol;ecular biology is deep into "proteomics" - gene/RNA/protein interaction, plus protein folding and dynamics.
 
iansmith said:
My friend would argue otherwise. She started biochem then switch to microbio. She said it was world apart and from my experience, there is difference between a biologist and a biochemist. It is all in the head of a person. My old supervisor was a biochemist and he said that bio and biochem are different.

Also, most biology do not view biochemist as biologist and most chemist do not view biochemist as chemist. That why some biochemist created molecular biology. If you look at the definition for molecular biology is quite similar to biochemistry. It only forces the biochemist to do a bit more biology.
i agree with this completely, you have put things well.

i have been involved in research (both as an undergraduate and graduate student) in an area of biochemistry that is somewhat close to biology, so i have seen first hand the differences that you are talking about.

someone who has not been in that position would have no idea how different the 2 fields really are, they approach problems completely differently. i agree that the gap has narrowed a little with molecular studies, but not to the point where i would say that they are the same, and
certainly not that one is subset of another, that is just silly..
 
Jikx said:
I was always led to believe:

Molecular Biology = DNA, Genes
Biochemistry = Proteins.
Biology = Macro life processes
this is, in fact, close to the truth.
 

Monique

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Jikx said:
I was always led to believe:

Molecular Biology = DNA, Genes
Biochemistry = Proteins.
Biology = Macro life processes
You're right, I don't know what route the monarch butterfly travels to migrate from mexico to canada.. so I am not a biologist in that ecology sense. I also don't know all the different species of pigeons, so I am not a biologist in that sense either.

There are so many new fields of biology now: genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, structural genomics, functional genomics, pharmacogenomics, toxicogenomics, chemical genomics or chemogenomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, ribonomics, proteogenomics, reverse proteomics, reverse genomics -- just naming the different -omics fields :tongue2:
 

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Monique said:
There are so many new fields of biology now: genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, structural genomics, functional genomics, pharmacogenomics, toxicogenomics, chemical genomics or chemogenomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, ribonomics, proteogenomics, reverse proteomics, reverse genomics -- just naming the different -omics fields :tongue2:
These are not fields in biology. These things are reductionist in their view. That is why the genomics era has not solve any problems and has several short coming.

These are tools to be used by people doing biology. A biologist could do proteonomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics in one project.
 

Monique

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iansmith said:
These are not fields in biology. These things are reductionist in their view. That is why the genomics era has not solve any problems and has several short coming.

These are tools to be used by people doing biology. A biologist could do proteonomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics in one project.
And a biologist can also do biochemistry, all these fields combined allow us to understand an organism.

And I'm not too sure about your comment that genomics has not solved any problems, genomics has been a revolution in biology and allows us to open many doors that were closed before (think for instance about comparing the mouse and human genome).
 

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Monique said:
And I'm not too sure about your comment that genomics has not solved any problems, genomics has been a revolution in biology and allows us to open many doors that were closed before (think for instance about comparing the mouse and human genome).
I would not called genomics a revolution for biology. How much did our understanding in biology increased due to genomics? We are basicly at the same point.

I am not saying there no good that came out of genomics but Venter et al. sold it as the "Holy grail of biology". The idea that we could understand more based on genomics is a reductionist idea that trully show that the person talking does not understand biology or is not a biologist.
 

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iansmith said:
I would not called genomics a revolution for biology. How much did our understanding in biology increased due to genomics? We are basicly at the same point.
:eek: it is a tool! There are so many applications that I can think of. Ofcourse there are many levels of information, of which the genome is only one; knowing the sequence tells you nothing about epigenetics for instance.

I've done a whole genome scan, knowing the sequence of the genome and what genes lie on a region of linkage or association tells me what candidate genes to look at. Knowing what orthologues there are can give me information on gene function or gives me the opportunity to make animal models.

I've heavily relied on the published genomes for my various research projects. There are still compilation errors that can greatly complicate your work. Doing a linkage study while your markers keep moving across the genome can be frustrating, or doing a PCR and finding out that a contig is not compiled properly.

How can we do whole genome expression studies without knowing the sequence of the genome. We can now predict whether a woman needs to undergo chemotherapy based on the genetic profile of her tumor! If that is not a biological revolution, then I don't know.

Or let's talk about shutting down genes by RNAi, how could we do that if we didn't know the sequences of all the genes. I'm thinking about setting up a research project to search for cancer drug targets using that technology. Without Venter and Lander this technology would not be possible.
 

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Monique said:
I've done a whole genome scan, knowing the sequence of the genome and what genes lie on a region of linkage or association tells me what candidate genes to look at. Knowing what orthologues there are can give me information on gene function or gives me the opportunity to make animal models.
that might be the only aplication that can only come from genomics. However, you example only applies to human research.

I did scan for sepecific homologues. However, I have to work with something people have done before. So to find homologue, I can also used universal primers if the genes has been sequenced in several species. There is of course limitation.

Monique said:
I've heavily relied on the published genomes for my various research projects. There are still compilation errors that can greatly complicate your work. Doing a linkage study while your markers keep moving across the genome can be frustrating, or doing a PCR and finding out that a contig is not compiled properly.
I only used whole genome sequence to point me in the right direction and make some prediction. However, I cannot rely on whole genome sequence. Most of the time the strain of bacteria I used is not published or not annotated. There sometimes significant difference between strains of bacteia and that lef me the "old-fashion" way to do identification. If it was such a revolution, would everyone relie heavely on whole genome data and would that data be reliable?

Monique said:
How can we do whole genome expression studies without knowing the sequence of the genome. We can now predict whether a woman needs to undergo chemotherapy based on the genetic profile of her tumor! If that is not a biological revolution, then I don't know.
People used to do proteomics studies. I found more paper on protein profiles prior to 1995 compare to the genomic era. I find it hilarious people a re"dicoverying" proteomes. Proteomics would be much more advance nowdays if the genomics would not take such a large place.

So you could do a protein profile of the cancers cells and find the proteins that are expressed only in cancer cells.

Monique said:
Or let's talk about shutting down genes by RNAi, how could we do that if we didn't know the sequences of all the genes. I'm thinking about setting up a research project to search for cancer drug targets using that technology. Without Venter and Lander this technology would not be possible.
You construct a cDNA library from cell grown in the desired conditions, clone it upstream of an inducible promoter, produce RNA (some will be sense, some will be antisense) and then screen the clones for the desired phenotype. Once you selected the desired clone, you sequence the cDNA clone.
 

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