Biology is the fields of science that deals with study of the living organism and their vital process. It is subdivided into different fields that cover the all aspects of living organism such as morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origin, and distribution of living organism. Biochemistry and molecular biology are the two different fields of biology that deal structure, function of biological important molecules and their reactions.

The main difference between biochemistry and molecular biology is that biochemistry is the science that deals with the chemistry of living things while molecular biology is the study of living things at the molecular level. A major in both these field of biology trains you in the experimental techniques used to probe and study the structures and functions of biologically important molecules.

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is the study of chemical reaction that happen within the body in simple words you can say it is the study chemistry of life.  Biochemist is who studies the chemical and physical principles of living things and known products of unknown genes. Biochemistry explain the properties of living organisms in terms of the chemical substances which they contain.

As biochemistry deals the chemical process within the living organisms it is the subdiscipline of both chemistry and biology.  Biochemistry also helps to study components of a cell including organelles, proteins, lipids, etc. and also study how cells communicate with each other.

The four main molecules that are study in biochemistry are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acid all are the organic molecules thus the discipline of biochemistry relies heavily on fundamental principles of organic chemistry and analytical chemistry and physical chemistry.

The knowledge of biochemistry also gives information about the evolutionary history. Metabolism (anabolism and catabolism) include all important biochemical reaction that are necessary for the survival of living organism is deal in the field of biochemistry

Biochemists have been characterized by their ability to enter all fields of biology from botany to medicine to genetics are engaged in biochemical research. It makes significant contributions to the other fields like cell biology, physiology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, and toxicology, as well as the fields of inflammation, cell injury, and cancer for their better understanding.

Biochemistry has played an increasingly important part in the diagnosis, etiology, and treatment of disease. Biochemical study of microbes is crucial in the processes of their action and identification of microbes.

Post genomic analyses, maintenance of mechanisms, & functional replication, transcription, translation, integrating plasmid functions, conjugation systems (sex pili) and regulatory network are the key factors that play a vital role in metabolism of microbes and help in better understanding of microbes.

Biochemistry contributes to the mechanism of the interaction of the hormones with their target tissues and the way they subsequently affect the metabolism of the cell. The three sub-disciplines of biochemistry are

  1. Molecular genetics
  2. Protein science
  3. metabolism
    A major in biochemistry help the students to get jobs

What is Molecular Biology?

Molecular biology is the study of the composition, structure and interaction of cellular molecules, in simple word it is the study of life at molecular level. Basically biochemistry   is the subbranch of biochemistry used to examine when and why certain genes are switched “on” or “off.  It is also used to examine of structure and the relationships between four important molecules such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and   nucleic acids, their synthesis and how they are regulated in the body. A Molecular biologist study the known products of known genes.

Molecular biology helps to determine the function of single genes or proteins and their impact on the lining organisms also encompasses much of the research work not only of biochemists but also of microbiologists, geneticists, and immunologists. Central dogma is oversimplified picture of molecular biology in which DNA is transcribed into RNA and then translates into the proteins.  

Common molecular techniques are following which are used in combination with each other

Electrophoresis

Electrophoresis is a laboratory technique used to separate charged molecules (DNA, RNA, or protein molecules) based on their size and electrical charge by using a field of electric charge.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR):

PCR method used the principle of DNA polymerase to amplify very small amounts of DNA into million of copies

Cloning:

Cloning is the process to introduce a new gene into a cell or organism or generating a genetically identical copy of a cell or an organism.

Blotting:

Blotting is the technique used in molecular biology to identifying specific molecules proteins and nucleic acid out of a mixture

Restriction Digest:

Restriction digestion is the cutting of large molecules into smaller molecules by using restriction enzyme. For example, cutting of DNA molecules by using endonuclease restricted enzymes for subsequence molecular cloning

Ligation:

Ligation is the process of joining the two pieces of DNA together.

Major in molecular biology help students to find jobs as

  • Agriculture
  • Biochemists
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Biotechnologist
  • Chemist
  • Chemical laboratory technician
  • Clinical research specialist
  • Epidemiologist
Sana Riaz
Author

Sana has just completed her MPhil in Microbiology. She loves reading books and the latest discoveries in sciences.

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