Doing Biology is an interesting aspect of human study and it involves various unique findings that have paved way for major medical researchers, discoveries and inventions of medicines that are all useful for the health of living beings. Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics form part and parcel of Biology and are overlapping in their theories and approaches with some minute differences.
Following statements beautifully describe the difference between Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics.
- Biochemists are those who study the known products of unknown genes.
- Geneticists are those who study the known genes with unknown products.
- Molecular biologists study the known products of known genes.
This is the essential difference between Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics.
What is Biochemistry?
Biochemistry studies the chemistry of life. It deals with proteins as building blocks of life. It studies RNA and DNA in relation to understand and describe living processes. Biochemists provide new ideas and experiments to understand how life works and they support our understanding of health and disease.
What is Molecular Biology?
Molecular Biology tells us about Biology at molecular level. It discusses molecular techniques like cloning, PCR, blotting etc. It primarily concerns understanding how various cellular systems interact in terms of the way DNA, RNA and protein synthesis function.
What is Genetics?
Genetics is the study of genes, heredity and genetic variation in living beings. The topics in Genetics vary as we learn more about genomes and how we are affected by our genes every day. Genetic engineering is the artificial manipulation of the genetic material of the organisms including the creation of novel genetic material. This manipulation occurs to a large extent external to organisms as in test tubes and vitro ( in glass). Genetic engineering is used to make recombinant DNA,to purposefully change nucleotide sequences and to clone DNA.
What is the difference between Biochemistry and Molecular Biology?
Biochemistry is covered with proteins, their structures and how they interact with each other. It is concerned with structure and function. Biochemists deal with shape and location of a protein which decide its function. Your eye has a certain shape and arrangement that allows it to function as an eye -this is what Biochemists discuss.
Molecular biologists, on the other hand, look at a smaller scale and deal with a lot of RNA and DNA work. They look at the atomic scale of proteins instead of macromolecular interactions of proteins. Of course, there can be some cross over between Biochemistry and Molecular Biology like Biochemists looking at atomic interactions in a binding or catalytic site and Molecular biologists looking at the larger scale structure of DNA and RNA or peptide interactions.
Biochemistry is a chemistry focused course. Molecular Biology is a Genetics focused course. Biochemistry has to do with the chemical reactions that happen within the body. Molecular Biology focuses more on the structure and the relationships between four molecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids) in the body. Molecular Biology can cover other topics like Microbiology and PCR whereas Biochemistry is related to things like nutrition and enzyme deficiency.
Difference between Molecular Biology and Genetics
Like Biochemistry, Molecular Biology deals with the structure and function of proteins and how genes are expressed in cells. Molecular Biology takes genes further by considering genetic approaches to things (like genetic engineering and how to approach genes). Genetics covers most of the same genetic parts of Molecular Biology and also includes a non-molecular part like evolutionary Genetics, population Genetics etc.
Molecular Biology is more like investigating and figuring out metabolic pathways. Genetic engineering is more manipulative, trying to alternate such pathways as in trying to get plants to produce more food per unit.
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