How Do Biochemistry and Chemistry Differ?

Whether you are considering studying chemistry or just scientifically curious, you may be wondering what the difference is between biochemistry and regular chemistry, apart from the name, of course…

To start with, regular chemistry mainly involves the study of physical and chemical properties of both organic and inorganic matters. On the other hand, biochemistry is focused on the study of compounds with a biomedical interest (more healthcare-related and applied to real-life situations and issues).

We appreciate that the difference between the two can be a difficult distinction to understand. Therefore, this blog post aims to explain these differences in more detail.

Biochemistry is the chemistry of life 

Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary science that combines the study of biology and chemistry. This involves the reactions inside and outside of cells and is, therefore, often referred to as the “biochemistry of life.” 

Furthermore, biochemistry looks at how life works at a more molecular level, analyzing and experimenting with various chemical reactions, how these occur in different cells, and further observation of these characteristics. As to be expected, biochem also requires substantial chemistry knowledge, as these two types of chemistry overlap massively.


Regular chemistry, on the other hand, is a little bit different. For starters, this includes less biology and a greater focus on the chemical properties of both organic and inorganic matters, as aforementioned.

For example, regular chemistry involves the study of the structure of chemicals, whereas biochem also involves an analysis into living tissues, such as myosin in the muscles, hair follicles, and more.

Usually, chemistry is studied separately from biology in schools. However, for those looking to specialize in biochemistry, then this can be done at University or at degree level. This should help illustrate how these two are different, with a more expert route required into the world of biochem. 

To conclude 

Chemistry and biochemistry differ ever so slightly, with biochemistry a mix of both biology and regular chemistry, with bio more focused on compounds with a biomedical interest, more often than not.