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(53 questions) should have the following as a synonym:

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm still not convinced that chemical-biology and biological-chemistry are one and the same. $\endgroup$
    – bobthejoe
    May 9 '12 at 18:27
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As it's just the couple I did the retag manually. We can add a synonym if the tag reappears? If it does then we certainly should have one :)

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As the original proposer of chemical-biology, I highly advise against the merger.

Biological chemistry in my view is the study of chemical processes in biology.

Chemical biology is the application of chemical methods and tools to study biology.

As an example, I would claim that the question https://biology.stackexchange.com/q/1950/389 can only be genuinely viewed as a chemical biology question.

From the wikipedia description of the difference:

Chemical biology is a scientific discipline spanning the fields of chemistry and biology that involves the application of chemical techniques and tools, often compounds produced through synthetic chemistry, to the study and manipulation of biological systems. This is a subtle difference from biochemistry, which is classically defined as the study of the chemistry of biomolecules. For example, a biochemist would seek to understand the three-dimensional structure of a protein and how that structure relates to the chemistry of the protein. Also, Biochemistry studies the inhibition and activation of enzymes and receptors with small organic molecules, also known as inhibitors or activators. This is known from most text-books of biochemistry. Chemical biologists attempt to utilize chemical principles to modulate systems to either investigate the underlying biology or create new function. In this way, the research done by chemical biologists is often closer related to that of cell biology than biochemistry. In short, biochemists deal with the chemistry of biology, chemical biologists deal with chemistry applied to biology. This may make it an subsidiary discipline of pharmacology.

I point out that field specific journals like Nature Chemical Biology and ACS Chemical Biology were created to address this exact difference compared to the Journal of Biology Chemistry.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd go for a plain [chemistry] tag for those questions, that would be less confusing in my opinion. What do you think about that? $\endgroup$ May 10 '12 at 6:14
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist, I would imagine that any question with that tag should just go to Chem.SE. Would it be the first tag that will come to people's mind? $\endgroup$
    – bobthejoe
    May 16 '12 at 17:45

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