Biology is probably the most well known of all the sciences. A very popular children’s book, “The ABC’s of Biology” was first published in 1964. Since then, biology has received many more popular books and television programs, as well as much more media coverage. The sheer number of publications indicates the interest in biology. However, biology is much more than just a subject of interest for students of the school.
Biology is the study of living things. It’s a great all around science with a wide scope but does have some uniting themes that bind it collectively as a whole, a field. One of the most important themes of biology is evolution, which is why so many people are interested in it as well. Evolution is the study of the genetic differences among living organisms, showing their similarities through the form and function of their traits and changing the way we view the world through the study of these differences.
There are five major areas in biology that address the study of living things. These areas are systems biology, cell and tissue biology, genetics, physiology and ecology. Systems biology looks at how an organism can exist within a complex environment and how it interacts with its environment. Cell and Tissue biology explores the information about cells and tissues – what they are made of, where they live, how they work, and what they are capable of. Genetics deals with the arrangement and composition of DNA throughout the genetic code of an organism and the regulation of genetic information, regulating the production of proteins, building and running the entire machinery of an organism.
Biology also includes a number of subdisciplines. One of the largest branches of biology is metabolology, a study of how different chemicals and pathways interact to produce a change in an organism. Another subfield of biology is neurobiological systems biology. This area studies the interactions between neurons within the brain and the effect those interactions have on behavior. Neuroanatomy deals with the structure and function of the nervous system; developmental biology seeks to understand the relationship between development and the biological components of that development; zoology deals with the classification, distribution and conservation of animals; and immunology focuses on the immune response to diseases.
Students pursuing graduate studies in biology to pursue a variety of degrees and concentrations. The best way to narrow your focus while still attending to all of the core biological sciences is to choose a major that crosses over multiple areas of biology. At the graduate level, students must complete a minimum of five major courses in order to achieve a bachelor’s degree. Some of the required courses include molecular biology, microbiology, chemistry, physiology, zoology and ecology. There are many other disciplines offered through American institutes that fall within the broad range of the biological sciences.
Biological scientists conduct research to discover the function, structure, evolution and relationships among living organisms. In nature, biologists study the relationships among plants, animals and bacteria. They also examine the relationships among people, how they interact and how their culture impacts the environment. The study of biology enables researchers to understand the intricate workings of living organisms.
All life is created and sustained by DNA or genetic material coded in the genetic code of living organisms. Biologists study DNA through both natural and artificial means to determine the characteristics and function of an organism. Gene duplication and genetic drift, the rate and sequence of cell reproduction, and the inheritance of traits between organisms are also explored through the study of biology.
Cell Theory states that over time an organism’ natural selection produces increasingly similar cells with different attributes. The study of cell theory is central to the understanding of biological evolution and the basis of all biological knowledge. Molecular Biology provides a detailed study of cell function and structure. All cells in the human body as well as the cells of every other organism are comprised of molecules that are made up of nucleic acids. These molecules communicate among themselves and among the other cells via chemical as well as electrical signals, which form the basis of cellular physiology and the processes that drive it.