Biology

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
One of our pieces on

Biology

Icon bioDNA.svg
The science of life
Biology articles

Biology (from Greek: βίος, bio, "life"; and λόγος, logos, "speech") is the branch of science that studies life, including the origin, distribution, structure, and function of living organisms, as well as their classification. Biology evolved out of other natural sciences and medicine as a discipline of its own in the mid to late 19th century. Along with chemistry and physics it is now one of the three sciences that are commonly taught in schools.

[edit] Main fields of study

Biology is a wide-ranging discipline, from the small scale operation of biological molecules, to the larger scale operation of organs and organisms, from bacteria and fungi to plants and animals.

  • Biochemistry - The border between biology and chemistry, this is the study of the molecules and chemical reactions of biological processes.
  • Botany - The study of and classification of plants.
  • Cell theory - The physiology and morphology of cells, the "building blocks" of life.
  • Ecology - The study of the relation between populations of organisms and the environment.
  • Evolution - The study of the changes in lifeforms over millions of years, as well as the evolutionary history of life on Earth.
  • Exobiology - Speculation about possible life outside the planet Earth.
  • Genetics - The study of heredity and variation of traits within a species, concentrating on the DNA molecule and how it causes such things.
  • Palaeontology - The study of fossilized remains of former living organisms and their traces, excreta, etc.
  • Physiology - The study of how the organs and systems in an organism function to sustain the individual's life and reproduce the species.
  • Taxonomy - The classification of all living things.
  • Zoology - The study and classification of animals.

[edit] Research

Biological research underpins most of modern medicine. The knowledge of how enzymes and cells work is essential for the production of effective drugs. Biologists also study bacteria and viruses which cause illness and most importantly, can track what can and cannot kill them.

[edit] Evolution

Biology also underpins evolutionary theory. Genetics and the study of DNA falls under biology as well as the tracking of evolutionary changes in species. Evolution is an important underlying principle of modern biology and is the basis for knowing where biological processes came from and how they will react to different stimuli.

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Community
Tools
support