Biology

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For other uses, see Biology (disambiguation). Biology_sentence_0

"Biosciences" redirects here. Biology_sentence_1

For other uses, see Biosciences (disambiguation). Biology_sentence_2

Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Biology_sentence_3

Despite the complexity of the science, certain unifying concepts consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology_sentence_4

Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Biology_sentence_5

Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis. Biology_sentence_6

Sub-disciplines of biology are defined by the research methods employed and the kind of system studied: theoretical biology uses mathematical methods to formulate quantitative models while experimental biology performs empirical experiments to test the validity of proposed theories and understand the mechanisms underlying life and how it appeared and evolved from non-living matter about 4 billion years ago through a gradual increase in the complexity of the system. Biology_sentence_7

Etymology Biology_section_0

"Biology" derives from the Ancient Greek words of βίος; romanized bíos meaning "life" and -λογία; romanized logía (-logy) meaning "branch of study" or "to speak". Biology_sentence_8

Those combined make the Greek word βιολογία; romanized biología meaning biology. Biology_sentence_9

Despite this, the term βιολογία as a whole didn't exist in Ancient Greek. Biology_sentence_10

The first to borrow it was the English and French (biologie). Biology_sentence_11

Historically there was another term for "biology" in English, ; it is rarely used today. Biology_sentence_12

The Latin-language form of the term first appeared in 1736 when Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) used biologi in his Bibliotheca Botanica. Biology_sentence_13

It was used again in 1766 in a work entitled Philosophiae naturalis sive physicae: tomus III, continens geologian, biologian, phytologian generalis, by Michael Christoph Hanov, a disciple of Christian Wolff. Biology_sentence_14

The first German use, Biologie, was in a 1771 translation of Linnaeus' work. Biology_sentence_15

In 1797, Theodor Georg August Roose used the term in the preface of a book, Grundzüge der Lehre van der Lebenskraft. Biology_sentence_16

Karl Friedrich Burdach used the term in 1800 in a more restricted sense of the study of human beings from a morphological, physiological and psychological perspective (Propädeutik zum Studien der gesammten Heilkunst). Biology_sentence_17

The term came into its modern usage with the six-volume treatise Biologie, oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur (1802–22) by Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus, who announced: Biology_sentence_18

Biology_description_list_0

  • The objects of our research will be the different forms and manifestations of life, the conditions and laws under which these phenomena occur, and the causes through which they have been affected. The science that concerns itself with these objects we will indicate by the name biology [Biologie] or the doctrine of life [Lebenslehre].Biology_item_0_0

History Biology_section_1

Main article: History of biology Biology_sentence_19

Although modern biology is a relatively recent development, sciences related to and included within it have been studied since ancient times. Biology_sentence_20

Natural philosophy was studied as early as the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indian subcontinent, and China. Biology_sentence_21

However, the origins of modern biology and its approach to the study of nature are most often traced back to ancient Greece. Biology_sentence_22

While the formal study of medicine dates back to Pharaonic Egypt, it was Aristotle (384–322 BC) who contributed most extensively to the development of biology. Biology_sentence_23

Especially important are his History of Animals and other works where he showed naturalist leanings, and later more empirical works that focused on biological causation and the diversity of life. Biology_sentence_24

Aristotle's successor at the Lyceum, Theophrastus, wrote a series of books on botany that survived as the most important contribution of antiquity to the plant sciences, even into the Middle Ages. Biology_sentence_25

Scholars of the medieval Islamic world who wrote on biology included al-Jahiz (781–869), Al-Dīnawarī (828–896), who wrote on botany, and Rhazes (865–925) who wrote on anatomy and physiology. Biology_sentence_26

Medicine was especially well studied by Islamic scholars working in Greek philosopher traditions, while natural history drew heavily on Aristotelian thought, especially in upholding a fixed hierarchy of life. Biology_sentence_27

Biology began to quickly develop and grow with Anton van Leeuwenhoek's dramatic improvement of the microscope. Biology_sentence_28

It was then that scholars discovered spermatozoa, bacteria, infusoria and the diversity of microscopic life. Biology_sentence_29

Investigations by Jan Swammerdam led to new interest in entomology and helped to develop the basic techniques of microscopic dissection and staining. Biology_sentence_30

Advances in microscopy also had a profound impact on biological thinking. Biology_sentence_31

In the early 19th century, a number of biologists pointed to the central importance of the cell. Biology_sentence_32

Then, in 1838, Schleiden and Schwann began promoting the now universal ideas that (1) the basic unit of organisms is the cell and (2) that individual cells have all the characteristics of life, although they opposed the idea that (3) all cells come from the division of other cells. Biology_sentence_33

Thanks to the work of Robert Remak and Rudolf Virchow, however, by the 1860s most biologists accepted all three tenets of what came to be known as cell theory. Biology_sentence_34

Meanwhile, taxonomy and classification became the focus of natural historians. Biology_sentence_35

Carl Linnaeus published a basic taxonomy for the natural world in 1735 (variations of which have been in use ever since), and in the 1750s introduced scientific names for all his species. Biology_sentence_36

Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, treated species as artificial categories and living forms as malleable—even suggesting the possibility of common descent. Biology_sentence_37

Although he was opposed to evolution, Buffon is a key figure in the history of evolutionary thought; his work influenced the evolutionary theories of both Lamarck and Darwin. Biology_sentence_38

Serious evolutionary thinking originated with the works of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who was the first to present a coherent theory of evolution. Biology_sentence_39

He posited that evolution was the result of environmental stress on properties of animals, meaning that the more frequently and rigorously an organ was used, the more complex and efficient it would become, thus adapting the animal to its environment. Biology_sentence_40

Lamarck believed that these acquired traits could then be passed on to the animal's offspring, who would further develop and perfect them. Biology_sentence_41

However, it was the British naturalist Charles Darwin, combining the biogeographical approach of Humboldt, the uniformitarian geology of Lyell, Malthus's writings on population growth, and his own morphological expertise and extensive natural observations, who forged a more successful evolutionary theory based on natural selection; similar reasoning and evidence led Alfred Russel Wallace to independently reach the same conclusions. Biology_sentence_42

Although it was the subject of controversy (which continues to this day), Darwin's theory quickly spread through the scientific community and soon became a central axiom of the rapidly developing science of biology. Biology_sentence_43

The discovery of the physical representation of heredity came along with evolutionary principles and population genetics. Biology_sentence_44

In the 1940s and early 1950s, experiments pointed to DNA as the component of chromosomes that held the trait-carrying units that had become known as genes. Biology_sentence_45

A focus on new kinds of model organisms such as viruses and bacteria, along with the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953, marked the transition to the era of molecular genetics. Biology_sentence_46

From the 1950s to the present times, biology has been vastly extended in the molecular domain. Biology_sentence_47

The genetic code was cracked by Har Gobind Khorana, Robert W. Holley and Marshall Warren Nirenberg after DNA was understood to contain codons. Biology_sentence_48

Finally, the Human Genome Project was launched in 1990 with the goal of mapping the general human genome. Biology_sentence_49

This project was essentially completed in 2003, with further analysis still being published. Biology_sentence_50

The Human Genome Project was the first step in a globalized effort to incorporate accumulated knowledge of biology into a functional, molecular definition of the human body and the bodies of other organisms. Biology_sentence_51

Foundations of modern biology Biology_section_2

Cell theory Biology_section_3

Main article: Cell theory Biology_sentence_52

Cell theory states that the cell is the fundamental unit of life, that all living things are composed of one or more cells, and that all cells arise from pre-existing cells through cell division. Biology_sentence_53

In multicellular organisms, every cell in the organism's body derives ultimately from a single cell in a fertilized egg. Biology_sentence_54

The cell is also considered to be the basic unit in many pathological processes. Biology_sentence_55

In addition, the phenomenon of energy flow occurs in cells in processes that are part of the function known as metabolism. Biology_sentence_56

Finally, cells contain hereditary information (DNA), which is passed from cell to cell during cell division. Biology_sentence_57

Research into the origin of life, abiogenesis, amounts to an attempt to discover the origin of the first cells. Biology_sentence_58

Evolution Biology_section_4

Main article: Evolution Biology_sentence_59

A central organizing concept in biology is that life changes and develops through evolution, and that all life-forms known have a common origin. Biology_sentence_60

The theory of evolution postulates that all organisms on the Earth, both living and extinct, have descended from a common ancestor or an ancestral gene pool. Biology_sentence_61

This universal common ancestor of all organisms is believed to have appeared about 3.5 billion years ago. Biology_sentence_62

Biologists regard the ubiquity of the genetic code as definitive evidence in favor of the theory of universal common descent for all bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes (see: origin of life). Biology_sentence_63

The term "evolution" was introduced into the scientific lexicon by Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck in 1809, and fifty years later Charles Darwin posited a scientific model of natural selection as evolution's driving force. Biology_sentence_64

(Alfred Russel Wallace is recognized as the co-discoverer of this concept as he helped research and experiment with the concept of evolution.) Biology_sentence_65

Evolution is now used to explain the great variations of life found on Earth. Biology_sentence_66

Darwin theorized that species flourish or die when subjected to the processes of natural selection or selective breeding. Biology_sentence_67

Genetic drift was embraced as an additional mechanism of evolutionary development in the modern synthesis of the theory. Biology_sentence_68

The evolutionary history of the species—which describes the characteristics of the various species from which it descended—together with its genealogical relationship to every other species is known as its phylogeny. Biology_sentence_69

Widely varied approaches to biology generate information about phylogeny. Biology_sentence_70

These include the comparisons of DNA sequences, a product of molecular biology (more particularly genomics), and comparisons of fossils or other records of ancient organisms, a product of paleontology. Biology_sentence_71

Biologists organize and analyze evolutionary relationships through various methods, including phylogenetics, phenetics, and cladistics. Biology_sentence_72

(For a summary of major events in the evolution of life as currently understood by biologists, see evolutionary timeline.) Biology_sentence_73

Evolution is relevant to the understanding of the natural history of life forms and to the understanding of the organization of current life forms. Biology_sentence_74

But, those organizations can only be understood in light of how they came to be by way of the process of evolution. Biology_sentence_75

Consequently, evolution is central to all fields of biology. Biology_sentence_76

Genetics Biology_section_5

Main article: Genetics Biology_sentence_77

Genes are the primary units of inheritance in all organisms. Biology_sentence_78

A gene is a unit of heredity and corresponds to a region of DNA that influences the form or function of an organism in specific ways. Biology_sentence_79

All organisms, from bacteria to animals, share the same basic machinery that copies and translates DNA into proteins. Biology_sentence_80

Cells transcribe a DNA gene into an RNA version of the gene, and a ribosome then translates the RNA into a sequence of amino acids known as a protein. Biology_sentence_81

The translation code from RNA codon to amino acid is the same for most organisms. Biology_sentence_82

For example, a sequence of DNA that codes for insulin in humans also codes for insulin when inserted into other organisms, such as plants. Biology_sentence_83

DNA is found as linear chromosomes in eukaryotes, and circular chromosomes in prokaryotes. Biology_sentence_84

A chromosome is an organized structure consisting of DNA and histones. Biology_sentence_85

The set of chromosomes in a cell and any other hereditary information found in the mitochondria, chloroplasts, or other locations is collectively known as a cell's genome. Biology_sentence_86

In eukaryotes, genomic DNA is localized in the cell nucleus, or with small amounts in mitochondria and chloroplasts. Biology_sentence_87

In prokaryotes, the DNA is held within an irregularly shaped body in the cytoplasm called the nucleoid. Biology_sentence_88

The genetic information in a genome is held within genes, and the complete assemblage of this information in an organism is called its genotype. Biology_sentence_89

Homeostasis Biology_section_6

Main article: Homeostasis Biology_sentence_90

Homeostasis is the ability of an open system to regulate its internal environment to maintain stable conditions by means of multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustments that are controlled by interrelated regulation mechanisms. Biology_sentence_91

All living organisms, whether unicellular or multicellular, exhibit homeostasis. Biology_sentence_92

To maintain dynamic equilibrium and effectively carry out certain functions, a system must detect and respond to perturbations. Biology_sentence_93

After the detection of a perturbation, a biological system normally responds through negative feedback that stabilize conditions by reducing or increasing the activity of an organ or system. Biology_sentence_94

One example is the release of glucagon when sugar levels are too low. Biology_sentence_95

Energy Biology_section_7

The survival of a living organism depends on the continuous input of energy. Biology_sentence_96

Chemical reactions that are responsible for its structure and function are tuned to extract energy from substances that act as its food and transform them to help form new cells and sustain them. Biology_sentence_97

In this process, molecules of chemical substances that constitute food play two roles; first, they contain energy that can be transformed and reused in that organism's biological, chemical reactions; second, food can be transformed into new molecular structures (biomolecules) that are of use to that organism. Biology_sentence_98

The organisms responsible for the introduction of energy into an ecosystem are known as producers or autotrophs. Biology_sentence_99

Nearly all such organisms originally draw their energy from the sun. Biology_sentence_100

Plants and other phototrophs use solar energy via a process known as photosynthesis to convert raw materials into organic molecules, such as ATP, whose bonds can be broken to release energy. Biology_sentence_101

A few ecosystems, however, depend entirely on energy extracted by chemotrophs from methane, sulfides, or other non-luminal energy sources. Biology_sentence_102

Some of the energy thus captured produces biomass and energy that is available for growth and development of other life forms. Biology_sentence_103

The majority of the rest of this biomass and energy are lost as waste molecules and heat. Biology_sentence_104

The most important processes for converting the energy trapped in chemical substances into energy useful to sustain life are metabolism and cellular respiration. Biology_sentence_105

Study and research Biology_section_8

Structural Biology_section_9

Main articles: Molecular biology, Cell biology, Genetics, and Developmental biology Biology_sentence_106

Molecular biology is the study of biology at the molecular level. Biology_sentence_107

This field overlaps with other areas of biology, particularly those of genetics and biochemistry. Biology_sentence_108

Molecular biology is a study of the interactions of the various systems within a cell, including the interrelationships of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis and how those interactions are regulated. Biology_sentence_109

The next larger scale, cell biology, studies the structural and physiological properties of cells, including their internal behavior, interactions with other cells, and with their environment. Biology_sentence_110

This is done on both the microscopic and molecular levels, for unicellular organisms such as bacteria, as well as the specialized cells of multicellular organisms such as humans. Biology_sentence_111

Understanding the structure and function of cells is fundamental to all of the biological sciences. Biology_sentence_112

The similarities and differences between cell types are particularly relevant to molecular biology. Biology_sentence_113

Anatomy is a treatment of the macroscopic forms of such structures organs and organ systems. Biology_sentence_114

Genetics is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. Biology_sentence_115

Genes encode the information needed by cells for the synthesis of proteins, which in turn play a central role in influencing the final phenotype of the organism. Biology_sentence_116

Genetics provides research tools used in the investigation of the function of a particular gene, or the analysis of genetic interactions. Biology_sentence_117

Within organisms, genetic information is physically represented as chromosomes, within which it is represented by a particular sequence of amino acids in particular DNA molecules. Biology_sentence_118

Developmental biology studies the process by which organisms grow and develop. Biology_sentence_119

Developmental biology, originated from embryology, studies the genetic control of cell growth, cellular differentiation, and "cellular morphogenesis," which is the process that progressively gives rise to tissues, organs, and anatomy. Biology_sentence_120

Model organisms for developmental biology include the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the zebrafish Danio rerio, the mouse Mus musculus, and the weed Arabidopsis thaliana. Biology_sentence_121

(A model organism is a species that is extensively studied to understand particular biological phenomena, with the expectation that discoveries made in that organism provide insight into the workings of other organisms.) Biology_sentence_122

Physiological Biology_section_10

Main article: Physiology Biology_sentence_123

Physiology is the study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical processes of living organisms function as a whole. Biology_sentence_124

The theme of "structure to function" is central to biology. Biology_sentence_125

Physiological studies have traditionally been divided into plant physiology and animal physiology, but some principles of physiology are universal, no matter what particular organism is being studied. Biology_sentence_126

For example, what is learned about the physiology of yeast cells can also apply to human cells. Biology_sentence_127

The field of animal physiology extends the tools and methods of human physiology to non-human species. Biology_sentence_128

Plant physiology borrows techniques from both research fields. Biology_sentence_129

Physiology is the study the interaction of how, for example, the nervous, immune, endocrine, respiratory, and circulatory systems, function and interact. Biology_sentence_130

The study of these systems is shared with such medically oriented disciplines as neurology and immunology. Biology_sentence_131

Evolutionary Biology_section_11

Evolutionary research is concerned with the origin and descent of species, and their change over time. Biology_sentence_132

It employs scientists from many taxonomically oriented disciplines; for example, those with special training in particular organisms such as mammalogy, ornithology, botany, or herpetology, but are of use in answering more general questions about evolution. Biology_sentence_133

Evolutionary biology is partly based on paleontology, which uses the fossil record to answer questions about the mode and tempo of evolution, and partly on the developments in areas such as population genetics. Biology_sentence_134

In the 1980s, developmental biology re-entered evolutionary biology after its initial exclusion from the modern synthesis through the study of evolutionary developmental biology. Biology_sentence_135

Phylogenetics, systematics, and taxonomy are related fields often considered part of evolutionary biology. Biology_sentence_136

Systematic Biology_section_12

Main article: Systematics Biology_sentence_137

Multiple speciation events create a tree structured system of relationships between species. Biology_sentence_138

The role of systematics is to study these relationships and thus the differences and similarities between species and groups of species. Biology_sentence_139

However, systematics was an active field of research long before evolutionary thinking was common. Biology_sentence_140

Traditionally, living things have been divided into five kingdoms: Monera; Protista; Fungi; Plantae; Animalia. Biology_sentence_141

However, many scientists now consider this five-kingdom system outdated. Biology_sentence_142

Modern alternative classification systems generally begin with the three-domain system: Archaea (originally Archaebacteria); Bacteria (originally Eubacteria) and Eukaryota (including protists, fungi, plants, and animals). Biology_sentence_143

These domains reflect whether the cells have nuclei or not, as well as differences in the chemical composition of key biomolecules such as ribosomes. Biology_sentence_144

Further, each kingdom is broken down recursively until each species is separately classified. Biology_sentence_145

The order is: Domain; Kingdom; Phylum; Class; Order; Family; Genus; Species. Biology_sentence_146

Outside of these categories, there are obligate intracellular parasites that are "on the edge of life" in terms of metabolic activity, meaning that many scientists do not actually classify such structures as alive, due to their lack of at least one or more of the fundamental functions or characteristics that define life. Biology_sentence_147

They are classified as viruses, viroids, prions, or satellites. Biology_sentence_148

The scientific name of an organism is generated from its genus and species. Biology_sentence_149

For example, humans are listed as Homo sapiens. Biology_sentence_150

Homo is the genus, and sapiens the species. Biology_sentence_151

When writing the scientific name of an organism, it is proper to capitalize the first letter in the genus and put all of the species in lowercase. Biology_sentence_152

Additionally, the entire term may be italicized or underlined. Biology_sentence_153

The dominant classification system is called the Linnaean taxonomy. Biology_sentence_154

It includes ranks and binomial nomenclature. Biology_sentence_155

How organisms are named is governed by international agreements such as the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN), the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), and the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria (ICNB). Biology_sentence_156

The classification of viruses, viroids, prions, and all other sub-viral agents that demonstrate biological characteristics is conducted by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) and is known as the International Code of Viral Classification and Nomenclature (ICVCN). Biology_sentence_157

However, several other viral classification systems do exist. Biology_sentence_158

A merging draft, BioCode, was published in 1997 in an attempt to standardize nomenclature in these three areas, but has yet to be formally adopted. Biology_sentence_159

The BioCode draft has received little attention since 1997; its originally planned implementation date of January 1, 2000, has passed unnoticed. Biology_sentence_160

A revised BioCode that, instead of replacing the existing codes, would provide a unified context for them, was proposed in 2011. Biology_sentence_161

However, the International Botanical Congress of 2011 declined to consider the BioCode proposal. Biology_sentence_162

The ICVCN remains outside the BioCode, which does not include viral classification. Biology_sentence_163

Kingdoms Biology_section_13

Main article: Kingdom (biology) Biology_sentence_164

Biology_unordered_list_1

  • Biology_item_1_1
  • Biology_item_1_2
  • Biology_item_1_3
  • Biology_item_1_4
  • Biology_item_1_5
  • Biology_item_1_6
  • Biology_item_1_7

Ecological and environmental Biology_section_14

Main articles: Ecology, Ethology, Behavior, and Biogeography Biology_sentence_165

Ecology is the study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms, the interaction between them and their environment. Biology_sentence_166

An organism shares an environment that includes other organisms and biotic factors as well as local abiotic factors (non-living) such as climate and ecology. Biology_sentence_167

One reason that biological systems can be difficult to study is that so many different interactions with other organisms and the environment are possible, even on small scales. Biology_sentence_168

A microscopic bacterium responding to a local sugar gradient is responding to its environment as much as a lion searching for food in the African savanna. Biology_sentence_169

For any species, behaviors can be co-operative, competitive, parasitic, or symbiotic. Biology_sentence_170

Matters become more complex when two or more species interact in an ecosystem. Biology_sentence_171

Ecological systems are studied at several different levels, from the scale of the ecology of individual organisms, to those of populations, to the ecosystems and finally the biosphere. Biology_sentence_172

The term population biology is often used interchangeably with population ecology, although population biology is more frequently used in the case of diseases, viruses, and microbes, while the term population ecology is more commonly applied to the study of plants and animals. Biology_sentence_173

Ecology draws on many subdisciplines. Biology_sentence_174

Ethology is the study of animal behavior (particularly that of social animals such as primates and canids), and is sometimes considered a branch of zoology. Biology_sentence_175

Ethologists have been particularly concerned with the evolution of behavior and the understanding of behavior in terms of the theory of natural selection. Biology_sentence_176

In one sense, the first modern ethologist was Charles Darwin, whose book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, influenced many ethologists to come. Biology_sentence_177

Biogeography studies the spatial distribution of organisms on the Earth, focusing on such topics as plate tectonics, climate change, dispersal and migration, and cladistics. Biology_sentence_178

Basic unresolved problems in biology Biology_section_15

Main article: List of unsolved problems in biology Biology_sentence_179

Despite the profound advances made over recent decades in our understanding of life's fundamental processes, some basic problems have remained unresolved. Biology_sentence_180

Some examples are Biology_sentence_181

Origin of life. Biology_sentence_182

While there is very good evidence for the abiotic origin of biological compounds such as amino acids, nucleotides and lipids, it is largely unclear how these molecules came together to form the first cells. Biology_sentence_183

Related is the question of extra-terrestrial life. Biology_sentence_184

If we understand how life originated on earth, we can predict more reliably which conditions are required to generate life on other planets. Biology_sentence_185

Aging. Biology_sentence_186

At present, there is no consensus view on the underlying cause of aging. Biology_sentence_187

Various competing theories are outlined in Ageing Theories. Biology_sentence_188

Pattern formation. Biology_sentence_189

We have a good understanding of pattern formation in some systems, such as the early insect embryo, but the generation of many patterns in nature cannot be explained easily, e.g. the stripes in zebras or many snakes, such as coral snakes. Biology_sentence_190

While we know that the patterns are generated by selective activation or repression of genes, many of these genes and their regulatory mechanisms remain unknown. Biology_sentence_191

Branches and career options Biology_section_16

Biology is an area of science with numerous subdisciplines that are concerned with all aspects of life, in fact all aspects of modern human life. Biology_sentence_192

That said, there are countless career options, ranging from basic science to industrial or agricultural applications. Biology_sentence_193

These are the main branches of biology: Biology_sentence_194

Biology_unordered_list_2

  • Anatomy – the study of organisms’ structuresBiology_item_2_8
    • Comparative anatomy – the study of evolution of species through similarities and differences in their anatomyBiology_item_2_9
    • Histology – the study of tissues, a microscopic branch of anatomyBiology_item_2_10
  • Astrobiology (also known as exobiology, exopaleontology, and bioastronomy) – the study of evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universeBiology_item_2_11
  • Biochemistry – the study of the chemical reactions required for life to exist and function, usually a focus on the cellular levelBiology_item_2_12
  • Biological engineering – the attempt to create products inspired by biological systems or to modify and interact with the biological systemsBiology_item_2_13
  • Biogeography – the study of the distribution of species spatially and temporallyBiology_item_2_14
  • Bioinformatics – the use of information technology for the study, collection, and storage of genomic and other biological dataBiology_item_2_15
  • Biolinguistics – the study of the biology and evolution of languageBiology_item_2_16
  • Biomechanics – the study of the mechanics of living beingsBiology_item_2_17
  • Biomedical research – the study of health and diseaseBiology_item_2_18
  • Biophysics – the study of biological processes by applying the theories and methods traditionally employed in the physical sciencesBiology_item_2_19
  • Biotechnology – the study of the manipulation of living matter, including genetic modification and synthetic biologyBiology_item_2_20
    • Synthetic biology – research integrating biology and engineering; construction of biological functions not found in natureBiology_item_2_21
  • Botany – the study of plantsBiology_item_2_22
  • Cell biology – the study of the cell as a complete unit, and the molecular and chemical interactions that occur within a living cellBiology_item_2_26
  • Chronobiology – the study of periodic events in living systemsBiology_item_2_27
  • Cognitive biology – the study of cognitionBiology_item_2_28
  • Conservation biology – the study of the preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlifeBiology_item_2_29
  • Cryobiology – the study of the effects of lower than normally preferred temperatures on living beingsBiology_item_2_30
  • Developmental biology – the study of the processes through which an organism forms, from zygote to full structureBiology_item_2_31
    • Embryology – the study of the development of the embryo (from fecundation to birth)Biology_item_2_32
    • Gerontology – the study of ageing processesBiology_item_2_33
  • Ecology – the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with the non-living elements of their environmentBiology_item_2_34
  • Evolutionary biology – the study of the origin and descent of species over timeBiology_item_2_35
  • Genetics – the study of genes and heredityBiology_item_2_36
    • Genomics – the study of genomesBiology_item_2_37
    • Epigenetics – the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequenceBiology_item_2_38
  • Immunology – the study of the immune systemBiology_item_2_39
  • Marine biology (or biological oceanography) – the study of ocean ecosystems, plants, animals, and other living beingsBiology_item_2_40
  • Microbiology – the study of microscopic organisms (microorganisms) and their interactions with other living thingsBiology_item_2_41
    • Bacteriology – the study of bacteriaBiology_item_2_42
    • Mycology – the study of fungiBiology_item_2_43
    • Parasitology – the study of parasites and parasitismBiology_item_2_44
    • Virology – the study of viruses and some other virus-like agentsBiology_item_2_45
  • Molecular biology – the study of biology and biological functions at the molecular level, some cross over with biochemistryBiology_item_2_46
  • Nanobiology – the application of nanotechnology in biological research, and the study of living organisms and parts on the nanoscale level of organizationBiology_item_2_47
  • Neuroscience – the study of the nervous systemBiology_item_2_48
  • Paleontology – the study of fossils and sometimes geographic evidence of prehistoric lifeBiology_item_2_49
  • Pathobiology or pathology – the study of diseases, and the causes, processes, nature, and development of diseaseBiology_item_2_50
  • Pharmacology – the study of the interactions between drugs and organismsBiology_item_2_51
  • Phycology – the study of seaweeds and other algaeBiology_item_2_52
  • Physiology – the study of the functions and mechanisms occurring in living organismsBiology_item_2_53
  • Phytopathology – the study of plant diseases (also called Plant Pathology)Biology_item_2_54
  • Psychobiology – the application of methods traditionally used in biology to study human and non-human animals behaviourBiology_item_2_55
  • Quantum biology – the study of the role of quantum phenomena in biological processesBiology_item_2_56
  • Sociobiology - the study of social behavior in terms of evolutionBiology_item_2_57
  • Systems biology – the study of complex interactions within biological systems through a holistic approachBiology_item_2_58
  • Structural biology – a branch of molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics concerned with the molecular structure of biological macromoleculesBiology_item_2_59
  • Theoretical biology – the branch of biology that employs abstractions and mathematical models to explain biological phenomenaBiology_item_2_60
  • Zoology – the study of animals, including classification, physiology, development, evolution and behaviour, including:Biology_item_2_61
    • Ethology – the study of animal behaviourBiology_item_2_62
    • Entomology – the study of insectsBiology_item_2_63
    • Herpetology – the study of reptiles and amphibiansBiology_item_2_64
    • Ichthyology – the study of fishBiology_item_2_65
    • Mammalogy – the study of mammalsBiology_item_2_66
    • Ornithology – the study of birdsBiology_item_2_67

See also Biology_section_17

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