Hello Friends! I hope you all are doing well. Today, I am going to give you a very fundamental and detailed tutorial on What is Biology? Further, we will also discuss the biology branches, importance of biology in our life, popular Biology books, famous Biologists and great inventions in the field of biology. The word ‘Biology’ actually refers to the complete study of life (Including all living organism i.e. humans, animals, plants and microorganisms).
For the convenience to study about every field of life, scientist have divided science into 4 major branches.
- Physical Sciences.
- Biological Sciences(Biology).
- Earth Sciences.
- Space Sciences.
Now let’s first have a look at what is biology?
What is Biology?
Biology is derived from Greek words, bio means life and logos means study. It concentrates on all the aspects of living things such as ecology, occurrence, reproduction, nutrition, organization, economic importance etc.
Let’s come towards the proper definition of biology:
- Biology (the branch of science), mainly focused on the complex life processes of living organism ( including chemical processes, physical characteristics, evolution and molecular interaction).
- Biology covers all forms of living organisms and is further divided into multiple fields i.e. Zoology deals with the study of animals while Bootany deals with plants.
- Biology also studies the behavior, structure and physiology of a specific organism or a class of organisms.
Now you must want to know, why biology is important in our life? Right? So let me tell you importance of biology first. Then, I will discuss branches of biology.
Why is Biology Important in Everyday Life?
There was a time, when we have no cure for even small diseases i.e. fever, pneumonia etc. but today surgeons are performing surgeries using laser technologies. A century ago, there wasn’t any concept of organs transplant in Biological field and today biologists have developed surgeries to transplant almost every human organ and are trying to transplant brain. If you ask me, brain transplant is going to happen soon.
Biology has increased productivity in the field of agriculture by producing advanced seeds and fertilizers. Biologists have also exrtacted different chemicals from plants which are helpful in curing different diseases.
Nutritional biology is all about the nutrients required by our body for healthy life.
Interdisciplinary branches of biology
Let me tell you here, Biology is the most complex branch of science. It is not that simple. Biology is linked with other science disciplines, and further divided into many branches. Well! To deeply understand biology, we will also learn about these branches later. Here, let’s find out the relation of biology with other main science branches.
Let’s start to discuss these interlinked branches one by one.
This branch of sciences, deals with the study of laws and principles of physics, applicable to the biological processes. For your understanding, I will give you an example. Animal limbs working on the physics principle of lever.
This branch focuses on the different chemical and compounds of chemistry & their impact on human life. For example, photosynthesis process.
This discipline of sciences, deals with the study of all biological process by using math techniques and calculations. The example is the human & animal population data calculation.
This branch categories and distribute the different living organism species in the world. Example is the specie Acacia found in the region of desert.
The study of living organisms with respect to the economical point is called bio-economic branch. Such as the profit & cost of wheat yield.
Main branches of biology
Biology is very broad branch of science, and divided into many sub-disciplines.
This discipline is deal with the study of plants. Theophrastus is the one of the famous scientists in this field.
This field is concerned with the detailed study of animals. And Aristotle is famous for his contribution and known as father of this field.
Microbiology is the study of micro-organism. Leeuwenhoek is considered as the father of microbiology.
Some other popular branches of biology are:
|1||Taxonomy||This is the field of biology, mainly working on the identification and categorization of the living species.|
|2||Histology||Histology is the field of study, focuses on internal structure, working & behavior of tissues using light microscope.|
|3||Anatomy||The study about the external body parts.|
|4||Morphology||This biology branch carrying the study on internal body parts of different living species.|
|5||Cytology||It is the discipline, fundamentally studying about the functions and structure of cells.|
|6||Cell Biology||The field of biology, deals with the genetics information transferred from parents to next generation though cells.|
|7||Molecular Biology||The study of different activities of protoplasm, including their functions, structures and many other properties.|
|8||Physiology||This branch of biology provides information about the function and process of different body parts.|
|9||Embryology||It is the study of embryonic development process including every stage, size of embryos etc.|
|10||Ecology||This biology discipline, studies on the relation of living organism with their living environment.|
|11||Genetics||This branch studies how the inheritance transferred from generation to generation.|
|12||Evolution||The study of life & its existence.|
|13||Palaeontology||This branch of biology, study about naturally found fossil fuels and develops techniques to identify these resources underneath.|
|14||Exobiology||It is the branch of biology, studying the practical experimental study on life in space.|
|15||Virology||This branch is all about the study of viruses.|
Other fields of Biology are:
- Acarology: It is the branch of biology, & study of mites and ticks.
- Actinobiology: Studies the effect of radiations on the living organism.
- Cardiology: The complex study on the heart system.
- Araneology: The study on spiders.
- Agroforestry: Studies the properties & form of land used to cultivate the crops and trees.
- Batrachology: This branch studies the structure and life study of the frog.
- Apiculture: It is the study on beekeeping.
- Aschelitinthology: The branch of biology, studies roundworms.
- Bacteriology: This is the detailed study on the bacteria.
- Agronomy: Research on Plants & crops.
- Biochemistry: The branch of science, reveals the link between chemical reaction on the life process.
- Biometrics: Use of statistical analytical study on biological systems.
- Arthrology: This is the branch of biology, studying the structures and functioning of joints parts.
- Anthology: The area of study on flowers & its parts.
- Biotechnology: This branch (biology) is all about the study of making drugs and medicines from useful organism for human health care.
- Angiology: This biology field, focuses on blood regulatory systems.
- Carcinology: The field of study about sea creature i.e. crabs.
- Agrostology: The research on the grass is called Agrostology.
- Aerobiology: This deep study about the flying organism.
- Dermatology: Dermatologists’ basically deals with skin problems.
Important topics in biology
The research on biology growing everyday in many subjects. So, I am goin to tell you the main topics of research in biology.
- Photosynthesis (Food making process by plants in presence of sunlight).
- Carbon cycle (Study of how carbon is exchanged between atmosphere and living organism).
- Study of human heart (Functions, diseases, structure & abilities).
- Nitrogen cycle (Incorporation of nitrogen in the atmosphere).
- Human digestive system (Host and glands involved in human digestive system & their functions and roles).
- Flora & Fauna (Flora means study of plants and Fauna refers to all animals’ life).
- Human brain (Functions, structure and working).
- Blood veins and arteries (Study of how veins carry oxygen and blood).
- Transpiration (How water pumping during photosynthesis).
- Soil profile (Study of soil productivity and fertilization condition).
- Difference between Mitosis& Meiosis.
- Study of sensory organs.
- Gymnosperms (Study of plants, producing seeds).
- Fertilizers (Study and developments of fertilizers to enhance productivity of the soil).
- Ecology (Development of friendly environment between organism and surrounding).
- Evolution (How life starts and what changes occurring).
- Animal cells.
- Bio-molecules (Study of proteins, lipids & carbohydrates).
There are many biologists, contributed in this field. Let’s discuss some popular biologists and their contributions.
Famous Biologists of all Time
|He was the Greek philosopher, and discovered many important biological theories. His greatest contribution is the classification of living organisms. He was the first scientist, proposed the relation of species and organize them accordingly.|
|2||Galen||He was the great Greek physicians; suggest the new ideas about medical research. He opens new ways in field of medicine. He works for many branches of biology, anatomy, physiology, neurology and pathology. The remarkable discoveries are identification the relation & differences between the artery and vein.|
|3||Oswald Avery||He revealed about how the heredity instructions passes form DNA to next generation.|
|4||James Black||He proposed the ideas of making drugs using beta blockers for the stomach ulcers and heart diseases.|
|5||Elizabeth Blackwell||She is the first qualified women physicians of America. She was the founder of first medical school in America.|
|6||Linda Buck||He discovered the five senses and their working. He also revealed that humans have 350 odour cells receptors that send the signals to human brain.|
|8||Rachel Carson||Author of the great book “Silent Spring” that describes the effect of chemical on the environment. He revealed the chemicals that must be banned for the sake of environment.|
|9||George Washington Carver||He worked on improving the agronomy by improving the nitrogen nutrient in the crop fertilization.|
|10||Erwin Chargaff||He gives Chargaff’s principles and discovered the DNA structure.|
List of other biologists who contributed in this field are listed below:
Best Biology books of all Time
There are a huge collection of useful books of biology available online. Let me tell you about my favorite biology books. I must say that every young biologist must read these books. Because a genius said that reading books is like you are borrowing his/her brain for some time.
1. The Double Helix by James Watson
Watson was the greatest scientist, and in this book he described about DNA discovery. What is more beneficial to get information about DNA from the person who discovered it? He described this research circumstances, gives the young biologist a great lesson.
2. Time, Love, Memory by Jonathan Weiner
I read this book during my first year of master. This book helped me a lot to solve practical problem in the lab in the field of genetics. Young biologists are getting are doing working on genes. I strongly recommend this book for those students. The genetic discoveries are growing very fats, that it becomes very difficult for the newcomers to understand all the basics concepts. Are you facing this problem? No worries. You can take help from this book as much as you want.
3. Virolution by Frank Ryan
This is actually a very interesting and informative book about evolution. The author revealed some discussed with the example of fish. Fish died because of the virus diseases in his own DNA. The virus activated when fish reach at productive age.
Other worth reading biology books are:
- “Biology” written by Neil A. Campbell.
- “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcer” written by Robert M. Sapolsky.
- “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers” written by Mary Roach.
- “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution”.
- “Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History” written by S. Jay Gould.
- “The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher” written by L.Thomas.
- “The Origin of Species”.
- “Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom” written by S. B. Carroll.
- “The Blind Watcmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design”.
- “The Selfish Gene”.
- “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic” by David Quammen.
- “Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness” written by P. Godfrey-Smith.
- “Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex” written by Mary Roac.
- “The Gene: An Intimate History”.
- “River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life” written by Richard Dawkins.
- “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal” written by Mary Roach.
- “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams” by Matthew Walker.
- “She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity” written by C. Zimmer.
- “Voyage of the Beagle” written by C. Darwin.
- “Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution” written by N. Lane.
- “The Genius of Birds” by Jennifer Ackerman.
- “A Short History of Nearly Everything” written by B. Bryson.
- “The Diversity of Life” written by Edward Wilson.
- “The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus” written by R. Preston.
- “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” written by G. Enders.
- “Climbing Mount Improbable” written by R. Dawkins.
I hope this article will help you to understand biology, its branches, importance, popular books of biology and famous biologists & their contribution in the field of biology.