I have forever been fascinated by the field of biology. Biology contains the essence of every other field of science like chemistry, biochemistry, even a little bit of physics. But, what is biology is a question asked by many students. Biology is the study of life and all other aspects related to life. Anything everything that is alive or dead is studied under biology. Let us go into the details of what is biology about.
What is Biology?
As mentioned above biology is the study of interactions of life. Biology covers a number of subjects under the sun like plants (botany), animals (zoology), marine animals and plants (marine biology), microorganisms (microbiology), genes (genetics), and many more. A biologists investigates the biological processes and phenomena that helps build a correlation between all living things. There are certain characteristics of life that are considered under biology. Let us see some of the characteristics of life that will lead to an answer for what is biology about. You can read about 5 kingdoms of living things and learn all about the classification of living things.
Characteristics of Life
The first characteristics of life is the cell. A cell is the basic unit of life, be it for animals, plants or single celled organism. All living organisms, single celled and multicellular organisms are made up of cells. Cells make up tissues, that form organs and organs lead to organ system. An organ system is contained within the organism.
Next, characteristics of life is energy transformation. All living things require energy to function. This energy is transferred from the environment to the organism in the form of food. Metabolic processes are therefore, very important for maintenance of life. Get more information on the levels of biological organization.
The third characteristics of life is reproduction. If an organism is alive, it will reproduce. Reproduction can be asexual or sexual. A few organisms undergo binary fission. Only living organisms have the ability to reproduce. When there is reproduction then comes in the next characteristics of life, growth. Living organism need to grow in order to complete their life cycle. Single celled organisms grow by increasing their cell volume. Multicellular organisms tend to add more cells to their body in order to grow. You can learn about the levels of organization of living things.
As an organism grows, it begins to respond to the environment. This brings us to our next characteristics of living things that is sensation. Living organisms respond to external stimuli like heat, cold, pain, etc. A few reactions to the environment take place instantly and a few take place over time. This response can occur on cellular level called homeostasis. When set of complex reactions take place it is called as behavior.
And lastly what is biology? It also includes the last characteristics of life, that is, adaptation. Organisms, mostly over thousands of years begin to adapt to their environment. This adaptation leads to permanent genetic changes in the organisms. This process of adaptation is vital for survival of species and is called as evolution. If the organism fails to adapt, it will perish.
What is Biology About?
The answer to what is biology about is based on the basic principles of biology. These principles form the foundation of biology. Let us have a look at the 5 basic principles that will help you understand what is biology about. You can have a look at the glossary of biology terms and definitions.
The cell theory proves and states that a cell is the fundamental unit of life. All living organisms are made of one or more cells. In some cases, organisms are made of the secreted products of cells like shells. All cells contain the hereditary information of life, that is, DNA and RNA.
The gene theory states that genes are inherited by all organisms from their parents. All organisms from a tiny virus or bacteria to a multicellular organism like the elephant follow the same process of copying and translating DNA to proteins. The progeny will contain sets of similar genes transferred from the parent.
The theory of evolution states that all organisms have descended from a common ancestral gene pool on earth. Over thousands of years genetic changes have lead to formation of different species. Over thousands of generation, changes take place in an organisms that may be small or large and in some cases, visible or inconspicuous.
All living organisms are able to maintain homeostasis. This means regulation of their internal environment to maintain equilibrium with the environmental changes.
Energy is transferred from one form to another with the help of food and metabolic processes. Thus, energy transformation is not always efficient, but energy will forever remain constant.
Careers Associated with Biology
There are different branches of biology. Some of the enriching careers in the field of biology are as follows:
- Bioengineering (You can read about bioengineering salary)
- Biomathematics or Mathematical Biology
- Biomedical jobs
- Building biology
- Botany (You can read about glossary of botanical terms)
- Cell biology
- Conservation Biology
- Developmental biology
- Entomology (Read about forensic entomology)
- Environmental Biology
- Evolutionary Biology
- Genetics (Get more information on human genetics)
- Integrative biology
- Marine Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Population biology
- Paleontology (Get information on paleontologist jon description)
- Structural biology
- Zoology (Read about zoologists)
This was all about what is biology and the branches of biology. As you can see, it is the study of life and all the processes of life. You get to learn about genes, reproduction, evolution, adaptation and behavioral changes in an organism. This is the field that will help you answer many questions like What came first ~ the chicken or the egg and even questions like Why do we yawn when sleepy. If you have the desire to answer the who, what, why, when and how about life, then the field of biology is the career path you should choose.