The field of biology is a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Many people, including scientists, sometimes use biology terms incorrectly or may not recognize some biological concepts. Understanding them can help you understand how our bodies and the world around us work—and how biology affects one’s health.
Biology and its Central Themes
Biology is a scientific discipline that explains how living organisms function. The science and study of biology involves the scientific study of life’s origin, evolution, structure, function, and taxonomy. Because biology includes the study of all living organisms, it is a broad field, and there are many subfields within it.
To understand more about biology, here are the following central themes:
- Structure as well as Function of Cells
Biology is the study of the structure and function of living organisms. Cells are the building blocks that make up organisms, and while studying the cells, you are in turn learning about organisms. Therefore, organisms and cells are two inseparable parts of biology.
The cells of our body are microscopic units that are the building blocks of our body. They contain all the nutrients, and water that our body needs to survive, along with the waste that our body needs to get rid of. Cells are compartmentalized. For example, the brain only contains one type of cell, the neuron. There are other types of cells that exist in other organs, and they have one specific function in that organ. For example, in the kidney, there are two types of cells: nephrons and podocytes. Nephrons are the cells that filter the urine, while podocytes are the cells that line the walls of our kidney’s arteries and veins.
- The Interactions Between Organisms
Biology is an incredibly broad field, and it includes such areas of study as genetics, botany, and zoology (the study of animals). The most interesting aspects of biology, though, are the ways in which different organisms interact with one another. The interactions among organisms are a central theme in the life sciences. The interactions among organisms are one of the central themes of biology. These interactions are a statistical phenomenon and are based on the rules governing the seemingly random movements of molecules.
Homeostasis is, simply put, the body’s ability to regulate and maintain its temperature and other bodily functions. Essentially, the body’s processes are fine-tuned to keep everything running smoothly. Homeostasis is a process that is controlled by the hypothalamus. This portion of the brain regulates thinking, emotions, appetite, and body temperature, among other things.
- Genetics and Reproduction
Our “body,” or “organism” (the term varies, depending on whom you talk to), is comprised of trillions of cells harmoniously working together. These cells continually divide and grow or stop growing in response to internal or external factors. For instance, the cells that compose our skin are constantly reproducing, while those in our blood (red cells), liver, brain, and other organs mature and reproduce less often. Yet, every cell in your body has the capacity to reproduce and to do so immediately if needed.
One of the central themes of biology is evolution. Evolution, also known as biological evolution, is the idea that all living organisms have changed over time. Evolution is the process that generates diversity in living beings. The two main mechanisms of evolution are natural selection and genetic drift. Natural selection involves the struggle for existence, and the genetic drift process occurs due to random fluctuations in the numbers of individuals of different types. Natural selection occurs as a result of the competition between organisms of the same kind. This competition, which can be described as a race where one organism is favoured over another, results in the survival of the fittest. Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, is generally credited with proposing the theory.
Biology is a complex subject, and there are a few different ways you can learn about the concept. You can either learn about biology through a textbook, an online resource, or get an education from a teacher. Regardless of which method you choose, biology is a subject that all students must learn.