From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This image is a drawing of Haloquadratum walsbyi. Credit: Rotational.

On the right is a drawing of the archaean Haloquadratum walsbyi.

Biology is the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin, and distribution. The study of biology is important in many ways. On the most basic level, one can satiate their curiosity on the mechanisms of life. One can also utilize biology within different closely related fields, such as agriculture, medicine, engineering and more. Biology solves problems, either tending to an illness, or promoting food growth, it is essential in our daily lives. By understanding the interaction of living organisms, it enables us to make most of the planet's resources and minimizing our imprint onto it, allowing us to be responsible caretakers of our home. Biology is also a basic subject in all primary and secondary education institutions, one may also seek to specialize themselves in the many branches of biology. Biology is a nigh endless journey of exploration and discovery, making its place as a natural science utmost deserving.


The image shows a field in China on a fair weather day. Credit: Hijirikyou.

Agriculture is the science, art, or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. Agriculture is key to humanity, as it brings about food surpluses for our livelihood and growth. The history of agriculture dates back millennia, with wild grains first planted around 11,500 years ago and animal husbandry around 10,000 years ago. Agriculture is a very multidisciplinary subject, encompassing many branches of biology, chemistry, physics and even the social sciences. It covers topics such as agronomy, plant breeding and genetics, plant pathology, crop modelling, soil science, entomology, production techniques and improvement, study of pests and their management, and study of adverse environmental effects such as soil degradation, waste management, and more.

At right are farm buildings with trees surrounded by fields on a fair weather day.


This is an electron microscope image the archaean Halobacteria species strain NRC-1. Credit: NASA.

"This path has attracted 'archaeaologists' with great tenacity and drive, impressive creativity and dynamic thinking, and a capacity to expand a mental comfort zone to broker remarkable observations, often in view of reluctant acceptance."[1]

Def. the scientific study of the archaea is called archaeaology.

The B recognition element (BRE) is a DNA sequence found in the promoter region of most genes in eukaryotes and Archaea.[2][3]

In the archaean from the Dead Sea imaged at the right, "We have completely fragmented their DNA. I mean we have completely destroyed it by bombarding it with [radiation]. And they can reassemble their entire chromosome and put it back into working order within several hours."[4]


This is a traditional cultural association between Maize, squash and beans, called Milpa in the region. Credit: Isabelle Fragniere.

Def. the scientific study of plants, typically those disciplines that involve the whole plant is called botany.

Usage notes:

The scientific definition of what organisms should be considered plants changed dramatically during the 20th century. Bacteria, algae, and fungi are no longer considered plants by those who study them. Many textbooks do not reflect the most current thinking on classification.

Cellular biology[edit]

Illustration is of "cell sorting-out". Credit: .

As the foundation of the contemporary life sciences, cell biology represents one of the frontiers of the modern biology and biomedicine. With the completion of the genome projects in human and an increasing number of different organisms, the focus of the modern biology is quickly shifting to functional genomics which aims at understanding the functions of genes at molecular, cellular, and organism levels. Cells are the basic unit of life, that is, the smallest thing that academia has agreed on to be "alive". Cells consist of a cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane, which contains many biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids.

Computational biology[edit]


This shows some of the effects of forestry work in Austria. Credit: Queryzo.

Def. the science or practice of planting, managing, and caring for forests is called forestry.

"Continuous cover forestry (CCF) is not a new idea in forest management but there has been renewed interest in it for the potential it has to meet the sustainability requirements which are part of the Rio/Helsinki process and certification. Broadly speaking CCF includes those silvicultural systems which involve continuous and uninterrupted maintenance of forest cover and which avoid clearcutting."[5]

General Biology[edit]


"A recent comparison of the draft sequences of mouse and human genomes has shed light on the selective forces that have predominated in their recent evolutionary histories. In particular, mouse-specific clusters of homologues associated with roles in reproduction, immunity and host defence appear to be under diversifying positive selective pressure, as indicated by high ratios of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates. These clusters are also frequently punctuated by homologous pseudogenes. They thus have experienced numerous gene death, as well as gene birth, events. These regions appear, therefore, to have borne the brunt of adaptive evolution that underlies physiological and behavioural innovation in mice. We predict that the availability of numerous animal genomes will give rise to a new field of genome zoology in which differences in animal physiology and ethology are illuminated by the study of genomic sequence variations."[6]

History of biology[edit]

Human Biology[edit]

Molecular Biology[edit]


Def. a body wall of a mollusc, from which the shell is secreted is called a mantle.

Def. a rasping tongue of snails and most other mollusks is called a radula.

As a mollusk an ammonite may be expected to have

  1. a mantle with a cavity for breathing and excretion,
  2. a radula, and
  3. a structured nervous system.


Mycology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi, including their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy and their use to humans as a source for tinder, medicine (e.g., penicillin), food (e.g., beer, wine, cheese, edible mushrooms), and entheogens, as well as their dangers, such as poisoning or infection.


This image shows the Earth's oceans and their bottoms. Credit: NOAA.

Oceanography, also called oceanology or marine science, studies the ocean. It covers a wide range of topics, including marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries.


The "Acanthocephala, are descended from, and should be considered as, highly modified rotifers. Genetic research has determined this is unequivocal; the Acanthocephalans are modified rotifers".[7]

Relational biology[edit]


"In soil, estimates are that 80 to 99% of the microorganisms remain unidentified (1)."[8]

"The soil at the Arlington site is a Plano silt-loam. The 20-cm-deep A horizon is a silt-loam and contains 4.4% organic matter. The loess mantel is >1.25 m deep. Four 2.5-cm-diameter soil cores were taken from the top 10 cm of a clover-grass pasture at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station. The soil samples were immediately placed on dry ice, mixed, and then stored at -70°C prior to DNA extraction. Soil analysis was done by the Soil Testing Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin—Madison as described by Schulte et al. (40). The soil sample contained 13% sand, 70% silt, 17% clay, 4.4% organic matter, 0.3% total N, 400 ppm of K+, and 98 ppm of P. The soil pH was 6.5. The site is well drained, with groundwater more than 25 m below the surface. Two-thirds of the 79-cm annual rainfall occurs from April to October. The site has an average of 165 frost-free days."[8]

Structural biology[edit]


A collage depicts animal diversity using a collection of featured pictures. Credit: Justin.
Composite image illustrates the diversity of plants. Credit: Ryan Kitko.
  1. Superregnum Archaea,
  2. Superregnum Bacteria, and
  3. Superregnum Eukaryota.

Superregnum: Archaea

Regnum (Phyla):

  1. Crenarchaeota
  2. Euryarchaeota
  3. Korarchaeota

Superregnum: Bacteria


  1. Acidobacteria
  2. Actinobacteria
  3. Aquificae
  4. Chlamydiae
  5. Chloroflexi
  6. Chrysiogenetes
  7. Cyanobacteria
  8. Deferribacteres
  9. Deinococcus-Thermus
  10. Dictyoglomi
  11. Fibrobacteres
  12. Firmicutes
  13. Fusobacteria
  14. Gemmatimonadetes
  15. Nitrospirae
  16. Planctomycetes
  17. Proteobacteria
  18. Spirochaetes
  19. Thermodesulfobacteria
  20. Thermotogae
  21. Verrucomicrobia

Superregnum: Eukaryota Regnums (Whittaker & Margulis, 1978): Animalia - Plantae - Fungi - Protista Regnums (Cavalier-Smith, 1981): Animalia - Plantae - Fungi - Chromista - Protozoa

Regnum: Animalia Phyla (36):

  1. Acanthocephala
  2. Annelida
  3. Arthropoda
  4. Brachiopoda
  5. Bryozoa
  6. Cephalorhyncha
  7. Chaetognatha
  8. Chordata
  9. Cnidaria
  10. Ctenophora
  11. Cycliophora
  12. Echinodermata
  13. Echiura
  14. Gastrotricha
  15. Gnathostomulida
  16. Hemichordata
  17. Kamptozoa
  18. Kinorhyncha
  19. Loricifera
  20. Micrognathozoa
  21. Mollusca
  22. Myxozoa
  23. Nematoda
  24. Nematomorpha
  25. Nemertea
  26. Onychophora
  27. Orthonectida
  28. Phoronida
  29. Placozoa
  30. Platyhelminthes
  31. Porifera
  32. Rhombozoa
  33. Rotifera
  34. Sipuncula
  35. Tardigrada
  36. Xenacoelomorpha

Regnum: Plantae Divisiones (8): "Algae" (first four)

  1. Charophyta
  2. Chlorophyta
  3. Glaucophyta
  4. Rhodophyta
  5. Anthocerotophyta
  6. Bryophyta
  7. Marchantiophyta
  8. Tracheophyta


This illustration shows the Earth's sea surface temperature from infrared observations by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) during July 1984. Credit: NASA.

"The above illustration of Earth's sea surface temperature was obtained from two weeks of infrared observations by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), an instrument on board NOAA-7 during July 1984. Temperatures are color coded with red being warmest and decreasing through oranges, yellows, greens, and blues. Temperature patterns seen in this image are the result of many influences, including the circulation of the ocean, surface winds, and solar heating. The image indicates a large pool of warm water in the Western Pacific and a tongue of relatively cold water extending along the Equator westward from South America. Every few years, there occurs an interrelated set of changes in the global atmospheric and oceanic circulation known as an El Nino in which the region of warm equatorial water in the West extends eastward across the Pacific and blankets the cool, productive regions along the coast of South America. Fish, birds, and marine mammals that depend upon the normally phytoplankton-rich waters often die in large numbers during El Nino. Images of sea surface temperature such as this help scientists to better monitor and ultimately understand the changes to Earth caused by events such as El Nino."[9]

Theoretical biology[edit]

Def. the study of all life or living matter is called biology.


The image shows a full length view of an adult blue whale. Credit: NOAA Fisheries (TBjornstad).

Def. that part of biology which relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct is called zoology.

See also[edit]


  1. Ricardo Cavicchioli (January 2011). "Archaea—timeline of the third domain". Nature Reviews Microbiology 9 (1): 51-61. http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/v9/n1/full/nrmicro2482.html. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  2. Lagrange T, Kapanidis AN, Tang H, Reinberg D, Ebright RH (1998). "New core promoter element in RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription: sequence-specific DNA binding by transcription factor IIB". Genes & Development 12 (1): 34–44. doi:10.1101/gad.12.1.34. PMID 9420329. PMC 316406. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC316406/. 
  3. Littlefield O, Korkhin Y, Sigler PB (1999). "The structural basis for the oriented assembly of a TBP/TFB/promoter complex". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 96 (24): 13668–73. doi:10.1073/pnas.96.24.13668. PMID 10570130. PMC 24122. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC24122/. 
  4. Adrienne Kish (September 10, 2004). Secrets of a Salty Survivor A microbe that grows in the Dead Sea is teaching scientists about the art of DNA repair. Washington, DC USA: NASA. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  5. A. Pommerening and S.T. Murphy (2004). "A review of the history, definitions and methods of continuous cover forestry with special attention to afforestation and restocking". Forestry 77 (1): 27-44. doi:10.1093/forestry/77.1.27. http://forestry.oxfordjournals.org/content/77/1/27.full.pdf. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  6. Richard D. Emes, Leo Goodstadt, Eitan E. Winter and Chris P. Ponting (2003). "Comparison of the genomes of human and mouse lays the foundation of genome zoology". Human Molecular Genetics 12 (7): 701-9. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddg078. http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/7/701.long. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  7. Ronald L. Shimek (January 2006). Nano-Animals, Part I: Rotifers. ReefKeeping.com. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  8. 8.0 8.1 James Borneman, Paul W. Skroch, Katherine M. O'Sullivan, James A. Palus, Norma G. Rumjanek, Jennifer L. Jansen, James Nienhuis, and Eric W. Triplett (June 1996). "Molecular Microbial Diversity of an Agricultural Soil in Wisconsin". Applied and Environmental Microbiology 62 (6): 1935-43. http://aem.asm.org/content/62/6/1935.short. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  9. Michael Hahn (May 13, 2010). Global Sea Surface Temperature. Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved 2013-02-27.

External links[edit]

{{Anthropology resources}}{{Gene project}}{{Medicine resources}}{{Phosphate biochemistry}}