ARTICLE: Major Fields of Study in Biology

Biology is the field of science which encompasses the study of natural sciences by examining the processes and aspects of life on the planet earth. There are various branches of biology which are studies as specialization in the college such as zoology, botany, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, anatomy and physiology etc. Biology covers the study of almost all the living beings starting from the micro-organisms to plants and animals. All these branches make a specialized field of study and students can opt to pursue studying one of them as their major subject in the college. The significant areas which come under the study of biology are discussed briefly as follows:

  • Botany

Botany is also called as the plant science because it deals with the study of plant life. In this discipline, the students study about the whole life cycle of plants which will include the study about the structure, growth, metabolic processes, development, diseases, reproduction cycle, its evolutionary relationships with other plants, its biochemical processes etc. The research on botanical topics helps in many fields such as increasing the yield of staple food items, horticulture, other agricultural products such as rubber, oil, timber, botanical drugs and medicines, breeding and genetic modification of different species to get a new and better produce.

Different branches of botany encompass like cytology, palaeobotany, plant ecology, plant anatomy, plant evolutionary and developmental biology, plant genetics, phytosociology, phenology, palynology, epigenetics, phytogeography and phytochemistry etc.

  • Zoology

Zoology is also called the animal science because it is the study of animals which are present in the ecosystem and even those which has been extinct decades back. This field includes the study of the structure, evolution, habits, habitats, classification and place in the animal kingdom, embryology, the processes of reproduction of different species of animals. Various branches of zoology include anatomy, physiology, morphology, embryology, ethology, behavioural ecology etc. The zoologists classify all the animals in different species or genus. This classification is done by following the rules of scientific classification in zoology. The animals are grouped under different species according to their similar physical characteristics.

  • Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the branch of biology which gives the insight into the chemical processes going on within a living organism or in its environment. The complexity of life is managed by the flow of chemical reactions and their flow to sustain life. With the help of this biochemical signaling, the chemical energy flows I the body of the organism and help in its metabolic functions. The concepts of biochemistry are closely linked with the principles of microbiology and genetics. For example, with the help of genetics, we understand the encoding of the DNA to form various types of proteins and RNAs which help to keep up the life processes flowing.

Most of the biochemistry principles revolve around the concepts of macromolecules such s carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, proteins. These macromolecules provide a structure to them to the cells of the organism and also perform the essential functions associated with the sustenance of life. Biochemistry also explains the reactions of the smaller molecules and ions in the body of a living being and their effect on the life processes of that animal.

  • Microbiology

The branch of biology which deals with the study of microorganisms is called as microbiology. All kinds of microbes are studied in this field such as unicellular microorganisms, multicellular and acellular microorganisms. Unicellular are those microbes which have an only single cell. The multicellular organisms have a cell colony, and the a cellular organisms have no cells at all. There are several branches of molecular biology such as bacteriology (the study of bacteria), virology (the study of viruses), parasitology (the study of parasites) and mycology (the study of fungi).

Most of the people get afraid when they hear the name of microbes because they are associated with many human diseases. But many microbes are beneficial also and help in various industrial processes such as fermentation to produce dairy products and vinegar, for the production of the antibiotics and they also act as molecular vehicles when the scientist need to transfer the DNA of one organism to other complex organisms.

Bacteria are also used for the industrial production of the amino acids. There is a variety of biopolymers which are produced with the help of microorganism such as polyesters, polysaccharides and polyamides etc. Microbes are also very beneficial in the process of microbial remediation biodegradation of the industrial, domestic and agricultural wastes. There are some microbes which come under symbiotic microbial; communities which are particularly helpful for human beings as they provide aid in digestion because they produce such vitamins and amino acids which are good for our digestive system.

  • Biotechnology

The biotechnology is the branch of biology which makes use of both living organisms and the technological applications to create specific processes or application for the benefit of people. The techniques and procedures of biotechnology often overlap with another field such as biomedical engineering, molecular engineering, bio manufacturing, etc. This overlap of the processes come in the picture according to the tools and applications of a particular process.

This is one of the most advanced fields of biology and helps humankind in various areas such as food production, medicines, and agriculture etc. This field is also known as biotech popularly, and it has different types of procedures for the modification of living organisms according to the needs of human beings. Biotech has been particularly helpful in improvement of breeding of the plants and domestication of the animals. Related fields of study which a biotech student has to study and understand are chemical engineering, bio-robotics, bio informatics and bioprocess engineering.