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Introduction to Biology

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Brandy Godfrey

on 8 August 2011

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Transcript of Introduction to Biology

What is it? Who cares? "biology" comes from Greek
logy=study of Biology is the scientific study of life and individual living things, or organisms. All living things and the places they live
make up the biosphere. How big is the biosphere? Only the size of Earth! Thus, the biosphere contains all plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and other living things along with every environment where they're found. THAT'S A LOT! There are a variety of organisms that share certain characteristics, or are similar in some ways, yet they are different in many more ways. This is referred to as biodiversity. How do scientists study all things under the biosphere? Divide and conquer! Biology has many subdivisions and covers a range of topics and disciplines on each level... On a larger scale, we study the ECOSYSTEM which is the physical environment of different species that interact with other living things and with non-living things. You're probably thinking of a forest, a desert, or a lake. And you're right!

an ecosystem can also be as small as a tree. Like a tree. Scientists study different systems. They may study the stucture of an ecostystem and how its organisms interact. Others may investigate a community within any given ecosystem... or all individuals of a species, also known as a population... or a single organism. Eventually, biology scales down to the basic unit of life, the cell. Scientists can go even further here and study the genetic material found within the cell called DNA. Why study all of this? Biology is everywhere. Think about it... Living things have inspired artists throughout history and today. Farmers grow crops and tend livestock, producing the food you eat. Much of the oxygen you breath is a result of a biological process called photosynthesis. How about that cheeseburger? The breads and cheeses depend on the biological activities of yeasts and molds. Have you ever suffered a cold or any virus? Understanding viruses leads to developing treatments for the illnesses they cause. Speaking of illnesses, some diseases are genetic. Studying DNA has led to discoveries about Huntington's, Turner's syndrome, sickle-cell anemia, and many, many more! Genetics has also led to new research in cancer. Decoding the human genome has also helped study the history and evolution of humans. Can you think of any instances when you have seen or heard of DNA or DNA sequencing? With a variety of topics and subtopics covered in biology, it can lead to a wide range of careers! Forensics Agriculture Biotechnology Education Neuroscience Botany Parasitology Virology Oncology Genetics Physiology Microbiology Marine Biology Zoology Veterinarian Oceanography Optometry Pharmacy Cytology What career might a biologist pursue? BIOLOGY
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