The 10 branches of biology: their objectives and characteristics

Like any self-respecting science, biology diversifies its efforts in different disciplines to be able to cover as much knowledge as possible. This is a necessary thing, because there is more and more information and knowing everything about the science of life in detail is something that can be called impossible, or for that we would need all the time. in the world.

The different branches of biology make it possible to limit and concentrate knowledge to be able to investigate and continue to advance in the discovery of new information that reveals the mysteries hidden in living beings.

The branches of biology

Biology is divided into a multitude of disciplines created to better suit its different objects of study and objectives, and as knowledge advances, new ones emerge. In addition, some are linked and partially overlap with other major sciences with which they complement each other such as chemistry or geology.

Although the boundaries of these areas of research are to some extent blurred, it is possible to distinguish the various branches of biology; let’s see what are the main ones.

1. Cell biology

The cell is the main unit of living things, Since they are all made up of them. It is therefore not uncommon for one of the branches of biology to focus on its study. Formerly known as cytology, this discipline, as its name suggests, specializes in understanding the structures and functions performed by cells. This includes not only the processes by which they are kept alive, but also how they contribute to the functioning of the organism they are in, if they are part of multicellular life forms.

    2. Developmental biology

    One of the most impressive phenomena in life is how the union of two gametes can generate an entire multicellular organism. I’m talking about fertilization by a sperm and an egg (In the case of animals) to form a zygote. This branch of biology specializes in the study of all cellular processes that take place in the development of a new organism through sexual reproduction.

      3. Marine biology

      The Earth is also known as the blue planet, and it is that almost 71% of its surface is occupied by water. Life in the seas is not nothingProof of this is that there is a whole branch of biology that focuses on its study, from the beings that inhabit it to its interaction with the environment. In fact, the aquatic environment is probably the origin of all forms of life, and that is why there is a great diversity of living things, some totally different from those found on earth.

      4. Molecular biology

      If I spoke earlier about cell biology specializing in the study of cellular structures and functions, molecular biology focuses on the tools that cells use to perform those functions. This discipline studies proteins and the processes they lead, such as the synthesis of these components or the processes related to metabolism. It is a hybrid field of study between biology and chemistry.

      5. Botany

      Living things are the main object of study in biology, but there is a huge variety of them, so it is necessary to diversify. botanical specializes mainly in the study of vegetables, Such as plants, shrubs and trees, but also life forms that are not plants and yet share characteristics with them, such as algae, fungi and cyanobacteria. They all have in common reduced mobility and can photosynthesize (minus fungi).

      6. Ecology

      The environment is a very important part of life and an increasingly topical problem. Ecology is the branch of biology that you study the intimate interactions between living things and their environment or habitat, Formation of so-called ecosystems. We must not forget that living beings have their raison d’être in the environment to which they have adapted through evolution.

        7. Physiology

        While cell biology focuses on the functions of cells, physiology is the discipline that specializes in the study of processes that occur in organs, that is, functions performed from a set of cells. For example, circulation of internal fluids or respiratory mechanisms. There is both animal and plant physiology.

        8. Genetics

        The cell is the unit of life, but without DNA it would be nothing. Genetic material contains all the information necessary for the development of an organism, as it allows cells to cross proteins.

        Therefore, there is a whole discipline that focuses on the study of genetic content, which is none other than genetics. The study of the genome has always been of particular interest for biology, and currently, in addition, it has an importance in the development of new technologies and resources obtained by means of the technique, such as genetic editing, artificial selection, etc.

        9. Microbiology

        Yes, botany mainly covers plants, microbiology focuses on the study of microorganisms, Very small, single-celled living beings, visible only under a microscope. Among the beings studied are bacteria, archaebacteria (formerly called archaebacteria), protozoa (eukaryotic single-celled organisms) or enigmatic viruses, although the question of whether these are living beings is still debated.

        10. Zoology

        The last branch of biology that we will talk about here is also one of the oldest in terms of its precedents: it is zoology, which covers the study of animals. From sponges to mammals, a wide range of living things lie within their field of study. In addition, several of his sub-specializations include the study of his behavior and partially overlap with psychology and cognitive science.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Audesirk, T. and Audesirk, G. (2008). Biology, life on earth. (8th ed.). Mexico: Prentice-Hall, Hispanic-American.
        • Bartsch, J .; Colvard, MP (2009). The framework of life. New York State: Prentice Hall.
        • Griffiths, AJF; Miller, JH; Suzuki, DT; Lewontin, RC; Gelbart, WM. (2000). An introduction to genetic analysis (7th ed.). New York: WH Freeman.
        • Karp, G. (1998). Cellular and molecular biology. Mexico: McGraw-Hill Inter-American.
        • Smocovite, VB (1996). Unifying biology: evolutionary synthesis and evolutionary biology. Journal of the History of Biology. 25. Princeton University Press.
        • Starr, C. and Taggart, R. (2004). Biology, The unity and diversity of life. Mexico: Thompson.

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