One can easily get confused about the wide stream of biology and its diversified branches. Biology is known to be the study of natural science that is concerned with human beings, animals, plants, microorganisms, etc. Being a highly complex field, it is composed of many branches or disciplines through which the scope of biology is broadened with a converging concept that govern all studies. Through this blog, you will learn about various branches of biology and their scope in the growing world.
Concept of Biology
Biology is one of the three main disciplines of science after Physics and Chemistry which studies life and living organisms. It is the natural science that explores the physical structure, molecular interactions, chemical composition, development, physiological mechanism and evolution of living matter. There is a wide range of specialized fields in Biology. However, all the branches of Biology study an essential element, i.e. cells which are the smallest fundamental unit of life. Cells along with this genetic information make up the composition and structure of living things.
Cells develop to create new species and all living things require energy which they derive from the food they eat to exist in an environment. It is also crucial for living matter to be in a state of balance (homeostasis) with its environment. Moreover, our collective understanding of the field of Biology has rapidly increased since the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953.
Branches of Biology: Why Study Biology?
Biology is a study about life and various life forms providing a deep scientific knowledge of how all living and nonliving beings interact with each other in an environment. Moreover, it gives an insight into how diverse living cells and living organisms are. A specialization in the field of biology helps students understand the concepts of sustainability of life, food quality, causes of illness, environment, and ecosystem, development of medicines, etc.
Let us understand some of the key reasons to opt for branches of biology as a career.
Understanding the Changes in Human Bodies
Human beings are known to be the highest form of animals with complicated body structure and composition. The study of biology allows you to understand the changes in the human body, their physical appearances and various metabolic reactions within the body.
Provides Diversity in Career
Biology is one of those basic subjects taught in school. Studying biology readily helps in shaping a growing career for individuals interested in knowing more about life and living beings. Natural science offers students with different branches of biology to choose from such as botany, zoology, anatomy, biotechnology, evolution, microbiology and specialize their career in their field of interest.
Explore the Solutions for Large-scale Problems
The study of biology can be the foundation for a healthy biosphere where both living beings and the environment are in a state of equilibrium. Large-scale problems like the existence of pollution, increasing population, growth of infections and diseases, food supply shortage etc. can be studied and solutions can be discovered using the application of various branches of biology.
Encourage the Concepts of Basic Living
The concepts in biology nurture students with an understanding of the importance of food consumption for development and survival. It coaches individuals to plant trees in order to create a healthy environment. With knowledge about the temperature of the human body, you can build shelters effectively.
Creates a Path for Scientific Investigations
The study of evolution helps students to understand the existence of living beings and their inheritance from their ancestors. It allows scientists and researchers to find ways to gather information and discover new things through interesting facts and scientific methods.
The Various Branches of Biology
- Anatomy: Anatomy is one of the main branches of biology that allows an individual to understand the structure and the parts of organisms including animals, human beings and living organisms. Moreover, it investigates how a living body adapts and maintains balance with the physical environment and human health.
- Botany: Botany is another major branch of biology to scientifically study plants, their structure, histology, physiology, genetics, and ecology. Moreover, the course covers the economic importance of various ecosystems and the impact of plants on the environment.
Also Read: BSc Botany
- Plant Physiology: Plant Physiology is the sub-discipline of botany that deals with the physiology and functioning of plants.
- Zoology: Zoology is one of the essential branches of biology which is concerned with the study of animal behavior, their physiology, structure, classification and distribution.
Also Read: MSc Zoology
- Microbiology: Microbiology is the study of life and actions of microorganisms like bacteria, virus etc. Students will gain hands-on experience to work with bacteria and viruses, understand their metabolism and growth.
Also Read: Career in Microbiology
- Mycology: Mycology is the scientific study and research of fungi. Fungi are a group of multicellular organisms that cannot make their own food and play a major role in nutrient cycling in an ecosystem.
- Phycology: Phycology is the scientific study of algae which is known as a diverse group of aquatic living beings who have the ability to perform photosynthesis.
- Parasitology: Parasitology is the branch of medicine and biology that works to understand parasitic organisms which live and feed on the host.
- Virology: Virology is the branch of biology which deals with the study of viruses and viral diseases.
- Physiology: Physiology is one of the lesser-known branches of biology that studies the normal functions of various parts of the living organisms.
- Biochemistry: Biochemistry is the intersection of biology and chemistry that studies various chemical and physicochemical processes that occur within the living body. This subject is best suited for students who are planning to work in medical and pharmacological fields.
- Biophysics: Biophysics deals with the application of the laws of physics to biological occurrences or phenomena.
- Molecular Biology: Molecular Biology is the discipline of biology that deals with the structure of proteins and nucleic acids and their functions.
- Structural Biology: Structural Biology is the branch of biochemistry, biophysics and microbiology that allows individuals to study the molecular structure of biological macromolecules.
- Biotechnology: Biotechnology refers to the exploitation of biological processes such as microorganism genetic manipulation for the production of hormones and antibodies. It equips students with the skills necessary to perform complex experiments important in the biotechnology industry.
Also Read: Career in Biotechnology
- Theoretical Biology: Theoretical Biology or Mathematical Biology is an interdisciplinary field of scientific research with applications in medicine, biology, and biotechnology and a lucrative option when considering the branches of Biology.
- Cell Biology: Cell Biology talks about the structure and function of the cell and the study revolves around the basic concept of biology that cell is the fundamental unit of life.
- Genetics: Genetics is described as the study of genes, genetic variations and principles of heredity in living organisms. Inheritance traits and characteristics are transferred from one generation to the next through genes which are made up of DNA. The students are also introduced to the concept of molecular genetics and genetic mapping that are important in the branches of Biology.
Also Read: Career in Genetics
- Ecology: Ecology deals with the study of the interaction of living organisms such as plants, animals including humans and microbial population with one another and their physical environment.
- Evolution: Evolution is the study of heritable changes and diversification in different kinds of organisms over multiple generations.
- Immunology: Immunology is one of the branches of biology and medicine concerned with immunity. Individuals learn immunology mechanisms like finer points of tissue transplantation and cancers. Also, immunology works on exploring the causes of autoimmunity responses.
- Marine Biology: Marine Biology involves the scientific study of the behavior and interactions of life forms and marine creatures with the oceans, seas and other forms of the marine environment. There is a vast scope of opportunities in the field of marine science because of an interesting fact that 71% of the Earth’s surface is occupied by oceans.
- Photobiology: Photobiology is the scientific study of the interactions of living organisms with light including visible, infrared and ultraviolet radiation.
- Radiobiology: Radiobiology involves the study of the action of ionizing radiations on living beings and their health effects.
Top University and Colleges for Biology
Below is a list of universities and colleges offering courses for life science and Biology studies:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- Harvard University
- Yale University
- University of California – Berkeley
- Johns Hopkins University
- University of Alberta
- University of Queensland
- La Trobe University
- Newcastle University
- University of British Columbia
- Massey University
Branches of Biology: Job Prospects
Whether you’re interested in studying animals, educating families about birth defects or designing medical devices, various branches of Biology will present themselves as areas of interest to explore. The diverse scope of Biology allows professionals to make an enormous number of scientific contributions. Below is a list of job opportunities for enthusiasts and experts in Biology:
- Biochemists and Biophysicists
- Bioinformatics Scientists
- Conservation Scientists and Foresters
- Environmental Specialists and Scientists
- Biomedical Engineers
- Biological Science Teachers
- Genetic Counselors
- Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
- Biological Technicians
- Chemical Technicians
- Forensic Science Technicians
- Medical Laboratory Technologists
Are you interested to learn more about the vast world of biology? Then taking up a course from various branches of biology can benefit you in a huge way. Experts at Leverage Edu can help you identify the right course in Biology that aligns with your interests thus assisting you in taking the first step towards your dream career.