Introduction to Biology

Biology is the scientific study of life. The word “biology” has been derived from two Greek words; ‘bios’ meaning ‘life’ and ‘logos’ meaning ‘thought or reasoning’.

Divisions and Branches of Biology

There are three major divisions of biology which study the different aspects of the lives of the major groups of organisms.

 

ZOOLOGY

This division of biology deals with the study of animals.

BOTANY

This division of biology deals with the study of plants.

MICROBIOLOGY

This division of biology deals with the study of microorganisms such as bacteria etc. In order to study all the aspects of life, these divisions are further divided into different branches as defined below.

Morphology: This branch deals with the study of form and structures of living organisms.

Anatomy: The study of internal structures is called anatomy.

Histology:The microscopic study of tissues is called histology.

Cell biology: The study of the structures and functions of cells and cell organelles is called cell biology. This branch also deals with the study of cell division.

Physiology: This branch deals with the study of the functions of different parts of living organisms.

Genetics:The study of genes and their roles in inheritance is called genetics. Inheritance means the transmission of characters from one generation to the other.

Embryology: It is the study of the development of an embryo to new individual.

Taxonomy: It is the study of the naming and classification of organisms into groups and subgroups.

Palaeontology: It is the study of fossils, which are the remains of extinct organisms.

Environmental biology: It deals with the study of the interactions between the organisms and their environment.

Socio-biology: This branch deals with the study of social behaviour of the animals that make societies.

Parasitology: This branch deals with the study of parasites.

Biotechnology: It deals with the practical application of living organisms to make substances for the welfare of mankind.

Immunology: It is the study of the immune system of animals, which defends the body against invading microbes.

Entomology: It is the study of insects.

Pharmacology: It is the study of drugs and their effects on the systems of human body.

Jabir Bin Hayan (721 – 815 AD): He was born in Iran and practised medicine in Iraq. He introduced experimental investigation in chemistry and also wrote a number of books on plants and animals. His famous books are “Al-Nabatat” and “Al-Haywan”.

 

Abdul Malik Asmai (740 – 828 AD): He is considered the first Muslim scientist who studied animals in detail. His famous writings include “Al-Abil (camel)”, “Al-Khail (horse)”, “Al-Wahoosh (animal)”, and “Kalq al-ansan”.

 

Bu Ali Sina (980 – 1037 AD):He is honoured as the founder of medicine and called as Avicenna in the West. He was a physician, philosopher, astronomer and poet. One of his books “Al-Qanun-fi al-Tib” is known as the canon of medicine in West.

 

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