The Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences encompass the study of life. Despite its diversity, there are many common themes throughout the field. All organisms are made of cells, and all processes hereditary information encoded in genes. These genes can be passed down from generation to generation. Molecular genetics and physiology are two areas of biological science that you may want to learn more about. Ecology and cell biology are also two areas you may want to explore.
The field of molecular genetics is a branch of the biological sciences that deals with the study of genes. This field relies on the interplay between explanatory reasoning and methodological reasoning. Molecular genetics focuses on understanding the differences among populations of RNA molecules or polypeptides and the role of these differences in human development and disease. Molecular genetics also incorporates physical-based biochemistry and methods.
Genetics and molecular biology share many concepts. Both disciplines focus on DNA and RNA, which are molecules in themselves and can perform active functions. Molecular biology techniques help researchers to collect, isolate, and quantify various molecules. X-ray crystallography and computer modeling are used to study the structure of proteins and nucleic acids. These methods require high-quality samples of different species to gain the most accurate picture of their structure. Molecular biologists also make extensive use of computer modeling.
Genes are complex structures made up of segments. The first part of a gene is called the intron. The second segment is called the exon. The exons are spliced together before the RNA leaves the cellular nucleus. Biologists sometimes call the entire region of DNA a gene while geneticists refer to pieces of RNA as genes. The splicing of exons is not uniform in different tissues and developmental stages, leading to overlapping genes.
Physiology is the study of the human body's basic functions, especially the way organs work in harmony. The discipline deals with diseases and health concerns as well as practical problems of animal and plant performance and responses to challenging conditions. In the field of physiology, a student can focus on a single cell or protein, or an entire organism. This way, the student will have an in-depth understanding of how the human body functions.
Physiology has many applications in the medical field, including the treatment of a wide range of conditions. The field of physiology is a synthesis of several scientific fields, and aims to provide a comprehensive view of how organs, tissues, and cells function. The study of these processes can improve human health, or it may advance our understanding of animals. Physiology has a long history, and many discoveries in this area have profound practical value.
The development of physiology as a separate discipline was a remarkable feat in the 19th century. The discipline of physiology used physical, chemical, and anatomical methods. Claude Bernard (born 1813) was a leading anatomist who developed the concept of milieu interieur, which he later championed in his eight-volume Elementa Physiologiae Corporis Humani. However, his laboratory did not distinguish itself in the research department. Nevertheless, the laboratory of this eminent anatomist produced several leading physiologists in the late 19th century.
The term "ecology" refers to the study of organisms and their relationship to their environment. This includes all the "conditions of life". The theory of evolution has largely shaped the field of ecology, explaining housekeeping relations as necessary consequences of effectual causes. Ecologists work to conserve ecosystems for future generations. They also study changes in population size. Ecology is an important area for conservation, as it can inform other scientists about the state of local ecosystems.
Today, ecology is considered a fairly new field of study, having only begun to gain prominence in the latter half of the twentieth century. But there are several early ancestors of ecology, including the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Theophrastus. These philosophers first described how the environment and animals interrelate. The idea of ecology became popular in the 1850s, when Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species by Natural Selection. Wallace recognized the interdependency of plant and animal species in their work.
There are four basic levels of ecology. These include organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems. Students will learn about the effects of climate, light, and temperature on plants and animals. Students will also learn about numerical methods that measure biodiversity and animal population sizes. A major in ecology requires a thorough understanding of animal and plant populations, habitat, and the environment. There are many applications for ecology. It is not just a field of study, but a career in it.
In the 21st century, cell biology focuses on organization rather than mechanistic explanation. Instead, cell biologists are discovering useful generalizations that aren't easily classified as laws. Cell biologists often approach their problems from a "topological" perspective, where nodes stand for entities and edges represent the relationships between them. However, there are many philosophical questions posed by the field of cell biology. Here are a few of them.
Initially, cell biology focused on enzymes and the resulting chemical reactions. This factory metaphor helped researchers understand the importance of the various mechanisms in cells. These researchers identified the different compartments and the critical activities that take place in each one. In addition, some researchers discovered structural elements in cells that execute mechanical movements. These researchers focused on the cytoskeleton, a network of actin fibres and microtubules. These discoveries led to a new paradigm in cell biology.
In the late 1940s, electron microscopy and cell fractionation helped establish cell biology as a separate discipline. Researchers were able to identify individual organelles based on their staining ability. By examining the structure and function of these organelles, biochemists could determine the different chemical reactions that took place within cells. Electron microscopy was also an important development, as it allowed researchers to localize these reactions in specific organelles.
Recent debates about the low citation rate of taxonomy in the biological sciences have highlighted the limitations of JIF, the journal citation index, in assessing research in basic sciences. These problems stem from the fact that taxonomy deals with basic descriptive subjects and focuses on small parts of the tree of life. However, this is far from the only problem facing the taxonomic field. Many of the issues surrounding JIF are also problematic for taxonomists who want to promote their field.
While Zootaxa was the only mega-journal for taxonomic science for almost a decade, there are now numerous smaller journals publishing a significant number of papers. Zootaxa is no longer the only journal in this field, however, as several journals have emerged with Gold Open Access. ZooKeys is the first to publish an issue and European Journal of Taxonomy published its first issue in 2011. Both journals require an APC of EUR700 to publish articles in the journal, and they do not automatically qualify for fee waivers.
Zootaxa has high JIF, making it the first choice of non-taxonomists who wish to publish a taxonomic paper. It is so influential nowadays that it has even become a pejorative term for authors of taxonomic papers. In fact, up to 80% of Zootaxa articles are by authors who are not taxonomists. However, this high JIF does not necessarily reflect high-quality taxonomy, but is related to diversity of sources and methods.
Biology graduates have many career options. They can become a genetic counselor or a lab manager, work in a genetics laboratory, or become a postdoctoral research fellow. They can also go on to become a professional svcs consultant or a staff specialist in clinical genetics. Those who wish to teach biology may wish to pursue a Master of Teaching (Secondary) program. Undergraduate programs combining biology and other subjects are preferred, and options for second-learning-area teachers include those with backgrounds in design and technology, humanities, and arts.
In addition to teaching, students can also work as an environmental scientist. These individuals research environmental issues and develop plans and policies to protect our environment. They gain considerable field experience throughout their degree, and many of them get jobs in environmental science support fields shortly after graduating. Some jobs may require certification in environmental sciences, but the pay is high. This is an excellent career choice for someone with a background in biology. Once in the field, these professionals can pursue many different fields.