Science is one of the most popular fields in the world. With more than 300 million students enrolled in universities and colleges worldwide, the field offers variety, plenty of challenges, and enormous opportunities for those who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees or jobs in related fields. In its broadest sense, science can be thought of as the study of life and all the different living things on earth. The study of any one area of science varies significantly by discipline and the focus of research. A paleontologist may study fossils; an engineer will be interested in the way systems work; a biochemist will study cell metabolism; and a neuroscientist may study how the brain functions.
Biology is the biological science that studies living organisms and their various physical, chemical, biochemical processes, cellular structures, development and evolution. Although the scope of biology is wide, some central concepts unite it into a unified field. All living organisms are made up of cells that communicate through chemical and electrical signals to allow the inside tissues to function properly. Molecular biology encompasses all the processes that occur within living organisms. It is commonly known as the science of molecular biology.
There are several main branches of biology. One of these branches is known as anatomy, which is the study of all parts of an organism and the construction of its organs and tissues. Developmental biology seeks to understand the early stages of life and how organisms develop both physically and mentally. Phylogenetics deals with the molecular mechanisms involved in evolution, tracing family tree relationships and analyzing fossil evidence.
Another major division of biological science is microbiology, which studies the physical components of living organisms and their interactions with each other and with external stimuli such as food, water and air. Microscopy is an important part of this process and consists of microscopic examination of cells or samples. Molecular biology concerns itself with the study of chemical structures and processes at the molecular level. The field of genetic engineering is a relatively new branch of biology and its focus is on using DNA to manipulate and improve the traits of living things.
A number of interdisciplinary fields are also developing around biology. These include anthropology, ecology, ethology, zoology, botany, medical ethics, and physiology. Emergence theory posits that all biological information about living beings was generated over time by living beings themselves without any independent evolution from any outside source. This theory suggests that all evidence of the past is irrelevant and that recent phenomena are unrelated to earlier phenomena. Many other theories are also developing around the subject.
Biochemistry is a major branch of biology dealing with the chemical actions that take place during the development of living organisms. The function of enzymes is necessary for all biochemical processes and hence, it is extensively studied. The study of genetics is a bit more in depth than the previous two and involves more advanced technology and methods. It deals with studying the ordered patterns and sequences of DNA within living organisms. Molecular biology is a very interesting and dynamic area in the study of life.