Biology (from Greek βίος [bios], "life", and-λογία [-logia], "treatise, study, science")

Is the science that studies living beings and, more specifically, its origin, its evolution and its properties: nutrition, morphogenesis, reproduction (asexual and sexual), pathogenesis, etc .. It addresses both the description of the characteristics and behaviour of individual organisms and of the species in the set, as well as the reproduction of living beings and the interactions between them and the environment. In this way, is the study of the structure and functional dynamics common to all living beings, in order to establish the general laws governing organic life and the principles with explanatory key.

In its modern sense, the word "biology" appears to have been introduced independently by Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (Biology, oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur, 1802) and by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (Hydrogéologie, 1802). Generally, it is said that the term was coined in 1800 by Karl Friedrich Burdach, although it is mentioned in the title of the third volume of Philosophiae naturalis sive physicae dogmaticae: Geology, biology, phytologia generalis et dendrologia, of Michael Christoph Hanow, and published in 1766.

Biology is an academic discipline which covers a broad field of study that, often, they are treated as separate disciplines. All of them together, they study life over a wide range of scales. Life is studied at an atomic and molecular scale in molecular biology, in biochemistry and in molecular genetics. From the point of view cell, it is studied in cell biology and at multicellular studies in physiology, anatomy and histology. From the point of view of the ontogeny or development of the organisms at the individual level, is studied in developmental biology.

When extending the field to more than one organism, genetics is the operation of the genetic heritage of the parents to their offspring. The science that deals with the behavior of groups is ethology, that is, more than one individual. The population genetics observes and analyzes an entire population and genetic systematic about the lineages between species. Populations are interdependent and their habitats are examined in ecology and evolutionary biology. A new field of study is astrobiology, which explores the possibility of life beyond Earth.

The classifications of living beings are very numerous. Are proposed from the traditional division into two kingdoms established by Carlos Linnaeus in the SEVENTEENTH century, between animals and plants, to the current proposals of systems with three domains that comprise more than 20 kingdoms.

History of biology

The term biology was coined during the Enlightenment by two authors (Lamarck and Treviranus), which, simultaneously, is used to refer to the study of the laws of life. The neologism was first used in France in 1802 by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in his treatise of Hydrogeology. I was unaware that, in the same year, the German naturalist Treviranus had created the same neologism in a work in six volumes entitled " Biology or Philosophy of living nature: "the biology will study the different forms of life, the conditions and the laws that govern its existence and the causes that determine his activity."

Principles of biology

Unlike physics, biology does not usually describe biological systems in terms of objects which obey immutable laws described by mathematics. However, it is characterized by follow some principles and concepts of great importance, including the universality, evolution, diversity, continuity, homeostasis and interactions.

This article was last modified: Jan. 2, 2018, 2:09 a.m.