Biologists study life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution… and areas of specialization range from biochemistry and molecular biology to physiology and ecology. If you’re a student who loves science and is intrigued by the study of living things, you’ll be surprised to discover the wide variety of job options available in this discipline. And, if you want to know what to study for a career in this industry, we’ve got you covered. Below, we uncover 8 biology-related fields of study. Read on to learn more.
This discipline harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet.
For example, the pharmaceutical industry uses biotechnology to find cures for diseases, understand human cell biology and DNA, develop vaccines and make antibiotics. It can also be misused, hence the concerns and efforts to enact laws that restrict or prohibit certain programs such as human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
This is the study of how organisms adapt to changes in the environment and the consequences for the ecosystem, addressing issues such as the conservation of endangered species, the effects of climate change on animals and ecosystems, or the critical environmental challenges we face today.
For example, an environmental biologist may have to study the impact of an oil spill or other chemical hazard on the ocean.
One of the most important reasons to study marine life is to understand the world we live in. The oceans cover 71% of this world and scientists estimate that no more than 5% of the oceans have been explored.
Marine biology is the study of marine organisms, their behaviors and their interactions with the environment. It is a very broad field and specializations can be based on a specific species, group, behavior, technique or ecosystem. For example, in molecular biology, researchers apply techniques to many environments ranging from coastal wetlands to the deep sea and to organisms such as viruses, plants, and fish.
This is a branch of biological science that studies microscopic organisms. The different types of microbes studied by microbiologists include bacteria, archaea, viruses, eukaryotes, fungi, prions, protozoa and algae. Although microbes often have a negative connotation because of their association with disease, many other microbes have various benefits.
For example, microbes support processes such as industrial fermentation used to make products such as alcohol, vinegar and dairy products, as well as the production of antibiotics.
This is a relatively new area of research and development that has been gaining interest in recent years. These studies are also called nanobiotechnology, bionanotechnology or nanobiology.
Gene editing is already being done in plants using nanotechnology to improve production, disease resistance, and resource efficiency. Researchers are also conducting experiments using nanoparticles to deactivate or modify specific genes responsible for undesirable traits, thereby reducing the risk of disease.
Bioengineering combines many aspects and applies the principles of analytical and design engineering to biological systems and biomedical technologies.
Examples of bioengineering research include bacteria modified to produce chemicals, new medical imaging technologies (ultrasound, MRI and other techniques), portable devices for disease diagnosis, artificial knees, hips and other joints, tissue-engineered organs, or the use of modified organisms for the manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
These studies explore the chemical processes associated with living organisms. It is a science that unites biology and chemistry since, through the use of chemical knowledge and techniques, biochemists can understand and solve biological problems.
It focuses on what happens inside our cells, studying components such as proteins, lipids and organelles. It also looks at how cells communicate with each other, for example during growth or fighting disease.
Veterinary nurses are a discipline responsible for the care of animals receiving treatment in a veterinary practice. They perform technical tasks and are trained to perform a variety of diagnostic tests, medical treatments and minor surgeries under the direction of a veterinarian.