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Biology, Life and Biomedical Sciences, and Biochemistry

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Fostering Research Advances and Innovations

 

 

- Life Sciences (or Biological Sciences)

With the spread of COVID-19 (2020), the future may be more uncertain now than at any time in recent memory. However, as we enter a new decade, along with uncertainty, the next decade presents tremendous opportunities for the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and regulatory industries. 

Life sciences (or biological sciences) include branches of science that involve the scientific study of life and organisms, such as microorganisms, plants, and animals, including humans. Life science is one of the two major branches of natural science, the other is physical science that focuses on non-living matter. By definition, biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, and other life sciences are its subdisciplines. 

Some life sciences focus on specific types of organisms. For example, zoology is the study of animals while botany is the study of plants. Other life sciences focus on aspects common to all or many life forms, such as anatomy and genetics. Some focus on the microscopic scale (e.g. molecular biology, biochemistry), while others focus on the larger scale (e.g. cytology, immunology, behavior, pharmacy, ecology). Another major branch of the life sciences involves understanding the mind - neuroscience. 

Discoveries in the life sciences help improve the quality and standard of life and have applications in the health, agriculture, medicine, and pharmaceutical and food science industries. Today, life science topics and tools exist in nearly all scientific and technological disciplines.

 

- Biology

If the 20th century was the age of computers, the 21st century may be the age of biology. The two might even merge. Hello, Synthetic Biology and Biocomputing! 

Biology is the science of life. It takes its name from the Greek words "bios" (to live) and "logos" (to learn). It classifies and describes organisms, their functions, how species exist, and how they interact with each other and with the natural environment. Biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of organisms. 

There are many aspects that show the importance of biology. First, biological sciences are primarily the study of life. Second, it provides a deep, scientific understanding of how all living and non-living things interact. Third, it provides insights into the diversity of life forms. In addition, biology includes other fields of study related to the sustainability of life, including the environment, ecosystems, food quality, causes of disease, drug development, human research, and more. 

Here are some of the most interesting things going on in biology right now: 

  • CRISPR and genetic engineering
  • Epidemiology and Coronavirus
  • Prion
  • Climate change
  • Cancer Biology
  • Behavioral economics
  • Endangered species recovery
  • Astrobiology
  • Synthetic biology
  • Apparent genetics  

Never stop learning. These biological topics are some of the hottest areas in scientific research today, but don't limit yourself - there's enough knowledge to satisfy any field's curiosity. You might just have to look closely under the microscope to find a whole new world.

 

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(Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications)

- Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the application of chemistry to study biological processes at the cellular and molecular levels. It is the study of the structure and function of biomolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids. Biochemistry is also used to describe techniques suitable for understanding biomolecular interactions and function, including traditional techniques such as Western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, and chromatographic methods. 

Biochemistry has become the basis for understanding all biological processes. It provides explanations for the causes of many diseases in humans, animals and plants. For the past nine decades, chemistry has played a central role in determining the structure and chemical reactivity of building blocks used by all organisms, providing a molecular framework for elucidating the pathways involved in central metabolism. 

Phosphorus chemistry and nucleic acid base chemistry were elucidated, the structure of DNA was determined, and molecular biology was born. Thousands of bacterial and human genomes have been and continue to be sequenced. New metabolic pathways involved in secondary metabolism are being uncovered at a dizzying rate. 

A revolution in structural biology reveals spectacular structures of megadalton proteins and protein/nucleic acid complexes at atomic resolution. Mass spectrometry methods have been and will continue to be developed to "see" the myriad of subtle and extremely important post-translational modifications. The Internet was born and scientific information was available on our iPhones! All these developments are enabled by amazing and ever-changing technologies.

 

- Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical science combines the fields of biology and medicine to focus on animal and human health. Biomedical science focuses on how cells, organs and systems function in the human body; an exciting and dynamic field that is highly relevant to the understanding and treatment of human disease. For example, biomedical sciences focus on biochemistry, genetics and genomics, cancer biology, stem cell biology, neurobiology, cancer and DNA repair, cellular and integrative physiology, translational therapeutics, and virology and immunology. 

Current biomedical science shows specific trends that are likely to continue at least for some time to come. These trends include, among others, (1) the use of methods for generating big data, (2) experimental methods for analyzing single cells in large cell populations, (3) computational modeling of complex biological systems, (4) integration of "omics" ” data, and (5) insights into the structure and function of biologically relevant molecules and their roles in health and disease. 

Considering the recent progress in the field of nanotechnology, we can safely predict that nanotechnology will play an important role in the future of science in general and in biomedical science in particular. Furthermore, certain trends in contemporary science strongly suggest that the boundaries between biomedical sciences, separating one discipline from another, will be less pronounced and likely to disappear over time. Thus, the multiple fields of biomedical science known today will eventually converge into a limited number of highly multidisciplinary fields of biomedical science.

 

 

[More to come ...]



 

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