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Biology, Life and Biomedical Sciences, and Biochemistry

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- Life Sciences (or Biological Sciences)

With the spread of COVID-19 (2020), the future is probably more uncertain now than at any point in recent memory. However, as we enter a new decade, as well as uncertainty, the next ten years present huge opportunities for the pharma, biotech, medical device and regulatory industries. 

The life sciences (or biological sciences) comprise the branches of science that involve the scientific study of life and organisms – such as microorganisms, plants, and animals including human beings. Life science is one of the two major branches of natural science, the other being physical science, which is concerned with non-living matter. By definition, biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, with the other life sciences being its sub-disciplines.

Some life sciences focus on a specific type of organism. 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 micro scale (e.g. molecular biology, biochemistry) other on larger scales (e.g. cytology, immunology, ethology, pharmacy, ecology). Another major branch of life sciences involves understanding the mind – neuroscience.

Life sciences discoveries are helpful in improving the quality and standard of life, and have applications in health, agriculture, medicine, and the pharmaceutical and food science industries.  Today, Life Sciences topics and tools are present in almost all disciplines of science and technology.


- Biology

If the 20th century was the era of computers, the 21st century may be the era of biology. And the two may even merge. Hello, synthetic biology and biological computing! 

Biology is the science of life. Its name is derived from the Greek words "bios" (life) and "logos" (study). It classifies and describes organisms, their functions, how species come into existence, and the interactions they have with each other and with the natural environment. Biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. 

There are many facets that point to the importance of biology. First and foremost, the science of biology is mainly studying about life. Second, it provides an in-depth, scientific understanding of how all living and nonliving organisms interact with each other. Third, it gives insights on how diverse life forms are. Moreover, biology encompasses other fields of research that are related to the sustainability of life, including the environment, ecosystem, food quality, causes of illnesses, the development of medicines, the study of the human body, to name a few. 

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

  • CRISPR and Genetic Engineering 
  • Epidemiology and Coronavirus 
  •  Prions 
  • Climate Change 
  • Cancer Biology 
  • Behavioral Economics 
  • Endangered Species Recovery 
  • Astrobiology 
  • Synthetic Biology 
  • Epigenetics 
Never Stop Learning. These biology topics are some of the hottest areas in scientific research today, but don't limit yourself - there's more than enough knowledge to satisfy a curious mind in any field. You might just have to look a little closer under the microscope to find an entirely new world.

Princeton University_DSCN4048-DA.jpg
(Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications)

- Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the application of chemistry to the study of biological processes at the cellular and molecular level. It is the study of the structure and function of biological molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids. Biochemistry is also used to describe techniques suited to understanding the interactions and functions of biological molecules, including traditional techniques such as Western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, and chromatography methods.

Biochemistry has become the foundation for understanding all biological processes. It has provided explanations for the causes of many diseases in humans, animals and plants. Over the past nine decades, chemistry has played a central role in the determination of the structures and chemical reactivity of the building blocks used by all organisms, providing the molecular framework to elucidate the pathways involved in central metabolism. 

Phosphorous chemistry and the chemistry of nucleic acid bases were elaborated, the structure of DNA was determined, and molecular biology was born. Thousands of bacterial genomes and the human genome were and continue to be sequenced. New metabolic pathways involved in secondary metabolism are being unveiled at a dizzying rate. 

A revolution in structural biology has revealed spectacular structures of megadalton proteins and protein/nucleic acid complexes at atomic resolution. Mass spectrometric methods to "observe" the subtle and extremely important myriad of posttranslational modifications have been and continue to be developed. The Internet was born, and scientific information is available on our iPhones! All of these developments have been possible by amazing and continually changing technologies. 


- Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical sciences combine the fields of biology and medicine in order to focus on the health of both animals and humans. Biomedical sciences focuses on how cells, organs and systems function in the human body; an exciting and dynamic area that is highly relevant to the understanding and treatment of human diseases. For example, Biomedical Sciences focuses 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 sciences display specific trends that are likely to continue at least for some time in the future. These trends include, among others, (1) the use of methods that generate big data,  (2)  experimental  methods  for  analyses  of  single  cells  in  large  cell  populations,  (3) computational modeling of complex biological systems, (4) integration of the "omics" data, and (5) advanced understanding of the structure and function of biologically relevant molecules and their  role  in  health  and  disease.  

Considering  the  progress  recently  achieved  in  the  field  of nanotechnology, one can safely predict that nanotechnology will play an important future role in sciences  in general  and in  biomedical sciences  in particular. Furthermore, certain  trends in contemporary  sciences  strongly  suggest  that  boundaries  between  biomedical  sciences, delimiting one scientific discipline from another, will be less distinct and will possibly disappear in  time.  Consequently,  multiple  fields  of  biomedical  science,  as  known  today,  will  eventually converge  into  the  limited  number  of  highly  multidisciplinary  fields  of  biomedical  science.  




[More to come ...]


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