Biochemistry: There are four main branches of biology, all of which are concerned with chemical processes. Biochemistry is the primary natural science that studies living things and their chemical processes, with particular emphasis on their metabolic processes. However, despite of its importance, some of the subdisciplines of biology are lesser known. For example, botany studies the life cycle of plants and fungi; molecular biology studies the genetic architecture of life; ecology studies the interactions of living things with their environment; and microbiology studies the behavior of microorganisms. Students may study any of these subdisciplines of biology.
Cell Biology: One of the most fundamental units of biology is cell biology. This studies the details of how living organisms develop and how they function. Students in this subdiscipline will be exposed to the development of each cell through their observation and application of microscopy.
Microbiology: Along with cell biology, there is one other major component of biology called microbiology. In this discipline, scientists study the DNA and RNA of living organisms. This is often used in forensic analysis and the study of infectious diseases. Students in this subfield will be required to review a broad range of reading, from bacteria, to viruses, to parasites. Students will also be introduced to the principles of the biological sciences including temperature and lighting, proper lab procedure, and disposal of hazardous waste.
Botany: Plants produce food for themselves and secrete chemical compounds as waste products. To produce food, the plant divides in a process called respiration. To produce further food, the plants reproduce by division. In the most basic terms, Botany studies the relationships between living matter and the living things that divide them.
The relationship between chemistry and biology is well-established in both disciplines; therefore students pursuing a degree in either field may often find themselves taking classes in the other. Although there are some subjects that cannot be studied individually, a good natural science teacher will include lectures on both topics. If you take a course in organic chemistry or molecular biology, for example, you will be introduced to the concepts of chemical processes in living organisms and the different types of molecular structures that compose them.
Microscopy: One of the most fundamental areas of biology is microscopy, the study of living matter through the visible eye. There are many subdisciplines within this area of study including cell biology, body microbiology, and virology. These subdisciplines all involve the study of living organisms with a particular focus, whether it be in the laboratory or in the field. Cell biology focuses on the study of cells, while body microbiology emphasizes the study of human and animal bodies.
Botany is a subdiscipline of zoology that studies the relationships between living organisms and their environments. Plant biology encompasses all aspects of plant biology including plant growth, development, soil biology, and insect biology. In order to earn a degree in botany, students must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree, four years of graduate school, and a minimum of five years of post-baccalaureate studies at an accredited university. Students can expect to spend three years of their education in college, plus additional time towards community college or technical school. The typical course schedule will require lab work, lectures, and the integration of theory with practice. After completion of the biology curriculum, students will need to pass a test to become certified.