Some life sciences focus on a specific type of organism. For example,
zoology is the study of
botany is the study of plants. Other life sciences focus on aspects common to all or many life forms, such as
genetics. Some focus on the micro-scale (e.g.
biochemistry) other on larger scales (e.g.
ecology). Another major branch of life sciences involves understanding the
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. For example, it has provided information on certain diseases which has overall aided in the understanding of human health.
Agriculture – science and practice of cultivating plants and livestock
Biocomputers – systems of biologically derived molecules, such as
proteins, are used to perform computational
calculations involving storing, retrieving, and processing
data. The development of biological computing has been made possible by the expanding new science of
Biomaterials – any matter, surface, or construct that interacts with biological systems. As a science, biomaterials is about fifty years old. The study of biomaterials is called biomaterials science. It has experienced steady and strong growth over its history, with many companies investing large amounts of money into the development of new products. Biomaterials science encompasses elements of
tissue engineering and
Biotechnology – manipulation of living matter, including genetic modification and synthetic biology
Conservation biology – Conservation biology is the management of nature and of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on natural and social sciences, and the practice of natural resource management.
Food science – applied science devoted to the study of
food. Activities of food scientists include the development of new food products, design of processes to produce and conserve these foods, choice of packaging materials,
shelf-life studies, study of the effects of food on the human body, sensory evaluation of products using
panels or potential consumers, as well as microbiological, physical (texture and
rheology) and chemical testing.
Genomics – applies
DNA sequencing methods, and
bioinformatics to sequence, assemble, and analyze the function and structure of
genomes (the complete set of DNA within a single cell of an organism). The field includes efforts to determine the entire
DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale
genetic mapping. The field also includes studies of intragenomic phenomena such as
pleiotropy and other interactions between
alleles within the genome. In contrast, the investigation of the roles and functions of single genes is a primary focus of
molecular biology or
genetics and is a common topic of modern medical and biological research. Research of single genes does not fall into the definition of genomics unless the aim of this genetic, pathway, and functional information analysis is to elucidate its effect on, place in, and response to the entire genome's networks.
Kinesiology – Kinesiology, also known as human kinetics, is the scientific study of human movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms. Applications of kinesiology to human health include:
orthopedics; strength and conditioning;
sport psychology; methods of rehabilitation, such as physical and occupational therapy; and sport and exercise. Individuals who have earned degrees in kinesiology can work in research, the fitness industry, clinical settings, and in industrial environments. Studies of human and animal motion include measures from motion tracking systems,
electrophysiology of muscle and brain activity, various methods for monitoring physiological function, and other behavioral and cognitive research techniques.
Medical device – A medical device is an instrument, apparatus, implant, in vitro reagent, or similar or related article that is used to diagnose, prevent, or treat disease or other conditions, and does not achieve its purposes through chemical action within or on the body (which would make it a
drug). Whereas medicinal products (also called pharmaceuticals) achieve their principal action by pharmacological, metabolic or immunological means, medical devices act by other means like physical, mechanical, or thermal means.
Medical imaging – Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create
images of the
human body (or parts and function thereof) for clinical or physiological research purposes
Optogenetics – Optogenetics is a
neuromodulation technique employed in
neuroscience that uses a combination of techniques from
genetics to control and monitor the activities of individual
living tissue—even within freely-moving animals—and to precisely measure the effects of those manipulations in real-time. The key reagents used in optogenetics are light-sensitive proteins. Spatially-precise neuronal control is achieved using optogenetic actuators like
archaerhodopsin, while temporally-precise recordings can be made with the help of optogenetic sensors like Clomeleon, Mermaid, and SuperClomeleon.
Pharmacology – Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and
biology concerned with the study of
drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any human-made, natural, or endogenous (within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have
medicinal properties, they are considered
Proteomics – Proteomics is the large-scale study of
proteins, particularly their
functions. Proteins are vital parts of living organisms, as they are the main components of the physiological
metabolic pathways of
proteome is the entire set of proteins, produced or modified by an organism or system. This varies with time and distinct requirements, or stresses, that a cell or organism undergoes.
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