What Is Life Science? (2022)

When you were in school, you may have had to take a course titled “Life Science 101” or similar. You may have seen textbooks about life sciences without ever knowing what that means. What is life science after all?

Life science is an enormous field of study that examines every living thing on earth. From bacteria to begonias to beluga whales, life sciences aim to learn everything about life on this planet. Read on to learn more about this field and everything it encompasses.

What Is Life Science? (1)

What Is Life Science?

As the name might suggest, life science studies life in all its forms, past and present. This can include plants, animals, viruses and bacteria, single-celled organisms, and even cells. Life sciences study the biology of how these organisms live, which is why you may hear this group of specialties referred to as biology.

As you might expect, with an estimated8.7 million speciesof animals,about 400,000 species of plants, and countless species of bacteria and viruses, there are a lot of different forms of life you can study. Many life science researchers specialize in one class or organism, and some specialties such as zoology have even more subspecialties. There are more than thirty different branches of life sciences, but we’ll review some of the major branches here.

Ecology

Ecology looks at the interactions between organisms and their environment. This can include topics like the food chain, parasitic and beneficial relationships, and relationships within species. Ecology also examines things like biodiversity, organism population numbers, and distribution of those organisms.

In effect, ecology aims to get an overall picture of the way ecosystems work. These systems are complex, dynamic webs of life that are constantly shifting and maintaining a delicate balance without which the system would collapse. This ecosystem could be as large as an entire rainforest or as small as a pond in Minnesota.

Botany

Botany studies is a branch of biology (pun intended) that looks at plants. Everything from lichens, grass, and other groundcovers to the towering redwoods fall under the realm of botany. It may also include fungi and algae, which differ from other varieties of plants.

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Botany is one of those subclasses of biology that has subdivisions of its own. Some scientists focus on plant biochemistry, while others look at plant ecology, a branch that sits somewhere between botany and ecology. Additional subdivisions include plant genetics, evolution, physiology, and anatomy and morphology.

Zoology

Whereas botany focuses on the plant kingdom, zoology looks at the animal kingdom. It looks at characteristics of different animals, including their behavior, breeding, migration patterns, habitats, and more. It also works to identify new species; of the estimated 8.7 million animal species on earth, we only know about 1.2 million species.

As with ecology and botany, zoology crosses over with several other disciplines, including paleontology, entomology, and genetics. Different zoologists focus on different types of animals, including birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, and more. There are more than a half-dozen subfields of zoology.

Entomology

Entomology is the study of all the creepy crawly things in the world. This field officially studies insects, but it may also examine arachnids, myriapods, worms, snails, and slugs. This could be considered a branch of zoology since insects technically fall within the animal kingdom.

Of the 1.2 million species we know about, insects account fornearly 900,000 species. They date back at least 400 million years (far older than the oldest dinosaurs) and are found in nearly every ecosystem on Earth.

Microbiology

Microbiology looks at some of the smallest of all living beings – single-celled organisms or small cell colonies. This can include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other tiny organisms that live all around and inside us. Historically, microbiology has been one of the hardest fields to pin down because getting a clear image of the subjects has been so hard.

For example, viruses haveboth fallen under and been expelled from the field of microbiology. It’s hard to nail down a specificdefinition of life, and viruses are one of those things that like to play jump rope with that line. And that’s to say nothing of the99 percent of microorganismsthat can’t be observed using traditional methods.

Cell Biology

Cell biology goes yet smaller than microbiology, taking a look at the living systems that exist within individual cells. That’s right; even the cells that make up your body have their own tiny ecosystems. Remember learning in ninth-grade biology that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell?

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Cell biology looks at the life processes of individual cells, including metabolic processes, reproduction, signaling pathways, and the chemical composition of the cell. This gives us a better idea of how life on a larger scale works. It’s especially important in fields like genetics and pharmacology.

Physiology

Whereas botany and zoology look at organisms as being within their environments, physiology focuses on how those beings stay alive. This includes organ systems, organs, cells, and molecules that run the chemical processes that support life. Physiology sees you not as a person interacting with the world around you or with a complex mental life, but as an intricate dance of chemical interactions that work to keep you alive.

Physiology can look at any of the forms of life we’ve discussed. Plant, animal, human, cellular, and microbial physiology are all subsets of this field of study. Physiology is also intimately tied to epidemiology and pharmacology.

Genetics

Although the study of DNA and the genome is relatively new, genetics is a field that traces all the way back to Gregor Mendel and his pea plants. It looks at how traits are passed down and how they adapt to suit the environment. Only in recent years have we come to understand exactly how that genetic inheritance happens.

With the discovery of DNA, genetics has expanded to include traits that we only believe may be genetically linked. Geneticists are writinglife science articlesexploring whether traits like addiction, cancer, talent, and other such things may be passed down genetically and how. In the future, we may even see genetic modifications that could prevent cancer.

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is a look at the life cycles of diseases. It may seem strange to think of something like the flu as alive, but these diseases are made of tiny living organisms. Epidemiology looks at how they live, how they reproduce, how they affect humans, and how they die.

Epidemiology is the cornerstone of public health, looking at outbreak patterns of diseases, coming up with treatments and cures, and developing vaccines against them. The more we know about how these organisms live, the more we can do to prevent them from making us sick. As you might expect, epidemiology and physiology are very closely linked.

Paleontology

Paleontology looks at life that isn’t, well, alive anymore. Specifically, it studies dinosaurs and how they may have lived. It is based around the fossil record and the clues we can glean from those preserved remains.

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Paleontology is somewhat on the outskirts of biology, bumping up against geology. But while it does include a close study of different rocks, paleontology aims to use those rocks as a way to reconstruct a record of life that once existed on this planet. Paleontologists try to use dinosaur fossils to reverse-engineer how they lived, what they looked like, and even how they died.

Marine Biology

Marine biology can encompass a lot of the fields we’ve already mentioned here, with one major twist. Marine biology focuses on life in the oceans, everything from whales to fish to plankton to algae. It studies different ocean ecosystems, food chains, botany, and more.

Part of the reason marine biology is so important is that most current theories say that life on Earth began in our oceans. There are species still swimming that were around in the time of the dinosaurs. There are also species living at the bottom of the ocean who seem to defy the rules that normally apply to life, so studying them can give us insights into more of the rules that govern all life on Earth.

Additional Branches

These ten branches of life sciences are just a few of dozens. Biotechnology, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology all study different facets of theconnection between life and technology, a connection that’s growing stronger all the time. Astrobiology looks at the formation and presence of life in the universe, including our own.

Biolinguistics focuses on the biology and evolution of language among all living species. Biomechanics and biophysics look at the ways that living things move in the world and what that can tell us about them. Developmental biology takes a look at the life cycles of various living beings, starting from zygotes and moving all the way to mature adults.

Ethology and population biology look at the way we behave and interact in groups. Evolutionary biology and evolutionary developmental biology explore how we have evolved over the eons. Histology focuses on the tissues of living things, and immunology studies our immune systems.

Neuroscience specializes in the nervous systems that control different animals. Pharmacology looks at how drugs interact with our systems and aims to combat viruses and bacteria. Quantum biology studies quantum phenomena in living beings, and structural biology looks at how living things are put together.

Toxicology takes a look at chemicals and poisons and how they impact living things. Zymology explores fermentation. And theoretical biology doesn’t focus on any specific biological area, but rather at abstractions and mathematical models that describe biological phenomena.

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Why Go Into Life Science

The biggest reason to go into life science is the sheer breadth of study it offers. The study of every living thing in the universe, past and present, is a pretty gigantic field. The chances are good that you’ll be able to find a specific area that catches your interest.

But even if you aren’t considering a career as a scientist, it’s still a good idea to study life science. As it turns out, that life science project your fourth-grade teacher had you do wasn’t pointless after all. It was a way to help you understand the world.

Life science exploresevery single area of our world – the oceans, the earth, the skies, the deserts, the tundra, the forests, the mountains. Knowing how life on our planet works can help give you a greater appreciation for the world we live in and how much we need to protect it. Wouldn’t you appreciate a pond you drive by every day if you knew the complexity of the systems operating in and around every part of it?

Life science can also reveal the wonder that you carry in yourself. Life science tells us that our bones are made of stardust and that we carry universes and supernovas in every cell of our bodies. Without you ever knowing it, your body does a million tiny tasks a day that are all so crucial for keeping you alive, and while all those minuscule processes are happening, while you are bursting with an incomprehensible amount of life, you’re walking down the street headed to your job like every other day of your life.

Knowing how wondrous every living thing around us is can make us feel more connected to the world and the people around us.

Learn More About Life Science

Life science is an enormous scientific field that aims to answer some of the most fundamental questions about us. It examines everything from the blue whale breaching the ocean’s surface for air to the sugar ant crawling along a kitchen counter to the bacteria that run your digestive process. It looks at how we live, where we live, and how we might live better.

If you’d like to answer the question, “What is life science?” check out the rest of our site at ARTiFACTS. We are focused on helping you safely share your research to accelerate discovery and quickly establish proof of existence.Try our system for freetoday and make more discoveries that will transform our understanding of the world.

FAQs

What is life science defined as? ›

The simplest way to define life sciences is the study of living organisms and life processes. At NCBiotech, we see it as science involving cells and their components, products and processes. Biology, medicine and agriculture are the most obvious examples of the discipline.

What is an example of a life science? ›

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.

What are life sciences 5 examples? ›

There are many disciplines included in the life sciences, however, such as anthropology, ecology, entomology, botany, zoology, microbiology, physiology, biotechnology, evolutionary biology, genetics, human anatomy, marine biology, molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, paleontology, plant biology, and biochemistry.

Is life science the same as biology? ›

Biology is the study of life, which is applied in different fields. In Biology, we learn about life, the Origin of life, evolution, different scientists, diseases, organisms and many other aspects related to life on planet earth. Life Science is a group of advanced biology.

Why is it important to study life science? ›

Studying the life sciences will provide you with a foundation of scientific knowledge and ways of exploring the world. The life sciences pervade so many aspects of our lives – from health care, to the environment, to debates about stem cell research and genetic testing.

What do you learn in life sciences? ›

The life sciences are made up of the sciences that study living things. Biology, zoology, botany, and ecology are all life sciences, for example. These sciences continue to make new discoveries about the animals, plants, and fungi we share a planet with.

Is life science easy? ›

It is a multi-discipline field that requires you, as a student, to learn, apply, evaluate and to do practical work. While many people view Life Science as one of the hardest, and the most boring subjects, it is really one of the most interesting.

What are two major areas of life sciences? ›

It can be divided into two main subjects: Botany (the study of plants) and Zoology (the study of animals), but this separation is not clear cut. Life sciences are a group of advanced biology. Taxonomy (Systematics) involves the classification of organisms.

How many branches of life science are there? ›

There are more than thirty different branches of life sciences, but we'll review some of the major branches here.

Is medicine a life science? ›

Life Science: “Any of several branches of science, such as biology, medicine, anthropology, or ecology, that deal with living organisms and their organization, life processes, and relationships to each other and their environment.

What subjects are under life science? ›

The full list of life sciences subjects used to create this ranking is:
  • Agriculture, Fisheries & Food.
  • Anatomy & Morphology.
  • Behavioural Sciences.
  • Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology.
  • Biophysics.
  • Ecology, Evolution & Environment.
  • Entomology.
  • Forestry.

Is pharmacy a life science? ›

The Pharmaceuticals industry is often considered a Life Science industry with its focus on the development, creation, and distribution of medications to aid the health of living things. Biotechnology or Biotech is a subset of each of these.

What are the three branches of life science? ›

Life science is a broad field with many sub-branches and career applications: There are several sub-branches of life science, including biology, ecology and agriculture. Life science is applicable to many careers, especially in the medical field.

Who is the father of life science? ›

Aristotle is regarded as the Father of Biology. He is also regarded as the Father of Zoology. He started classification with two kingdoms Animal and Plantae. Aristotle's theory of biology is known as “Aristotle's Biology” which describes metabolism, temperature regulation, and embryogenesis.

Which is better life science or microbiology? ›

Life science course is very broad where one get to touch and know about all the major areas of life (biological) sciences. As it is much broader in nature there is no time to go deep in any area. Microbiology/biotechnology is focusing on some major areas like genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology.

Is psychology a life science? ›

No, Psychology is not included in life sciences course.

Why do you want a career in life sciences? ›

No matter what stage you're entering in your professional career, life sciences offer endless opportunities, job satisfaction and security, and competitive pay, making the switch a great career move you don't want to miss out on.

Does life science include chemistry? ›

These sciences include astronomy, physics, chemistry, and earth science (although earth science is sometimes given its own category). Life science, on the other hand, is the scientific study of living organisms, including animals (and humans), plants, and microorganisms.

Is life sciences a good course? ›

For those with a passion for scientific research and the natural world, a career in life science can be an excellent option. The life sciences apply to a wide range of industries, from environmental and animal science to human health and medicine.

What is the difference between life science and health science? ›

Life science looks into how different living things relate to each other, and the environment. Health science, on the other hand, focuses on applying the knowledge derived from studying plant and animal life, to treat and prevent many of the diseases that affect human beings.

What is a Bachelor in life science? ›

The Bachelor of Life Sciences is a generalist degree that brings together the biological, environmental and medical sciences to answer fundamental questions. This degree will equip you with transferable skills that can be applied to a wide range of industries.

Does life science have math? ›

The life sciences deal with a vast array of problems at different spatial, temporal, and organizational scales. The mathematics necessary to describe, model, and analyze these problems is similarly diverse, incorporating quantitative techniques that are rarely taught in standard undergraduate courses.

Who can study life science? ›

Eligibility: Class 12th with Science Scheme Subjects for B.Sc. in Life Science followed by M.Sc. in Life Science and then Doctorate degree. Admission Process: Through merit or entrance exam based on the university.

What is the easiest life science? ›

It's very much likely that biology is the best easy science course for you. That's because it focuses on the study of living organisms and how they are able to meet the challenges of living in their respective environments.

What are the 4 branches of science? ›

The four major branches of science are, Mathematics and logic, biological science, physical science, and social science.

Is nursing a life science? ›

Nursing is a basic science, just like biology. Biology is the study of life, whereas nursing science is the study of the principles and application of nursing. You may be curious about the difference between nursing and nursing science. Nursing science forms the scientific basis for professional nursing practice.

What type of research is life science? ›

The life sciences comprise fields of science involving the study of living organisms such as plants, animals and humans. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of specializations and new interdisciplinary fields.

Which is better life science or biotechnology? ›

Life science studies organisms in relation to their environment in different life organisations and processes. But Biotechnology employs tools and knowledge gained from life science to sustain and improve human, animal and environmental health, create wealth and minimize wastage of natural resources.

Is physics a life science? ›

The different subjects in life science are biology, botany, microbiology, genetics, zoology, etc. On the other hand, different physical science subjects are geology, oceanography, chemistry, maths, physics, etc. Life science is studying living objects like plants, animals, humans, organisms, bacteria, and cells.

Is botany a life science? ›

Yes, botany is a life science. It is the branch of biology that deals with the study of plants.

What is the best science degree to get? ›

Best science degrees in the U.S.
  1. Computer science and mathematics. ...
  2. Petroleum engineering. ...
  3. Management science. ...
  4. Computer engineering. ...
  5. Biological sciences. ...
  6. Biological and physical sciences. ...
  7. Biochemistry. ...
  8. Statistical science.

Is Psychology a life science or social science? ›

Is Psychology a Social Science? Most colleges classify psychology as a social science. Psychology deals with the human mind and behavior, bridging the divide between social science and natural science. Psychology majors study human development, social behaviors, and emotions, which draw on social science methods.

What can I do after MSC life science? ›

Job Roles available after M.Sc Life Science
  • Product Manager- Life Science.
  • Analyst & Consultant- Pharmaceuticals.
  • Research Analyst.
  • Research Scientists.
  • Food Scientist.
  • Nutritionist.
  • Immunologist.
  • Research Assistant.
20 Oct 2021

How do I get into life science? ›

You should consider scientific degrees such as a Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree or higher in Pharmaceuticals or Pharmacology, Biotechnology, Bioscience or Biochemistry or even an Engineering Degree.

Which BSC life science course best? ›

Bsc Life Science courses
  • Physics.
  • Chemistry.
  • Biotechnology.
  • Genetics.
  • Biochemistry.
  • Microbiology.
  • Clinical Research.
  • Zoology.
20 Sept 2021

Is agriculture a life science? ›

Life Sciences - Botany, Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Forestry & PUBLIC HEALTH (MPH) Available in most of the science colleges and universities.

Is biochemistry a life science? ›

Biochemistry is both life science and a chemical science - it explores the chemistry of living organisms and the molecular basis for the changes occurring in living cells. It uses the methods of chemistry, "Biochemistry has become the foundation for understanding all biological processes.

Which branch of science is the hardest? ›

The Hardest Science Degrees
  1. Chemistry. Chemistry degree is famous for being one of the hardest subjects. ...
  2. Astronomy. ...
  3. Physics. ...
  4. Biomedical Science. ...
  5. Neuroscience. ...
  6. Molecular Cell Biology. ...
  7. Mathematics. ...
  8. Nursing.
1 Sept 2022

What is the most important science? ›

Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, with its main goal being to understand how the universe behaves. A scientist who specializes in the field of physics is called a physicist.

What are the 6 natural sciences? ›

Natural Sciences are a group of disciplines that study the physical world and all the phenomena in nature. Natural Sciences have two main branches: Physical Sciences, like Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Mathematics, or Astronomy and Biological Sciences, like Biology, Botany, Zoology, Genetics, or Microbiology.

What are the 4 types of biology? ›

There are four primary categories: botany, human biology, microbiology and zoology.

Who named biology? ›

The term biology in its modern sense appears to have been introduced independently by Thomas Beddoes (in 1799), Karl Friedrich Burdach (in 1800), Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (Biologie oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur, 1802) and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (Hydrogéologie, 1802).

Who is father of all subject? ›

Father's of Different Fields
List of Father's of Various Fields
Father of Different FieldsNames
Father of PaleobotanyAdolphe-Theodore Brongniart Birbal Sahni (India)
Father of Modern BiochemistryCarl Alexander Neuberg
Father of Classification/ Father of TaxonomyCarl Linnaeus
108 more rows

Is life science easier than biology? ›

Biology is a more rigorous and scientific field of study, while life science can be more theoretical and abstract. Biology focuses on the study of the structure and function of living organisms, while life science can encompass a broader range of topics, such as the origins of life and the evolution of species.

Which B.Sc course has highest salary? ›

Some bsc courses for Biology students with high payment are:
  • BSc Nursing.
  • BSc Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • B.Sc. Clinical Research.
  • BHMS course.
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy.
  • BSc Psychology.
  • BSc Forensic Science.
  • BSc Optometry.
21 Feb 2022

Which is better M.Sc in life science or microbiology? ›

Hi, there is nothing like best in Life Science and it all depends on your interest. Microbiology has its own field of works and studies, biochemistry with vast fields of studies and coming to biotechnology it is the one which is more dominantly growing nowadays.

What is the difference between science and life science? ›

Life Science vs Physical Science

The differences between life science and physical science can be segregated in a simple explanation. Life science is the scientific study of life or all living organisms while physical science is the study of non-living organisms.

What is another name for life science? ›

What is another word for life science?
anthropologybiology
botanybiological science
environmental sciencenatural science
animal biologyscience of life
study of living thingslife sciences
3 more rows

What are two major areas of life sciences? ›

It can be divided into two main subjects: Botany (the study of plants) and Zoology (the study of animals), but this separation is not clear cut. Life sciences are a group of advanced biology. Taxonomy (Systematics) involves the classification of organisms.

What is the difference between biotech and life sciences? ›

Life science studies organisms in relation to their environment in different life organisations and processes. But Biotechnology employs tools and knowledge gained from life science to sustain and improve human, animal and environmental health, create wealth and minimize wastage of natural resources.

Is life science easy? ›

It is a multi-discipline field that requires you, as a student, to learn, apply, evaluate and to do practical work. While many people view Life Science as one of the hardest, and the most boring subjects, it is really one of the most interesting.

Is life science easier than biology? ›

Biology is a more rigorous and scientific field of study, while life science can be more theoretical and abstract. Biology focuses on the study of the structure and function of living organisms, while life science can encompass a broader range of topics, such as the origins of life and the evolution of species.

Is psychology part of life science? ›

The life sciences comprise all fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms, like plants, animals, and human beings. However, the study of behavior of organisms, such as practiced in ethology and psychology, is only included in as much as it involves a clearly biological aspect.

Is medicine a life science? ›

Life Science: “Any of several branches of science, such as biology, medicine, anthropology, or ecology, that deal with living organisms and their organization, life processes, and relationships to each other and their environment.

Which is better life science or microbiology? ›

Life science course is very broad where one get to touch and know about all the major areas of life (biological) sciences. As it is much broader in nature there is no time to go deep in any area. Microbiology/biotechnology is focusing on some major areas like genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology.

How many branches of life science are there? ›

There are more than thirty different branches of life sciences, but we'll review some of the major branches here.

What industries fall under life sciences? ›

The life sciences industry consists of companies operating in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, biomedical technologies, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food processing, and others that dedicate their efforts to creating products to improve the lives of organisms.

Is life sciences the same as pharma? ›

The Pharmaceuticals industry is often considered a Life Science industry with its focus on the development, creation, and distribution of medications to aid the health of living things. Biotechnology or Biotech is a subset of each of these.

Does life science include chemistry? ›

These sciences include astronomy, physics, chemistry, and earth science (although earth science is sometimes given its own category). Life science, on the other hand, is the scientific study of living organisms, including animals (and humans), plants, and microorganisms.

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