Since there was a new section on bio, I thought I might make a discussion on the ideas of biology. :P Discuss and ask questions!
Biology is a subject with an enormous scope, new biological discoveries and researches are made every day. Hence, just simply memorising the concepts/factual details of this huge subject won't be a good way of developing a coherent view of life!
How about, taking a perhaps, a more active role by connecting all these ideas into a set of themes that pervade all of biology.
Let me start off with an idea. Let us define a level of biological hierarchy.
The study of life, I suppose tends to start from a microscopic scale of like molecules and cells that make up organisms to the large (perhaps universal, maybe not yet) scale of entire living planets.
Thus, we can divide them into different levels of biological organisations.
For our purposes, I'll just look into Earth. :P No aliens yet. x'D
So first, we have the Earth.
Here, I have a picture of our home.
We can make out the continents and oceans on earth, we can see signs of life (greenery and forest, that sort of thing). This is, what we biologists call the biosphere (the zone of life on earth). This planet consists of all the life on Earth and the places where life exists! Bodies of water and regions of land, sediments below the ocean floor and rocks below the Earth's surface. Not to mention the atmosphere to an altitude of a few kilometres.
Let's look at it in more detail!
As we get closer to the Earth's surface, we can see forests (assuming we're looking at a forest area and not a city or something) with an abundance of trees that lose their leaves in one season and grows one in another! We call these deciduous trees.
This, is an example of an ecosystem. Deserts, tundra, grasslands, and coral reefs in the ocean are other types of ecosystems. An ecosystem: consists of all the living things in a particular area (biotic elements), along with all the non living things (abiotic) of the environment in which life interacts, e.g. soil, water, atmospheric gases, light.
All of the Earth's ecosystems combined make up what we call the biosphere.
If we go further in, we will find a/many biological communities!
A biological community: is an array of organisms that inhabits a particular ecosystem. It includes from a variety of trees and plants, a diversity of animals and all sorts of mushrooms and other fungi etc. Of course, we also have an enormous number of diverse micro-organisms; which are living forms such as bacteria that we cannot see without the aid of a microscope. Each of these forms of life is what we call as species.
We looked into communities, now if we go into a particular species. We will most likely find a population!! For example, the set of all dolphins that live in this particular area... If we use this notion of having populations, then we can now redefine community as a set of populations that inhabit a particular area!
Now, let us go into more detail of organisms.
These are individual living things, like that nearly broken tree or that particular animal, the greenery and the soil may contain some micro-organisms like bacteria!
And of course, this doesn't end here! There are still organs, tissues and cells etc. as well! They are the most intriguing parts. ^0^
I don't want to make this too long, so I will continue that tomorrow! :P It's pretty late here as well. x'D Any questions, queries, comments... Don't be shy and feel free to post some comments.
Hopefully, this gives us some headway into a whole world of problems that we can share and solve!