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What Are Life Sciences?

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  • 0:01 Life Sciences
  • 1:03 Zoology
  • 2:13 Entomology
  • 2:44 Botany
  • 3:36 Microbiology
  • 4:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

The life sciences study all types of living things. Branches of the life science study things from the tiniest microorganisms to the largest animals. Learn about the many branches of the life sciences and what it's like to work in these fields.

Life Sciences

You might not always take notice, but life is going on all around you. You can take your dog for a walk on a warm summer day and stop to watch a flower open and a flock of birds fly overhead. Everywhere you turn there is evidence of life; some living things are so small that you need a microscope to see them.

The branches of science that study living things are referred to as the life sciences. A scientist who works in the life sciences would be interested in learning more about plants, animals, human beings or even tiny microscopic organisms. Biology is the foundation of the life sciences. It's defined as the study of life and how living things survive and change. Because biology covers so many aspects important to life, many scientists consider biology and life sciences to be synonymous terms. In this lesson, you will be introduced to some of the different branches of the life sciences. If you find these fields interesting, you might want to consider one of them as a career.

Zoology

Because there are so many living things, most scientists that study the life sciences pick one branch as their focus. For example, zoology is the study of animals. This should be an easy term to recall because we all know that a zoo is the home for many animals. If you like learning about how animals interact with other animals and how their bodies work, then you might want to look into a career as a zoologist.

Maybe you like animals, but you also like the ocean. If that's the case, then you might want to look into a similar field called marine biology. This is the study of organisms living in the oceans. Did you ever see a dolphin show at an amusement park? Well, there is a good chance that the people you saw caring for the dolphins were marine biologists. Marine biology is a fairly easy term to recall if you remember that the term marine refers to things related to the ocean, like a submarine, which, by the way, would be an interesting way for a marine biologist to study dolphins in their natural habitat.

Entomology

Are you a bug lover? Then entomology might be more your speed. Entomology is the study of insects. There are billions of bugs, so a career as an entomologist would never get boring. The study of insects is very important. Insects play roles in the transmission of certain diseases and the destruction of crops in farmer's fields, and we can learn a lot from studying the behaviors of insects, which you already know if you ever owned an ant farm.

Botany

Some people like to study how things grow and survive, but don't care for animals, fish or creepy crawly insects. If that's the case for you, the life sciences may still have things to offer. A large branch of the life sciences deals with the study of plants. This branch is known as botany. As a botanist, you might study how plants grow, reproduce or deal with diseases. Plants do more than make your yard look pretty. They provide us with oxygen, food and medicine. There are about 400,000 different plant species on Earth. With so many species of plants around, there is still a lot to be learned. That means there are exciting discoveries yet to be made in the field of botany. Maybe you could make one of them!

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