Biology is the name given to the study of living organisms. People who study biology are known as biologists. Most children in the United Kingdom study biology at school, but only a few hundred people per year carry on learning biology and become professional biologists. Regardless of whether you liked biology or not when you were at school, it is undeniable that biologists have continued importance. Recognising the value of biologists is an essential part of ensuring that the discipline continues to get the funding that it needs in the future.
Biologists play key role in understanding human biology. Knowing how the human body works can help to keep people healthy and allows researchers to develop effective medicine. Global mortality rates were far higher before advances in modern medicine allowed patients to be treated more effectively. Without biologists, we would not be unable to properly assess the effects that new medicines have on the human body. It is essential to do extensive testing on new medication before it is widely used, or else it could be discovered that there are unpalatable side effects. Likewise, understanding the biology of viruses can help medical researchers to understand the best ways to treat medical conditions in humans.
Biologists also help to develop healthy nutrition strategies for humans. Good nutrition is vital for human health, whereas poor nutrition can result in a variety of different health issues. Recent developments in food technology mean that our diets are completely different to the diets that humans have had for thousands of years. Biologists help us to understand how these new diets can affect human health. Having a proper understanding of how the body works enables biologists to know more about what we should and should not be eating. Careful research has also helped to reveal how key nutrients act on the human body. The study of the human body means that we are now able to create tailored diets that are perfect for an individual.
In addition to furthering the science of nutrition, biologists also work to understand the science of exercise and the effects that physical exertion has on the human body. Research helps to show how different types of exercise are good and bad for people. Understanding the human body allows scientists to consider the most effective forms of exercise, as well as understanding the best forms of exercise for people with physical disabilities.
Understanding the natural world
As well as understanding human biology, biologists work to understand the rest of the natural world. The balance between all of the species on Earth is very delicate, and biologists work to understand how all species interact with one another. Without a proper understanding of these interactions, it is possible that species could die out. Even the extinction of small animals can have a huge effect further up the food chain. Most conservation efforts are built on the efforts of skilled biologists who have a better understand of the complex interactions in the natural world.
Biologists play a vital role in the agriculture sector. They seek to understand the ways that crops grow and how animals are raised for meat. Research can help to show the best ways to grow food, so that growers are able to produce maximum output for minimal input. Understanding how to maximise output can help to improve global food security. Likewise, biologists can help to reduce the risk of crops being wiped out by disease or pests. Developing new varieties of crops can allow crops to be grown in places where they may not normally be able to grow well.