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Biology deals with living beings and that is why we call it life science. Scientist often prefer using the term life science instead of biology in an effort to emphasize the focus on the study of life processes.
No one can say when the study of biology exactly began. Primitive man collected food from natural vegetation and hunted wild animals. Through this activity he learnt about life and habits of different animals and recognized various plants and their parts. That was the beginning of biology.
With the invention of microscope in the sixteenth century, a new world of minute animals and plants came to human knowledge. The cell as a unit of structure of living things was seen through the compound microscope.
In the nineteenth century biology took several major leaps through the discovery of germs and the establishment of cell theory etc.
Biology today has already progressed a great deal in the field of vitamins, genetics, antibiotics, cancer research, cloning, stem cell research, organ transplant, environmental sciences, life in out space etc. The latest is that scientists are planning to create life, some single celled bacteria, from lifeless material using fatty acids and nucleotides etc. Studying biology today has plenty of scope and helps in several ways.
Appreciation of nature - the world of plants and animals is so vast and varied that one wonders at it. Despite this variety, biology helps us to understand the basic unity of all living things in their essential features.
Keeping healthy - Biology shows us how germs are multiply and spread by certain agents like insects, wind or water. This makes us conscious of our surroundings and we strive to keep it clean and hygienic.
Growing more food - New varieties if plants and new breeds of cattle, poultry etc. are being developed with the knowledge of biology. This science has also increased our knowledge of diseases of plants and animals and how to cure them. All these efforts are helping us to produce more food in fields, dairies and poultry farms.
Making us conscious citizens - Biology is making us conscious of the need to reduce the rate of our rapid population growth. Increasing population, industries and transport are all creating problem of pollution, endangering human health. Increasing use of insecticides in fields, farms and godowns is adding to health hazards. Biology helps us to recognize and take steps against such pollution.
Biology is a basic science required for pursuing several professional courses, such as medicine, agriculture, pharmacology etc too.