Difference Between Biology and Physiology


Life has a set of properties for an organism to follow to be called living. The discipline of science studies life in great detail. This is called Biology. The word is derived from 2 different words, where bio means living and logy means study we can say Biology means the study of living things. Simply put, anything that interacts with its environment, uses energy and reproduces are known things. For example, humans eat food to get energy, feel, and respond to our environment and reproduce to make more of ourselves. Many other things like insects, birds, and animals have the same properties as us so they are all living organisms. Now the question arises how many living organisms are there and how are they different from us? Biology is the study that answers these questions and many more questions related to living things. There are 7 characteristics that a living thing follows, therefore we study this in the vast field of Biology, these are as follows.

1. Order 

If you examine a rose from near, you will notice it is very ordered. The petals are also whorled around each other with center bearing seeds. This illustrates the highly ordered structure that typifies life. 

  1. Living cells are the basis of this complex organization.

  2. Organisms reproduce their own kind ( for example a mother giant panda will always give birth to a panda and not a horse)

  3. We being humans have inherited information in the form of DNA from our ancestors that control the pattern of growth and development of all organisms. You most probably look like your parents or a close relative, thanks to the genes.

  4. We, being humans, eat food to get energy. This food we eat has also eaten some food to utilize its chemical energy stored in order to power its own activities and chemical reactions.  

  5. All organisms respond to environmental stimuli. This is why you laugh when you are tickled.

  6. There are many types of mechanisms that regulate an organism's internal environment, also keeping it within the limits that sustain life, which is also called Homeostasis. Lemur sunbathes to help raise the animal’s body temperature on cold mornings. 

  7. Lions use camouflage to blend in with the savannah so that they can easily hunt down animals. Such adaptations evolve over many generations   

Biology is the study of all aspects of life, this study is huge as there are so many different aspects to study in life. Everything starts off with atoms, these are the building blocks of life. It consists of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Atoms bond to one another and they create tiny molecules that provide the blueprint in building materials of life. These simple building materials combine to create cells and these structures inside cells are organelles. These cells combine to create a more complex system called tissues. The tissue is like the waxy layer of the overlayer called the cuticle. Each tissue has a specific purpose that works together to form organs. Like the entire leave is an organ with many different tissues working together for a more specific purpose. Our body has organs as well like our lungs, kidney, or stomach. Each organ plays an essential role and they combine together to create organisms. Like a tree is an organism, the leaves, the trunk, and the roots all work together to make the tree. Many of the same types of organisms come together to form a population. 

Consider a forest all made up of the same type of trees. A community is when different populations interact with each other like the trees and the chipmunk can take acorns. There are non-living things that get affected by how the communities work together. Those non-living things with the community around them are called an ecosystem. This will include the physical environment like dirt, rocks, and water. Finally, different ecosystems fit together to form a Biosphere. The Biosphere regulates itself as ecosystems within the Biosphere interact with one another.  We call our Biosphere planet Earth. All matters are made up of atoms, but somewhere along the line between the atoms and the Biosphere things become alive. The biologist doesn’t completely agree on a single standard definition of life, as life is diverse, so complex. In general, life is going to share these common characters, these are as follows

2. Cells 

Living things are composed of cells, these are specialized units surrounded by a membrane which carries out a specific task. Some organisms are composed of single-cell capable of carrying out all the basic functions of life. Other organisms are made up of billions and trillions of cells that are all working together to sustain life. With further research and experimental evidence, the scientist developed a theory called cell theory. Which states that all organisms are made of cells and all cells come from preexisting cells.

3. DNA

The 2nd characteristic of life is that life grows, repairs, and reproduces according to a genetic code found in the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid). DNA is a huge molecule and every cell in a living thing has DNA inside the tiny structures called the chromosomes. The genetic code is a set of instructions that tells cells what to do, this code is built on 4 building blocks represented by the letter abbreviations of their names A, T, C and G 

4. Energy 

The 2nd characteristic of life is that life requires energy. Organisms within the ecosystem work together to capture energy from the sun and transfer that energy throughout the food chain. So plants will harvest the sun's energy and use that to drive the process of photosynthesis. photosynthesis takes the sun's energy and stores it up in the form of sugars. Organisms that convert the sun's energy into sugar are called producers. Consumers are organisms that feed on the producers and sometimes on other consumers. Consumes eat the sugar and the cells of the consumers that use the sugar as energy to build, grow, and reproduce, the cycle continues it is called the food chain.    

5. Regulation 

In order to survive the organisms must maintain internal balance, while the environment around them is ever-changing. Organisms will control their temperature, moisture, acidity just naming a few, this balance is called Homeostasis, which means like the same. For example, humans and mammals need to maintain an internal temperature around 37-degree celsius. There are 2 types of feedback, negative feedback stops the process based on the product of the process for example mammals our body will automatically keep warm if it is really hot outside a negative feedback response will stop the warming. On the other hand, there is positive feedback, that is when an organism increases a process for example if you cut your self your body will work to stop the bleeding sending platelets to the site so that blood can clot. Platelets will release a signal to attract more platelets, so the more platelets that arrive at the cut.  

6. Reproduction and Development 

Life comes from life, organisms reproduce to create more of their own kind. Single-cell organisms like paramecium, split in half to create an exact copy of themselves. Considering multicellular organisms like the fish pass on the genetic information through a process that unites a cell with a sperm cell. These 2 cells carry the genetic information of each parent and when the cells combine they create a new organism that takes after the parent. The new fish has the trades of its parent fish and organisms will grow and develop according to the set of instructions in their genes.

7. Evolution 

Life evolves organisms adapt to changes in their environment. Charles Darwin observed fringes on the Galápagos islands, he noticed that the birds did not have the same size beak. Some of the birds have long skinny beaks while others have short broad beaks. The type of beak depended on the availability of food and the region of the island the birds lived. Short broad beak birds ate seeds, nuts so that they could crack with their beaks. The long skinny beaked birds were able to reach into tiny holes and push through plants to feed on the food that the short beak birds cannot. Darwin proposed that different beak birds evolved from a common ancestor and the changes to the beak depended on the environment. Organisms will adapt and change their environment through the process of evolution. It is the change in the characteristics of a population over time, as the shape of the beak changes based on the availability of food.  


Physiology is defined as the study of the normal functioning of a living organism and its component parts. This includes all physical and chemical processes, anatomy is structured whereas physiology is the function. The concept of animal and human physiology is very much about how the body works. It is a branch of biology that looks after the activities and functions of life or of living matter like tissues, organs, or the cells along with the physical and the chemical phenomenon involved. It is the study of scientific methods to determine how the organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and biomolecules carry out the chemical or the physical function that they have in a living system. In other words, physiology is a course study of a branch of biological science which deals with the function of organisms. The course explores the processes that regulate life.  We share the earth with millions of weird and wonderful things. All uniquely adapted to their own particular environments. Yet despite all these differences, we all have one thing in common. Our survival, everything we do relies on a complex internal process that, when working well allows us to respond to the challenges of everyday life. The study of these mechanisms is called physiology, the science of life. While taking an example of construction, if you are constructing a building there are certain elements that have to be assembled in a particular order for the structure to work properly. But you can make a huge variety of buildings from those same elements. It is similar to living organisms. 

DNA detects the same essential blocks of life molecules, cells and in higher animals tissues, organs and whole-body systems work together in different ways to respond to different environments and challenges. This is done by developing a picture to know how these interactions work and how they will be able to maintain a delicate balance, such as the blood pressure or body temperature physiologist are answering big questions about what keeps us healthy. Such as artificial light might impact our sleep cycle. If you grab your phone in the middle of the night, the light from the screens hits the retina of your eyes. Physiologists are studying how signals from those cells to your brain at the wrong time of the day could alter the normal release of hormones, leading to disturbed sleep. Sports physiologists are investigating how exercise can improve how our bodies work. For instance, if we take an example of the heart, how our hearts change to pump more blood with each beat thereby improving our performance. 

There are physiologists even in space, researching the effects of zero gravity on how the body works, all of this will come in handy when we want to explore other planets. Here is the thing every time we take a breath, open our eyes, or take a step, we don’t think of scientific forces at play. That is until things go wrong when one or more of the components stop working properly. We have to be thankfully for discoveries made by physiologists inside and outside the lab to provide core information that can be useful for the doctors, dentists, and vets both in their daily work and while tackling some of the greatest health challenges that we face today, such as uncovering the impact of air pollution. How the toxic chemicals in the air that we breathe disrupt the intake of oxygen into our bodies. And teasing apart the mechanism for obesity. Studying mice physiologists have found that messages from the gut to the brain saying it's full can be disrupted. So the individual just keeps eating, becomes more obese, physiologists are working to solve this and many of life’s great mysteries. But there is still a lot let to discover and many are getting involved in this to help tackle some of these global issues. Homeostasis is one of the most fundamental principles of physiology. Homeostasis describes the many mechanisms in the body that keep the environment in the body just the right physiological parameters for the cells to work properly. We can say that physiology and anatomy are interconnected, when we see anatomy it describes the location and structure of a particular body part and whereas physiology describes how and what it does. 

Physiology is represented in many disciplines, such as medicine, physicians trained in the location, and the normal function of organs and body systems. By knowing the normal function or physiology, they are able to diagnose abnormal functions or pathophysiology. Another discipline in physiology is related to Biochemistry, the study of cellular interactions and metabolism, etc. It involves physiology at a cellular level, as well as body circulation and the ability to deliver the necessary biomolecules to the cell in vivo. Homeostasis is a virtual concept in human physiology, which is the process through which a stable internal environment is maintained in our body for the cellular functions that can be performed at maximum efficiency. Every body structure contributes to maintaining the internal environment within the normal range of temperature, ph, oxygenation, etc. Homeostasis is maintained through a regulatory process called feedback. A feedback loop is a cycle of events in which a body condition such a blood pressure is continuously monitored and adjusted to be within specific limits. 

There are 3 Main Components of the Feedback Loop

  1. Taking a particular aspect of physiology is been monitored through receptor

  2. A control center that sets the normal range, receives input from the receptors and sends the output when the changes are needed 

  3. The function of an effector is that it produces a response or effect that changes the physiology

There are 2 Types of Feedback Loops, They are as Follows

  1. Positive loops - where every response enhances the condition presented

  2. Negative loops - where the response counteracts or antagonizes the condition    

Homeostasis is the normal balance and operation of the body organ systems. Changes in the normal balance in the body due to infection or diseases lead to the symptoms and outward clinical signs. Examples of diseases and conditions that can occur as a result of disturbance or disbalance of homeostasis in the body include diabetes, dehydration, and gout. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is a Molecule?

Ans: The atoms combine to form a molecule, for example a molecule of hydrogen will combine with other molecules to form hydrogen gas, with oxygen it forms water. 

2. How is an Organ Formed?

Ans:  An organ is formed with the combinations of multiple tissues.