Biology is a life science that is concerned with the study of principles and the governing life processes. This subject contributes widely to the existence of life on the Earth. Hence, biology is taught in all the educational institutions as a main and compulsory subject. The subject also helps you to gain knowledge with the aim for exploring relationships between the living and the nonliving, the living world, the diversity of the living organisms and much more. Microbiology is a scientific study of microorganisms which includes their life cycle, habitat, cell structure, and their relation with other organisms like humans, plants, and animals, along with several other beneficial and harmful microorganisms present in biodiversity. In this article, we will learn about what is biology, what is microbiology, and microbiology vs biology.
Let us now look at the branches of biology.
Taxonomy: The science of identification, nomenclature and classification of the organisms.
Morphology: The studies of external forms like size, shape, colour, and structure and the relative position of several living organs of living beings.
Anatomy: The study of the internal structure that can be observed with an unaided eye after the dissection.
Histology: The study of the tissue organization and the structure as observed through a light microscope.
Cytology: The study of the form and structure of cells which includes the behaviour of the nucleus and other organelles
Cell Biology: The study of morphological, organizational, physiological, biochemical, genetic, developmental, pathological and the evolutionary aspects of a cell and its components.
Molecular Biology: The study of nature, the physicochemical organization, the synthesis working and interaction of bio-molecules which bring about and control several activities of the protoplasm.
Physiology: The study of the different kinds of body functions and processes.
Embryology: The study of the fertilization, growth and development, and division and differentiation of the zygote into an embryo or the early development of the living beings before the attainment of the structure and size of the offspring.
Ecology: The study of the living organisms in relation to the other organisms and their environment.
Genetics: The study of the inheritance of characters or heredity and variations. Heredity is known as the study of expression and transmission of various traits from the parents to offspring.
Eugenics: The science that deals with the factors that are related to the improvement or impairment of race, especially the one of human beings.
Evolution: It studies the origin of life along with the new kinds of organisms from the previous ones by modifications that involve the genetic changes and adaptations.
Palaeontology: It deals with the study of the fossils or remains and the impressions of the past organisms that are present in the rocks of different ages.
Exobiology: It refers to the branch of the scientific inquiry which deals with the study of the possibility of life in the outer space.
Virology: The study of the viruses in all their aspects.
Let us now discuss about the main branches of microbiology.
Branches of Microbiology
Bacteriology: It is the study of bacteria.
Immunology: It is the study of the immune system. It looks at the several relationships between the pathogens like the bacteria and viruses and their hosts.
Mycology: It is the study of fungi like the yeasts and moulds.
Nematology: It is the study of nematodes or roundworms.
Parasitology: It refers to the study of the parasites. Not all parasites are known as microorganisms, but many are protozoa and bacteria are called to be parasitic and the study of bacterial parasites is generally categorized as a part of the bacteriology.
Phycology: It is the study of algae.
Protozoology: It refers to the study of protozoa, which are the single-celled organisms such as amoebae.
Virology: It is the study of the viruses.
By Type of Research
Microbiology research, like any other fields of scientific research, is subdivided into the categories of pure and applied. Pure or basic research is exploratory and is conducted in order to understand a specific scientific phenomenon better, whereas the applied research is based on the information that is gleaned from the pure research and is used to answer specific questions or solve problems.
Pure Microbiology Research Includes The Following:
Astromicrobiology: It refers to the study of the origin of life on the Earth, and the search for the extraterrestrial life.
Evolutionary Microbiology: It is the evolution of the microorganisms.
Cellular Microbiology: It refers to the study of the structure and the function of microbial cells. This includes microbial ecology, microbial genetics and microbial physiology
Systems Microbiology: It is the mathematical or the computational modelling of the activities of different microbiological systems.
Applied Microbiology Research Includes The Following:
Agricultural Microbiology: It is the study of the microorganisms which interact with plants and soils.
Food Microbiology: It is the study of the microorganisms which spoil the food or cause several foodborne illnesses. It can also include the study of how the microorganisms are used in the food production, such as the fermentation of beer.
Medical Microbiology: It refers to the study of the microorganisms that are responsible for several human diseases.
Microbial Biotechnology: It refers to the use of the microbes in the industrial or consumer products.
Pharmaceutical Microbiology: It is the study of the microorganisms that are used in several pharmaceutical products, like the vaccines and antibiotics.
Now that you know about biology and microbiology let us now talk about biology microbiology differences.
1. What is the main biology and microbiology difference?
Biology is a diverse field of science that includes the studies of all kinds of living organisms on the earth and their interactions with several other organisms and the non-living environment. On the other hand, microbiology is a kind of sub-field of biology, that includes the studies of the organisms which are not visible to the human naked eye and their interactions with the other organisms. Hence, the main difference between biology and microbiology is known to be the area of study of each field.
2. What is the difference between microbiology and cell biology?
Microbiology and cell biology are much similar to each other. However, there is a difference between the two since the cell biology deals with the different types of cells that are present in the human body, plants, animals, and other living organisms, and microbiology refers to the study of the microorganisms like the bacteria and viruses.