Biology is the  science focused on the investigation of the phenomenon of life—and of living organisms (and of such living systems as ecological systems).  The term derives from the Greek:  bios (meaning "life") and logia (meaning "study of").

Biologists study and communicate science-based information on the structure, functioning, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and classification of these living organisms and systems..  Biology is composed of a wide spectrum of sub-disciplibes.

Pictured here, Dr. Rita R. Colwell—a microbiologist—became the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation in 1998.


  • Life from the Skies? Featured Article Life from the Skies? Life from the Skies?

      ?Main Image Explanation: What's that behind Titan? It's another of Saturn's moons: Tethys. The robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn captured the... More »

  • Wangari Maathai's Nobel Lecture Featured Article Wangari Maathai's Nobel Lecture Wangari Maathai's Nobel Lecture

        Speaker: Wangari Maathai Date: December 10, 2004 Location: Oslo City Hall, Oslo, Norway. Copyright: © The Nobel Foundation 2004     EDITOR'S... More »

  • Lubchenco, Jane Featured Article Lubchenco, Jane Lubchenco, Jane

    On March 20, 2009, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist and environmental scientist, was sworn in as the ninth and first woman Administrator of NOAA. Her scientific expertise... More »

  • Carson, Rachel Louise Featured Article Carson, Rachel Louise Carson, Rachel Louise

    Rachel Louise Carson (1907-1964), a writer and ecologist, is widely recognized among the founders of the modern environmental movement. Rachel Carson was born in a... More »

  • Eastwood, Alice Featured Article Eastwood, Alice Eastwood, Alice

    Alice Eastwood is considered an American botanist, although she was actually born in Canada. Eastwood was self educated and spent her entire professional life in the western USA.... More »

Recently Updated
Birnbaum, Linda S. Last Updated on 2012-07-03 00:00:00 Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S., is Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and National Toxicology Program Division. As NIEHS and NTP director, Dr. Birnbaum oversees a budget that funds multidisciplinary biomedical research programs, prevention, and intervention efforts that encompass training, education, technology transfer, and community outreach. The NIEHS supports more than 1,000 research grants. Dr. Birnbaum has received numerous awards, including the Women in Toxicology Elsevier Mentoring Award, the Society of Toxicology Public Communications Award, EPA’s Health Science Achievement Award and Diversity Leadership Award, and 12 Science and Technology Achievement Awards. She is the author of several hundred peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, abstracts, and reports. Dr.... More »
Changing Plant Characteristics to Make Biofuels Last Updated on 2011-02-09 00:00:00 A Predictable Change A new technique can change a plant's characteristics to make biofuels. A core objective of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's BioEnergy Science Center is to find ways to wring more energy out of the sugars stored in plants. In addition to developing better enzymes, improved microbes and more effective catalysts, Gerald Tuskan's team of plant biologists is exploring ways to generate more energy from biomass by "persuading" plants to store more sugar and then developing new methods of extracting these sugars. Most of the sugar found in biomass is stored in plant cell walls as cellulose and hemicellulose. The biggest roadblock to extracting sugar from these cell wall polymers has been the difficulty of using biochemical tools to break down the walls. Tuskan, a scientist in ORNL's BioSciences Division, is working with a dozen Oak... More »
Marker, Laurie Last Updated on 2011-02-08 00:00:00 Laurie Marker is a mammalian zoologist, most noted for her research with the Cheetah species. She is founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) with its headquarters in Namibia. Marker's groundbreaking research on the Cheetah species has included fundamental analysis on Cheetah genetics, morphology and behavior. Having worked with cheetahs since 1974, Marker established the not-for-profit CCF in 1990 and moved to Namibia to develop a permanent Conservation Research Centre for the wild cheetah. In 1992, CCF became a registered Namibian Trust. CCF’s groundbreaking activities are housed at their International Research and Education Centre in the main cheetah habitat of the country. In addition to fundamental research on the Cheetah species, Marker has developed innovative programs for conservation of the broader habitat that supports Cheetahs in Namibia;... More »
Eastwood, Alice Last Updated on 2011-02-07 00:00:00 Alice Eastwood is considered an American botanist, although she was actually born in Canada. Eastwood was self educated and spent her entire professional life in the western USA. She was born in Toronto, Canada, in the year 1859. Moving to Colorado at the age of 14, she taught herself botany while working as a teacher. By 1890, Eastwood had moved to California, where she accepted a post at the herbarium of the California Academy of Sciences. Besides prolific discoveries of new species, Eastwood can be counted as a heroine, from her climbing up in the burning building of the California Academy of Sciences to save the flora type specimen collection. Eastwood had a productive career in describing new flora, stewarding the Academy's herbarium and in promoting the role of native flora in teaching youth. In 1892 she was appointed joint curator of the herbarium along with botanist Mary... More »
Life from the Skies? Last Updated on 2011-02-06 00:00:00   ?Main Image Explanation: What's that behind Titan? It's another of Saturn's moons: Tethys. The robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn captured the heavily cratered Tethys slipping behind Saturn's atmosphere-shrouded Titan late last year. The largest crater on Tethys, Odysseus, is easily visible on the distant moon. Titan shows not only its thick and opaque orange lower atmosphere, but also an unusual upper layer of blue-tinted haze. Tethys, at about 2 million kilometers distant, was twice as far from Cassini as was Titan when the above image was taken. In 2004, Cassini released the Hyugens probe which landed on Titan and provided humanity's first views of the surface of the Solar System's only known lake-bearing moon. Did Life Fall from the Skies? Lessons from Titan "… we are children equally of the earth and the sky."... More »