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The Biology Portal


Darlingtonia californica.jpg
Harvestman opilio canestrinii male.jpg

Welcome to the biology portal. Biology, from the Greek words bios (life) and the suffix -logy (study of), is a branch of science concerned with the characteristics and behaviors of organisms, how species and individuals come into existence, and the interactions they have with each other and with their environment. Biology encompasses a broad spectrum of academic fields that are often viewed as independent disciplines. Together, they study life over a wide range of scales.

Blue has been chosen as the colour for this portal to emphasise that life on Earth relies on the unique chemistry of water. A photo of Darlingtonia californica, the cobra lily, was chosen as the portal icon because of this species' dependency on a humid habitat, as well as illustrating both autotrophy (in this case, photosynthesis) and carnivory. Finally, it superficially resembles young shoots, with their tips curved in, symbolising growth, a feature of all life.

Selected article

Adenanthos obovatus, commonly known as basket flower or jugflower.

Adenanthos obovatus, commonly known as basket flower or jugflower, is a shrub of the plant family Proteaceae endemic to Southwest Australia. Described by French naturalist Jacques Labillardière in 1805, it had first been collected by Archibald Menzies in 1791. Within the genus Adenanthos, it lies in the section Eurylaema and is most closely related to A. barbiger. A. obovatus has hybridized with A. detmoldii to produce the hybrid A. × pamela. Several common names allude to the prominent red flowers of the species. It grows as a many-stemmed spreading bush up to 1 m (3 ft) high, and about 1.5 m (5 ft) across, with fine bright green foliage. Made up of single red flowers, the inflorescences appear from April to December, and peak in spring (August to October).

Selected biography

Professor Richard Dawkins - March 2005.jpg

Clinton Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.

Dawkins came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term meme. In 1982 he introduced into evolutionary biology an influential concept, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism's body, but can stretch far into the environment, including the bodies of other organisms.

Dawkins is an atheist and humanist, a Vice President of the British Humanist Association and supporter of the Brights movement. He is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, he argued against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he described evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker. He has since written several popular science books, and makes regular television and radio appearances, predominantly discussing these topics. He has been referred to in the media as "Darwin's Rottweiler", a reference to English biologist T. H. Huxley, who was known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's evolutionary ideas. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion—a fixed false belief. As of January 2010 the English-language version has sold more than two million copies and had been translated into 31 languages, making it his most popular book to date.

Major topics

General Life | species | biology
Evolution (Intro) Natural selection | genetic drift | sexual selection | speciation | mutation | gene flow
Tree of life Cladistics | Animals | plants | fungi | protists | bacteria | archaea | prokaryote | eukaryote | three-domain system | angiosperms | insects | molluscs | nematodes | viruses
Classification of man Primate | mammal | vertebrate | craniata | chordate | deuterostome | animal
History of biology Great Chain of Being | omne vivum ex ovo | timeline of biology and organic chemistry
History of... ecology | evolutionary biology | geography | model organisms | molecular biology | paleontology
Biochemistry DNA | RNA | protein | enzyme | protein folding | carbohydrate | lipid | glycolysis | citric acid cycle | electron transport chain | oxidative phosphorylation | photosynthesis | protein structure
Genetics (Intro) Gene | genome | karyotype | transcription | translation | recombination | chromosome | Mendelian inheritance | phenotype | genotype | epigenetics | splicing | mutation | genetic fingerprint | chromatin | classical genetics | ecological genetics | molecular genetics | population genetics | quantitative genetics
The cell Cell wall | cell membrane | cytoskeleton | mitochondrion | chloroplast | nucleus | endoplasmic reticulum | Golgi apparatus | cell cycle | mitosis | metabolism | cell signaling | protein targeting
Life cycle DNA replication | reproduction | ploidy | spermatogenesis | alternation of generations | oogenesis | parasitism | evolution of sex | meiosis | senescence
Development Tissues | fertilization | embryogenesis | gastrulation | neurulation | organogenesis | differentiation | morphogenesis | metamorphosis | ontogeny
Lab techniques Genetic engineering | transformation | gel electrophoresis | chromatography | centrifugation | cell culture | DNA sequencing | DNA microarray | green fluorescent protein | vector | enzyme assay | protein purification | Western blot | Northern blot | Southern blot | restriction enzyme | polymerase chain reaction | two-hybrid screening | in vivo - in vitro - in silico
Life history Altricial - precocial | sex ratio
Behaviour Altruism - cooperation - foraging - learning - parental care - sexual conflict - territoriality
Ecology Biomass | food chain | indicator species | extinction | biogeography | habitat | species distribution | Gaia theory | metapopulation
Conservation Biodiversity | biodiversity hotspot | nature reserve | edge effect | Allee effect | corridor | fragmentation | pollution | invasive species | in situ - ex situ | seedbank | environmental economics
Field techniques Belt transect | mark and recapture | species discovery curve
Other fields Anatomy | astrobiology | biological anthropology | botany | bioengineering | bioinformatics | environmental science | ethology | human biology | marine biology | microbiology | natural history | origin of life | paleontology | parasitology | pathology | pharmacology | phylogenetics | physiology | synthetic biology | systems biology | taxonomy | zoology
Assessment Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
See also Template:History of biology

Selected picture

Tubal Pregnancy with embryo.jpg

An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination. In humans, it is called an embryo until about eight weeks after fertilization (i.e. ten weeks after the last menstrual period or LMP)

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WikiProjects connected with biology:

A complete list of scientific WikiProjects can be found here. See also Wikispecies, a Wikimedia project dedicated to classification of biological species.


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