The study of biology owes great significance in human life, because man for its day-to-day requirements is dependent on plants and animals either directly or indirectly.
1. Biology in Relation to Health
Human morphology, anatomy and physiology are basically similar to those of other vertebrates. Therefore, basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology can be acquired by studying morphology and physiology, some other easily available and easily controllable animals.
By conducting experiments in the laboratory on other animals, it is possible to estimate the calorific value and the nutritional contribution of different foodstuffs and their influence on the health of organisms. This helps in providing adequate good exercise and this, maintaining good health.
2. Biology and Diseases
A number of diseases are caused by microbes and other animals in man and its domesticated plants and animals. Some of these diseases like cholera, plague, malaria etc., become epidemic killing hundreds and thousands of persons. The study of biology has helped in finding out the causative organisms of a large number of diseases, the means of their spread and also the methods of treatment and eradication of such diseases.
Surgery is one of the most essential methods of modern medication for a number of diseases. It involves the removal or replacement of defective or damaged part or organ of the body. Today, surgeon can replace defective parts of heart or even the complete heart and kidney.
He can open the brain case to expose and clean the brain. This although naturally, requires great expertise, which on achieves by operating animals like rabbits, pigs and monkeys etc.
Similarly, new medicines are discovered a tried on experimental animals to study their influence. The medicines found suitable on monkey etc. are then tried on man. This also requires complete knowledge of feeding habits and behavior of experimental animals.
Medicines are mainly obtained from plants. Therefore, it is essential to have knowledge and plants also. Antibiotics are obtained from fungi and microorganisms. These are used for the treatment of a number of fatal animals.
Veterinary Science helps in treating the disease of domesticated animals.
3. Biology and Agriculture
Evolution of human civilization is associated with the domestication of plants and animals for food. A rapid increase in human population in the last fifty years has increased demand on food supply. This has led to increase the yield of food grains by adopting following measures:
(i) Raising high-yielding and disease resistant varieties.
(ii) Supply of high yielding and disease-resistant varieties to farmers for increased production.
(iii) Raising more than one crop and by growing short period crops.
(iv) Practicing measures to control plant pest that damage the crop.
(v) To acquire knowledge about viruses and bacteria that causes diseases in plants.
(vi) To evolve new and better varieties and species of crop plants by introducing changes or variations by radiation and hybridization.
(vii) Proper methods of storing food grains so that these are not attacked by rodents and insects.
(viii) Evolving new and better methods of preservation of food such as pasteurization, drying freezing etc., so that food is stored for longer periods without being spoiled. Some animals like insects, rodents damage the stored food grains, and locusts damage the standing crops.
Some insects, birds etc., help in pollination. Earthworms increase soil fertility. This shows that animals may be harmful or beneficial in agriculture. To know which animals are harmful or can prove harmful and which are beneficial, it is necessary to know about the habit, habitat and life history of different animals. This knowledge can help us in controlling these foes and protecting our crops from them.
4. Biology and Horticulture
Botany helps us in the evolution of numerous new varieties of ornamental plants for decorating our gardens. Flowers with new colour combinations, new varieties of leaf shapes etc., have been involved by hybridization. A number of seedless crops of guava, banana, grapes, papaya, have also been developed. This requires new and improved techniques of handling, learning and hybridizing the existing varieties.
5. Biology and Food
A large number of animals like fish, pigeon, pig, goat, prawns, crabs etc. are used as food. Man utilizes milk from cow and buffalo. It is used for preparing butter, cheese, ghee etc. Hen’s eggs are widely used as food.
With the knowledge of biology, it is possible to increase their number and improve their variety, their meat production, the quality of meat, the number of eggs laid down by then, the richness of egg yolk by employing methods of cross fertilization and artificial insemination.
Similarly the cattle can be improved for yielding more milk with better fat content. Moreover, these may be looked after in a better way, may be protected against diseases and can be treated properly. For these reasons animal husbandry and veterinary science, poultry keeping etc., are important branches of biology.
6. Biology and Animal Breeding
Animals are of great economic value to us. We get leather from the hide of mammals, silk from silk moth, fur and wool from sheep’s and rabbits, fat and liver oil from fishes, honey and wax from honey bee, lack from lack insect and pearls from pearl oysters and corals, leathers, shells horns etc., for decoration.
Most of these have been established as industries such as animal husbandry, piggery, poultry keeping, pisciulture, sericulture, lack culture, apiculture, and bear industry. These industries can be made productive only if we have the proper knowledge of habit, habitat and life cycle of the animals. Their races can be improved by artificial insemination and hybridization.
7. Biology and Entertainment
Gardens and zoological parks offer nice places for human entertainment. Plants are grown for decorating homes and the flowers are used variously. Colored fishes are retired in aquaria; butterflies are collected for this purpose.
In olden time quail-fight and bullock fight was one of the main sources of entertainment. The up keeping of animals is possible with proper knowledge of animal breeding and knowing their habit, habitat, occurrence and needs.