Fourteen blue hexagons on a darker blue background, with each hexagon containing the title of a pathway and a relevant icon, such as "Ecology" and a cartoon Earth. Others include "Cells" alongside a cartoon cell, "Evolution" alongside a cartoon strand of DNA, and "Exploring Biotechnology" alongside a micropipette.

Exploring the Science of Life: Introduction to Biology

Biology is an extremely diverse field of science, covering a wide range of concepts and areas of focus. By volume, "biological sciences" is the largest subject area in the LabXchange library, with over 14,800 resources on topics like biochemistry, plant science, and astrobiology!

With so much to cover, it can be hard to know where to start. We've built the Introduction to Biology cluster to support the exploration of 11 fundamental topics in biology, including cellular biology, genetics, and biotechnology, to name just a few. The cluster is divided into 14 pathways that aim to spark curiosity and encourage further investigation of each topic. Learn more about each of them below!

1. Life Science Practices

Bringing together resources from Khan Academy, the Science Communication Lab, and other LabXchange collaborators, this pathway provides an introduction to the scientific method in the context of the life sciences. Learn about experimental design, the definition(s) of life, and more.

2. Ecology

This pathway explores the importance of biodiversity and human impact on the environment, as well as the various interactions and cycles that make up an ecosystem.

3. Properties of Water

Water is essential to life as we know it. This pathway explores the properties of water that make it so fundamentally important. Key properties of water discussed in this pathway include water as a solvent, hydrogen bonding, specific heat, and cohesion.

4. Cellular Biology

Cells come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and serve a vast array of functions—they are the building blocks of life! It's impossible to cover cell science in one pathway, which is why we've divided the topic into four different sections:

  1. Cells: This pathway explores the different types of cells, including eukaryotic, prokaryotic, and plant cells, and their structures.
  2. Cell Membranes: This pathway introduces the structure of cell membranes and how they function in cellular transport.
  3. Energy in Cells: This pathway explores how cells harvest energy using cellular respiration in eukaryotic cells and photosynthesis in plant cells.
  4. Cell Division: This pathway explores division of cells through mitosis and meiosis and how disregulation of these processes can lead to disease.

5. Biomolecules

If cells are the building blocks of life, biomolecules are the building blocks of cells. This pathway provides an overview of the four classes of biological molecules (lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleotides) and how they are assembled.

6. Central Dogma & DNA

This pathway explores the theory of the central dogma, which involves the processes of transcription and translation that allow cells to produce proteins from DNA.

7. Enzymes

Enzymes are a class of proteins that are integral to catalyzing many biological reactions. Discover how enzymes work, as well as how environmental features like temperature and pH affect enzyme activity.

8. Genetics & Disease

Why do we look the way we look? In other words, how do we inherit our phenotypes? Learn about genetics and the origins of genetic diseases.

9. Evolution

In this pathway, explore the concepts of natural selection and evolution in populations. Stories from scientists sharing their perspective on this topic and their research are embedded throughout the pathway.

10. Biotechnology

Delve into the innovations in biotechnology that have revolutionized aspects of modern life, like agriculture, forensics, and medicine.

11. Body Systems & Homeostasis

This pathway provides an introduction to the systems of the body, like the nervous system and circulatory system, and also discusses the concept of homeostasis.

Looking for more science resources? Check out "Explore the Science of Matter: Introduction to Chemistry" for an overview of crucial concepts in chemistry!

Written by
Chris Burnett
Digital Content Specialist

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