bio-, bi-, -bia, -bial, -bian, -bion, -biont, -bius, -biosis, -bium, -biotic, -biotical

(Greek: life; living, live, alive)

Don’t confuse this element with another bi- which means "two".

The most important things in life are not things.

—Anonymous
biological rhythm
The study of the effect of time on biological events, especially repetitive or cyclic phenomena in individuals.
biological shield
1. A structure of dense material; such as, concrete or lead, around a nuclear reactor to protect against radiation.
2. a mass of absorbing material; for example, concrete or lead, placed around a reactor or radioactive material to reduce the radiation to a level safe for humans.
biological therapy
Any form of treatment for abnormal behavior that alters the individual's physiological processes, including electric shock treatment, surgery, etc.
biological value
The nutritional effectiveness of the protein in a given food, expressed as the percentage used by the body of either the total protein consumed or the digestible protein available.
biological warfare, biowarfare, germ warfare (s); biological warfares, biowarfares, germ warfares (pl) (nouns)
Warfare that makes use of bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc., to disable or to destroy people, domestic animals, and food crops.
biologically productive
Able to sustain organic life.

Specifically, a term for areas of land and water capable of supporting photosynthesis at sufficient rates so as to provide economically useful concentrations of biomass.

Marginal and unproductive regions are generally excluded; such as, deserts, tundra, and the deep oceans.

biologicals, biologic
Medicinal preparations made from living organisms and their products, including sera (serums), vaccines, antigens, antitoxins, etc.
biologics
Commercial products derived from biotechnology.
biologism
1. The interpretation of human life from a strictly biological point of view.
2. The use or emphasis of biological principles or methods in explaining human social behavior.
biologist
1. A specialist or expert in biology or one who studies biology.
2. A scientist who studies living organisms.
3. A scientist devoted to the study of organisms and their relationships to their environments and the underlying mechanisms that govern how those organisms work.
biologistic
biologists (lexicomedy)
A cell of biologists.
biologos
The intelligent power displayed in organic activities.
biology
1. The science concerned with the phenomena of life and living organisms.
2. The science of physical life; the division of physical science that deals with organized beings or animals and plants, their morphology, physiology, origin, and distribution.
3. The study of living organisms, including their structure, function, evolution, interrelationships, behavior, and distribution.
4. The study of human life and living.
5. The study of the properties and history of living organisms and of their interactions with the non-living world.

Using physics as a model, biologists have attempted to find universal processes and properties of all organisms that can be applied to all forms, despite the apparent diversity of life.

Living organisms are affected by and affect the non-living world strongly. The study of the history of the earth and its atmosphere is inseparable from the study of biology.

bioluminescence (s) (noun), bioluminescences (pl)
The emission of a beaming radiation by some living organisms, or the light so produced: The scientific study of bioluminescence spans both zoological and botanical specimens, studying the production of a self-generating glowing glimmer.

Bioluminescence occurs when a pigment, usually "luciferin"; is oxidized without giving off heat.

Although it is believed that bioluminescence is involved in animal communication, its function in many organisms has yet to be understood.

Bioluminescence is a form of "chemiluminescence" and most luminescent animals have an effulgent-producing organ; such as, "photophore".

Such bioluminescence may contain their own specialized luster-producing cells, or have symbiotic luminescent bacteria.

Fish emitting bioluminescence.
Word Info image © Copyright, 2006.

The darkness of the ocean presents a variety of bioluminescent creatures

The most expansive animal habitat on the earth lies between the sea surface and the floor of the deep ocean basins. Within this enormous space live the largest and perhaps most remarkable biological communities of fauna.

Most creatures of this twilight world are able to augment the scant sunlight reaching them with another form of natural illumination known as bioluminescence.

Although bioluminescence is a relatively rare phenomenon in terrestrial ecosystems, the vast majority of the animals that inhabit the upper kilometer of the ocean are capable of producing light with photophores in one way or another.

The illustrated bioluminescent fish for this page is similar to a "flashlight fish" which has headlights made up of sacs of luminescent bacteria under its eyes that light its way around the ocean depths.

Before man caught up with nature, she developed her own uses for bioluminescence; for example, many predators use their natural lighting to catch their meals; as shown in the image.

—"Light in the Ocean's Midwaters" by Bruce H. Robinson;
Scientific American, July, 1995; and "Living Lights"
by Kenneth Jon Rose, Science Digest, January, 1984.
Quiz If you would like to take a series of self-scoring quizzes over some of the words in this bio- unit, then click this Life, Live, Living Quiz link so you can check your knowledge. You may also try several additional quizzes in this listing.

Related life, live-word units: anima-; -cole; vita-; viva-.