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.

bioanthropology (s) (noun), bioanthropologies (pl)
A branch of study that deals with humans as biological organisms, including areas; such as, primatology, human genetics, human ecology, paleoanthropology, and other fields including identification, for the purposes of understanding human physical variations, in fossil hominids, and in various attempts to correlate physical with racial and psychological traits.
bioarchaeology, bioarcheology (s) (noun) (no pl)
1. The use of a range of biological techniques on archaeological material in order to learn more about past populations: Bioarchaeology involves the examination of ailments and deaths of those who were buried in ancient cemetaries.
2. A subdiscipline of biology that integrates the concepts of human biology with those of anthropological archaeology: In bioarchaeology, one might isolate and amplify DNA from very old bones, such as from the frozen body of the 9,000-year-old "Ice Man" who was found in the Italian Alps.

bioassay (s) (noun), bioassays (pl)
Determination of the potency or concentration of a compound by its effect upon animals, isolated tissues, or microorganisms, as compared with an analysis of its chemical or physical properties: A bioassay is an experimental technique for measuring quantitatively the strength of a biologically active chemical by its results on a living organism.

A bioassay uses living organisms to measure the quantity and efficacy, especially of a toxic quality, of a substance, factor, or condition.

  • The vitamin activity of certain substances can be measured using bacterial cultures.
  • The increase in bacterial numbers is compared against that achieved with known standards for vitamins.
  • Plant growth hormones can be estimated by their effect in causing curvature of oat coleoptiles (a sheathlike structure that protects the developing plumule [first rudimentary leaves in the mature embryo and seedling] in grasses).
Monitoring the aquatic environment to determine the health of a stream.
bioastronautic (adjective), more bioastronautic, most bioastronautic
A reference to the study of biological or living organisms and their behavioral, physical, and medical problems related to astronautical space traveling.
A reference to biological science as applied to space travel.
bioastronautics (pl) (noun) (plural used as a singular)
The study of the effects of space travel on living organisms and their medical problems.
The study of the possibility of life in the universe other than on earth.
bioautography (s) (noun), bioautographies (pl)
1. A bioassay of certain compounds, usually antibiotics or vitamins, by evaluating their ability to enhance the growth of some organism and to repress that of others: Using the bioautography stains for enzymes which could not be visualized by any other procedure have been developed
2. Classification of organic material by using solid absorbents that have affinities for specific elements.
3. An analytical technique in which organic compounds are separated by chromatography and identified by studying their effects on microorganisms.
bioavailability (s) (noun), bioavailabilities (pl)
1. The physiological accessibility of a given amount of a drug, as distinct from its chemical potency; proportion of the administered dose which is absorbed into the bloodstream: The local veterinarian was conscious of the bioavailability of the medications which were prescribed for the horses.
2. The degree to which a drug is in place throughout the body and is ready for action at the desired receptor sites: After receiving an injection, the doctor advised the patient to rest while she monitored the bioavailability of the medication.
3. The extent to which a nutrient or medication can be used by a person: In order to adjust the medications properly, the doctor monitored the bioavailability of the medication that was prescribed for the patient.

Bioavailability is used to determine whether different brand-name drugs, a generic name as opposed to a brand-name drug, or, in some cases, different batches of the same brand-name drug, will produce the same therapeutic effects.

biobased, bio-based
Having a biological source; describing materials, especially plastics, that are fully or partially produced from biomass-derived feed stocks.
A reference to the application of biological methods and ideas to the study of behavior in an attempt to understand emotions and reactions in term of brain and physiological function.
biobehavioral sciences (noun) (a plural form used as a singular)
Any of the various branches of the life sciences; such as, neurobiology, neurochemistry, or neuroendocrinologiy, that deal with biological aspects of behavior.
A device worn by an astronaut around the waist to record and transmit data on his/her physiological processes to mission control.
biobibliographer (s) (noun), biobibliographers (pl)
A writer of biographical sketches of the authors listed in a bibliography.
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-.