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 control
The use of natural predators or parasites, instead of chemicals, to control pests.

The most famous successful example was the introduction of the gray moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, into Australia to control the prickly pear, Opuntia inermis, which was over running vast tracts of land. The moth's caterpillars eat the shoots of the plant.

Another example is the introduction of parasitic wasps that lay their eggs inside the eggs of pest insects; such as, corn borers that attack corn (maize).

Populations of insect pests may also be reduced by releasing sterile males to mate with the females, or by using sex-attractant chemicals (pheromones) to trap males or females.

biological dose (s) (noun), biological doses (pl)
The amount of radiation absorbed in biological material: The scientist developed a way to measure the biological dose of the radiation treatment of the lump on the patient’s foot.
biological dosimetry (s) (noun) (usually only singular)
An area of science that uses the physical damage produced by radiation to estimate radiation doses: It was small comfort for the patient to know that the tissue damage sustained from the radiation was considered important for biological dosimetry.
biological effective dose; abbreviated, BED (s) (noun), biological effective doses (pl)
The amount of a substance that is sufficient to bring about some significant physiological changes in the affected organism; specifically, the level of exposure to a toxic substance that is required to produce a harmful effect: The doctors continue to study the biological effective doses of radiation that are being administered to treat the skin cancer of Mark's cousin.
biological father
A natural father.
biological half-life
The time required for the quantity of a material in a specified tissue, organ, or region of the body; especially, a toxin; to reduce in quantity by half as a result of biological processes.
biological hazard potential, BHP
A total measure of the danger to living organisms presented by a certain quantity of radioactive materials, accounting for the variation in biological effects on different individuals within the given population.
biological integrity
The ability to support and maintain balanced and integrated functionality in the natural habitat of a given region.

The concept is applied primarily in drinking water management.

biological mother
biological oceanography (s) (noun), biological oceanographies (pl)
The study of oceanic or sea life of plants and animal lives in relation to their marine environment.
biological oxidation
Decomposition of complex organic materials by microorganisms.

It occurs in self-purification of water bodies and in activated sludge wastewater treatment.

biological oxygen demand, BOD
A measurement of the amount of oxygen required by aerobic organisms to carry out oxidative metabolism in a given volume of water containing organic material; for example, waste matter in a water supply.
biological parent, birth parent
A parent who has conceived (biological mother) or sired (biological father) rather than adopted a child and whose genes are therefore transmitted to the child.
biological plausibility
When a causal association (or relationship between two factors) is consistent with existing medical knowledge.
biological psychiatry
A school of psychiatric thought concerned with the medical treatment of mental disorders; especially, through medication, and emphasizing the relationship between behavior and brain function and the search for physical causes of mental illness.
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-.