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.

abiotically (adverb), more abiotically, most abiotically
That which is harmful to or destructive of living organisms: "Water pollution abiotically creates deadly conditions for aquatic plants and animals; such as, fish."
abiotrophia (s) (noun), abiotrophias (pl)
Degeneration or the loss of physical vitality or ability.
abiotrophic (adjective), more abiotrophic, most abiotrophic
1. A reference to the physical degeneration or the loss of vitality.
2. Describing disease processes presumed to be a result of the progressive loss of vitality of certain tissues or organs leading to physical disorders or the loss of bodily functions.
abiotrophy (s) (noun), abiotrophies (pl)
1. The loss of vitality in or the degeneration of certain cells or tissues, as in the aging process; physical degeneration; loss of vitality: The loss of functions or vitality in an organism or in cells or tissues which is not a result of any apparent injury; for example, senile dementia and related abiotrophies.
2. Progressive loss of vitality of certain tissues or organs leading to disorders or losses of functions: The abiotrophy of the heart may be appreciably shorter than that of other organs of the body which can lead to early disturbances in activities that upset other bodily organs.
acaustobiolith (s) (noun), acaustobioliths (pl)
A noncombustible rock that is organic or formed by organic accumulation of minerals: Acaustobioliths include diatomite, radiolarite, phosphorite, and some limestones.
actinobiology (s) (noun), actinobiologies (pl)
The study of the effects of radiation on living organisms.
active euthanasia (s) (noun), active euthanasias (pl)
The deliberate putting of someone to death because that person is suffering from a painful and incurable disease and desperately wants to die: Active euthanasia is another term for "mercy killing".
aerobiological (adjective), more aerobiological, most aerobiological
1. A reference to the study of airborne micro-organisms or spores and their distributions; especially, as agents of infection.
2. Relating to that branch of biology which deals with the distribution of living organisms by air, either the exterior, or outdoor air (extramural aerobiology), or the indoor air (intramural aerobiology).
aerobiologist (s) (noun), aerobiologists (pl)
Someone who studies or specializes in the study of airborne microorganisms or spores.
aerobiont (s) (noun), aerobionts (pl)
Either an organism living in air as distinct from water or soil or species that require oxygen.
aerobioscope (s) (noun), aerobioscopes (pl)
An apparatus for collecting and determining the bacterial content in a sample of air.
aerobiosis (s) (noun), aerobioses (pl)
1. Growing or occurring only in the presence of molecular oxygen.
2. Living, or existing, only in the air or free oxygen.
3. An environment in which the partial pressure of oxygen is similar to normal atmospheric levels.
4. Life which is sustainable by means of atmospheric oxygen.
agrobiologist (s) (noun), agrobiologists (pl)
An expert or specialist in the study of plant nutrition and growth in relation to the conditions of soils.
agrobiology (s) (noun) (usually no plural)
1. The study of the breeding, nutrition, and growth of crops; especially, in relation to soil management.
2. The quantitative science of plant life and plant nutrition.
allobiosphere (s) (noun), allobiospheres (pl)
That part of the earth's surface and surrounding air that is capable of supporting life in which heterotrophic (dependent on other sources for food) organisms occur but into which organic food material must be transported because the primary production does not take place where they are: Most of the occupants of the various allobiospheres usually depend on green plants that include elements of solar energy that have been converted into chemical energy which is food for the various species of animal life.

Another allobiosphere has been discovered at the bottom of the seas where hot springs come up from that part of the Earth that is deep below the surface or on the seafloor where hot springs have animals that are separate from green plants but that depend on bacteria that utilize the energy of chemicals from the hot springs.

Ocean depths are the most extensive and permanent example of the allobiosphere where in great areas there is no light and so there is no active plant life; however, explorers of the depths of the oceans have discovered various animals; such as, worms, prawn-like creatures, and many types of fish that live in these locations.

The ecologist, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, coined the term allobiosphere for these environments, where plant life and its photosynthesis are replaced by environmental extremes of darkness, heat, or cold, but where life continues, life that depends for nourishment from materials that come from other places.

—This information was compiled from the following sources:
"The Allobiosphere",; "Life in the allobiosphere", UK Pubmed Central;
based on excerpts from "Natural Science", by John S. Edwards; 1988.
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-.