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.

The application of mathematical methods to the study of the structure and anatomical function of living organisms.
1. The total complex of biotic communities occupying and characterizing a particular geographic area or zone.
2. A biotic community of plants and animals; specifically, such a community in a prehistoric period.
3. A biogeographical region or formation; a major regional ecological community characterized by distinctive life forms and principal plant (terrestrial biomes) or animal (marine biomes) species.
4. A climatically controlled group of plants and animals of a characteristic composition and distributed over a wide area; such as, tropical rain forest, tundra, temperate grassland, desert, savanna, mountain habitats, taiga (a northern coniferous forest zone, especially in Siberia, adjacent to tundra), and other northern coniferous forests, etc.
5. A major regional community of plants and animals with similar life forms and environmental conditions.

It is the largest geographical biotic unit, group, or mass; and is named after the dominant type of vegetation; such as, tropical rain forest, grassland, or coral reef.

6. A complex biotic community existing in a given region, produced by the interaction of climatic factors, living organisms, and substrate.

A community that has developed to take advantage of existing vegetation; such as, tundra, coniferous forest, or grassland.

biomechanical (adjective)
A reference to the applications of mechanical forces to living organisms and the investigations of the effects of the interactions of force and the body or system: "Biomechanical forces include those that come from within and outside the body."

"Biomechanical functions include the muscles, heart, lungs, and gravity on the skeletal structure."

1. The science concerned with the action of forces, internal or external, on the living body.
2. The study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms.
3. The study of body movements and of the forces acting on the musculoskeletal system.
4. The application of mechanics to the structures of living animals; especially, to the forces on the skeleton caused by the muscles, gravity, and resulting movements of the locomotor system.

Biomechanics is a curious blend of mechanical engineering and biology. It was born of the recognition that parts of a living organism may be viewed as mechanical devices to which engineering concepts; such as, fluid pressure, mechanical stress and friction can be applied.

New York Times, January 16, 1979.
1. The interdisciplinary study of biology, mechanics, and electronics.
2. The applications of various aspects of biology, mechanics, and electronics.
3. The use of biomedical knowledge for the development and optimization of mechatronic systems.

Interactivity of biological and electromechanical devices

This covers bionics (biology for engineering) as well as biomedical engineering and its related (engineering for biology).

Biomechatronics focuses on the interactivity of biological organs (including the brain) with electromechanical devices and systems.

  • Universities and research centers worldwide have taken notice of biomechatronics in light of its potential for development of advanced medical devices and life-support systems.
  • Primitive biomechatronic devices have existed for quite awhile.
  • The heart pacemaker and the defibrillator are examples.
  • More advanced-pragmatic biometchatronic possibilities that scientists foresee in the near future include:
  1. Pancreas pacemakers for diabetics.
  2. Mentally controlled electronic muscle stimulators for stroke and accident survivors.
  3. Cameras that can be wired into the brain allowing blind people to see.
  4. Microphones that can be wired into the brain allowing deaf people to hear.
Biomechatronics Research and Development
1. Pertaining to those aspects of the natural sciences, especially the biologic and physiologic sciences, that relate to or underlie medicine.
2. Biological and medical, i.e., encompassing both the science(s) and the art of medicine.
3. A reference to or relating to both biology and medicine.
4. Of or having to do with medicine considered in the context of the biological sciences, with emphasis on its relationship to the basic sciences underlying clinical practice.
biomedical engineering
The use of engineering methods, instrumentation, and technology to solve medical problems, including the manufacture of artificial limbs and organs, the design and construction of hospitals, the development of community health programs, and the study of ways to control the environment.
1. That branch of medicine dealing with functioning and survival of people in abnormal environments, especially in space.
2. Clinical medicine based on the principles of the natural sciences (biology, biochemistry, biophysics, etc.) to solve medical problems.
3. The science concerned with the effects of the environment on the human body; especially, environments associated with space travel.
1. A structure bounding a cell or cell organelle; it contains lipids, proteins, glycolipids, steroids, etc.
2. Any membrane, such as a cell membrane of an organism.
1. Study of the effects of atmospheric conditions (weather) on living organisms.
2. That branch of ecology that deals with the effects on living organisms of the extra-organic aspects of the physical environment; such as, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, rate of air flow, and air ionization.

It involves not only natural atmosphere but also artificially created atmospheres; such as, those to be found in buildings and shelters, and in closed ecological systems; for example, satellites and submarines.

1. A device for measuring carbon dioxide given off by organisms and, hence, for determining the quantity of living matter present.
2. An instrument by which minute quantities of carbon dioxide can be measured; used in measuring the carbon dioxide given off from functioning tissue.
biometric payment
A point of sale (POS) technology which uses biometric authentication to identify the user and authorize the deduction of funds from a bank account.

Fingerprint payment, based on fingerscanning, is the most common biometric payment method. Often, the system uses two-factor authentication, in which the finger scan takes the place of the card swipe and the user types in a PIN (personal ID number) as usual.

In the United States, biometric payment has gained popularity in grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores. In March 2006, "Pay By Touch", the leading biometric payment provider, reported that more than two million customers had enrolled in their biometric services and that "Pay By Touch" had authenticated approximately eight billion dollars in transactions.

The system of biometric payments is controversial. Traditionally, fingerprints have been associated with law enforcement. Critics of biometric payment fear that fingerprints could be made available to government agencies or law enforcement officials.

Biometric payment service providers are quick to point out that they don't keep the customer's actual fingerprint in their databases. They keep an encrypted number derived from the finger's point-to-point measurements. It is that number which is used to verify a customer's identity, not the actual fingerprint.

In the final analysis, a biometric payment system; like any system that accesses sensitive information, is only as secure as the associated databases and transactions.

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-.