Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, you often hear us describing ourselves as 'life science recruitment consultants' as opposed to typical recruiters within the science and technology industries. We are also often asked what does life science actually mean and why or how is it any better or different to traditional science?
Well, there's a lot to the concept of life science and why we prefer to focus our attention to it and thought we would explain why. So, strap yourselves in and get ready to find out all you need to know about the definition and meaning behind life science!
What is the definition of life science?
According to dictionary.com, the definition of life science is 'any science that deals with living organisms, their life processes and their interrelationships, as biology, medicine or ecology.'
At first, this may seem like a pretty basic and straightforward definition, however, if you begin to break it down you will start to understand just how big the nature behind life science actually is.
Life science is a huge field of study that examines every single living thing on earth. Whether that's plants, animals, bacteria and even viruses and the ways in which they live their life as well as how they interact with the world and environments around them. As you can imagine, this isn't an easy feat. With an estimated 8.7 million species of animals, 400,00 species of plants and countless forms of virus and bacteria, a lot of work in multiple branches is required.
In total, there are more than 30 different areas of life sciences, each one contributing to our understanding of how the world and all organisms that live here work. Let's take a look at some of the more major areas in life science more closely.
Examples of life science
One area of life science that is very relevant to today is that of epidemiology, which is the study of life cycles of diseases. Now, it may seem a little off to think of diseases such as the flu or COVID-19 as being alive but all of these diseases are constructed of tiny living organisms that can and need to be studied in order to gain a greater understanding of how they occur, how they survive and how best to treat and eliminate them.
Epidemiology specifically looks at how viruses live, how they reproduce, how they impact human and how they die and is the cornerstone of public health. Scientists working within this sector examine outbreak patterns, formalising treatments and cures and developing vaccines which work to tackle them. The more information that epidemiologist know about a particular disease, the more they can do to help prevent them from affecting humans around the globe. This leads us nicely onto another important area of life science, physiology.
While other branches of life science focus on organisms as being within their environment such as zoology, physiology is more concerned with how these organisms stay alive. This includes cells, organs and their systems and molecules that run the chemical processes that help to support life. Through the eyes of physiology, we are not seen as people interacting with the world and environments around us but as a very fine makeup of chemical interactions that work to keep us alive.
Physiology looks at every and any form of life, including humans, plants, animals and cells and is also closely tied with pharmacology as well as epidemiology.
This is the study of drugs and the ways in which they affect living things. Its role is to understand why changes to the body occur when certain medications are taken, allowing us to develop better drugs. Pharmacology plays a crucial role in several areas, including; improving the effectiveness of medicines, decreasing unwanted side effects of medicines and discovering new medicines to help fight novel diseases.
Pharmacology plays a vital role in the makeup of life science, linking several areas such as chemistry, pathology and physiology together.
Mentioned above, zoology is the study of the animal kingdom. Here, characteristics of animals such as their behaviour, breeding, habitats and migration patterns are studied. Zoology also aims to identify new species of animals that have yet to be discovered. Out of the estimated 8.7 million species of animals that are on the planet, we currently only know about 1.2 million of them, meaning there is still a huge amount of work to be done within this area of life science.
As with all other branches of life science, zoology overlaps with more than one discipline, including genetics, palaeontology (the study of dinosaurs) and entomology (the study of insects). Different zoologists study different types of animals including fish, mammals and birds with more than a half-dozen subfields of zoology.
Why enter the field of life science?
One of the biggest reasons why people choose to enter life science is down to the sheer depth and breadth of study that is available. With so many areas to choose from, you are sure to find a discipline that catches your interest and no doubt there are areas within that discipline that require further work and research.
Even those who do not wish to pursue a career within life science, it's still a great idea to study it as it enables us to better understand the world we live in, leading to a greater appreciation of it. Life science reveals all of the wonders within the world, allowing us to understand how everything from humans to plants and cells work to stay alive. Gaining a better understanding of all of these things helps us to feel more connected to the world and people around us.
Our life science jobs
At HRS, we are constantly striving to find the very best talent up and down the country and connecting them with the best scientific organisations, including those that work within life science. So, if you want to pursue a career within one of the many disciplines of life science, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with one of our experienced recruiters today to take the first step! You can also browse our list of science jobs and apply for any relevant life science position that catches your interest.
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If you would like more information on life science or our life science jobs specifically, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the HRS team today - we'd love to hear from you.