Human biology

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Human Biology is an interdisciplinary area of study that examines humans through the influences and interplay of many diverse fields such as genetics, evolution, physiology, anatomy, epidemiology, anthropology, ecology, nutrition, population genetics and sociocultural influences. [1] It is closely related to biological anthropology and other biological fields tying in various aspects of human functionality. It wasn't until the 20th Century when well known biogerontologist, Raymond Pearl author of the Journal Human Biology, phrased the term Human Biology in a way to describe a separate subsection apart from Biology. [2]

Human genetics

Human genetics is the study of inheritance as it occurs in human beings. Human genetics encompasses a variety of overlapping fields including: classical genetics, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, biochemical genetics, genomics, population genetics, developmental genetics, clinical genetics, and genetic counseling.

Human evolution Evolutionary process leading up to the appearance of anatomically modern humans

Human evolution is the evolutionary process that led to the emergence of anatomically modern humans, beginning with the evolutionary history of primates—in particular genus Homo—and leading to the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of the hominid family, the great apes. This process involved the gradual development of traits such as human bipedalism and language, as well as interbreeding with other hominins, which indicate that human evolution was not linear but a web.

Anatomy The study of the structure of organisms and their parts

Anatomy is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its beginnings in prehistoric times. Anatomy is inherently tied to developmental biology, embryology, comparative anatomy, evolutionary biology, and phylogeny, as these are the processes by which anatomy is generated over immediate (embryology) and long (evolution) timescales. Anatomy and physiology, which study (respectively) the structure and function of organisms and their parts, make a natural pair of related disciplines, and they are often studied together. Human anatomy is one of the essential basic sciences that are applied in medicine.

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Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behavior and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology and cultural anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans.

Outline of biology Hierarchical outline list of articles related to biology

Biology – The natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy.

Biological anthropology Branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species

Biological anthropology, also known as physical anthropology, is a scientific discipline concerned with the biological and behavioral aspects of human beings, their extinct hominin ancestors, and related non-human primates, particularly from an evolutionary perspective. It is a subfield of anthropology that provides a biological perspective to the systematic study of human beings.

A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, by the 17th century the term race began to refer to physical (phenotypical) traits. Modern scholarship regards race as a social construct, an identity which is assigned based on rules made by society. While partially based on physical similarities within groups, race is not an inherent physical or biological quality.


Sociobiology is a field of biology that aims to examine and explain social behavior in terms of evolution. It draws from disciplines including ethology, anthropology, evolution, zoology, archaeology, and population genetics. Within the study of human societies, sociobiology is closely allied to Darwinian anthropology, human behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology.

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study".

Computational biology involves the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, ecological, behavioral, and social systems. The field is broadly defined and includes foundations in biology, applied mathematics, statistics, biochemistry, chemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, computer science and evolution.

Evolutionary anthropology The interdisciplinary study of the evolution of human physiology and human behaviour and the relation between hominids and non-hominid primates

Evolutionary anthropology is the interdisciplinary study of the evolution of human physiology and human behaviour and the relation between hominids and non-hominid primates. Evolutionary anthropology is based in natural science and social science. Various fields and disciplines of evolutionary anthropology are:

Osteology is the scientific study of bones, practiced by osteologists. A subdiscipline of anatomy, anthropology, and archaeology, osteology is a detailed study of the structure of bones, skeletal elements, teeth, microbone morphology, function, disease, pathology, the process of ossification, the resistance and hardness of bones (biophysics), etc. often used by scientists with identification of vertebrate remains with regard to age, death, sex, growth, and development and can be used in a biocultural context. Osteologists frequently work in the public and private sector as consultants for museums, scientists for research laboratories, scientists for medical investigations and/or for companies producing osteological reproductions in an academic context.

Comparative biology

Comparative biology uses natural variation and disparity to understand the patterns of life at all levels—from genes to communities—and the critical role of organisms in ecosystems. Comparative biology is a cross-lineage approach to understanding the phylogenetic history of individuals or higher taxa and the mechanisms and patterns that drives it. Comparative biology encompasses Evolutionary Biology, Systematics, Neontology, Paleontology, Ethology, Anthropology, and Biogeography as well as historical approaches to Developmental biology, Genomics, Physiology, Ecology and many other areas of the biological sciences.The comparative approach also has numerous applications in human health, genetics, biomedicine, and conservation biology. The biological relationships are important for comparative analyses and usually represented by a phylogenetic tree or cladogram to differentiate those features with single origins (Homology) from those with multiple origins (Homoplasy).

Ethnobiology the scientific study of the way living things are treated or used by different human cultures

Ethnobiology is the scientific study of the way living things are treated or used by different human cultures. It studies the dynamic relationships between people, biota, and environments, from the distant past to the immediate present.

Human science studies the philosophical, biological, social, and cultural aspects of human life. Human Sciences aims to expand our understanding of the human world through a broad interdisciplinary approach. It encompasses a wide range of fields - including history, philosophy, genetics, sociology, psychology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, neurosciences and anthropology. It is the study and interpretation of the experiences, activities, constructs, and artifacts associated with human beings. The study of the human sciences attempts to expand and enlighten the human being's knowledge of their existence, its interrelationship with other species and systems, and the development of artifacts to perpetuate the human expression and thought. It is the study of human phenomena. The study of the human experience is historical and current in nature. It requires the evaluation and interpretation of the historic human experience and the analysis of current human activity to gain an understanding of human phenomena and to project the outlines of human evolution. Human science is the objective, informed critique of human existence and how it relates to reality.

Biocultural anthropology can be defined in numerous ways. It is the scientific exploration of the relationships between human biology and culture. "Instead of looking for the biology underlying biological roots of human behavior, biocultural anthropology attempts to understand how culture affects our biological capacities and limitations."

Arthur Mourant British Genetic anthropologist

Arthur Ernest Mourant FRS was a British chemist, hematologist and geneticist who pioneered research into biological anthropology and its distribution, genetics, clinical and laboratory medicine, and geology.

Anthropogeny is the study of human origins. It is not simply a synonym for human evolution by natural selection, which is only a part of the processes involved in human origins. Many other factors besides biological evolution were involved, ranging over climatic, geographic, ecological, social, and cultural ones. Anthropogenesis, meaning the process or point of becoming human, is also called hominization.

Josep Pons Rosell is an anthropologist and professor at the Anthropology Department of the Biology Faculty of the University of Barcelona (UB) from 1973 to his retirement. In 1991 he was made academic of the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts of Barcelona.

Human Biology is a peer reviewed scientific journal, currently published by Wayne State University Press. The journal was established in 1929 by Raymond Pearl and is the official publication of the American Association of Anthropological Genetics. The focus of the journal is human genetics, covering topics from human population genetics, evolutionary and genetic demography and quantitative genetics. It also covers ancient DNA studies, evolutionary biological anthropology, and research exploring biological diversity expressed in terms of adaptation. The journal also publishes interdisciplinary research linking biological and cultural diversity from evidence such sources as archaeology, ethnography and cultural anthropology studies, and more. As of July 1, 2016, the journal is on Volume 87, Issue 3. The journal's current editors are Brian M. Kemp and Ripan S. Malhi.

The NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing is awarded by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences "to recognize authors whose reviews have synthesized extensive and difficult material, rendering a significant service to science and influencing the course of scientific thought." It has been awarded annually in specific fields since 1979.


  1. Sara Stinson, Barry Bogin, Dennis O'Rourke. Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective. Publisher John Wiley & Sons, 2012. ISBN   1118108043. Page 4-5.
  2. "Human Biology - Definition, History and Major". Biology Dictionary. 2017-05-26. Retrieved 2019-03-22.