Biology is the study of everything that is, or was once, alive — whether it’s a plant, animal, or microorganism. Biology is the study of life. The word “biology” is derived from the Greek words “bios” (meaning life) and “logos” (meaning “study”). In general, biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution of living organisms. Biology is important because it helps us understand how living things work and how they function and interact on multiple levels, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica(opens in new tab). Advances in biology have helped scientists do things such as develop better medicines and treatments for diseases, understand how a changing environment might affect plants and animals, produce enough food for a growing human population, and predict how eating new food or sticking to an exercise regimen might affect our bodies.