Biological disasters are outbreaks of diseases or contagions of plant and animal life on an epidemic or pandemic level or infestations of animal or insect life on an epidemic or pandemic level. Examples of biological disasters include cholera and influenza H1N1 (swine flu).Know More
Epidemic-level biological disasters affect large numbers of people within a given community or area, whereas pandemic-level biological disasters effect a much larger region, sometimes spanning entire continents or the globe. Cholera is an epidemic-level biological disaster, while swine flu is a pandemic. Other epidemic examples include Ebola, dengue fever, malaria and the measles.
The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) categorizes biological hazards that could potentially cause a biological disaster into four levels. These are classified as biosafety levels 1-4 or BSL 1-4. BSL 1 contains viruses like chicken pox and requires only the use of facial covering and gloves to protect against contagion.
BSL 2 contains diseases and viruses that are not generally airborne, such as hepatitis and HIV. BSL 2 takes more extreme precautions within a lab setting for safety purposes, including the use of autoclaves for sterilizing and biological safety cabinets.
BSL 3 includes diseases that cause potentially fatal reactions in humans and requires much more stringent safety protocols within the lab. This can include the use of respirators to prevent airborne infection. Biological hazards in this group generally have known vaccines or treatments.
BSL 4 contains biological hazards that are potentially fatal to humans for which there is no known treatment or vaccine. Laboratory safety includes the use of full-body safety suits.Learn more about Biology
A biological key, which is sometimes called a dichotomous key, is a tool used to determine the identity of an organism by answering a series of questions about the organism’s characteristics. Dichotomous keys usually include a series of questions where each of which has two possible answers. By answering the questions in sequence, the operator of the key can determine the identity of the plant, animal, fungi or other organism.Full Answer >
Biological evidence in forensic science includes organic materials, such as blood, semen, hair, saliva and skin tissue. Forensic scientists use fingernail scrapings and bone to identify victims and criminals. Biological evidence is extremely important in cases of sexual assault and violent crimes.Full Answer >
The biological spectrum consists of all living organisms divided into three domains, coexisting across various levels of biological organization. Microbiologist Carl Woese organized all known organisms into a phylogenetic tree of life based on RNA and common ancestor comparisons. The three domains are bacteria, archaea and eukaryota, which are further subdivided into kingdoms. All three domains exist on various levels of biological organization, from a cellular level to its biosphere.Full Answer >
Biological inheritance is broadly defined as physical heredity. Heredity, or inheritance in the biological sense, refers to the physical features that offspring inherit from their parents, such as eye color, shape of nose and mouth, height and other distinguishing physical characteristics.Full Answer >