biodegradable /bàɪoʊdəɡréɪdəbəl/ : 生物分解可能な
Biodegradable means “able to be resolved by living things”, the etymology comes from bio (biological), degrade (disintegrate) and able (ability).
Biodegradable plastic is a plastic that can be decomposed by microorganisms. The advantage of biodegradable plastic is no use of fossil fuel, the friendliness to the environment, no accumulation of waste when discarded.
The disadvantage of biodegradable plastics, on the other hand, is that they are more expensive and less durable than regular plastics, that they cannot be recycled as they are disposal, and that they are sometimes discomposed during its use. Therefore, biodegradable plastics mainly become ingredient for disposal packaging bags.
biography /bɑɪάgrəfi/ : 伝記
Biography means “a book written about one’s life”, and the etymology comes from bio (life) and graphia (record).
Biography is a book about personal life and performance. Successful managers write their own biographies to earn secondary income. The self-development book section of the bookstore displays a lot of biographies of successful people.
In the past Japan, students had read biographies of greats in primary education. People with history love read biographies of great men.
biohazard /bàɪoʊhǽzɚd/ : 生物的危険性
Biohazard means “danger of harmful living things”, and the etymology comes from bio (life) and hazard (danger).
Biohazard means the dangers caused by harmful organisms. For example, a needle with a pathogen attached will spread the infection if it is not disposed properly. Japanese government also strictly regulate transport of substances containing pathogens to prevent biohazard.
Biohazard is also used for the name of famous game. Biohazard series produced by Capcom is a famous survival horror game.
biology /bɑɪάlədʒi/ : 生物学
Biology means “the study of living things”, and the etymology comes from bio (life) and logy (study).
Biology is a natural science field that studies organisms. Modern biology began with Darwin’s theory of evolution. Biology is divided into zoology, botany and microbiology depending on the type of living beings.
Biology is also divided into morphology, ecology, physiology, genetics depending on the phenomena to be handled.
biomass /báɪəmæs/ : バイオマス
Biomass means “fuel made from living things”, and the etymology comes from bio (bio) and mass (mass).
Biomass is a renewable biological resource, excluding a fossil fuel. For example, livestock excreta, discarded food, construction waste materials, etc. are reused as biomass fuel. Fuel using biomass is called bio-fuel.
The advantage of biomass fuels is carbon neutral. Burning biomass fuel generates carbon dioxide, but the gas was taken in by the animals and plants which are the source of fuel. Therefore, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not increase.
The disadvantage of biomass fuels is their higher collection costs and a trade-off with food production.
biome /báɪòʊm/ : バイオーム
Biome means “a type of environment”, and the etymology comes from bio (bio) and ome (chunk). Biome is classification of bundling animals, plants and soil organisms. Biome is affected by climate and precipitation in the area. Let’s see a concrete example of biome.
Forests are areas where plenty of trees are densely populated. Tropical rainforests, coniferous forests, summer green forests are classified as forest biomes. The grassland is an area where the ground is covered with grass and few trees exist. Savanna and steps are classified as prairie biomes. Wilderness is an area where climate is severe and plants are rarely grown. Tundra and deserts are classified as wilderness biomes.
The concept of biome will also appeared in sandbox games such as Minecraft and Teraria. Available blocks, items, plants etc are different depending on the biome.
bionics /bɑɪάnɪks/ : 生体工学
Bionics means “the study of living things for human use”, and the etymology comes from bio (life) and ics (method).
Bionics is the study of applying the mechanism of the natural world to the latest technology. Let’s see a practical example of bionics. For example, lotus leaves will not get wet by the special structure of the surface. Water on the lotus leaves will be rolled up by surface tension and rinse off mud and small insects. This mechanism is called Lotus effect, and lotus leaves and flowers are beautiful for this mechanism. Lotus effect is applied to water repellent processing technology.
Other examples of bionics applications include fibers with the same strength as spider threads, sonars that mimic the echolocation of bats, and others.
biopsy /bάɪɑpsi/ : 生体組織診断
Biopsy means “biological tissue diagnosis”, and the etymology comes from bio (organism) and opsis (view). Biopsy is a diagnosis of the disease in the body by removing the diseased part with a needle and observing it with a microscope. In the case of internal organs, a needle biopsy to collect tissue by stabbing a needle is common.
biosphere /báɪoʊsfɪ̀r/ : 生物圏
Biosphere means “the area where living things exist”, and the etymology comes from bio (bio) and sphere (sphere). The biosphere is the area where living things live on the earth. The biosphere range is very wide, including not only the surface of the earth and the underground but also the atmosphere and hydrosphere.
biotechnology /bàɪoʊtɛ̀knɑ́lədʒi/ : 生物工学
Biotechnology means “the use of living things for human life”, and the etymology comes from biology and technology.
Biotechnology is a compound word of biology and technology. Biotechnology is a technology that makes the excellent properties of living things useful for human life. Typical examples of biotechnology are genetically modified foods, cloning technology, iPS cells, antibiotics, etc.