Did you know that your body is a cooperative collection of one hundred million million (i.e. a trillion) living cells and that every second of your life you produce about 50 million new cells? Although you began life with about two metres of DNA, you now have 6 billion kilometres of DNA - enough to stretch to the moon and back eight thousand times! Each second, the new DNA you make would stretch around the world two and a half times. Biology is a subject full of such fascinating facts, just waiting to be discovered.
The next hundred years looks set to be the ‘century of Biology’, as we gain greater knowledge of the science of life. Spectacular breakthroughs have recently been made in genetics, cell biology and the understanding of the human brain. Remarkable advances have occured in environmental science and evolutionary studies. A huge choice of careers has grown out of the practical applications of these recent discoveries and there has never been a greater demand for people to become research biologists.
The Leaving Certificate Biology course is an excellent foundation to view the many different life sciences as different chapters of the book of life. The need for a scientifically informed public has never been greater as we are faced with hugely important decisions in areas such as cloning, DNA fingerprinting, genetic modification of organisms, overpopulation, energy sources and pollution.
Biology at Leaving Certificate level is very similar to what you have done within the Science course at Junior Certificate but topics are studied in greater detail. There can sometimes appear to be a lot to learn but it can be an enriching experience, plant the seeds of a lifelong interest, and make your viewing of the Discovery channel all the more enjoyable.