The field of marine biology -- the study of marine organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with the environment -- is considered one of the most all-encompassing fields of oceanography. This field requires the ability to understand marine organisms and their behaviors. A marine biologist must have a basic understanding of other aspects or views of oceanography, such as chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, and geological oceanography. Therefore, marine biologists and biological oceanographers study these other fields throughout their careers, enabling them to take a more open approach to doing research. Because there are so many topics within the field of marine biology, many researchers select a particular interest and specialize in it. Specific studies can be based on a particular species, organism, behavior, technique, or ecosystem. For example, marine biologists may choose to study a single species of clams, or all clams that are native to a climate or region. One area of specialization, the emerging field of marine biotechnology, offers great opportunity for marine biologists. Marine biotechnology research presents a wide range of possibilities and applications. One focus area is the biomedical field, where scientists develop and test drugs, many of which come from marine organisms. An example of an application of biotechnology research can be seen in industry or defense, where researchers have developed non-toxic coatings that prevent the build-up of fouling organisms, such as barnacles and zebra mussels. Such coatings are useful for ships and intake pipes used in power plants. Molecular biology is a related area of specialization in this field. Researchers apply molecular approaches and techniques to many environments, from coastal ponds to the deep sea, and many different organisms, from microscopic bacteria, plants, and animals to marine mammals. For example, molecular biology can be used to identify the presence...
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