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Physiology is the branch of biology that focuses on the functions and activities, including all physical and chemical processes, of living organisms and their parts.

The Doctor once told B'Elanna Torres that "the physiology of pain is simple. Too much and the organism loses consciousness– a protective mechanism. If that mechanism were chemically suppressed, one would experience agony beyond imagining." (VOY: "Darkling")


When Doctor Phlox began to practice medicine he stated that he "had no idea it would take me on journeys to other worlds. Every species I encounter allows me to explore a new physiology." (ENT: "Dear Doctor")

While in Starfleet Academy, Kathryn Janeway took a course on Klingon Physiology, which was taught by guest professor, a Klingon named H'ohk. (VOY: "Darkling")

Shortly after Kes joined USS Voyager in 2371, she wished to work with The Doctor in sickbay. After he gave her texts on how to treat burns, she told him that she would like to "do more than study first aid. I'd be interested in knowing more about anatomy and physiology." The Doctor was pleased to hear that that was "intellectually curious," and offered her texts on Human anatomy and physiology, but warned her that "they weren't written for the layman. They're quite technical." (VOY: "Eye of the Needle")

Notable physiologies

Takarans have the ability to control their physiology at a cellular level, allowing them to create the appearance of death. To Federation science, the internal physiology of Takarans is "baffling," according to Doctor Beverly Crusher. An autopsy of Dr. Jo'Bril in 2369, revealed that they do not seem to have "any discrete organs, not in the traditional sense," and that "practically every system is equally distributed throughout the body." This led her to conclude that "that should make him incredibly resistant to any injury." (TNG: "Suspicions")

The Borg consider Human physiology to be "inefficient," citing that the species has a "below-average cranial capacity; minimal redundant systems; and, limited regenerative abilities." (VOY: "Dark Frontier") Nevertheless, thanks to Seven of Nine's Borg-enhanced physiology, she had a superior strength, agility, stamina, and visual acuity, than is typical of an average human. (VOY: "Tsunkatse")

Comparative physiologies

Vulcan and human physiology are not all that dissimilar. (ENT: "Demons") Vulcans and Romulans share a common physiology. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges") As well, Rigelian physiology is also very similar to Vulcan. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

In 2151, during a visit to Valakis, Phlox found himself "in the enviable position of studying two humanoids from the same planet," which he described as "a rare and exciting opportunity." (ENT: "Dear Doctor")

During his career, Dr. Leonard McCoy was noted for his medical text entitled Comparative Alien Physiology. (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")

Bio-dampener units, which were used as a form of camouflage aboard Borg vessels, had to be tailored to its user's physiology. (VOY: "Dark Frontier")

When Seven of Nine took on the role as guardian for the Borg children that USS Voyager had adopted, in 2375, she had scheduled for them, among other things, to meet in the Holodeck where they were to study comparative alien physiology. (VOY: "Ashes to Ashes")

Related studies

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