General Biology Vocab for NLN Exam

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Includes vocab on: Cell Structure and Function Levels of Organization Evolution: Evidence and Theories Evolution: Classification of Organisms Diffusion and Osmosis Ecology: Interrelationships Plants and Photosynthesis Genetics Research Procedures Vocab obtained from the Third Edition Review Guide for RN Pre- Entrance Nursing Exam by the National League for Nursing.

CELL

cell structure and function

is the smallest living unit and the basic unit of function and structure for all living things.

NUCLEUS

cell structure and function

a part of the cell containing DNA and RNA and controls the activities of the cell

DNA

cell structure and function

deoxyribonucleic acid. Double-stranded nucleic acid twisted into a helical shape; used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms with the exception of some viruses.

PLASMA (CELL) MEMBRANE

cell structure and function

phospholipid bilayer containing cholesterol and proteins. Contains receptors for communication; forms intercellular connections and boundaries; acts as a physical barrier to enclose cell contents; regulates movement into and out of the cell.

INTERSTITIAL FLUID

cell structure and function

liquid found between the cells of the body that provides much of the liquid environment of the body, contains amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, hormones, neurotransmitters, and salts.

SELECTIVELY PERMEABLE

cell structure and function

a property of cell membranes that allows some substances to pass through, while others cannot. It contains pores and channels that allow only particles of the right size or the right chemical nature to pass through, and contains receptors that bind with specific substances.

CYTOPLASM

cell structure and function

fluid gel like matrix found between the plasma membrane and the nucleus that acts as scaffolding for the organelles.

ORGANELLES

cell structure and function

"little organs" that are specialized units in the cell that perform certain functions.

MITOCHONDRIA

cell structure and function

Locations for cellular respiration that is the conversion of food to energy at the cellular level, and are the sites of energy production and of most of its ATP. "powerhouse" of the cell

RIBOSOME

cell structure and function

the site of protein synthesis; found free floating in the cytoplasm and on rough ER. Consists of rRNA and protein molecules, which make up two subunits. ribosomes attach to mRNA and move down it one codon at a time and stop until tRNA brings the required amino acid; when a ribosome reaches a stop codon it falls apart and releases the completed protein molecules.

ER ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM

cell structure and function

Serves as a means for transport within the cell and is made up of many channels. Rough ER serves to store and deliver the proteins made by the attached ribosomes. Smooth ER storages enzymes and minerals, and folds proteins among other things.

GOLGI COMPLEX

cell structure and function

the cell organelle that modifies and packages proteins destined for use in the cell or for transporting proteins out of the cell.

LYSOSOME

cell structure and function

membrane-bound sac containing digestive enzymes that can break down proteins, nucleic acids, and polysaccharides, or cellular structures that are no longer living or that are malfunctioning and for digesting waste.

CELL WALL

cell structure and function

strong supporting layer around the cell membrane in plants, algae, and some bacteria. It is essential for protection of the cell, and the maintenance of the shape, and water balance.

CHLOROPLASTS

cell structure and function

organelle found in cells of plants and some other organisms that captures the energy from sunlight and converts it into chemical energy, contain chlorophyll

VACUOLE

cell structure and function

compartments in the cytoplasm that acts as places for secretion, excretion, and storage.

CHROMATIN

cell structure and function

When the cell is not dividing, DNA is found in the nucleus in the form of loosely structured chromatin which can turn to chromosomes

CHROMOSOMES

cell structure and function

threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes, dense rod shaped bodies.

MITOSIS

cell structure and function

the stage of the cell cycle during which the cell's nucleus divides into two new nuclei and one copy of the dna is distributed into each daughter cell, useful for growth and repair of our bodies. Occurs in both plants and animal cells.

ZYGOTE

cell structure and function

the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo, gets half set of chromosomes from sperm and egg, to create a full set.

MEIOSIS

cell structure and function

cell division that produces reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms, doubling of chromosomes and then two subsequent divisions. Four daughter cells, each with half the normal number of chromosomes.

TISSUE AND 4 MAIN CATEGORIES

levels of organization

group of cells with common structure and function .
muscle, epithelial, nervous, connective

MUSCLE TISSUE

levels of organization

very specialized tissue that has both the ability to contract and to conduct electrical impulses. Muscles are classified by functionality as either voluntary or involuntary and structurally as either striated or smooth. From this, there emerges three types of muscles: smooth involuntary (smooth) muscle, striated voluntary (skeletal) muscle and striated involuntary (cardiac) muscle.

EPITHELIAL TISSUE

levels of organization

tissue composed of cells that line the cavities and surfaces of structures throughout the body. Functions include: secretion, selective absorption, protection, transcellular transport and detection of sensation. skin, the lining of organs.

NERVOUS TISSUE

levels of organization

tissue that receives messages from the body's external and internal environment, analyzes the data, and directs the response ie; neurons. Functions include: sensory input, integration, controls of muscles and glands, homeostasis, and mental activity.

CONNECTIVE TISSUE

levels of organization

supports organs and fills spaces between them and forms tendons and ligaments, anchors, connects and supports other tissue. ie; bones, fat, blood, cartilage

ORGAN

levels of organization

a collection of tissues that carry out a specialized function of the body, stomach, heart, lungs, etc.

ORGAN SYSTEM

levels of organization

group of organs that work together to perform a specific function, circulatory system, nervous system.

ORGANISM

levels of organization

a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently, human body

NATURAL SELECTION

evolution: evidence and theories

the process by which the traits that promote or enhance an organisms ability to survive and reproduce are passed on to following generations

ADAPTATION

evolution: evidence and theories

inherited characteristic that improves an organism's ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment, survival of the fittest.

FOSSIL RECORD

evolution: evidence and theories

The totality of fossilized artifacts and their placement within the earth's rock strata. It provides information about the history of life on earth, for instance what the organisms look like, where and when they live, how they evolved, etc.
Fossil record can provide interesting information about the evolution and the history of life on earth such as the way the particular species have lived during a specific geological period and then evolved in time.

VERTEBRATES

evolution: evidence and theories

animals with backbones

BIOGEOGRAPHY

evolution: evidence and theories

the geographical distribution of animals and plants, can be past and present.

COMPARATIVE ANATOMY

evolution: evidence and theories

is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. Homologous structures - structures (body parts/anatomy) which are similar in different species because the species have common descent. Analogous structures - structures which are similar in different organisms because they evolved in a similar environment.

COMPARATIVE EMBRYOLOGY

evolution: evidence and theories

comparison of the early stages of development (embryo), deals with the similarities and differences in the development of animals or plants of different orders.

EVOLUTION

evolution: evidence and theories

is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generation. Based on the fact that present species evolved from ancestral ones, and that evolution occurs by means of natural selection.

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

evolution: evidence and theories

concerns itself with understanding and the interactions between the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA, RNA and protein biosynthesis as well as learning how these interactions are regulated.

TAXONOMY

evolution: classification of organisms

study of scientific classification of organisms into groups based on similarities of structure or origin etc

KINGDOM

evolution: classification of organisms

the broadest group into which an organism can be classified.
5 groups are: animal, plant, monera, protist, fungi.

ANIMAL

evolution: classification of organisms

One of the five kingdoms of life. are a major group of mostly multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom. they can move spontaneously and independently. All animals are also heterotrophs, meaning they must ingest other organisms for sustenance.

PLANT

evolution: classification of organisms

One of the five kingdoms of life, a living organism lacking the power of locomotion, and most obtain energy from sunlight through photosynthesis.

MONERA

evolution: classification of organisms

One of the five kingdoms of life. organisms in this kingdom are all prokaryotic (no nucleus) cells called bacteria.

PROTIST

evolution: classification of organisms

One of the five kingdoms of life. either they are unicellular, or they are multicellular microorganisms without specialized tissues. Eukaryotic, (contain nuclei) which includes protozoans (amoeba and paramecium), algae, and some molds.

FUNGI

evolution: classification of organisms

One of the five kingdoms of life. a kingdom of eukaryotic organisms. They are heterotrophic and digest their food externally, absorbing nutrient molecules into their cells. Yeasts, molds, and mushrooms are examples.

PHYLUM

evolution: classification of organisms

major classification, second to kingdom, of plants and animals; category ranking below a kingdom and above a class.

CLASS

evolution: classification of organisms

the taxonomic group above order and under phylum.

ORDER

evolution: classification of organisms

the taxonomic group above family and below class

FAMILY

evolution: classification of organisms

a taxonomic group above genus, and below order.

GENUS

evolution: classification of organisms

a taxonomic classification group that contains similar, closely related organisms, below family and above species.

SPECIES

evolution: classification of organisms

A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.

ACTIVE TRANSPORT

diffusion and osmosis

transport of a substance (as a protein or drug) across a cell membrane against the concentration gradient using energy, ATP.

PASSIVE TRANSPORT

diffusion and osmosis

the movement of materials through a cell membrane without using energy through filtration and diffusion.

HYPERTONIC

diffusion and osmosis

describes a solution whose solute concentration is higher than the solute concentration inside a cell, if a cell is in a solution that is _______ to the cell, the cell will lose water to its environment, shrivel (crenate), and probably die

DIFFUSION

diffusion and osmosis

process by which molecules tend to move from an area where they are more concentrated to an area where they are less concentrated

OSMOSIS

diffusion and osmosis

diffusion of water molecules through a semipermeable membrane from a place of higher concentration to a place of lower concentration until the concentration on both sides is equal

FILTRATION

diffusion and osmosis

passive process whereby some substances, but not all, pass through a filter or other material

ISOTONIC

diffusion and osmosis

concentration of two solutions having the same or equal osmotic pressure, Referring to a solution that, when surrounding a cell, has no effect on the passage of water into or out of the cell.

HYPOTONIC

diffusion and osmosis

when a cell is in a solution that is ______ to the cell, water will enter the cell faster than it leaves, and will cause the cell to swell and burst or lyse.

AUTOTROPH

ecology: interrelationships

organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds; such as plants, aka producers.

HETEROTROPH

ecology: interrelationships

organisms that cannot make their own food and must feed on other organisms for energy and nutrients, aka consumers.

PRIMARY CONSUMER

ecology: interrelationships

organism (consumer) that feeds directly on producers (plants) herbivore

HERBIVORE

ecology: interrelationships

organism (producer) that obtains energy by eating only (producers) plants

OMNIVORE

ecology: interrelationships

a consumer that eats both plants and animals

SECONDARY CONSUMER
ecology: interrelationships

are carnivores or omnivores that eat herbivores.

CARNIVORE

ecology: interrelationships

organism that obtains energy by eating animals, a flesh eating animal

TERTIARY CONSUMER

ecology: interrelationships

Top member of the food chain, are carnivores that eat other carnivores or omnivores.

TROPHIC LEVEL

ecology: interrelationships

It is a position an organism occupies in the food chain based on what they eat.
Level 1: Plants and algae make their own food and are called primary producers.
Level 2: Herbivores eat plants and are called primary consumers.
Level 3: Carnivores which eat herbivores are called secondary consumers.
Level 4: Carnivores which eat other carnivores are called tertiary consumers.
Level 5: Apex predators which have no predators are at the top of the food chain.

ECOSYSTEM

ecology: interrelationships

is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving, physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water, and sunlight

FOOD CHAINS
ecology: interrelationships

are overly simplistic as representatives of the relationships of living organisms in nature, but is the path that food is transferred from level to level.

FOOD WEB

ecology: interrelationships

a community of organisms where there are several interrelated food chains

DECOMPOSER

ecology: interrelationships

organism that breaks down and absorbs nutrients from dead organisms , and release inorganic material, such as bacteria and fungi.

BIOTIC

ecology: interrelationships

Biotic components are the living things that shape an ecosystem. They are, any living component that affects another organism. Such things include animals which consume the organism in question, and the living food that the organism consumes.

PREDATOR

ecology: interrelationships

a organism the feeds directly on other organisms in order to survive; live-feeders such as herbivores and carnivores

PREY

ecology: interrelationships

animal hunted or caught for food

SYMBIOSIS

ecology: interrelationships

close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. Relationships Include: parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism

PARASITIC

ecology: interrelationships

relationship in which a parasitic organism obtains its food at the expense of a host organism

COMMENSALISM

ecology: interrelationships

symbiotic relationship in which one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed, such as barnacles on whales

MUTUALISM

ecology: interrelationships

the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent, like clownfish and sea anemones

BIOSPHERE

ecology: interrelationships

the biosphere is the entire portion of our planet integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.

BIOME

ecology: interrelationships

are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms.

DESERTS
ecology: interrelationships

a type of biome characterized by low moisture levels and infrequent and unpredictable precipitation. Daily and seasonal temperatures fluctuate widely.

TROPICAL RAIN FOREST

ecology: interrelationships

biome, warmer temperatures, constant daylight length, high humidity, and lots of rain. Have lots of biodiversity

DECIDUOUS FOREST

ecology: interrelationships

biome, where temperatures vary widely with seasons, have deciduous trees that lose their leaves, temperate midlatitude regions, air contains enough moisture to support the growth of large trees.

CONIFEROUS FOREST
ecology: interrelationships

(taigas), biomes found at high and cool elevations. Seasons have short summers and long winters, mainly have conifer trees which do not shed their leaves in the cold dry months.

TUNDRA

ecology: interrelationships

biomes of very cold temps, and high altitude, shrubs and bushes grow, but no trees.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS

plants and photosynsthesis

process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy, carbon dioxide and water to produce carbohydrates and oxygen.

CHLOROPHYLL

plants and photosynsthesis

green pigment in plants that absorbs light energy used to carry out photosynthesis

CUTICLE

plants and photosynsthesis

Waxy, protective layer that covers the stems, leaves, and flowers of many plants. Helps prevent water loss.

STOMATE

plants and photosynsthesis

An opening on the lower surface of a leaf. Carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor pass in and out of the stomates. Guard cells control the opening and closing of the stomates.

SEPAL

plants and photosynsthesis

outermost circle of flower parts that encloses a bud before it opens and protects the flower while it is developing

ANGIOSPERMS

plants and photosynsthesis

a flowering plant which forms seeds inside a protective chamber called an ovary.

PETAL

plants and photosynsthesis

part of the flower that produces sweet smelling nectar and attracts pollinators

STAMEN

plants and photosynsthesis

the pollen-producing male reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an anther and a filament.

FILAMENT

plants and photosynsthesis

stalk that supports the anther

ANTHER

plants and photosynsthesis

pollen-bearing structure in the stamen (male organ) of the flower usually located on top of the filament of the stamen.

PISTIL

plants and photosynsthesis

the female reproductive structure in a flower that consists of a stigma, a style, and an ovary, part of a flower that makes the eggs that grow into seeds

STIGMA

plants and photosynsthesis

the apical end of the style where deposited pollen enters the pistil

STYLE

plants and photosynsthesis

the narrow elongated part of the pistil between the ovary and the stigma

OVARY

plants and photosynsthesis

a structure containing egg cells; the base of a pistil in a flower

OVULE

plants and photosynsthesis

means "small egg." In seed plants, the ovule is the structure that gives rise to and contains the female reproductive cells. Also where fertilization occurs.

SEED

plants and photosynsthesis

a mature fertilized plant ovule consisting of an embryo and its food source and having a protective coat or testa

FRUIT

plants and photosynsthesis

After fertilization the walls of the ovary thicken to protect the see, and this thick fleshy protective layer is the fruit.

GENE

genetics

a segment of DNA on a chromosome that codes for a specific trait, A discrete unit of hereditary information consisting of a specific nucleotide sequence in DNA (or RNA, in some viruses).

ALLELE

genetics

one of two or more forms of the DNA sequence of a particular gene. Different DNA sequences (alleles) can result in different traits, such as hair color.

DOMINANCE

genetics

When individuals with contrasting traits are crosses, one trait, called the dominant trait, is expressed and the other trait, the recessive trait, is masked. (ex. Bb ---The big B would be dominant

PHENOTYPE

genetics

the physical traits that appear in an individual as a result of its gentic make up.

GENOTYPE

genetics

the genetic constitution of a cell, an organism, or an individual, even if not expressed

SEGREGATION

genetics

states that allele pairs separate or segregate during gamete formation, and randomly unite at fertilization.

INDEPENDENT ASSORTMENT

genetics

This principle states that the alleles for a trait separate when gametes are formed. These allele pairs are then randomly united at fertilization.

LINKAGE

genetics

s a term which describes the tendency of certain loci or alleles to be inherited together. Genetic loci on the same chromosome are physically close to one another and tend to stay together during meiosis, and are thus genetically linked.

HETEROZYGOTE

genetics

an organism possessing two different forms of a particular gene, one inherited from each parent.

HOMOZYGOTE

genetics

when an organism's genotype has either both dominant genes for a trait or both recessive genes (ex. BB or bb)

SEX LINKED TRAITS

genetics

traits that are dominant or recessive depending on gender, disorder pertinent to gender, ie females cant be colorblind..traits can only be carried or present on X or female gene.

AUTOSOME

genetics

any chromosome that is not directly involved in determining sex

REPLICATION

genetics

DNA strand opens or unzips at the base pairs. Free or unattached nucleotides are incorporated into the unzipped portion of the DNA so that complementary base pairs join to form exact duplicates.

NUCLEOTIDE

genetics

the building block of a nucleic acid, consisting of a five-carbon sugar covalently bonded to a nitrogenous bas and a phosphate group.

DEOXYRIBOSE

genetics

a five-carbon sugar found in DNA.

DOUBLE HELIX

genetics

the form of native DNA, referring to its two adjacent polynucleotide strands wound into a spiral shape

URACIL

genetics

a nitrogen-containing base found in RNA (but not in DNA) and derived from pyrimidine, The RNA version of thymine. Like thymine, this base also pairs with adenine.

PHOSPHATE GROUP

genetics

Part of the sugar phosphate backbone in the double helix

TRANSCRIPTION

genetics

Step 1: DNA unwinds/"unzips" as the Hydrogen Bonds Break. Step 2: The free nucleotides of the RNA, pair with complementary DNA bases. Step 3: RNA sugar-phosphate backbone forms. (Aided by RNA Polymerase.) Step 4: Hydrogen bonds of the untwisted RNA+DNA "ladder" break, then the RNA leaves the nucleus through the small nucleur pores. This then goes to the cytoplasm to continue on to protein processing. mRNA results

MESSENGER RNA (m-RNA)
genetics

RNA molecule that carries copies of instructions for the assembly of amino acids into proteins from DNA to the rest of the cell, the form of RNA that carries information from DNA in the nucleus to the ribosome sites of protein synthesis in the cell

TRANSFER RNA (t-RNA)
genetics

RNA in the cytoplasm that carries an amino acid to the ribosome and adds it to the growing protein chain,

NITROGENOUS BASE

genetics

an organic base that contains nitrogen, such as adenine, cytosine, guanine, tymine, or uracil, a subunit of a nucleotide in DNA and RNA

AMINO ACID
genetics

Amino acids are organic compounds which contain both an amino group and a carboxyl group.

TRANSLATION

genetics

the ribosome uses the detailed sequence of codons on the mRNA and matches those codons to tRNA molecules which carry the corresponding amino acids. The translation process builds a polypeptide with the precise sequence of amino acids specified by the mRNA pattern. CREATES A PROTEIN

PURINE

genetics

double-ring nitrogenous base, found in DNA and RNA; either adenine or guanine

PYRIMIDINE

genetics

a nitrogenous base that has a single-ring structure; one of the two general categories of nitrogenous bases found in DNA and RNA; thymine, cytosine, or uracil

COMPOUND MICROSCOPE

research procedures

microscope that has two converging lens systems: the objective and the eyepiece

ELECTRON MICROSCOPE

research procedures

a microscope that is similar in purpose to a light microscope but achieves much greater resolving power by using a parallel beam of electrons to illuminate the object instead of a beam of light

DATA

research procedures

facts, figures, and other evidence gathered through observations

VARIABLE

research procedures

measurable factors or qualities that change during an experiment.

INDEPENDENT VARIABLE

research procedures

the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied

DEPENDENT VARIABLE

research procedures

the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable

CONSTANT

research procedures

variable that is not changed in an experiment

CONTROLLED EXPERIMENT

research procedures

an experiment in which only one variable is manipulated at a time

LIGHT MICROSCOPE

research procedures

light is first passed through a specimen and then through a glass lens which bends light in such a manner that an image is magnified.

ATP

Cell structure and function

Adenosine triphosphate transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism. It is produced by photophosphorylation and cellular respiration and used by enzymes and structural proteins in many cellular processes, including biosynthetic reactions, motility, and cell division. One molecule of ATP contains three phosphate groups,

ABIOTIC

ecology: interrelationships

are non-living chemical and physical factors in the environment. Abiotic influences may be classified as light or more generally radiation, temperature, water, the chemical surrounding composed of the terrestrial atmospheric gases, as well as soil.

DNA PROCESSES

genetics

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