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Chapter 1 Key Terms
Terms in this set (19)
The study of essential cellular macromolecules, including DNA, RNA, and proteins, and the biological pathways that link their biosynthesis.
Info required for cellular growth and metabolism, inherited from one generation of an organism to the next. Primarily imprinted within the sequences of nucleic acids, information may also be embedded within nucleic acid modifications and in the patterns of modification in certain proteins bound to nucleic acids.
An increase in the rate of a chemical reaction caused by a substance that is not consumed by the reaction.
A process in which the population of a species changes over time. Genetic variation occurs in the populations due to mutation; competitive pressures in the environment lead to the natural selection of individuals whose genetic makeup gives them a reproductive advantage. Over time, the genetic makeup of the surviving population shifts, sometimes creating new species.
An inheritable change in the nucleotide sequence of a chromosome.
A biomolecule, either protein or RNA, that catalyzes a specific chemical reaction. It does not affect the equilibrium of the catalyzed reaction; it enhances the rate of the reaction by providing a reaction path with lower activation energy.
RNA World Hypothesis
The hypothesis that in an early stage of evolution, a living system was based on RNA. In this system, RNA enzymes could catalyze the synthesis of all the molecules required for life from simpler molecules available in the environment.
A ribonucleic acid molecule with catalytic activity; an RNA enzyme
(Last universal common ancestor) The single-celled organism that gave rise to all life currently existing on Earth.
One of the three main groups of living organisms; bacteria have a plasma membrane but no internal organelles or nucleus.
One of the three main groups of living organisms. Like bacteria, archaea are unicellular and contain no internal organelles or nucleus; however, archaea are more closely related to eukaryotes with respect to some genes and metabolic pathways. Archaea include many species that thrive in extreme environments of high ionic strength, high temperature, or low pH.
One of the three main groups of living organisms; eukaryotes are unicellular or multicellular organisms with cells having a membrane-bound nucleus, multiple chromosomes, and internal organelles.
The process by which traits (phenotypes) become more prevalent in a population because those individuals best adapted to exploit the prevailing resources are the ones most likely to survive and reproduce, passing on their advantageous traits.
Horizontal Gene transfer
The process by which an organism receives genetic information from another organism of which it is not a descendant.
Postulate of objectivity
The only assumption made by scientists that basic forces and laws in the universe are not subject to change and can thus be studied and defined by scientific inquiry. The term was introduced by Jaques Monod.
A proposal that provides a reasonable explanation for observations, but has not yet been substantiated by sufficient experimental evidence to stand up to rigorous critical examination.
An idea or principle that has been verified in numerous independent experiments over a significant period of time and that is used as the basis for generating new hypotheses.
A variety of approaches for generating new knowledge, all focused exclusively on the natural world. In a common variant, a hypothesis is generated, tested and then strengthened or discarded, depending on the outcome of the test.
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