25 terms

Lecture 1 & 2


Terms in this set (...)

Define biodiversity.
"horizontal scale"
-Total number and relative abundance of species in a given area at a given time.
-variability of their genes
-variety of ecosystems
What gives life its "unity" and what gives life its "diversity?"
Life is distinguished by unity on the microscopic level/ basic processes and diversity on the macroscopic level. Evolution is the force that drives diversity in life.
What characteristics of organisms do I
mean when I talk about unity? How about diversity?
Evolution- Biologists have discovered some universal mechanisms of cellular regulation which unifies life as it evolves. We wouldn't see similar mechanisms in complex organisms as in unicellular organisms if they hadn't evolved from a common ancestor.
Yeast cells identify their mates by cell signaling (early evidence of signaling)

-Pathways are similar in microbes and mammals suggesting an early, and common, origin.
Name and describe the common properties that all living individual organisms share. How about
populations of organisms?
similar- metabolism, cellular communication, enzymatic action, gene regulation, etc.
Define metabolism
The totality of an organism's chemical reactions.
List in the proper order and describe the levels in which life is organized. At which of these levels does
life begin? IOW (meaning = 'In Other Words'), at which level do the common characteristics of life
What is the meaning of the term "emergent properties?"
New properties that arise with each step upward in the hierarchy of life, owing to the arrangement and interactions of parts as complexity increases.
Name the three domains, plus the four 'kingdoms' of the Eukarya domain used to classify organisms.
Give general characteristics and specific examples for each. Identify which cell type belongs to which
1.) Domain Bacteria
-microscopic, single-celled
-ex: e-coli
2.) Domain Archaea
-microscopic, single-celled extremophiles, rod-shaped or round structure
-ex: halophiles (survive extreme saltwater concentrations)
3.) Domain Eukarya
a. Kingdom Protists
-mostly single celled
-ex: amoeba, algae
b. Kingdom Plantae
-ex: tropical bromeliad, a plant native to the Americas
c. Kingdom Fungi
-absorb nutrients by decomposing organic waste
-ex: mushrooms
d. Kingdom Animalia
-obtain nutrients by eating and drinking
Explain what is in an organism's scientific name. What is the format {how you write it down} of a
scientific name?
Classification of an organism:
Written in binomial nomenclature
Genus species (italicized)
Homo sapiens (italicized)

This is done to avoid ambiguity in communication amongst scientists when discussing many species. People in different regions may use the same common name for different species
Briefly explain how natural selection works {the steps}. And, how does natural selection lead to
adaptations? What is fitness? What does it mean that natural selection is an editing process rather than
a creative process?
-Operates in populations whose individuals have varied traits that are inherited.
-When natural selection favors the reproductive success (fitness) of certain individuals in a population over others, the portions of heritable variations change over the generations, and the population becomes better adapted to its environment.
-Should the environment change, however, natural selection may favor different traits.
What is DNA's function in cells? IOW, what is stored in DNA and HOW?
-Heritable information that is passed from one generation to the next, provides the master instructions for all of a cell's functions
-Housed in the nucleus and carried out by ribosomes
Explain the basics of translation of a gene into a protein
Translation involves decoding mRNA into usable information to form a polypeptide, which is a protein or chain of amino acids.
Explain how information flows from the organism's environment {internal or external} to an organism's
cells {think of both single-celled and multi-celled organisms}? How is signaling involved in the expression of genetic information? IOW, what do I mean when I say, 'gene expression' and how does signaling work into that?
Information from the internal and external environment affects gene expression- where and when particular genes are activated and proteins made.

-DNA is responsible for heredity and for programming the activities of a cell by providing the blueprint for proteins. Information from the external environment includes the stimuli, signals, and pathways that regulate body processes and gene expression.
How does the shape of biological "parts" {whether molecular, cellular, or multicellular-body part} relate to function? What if the shape of the part is wrong? How does this idea relate to natural selection?
-An animal's form is not the perfect design. Structures need only to be "good enough"
-Structure fits function at all levels of organization in the animal body.
-Tissues are groups of cells with a common structure and function
-Structural adaptations enhance exchange with the environment and increase their fitness.
In an ecosystem, how is the movement of energy similar to that of matter, and how is it different? What are the processes involved?
-Both energy and matter are passed through an ecosystem from producers to consumers to decomposers.
-Energy enters most ecosystems as sunlight and leaves as heat.
-Chemicals are recycled from the soil or atmosphere through plants, consumers, and decomposers and returned to the air, soil, and water.
What is systems biology? How does this concept connect to the idea of emergent properties?
-An approach to studying biology that aims to model the dynamic behavior of whole biological systems based on a study of the interactions among the system's parts. -Connects to the idea of emergent properties in that each level of complexity in the natural world increases interaction between various systems.
Define homeostasis
-The steady state of body functioning; a state of equilibrium characterized by a dynamic display between outside forces that tend to change an organism's internal environment and the internal control mechanisms that oppose such changes.
-depends on negative feedback (keeps variables fairly constant and acts against change and direct responses)
Define genes
A discrete unit of hereditary information consisting of specific nucleotide sequence in DNA (or RNA, in some viruses). Most of the genes of a eukaryote are located in its chromosomal DNA; a few are carried by the DNA of the mitrochondria and chloroplasts.
Define natural expression
A process in which individuals with certain inherited traits are more likely to survive to reproduce than are individuals who don't have those traits.
Define evolution
Descent with modification; the idea that living species are descendants of ancenstral species that were different from present-day ones; also, the genetic changes in a population from generation to generation.
Describe properties that are common to all organisms
1. Order - all living things have complex organization
2. Evolutionary adaptation - adapt over generations with traits suited to environment passed on to offspring
3. Response to environment - all respond to stimuli
4. Regulation - organisms maintain internally despite environmental changes.
5. Energy processing - take in energy and transform it to perform activities.
6. Growth and development - carried on by inherited info in genes.
7. Reproduction - reproduce their own kind.