Biology STAAR Vocabulary Review

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Active Transport
The movement of ions or molecules into or out of a cell AGAINST a concentration gradient. This process will require energy, and the assistance of a type of protein called a carrier protein.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
A chemical compound that living organisms use to store energy.
Bacteriophage
A virus that attacks and destroys bacteria.
Bromothymol Blue (BTB) Indicator
An indicator used to determine whether a solution is acidic: the blue color changes to yellow in the presence of an acid
Carbohydrate
A sugar (such as a monosaccharide, a disaccharide, or a polysaccharide)
Cell
The basic unit of all living organisms.
Cell Division
The process that forms all of the cells necessary for the growth and development of the multicellular organism.
Cellular Respiration
The cellular process that released energy when food molecules are broken down in the presence of oxygen.
Checkpoints
These monitor various stages of the cell cycle. They help monitor for DNA damage and for the proper alignment of the chromosomes during metaphase.
Cytokinesis
The division of the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane following the division of the nucleus. This results in two cells, each having its own nucleus and cytoplasm surrounded by a plasma membrane.
Diffusion
The movement of a substance from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
Disaccharide
The carbohydrate formed when two monosaccharides chemical react. They are sugars such as sucrose, lactose, and maltose.
Eukaryotic Cell
A type of cell that has a "true" nucleus with a defined nuclear membrane.
Homeostasis
A state of balance or equilibrium. For example, when cells move from one environment to another, they will, through the process of osmosis, lose or gain water molecules to equalize the number of water molecules inside them and outside them. This process establishes equilibrium.
Lipid
One of the family of biomolecule compounds that are insoluble in water, including fats, phospholipids, and steroids.
Lysis
The destruction of a living cell.
Lysogenic Infection
A method by which viruses replicate. In this type of infection, the virus's gentic material combines with the DNA of the cell it invades (prophage).
Lytic Infective
A method by which viruses replicate. In this method, a virus injects its genetic material into a living cell, causing the cell to make copies of the virus. This method destroys the cell.
Macromolecule
A very large molecule commonly created by the repeated chemical bonding of smaller subunits (momoners).
Monomer
The term for one molecule that may chemically bind to other one (small) molecule to form a polymer. The subunit of a polymer is one of these.
Monosaccharide
These are the most basic units of carbohydrates. They are the simplest form of sugar. Examples include glucose, fructose, and ribose.
Nucleic Acid
A polymer consisting of many nucleotide monomers; serves as a blueprint for proteins and, through the actions of these proteins, for all cellular activities.
Osmosis
The diffusion of water across a semipermeable membrane (cell membrane).
Passive Transport
The movement of molecules into or out of a cell. This process DOES NOT REQUIRE ENERGY.
Photosynthesis
The cellular process that plants and other organisms use to convert energy from light into water and carbon dioxide, into oxygen, sugars, and starches.
Polymer
A macromolecule made up of subunits (monomers)
Polysaccharide
These are long carbohydrate molecules of repeated monomer units chemically joined together. Storage types of this molecule include starch and glycogen, and structural examples include chitin and cellulose. It is classified as a carbohydrate and not a sugar.
Products
Substances on the right side of the arrow in a chemical equation. They are the ending substances in a reaction.
Prokaryotic Cell
Pro means "before," and kary means "nucleus,".

Prokaryotic therefore means " before a nucleus."
Protein
A three-dimensional biological polymer constructed from a set of 20 different amino acids.

R group is a specific amino acid.
Reactants
Substances that are represented on the left side of the arrow in a chemical equation and are the starting substances in a reaction.
Replication
The process of making copies or duplicating; viruses increase in numbers through replication.
Saccharide
Another word for a carbohydrate. (sugar)
Semipermeable Membrane
A membrane that allows small molecules and ions to diffuse into or out of it. The cell membrane is an example of this type of membrane.
Subunit
A term for the structural units that make up a macromolecule. For instance, an amino acid is a ________ for a protein.
Allele
A specific form of a gene. For example, a particular gene may control an organism's height—tall or short. This is the form of the gene that specifically determines one of these conditions.
23rd set of chromosomes
A chromosome that is a sex chromosome. In humans, there is one pair that determines sex

female (XX) or male (XY).
Autosome
A chromosome that is not a sex chromosome. For example. In humans there are 22 pairs of these.
Chromosome
An organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements, and other nucleotide sequences.
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)
The large, double-stranded polymer inside a cell that carries the genetic information necessary for protein synthesis.

A double helix shape, with the sugar and phosphate groups forming the sides and complementary nitrogen bases forming each rung.
Dihybrid Cross
Determines trait inheritance by working with TWO traits at a time.
Frame-shift Mutation
A mutation that occurs when one or more amino acids (C, G, U, or A) is deleted from or inserted into a codon, altering the reading frame (pattern of reading triplet codons) in a sequence.
Gene
The parts of a chromosome that determine a specific trait of an organism.
Genotype
The genetic makeup of a cell, organism, or an individual.
Hydrogen Bonds
The two strands of DNA are held together by these bonds that join the complementary nucleotide base pairs.
Mutation
The change in an organism's genetic material.
Nucleotides
Building blocks that make up a nucleic acid. They are composed of a 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogen base. (PBS)
Nucleotide Bases
In DNA, they are thymine, guanine, adenine, and cytosine; specific sequences of these code for specific proteins.
Phenotype
The composite of an organism's observable characteristics.
Point Mutation
A mutation that occurs when there is a change to one or a few nucleotides in a codon.
Start Codon
Begins the translation of the first amino acid in the protein chain. This codon is methionine, AUG.
Stop Codon
This codon can be any of the three mRNA sequences: UGA, UAG, or UAA. These codons do not code an amino acid, but rather signal the end of protein synthesis.
X-linked Trait or Sex-linked Trait
An trait found only on the X chromosome. Hemophilia, a blood abnormality in humans, is an example of a trait found only on the X chromosome.

Males are more likely to inherit X-linked traits.
Adaptation
Any characteristic that increased the fitness of an organism.
Analogous Structures
Structures that are similar in function, but not structure. These are not evidence for evolution.
Animalia
The taxonomic kingdom whose organisms are heterotrophic, multicellular with specialized tissue, and able to digest their food in an internal cavity. Most organisms in this kingdom are mobile during part of their life cycle, though some may be sessile as adults. Their cells do not have cell walls and do not contain chlorophyll.
Archaebacteria
The taxonomic kingdom containing prokaryotic organisms that were first discovered in extreme environments (i.e., very hot or cold, highly saline, acidic, or alkaline).
Autotroph
An organism that can make its own food (photosynthesis or chemosynthesis)
Cladogram
A tree-like diagram showing evolutionary relationships among organisms.
Domain
A primary grouping of living systems that ranks above a kingdom in taxonomic systems. There are three of these: eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea.
Eubacteria
The name of the domain that contains the "true bacteria." These organisms are microscopic prokaryotic cells.
Eukaryote
An organism whose cells have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.
Evolution
The change in the traits of organisms or populations of organisms from generation to generation.
Fossil
Mineralized remains or the preserved impression of an organism that lived in a past geological time.
Homologous Structures
Structures that are similar in STRUCTURE.
Parallel Evolution
Type of evolution that involves development of two species from a common ancestor, but the descendants evolve similar body structures over time. An example of this type of evolution is the wooly mammoth and the African elephant.
Speciation
The evolution of new species.
Variation
Organisms within populations exhibit differences in appearance and behavior.

They can include color, success in producing many offspring, body size, and quality of the voice or sound.
Asexual Reproduction in Plants
Some plants can reproduce this way. Sometimes called vegetative reproduction. These types of plants are able to reproduce through structures such as rhizomes, tubers, corms, plantlets, or runners.
Phloem
A vascular tissue that transport food to all parts of the plant.
Rhizome
A stem that grows horizontally below the soil and sends out roots and shoots of new plants.
Runner/Stolon
A stem that grows horizontally above the soil and sends out roots and shoots of new plants.
Sexual Reproduction in Plants
Plants can reproduce in this way by using structures found in the plant flower. The male reproductive structure produces sperm cells (pollen). The female reproductive structures include the ovule that produces the egg cells (ova).
Tropism
Plants responding to the environment.
Phototropism
plants response to light
thigmotropism
plants response to touch
gravitropism
plants response to gravity
Xylem
Vascular tissue that transports water and minerals from the roots, through the stem, and to the leaves of a plant.

Die at maturity.
10% Rule
This rule states that when energy passes from prey to predator, only about 10% of that energy is transferred to the next trophic level. For example, when a horse eats grass, approximately 10% of the energy that the grass received from the sun is passed to the horse.
Carnivores
Organisms that eat other animals for their energy source.
Climax Community
A biological community of plants and animals which have reached a steady state through the process of ecological succession.
Commensalism
A type of symbiotic relationship between two dissimilar organisms in which one organism benefits and the other is not affected positively or negatively.
Ecological Succession
The process by which ecosystems change and develop over time.
Food Chain
The simplest representation of energy flow in an ecosystem.

Each organism represented in one of these feeds on the organism just below it.
Food Web
Represents the complex network of interconnected food chains and feeding interactions found in an ecosystem.
Herbivores
Organisms that eat only plants for their energy source.
Heterotroph
An organism that cannot manufacture its own food and is dependent on other organisms for its nutrition.
Mutualism
Type of symbiotic relationship between two dissimilar organisms in which both organisms benefit from the relationship.
Omnivores
Organisms that eat other animals and plants for their energy source.
Parasitism
Type of symbiotic relationship between two dissimilar organisms in which one organism benefits at the other's expense (the second is harmed).
Pioneer Organisms
The first species to colonize an environment; they set the stage for ecological succession.

Example: LICHENS
Predator
An organism that survives by preying on other organisms in the same ecosystem for food.
Prey
Organisms that are hunted or seized for food by other organisms in the same ecosystem.
Primary Consumer
A type of consumer that eats plant material.
Primary Succession
It occurs when a new layer of rock or soil is deposited onto an area that had no soil until after a lava flow or a glacier retreated.
Producer
An organism that can make its own food, usually through photosynthesis; green plants are examples.
Quaternary Consumer
An organism that feeds on tertiary consumers. These organisms are usually carnivores, but may be omnivores. They are generally considered to be at the top of the food chain.
Secondary Consumer
An organism that eats primary consumers.
Secondary Succession
It occurs on rock and soil that previously had vegetation before an ecological disturbance such as a forest fire, tsunami, hurricane, or flood event destroyed the plant life.
Species
A group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.
Symbiosis
A close ecological relationship between two (or more) dissimilar organisms.
Tertiary Consumer
An organism that feeds on secondary consumers.
Trophic Level
One level of energy (such as primary producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, etc.) in a food chain.
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