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21 terms

Science Final--Chapter 1 Terms

STUDY
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biosphere
all the parts of the planet that are inhabited by living things; sum of all Earth's ecosystems
ecosystem
community of living things plus the nonliving featured of the environment that support them
organism
any living thing
cell
basic unit of living matter; separated from its environment by a plasma membrane
DNA
molecule responsible for inheritance; nucleic acid that contains the sugar deoxyribose
gene
unit of inherited information in DNA
species
distinct form of life
domain
broadest category used to classify life forms
unicellular
consisting of a single cell
prokaryotic cell
cell lacking a nucleus and most other organelles
eukaryotic cell
cell with a nucleus (surrounded by its own membrane) and other internal organelles
multicellular
consisting of many cells
system
complex organization formed from a simpler combination of parts
photosynthesis
process by which plants use the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars
producer
organism that makes its own food (autotroph) and produces organic molecules that serve as food for other organisms in its ecosystem
consumer
organism that obtains food by eating producers (autotrophs) or other consumers
homeostasis
internal stability or "steady state" maintained by the body
adaptation
inherited characteristic that improves an organism's ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment
population
group of individuals of the same species living in a particular area at the same time
natural selection
process by which individuals with inherited characteristics well-suited to the environment leave more offspring than do other individuals
evolution
generation-to-generation change in the proportion of different inherited genes in a population that account for all of the changed that have transformed life over an immense time