153 terms

Biology EOC vocabulary

terms for EOC Biology
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Abiotic factor
"Any nonliving component of an ecosystem (e.g., sunlight, air, water, soil)"
Activation energy
The kinetic energy required to initiate a chemical reaction
Active transport
The movement of a substance across a plasma (cell) membrane against a concentration gradient
Adhesion
The property of sticking to some other substance
Aerobic respiration
Growing or metabolizing only in the presence of molecular oxygen
Alcoholic fermentation
The process by which pyruvic acid is converted to ethyl alcohol
Alleles
"Alternate forms of a gene or DNA sequence, which occur on either of two homologous chromosomes in a diploid organism"
Alternation of generation
Alternating sexual and asexual generation reproduction
Amino acid
"Any of 20 basic building blocks of proteins--composed of a free amino (NH2) end, a free carboxyl (COOH) end, and a side group (R)"
Anaerobic respiration
Growing or metabolizing only in the absence of molecular oxygen
Anaphase
"Third phase of mitosis, beginning when sister chromatids separate from each other and ending when a complete set of daughter chromosomes have arrived at each of the two poles of the cell"
Antibiotic resistance
The ability of a microorganism to produce a protein that disables an antibiotic or prevents transport of the antibiotic into the cell
Applied science
The practical use of scientific information to improve human life
Artificial selection
Breeding organisms by humans for specific phenotypic characteristics
Asexual reproduction
Nonsexual means of reproduction which can include grafting and budding
Autotroph
An organism that uses energy to synthesize organic molecules from inorganic substances
Bacteria
"A single-celled, microscopic prokaryotic organism"
Base pair (bp)
A pair of complementary nitrogenous bases in a DNA molecule
Biodiversity
The wide diversity and interrelatedness of earth organisms based on genetic and environmental factors
Biological evolution
Change in allele frequency of a species or population over time
Biome
A geographic area characterized by specific kinds of plants and animals
Biosphere
The area on and around Earth where life exists
Biotic factor
A living component of an ecosystem
Carbohydrates
"Compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in the approximate ratio of C:2H:O (e.g., sugars, starches, and cellulose)"
Cell cycle
"The events of cell division; includes interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis"
Cellular respiration
The process by which cells generate ATP through a series of redox (chemical) reactions
Cell theory
"The theory that all living things are made of cells, that cells are the basic units of organisms, and that cells come only from existing cells"
Centromere
The central portion of the chromosome to which the spindle fibers attach during mitotic and meiotic division
Chloroplasts
A plastid containing chlorophyll; the site of photosynthesis
Chromatid
Each of the two daughter strands of a duplicated chromosome joined at the centromere during mitosis and meiosis.
Chromosome
"A single DNA molecule, a tightly coiled strand of DNA"
Chromosome theory of heredity
The theory that states that genes are located on chromosomes and that each gene occupies a specific place on a chromosome
Citric acid cycle (Kreb's)
Series of chemical reactions in aerobic respiration in which a acetyl coenzyme A is completely degraded to carbon dioxide and water with the release of metabolic energy that is used to produce ATP; also known as Kreb's cycle
Cladogram
A branching diagram that illustrates taxonomic relationships based on the principles of claudistics
Codominance
An inheritance relationship in which neither of two alleles of the same gene totally mask the other
Cohesion
The property of sticking together; like substances sticking together
Commensalism
The close association of two or more dissimilar organisms where the association is advantageous to one and doesn't affect the other(s)
Community
All the populations in one area
Cytokinesis
The division of cytoplasm of one cell into two new cells
Cytoskeleton
Framework of the cell composed of a variety of filaments and fibers that support cell structure and drive cell movement
Deletion
Chromosome abnormality in which part of the chromosome is missing; loss of one or more base pairs from DNA which can result in a frameshift
Dichotomous key (classification key)
Classification tool used in identifying organisms or materials
Diffusion
The process by which molecules move from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)
"An organic acid and polymer composed of four nitrogenous bases--adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine; the genetic material of most organisms; exists as a double-stranded molecule held together by hydrogen bonds "
Domain
"Taxonomic category that includes one or more kingdom (e.g., Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya)"
Dominance
A characteristic in which an allele that expresses its phenotype even in the presence of a recessive allele
Double helix
"The DNA molecule, resembling a spiral staircase in which the paired bases form the steps and the sugar-phosphate backbones form the rails"
Ecology
The study of the interactions of organisms with their environment and with each other
Ecosystem
The organisms in a plant population and the biotic and abiotic factors which impact on them
Electron transport chain
Series of chemical reactions in the thylakoid membrane or inner mitochondrial membrane during which hydrogens or their electrons are passed along with the release of energy
Endergonic reaction
A reaction requiring a net input of free energy
Endocytosis
The process by which a cell surrounds and engulfs substances
Energetics
Use of energy
Energy pyramid
Summarizes interactions of matter and energy at each trophic level
Enzymes
Proteins that control the various steps in all chemical reactions
Epidemic
An outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads widely and rapidly
Eukaryote
"An organism whose cells possess a nucleus and other membrane-bound vesicles, including all members of the protist, fungi, plant and animal kingdoms; and excluding viruses, bacteria, and blue-green algae"
Evolution
The long-term process through which a population of organisms accumulates genetic changes that enable its members to successfully adapt to environmental conditions and to better exploit food resources
Exergonic reaction
A reaction that gives off free energy
Exocytosis
The process in which a vesicle inside a cell fuses with a cell membrane and releases its contents to the external environment
Frameshift mutation
A mutation that results in the misreading of the code during translation because of the change in the reading frame
Fungi
Microorganisms that lacks chlorophyll
Gamete
"A haploid sex cell, egg or sperm, that contains a single copy of each chromosome"
Gene
The functional unit of heredity; a locus on a chromosome that encodes a specific protein or several related proteins
Genome
"The complete genetic material contained in an individual; the genetic complement contained in the chromosomes of a given organism, usually the haploid chromosome state"
Genotype
The structure of DNA that determines the expression of a trait
Genus
A category including closely related species; interbreeding between organisms within the same category can occur
Germ Theory of Disease (Koch's Postulates)
A set of criteria used to establish that a particular infectious agent causes a disease
Glycolysis
A pathway in which glucose is oxidized to pyruvic acid
Heterotroph
An organism that obtains organic food molecules by eating organisms or their by-products
Homeostasis
The stable internal conditions of a living thing
Host
Animal or plant on which or in which another organism lives
Human Genome Project
A project coordinated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to determine the entire nucleotide sequence of the human chromosomes
Hydrogen bond
A relatively weak bond formed between any hydrogen atom (which is covalently bound to a nitrogen or oxygen atom) and a nitrogen or oxygen with an unshared electron pair
Hypotheses
Statement or predictions that can be tested
Incomplete dominance
"A condition where a heterozygous off- spring has a phenotype that is distinctly different from, and intermediate to, the parental phenotypes"
Independent assortment
The law stating that pairs of genes separate independently of one another in meiosis
Interphase
Period of time where a cell carries on metabolism and replicates chromosomes prior to cell division
Inversion
A mutation that occurs when a chromosome piece breaks off and reattaches in reverse orientation
k-strategist
"Species characterized by slow maturation, few young, slow population growth and reproduction late in life"
Karyotype
"All of the chromosomes in a cell or an individual organism, visible through a microscope during cell division"
Law
An observation that happens every time under a certain set of conditions
Lactic acid fermentation
The process by which pyruvic acid is converted to lactic acid
Light dependent
Reaction of photosynthesis that requires light; light energy is absorbed converted to chemical energy in the form of ATP and NADPH
Light independent
The fixing of carbon dioxide in a 3 carbon compound for use in sugar production or other end products
Lipid
Any of a group of organic compounds that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar solvents; serve as energy storage and are important components of cell membranes
Lysogenic cycle
"A type or phase of the virus life cycle during which the virus integrates into the host chromosome of the infected cell, often remaining essentially dormant for some period of time"
Lytic cycle
"A phase of the virus life cycle during which the virus replicates within the host cell, releasing a new generation of viruses when the infected cell lyses"
Mass extinction
One of the brief periods of time during which large numbers of species disappeared
Meiosis
The reduction division process by which haploid gametes and spores are formed consisting of a single duplication of the genetic material followed by two mitotic divisions
Metaphase
Second phase of mitosis in which the chromosomes line up across the equator of the cell
Microbe
A microorganism
Mitochondria
Organelles that are the sites of aerobic respiration in eukaryotic cells
Mitosis
The replication of a cell to form two daughter cells with identical sets of chromosomes
Molecular biology
The study of the biochemical and molecular interactions within living cells
Molecular genetics
The branch of genetics that deals with the expression of genes by studying the DNA sequences of chromosomes
Multiple alleles
Three or more alleles of the same gene that code for a single trait
Mutation
An alteration in DNA structure or sequence of a gene
Mutualism
A form of symbiosis in which both organisms benefit from living together
Natural selection
The differential survival and reproduction of organisms with genetic characteristics that enable them to better utilize environmental resources
Nitrogenous bases
"The purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine, cytosine, and uracil) that comprise DNA and RNA molecules"
Nonvascular plant
"A plant that lacks vascular tissue and true roots, stems, and leaves"
Nucleic acids
"The two nucleic acids, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), are made up of long chains of molecules called nucleotides"
Nucleotide
"A building block of DNA and RNA, consisting of a nitrogenous base, a five-carbon sugar, and a phosphate group"
Nucleus
The membrane-bound region of a eukaryotic cell that contains the chromosomes
Organelle
A cell structure that carries out a specialized function in the life of a cell
Osmosis
The diffusion of water across a selectively permeable membrane
Parasitism
The close association of two or more dissimilar organisms where the association is harmful to at least one
Passive transport
The movement of substances across a plasma (cell) membrane without the use of cell energy
Pandemic
An epidemic over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population
Pathogen
Organism which can cause disease in another organism
Pesticide
"A substance that kills harmful organisms (e.g., an insecticide or fungicide)"
pH
Indicates the relative concentration of hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions in a substance
Pinocytosis
A type of endocytosis in which a cell engulfs solutes of fluids
Phagocytosis
A type of endocytosis in which a cell engulfs large particles or whole cells
Phenotype
"The observable characteristics of an organism, the expression of gene alleles (genotype) as an observable physical or biochemical trait"
Phospholipids
A class of lipid molecules in which a phosphate group is linked to glycerol and two fatty acetyl groups; a chief component of biological membranes
Photosynthesis
The process by which light energy is converted to chemical energy stored in organic molecules
Plasma (cell) membrane
A selectively permeable surface that encloses the cell contents and through which all materials entering or leaving a cell must pass
Point mutation
A change in a single base pair of a DNA sequence in a gene
Polarity
Molecules having uneven distribution of charges
Population
A local group of organisms belonging to the same species and capable of interbreeding
Primary succession
Succession that occurs in a newly formed habitat that has never before sustained life
Prokaryote
A bacterial cell lacking a true nucleus; its DNA is usually in one long strand
Prophase
First phase of mitosis in which duplicated chromosomes condense and mitotic spindle fibers begin to form
Protein
An organic compound composed of one or chains of polypeptides which in turn are formed from amino acids
Protein synthesis
A formation of proteins using information coded on DNA and carried by RNA
Pure science
The gathering of new information or the discovery of a new relationship or fact for sake of knowledge
Punnett square
A type of grid used to show the gametes of each parent and their possible offspring; a type of grid that can indicate all the possible outcomes of a genetic cross
Radioactive dating
A method of determining the age of an object by measuring the amount of a specific radioactive isotope it contains
Recessive gene
Characterized as having a phenotype expressed only when both copies of the gene are mutated or missing
Relative dating
A method of determining the age of fossils by comparing them to other fossils in different layers of rock
Ribosome
A sub-cellular structure that is the site of protein synthesis during translation.
RNA (ribonucleic acid)
"An organic acid composed of a single strand of nucleotide that acts as a messenger between DNA and the ribosomes and carries out the process of protein synthesis: composed units of adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil "
Secondary succession
The sequential replacement of population in a disrupted habitat
Segregation
The law stating that pairs of genes separate in meiosis and each gamete receives one gene of a pair
Sex influenced
"Description of a trait that is caused by a gene whose expression differs in male and females; (e.g., male patterned baldness)"
Sex linkage
"The presence of a gene on a sex chromosome; (e.g., hemophilia, color-blindness)"
Sexual reproduction
"The process where two cells (gametes) fuse to form one hybrid, fertilized cell"
Species
A classification of related organisms that can freely interbreed
Spore
A form taken by certain microbes that enables them to exist in a dormant stage. It is an asexual reproductive cell
Symbiosis
The close association of two or more dissimilar organisms where both receive an advantage from the association
Taxonomic nomenclature
The procedure of assigning names to the kinds and groups of organisms according to their taxa
Technology
Practical use of scientific information to improve the quality of human life: see also applied science
Telophase
"Final phase of mitosis during which chromosomes uncoil, a nuclear envelope returns around the chromatin, and a nucleolus becomes visible in each daughter cell"
Theory
A well tested explanation of natural events
Thermoregulation
The maintenance of internal temperature within a range that allows cells to function efficiently
Translation
The process of converting the genetic code in RNA into the amino acid sequence that makes up a protein
Transcription
Process in which RNA is made from DNA
Vaccine
A preparation of dead or weakened pathogen that is used to induce formation of antibodies or immunity against the pathogen
Variation
Differences in the frequency of genes and traits among individual organisms within a population
Vascular plants
A plant that has phloem and xylem
Virus
"An infectious particle composed of a protein capsule and a nucleic acid core, which is dependent on a host organism for replication"