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Home » Biology Primer
Key Biology Terms
Binomial nomenclature: A classification method to use the genus and species names to name a living organism in Latin, invented by Linnaeus.
Cell: The building unit for all living organisms, performing basic metabolism functions.
Autotroph: Organisms that synthesize their own nutrients.
Heterotroph: organisms that depend on preformed organic molecules from the environment (or another organism) as a source of nutrients/energy
Evolution: Living organisms have descended with modifications from species that lived before them
Gene: Functional pieces of DNA that carry genetic information
Homeostasis: All living organisms have the ability to maintain a relatively constant internal environment including water, salt, glucose and pH.
Hypothesis: Attempt to explain why behavior occurs.
Theory: Explanation of why behavior occurs that is supported by evidence.
Species: the smallest group of living organisms that can mate and produce viable, fertile offsprings.
Kingdom: the largest group of living organisms that share certain characteristics. There are only five kingdoms for all living organisms: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia. What is a life
Characteristic of a life:
Organization: all lives are well organized
Energy use: all lives need energy to support
Reproduction: all lives should be able to reproduce itself
Growth: all lives grow and develop.
Response to stimuli: all lives can respond to internal or external stimuli
Homeostasis: all lives have the ability to maintain a relatively stable internal environment—self-regulation Branches of Biology
Anatomy: Study the structure and organization of lives
Biochemistry: Study the chemical basis of life
Biology: The study of life
Botany: Study of the plant lives.
Cell Biology: Study cell structure, cell cycle, cell function etc.
Development Biology: Study how an individual organism grow and develop
Ecology: Study a group of organisms interacting with each other and with their environment
Evolution: Study how organisms acquire and inherit traits from their ancestors
Genetics: Study of the inheritance at various levels (molecular, cellular, individual, population, etc).
Histology: Study the thin sections of tissues under a microscope
Marine Biology: Study of the lives in ocean
Microbiology: Study microorganisms including virus, bacteria and some simply fungi
Molecular Biology: study how bio-molecules interact with each other, particularly the molecules involved in transmission and translation of genetic information.
Physiology: Study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms
Population genetics: Study of gene variations and ratios among populations.
Taxolomy: Study of classification of all living things
Zoology: Study of animal lives
Basic Theory of Biology
Developed by three German Scientists: Schleiden, Schwann and Virchow
Cell is the building unit of all living organisms.
All cells come from pre-existing cells
All metaboism occur in cells of the body—cells are functional unit for all lives
Theory of Evolution
All living organisms have descended with modifications from species that lived before them
Natural selection is the driving force for evolution
all living organisms struggle for existence
All organisms can adapt to their environment
Better adapted individuals or species survive and poorly adapted ones extinct—survival of the fittest.
Mainly contributed by Watson and Crick
All genetic information is stored in DNA – genes
Genes control most, if not every, aspects of an organism
The DNA language can be transcribed into RNA language and then translated into protein language for its final function
All living organisms have the ability to maintain a relatively constant internal environment
water and salt level
Blood glucose level
Body fluid pH
Purpose: to ensure proper function of the body
When it fails, a person can be sick or die
Classification of Living Things
All living things are classified into 5 kingdomes:
Monera: single-celled, prokaryotic, Photosynthesis or chemosynthesis
Protista: single-celled or multi-celled; photosynthesis or absorbing nutrition from environment, eukaryotic, usually lives in water, autotroph or heterotroph
Fungi: single-celled or multi-celled; photosynthesis or absorbing nutrition from environment, eukaryotic, heterotroph
Plantae: multi-celled; photosynthesis, autotroph
Animalia: multi-celled; hetertroph, capable of moving around Scientific Processes
Although there is not one “scientific method,” there are aspects that are common to scientific investigations:
Forming a hypothesis:
Testing a hypothesis:
Evaluating a hypothesis:
Communication and validation of results