Chapter 1: Introduction: Themes in the Study of Life

Evolution
The process of change that has transformed life on Earth from its earliest beginnings to the diversity of organisms living today.
Biology
The scientific study of life.
Properties of life
– order
– evolutionary adaptation
– response to the environment
– reproduction
– growth and development
– energy processing
– regulation
Themes
– New Properties Emerge at Each Level in the Biological Hierarchy
– Organisms Interact w/ Other Organisms and the Physical Environment
– Life Requires Energy Transfer and Transformation
– Structure and Function Are Correlated at All Levels of Biological Organization
– The Cell Is an Organism’s Basic Unit of Structure and Function
– The Continuity of Life is Based on Heritable Information in the Form of DNA
– Feedback Mechanism Regulate Biological Systems
– Evolution, the Overarching Theme of Biology
Levels of Biological Organization
1. Biosphere
2. Ecosystems
3. Communities
4. Populations
5.Organisms
6. Organs and Organ Systems
7. Tissues
8. Cells
9. Organelles
10. Molecules
Biosphere
All life on Earth and all the places where life exists
Ecosystems
All the living things in a particular area, long with all the nonliving components of the environment with which life interacts
Communities
Organisms inhabiting particular ecosystem
Population
All the individuals of a species living within the bounds of a specified area
Organisms
Individual living things
Organs and Organ Systems
– A body part that carries out a particular function in the body
– Each a team of organs that cooperate in a larger function
Tissues
A group of cells that work together, performing a specialized function
Cells
Life’s fundamental unit of structure and function
Organelles
The various functional components present in cells
Molecules
Chemical structure consisting of two or more small chemical units called atoms
Emergent Properties
Properties that are not present at the preceding level
They are not unique to life
Systems Biology
An approach to attempt to model the dynamic behavior of whole biological systems based on a study of the interactions among system’s parts
Global climate change
Global warming
Eukaryotic Cell
– All other forms of life, including plants and animals, are composed of eukaryotic cells
– They are subdivided by internal membranes into various membrane-enclosed organelles
Prokaryotic Cell
– Simpler and smaller than eukaryotic cells
– The DNA is not separated from the rest of the cell by enclosure in a membrane-bounded nucleus
DNA
– DeoxyriboNucleic Acid
– Substance of genes
Genes
The units of inheritance that transmit information from parents to offspring
Gene Expression
The entire process, by which the information in a gene directs the production of a cellular product
Genome
The entire “library” of genetic instructions that an organism inherits
Genomics
The study of whole sets of genes of a species as well as comparing genomes between species
Bioinformatics
The use of computational tools to store, organize, and analyze the huge volume of data that result from high-throughput methods
Negative feedback
An accumulation of an end product of a process slows that process
Positive feedback
An end product speeds un its own production
Bacteria
Prokaryotic cells
Archaea
Prokaryotic cells
Eukarya
All the eukaryote (organisms with eukaryotic cells) grouped in this domain, which includes kingdoms Plantae, Fungi, and Animalia
Natural Selection
The natural environment “selection” for the propagation of certain traits among naturally occurring variant traits in the population
Science
The way of knowing; an approach to understanding the natural world
Inquiry
The search for information and explanation
Data
Recorded observations
Inductive reasoning
Type of logic in which collecting and analyzing observations can lead to important conclusions
Hypothesis
A tentative answer to a well framed question- an explanation on trial
Deductive reasoning
A generally used after the hypothesis bas been developed and involves logic that flows in the opposite direction, from the general to the specific
Controlled experiment
One that is designed to co;pare an experimental group with a control group
Theory
A much broader in scope that a hypothesis; generally enough to spin off many new, specific hypothesis that can be tested; generally supported by a much greater body of evidence
Model organism
A species that is easy to grow in the lab and lends itself particularly well to the questions being investigated
Technology
Generally applies scientific knowledge for some specific purpose