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Lecture 1

BIOLOGY 1M03 Lecture 1: 1- Biology and the Tree of Life

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McMaster University
Ben Evans

Bio 1M03 January 6. 2015 Biology and the Tree of Life Key Concepts in Chapter 1 - Cell theory - Theory of evolution by natural selection - Both are unified by the concepts of ancestry and descent - Evolutionary relationships among species can be represented by phylogenetic trees Living Organisms - Living organisms share these 5 characteristics o Are composed of one or more membrane bound units called cells o Store and process heritable information, DNA o Capable of replicate or reproduce o Evolve as populations o Use energy, ATP - Evolution is changes in allele frequencies over time Cell Theory - A cell is a highly organized compartment bound by a plasma membrane that contains concentrated chemicals in aqueous solutions - All cells have plasma membranes - The cell theory states that all organisms are composed of cells, and that cells come from pre-existing cells - In multicellular organisms, all cells are descended from a progenitor cell, zygote - Zygote is the product of the union of a sperm and egg Features of Cells - Cells contain molecular information in the form of DNA - DNA encodes all biological processes and physical attributes - Cells have a boundary between them and the environment - Cells have the ability to harness materials and/or energy - All cells have molecular information but not all cells have nuclei (only eukaryotes have nuclei) Virus - An entity that infects cell to undergo biological phenomena such as replication - A virus is an agent that infects cells and uses the cellular machinery of the cell to replicate - Viruses have the ability to store and transmit information in DNA or RNA - Viruses cannot independently replicate or harness energy - Viruses depend on a host, they’re not considered living organisms Testing the Cell Theory - A hypothesis is a proposed explanation - A prediction is something that can be measured - Null experiment: cells arise spontaneously, not derived from one-another, also called spontaneous generation - Maggots experiment o Ob
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