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Lecture 01 - w new chnges

Biological Sciences
Course Code

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BIOA01 - Lecture 01
What is biology?
Bio – means life & logy – stud of  scientific study of life
It has many implication outside of science  it has application outside science
oE.g. reproduction biology - family that couldn’t have child have other options to
conceive such vivo –fertilization
But have to also face & look at ethical issues surrounding these application
oE.g. Molecular biology – GM food  again have look at ethical issues since
average person doesn’t know the consequences that come w/ these foods
Biology is closer to understanding:
oHow a single cell develops into an organism – this has implication on
developmental stages of embryo to infant & prevent developmental disorders or
oHow plants convert sunlight into chemical energy - plants & photoautotropic
organism (algae & cyanobacteria)  how do they split the water molecule
& emit energy as result
Thus by understanding this we could split water our self & get fossil fuel
 Great energy source
oHow human mind works  Neuroscience – psychology & biology come
oHow living organism interact  interesting things such as how bacteria in
your stomach that contribute to human survival & vice versa & there is also
other interaction outside the body  Ecology
oHow life’s diversity evolved from early microbes - we are currently loosing many
species & even the ones we don’t know about  thus, we are losing valuable
info that could solve many of the problems that we currently have such as
medical, environmental etc. problems
Furthermore, these organism that are becoming extinct interact w/ the
ecological system to keep it functioning in a right order  by losing
these species , the whole system could potentially break down

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What is Life?
Growth & reproduction
Convert chemical molecule to one form to another
Metabolism – breathing, converting energy , producing waste
But – biologist are still debating what is a real organism or what is life 
especially w/ robots & machinery  this area is becoming complicated/ complex
oAlso issues w/ virus  could only reproduce independently w/out a host
How is ALL life on earth Related?
Consists of organized cells – multicellular vs. singular organism (some protist,
bacteria, archebacteria, some algae)
Contain heritable genetic information for reproduction (asexual such as cell division,
binary fission OR complicated/ elaborated such as sexual reproduction)
Show growth ( and development)
oUnicellular – grow to certain size and that will trigger for asexual reproduction
oDevelopment most shows up in multi-cellular organism such as in internal
Responds to environmental stimuli - could make adjustment to sustain or enhance
surivial such as adjusting pH, temperature or nutritional differences
Maintain homeostasis ( a condition in which the various parameters w/in organisms
are maintained at fairly stable / constant level)
oE.g. maintain body temperature at stable level (~37 C)  if high or low –
means illness
oAlso pH, saliently, nutritional at level that ensure organism’s metabolism
function optimally or not at all (e.g. w/ enzymes)
oProf research – Uncliona ( Protist & algae) - this organism shows up in waste
from mine site that generate acid (~pH level of 2.5 – 3)  this organism is
fully functional & photosynthetic while its internal pH is ~7 (eukaryotic)
4 magnitude level difference in pH b/w internal membrane & outside but
survive by maintaining homeostasis

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Use/covert energy & matter for biological function (=metabolism) - take matter (e.g.
nutrients) from outside world & break down this matter into various forms of energy
(ultimately to energy currency ATP) that allows the organism to live , grow, and
Adapt to environmental change
ow/ evolution through natural selection (if change time is relative to their
obut if it change very quickly or much faster that generation time of a particular
organism - they may not be able to adapt in time  the reason why some
species’ population drop very low & may go extinct in time
Common Themes in Biology
Cell – all organism starts out of cell ( cells are basic units of living organism)
Heritable information – enclosed in DNA molecules & enable the organism to pass
info to the next generation
Emergent Properties - are revealed at higher levels of hierarchical biological system
Regulation – Feedback mechanism regulate biological system maintaining
oThese system tell organism about the conditions of the outside & inside
environment - as result could change inside environment to maintain
Environment Interaction – organisms are open systems exchanging energy &
materials w/ the environment
Energy Flow – organisms perform work that requires energy that flow from sunlight
to producers to consumers
Diversity/ Unity - (this is important theme to this course)  they are kind like
opposite side of a coin
oHave lot of diversity of life that shows diverse ways of survival BUT at the same
time there exists a unity b/w these organism/ species via organisation of
diversity into taxonomic hierarchy based on similarities
These similarities are what suggest that all life of earth came from a single
common ancestor around 3.8 billion years ago  Evolution
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