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Biology Midterm 1 Notes.docx

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BIOL 1010U

Chapter 1: Introduction: Themes in the Study of Life - Theme: New properties Emerge at Each Level in the Biological Hierarchy o Levels of Biological Organization  The biosphere -->Ecosystems -->Communities-->Populations-- >Organisms-->Organs and Organ Systems-->Tissues-->Cells-- >Organelles-->Molecules o Emergent Properties  Result from the arrangement and interaction of parts within a system  Parts form a more complex organization  Characterize non biological entities as well o The Power and Limitations of Reductionism  Complex organization of life presents a dilemma:  Cannot fully explain a higher level of organization by breaking it down into its component parts  Cannot analyze complex entities without taking them apart  Reductionism = reducing complex systems to simpler components that are more manageable to study  An understanding of biology balances reductionism with the study of emergent properties o Systems biology  System --> a combination of components that function together  Constructs models for the dynamic behaviour of whole biological systems based on interactions of parts of the system - Theme: Organisms Interact with Other Organisms and the Physical Environment o Every organisms interact with its environment,  Nonliving factors and other organisms o Both organisms and their environments are affected by the interactions between them - Theme: Life Requires Energy Transfer and Transformation o Ecosystem Dynamics  The dynamics of an ecosystem includes two major processes: 1.) Cycling of nutrients, in which materials acquired by plants are eventually returned to the soil by decomposers 2.) Flow of energy the sunlight to producers to consumers Energy flows through an ecosystem o Work requires a source of energy o Energy can be stored in different forms o Energy exchange between an organism and its environment often involves energy transformations o Energy flows through an ecosystem, usually entering as light and exiting as heat o In contrast, chemical nutrients recycle within a system - Theme: Structure and Function are Correlated at all Levels of Biological Organization o Structure and function of living organisms are closely related o Analyzing a biological structure gives clues about what it does and how it works o Alternatively, knowing the function of a structure provides insight into its construction. - Theme: Cells are an Organism`s Basic Units of Structure and Function o Cell- lowest level of organization that can perform all activities required for life  Ability of cells to divide is basis for all reproduction (meiosis), growth and repair  Mitosis o What do all cells have in common? 1.) Cell membrane o Regulates the passage of materials between the cell and its surroundings 2.) DNA o Genetic material that directs cell activities o Two Types of Cells:  Prokaryotic Cell  Simpler and usually smaller o Does not contain membrane-enclosed organelles  Eukaryotic Cell  Membrane-enclosed organelles o Largest usually the nucleus - Theme: The Continuity of Life is Based on Heritable Information in the Form of DNA o Chromosomes contain most of a cell`s genetic material in the form of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)  DNA is the substance of genes  Is inherited by offspring from their parents  Controls the development and maintenance of organisms o Genes are the units of inheritance that transmit information from parents to offspring  Genes control protein production indirectly  DNA is transcribed into RNA then translated into a protein  An organism`s genome is its entire set of genetic instructions o DNA Structure and Function  DNA molecule: 2 long chains arranged in a double helix  Basic chemical building blocks:  4 kinds of nucleotides  "Message" depends on the specific sequence of nucleotides o Genomics: Large – Scale Analysis of DNA Sequences  Genome –> entire "library" of genetic instructions that an organism inherits  Entire sequence of nucleotides in human genome is now know thanks to revolution in technology (1990`s)  Genomes of many bacteria, archaea, fungi, plants and other animals also known  Genomics –> an approach that studies sets of genes of a species as well as comparing genomes between species  Important developments that made genomic approach possible:  High – throughput technology o Fast analysis of biological materials producing copious data  Bioinformatics o Using computational tools to store and analyse data generated by technology above  Interdisciplinary research teams o Specialists from many disciplines working together (biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, chemists, engineers, physicists) - Theme: Feedback Mechanisms Regulate Biological Systems o Feedback mechanisms allow biological processes to self-regulate  Output or product of a process regulates that very process o Negative Feedback  As more of a product accumulates, the process that creates it slows and less of the product i
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