[BIOL 211] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (13 pages long)

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7 Feb 2017
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CSULB
BIOL 211
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Lecture 2 Notes
Some Traits Shared by Living Organisms
1. They all consist of one or more cells
First seen in 1655 by Robert Hooke, who used a microscope to examine a thin slice of
cork
Bacteria, archaea, animals, plants, fungi, and protists are all built of cells (either
prokaryotic or eukaryotic)
Organisms can be:
o Unicellular composed of a single cell that carries out all necessary functions
Atoms molecules
o Multicellular composed of many cells, each specialized for different functions
(brain cells, skin cells, liver cells)
Atoms molecules cells tissues organs organisms
2. They contain genetic information within their cells
Genetic information is encoded in chains of four different nucleotides in molecules of
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
The entire set of DNA molecules in a cell is its “genome” (each cell of a multicellular
organism contains the same genome)
Gene a sequence of nucleotides in a DNA molecule that is transcribed” into another
nucleic acid, ribonucleic acid (RNA)
RNA is “translated” into a sequence of amino acids, forming a specific protein
Proteins form much of the structure of organisms
Information flow in cells typically goes:
DNA RNA protein (organism form and function)
3. They replicate genetic information to reproduce themselves
Complete sets of genetic information (genomes) are replicated and passed on during cell
division
Mutations mistakes in the replication of genetic information
Evolution Allows us to Explain Shared Traits and Diversity
Evolution explains both unity and diversity of life
All living things are descended from a unicellular common ancestor
o All the similarities of living organisms we just listed were inherited from this
common ancestor
As organisms reproduce, DNA is replicated, but not identically to that of parents (due to
mutation and other processes)
Resulting offspring may be different in their form or how they work, and they may
survive or reproduce at different rates (due to natural selection and/or genetic drift)
Over time, genetic changes accumulate between groups of organisms (populations) and
they become genetically different from each other
Process of diversification is represented through branching diagrams called phylogenies
o Shows that all living things can be grouped into one of three “domains”
Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya
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o Biologists describe these phylogenies using information from fossil records,
information in DNA sequences etc.
All living organisms are therefore descended from a unicellular common ancestor,
explaining all the similarities among living organisms (through evolution) and all the
diversity (through DNA variations)
Living things all of the diverse organisms descended from the common unicellular
ancestor
Viruses: are not cellular, but contain genetic information and replicated that information,
and evolve. Are they living?
o If you consider living as cellular beings, then they are not living. However, they
are very likely evolved from cells, therefore they are living organisms
Key Features of the Scientific Method (and how it differs from other ways of
understanding the world around us)
How we “know” things about the world around us:
1. Sense: seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, feeling
2. We organize and interpret our observations using one or more of what people call
“ways of knowing”
Belief, logic, science
Science is carried out using some form of the scientific method
1. very different way of explaining or understanding natural phenomena compared
to belief, logic etc.
The process:
1. Make observations use your senses alone, i.e. direct sight or using instruments
(microscopes, rulers, thermometers etc.)
Data recorded observations (data plural, datum singular)
Data can be qualitative (descriptive) or quantitative (numerical)
Ex: Tyrone Hayes noticed that amphibian populations are declining in size
2. Ask questions they will form a basis for your experiment
Ex: Why are amphibian populations in decline?
3. Form hypotheses use inductive reasoning (based on observations you or others
have made) to come up with tentative answers to your question
Ex, H1: increased exposure to agricultural chemicals, such as atrazine,
causes reproductive abnormalities
H2, H3, H4… as many hypotheses as needed or wanted
4. Make predictions use deductive reasoning (based on your hypothesis: if it’s
true, then prediction 1 should be true) to come up with predictions
Ex, P1: if H1 is true, then frog tadpoles exposed to atrazine early in life
might develop reproductive abnormalities that prevent successful
reproduction
5. Test the prediction use controlled experiments or comparative tests (aka
observational tests)
a) Controlled experiment: take groups of the subject and expose them to
different levels of the variable that is predicted to have an effect
Nothing else should differ besides the independent variable (the
manipulated variable)
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