Terms of Biology

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Chapter 1
* animal
Multicelled consumer with unwalled cells; develops through a series of stages and moves about during part or all of the life cycle.

 * archaean
Member of a group of single-celled microorganisms that superficially resemble bacteria, but are genetically and structurally distinct.

 * atom
Particle that is a fundamental building block of all matter.

 * bacterium
Single-celled organism belonging to the Domain Bacteria; cells are typically walled and do not contain a nucleus.

 * biodiversity
Of a region, the genetic variation within its species, variety of species, and variety of ecosystems.

 * biology
The scientific study of life.

* biosphere
All regions of Earth where organisms live.

 * cell
Smallest unit that has the properties of life; at minimum, consists of plasma membrane, cytoplasm, and DNA.

 * community
All populations of all species that live a particular region.

 * consumer
Organism that gets energy and nutrients by feeding on tissues, wastes, or remains of other organisms; a heterotroph.

 * control group
In an experiment, group of individuals who are not exposed to the independent variable that is being tested.

 * critical thinking
Judging the quality of information before allowing it to guide one's thoughts or actions.

 * data
Experimental results.

* deductive reasoning
Using a general idea to make a conclusion about a specific case.

 * dependent variable
In an experiment, variable that is presumably affected by the independent variable being tested.

 * development
Multistep process by which the first cell of a new individual becomes a multicelled adult.

 * DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid. Nucleic acid that carries hereditary information about traits; consists of two nucleotide chains twisted in a double helix.

 * ecosystem
A community interacting with its environment.

 * emergent property
A characteristic of a system that does not appear in any of the system's component parts.

 * energy
The capacity to do work.

* eukaryote
Organism whose cells characteristically have a nucleus.

 * experiment
A test designed to support or falsify a prediction.

 * experimental group
In an experiment, group of individuals who are exposed to an independent variable.

 * fungus
Eukaryotic heterotroph with cell walls of chitin; obtains nutrients by digesting food outside the body and absorbing them.

 * genus
A group of species that share a unique set of traits; also the first part of a species name.

 * growth
In multicelled species, an increase in the number, size, and volume of cells.

 * homeostasis
Set of processes by which an organism keeps its internal conditions within tolerable ranges.

 * hypothesis
Testable explanation of a natural phenomenon.

 * independent variable
Variable that is controlled by an experimenter in order to explore its relationship to a dependent variable.

 * inductive reasoning
Drawing a conclusion based on observation.

 * inheritance
Transmission of DNA from parents to offspring.

 * law of nature
Generalization that describes a consistent natural phenomenon for which there is incomplete scientific explanation.

 * model
Analogous system used for testing hypotheses.

 * molecule
Two or more atoms joined by chemical bonds.

 * nucleus
Of an atom, the core region occupied by protons and neutrons. Of a eukaryotic cell, an organelle with two membranes that holds the cell's DNA.

 * nutrient
Substance that an organism needs for growth and survival, but cannot make for itself.

 * organ
In multicelled organisms, a grouping of tissues engaged in a collective task.

 * organ system
In multicelled organisms, set of organs engaged in a collective task that keeps the body functioning properly.

 * organism
Individual that consists of one or more cells.

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