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83 Cards in this Set

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Active transport
A cellular process for transferring materials into or out of the cell against the concentration gradient (from low concentration to high concentration) and requiring the expenditure of cellular energy, usually ATP.
Amino acids
The basic building blocks of proteins. A protein is a chain of these linked together in a particular order.
The basic unit of matter. Two or more of these join together to form molecules, compounds, etc.
The energy currency of the cell. It drives most cellular activities. It is the product of respiration where is synthesized using the energy stored in glucose in the presence of O2.
A group of microscopic organisms that do not have a true nucleus. Some are important decomposers, some are disease-causing, some are used in food production, and more.
Biochemical process
A metabolic process in living things. Involves the transformation of one chemical substance into another, for growth, repair, energy, etc. Examples include respiration, photosynthesis, protein synthesis, digestion, and so on.
Biological catalysts
A chemical, usually a protein, that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in living things. An enzyme.
The forces that hold molecules together. Can be covalent, ionic, hydrogen, etc.
Building blocks
Small units that are combined to produce larger structures. Atoms, glucose, amino acids, and others are examples.
The backbone of organic molecules. Because of its 4 valence electrons, it can bond with itself and other elements to form incredibly complex molecules made of thousands of atoms.
Carbon dioxide
An atmospheric gas that is one of the basic ingredients in the production of glucose via photosynthesis and a waste product of respiration. Also a greenhouse gas.
Cell membrane
A thin double layer of phospholipids and other structures (proteins, etc.) that surrounds and encloses a cell and determines what materials enter or leave the cell.
The basic units of structure and function in all living things. All living things are made of these.
adjective. Referring to the cell. Compare with organismal.
Cellular respiration
The process by which the energy in a glucose molecule is made available for cells to use, producing CO2 and H2O as byproducts: glucose + oxygen --> (energy) + carbon dioxide + water
A linear sequence of chemical building blocks linked together. In biology, starch, proteins, nucleic acids, are examples.
A feature or quality of an organism or group of organisms that defines them.
Chemical change
A chemical reaction. When chemical substances are transformed into different chemical substances. Example - photosynthesis, where CO2 and H2O are transformed into glucose and oxygen.
Chemical composition
What a substance is made up of at the basic chemical level.
Chemical energy
The energy stored in chemical bonds. Food provides this for living things. Food is converted to ATP, which is the “energy currency” of the cell.
Chemical reaction
A process in which one or more reactants is changed into 1 or more new products. Involves the rearrangement of atoms, not the creation or destruction of them. Burning paper, for example.
A pigment found in plants and algae and other photosynthetic organisms. It absorbs the wavelengths of light needed for photosynthesis to occur.
A structure found in plant cells where photosynthesis occurs. They are green in color due to the presence of chlorophyll.
Compound microscope
A device consisting of an eyepiece lens and an objective lens used to magnify object too small to be seen with the naked eye. Standard models require very thin transparent specimens and are lit from below.
A substance made of two or more atoms of different elements bonded together by covalent or ionic bonds. H2O, CO2, NaCl, for example.
Technically, all the material outside the nucleus and inside the cell membrane. In some books it refers only to the gel-like material that other cell structures or organelles are embedded in.
The process by which molecules in a fluid solution spontaneously move from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. A major method by which materials move about within cells and between cells and their environment.
The nucleic acid found in all living things that largely determine the physical characteristics of that organism. The coded instructions for producing proteins. The carrier of the genetic code.
Dynamic equilibrium
The constant adjustments of internal conditions within a narrow range of values. Example: Body temperature averages 98.6 in humans but naturally changes by a few degrees up or down depending on activity level and other conditions. Homeostasis.
Generally, the ability to perform work. Living things require a constant supply of it to carry out life functions and activities.
Refers to chemical molecules that have a relatively large amount of energy stored in the chemical bonds that can then be readily used for cellular activities. Includes glucose, ATP.
A biological catalyst. A chemical that speeds up chemical reactions. Almost all metabolic processes in living organisms require them.
A metabolic process in living things that is controlled by biological catalysts that determine if and/or at what rate the process will occur.
Mathematical expressions that we use to show relationships between variables and/or to determine the values of unknown variables. Example: Cardiac output = Heart Rate X Stroke Volume.
External environment
Refers to the conditions that surround a cell or an organism. These conditions are always different from conditions INSIDE the cell or organism.
Generally used as a synonym for a lipid, especially triglycerides. Sometimes used to mean triglycerides that are solid at room temperature (butter, lard, etc.), compared with oils, which are liquid at room temperature.
Function of protein
What a protein does. Includes contraction in muscle fibers, acting as an enzyme, forming channels in cell membranes, and a host of other jobs that proteins perform.
The purpose or job of a structure or substance. What a thing is used for or what it does.
One of several basic types of sugar. The product of photosynthesis. One of the building blocks of starch and other many other carbohydrates.
The addition of body or cell mass. Multicellular organisms grow by increasing the number of cells. Single-celled organisms grow by the addition of cytoplasm (including cytoplasmic organelles).
An element that is an essential component of living things and "organic" compounds when combined with carbon.
Substances that are not derived from living things or do not contain carbon AND hydrogen. Examples that are important for living things include water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and minerals (as in nutritional minerals). They are ultimately the SOURCE of organic compounds.
Internal structures
The organs and organ systems inside an organism. Also the organelles found inside cells
Life functions
All the activities an organism carries out to maintain life or reproduce. Includes reproduction at all levels, growth, development, repair, nutrition, response, locomotion, etc.
A thin sheet of tissue or other material that surrounds a substance or structure. Covers or surrounds organelles, cells, organs, and certain body cavities .
Refers to any chemical process that happens within (or sometimes outside of) a living organism. Involves the synthesis of complex molecules from simpler building blocks as well as the breakdown of complex molecules into simpler molecules. Examples include respiration, photosynthesis, digestion, protein synthesis, and many, many more.
Mitochondria (Singular: Mitochondrion)
Cell organelles that are the site of cellular respiration (extracting energy from nutrients). Sometimes called the "powerhouse" of the cell.
Chemical substances made of two or more atoms that are bonded together by covalent bonds. H20, O2, CO2, H2, N2, etc, are naturally occurring examples. Compare with ions, which are NOT held together by covalent bonds.
An element that makes up about 78% of the atmosphere. A key component of proteins and nucleic acids. Producers get it in the form of nitrates or ammonia from the soil or water in which they live. Consumers get it from producers.
In biology, the organelle in a eukaryotic cell that houses the DNA/chromosomes. The "control center" of the cell.
One-celled organism
An individual living thing consisting entirely of a single cell capable of carrying out all life functions needed to survive and reproduce. Bacteria, many protists, yeast, are examples.
"Little organs." The (mostly) membrane-bound structures within eukaryotic cells that carry out specialized functions. Mitochondria, nucleus, ribosomes, vacuoles, chloroplasts, etc.
Refers to a substance, usually of biological origin, containing BOTH carbon AND hydrogen, and often other elements as well. Glucose, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, vitamins, etc. (NOT minerals)
Organic compounds
Compounds consisting of any number of both carbon and hydrogen atoms bonded together. Often contains other elements in addition to these two elements, including oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, etc.
adjective. Refers to the whole organism, especially in multicellular organisms, where it is contrasted with the cellular level (see respiration).
Diffusion of water across a membrane. Direction of diffusion is FROM an area of higher water concentration TO the area of lower water concentration.
An element that makes up about 21% of the atmosphere. A key element in all the major biological molecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids). An essential part of respiration where it reacts with glucose to release the energy stored in glucose molecules.
A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Ranges in number from (mostly) 1-14 where 7.0 is neutral. Greater than 7 is alkaline (or "basic"). Less than 7 is acidic.
The process by which green plants and other organisms use the sun's energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar (glucose), releasing oxygen as a waste product. CO2 + H20 (sunlight) --> Glucose + O2
Photosynthesis (Formula)
carbon dioxide + water (in the presence of sunlight) --> glucose + oxygen

CO2 + H20 (sunlight) --> C6H12O6 + O2
Photosynthetic organism
Green plants, algae, and other living things that are capable of using energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar (glucose), releasing oxygen as a waste product.
A long chain of amino acids having a complex 3 dimensional structure that largely determines its function.
Can be either cellular or organismal. Cellular refers to the extraction of energy from glucose molecules (see separate card). Organismal refers to how an organism takes in oxygen from its environment and gets rid of carbon dioxide waste. In humans and other animals this is called "breathing."
Respiration (Formula)
glucose + oxygen --> (energy) + carbon dioxide + water

C6H12O6 + O2 --> (ATP) + CO2 + H2O
To take action when confronted with information or sensation. For example, in the face of danger we may run or fight (“fight or flight”).
Response to stimuli
Actions we take when faced with information or sensations. For example, hunger causes us to seek food. The amount of light we are exposed to causes the pupils of our eyes get smaller (contract) or larger (dilate). Etc.
A cellular organelle that produces (synthesizes) proteins from amino acids using information encoded in DNA.
Shape of protein
The 3 dimensional form of a protein that determines its function.
Simple sugars
Mainly glucose. Can be joined together to form more complex carbohydrates such as starches, cellulose, etc.
A complex carbohydrate consisting of a chain of glucose molecules linked together. Primary means of energy storage in plants. Also present in animal cells.
A microscope with two eyepieces that allows us to see fine detail in 3 dimensional objects and specimens. Specimen does not have to be transparent or microscopic. Insects and other small animals or animal parts, flowers, leaves, etc. are good subjects. Subjects can be lit from above, below, or both. Compare with compound microscope.
The components or parts of a thing. Can be described at any level of organization, from the atom to cells to organism and in between and beyond.
The production or building up of complex structures from simpler materials. Building proteins (complex) from amino acids (simpler) is an example. Compare with digestion or breaking down.
The average kinetic energy of the molecules in a material or substance. More loosely, how hot or cold something is.
To change from one form into another form. All metabolic processes change materials in the body from one form to another for various purposes.
A cell organelle, prominent in plant cells but also found in animal cells, where water, food, waste, and other materials can be stored.
An inorganic compound essential for life. A limiting factor in many land ecosystems. A fluid in which the chemical activities necessary for life occur. H2O.
Wet-mount slide
A thin transparent specimen prepared for viewing under a microscope with a slide, drop of water, cover slip, and often a stain, following a standard procedure.
A group of tissues working together to perform a particular function. Heart, brain, kidney, lung, skin, etc., are examples.
Organ system
A group of organs working together to perform a particular function. Example - The digestive system includes a number of organs (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, large intestine) all dedicated to breaking down food, absorbing the nutrients, and getting rid of the indigestible waste.
A whole, complete individual capable of carrying out most or all life functions on its own (understanding that no living thing is entirely independent of other living things).
Having a specific job to perform within in a system where there is a division of labor among the different parts. For example, in the human body the heart is an organ whose specific job is to pump blood. If the heart doesn't do its job, the rest of the body's systems will fail.
A group of similar cells working together to perform a specific function. Muscle, nervous, epithelial, and connective are the main types.