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Invitation to Biology

Chapter 1

1.1 Impacts/Issues:
The Secret Life of Earth
Biology
The systematic study of life

We have encountered only a fraction of the


organisms that live on Earth
Scientists constantly discover new species
Extinction rates are accelerating

1.2 Lifes Levels of Organization

The building blocks (atoms) that make up all


living things are the same ones that make up all
nonliving things

The unique properties of life emerge as certain


kinds of molecules become organized into cells

Lifes Levels of Organization


Atom
Fundamental building block of all matter

Molecule
An association of two or more atoms

Cell
Smallest unit of life

Organism
An individual; consists of one or more cells

Lifes Levels of Organization


Population
Group of individuals of a species in a given area

Community
All populations of all species in a given area

Ecosystem
A community interacting with its environment

Biosphere
All regions of Earth that hold life

Nature and Life

Nature
Everything in the universe, except what humans
have manufactured

Emergent property
A characteristic of a system that does not appear
in any of a systems component parts

Levels of Organization in Nature

1.3 Overview of Lifes Unity

All living things have similar characteristics


Require energy and nutrients
Sense and respond to change
Reproduce with the help of DNA

Energy Sustains Lifes Organization


One-way flow of energy through the biosphere
and cycling of nutrients among organisms
sustain lifes organization
Energy
The capacity to do work

Nutrient
Substance that is necessary for survival, but that
an organism cant make for itself

Organisms and Energy Sources


Producers
Organisms that make their own food using energy
and simple raw materials from the environment
Example: plants

Consumers
Organisms that get energy and carbon by feeding
on tissues, wastes, or remains of other organisms
Example: animals

Organisms Sense and Respond to Change


Organisms sense and respond to change to keep
conditions in their internal environment within a
range that favors cell survival (homeostasis)
Homeostasis
Set of processes by which an organism keeps its
internal conditions within tolerable ranges

Receptor
Molecule or structure that responds to a stimulus

Organisms Grow, Develop and Reproduce


Organisms grow, develop, and reproduce based
on information encoded in DNA, which they
inherit from their parents
Growth
Increase in size, volume, and number of cells in
multicelled species

Development
Multistep process by which the first cell of a new
individual becomes a multicelled adult

Organisms Grow, Develop and Reproduce


Reproduction
Process by which parents produce offspring

Inheritance
Transmission of DNA from parents to offspring

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)


Molecule that carries hereditary information about
traits

1.4 Introduction to Lifes Diversity


The millions of species on Earth vary greatly in
details of body form and function
Each species is given a unique two-part name
that includes genus and species names
Species
A type of organism

Genus
Group of species that share a unique set of traits

Classification Systems
Classification systems group species according
to traits and organize information about species
One system sorts all organisms into one of three
domains: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya
The eukaryotes include plants, protists, fungi
and animals

Prokaryotes
Prokaryotes
Single celled organisms in which DNA is not
contained in a nucleus

Bacterium
A member of the prokaryotic domain Bacteria

Archaeans
A member of the prokaryotic domain Archaea

Eukaryotes
Eukaryotes
Organisms whose cells typically have a nucleus

Fungus
Eukaryotic consumer that obtains nutrients by
digestion and absorption outside the body

Protists
Eukaryotes that are not plants, animals, or fungi

Eukaryotes

Plant
Typically a multicelled, photosynthetic producer

Animal
Multicelled consumer that develops through a
series of embryonic stages and moves about
during all or part of the life cycle

1.5 The Nature of Scientific Inquiry

Critical thinking
Mental process of judging the quality of information
before deciding whether or not to accept it

The Scope and Limits of Science


Science is a way of looking at the natural world
which helps us to communicate our experiences
without bias by focusing only on testable ideas
about observable phenomena
Science does not address the supernatural

Science
The systemic study of nature

1.6 How Science Works


Researchers make and test potentially falsifiable
predictions about how the natural world works
Generally, scientific inquiry involves forming a
hypothesis (testable assumption) about an
observation then making and testing predictions
based on the hypothesis
A hypothesis that is not consistent with the results
of scientific tests is modified or discarded

Common Research Practices

1. Observe some aspect of nature


2. Frame a question about your observation
3. Propose a hypothesis (a testable explanation
of the observation)

Common Research Practices

4. Make a prediction a statement based on a


hypothesis, about some condition that should
exist if the hypothesis is not wrong

5. Test the accuracy of the prediction by


experiments or gathering information (tests may
be performed on a model)

Common Research Practices

6. Assess the results of the tests (data) to see if


they support or disprove the hypothesis
7. Conclusions: Report all steps of your work and
conclusions to the scientific community

A Scientific Theory

Scientific theory
A hypothesis that has not been disproven after
many years of rigorous testing
Useful for making predictions about other
phenomena

Laws of Nature

Law of nature
Generalization that describes a consistent and
universal natural phenomenon for which we do
not yet have a complete scientific information
Example: gravity

Examples of Scientific Theories

1.7 The Power of Experiments

Natural processes are often influenced by many


interacting variables
Variable
A characteristic or event that differs among
individuals

The Power of Experiments

Experiments simplify interpretations of complex


biological systems by focusing on the effect of
one variable at a time

Experiment
A test to support or falsify a prediction

Experimental and Control Groups

Experimental group
A group of objects or individuals that display or
are exposed to a variable under investigation

Control group
A group of objects or individuals that is identical
to an experimental group except for one variable

Hypothesis
Olestra causes intestinal cramps.
Prediction
People who eat potato chips made with Olestra will be more
likely to get intestinal cramps than those who eat potato
chips made without Olestra

Experiment

Control Group
Eats regular
potato chips

Experimental Group
Eats Olestra
potato chips

Results

93 of 529 people
get cramps later
(17.6%)

89 of 563 people get


cramps later
(15.8%)

Conclusion
Percentages are about equal. People who eat potato chips
made with Olestra are just as likely to get intestinal cramps
as those who eat potato chips made without Olestra.
These results do not support the hypothesis.

Stepped Art
Fig. 1-10, p. 14

Example: Butterflies and Birds


Question
Why does a peacock butterfly flick its wings?

Two hypotheses
Exposing wing spots scares off predators
Wing sounds scare off predators

Two predictions
Individuals without spots are eaten more often
Individuals without sounds are eaten more often

Experiments and Results


Four groups of butterflies were exposed to
predators (birds)

Butterflies without spots


Butterflies without sounds
Butterflies without spots or sounds
Control group

Test results support both original hypotheses

Results: Peacock Butterfly Experiment

Sampling Error

Biology researchers experiment on subsets of a


group, which may result in sampling error
Sampling error
Difference between results derived from testing
an entire group of events or individuals, and
results derived from testing a subset of the group

Sampling Error

Probability

Researchers try to design experiments carefully


in order to minimize sampling error
Statistically significant
Refers to a result that is statistically unlikely to
have occurred by chance