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Chapter 1: The Study of Life

Chapter Worksheet


Ch. 1.1 Introduction to Biology

Main Idea: All living things share the characteristics of life.

The Science of Life

Biology- the study of life (bio = life, logos = study)

Origins, history, structure, interaction, function,....

What do biologists do?

People who study biology by seeking explanations by performing investigations.

Study the diversity of life

Jane Goodall and chimpanzees: we learned how chimpanzees grow & develop, using this knowledge we also learned how to protect them.

Research disease

Mary-Claire King and chimpanzee genetics: genome 99% identical to humans, this understanding has led to more research to understand how diseases work and how to treat them. (ie. vaccines)

Develop technologies

Technology defined as the application of scientific knowledge to solve human needs and extend human capabilities. Examples: bionics, separation of blood plasma from blood cells (lead to blood bank), bioengineering,

Improve agriculture

Genetic engineering: insects, frost, soil, pests, increased productivity

Preserve the environment

Preventions of extinction of species by developing ways to protect them

The Characteristics of Life

All living things have certain characteristics                                                                                     Organism- anything that has or once had all characteristics of life

Made of one or more cells: cells are the basic units of structure and function in all living things

Displays organizationorganization- arranged in an orderly way                                  cells, tissue, organs, organ system, organism

Grows and develops: most organisms start as one cell; growth- addition of mass of an organism and possibly cells/structures. Development- process of natural changes during life of organism.

Reproduces: the production of offspring; species- a group of organisms that can breed with on another and produce fertile offspring.

Responds to stimuli: external environment includes all things that surround it: air, water, other organisms. Internal environment is all things inside.

Stimulus- anything that causes a reaction; response- the reaction to a stimulus

Requires energy: living things need sources of energy to fuel life functions. Can make own energy or consume other organisms. Energy used for growth, development, and maintaining homeostasis. Most lost as heat.

Maintains homeostasis: if anything happens within or to an organism affecting its normal state, processes start to restore normal state.

Homeostasis- regulation of an organisms internal conditions to maintain life

Adaptations evolve over time: example drip tips on leaves to stay dry and not mold

Adaptation- any inherited characteristic that results from changes to a species over time.

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Ch. 1.2 The Nature of Science

What is science?

Science- a body of knowledge based on the study of the natural world. Essential characteristic is scientific inquiry (development of explanations). Inquiry is creative, unbiased.

Theory- an explanation of a natural phenomenon supported by many observations and experiments over time.

Two major theories in biology: cell theory, and theory of evolution. Both tested extensively and allow predictions.

Law- describes relationships under certain conditions in nature. Example: law of conservation of matter indicates that before & after a change the same amount of matter exists. Doesn't explain why, but describes the relationship.

Makes observations and draws conclusions

Dr. Buell at Ohio State University studied sports nutrition: do different types of athletes need the same types of food and same number calories.

Subject selection: studied athletes for metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity & elevated blood pressure leading to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes). As athletes, syndrome would be overlooked because athletes are viewed as "fit".

Data collection: using precise tools Buell collected blood samples, body measurements, nutrition, family health history.

Once data collected, results were analyzed. Concluded it should not be assumed college athletes are in good health simply cause athletes.

Expands knowledge: most science fields guided by research that is constantly reevaluated, often leading to new knowledge.

Pseudosciences are areas of study that try to imitate science; driven by cultural or commercial goals. Pseudoscience do little research.

Challenges accepted theories: Scientists welcome debate, accommodates new information as it is discovered.

Questions results: observations or data not consistent with current scientific understanding lead to further investigations. Example: wings of bats and birds; thought they were related until closer look at limbs.

Tests claims: test claims and draw conclusions based on data and observations from unbiased investigations and controlled experimentation. Pseudoscience makes claims that can't be tested.

Undergoes peer review: a process by which the procedures and results of an experiment are evaluated by other scientists in the same field or are conducting similar research.

Publication allows other scientists to examine research.

Science in Everyday Life

Science exists well beyond the lab: television-forensics, news media- flu epidemics, technologies, discoveries, etc

Science literacy

Combines a basic understanding of science and its processes with reasoning and thinking skills.

Ehics- a set of moral principles or values (cryogenics, genetic screening, cloning)

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Ch. 1.3 Methods of Science

Biologists use specific methods when conducting experiments

Ask a Question

Scientific inquiry starts with observation. Observation- a direct method of gathering information in an orderly way. Often involves recording information

Scientific inquiry involves combining what you know with what you have learned to make logical conclusions is called inferring. Inferences- conclusions made from inferring.

Scientific methods-similar methods used to gather information and to answer questions.

Form a Hypothesis

Biologists use imagination, curiosity, creativity, and logic. Hypothesis- a testable explanation of a situation.

Example: Isometrics raises blood pressure; help with g-force in jets to prevent blackouts. Also discovered isometrics lowers resting blood pressure.

Serendipity: the occurrence of accidental or unexpected but fortunate results: weight lifting and strength training recommended to help lower blood pressure.

Supported (valid) or refuted (revised)

Collect the Data

Experiment- investigation of a phenomenon in a controlled setting to test a hypothesis

Controlled Experiments

Control group- used for comparison, not altered. Experimental group- the group exposed to the factor being tested.

Experimental Design

Only one factor can change at a time. Independent variable- the tested factor that might affect the outcome of the experiment. Dependent variable- responds to changes to the independent variable. Constant- a factor that remains fixed during an experiment while the independent and dependent variabless change.

Data Gathering

Data- information gained from observations. Quantitative: data as numbers (time, temperature, length, mass, area, volume, or density) Qualitative: descriptions of what our senses detect.


Many ways to conduct scientific inquiry: computer models, identify new species.

Metric System

Most scientists use metric system while collecting data to communicate easier. Metric system- uses units with divisions that are powers of ten. SI- the International System of Units (meter, gram, second)

Analyze the Data

As biologists look for explanations, patterns are noted the help explain the data. Tables and graphs help make patterns easier to see. Experiments need large sample size.

Report Conclusions

Work reviewed by peers and then published in scientific journals.

Student Scientific Inquiry

Lab Safety: during labs possible hazards are indicated by safety symbols: a logo designed to alert about a hazard.

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Page last updated January 2, 2017.