Biology discovering what biology is all about


*Biology comes from the Greek word bioslogos, which means life study

*Biology is the study of life and living organisms

*Biology is a natural science

*Biology studies anything that is alive (bacteria, fungi, animals)

*The reason we study biology is to gain knowledge of life and how it works


*Biology is such a wide subject, that we have divided it into different branches:

-Taxonomy: the science of classifying living things into different families (birds, mammals, insects)

-Anatomy: the study of intern structures and organs inside living things (humans, animals)

-Cytology: the study of cells and how they function

-Histology: the study of tissues (that the body is made out of)

-Paleontology: the study of fossils

-Embryology: the study of embryos (these develop into offspring)

-Genetics: the study of heredity and variations (how things pass genes to offspring)


*Helps us better understand our bodies

*Helps us understand how life began (evolution)

*Gives us answers on the way the world works

*Helps us with different professions

*Can help find more efficient ways of discovering food

*Can help find way to eradicate pollution

*Pathology can help us find diseases and see how they function

*Can teach us about what food to eat







*Traits: a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person; a genetically determined characteristic

*DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information; the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable.

*Genes: a unit of heredity that is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring

*Chromosomes: a threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes

*Allele: one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome

*Genome: the haploid set of chromosomes in a gamete or microorganism, or in each cell of a multicellular organism

*Genetic engineering: the deliberate modification of the characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material

*Mutation: the changing of the structure of a gene, resulting in a variant form that may be transmitted to subsequent generations, caused by the alteration of single base units in DNA, or the deletion, insertion, or rearrangement of larger sections of genes or chromosomes


*Genes, DNA, and Cells:

-Every cell in the body has the same set of genes

-The genes are made up of DNA

-Genes are passed from parents to offspring, this is called inheritance

-Some genes are ACTIVE; this is what makes the cells different

-Genes are turned on and off; due to environmental changes

*Laws of Inheritance:

-Traits like high blood sugar or height can be inherited

-If you have a lot of genes in a specific gene, then most likely you will inherit that trait

*Genetic Stability:

-Genes mutate and it is a change in the DNA

-Mutations occur in everyone, but only few are harmful

-Only mutations in the sperm and egg can be passed from parent to child

-Our bodies can sometimes find mutations in our cells and destroy that cell, but not all the time

*Genetic Variations:

-Variation is what makes everyone different

-Most are harmless but some cause disease

-Variation is needed for evolution

*Genes and Environment:

-Genes change in the environment(our diet,medications)

*Family History:

-By collecting your family history you can find out what you may be susceptible to, like cancer



-Cells: the simplest units of living matters and can reproduce on their own;every human starts out as one small cell

-Tissues: more complex than a cell;an organization of similar cells

-Organs: more complex than tissues;organization of tissues together that can perform a special function


-Skeletal: all of the bones and joints in the body

-Muscular: makes the body move

-Cardiovascular: the heart and all the blood vessels

-Digestive: organs that work together to convert food into energy

-Endocrine: the glands of the body and hormones produced by the glands

-Nervous: the brain, spinal cords, sensory organs, and all the nerves in it

-Respiratory: provides oxygen to cells; consists of the airway and lungs

-Immune/Lymphatic: the systems that clean the body and helps it stay healthy

-Urinary: kidneys, bladder, urethra; filters all the bad things out of our bodies

-Reproductive: organs that work together to produce reproductive cells

-Integumentary: consists of the skin, hair, and nails


-Organization: each part of the body has a different job and if that part of the body fails at doing their job they get killed off

-Metabolism: the things an organism needs to get the proper nutrients to stay alive

-Responsiveness: living things must be sensitive to outside sources and respond to them

-Movement: in order to carry out activities, living things have to move around in a controlled way

-Reproductive: living things have to produce offspring or else the species will not survive

-Growth: every living thing has to use the nutrition they collect in order to increase their size and grow stronger

-Differentiation: different cells turning into different tissues or organs

-Respiration: being able to breathe to perform activities

-Exertion: the metabolic activities in our bodies generate waste products that we get rid of

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