What is out there

What is out there - Bios 101 Biology of Populations and...

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Bios 101 Biology of Populations and Communities Dr. Alan Molumby molumby@uic.edu 6-2994 3084 SEL
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What is Out There? Reading: Freeman Chps. 1, 55
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Biology is the study of life, but what is life?
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processes that define a living thing Organization and Information Need for an Energy Source Reproduction and Evolution
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Organization and Information Living things are born and living things die. Although true by definition, this underlies an essential property-they are organized. So long as an organism maintains a given level of organization, it is alive. When this organization breaks down, it dies. Living things impose organization on nonliving matter by growth, development, and reproduction. In death and decomposition, this organization breaks down.
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Homeostasis A critical aspect of life's organization is a constant internal environment, called homeostasis , which makes the complex biochemical machinery of life possible.
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Information Living things use a template to impose order on nonliving things and to maintain order within their own bodies. In all present-day living things, this template is DNA (many viruses use RNA, but are they living?.) This template makes proteins, which are responsible for our structure, function, and metabolism-it is copied every time living things reproduce.
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DNA DNA is the prime substance of life itself (on this planet, at least), it is as close to the basis of life as we can get. DNA is the information template for life on earth. Without DNA, living organisms could not reproduce or function.
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Need for and Energy Source All living things require constant input of energy to survive. This is because life exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium . A dynamic equilibrium is an organized system that requires a constant input of energy to maintain itself. Without input of energy, the organization breaks down and death is imminent.
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Humans are Heterotrophs Humans, like other animals, are heterotrophs . We process energy that was originally captured by other living things. Unlike plants, we cannot fix energy from sunlight, nor can we fix energy by reducing hydrogen sulfide these organisms are autotrophs and chemoautotrophs respectively.) All of the energy we use to survive, and most of the nutrients, were taken from another organism.
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Living things GROW, and multicellular organisms DEVELOP as well. GROWTH is simply adding new material to our bodies. DEVELOPMENT is the changes in structure we
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2009 for the course CHEM 112 taught by Professor Jursich during the Spring '08 term at Ill. Chicago.

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What is out there - Bios 101 Biology of Populations and...

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