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Chapter 1 Introduction - Chapter 1 Introduction Themes in...

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Chapter 1 Introduction: Themes in the Study of Life Biology is the study of life. I. Life's Hierarchical Order A. The living world is a hierarchy, with each level of biological structure building on the level below it A characteristic of life is a high degree of order. Biological organization is based on a hierarchy of structural levels, with each level building on the levels below it Atoms Complex biological molecules Subcellular organelles Cells Tissues Organs Organ systems Complex organism There are levels of organization beyond the individual organism: Population Community Ecosystem Biomes Biosphere B. Each level of biological organization has emergent properties Emergent property = Property that emerges as a result of interactions between components.
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-With each step upward in the biological hierarchy, new properties emerge that were not present at the simpler organizational levels. -Life is difficult to define because it is associated with numerous emergent properties that reflect a hierarchy of structural organization. Some of the emergent properties and processes associated with life are the following: 1. Order. Organisms are highly ordered, and other characteristics of life emerge from this complex organization. 2. Reproduction. Organisms reproduce; life comes only from life (biogenesis). 3.Growth and Development. Heritable programs stored in DNA direct the species-specific pattern of growth and development.
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