Evolution1 - Evolution#1 The Big Picture the Big...

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Evolution #1: The Big Picture & the Big Questions—Biodiversity! Levels of biological organization 1. the biosphere = land, water, atmosphere 2. ecosystems = living & nonliving things in a particular area 3. communities = entire array of organisms inhabiting a particular ecosystem 4. populations = all individuals of a species living w/in the bounds of a specified area 5. organisms = individual living things 6. organs & organ systems = body part consisting of ≥2 tissues; team of organs that cooperate in a specific function 7. tissues = group of similar cells 8. cells = life’s fundamental unit of structure & function 9. organelles = various functional components that make up cells 10. molecules = chemical structures consisting of ≥2 small chemical units (atoms) A closer look at ecosystems ecosystem dynamics: 2 major processes cycling of nutrients flow of E from sunlight producers consumers energy conversion E provides work provides life activities exchange of E between an organism and its surroundings involves transformation of one form of E to another (solar, chemical, kinetic) in E conversions, some of E is converted to / dissipated as heat (thermal E) in contrast to nutrient cycling, E flows one way thru system (light heat) A closer look at cells cell = lowest level of organization that can perform all activities required for life the cell’s heritable info chromosomes partly made of DNA DNA is the substance of genes genes are the units of inheritance i. each chromosome has 1 v. long DNA molecule ii. DNA molecule has 00s, 000s genes arranged along its length iii. genes along molecule encode info for building cell’s other molecules DNA directs the development and maintenance of the entire organism molecular structure of DNA accounts for its info-rich nature i. each DNA molecule made of 2 long chains arranged into double helix ii. each link of a chain is ¼ kinds of chemical building blocks (nucleotides) iii. nucleotides = alphabet of inheritance (GACT) iv. specific sequential arrangements of these nucleotides encode the precise info in genes v. genes are typically 00s, 000s nucleotides long vi. genes program cell’s production of large molecules (proteins)
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vii. sequence of nucleotides along each gene codes for a specific protein w/ a unique shape & function in the cell almost all cellular activities involve the action of ≥1 proteins DNA provides the heritable blueprints, but proteins are the tools that actually build & maintain the cell all forms of life employ essentially the same genetic code genome = entire “library” of genetic instructions that an organism inherits chromosomes of each human cells pack a genome about 3 billion nucleotides long 2 main forms of cells: eukaryotic & prokaryotic eukaryotic cell i. subdivided by internal membranes into various membrane- enclosed organelles ii. largest organelle = nucleus = contains cell’s DNA as chromosomal molecules iii. other organelles located in cytoplasm = entire region between the
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