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intro(bio) - Introduction 1 Introduction Biology is about...

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Introduction - 1 Introduction Biology is about the nature of life and living organisms. By studying biology we can satisfy much of the curiosity we have about the world we live in, and the connections we humans make with other organisms with whom we share this earth. Biologists ask, and try to answer, questions about the diversity of life and about the common characteristics of living organisms. To accomplish this, some biologists study organisms in their habitats, some go into laboratories to examine life on the cell and molecular level and some study the history of life through fossils. The study of biology encompasses so much that it’s almost impossible to not be a biologist! During the three terms of biology (201-202-203) this year, you will look at much of what and how biology is. In this term, we shall look most closely at life on the cellular level. First, however, let’s look at bit at some of the broad themes that are a part of the study of life. These themes are addressed in the introductory chapter of your textbook, and include: The Properties of Life The Nature of Science How Science is Done Illustrating How Science Works: The Theory of Evolution In addition, we will briefly look at the way in which the vast diversity of organisms are categorized or classified. The Properties of Life Living Organisms are virtually everywhere on earth, and are found in all sizes, shapes and colors. There is a remarkable array of living organisms to catalog (or classify) and observe on earth. All organisms, no matter how small or how large, share common properties that are associated with life. Order Living organisms have an organized structure, or hierarchy, with each level of biological structure building on the level below it. Atoms form molecules that are organized into macromolecules that form cell components, called organelles. Cells are the subunits of organisms and organisms are the units of life. The set of properties associated with life depend on this structural order.
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Introduction - 2 Structure and Function Structure and function of organisms is correlated at all levels of biological organization. There is a strong relationship between form and function in living organisms. We appreciate the relationship of structure to function when we look at the processes of life. Although a biologist may focus on one level of organization, to gain perspective, one must integrate those specifics with processes occurring at higher and lower levels of the hierarchy of life.
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