Chap_1 - Chapter 1 An Introduction to Life on Earth What is...

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Chapter 1 An Introduction to Life on Earth
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What is Biology ? --- The science of living organisms and life processes.
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So what exactly is life?
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Life: An evanescent phenomenon dependent for its continued existence, and perpetuation, on cyclic enzymatic reactions in an environment consisting principally of protein and water. Student Dictionary of Biology. (1972) Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York. Life: the property by which living organisms are distinguished from dead Organisms or inanimate matter. Websters II New Riverside Dictionary. These definitions suck terribly . Neither of the Biology texts (for majors or non-majors) that we use include the term “life” in their glossaries.
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The characteristics of life : 1. Complex, organized structure 2. Response to stimuli - a change outside (or inside) leads to another change 3. Homeostasis - the ability to maintain the structure and regulate the internal environment. 4. Ability to acquire material and energy -The material and energy are often transformed 5. Growth 6. Reproduction - either sexual or asexual DNA is genetic information, the “blueprint” for the offspring 7. Ability to evolve - to change to fit the environment
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Complex, organized structure The complexity of life is built in levels. Fig. 1-8
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Each level has ingredients or components which interact to make something greater than the sum of the parts. Emergent Properties Example: NaCl (Sodium Chloride) Sodium = solid metal Chlorine = poisonous gas Put them together = table salt
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Biosphere Ecosystem Community That part of Earth inhabited by living organisms; includes both the living and nonliving components A community together with its nonliving surroundings Two or more populations of different species living and interacting in the same area Earth's surface snake, antelope, hawk, bushes, grass, rocks, stream snake, antelope, hawk, bushes, grass herd of pronghorn antelope Population Members of one species inhabiting the same area Species Very similar, potentially interbreeding organisms Fig. 1-1
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Multicellular Organism Organ System Organ Tissue Cell A structure usually
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course BIOL 1001 taught by Professor Minor during the Fall '08 term at LSU.

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Chap_1 - Chapter 1 An Introduction to Life on Earth What is...

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