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BIO 311C - Chapter 1 - BIO 311C Chapter 1 Introduction...

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BIO 311C – Chapter 1 Introduction: Themes in the Study of Life Inquiring About the World of Life - Evolution is the adaption of creatures that allows its survival. - The scientific study of life is known as biology. Concept 1.1 Themes Connect the Concepts of Biology - Evolution, the Overarching Theme of Biology o “The scientific explanation for this unity and diversity – and for the suitability of organisms to their environments – is evolution: the idea that the organisms living on Earth today are the modified descendants of common ancestors.” - Theme: New Properties Emerge at each Level in the Biological Hierarchy o Emergent Properties Arrangement and interactions of parts as complexity increases o The Power and Limitations of Reductionism Reductionism, a powerful strategy in biology, is the reduction of complex systems to simpler components that are more manageable to study. The balance of the reductionist strategy and the larger-scale, holistic objective of understanding emergent properties is called systems biology. The Bioshpere -> Ecosystems -> Communities -> Populations -> Organisms -> Organs and Organ Systems -> Tissues -> Cells -> Organelles -> Molecules o Systems Biology The goal is to construct models for the dynamic behavior of whole biological systems. It’ll allow biologists to predict how a change in 1/1+ variables will affect the system. Relevant to the study of life at all levels - Theme: Organisms Interact with their Environments, exchanging Matter and Energy o Both organism and environment are affected by the interactions between them. o Ecosystem Dynamics The operations of any ecosystem involve the cycling of nutrients and the one-way flow of energy from sunlight to producers to consumers.
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