Introduction211S - Introduction - 1 Biology is about the...

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Introduction - 1 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 from molecules to entire ecosystems. To accomplish this, some biologists study organisms in their habitats; others work in laboratories to examine life on the cell and molecular level. Biologists study the history of life through fossils and use bioinformatics to determine evolutionary relationships based on DNA sequences. Ecologists use computer modeling to evaluate critical environmental issues. The study of biology encompasses so much that it’s almost impossible to not be a biologist! During the three terms of biology (211-212-213) this year, you will look at much of what and how biology is and be introduced to the language of biology. ( At times it may seem that all we do is memorize vocabulary. In reality, to be able to work with and process the information of biology, we must know the vocabulary – it's an essential first step in learning. ) In Biology 211, we shall look most closely at life on the cellular and molecular level. The study of life encompasses broad themes (the characteristics of life) that apply to all organisms, generally in the context of the overarching theme of evolution, the process of expression of genetic change through time. These connecting themes or properties of life are addressed in the introductory chapter of your textbook, and include: Biological Organization Common evolutionary history Continuity of life based on the inheritable information of DNA Use of nutrients for energy and structure Regulation of biological systems Interaction with the living and non-living environment Processes of science: discovery and hypothesis-based science In addition, we will briefly look at the way in which the vast diversity of organisms are categorized or classified based on cell structure and metabolism – a "tree of life". Note: Diversity of Organisms is covered in Biology 212 and 213. Properties of Life Living Organisms are virtually everywhere on earth, and are found in all sizes, shapes, patterns and, to our eyes, complexity. There is a remarkable array of living organisms to catalog (or classify) and observe on earth. Yet, all organisms, no matter how small or how large, share common properties that are associated with life. One definition of life is: "an organized genetic unit capable of metabolism, reproduction and evolution". Let's look a bit at some of the properties of life.
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Introduction - 2 Biological Organization Molecule Organelle Cells Tissues Organ Organism Community 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
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Introduction211S - Introduction - 1 Biology is about the...

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