Chapter 1 Introduction Themes in the Study of Life

Chapter 1 Introduction Themes in the Study of Life -...

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Chapter 1 Introduction: Themes in the Study of  Life
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Overview: Inquiring About the World of  Life Evolution  is the process of change that has transformed  life on Earth Biology  is the scientific study of life Life defies a simple, one-sentence definition Life is recognized by what living things do (7) Order Evolutionary adaptation Response to environment Reproduction Growth and development Energy processing Regulation
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Concept 1.1: Themes connect the concepts of  biology Biology consists of more than memorizing factual details Themes help to organize biological information (6) Evolution makes sense of everything we  know about living organisms Organisms living on Earth are modified  descendents of common ancestors Evolution, the Overarching Theme of  Biology
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Theme #1 : New properties emerge at each level  in the biological hierarchy Life can be studied at different levels from molecules to  the entire living planet The study of life can be divided into different levels of  biological organization (10)  Fig 1.4
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Emergent Properties Emergent properties  result from the arrangement and  interaction of parts within a system  Emergent properties characterize nonbiological entities  as well For example, a functioning bicycle emerges only when all of  the necessary parts connect in the correct way
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The Power and Limitations of Reductionism Reductionism is the reduction of complex systems to  simpler components that are more manageable to study For example, the molecular structure of DNA An understanding of biology balances reductionism with  the study of emergent properties For example, new understanding comes from studying the  interactions of DNA with other molecules
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Systems Biology A system is a combination of components that function  together Systems biology  constructs models for the dynamic  behavior of whole biological systems The systems approach poses questions such as: How does a drug for blood pressure affect other organs? How does increasing CO2 alter the biosphere?
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Theme #2 : Organisms interact with their  environments, exchanging matter and energy Every organism interacts with its environment,  including nonliving factors and other organisms Both organisms and their environments are affected by  the interactions between them For example, a tree takes up water and minerals from the soil  and carbon dioxide from the air; the tree releases oxygen to  the air and roots help form soil
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The dynamics of an ecosystem include two major  processes: Cycling of nutrients
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Chapter 1 Introduction Themes in the Study of Life -...

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