Bio171-F08-Lec 2 - Biology 171 Friday September 5, 2008...

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Lecture 2: What’s Special about Biology? Biology 171 Friday September 5, 2008 Characteristics of Life Emergent Properties of Biology Astrobiology Habitable Zones: Solar System & Galactic Local contenders: Europa, Titan, Mars Rare Earth Hypothesis/Principle of Mediocrity Fermi Paradox Today’s Topics: Announcements Next Week in Discussion: Synthetic Life Text Reading: Today: Freeman essay Monday: 2 nd ed: Chapters 1 (5-10), 28 (614), 50 (1144-1146) 3 rd ed: Chapters 1 (6-10), 29 (594), 50 (1125-1127)
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“Science*” is a formal method of generating new knowledge that aims to build a supportable, evidence-based understanding of our natural world ( i.e. , the universe) - how does nature work? *Derived from the Latin scientia (knowledge) What is Science? Biology is the scientific study of life.
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What separates living and non-living natural entities?
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Living organisms vary considerably in size and complexity, and there is considerable debate among scientists concerning a meaningful definition of life that covers all possibilities. Here’s a list of attributes that most biologists would find reasonable: A living entity…. is predominantly carbon- and water-based is composed of cells contains heritable genetic information acquires energy and materials from its surroundings is capable of growth can respond to environmental stimuli can reproduce evolves over many generations through natural selection
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A living entity…. is predominantly carbon- and water-based •Most of the Oxygen and Hydrogen is in the form of water (H 2 O; 70% of our body weight) •Carbon provides the backbone for our constituent organic molecules (Proteins, Nucleic Acids, Carbohydrates, Lipids) •water and organics are the prerequisites for the “chemistry of life” Elemental Composition Of Life Forms (by mass)
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Fig. 1.1 Hooke used a primitive compound microscope He coined the term ‘cells’ after the tiny rooms ( cellula) of monks A living entity…. is composed of one or more cells (typically microscopic)
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Fig. 1.1 Spiral bacteria as viewed by Leeuwenhoek
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A living entity…. contains heritable genetic information (genome) Encoded in DNA sequences of 4 nucleotide bases (GATC) Human genome has 3 billion nucleotides Codes for 20-25 thousand genes Partitioned into 24 distinct chromosomes Fig. 12.6 Fig. 4.7
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A living entity…. acquires energy and material from its surroundings
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A living entity…. is capable of growth
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A living entity…. can respond to environmental stimuli youtube.com/watch?v = ktIGVtKdgwo Venus Flytrap (Fig. 39.22)
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can reproduce (
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Bio171-F08-Lec 2 - Biology 171 Friday September 5, 2008...

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