A Short History of Nearly Everything | Study Guide

Bill Bryson

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A Short History of Nearly Everything | Glossary


amino acids: (n, pl) the chief components of proteins; synthesized by living cells or obtained through diet

atom: (n) the fundamental unit of organic and inorganic materials, comprised of protons, neutrons, and electrons

bipedal: (adj) two-footed

empirical: (adj) based on observation

eukaryote: (n) an organism consisting of a cell or cells that have a nucleus

evolution: (n) a theory regarding the creation of species via natural selection and genetic inheritance

extinction: (n) the disappearance of a species

fossil: (n) an inorganic object resulting from the replacement of organic material with minerals and rock

genetics: (n) the science dealing with the hereditary transfer of DNA

genome: (n) the complete set of genetic instructions for an organism

hominid: (n) a member of a group including all modern and extinct humans and great apes and their most recent common ancestors

interglacials: (n, pl) the warmer cycles that occur between ice ages

nucleotides: (n, pl) the basic components of DNA, made up of the substances adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine

phylum: (n) the classification level that groups together all classes of organisms with the same body plan

prokaryote: (n) a single-celled organism with no nucleus, such as bacteria

proteome: (n) the proteins found in an organism over its life cycle

quantum theory: (n) a theory that says light behaves as if it is made up of waves and also as if it is made up of particles

synthesize: (v) to produce by combining various elements

taxonomy: (n) a system of classifying plants and animals by their natural relationships

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