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Alpha glucose Glucose in which the hydrogen atom on carbon atom number one projects above the plane of the ring.
Ab initio protein modelling A model is build based on the physical and electrical properties of the atoms in each amino acid in the sequence.
Accuracy How close a measured or calculated value is to the true value.
Active immunity Where the immune system is activated and manufactures its own antibodies.
Active site An indented area on the surface of an enzyme molecule, with a shape that is complementary to the shape of the substrate molecule.
Active transport The movement of substances against their concentration gradient (from low to high concentration of that substance) across a cell membrane, using ATP and protein carriers.
Adaptation A characteristic that enhances survival in the habitat.
Adhesion The attraction between water molecules and the walls of the xylem vessel.
Affinity A strong attraction.
Agglutination The clumping of insoluble antigen molecules caused by crosslinking by antibodies that have a number of binding sites.
Agglutinins Antibodies that cause pathogens to stick together.
Allele A version of a gene; also called a gene variation.
Alveoli Tiny folds of the lung epithelium to increase the surface area.
Amino acids Monomers of all proteins, and all amino acids have the same basic structure.
Amphiphilic Attracted to both water and fat - containing hydrophobic (lipophilic) and hydrophilic (Lipophobic) parts.
Amylopectin molecule A molecule of polysaccharide with glycosidic bonds between carbon 1 and 4, and branches formed by glycosidic bonds between carbon 1 and 6. It is a constituent of starch.
Amylose molecule A molecule of polysaccharide with long straight chains of between 100 and 1000 alpha glucose molecules. It is a constituent of starch. Like maltose, it has glycosidic bonds between carbon 1 and 4.
Anatomical adaptations (anatomy) Structural features.
Anatomy The branch of science concerned with studying the bodily structures of living organisms.
Angina pectoris A condition marked by severe pain in the chest, resulting from an inadequate blood supply, and therefore lack of oxygen, to the heart muscle that causes the coronary arteries to spasm.
Anion A negatively charged ion.
Anomaly Result that does not fit the expected trend or pattern.
Antibiotic A chemical which prevents the growth of microorganism. Antibiotics can be antibacterial of antifungal.
Antibodies Specific proteins released by plasma cells that can attach to pathogenic antigens.
Antigen-presenting cell A cell that isolates the antigen from a pathogen and places it on the plasma membrane so that it can be recognised by other cells in the immune system.
Antigen A membrane-bound molecule used to recognise pathogens.
Anti-toxins Antibodies that render toxins harmless.
Aorta The main artery of the body in mammals.
Apoplast pathway Route by which water travels through the cell walls and in spaces between cells of plant tissue when travelling from roots to xylem and from xylem to leaves.
Apoptosis The death of cells which happens as a normal part of an organism's growth and development.
Archaea Prokaryotic microorganisms of similar size to bacteria but having some differences of metabolism.
Arithmetic mean The average value of the numbers in a collection, found by dividing the sum of all the values by the number of values in the collection.
Arteries Vessels that carry blood away from the heart.
Arterioles Small blood vessels that distribute the blood from an artery to the capillaries.
Artificial classification A classification based on just one (or a few) characteristics.
Artificial immunity Immunity that is achieved as a result of medical intervention.
Artificial insemination The medical or veterinary procedure of injecting semen, collected from a male animal, into the vagina or uterus of a female of the same species.
Asexual reproduction Some multicellular organisms and single-celled protoctists such as Amoeba and Paramecium divide by mitosis to produce new individuals. They are genetically identical to the parent.
Assimilates Substances that have become a part of the plant.
Asymptomatic Not having any symptoms.
Atria Thin-walled chambers of the heart that receive the blood from the veins, and then pass it to the ventricles.
Atrio-ventricular node (AVN) A patch of tissue, in the heart, at the top of the septum that conducts the excitation wave from the atria to the ventricles.
Atrio-ventricular valves Valves between the atria and the ventricles, which ensure that blood flows in the correct direction.
Beta-glucose Glucose in which the hydrogen atom on carbon atom number one projects below the plane of the ring.
B memory cells Cells that remain in the blood for a long time, providing long-term immunity.
Bacteria The plural of bacterium.
Bacterium A member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms that have cell walls made of murein but lack membrane-bound organelles and a nucleus. Their DNA floats free in the cytoplasm.
Behavioural adaptations The ways that behaviour is modified for survival.
Binary fission A type of division found in prokaryotic cells and organelles such as chloroplasts and mitochondria.
Binomial system A system that uses the genus name and the species name to avoid confusion when naming organisms.
Biodiversity A measure of the variation found in the living world.
Blood The fluid used to transport materials around the body.
Bohr effect The effect that extra carbon dioxide has on the haemoglobin, explaining the release of more oxygen.
Bohr shift A change in the shape of the haemoglobin dissociation curve in the presence of oxygen.
Bordered pits The part of plant cell walls which allows the exchange of fluid between
Bradycardia A slow heart rhythm.
Breathing rate The number of breaths per minute.
Bronci/ Bronchioles Smaller airways leading into the lungs.
Buccal cavity The mouth.
Buffer A solution that resists changes in pH, so keeps the pH stable.
Callose A large polysaccharide deposit that blocks old or damaged phloem sieve tubes.
Canker A sunken lesion of tree bark caused by necrosis.
Capillaries Very small vessels with very thin walls.
Carbaminohaemoglobin A compound of haemoglobin and carbon dioxide, and is one of the forms in which carbon dioxide exists in the blood, within red blood cells. 10% of carbon dioxide is carried in blood this way.
Carbohydrates A group of molecules containing C, H and O.
Carbonic acid A very weak acid formed when carbon dioxide reacts with water.
Carbonic anhydrase The enzyme that catalyses the combination of carbon dioxide and water.
Cardiac cycle The sequence of events in one full beat of the mammalian heart.
Cardiac muscle Specialised muscle found in the walls of the heart chambers.
Cartilage A form of connective tissue.
Casparian strip An impermeable, waterproof substance (suberin) in the walls of the endodermal cells of plant roots. It creates a water tight seal between the cells, preventing water entering the xylem via the apoplast pathway.
Catalyst Chemical that speeds up the rate of reaction and remains unchanged and reusable at the end of the reaction.
Cation A positively charged ion.
Chloride shaft The movement of chloride ions into the erythrocytes to balance the charge as hydrogencarbonate ions leave the cell.
Chromatids Replicates of chromosomes.
Chromatography A technique for the separation of a mixture of by passing it in solution or suspension through a medium in which the components of the mixture move at different rates.
Circulatory system (double) One in which the blood flows through the heart twice for each circuit of the body.
Circulatory system (single) One in which the blood flows through the heart once for each circuit of the body.
Ciliated epithelium A layer of cells that have many hair-like extensions called cilia.
CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Class A taxonomic group of organisms that all possess the same general traits.
Classification The process of placing living things into groups.
Climate change Significant, long-lasting changes in weather patterns.
Clonal expansion An increase in the number of cells by mitotic cell division.
Clonal selection Selection of a specific B or T cell that is specific to the antigen.
Closed circulatory system One in which the blood is held in vessels.
Coenzymes Small organic non-protein molecules that bind temporarily to the active site of the enzyme molecules, either just before or at the same time that the substrate binds.
Cofactor A substance that has to be present to ensure that an enzyme-catalysed reaction takes place at the appropriate rate. Some cofactors are part of the enzyme structure, and others form temporary associations with the enzyme.
Cohesion The attraction between water molecules caused by hydrogen bonds.
Collenchyma cells Cells that have thick cellulose walls and strengthen vascular bundles and outer parts of stems, whilst also allowing some flexibility in these regions.
Colorimeter An instrument for measuring the absorbance of different wavelengths of light in a solution.
Common ancestor The most recent individual form which is a set of organisms in a group are directly descended.
Companion cells Plant cells that help to load sucrose into the sieve tubes.
Comparative protein modelling One approach is protein threading, which scans the amino acid sequence against a database of solved structures and produces a set of possible models which would match that sequence.
Competitive inhibition Inhibition of an enzyme, where the inhibitor molecule has a similar shape to that of the substrate molecule and competes with the substrate for the enzyme's active site. It blocks the active site and prevents formation of enzyme-substrate (ES) complex.
Computer modelling A model of a process which is created on a computer, often used for processes that can need the increased calculation speed.
Concentration The abundance of molecules per unit volume.
Concentration gradient A measurement of how the concentration of a substance changes from one place to another, often across a membrane.
Condensation The conversion of a vapour or gas to a liquid.
Condensation reaction Reaction that occurs when two molecules are joined together with the removal of water.
Conformational change A change in the shape of a macromolecule.
Conjugated protein A protein associated with a non-protein component.
Connective tissue A widely distributed animal/mammalian tissue consisting of cells in an extracellular matric of protein and polysaccharide, includes bone, cartilage and blood; areolar and adipose tissue.
Conservation ex situ Conservation outside the normal habitat of the species.
Conservation in situ Carrying out active management to maintain the biodiversity in the natural environment.
Continuous variation Variation where there are two extremes and a full range of values in between.
Convergent evolution The process whereby organisms not closely related independently evolve similar traits as a result of being adapted to similar environments or ecological niches.
Coronary arteries Arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle.
Correlation coefficient A measure of how closely two sets of data are correlated. A value of 1 means perfect correlation.
Cotransport Transport across a cell membrane, using a carrier or channel protein, of two substances, both moving in the same direction.
Countercurrent flow Where two fluids flow in opposite directions.
Countryside Stewardship Scheme A scheme to encourage farmers and other land owners to manage parts of their land in a way that promotes conservation.
Covalent bonds Formed when electrons are shared between atoms. These bonds are very strong.
Crenated A shrivelled animal cell that has lost water by osmosis.
Cytochrome C A type of cytochrome, an iron-containing protein found within inner mitochondria membranes and that forms part of the electron transport chain.
Cytokines Hormone-like molecules used in cell signalling to stimulate the immune response.
Cytokinesis Cytoplasmic division following nuclear division, resulting in two new daughter cells.
Cytolysis The process in animal cells where, if a lot of water molecules enter, the cell will swell and burst as the plasma membrane breaks.
Cytology The study of cell structure and function.
Cytoskeletal motor proteins Molecular motors such as myosins, kinesins and dyneins.
Datalogger An electronic device that records data over time or in relation to location either with a build-in instrument or sensor or via external instruments and sensors.
Denaturation A process in which proteins lose their tertiary structure and can no longer function. Their shape unravels due to extremes of pH or heat.
Denatured The irreversible change of shape/loss of tertiary structure of proteins; caused by high temperatures or extremes of pH.
Deoxyribose A five-carbon sugar derived from the five-carbon sugar ribose by replacement of a hydroxyl group by hydrogen, at carbon atom 2.
Diaphragm A layer of muscle beneath the lungs.
Dicotyledonus plants Plants with two seed leaves and a branching pattern of veins in the leaf.
Diastole The relaxing phase of the cardiac (heartbeat) cycle.
Differential staining Stains that bind to specific structures, staining each structure differently so the structures can be easily identified within a single preparation.
Differentiation Process by which stem cells become specialised into different types of cell.
Diffusion Movement of molecules from an area of high concentration of that molecule to an area of low concentration; it may or may not be across a membrane, it does not involve metabolic energy (ATP).
Digestive system The organs and glands in the body that are responsible for digestion beginning with the mouth and extending through the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, ending with the rectum and anus.
Dilate To make or become wider, larger, or more open.
Diploid Cell in which the nucleus has two complete sets of chromosomes.
Direct transmission Passing a pathogen from host to host, with no intermediary.
Disaccharides Any of a class of sugars whose molecules contain two monosaccharide residues joined by a condensation reaction.
Discontinuous variation Where there are distinct categories and nothing in between.
Dissection To cut apart tissues, organs or organisms for visual or microscopic study of their structure.
Dissociation Releasing the oxygen from oxyhaemoglobin.
Disulfide links Also called disufide bridges or disulphide bonds; strong covalent bonds (where electrons are shared) between two sulfur atoms, within a (protein) molecule. These bonds are not broken by heat but can be broken by reducing sugars.
DNA polymerase Enzyme that catalyses formation of DNA from activated deoxyribose nucleotides
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