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Chapter 1 Vocab

Biology

TermDefinition
adaptation the process of becoming adapted to an environment; an anatomical, physiological, or behavioral change that improves a population's ability to survive
base unit one of the fundamental units of measurement that describes length, mass, time, and other quantities and from which other units are derived
biological molecule chemical compound that provides physical structure and brings about movement, energy use, and other cellular functions
biology the scientific study of living organisms and their interactions with the environment
cell the smallest unit that can perform all life processes; cells are covered by a membrane and contain DNA and cytoplasm
cell division the formation of two cells from one existing cell
compound light microscope an instrument that magnifies small objects so that they can be seen easily by using two or more lenses, one lens to magnify the object and the other lens to magnify the first lens's image
control group a group that serves as a standard of comparison with another group to which the control group is identical except for one factor
dependent variable the factor that changes as a result of manipulation of one or more other factors (the independent variables)
development the process by which an organism grows
domain in a taxonomic system based on rRNA analysis, one of the three broad groups that all living things fall into
ecology the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their environment
ecosystem a community of organisms and their abiotic environment
evolution the process of change by which new species develop from preexisting species over time; at the genetic level, the process in which inherited characteristics within populations change over time; the process defined by Darwin as “descent with modification”
experiment a procedure that is carried out under controlled conditions to discover, demonstrate, or test a fact, theory, or general truth
experimental group in an experiment, a group that is identical to a control group except for one factor and that is compared with the control group
eyepiece the part of a compound light microscope that magnifies an image, usually 10 times, also called an ocular lens
gene the most basic physical unit of heredity; a segment of nucleic acids that codes for a functional unit of RNA and/or a protein
homeostasis the maintenance of a constant internal state in a changing environment; a constant internal state that is maintained in a changing environment by continually making adjustments to the internal and external environment
hypothesis a testable idea or explanation that leads to scientific investigation
independent variable in an experiment, the factor that is deliberately manipulated
kingdom the highest taxonomic category, which contains a group of similar phyla
magnification the increase of an object's apparent size by using lenses or mirrors
metabolism the sum of all chemical processes that occur in an organism
metric system a decimal-based standard system of measurement that is used by scientists; similar to the System Internationale (abbreviation, SI)
multicellular describes a tissue, organ, or organism that is made of many cells
natural selection the process by which individuals that are better adapted to their environment survive and reproduce more successfully than less well adapted individuals do; a theory to explain the mechanism of evolution
nosepiece the part of a compound light microscope that holds the objective lenses in place above the specimen
objective lens the part of a compound light microscope that is located directly above the specimen and that magnifies the image of the specimen
observation the process of obtaining information by using the senses; the information obtained by using the senses
organ a collection of tissues that carry out a specialized function of the body
organelle one of the small bodies that are found in the cytoplasm of a cell and that are specialized to perform a specific function
organization the high degree of order within an organism’s internal and external parts and in its interactions with the living world
peer review the process in which experts in a given field examine the results and conclusions of a scientist's study before that study is accepted for publication
prediction a statement made in advance that expresses the results that will be obtained from testing a hypothesis if the hypothesis is supported; the expected outcome if a hypothesis is accurate
reproduction the process of producing offspring
resolution in microscopes, the ability to form images with fine detail
scanning electron microscope a microscope that produces an enlarged, three-dimensional image of an object by using a beam of electrons rather than light
scientific methods a series of steps followed to solve problems, including collecting data, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, and stating conclusions
stage a platform of a compound light microscope that supports the slide holding the specimen
theory a system of ideas that explains many related observations and is supported by a large body of evidence acquired through scientific investigation
tissue a group of similar cells that perform a common function
transmission electron microscope a microscope that transmits a beam of electrons through a very thin slice of specimen and that can magnify up to 200,000 times (abbreviation, TEM)
unicellular describes an organism that consists of a single cell
Created by: manasam