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Biology Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Heredity Passing of traits from parents to offspring
DNA A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
chromosome A threadlike
Homologous Chromosomes Chromosomes that have the same sequence of genes that have the same structure
Nondisjunction Error in meiosis in which homologous chromosomes fail to separate.
gene A segment of DNA on a chromosome that codes for a specific trait.
allele Different forms of a gene.
diploid Containing two complete sets of chromosomes
gamete A sex cell.
fertilization Fusion of an egg and sperm cell.
zygote A fertilized egg.
mitosis Cell division in which the nucleus divides into nuclei containing the same number of chromosomes.
differentiation A process in which cells become specialized in structure and function. (Cell specialization)
embryo The developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month.
meiosis A type of cell division that results in four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell as in the production of gametes and plant spores.
karyotype A picture of all the chromosomes in a cell arranged in pairs.
centromere Area where the chromatids of a chromosome are attached.
trisomy 21 Carrying an extra copy of chromosome 21; also known as Down syndrome.
Hershey and Chase Concluded that the genetic material of the bacteriophage virus was DNA not protein.
Rosalind Franklin Used X-ray diffraction to discover the double-helical structure of DNA.
Chargaff's Rule [A]=[T] and [G]=[C] - they pair up across from one another forming two strands also called base pairing.
Watson and Crick Developed the double helix model of DNA.
proteins large molecules made up of chains of amino acids; essential constituents of all body cells.
amino acids Monomers or building blocks of proteins.
transcription Synthesis of an mRNA molecule from a DNA template.
translation Process by which mRNA is decoded and a protein is produced.
uracil Nitrogen base that pairs with adenine in RNA.
codon Three-nucleotide sequence on messenger RNA that codes for a single amino acid.
enzyme Protein that acts as a biological catalyst to speed up a chemical reaction to build or break down substances.
Mutation A change in a gene or chromosome.
carcinogen A cancer-causing substance
mutagen A chemical or physical agent that interacts with DNA and causes a mutation.
oncogenes genes that cause cancer by blocking the normal controls on cell reproduction
cancer A disease in which some body cells grow and divide uncontrollably... damaging the parts of the body around them.
Huntington's disease A human genetic disease caused by a dominant allele; characterized by uncontrollable body movements and degeneration of the nervous system; usually fatal 10 to 20 years after the onset of symptoms.
genetic disorder A pathological condition caused by an absent or defective gene
sickle cell anemia A genetic disorder that causes abnormal hemoglobin...resulting in some red blood cells assuming an abnormal sickle shape
cystic fibrosis A genetic disorder that occurs in people with two copies of a certain recessive allele; characterized by an excessive secretion of mucus and consequent vulnerability to infection; fatal if untreated.
hemophilia An X-linked recessive disorder in which blood fails to clot properly... leading to excessive bleeding if injured.
color blindness A sex-linked trait in which an individual cannot perceive certain colors.
Turner Syndrome (XO) A genetic disorder that affects females. Symptoms include extra folds of skin around neck (webbed neck)... underdeveloped ovaries
Klinefelter syndrome (XXY) A genetic disorder that affects males.
Symptoms include underdeveloped sex organs breast development... large hands
Leukemia Blood condition of white cells; malignant (cancerous) condition.
Lymphoma Malignant tumor of lymph nodes and lymph tissue
Phenylketonuria A rare inherited disorder that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body. PKU is caused by a defect in the gene that helps create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine.
Tay-Sachs disease A genetic disorder that is caused by the absence of an enzyme that helps break down fatty substances. These fatty substances
environmental gene expression Changes in phenotype of an organism when genes are activated by a change in the environment... ex. Fur color/thickness in rabbits
gel electrophoresis Procedure used to separate and analyze DNA fragments.
restriction enzymes Enzyme that cuts DNA at a specific sequence of nucleotides.
banding pattern The pattern of lines in an agarose gel.
DNA fingerprinting Analysis of fragments of DNA as a form of identification.
genetic engineering The direct manipulation of genes for practical purposes.
Recombinant DNA DNA that has been formed artificially by combining constituents from different organisms.
Gene therapy The insertion of working copies of a gene into the cells of a person with a genetic disorder in an attempt to correct the disorder.
Heterotroph An organism that cannot make its own food.
autotroph An organism that makes its own food
Photoautotrophs Organisms that use light as a source of energy to synthesize organic substances.
chemotroph an organism that gets its energy from chemicals taken from the environment
photosynthesis formula 6CO2 + 6H2O + light --> C6H12O6 + 6O2
photosynthesis Plants use the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars
chloroplast An organelle found in plant and algae cells where photosynthesis occurs
thylakoid saclike photosynthetic membranes found in chloroplasts
grana stacks of thylakoids
stroma fluid portion of the chloroplast; outside of the thylakoids
pigment Light-absorbing molecule
chlorophyll Green pigment in plants that absorbs light energy used to carry out photosynthesis
carotenes reflect red and orange
xanthophyll yellow pigment
calvin cycle light-independent reactions of photosynthesis in which energy from ATP and NADPH is used to build high-energy compounds such as sugar
C4 plants plants that have adapted their photosynthetic process to more efficiently handle hot and dry conditions
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) main energy source that cells use to store energy for most of their work
ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) The compound that remains when a phosphate group is removed from ATP... releasing energy
Van Helmont's Experiment Watered a plant for 5 years... determined that water was important for plants to grow in size but that soil is not involved in mass growth.
Priestly's experiment showed that plants release oxygen. Bell Jar Experiments... by putting plant in a jar with a candle... showed that plants gave off a combustible gas and added a mouse to prove the gas was oxygen.
Created by: MrsShwood