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Vocab from Chpt 1 of Holt Modern Biology: The Study of Life

Biology The study of life
Organization A high degree of order within an organism's internal and external parts and in its interactions with the living world
Cell The smallest unit that can perform all of life's processes
Unicellular Organisms that are made up of one cell
Multicellular Organisms that are made up of multiple cells
Organs Structures that carry out specialized jobs within an organ system
Tissues Groups of cells that have similar abilities and that allow an organ to function
Organelles Tiny structures that carry out functions necessary for the cell to stay alive
Biological molecules Chemical components that provide physical structure and that bring about movement
Homeostasis The maintenance of a stable level of internal conditions even though environmental conditions are constantly changing
Metabolism The sum of all the chemical reactions that take in and transform energy and materials from the environment
Cell division The formation of two new cells from an existing cell
Development The process by which an organism becomes a mature adult
Reproduction The process by which organisms produce new organisms like themselves
Gene A short segment of DNA that contains the instructions for a single trait of an organism
Domains Three major subdivisions of living organisms
Kingdoms A system of grouping that divides life into six major categories
Ecology The branch of biology that studies organisms interacting with each other and with the environment
Ecosystems Communities of living species and their physical environment
Evolution Descent with modification or the process in which the inherited characteristics within populations change over generations, such that genetically distinct populations and new species can develop
Natural selection A theory that states that organisms that have certain favorable traits are better able to survive and reproduce successfully than organisms that lack these traits
Adaptations Traits that improve an individual's ability to survive and reproduce
Scientific method An organized approach of asking questions and performing experiments in order to learn how the natural world works
Observation The act of perceiving a natural occurrence that causes someone to pose a question
Hypothesis A proposed explanation for the way a particular aspect of the natural world functions
Prediction A statement that forecasts what would happen in a test situation if the hypothesis were true
Experiment Used to test a hypothesis and its predictions
Control group A group which provides a normal standard against which the biologist can compare results of the experimental group
Experimental group A group that is identical to the control group except for one factor, the independent variable
Independent variable The variable being manipulated or changed
Dependent variable The variable that is affected by the independent variable, also known as the "responding variable"
Theory A set of related hypotheses that are confirmed to be true many times and explains a great deal of data
Peer review A process where scientists who are experts in a field anonymously review and critique a research paper
Compound light microscope A microscope that shines light through a specimen and has two lenses to magnify an image
Eyepiece (ocular lens) The part of the microscope that magnifies an image, usually 10 times
Objective lens A lens which enlarges the image of the specimen, located directly above the specimen
Stage A platform that supports a slide holding the specimen
Light source A light bulb that provides light for viewing the image
Magnification The increase of an object's apparent size
Nosepiece The structure that holds the set of objective lenses
Resolution The power to show details clearly in an image
Scanning electron microscope (SEM) An electron microscope that passes a beam of electrons over a specimen's surface. This provides a detailed image of the specimen's surface that may be magnified up to 100,000 times
Transmission electron microscope (TEM) An electron microscope that transmits a beam of electrons through a very thinly sliced specimen. This results in an image of the specimen's internal structures and can magnify up to 200,000 times.
Metric system A single, standard system used by scientists; it is a decimal system and based on powers of 10
Base units Units that describe length, mass, time, and other quantities
Created by: SavioScience