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Flashcards in Biological Science Deck (56)

What are the six kingdoms of life?

  1. Archaebacteria: bacteria-like organisms; little is known about them
  2. Eubacteria: bacteria
  3. Protista: amoebae, some algaes
  4. Fungi: mushrooms, yeast, mold
  5. Plantae: moss, plants
  6. Animalia: mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects


Which English scientist developed early theories about evolution in the 1800s?

Charles Darwin

In 1859 Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, which introduced concepts such as natural selection and evolution.


___ are the parts of a cell that work together to allow the cell to function properly.


Some organelles include the nucleus, which acts as the brain of the cell, and mitochondria, which take in and process nutrients for the cell.


Some organisms are cold-blooded while others are warm-blooded. What's the difference?

  • Warm-blooded (endothermic) creatures convert food into energy in order to maintain a stable body temperature (through a process called homeostasis). Examples of warm-blooded creatures include mammals and birds.
  • Cold-blooded (ectothermic) creatures convert food to body mass, but their body temperatures vary based on the temperature of the environment. Examples of cold-blooded creatures include fish, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.


What is Dolly the Sheep's claim to fame?

In 1996, Dolly became the first mammal to be cloned. This led to a controversy regarding the ethics of cloning, a subject that is still debated today.


What happens when an animal is cloned?

  1. DNA is extracted from an existing animal.
  2. This DNA is inserted into an egg that has already had its nucleus, or DNA storage area, removed.
  3. This egg is fertilized, and a surrogate carries the fetus to term until it gives birth to a genetic copy of the original animal.


A cold-blooded organism with a backbone, which spends its life both on land and in the water, is called a(n) ___.


  • It is common for amphibians to experience some type of metamorphasis. For example, a tadpole matures into a frog.
  • Amphibians include: frogs, salamanders, and toads


A warm-blooded organism with a backbone, that has hair, is called a ___.


Examples of mammals include bears, mice, whales, and humans.


What are the 12 systems of the human body?

  1. Cardiovascular System
  2. Digestive System
  3. Endocrine System
  4. Immune System
  5. Integumentary System
  6. Lymphatic System
  7. Muscular System
  8. Nervous System
  9. Reproductive System
  10. Respiratory System
  11. Skeletal System
  12. Urinary System

Try using the mnemonic: Sir, My Regular Lesson Is Completely RUINED.


What is the largest bone in the human body?

The femur

The human femur is extremely strong, and can only be broken when great forces are applied to it. A broken femur can take 4-6 months to heal.


What is photosynthesis and how does it work?

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use energy from sunlight to create their food.

  • Water and carbon dioxide are absorbed and stored within a part of plant cells called chloroplasts. 
  • Energy from sunlight converts the water and carbon dioxide to glucose and oxygen. Chlorophyll is the compound that allows plants to grab sunlight.
  • Plants use the glucose as food and emit the oxygen into the atmosphere.


Which human body system is responsible for the ingestion and processing of food?

The Digestive System

  • The stomach and intestines are two of the major organs that comprise the digestive system.
  • A healthy adult human takes approximately 50 hours to digest food, though this varies widely for both different individuals and depending on the type of food consumed!


What is happening to a person's body when they get cancer?

Cancer begins when cells in some part of the body start to grow out of control.

Instead of dying in normal life cycles like normal cells, cancer cells keep growing and can invade other healthy cells. This process can form large concentrations of mutated cells, called tumors, which spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer is the general name used for over 100 different diseases,


What are the chances that a typical man or woman will develop some form of cancer during their lifetimes?

About half of all men and one third of all women are expected to develop some form of cancer during their lifetimes.


What are some major differences between animal cells and plant cells?

Although there are many major differences between plant and animal cells, a few of the major ones include:

  • Plant cells contain organelles called chloroplasts, which are used in the process of photosynthesis to make the plant's food.
  • Plant cells also have a thicker outer cell wall and are always rectangular in shape, whereas animal cells only have a thin outer cell membrane and a rounder shape.


What is the largest living structure?

The Great Barrier Reef

  • Comprised of 3,000 different coral reefs, the Great Barrier Reef spans 133,000 square miles off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
  • The reef has been gradually shrinking, mostly due to global warming and pollution. Some scientists believe it will cease to exist by the middle of this century, although others believe it will regenerate itself.


What factors impact human blood type?

  • Blood type is determined by the antigens on a person's blood cells. Antigens are hooks in a cell's surface that control what enters and exits the cell.
  • Human blood antigens include A, B, and Rh.
  • Antibodies are complex chemicals that can attach to a specific antigen, often to kill a pathogen. People make antibodies for antigens that they do not have. For example, a person with type A blood will produce antibodies for the type B antigen.


What are the human blood groups and blood types?

  • Human blood types include A, B, AB, and O, named for the antigens they contain. These types can be further divided into Rh+ and Rh- based on the presence of the Rh factor.
  • For example, type AB+ contains both A and B antigens, as well as the Rh factor. Type O- contains neither A nor B antigens and has no Rh factor.


When can one person safely receive blood from another?

  • The person receiving blood must not make antibodies for any of the donated blood's antigens.
  • For example, a person with Rh+ blood has Rh antigens but no Rh antibodies. This person can receive Rh+ blood. A person with Rh- blood has no Rh antigens, so he does make Rh antibodies. This person cannot receive Rh+ blood.
  • People with type AB+ blood have A, B, and Rh antigens, so they do not produce any antibodies. They are known as "universal recipients" because they can be given any type of blood.
  • People with type O- blood have no antigens, so they produce A, B, and Rh antibodies. They are known as "universal donors" because they can donate blood to all other individuals.


The design and production of man-made objects inspired by designs found in nature is called ___.


  • An early example of biomimicry is the design of planes based on the flight of birds.
  • A more modern example is the design of velcro in the 1940s, which was based on those burrs that stick to our clothes (and which spread certain plant seeds).


What are carbohydrates and why are they important?

Carbohydrates are organic molecules comprised of oxygen and hydrogen that the body breaks down to produce energy.

  • While carbohydrate intake is part of a balanced diet, consuming too many carbohydrates has been linked to obesity and cancer.
  • Foods high in carbohydrates include: sugar (and sugary foods), cake, cookies, and potatoes.


Which Swedish scientist is most famous for the development of binomial nomenclature, or naming of species types, in the 1700s?

Carl Linnaeus

For example, the binomial nomenclature for a dog is canis familiaris. Canis means dog and familiaris means domestic.


Why are chromosomes important?

Chromosomes are where an organism's DNA is located.

  • Chromosomes are located within the nucleus of cells, and are made up of protein and a single DNA molecule.
  • DNA (dioxyribonucleic acid) is the substance that carries genetic information.
  • When cells divide, chromosomes ensure that our genetic information is transmitted from cell to cell.


What phrase refers to your body's natural ability to regulate and carry out functions over a 24-hour cycle?

Circadian rhythm

Circadian rhythm are physical, mental, and behavioral. They regulate the body's sleeping patterns, temperature, and hormones.  The study of circadian rhythms is called chronobiology/


What is happening to the body of a person who has diabetes?

The body is not producing or processing insulin correctly.

There are two major types of diabetes:

  • Type I: A person with Type I diabetes (aka "juvenile diabetes") is not producing enough insulin for their body.
  • Type II: A person with Type II diabetes (aka "adult onset") does not react to insulin properly. This may result in insulin deficiency.

People with diabetes can lead normal, happy lives. They just need to monitor their blood sugar levels and take insulin if necessary.


Brown eyes, brown hair, and curly hair are all examples of ___ traits, whereas blue eyes, blonde hair, and straight hair are all examples of ___ traits.

dominant; recessive

Dominant traits are more likely to be passed on to future generations, whereas recessive traits are less often passed on.


A cold-blooded organism that uses lungs to breathe and has a backbone and scales is called a ___.


Examples of reptiles include snakes, alligators, and lizards.


What causes farsightedness?

Farsighted vision may be caused by a corneal curve that is too small, or by a having an eye that is too short.

  • People with farsighted vision experience blurred vision when looking at objects that are close to them
  • The medical term for farsightedness is Hyperopia, which means that light entering the eye is focused behind the retina instead of directly onto it.


The human ear serves two main functions – what are they?

  1. Hearing
  2. Balance

While hearing is widely thought to be the only function of the ear, fluid in the inner ear is part of the system that helps us to maintain our balance.


In biology, there are three different types of relationships that can develop between different species. What are these three kinds and how are they different?

  1. Mutualism: both parties benefit
    • Example: bees pollinating flowers
  2. Commensalism: one party benefits, the other neither benefits nor suffers
    • Example: bird living in a tree
  3. Parasitism: one party benefits, the other suffers
    • Example: tick latching onto a human


What is a germ?

A germ, also called a microbe, is a living organism that can infect living things

It's important to note that not all germs are bad.  In fact, many help humans and other living things actually maintain their health. "Germ" serves as an umbrella term for:

  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • fungi
  • protozoa


Which human body system is responsible for transporting blood and other nutrients throughout the body?

The Circulatory System

The heart, brain, and lungs are the major organs that comprise the circulatory system. The image below reveals the exchange of blood between the heart and lungs.


What is a GMO?

Genetically Modified Organism

  • GMO means that the organism's genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Genetic modification is common in modern food, especially crops, to make them more weather resistant, bug resistant, larger in size, and looking a certain way (i.e. colorful).
  • There exists a vigorous debate over the efficacy and safety of GMOs.  Here are links to further study of arguments both for and against their use.


Which scientist conducted the famous experiment with pea plants that demonstrated how dominant and recessive traits are passed from parents to children?

Gregor Mendel

Today, Mendel (1822-1884) is often described as the father of modern genetics.


What is happening to a person when they have a heart attack?

Typically, a heart attack occurs when there is a blockage in an artery supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

This lack of oxygen results in the muscles of that part of the heart weakening and eventually dying.



What is the term for the body's way of remaining balanced and stable?


  • Homeostasis may also refer to an organism achieving equilibrium within a changing environment.
  • Homeostasis is a process that occurs at multiple levels: within an organism, an entire ecosystem, or a social circle.
  • The way that warm-blooded animals maintain their body temperature is one example of homeostasis.


How many bones are in the human skeleton?


Babies are born with 300-350 bones, but these fuse to form the 206 bones that the average adult has.


Who was the first scientist to discover bacteria?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Dutch scientist known as the "Father of Microbiology." As the first recognized microbiologist, his work has impacted the field of modern medicine and the biological sciences.


How does the body fight off and develop immunity to infections?

The body uses two systems: innate immunity and specific immunity.

  • Innate immunity includes general immune cells, like macrophages. These are white blood cells that attack all types of pathogens, engulf them, and break them down.
  • Specific immunity include specialized immune responders called antibodies. These are proteins that bind only to certain pathogens and mark them for destruction. Immunity results from the body's production of antibodies.


Why are bees crucial to human survival?

Bees are the major pollinators of crops.

If bees somehow died off, there would be a drastic reduction in plant pollination, crops would die off, animals would die due to the lack of crops, and humans would not have enough food.


Which English scientist is most famous for her research on chimpanzees and their social dynamics?

Jane Goodall

Goodall spent 45 years studying the social dynamics of chimpanzees in Tanzania.


Which human body system is responsible for transmitting signals throughout the body and controlling actions (both voluntary and involuntary)?

The Nervous System

The brain, spinal cord, and nerves are the major components of the nervous system.


Who was the 20th-century American medical researcher who discovered and developed the first polio vaccine?

Jonas Salk

Polio is estimated to have paralyzed up to 20,000 people in the United States before Salk's vaccine debuted in 1955.


What is the largest organ in the human body?

The skin

The skin can account for 6-10% of your body weight.  The liver comes in second at about 2.5% of your body weight, barely edging out both the brain in 3rd place and the lungs in 4th.

To read about the top 10, click here!


Which 19th-century Frenchman who was blinded as a child later developed a new system of reading and writing for the blind?

Louis Braille

The Braille system remains enormously important to the blind as a way to communicate and learn, and has been adapted for many languages. Braille is used by approximately 150 million people worldwide.


What causes nearsightedness?

Nearsighted vision may be caused by a greater curve in the cornea of the eye, or by an elongation of the eyeball.

  • People with nearsighted vision experience blurred vision when looking at faraway objects.
  • Some research has shown that nearsightedness is hereditary.
  • The medical term for nearsightedness is Myopia.


What is the major difference between organic and non-organic foods?

Organic food is grown without pesticides or harmful methods of fertilization.


What is pasteurization?

Pasteurization is a technique used to kill bacteria in food and drink.

  • Food and drink are subjected to high temperatures for a short time, then cooled and packaged. This slows the spoiling process.
  • Pasteurization was named for its creator, Louis Pasteur, who made this discovery in 1862.
  • Some common food and drink items that are pasteurized include: milk, cheese, beer, wine, eggs.


What is the difference between a prokaryote and eukaryote?

Prokaryotes are one-celled organisms with no nucleus. Eukaryotes are multi-celled organisms with a nucleus.

  • Prokaryotes include bacteria, such as E Coli.
  • Eukaryotes include larger organisms, such as yeast, plants, and humans.


What is protein and why is it important?

A protein is a large, complex organic molecule made up of strings of amino acids. Proteins play a variety of critical roles in living things.

Proteins do most of the work in our cells, and our bodies need them to maintain our muscles, tissues, and organs. Some other examples of the functions of proteins include: enzymes, antibodies, and hormones.

Foods high in protein include: turkey, chicken, fish, beans, eggs, milk, and nuts.


What is happening to your body when you have a stroke?

stroke occurs when there is an elimination or reduction in blood flow to the brain. When this takes place, brain cells die because of a lack of oxygen and nutrients.



Which human body system is responsible for the inhalation of oxygen and the expulsion of carbon dioxide?

The Respiratory System

The lungs are the major organs of the respiratory system.


How does a vaccine work?

Vaccines introduce a dead or weakened part of the virus, bacteria, or analogue into the body. This effectively imitiates an infection to prompt the body to produce antibodies, which will then fight and defeat the real thing if the body encounteres it in the future!


What is a virus?

A virus is a microorganism that reproduces by duplicating itself inside the cells of another organism.

They are the most abundant creature on Earth. Scientists describe viruses as neither alive nor dead — they exist on the edge of the definition of life by exhibiting only some of the activities common to living things.


Which two scientists are credited with the discovery of DNA?

Watson & Crick

Watson, Crick, and another scientist named Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for this discovery.


Why do we yawn?

The reason why we yawn is still much debated by scientists, but the major theories include:

  • our body is telling us that we need more oxygen, so we deeply inhale
  • we are tired and/or bored
  • our brain is hot and needs to cool off
  • yawning evolved from a time when we needed to show our teeth to intimidate predators