Introductory Unit: Processes of Science and Taxonomy
Processes of Science
A1 demonstrate safe and correct technique for a variety of laboratory procedures
A2 design an experiment using the scientific method
A3 interpret data from a variety of text and visual sources
B1 apply the Kingdom system of classification to study the diversity of organisms
Characteristics of Life: Coolschool notes unit 1
Characteristics of Life 1. Life Has Organization
As a organism lives it maintains its organization by using different life processes. Living organisms are organized from the simplest to the most complex.
Atoms make up molecules. Molecules make up cell organelles. Cell organelles make up cells. Cells make up tissues. Tissues make up organs. Organs make up organ systems, and organ systems make up an organism. The way these are arranged determines the type of organism produced.
Unity refers to the many similarities between different living organisms. For example, cats, dogs, pigs and horses all have four legs. These are general similarities. More specifically, all dogs will have many similar characteristics and are considered to be the same species.
Diversity refers to there being a great difference among living things. For example, there is a great difference between humans even though we are from the same species.
2. Life Needs To Acquire Energy
Living things must acquire nutrients so that they can be used to build and maintain the structures of the organism. Energy is needed to maintain the work done by the organism.
The internal environment stays the same despite an ever changing external environment. For example, the body must try and maintain a temperature of 37 degree Celsius despite what the temperature is outside the body.
4. Respond To Stimuli
An organism responds to stimuli by moving. These behaviours are done to minimize injury, to reproduce and to gather a food source. All living things interact with the external surroundings. For example, a change in temperature may cause certain animals to migrate.
5. Must Be Able To Reproduce
Must be able to pass on the organism's hereditary information. This may be done by asexual reproduction or by sexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction is usually done by unicellular organisms which pass on identical DNA to their offspring. Sexual reproduction is usually done by multicellular organisms which pass on half the genetic information to their offspring. Continuity of life is what organisms strive for even to the point that it will die at the expense to reproduce.
6. Must Be Able To Grow And Develop
Organisms increase in size and the number of cells they possess. Human development includes all changes that takes place from birth to death. The parts of an organism and their arrangement are related to the function. For example, we have many bones and joints that can move. This movement allows us to move and manipulate objects. Another example are fish. They have gills that allow them to breathe under water.
These are changes to an organism so that it is best suited to its own environment. Adaptations are selected by evolution. When new variations are within a particular species, certain members of that species may be able to capture more food and survive in higher numbers and have more offspring than the poorly adapted members.
All life is not identical to what was once in the past. Organisms change through time.
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