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Biology Questions and Answers

1800+ Biology Questions


written and organized in a logical way
to make the learning of basic Biology easier
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Biology Questions and Answers
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Biology Questions and Answers
Foreword
This is the simplest and the most useful Biology book ever made.
Your brain doesn't need complex stuff to learn basic Biology. It needs logic, organized
and ell!ritten content. You don't need a sophisticated book to study Biology. You
need pure information.
"e haven't even put any illustration in the ebook. You can easily find all the related
draings and pictures on the internet. Your brain learns better if you try to create
abstract images in your mind instead of looking passively to given illustrations.
By studying this ebook you ill get a complete overvie of all main Biology sub#ects.
You can read this ebook at school, at home and everyhere you think that is suitable
$even in the park or at the beach%.
Think of every &uestion as a brick of knoledge you are cementing to build your
Biology culture. 'nd indeed these &uestions and ansers ere ritten to build your
biological knoledge step!by!step.
If you are a teacher, you can use this book as a study guide for your students and
also to evaluate their learning.
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isclaimer
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updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided here is entirely correct,
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ithout arranty of any kind.
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Biology Questions and Answers
Table of Contents
Foreword......................................................................................................................................... 3
Disclaimer........................................................................................................................................ 3
Biochemistry.................................................................................................................................... 9
Biochemistry Introduction.......................................................................................................... 11
ater and !ineral "alts............................................................................................................ 13
#arbohydrates........................................................................................................................... 1$
%i&ids......................................................................................................................................... 2'
(roteins..................................................................................................................................... 22
)n*ymes................................................................................................................................... 29
+ucleic ,cids............................................................................................................................. 3-
#ell Biology.................................................................................................................................... 43
#ell "tructure............................................................................................................................ 4-
#ell !embrane.......................................................................................................................... -4
#ytos.eleton and #ell !o/ement.............................................................................................. 03
#ell "ecretion............................................................................................................................ 0-
#ell Digestion............................................................................................................................ 00
#ell +ucleus.............................................................................................................................. 0$
#ell Di/ision.............................................................................................................................. 13
(hotosynthesis.......................................................................................................................... $4
#ell 2es&iration......................................................................................................................... 91
(rotein "ynthesis...................................................................................................................... 99
!icrobiology................................................................................................................................ 1'1
Bacteria................................................................................................................................... 1'9
(rotists.................................................................................................................................... 113
Fungi....................................................................................................................................... 111
3iruses.................................................................................................................................... 12'
4oology........................................................................................................................................ 123
%i5e 6ingdoms......................................................................................................................... 12-
(ori5erans................................................................................................................................ 12$
#nidarians............................................................................................................................... 131
(latyhelminthes....................................................................................................................... 13-
+ematodes.............................................................................................................................. 139
,nnelids.................................................................................................................................. 142
,rthro&ods.............................................................................................................................. 141
!olluscs.................................................................................................................................. 1-4
)chinoderms........................................................................................................................... 1-$
#hordates............................................................................................................................... 101
Fishes..................................................................................................................................... 104
,m&hibians............................................................................................................................. 101
2e&tiles................................................................................................................................... 11'
Birds........................................................................................................................................ 113
!ammals................................................................................................................................ 110
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(hysiology................................................................................................................................... 119
Basic 7istology........................................................................................................................ 1$1
Blood....................................................................................................................................... 1$-
!etabolism and 7omeostasis................................................................................................. 191
+utrition and 3itamins............................................................................................................. 193
Digesti/e "ystem.................................................................................................................... 19$
2es&iratory "ystem................................................................................................................. 211
#irculatory "ystem.................................................................................................................. 219
)8cretory "ystem.................................................................................................................... 231
)&ithelia.................................................................................................................................. 23$
!usculos.eletal "ystem.......................................................................................................... 241
+er/ous "ystem...................................................................................................................... 241
3isual "ystem......................................................................................................................... 201
7earing "ystem....................................................................................................................... 204
)ndocrine "ystem................................................................................................................... 200
Immune "ystem...................................................................................................................... 21$
9ametogenesis....................................................................................................................... 2$0
2e&roducti/e "ystem.............................................................................................................. 291
)mbryology.................................................................................................................................. 3'1
)mbryonic De/elo&ment......................................................................................................... 3'3
)8traembryonic !embranes................................................................................................... 3'$
Botany......................................................................................................................................... 311
(lant #lassi5ication.................................................................................................................. 313
Bryo&hytes.............................................................................................................................. 310
(terido&hytes.......................................................................................................................... 311
9ymnos&erms......................................................................................................................... 32'
,ngios&erms........................................................................................................................... 323
(lant :issues........................................................................................................................... 32$
(lant (hysiology...................................................................................................................... 334
9enetics...................................................................................................................................... 34-
9enetic #once&ts.................................................................................................................... 341
!endel;s %aws........................................................................................................................ 3-2
+on-mendelian Inheritance..................................................................................................... 3-1
%in.age and #rossing </er..................................................................................................... 302
"e8 Determination and "e8-%in.ed Inheritance...................................................................... 30-
Blood :y&es............................................................................................................................ 31'
6aryoty&e and 9enetic Diseases............................................................................................ 31-
:he 7ardy-einberg (rinci&le................................................................................................ 319
9enetic )ngineering................................................................................................................ 3$2
)/olution...................................................................................................................................... 3$1
<rigin o5 %i5e............................................................................................................................ 3$9
:heory o5 )/olution................................................................................................................. 39-
)cology........................................................................................................................................ 4'3
#once&ts o5 )cology............................................................................................................... 4'-
)arth;s Biomes........................................................................................................................ 4'1
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Food #hains and :ro&hic (yramids........................................................................................ 411
Biogeochemical #ycles........................................................................................................... 410
Biodi/ersity.............................................................................................................................. 419
)cological Interactions............................................................................................................ 422
)cological "uccession............................................................................................................. 420
(o&ulation )cology................................................................................................................. 42$
)n/ironmental Issues.............................................................................................................. 432
Diseases...................................................................................................................................... 439
#once&ts o5 (arasitism........................................................................................................... 441
Bacterial In5ections.................................................................................................................. 443
(roto*oan Diseases............................................................................................................... 440
Fungal In5ections..................................................................................................................... 4-2
3iral In5ections......................................................................................................................... 4-3
orm Diseases....................................................................................................................... 401
(rion Diseases........................................................................................................................ 401
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Biology Questions and Answers
Biochemistry
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Biology Questions and Answers
Biochemistry
!ntroduction
1" #hat are the chemical
elements that form most of
li$ing biological matter%
The chemical elements that form most
of the molecules of living beings are
oxygen $-%, carbon $.%, hydrogen $/%
and nitrogen $0%.
&" 'i$ing beings are made of
organic and inorganic
substances" According to the
com(le)ity of their molecules
how can each of those
substances be classified%
Inorganic substances, like ater,
mineral salts, molecular oxygen and
carbon dioxide, are small molecules
made of fe atoms. -rganic substances,
in general, like glucose, fatty acids and
proteins, are much more complex
molecules made of se&uences of
carbons bound in carbon chains. The
capacity of carbon to form chains is one
of the main chemical facts that
permitted the emergence of life on the
planet.
*" #hat are the most
im(ortant inorganic molecular
substances for li$ing beings%
The most important inorganic
substances for living beings are ater,
mineral salts, carbon dioxide and
molecular oxygen. $There are several
other inorganic substances ithout
hich cells ould die.%
+" #hat are mineral salts%
#here in li$ing beings can
mineral salts be found%
1ineral salts are simple inorganic
substances made of metallic chemical
elements, like iron, sodium, potassium,
calcium and magnesium, or of non!
metallic elements, like chlorine and
phosphorus.
They can be found in non!solubilized
form, as part of structures of the
organism, like the calcium in bones.
They can also be found solubilized in
ater, as ions2 for example, the sodium
and potassium cations ithin cells.
," #hat are the most
im(ortant organic molecules
for li$ing beings%
There are many types of organic
molecules that are important for the
living beings. 3specially important are
amino acids and proteins, carbohydrates
$including glucose%, lipids and nucleic
acids $40' and 50'%.
Biochemistry Introduction 5evie !
Image 4iversity2 amino acid molecule
protein molecule carbohydrate molecule
lipid molecule nucleic acid molecule
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Biology Questions and Answers
-" #hat are the main
functions of the organic
molecules for li$ing beings%
-rganic molecules, like proteins, lipids
and carbohydrates, perform several
functions for living organisms.
0oteorthy functions are the structural
function $as part of the material that
constitutes, delimits and maintains
organs, membranes, cell organelles,
etc.%, the energetic function $chemical
reactions of the energetic metabolism%,
the control and informative function
$genetic code control, inter and
intracellular signaling, endocrine
integration% and the enzymatic function
of proteins $facilitation of chemical
reactions%.
." #hat are some e)am(les of
the structural function of
organic molecules%
-rganic molecules have a structural
function as they are part of cell
membranes, cytoskeleton, organ alls
and blood vessel alls, bones, cartilages
and, in plants, of the conductive and
support tissues.
8" #hat are some e)am(les of
the energetic function of
organic molecules%
,ince they are complex molecules,
presenting many chemical bonds,
organic molecules store large amount of
energy.
6lucose, for example, is the main
energy source for the formation of 'T7
$adenosine triphosphate%, a molecule
that is necessary in several metabolic
reactions. 'T7 is an organic molecule
too and is itself the energy source for
many biochemical reactions. 8at,
proteins and some types of organic
polymers, like starch and glycogen, that
are polymers of glucose, are energy
reservoirs for the organism.
/" #hat are some e)am(les of
the control and informati$e
function of organic molecules%
Based on genetic information, organic
molecules control the entire ork of the
cell. The nucleic acids, 40' and 50',
are organic molecules that direct the
protein synthesis, and proteins in their
turn are the main molecules responsible
for the diversity of cellular biological
tasks. In membranes and ithin the
cell, some organic molecules act as
information receptors and signalers.
7roteins and lipids have an important
role in the communication beteen cells
and tissues, acting as hormones,
substances that transmit information at
a distance throughout the organism.
10" #hat are bio(olymers%
7olymers are macromolecules made by
the union of several smaller identical
molecules, called monomers.
Biopolymers are polymers present in the
living beings. .ellulose, starch and
glycogen, for example, are polymers of
glucose.
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Biology Questions and Answers
#ater and 0ineral
1alts
1" #hat is the a((ro)imate
(ercentage 2in mass3 of water
in the human body% !s this
(ercentage e)(ected to be
larger in the adult or in the old
indi$idual%
'pproximately 9:; of the human
individual mass is ater. The brain, for
example, has around <=; of ater in
mass, the muscles, >:;, and the bones
have beteen ?:; and @=; of ater.
Younger adult individuals have
proportionally more ater in mass than
older individuals.
&" #hat are the main
biological functions of water%
"ater is the fundamental solvent for
chemical reactions of living beings( it is
the main means of substance
transportation in the cell and beteen
cells and tissues and it is responsible for
the maintenance of ade&uate
temperature for the functioning of the
organism. "ater is also the reagent or
the product of many biochemical
reactions, like photosynthesis, cellular
respiration, peptide bond for protein
formation, etc.
*" #ater has key (artici(ation
in organic reactions" #hat are
e)am(les of two ty(es of
organic reactions in which
water is res(ecti$ely
incor(orated or liberated in
the (roducts of these
reactions%
7hotosynthesis is a biochemical process
in hich ater is incorporated into
organic molecules. In the reaction, the
hydrogen atoms from ater go to the
produced glucose and the oxygen atoms
from ater form the molecular oxygen
liberated2 carbon dioxide A ater A
light B glucose A molecular oxygen.
'erobic respiration is an example of
biochemical reaction in hich ater is
produced2 glucose A molecular oxygen
B carbon dioxide A ater.
+" !s water a (olar or a non4
(olar molecule% #hat is the
conse5uence of that
characteristic for the function
of water as sol$ent%
"ater is made of to atoms of
hydrogen attached by covalent bond
ith one central atom of oxygen making
an angular spatial structure. The
hydrogen atoms ClendD electrons to the
oxygen and conse&uently this atom
becomes more negative hile the
hydrogens become more positive. The
spatial geometry of the ater molecule
makes it a polar molecule, ith negative
and positive poles.
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Biology Questions and Answers
"ater is an excellent solvent for polar
substances because the electrical
activity $attraction and repulsion% of its
poles helps the separation and the
mixing of these substances, giving them
more movement and thus increasing the
number of molecular collisions and the
speed of chemical reactions. -n the
other hand, ater is not good as a
solvent for non!polar substances.
7olarity is one of the ater properties.
," #hich kind of (olarity do
water4soluble and fat4soluble
substances res(ecti$ely ha$e%
"ater!soluble substances are polar
molecules, i.e., they have electrically
charged areas. These molecules get the
description Cater!solubleD because
they are soluble in ater, a polar
molecule too.
8at!soluble substances are non!polar
molecules, i.e., they are electrically
neutral. They get the description Cfat!
solubleD because they dissolve other
non!polar substances.
-" #hat is the im(ortance of
water for enzymatic acti$ity%
3nzymes, biological catalysts, depend
on ater to reach their substrates and
bind to them. There is no enzymatic
activity ithout ater. In addition,
enzymes depend on ade&uate p/
interval to ork and the p/ is a
conse&uence of the liberation of
hydrogen cations $/
A
% and hydroxyl
anions $-/
!
% by acids and bases in
ater solution.
." 6an the heat ca(acity of
water be considered small or
large% #hat is the biological
significance of that
characteristic%
8rom Thermology it is knon that the
&uantity of exchanged heat $E% is e&ual
to the mass $m% multiplied by the
specific heat of the substance $c%
multiplied by the variation of
temperature $T%, E B m.c.FT., and that
heat capacity is E*T, hence, m.c. /eat
capacity, hoever, relates to a specific
body, since it considers mass, hereas
specific heat relates to the general
substance. Therefore it is more correct
to refer to specific heat in this problem.
"ater has a specific heat of G cal*g.
o
.
hich means that G o. per gram is
changed in its temperature ith the
addition or subtraction of G cal of
energy. This is a very elevated value
$for example, the specific heat of
ethanol is =,:> cal*g.
o
., and mercury, a
metal, has a specific heat of =,=HH
cal*g.
o
.% making ater an excellent
thermal protector against variations of
temperature. 3ven if sudden external
temperature changes occur, the internal
biological conditions are kept stable in
organisms hich contain enough ater.
/igh specific heat is one of the most
important ater properties.
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Biology Questions and Answers
8" #hat are the main water
(ro(erties that make water
s(ecial for life%
The ater properties that make ater
biologically important are molecular
polarity, thermal stability $elevated
specific heat%, fusion and ebullition
points that allo ater to be li&uid in
most environments, acid!base
neutrality, small molecular size and lo
chemical reactivity. $.ompared to other
substances, like ethanol or hydrogen
sulfide.%
/" #hat are ions% #hat are
the two ty(es of molecules
into which ions are classified%
Ions are atoms or substances
electrically charged by means of loss or
gain of electrons.
The to types of ions are the cations
and the anions. .ations are ions ith
positive total electric charge and anions
are ions ith negative total electric
charge.
10" #hich are the main
(ositi$e ions found in li$ing
beings%
The main cations found in living beings
are the sodium cation $0a
A
%, the
potassium cation $I
A
%, the calcium
cation $.a
AA
%, the iron cations $8e
AA
,
8e
AAA
%, the magnesium cation $1g
AA
%,
the zinc cation $Jn
AA
% and the
manganese cation $1n
AA
%.
11" #hat are the main
negati$e ions found in li$ing
beings%
The main anions found in living beings
are the chlorine anion $.l
!
%, the
phosphate anion $7-@
!!
%, the bicarbonate
anion $/.-H
!
%, the nitrate anion $0-H
!
%
and the sulfate anion $,-@
!
%.
1&" 7ow do mineral salts
(artici(ate in osmotic
regulation%
-smotic pressure depends on the
number of particles dissolved in a
solution and not on the nature of such
particles. 1ineral salts, glucose,
proteins and urea are the main
regulating particles for the osmolarity of
the organism. These molecules along
ith other particles inside and outside
the cell generate the larger or smaller
osmotic gradient beteen the
intracellular and the extracellular space.
1*" #hat is the role of mineral
salts in the creation of electric
tension 2$oltage3 at the
cellular le$el%
The electric activity of the cell, for
example, in neurons, depends on the
different concentrations of positive and
negative ions beteen the inner and the
outer surfaces of the cell membrane.
1ineral salts are responsible for that
voltage.
The cell membrane of non!excited cell
has commonly a negative inner side and
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Biology Questions and Answers
a positive outer side. This electrical
situation is maintained by ion transport
across the membrane.
1+" #hy is (7 regulation
im(ortant for li$ing beings%
7ow do mineral salts
(artici(ate in this regulation%
The potential of hydrogen $p/% is a
measure of the amount of hydrogen
ions $/
!
% in a solution. The regulation of
the p/ according to the necessities of
each organ or tissue is extremely
important for the organism since
enzymes act only under some p/
ranges and many proteins are only
active under some p/ ranges. Therefore
biochemical reactions depend on correct
levels of p/ to occur.
0eutral p/ is one of the ater
properties.
1," 7ow do mineral salts
(artici(ate in enzymatic
acti$ity%
1any mineral salts are cofactors of
enzymes, i.e., they are substances
ithout hich enzymes do not ork.
1-" #hat are the main
biological (rocesses in which
calcium (artici(ates%
.alcium is present in almost all cells and
has several functions.
.alcium has an important role in
muscular contraction, in the blood
coagulation process, in the structure of
bone tissue, in teeth, in the motility of
the sperm cell flagellum and in the
nervous transmission.
1." #hat is hemoglobin% #hat
is the inorganic element that
is fundamental in the
com(osition of hemoglobin%
/emoglobin is the protein present in the
blood responsible for the transport of
oxygen from the lungs to the tissues
and cells.
The hemoglobin molecule is composed
of four protein chains, each ith a heme
group containing an iron atom. The iron
is responsible for the binding of oxygen
in the lungs and also for the red color of
hemoglobin and thus of the blood.
18" #hat is the im(ortance of
magnesium for (lants% #hat
are the other main biological
functions of magnesium%
1agnesium is fundamentally important
for plants because it is part of the
chlorophyll molecule $and chlorophyll is
essential for photosynthesis%.
1agnesium also acts as a cofactor of
several enzymes and it is important the
muscle relaxation and for the nervous
transmission.
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Biology Questions and Answers
1/" #hat is (hos(horylation%
#hat are some biological
(rocesses in which
(hos(horylation (lays a
critical role%
7hosphorylation is the name given to
processes of the addition of phosphates
to some molecules thus making these
molecules more energized.
7hosphorylation has an important role,
for example, in photosynthesis $the
photophosphorylation of the light phase%
and in aerobic respiration $oxidative
phosphorylation of the respiratory
chain%. In general the phosphate used in
phosphorylation comes from 'T7
molecules.
&0" #hy is iodine im(ortant
for human beings%
Iodine is a fundamental chemical
element for the proper functioning of
the thyroid since it is part of the
hormones produced by this gland.
Iodine deficiency creates a kind of
hypothyroidism, a disease knon as
endemic goiter.
&1" #hat are the main
biological functions in which
chlorine ions (artici(ate%
Kike sodium cations, chlorine anions
actively participate in the regulation of
the osmolarity of tissues and cells by
crossing the cellular membrane and
avoiding entrance of ater into the cell
or excessive loss of ater from the cell.
.hlorine anions have an important role
for the acid!base balance of the
organism since they participate, along
ith bicarbonate anions, in the p/
buffer system of the body. 'nother
function of chlorine is in the digestive
physiology2 inside the gastric lumen,
hydrochloric acid secreted by stomach
cells ionizes itself into hydrogen and
chlorine ions loering the p/ of the
gastric #uice and then permitting the
enzymatic digestion to take place.
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Biology Questions and Answers
6arbohydrates
1" #hat are the organic
chemical grou(s that
characterize carbohydrates%
7ow are carbohydrates
classified according to the
(resence of those grou(s%
.arbohydrates are also knon as sugars
$starches, cellulose and other
substances are carbohydrates too%.
.arbohydrates are polyhydroxylated
aldehydes or polyhydroxylated ketones
$polyalcohol aldehydes or polyalcohol
ketones%.
7olyhydroxylated aldehydes are called
aldoses and polyhydroxylated ketones
are called ketoses.
&" #hat is the molecular
formula of glucose% 7ow can
its structural formula be
described%
The molecular formula of glucose is
.9/G?-9.
,tructurally glucose is a hexagonal ring
formed by one atom of oxygen and five
atoms of carbon( a hydroxyl radical and
a hydrogen atom bind in each carbon of
the ring, except for one of the carbons
bound to the oxygen of the ring( this
carbon binds to a ./?-/ radical. ,patial
sides of hydroxyl bonds are alternated.
*" #hat are monosaccharides8
oligosaccharides and
(olysaccharides%
1onosaccharides are simple molecules
of carbohydrates that cannot be broken
into smaller molecules of other
carbohydrates. -ligosaccharides are
carbohydrates made by union of a
maximum of G= monosaccharides.
7olysaccharides are polymers of
monosaccharides made of more than G=
units of such monomers. The most
important polysaccharides are cellulose,
starch, glycogen and chitin.
+" #hat is the difference
between monosaccharides and
disaccharides% #hat are some
e)am(les of disaccharides and
of monosaccharides that form
them%
1onosaccharides are simple molecules
of carbohydrates that cannot be broken
into other carbohydrates. 6lucose and
fructose are examples of
monosaccharides. 4isaccharides are
carbohydrates made of to
monosaccharides and ith the loss of
one molecule of ater $dehydration%.
The chemical bond beteen to
monosaccharides is knon as a
glycosidic bond.
,ucrose $table sugar% is a disaccharide
made by the union of one molecule of
glucose ith one molecule of fructose.
1altose is a disaccharide made by to
glucose molecules. Kactose $milk sugar%
is another disaccharide and it is created
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by the union of one molecule of
galactose ith one molecule of glucose.
," #hat are he)oses% #hat
are some e)am(les of he)oses
with im(ortant biological
functions%
/exoses are carbohydrates made of six
carbons. 6lucose, fructose and
galactose are examples of hexoses.
/exoses have an important biological
role as energy sources for the
metabolism.
-" #hat are (entoses% #hat
are the roles of (entoses in
9A and :9A molecules%
7entoses are carbohydrates made of
five carbons.
The 40' molecule is made of a
se&uence of molecules called
nucleotides. 3ach nucleotide is formed
by the association of one pentose called
deoxyribose ith a phosphoric acid and
a nitrogen!containing base $', T, . or
6%. 50' is also formed by a se&uence of
nucleotides. The 50' nucleotides are
made by association of one ribose $a
pentose% ith one phosphoric acid and
one nitrogen!containing base $', L, . or
6%.
,o pentoses are fundamental
components of 40' and 50'.
." #hat are the main
biological functions of the
(olysaccharides%
7olysaccharides have an energy storage
function and a structural function.
7olysaccharides incorporated by living
beings along the food chain are
important sources of carbohydrates for
the energetic metabolism of organisms
of the next trophic levels.
,tarch is the polysaccharide used for
energy store by plants. 6lycogen is a
macromolecule responsible for the
storage of glucose in the liver and
muscles. .hitin is a polysaccharide ith
structural functions that constitutes the
exoskeleton of the arthropods and the
cell all in fungi.
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Biology Questions and Answers
'i(ids
1" #hat are the main ty(es of
li(ids%
The main types of lipids are triglycerides
$fats and oils%, phospholipids, axes
and steroids.
&" #hat is the structural
formula of glycerol% To which
organic function do these
molecules belong%
6lycerol is a linear chain of three
carbons( the central carbon is bound to
one hydroxyl radical and to one
hydrogen and the to other carbons in
the extremities are bound to a hydroxyl
radical and to to hydrogens. ,patial
sides of the hydroxyls are the same.
*" 7ow are triglycerides
made%
Triglycerides, fats or oils, are made of
three molecules of fatty acids bound to
one molecule of glycerol. /ydroxyls of
each one of the three fatty acids and
each hydrogen of the hydroxyls of the
glycerol bind to form three molecules of
ater that are liberated.
+" #hat are (hos(holi(ids%
7hospholipids are molecules made of
glycerol bound to to long molecules of
fatty acids and to one phosphate group.
Therefore, phospholipids are
amphipathic molecules, i.e., they have a
non!polar portion, due to the long fatty
acid chains, and a polar portion, due to
the group phosphate.
7hospholipids are the main component
of cell membranes. ,phingomyelin, the
substance that forms the myelin sheath
of axons in the nervous system, is a
phospholipid too.
," #hat are steroids% #hat
are some e)am(les of steroids
with a biological function%
,teroids are lipids based in an angular
combination of four carbon rings, three
of them made of six carbons and one
ring made of five carbons in the
extremity. The union of each ring to the
ad#acent ring is made by the sharing of
to ad#acent carbons belonging to both
rings.
Bile salts, cholesterol, the sexual
hormones estrogen, progesterone and
testosterone, the corticosteroids and the
pro!vitamin 4 are examples of steroids.
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Biology Questions and Answers
-" #hat are hydro(hobic
molecules 2or hydro(hobic
molecular regions3% #hat are
hydro(hilic molecules% 7ow
can they be characterized in
relation to their (olarity%
/ydrophobic molecules are those that
have little or no propensity to dissolve
in ater $hydro B ater, phobia B fear%.
/ydrophilic molecules are those that
have great propensity to dissolve in
ater $philia B friendship%.
"ater is a polar substance.
5emembering the rule that Ce&ual
dissolves e&ualD one can conclude that
hydrophobic substances are non!polar
molecules hile hydrophilic molecules
are polar molecules.
." Are organic sol$ents like
benzene and ether (olar or
non4(olar substances%
Benzene and the ethers are molecules
ithout electrically charged portions and
thus they are non!polar substances.
8" :egarding solubility8 how
are li(ids classified%
8ats and oils are hydrophobic molecules,
i.e., they are non polar and insoluble in
ater. Kipids in general are molecules
ith a large non!polar extension and so
they are soluble in non polar solvents,
like benzene, ether and chloroform.
There are some amphipathic lipids, i.e.,
lipids hose molecules have a
hydrophilic portion, like the
phospholipids, giving them the property
of being dragged by ater, and a
hydrophobic portion $non polar%.
/" #hat is meant by
saturation or unsaturation of
oils and fats%
"hen it is said that a triglyceride is
saturated it means that in its molecule
the carbon chain is bound in its
maximum capacity to hydrogens, i.e.,
there are no double or triple bonds
beteen carbons. These saturated
molecules are generally solid fats at
normal temperature.
Lnsaturated triglyceride molecules are
those in hich there are double or triple
bonds beteen carbons and so they do
not accomplish their maximum capacity
of hydrogenation. These unsaturated
molecules in general are oils, li&uid at
normal temperature.
The terms saturated or unsaturated
refer then to the saturation of the
carbonic chain by hydrogen atoms.
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Biology Questions and Answers
;roteins
1" #hat are (roteins% 7ow can
the (rotein di$ersity of li$ing
beings be e)(lained%
7roteins are molecules made of
se&uences of amino acids bound by a
peptide bond.
The genetic code codifies tenty
different amino acids that can compose
proteins. ,o there are numerous
combinations of amino acid hich can
form polypeptide chains and for this
reason protein molecules can be
immensely diverse.
&" #hat is the im(ortance of
(roteins for li$ing beings%
7roteins play a fundamental role in
nearly all biological processes. 4ue to
their diversity they can assume many
different configurations and they can
play varied roles in cells and tissues.
,ome protein functions are noteorthy2
the structural function $cell membrane
proteins, cytoskeleton proteins, proteins
of the connective tissue%, the enzymatic
function $enzymes are proteins%, the
energy storage function $proteins can
be degraded into acetyl!.o' and CcycleD
the Irebs cycle%, the osmotic regulation
function $albumin%, the transportation
function $membrane channels,
respiratory pigments%, the immune
protection function $antibodies%, the
movement function $contractile
proteins%, the endocrine integration
function $hormones% and the
informative function $membrane
receptors, intracellular signalers%. There
are also many proteins hose biological
functions are not yet knon.
*" #hat is the constitutional
unit of (roteins%
The constitutional units of proteins are
the amino acids.
+" #hat is an oligo(e(tide%
7ow is it different from a
(oly(e(tide%
7eptide is the molecule formed by the
union of amino acids through the
peptide bond. -ligopeptide is a peptide
made of fe amino acids $oligo B fe%.
7olypeptides are peptides ith many
amino acids $poli B many%, in general
more than :=.
," 7ow many are the known
amino acids that form (roteins
in li$ing beings%
There are tenty different knon amino
acids that form proteins related to the
genetic code of the living beings.
There are still many other amino acids
as yet not knon.
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Biology Questions and Answers
-" oes e$ery amino acid ha$e
a central carbon% To which
organic grou( is that central
carbon bound%
' carboxyl group M.--/, an amine
group M 0/?, an atom of hydrogen M/
and a variable radical !5 necessarily are
bound to the central carbon of an amino
acid.
." 7ow can amine grou(s be
classified%
'mines can be classified into primary
amines, those to hich one M5 $variable
radical% is attached to a M0/?,
secondary amines, those here one
hydrogen of 0/? is substituted by
another M5, thus having to M5, and
tertiary amines, those ith no hydrogen
bound to the nitrogen and ith three M
5.
8" #hat is the structural
re(resentation of a carbo)yl
grou(%
.arboxyl groups have a carbon attached
to one hydroxyl group by a simple bond
and to one oxygen by a double bond.
The other site of binding in the carbon is
available to other chemical entities.
/" #hat is the structural flat
re(resentation of an amino
acid molecule%
'n amino acid has a central carbon to
hich a carboxyl group binds on a side
and to hich a M5 $variable radical%
binds on the opposite side. In the
perpendicular direction of those ligands
an amine group binds the central carbon
on one side and a hydrogen binds on
the opposite side.
The bind of the carboxyl group to a
carbon here a hydrogen is laterally
attached is responsible for the name
CacidD in amino acids. The bound of an
amine group in the central carbon
provides the name CaminoD.
10" #hat is the im(ortance of
the <: grou( 2$ariable
radical3 in an amino acid
molecule%
The M5 group, also called a lateral
chain, is the variable part of the amino
acid molecule. The M5 group can be a
complex carbonic chain, a substituting
methyl group $forming then the amino
acid alanine% or even only a hydrogen
$forming glycine, the simplest amino
acid%. ,o the M5 group is important
because it is the differentiation factor of
amino acids.
11" 7ow can the binding of
two amino acids for the
(e(tide formation be
described%
' peptide is formed hen a carbon from
the carboxyl group of one amino acid is
connected to the nitrogen of the amine
group of another amino acid. 4uring
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Biology Questions and Answers
that binding the hydroxyl of the
carboxyl and one hydrogen of the amine
is lost resulting in the liberation of one
ater molecule.
1&" #hat is the binding
between two amino acids
called%
The chemical bond beteen to amino
acids is called a peptide bond.
1*" o the <: grou(s bound to
the central carbons (artici(ate
in the union between amino
acids%
The peptide bond attaches the nitrogen
of the amine group of one amino acid to
the carbon of the carboxyl group of
another amino acid liberating one
molecule of ater. ,o the M5 groups do
not participate in that bond.
1+" o the <7 grou(s bound to
the central carbons (artici(ate
in the (e(tide bond%
The central carbons themselves, the M5
groups and the hydrogens attached to
the central carbons do not participate in
the peptide bond.
1," o the amine and the
carbo)yl grou(s attached to
central carbons (artici(ate in
the union between amino
acids%
Yes. The nitrogen of the amine group of
one amino acid binds to the carbon of
the carboxyl group of the other amino
acid. The ater molecule liberated from
the formation of the peptide bond thus
has a hydrogen from the amine and an
oxygen and another hydrogen from the
carboxyl.
1-" oes the chemical reaction
to unite amino acids
incor(orate or liberate atoms%
#hat are the chemical entities
incor(orated or liberated in
this reaction%
The union of amino acids by peptide
bond liberates atoms. They are liberated
as constituents of one molecule of
ater.
1." Are there different
(roteins made by the same
total number of amino acids%
4ifferent proteins ith the same total
number of amino acids may exist. In
such cases the differentiation is given
by the types of amino acids or by the
se&uence in hich they form the
protein.
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Biology Questions and Answers
18" Are (roteins with the
same number of each different
amino acid that form them
necessarily identical (roteins%
3ven if many proteins have the same
number of each different amino acid
that form them, for example, :=
alanines, N= glycines and ?= histidines,
the se&uences in hich these amino
acids are connected may be very
different. ,o if to or more proteins are
in such condition of numeric similarity
for each type of their constituent amino
acids, they are not necessarily identical.
1/" #hat is the essential
condition for a (rotein to be
identical to another (rotein%
8or a protein to be identical to another
protein it is necessary for the se&uence
of amino acids that form them to be
identical.
&0" #hat is the (rimary
structure of a (rotein% #hat is
the im(ortance of the (rimary
structure%
The primary protein structure is the
linear se&uence of amino acids that
form the molecule.
The primary structure is the basis of the
protein identity. 1odification of only one
amino acid of the primary structure
creates a different protein. This different
protein can be inactive or can even have
other biological functions.
&1" #hat is the secondary
structure of a (rotein%
The secondary protein structure is
generated by the manner its amino
acids interact through the
intermolecular bond. These interactions
create a spatial conformation of the
polypeptide filament. The to most
studied secondary conformations of
proteins are the alpha!helix and the
beta!sheet.
&&" #hat is the difference
between the al(ha4heli) and
the beta4sheet (rotein
conformations%
'lpha!helix and beta!sheet
conformations are the to main types of
secondary structure of a protein
molecule. 'ccording to the primary
protein structure its secondary structure
can be of one type or the other.
In the alpha!helix structure the
polypeptide curls longitudinally by the
action of hydrogen bonds forming a
spiral, or helix. In the beta!sheet
conformation the protein is more
distended and the hydrogen bonds form
a zig!zag!shaped protein structure
called B!strand. 1any assembled beta!
strands make a beta!sheet.
&*" #hat is the tertiary
structure of a (rotein% #hat
are the main ty(es of tertiary
structure%
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Biology Questions and Answers
The tertiary protein structure is a spatial
conformation additional to the
secondary structure in hich the alpha!
helix or the beta!sheet folds itself up.
The forces that keep the tertiary
structure generally are interactions
beteen the M5 groups of the amino
acids and beteen other parts of the
protein and ater molecules of the
solution.
The main types of tertiary structure of
proteins are the globular proteins and
the fibrous proteins.
&+" #hat is the 5uaternary
structure of a (rotein% o all
(roteins ha$e 5uaternary
structure%
The &uaternary protein structure is the
spatial conformation due to interactions
among polypeptide chains that form the
protein.
-nly those proteins made of to or
more polypeptide chains have
&uaternary structure. Insulin $to
chains%, hemoglobin $four chains% and
the immunoglobulins $antibodies, four
chains% are some examples of protein
having &uaternary structure.
&," #hat is (rotein
denaturation% !s there any
change in the (rimary
structure when a (rotein is
denatured%
,econdary, tertiary and &uaternary
structures of proteins are spatial
structures. 4enaturation is modification
in any of these spatial structures that
makes the protein deficient or
biologically inactive.
'fter denaturation the primary protein
structure is not affected.
&-" 7ow can denaturation be
classified regarding its
re$ersibility%
7rotein denaturation can be a reversible
or an irreversible process, i.e., it may
be possible or impossible to make the
protein regain its original spatial
conformation.
&." #hat are some factors
that can lead to (rotein
denaturation%
7rotein denaturation can be caused by
temperature variation, p/ change,
changes in the concentration of
surrounding solutes and by other
processes. 1ost proteins denature after
certain elevation of temperature or
hen in very acid or very basic
solutions. This is one of the main
reasons that it is necessary for the
organisms to keep stable temperature
and p/.
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&8" !s it e)(ected that a
change in the (rimary8 in the
secondary or in the tertiary
structure of a (rotein will
(roduce more functional
conse5uences%
'ny change of the protein structure is
relevant if it alters its biological activity.
.hanges in the primary protein
structure are more important because
they are modifications in the
composition of the molecule and such
composition determines all other
structures of the protein.
&/" !n sickle cell anemia8 a
hereditary disease8 there is
substitution of one amino acid
by another in one of the four
(oly(e(tide chains of
hemoglobin" !n this case are
all of the structural le$els of
the (rotein modified%
In sickle cell disease there is a change
in the primary protein structure of one
of the polypeptide chains that form
hemoglobin2 the amino acid glutamic
acid is substituted by the amino acid
valine in the O chain. The spatial
conformation of the molecule in addition
is also affected and modified by this
primary CmistakeD and the modification
also creates a different $sickle% shape to
the red blood cells.
1odified, sickled, red blood cells
sometimes aggregate and obstruct the
peripheral circulation causing tissue
hypoxia and the pain crisis typical of
sickle cell anemia.
*0" #hat is the difference
between essential and natural
amino acids%
3ssential amino acids are those that the
organism is not able to synthesize and
that need to be ingested by the
individual. 0atural amino acids are
those that are produced by the
organism.
There are living species that produce
every amino acid they need, for
example, the bacteria 3scherichia coli,
that does not have essential amino
acids. -ther species, like humans, need
to obtain essential amino acids from the
diet. 'mong the tenty different knon
amino acids that form proteins humans
can make telve of them and the
remaining eight need to be taken from
the proteins they ingest ith food.
The essential amino acids for humans
are phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine,
lysine, methionine, threonine,
tryptophane and valine.
*1" #hat are res(ecti$ely
some remarkable functions of
myosin8 6+8 albumin8 keratin8
immunoglobulin8 re$erse
transcri(tase8 hemoglobin and
insulin%
1yosin is a protein that hen associated
ith actin produces a muscular
contraction. .4@ is a membrane protein
of some lymphocytes, the cells that are
infected by /IP. 'lbumin is an energy
storage protein and also an important
regulator of the blood osmolarity.
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Biology Questions and Answers
Ieratin is a protein ith structural
function present in the epidermis and
skin appendages of vertebrates.
Immunoglobulins are the antibodies,
specific proteins that attack and
inactivate strange agents that enter the
body. 5everse transcriptase is the
enzyme responsible for the transcription
of 50' and formation of 40' in the life
cycle of retroviruses. /emoglobin is the
protein that carries oxygen from the
lungs to the cells. Insulin is a hormone
secreted by the pancreas that
participates in the metabolism of
glucose.
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Biology Questions and Answers
=nzymes
1" #hat are catalysts%
.atalysts are substances that reduce
the activation energy of a chemical
reaction, facilitating it or making it
energetically viable. The catalyst
increases the speed of the chemical
reaction.
&" #hat amount of catalyst is
consumed in the reaction it
catalyzes%
.atalysts are not consumed in the
reactions they catalyze.
*" !s there a difference
between the initial and the
final energy le$els in
catalyzed and non4catalyzed
reactions%
The catalysis does not alter the
energetic state of reagents and products
of a chemical reaction. -nly the energy
necessary for the reaction to occur, i.e.,
the activation energy, is altered.
+" #hat are enzymes% #hat is
the im(ortance of enzymes for
li$ing beings%
3nzymes are proteins that are catalysts
of chemical reactions. 8rom .hemistry it
is knon that catalysts are non!
consumable substances that reduce the
activation energy necessary for a
chemical reaction to occur.
3nzymes are highly specific to the
reactions they catalyze. They are of vital
importance for life because most
chemical reactions of the cells and
tissues are catalyzed by enzymes.
"ithout enzymatic action those
reactions ould not occur or ould not
happen in the re&uired speed for the
biological processes in hich they
participate.
," #hat is meant by
substrates of enzymatic
reactions%
,ubstrates are reagent molecules upon
hich enzymes act.
The enzyme has spatial binding sites for
the attachment of its substrate. These
sites are called activation centers of the
enzyme. ,ubstrates bind to theses
centers forming the enzyme!substrate
complex.
-" #hat are the main
theoretical models that try to
e)(lain the formation of the
enzyme4substrate com(le)%
There are to main models that explain
the formation of the enzyme!substrate
complex2 the lock and key model and
the induced fit model.
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In the lock and key model the enzyme
has a region ith specific spatial
conformation for the binding of the
substrate. In the induced fit model the
binding of the substrate induces a
change in the spatial configuration of
the enzyme for the substrate to fit.
." 7ow does the formation of
the enzyme4substrate
com(le) e)(lain the reduction
of the acti$ation energy of
chemical reactions%
The enzyme possibly orks as a test
tube ithin hich reagents meet to
form products. "ith the facilitation of
the meeting provided by enzymes it is
easier for collisions beteen reagents to
occur and thus the activation energy of
the chemical reaction is reduced. This is
one of the possible hypotheses.
8" >n what structural le$el of
the enzyme 2(rimary8
secondary8 tertiary or
5uaternary3 does the enzyme4
substrate interaction de(end%
The substrate binds to the enzyme in
the activation centers. These are
specific three!dimensional sites and
thus they depend on the protein tertiary
and &uaternary structures. The primary
and secondary structures, hoever,
condition the other structures and so
they are e&ually important.
/" #hat is the acti$ation
center of an enzyme% !s it the
key or the lock of the lock and
key model%
The activation center is a region of the
enzyme produced by its spatial
conformation to hich the substrate
binds. In the lock and key model the
activation center is the lock and the
substrate is the key.
10" #hy can it be said that the
enzymatic action is highly
s(ecific%
The enzymatic action is highly specific
because only specific substrates of one
enzyme bind to the activation center of
that enzyme. 3ach enzyme generally
catalyzes only a specific chemical
reaction.
11" #hat ha((ens to a
denatured enzyme regarding
its functionality% 7ow can that
result be e)(lained with the
hel( of the lock and key
model%
'ccording to the lock and key model the
enzyme functionality depends entirely
on the integrity of the activation center,
a molecular region ith specific spatial
characteristics. 'fter the denaturation
the spatial conformation of the protein
is modified, the activation center is
destroyed and the enzyme loses its
catalytic activity.
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Biology Questions and Answers
1&" #hat are the main factors
that alter the s(eed of
enzymatic reactions%
The main factors that change the speed
of enzymatic reactions are temperature,
p/ and substrate concentration
$&uantity%.
1*" 7ow does the substrate
concentration affect the s(eed
of enzymatic reactions%
Initially as substrate concentration
increases, the speed of the reaction
increases( this happens because free
activation centers of the enzyme bind to
free substrates. -nce all activation
centers of the available enzymes
become bound to their substrates ne
increments of the substrate
concentration ill have no effect on the
speed of the reaction.
1+" 7ow does tem(erature
affect the action of enzymes
u(on their substrates%
There are defined temperature ranges
under hich enzymes operate and there
is a specific temperature level $optimum
temperature% in hich enzymes have
maximum efficiency. Therefore
temperature variations affect enzymatic
activity and the speed of the reactions
they catalyze.
In addition, as proteins, enzymes can be
denatured under extreme temperatures.
1," 6oncerning enzymatic
reactions8 how different are
the gra(hic cur$e of the
$ariation of the s(eed of a
reaction as function of
substrate concentration and
the cur$e of $ariation of the
s(eed of a reaction as function
of tem(erature%
The curve of variation of speed of the
enzymatic reaction as a function of
groing substrate concentration is a
groing curve until the point here it
stabilizes due to the saturation of the
activation centers of the enzymes.
The curve of variation of speed of the
enzymatic reaction as a function of
groing temperature has a crescent
portion and reaches a peak $the
optimum temperature% then it decreases
and reaches zero in the point of
inactivity of the enzymes by
denaturation.
1-" 7ow is the cooling of
organs and tissues for medical
trans(lants associated with
the effect of tem(erature
u(on enzymatic reactions%
The molecular degradation during the
decomposition of organs and tissues is
catalyzed by enzymes. The cooling to
ade&uate temperatures of some organs
and tissues destined for transplantation
reduces that enzyme activity and thus
lessens the natural decomposition
process. By the same rationale, the
cooling reduces the metabolic ork of
cells and prevents degradation of their
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Biology Questions and Answers
on structures to obtain energy.
3levation of temperature later reverts
denaturation of enzymes and the organs
and tissues also preserved by other
specific techni&ues may be grafted into
the receptors.
1." oes (7 affect the enzyme
acti$ity%
The concentration of hydrogen ions in
solution affects the enzyme activity.
3ach enzyme has maximal efficiency
under an optimum p/.
,ince p/ is one of the factors for the
denaturation of proteins, if an enzyme is
submitted to a p/ level under hich it is
denatured there ill be no enzymatic
activity.
18" o enzymes act better
under acid or basic (7%
1ost enzymes act in p/ beteen 9 and
>, a range that corresponds to the
general acidic level of cells and blood.
There are enzymes, hoever, that act
only under very acid or very basic p/.
,o enzyme activity depends on p/
interval.
In the stomach, for example, the gastric
#uice has a very lo p/, around ?, and
there the enzyme pepsin acts to
intensively digest proteins. In the
duodenum, pancreatic secretions
increase the p/ of the enteric #uice for
the action of other digestive enzymes,
for example, trypsin.
1/" 1ince (e(sin is a gastric
enzyme does it ha$e an acid
or basic o(timum (7% #hat
ha((ens to (e(sin when it
(asses into the duodenum%
7epsin acts ithin the stomach so its
optimum p/ is around ?, an acid p/.
"hen the enzyme passes into the
duodenum it meets a higher p/ and its
enzyme activity ends.
&0" #hat are enzyme
cofactors%
,ome enzymes need other associated
molecules to ork. These molecules are
called enzyme cofactors and they can
be, for example, organic ions like
mineral salts, or organic molecules.
Inactive enzymes hich are not bound
to their cofactors are called
apoenzymes. 'ctive enzymes bound to
their cofactors are called holoenzymes.
&1" #hat is the relationshi(
between $itamins and enzyme
cofactors%
1any vitamins are enzyme cofactors
that cannot be synthesized by the
organism and must be obtained from
the diet.
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&&" For the enzymatic reaction
what is the effect of a
substance with the same
s(atial conformation as an
enzymatic substrate% 7ow is
this ty(e of substance known%
,ubstances that CsimulateD substrates
can bind to the activation center of
enzymes thus blocking the true
substrates to bind to these enzymes and
paralyzing the enzymatic reaction. ,uch
Cfake substratesD are called enzyme
inhibitors.
The binding of enzyme inhibitors to
enzymes can be reversible or
irreversible.
1any medical drugs, for example, some
antibiotics, antivirals, antineoplastics,
antihypertensives and even sildenafil
$trade name Piagra%, are enzyme
inhibitors that block enzyme activity.
&*" #hat is the action
mechanism of the antibiotic
(enicillin%
7enicillin, discovered by the ,cottish
doctor 'lexander 8leming in G<?>, is a
drug that inhibits enzymes necessary
for the synthesis of peptidoglycans, a
constituent of the bacterial cell all.
"ith the inhibition the bacterial
population stops groing because there
is no ne cell all formation.
8leming on the 0obel prize in 1edicine
for the discovery of penicillin.
&+" #hat is the action
mechanism of the
antiretro$iral drugs called
(rotease inhibitors which are
used against 7!? infection%
7rotease inhibitors are some of the
antiretroviral drugs used to treat /IP
infection. 7rotease is an enzyme
necessary for the assembling of /IP
after the synthesis of its proteins ithin
the host cell. The protease inhibitor
binds to the activation center of the
enzyme blocking the formation of the
enzyme!substrate complex and the
enzyme activity thus impairing the viral
replication.
&," #hat are allosteric
enzymes%
'llosteric enzymes are those that have
more than one activation center and to
hich other substances, called allosteric
regulators, bind.
'llosteric regulators can be allosteric
inhibitors or allosteric activators. The
interaction beteen an allosteric
enzyme and the allosteric inhibitor
disallos the binding of the substrate to
the enzyme. The interaction beteen
the allosteric enzyme and the allosteric
activator allos the binding of the
substrate to the enzyme and sometimes
increases the affinity of the enzyme for
the substrate. This regulatory
phenomenon of the enzyme activity is
called allosterism.
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&-" #hat are zymogens%
Jymogens, or proenzymes, are
enzymes secreted in inactive form.
Lnder certain conditions a zymogen
shifts to the active form of the enzyme.
Jymogen secretions in general happen
because the enzyme activity can harm
the secretory tissue.
8or example, the pepsinogen secreted
by the stomach becomes active under
acid p/ turning into the enzyme pepsin.
-ther ell!knon zymogens are
trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen,
enzymes that are secreted by the
exocrine pancreas and hich become
trypsin and chymotrypsin respectively.
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Biology Questions and Answers
9ucleic Acids
1" #hat are nucleic acids%
#hat is the historic origin of
this name%
40' and 50', the nucleic acids, are the
molecules responsible for the hereditary
information that commands the protein
synthesis in living beings. The name
CnucleicD derives from the fact that they
ere discovered $by the ,iss
biochemist 8riedrich 1iescher, in G>9<%
ithin the cell nucleus. In that time it
as not knon that those substances
contained the hereditary information.
&" >f what units are nucleic
acids constituted% #hat are
the chemical entities that
com(ose that unit%
0ucleic acids are formed by se&uences
of nucleotides.
0ucleotides are constituted by one
molecule of sugar $deoxyribose in 40'
and ribose in 50'% bound to one
molecule of phosphate and to one
nitrogen!containing base $adenine,
uracil, cytosine or guanine, in 50', and
adenine, thymine, cytosine and
guanine, in 40'%.
*" #hat are (entoses% To
what organic grou( do
(entoses belong% Are
nucleotides formed of only
one ty(e of (entose%
7entoses are carbohydrates made of
five carbons. 4eoxyribose is the pentose
that constitutes 40' nucleotides and
ribose is the pentose that is part of 50'
nucleotides.
+" !nto which two grou(s can
the nitrogen4containing bases
that form 9A and :9A be
classified% #hat is the
criterion used in that
classification%
The nitrogen!containing bases that form
40' and 50' are classified as
pyrimidine and purine bases.
By the analysis of the structural
formulae of those nitrogen!containing
bases it is possible to realize that three
of them, cytosine, thymine and uracil,
have only one nitrogenized carbon ring.
The others, adenine and guanine, have
to nitrogenized associated carbon
rings.
," 6oncerning the nitrogen4
containing bases that
(artici(ate in nucleotides8
what is the difference
between 9A and :9A%
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In 40' nucleotides can be formed of
adenine $'%, thymine $T%, cytosine $.%
or guanine $6%. In 50' nucleotides can
also contain adenine $'%, cytosine $.% or
guanine $6%, hoever, instead of
thymine $T% there is uracil $L%.
-" #hich are the nucleotides
@(ortionsA that bind in the
formation of nucleic acids%
#hat is meant by the ,B and *B
e)tremities of nucleic acids%
The phosphate group of one nucleotide
binds to the pentose of the other
nucleotide and so on to make the
polynucleotide chain.
3ach extremity of a 40' or 50' chain
can be distinguished from the other
extremity according to their terminal
chemical entity. The phosphate!ended
extremity is called :Q!extremity and the
pentose!ended extremity is called
HQ!extremity. ,o 40' or 50' chains can
be run along the :Q!HQ ay or along the
HQ!:Q ay. These ays are important in
several biological functions of 40' and
50' since some reactions specifically
occur folloing one ay or the other
ay.
." Bacteria are (rokaryotic
cells8 i"e"8 they do not ha$e a
membrane4delimited nucleus"
=ukaryotes ha$e cells with a
delimited nucleus" #here in
these ty(es of cells can 9A
be found%
In eukaryotic cells 40' is found ithin
the cell nucleus. In prokaryotic cells
40' is found dispersed in the cytosol,
the fluid space inside the cell.
-ther 40' molecules can also be found
ithin mitochondria and chloroplasts,
specialized organelles of eukaryotic
cells.
8" #ho were Cames #atson8
Francis 6rick and 0aurice
#ilkins%
"atson $0orth 'merican%, .rick
$British% and "ilkins $0e Jealander%
ere the discoverers of the molecular
structure of 40', the double helix made
of to polynucleotide chains paired by
their nitrogen!containing bases. They
on the 0obel prize in 1edicine in G<9?
for the discovery.
/" According to the #atson4
6rick model how many
(olynucleotide chains does a
9A molecule ha$e%
The 40' molecule is formed by to
polynucleotide chains bound in
antiparallel mode $:Q!HQ to HQ!:Q% and
forming a helical structure.
10" #hat is the rule for the
(airing of nitrogen4containing
bases in the 9A molecule%
And in the :9A% !s this last
5uestion a((ro(riate%
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The rule for the pairing of nitrogen!
containing bases of the polynucleotide
chains that form the 40' molecule is
pyrimidine base binds to purine base,
under the condition that thymine $T%
binds to adenine $'% and cytosine $.%
binds to guanine $6%.
In 50' there is no binding beteen
nitrogen!containing bases. That is
because 50' is formed of only one
polynucleotide chain( differently, 40' is
formed of to chains. It is therefore not
correct to &uestion base pairing in 50'.
11" #hat is the numeric
relation between (yrimidine
and (urine bases in the 9A
molecule% !s that relation
$alid in :9A molecules%
The 40' molecule is made of to bound
polynucleotide chains that form a helical
structure $the double helix%. The binding
of the to chains is beteen their
nitrogen!containing bases and it alays
obeys the folloing rules2 adenine $'%,
a purine base, binds ith thymine $T%, a
pyrimidine base, and guanine $6%, a
purine base, binds to cytosine $.%, a
pyrimidine base. Therefore in one
molecule of 40' there ill be the same
number of adenine $'% and thymine $T%
and same number of cytosine $.% and
guanine $6%. The &uantities of purine
and of pyrimidine bases then ill also
be the same in a :=; proportion for
each type. The relation ' B T and . B
6, or '*T B .*6 B G, is called .hargaffQs
relation and the pairing rules described
above are knon as .hargaffQs rules.
In 50' there are not to nucleotide
chains. 50' is a simple chain molecule
and there is no necessary
proportionality of nitrogen!containing
bases to form it.
1&" #hich ty(e of chemical
bond maintains the (airing of
each chain in the 9A
molecule%
To form the 40' molecule, purine bases
bind to pyrimidine bases by
intermolecular bonds called hydrogen
bonds. /ydrogen bonds occur hen
there is hydrogen near one of these
electronegative elements2 fluorine,
oxygen or nitrogen.
In such conditions hydrogen looks like
having lost electrons for those elements
and a very strong polarization is
created. The highly positive hydrogen
attracts pairs of electrons of other
molecules making a hydrogen bond.
1*" #hat is the com(leting
se5uence of nitrogen4
containing bases for a
AD66DTTAA6 fragment of a
9A chain%
T.66.''TT6.
1+" #hat is the name of the
9A du(lication (rocess%
#hat is the main enzyme that
(artici(ates in it%
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The process of copying, or duplication,
of the 40' molecule is called
replication. The enzyme that
participates in the formation of a ne
40' chain is the 40' polymerase.
There are also other important enzymes
in the replication process, the helicase,
the gyrase and the ligase.
1," #hy is it not correct to
assert that 9A self4
re(licates%
40' is not completely autonomous in its
duplication process because the
replication does not occur ithout
enzymatic activity. ,o it is not entirely
correct to assert that 40' self!
replicates.
1-" 7ow do the two
com(lementary nucleotide
chains of the 9A facilitate
the re(lication (rocess of the
molecule%
The fact that the 40' molecule is made
of to polynucleotide chains hose
nitrogen!containing bases form
hydrogen bonds facilitates the
duplication of the molecule. 4uring the
40' replication, the binding of the to
chains is broken and each of them
serves as a template for the formation
of a ne nucleotide se&uence along it,
ith the help of the enzyme 40'
polymerase and obeying the pairing rule
'!T, .!6. 't the end of the process to
double helix of 40' are produced, each
made of an original template chain and
of a ne synthesized polynucleotide
chain.
1." #hat are the chemical
bonds of the 9A molecule
that are broken for the
re(lication (rocess to occur%
4uring the 40' replication process,
hydrogen bonds beteen nitrogen!
containing bases of the polynucleotide
chains are broken.
18" As a result of 9A
re(lication two 9A molecules
come into e)istence" #hy is it
not correct to assert that two
@newA 9A molecules are
created% #hat is the name
gi$en to the (rocess
concerning that fact%
4uring replication each chain of the 40'
molecule acts by pairing ne
nucleotides and after the process to
nely formed chains made ith the
union of these nucleotides appear. Then
to 40' molecules are created, each
ith one chain from the original
molecule and one ne chain formed by
ne nucleotides. Thus it is not entirely
correct to assert that the replication
produces to ne molecules of 40'. It
is better to affirm that to ne half!
molecules are created.
8or this phenomenon 40' replication is
called semiconservative replication.
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1/" oes 9A re(lication
occur in cell di$ision%
Yes. 40' replication occurs in mitosis as
ell in meiosis.
&0" >ne characteristic of the
9A molecule is its re(lication
ca(ability" #hat are the
conse5uences of failures
during 9A re(lication%
Ideally a 40' molecule should replicate
in a perfect ay. ,ometimes hoever
failures in the duplication occur, ith
alteration $deletion, addition or
substitution% of one or more nucleotides
in the molecule.
Those mistakes, or mutations, therefore
make changes in the protein synthesis
process too. 8or example, the
production of an important protein for
cells or tissues may be suppressed, ne
utile or inutile proteins can be created,
etc. The mistake in the 40' duplication
and the resulting production of altered
genetic material are some of the main
creative forces for the biological
evolution and the diversity of species.
&1" 0istakes may ha((en
during e$ery co(ying (rocess"
The same is true for 9A
re(lication" Are there
correction systems in cells
that try to fi) those mistakes%
Ender which situation are the
mistakes carried only by the
indi$idual owner of the cell
within which the mistake has
occurred and in which
situation are they transmitted
to other indi$iduals%
The cell is e&uipped ith an enzymatic
system that tries to fix mistakes of the
40' replication process. This system
hoever is not completely efficient.
40' replication mistakes are kept in the
original individual here the failure
occurred hen the phenomenon affects
somatic cells. If a replication mistake
occurs in the formation of a germline
cell $e.g., in gametes% the 40'
alteration may be transmitted to the
offspring of the individual.
&&" #here can :9A be found
within cells%
In the eukaryote cell nucleus 50' can
be found dispersed in the nuclear fluid,
along ith 40', and as the main
constituent of the nucleolus. In cytosol
$in eukaryotes or in bacteria% 50'
molecules can be found free, as
structural constituent of ribosomes
$organelles specialized in protein
synthesis% or even associated to them in
the process of making proteins.
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1itochondria and chloroplasts also have
their on 40' and 50'.
&*" oes :9A molecule ha$e
two (olynucleotide chains like
9A%
-nly 40' has to polynucleotide
chains. 50' is formed by #ust one
polynucleotide chain.
&+" #hat is the (roduction of
:9A called and what is the
enzyme that catalyzes the
(rocess%
The making of 50' from information
contained in 40' is called transcription.
The enzyme that catalyzes the process
is the 50' polymerase.
&," #hat are similarities and
differences between the
transcri(tion (rocess and the
re(lication (rocesses%
' 40' polynucleotide chain serves as a
template in replication $40'
duplication% as ell as in transcription
$50' formation%. In both processes the
pairing of the to polynucleotide chains
of the original 40' molecule is broken
by the breaking of hydrogen bonds for
the chains to be exposed as templates.
The reaction is catalyzed by specific
enzymes in transcription and in
replication.
In replication the enzyme 40'
polymerase catalyzes the formation of a
ne polynucleotide chain using free
nucleotides in solution and putting them
in the ne chain according to the 40'
template exposed and to the rule '!T,
.!6. In transcription the enzyme 50'
polymerase makes a ne polynucletide
chain according to the 40' template
exposed obeying, hoever, the rule '!
L, .!6.
In replication the original template 40'
chain is kept bound by hydrogen bonds
to the nely formed 40' chain and a
ne 40' molecule is then created. In
transcription the association beteen
the template 40' chain and the nely
formed 50' is undone and 50'
constituted of only one polynucleotide
chain is liberated.
&-" #hat are the three main
ty(es of :9A% #hat is meant
by heterogeneous :9A%
1essenger 50', or m50', transfer
50', or t50', and ribosomal 50', or
r50', are the three main types of 50'.
The nely formed 50' molecule, a
precursor of m50', is called
heterogeneous 50' $hn50'%. The
heterogenous 50' bears portions called
introns and portions called exons. The
hn50' is processed in many chemical
steps, introns are removed and m50' is
created formed only of exons, the
biologically active nucleotide se&uences.
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&." 6oncerning their biological
function what is the difference
between 9A and :9A%
40' is the source of information for
50' production $transcription% and thus
for protein synthesis. 40' is still the
basis of heredity due to its replication
capability.
The messenger 50' is the template for
protein synthesis $translation%. In this
process t50' and r50' also participate
since the first carries amino acids for
the polypeptide chain formation and the
second is a structural constituent of
ribosomes $the organelles here
proteins are made%.
&8" !s there any situation in
which 9A is made based on a
:9A tem(late% #hat is the
enzyme in$ol$ed%
The process in hich 40' is synthesized
having as template a 50' chain is called
reverse transcription. In cells infected
by retroviruses $50' viruses, like the
'I4, or ,'5, viruses% reverse
transcription occurs and 40' is made
from information contained in the viral
50'.
Piral 50' ithin the host cell produces
40' ith the help of an enzyme called
reverse transcriptase. Based on that
40' the host cell then makes viral
proteins, ne viruses are assembled
and viral replication occurs.
&/" o the (hos(hate and the
(entose grou(s gi$e
homogeneity or heterogeneity
to the nucleic acid chains%
#hat about the nitrogen4
containing grou(s% 1u((orted
by that8 which of those grou(s
is e)(ected to directly
(artici(ate in the highly
di$erse and heterogeneous
genetic coding8 i"e"8 which of
those grou(s is the basis of
the information for (rotein
(roduction%
The phosphate and the pentose groups
are the same in every nucleotide that
forms the nucleic acid and so they give
homogeneity to the molecule. The
nitrogen!containing bases hoever can
vary among adenine, thymine, cytosine,
guanine $in 40'% and uracil $in 50'%.
These variations provide the
heterogeneity of the nucleic acid
molecule.
/omogeneous portions of a molecule
seldom ould store any information, by
the same reason that a se&uence of the
same letter of the alphabet cannot
make many ords ith different
meanings. The nitrogen!containing
bases, on the other hand, because they
are different $four different types for
50' or 40'%, can make different
se&uences and combinations that allo
the diversity of the genetic code.
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6ell Biology
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6ell 1tructure
1" #hat is cell theory%
.ell theory asserts that the cell is the
constituent unit of living beings.
Before the discovery of the cell, it as
not recognized that living beings ere
made of building blocks like cells.
The cell theory is one of the basic
theories of Biology.
&" Are there li$ing beings
without cells%
Piruses are considered the only living
beings that do not have cells. Piruses
are constituted by genetic material
$40' or 50'% enrapped by a protein
capsule. They do not have membranes
and cell organelles nor do they have
self!metabolism.
*" !n 1--, :obert 7ooke8 an
=nglish scientist8 (ublished his
book 0icrogra(hia8 in which
he described that (ieces of
cork $iewed under the
microsco(e (resented small
ca$ities similar to (ores which
were filled with air" Based on
later knowledge8 of what were
the walls of those ca$ities
constituted% #hat is the
historical im(ortance of that
obser$ation%
The alls of the cavities observed by
/ooke ere the alls of the plant cells
that form the tissue. The observation
led to the discovery of the cells, a fact
only possible after the invention of the
microscope. In that ork, /ooke
established the term CcellD, no idely
used in Biology, to designate those
cavities seen under the microscope.
+" #hat are the two big
grou(s into which cells are
classified%
.ells can be classified as eukaryotic or
prokaryotic.
7rokaryotic cell is that ithout a
delimited nucleus. 3ukaryotic cells are
those ith nucleus delimited by
membrane.
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," o bacteria cells ha$e a
nucleus%
In bacteria the genetic material is
dispersed in the cytosol and there is no
internal membrane that delimits a
nucleus.
-" Are there any bacteria
made of more than one cell%
There are no pluricellular bacteria. 'll
bacteria are unicellular prokaryotic.
." #hat is the (lasma
membrane of the cell% #hat
are its main functions%
The plasma membrane is the outer
membrane of the cell, it delimits the cell
itself and a cell interior ith specific
conditions for the cellular function.
,ince it is selectively permeable, the
plasma membrane has an important
role for the passage of substances
inards or outards.
8" #hat are the chemical
substances that com(ose the
(lasma membrane%
The main constituents of the plasma
membrane are phospholipids, proteins
and carbohydrates. The phospholipds,
amphipathic molecules, are regularly
organized in the membrane according to
their polarity2 to layers of
phospholipids form the lipid bilayer ith
the polar part of the phospholipids
pointing to the exterior of the layer and
the non!polar phospholipid chains in the
interior. 7roteins can be found
embedded in the lipid bilayer and there
are also some carbohydrates bound to
proteins and to phospholipids in the
outer face of the membrane.
/" #hat is the difference
between (lasma membrane
and cell wall%
7lasma membrane and cell all are not
the same thing. 7lasma membrane, also
called cell membrane, is the outer
membrane common to all living cells
and it is made of a phospholipid bilayer,
embedded proteins and some appended
carbohydrates.
Because cell membranes are fragile, in
some types of cells there are even outer
structures that support and protect the
membrane, like the cellulose all of
plant cells and the chitin all of some
fungi cells. 1ost bacteria also present
an outer cell all made of
peptidoglycans and other organic
substances.
10" #hat are the main
res(ecti$e constituents of cell
walls in bacteria8 (rotists8
fungi and (lants%
In bacteria the cell all is made of
peptidoglycans( among protists algae
have cell alls made of cellulose( in
fungi, the cell all is made of chitin $the
same substance that makes the
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exoskeleton of arthropods%( in plants,
the cell all is made of cellulose too.
11" o membranes form only
the outer wra((ing of cells%
Kipid membranes do not form only the
outer cover of cells. .ell organelles,
such as the 6olgi complex,
mitochondria, chloroplasts, lysosomes,
the endoplasmic reticula and the
nucleus, are delimited by membranes
too.
1&" #hich ty(e of cell came
first in e$olution 4 the
eukaryotic cell or the
(rokaryotic cell%
This is an interesting problem of
biological evolution. The most accepted
hypothesis asserts that the more simple
cell, the prokaryotic cell, appeared
earlier in evolution than the more
complex eukaryotic cell. The
endosymbiotic hypothesis, for example,
affirms that aerobic eukaryotic cells
appeared from the mutualist ecological
interaction beteen aerobic prokaryotes
and primitive anaerobic eukaryotes.
1*" 6oncerning the (resence
of the nucleus what is the
difference between animal
and bacterial cells%
'nimal cells $cells of living beings of the
kingdom 'nimalia% have an interior
membrane that delimits a cell nucleus
and thus they are eukaryotic cells( in
these cells the genetic material is
located ithin the nucleus. Bacterial
cells $cells of living beings of the
kingdom 1onera% do not have organized
cellular nuclei and so they are
prokaryotic cells and their genetic
material is found dispersed in the
cytosol.
1+" #hat are the three main
(arts of a eukaryotic cell%
The eukaryotic cell can be divided into
to main portions2 the cell membrane
that separates the intracellular space
from the outer space physically
delimiting the cell( the cytoplasm, the
interior portion filled ith cytosol $the
a&ueous fluid inside the cell%( and the
nucleus, the membrane!delimited
internal region that contains the genetic
material.
1," #hat are the main
structures within the cell
nucleus%
"ithin the cell nucleus the main
structures are2 the nucleolus, an
optically dense region, spherical shaped,
here there are concentrated ribosomal
50' $r50'% associated to proteins
$there may be more than one nucleolus
in a nucleus%( the chromatin, made of
40' molecules dispersed in the nuclear
matrix during the cell interphase( the
karyotecha, or nuclear membrane, the
membrane that delimits the nucleus.
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Biology Questions and Answers
1-" #hat are the substances
that constitute the chromatin%
#hat is the difference
between chromatin and
chromosome%
The chromatin, dispersed in the
nucleus, is a set of filamentous 40'
molecules associated to nuclear proteins
called histones. 3ach 40' filament is a
double helix of 40' and thus a
chromosome.
1." #hat is the fluid that fills
the nucleus called%
The a&ueous fluid that fills the nuclear
region is called karyolymph, or
nucleoplasm. In the fluid there are
proteins, enzymes and other important
substances for the nuclear metabolism.
18" >f what substances is the
nucleolus made% !s there a
membrane around the
nucleolus%
0ucleolus is a region ithin the nucleus
made of ribosomal 50' $r50'% and
proteins. It is not delimited by
membrane.
1/" #hat is the name of the
membrane that delimits the
nucleus% To which com(onent
of the cell structure is that
membrane contiguous%
The nuclear membrane is also called
karyotheca. The nuclear membrane is
continuous to the endoplasmic reticulum
membrane.
&0" #hat are the main
cyto(lasmic structures
(resent in animal cells%
The main cytoplasmic structures of the
cell are the centrioles, the cytoskeleton,
lysosomes, mitochondria, peroxisomes,
the 6olgi apparatus, the endoplasmic
reticula and ribosomes.
&1" #hat are cyto(lasmic
inclusions%
.ytoplasmic inclusions are cytoplasmic
molecular aggregates, such as
pigments, organic polymers and
crystals. They are not considered cell
organelles.
8at droplets and glycogen granules are
examples of cytoplasmic inclusions.
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&&" #here in the cell can
ribosomes be found% #hat is
the main biological function of
ribosomes%
5ibosomes can be found free in the
cytoplasm, adhered to the outer side of
the nuclear membrane or associated to
the endoplasmic reticulum membrane
defining the rough endoplasmic
reticulum. 5ibosomes are the structures
here protein synthesis takes place.
&*" #hat is the difference
between smooth and rough
endo(lasmic reticulum%
The endoplasmic reticulum is a delicate
membranous structure contiguous to
the nuclear membrane and present in
the cytoplasm. It forms an extensive
net of channels throughout the cell and
is classified into rough or smooth types.
The rough endoplasmic reticulum has a
great number of ribosomes attached to
the external side of its membrane. The
smooth endoplasmic reticulum does not
have ribosomes attached to its
membrane.
The main functions of the rough
endoplasmic reticulum are synthesis
and storage of proteins made in the
ribosomes. The smooth endoplasmic
reticulum plays a role in the lipid
synthesis and, in muscle cells, it is
important in the conduction of the
contraction stimulus.
&+" A netlike membranous
com(le) of su(er(osed flat
saccules with $esicles
detaching from the
e)tremities seen in electronic
microsco(y" #hat is the
obser$ed structure% #hat is
its biological function%
"hat is being observed is the 6olgi
complex, or 6olgi apparatus. This
cytoplasmic organelle is associated ith
chemical processing and modification of
proteins made by the cell and ith
storage and branding of these proteins
for posterior use or secretion. Pesicles
seen under the electronic microscope
contain material already processed,
ready to be exported $secreted% by the
cell. The vesicles detach from the 6olgi
apparatus, travel across the cytoplasm
and fuse ith the plasma membrane
then secreting their substances to the
exterior.
&," >n which organelle of the
cell structure does
intracellular digestion
de(end% #hat is the chemical
content of those organelles%
Intracellular digestion occurs by the
action of lysosomes. Kysosomes have
digestive enzymes $hydrolases% that are
made in the rough endoplasmic
reticulum and stored in the 6olgi
apparatus. Kysosomes are hydrolase!
containing vesicles that detach from the
6olgi apparatus.
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Biology Questions and Answers
&-" #hy are lysosomes known
as @the cleanersA of the cell
waste%
Kysosomes carry out autophagic and
heterophagic digestion2 autophagic
digestion by digesting residual
substances from the cellular
metabolism( heterophagic digestion by
digesting substances that enter the cell.
Kysosomes enfold the substances to be
degraded forming digestive vacuoles, or
residual vacuoles, that later migrate
toard the plasma membrane fusing
ith it and liberating $exocytosis% the
digested material to the exterior.
.ell ,tructure 5evie ! Image 4iversity2
lysosomes
&." #hich are the cell
organelles that (artici(ate in
cell di$ision and in the
formation of cillia and flagella
of some eukaryotic cells%
The organelles that participate in the
cell division and in the formation of cilia
and flagella of some eukaryotic cells are
the centrioles. ,ome cells have cillia
$paramecium, the bronchial ciliated
epithelium, etc.% or flagella $flagellate
protists, sperm cells, etc.%( these cell
structures are composed of
microtubules originated from the
centrioles. .entrioles also make the
aster microtubules that are very
important for cell division.
&8" #hat are the
mor(hological8 chemical and
functional similarities and
differences between
lysosomes and (ero)isomes%
,imilarities2 lysosomes and peroxisomes
are small membranous vesicles that
contain enzymes and enclose residual
substances from internal or external
origin degrading them. 4ifferences2
lysosomes have digestive enzymes
$hydrolases% that break substances to
be digested into small molecules(
peroxisomes contain enzymes that
degrade mainly long!chained fatty acids
and amino acids and that inactivate
toxic agents including ethanol( ithin
peroxisomes there is the enzyme
catalase, responsible for the oxidation of
organic compounds by hydrogen
peroxide $/?-?% and, hen this
substance is in excess, by the
degradation of the peroxide into ater
and molecular oxygen.
&/" #hat are mitochondria%
#hat is the basic mor(hology
of these organelles and in
which cells can they be found%
1itochondria are the organelles in hich
the most important part of the cellular
respiration occurs2 the 'T7 production.
1itochondria are organelles delimited by
to lipid membranes. The inner
membrane invaginates to the interior of
the organelle forming cristae that
delimitate the internal space knon as
mitochondrial matrix and here
mitochondrial 40' $mt40'%,
mitochondrial 50' $mt 50'%,
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mitochondrial ribosomes and respiratory
enzymes can be found. 1itochondria are
numerous in eukaryotic cells and they
are even more abundant in those cells
that use more energy, like muscle cells.
Because they have their on 40', 50'
and ribosomes, mitochondria can self!
replicate.
*0" #hy can mitochondria be
considered the (ower (lants
of the aerobic cells%
1itochondria are the Cpoer plantsD of
aerobic cells because ithin them the
final stages of the cellular respiration
process occurs. .ellular respiration is
the process of using organic molecule
$mainly glucose% and oxygen to produce
carbon dioxide and energy. The energy
is stored in the form of 'T7 $adenosine
triphosphate% molecules and later used
in other cellular metabolic reactions. In
mitochondria the to last steps of the
cellular respiration take place2 the Irebs
cycle and the respiratory chain.
*1" #hat is the endosymbiotic
hy(othesis about the origin of
mitochondria% #hat are the
molecular facts that su((ort
the hy(othesis% To which
other cellular organelles can
the hy(othesis also be
a((lied%
It is presumed that mitochondria ere
primitive aerobic prokaryotes that ere
engulfed in mutualism by primitive
anaerobic eukaryotes, receiving
protection from these beings and
offering energy to them. This hypothesis
is called the endosymbiotic hypothesis
on the origin of mitochondria.
The hypothesis is strengthened by some
molecular evidence such as the fact that
mitochondria have their on
independent 40' and protein synthesis
machinery, ith their on 50' and
ribosomes, and that they can self!
replicate.
The endosymbiotic theory can be
applied to chloroplasts too. It is
supposed that these organelles ere
primitive photosynthetic prokaryotes
because they have their on 40', 50'
and ribosomes and they can self!
replicate too.
*&" #hat are the main
com(onents of the
cytoskeleton%
The cytoskeleton is a netork of very
small tubules and filaments distributed
throughout the cytoplasm of eukaryotic
cells. It is made of microtubules,
microfilaments and intermediate
filaments.
1icrotubules are formed by molecules of
a protein called tubulin. 1icrofilaments
are made of actin, the same protein that
participates in the contraction of muscle
cells. Intermediate filaments are made
of protein too.
**" #hat are the functions of
the cytoskeleton%
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Biology Questions and Answers
's the name indicates, the cytoskeleton
is responsible for the support of the
normal shape of the cell( it also acts as
a facilitator for substance transport
across the cell and for the movement of
cellular organelles. 8or example, the
sliding beteen actin!containing
filaments and the protein myosin
creates pseudopods. In cells of the
phagocytic defense system, like
macrophages, cytoskeleton is
responsible for the plasma membrane
pro#ections that engulf the external
material to be interiorized and attacked
by the cell.
*+" #hat are chloro(lasts%
#hat are the main function of
chloro(lasts%
.hloroplasts are organelles present in
the cytoplasm of plant and algae cells.
Kike mitochondria, chloroplasts have
to boundary membranes and many
internal membranous sacs. "ithin the
organelle there are 40', 50' and
ribosomes and also the pigment
chlorophyll, responsible for absorption
of photic energy that is used in
photosynthesis.
The main function of chloroplasts is
photosynthesis2 the production of highly
energetic organic molecules $glucose%
from carbon dioxide, ater and light.
*," #hat is the molecule
res(onsible for the absor(tion
of (hotic energy for
(hotosynthesis% #here is that
molecule located in
(hotosynthetic cells%
The chlorophyll molecules are
responsible for the absorption of light
energy for photosynthesis. These
molecules are found in the internal
membranes of chloroplasts.
*-" #hat are the colors 2of the
electromagnetic s(ectrum3
absorbed by (lants% #hat
would ha((en to
(hotosynthesis if the green
light wa$es that reach a
$egetable were blocked%
.hlorophyll absorbs all other colors of
the electromagnetic spectrum but it
practically does not absorb the green.
The green color is reflected and such
reflection provides the characteristic
color of plants. If the green light that
reaches a plant is blocked and exposure
of the plant to other colors is
maintained there ould be no harm to
the photosynthesis process. 'pparent
paradox2 the green light is not
important for photosynthesis.
There is a difference beteen the
optimum color fre&uency for the to
main types of chlorophyll, the
chlorophyll ' and the chlorophyll B.
.hlorophyll ' has an absorption peak at
approximately @?= nm avelength
$anil% and chlorophyll B has its ma#or
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absorption in @:= nm avelength
$blue%.
*." #hat is the (ath followed
by the energy absorbed by
(lants to be used in
(hotosynthesis%
The energy source of photosynthesis is
the sun, the uni&ue and central star of
our planetary system. In photosynthesis
the solar energy is transformed into
chemical energy, the energy of the
chemical bonds of the produced glucose
molecules $and of the released
molecular oxygen%. The energy of
glucose is then stored as starch $a
glucose polymer% or it is used in the
cellular respiration process and
transferred to 'T7 molecules. 'T7 is
consumed in metabolic processes that
spend energy $for example, in active
transport across membranes%.
*8" >f what substance is the
(lant cell wall made% >f which
monomer is it made%
The plant cell all is made of cellulose.
.ellulose is a polymer hose monomer
is glucose. There are other polymers of
glucose, like glycogen and starch.
*/" #hat is the function of the
(lant cell wall%
The plant cell all has structural and
protective functions. It plays an
important role in the constraint of the
cell size, preventing the cell to break
hen it absorbs a lot of ater.
+0" #hat are (lant cell
$acuoles% #hat are their
functions% #hat is the
co$ering membrane of the
$acuoles called%
7lant cell vacuoles are cell structures
delimited by membranes ithin hich
there is an a&ueous solution made of
various substances like carbohydrates
and proteins. In young plant cells many
small vacuoles can be seen( ithin adult
cells the most part of the internal area
of the cell is occupied by a central
vacuole.
The main function of the vacuoles is the
osmotic balance of the intracellular
space. They act as Can external spaceD
inside the cell. Pacuoles absorb or
release ater in response to the cellular
metabolic necessities by increasing or
loering the concentration of osmotic
particles dissolved in the cytosol.
Pacuoles also serve as a storage place
for some substances.
The membrane that delimits the
vacuoles is called tonoplast, named
after the osmotic function of the
structure.
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Biology Questions and Answers
6ell 0embrane
1" #hat is a membrane%
1embrane is any delicate sheet that
separates one region from another
blocking or permitting $selectively or
completely% the passage of substances.
The skin, for example, can be
considered a membrane that separates
the exterior from the interior of the
body( cellophane, used in chemical
laboratories to separate solutions, acts
as a membrane too.
&" 6oncerning their
(ermeability how are
membranes classified%
1embranes can be classified as
impermeable, permeable,
semipermeable or selectively
permeable.
'n impermeable membrane is that
through hich no substance can pass.
,emipermeable membranes are those
that let only solvents, like ater, to
pass through it. 7ermeable membranes
are those that let solvent and solutes,
like ions and molecules, to pass across
it. There are also selectively permeable
membranes, i.e., membranes that
besides alloing the passage of solvent,
let only some specific solutes to pass
hile blocking others.
*" #hat is diffusion%
4iffusion is the spreading of substance
molecules from a region here the
substance is more concentrated to
another region here it is less
concentrated. 8or example, during the
boiling of ater in a kitchen gaseous
ater particles tend to uniformly spread
in the air by diffusion.
+" #hat is meant by
concentration gradient% !s it
correct to refer to
@concentration gradient of
waterA%
.oncentration gradient is the difference
of concentration of a substance beteen
to regions.
.oncentration is a term used to
designate the &uantity of a solute
divided by the total &uantity of the
solution. ,ince ater in general is the
solvent in this situation it is not correct
to refer to Cconcentration of aterD in a
given solution.
," #hat is the difference
between osmosis and
diffusion%
-smosis is the phenomenon of
movement of solvent particles $in
general, ater% from a region of loer
solute concentration to a region of
higher solute concentration. 4iffusion,
on the other hand, is the movement of
solutes from a region of higher solute
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concentration to a region of loer solute
concentration.
-ne can consider osmosis as movement
of ater $solvent% and diffusion as
movement of solutes, both
concentration gradient!driven.
-" #hat is osmotic (ressure%
-smotic pressure is the pressure
created in an a&ueous solution by a
region of loer solute concentration
upon a region of higher solute
concentration forcing the passage of
ater from that to this more
concentrated region. The intensity of
the osmotic pressure $in units of
pressure% is e&ual to the pressure that
is necessary to apply in the solution to
prevent its dilution by the entering of
ater by osmosis.
It is possible to apply in the solution
another pressure in the contrary ay to
the osmotic pressure, like the
hydrostatic pressure of the li&uid or the
atmospheric pressure. In plant cells, for
example, the rigid cell all makes
opposite pressure against the tendency
of ater to enter hen the cell is put
under a hypotonic environment.
1icroscopically, the pressure contrary to
the osmotic pressure does not forbid
ater to pass through a semipermeable
membrane but it creates a
compensatory flux of ater in the
opposite ay.
." 6an solutions with the same
concentration of different
solutes ha$e different osmotic
(ressures%
The osmotic pressure of a solution does
not depend on the nature of the solute,
it depends only on the &uantity of
molecules $particles% in relation to the
total solution volume. ,olutions ith
same concentration of particles even
containing different solutes exert the
same osmotic pressure.
3ven hen the solution contains a
mixture of different solutes its osmotic
pressure depends only on its total
particle concentration regardless of the
nature of the solutes.
8" 7ow are solutions classified
according to their com(arati$e
tonicity%
.omparative to another, a solution can
be hypotonic $or hyposmotic%, isotonic
$or isosmotic% or hypertonic $or
hyperosmotic%.
"hen a solution is less concentrated
than another the ad#ective hypotonic is
given and the more concentrated is
called hypertonic. "hen to compared
solutions have the same concentration
both receive the ad#ective isotonic. ,o
this classification makes sense only for
comparison of solutions.
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/" 6oncerning (ermeability
what ty(e of membrane is the
cell membrane%
The cell membrane is a selectively
permeable membrane, i.e., it allos the
passage of ater and some selected
solutes.
10" #hat are the basic
constituents of the cell
membrane%
The cell membrane is formed of lipids,
proteins and carbohydrates.
The membrane lipids are phospholipids,
a special type of lipid to hich one
extremity a phosphate group is bound
thus assigning electrical charge to this
region of the molecule. ,ince
phospholipids have one electrically
charged extremity and a long neutral
organic chain they can organize
themselves in to layers of associated
molecules2 the hydrophilic portion
$polar% of each layer faces outards in
contact ith ater $a polar molecule
too% of the extracellular and the
intracellular space and the hydrophobic
chains $non polar% face inards isolated
from the ater. Because this type of
membrane is made of to phospolipid
layers it is also called a bilipid
membrane.
1embrane proteins are embedded and
dispersed in the compact bilipid
structure. .arbohydrates appear in the
outer surface of the membrane
associated to some of those proteins
under the form of glycoproteins or
bound to phospholipids forming
glycolipids. The membrane
carbohydrates form the glycocalix of the
membrane.
This description $ith further
explanations% is knon as the fluid
mosaic model about the structure of the
cell membrane.
11" #hat are the res(ecti$e
functions of (hos(holi(ids8
(roteins and carbohydrates of
the cell membrane%
1embrane phospholipids have a
structural function, they form the bilipid
membrane that constitutes the cell
membrane itself.
1embrane proteins have several
specialized functions. ,ome of them are
channels for substances to pass through
the membrane, others are receptors
and signalers of information, others are
enzymes, others are cell identifiers
$cellular labels% and there are still those
that participate in the adhesion
complexes beteen cells or beteen the
internal surface of the membrane and
the cytosketeleton.
1embrane carbohydrates, associated to
proteins or to lipids, are found in the
outer surface of the cell membrane and
they have in general labeling functions
for recognition of the cell by other cells
and substances $for example, they
differentiate red blood cells in relation to
the 'B- blood group system%, immune
modulation functions, pathogen
sensitization functions, etc.
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1&" #hat are differentiations
of the cell membrane%
In some types of cells, the cell
membrane presents differentiations that
are necessary for the specific functions
of the cells. The main differentiations
are the microvilli and the structures for
reinforcement of adhesion or union
beteen cells $cell #unctions%.
1icrovilli are multiple external
pro#ections of the membrane resembling
glove fingers. This differentiation is
found in cells of tissues here it is
advantageous to increase the size of the
surface area in contact ith the
exterior, for example, in the enteric
$intestinal% epithelium for absorption of
nutrients.
1embrane differentiations for
reinforcement of adhesion beteen cells
occur mainly in epithelial tissues here
the need for coverage and
impermeability re&uires cells to be
CgluedD to neighboring cells. These
differentiations can be interdigitations,
desmosomes, tight #unctions $zonula
occludens%, zonula adherens $adherens
#unctions% and gap #unctions.
1*" #hat is the relationshi(
between concentration
gradient and acti$e and
(assi$e trans(ort%
7assive transport is the movement of
substances across membranes in favor
of their concentration gradient, i.e.,
from a more concentrated region to a
less concentrated region. 'ctive
transport, on the other hand, is the
transport of substances across
membranes against their concentration
gradient, from a less concentrated to a
more concentrated region. In passive
transport, because it is spontaneous,
there is no energy spent( the active
transport hoever re&uires energy
$ork% to occur.
'ctive transport orks to maintain or
increase the concentration gradient of a
substance beteen to regions hile
passive transport acts in a manner to
reduce the concentration gradient.
1+" #hat are the three main
ty(es of (assi$e trans(ort%
The three main types of passive
transport are simple diffusion, osmosis
and facilitated diffusion.
1," #hat is the energy source
used in acti$e trans(ort
through biological
membranes%
The energy necessary for active
transport $against the concentration
gradient of the transported substance%
to occur comes from 'T7 molecules. The
active transportation uses chemical
energy from 'T7.
1-" #hat is the difference
between sim(le and facilitated
diffusion% Facilitated by which
ty(e of molecule does the
term @facilitatedA mean%
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,imple diffusion is the direct passage of
substances across the membrane in
favor of their concentration gradient. In
facilitated diffusion the movement of
substances is also in favor of their
concentration gradient but the
substances move bound to specific
molecules that act as CpermeabilizersD,
i.e., facilitators of their passage through
the membrane.
1." 7ow does the intensity of
sim(le diffusion $ary in
relation to the concentration
gradient of the mo$ed
substance%
The higher the concentration gradient of
a substance the more intense its simple
diffusion ill be. If the concentration
gradient diminishes the intensity of
simple diffusion diminishes too.
18" 7ow does the intensity of
facilitated diffusion $ary in
relation to the concentration
of the mo$ed substance% #hat
is the limiting factor%
Kike simple diffusion facilitated diffusion
is more intense hen the concentration
gradient of the substance increases and
less intense hen the gradient lessens.
In facilitated diffusion hoever there is
a limiting factor2 the &uantity of the
permeases that facilitate the transport
through the membrane. 3ven in a
situation in hich the concentration
gradient of the diffusing substance
increases, if there are not enough
permeases to perform the transport
there ill be no increase in the intensity
of the diffusion. This situation is called
saturation of the transport proteins and
it represents the point at hich the
maximum transport capacity of the
substance across the membrane is
achieved.
1/" #ithout saturation of
trans(ort (roteins and under
the same concentration
gradient how can the s(eed of
sim(le diffusion be com(ared
to the s(eed of facilitated
diffusion%
The action of facilitator proteins in
facilitated diffusion makes this type of
diffusion faster than simple diffusion
under e&ual concentration gradients of
the moved substance.
&0" 7ow does facilitated
diffusion (resent similarities
with enzymatic chemical
reactions%
-ne of the main examples of facilitated
transport is the entrance of glucose
from the blood into cells. 6lucose from
blood binds to specific permeases
$hexose!transporting permeases%
present in the cell membrane and by
diffusion facilitated by these proteins it
enters the cell to play its metabolic
functions.
8acilitated diffusion resembles chemical
catalysis because the transported
substances bind to permeases like
substrates bind to enzymes and in
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addition, after one transport #ob is
concluded, the permease is not
consumed and can perform other
successive transports.
&1" #hat are some e)am(les
of biological acti$ities in which
osmosis (lays an im(ortant
role%
/emolysis $destruction of red blood
cells% by entrance of ater, the hydric
regulation in plants and the entrance of
ater in the xylem of vascular plants
are all examples of biological
phenomena caused by osmosis.
3xcessive dilution of the blood plasma
causes, by osmosis, the entrance of too
much ater into red blood cells and
then the destruction of these cells
$hemolysis%. -smosis is also the main
process for maintenance of the flaccid,
turgid or plasmolytic states of plant
cells. -smosis is one of the forces
responsible for the entrance of ater
into plant roots since root cells are
hypertonic in comparison to the soil.
&&" #hat do facilitated
diffusion and acti$e trans(ort
ha$e in common% #hat are
the differences between
them%
8acilitated diffusion can be confused
ith active transport because in both
processes there is participation of
membrane proteins.
In active transport hoever the
transported substance moves against its
concentration gradient and ith energy
spent. 8acilitated diffusion is a passive
transport in favor of the concentration
gradient and it does not re&uire energy.
&*" #hich are the molecules
that make (ossible acti$e
trans(ort through
membranes%
'ctive transport is made by specific
membrane proteins. These proteins are
called CpumpsD because they CpumpD
the moving substance through the
membrane using energy from 'T7
molecules.
&+" 7ow does the sodium4
(otassium (um( (resent in
the cell membrane work%
#hat is the im(ortance of this
(rotein for the cell%
The sodium!potassium pump is the
transport protein that maintains the
concentration gradient of these ions
beteen the intra and the extracellular
spaces. This protein is phosphorylated
in each pumping cycle and then it
pumps three sodium ions outside the
cell and puts to potassium ions
inards. The phosphorylation is made
by the binding of a phosphate donated
by one 'T7 molecule that then is
converted into '47 $adenosine
diphosphate%.
The #ob of the sodium!potassium pump,
also knon as sodium!potassium
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'T7ase, is fundamental to keep the
characteristic negative electrical charge
in the intracellular side of the
membrane of the resting cell and to
create ade&uate conditions of sodium
and potassium concentrations inside
and outside the cell to maintain the
cellular metabolism.
&," #hat is mass
trans(ortation across the cell
membrane%
1ass transportation is the entrance or
the exiting of substances in or from the
cell engulfed by portions of membrane.
The fusion of internal substance!
containing membranous vesicles ith
the cell membrane is called exocytosis.
The entrance of substances into the cell
after they have been engulfed by
pro#ections of the membrane is called
endocytosis.
&-" #hat are the two main
ty(es of endocytosis%
3ndocytosis is the entrance of material
in the cell engulfed by portions of the
cell membrane.
3ndocytosis can be classified as
pinocytosis or phagocytosis. In
pinocytosis small particles on the
external surface of the membrane
stimulate the invagination of the
membrane inards and vesicles full of
that particles then detach from the
membrane and enter the cytoplasm. In
phagocytosis bigger particles on the
external surface of the membrane
induce the pro#ection of pseudopods
outards enclosing the particles( the
vesicle then detaches from the
membrane and enters the cytoplasm
receiving the name phagosome.
&." 7ow does the (lant cell
wall react when it is (laced
under hy(otonic medium%
The plant cell all $the covering of the
cell external to the cell membrane% is
made of cellulose, a polymer of glucose.
"hen the cell is put under hypotonic
medium it absorbs too much ater
through osmosis. In that situation the
cell all pressure acts to compensate
the osmotic pressure thus forbidding
excessive increase of the cellular
volume and the cell lysis.
&8" #hat is meant by suction
force of the (lant cell% oes
the suction force facilitate or
make difficult the entrance of
water into the cell%
The suction force $,8% is the osmotic
pressure of the plant cell vacuole, i.e.,
of the vacuolar internal solution.
,ince the vacuolar solution is hypertonic
in comparison to cytosol it attracts
ater thus increasing the cytosol
concentration. "ith the osmotic action
of the vacuole the cytosol becomes
hypertonic in relation to the exterior and
more ater enters the cell.
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&/" #hat is the wall resistance
of (lant cells% oes this
resistance facilitate or make
difficult the entrance of water
into the cell%
"all resistance, or turgor pressure $T7%,
is the pressure made by the distension
of the plant cell all in opposition to the
increase of the cell volume. The all
resistance orks against the entrance of
ater in the cell, i.e., it acts forcing the
exiting of ater and compensating the
entrance of the solvent by osmosis.
*0" #hat does the formula
; F 1F < T; mean%
474 is the abbreviation of diffusion
pressure deficit, ,8 $suction force% is the
vacuolar osmotic pressure and T7 is the
turgor pressure.
The difference beteen ,8 and T7
determines hether ater tends or not
to enter the cell. If ,8 R T7, 474 R =
and ater tends to enter the cell by
osmosis. If T7 R ,8, 474 S = and ater
cannot enter the cell by osmosis.
*1" #hat are the $alues of
; for (lant cells under
hy(ertonic8 isotonic and
hy(otonic media%
In plant cells under hypertonic medium
there is loss of ater for the exterior, ,8
R = $the vacuolar pressure is high
because it is concentrated% and T7 B =
$there is no distension of the cell all
since the cellular volume is reduced% so
474 B ,8. These cells are called
plasmolysed cells, situation
characterized by the retraction of the
cell membrane that detach from the cell
all.
In plant cells under isotonic medium
there is no increase of the internal
ater volume, ,8 R = and T7 B = $since
the cell all is not distended%. The cell
membrane slightly touches the cell all
and in this situation the cell is called a
flaccid cell.
In plant cells under hypotonic medium
there is tendency of ater to enter, ,8
B T7 $since the osmotic pressure is
totally compensated by the distension of
the cell all% and 474 B =. The cell that
has expanded itself to this point is
called a turgid cell.
*&" #hat is the formula of the
; for withered 2shrunken3
(lant cells% 7ow is that
situation (ossible%
"ithered plant cells are those that have
shrunk due to loss of ater by
evaporation ithout enough
replacement. In this situation the cell
membrane retracts and detaches from
the cell all. The cell all moreover
expands in length to stimulate the
entrance of ater making T7 S =. ,ince
474 B ,8 M T7 and T7 is negative $S =%
its formula becomes 474 B ,8 A TT7T.
**" #hat is de(lasmolysis of
(lant cells%
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The plant cell hen placed under
hypertonic medium loses a great
amount of ater and its cell membrane
detaches from the cell all. In that
situation the cell is called a plasmolysed
cell. "hen the plasmolysed cell is placed
under hypertonic medium it absorbs
ater and becomes a turgid cell. This
phenomenon is called deplasmolysis.
*+" #hy are salt and sugar
used in the (roduction of dried
meat and dried fruits%
,ubstances that maintain a highly
hypertonic environment, like sugar and
salt, are used in the production of dried
meat, fruits or fish $for example, cod%
because the material to be conserved is
then dehydrated and the resulting
dryness prevents the groth of
populations of decomposer beings $since
these beings also lose ater and die%.
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Biology Questions and Answers
6ytoskeleton and
6ell 0o$ement
1" #hat is a cytoskeleton%
#hat are its main constituents
in animal cells%
.ytoskeleton is the cytoplasmic
structure that supports the cell, keeps
its shape and fixates and moves the cell
organelles. It is made of an extensive
netork of fibers dispersed in the
cytoplasm and anchored in the plasma
membrane. Its components are
microtubules, microfilaments and
intermediate filaments.
&" >f which substance are
microtubules made% !n which
structures and cellular
(rocesses do microtubules
(artici(ate%
1icrotubules are made of consecutive
dimers of the protein tubulin $each
dimer has an alpha and a beta tubulin
associated%. 1icrotubules participate in
cell division, they are constituents of
cilia and flagella and they also form the
centrioles.
*" >f which substance are
microfilaments made% #hat
are the (ro(erties of these
elements that gi$e motility to
cells%
1icrofilaments are made of actin $a
protein%. The contractile association of
actin ith myosin and other cytoplasmic
proteins give to microfilaments the
ability to promote cell movement.
+" #hat are cell mo$ements%
7ow are these mo$ements
created%
.ell movements are movements
performed by cell structures, like the
movements of cilia and flagella, the
pseudopod movements $in amoeba,
macrophages, etc.%, the cyclosis of the
cytoplasm and the sarcomere
contraction in muscle cells.
.ell movements can be created by the
cytoskeleton action, by differences of
viscosity among cytoplasmic regions
and by intracellular contraction systems.
," #hat are cilia and flagella%
7ow do these structures
ac5uire mo$ement% #hat are
some e)am(les of ciliated and
flagellated cells in humans%
.ilia and flagella are structures found in
some prokaryotes as ell in some
eukaryotic cells. They play defense,
nutrition and movement roles for the
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cell. In eukaryotic cells of protists and
animals they originate from centrioles
that migrate toards the plasma
membrane and differentiate into
structures pro#ected outside the cell.
3ach cilium or flagellum is made of nine
peripheral pairs of microtubules and one
central pair all covered by membrane.
$In bacteria, flagella are made of a
protein named flagellin and there can
also be fimbria made of pilin.%
In the fixation base of each cilium or
flagellum in the plasma membrane
there are proteins that ork as
molecular motors providing movement
for these structures ith energy
spending. 4ue to this energy spending
ciliated or flagellated eukaryotic cells
have a large number of mitochondria.
In humans ciliated cells can be found,
for example, in the bronchial and
tracheal epithelium. In these tissues the
cilia have the defensive function of
seeping mucous and foreign
substances that enter the airays.
,perm cells are a typical example of
flagellated cells, their flagellum is the
propulsion e&uipment for the movement
toards the ovule.
-" 7ow does the amoeboid
mo$ement occur% #hat are
e)am(les of beings and cells
that use such mo$ements for
locomotion%
'moeboid movements are created by
cytoplasmic movements and plasma
membrane pro#ections called
pseudopods. Their formation actively
changes the external shape of some
portions of the cell surface making it
move along a substratum. 7seudopods
appear from differences of viscosity
among neighboring regions of
cytoplasm near the plasma membrane
and from the contractile action of
microfilaments.
'moeboid movements occur, for
example, in amoebas $a protozoan%,
organisms that use their movement to
find food. The leukocytes, cells of the
immune system, hen attracted by
chemical substances $immune
mediators% use amoeboid movements to
get out from capillaries in regions of
tissue damage to participate in the
inflammatory process.
." #hat are some e)am(les of
mo$ement created by the
contraction of sarcomeres of
the muscle cells%
The handling of a cup of coffee, the
peristaltic movements of the boels,
the cardiac beats and even a smile are
examples of movement created by
contraction of the sarcomeres of the
muscle cells. This contraction is a type
of cell movement.
8" #hat is cyclosis%
.yclosis is a type of internal cell
movement in hich an oriented flo of
circulating material is created and
maintained in the cytoplasm by the
action of microfilaments. .yclosis is
more easily observed in plant cells.
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Biology Questions and Answers
6ell 1ecretion
1" #hat is meant by cellular
secretion%
.ell secretion is the elimination to the
exterior of substances produced by the
cell $for example, hormones, mucus,
seat, etc.%
&" #hich cell organelles are
well4de$elo(ed in secretory
cells%
In secretory cells, like the secretory
cells of endocrine glands, organelles
related to production, processing and
CexportationD of substances are idely
present and ell!developed. These
organelles are the rough endoplasmic
reticulum and the 6olgi apparatus.
The nuclear membrane of the secretory
cells generally has more pores to allo
the intense traffic of molecules related
to protein synthesis beteen the
cytoplasm and the nucleus.
*" 7ow do the rough
endo(lasmic reticulum and the
Dolgi a((aratus act in the
(roduction and releasing of
(roteins%
The rough endoplasmic reticulum has in
its outer membrane numerous
ribosomes, structures here translation
of messenger 50' and protein synthesis
occur. These proteins are stored in the
rough endoplasmic reticulum and later
they go to the 6olgi apparatus. "ithin
the 6olgi apparatus proteins are
chemically transformed and hen ready
they are put inside vesicles that detach
from the organelle. These vesicles fuse
ith the plasma membrane $exocytosis%
in the right place and its content is
liberated outside the cell.
+" #hat are some e)am(les of
secretory cells%
3ndocrine and exocrine pancreatic cells,
thyroid and parathyroid endocrine cells,
adenohypophysis, adrenal and pineal
endocrine cells, the many types of
gastric exocrine and endocrine cells, the
mucus secretory cells of the lungs and
of the boels, the salivary gland cells,
the lacrimal gland cells, the sebaceous
gland cells, the secretory cells of the
ovaries and testicles, etc., are all
examples of secretory cells.
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6ell igestion
1" #hat is e)tracellular
digestion%
3xtracellular digestion is that in hich
food breaking into utile molecules that
can be internalized by the cell is done in
the extracellular space, i.e., outside the
cell. In extracellular digestion, the cells
secret substances that break big
molecules into smaller ones in the
external environment. Kater the cell can
benefit from these products of
digestion.
&" #hat is intracellular
digestion%
Intracellular digestion, or cellular
digestion, is the breaking in the interior
of the cell of big molecules coming from
outside or even from its on cell
metabolism into smaller molecules.
7roducts and residues of the
intracellular digestion are used by the
cell or excreted.
Intracellular digestion is classified into
to types2 heterophagic intracellular
digestion and autophagic intracellular
digestion.
*" #hat is the main cell
organelle in$ol$ed in cell
digestion% #hat are the
(ro(erties of that organelle
that enable it to do the task%
The organelles responsible for
intracellular digestion are the
lysosomes. Kysosomes are vesicles that
contain digestive enzymes capable of
breaking big molecules into smaller
ones. These vesicles fuse ith others
that carry the material to be digested
and then digestion takes place.
+" #hat is hetero(hagic
intracellular digestion% 7ow is
this (rocess accom(lished%
/eterophagic intracellular digestion is
the breaking into smaller substances of
external substances engulfed in the cell
by pinocytosis or phagocytosis.
7hagosomes or pinosomes fuse ith
lysosomes making the digestive
vacuoles. "ithin the digestive vacuoles
the molecules to be digested are
hydrolyzed and the products of the
digestion cross through the membrane
and reach the cytoplasm or they are
kept inside the vacuoles. The vacuole
ith residues from digestion is called
residual body and by exocytosis it fuses
ith the plasma membrane and
liberates its CasteD in the exterior
space.
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Biology Questions and Answers
," #hat is auto(hagic
intracellular digestion% #hy is
this ty(e of intracellular
digestion intensified in an
organism undergoing
star$ation%
'utophagic intracellular digestion is the
cellular internal digestion of aste and
residual materials. In general it is done
by lysosomes.
'utophagic intracellular digestion is
intensified in situations of starvation
because in such condition the cell tries
to obtain from its on constituent
materials the nutrients necessary to
stay alive.
-" #hat are some biological
e)am(les in which lysosomic
enzymes (lay a fundamental
role%
The remodelation of the osseous tissue,
the function of acrosomes in sperm cells
and the elimination of the tadpole tail
are examples of biological processes in
hich lysosomic enzymes are key
factors.
The bone is a tissue made of osteoblast!
containing matrix $osteoblasts are the
secretory cells of the osseous matrix%,
osteocytes $mature bone cells% and
osteoclasts $the remodeling cells%.
-steoclasts are responsible for the
continual renovation of the osseous
tissue since their lysosomic enzymes
digest the osseous matrix.
The sperm acrosome, for carrying
digestive enzymes ithin, is responsible
for the perfuration of the egg cell
membrane in the fertilization process.
The acrosome, located in the anterior
end of the sperm cell, is a specialized
region of the 6olgi apparatus that
accumulates a great amount of
digestive enzymes.
In tadpoles the tail regresses hile the
organism develops into an adult frog.
This tissue destruction is a digestion of
the tail's on cells and extracellular
materials and it is made by lysosomes
and their enzymes. The complete
digestion of a cell by its on
mechanisms is called autolysis, a type
of apoptosis $cell suicide%.
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Biology Questions and Answers
6ell 9ucleus
1" #hat are cells with a
delimited nucleus called %
#hat are the main elements
of the nucleus%
.ells ith delimited nucleus are called
eukaryotic cells. -rganisms composed
of one or more eukaryotic cells are
called eukaryotes.
The mains elements of the nucleus are
the chromatin $made of 40'
molecules%, the nucleolus, the
karyolymph, or nucleoplasm, and the
nuclear membrane $or karyotheca%.
&" o all eukaryotic cells ha$e
nucleus and only one nucleus%
There are eukaryotic cells ithout a
nucleus and others ith more than one
nucleus. -steoclasts, the cells
responsible for resorption of the
osseous matrix, for example, are
multinucleate cells( striated muscle
fibers are multinucleate too. 5ed blood
cells are an example of enucleated
specialized cells.
*" >f which substances is
chromatin made%
.hromatin is made of 40' molecules
associated to proteins called histones.
+" #hat are heterochromatin
and euchromatin%
.hromatin is uncondensed nuclear 40',
the typical 40' morphology in
interphase $the phase of the cell cycle in
hich the cells is not dividing itself%. In
this phase of the cell cycle chromatin
can be found as heterochromatin, more
condensed and dark $in electronic
microscopy% portions of 40' molecules,
and as euchromatin, less condensed and
lighter portions of 40' molecules.
,ince it is uncondensed the euchromatin
is the biologically active portion of the
40', i.e., the region that has active
genes to be transcripted into 50'. The
heterochromatin represents the inactive
portions of the 40' molecule.
," #hat is the relation
between the conce(ts of
chromatin and chromosome%
Are euchromatin and
heterochromatin (art of
chromosomes%
3very filament of chromatin is a
complete 40' molecule $a complete
double helix%, i.e., a complete
chromosome. ' 40' molecule may form
euchromatin and heterochromatin
portions thus both are part of
chromosomes.
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-" !n the (hase when the cell
is not di$iding 2inter(hase3 is
there acti$ity within the cell
nucleus%
In the interphase there is intense
metabolic activity in the cell nucleus2
40' is duplicating, euchromatin is being
transcripted and 50' is produced.
." 7ow are the conce(ts of
chromosome8 chromatin and
chromatids related% !n which
(hase of the cell cycle does
9A du(licate%
.hromatin is a set of filamentous 40'
molecules dispersed in the karyoplasm
forming euchromatin and
heterochromatin portions. 3ach
chromatin filament is a complete
chromosome $a 40' molecule, or
double helix%. The chromatin of the
human somatic cell is formed by @9
40' molecules $?? homologous
chromosomes and G pair of sex
chromosomes%.
In interphase the cell prepares itself for
division and duplication of 40'
molecules occurs. The duplication of
every 40' molecule forms to identical
40' double helix bound by a structure
called centromere. In this phase each
identical chromosome of these pairs is
called chromatid. It is also during the
interphase that the chromatids begin to
condensate assuming the thicker and
shorter shape typical of chromosome
illustrations. ,o the phase of the cell
cycle in hich 40' duplicates is the
interphase.
,ome Biology textbooks call the
chromosome a uni&ue filament of
chromatin as ell as the condensed
structure made of to identical
chromatids after the 40' duplication.
5igorously the pair of identical
chromatids bound in the centromere are
to copies of the same chromosome
and therefore they are to identical
chromosomes $and not only one%.
8" #hat is the structure that
maintains identical chromatids
bound%
The structure that maintains identical
chromatids bound is the centromere.
/" 7ow is the chromosome
region where the centromere
is located called% 7ow are
chromosomes classified in
relation to the (osition of their
centromere%
The chromosome region here the
centromere is located is called primary
constriction. In microscopic vie this
region is narroer $a stricture% than
most part of the chromosome.
'ccording to the position of the primary
constriction the chromosomes are
classified as telocentric, acrocentric,
submetacentric or metacentric.
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Biology Questions and Answers
10" #hat are the (rimary and
the secondary constrictions of
a chromosome% #hat is the
other name gi$en to the
secondary constriction%
7rimary constriction is the narroer
region of a condensed chromosome
here the centromere, the structure
that unites identical chromatids, is
located. ,econdary constriction is a
region similar to the primary
constriction, narroer than the normal
thickness of the chromosome too, and
in general it is related to genes that
coordinate the formation of the
nucleolus and control the ribosomic 50'
$r50'% synthesis. 8or this reason the
secondary contrictions $that can be one
or more in chromosome% is called
nucleolus organizer region $0-5%.
11" #hat are homologous
chromosomes% #hich are the
human cells that do not ha$e
homologous chromosomes%
.hromosomes contain genes $genetic
information in the form of nucleotide
se&uences% that command the protein
synthesis thus regulating and controlling
the activities of the cell. In the nucleus
of somatic cells of diploid beings every
chromosome has its correspondent
homologous chromosome, both
containing alleles of the same genes
related to same functions. This occurs
because one chromosome of one pair
comes from the father and the other
comes from the mother of the
individual. The chromosomes that form
a pair ith alleles of the same genes are
called homologous chromosomes. In
humans, there are ?? pairs of
homologous chromosomes plus the pair
of sex chromosomes $the sex
chromosomes are partially
homologous%.
The only human cells that do not have
homologous chromosomes are the
gametes since during meiosis the
homologous chromosomes are
separated.
1&" #hat is the difference
between the conce(ts of
karyoty(e and genome%
6enome is the set of 40' molecules
that characterizes each living being or
each species. The concept then includes
the specific nucleotide se&uence of the
40' molecules of each individual or
species. Iaryotype is the set of
chromosomes of individuals of a given
individual or species concerning
morphology and number of each
chromosome or pair of homologous.
1*" 6an two normal
indi$iduals of the same
s(ecies with se)ual
re(roduction ha$e identical
genomes and identical
karyoty(es% 7ow is the human
karyoty(e usually
re(resented%
3xcept for clones $individuals created
from nucleus transplantation, like the
4olly sheep% and monozygotic tins, it
is very improbable the genomes of to
individuals of the same species and
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generated by sexual reproduction to be
identical. 0evertheless the karyotypes
of to normal individuals of the same
species and of the same sex are alays
identical. The human normal karyotype
is represented by the formula @@AUU for
omen and @@AUY for men.
1+" #hat is the other name
gi$en to se) chromosomes%
#hat is the function of se)
chromosomes%
,ex chromosomes are also called
allosomes $the other chromosomes that
are not sex chromosomes are called
autosomes%.
,ex chromosomes get such name
because they have genes that
determine the sex $male or female% of
an individual. ,ex chromosomes also
have genes related to other biological
functions.
1," 7ow many chromosomes
does a human normal ha(loid
cell ha$e% 7ow many
chromosomes does a human
normal di(loid cell ha$e% 7ow
many are the se)
chromosomes within each of
them%
The human haploid cell is the gamete
$egg cell and sperm cell%. The human
gamete has ?? autosomes and G
allosome, i.e., ?H chromosomes. The
diploid cell is the somatic cell and it has
@@ autosomes and ? allosomes, i.e., @9
chromosomes.
6ametes have one sex chromosome and
somatic cells have to sex
chromosomes.
1-" o (hylogenetically
(ro)imal s(ecies ha$e cells
with (ro)imal chromosome
counts%
The number of chromosomes typical of
each species is proximal for
phylogenetically proximal species $for
example, orangutan, gorilla,
chimpanzee and human%. But it is not
impossible that evolutionary distant
species, like rat and oat, bears similar
karyotypes and the same total number
of chromosomes.
3ven presenting e&ual number of
chromosomes evolutionary distant
species have radically different
characteristics since the &uantity and
the se&uence of nucleotides that
compose their respective 40' molecules
are &uite different.
1." #hat is the nucleolus%
The nucleolus is a small and optically
dense region in the interior of the cell
nucleus. It is made of ribosomic 50'
$r50'% and proteins. -ne nucleus can
have one or more nucleolus.
18" >f which structures is the
nuclear membrane com(osed%
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3ukaryotic cells have nucleus delimited
by to #uxtaposed membranes that
continue ith the membrane of the
endoplasmic reticulum. The nuclear
membrane, or karyotheca, presents
pores through hich substances pass.
There are also ribosomes adhered to its
external surface.
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Biology Questions and Answers
6ell i$ision
1" #hat is mitosis% #hat is
the im(ortance of mitosis%
1itosis is the process in hich one
eukaryotic cell divides into to cells
identical to the parent cell $generally
identical, since alterations in genetic
material can occur, more or less
organelles may be distributed beteen
the daughter cells, etc.%
1itosis is fundamental for asexual
reproduction of eukaryotes, for the
embryonic development, for the groth
of pluricellular beings and for tissue
reneal.
&" #hy in some cases is
mitosis a synonym of
re(roduction%
In some living beings asexual
reproduction occurs by many means2
binary division, schizogony, budding,
grafting, etc. In asexual reproduction of
eukaryotes mitosis is the mechanism by
hich the constituent cells of the ne
beings are made.
The term mitosis does not apply to
prokaryotes since it involves nuclear
division and eukaryotic structures.
*" #hat is the im(ortance of
mitosis for the embryonic
de$elo(ment%
3very embryo gros from a single cell
that suffers mitosis and generates other
cells that also divide themselves by
mitosis forming tissues and complete
organs. The perfect regulation and
control of each of those cell divisions
are fundamental for the creation of a
normal individual. "ithout mitosis the
embryonic development ould be
impossible.
+" #hat are some e)am(les of
organs and tissues where
mitosis is more fre5uent8 less
fre5uent or (ractically absent%
6enerally in vertebrates mitosis is more
fre&uent in tissues that re&uire intense
reneing due to their functions, like
epithelial tissues and the bone marro.
In plants the meristem tissue has
numerous cells undergoing mitosis.
1itosis take place ith lo fre&uency in
tissues of slo renovation, like the
bones in adults and the connective
tissues.
In some adult tissues mitosis is almost
absent, like the nervous tissue and the
striated muscle tissue $skeletal and
cardiac%. The nervous tissue develops
from stimulus by development of ne
electrical netorks beteen cells and
the striated muscle tissue gros by
cellular hypertrophy.
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," 7ow does mitosis
(artici(ate in the growth of
(luricellular organisms%
'll pluricellular beings gro ith the
increase in &uantity of their cells. This
increase is produced by mitosis
$although some types of groth occur
by cellular hypertrophy or by deposition
of substances in interstitial spaces%.
-" #hat is the uncontrolled
mitotic (rocess that occurs as
disease in (luricellular beings
called%
Lncontrolled mitotic cell division is
called neoplasia. 0eoplasia $the
formation of ne strange tissues%
occurs hen a cell suffers mutation in
its genetic material, loses the ability to
control its on division and the failure is
transmitted to its descendants.
.ancers are malignant neoplasias. The
term malignant means that neoplastic
cells can disseminate to distant sites
invading other organs and tissues.
0eoplasias hose cells cannot
disseminate to distant sites are called
benign neoplasias.
." !s the internal e(ithelium of
the bowel the same as it was
one month ago%
The internal epithelial covering of the
intestine acts as protective barrier and
also as means of nutrient absorption.
The traffic of ingested material inside
the intestinal lumen is very intense and
the conse&uent tissue damage re&uires
incessant epithelial renovation through
cell division. The tissue renovation is
completed in to to three days and is
made by mitosis.
8" #hat is cellular
regeneration% 7ow is mitosis
related to this (rocess%
,ome tissues are able to regenerate
hen in#ured. The liver, for example,
regenerates hen small pieces of
hepatic tissue are removed, bones make
ne tissues in fracture regions, etc.
,ome animals, like planarias, are
capable of regenerating their bodies
hen sectioned. In tissue regeneration
cellular proliferation happens by mitosis.
/" #hat is cell cycle%
.ell cycle, or mitotic cycle, is the time
period that begins hen the cell is
created and finishes hen it is divided
by mitosis creating to daughter cells.
The cell cycle is divided into interphase
and the mitotic phase.
10" !s cell di$ision ha((ening
during the entire cell cycle%
#hat is inter(hase%
.ell division properly occurs during the
mitotic phase of the cell cycle. 4uring
interphase processes that are a
preparation to cell division take place,
like the duplication of 40' and
centrioles. Interphase is the preceding
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phase and the mitotic is the folloing
phase.
11" #hat are the three (eriods
into which inter(hase is
di$ided%
Interphase is the preceding phase to the
mitotic division. It is divided into three
periods, 6G, , and 6? $the letter 6
comes from CgapD, meaning interval or
breach, and the letter , comes from
CsynthesisD, indicating the period in
hich 40' replicates%.
In fact, CgapD is not totally appropriate
for the periods immediately before and
after the 40' synthesis. The idea of
CgrothD ould be more ade&uate since
in those periods $6G and 6?% the cell is
groing to divide later in mitosis.
1&" !n general which (hase of
the cell cycle has longer
duration%
The interphase comprises approximately
@*: of the cell cycle and the mitotic
phase has &uite a shorter length.
1*" #hat are the e$ents that
mark the beginning and the
end of the first inter(hase
(eriod% #hat ha((ens within
the cell in this (eriod%
The first interphase period is the 6G. It
begins ith the end of the preceding cell
division, i.e., ith the formation of the
ne cell and it ends ith the beginning
of 40' replication. In the 6G period the
cell is groing.
1+" #hat are the e$ents that
mark the beginning and the
end of the second inter(hase
(eriod% #hat ha((ens in the
cell in this (eriod%
The second interphase period is the ,.
It starts ith the beginning of 40'
replication and finishes ith the end of
that process. The main event in this
period is the synthesis of ne
polynucleotide chains, each bound to
each 40' chain that served as a
template, i.e., the duplication of the
original set of 40' molecules.
1," #hat are the e$ents that
mark the beginning and the
end of the third inter(hase
(eriod% #hat ha((ens in the
cell in this (eriod%
The third interphase period is the 6?. It
begins ith the end of 40' replication
and ends ith the beginning of the first
period of the mitotic phase. -n 6? the
cell is groing too and the duplication of
centrioles occurs $only in cells that have
these structures%.
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1-" oes mitosis (ro(erly
occur before or after the
inter(hase% !s it a mere @(oint
of $iewA issue%
1itosis must be considered a succeeding
phase after interphase since this is a
preparation step to mitosis. Thus it is
not merely a point of vie issue.
1." !nto which (eriods is
mitosis di$ided%
1itosis is divided into four periods2
prophase, metaphase, anaphase and
telophase.
18" #hat are centrioles% !n
which ty(e of cell are they
(resent%
.entrioles are tiny cylindrical structures
made of nine microtubule triplets. They
appear in pairs in the cell. .entrioles
participate in the making of
cytoskeleton and of cilia and flagella. In
cell division they play a role in the
formation of the aster fibers.
.entrioles are structures present in
animal cells, in most protists and in
some primitive fungi. There are no
centrioles in cells of superior plants and
in general it is considered that plant
cells do not have centrioles $although
this is not entirely correct since some
plants have centriole!containing cells%.
The region here the centrioles are
located is called the centrosome of the
cell.
1/" #hat are the main e$ents
of the first mitotic (eriod%
The first mitotic period is prophase.
4uring prophase the folloing events
occur2 migration of each centriole pair
$centrioles ere duplicated in
interphase% to opposite cell poles( aster
formation around the centriole pairs(
formation of the spindle fibers beteen
the to centriole pairs( end of
chromosome condensation(
disintegration of the nucleolus( breaking
of the karyotheca( dispersion of
condensed chromosomes in the
cytoplasm( binding of chromosomes to
the spindle fibers.
&0" #hat is the mitotic
a((aratus%
1itotic apparatus is the set of aster
fibers, radial structures around each
centriole pair, plus the spindle fibers,
fibers that extend across the cell
beteen the to centriole pairs located
in opposite cell poles. The mitotic
apparatus appears in prophase and has
important role in the orientation and
gripping of chromosomes and other
cellular elements causing them to
separate and migrate to opposite cell
poles.
,ubstances that disallo the formation
of the mitotic apparatus, like colchicine,
a molecule that binds to tubulin
molecules and prevents the synthesis of
microtubules, interrupt cell division.
.olchicine is used to study
chromosomes since it paralyzes mitosis
hen chromosomes are condensed and
so are more easily vieed under the
microscope.
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&1" #hat are the main e$ents
of the second mitotic (eriod%
The second mitotic period is metaphase.
In metaphase the folloing events
occur2 condensed chromosomes bind $in
their centromere region% to the spindle
fibers and get concentrated in the
middle of the cell( the formation of the
mitotic apparatus is completed.
1etaphase ends ith the breaking of
the binding of identical chromatids and
then anaphase begins.
&&" #hat are the main e$ents
of the third mitotic (eriod%
The third mitotic period is anaphase. In
anaphase the folloing events occur2
duplication and breaking of centromeres
ith separation of identical chromatids(
traction $by the spindle fibers% of
identical chromatids each to opposite
cell poles( beginning of chromosome
decondensation.
&*" uring mitotic ana(hase is
there se(aration of
homologous chromosomes or
se(aration of identical
chromatids%
In the anaphase of mitosis the identical
chromatids separate and complete pairs
of homologous chromosomes continue
to exist in each daughter cell. The
separation of the homologous
chromosomes occurs in the anaphase of
the cell division by meiosis.
&+" #hat are the main e$ents
of the final mitotic (eriod%
The final mitotic phase is telophase. In
telophase the folloing events occur2
decondensation of chromosomes, each
set located in opposite cell poles(
karyotecha formation around each set of
chromosomes forming to nuclei(
destruction of the mitotic apparatus(
reappearing of the nucleoli( beginning of
cytokinesis $the division of cytoplasm to
ultimately separate the ne cells%.
&," #hat is the name of the
cyto(lasm di$ision in the end
of mitosis% #hat are the
differences in this (rocess
between animal and (lant
cells%
.ytoplasm division occurs after
telophase and it is called cytokinesis. In
animal cells an invagination of the
plasma membrane toard the cell
center appears in the e&uator of the
parent cell and then the cell is
strangulated in that region and divided
into to daughter cells. This type of
division is called centripetal cytokinesis
$from outside%.
In plant cells the cytokinesis is not
centripetal since the division happens
from the inside. 1embranous sacs full of
pectin concentrate in the internal central
region of the cell and propagate to the
periphery toard the plasma
membrane. The pectin!containing sacs
fuse themselves and form a central
structure called phragmoplast. -n the
phragmoplast cellulose deposition
occurs and a true cell all is created to
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separate the daughter cells. 7lant cells
thus present centrifugal cytokinesis.
The phragmoplast has CfailuresD, or
pores, to permit cytoplasmic
communications beteen the daughter
cells. These openings are called
plasmodesms.
&-" #hy is it im(ortant for
chromosomes to be
condensed during mitosis and
decondensed during
inter(hase%
4uring mitosis the main problem to be
solved is the correct separation of
chromosome sets beteen daughter
cells. If chromosomes ere
decondensed long tiny fibers of 40'
ould be dispersed in cytoplasm after
the karyotheca breaking and
chromosomes could not be easily
organized and pulled by the spindle
fibers.
4uring interphase the function of
chromosomes, i.e, of 40' molecules, is
the synthesis of 50' and thus of
proteins. 8or this task it is necessary for
functional molecular regions to be
decondensed $these regions form the
euchromatin%. 4uring interphase in
addition 40' replication occurs as a
preparatory step for cell division. In this
process it is fundamental for the
exposition of 40' molecules to serve as
templates to ne 40' chains under
production.
&." 7ow does the 5uantity of
genetic material $ary within
the cell during the se5uential
(hases of the cell cycle%
The first period of the first phase
$interphase% of the cell cycle is the 6G,
folloed by , and 6? and then by the
mitotic phase.
In 6G the ploidy $the &uantity of 40'
molecules in the cell% can be
represented by the formula ?n $n is the
number of 40' molecules in a gamete
cell of a given species%. In , 40'
duplicates and the &uantity of genetic
material increases from ?n to @n. In 6?
that &uantity is constant2 @n. 'fter the
mitotic phase the &uantity of genetic
material decreases to ?n in each
daughter cell.
&8" #hat are the differences
between astral and anastral
mitosis%
'stral mitosis is that in hich there is
formation of the aster, a structure made
by the centrioles. 'nastral mitosis is
that in hich there is no formation of
the aster( it occurs in cells ithout
centrioles, like plant cells $superior
plants%.
&/" 6an mitosis occur in
ha(loid 2n3 cells% And in
tri(loid cells%
The mitotic cell division can occur in
haploid $n% cells, diploid $?n% cells,
triploid $Hn% cells, etc. 1itosis is a
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copying process that does not interfere
ith cell ploidy.
*0" 6oncerning their final
(roducts 2daughter cells and
their (loidies3 what are the
differences between mitosis
and meiosis%
In mitosis one cell, for example, ith ?n
chromosomes, duplicates its
chromosomal set and divides generating
to other cells, each ith ?n
chromosomes too. In meiosis, one
diploid cell $?n% duplicates its
chromosomes too, but four cells ith n
chromosomes are generated.
*1" 6oncerning their biological
function what is the difference
between mitosis and meiosis%
The main biological function of mitosis is
cellular multiplication, a fundamental
process for the groth and development
of multicellular organisms, tissue
reneing, asexual reproduction, etc.
The biological function of meiosis is
gamete formation $in gametic meiosis%
or spore formation $in sporic meiosis%,
i.e., the production of cells &ualified for
sexual reproduction ith half the
&uantity of chromosomes compared to
the original cell.
There is a special type of meiosis that
happens in zygotes of some algae,
protozoans and fungi. This meiosis,
called zygotic meiosis, has the function
of reducing to a half the number of
chromosomes of adult individuals that
ill be formed from the zygote. In
species ith zygotic meiosis the adult
individuals are haploid and they form
gametes by mitosis. These gametes
fuse in pairs ith others and generate a
diploid zygote that, then, undergoes
meiosis to restitute the normal ploidy of
adult individuals.
*&" For the biological di$ersity
is mitosis or meiosis the more
im(ortant (rocess%
1eiosis is the cell division process that
allos the formation of gametes to
sexual reproduction, ith aleatory
separation of each chromosome of the
individual homologous pairs. These
gametes can fecundate gametes from
other individuals promoting combination
of homologous chromosomes from
different individuals. In that manner the
chromosomal recombination provided
by meiosis and sexual reproduction
creates individuals ith dissimilar
genetic patrimony from their fathers
and thus promotes biological diversity.
,ome fungi species and plants, for
example, present sporic meiosis, i.e., a
structure here half of the
chromosomes of the species is
generated from meiosis. This structure,
by mitosis, forms gametes. 3ven in this
case diversity comes from meiosis.
1eiosis then is the cell division process
that in con#unction ith genetic
mutations is responsible for the
biological diversity.
3ven in species having zygotic meiosis
the aleatory separation of homologous
chromosomes in meiosis creates
biological diversity.
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**" #hat are the res(ecti$e
(loidies of gamete8 zygote and
somatic cells in a s(ecies with
gametic meiosis%
'dopting as pattern an CxD &uantity of
chromosomes for gametes, zygotes ill
have ?x chromosomes and somatic cells
ill have ?x too.
*+" #hy is meiosis im(ortant
for the maintenance of the
normal 5uantity of
chromosomes of a s(ecies
with se)ual re(roduction%
' reduction to a half of the maximum
normal &uantity of chromosomes is
mandatory in some phase of the life
cycle of a species that reproduces
sexually. If that could not happen in
each generation, henever a zygote is
formed by fusion of gametes there
ould be duplication in the &uantity of
chromosomes in a geometric
progression.
*," #hat is the difference
between se)ual s(ores and
gametes% o humans (resent
se)ual s(ores or gametes%
,exual spores are structures generated
from meiosis ith ploidy $number of
chromosomes% reduction to a half
compared to the spore mother cell.
,pores germinate and give existence to
gametophytes, individuals that by
mitosis form gametes. The meiosis that
generates sexual spores is called sporic
meiosis( it is, for example, the type of
meiosis that occurs in plants.
6ametes are also cells ith half the
number of chromosomes of the normal
cell of the species, but they are
specialized in fecundation, the fusion
ith another gamete that generates the
zygote, a cell ith double the number of
chromosomes than gametic cells.
6ametes can appear from gametic
meiosis or by mitosis in gametophytes
originated from sexual spores.
In humans as ell in most animals the
meiosis is gametic. There are no spores
nor alternation of generations. The male
gamete is the sperm cell, and the
female gamete is the egg cell.
*-" !s the inter(hase of
meiosis different from the
inter(hase of mitosis%
The interphase that precedes meiosis is
similar to the interphase that precedes
mitosis. In them the main event is 40'
replication $chromosome duplication%.
*." #hat are the two di$isions
of meiosis% #hat are the main
e$ents that occur in those
di$isions%
1eiosis is divided into first meiotic
division, or meiosis I, and second
meiotic division, or meiosis II. 4uring
meiosis I the separation of homologous
chromosomes occurs, ith formation of
to haploid cells. In meiosis II there is
separation of identical chromatids of
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each of the to haploid cells created in
meiosis I, giving birth to four haploid
cells.
1eiosis II is a process identical to
mitosis.
*8" !n which meiotic di$ision
does the se(aration of the
homologous occur% #hat are
the (loidies of the generated
cells after the end of that
(rocess%
The separation of the homologous
chromosomes occurs in the first division
of meiosis, or meiosis I. 'fter the end of
this cell division to haploid cells are
made, each having different
chromosomes $ith no set of
homologous%. 0ote that in the cells
generated after meiosis I each
chromosome is still duplicated since the
homologous chromosomes and not the
identical chromatids ere separated.
*/" !n which meiotic di$ision
does the se(aration of
identical chromatids occur%
After the end of this (rocess
what are the (loidies of the
new cells%
The separation of identical chromatids
occurs in the second meiotic division, or
meiosis II. 'fter this cell division
$similar to mitosis and that does not
alter ploidy% the cells are still haploid
$they have become haploid after
meiosis I%.
+0" 7ow many cells are made
after meiosis ! and meiosis !!%
'fter meiosis I to cells ith already
separated homologous are created.
'fter meiosis II four cells are created.
+1" #hat are the (eriods of
the first meiotic di$ision%
1eiosis I is divided into prophase I,
metaphase I, anaphase I and telophase
I.
+&" !n which (eriod of meiosis
does the (airing of
homologous chromosomes
occur%
The pairing of homologous
chromosomes is a vital step for meiosis
because the rightness of the
homologous separation depends on the
process. This event occurs in prophase I
of the cell division.
+*" #hat is crossing o$er% !n
which (eriod of meiosis does
this e$ent occur%
.rossing over is the eventual exchange
of chromosomal fragments beteen
homologous chromosomes. The
phenomenon occurs in prophase I hen
homologous chromosomes are paired.
.rossing over is of great importance for
evolution and biodiversity since it
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provides recombination of alleles $of
different genes% linked in the same
chromosome during cell divison by
meiosis.
++" #hat are the @chiasmsA of
homologous chromosomes
seen in (ro(hase !%
.hiasms are intersections of to tracts
in the form of U.
The chiasms seen in prophase I are
chromosome arms crossing over same
arms of their homologous. In fact hen
chiasms are seen under the microscope
chromatids are exchanging
chromosomal segments ith other
chromatids of its homologous.
+," !s there inter(hase again
between meiosis ! and
meiosis !!%
There is no interphase nor 40'
duplication beteen the divisions of
meiosis. -nly a short interval called
diakinesis occurs.
+-" #hat are the (eriods of
the second meiotic di$ision%
1eiosis II is divided into prophase II,
metaphase II, anaphase II and telofase
II.
+." #hat are the res(ecti$e
functions of the se(aration of
homologous chromosomes
and of the se(aration of
identical chromatids in
meiosis%
The separation of homologous
chromosomes in meiosis I has to main
functions2 to reduce to a half the total
number of chromosomes, generating
haploid daughter cells at the end of the
process, and to make possible genetic
recombination since the separation is
aleatory, i.e., each pair of daughter cells
can be different from the other pair
relating chromosomal combination from
paternal and maternal origins. $'nd if
crossing over is considered each of the
four resulting cells can be different from
the others.%
The separation of identical chromatids in
meiosis II has the same function it has
in mitosis2 to separate the
chromosomes already duplicated to the
daughter cells.
+8" uring which meiosis
di$ision does (loidy reduction
occur% oes (loidy reduction
occur in mitosis%
In the cell division by meiosis ploidy
reduction occurs in meiosis II. Initially,
taking as example a ?n somatic cell,
ploidy increases to @n $duplication of
40'% during interphase. 4uring meiosis
I, since homologous chromosomes are
separated, ploidy falls to ?n $the original
number% and then during meiosis II
ploidy finally falls to n in the resulting
daughter cells.
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7loidy reduction does not occur in
mitosis. This fact shos that, although
in meiosis ploidy is decreased from its
original number, in meiosis II, a process
similar to mitosis, the cause of that
reduction is hat happens in meiosis I,
i.e., the separation of the homologous
chromosomes.
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;hotosynthesis
1" #hat is the (rimary source
of energy for li$ing beings on
earth%
The sun, center of our planetary system
and star of the milky ay galaxy $our
galaxy%, is the source of the energy that
is processed and consumed by living
beings. Intense nuclear reactions in the
sun liberate light and other energetic
radiations into the surrounding space.
,ome of this energy reaches our planet.
&" 7ow is light from the sun
transformed into chemical
energy to be used by the
li$ing beings on earth%
Kight from the sun is transformed into
chemical energy contained in organic
material by the photosynthesis process.
In photosynthesis light, ater and
carbon dioxide react and highly
energetic glucose molecules and
molecular oxygen are made.
*" #hat is the chemical
e5uation of (hotosynthesis%
The chemical e&uation of photosynthesis
is the folloing2
9 .-? A 9 /?- A light !!R .9/G?-9 A 9
-?
+" #hich are the li$ing beings
that carry out (hotosynthesis%
#hich is the cell organelle
res(onsible for the absor(tion
of light for the (hotosynthesis
(rocess in (lants and algae%
There are many beings $including all
animals% that do not carry out
photosynthesis. There are also
autotrophic beings that do not perform
photosynthesis but they perform
chemosynthesis. 7lants, algae and
cyanobacteria are photosynthetic
beings.
In plants and algae, light is absorbed by
chlorophyll, a molecule present in
cytoplasmic organelles called
chloroplasts.
," Are there chloro(lasts in
cyanobacteria%
In cyanobacteria there are no
chloroplasts and the chlorophyll layers
are dispersed in cytosol.
-" #hich chemical element is
central in the chloro(hyll
molecule%
The chemical element that is central in
the chlorophyll molecule is magnesium.
-ne atom of magnesium is present in
the center of an amalgam of eight
nitrogen!containing carbon rings.
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." 7ow do chloro(lasts
multi(ly%
Kike mitochondria chloroplasts have
their on 40', 50' and ribosomes and
they self!replicate through binary
division.
8" 7ow can the hy(othesis
that asserts that chloro(lasts
as well as mitochondria were
(rimiti$e (rokaryotes that
associated in mutualism with
(rimiti$e anaerobic eukaryotic
cells be corroborated%
The described hypothesis is knon as
the endosymbiotic hypothesis about the
evolutionary origin of mitochondria and
choloroplasts.
1utualism is explained as2 mitochondria
and chloroplasts can offer energy and
nutrients to the cell in exchange for
protection. The hypothesis is
strengthened since those organelles
have their on 40', 50' and protein
synthesis machinery and they divide
themselves through binary division like
bacteria do.
/" #hat are the main
structures of chloro(lasts%
.hloroplasts are involved by to
membrane layers, the outer and the
inner membranes. Inside the organelle
the formative unit is called the granum,
a coin!shaped structure that, piled ith
others grana, forms several structures
called thylakoids. The thylakoids fill the
chloroplast and an intergrana
membrane permeates the interior of the
organelle.
10" !n which chloro(last
structure are chloro(hyll
molecules found%
.hlorophyll molecules are placed in an
organized manner in order to enhance
the exposure to light on the thylakoid
surfaces.
11" #hat do AT; and A;
mean% #hat are the roles of
these molecules for the
cellular energetic metabolism%
'T7 is an abbreviation of adenosine
triphosphate, a molecule made of
adenosine bound to three inorganic
phosphates. '47 is an abbreviation of
adenosine diphosphate, to molecules
of phosphate bound to adenosine. 'T7
is a molecule that stores energy for the
cell. "hen 'T7 hydrolyzes and becomes
'47 energy is liberated and then
consumed by several metabolic
reactions of the organism.
1&" #hat is A;
(hos(horylation% #hat
res(ecti$ely are
(hoto(hos(horylation and
o)idati$e (hos(horylation%
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'47 phosphorylation is the addition of
one inorganic phosphate in the molecule
of adenosine diphosphate thus creating
'T7 $adenosine triphosphate% and
incorporating energy. The
phosphorylation is oxidative hen the
energy incorporated comes from the
breaking of organic molecules having
oxygen as reagent, as in aerobic cellular
respiration. The reaction is called
photophosphorylation hen the energy
source is light, as in photosynthesis.
The energy incorporated into 'T7 is
disposable $liberated% to other cellular
reactions hen 'T7 hydrolyzes and '47
is formed again.
1*" #hat are the stages into
which (hotosynthesis is
di$ided%
7hotosynthesis is divided into the
photochemical stage, or light reactions,
and the chemical stage.
1+" #hat are the (rocesses of
the (hotochemical stage of
the (hotosynthesis (rocess%
7hotolysis of ater, ith liberation of
molecular oxygen, and
photophosphorylation of '47, ith
production of 'T7 and 0'47/, are the
processes that occur during the
photochemical stage of photosynthesis.
1," 7ow is the (hotic energy
absorbed by chloro(hyll
transfered to AT; molecules in
(hoto(hos(horylation% 7ow
will be the resulting AT;
used%
Kight excites chlorophyll and energizes
electrons that #ump off the molecule.
The energy liberated hen these
electrons escape is used in the
phosphorylation of '47, forming 'T7.
The enzyme that catalyzes the reaction
is the 'T7 synthase.
The resulting 'T7 is then consumed in
the next chemical stage of
photosynthesis to energetically enrich
carbon dioxide for the formation of
glucose.
1-" !s it correct to consider
water decom(osition by the
action of light the basis of the
(hotosynthesis (rocess%
Besides '47 photophosphorylation,
photic energy is also responsible for the
breaking of ater molecules during
photosynthesis in a process knon as
ater photolysis. In this reaction ater
molecules are exposed to photic energy
and liberate protons $hydrogen ions%,
highly energetic electrons and molecular
oxygen $-?%. Kater the hydrogen atoms
ill be incorporated into carbon dioxide
molecules to form glucose. ,ince ater
is the hydrogen donor for
photosynthesis it is correct to say that
the ater photolysis is the basis of the
process.
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1." #hat are the chemical
substances (roduced by water
(hotolysis% #hat is the
destination of each of those
substances%
8ree electrons, hydrogen ions and
molecular oxygen are liberated, after
the ater photolysis.
The electrons ill replace those
electrons lost by chlorophyll molecules
in photophosphorylation. The hydrogen
ions ill be incorporated into hydrogen
acceptor molecules $0'47% and later
ill be used in the synthesis of glucose
during the chemical stage. 1olecular
oxygen is liberated to the atmosphere.
18" !n sulfur (hotosynthetic
bacteria what is the molecule
that donates hydrogen for
(hotosynthesis%
In sulfur photosynthetic bacteria the
substance that donates hydrogen is
hydrogen sulfide $/?,% and not ater.
Therefore there is no liberation of
molecular oxygen but there is
production of molecular sulfur $,?%.
$-xygen and sulfur have same number
of valence electrons.%
1/" #hy is it said that during
(hotosynthesis carbon dio)ide
is enriched to form glucose%
4uring photosynthesis carbon dioxide is
energetically enriched ith hydrogen
from ater. "ater broken by photolysis
is the hydrogen donor of the reaction.
6lucose is made of carbon and oxygen
atoms obtained from carbon dioxide and
of hydrogen atoms obtained from ater.
&0" #hat is the com(lete
chemical e5uation of
(hotosynthesis%
The complete chemical e&uation of
photosynthesis is the folloing2
9 .-? A G? /?- A light !!R .9/G?-9 A
9 /?- A 9 -?
&1" #hat is an e)am(le of a
lab e)(eriment that shows the
$ariation of the
(hotosynthesis efficiency in
relation to different (hotic
energy fre5uencies to which
the reaction is e)(osed% #as
it e)(ected that green light
fre5uency fa$ored the
reaction%
The experiment2 7lants of same species
and ages are placed each under
$respecting their photoperiods% light
sources emitting only one of the colors
of the light spectrum $violet, anil, blue,
green, yello and red%. The experiment
is executed ith each of the colors and
after days each plant's development is
compared. Those plants hose
development as normal performed
satisfactory photosynthesis hile those
ith abnormal development underused
the offered light.
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.hlorophyll is green because it reflects
the green light fre&uency, i.e., it does
not CuseD the green range of the
electromagnetic spectrum. Thus green
light does not favor photosynthesis
$curiously green is the light that plants
CdislikeD%.
&&" #hat are the di$isions of
white light according to the
electromagnetic s(ectrum%
#hich are the two most
efficient colors for
(hotosynthesis%
The color divisions of the
electromagnetic spectrum in decreasing
order of fre&uency are2 red, orange,
yello, green, blue, anil and violet.
"hen mixed together these colors
generate hite.
3xperimentally it is verified that the
most useful colors for photosynthesis
are blue and red.
&*" #hat is 9A; and 9A;7%
0'47 is the abbreviation of the
nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
phosphate cation, a hydrogen acceptor.
0'47/ is made hen 0'47 binds to
one hydrogen atom and it is the form
that actually transports hydrogen.
&+" ;hotosynthesis is the most
im(ortant (roducer of
molecular o)ygen 2>
&
3 on our
(lanet" From which molecule
do o)ygen atoms liberated by
(hotosynthesis come% From
which other molecule could
one sus(ect they ha$e come%
#hat are the destinations of
those o)ygen atoms%
The oxygen atoms liberated as
molecular oxygen by the photosynthesis
process come from ater.
-ne indeed could suspect that those
oxygen atoms ould have come from
carbon dioxide. -xygen atoms from
carbon dioxide hoever are
incorporated into glucose molecules and
into ater molecules liberated in the
chemical stage of photosynthesis.
&," #here do the
(hotochemical and the
chemical stages of
(hotosynthesis occur%
The photochemical stage of the
photosynthesis process occurs mainly
on the thylakoids $the green part% and
the chemical stage occurs in the stroma
$the colorless frameork% of the
chloroplasts.
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&-" #hich are the sub(roducts
of the (hotochemical stage
that are essential for the
chemical stage of
(hotosynthesis%
The chemical stage of photosynthesis
depends on 0'47/ and 'T7 produced in
the Clight reactionsD $photochemical
stage%.
&." #hat are the roles of
9A;7 and AT; in the
chemical stage of
(hotosynthesis%
0'47/ acts as reductant of carbon
dioxide, it delivers highly energetic
hydrogens to precursor molecules
during the glucose formation process.
'T7 is an energy source for the
reactions of chemical stage.
&8" #hy is the nickname @dark
reactionsA not entirely correct
for the chemical stage of
(hotosynthesis%
C4ark reactionsD is not a correct name
for the chemical stage of photosynthesis
since the reactions of the chemical
stage also occur in the presence of light.
&/" #hat is the general
chemical e5uation of
(hotosynthesis% #hy doesnGt
that e5uation clearly show the
real origin of the molecular
o)ygen liberated%
The general e&uation of photosynthesis
is2
9 .-? A 9 /?- A light !!R .9/G?-9 A
9 -?.
"ater molecules are also produced in
the chemical stage of photosynthesis as
the folloing complete e&uation reveals2
9 .-? A G? /?- A light !!R .9/G?-9 A
9 /?- A 9 -?
"ater molecules are present in the
reagent side as ell in the product side
of the e&uation. 7ure mathematical
simplification of stoichiometric
coefficients hoever leads to elimination
of ater from the product side and it
then seems that 9 molecules of
molecular oxygen $-?%, i.e., G? atoms of
oxygen, are made for each 9 molecules
of ater, i.e., 9 oxygen atoms, in the
reagent side. Thus a false impression
that 9 other oxygens come from carbon
dioxide is created.
*0" #hat are the three main
limiting factors of
(hotosynthesis%
The three main limiting factors of
photosynthesis process are light
intensity, carbon dioxide concentration
and temperature.
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*1" ;hotosynthesis rate $aries
according to the (hotic energy
intensity" oes the same occur
in aerobic res(iration% #hat
ha((ens to the glucose
balance as a result of these
$ariations%
In a photosynthetic being the aerobic
respiration rate can be superior, inferior
or e&ual to the photosynthesis rate.
5espiration rate depends on the
energetic needs of the plant hile the
photosynthesis rate varies, as other
conditions are maintained, ith the
variation of light energy.
In a situation in hich the respiration
rate is greater than the photosynthesis
rate glucose consumption is higher than
glucose production. In a situation in
hich the respiration rate is loer than
photosynthesis rate there is
accumulation of glucose $positive
balance%. In a situation in hich the
rates are e&ual all molecular oxygen
produced by the photosynthesis process
is used in respiration and all carbon
dioxide liberated by respiration is
consumed in photosynthesis and so
there is no positive balance of glucose
nor depletion of carbohydrate stores.
*&" #hat is the com(ensation
(oint% #hat is the im(lication
of the com(ensation (oint for
the (lant growth%
The $photic% compensation point is the
photic energy intensity under hich
aerobic respiration rate e&uals
photosynthesis rate. In this situation all
produced glucose is consumed and
there is no incorporation of material into
the plant and thus the plant groth
discontinues.
**" #hy is the carbon dio)ide
concentration a limiting factor
of the (hotosynthesis
(rocess% #hen the carbon
dio)ide concentration is
increased indefinitely is
(hotosynthesis also increased
indefinitely%
The availability of carbon dioxide is a
limiting factor for the photosynthesis
process because this gas is a reagent of
the reaction.
,ince enzymes catalyze the building of
organic molecules ith carbon atoms
from carbon dioxide photosynthesis
stops as soon as these enzymes become
saturated, i.e., hen all their activation
centers are bound to their substrates. In
that situation an increase of the carbon
dioxide concentration ill not increase
the photosynthesis rate.
*+" #hy do some trees lose
their green color in the
autumn%
In autumn days become shorter and
nights longer thus there is a reduction
of the photosynthesis rate and some
plants prepare themselves for the
inter making nutrient stores. In this
process, nutrients from the leaves travel
toards storage sites2 limbs, trunk and
roots. "ith less chlorophyll produced in
leaves the typical green color of the
plant fades.
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6ell :es(iration
1" 7ow do cells obtain energy
for their functioning%
.ells obtain energy for their metabolic
reactions from the breaking of organic
molecules ith high energetic content.
This energy is mostly stored as 'T7
molecules.
The process of obtaining energy in order
to produce 'T7 molecules is named
cellular respiration.
&" #hat is the com(ound that
is (hos(horylated for AT;
formation% #hat is the
resulting com(ound when AT;
liberates energy%
'T7, or adenosine triphosphate, is
formed after the binding of one
phosphate $phosphorylation% to one '47
$adenosine diphosphate% molecule. This
is a process that stores energy into the
produced 'T7 molecule.
"hen 'T7 gives energy to the cellular
metabolism it loses one of its
phosphates and '47 reappears.
'47 can also lose more phosphates and
generate '17 $adenosine
monophosphate% or even non!
phosphorylated adenosine. 'denosine
production from 'T7 is a solution used
in tissues that need urgent oxygen
supply, for example, in the heart during
myocardial infarction $heart attack%,
since adenosine has a local vasodilator
effect thus providing faster vasodilation
than other physiological methods.
*" #hat are the ty(es of cell
res(iration%
There are to types of cell respiration2
aerobic cell respiration, a reaction ith
participation of molecular oxygen $-?%,
and anaerobic cell respiration, ithout
participation of molecular oxygen but
ith other inorganic molecules as
oxidant. There are several varieties of
anaerobic cell respiration, the main one
is fermentation.
+" Ender which conditions do
aerobic cells carry out
fermentation%
,ome cells that usually obtain energy
from aerobic cellular respiration can
carry out fermentation hen oxygen is
not available.
There are bacteria and fungi that under
absence of oxygen use their anaerobic
metabolic capability for energetic
supply. 1uscle cells carry out
fermentation too hen oxygen is scarce.
," #hat is the difference
between aerobic and
anaerobic beings%
'erobic organisms are those hose cells
do not survive ithout oxygen since
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they depend on aerobic cell respiration
to obtain energy for 'T7 production.
'naerobic organisms are those that live
or can live under oxygen!lacking
environments.
-" #hat is the difference
between facultati$e anaerobic
beings and obligate anaerobic
beings%
8acultative anaerobic beings, like the
fungi ,accharomyces cerevisiae, a
breing yeast, can survive under
oxygen!poor environments carrying out
fermentation. /oever hen oxygen is
available these beings carry out aerobic
respiration.
-bligate anaerobic beings are those that
cannot survive hen oxygen is present.
,ome fungi, some bacteria $like the
agent of botulism .lostridium
botulinum, and the agent of tetanus,
.lostridium tetani% and some
protozoans are examples of obligate
anaerobes.
." #hat are the two ty(es of
fermentation% #hat are their
chemical e5uations%
The to main types of fermentation are
alcoholic fermentation and lactic
fermentation.
In alcoholic fermentation pyruvic acid,
an intermediate molecule, is converted
into ethanol ith liberation of carbon
dioxide. The alcoholic fermentation
e&uation is as follos2
.9/G?-9 A ? '47 A 7 !!R ? .?/:-/ A
? .-? A ? 'T7
In lactic fermentation pyruvic acid is
transformed into lactic acid and there is
no production of carbon dioxide. The
lactic fermentation e&uation is2
.9/G?-9 A ? '47 A 7 !!R ? .H/:--/ A ?
'T7
8" !n general what are the
reagents and (roducts of
fermentation%
In fermentation glucose $sugar% is
degraded into pyruvic acid $each
glucose molecule forms to pyruvic acid
molecules%. In this process to
molecules of 'T7 are produced.
'ccording to the type of fermentation,
pyruvic acid can produce ethanol and
carbon dioxide $in alcoholic
fermentation% or lactic acid $in lactic
fermentation%. There are other varieties
of fermentation in hich pyruvic acid
can generate acetic acid $acetic
fermentation%, propionic acid,
isopropanol $an alcohol too%, etc. The
type of fermentation depends on the
species of the involved organisms.
/" #hy in cake and bread
manufacture are alcoholic
fermenting organisms used
and not lactic fermenting
organisms%
8ermentation has the function of
making cakes and breads gro. This is
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accomplished by liberation of carbon
dioxide in alcoholic fermentation as the
gas passes through the dough and
makes it gro. In lactic fermentation
there is no liberation of carbon dioxide
and the desired result ould not be
obtained.
10" To what substance is the
acidic fla$or of fermented milk
due%
,ome bacteria ferment milk lactose by
lactic fermentation producing lactic acid.
This product is responsible for the acidic
flavor of yogurts, curd and milk.
11" 7ow can the knowledge
about fermentation e)(lain
the origin of muscle cram(s
and (ains after intense
(hysical e)ertion%
' typical fermentation process due to
oxygen scarcity happens in the muscle
tissue. Lnder intense use muscles
demand too much energy $'T7% and
consume much more oxygen to produce
that energy. /igh consumption leads to
oxygen scarcity and the muscle cells
begin to make lactic fermentation trying
to satisfy their energetic needs. In this
situation muscle pain, cramps and
fatigue are due to the lactic acid
released by fermentation.
1&" 7ow many AT; molecules
are (roduced for each glucose
molecule used in
fermentation% 7ow many AT;
molecules are (roduced for
each glucose molecule used in
aerobic res(iration%
In fermentation from one glucose
molecule to 'T7 molecules are
produced. In aerobic respiration, a
much more productive process, from
one glucose molecule H9 'T7 molecules
are made.
1*" #hich is the cell organelle
that is s(ecialized in aerobic
res(iration%
The cell organelles that are specialized
in aerobic respiration are the
mitochondria.
1+" >f which main com(ounds
is the mitochondrion structure
made%
1itochondria are organelles delimited by
to lipid membranes. The inner
membrane invaginates to the interior of
the organelle forming cristae and
delimiting an internal space knon as
the mitochondrial matrix.
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1," #hat are the three (hases
into which the cell res(iration
is di$ided%
The three phases of aerobic cell
respiration are glycolysis, Irebs cycle
and respiratory chain $also knon as
the electron transport chain%.
1-" #hat is glycolysis% #hat
are the (roducts of this
(rocess%
6lycolysis, the first stage of the aerobic
cell respiration, is a process in hich
glucose is degraded $broken% to form
to pyruvic acid molecules along ith
the formation of to 'T7 and to
0'4/.
6lycolysis is a complex reaction
implying the formation of several
intermediate molecules until pyruvic
acid molecules are made. 'lthough to
'T7 molecules are consumed in the
reaction, there is also production of four
molecules of 'T7, thus a positive
balance of to 'T7 molecules is
obtained. To 0'4/ molecules are also
produced. In glycolysis the 9!carbon
structure of glucose is broken and to
organic chains of three carbons each are
made( these chains give birth to to
pyruvic acid molecules.
1." oes glycolysis occur
within the mitochondria%
6lycolysis happens in the cytosol and
not ithin the mitochondria. 7yruvic
acid molecules later enter mitochondria
to participate in the next phase of the
aerobic cell respiration.
18" 7ow many AT; molecules
are made after glycolysis%
6lycolysis is a process similar to glucose
degradation in fermentation. It produces
$final balance% to molecules of 'T7 for
each broken glucose.
1/" #hat is 9A% #hat is the
role of the 9A molecule in
glycolysis%
0'4 $nicotinamide adenine
dinucleotide% is a hydrogen acceptor
necessary as reductant $to receive
hydrogen% in some reactions in hich it
is reduced and converted into 0'4/?.
4uring glycolysis to 0'4 molecules
retrieve hydrogens liberated after an
intermediate reaction thus forming
0'4/?.
&0" #hat ha((ens during
aerobic res(iration to the
(yru$ic acid molecules made
by glycolysis% #hat is the
se5uence of reactions that
then follows%
The pyruvic acid molecules made in
cytosol by glycolysis enter into the
mitochondria.
"ithin the mitochondria each pyruvic
acid molecule is converted into one
molecule of acetyl!.o' $acetyl
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coenzyme '% ith liberation of one
carbon dioxide. The Irebs cycle $also
knon as citric acid cycle%, the second
stage of aerobic respiration, then
begins.
&1" #hat is the official name
of (yru$ic acid%
7yruvic acid is ?!oxopropanoic acid. It is
thus a molecule made of three linearly
bound carbons ith one extremity
forming the organic acid function
$.--/% and the middle carbon binding
to an oxygen atom by double bond.
&&" #hy can it be said that
each glucose molecule runs
the Hrebs cycle twice%
3ach glucose molecule CcyclesD the
Irebs cycle tice because after
glycolysis each used glucose has
generated to pyruvic acid molecules
and each pyruvic acid is converted in a
G2G proportion into acetyl .o'. 3ach
acetyl .o' then cycles the Irebs cycle
once.
&*" #hy is the Hrebs cycle
also called the final common
(athway of the degradation of
organic com(ounds%
The Irebs cycle is called the final
common pathay of the degradation of
organic compounds because it is also
possible to generate acetyl .o' from
the degradation of lipids and proteins.
,ince acetyl .o' is the substrate that
triggers the Irebs cycle, this process is
called the final common pathay for
being activated by other organic
molecules $lipids and proteins% and not
only by glucose.
The organism uses energetic reserves of
fat and proteins to cycle the Irebs cycle
hen undergoing malnutrition or hen
there is no glucose available for the
cells.
&+" #hat are the final
energetic (roducts of each
round of the Hrebs cycle%
#here is most (art of the utile
energy at the end of Hrebs
cycle found%
'fter each round of the Irebs cycle to
carbon dioxide molecules, eight protons
$hydrogen ions% captured by 0'4 and
8'4 $a hydrogen acceptor too% and one
'T7 molecule are produced.
4uring the Irebs cycle acetyl .o' is
degraded. 't the end the utile energy is
incorporated into hydrogens transported
by 8'4/? and 0'4/? molecules.
&," 7ow many carbon dio)ide
molecules are liberated after
each cycle of the Hrebs cycle%
For a single glucose how many
carbon dio)ide molecules
were already liberated by the
aerobic res(iration at that
(oint%
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3ach round of the Irebs cycle liberates
to carbon dioxide molecules.
't the end of the cycle all carbon atoms
from the original glucose molecule
degraded in glycolysis are already
liberated incorporated into carbon
dioxide molecules. That occurs because
for each glucose to pyruvic acid
molecules ere made by glycolysis.
3ach of these to pyruvic acids then is
converted into acetyl .o' ith liberation
of one carbon dioxide molecule $to in
total%. ,ince each of the to produced
acetyl .o' cycles the Irebs cycle once,
from the initial glucose to rounds of
the Irebs cycle is generated and so four
other carbon dioxide molecules are
made.
'll of the six carbons of the glucose
molecule are then incorporated into six
carbon dioxide molecules $to made
during acetyl .o' formation and four
during the to cycles of the Irebs
cycle%.
&-" #here in mitochondria
does the (rocess called
res(iratory chain occur%
#hich are the (roducts of the
Hrebs cycle used in that final
(hase of the aerobic
res(iration%
5espiratory chain, or the electron
transport chain, is performed by protein
systems located in the inner membrane
of the mitochondria. 3nergized electrons
of hydrogen atoms transported by
0'4/? and 8'4/? are the products of
the preceding phases used in the
respiratory chain.
&." #hat are cytochromes%
.ytochromes are proteins of the internal
mitochondrial membrane that are
specialized in electron transfer and
participate in the respiratory chain.
3nergized electrons liberated by the
hydrogen donors 0'4/? and 8'4/?
$then reconverted into 0'4 and 8'4%
pass through a se&uence of
cytochromes losing energy in each
passage. The energy is then used in the
synthesis of 'T7.
&8" 7ow in the res(iratory
chain do electrons from FA7
&
and 9A7
&
(assing through
cytochromes liberate energy
for the AT; synthesis% #hat is
this AT; synthesis called%
8'4/? and 0'4/? oxidate into 8'4 and
0'4 and liberate hydrogen ions and
highly energized electrons in the
beginning of the respiratory chain.
The energy lost by electrons that pass
through the cytochromes is used to
pump protons $hydrogen ions% out of
the inner mitochondrial membrane $to
the region beteen the inner and the
outer membranes of the
mitochondrion%. /ydrogen concentration
gradient beteen the inner and the
outer spaces delimited by the inner
membrane forces protons $hydrogen
ions% to return to the mitochondrial
matrix $the region inside the inner
membrane% hoever that return is only
possible if hydrogen ions pass through
an enzymatic complex called 'T7
synthetase embedded in the inner
membrane. In that passage the 'T7
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synthetase phosphorylates '47 and
then 'T7 molecules are produced.
/ydrogen liberated in the mitochondrion
then combines ith oxygen to form
ater. 's a reaction that depends on
oxygen this type of 'T7 synthesis is
called oxidative phosphorylation.
&/" Entil the Hrebs cycle8
aerobic res(iration can be
described without mentioning
o)ygen8 the chemical element
after which the reaction gets
its name" #here in the
(rocess does this chemical
element take (art% #hat is its
im(ortance%
-xygen enters the aerobic respiration in
its final phase, the respiratory chain. It
is of fundamental importance because it
is responsible for the maintenance of
the hydrogen concentration gradient
beteen the spaces separated by the
inner mitochondrial membrane. This
gradient promotes the functioning of the
'T7 synthetase and thus the
phosphorylation of '47 to form 'T7. In
the space inside the inner membrane
oxygen binds to free hydrogens to form
ater and this hydrogen consumption
keeps the hydrogen gradient and the
proton traffic through the 'T7
synthetase.
The entire aerobic respiration process
has the intent to make the 'T7
synthetase ork. 'erobic beings, for
example, e humans, need to breathe
oxygen to maintain that hydrogen
concentration gradient and keep the
'T7 synthetase orking.
*0" 7ow does the (oison
cyanide act u(on the aerobic
res(iration%
.yanide is a poison that inhibits the last
cytochrome of the respiratory chain,
interrupting the 'T7 formation and thus
leading the cell to death.
*1" #hat is ano)ia%
'noxia is a situation in hich there is no
available oxygen in the cell. "hitout
oxygen the respiratory chain stops,
there is no 'T7 production, the cell does
not obtain energy and dies.
'noxia can be caused, for example, by
pulmonary insufficiency $droning,
extensive pulmonary in#uries, etc.%, by
obstructions, halts and deficiencies in
tissue circulation $atherosclerosis of the
coronary arteries that irrigate the
myocardium, tourni&uets, heart arrest%,
by hemolysis $lysis of red blood cell% or
hemoglobin diseases $anemias, fetal
erythroblastosis%, etc.
*&" 7ow many AT; molecules
are made after the aerobic
res(iration and what is the net
energetic gain of the (rocess%
'fter aerobic respiration H> 'T7
molecules are made ith the
consumption of one glucose molecule
$but to of these 'T7 are consumed by
glycolysis%. The net gain of the process
is then H9 'T7 molecules per glucose
molecule.
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**" #hat is the general
e5uation of the aerobic
res(iration 2also re(resenting
A; and (hos(hate3%
The general e&uation of the aerobic
respiration is2
.9/G?-9 A 9 -? A H9 '47 A H9 7 !!R
9 .-? A 9 /?- A H9 'T7
*+" #hy can the consum(tion
of molecular o)ygen indicate
the metabolic rate of aerobic
organisms%
1olecular oxygen $-?% consumption has
direct relation to the cell metabolic rate
in aerobic cells and so to the metabolic
rate of the organisms. .ells having
higher metabolic activity demand more
energy and such energy comes from
'T7 molecules. 's there is need for 'T7
production, the intensity of aerobic cell
respiration is also higher and then more
oxygen is consumed.
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;rotein 1ynthesis
1" #hat is the genetic code%
6enetic code is the key for the
conversion of 40' nucleotide se&uences
$and thus 50' nucleotide se&uences%
into amino acids se&uences that ill
compose proteins.
&" #hich is the biological
molecule that contains the
genetic information that is
transmitted hereditarily and
controls the cellular
functioning%
The hereditary molecule that controls
the cellular functioning is the 40'
$deoxyribonucleic acid%. The 40'
contains information for protein
synthesis in cells.
*" 7ow are the conce(ts of
9A8 gene8 (roteins and
characteristics of li$ing beings
related%
.haracteristics of organisms depend on
chemical reactions that occur in them.
These reactions are catalyzed by
enzymes, highly specific proteins. 3very
protein of an organism is made from
information contained in 50' molecules
that are made according to a template
se&uence of nucleotides of a 40' chain.
' gene is a 40' polynucleotide
se&uence that contains information for
the production of a protein.
+" #hat is the role of
messenger :9A and
ribosomes for the (rotein
synthesis%
The m50' is produced ithin the
cellular nucleus and migrates to the
cytoplasm here associated to
ribosomes it guides the building of
amino acid se&uences that ill compose
proteins. 5ibosomes are sites for the
meeting and binding of m50' and
transfer 50' $t50'%, they are the
structures here amino acids
transported by t50' are united by
peptide bonds forming polypeptide
chains $proteins%.
," >f what subunits are
ribosomes are made%
5ibosomes are made of to subunits,
the small subunit and the large subunit.
These subunits are made of ribosomic
50' $r50'% and proteins. 5ibosomes
have three binding sites, one for m50'
and to for t50'.
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-" 7ow different are the
location of ribosomes in
eukaryotic and in (rokaryotic
cells%
In prokaryotes ribosomes are found free
in cytoplasm. In eukaryotic cells they
can also be found free in cytoplasm and
mainly adhered to the external
membrane of the karyotheca and of the
rough endoplasmic reticulum.
." 7ow is the finding of
ribosomes inside mitochondria
and chloro(lasts e)(lained%
It is a strong hypothesis that
mitochondria and chloroplasts ere
prokaryotes that associated to primitive
eukaryotic cells under mutualism
$gaining protection and offering
energy%. This explains hy ithin those
organelles there are 40' and protein
synthesis machinery, including
ribosomes. This hypothesis is knon as
the endosymbiotic hypothesis on the
origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts.
8" #hat are some e)am(les of
human cells that (roduce
(roteins for e)(ortation%
#hich cyto(lasmic organelle
is e)(ected to be well4
de$elo(ed and abundant in
those cells%
,pecialized cells of the glands, like the
Kangerhans cells of the pancreas $that
produce insulin% or the saliva!producing
cells, are examples of secretory cells. In
cells specialized in secretion, the
endoplasmic reticulum and the 6olgi
apparatus are ell!developed since they
participate in the storage and
processing of proteins for exportation.
/" #hich are the more
abundant ribosomes in
secretory cells 4 the free
cyto(lasmic ribosomes or
those associated with the
rough endo(lasmic reticulum%
8ree cytoplasmic ribosomes are more
related to protein production for internal
cellular consumption hile those
adhered to the rough endoplasmic
reticulum are more important in protein
synthesis for exportation. 7roteins made
by adhered ribosomes enter the rough
endoplasmic reticulum and are later
transferred to the 6olgi apparatus. ,o in
secretory cells ribosomes adhered to the
endoplasmic reticulum are more
notable.
10" #here in eukaryotic cells
does m:9A synthesis occur%
To where do these molecules
migrate%
1essenger 50' molecules are
synthesized ithin the nucleus, pass
through pores of the nuclear membrane
and gain the cytoplasm to reach the
ribosomes here protein synthesis
occurs.
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11" After the fact that it is
based on information from
m:9A what is the (rocess of
(rotein synthesis called%
7rotein synthesis is called translation $of
genetic information into proteins%.
1&" #hat is the difference
between transcri(tion and
translation%
Transcription is the name given to the
formation of 40' molecules from an
open 40' chain used as a template.
Translation is the making of
polypeptides $amino acids bound in
se&uence% and thus of proteins based
on information encoded in the m50'
molecule.
In eukaryotic cells transcription occurs
in the nucleus and translation occurs in
ribosomes. Transcription precedes
translation.
1*" 7ow do nucleotides of
m:9A chains encode
information for the formation
of the amino acids se5uences
of a (rotein%
There are only four types of nitrogen!
containing bases that can compose 50'
nucleotides2 adenine $'%, uracil $L%,
guanine $6% and cytosine $.%. 'mino
acids hoever are ?= different ones.
.onsidering only one nucleotide $a G2G
coding% it ould be impossible to codify
all amino acids.
.onsidering to nucleotides there ould
be an arrangement of @ elements, ? x
?, resulting in a total of only G9 possible
codifier units $@ x @%. 0ature may kno
combinatory analysis since it makes a
genetic code by arrangement of the @
50' bases, H x H, providing 9@ different
triplets $@ x @ x @%.
,o each triplet of nitrogen!containing
bases of 50' codifies one amino acid of
a protein. 's these triplets appear in
se&uence in the 50' molecule,
se&uential amino acids codified by them
are bound together to make polypeptide
chains. 8or example, a LLL se&uence
codifies the amino acid phenylalanine,
as ell the LL. se&uence( the '.L,
'.., '.' and '.6 se&uences codify the
amino acid threonine( and so on for all
possible triplet se&uences and all other
amino acids.
1+" #hat is the name of an
:9A se5uence that codifies
one amino acid%
3ach se&uence of three nitrogen!
containing bases of 50' that codifies
one amino acid is called a codon. The
codon is the codifier unit of the genetic
code.
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1," 1ince among the -+
codons of m:9A -1 codify
amino acids that form
(oly(e(tide chains what are
the functions of the three
remaining codons%
,ince there are ?= amino acids and 9@
possibilities of m50' codons, it is
expected some amino acids to be
codified by more than one codon. 'nd
that really happens.
0ot all 9@ codons hoever codify amino
acids. Three of them, L'', L6' and
L'6, ork on information that the last
amino acid of a polypeptide chain under
productions as already bound, i.e.,
they signal the end of the polypeptide
synthesis. These codons are called
terminal codons. The codon 'L6
codifies the amino acid methionine and
at the same time it signals the
beginning of the synthesis of a
polypeptide chain $it is an initialization
codon%.
In prokaryotic cells there is a se&uence
called ,hine!4algarno se&uence $in
general '66'66% in the position that
antecedes the initialization codon 'L6.
The function of this se&uence is
distinctness beteen the initialization
'L6 and other 'L6 codons of the 50'.
1-" #hat is the cellular
structure to which m:9A
molecules bind to start the
(rotein synthesis%
To make proteins m50' molecules
necessarily associate to ribosomes.
5ibosomes have to sites for the
binding of to neighboring m50'
codons and here anticodons of t50'
bind by hydrogen bond. Thus ribosomes
are the structure responsible for the
positioning and exposure of m50'
codons to be translated. In ribosomes
the peptide bond beteen to amino
acids brought by t50' molecules also
occurs. The peptide bond happens hen
t50's carrying amino acids are bound
to exposed m50' codons.
1." 7ow are amino acids
brought to the cellular site
where translation takes (lace%
#hat is an anticodon%
'mino acids are brought to ribosomes
by 50' molecules knon as transfer
50', or t50'. -ne t50' associated to
its specific amino acid binds by a special
se&uence of three nucleotides to a
m50' codon exposed in the ribosome.
This se&uence in the t50' is knon as
anticodon. The t50' anticodon must be
complementary to the m50' codon to
hich it binds, according to the rule '!
L, .6. The ribosome then slides along
the m50' molecule $a process called
translocation% to expose the folloing
codon to the binding of other t50'.
"hen amino acids corresponding to
neighboring codons bind by peptide
bond the first t50a is liberated.
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18" #hy is the (ro)imity
between ribosomes and amino
acids im(ortant for the (rotein
formation% #hat is the
enzyme that catalyzes that
reaction%
The proximity beteen ribosomes and
amino acids is important because the
enzyme that catalyzes the peptide bond
resides in ribosomes. 's substrates of
these enzymes, amino acids need to
bind to the enzyme activation centers.
The enzyme that catalyzes the peptide
bond is the peptidyl transferase.
1/" #hy do ribosomes mo$e
along m:9A during
translation%
4uring translation the ribosome alays
exposes to m50' codons to be
translated by moving along the m50'.
"hen a peptide bond is made the
ribosome moves to expose the next
codon. This moving is called ribosomal
translocation. $In the rough
endoplasmic reticulum ribosomes are
attached outside the membrane and
m50' molecules rather moving through
them%.
&0" 7ow many of the same
(roteins are made at the same
time by each ribosome in the
translation of one m:9A
molecule% 7ow does
consecuti$e (rotein
(roduction occur in
translation%
5ibosomes do not make several
different proteins simultaneously. They
make them one after another.
'long one single m50' molecule
hoever many ribosomes may move in
a real mass manufacturing of the same
protein. The unit made of many
ribosomes orking upon the same
m50' molecule is called polysome.
&1" An m:9A molecule
codifies only one ty(e of
(rotein%
3ukaryotic cells have monocistronic
m50', i.e., each m50' codifies only
one polypeptide chain. 7rokaryotes can
present polycistronic m50'.
't the end of the assembling of amino
acids into a polypeptide chain, the
m50', by one of its terminal codons,
signals to the ribosome that the
polypeptide is complete. The ribosome
then liberates the produced protein. In
prokaryotes after this conclusion the
information for the beginning of the
synthesis of another different protein
may follo in the same m50'.
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&&" !f a t:9A anticodon is 6AA
what is its corres(onding
m:9A codon% For the genetic
code which amino acid does
this codon codify%
'ccording to the '!L , .!6 rule, the
corresponding codon to the .''
anticodon is 6LL.
The genetic code table for translation is
related to codons and not to anticodons.
The amino acid codified by 6LL,
according to the genetic code, is valine.
&*" !f a fragment of nucleic
acid has a nucleotide
se5uence TA6 can one assert
that it is a codon or an
anticodon%
' nucleic acid having a T'. se&uence
surely is not t50', it is 40' since 50'
does not present the nitrogen!
containing base thymine. ,ince it is not
50' it cannot be a codon or an
anticodon.
&+" #hy can the genetic code
be 5ualified as a @degenerate
codeA%
The genetic code is a degenerate code
because there are amino acids codified
by more than one type of codon. It is
not a system in hich each element is
codified by only one codifying unit.
8or example, the amino acid arginine is
codified by six codons2 .6L, .6., .6',
.66, '6' and '66.
&," #hat is the conce(t of
uni$ersality of the genetic
code% #hat are the e)ce(tions
to this uni$ersality%
The genetic code is universal because
the rules of protein codification based
on m50' codons are practically the
same for all knon living beings. 8or
example, the genetic code is the same
for humans, for bacteria and for
invertebrates.
The protein synthesis in mitochondria,
chloroplasts and some protozoans
hoever are accomplished by different
genetic codification.
&-" 7ow does the uni$ersality
of the genetic code make the
recombinant 9A technology
(ossible%
The universality of the genetic code
refers to the fact that all living beings
have their protein synthesis machinery
functioning according to the same
principles of storage, transmission and
recognition of information, including
translation of m50' codons. This fact
makes possible the exchanging of genes
or gene fragments beteen different
organisms and secures that these genes
continue to command protein synthesis.
This universality, for example, makes
feasible the insertion of a fragment of
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human 40' containing a gene for the
production of a given protein into the
genetic material of bacteria. ,ince the
bacterial transcription and translation
systems ork in the same manner as
the correspondent human systems do,
the bacteria ill begin to synthesize the
human protein related to the inserted
40' fragment. There are industries that
produce human insulin $for use by
diabetic patients% in this ay,
synthesized by bacteria ith modified
40'. If the genetic code as not
universal this kind of genetic
manipulation ould be impossible or
very difficult to accomplish ithout ne
technological progresses.
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0icrobiology
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Bacteria
1" #hat are bacteria%
Bacteria are prokaryotic and unicellular
beings. Bacteria have simple
organization, they present an external
cell all, plasma membrane, circular
40' ithin the cytoplasm and
ribosomes for protein synthesis. ,ome
bacteria are encapsulated, i.e., they
have a polysaccharide capsule outside
the cell all.
&" Are bacteria the only
(rokaryotic beings%
7rokaryotic beings are classified into
to big groups2 archaebacteria and
bacteria $this last also knon as
eubacteria%.
.ompared to bacteria, archaebacteria
have basic differences, like the chemical
compositions of their plasma membrane
and cell all and different enzymes
related to 40' and 50' metabolism.
*" #hat are halo(hile8
thermoacido(hile and
methanogen archaebacteria%
There are three peculiar types of
archaebacteria. The halophile
archaebacteria only survive in salt!rich
environments $even salinity of the sea is
not enough for them%. Thermoacidophile
archaebacteria are characterized by
living under high temperatures and lo
p/. The methanogen archaebacteria are
those that liberate methane gas $./@%,
they are found in samps.
+" #hat are the main
ecological roles of bacteria%
Bacteria are responsible for the
decomposition process at the end of
food chains and food ebs( in this
process, they also liberate utile gases
and nutrients for other living beings.
Bacteria that live ithin the digestive
tube of ruminants and of some insects
digest cellulose for these animals. ,ome
bacteria also participate in the nitrogen
cycle, making fixation of nitrogen,
nitrification and denitrification, almost
alays in mutualist ecological
interaction ith plants. Bacteria present
ithin living beings, for example, some
that live inside the boels, compete
ith other pathogenic bacteria so
controlling the population of noxious
agents. There are also bacteria that
cause diseases and bacteria used in the
production of medical drugs.
3xcessive proliferation or mass
destruction of bacteria can impact entire
ecosystems. 8or example, hen a river
is polluted by organic material the
population of aerobic bacteria increases
since the organic material is food for
them( the great number of bacteria
then exhausts the oxygen dissolved in
ater and other aerobic beings $like
fishes% undergo mass death.
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," #hat are e)am(les of
human diseases caused by
bacteria%
,ome human diseases caused by
bacteria are tuberculosis, pertussis,
diphtheria, bacterial meningitis,
gonorrhea, syphilis, bubonic plague,
leptospirosis, cholera, typhoid fever,
/ansenQs disease, trachoma, tetanus,
anthrax.
-" #hat are some industrial
(rocesses that use bacteria%
Bacteria are used by industry in various
ays. There are vaccines made of
attenuated pathogenic bacteria or of
antigens present in bacteria. -ne of the
most ancient uses of bacteria is the
fermentation of milk to produce yogurt,
cheese and curd $even before the
knoledge of the existence of bacteria
these microorganisms ere already
used in the making of those products%.
,ome methods of antibiotic production
involve bacteria. The recombinant 40'
technology $genetic engineering% allos
the industrial production and
commercialization of human proteins,
like insulin for diabetics, synthesized by
mutant bacteria. ,ome bacteria can
produce fuel, like methane gas.
." #hat are some mechanisms
by which (athogenic bacteria
cause diseases% #hy is this
knowledge im(ortant%
7athogenic bacteria have characteristics
knon as virulence factors that help
them to parasite their host. ,ome
bacteria have fimbriae, cilium!like
structures that attach the bacterial cell
to the host tissue. There are bacteria
specialized in intracellular parasitism.
-ther bacteria secrete toxins, molecules
that cause disease( in some cases, the
bacterial population groth causes food
contamination by toxins. 6enerally,
bacterial disease is caused by bacterial
population groth ith invasion and
destruction of tissues or by bacterial
toxins that contaminate the organism.
8" !n which en$ironments do
bacteria li$e%
Bacteria can be found in various
environments throughout the planet.
There are bacteria in the air, in fresh
ater, on the surface, in the
intermediate depth and on the bottom
of the sea, in soils, in our skin and
practically in all terrestrial environments
through hich air circulates freely.
,ome bacteria can be found in volcanic
craters under extremely high
temperatures.
/" 7ow are bacteria classified
according to the (roduction of
organic material for the
energetic metabolism%
1ost bacteria are heterotroph, they do
not produce their on food. There are
also autotroph bacteria2 chemosynthetic
bacteria or photosynthetic bacteria.
,ome photosynthetic bacteria, like
cyanobacteria, make photosynthesis like
plants do, using ater. -thers, the
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sulfur photosynthetic bacteria, use
hydrogen sulfide $/?,% instead of ater.
10" 7ow are bacteria classified
according to their need for
o)ygen%
'ccording to their necessity of oxygen
bacteria are classified into anaerobic
$those that survive ithout oxygen% and
aerobic $those that do not survive
ithout oxygen%.
11" #hat is meant when it is
said that a bacteria is an
obligate anaerobe%
-bligate anaerobes are those living
beings that do not survive in the
presence of oxygen. 8or example, the
bacteria .lostridium tetani, agent of
tetanus, is an obligate anaerobe.
In superficial ounds, it is commom to
use hydrogen peroxide to expose
anaerobic microorganisms to oxygen
and kill them.
1&" According to their
mor(hology how are bacteria
classified%
Bacteria present different morphological
patterns. ' bacterium can be classified
into coccus, bacillus, vibrion or
spirochete.
1*" #hat is the main
constituent of the cell wall of
bacteria%
The bacterial cell all is made of
peptidoglycans.
1+" #hich are the intracellular
organelles (resent in
bacteria%
.onsidering typical eukaryotic cell
organelles, heterotrophic bacteria have
ribosomes, essential for protein
synthesis.
1," #hat are (lasmids% #hat
is the im(ortance of (lasmids
for the recombinant 9A
technology%
7lasmids are circular fragments of 40'
that are accessories to the main
bacterial 40'. 7lasmids are important
for genetic engineering because genes
from other organisms are inserted into
them to produce recombinant beings,
for example, mutant bacteria. These
bacteria are made, for example, to
produce utile proteins for humans on an
industrial scale.
1-" 7ow do bacteria
re(roduce%
Bacteria reproduce by binary fission
$scissiparity%. ,ome bacteria hoever
present a kind of sexual reproduction
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$transformation, transduction or
con#ugation% ith a combination of
genetic material from different
individuals.
1." 7ow does se)ual
re(roduction occur in
bacteria% 7ow different are
the modalities of bacterial
se)ual re(roduction%
,exual reproduction occurs hen
bacteria incorporate genetic material
into other bacteria of the same species(
the inserted genetic fragment then
becomes part of the genetic material of
the second bacteria. This kind of
reproduction can happen by means of
transformation, transduction or
con#ugation.
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;rotists
1" #hich are the grou(s of
li$ing beings that form the
(rotist kingdom%
The protist kingdom includes protozoans
and algae. $To groups of fungi ith
similar characteristics to protozoans,
myxomycetes and oomycetes, have
been classified as protists.%
Lnicellular protozoans and algae are
unicellular eukaryotes. The pluricellular
algae are eukaryotes of simple structure
too. It is believed that protists are
phylogenetic ancestors of living beings
of the other eukariotic kingdoms $fungi,
animals and plants%.
&" #hat is the fundamental
difference between
(rotozoans and algae%
The basic difference beteen
protozoans and algae is the fact that
protozoans are heterotrophs hile algae
are photosynthetic autotrophs.
*" #hat are the characteristics
of (rotozoans that make them
resemble animals%
7rotozoans are unicellular beings ith
some similar characteristics to animal
cells.
In comparison to pluricellular organisms
protozoans are more proximal to the
animal kingdom than to plants2 they are
heterotrophs, they have a rudimentary
locomotion system $amoeboid
movements, cilia, flagella%, they do not
have cell all, some species present
structures that resemble structures of a
primitive digestive system, ith
cytostome $mouth% and cytopyge
$anus%, specialized in digestion and
excretion.
The evolutionary hypothesis that animal
cells have come from differentiation of
protozoans is strong.
+" #hat is the basic
mor(hology of a (rotozoan
cell%
7rotozoans are eukaryotic cells so they
have organelles and structures common
to this kind of cell2 endoplasmic reticula,
6olgi apparatus, digestive vesicles,
ribosomes, mitochondria, nucleus ith
genetic material, karyotheca, etc. 'll
these elements are found dispersed
throughout the cytoplasm. 7rotozoans
do not have cell alls.
7rotozoans from the mastigophora
group $like trichomonas% have flagella
and others, others from the ciliated
group $like paramecium% have cilia.
," o (rotozoans ha$e a
cellular nucleus%
'll protozoans, as eukaryotes, have
nucleus. ,ome species, like the
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paramecium, have to nuclei2 the
macronucleus and the micronucleus.
-" #hat are the res(ecti$e
functions of the macronucleus
and of the micronucleus in the
(aramecium%
The macronucleus is properly the cell
nucleus, it has 40' and 50' and acts
as the center of the cellular control and
regulation. The micronucleus has
reproductive functions and it is related
to the con#ugation process $sexual
reproduction%.
." #hat do (rotozoans @eatA%
o they mo$e in search for
food%
7rotozoans are heterotroph beings, i.e.,
they do not make their on food and
thus they need to search for it in the
environment. 7rotozans have developed
several locomotion mechanisms and
they actively move toards food.
8" 7ow do amoebae8
(aramecia and trichomonas
res(ecti$ely mo$e%
'moebae move by amoeboid
movements, small pro#ections and
invaginations of their plasma membrane
$pseudopods% that alter the external
morphology of the cell making it move
on surfaces. 7aramecia have the outer
face of their plasma membrane covered
by cilia that flap helping the cell to
move. Trichomonas are flagellated
protozoans, i.e., they have relatively
long filaments outside the cell that beat
and make possible active simming in
fluid environments.
/" 7ow is digestion (erformed
in (rotozoans%
4igestion in protozoans is intracellular
digestion2 organic material is
internalized and degraded inside the
cell.
7rotozoans get food by phagocytosis
and then the food is digested hen
phagosomes fuse ith lisosomes ithin
the cell, forming digestive vacuoles. The
digestive vacuoles give origin to residual
bodies that are eliminated from the cell
by exocytosis.
In the paramecium the entrance of food
into the cell and the excretion of
digestive residuals occur at specialized
regions of the plasma membrane, the
cytostom and the cytopyge,
respectively.
10" Are (rotozoans (resenting
contractile8 or (ulsatile8
$acuoles easily found in fresh
or in salt water%
8resh ater is the less concentrated of
solutes than sea ater and it $fresh
ater% tends to be less concentrated
than the intracellular environment
making cells to sell. ,ea ater, on the
other hand, since it is very concentrated
tends to dehydrate the cell.
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The vacuoles of protozoans are internal
structures specialized in ater storage
that hen necessary liberate ater to
the cytoplasm. Pacuoles thus can dilute
the cytoplasm for it to enter into
osmotic e&uilibrium ith the
environment. 7rotozoans of fresh ater
then need vacuoles more since their
intracellular is hypertonic in relation to
the exterior. "ithout the dilution
mechanism provided by the vacuoles,
protozoans of fresh ater ould absorb
too much ater and ould die.
11" o (rotozoans ha$e se)ual
or ase)ual re(roduction%
In protozoans reproduction is sexual or
asexual. The most fre&uent form of
sexual reproduction is binary division, or
scissiparity, in hich the cell divides
itself by mitosis originating to
daughter cells. ,ome species, like the
plasmodium, agent of malaria,
reproduce asexually by schizogony
$multiple fission%( in this form of
reproduction the cell becomes
multinucleated, generally inside a host
cell, and each nucleus is expelled out
together ith cytoplasm portions giving
rise to ne protozoans.
The sexual reproduction in protozoans
can happen by con#ugation, ith
incorporation of genetic material from
one cell into another, or by gametes
that fecundate others and form zygotes.
In the plasmodium sexual reproduction
happens in the mos&uito, the definitive
host, and the zygote undergoes mitosis
$sporogony% creating many sporozoites.
1&" #hich is the form of
(rotozoan re(roduction that
generates more $ariability%
,exual reproduction alays generates
more genetic variability than asexual
reproduction. That is because in sexual
reproduction the fusion of genetic
material from different individuals
occurs and so the offspring is not
genetically identical to the parent cell.
If the hypothesis that protozoans
originated multicellular animals is
strong, other hypotheses may be even
stronger2 that these protozoans ere
able to reproduce sexually, since only
genetic variation can produce biological
differentiation to the point of creating
ne types of living beings.
1*" #hat are the four grou(s
of (rotozoans%
The four main groups of protozoans are
the sarcodines $that form pseudopods,
like amoebae%, the mastigophores
$flagellated, like the trypanosome that
causes .hagasQ disease%, the ciliated
$like paramecia% and the sporozoans
$spore!forming, like plasmodia%.
1+" #hy are euglenas in$ol$ed
in (olemics related to their
ta)onomic classification%
3uglenas are involved in taxonomic
polemics because they tend to be
classified sometimes as protozoans and
sometimes as algae. 'lthough they have
chloroplasts and they are photosynthetic
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autotrophic beings, euglenas do not
have a cell all and they can survive by
CeatingD substances from the
environment hen light is not available
for photosynthesis. .uriously euglenas
also have a photosensitive structure
called stigma that orients the movement
of the cell toards light. 0oadays
euglenas are classified as algae, but it is
suspected that they are common
ancestors of algae and protozoans.
1," o algae re(roduce
se)ually or ase)ually%
There are algae that reproduce sexually
and there are algae that reproduce
asexually.
In unicellular algae reproduction is
generally asexual by binary division.
In pluricellular algae asexual
reproduction can occur by
fragmentation or by sporulation.
In sexual reproduction of algae, uni or
pluricellular, there is fusion of gametes
$syngamy%. There are algae in hich all
cells can become gametes and there are
algae in hich only some cells can play
that role. ,ome species may present
alternation of generations, forming
gametophytes and sporophytes ith
different ploidies.
1-" #hat is the commercial
im(ortance of algae%
1any algae have high nutritional value
and are commercialized and consumed
as human food, they are very popular
food in the oriental orld. Velly
compounds are extracted from some
algae, like glues and pastes for
industrial and commercial use.
The agar!agar, used as a medium for
biological culture in laboratories and in
medicines, and the substance knon as
carrageenin, a component of tooth
pastes, cosmetics, paint and hygienic
products, are extracted from
rhodophyte algae. 4iatom algae
deposited on the bottom of the sea form
diatomites, used in the production of
filters, refractories, thermal isolation
and cement. ,ome algae are used as
agricultural fertilizers.
1." #hat is the (henomenon
known as @red tideA% #hich
ambiental harms can it cause%
5ed tide is a phenomenon that occurs
hen dinoflagellates $algae from the
pyrrophyte group% proliferate
excessively in the ocean. These algae
liberate toxins that affect the nervous
system and can cause death hen
ingested by marine animals and by
humans that eat contaminated animals.
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Fungi
1" #hat are the main cellular
features of fungi%
There are unicellular and pluricellular
fungi. 'll fungi are eukaryotes and
heterotrophs.
8ungi have cells ith cell all made of
chitin, the same substance that
constitutes the exoskeleton of
arthropods. 8ungi, likeise animals,
characterize for storing glucose in the
form of its polymer glycogen.
&" Are there (hotosynthetic
fungi% 7ow do fungi nourish
themsel$es%
'll fungi are heterotrophs $so, they do
not perform photosynthesis%. 8ungi are
typical decomposers, they eat and
degrade organic material.
*" Fungi are classified in their
own kingdom" !nto which
(hyla is the fungi kingdom
di$ided% !nto which of those
(hyla are mushrooms
classified%
The kingdom fungi is divided into four
phyla2 ascomycetes, basidiomycetes,
zygomycetes and deuteromycetes.
1ushrooms are basidiomycetes.
+" #hat are the hy(hae and
the mycelium of (luricellular
fungi%
The main structures of pluricellular fungi
are the hyphae $threadlike filaments
made of contiguous uni or
multinucleated cells% and the mycelium
$a set of hyphae%.
," #hat are the ty(es of
re(roduction that occur in
fungi%
In fungi there are asexual and sexual
reproduction. 8ungi reproduce asexually
by fragmentation, gemmation and
sporulation. ,ome species can
reproduce sexually by fusion of hyphae
from different individuals, even ith
metagenesis $alternation of
generations%.
-" #hat are the fruiting bodies
(resent in some fungi%
8ruiting bodies are structures made of
hyphae that pro#ect radially from the
superior portion of the peduncle of some
fungi. These structures contain the
reproductive cells of the individual. They
form the umbrella!like cap in
mushrooms $basidiocarp% or the
ascocarp in ascomycetes.
." #hat is the ecological
im(ortance of fungi%
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8ungi are heterotrophs and
decomposers $they break don dead
beings% and they actively participate in
the recycling of organic material in
ecosystems. ,ome fungi keep mutualist
ecological interaction ith algae or
cyanobacteria, forming lichen, and ith
plant roots, forming mycorrhizas.
8" #hat is the utility of fungi
for some industries%
8ungi are industrially used in the
production of fermented beverage,
bread, cheese, etc. ,ome fungi are very
important for the production of medical
drugs. There are fungi processed to
serve as food for humans, like eatable
mushrooms.
/" #hat are lichens% 7ow do
fungi (artici(ate in this
ecological interaction%
Kichens are formed by mutualist
ecological interaction beteen fungi and
algae or beteen fungi and
cyanobacteria. In this ecological
interaction, the fungi absorb ater that
is then used by algae $or
cyanobacteria%, and algae $or
cyanobacteria%, as autotrophs, produce
organic material in excess to serve as
food for the fungi.
10" #hat are mycorrhizas%
7ow does each (artici(ant
benefit in this ecological
interaction%
1ycorrhizas are mutualist ecological
interactions beteen fungi and some
plants roots. 8ungi provide to the plant
more ater and mineral salts and obtain
organic material from the vegetable.
11" #hat are the main human
diseases caused by fungi%
The main human diseases caused by
fungi are coccidioidomycosis,
histoplasmosis, blastomycosis,
paracoccidioidomycosis, or ,outh
'merican blastomycosis, sporotrichosis,
aspergillosis and systemic candidiasis.
8ungi are also responsible for many
dermatologic diseases
$dermatomycosis% that affect the skin,
the nails, the scalp, etc.
-n the other hand, many fungi are able
to produce antibacterial substances that
combat diseases. In the second orld
ar, in 6erman #ails, 5ussian prisoners
that accepted to eat moldy bread had
less skin infection than those that
refused the food. In .hina, moldy soy
sauce has millennial past use against
infections. 7enicillin, a potent antibiotic,
as discovered in G<?> by 'lexander
8leming hen he observed the
antibacterial activity of fungi from the
genus 7enicillium.
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1&" #hat is cyclos(orin% 7ow
are fungi related to this
substance%
.yclosporin is a drug discovered in the
G<N=Qs that revolutionized organ
transplantation in 1edicine. It is a
poerful immunosuppressor and so it
lessens the immune activity of the
receptor and reduces the risk of
re#ection of the transplanted organ.
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?iruses
1" Are $iruses cellular beings%
Piruses are considered living beings but
they do not have cellular structure.
There is some controversy regarding
their classification as living beings. Their
characteristics of self!reproduction and
of having genetic material hoever
reinforce that classification.
&" #hat is the basic structure
of a $irus%
Piruses are constituted of genetic
material $40' or 50'% covered by a
protein capsule also knon as a capsid.
,ome viruses, like /IP, have in addition
an external envelope derived from the
plasma membrane of the host cell from
hich it came.
*" Are there non4(arasitic
$iruses%
'll viruses are obligate intracellular
parasites, i.e., they depend on the host
cell to complete their life cycle. ' virus
does not have its on metabolism.
+" #hy is it a strong
e$olutionary hy(othesis that
although $iruses are the
structurally sim(lest beings
they were not the first li$ing
beings%
The fact that viruses are obligate
intracellular parasites makes very eak
the hypothesis that virus appeared
before cellular beings in the evolution of
life.
," #hat is the genetic material
of a $irus% 7ow does that
material act in $iral
re(roduction%
There are 40' viruses $double strand or
single strand 40'% and 50' viruses
$double strand or single strand 50'
too%. Piruses inoculate their 40' or 50'
molecules into cells and these cells $by
means of transcription or reverse
transcription and translation% synthesize
proteins for the assembling of a ne
virus. This synthesis is commanded by
the viral 40' or 50' molecules.
-" #hat is the ty(ical
re(roduction cycle of a 9A
$irus%
' typical virus has proteins on its capsid
that bind to the outer membrane of the
host cell. In the place here the virus
adhered viral proteins act to break the
cell membrane and then the virus
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in#ects its 40' molecules into the host
cell.
"ithin the host cell the viral 40' is
transcripted and thus messenger 50' is
produced. Piral m50' then is translated
and viral proteins are made.
Piral polypeptides made ithin the host
cell are cut by enzymes called proteases
and then copies of the virus are
assembled ith the nely formed
proteins. "hen the assemblage of ne
viruses is completed the cell membrane
breaks and the viruses are released to
the outside. -ne sole infected cell can
produce hundreds of viruses.
." #hat are retro$iruses% 7ow
do they re(roduce and what is
the role of the enzyme re$erse
transcri(tase%
5etroviruses are viruses hose genetic
material is 50'. /IP and the virus of
,'5, $severe acute respiratory
syndrome% are examples of retrovirus.
These viruses inoculate their 50' into
the host cell and ithin the cell the viral
50' is reversely transcripted into 40'.
40' made from the viral 50' then
commands the synthesis of viral
proteins for the assemblage of ne
viruses and the breaking of the host cell
to liberate them outside.
The enzyme reverse transcriptase is the
catalyst of the reverse transcription of
50' into 40'. The enzyme is part of
the virus and it is also inoculated into
the host cell.
8" #hat is the basic structure
of the 7!? $irus% #hat is the
function of the glyco(roteins
of its en$elo(e%
/IP is an 50' virus. In its core there
are to strands of 50' and reverse
transcriptase molecules. The core is
covered by a capsid, a layer of proteins.
The capsid then is covered by an
envelope having glycoproteins and
lipids.
The glycoproteins of the /IP envelope
are located on the outer surface of the
virus and they are responsible for the
recognition of the cells to be infected
$the /IP host cell is the .4@
lymphocyte% and for the adhesion of the
virus to the cell membrane. $.4@ is a
receptor glycoprotein of the outer
membrane of some lymphocytes%.
/" #hat are bacterio(hages%
Bacteriophages are viruses specialized
in parasitism of bacteria. They are used
in genetic engineering as molecular
cloning vehicles to insert recombinant
40' into bacteria. They ere also used
in the former ,oviet Lnion to treat
bacterial infections.
Bacteriophages have a polyhedron!like
capsid and 40' as genetic material. The
CheadD of the virus is connected to a tail
that ends in small fibers that help the
virus to attach to the bacterial cell all
and to in#ect its genetic material into
the host.
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10" #hat is meant when it is
said that a $irus is in an
inacti$e state%
Piruses considered in inactive state are
those hose genetic material is ithin
host cells ithout synthesis of viral
proteins and assemblage of ne virus.
The life cycle of these viruses can be
activated under certain conditions and
then synthesis of viral proteins begins
and ne copies are made.
The virus that causes herpes $herpes
virus% is an example of a virus that
stays in an inactive state and is
sometimes activated.
11" #hat are the main human
diseases caused by $irus%
'mong diseases caused by virus are
common cold, mumps, variola
$considered eradicated noadays%,
rubella, measles, 'I4,, the viral
hepatitis, human papillomatosis $/7P
infection%, rabies, dengue fever, yello
fever, poliomyelitis $an almost
eradicated disease in developed
countries%, hemorrhagic fever from
3bola virus, ,'5, $severe acute
respiratory syndrome%.
Piruses also cause many other diseases
in animals and plants.
1&" 1A:1 is a disease that
a((eared in &00* with
e(idemic features in the
(ro$ince of Duangdong8 in
east 6hina" #hat ty(e of agent
causes 1A:1%
,'5, is caused by a virus from the
coronavirus group, a 50' virus
$retrovirus%. ,'5, can be fatal.
1*" #hat is crystallization of a
$irus% #hat is the im(ortance
of this (rocess%
.rystallization is the process of
transformation of viral components into
organized solid particles.
.rystallization of biological
macromolecules, including viral
components, is used to study structural
characteristics, for example, through U!
rays, laser beams, etc.
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Ioology
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'ife Hingdoms
1" #hat is the Biology field
that studies the classification
of li$ing beings%
The Biology field that studies the
classification of living beings is called
Taxonomy.
&" !nto which categories are
li$ing beings classified%
Kiving beings are classified, from the
broader to the more particular category,
into kingdom, phylum, class, order,
family, genus and species $I7.-86,
can be used as mnemonic%. Iingdom is
the broadest category and the others in
se&uence are encompassed by the
previous one.
*" #hat is meant by binomial
nomenclature and what are its
basic rules%
,cientific nomenclature of a species
must have, at least, to names2 one
that classifies it as genus and the other
that identifies it as species. The name
related to genus is the first and must
begin in uppercase, the other folloing
names must be ritten in loercase.
Besides this rule, scientific names of
species must stand out and be ritten
either in italics or underlined or still
bolded or beteen &uotation marks.
8or example, the scientific name of the
human species is +/omo sapiens+,
indicating that it belongs to the genus
/omo.
,cientific nomenclature of species is
important because it universalizes the
ay to refer to a species making it
easier for people of different languages
and cultures to understand each other.
,ame species that have very different
names in different regions of the planet
can be identified easily by their scientific
binomial name.
+" #hat are the fi$e kingdoms
into which li$ing beings are
di$ided% #hich grou( of li$ing
being is out of this
classification%
The five kingdoms of living beings are
the kingdom 1onera, the kingdom
7rotista, the kingdom 8ungi, the
kingdom 7lantae and the kingdom
'nimalia.
Piruses are out of this classification and
sometimes they are said to belong to
their on kingdom, the kingdom Pirus.
," According to cellular
organization how are li$ing
beings di$ided into two
grou(s%
.ellular beings are divided into to
groups2 the prokaryotes, unicellular
beings hose sole cell does not have a
delimited nucleus, and eukaryotes, uni
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or multicellular beings ith cells having
delimited nucleus.
-" #hich are the beings that
constitute the kingdom
0onera%
The kingdom 1onera is the kingdom of
the prokaryotes, composed of bacteria
and archaebacteria.
." #hich are the beings that
form the kingdom ;rotista%
The kingdom 7rotista comprises
protozoans and algae.
8" #hich are the beings that
form the kingdom Fungi%
The kingdom 8ungi is formed by fungi.
/" #hich are the beings that
form the kingdom ;lantae%
Are algae (art of this
kingdom%
The kingdom 7lantae is composed of
plants.
'lgae are classified into the kingdom
7rotista and not into the kingdom
7lantae $they are not plants%.
10" #hich are the beings that
form the kingdom Animalia%
#hat are the two big grou(s
into which this kingdom is
di$ided%
The kingdom 'nimalia is the animal
kingdom. .ommonly the kingdom
'nimalia is subdivided into invertebrates
and vertebrates.
11" #hat are the nine (hyla of
the kingdom Animalia%
The nine phyla of the animal kingdom
are2 7orifera $poriferans%, .nidaria
$cnidarians%, 7latyhelminthes
$flatorms%, 0ematoda $roundorms%,
'nnelida $annelids%, 1ollusca
$molluscs%, 'rthropoda $arthropods%,
3chinodermata $echinoderms% and
.hordata $chordates%.
1&" #hat are the two mains
di$isions of the chordate
(hylum%
.hordates are divided into
protochordates $cephalochordates and
urochordates% and vertebrates.
1*" #hat are the differences
between $ertebrates and the
other chordates%
Pertebrates are different because they
have a spinal column $vertebral
column%. In these animals the
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notochord of the embryonic stage is
substituted by the vertebral column in
adults.
1+" #hat are the fi$e classes
of $ertebrates% To which of
these do human beings
belong%
The five classes of vertebrates are2
fishes $osteichthyes and
chondrichthyes%, amphibians, reptiles,
birds and mammals. /umans classify as
mammals.
1," #hat is an e$olutionary
tree% !s there a (recise
e$olutionary tree known by
science that e)(lains the
emergence and origin of e$ery
ty(e of li$ing being%
3volutionary tree is the pictorial and
schematic representation of
evolutionary relations among species of
living beings in hich the trunk $or a
preceding branch% represents common
ascendants of species and groups of
living beings that are distributed along
its branches according to hypothesis on
their origin. 8or example, today it is
admitted that birds and mammals are
to distinct branches of the same
preceding reptile branch.
Biology cannot assures a definite
evolutionary tree $phylogeny% on the
species of living beings that live or have
lived in our planet. There are many data
to be discovered and many knoledge
gaps to be filled. -ne of the most
promising methods to study phylogeny
is the comparison of 40' molecules
from different groups of living beings
researching similarities and differences
in nucleotide se&uences that may
indicate more or less relatedness among
species.
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;oriferans
1" #hat are (oriferans%
The phylum 7orifera contains the
simplest creatures of the animal
kingdom. ,ponges are a&uatic sessile
beings $they are not able to move by
themselves and they keep themselves
attached to substrates%, they do not
have tissue diversity and their bodies
have pores $feature after hich their
name comes%.
They are multicellular, like all beings of
the animal kingdom.
&" #hat is the way of life of
s(onges%
,ponges live exclusively in an a&uatic
environment and they are attached by
their base to a substrate $fixation
ground%. ,ponges are filtering animals,
they nourish themselves from nutrients
that enter their atrium brought in ith
ater.
*" #hat is the ty(ical sha(e of
(oriferans%
,ponges have bodies in the form of
tubular vases or globes open in the
upper extremity. They have an internal
central cavity and porous alls. The
central cavity is called spongocoel and
the opening in the upper extremity is
called osculum.
+" 7ow does water mo$e
inside s(onges% #hat is the
function of the (ores in these
animals%
,ponges are filtering beings. They make
ater enter their bodies by their lateral
pores. "ater then circulates inside the
central cavity and exits through the
osculum.
," 7ow do s(onges try to
(rotect themsel$es against
harm from the en$ironment%
!s that method efficient or
rudimentary%
,ponges can close their pores to avoid
the entrance of ater into their bodies
in the presence of stimulus that may
mean danger. This method hoever is
rudimentary but it is actually a
protection attempt against nocent
agents.
-" #hat are the main cells of
which (oriferans are made%
,ponges have their outer all covered
by flat cells called pinacocytes and
having pores ell!delimited by special
cells called porocytes. The internal all
is filled ith choanocytes, flagellate cells
specialized in phagocytosis of food
brought to the central cavity( the
choanocyte flagella also maintains the
ater flux inside the sponge.
Beteen the outer and the inner
coverage of the poriferan body there are
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cells ith amoeboid movement $by
pseudopods%, the amoebocytes( since
they are embedded in connective
matrix, amoebocytes move and
distribute nutrients to other cells and
they also produce spicules that like a
primitive skeleton fill the tissue and
support the body structure. $,ome
poriferans have an internal skeleton, an
endoskeleton, made of spicules and
organic fibers.%
." 6oncerning digestion how
are (oriferans characterized%
,ponges are different from other
animals since they present only
intracellular digestion. They do not have
a digestive system nor do they release
digestive enzymes in the spongocoel to
cause extracellular break don of
nutrients.
8" 7ow are animals di$ided
according to their ty(e of
digesti$e (rocess%
'part from sponges, that do not have a
digestive cavity here extracellular
digestion takes place, all other animals
have a digestive system ith an internal
cavity in hich extracellular digestion
occurs.
/" 7ow are gases e)changed
in s(onges%
The gas exchange in sponges happens
by diffusion from the exterior to the
cells that absorb molecular oxygen and
liberate carbon dioxide.
10" o s(onges ha$e ner$ous8
circulatory and e)cretory
systems%
,ponges do not have a nervous system
neither circulatory system nor excretory
system.
11" !s re(roduction in s(onges
se)ual or ase)ual%
5eproduction in sponges can be asexual
by budding, gemmation or
fragmentation $regeneration% or sexual
ith larval stage $a ciliated
amphiblastula larva%.
1&" #hat is the e$olutionary
ad$antage of the occurrence
of s(erm cells and lar$al stage
in the life cycle of s(onges%
The sexual reproduction in sponges, in
addition to contributing to genetic
variability, also facilitates the
colonization of farther environments by
these beings, since sperm cells and
larvae are mobile and can sim in the
exterior to compensate the immobility
of the adult individual.
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1*" #hat is the economic
im(ortance of s(onges%
,ome chemical substances secreted by
sponges have anti!inflammatory,
antibiotic and anti!tumoral activities and
they are used in the production of
medicines. ,ince ancient times the
endoskeleton of some sponges has had
commercial value, they are used as
cleansing implements for baths $bath
sponges%, to ash animals, ob#ects and
so on.
1+" 1(onge identity card" 7ow
are s(onges characterized
according to e)am(le of
re(resenting beings8 basic
mor(hology8 ty(e of
symmetry8 embryonic 2germ3
layers and coelom8 digesti$e
system8 res(iratory system8
circulatory system8 e)cretory
system8 ner$ous system and
ty(es of re(roduction%
3xample of representing beings2
sponges. Basic morphology2 tubular or
globular body ith spongocoel, sessile(
choanocytes, pinacocytes and
amoebocytes. Type of symmetry2 not
established. 6erm layers and coelom2
do not apply since poriferans do not
have true tissue organization. 4igestive
system2 nonexistent. 5espiratory
system2 nonexistent. .irculatory
system2 nonexistent. 3xcretory system2
nonexistent. 0ervous system2
nonexistent. Types of reproduction2
asexual and sexual ith larval stage.
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6nidarians
1" #hat are some e)am(les of
cnidarians% !n which
en$ironments can these
animals be found%
Vellyfish, hydra, corals and sea
anemones are good examples. 'll of
them are a&uatic and most live in the
sea.
&" #hat are the two main
mor(hological (atterns of
cnidarians% 6oncerning
locomotion how do these
forms differentiate from each
other%
1orphologically, cnidarians classify as
polyps or medusae. 7olyps are
cylindrical and medusae are circular
convex, like an umbrella. Both shapes
have tentacles.
In general polyps are sessile but some
species, like hydra, can move by
alternating contact points on the
substrate and performing somersaults.
1edusae can move expelling ater #ets
by contraction of the body.
,ome cnidarians alternate polypoid and
medusoid forms in their life cycle.
*" 6oncerning tissue
com(le)ity how different are
cnidarians from (oriferans%
.nidarians have true tissue
differentiation, they present distinct
organized tissues in the body. 7oriferans
present only some dispersed specialized
cells ith no tissue differentiation.
+" #hich are the germ layers
(resent in cnidarians% #hich
tissues of the animal do they
originate%
These beings present ectoderm and
endoderm, to germ layers. 'nimals
ith only to germ layers are called
diploblastic animals.
The ectoderm gives birth to the
epidermis and the endoderm originates
the covering of the digestive cavity.
," #hy is the digesti$e system
of these animals called
incom(lete%
Incomplete digestive system is that in
hich the digestive cavity has only one
opening.
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-" #hat is the ty(e of
digestion that occurs in
cnidarians%
These animals have a digestive cavity
and they make extracellular and
intracellular digestion. The extracellular
digestion takes place ithin the
digestive cavity.
." #hat are cnidocytes% #hat
is the name of the ca(sule
inside the cnidocyte% #hat are
the biological functions of this
structure%
.nidocytes are specialized cells present
in coelenterates. They are found in the
epidermis and contain toxic substances
that can hurt, paralyze or even kill other
animals.
3ach cnidocyte has an internal capsule
kno as nematocyst here the actual
urticating substance is stored. "hen a
cnidocyte is excited it causes the
nematocyst to expose a filament
containing the toxic chemical.
.nidocytes and their nematocysts have
the biological functions of defending the
individual from external aggression and
of helping to capture their prey.
8" 7ow is the ner$ous tissue
distributed in cnidarians%
Their nervous system is diffuse, there
are no brain or ganglia.
/" #hat are the ty(es of
re(roduction (resented by
cnidarians%
They present asexual and sexual
reproduction.
10" #hat is the ty(e of
ase)ual re(roduction that
occurs in hydras%
/ydras reproduce asexually by budding.
11" #hat is metagenesis%
#hat are the other names of
this (rocess%
1etagenesis is the type of life cycle in
hich there are to different forms of
individuals of the same species, one
haploid and the other diploid. In one of
these stages gametogenesis occurs and
fecundated gametes give birth to the
zygote that then develops into the other
form. 1etagenesis is also knon as
alternation of generations or as
diplobiont life cycle. $'ll plants, for
example, present metagenesis.%
1&" !n the metagenesis of
Aurelia and >belia what is the
form that (roduces gametes%
#hat is the form that
re(roduces ase)ually%
In the metagenesis of some
coelenterates, like 'urelia and -belia,
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there is alternation beteen polypoid
and medusoid forms. The polyps
reproduce asexually originating
medusae that then liberate gametes.
The male and female gametes unite
under ater to form the zygote that
then develops into larva and later
originates another polyp.
The form that reproduces asexually is
the polyp. 7olyps give birth to medusae
by budding in -belia and by
strobilization in 'urelia.
1*" #hat is the name of the
lar$a of corals and sea
anemones% #hat is the
biological im(ortance of that
lar$al stage%
,exual reproduction in corals and sea
anemones have a larval stage and the
larva is called planula.
1any marine animals are sessile or
practically sessile, like sponges, corals
and sea anemones. The mobile larval
stage of their life cycle provides better
spatial distribution of these species.
1+" #hat are the main classes
into which the (hylum is
di$ided% #hat are some
e)am(les of each and in which
form 2(oly( or medusae3 are
they found%
.oelenterates are divided into three
main classes2 hydrozoans, scyphozoans
and anthozoans. In hydrozoans the
polypoid form predominates and
examples are hydras, by!the!ind!
sailors and -belia. In scyphozoans the
main phase is the medusoid and the
best knon example is the common
#ellyfish $'urelia%. In anthozoans there
is only the polypoid form and corals and
sea anemones are notable in this group.
1," #hat does radial
symmetry means% #hat is the
ty(e of symmetry found in
chordates% #hich are other
(hyla of the animal kingdom
that (resent s(ecies with
radial symmetry%
5adial symmetry means $biologically%
that the animal structures are situated
in a radial or circular pattern around a
center point ith nonexistence of sides,
like right or left. 'n alternative type of
symmetry in hich structures are
placed e&ually in the sides of a
longitudinal axis is the lateral symmetry
$the symmetry present in human
beings, for example%.
.hordates present lateral symmetry.
Besides cnidarians another animal
phylum ith species presenting
secondary radial symmetry is the
phylum 3chinodermata. $It is considered
that the simplicity of poriferans does not
characterize any symmetry.%
1-" #hat are corals%
.orals are characterized by their
polypoid shape, sessility and slo
groth and secretion of a solid skeleton
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made of calcium carbonate. 0umerous
coral individuals associate in
intraspecific harmonic ecological
interaction forming colonies ith
hundreds, thousands and even millions
of beings. "ater!permeated solid
structures of these colonies, knon as
reefs, ork as true ecosystems for other
living beings. The biggest knon coral
colony is the 6reat Barrier 5eef in the
northeast coast of 'ustralia. There are
hoever many coral species hose
individuals live alone and do not form
colonies.
1." 6nidarian identity card"
7ow are they characterized
according to e)am(les of
re(resenting beings8 basic
mor(hology8 ty(e of
symmetry8 germ layers and
coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
#ellyfish, corals, sea anemones, hydra.
Basic morphology2 polyp or medusa.
Type of symmetry2 radial. 6erm layers
and coelom2 diploblastics, acoelomate.
4igestive system2 incomplete.
5espiratory system2 nonexistent.
.irculatory system2 nonexistent.
3xcretory system2 nonexistent. 0ervous
system2 diffuse. Types of reproduction2
asexual and sexual ith larval stage and
metagenesis.
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;latyhelminthes
1" #hat are the best known
re(resentati$es of the
(latyhelminth (hylum%
The most popular representatives of the
platyhelminthes are orms that cause
human diseases, like taenia and
schistosome. The planaria, since it is
been extensively studied in Biology, is
also ell knon.
&" #hat is the main e)ternal
mor(hological feature that
differentiates (latyhelminthes
from other worms
2nematodes3%
7latyhelminthes are also knon as
flatorms because they are orms ith
a flat body. This is the main external
morphological feature that differentiates
them from nematodes $roundorms%.
*" 7ow many germ layers
originate the body of
(latyhelminthes% !n relation
to this characteristic how are
these animals classified%
7latyhelminthes are the first triploblastic
animals $remember that cnidarians are
diploblastic%, i.e., they present three
germ layers2 ectoderm, mesoderm and
endoderm.
+" #hat are the ty(es of
digestion and of digesti$e
system of (latyhelminthes%
8latorms have incomplete digestive
systems and they present extracellular
and intracellular complementary
digestions.
," 7ow are nutrients
distributed by the digesti$e
system in (lanarias%
7lanarias have single opening digestive
system $incomplete% ith ramifications
that transport nutrients to all areas of
the body.
-" 7ow is gas e)change done
in flatworms%
7latyhelminthes exchange gases
exclusively by diffusion through their
body surface. This is only possible
because all cells are localized relatively
near to the exterior since gases diffuse
cell by cell $the flat shape of these
orms is a feature that allos this type
of respiration%.
." ;oriferans and cnidarians
do not ha$e e)cretory
systems" o (latyhelminthes
ha$e an e)cretory system%
7latyhelminthes have a primitive
excretory system made of flame cells
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$also called solenocytes%, excretory
ducts and excretory pores.
8" #hat is an e)am(le of
freshwater flatworm% ue to
that habitat what is the
(hysiological (roblem that
these animals must sol$e%
7latyhelminthes of freshater, like
planarias, have an internal environment
much more concentrated in solutes than
the exterior and so they present a
tendency to gain ater. These
organisms then need a drainage system
to avoid cell death caused by excessive
ater.
The problem is solved by the presence
of protonephridia located along
longitudinal channels in the animal
body. 7rotonephridia have ciliated cells,
the flame cells, that push ater outside
the body through excretory pores.
/" !s the ner$ous system in
(latyhelminthes more or less
so(histicated than in
cnidarians% #hat are the main
neural structures found in
flatworms% 7ow is this neural
organization im(ortant for the
di$ersity of biological niches
e)(lored by s(ecies of the
(hylum%
7latyhelminthes present a more
sophisticated nervous system than
cnidarians, as the first neural chords
ith ganglia $grouping of neurons%
appear, a characteristic of the
evolutionary process of increased
nervous complexity. In platyhelminthes
one can note the beginning of the
cephalization process, ith a
concentration of neurons $nervous cells%
in the anterior portion of the body and
the appearance of photoreceptor cells in
the ocelli.
"ith the increased capacity of these
animals to perceive and to interact ith
the surrounds due to the increased
complexity of their neural complexity, it
is possible to find platyhelminthes in a
variety of environments, including the
terrestrial, and ith diverse ays of life,
like those that are parasites and those
that are free!living.
10" #hat is ce(halization%
7ow does lateral symmetry
fa$or ce(halization%
.ephalization is the evolutionary
tendency of concentration of the
nervous command in central structures
in hich there are grouping of neurons
$i.e, brain and ganglia formation%.
3volutionarily the cephalization process
begins ith the appearance of ganglia
$group of neurons% in platyhelminthes
and reaches an apex in vertebrates,
animals ith a cranial box to protect the
ell!developed brain.
"ith lateral symmetry the body can be
divided into lateral portions, superior,
inferior, anterior and posterior. These
portions must be integrated and
controlled in some manner and this
need stimulated the appearance of
ganglial complexity and of beings ith a
head, a privileged extremity of the
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bilateral body here the nervous central
command and important sensory organs
are located.
11" #hat is the ty(e of
re(roduction8 se)ual or
ase)ual8 that occurs in
(latyhelminthes%
7latyhelminthes may present sexual or
asexual reproduction.
1&" 7ow can ase)ual
re(roduction in (lanarias be
described%
7lanarias can divide themselves
asexually by transversal bipartition due
to the great regeneration capability of
their tissues. "hen they attach to a
substrate they can induce a constriction
in their middle region and the body is
then separated into to parts and each
of these parts gives birth to a ne
individual as tissue regenerates.
1*" Are flatworms monoecious
or dioecious%
There are monoecious hermaphrodite
flatorms, like planarias and taenias,
and there are dioecious $having male
and female individuals% species too, like
schistosomes.
1+" !s it (ossible for a
herma(hrodite s(ecies to
(resent cross4fecundation%
There are hermaphrodite species of
animals and plants that present cross!
fecundation mainly due to the
maturation of female and male
structures at different periods.
.ross fecundation occurs in planarias,
hermaphrodites in hich sexual
fecundation takes place ith male and
female gametes from different
individuals. These individuals approach
their copulating structures and
exchange gametes.
1," #hat is direct
de$elo(ment% !s there a lar$al
stage in (lanarias%
,exual reproduction ith direct
development is that in hich there is
not a larval stage in the embryonic
development. "hen a larval stage exists
it is said to be indirect development.
In the sexual reproduction of planarias
there is no larval stage.
1-" !nto which classes are
(latyhelminthes di$ided% 7ow
are these classes
characterized and what are
some re(resentati$e beings of
each of them%
7latyhelminthes are divided into three
classes2 turbellarians $or Turbellaria%,
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trematodes $or Trematoda% and
cestodes $or .estoda%.
Turbellarians are free!living
platyhelminthes and their main
representative is the planaria $4ugesia
tigrina%. Trematodes are parasites, they
live inside a host and the schistosome
$,chistosoma mansoni% that causes
schistosomiasis is an example. .estodes
are parasites too, they do not have
digestive tubes and their cells are
nourished by absorption of nutrients
from the host( their most popular
representative are the beef and pork
taenias $Taenia saginata and Taenia
solium% that parasite humans.
1." #hat are the main human
diseases caused by
(latyhelminthes%
The main human diseases caused by
platyhelminthes are schistosomiasis,
tapeorm disease $cestodiasis% and
cysticercosis.
$0ote24iseases are studied in the
C4iseasesD division of this e!book.%
18" ;latyhelminth identity
card" 7ow are (latyhelminthes
characterized according to
e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
ty(e of symmetry8 germ layers
and coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
planarias, schistosomes, taenias. Basic
morphology2 flat orm. Type of
symmetry2 bilateral. 6erm layers and
coelom2 triploblastics, acoelomates.
4igestive system2 incomplete.
5espiratory system2 nonexistent,
respiration by diffusion. .irculatory
system2 nonexistent. 3xcretory system2
protonephridia ith flame cells. 0ervous
system2 ganglial, beginning of
cephalization. Types of reproduction2
asexual and sexual.
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9ematodes
1" #hat are e)am(les of
nematodes%
'scaris, hookorm and filaria, all
parasites of humans, are examples of
nematodes $also knon as
roundorms%.
&" Are nematodes e)clusi$ely
(arasites%
There are parasitic roundorms,
including parasites of plants, but there
are also free!living nematodes.
*" #hat is the ty(ical
mor(hological feature of
nematodes that differentiates
them from (latyhelminthes%
0ematodes are also knon as
roundorms. 's the name indicates
they are not flat like platyhelminthes. In
evolutionary grounds ith the
nematodes the first complete digestive
system appears, ith mouth and anus,
and the pseudocoelom is also a novelty.
+" #hat are the mor(hological
similarities and differences
between nematodes and
annelids%
0ematodes, like annelids, have a
cylindrical elongated body. 'nnelids
differentiate from nematodes by
presenting a segmented body $body
divided into metameres% and so they
are called segmented orms.
," Are nematodes di(loblastic
or tri(loblastic animals%
Vust like platyhelminthes, nematodes
are triploblastics, i.e., they present
three germ layers $ectoderm,
mesoderm and endoderm%.
-" #hat is the main
e$olutionary inno$ation
(resented by nematodes%
#hat is the ad$antage of that
inno$ation%
The main evolutionary innovation of
nematodes is the complete digestive
system, ith to openings $mouth and
anus%.
,ince the ingestion and the defecation
processes can occur in different
extremities of the digestive tube, beings
ith a complete digestive system have
the advantage of ingesting ne food
hile residuals of already eaten food are
still inside the body and not yet
eliminated.
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." 6om(ared to
(latyhelminthes which
(hysiological (roblem ha$e
the cylindrical body of
nematodes brought% 7ow was
that (roblem sol$ed%
The cylindrical shape of nematodes
made impossible the respiration
exclusively by simple diffusion among
cells since there are tissues far from the
exterior. This problem as solved by
the presence of an inner cavity in the
body filled ith fluid, the pseudocoelom.
The pseudocoelom has the function of
distributing gases and nutrients to the
body and to collect residuals, besides
serving as a hydrostatic base to keep
the orm shape.
$8or the fact that the pseudocoelom
fluid and the pseudocoelom do not
characterize a true circulatory system
ith blood and heart it is not said that
in nematodes the respiration is
cutaneous( it is considered that these
animals still make respiration by
diffusion%.
8" 7ow does the e)cretory
system of nematodes work%
The metabolic residuals of nematodes
are collected by to longitudinal lateral
excretory channels that open in one
single excretory pore near the mouth.
/" 7ow is the ner$ous system
of nematodes organized%
#here are the neural chords
located in their body%
5oundorms have a ganglial nervous
system ith an anterior neural ring
representing $evolutionarily% a primitive
cephalization.
0ematodes have to main longitudinal
ganglial chords that extend one dorsally
and the other ventrally under the
epidermis. There may also be nerves
lateral to these main chords. The
nervous system of a free!living
nematode, C.aenorhabditis elegansD,
has been ell!studied in
neurophysiological research and
presents H=? neurons.
The nematode C.. 3legansD as the
organism used in the research on the
genetic regulation of organogenesis and
apoptosis hose researchers on the
0obel prize of 1edicine in ?==?
$Brenner, /orvitz and ,ulston%.
10" #hat is the ty(e of
re(roduction that occurs in
roundworms% #hat ty(ical
feature do nematode s(erm
cells ha$e%
0ematodes reproduce sexually. The
nematode sperm cell does not have cilia
nor flagella and they move by amoeboid
movement forming pseudopods.
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11" #hat are the main human
diseases caused by
roundworms%
The main human diseases caused by
nematodes are ascariasis,
ancylostomiasis $hookorm infection%
and filariasis $commonly knon by its
conse&uence, elephantiasis%.
1&" 9ematode identity card"
7ow are nematodes
characterized according to
e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
ty(e of symmetry8 germ layers
and coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
ascaris, hookorms, filaria, pinorms.
Basic morphology2 cylindric $round%
body, not segmented. Type of
symmetry2 bilateral. 6erm layers and
coelom2 triploblastics,
pseudocoelomates. 4igestive system2
complete. 5espiratory system2
respiration by diffusion. .irculatory
system2 circulating fluid ithin the
pseudocoelom. 3xcretory system2
excretory channels and excretory pore.
0ervous system2 ventral and dorsal
ganglial chord, primitive cephalization.
Types of reproduction2 sexual.
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Annelids
1" #hat are some e)am(les of
annelids%
3arthorms, leeches and lugorms.
&" #hich are the
mor(hological features that
differentiate the beings of the
(hylum Annelida from
nematodes and
(latyhelminthes%
7latyhelminthes are orms ith flat
bodies $flatorms%, nematodes are
orms ith cylindrical but not
segmented bodies $roundorms%.
'nnelids are cylindrical orms ith
segmented bodies $they are
metameric%.
*" #hat is the main
e$olutionary no$elty
(resented by annelids%
The main evolutionary novelty
presented by the beings of the phylum
'nnelida is the coelom, the internal
body cavity totally covered by
mesoderm, a feature also present in
arthropods, molluscs, echinoderms and
chordates. 7latyhelminthes are
acoelomate and nematodes are
pseudocoelomate $their internal cavity
is partially covered by mesoderm%.
'nother important evolutionary novelty
of the annelids is the closed circulatory
system.
+" #hat is the mor(hological
characteristic that
e$olutionarily a((ro)imates
the beings of the (hylum
Annelida to arthro(ods%
The metameric feature, i.e., the body
segmentation in metameres,
approximates annelids to arthropods
since these animals are segmented
beings too. $Bristles present in
oligochaete and polychaete annelids are
also covered ith chitin, the same
substance of the arthropod
exoskeleton.%
," 7ow does digestion in
beings of the (hylum Annelida
work and which ty(e of
digesti$e system do they
ha$e%
4igestion in beings of the phylum
'nnelida is extracellular. These animals
have a complete digestive system, ith
mouth and anus.
-" #hich are the
characteristics and organs of
the digesti$e system of
earthworms related to the
ty(e of diet of these animals%
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3arthorms eat decomposing organic
material and small organisms ingested
together ith soil particles. The
digestive tubes of earthorms have
special structures, like a muscular all
and a gizzard, that triturate the food
and scratch it against the ingested soil
particles. ,ince annelid digestion is
exclusively extracellular earthorms
also present in the posterior part of
their digestive system structures like
the cecum and the typhlosole that have
the function of increasing the absorption
surface of the intestine.
." The $ascular lesions caused
by leeches u(on the blood
$essels of their host cause
blood naturally to coagulate"
7ow does the leech sol$e this
(roblem since it could be
e)(ected that the ingested
blood would coagulate inside
its body%
Ingested blood does not coagulate
inside the leech $/irudo medicinalis%
because in its saliva there is a potent
anticoagulant substance, a protein
called hirudin.
In the past leeches ere largely used as
medical treatment. 0oadays
hirudotherapy is being used in patients
ith extensive and chronic inflammation
of the skin, in prevention against tissue
necrosis after some surgeries and in
several others fields of 1edicine.
8" 7ow is the res(iratory
system of beings of the
(hylum Annelida
characterized%
5espiration in annelids can be
cutaneous or branchial. .utaneous
respiration occurs due to the rich
vascularity under the epidermis. The
gills, present in a&uatic annelids, are
located in the parapodia $false clas%
that have an extensive capillary net.
/" #hat is meant when it is
said that beings of the (hylum
Annelida are $ascular beings%
From which other (hyla of the
animal kingdom does this
feature differentiate them%
The classification of these beings as
vascular beings means that they have a
circulatory system, ith vessels that
distribute substances throughout the
body.
7oriferans, cnidarians and flatorms do
not have a circulatory system. In
nematodes there is circulation of gases
and nutrients through the pseudocoelom
fluid.
10" 7ow are the circulatory
systems of animals classified%
' circulatory system is classified as
open or closed. In open circulatory
systems blood gets out of vessels and
flos also to large cavities that perfuse
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the tissues to be irrigated. In closed
circulatory systems blood circulates only
ithin blood vessels and through the
heart.
11" #hat is the ty(e of
circulatory system (resent in
annelids%
In beings of the phylum 'nnelida the
circulatory system is closed, i.e., blood
circulation takes place only ithin
specialized vessels.
1&" !s there a res(iratory
(igment in the annelid blood%
The blood in beings of the phylum
'nnelida contains the respiratory
pigment hemoglobin $the same found in
chordates% and other pigments too.
1*" 7ow can the (resence8
localization and function of
muscular tissue in beings of
the (hylum Annelida be
e)(lained%
In these beings there are a longitudinal
muscular layer under the epidermis and,
internally #uxtaposed and perpendicular
to it, another circular $radial to the axis%
muscular layer. The circular muscle
layer has the function of elongating the
body hile the longitudinal shortens it.
By alternating actions both promote
movement.
1+" 7ow can the e)cretory
system of annelids be
described%
In each segment $metamere% of the
being a pair of complete excretory
structures called metanephridium exists.
The metanephridium has an extremity,
the nephrostoma, hich collects
residuals from the coelom, filtering
them and causing reabsorption along its
extension $similar to human nephron
tubules%. The material to be excreted
goes out through a pore, the
nephridiopore, hich opens in the body
surface.
1," 7ow is the ner$ous system
characterized in beings of the
(hylum Annelida% 7ow can
one com(are ce(halization in
annelids to ce(halization in
nematodes and
(latyhelminthes%
'nnelids have a nervous system made
of to ventral chords and one relatively
big nervous cell concentration in its
anterior portion resembling a primitive
brain.
0ematodes have an anterior neural ring
connected to to neural chords, a
ventral and a dorsal one, hile in
planarias $platyhelminthes% there are
only to small anterior CcerebralD
ganglia from hich neural chords split.
.ephalization in annelids thus is more
outstanding than in nematodes or in
flatorms.
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1-" #hat is the clitellum of
earthtworms and where it is
located%
The clitellum is a special region of the
annelid constituted by rings
$metameres% ith reproductive function.
It can be found in the anterior portion of
the animal and it is characterized by a
lighter color in comparison to the
normal color of the other segments.
1." 6oncerning the occurrence
of se(arated se)es how are
the beings of the (hylum
Annelida classified%
These beings may be dioecious $the
ma#ority of polychaetes% or
hermaphrodite monoecious
$oligochaetes and hirudineans%.
18" !s the embryonic
de$elo(ment in earthworms
direct or indirect%
In earthorms there is no larval stage,
so the embryonic development is direct.
1/" #hat is the name of the
lar$al stage of (olychaetes%
'mong the annelid classes only
polychaetes present a larval stage. Their
larva is called trocophore.
&0" #hat is the ecological role
of earthworms%
3arthorms have an important
ecological role as they eat decomposing
organic material. They also dig tunnels
in the subsoil alloing the entrance of
gases and nutrients that are useful for
plant roots and other living beings. ,o
they act as decomposers and as
fertilizers too.
&1" !nto which classes is the
(hylum Annelida di$ided%
The phylum is divided into three
classes2 oligochaetes $for example,
earthorms%, hirudineans $e.g.,
leeches% and polychaetes $these are
mostly marine a&uatic ith parapodia,
like nereis%.
&&" Annelid !dentity card" 7ow
are they characterized
according to e)am(les of
re(resenting beings8 basic
mor(hology8 ty(e of
symmetry8 germ layers and
coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
earthorms, leeches, lugorms. Basic
morphology2 cylindrical body,
segmented $metameric%. Type of
symmetry2 bilateral. 6erm layers and
coelom2 triploblastics, coelomates.
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4igestive system2 complete. 5espiratory
system2 cutaneous or branchial.
.irculatory system2 closed, ith
hemoglobin. 3xcretory system2 a pair of
metanephridia in each metamere.
0ervous system2 neural chords, a pair
of ganglia per metamere, anterior
concentration of neurons $primitive
brain%. Types of reproduction2 sexual,
ith dioecious and monoecious beings.
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Arthro(ods
1" #hat are some e)am(les of
arthro(ods%
'nts, flies, cockroaches, shrimps, crabs,
spiders and scorpions are examples of
arthropods.
&" #hat are the classes into
which the (hylum Arthro(oda
is di$ided% #hat are the three
main ones and some of their
re(resentati$e s(ecies%
The three main classes of arthropods
are2 insects $cockroachs, ants, flies,
bees, beetles, butterflies%, crustaceans
$crabs, lobsters, shrimps, barnacles%
and arachnids $scorpions, spiders,
mites%. -ther classes are
onychophorans $velvet orms%,
diplopods $millipedes% and chilopods
$centipedes%.
*" #hat are the main
mor(hological features of
arthro(ods%
'rthropods present three distinguishing
features2 they are metameric beings
$segmented body%, they have an
exoskeleton made of chitin and they
present articulated limbs.
+" 6oncerning germ layers and
the (resence of coelom how
are arthro(ods characterized%
'rthropods are triploblastic $they have
three germ layers% and coelomate
beings.
," 6onsidering the (resence of
segmentation 2metameres3 in
their body to which other
already studied (hylum are
arthro(ods (ro)imal%
.onsidering their metameric feature
arthropods are proximal to annelids that
also have segmented bodies. In the
embryonic development of some
arthropods there are fusions of
metameres forming structures like, for
example, the cephalothorax of
arachnids.
-" #hat is the e)ternal rigid
cara(ace of arthro(ods called%
>f which substance is it
made% #hich ty(e of organic
molecule is that substance%
The external carapace of arthropods is
called exoskeleton. The arthropod
exoskeleton is made of chitin, a
nitrogen!containing polysaccharide.
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." 7ow do arthro(ods grow%
4ue to the presence of exoskeleton the
groth of an arthropod is periodical.
4uring the groth period the animal
loses the exoskeleton, gros and
develops a ne exoskeleton. This
process is named ecdysis, or molting.
8" 7ow does the (resence of
e)oskeleton e)(lain the
general small size of
arthro(ods%
,ince they have exoskeleton and
periodic ecdysis, the groth of
arthropods is limited to avoid the animal
becoming vulnerable to environmental
harm. There are hoever some
arthropod species ith relatively large!
sized individuals, like CgiantD
cockroaches, crabs and spiders.
/" 7ow can the features of the
arthro(od e)oskeleton e)(lain
the terrestrial ada(tation of
some s(ecies of the (hylum%
In the arthropod exoskeleton there is a
layer of ax hich is impermeable. This
feature as fundamental for primitive
arthropods from the sea to survive on
dry land ithout losing excessive ater
to the environment.
10" #hat is the ty(e of
digesti$e system (resent in
beings of the (hylum
Arthro(oda% Are these
animals (rotostomes or
deuterostomes%
The digestive tube of arthropods is
complete, containing mouth and anus.
'rthropods are protostome animals, i.e.,
in their embryonic development the
blastopore originates the mouth.
11" 7ow is the e)tracor(oreal
digestion associated to
(redation in arachnids%
'rachnids can inoculate poison to
paralyze or kill their preys using
structures called chelicerae. The prey is
partially digested outside the body of
the arachnid by digestive enzymes
inoculated together ith the venom or
in#ected posteriorly. 'fter this
extracorporeal digestion the food is
ingested and gains the digestive tube of
the predator here the extracellular
digestion continues.
1&" #hich organs or
res(iratory ada(tations do
a5uatic and terrestrial
arthro(ods res(ecti$ely
(resent%
In crustaceans, typical a&uatic beings,
there are richly vascularized gills that
make contact ith ater and permit gas
exchange. In terrestrial insects the
respiration is tracheal and gases flo
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inside small tubes that connect the
animal external surface and ramify to
tissues and cells ithout the
participation of blood. In arachnids,
besides the tracheal respiration, book
lungs $thin folds resembling leaves in a
book% may also exist.
1*" !n arthro(ods why isnGt
gas e)change done through
cutaneous diffusion%
In arthropods the impermeability of the
exoskeleton makes the passage of
gases difficult. In addition the ne
methods of respiration present in
arthropods ere preserved by evolution
because they ere more efficient for
those animals.
1+" #hat is the ty(e of
circulatory system (resent in
arthro(ods% o these animals
ha$e heart and res(iratory
(igments%
In arthropods the respiratory system is
open $lacunar%. Blood, also knon as
hemolymph, is pumped by a heart and
falls into cavities $lacunas% irrigating
and draining tissues.
'll arthropods have a heart.
.rustaceans and arachnids have
respiratory pigments. Insects do not
have respiratory pigments since their
blood does not carry gases $in them
gases reach tissues and cells through
tracheal structures%.
1," #hat are res(iratory
(igments% #hat is the
res(iratory (igment (resent in
some arthro(ods% #hich is
the analogous molecule in
humans%
5espiratory pigments are molecules able
to carry oxygen and other respiratory
gases present in circulatory fluids.
In crustaceans and in arachnids
hemocyanin is the respiratory pigment.
In humans the analogous pigment is
hemoglobin.
1-" 7ow is the res(iratory
system of insects 2with its
inde(endence between
circulation and res(iration3
related to the motor agility of
some s(ecies of this arthro(od
class%
3ven having lo speed and lo pressure
circulatory system, since it is a lacunar
$open% circulatory system, insects
perform extremely fast and exhaustive
movements ith their muscle fibers, like
ing beating. This is possible because in
these animals the respiration is
independent from the open circulation.
6as exchange is done ith great speed
and efficiency by the tracheal system
that puts cells in direct contact ith air.
1uscles can then ork fast and hard.
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1." 7ow are the e)cretory
systems of the three main
arthro(od classes constituted%
In crustaceans a pair of excretory
organs called green glands exists. The
green glands collect residuals from the
blood and other parts of the body. They
are connected by ducts to excretory
pores located under the base of the
antennae and these pores release the
excretions outside.
In insects small structures called
malpighian tubules gather astes from
the blood and thro them into excretory
ducts that open in the intestine. In
these animals excretions are eliminated
together ith feces.
In arachnids, besides malpighian
tubules, there are coxal glands located
in the cephalothorax near the limbs that
also participate in excretion.
18" #hat are the noteworthy
features of the ner$ous
system of arthro(ods%
In arthropods the nervous system has
more sophisticated sensory receptors
ith ell!advanced cephalization. In the
anterior region of the body there is a
fusion of ganglia forming a brain
connected to to ventral ganglial chains
having motor and sensory nerves.
The boosted development of the
sensory system of arthropods provides
more adaptive possibilities for these
animals to explore many different
environments.
1/" #hat are com(ound eyes%
'rthropods have compound eyes made
of several visual units called ommatidia.
3ach ommatidium transmits visual
information through the optic nerve to
the brain, hich interprets the image.
Because they are round and numerous,
these ommatidia, hose external
surfaces point in different directions
creating independent images, cause
arthropod eyes have a large visual field,
larger than the visual field of
vertebrates. ,ome insects have one or
more simple eye besides their pair of
compound eyes.
&0" 7ow is arthro(od
re(roduction characterized%
5eproduction in beings of the phylum
'rthropoda is sexual, ith larval stage
in some insects and crustaceans
$arachnids present only direct
development%.
&1" #hat are the ty(es of
fecundation that occur in
arthro(ods% #hat is the
(redominant ty(e%
In arthropods there are species having
external fecundation and other species
having internal fecundation. Internal
fecundation is predominant.
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&&" 7ow is fecundation done
in insects 2e)ternal or
internal3% !s there co(ulation
between insects%
8ecundation in insects is internal, ith
copulation.
&*" 7ow are the main classes
of arthro(ods classified
according to the (resence of
lar$al stage in their embryonic
de$elo(ment%
In crustaceans there are species ith
direct and others ith indirect
development. In insects there are
species ithout larval stage $ametabolic
insects%, others undergoing indirect
development beginning ith an egg
stage folloed by a nymph stage
$hemimetabolic insects% and others ith
indirect development beginning ith the
larval stage $holometabolic insects%.
The transformation of a larva into an
adult individual is called metamorphosis.
/emimetabolic insects undergo
incomplete metamorphosis hile
holometabolic insects undergo complete
metamorphosis.
&+" #hat are nym(h and
imago%
0ymphs are larvae of hemimetabolic
insects $like grasshoppers%. They are
very similar to the adult insect although
smaller. In holometabolic insects $like
butterflies% the larva makes a cocoon
$chrysalis, pupa% here it lives until
emerging into the adult form. Imago is
the name given to the adult form of
insects ith indirect development.
&," !s the stage when an
insect lar$a is within a cocoon
a stage of total biological
inacti$ity%
The period hen the larva is ithin its
cocoon is a time of intense biological
activity since the larva is being
transformed into an adult animal.
&-" 7ow are the three main
arthro(od classes
characterized according to the
(resence of wings%
.rustaceans and arachnids do not have
ings. 1ost insects have ings.
&." 0ost insects ha$e wings"
#hich is the other animal
(hylum that contains
creatures with analogous
organs%
Besides the phylum 'rthropoda another
animal phylum ith flying creatures is
the chordate phylum, birds and
chiropterans mammals $bats% have
ings. In the past some reptiles that
possibly originated the aves had ings
too. There are also amphibians and
fishes that #ump high exploring the
aerial environment.
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&8" 7ow are the three main
arthro(od classes
characterized according to the
(resence of antennae%
.rustaceans have to pairs of
antennae( insects have one pair(
arachnids do not have antennae.
&/" 7ow are the three main
arthro(od classes
characterized according to the
body di$ision%
In crustaceans and arachnids the head
is fused ith the thorax forming the
cephalothorax. Their body thus is
divided into cephalothorax and
abdomen.
In insects there are head, thorax and
abdomen.
*0" 7ow are the three main
arthro(od classes
characterized according to the
number of limbs%
1ost crustaceans have five pairs of
limbs. Insects have three pairs and
arachnids present four pairs of limbs.
*1" #hich arthro(od class is
the most di$ersified animal
grou( of the (lanet% 7ow can
this e$olutionary success be
e)(lained%
The insects are the animal group ith
most diversity of species. 'lmost
N:==== insect species are knon, about
::; of the total already cataloged
species of living beings $compare ith
mammals, ith no more than @===
knon species%. It is calculated hoever
that the number of unknon species of
insects may be over ? million. The
insect population on the planet is
estimated to be more than G= &uintillion
$G==================% individuals.
The great evolutionary success of
insects is due to factors such as2 small
size and alimentary diversity, making
possible the exploration of numerous
different ecological niches( ings that
provided more geographic spread( the
tracheal respiration that gave them
motor agility( high reproductive rates
ith production of great numbers of
descendants.
*&" #hat are some e)am(les
of beings of the (hylum
Arthro(oda that (resent a
high le$el of beha$ioral
so(histication%
Insects like some species of bees,
asps, ants and termites form societies
that include hierarchy and #ob division
among members. ,piders build
sophisticated external structures, ebs,
mainly to serve as a trap for capturing
prey. 'nother example is the
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communication mechanism in some
bees knon as the bee dance by hich
an individual signal to others
information about the spatial position of
floer fields and other nectar sources.
**" Arthro(od identity card"
7ow are arthro(ods
characterized according to
e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
ty(e of symmetry8 germ layers
and coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
cockroaches, flies, crabs, lobsters,
shrimps, spiders, scorpions, mites. Basic
morphology2 segmented body
$metameric%, articulated limbs,
chitinous exoskeleton, periodic ecdysis.
Type of symmetry2 bilateral. 6erm
layers and coelom2 triploblastics,
coelomates. 4igestive system2
complete. 5espiratory system2 tracheal
in insects, branchial in crustaceans,
tracheal and book lungs in arachnids.
.irculatory system2 open, hemocyanin
in crustaceans and arachnids. 3xcretory
system2 malpighian tubules in insects,
green glands in crustaceans, malpighian
tubules and coxal glands in arachnids.
0ervous system2 ganglial. Types of
reproduction2 sexual, ith or ithout
larval stage in insects and crustaceans,
metamorphosis in some insects, no
larval stage in arachnids.
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0olluscs
1" #hat are some
re(resentati$es of the (hylum
0ollusca%
,nails, octopuses, s&uids and oysters
are examples of molluscs.
&" !n which habitats do
molluscs li$e%
1olluscs can be found in the sea,
freshater and in terrestrial
environments.
*" #hat is the mor(hological
feature of molluscs after
which the (hylum is named%
The ord CmolluscD means Csoft thingD.
1olluscs have soft bodies and this
feature explains the name of the
phylum.
+" #hat are the biological
troubles that molluscs face
due to their soft body%
Because molluscs have a soft body they
are more fragile. They also have more
difficulty to support their bodies in
terrestrial environments or to fixate to
substrates in a&uatic habitats. 1any
species solve these problems by
secreting a calcareous carapace, or
shell, an exoskeleton to support and
protect them and to prevent
dehydration.
," Are mollusc metameric
beings% =)clusi$ely analyzing
this feature could it be said
that molluscs are
e$olutionarily (ro)imal to
nematodes or to annelids%
In molluscs there is not a body divided
into segments. .onsidering #ust this
feature it could be said that
evolutionarily they are more proximal to
nematodes than to annelids.
-" !nto which classes are
mollusc di$ided% #hat are
some re(resenting beings of
each class%
The phylum 1ollusca is divided into five
main classes2 pelecypods, or bivalves
$7elecypoda, or Bivalvia%, includes
oysters, clams, mussels( gastropods
$6astropoda%, snails, sea slugs(
cephalopods $.ephalopoda%, s&uids,
octopuses( scaphopods $,caphopoda%,
tooth shells( 7olyplacophora, chitons.
There are a fe other mollusc classes.
." 7ow is the body of
gastro(ods di$ided%
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The body of gastropods is divided into
three main portions2 head, the visceral
mass and foot.
8" #hat is the ty(e of
digesti$e system in molluscs%
1olluscs present extracellular digestion
and a complete digestive system, ith
mouth and anus.
/" #hat is the radula% #hat is
the function of this organ%
,ome molluscs have a tongue!like
structure ith harsh saliences similar to
small teeth. This structure is called
radula. The radula pro#ects outside and
helps to scrape food.
10" 7ow is the res(iratory
system in a5uatic molluscs
characterized% #hat ada(ti$e
res(iratory structure do
terrestrial molluscs (resent%
'&uatic molluscs oxygenate their blood
through gills in direct contact ith
ater. In terrestrial molluscs the rich
vascularity under the mantle cavity
absorbs air doing the role of a primitive
lung.
11" #hich ty(e of circulatory
system do molluscs ha$e%
7ow can it be com(ared to the
res(iratory system of
annelids%
1olluscs, ith the exception of
cephalopods, have an open circulatory
system, i.e., the blood circulates ithin
vessels, from the heart, but it also fills
open lacunas or cavities. In annelids the
circulatory system is closed, i.e., the
blood circulates only inside blood
vessels.
1&" 7ow is the large size of
some ce(halo(ods related to
the ty(e of circulatory system
they (resent%
In cephalopods the circulatory system is
closed and this provides more speed
and pressure for the blood circulation
alloing the existence of species ith
large bodies, like octopuses and giant
s&uids.
1*" 7ow is the e)cretory
system of molluscs
characterized%
1olluscs have one or to pair of
spongelike nephridia, similar to kidneys.
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1+" #hat ty(e of e)oskeleton
do some molluscs (resent%
,ome molluscs, like bivalves and
gastropods, secrete an external
calcareous carapace $the shell%. .alcium
carbonate is secreted by the mantle, a
fold in the epidermis, forming the shell.
In pelecypods, the shell is made of to
valves that articulate and contain the
individual body ithin. In gastropods
the shell contains only part of the body,
the visceral mass.
1," o octo(us and s5uids
ha$e e)oskeleton%
-ctopus and s&uids generally do not
produce external shell $some s&uid
species can have an internal shell%. -ne
cephalopod group, the nautiluses,
produces an external spiral shell.
1-" #hich other (hylum of the
animal kingdom (resent
s(ecies with e)oskeleton%
'rthropods present exoskeleton made of
chitin. 3chinoderms do not have
exoskeleton but they present a
calcareous endoskeleton. ,ome
chordates also have an external
carapace.
1." #hat is the function of the
feet in molluscs% 7ow is the
mollusc foot related to the
name gi$en to the classes of
the (hylum%
The mollusc foot has the function of
locomotion, support, fixation, digging in
the environment and sometimes of
holding prey.
The terminations of the names given to
the main mollusc classes come from the
6reek ord CpodosD that means foot.
6astropods have feet in their ventral
region $as the name indicates%(
pelecypods have ax!shaped feet $ax in
6reek is CpelekysD%( in cephalopods the
feet are near the head.
18" 7ow is the ner$ous system
of molluscs organized%
1olluscs have ell!developed sensory
structures. It is accepted that
cephalopods, like octopus and s&uid,
have eyes ith image formation. ,nails
have antennae and a pair of ell!
defined eyes. Bivalves do not present
eyes but they have photosensitive and
tactile cells.
.ephalization is evident in molluscs and
neurons concentrate in a ganglial
pattern.
1/" #hat are e)am(les of the
ecological and economic
im(ortance of molluscs%
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1olluscs are important players in
several food chains in ecosystems. 1any
marine molluscs are part of a common
human diet, like octopus and s&uid,
very appreciated in the 3ast, and
oysters and mussels, consumed all
around the orld. Besides molluscs that
are part of the food industry, pearls
made by oysters have high commercial
value.
&0" 7ow are natural and
artificial (earls created%
7earls are made from small strange
particles that deposit beteen the shell
and the mantle of the oyster. These
particles trigger a defense process by
the organism and they are gradually
covered by calcium carbonate layers
secreted by the oyster thus giving birth
to pearls.
In the artificial production of pearls a
small fragment of shell covered ith
mantle pieces is inserted beteen the
shell and the mantle of an oyster and a
pearl is formed around the graft.
&1" 0ollusc identity card" 7ow
are molluscs characterized
according to e)am(les of
re(resenting beings8 basic
mor(hology8 ty(e of
symmetry8 germ layers and
coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2 snails,
sea slugs, octopuses, s&uids, mussels,
oysters. Basic morphology2 soft body,
ith or ithout calcareous shell. Type of
symmetry2 bilateral. 6erm layers and
coelom2 triploblastics, coelomates.
4igestive system2 complete. 5espiratory
system2 branchial or, in terrestrial
gastropods, lungs. .irculatory system2
open or, in cephalopods, closed.
3xcretory system2 nephridia. 0ervous
system2 ganglial, advanced
cephalization in cephalopods. Types of
reproduction2 sexual.
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Biology Questions and Answers
=chinoderms
1" #hat are some
re(resentati$es of the
echinoderm (hylum%
,tarfishes, sea cucumbers
$holothurians%, sea urchins and brittle
stars are examples of echinoderms.
&" Ender which en$ironments
do echinoderms li$e%
3chinoderms are marine animals, they
live in salt ater.
*" #hat are the basic
mor(hological features of
echinoderms%
3chinoderms, as the name indicates
$echino B spiny, derma B skin%, are
creatures ith spines originated from an
endoskeleton. Their endoskeleton is
made of calcareous pla&ues that besides
spines contain pedicellaria, small pincers
used to clean the body and to help the
capturing of prey. They also present a
hydrovascular system knon as the
ambulacral system. 'dult echinoderms
have pentaradial symmetry( the radial
symmetry in these animals is
secondary, present only in adults.
+" 7ow can the endoskeleton
of echinoderms be
characterized in com(arison
to analogous structures
(resent in $ertebrates8
arthro(ods and molluscs%
The echinoderm skeleton is internal,
i.e., it is an endoskeleton. It is made of
calcium carbonate $calcareous%.
Pertebrates also have internal skeleton
made of bones and cartilages.
'rthropods have an external carapace
made of chitin, a chitinous exoskeleton.
,ome molluscs present a calcareous
shell that orks as exoskeleton.
," #hat is the system that
(ermits mo$ement and
fi)ation to echinoderms%
The system that permits movement and
fixation to substrates in echinoderms is
called the ambulacral system. In these
animals ater enters through a
structure called madreporite, passes
through channels and reaches the
ambulacral feet in the undersurface of
the body. In the ambulacral region in
contact ith the substrate, there are
tube feet filled and emptied by ater
thus acting as suckers.
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Biology Questions and Answers
-" #hat is the ty(e of
digesti$e system of
echinoderms%
3chinoderms present a complete
digestive system, ith mouth and anus.
." o sea urchins ha$e teeth%
,ea urchins have a teeth!like structure
#uxtaposed to the mouth and made of
five teeth connected to ossicles and
muscle fibers. This structure, knon as
'ristotleQs lantern, is use to scratch
food, mainly algae, from marine rocks.
8" #hat is the embryonic
characteristic that
e$olutionarily makes
echinoderms (ro)imal to
chordates%
3chinoderms and chordates are
deuterostomes, i.e., in their embryonic
development the blastopore turns into
the anus. 'll other animals ith
complete digestive system are
protostomes, i.e., their blastopore
originates the mouth.
The blastopore is the first opening of
the digestive tube that appears in the
embryonic development.
/" o echinoderms ha$e
res(iratory and circulatory
systems%
In echinoderms there are not ell!
defined respiratory $ith the exception
of the holothurian group% and
circulatory systems. The ambulacral
hydrovascular system plays the function
of these systems.
10" o echinoderms ha$e an
e)cretory system% 7ow is
e)cretion done in these
animals%
3chinoderms do not have an excretory
system. Their excretions are eliminated
by diffusion.
11" 7ow are the symmetry and
the ner$ous system
characterized in echinoderms%
'dult echinoderms, along ith
cnidarians, are the animals that present
radial symmetry, i.e., their body
structures are distributed around a
center. The radial symmetry in
echinoderms hoever is a secondary
radial symmetry, since their larval stage
has bilateral symmetry and the radial
pattern appears only in adult individuals
$there are some fe adult echinoderms
ith lateral symmetry%. 'll other
animals have lateral symmetry ith
exception of poriferans $no symmetry is
defined for them%.
3chinoderms do not present
cephalization and they have a diffuse
netork of nerves and neurons made of
a neural ring around the mouth and of
radial nerves that ramify to follo the
pentaradial structure of the body.
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1&" o echinoderms (resent
internal or e)ternal
fecundation% !s there se)
di$ision among indi$iduals%
The fecundation in echinoderms is
external, gametes are liberated in ater
here fecundation occurs.
The ma#ority of echinoderms are
dioecious ith male and female
individuals.
1*" !s there a lar$al stage in
echinoderms%
In echinoderms embryonic development
is indirect, ith ciliated larvae.
1+" #hat are the classes into
which the (hylum
=chinodermata is di$ided%
The five echinoderm classes are2
asteroids $starfishes%, ophiuroids,
crinoids, holothuroids $sea cucumbers%
and echinoids $sea urchins and sand
dollars%.
1," =chinoderm identity card"
7ow are echinoderms
characterized according to
e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
ty(e of symmetry8 germ layers
and coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2 sea
cucumber, sea urchin, starfishes. Basic
morphology2 calcareous endoskeleton
ith spines, ambulacral system. Type of
symmetry2 secondary radial. 6erm
layers and coelom2 triploblastics,
coelomates. 4igestive system2
complete, deuterostomes. 5espiratory
system2 nonexistent. .irculatory
system2 nonexistent. 3xcretory system2
nonexistent. 0ervous system2 simple,
nerve netork ithout ganglia or
cephalization. Types of reproduction2
sexual, ith larval stage.
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Biology Questions and Answers
6hordates
1" #hat are the two main
subdi$isions of the (hylum
6hordata%
The phylum .hordata is divided into
protochordates $urochordates and
cephalochordates% and vertebrates
$cyclostomes, fishes, amphibians,
reptiles, birds and mammals%.
&" #hat are the three
structures shared by e$ery
chordate that characterize the
grou(%
'll beings of the phylum .hordata have
branchial clefts in the pharynx $in some
species present only in the embryo%,
notochord $substituted by the spinal
column in vertebrates% and dorsal
neural tube.
*" #hat is the destination of
the branchial clefts in
humans%
In humans the branchial clefts located
in the anterior region of the pharynx
$also knon as pharyngeal clefts% are
present only in the embryonic stage and
disappear later.
+" #hat is the destination of
the notochord in $ertebrates
and in (rotochordates%
In vertebrates the notochord disappears
and gives birth to the spinal column
$vertebral column%. In protochordates
the notochord remains for the rest of
the life.
," !s the tubular4dorsal
ner$ous system of chordates
associated to radial or lateral
symmetry% 7ow does that
e)(lain the com(le)ity le$el of
the ner$ous system reached
by the $ertebrate e$olutionary
branch%
The tubular and dorsal nervous system
of chordates is related to the
cephalization in these animals and to
bilateral symmetry.
The presence of neural integrating
centers ith concentration of neurons in
the brains and the spinal cord $central
nervous system, .0,% alloed the
increase of the interaction complexity
beteen these animals and the
environment. 5eceptor $afferent
conduction% and efferent $motor,
regulatory and behavioral reactions%
functions come out more sophisticated
in chordates due to the presence of
more ell!developed neural netorks.
These features have been preserved by
evolution as they provide adaptive
advantage to their oners.
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-" 7ow can the tubular4dorsal
ner$ous system in chordates
be com(ared to the ner$ous
(attern (resent in
in$ertebrates%
In chordates the nervous system is
dorsal and highly cephalized hile in
most invertebrates the nervous system
is ganglial and ventral.
." #hat is the grou( of the
(hylum 6hordata that first
colonized the terrestrial
en$ironment% From which
habitat did they come%
'mphibians, partially a&uatic partially
terrestrial animals, ere the first
chordates that colonized the dry land.
They came from the a&uatic habitat and
ere originated from fishes.
$0evertheless the first completely
terrestrial chordates ere the reptiles%.
8" 7ow do chordates
re(roduce%
5eproduction in beings of the phylum
.hordata is sexual, ith the exception
of urochordates that can also reproduce
asexually. In some classes
$cyclostomes, osteichthyes fishes and
amphibians% there is larval stage. "ith
rare exceptions, fishes, amphibians,
reptiles and monotreme mammals are
oviparous, egg!laying $embryos develop
ithin eggs and outside the motherQs
body% and marsupial and placental
mammals are viviparous $embryos
develop inside the motherQs body,
feeding from her%.
/" !nto which sub(hyla are the
(rotochordates di$ided% #hat
are some re(resentati$es of
each (rotochordate
sub(hylum%
Lrochordates $or tunicates% and
cephalochordates are the to subphyla
into hich protochordates are divided.
'scidians, sessile animals similar to
sponges, are examples of tunicates. The
amphioxus, ell!studied in 3mbryology,
is an example of cephalochordate.
10" #hat are the si) criteria
used to build a com(lete
e$olutionary branch of
$ertebrates%
4ichotomy in each of the six folloing
criteria builds the vertebrate
evolutionary branch2 absence of
mandibles separates cyclostomes from
others( absence of limbs separates
fishes from the remaining( absence of
osseous skeleton separates
chondrichthian $cartilaginous% fishes
from osteichthyes( absence of
impermeable skin separates amphibians
from the terrestrial vertebrates(
absence of arm blood $homeothermic
body% separates reptiles from birds and
mammals( absence of mammary glands
and hair separates birds from
mammals.
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11" =$olutionarily
(rotochordates may be
intermediate animals between
in$ertebrates and $ertebrates"
!magine a scientist is testing
the hy(othesis that
$ertebrates e$ol$ed from
echinoderms" 7a$ing as
research obJect a newly found
(rotochordate s(ecies8 what is
an e)am(le of a disco$ery that
would weaken the hy(othesis%
#hat is an e)am(le of a
disco$ery that would
strengthen it%
/ypothesis to be tested2 Pertebrates
evolved from echinoderms. Testing
material2 ' nely found protochordate
species $i.e., a vertebrate forerunner%.
3xample of eakening observation $that
puts the ne protochordate species
evolutionarily far from echinoderms%2
CThe ne species is protostomeD, as
opposed to echinoderms, that are
deuterostomes. This observation brings
the suspicion that deuterostomy in
vertebrates is independent in origin
from echinoderms.
3xample of strengthening observation
$that nears the ne protochordate
species to echinoderms%2 CThe ne
species has secondary radial
symmetryD, similar to echinoderms. This
observation makes stronger the
hypothesis that echinoderms and
vertebrates are relatives.
$This item shos ho science orks,
beginning ith the placement of
hypothesis and further observational
testing.%
1&" 6hordate identity card"
7ow are they characterized
according to e)am(les of
re(resenting beings8 basic
mor(hology8 ty(e of
symmetry8 germ layers and
coelom8 digesti$e system8
res(iratory system8 circulatory
system8 e)cretory system8
ner$ous system and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
protochordates $ascidians, amphioxus%,
vertebrates. Basic morphology2
branchial clefts, notochord, neural tube.
Type of symmetry2 bilateral. 6erm
layers and coelom2 triploblastics,
coelomates. 4igestive system2
complete, deuterostomes. 5espiratory
system2 branchial $in a&uatic%,
cutaneous $in adult amphibians%,
pulmonary $others%. .irculatory system2
open in protochordates, closed in
vertebrates. 3xcretory system2 diffusion
and flame cells in protochordates,
kidneys in vertebrates. 0ervous system2
neural tube in embryos, cerebral vesicle
and single ganglion in protochordates,
brain ithin the cranium and spinal cord
ithin the spinal column in vertebrates.
Types of reproduction2 sexual, ith or
ithout larval stage.
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Biology Questions and Answers
Fishes
1" #hat are the two main
classes into which fishes are
di$ided%
8ishes are divided into to main
classes2 chondrichthyes, fishes ith
cartilaginous skeletons $sharks, rays,
dog!fishes%, and osteichthyes, bony
fishes $tuna, sardines, salmons%.
&" From which features do
condrichthyes and
osteichthyes get these names%
C.hondrosD means cartilage, CictisD
means fish $both from the 6reek%( the
name chondrichtians is for fishes ith
cartilaginous endoskeleton. The name
osteichthyes comes from the existence
of a bony endoskeleton in these fishes
$CosteoD means bone, from the 6reek
too%.
*" #hat are the main features
of fishes associated to the
habitat where they li$e%
8ishes are all a&uatic animals and thus
they have a hydrodynamic elongated
body suitable to move under ater,
ithout limbs and ith fins. The habitat
conditions the branchial respiration too.
+" 6om(aring to cyclostomes
2(rimiti$e $ertebrates3 what
are the main no$elties
(resented by fishes%
.ompared to cyclostomes, evolutionary
novelties presented by fishes are2
pectoral and pelvic fins, symmetric and
paired( the presence of mandibles.
," 7ow different are the
swimming strategies in
osteichthyes and in
chondrichthyes% #hy do
sharks need to agitate their
body to swim while bony
fishes do not%
Bony fishes have a specialized organ
called a gas bladder, or sim bladder,
hose interior can be filled ith gas
liberated from gas glands. The sim
bladder orks as a hydrostatic organ
since it varies the relative density of the
body regulating buoyancy and the depth
of the animal in ater.
.hondrichthyes do not have sim
bladders and thus they must
continuously agitate their body to keep
simming and maintain their depth in
ater. 's an additional simming aid, in
chondrichthyes the liver is big and oily(
this feature helps to reduce their body
density relative to ater.
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Biology Questions and Answers
-" 7ow does the swim bladder
of fishes work allowing fishes
to control their de(th under
water%
8rom /ydrostatics it is knon that an
ob#ect does not sink if its density is
e&ual or less than the density of the
fluid in hich it is immersed.
"hen the sim bladder is filled by gas it
reduces the density of the fish body and
hen it is emptied this density is
increased. ,o this mechanism controls
the fish depth under ater.
." 7ow do fishes do gas
e)change%
8ishes CbreathD through gills. 6ills, or
branchiae, are highly vascularized
organs specialized in gas exchange
under ater and present in a&uatic
animals $marine annelids, crustaceans,
fishes and tadpoles%. 6ills are a
respiratory organ $analogous, for
example, to lungs% containing very thin
lamellae ith many apparent blood
vessels in direct contact ith ater.
In osteichthyes the gills are covered by
a bony flap that protects them called
operculum. In chondrichthyes there are
no opercula.
8" o fishes (resent an o(en
or closed circulatory system%
7ow many chambers does a
fish heart ha$e% 7ow does
blood flow throughout the fish
body%
's in every vertebrate the circulatory
system of fishes is closed, i.e., blood
flos only ithin blood vessels.
The fish heart has only to consecutive
chambers2 a thin!alled atrium and a
muscular ventricle. The arterial
$oxygenated% blood comes from the gills
and gains arteries toards tissues, then
venous blood is collected by veins and
reaches the atrium of the heart passing
to the ventricle that pumps the venous
blood toards the gills to be again
oxygenated.
/" 7ow is e)cretion done in
fishes%
8ishes have a pair of kidneys that
filtrate the blood. Bony fishes excrete
nitrogen as ammonia, 0/H, $they are
ammoniotelic% and cartilaginous fishes
excrete urea as nitrogen aste $they
are ureotelic, like adult amphibians and
mammals%.
10" #hat are the lateral lines
of fishes%
The lateral lines of bony fishes are
sense organs that extend along both
sides of the animal body. They make
contact ith the environment by a
series of specialized scales that transmit
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Biology Questions and Answers
information about pressure variation
and vibrations in the surrounding ater.
11" 7ow different are
fecundation in osteichthyes
and in chondrichthyes%
In chondrichthyes fecundation is
internal by means of copulation. In
osteichthyes fecundation generally is
external and the gametes are released
in the ater, here they can fecundate
their counterpart and form the zygote.
1&" Fish identity card" 7ow are
fishes characterized according
to e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
skin8 res(iration8 circulation8
nitrogen waste8 thermal
control and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
sharks, rays, sardines, tuna, salmons.
Basic morphology2 hydrodynamic body,
fins( cartilaginous skeleton in
chondrichthyes, bony skeleton in
osteichthyes. ,kin2 ith scales in
osteichthyes and placoid scales in
chondrichthyes. 5espiration2 branchial.
.irculation2 closed, incomplete, heart
ith to chambers. 0itrogen aste2
urea in chondrichthyes, ammonia in
osteichthyes. Thermal control2
heterothermic. Types of reproduction2
sexual, internal fecundation in
chondrichthyes, external in
osteichthyes.
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Biology Questions and Answers
Am(hibians
1" #hich is the chordate class
considered an e$idence of the
transition of the $ertebrates
from the a5uatic to the dry
land en$ironment%
The amphibians are totally a&uatic in
the larval stage and partially terrestrial
animals as adults and for these facts
they are considered intermediate beings
in the evolutionary passage of
vertebrates from the a&uatic to the dry
land habitat. 'mphibians are also the
first tetrapod animals, i.e., the first ith
to pair of limbs, a typical feature of
terrestrial vertebrates. The name
CamphibianD comes from the double life
$a&uatic as larvae and partially
terrestrial as adults% of these animals.
&" #hat are the am(hibian
features that make them
de(endent on water to
sur$i$e%
7ermeable skin, body sub#ect to
dehydration, external fecundation, eggs
ithout shells and larval stage ith
branchial respiration are features that
make amphibians dependent on ater
to survive.
*" o am(hibians ha$e direct
de$elo(ment%
In amphibians the embryonic
development is indirect $there is a larval
stage%.
+" 7ow different are the
res(iration in fishes and the
res(iration in adult
am(hibians%
In fishes gas exchange is done by direct
contact of ater ith the branchiae
$gills%. 6ases gain and exit the
circulation through the gills.
In adult amphibians gas exchange is
done through the moist and permeable
skin $cutaneous respiration% and also
through the lungs, a set of tiny airay
terminations associated to a highly
vascularized tissue specialized in gas
exchange.
The axolotl is an exotic amphibian found
in 1exico that lives in ater and
CbreathesD through gills even as an
adult.
," 7ow is res(iration
(erformed by the lar$a of
am(hibians%
The larva of amphibians has exclusively
branchial respiration. This is one of the
reasons hy it depends on ater to
survive.
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Biology Questions and Answers
-" 7ow different is the
am(hibian heart from the fish
heart%
The fish heart has only to chambers,
an atrium and a ventricle, and the blood
that comes to it is purely venous.
In amphibians there are three heart
chambers $a second atrium is present%
and there is arterial blood coming from
the lungs( in these animals the heart
has to atria $one that gets blood from
the body and other that gets blood from
the lungs% and one ventricle( arterial
blood mixes ith venous blood ithin
the ventricle hich in turn pumps the
blood to the lungs and to the systemic
circulation.
." 7ow is e)cretion done in
am(hibians%
'dult amphibians have kidneys that
filter blood. 0itrogen aste is excreted
as urea $so amphibians are ureotelic
beings%. The larvae, a&uatic, excrete
ammonia.
8" !s fecundation in
am(hibians e)ternal or
internal% !n this as(ect are
am(hibians e$olutionarily
(ro)imal to fishes or to
re(tiles%
In the ma#ority of the amphibian species
fecundation is external. This feature is
common to bony fishes too and it shos
that the reproductive system and the
embryonic development of amphibians
are a heritage from osteichthyes.
.uriously although having external
fecundation amphibian male and female
copulate to stimulate the liberation of
sperm and egg cells. This phenomenon
does not characterize internal
fecundation since the gametes unite in
ater.
/" #hy is the occurrence of
eyelids in am(hibians in
com(arison to their absence in
fishes an ada(tation to
terrestrial life%
3yelids associated to lacrimal glands
protect and keep eyes lubricated against
damage from the great luminosity of
terrestrial environments. 8ishes do not
have eyelids since their eyes are in
constant contact ith the fluid medium.
10" #hat are the (roblems
that $ertebrates needed to
sol$e to ada(t to the
terrestrial en$ironment since
they came from the a5uatic
habitat% 7ow does e$olution
sol$ed those (roblems%
The main problems vertebrates coming
from ater needed to solve to adapt to
the terrestrial environment ere the
folloing2 the problem to avoid
dehydration( the problem of elimination
of astes in a medium here ater is
less available( the problem of protection
against nocent solar radiation( the
problem of gamete locomotion in the
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environment for fecundation( the
problem of gas exchange, earlier done
by direct contact of ater ith gills( the
problem of body support, since it as
ater that played this role in fishes.
,olutions for the dehydration problem2
thicker and impermeable skin, to lose
less ater, or moist and permeable
skin, like in amphibians. ,olution for the
excretion problem2 excretion of urea
$also excreted by chondrichthyes% or
uric acid, substances that need less
ater to be dissolved. ,olutions for the
problem of protection against radiation2
skin pigments that filter harmful
radiation, feathers, hair or carapaces.
,olution for the gamete movement
problem2 internal fecundation $except
for most amphibians, that have external
fecundation%. ,olution for the gas
exchange problem2 appearing of
airays and lungs. ,olution for the body
support problem2 further development
of muscular and bony structures, like
limbs and clas.
11" Am(hibian identity card"
7ow are am(hibians
characterized according to
e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
skin8 res(iration8 circulation8
nitrogen waste8 thermal
control and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2 frogs,
toads, salamanders. Basic morphology2
to pairs of limbs, eyelids,
hydrodynamic larvae. ,kin2 moist and
permeable, mucous glands. 5espiration2
cutaneous and pulmonary, branchial in
larval stage. .irculation2 closed,
incomplete, heart ith three chambers
ithout interventricular septum.
0itrogen aste2 urea. Thermal control2
heterothermic. Types of reproduction2
sexual, ater dependant, external
fecundation and a&uatic larval stage.
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:e(tiles
1" #hich is the $ertebrate
class that is considered the
first entirely terrestrial%
The first entirely terrrestrial vertebrate
class, totally independent from the
a&uatic habitat, is the class 5eptilia.
&" 6om(ared to am(hibians
what is an e)am(le of
e$olutionary no$elty (resent
in beings of the class :e(tilia
against the loss of water
through the skin%
The reptile skin is keratinized and
impermeable to ater hile the
amphibian skin is permeable. The skin
impermeability made impossible the
cutaneous gas exchange performed by
amphibians and respiration became
dependent on internal organs like
airays and lungs.
*" #hat are e)am(les of a
carni$orous and a herbi$orous
re(tile%
,nakes are carnivorous. Iguanas are
herbivorous.
+" o beings of the class
:e(tilia (erform gas e)change
in the same way am(hibians
do%
These beings do not have permeable
skin so they do not make cutaneous
respiration like amphibians do. Vust like
in birds and in mammals, their
respiration is pulmonary.
," 7ow is the circulatory
system of re(tiles
characterized% #hat is the
basic difference between the
re(tile and the am(hibian
heart%
The circulatory system of beings of the
class 5eptilia is similar to the
amphibian, closed and incomplete.
'lthough the heart presents three
chambers $to atria and one ventricle%
in reptiles there is a beginning of
ventricular septation and the mixture of
arterial ith venous blood is lessened.
-" #hich is the ty(e of
nitrogen waste eliminated by
beings of the class :e(tilia%
These beings excrete mainly uric acid.
This substance is less toxic than
ammonia and it can be kept stored for a
longer time inside the individual,
including ithin eggs. In addition uric
acid is practically insoluble and it
depends less on ater to be eliminated.
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." 7ow has the im(ortance of
the brain e$ol$ed from fishes
to re(tiles%
8rom the least to the most complex
brain structure, it is evident that the
brain, from fishes to beings of the class
5eptilia, became larger and
predominant in the central nervous
system.
8" 7ow is re(roduction done in
beings of the class :e(tilia%
These beings reproduce sexually
through internal fecundation by means
of copulation beteen male and female
individuals. They lay eggs ith shell and
extraembryonic membranes. The
embryo thus develops ithin the egg
and outside the motherQs body $there
are also ovoviviparous reptiles that
retain the egg ithin the body until
hatching%.
/" o beings of the class
:e(tilia ha$e direct or indirect
de$elo(ment%
In beings of the class 5eptilia the
embryonic development is direct. ,o
there is no larval stage.
10" 6om(ared to am(hibians
what are the two re(roducti$e
no$elties of beings of the class
:e(tilia for the sur$i$al in dry
en$ironments%
.ompared to amphibians the to main
reproductive innovations of beings of
the class 5eptilia for the terrestrial
habitat are internal fecundation and
shelled eggs.
11" 6oncerning the
maintenance of body
tem(erature how do beings of
the class :e(tilia classify%
Kike fishes and amphibians, beings of
the class 5eptilia are heterothermic
animals $also knon as poikilothermic,
or ectothermic%, i.e., they are not able
to control by themselves their body
temperature and thus they depend on
external arm sources $mainly the
sun%.
1&" #hat is an e)am(le of a
hy(othesis which may e)(lain
why there is not a big
re(resentation of the class
:e(tilia found in (olar
regions%
Beings of the class 5eptilia are
abundant and more diverse in hot
climate regions and they are rare in
intensely cold regions like close to the
earth poles. This is explained because
these animals are heterothermic, i.e.,
they have Ccold bloodD and they need an
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external heat source to arm their
bodies.
The heterothermic feature also explains
hy reptiles are more active during the
day, a period hen they can use the
sun heat to arm their bodies.
1*" 6lass :e(tilia identity
card" 7ow are they
characterized according to
e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
skin8 res(iration8 circulation8
nitrogen waste8 thermal
control and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
snakes, turtles, crocodiles, lizards,
dinosaurs $extinct%. Basic morphology2
tetrapods, some ith carapaces $like
turtles%. ,kin2 impermeable keratinized,
corneous plates $knon as scales%.
5espiration2 pulmonary. .irculation2
closed, incomplete, heart ith three
chambers and partial interventricular
septation. 0itrogen aste2 uric acid.
Thermal control2 heterothermic. Types
of reproduction2 sexual, internal
fecundation, shelled eggs ith
extraembryonic membranes.
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Biology Questions and Answers
Birds
1" #hat are the main
mor(hological features of
birds%
Birds are animals that present
aerodynamic bodies covered ith
feathers, anterior limbs transformed
into ings, pneumatic bones and horny
$corneous% beaks.
&" !n which habitat do birds
li$e%
Birds are terrestrial animals but the
ma#ority of species also explore the
aerial environment by flying.
*" #hat are flight ada(tations
(resent by birds%
"ings associated to a ell!developed
pectoral musculature, pneumatic bones,
less accumulation of feces in the boels
due to the absence of the colon,
absence of the bladder $no urine
storage%, aerodynamic body and lungs
ith specialized air sacs are all
adaptations hich enable birds to fly.
+" #hat are (neumatic bones%
Birds have lighteighted bones ith
internal spaces filled ith air. These
bones are called pneumatic bones. This
feature reduces the corporal density of
the animal facilitating the flight.
," 7ow is the res(iratory
system of birds characterized%
Kike reptiles and mammals, they make
gas exchange through lungs.
-" 7ow is the circulatory
system of birds characterized%
Birds, like every vertebrate, have a
closed circulatory system. The heart is
similar to the mammalian heart, having
four chambers $to atria and to
ventricles% and ith no mixture of
venous and arterial blood. $In
mammals, hoever, the aorta curves
don to the left and in birds it curves
don to the right%.
." #hich is the ty(e of
nitrogen waste birds (roduce%
#hy does this feature8 besides
being an ada(tation to the
terrestrial en$ironment8 also
mean an ada(tation to flight%
Birds are uricotelic, i.e., like reptiles,
they excrete uric acid. This substance
needs less ater to be eliminated and
so it helps to reduce the body eight
thus aiding in flight.
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8" #hat similarities do birds
and re(tiles share regarding
e)ternal co$erage8
re(roduction and e)cretion%
5egarding external coverage, birds are
similar to reptiles as they present
impermeable keratinized coverages.
.oncerning reproduction, in both
fecundation is internal and the embryo
develops ithin a shelled egg.
5egarding excretion, both excrete uric
acid.
/" 7ow do birds re(roduce%
Birds, like every vertebrate, have sexual
reproduction. Their embryos develop
ithin shelled eggs containing
extraembryonic membranes and outside
the motherQs body.
Birds copulate. 8ecundation is internal
and it occurs only before the female
gamete is involved by the calcareous
eggshell.
10" !s the embryonic
de$elo(ment in birds direct or
indirect%
The embryonic development is direct,
there is no larval stage.
11" #hat are the
(redominating chemical
com(ounds res(ecti$ely in
eggshell8 white and yolk%
The eggshell is basically made of
calcium carbonate. The hite, or
albumen, is composed by albumin, a
protein. The yolk is predominantly
constituted of lipids but it also contains
proteins and vitamins.
1&" 7ow different are re(tiles
and birds concerning the
maintenance of body
tem(erature% Are birds rare in
(olar regions%
5eptiles are heterothermic, i.e., they do
not control their body temperature.
Birds hoever are the first
homeothermic animals, they are able to
maintain their body temperature
constant.
There are many birds that live in intense
cold regions. 7enguins are examples of
birds that live in polar region.
1*" #hat are zoonoses% #hat
are some e)am(les of
zoonoses transmitted by
birds%
Joonoses are human diseases
transmitted by animals. 7sittacosis, a
bacterial disease, hystoplasmosis and
cryptococcosis, fungal diseases, are
examples of zoonoses transmitted by
birds.
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1+" Bird identity card" 7ow are
birds characterized according
to e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
skin8 res(iration8 circulation8
nitrogen waste8 thermal
control and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2
chickens, sparros, parrots, ostriches,
penguins. Basic morphology2
aerodynamic body, feathers, pneumatic
bones, horny beaks. ,kin2 impermeable
keratinized, feathers, uropygial gland.
5espiration2 pulmonary. .irculation2
closed and complete, heart ith four
chambers. 0itrogen aste2 uric acid.
Thermal control2 homeothermic. Types
of reproduction2 sexual, internal
fecundation, shelled eggs ith
extraembryonic membranes.
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0ammals
1" #hat are the ty(ical
features of mammals%
The typical features of mammals are2
body $more or less% covered ith hair(
presence of the diaphragm muscle $that
separates the thorax from the
abdomen%( mammary glands that
produce milk $in females%( enucleated
blood red cells( middle ear ith three
ossicles.
&" #hat are the three main
grou(s into which mammals
are di$ided%
The three groups into hich mammals
are divided are2 monotremes $or
prototherian, e.g., platypus%, marsupials
$or metatherian, for example,
kangaroos% and placental $or eutherian,
such as humans%.
*" o all mammals ha$e a
(lacenta%
1ammals of the monotreme group
$platypus, echidnas% are oviparous, egg!
laying, and they do not have a placenta.
1ammals of the marsupial group
$kangaroos, koalas, opossums% do not
have a placenta either( females of this
group give birth to embryonic young
that then continue development ithin
the motherQs pouch. 7lacenta only forms
in female placental mammals.
+" #hat are the main orders of
(lacental mammals% #hat are
some re(resentati$e s(ecies
and distinguishing features of
each of those orders%
The orders into hich placental
mammals are divided are the folloing2
'rtiodactyls, mammals ith an even
number of fingers in clas or pas like,
e.g., cos, sheep, giraffes. .arnivorous,
predators ith canine teeth like dogs,
lions, tigers. .etaceans, a&uatic animals
ithout posterior limbs and similar to
fishes, like hales and dolphins.
3dentates, creatures ith rare or absent
teeth, like sloths, armadillos, anteaters.
Kagomorphs, small!sized mammals
having three pairs of continuously
groing incisive teeth specialized in
gnaing, like rabbits and hares.
7erissodactyls, also knon as ungulates
$hooved%, big!sized animals ith an odd
number of fingers in each pa, e.g.,
horses and rhinos. 7rimates,
characterized by the big cranium and
ell!developed brain, like humans and
apes. 7roboscideans, big!sized animals
hose nose and superior lip form the
trunk $snout%, e.g., elephants.
.hiropterans, flying nocturnal mammals
$bats%. 5odents, animals ith to pairs
of continuously groing incisive teeth,
e.g., mice, rats, castors, s&uirrels.
,irenians, a&uatic mammals of
freshater, deprived of posterior limbs,
like dugongs and manatees.
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," 7ow is gas e)change done
in mammals%
1ammals breathe through lungs, their
respiration is pulmonary.
-" 7ow is circulation
characterized in mammals%
1ammals present a closed and complete
circulatory system. The heart has four
chambers and the arterial blood does
not mix ith venous blood.
." #hat is the ty(e of nitrogen
waste that mammals
eliminate%
Kike chondrichtian fishes and adult
amphibians, mammals are ureotelic,
i.e., they excrete urea.
8" 7ow do (lacental mammals
re(roduce%
7lacental mammals reproduce sexually,
they have internal fecundation and they
are viviparous, i.e., their embryo
develops ithin the motherQs body and
from her it gets the nutrients through
the placenta.
/" !s fecundation in mammals
internal or e)ternal%
8ecundation in mammals is internal,
ith copulation. In the contemporary
orld human technology is able to
promote artificial external fecundation
of human gametes and of gametes of
other animals.
10" !s the mammalian
embryonic de$elo(ment direct
or indirect%
In mammals the embryonic
development is direct, ithout larval
stage.
11" Are there a5uatic and
flying mammals%
.etaceans $hales, dolphins% and
sirenians $dugongs, manatees% are
a&uatic mammals. .hiropterans $bats%
are flying mammals.
1&" Are the limbs modified
into wings of bats and the
wings of birds e)am(les of
e$olutionary analogy or
homology% #hat about whale
fins com(ared to fish fins%
Bat and bird ings have the same
function and the same origin $they are
modified limbs% so they are analogous
and homologous organs. "hale fins are
a modification of the posterior limbs
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hile fish fins although having the same
function do not come from modified
limbs( so they are analogous but not
homologous structures.
3volutionary homology suggests
common ancestry hile biological
analogy relates to the concept of
evolutionary convergence, the
appearance of similar features in
evolutionarily distant species that
explore the same type of environment
$in the mentioned case, the a&uatic
habitat%.
1*" 0ammal identity card"
7ow are mammals
characterized according to
e)am(les of re(resenting
beings8 basic mor(hology8
skin8 res(iration8 circulation8
nitrogen waste8 thermal
control and ty(es of
re(roduction%
3xamples of representing beings2 dogs,
cats, horses, giraffes, elephants, apes,
humans, bats, hales, dolphins,
opossums, kangaroos, platypus. Basic
morphology2 hair, diaphragm muscle,
mammary glands, enucleated red blood
cells. ,kin2 impermeable, hairy.
5espiration2 pulmonary. .irculation2
closed and complete, heart ith four
chambers. 0itrogen aste2 urea.
Thermal control2 homeothermic. Types
of reproduction2 sexual, internal
fecundation, oviparous monotremes
$prototherians%, marsupials
$metatherians%, placental $eutherians%.
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;hysiology
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Basic 7istology
1" #hat is the logical order in
which the conce(ts of atoms8
molecules8 cells""" u( to
bios(here are associated%
'toms form molecules that form cells
that form tissues that form organs that
form systems. ,ystems, in their turn,
constitute individuals that form
populations that compound $biological%
communities that form the biotic
components of ecosystems. 'll
ecosystems of earth form the biosphere.
&" From the zygote8
(luricellular organisms are
formed by serial mitosis"
#ould this formation be
(ossible if each cell made by
mitosis had an identical life in
relation to its antecedent
cells% 7ow did e$olution sol$e
that (roblem%
The formation of complex and distinct
pluricellular organisms ould not be
possible if mitosis in embryos produced
only daughter cells ith an identical life
history as the mother cell, since there
ould not be differentiation and
structural or functional specialization
among cells.
3volution solved the problem creating
the cellular differentiation process by
hich, motivated by stimulus not yet
ell!knon by science, different and
specialized cell lineages gave birth to
different tissues, organs and systems
that, as a hole, form the pluricellular
organisms.
.ellular differentiation probably is a
very intricate process that activates and
inactivates some genes ithin the cell in
response to some stimulus.
*" #hat are the main ty(es of
animal tissue%
The main animal cell tissues are the
epithelial tissue, the nervous tissue, the
muscle tissue and the connective tissue.
+" #hat are e(ithelial tissues%
#hat are their general
function and how is that
function associated to the
features of the tissue%
3pithelial tissues, also called epithelia,
are tissues specialized in the covering of
external and internal surfaces of the
body.
The general function of the epithelium is
to provide protection and
impermeability $or selective
permeability% to the covered structure.
This #ustifies the epithelium's typical
features2 the cellular #uxtaposition
forming layers of very proximate cells
ith diminished or none intercellular
space beteen each to neighbor cells.
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," >f which cells is the
ner$ous tissue constituted%
7ow is the generic function of
this tissue related to the
characteristics of the main cell
ty(e that forms it%
The nervous tissue is formed of neurons
and glial cells.
The function of the nervous tissue is to
receive and to transmit neural impulses
$reception and transmission of
information%. This function #ustifies the
characteristic morphology of neurons,
ith membrane pro#ections $dendrites%
to get information and an elongated
membrane pro#ection $axon, or nerve
fiber% to transmit information at
distance. In their turn, the glial cells
support the neurons and facilitate their
ork $sometimes acting as insulators%.
-" #hat are muscle tissues%
7ow is the function of this
tissue related to the ty(ical
characteristics of its cells%
1uscle tissues are tissues made of cells
able to perform contractions and thus to
generate movement.
The function of the muscle tissue is to
pull bones $skeletal striated muscle%, to
contract and move viscera and vessels
$smooth muscle% and to make the heart
to beat $cardiac striated muscle%. The
muscle cells have internal structures
called sarcomeres here there are
myosin and actin molecules disposed to
create contraction and distension
$movement%.
." #hat is the ty(ical
biological function of the
connecti$e tissues% 7ow is
this function associated to the
main features of its cells%
The typical function of the connective
tissues is to fill empty spaces among
other body tissues.
This function is related to the great
capability of the cells of the connective
tissue to secrete substances that
constitute extracellular material, like
collagen and elastic fibers, creating a
significant spacing beteen these cells.
$There are other important biological
features of the connective tissues, such
as substance transportation, defense of
the organism, etc.%
8" >f which ty(e of tissue are
cartilages and bones made%
Bones and cartilages, tissues ith great
amount of intercellular material, are
formed of connective tissue.
/" Are the cells of the
connecti$e tissue far or near
to the others%
The relative great spacing beteen cells
is a typical feature of the connective
tissue. There are much intercellular
material generally secreted by the
tissue cells.
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10" #hat are the general
functions of the connecti$e
tissues%
The main functions of the connective
tissues are2 supporting and filling of
spaces( cellular nutrition( energetic
storage $fats%( hematopoiesis
$formation of blood, blood cells and
blood components%( immune defense
$specialized cells%.
11" #hat is connecti$e tissue
(ro(er%
The name connective tissue proper is
used to designate the connective tissue
that fills interstitial spaces as opposed
to the specialized connective tissues
$blood, bones, cartilage, adipose tissue,
etc.%. The connective tissue proper
secretes collagen, elastin and reticular
fibers.
1&" #hat are the main cells of
the connecti$e tissue (ro(er%
#hat is the name gi$en to the
intercellular material that
surround these cells%
The main cells of the connective tissue
proper are the fibroblasts, cells that
secrete the intercellular material. These
cells are the ma#ority of cells of the
tissue. 8ibroblasts later are transformed
into fibrocytes, mature cells ith
restricted secretory role.
The intercellular substance that fills the
interstice is called interstitial matrix, or
#ust matrix.
1*" #hat are the three ty(es
of (rotein fibers of the
connecti$e tissue (ro(er%
The matrix of the connective tissue
proper is made of collagen fibers, elastic
fibers and reticular fibers.
1+" #hat is the function of the
collagen fibers of the
connecti$e tissue%
There are different collagen types. The
main function of these proteins is to
keep the shape and the structural
rigidity of the tissue. $.ollagen is the
most abundant protein of the human
body.%
1," >f which substance do
elastic fibers of the connecti$e
tissue are made% #hat are
some functions of these
fibers%
The elastic fibers are made of a protein
called elastin.
3lastic fibers abound in artery alls,
helping the maintenance of the arterial
blood pressure in these vessels. They
are also present in the lungs, providing
them ith elasticity $some respiratory
diseases are caused by destruction of
these fibers%. In many other organs and
tissues the elastic fibers are found in the
interstitial matrix.
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1-" #hat are the reticular
fibers of the connecti$e tissue
and where can they be found%
The reticular fibers are very delicate
interstitial fibers made of a special type
of collagen knon as collagen type III.
They can be found in many organs and
tissues such as in lymphnodes, in the
spleen, in the liver, in blood vessels and
also covering muscle fibers.
1." #hat are diseases of the
connecti$e tissue% #hat are
some of them%
4iseases of the connective tissue are
hereditary or ac&uired diseases$many of
autoimmune cause% characterized by
deficiency in structure or function of
components of the connective tissue, for
example, deficiencies of collagen,
elastin, etc. ,ome of such diseases are
lupus, dermatomyositis, cheloid,
scleroderma, mixed connective tissue
disease, mucinosis and 1arfan's
syndrome.
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Blood
1" #hat are the main
functions of the blood%
The blood is a means of substance
transportation throughout the body. The
blood distributes nutrients, oxygen,
hormones, antibodies and cells
specialized in defense to the tissues and
collects residuals like nitrogen astes
and carbon dioxide from them.
&" #hat are the constituent
elements of the blood%
The blood is made of a li&uid and a
cellular part. The fluid part is called
plasma and in it there are several
substances, like proteins, lipids,
carbohydrates and mineral salts. The
cellular constituents of the blood are
also knon as blood corpuscles and
they comprise the erythrocytes $red
blood cells%, leukocytes and platelets.
*" #hat is hemato(oiesis%
/ematopoiesis is the formation of blood
cells and other constituent elements of
the blood.
+" #here does hemato(oiesis
occur%
/ematopoiesis occurs in the bone
marro $mainly ithin flat bones%,
here erythrocytes, leukocytes and
platelets are made, and in the lymphoid
tissue, responsible for the maturation of
leukocytes and found in the thymus,
spleen and lymphnodes.
," !n which bones can bone
marrow chiefly be found% !s
the bone marrow made of
osseous tissue%
Bone marro can mainly be found in the
internal cavities of flat bones, like the
vertebrae, the ribs, the scapulae, the
sternum and the hips.
The bone marro is not made of
osseous tissue, although it is a
connective tissue as bone tissue is.
-" #hat are blood stem cells%
,tem cells are undifferentiated cells able
to differentiate into other types of
specialized cells.
The stem cells of the bone marro
originate the differentiated blood cells.
'ccording to stimulus from specific
groth factors the stem cells are turned
into red blood cells, leukocytes and
megakaryocytes $cells that form
platelets%. 5esearch shos that stem
cells of the bone marro can also
differentiate into muscle, nervous and
hepatic cells.
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." #hat are the other names
by which erythrocytes are
known% #hat is the function
of these cells%
3rythrocytes are also knon as red
blood cells $5B.s%, or red corpuscles.
5ed blood cells are responsible for
oxygen transport from the lungs to the
tissues.
8" #hat is the name of the
molecule that trans(orts
o)ygen in red blood cells%
The respiratory pigment of the red blood
cells is hemoglobin.
/" #hat is the molecular
com(osition of hemoglobin%
oes the functionality of
hemoglobin as a (rotein
de(end u(on its tertiary or
u(on its 5uaternary structure%
/emoglobin is a molecule made of four
polypeptide chains, each bound to a
iron!containing molecular group called a
heme group. ,o the molecule contains
four polypeptide chains and four heme
groups.
's a protein composed of association of
polypeptide chains, the functionality of
hemoglobin depends upon the integrity
of its &uaternary structure.
10" >n a$erage what is the life
duration of the red blood
cells% #here are they
destroyed% #hat is the
destination of the heme
grou(s after the destruction of
hemoglobin molecules%
-n average red blood cells live around
G?= days. The spleen is the main organ
here old red blood cells are destroyed.
4uring the red blood cell destruction the
heme groups turn into bilirubin and this
substance is then captured by the liver
and later excreted in the boels as part
of the bile.
11" #hat are the functions of
the s(leen% #hy is a total
s(lenectomy 2surgical remo$al
of the s(leen3 com(atible with
life%
The spleen has many functions2 it
participates in the destruction of old red
blood cells( in it specialized leukocytes
are matured( it helps the reneal of the
hematopoietic tissue of the bone
marro hen necessary( it can act as a
spongelike organ to retain or liberate
blood from or for the circulation.
Total splenectomy is not incompatible
ith life as none of the functions of the
spleen are vital and at the same time
exclusive of this organ.
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1&" #hat is anemia% #hat are
the four main ty(es of
anemia%
'nemia is lo concentration of
hemoglobin in the blood.
The four main types of anemia are the
nutrient!deficiency anemia, anemia
caused by blood loss, hemolytic anemia
and aplastic anemia.
0utrient!deficiency anemia is caused by
dietary deficiency of fundamental
nutrients for the production or
functioning of the red blood cells, like
iron $iron deficiency anemia%, vitamin
BG? and folic acid.
'nemia caused by blood loss occurs in
hemorrhagic conditions or in diseases
like peptic ulcerations and hookorm
disease.
/emolytic anemia is caused by
excessive destruction of red blood cells,
for example, in diseases like malaria or
in hypervolemic conditions $excessive
ater in blood that causes lysis of red
blood cells%.
'plastic anemia occurs from deficiencies
of the hematopoiesis and it happens
hen the bone marro is in#ured by
cancers from other tissues $metastasis%,
by autoimmune diseases and by
intoxication from drugs $like sulfas and
anticonvulsants% or by chemical
substances $like benzene, insecticides,
paints, herbicides and solvents in
general%. ,ome genetic diseases also
affect the bone marro causing aplastic
anemia.
1*" #hat is the difference
between white and red blood
cells% #hat are leukocytes%
5ed blood cells are erythrocytes and
hite blood cells are the leukocytes.
Keukocytes are cells specialized in the
defense of the body against strange
agents and they are part of the immune
system.
1+" #hat are the ty(es of
leukocytes and how are they
classified into granulocytes
and agranulocytes%
The types of leukocytes are
lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils,
eosinophils and basophils. 6ranulocytes
are those in hose cytoplasm there are
granules $hen vieed under electronic
microscopy%2 neutrophils, eosinophils
and basophils are granulocytes.
'granulocytes are the other leukocytes2
lymphocytes and monocytes.
1," #hat is the generic
function of leukocytes% #hat
are leukocytosis and
leuko(enia%
The generic function of leukocytes is to
participate in the defense of the body
against strange agents that penetrate it
or are made inside the body.
Keukocytosis and leukopenia are clinical
conditions in hich the count of
leukocytes in a blood sample is
abnormal. "hen the leukocyte count in
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a blood sample is above the normal
level for the individual leukocytosis is
defined. "hen the leukocyte count is
loer than the expected normal level
leukopenia is defined. The multiplication
of these defense cells, leukocytosis,
generally takes place hen the body is
suffering infections or in cancers of
these cells. The loering of these
defense cells, or leukopenia, occurs
hen some diseases attack the cells,
like in 'I4,, or hen
immunosuppressor drugs are used.
In general the body creates leukocytosis
as a defense reaction hen it is facing
infectious or pathogenic agents. The
clinical condition of leukocytosis is thus
a sign of infection. Keukopenia occurs
hen there is a deficiency in the
production $for example, in bone
marro diseases% or excessive
destruction of leukocytes $for example,
in case of /IP infection%.
1-" #hat are the mechanisms
of hemorrhage contention
called%
The physiological mechanisms of
hemorrhage contention $one of them is
blood clotting% are generically named
hemostasis, or hemostatic processes.
1." 7ow are (latelets formed%
#hat is the function of
(latelets% #hat conse5uences
does the clinical condition
known as thrombocyto(enia
yield%
7latelets, also knon as thrombocytes,
are fragments of giant cells of the bone
marro called megakaryocytes. "ith
their properties of aggregation and
adhesiveness they play a direct role in
blood clotting and they also liberate
substances that activate other
hemostatic processes.
Thrombocytopenia is a clinical condition
in hich the platelet count of the blood
is loer than normal. In this situation
the person becomes susceptible to
hemorrhages.
18" 7ow does the organism
understand that a clotting
(rocess must begin%
"hen there is some tissue ound ith
in#ury of blood vessel the platelets and
endothelial cells of the all of the
damaged vessel liberate substances
$respectively platelet factors and tissue
factors% that trigger the clotting
process.
1/" 7ow can the blood
coagulation 2clotting3 (rocess
be described%
Blood clotting encompasses a se&uence
of chemical reactions hose respective
products are enzymes that catalyze the
folloing reactions $that is hy the
clotting reactions are called cascade
reactions%. In the plasma
thromboplastinogen transforms into
thromboplastin, a reaction triggered by
tissue and platelet factors liberated after
in#ury of the blood vessel.
Thromboplastin then catalyzes along
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ith calcium ions the transformation of
prothrombin into thrombin. Thrombin
then catalyzes a reaction that produces
fibrin from fibrinogen. 8ibrin, as an
insoluble substance, precipitates to form
a netork that traps red blood cells and
platelets forming the blood clot and
containing the hemorrhage.
&0" #hat are clotting factors%
.lotting factors are substances
$enzymes, coenzymes, reagents%
necessary for the clotting stages to
happen. Besides those triggering factors
and reagents already described $tissue
and platelet factors, thromplastinogen,
prothrombin, fibrinogen, calcium ions%,
other substances participate in the
blood clotting process as clotting
factors, like factor PIII, hose
deficiency causes hemophilia ', or the
factor IU, hose deficiency causes
hemophilia B.
&1" #hat is the organ where
most of the clotting factors
are (roduced% #hat is the role
of $itamin H in the blood
coagulation%
1ost of the clotting factors are produced
in the liver.
Pitamin I participates in the activation
of several clotting factors and it is
fundamental for the ell!functioning of
the blood coagulation.
&&" #hat is factor ?!!!% #hat
is the genetic disease in which
this factor is absent%
8actor PIII has the function of activating
factor U that in its turn is necessary for
the transformation of prothrombin into
thrombin in the clotting cascade.
/emophilia ' is the U!linked genetic
disease in hich the individual does not
produce factor PIII and so is more
susceptible to severe hemorrhages.
&*" 7ow is hemo(hilia
treated% #hy is hemo(hilia
rare in females%
/emophilia is medically treated ith
administration of factor PIII, in case of
hemophilia ', or of factor IU, in case of
hemophilia B, by means of blood or
fresh frozen plasma transfusions.
/emophilia, ' or B, is an U!linked
recessive inheritance and for a girl to be
hemophilic it is necessary for both of
her U chromosomes to be affected hile
boys, that have only one U
chromosome, are more easily affected.
' girl ith only one affected
chromosome does not present the
disease since the normal gene of the
unaffected other U chromosome
produces the clotting factor.
&+" #hat is the
e(idemiological association
between hemo(hilia and 7!?
infection%
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,ince hemophilic patients need fre&uent
transfusions of clotting factors $PIII or
IU% they are more susceptible to
contamination by infectious agents
present in the blood from hich the
transfused elements come. In the past
the blood banks did not usually perform
/IP detection tests and many
hemophilic patients have become
infected ith the virus.
&," #hat are anticoagulants%
#hat are the (ractical
a((lications of anticoagulants8
like he(arin8 in 0edicine%
'nticoagulants are substances that
block the clotting reactions and thus
stop the coagulation process. -rdinarily
there are anticoagulants circulating in
the plasma since under normal
conditions the blood must be kept fluid.
In 1edicine anticoagulants like heparin
are used in surgeries in hich tissue
in#uries made by the surgical act could
trigger undesirable systemic blood
clotting. They are also used to avoid the
formation of thrombus inside blood
vessels of patients facing increased
thrombotic risk.
&-" #hat is dicoumarol% 7ow
does this substance act in the
clotting (rocess and what are
some e)am(les of its to)icity%
4icoumarol is an anticoagulant drug.
4ue to its molecular structure
dicoumarol competes ith vitamin I for
the binding to substrates blocking the
formation of clotting factors and
interrupting the making of prothrombin.
4icoumarol is found in some vegetables
undergoing decomposition, and it can
cause severe internal hemorrhages
hen those vegetables are accidentally
ingested. .oumarinic anticoagulants
cannot be administered during
pregnancy since they pass the placental
barrier and can cause fetal
hemorrhages.
&." 1tre(tokinase is a
substance used in the
treatment of acute myocardial
infarction" 7ow does this
substance act%
,ubstances knon as fibrinolytics, like
streptokinase and urokinase, can
destroy thrombi $clots formed inside
blood vessels, capillaries or ithin the
heart chambers% and are used in the
treatment of obstructions of the
coronary arteries or other blood vessels.
,treptokinase destroys the fibrin
netork and so it dissolves the
thrombotic clot. Its name comes after
the bacteria that produce it, the
streptococci.
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0etabolism and
7omeostasis
1" #hat is metabolism%
1etabolism is the set of physical and
chemical processes upon hich the life
of the cells of a living being depends.
&" #hat is the difference
between anabolism and
catabolism%
1etabolism comprises to opposing
processes2 anabolism and catabolism.
'nabolism is a set of synthesis reactions
that transform simpler compounds into
organic molecules in general ith
energy spending. .atabolism is a set of
reactions that break organic molecules
into simpler and less complex
substances in general ith liberation of
energy. The energy liberated in
catabolism may be used in vital
processes of the organism, including
anabolism.
*" #hat is homeostasis% #hat
are the sensors8 controllers
and effectors of homeostasis%
/omeostasis comprises the processes
by hich the organism maintains
ade&uate intra and extracellular
conditions to keep possible the normal
reactions of the metabolism.
/omeostatic sensors are structures that
detect information from the inner and
outer environment of the body. These
sensors may be nervous receptor cells,
cytoplasmic or membrane proteins and
other specialized molecules. .ontrollers
are structures responsible for processing
and interpreting information received
from the sensors. .ontrollers in general
are specialized regions of the central
nervous system but on the molecular
level there are also some of them, like
40', a molecule that can get
information from proteins to inhibit or
stimulate the expression of some genes.
3ffectors are elements commanded by
the controllers that have the function of
bringing about actions that in fact
regulate and maintain the e&uilibrium of
the organism, like muscles, glands,
cellular organelles, etc., and in the
molecular level structures that
participate in the genetic translation,
the produced proteins, etc.
+" 7ow do antagonistic
mechanisms manage
homeostatic regulation%
The homeostatic maintenance of the
body mostly occurs by means of
alternating antagonistic compensatory
mechanisms. There are regulators that
loer the p/ and others that increase it,
there are effectors hose function is to
increase the body temperature and
others that loer it, hormones exist
that, e.g., reduce the level of glucose in
the blood and others that increase the
glycemic level. The use of antagonistic
mechanisms is a strategy found by
evolution to solve the problem of the
maintenance of the body e&uilibrium.
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," #hat is an e)am(le of
negati$e feeback of the
homeostatic regulation%
0egative feedback happens hen the
response to a given action generates an
effect that inhibits that action. 8or
example, hen the carbon dioxide
concentration in blood is high the
pulmonary respiration is stimulated for
the .-? excess to be expelled through
expiration. /yperventilation, hoever,
loers the carbon dioxide concentration
in blood too much generating a negative
feedback that commands the reduction
of the respiratory fre&uency.
0egative feedback is the main
mechanism of homeostasis and it occurs
in a variety of processes, such as in
blood pressure control, glycemic control,
muscle contraction, etc.
-" #hat is an e)am(le of
(ositi$e feedback of the
homeostatic regulation%
In positive feedback the effect caused
by an action stimulates the action even
more. This is a rarer mechanism of the
homeostatic regulation.
'n example of positive feedback is the
blood clotting process in hich each
chemical reaction produces enzymes
that catalyze the folloing reaction until
the formation of fibrin. Therefore the
products of the antecedent chemical
reactions are consumed and the
e&uilibrium of each reaction is
dislocated toards the production of
more enzymes $a positive feedback%.
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9utrition and
?itamins
1" #hat is a nutrient%
' nutrient is every substance used in
the metabolism and hich is ac&uired
from the diet. 8or example, vitamins
and essential amino acids are nutrients.
&" #hat is the difference
between macro and
micronutrients%
The classification criterion of nutrients
into macro and micronutrients has no
relation to the size of the molecule.
1acronutrients are those needed in
great amount, for example, proteins
and carbohydrates. 1icronutrients are
those needed in small &uantities, like
vitamins.
*" According to their functions
how can nutrients be
classified%
-ne possible and utile functional
classification for nutrients is the one
that separates them into energetic,
structural and regulatory.
3nergetic nutrients are those used as
energy source for the metabolism(
mainly they are the carbohydrates $but
fats and proteins can also be converted
into acetyl!.o' and CcycleD the Irebs
cycle%. ,tructural nutrients are those
used in the support and structure of
cells and tissues( they are the amino
acids that form structural proteins, like
collagen, the membrane proteins, the
cytoskeleton proteins, the contractile
proteins of the muscle tissue, etc.
5egulatory nutrients are those that
constitute enzymes and coenzymes of
the homeostasis, metabolites of the
osmotic and electrolytic e&uilibrium of
cells and hormones( some amino acids,
vitamins and mineral salts are part of
this group.
+" #hat are $itamins% #hat
are the main $itamins needed
by humans%
1ost vitamins are coenzymes
$fundamental substances for the
enzyme functioning% that are not
produced by the organism and must be
obtained from the diet.
The main vitamins needed by humans
are vitamins ', ., 4, 3, I, the vitamins
of the B complex $including folic acid%,
biotin and pantothenic acid.
," #hat is the difference
between water4soluble and
fat4soluble $itamins% #hy can
fat4soluble $itamins cause
harm when ingested in
e)cess%
"ater!soluble vitamins are those
soluble in ater. 8at!soluble vitamins
are those soluble in oil $lipids, fat%.
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Pitamin . and the vitamins of the B
complex are examples of ater!soluble
vitamins. Pitamins ', 4, 3 and I are
examples of fat!soluble vitamins.
8at!soluble vitamins, since they are not
soluble in ater, cannot easily be
excreted by the body. ,o they tend to
accumulate in tissues ith toxic effect
hen they are ingested in amounts over
hat is necessary.
-" #hat are the main harms
caused by $itamin A
deficiency% 7ow does this
$itamin act in the (hysiology
of $ision%
4eficiency of vitamin ' $retinol% may
cause night blindness, corneal dryness
$xerophthalmia% and predisposition to
skin in#uries.
In the physiology of vision, vitamin '
participates in the formation of
rhodopsin, a pigment responsible for the
visual perception in less illuminated
places.
0utrition Pitamins ! Image 4iversity2
vitamin ' deficiency
." #hat is folic acid% #hy is
the anemia caused by
deficiency of folic acid known
as megaloblastic anemia%
The folic acid $hen ionized it is called
folate% is a coenzyme that participates
in the synthesis and duplication of 40'
and for this reason it is fundamental for
cell division. If there are not enough
folic acid in cells ith great turnover,
like red blood cells, they have their
production reduced.
In folic acid deficiency precursor cells
$reticulocytes% that ould originate
erythrocytes $red blood cells% begin cell
division but the process is very slo
hile the cytoplasm groth is normal.
,o the cells became abnormally large, a
typical feature of this kind of anemia
called megaloblastic anemia.
1egaloblastic anemia can be caused
also by vitamin BG? $cyanocobalamin%
deficiency since this vitamin is
important for cell division too. Both
types of anemia are nutrient deficiency
anemias.
0utrition Pitamins ! Image 4iversity2
megaloblastic red blood cell
8" #hat are the $itamins
which make u( the B
com(le)% #hich (roblems
does the lack of these
$itamins cause%
Pitamins of the B complex are2 thiamin,
or vitamin BG( riboflavin, or vitamin B?,
and niacin $BH%, essential for the
constitution of the hydrogen acceptors
8'4, 0'4 and 0'47 of the energetic
metabolism( pyridoxine, or B9( and
cyanocobalamin, or vitamin BG?.
4eficiency of vitamin BG causes beriberi,
loss of appetite and fatigue. The lack of
vitamin B? causes mucosal in#uries in
the mouth, tongue and lips. 4eficiency
of niacin causes nervousness, digestive
disturbances, loss of energy and
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pellagra. Kack of vitamin B9 causes skin
lesions, irritation and convulsions.
Pitamin BG? acts together ith folic acid
and its deficiency causes cell division
disruptions leading to pernicious anemia
$a type of megaloblastic and nutrient
deficiency anemia%.
The absorption of vitamin BG? depends
on another substance called the intrinsic
factor secreted by the gastric mucosa.
/" 7ow does $itamin 6 act in
the body% #hat is the harm
caused by insufficiency of
$itamin 6% #hy was this
deficiency also known as
@sailorsG diseaseA%
Pitamin ., or ascorbic acid, participates
in the metabolism of collagen and it is
fundamental for the integrity of blood
capillaries.
,curvy is the disease caused by a lack
of vitamin .. It is characterized by
tissue lesions in the skin, lips, nose and
#oints. ,curvy, or scorbutus, as also
knon as sailors' disease because in
maritime voyages of the past it as not
common to get on board food that
contained vitamin ., like citric fruits. ,o
the sailors became ill ith scurvy.
10" #hy isnGt the cooking of
$itamin 64containing foods
a((ro(riate for $itamin 6
su((ly%
To obtain vitamin ., for example, from
an orange dessert, the vitamin!
containing food cannot be submitted to
high temperatures $cooking% since
vitamin . is thermolabile, i.e., it is
inactivated by heat.
11" #hat is the association
between $itamin and
sunrays%
Pitamin 4, or calciferol, is synthesized
in the skin by the action of the
ultraviolet range of sunrays upon
precursor molecules. Kater it is
transformed into its active form in the
liver and the kidneys.
1&" #hat is the disease
caused by $itamin
deficiency% #hich tissue does
it affect%
The lack of vitamin 4 causes the disease
knon as rickets $rachitis%,
characterized by decalcification of bones
and bone deformities. Pitamin 4 is
fundamental for absorption of calcium
and thus it is related to the osseous
tissue health.
1*" #hat is the function of
$itamin =% !n which foods can
it be found%
Pitamin 3, or tocopherol, is a fat!soluble
vitamin that participates as coenzyme in
the respiratory chain, the final stage of
the aerobic cellular respiration. Its
deficiency may cause sterility,
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spontaneous abortions and muscle
dystrophy.
Pitamin 3 is mainly found in corn oil and
peanut oil, heat germ, milk, eggs and
leafy vegetables.
1+" #hy are some ty(es of
hemorrhagic diseases caused
by genetic or ac5uired
deficiency of the $itamin H
metabolism%
4eficiency of vitamin I predisposes to
hemorrhages since this vitamin is
fundamental for the formation of
prothrombin in the blood clotting
process.
1," #hat are the functions of
biotin and (antothenic acid for
the body% 7ow are these
$itamins obtained%
Biotin $also kno as vitamin B>% is a
vitamin that acts in the metabolism of
amino acids and other acids.
7antothenic acid $also knon as vitamin
B:% is important for the aerobic cellular
respiration since it acts in the transport
of acetyl and acyl radicals.
Biotin is made by bacteria that live in
the human digestive tube $under
interspecific harmonious ecological
interaction% and this supply in general is
enough for the body. Biotin and
pantothenic acid are found in
vegetables, cereals, eggs, fish, milk and
lean meat.
1-" #hat are the main mineral
salts res(onsible for the
cellular osmotic regulation%
The main ions that act in the regulation
of the osmotic pressure in cells and
tissues are the chlorine anion, the
sodium cation and the potassium cation.
1." #hat are the main cellular
functions of (otassium%
Besides being important for the osmotic
regulation and for the acid!base
e&uilibrium $p/% potassium is
fundamental for the excitatory
mechanisms of nerves and in muscle
contraction.
18" #hat are some e)am(les
of mineral salts from the diet
that act as coenzymes%
1agnesium, zinc and copper are
examples of biological coenzymes.
1/" #hat is the disease
caused by dietary iodine
deficiency%
Iodine deficiency causes
hypothyroidism, an abnormally loer
production of thyroid hormones that
need iodine to be synthesized.
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&0" #hat is the im(ortance of
iron in diet% #hat is the
disease caused by iron
deficiency%
Iron acts as a constituent of the
hemoglobin molecule and of enzymes of
the digestion and energetic metabolism.
4ietary iron deficiency causes iron
deficiency anemia, abnormal loering of
hemoglobin concentration in blood due
to lack of iron. $In pregnancy there is a
high consumption of iron by the fetus
and this fact can lead to anemia.%
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igesti$e 1ystem
1" #hat is digestion%
4igestion is the breaking don of larger
organic molecules obtained from the
diet, e.g. carbohydrates, fats, proteins,
into smaller ones, like glucose, fatty
acids, glycerol and amino acids.
&" 7ow different are
intracellular and e)tracellular
digestion% #hat is the
e$olutionary ad$antage of
e)tracellular digestion%
Intracellular digestion is that in hich
the breaking don of macromolecules
takes place ithin the cell. 3xtracellular
digestion is that in hich
macromolecules are broken don in
places outside the cell $in the
extracellular space, in the surrounds, in
the lumen of digestive tubes, etc.%
The advent of extracellular digestion in
evolution alloed organisms to benefit
from a greater variety of food. The
breaking don of larger molecules into
smaller ones outside the cell permitted
the use of other foods than those that,
due the size of their molecules, could
not be interiorized by diffusion,
phagocytosis or pinocytosis.
*" 7ow is e)tracellular
digestion related to cellular
and tissue s(ecialization%
' variety of specialized cells and tissues
appeared ith extracellular digestion to
provide enzymes and special structures
for the breaking don of dietary
macromolecules.
This phenomenon alloed other cells to
be liberated for other tasks and
differentiations hile benefiting from
nutrients distributed through the
circulation.
+" #hat is the difference
between a com(lete digesti$e
system and an incom(lete
digesti$e system% 7ow are
these ty(es of digesti$e tubes
associated or not to
e)tracellular digestion%
'nimals ith an incomplete digestive
system are those in hich the digestive
tube has only one opening $cnidarians,
platyhelminthes%. 'nimals ith a
complete digestive system are those in
hich the digestive tube has to
openings, mouth and anus $all other
animal phyla, ith the exception of
poriferans, that do not have any
digestive tube%.
In animals ith incomplete digestive
tubes the digestion is mixed, it begins in
the extracellular space and finishes in
the intracellular space. In animals ith
complete digestive systems extracellular
digestion ithin the digestive tube
predominates.
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," #hat are some e$olutionary
ad$antages of animals with
com(lete digesti$e tube%
The complete digestive tube allos
animals to continuously feed themselves
ithout aiting for residuals to be
eliminated before beginning the
digestion of ne foods. In this ay the
absorption of larger amount of nutrients
is possible and therefore bigger and
more complex species can develop.
4igestive tubes ith to openings also
make digestion more efficient since they
provide different sites ith different
physical and chemical conditions
$mouth, stomach, boels% for the action
of different complementary digestive
enzymatic systems.
-" #hat is mechanical
digestion% !n molluscs8
arthro(ods8 earthworms8 birds
and $ertebrates8 in general8
which organs res(ecti$ely
(artici(ate in this ty(e of
digestion%
1echanical digestion is the
fragmentation of food aided by
specialized physical structures, such as
teeth, previous to extracellullar
digestion. The mechanical
fragmentation of food helps digestive
enzymatic reactions because it provides
a larger total area for the contact
beteen enzymes and their substrates.
In some molluscs, the mechanical
fragmentation is done by the radula $a
teeth!like structure%. ,ome arthropods,
like lobsters and dragonflies, have
mouthparts that make mechanical
digestion of food. In earthorms and
birds, the mechanical digestion is made
by an internal muscular organ. In
mandibulate vertebrates there are
mandibles and cheing muscles to
triturate food previous to the chemical
digestion.
." 6oncerning e)tracellular
digestion what is meant by
chemical digestion%
.hemical digestion is the series of
enzymatic reactions to break
macromolecules into smaller ones.
8" #hich ty(e of chemical
reaction is the breaking of
macromolecules into smaller
ones that occurs in digestion%
#hat are the enzymes that
(artici(ate in this (rocess
called%
The reactions of the extracellular
digestion are hydrolysis reactions, i.e.,
breaking of molecules ith the help of
ater. The enzymes that participate in
digestion are hydrolytic enzymes.
/" #hich organs of the body
are (art of the human
digesti$e system%
The digestive system, also knon as
Csystema digestoriumD, or
gastrointestinal system, is composed of
the digestive tube organs plus the
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digestive adnexal glands. The digestive
tube is composed of mouth, pharynx,
esophagus, stomach, small intestine
$duodenum, #e#unum, ileum%, large
intestine $caecum, colon, rectum% and
anus.
10" #hat are (eristaltic
mo$ements% #hat is their role
in human digestion%
7eristalsis is the process of
synchronized contractions of the
muscular all of the digestive tube.
7eristaltic movements may occur from
the esophagus until and including the
boels.
The peristaltic movements are
involuntary and they have the function
of moving and mixing food along the
digestive tube. 7eristaltic movement
deficiency, for example, in case of
in#uries of the innervation of the
muscular all of the digestive tube
caused by .hagasQ disease, can lead to
the interruption of the food traffic inside
the boels and to severe clinical
conse&uences like megacolon $abnormal
enlargement of the colon% and
megaesophagus $enlargement of the
esophagus%.
11" From the lumen to the
e)ternal surface what are the
tissues that form the digesti$e
tube wall%
8rom the internal surface to the external
surface, the digestive tube all is made
of mucosa $epithelial tissue responsible
for the intestinal absorption%,
submucosa $connective tissue beneath
the mucous membrane and here blood
and lymphatic vessels and neural fibers
are located%, muscle layers $smooth
muscle tissue, to layers, one interior
circular and other exterior longitudinal,
structures responsible for the peristaltic
movement%, serous membrane
$associated epithelial and connective
tissue forming the external surface of
the organ%. In the boels the serous
membrane prolongs to form the
mesentery, a serosa that encloses blood
vessels and supports the boels ithin
the abdominal cavity.
1&" #hat is the location of the
sali$ary glands in humans%
There are 9 ma#or salivary glands and
they are located one in each parotid
gland, to beneath the mandibles
$submandibular% and to in the base of
the tongue $sublingual%. 1ore than N==
other minor salivary glands exist
dispersed on the lip mucosa, gingiva,
palate and pharynx.
1*" #hat is the a((ro)imate
(7 of the sali$ary secretion%
!s it an acid or basic fluid%
#hat are the main functions
of sali$a%
The saliva p/ is approximately 9.>. It is
thus a slightly acid p/.
,aliva lubricates the food bolus and
initiates the enzymatic extracellular
digestion of food. It also orks as a
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buffer for the mouth p/ and it has an
important role of having Ig' antibodies
$also present in tears, colostrum,
motherQs milk and in the mucosae of the
intestine and airays% that protect the
organism against pathogens.
1+" #hat is the sali$ary
digesti$e enzyme% #hich ty(e
of food does it digest and into
which smaller molecules does
it transform the food%
The salivary hydrolase is knon as
salivary amylase, or ptyalin. 7tyalin
digests carbohydrates breaking starch
and glycogen, glucose polymers, into
maltose $a glucose disaccharide% and
dextrin.
1," #hy doesnGt the food
enter the trachea instead of
going to the eso(hagus%
"hen food is salloed the sallo
reflex is activated and the larynx
elevates and closes to avoid portions of
the food bolus entering the trachea
causing aspiration of strange material to
the bronchi.
1-" !s the eso(hagus a
muscular organ% #hy e$en in
a (atient lying totally flat on a
hos(ital bed can the
swallowed food reach the
stomach%
The esophagus is a predominantly
muscular organ so the assertion is
correct. The esophagus is a muscular
tube formed in its superior third of
striated muscle tissue, in its middle
third of mixed muscle tissue $striated
and smooth% and in its loer third of
smooth muscle tissue. The peristalsis of
the esophagus provides the movement
of the food toards the stomach even
ithout gravitational help.
1." #hat is the route of the
ingested food from swallowing
until the duodenum%
Lntil reaching the duodenum the food
enters the mouth, passes the pharynx,
goes don the esophagus and passes
the stomach.
18" what is the $al$e that
se(arates the stomach from
the eso(hagus called% #hat is
its function%
The valve that separates the stomach
from the esophagus is the cardia. It has
the function of preventing acid gastric
content from entering back into the
esophagus. Insufficiency of this valve
causes gastroesophageal reflux, a
disease in hich patients complain of
bloating and heartburn $retrosternal
burning%.
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1/" #hat is the $al$e that
se(arates the duodenum from
the stomach called% #hat is
its function%
The valve that separates the stomach
from the duodenum is the pylorus. It
has the function of keeping the food
bolus ithin the gastric cavity for
enough time to allo the gastric
digestion to take place. It also has the
function of preventing the intestinal
content from going back into the
stomach.
&0" #hat is the (7 inside the
stomach% #hy is there a need
to kee( that (7 le$el% 7ow is
it maintained% #hich are the
cells that (roduce that (7%
The normal p/ of the gastric #uice is
around ?. ,o it is an acid p/.
It is necessary for the gastric p/ to be
kept acid for the activation of
pepsinogen $a proenzyme secreted by
the gastric chief cells% into pepsin, the
digestive enzyme that acts only under
lo p/. This p/ level is attained by the
secretion of hydrochloric acid $/.l% by
the parietal cells.
&1" Besides being fundamental
for the acti$ation of the main
gastric digesti$e enzyme how
does 76l also directly
(artici(ate in digestion%
"ith its corrosive effect, /.l also helps
the rupture of the adhesion beteen
food particles, facilitating the digestive
process.
&&" 7ow is the gastric mucosa
(rotected from the acid (7 of
the stomach%
The gastric epithelium is mucus
secretory, i.e., it produces mucus. The
mucus covers the stomach all
preventing corrosion by the gastric
#uice.
&*" #hat is the digesti$e
enzyme that acts within the
stomach% #hich ty(e of food
does it digest% #hat are the
cells that (roduce that
enzyme%
The digestive enzyme that acts in the
stomach is pepsin. 7epsin has the
function of breaking proteins into
smaller peptides. The gastric cells that
produce pepsinogen $the zymogen
precursor of pepsin% are the chief cells.
&+" #hat name does the food
bolus that (asses from the
stomach to the duodenum
get%
The partially digested and semifluid food
bolus that leaves the stomach and
enters the duodenum is called chyme.
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&," #hich are the three (arts
of the small intestine%
The small intestine is divided into three
portions2 duodenum, #e#unum and
ileum.
&-" By generally di$iding food
into carbohydrates8 fats and
(roteins and considering the
digesti$e (rocess until the
(ylorus 2e)it of stomach38
which of these mentioned
ty(es of food ha$e already
undergone chemical
digestion%
Lntil the exit of the stomach,
carbohydrates, in the mouth, and
proteins, in the stomach, have already
undergone chemical breaking by
digestive enzymes. .arbohydrates have
suffered action of the salivary amylase
$ptyalin% and proteins have suffered
action of the enzyme pepsin of the
gastric #uice. 8ats, until reaching the
duodenum, do not undergo chemical
digestion.
&." #hat is the substance
(roduced in the li$er that acts
in the small intestine during
digestion% 7ow does that
substance act in the digesti$e
(rocess%
Bile, an emulsifier li&uid, is made by the
liver and later stored ithin the
gallbladder and released in the
duodenum.
Bile is composed of bile salts,
cholesterol and bile pigments. Bile salts
are detergents, amphiphilic molecules,
i.e., molecules ith a polar ater!
soluble portion and a non!polar fat!
soluble portion. This feature allos bile
salts to enclose fats inside ater!soluble
micelles in a process called
emulsification for them to be in contact
ith intestinal lipases, enzymes that
break fats into simpler fatty acids and
glycerol.
&8" #hat is the adne)al organ
of the digesti$e system in
which bile is stored% 7ow
does this organ react to the
ingestion of fat rich food%
Bile is concentrated and stored in the
gallbladder.
"hen fat rich foods are ingested the
gallbladder contracts to release bile
inside the duodenum. $This is the
reason hy patients ith gallstones
must not ingest fatty food, the reactive
contraction of the gallbladder may move
some of the stones to the point of
blocking the duct that drains bile into
the duodenum, causing pain and
possible severe complications.%
&/" #hat are the digesti$e
functions of the li$er%
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Besides making bile for release in the
duodenum, the liver has other digestive
functions.
The venous netork that absorbs
nutrients from the guts, called
mesenteric circulation, drains its blood
content almost entirely to the hepatic
portal vein. This vein irrigates the liver
ith absorbed material from the
digestion. ,o the liver has the functions
of storing, processing and inactivating
nutrients.
6lucose is polymerized into glycogen in
the liver( this organ also stores many
vitamins and the iron absorbed in the
intestine. ,ome important metabolic
molecules, like albumin and clotting
factors, are made in the liver from
amino acids of the diet. In the liver
ingested toxic substances, like alcohol
and drugs, are inactivated too.
*0" Besides the li$er which is
the other adne)al gland of the
digesti$e system that releases
substances in the duodenum
(artici(ating in e)tracellular
digestion%
The other adnexal gland of the digestive
system is the pancreas. This organ
makes digestive enzymes that digest
proteins $proteases%, lipids $lipases% and
carbohydrates $pancreatic amylases%.
-ther digestive enzymes, like
gelatinase, elastase, carboxipeptidase,
ribonuclease and deoxyribonuclease are
also secreted by the pancreas.
*1" 7ow does the (ancreatic
Juice (artici(ate in the
digestion of (roteins% #hat
are the in$ol$ed enzymes%
The pancreas secretes trypsinogen that,
undergoing action of the enzyme
enterokinase secreted by the
duodenum, is transformed into trypsin.
Trypsin in its turn catalyzes the
activation of pancreatic
chymotrypsinogen into chymotrypsin.
Trypsin and chymotrypsin are proteases
that break proteins into smaller
peptides. The smaller peptides are then
broken into amino acids by the enzyme
carboxipeptidase $also secreted by the
pancreas in a zymogen form and
activated by trypsin% helped by the
enzyme aminopeptidase made in the
intestinal mucous membrane.
*&" 7ow does the (ancreatic
Juice resume the digestion of
carbohydrates% #hat is the
in$ol$ed enzyme%
.arbohydrate digestion begins ith the
action of the salivary amylase $ptyalin%
in the mouth and it continues in the
duodenum by the action of the
pancreatic #uice. This #uice contains the
enzyme pancreatic amylase, or
amylopsin, that breaks starch $amylum%
into maltose $a disaccharide made of
to glucose molecules%.
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**" 7ow does the (ancreatic
Juice hel( the digestion of
li(ids% #hat is the in$ol$ed
enzyme%
The enzyme pancreatic lipase is present
in the pancreatic #uice. This enzyme
breaks triacylglycerol $triglyceride% into
fatty acids and glycerol.
*+" Besides the (ancreatic
Juice in the intestine there is
the releasing of the enteric
Juice that contains digesti$e
enzymes too" #hat are these
enzymes and which ty(e of
molecule do each of these
enzymes break%
The enteric #uice is secreted by the
small intestine mucosa. The enzymes of
the enteric #uice and their respective
functions are described as follos2
3nterokinase2 enzyme that activates
trypsinogen into trypsin. ,accharase2
enzyme that breaks sucrose
$saccharose% into glucose and fructose.
1altase2 enzyme that breaks maltose
into to glucose molecules. Kactase2
enzyme that breaks lactose into glucose
and galactose. 7eptidases2 enzymes
that break oligopeptides into amino
acids. 0ucleotidases2 3nzymes that
break nucleotides into its components
$nitrogen!containing bases, phosphates
and pentoses%.
*," 6oming from the acid (7
of the stomach which (7 le$el
does the chyme find when it
enters the duodenum% #hy is
it necessary to maintain that
(7 le$el in the small intestine%
#hat are the organs
res(onsible for that (7 le$el
and how is it ke(t%
3ntering the duodenum the chyme
meets the pancreatic #uice under a p/
of approximately >.:. The neutralization
of the chyme acidity is necessary to
keep ade&uate p/ level for the
functioning of the digestive enzymes
that act in the duodenum. "ithout the
neutralization of the chyme acidity the
mucous membrane of the intestine
ould be in#ured.
"hen stimulated by the chyme acidity
the duodenum makes a hormone called
secretin. ,ecretin stimulates the
pancreas to release the pancreatic #uice
and also the gallbladder to expel bile in
the duodenum. The pancreatic
secretion, rich in bicarbonate ions, is
released in the duodenum and
neutralizes the chyme acidity( this
acidity is also neutralized by the
secretion of bile in the duodenal lumen.
*-" #hat are the fi$e human
digesti$e secretions% #hich of
them is the only (ne that does
not contain digesti$e
enzymes%
The human digestive secretions are2
saliva, gastric #uice, bile, pancreatic
#uice and enteric #uice. 'mong these
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secretions only the bile does not contain
digestive enzymes.
*." #hy do (rotease4
su((lying cells of the stomach
and of the (ancreas make only
(recursors of the acti$e
(roteolytic enzymes%
The stomach and the pancreas make
zymogens of the proteases pepsin,
chymotrypsin and trypsin and these
zymogens are released into the gastric
or duodenal lumen for activation. This
happens to prevent the digestion of
these organs' $stomach and pancreas%
on cells and tissues by the active form
of the enzymes. ,o the production of
zymogens is a protective strategy
against the natural effects of the
proteolytic enzymes.
*8" After digestion the ne)t
ste( is absor(tion done by
cells of the mucous membrane
of the intestine" For this task a
large absor(tion surface is an
ad$antage" 7ow is it (ossible
in the small internal s(ace of
the body of a (luricellular
organism to (resent a large
intestinal surface%
3volution tried to solve this problem in
to ays. The simplest is the long and
tubular shape of the boels
$approximately eight meters in
extension%, making possible that
numerous small intestine loops fold
closely. 1ore efficient solutions are the
intestinal villi and the microvilli of the
mucosal membrane cells.
The intestinal all is not smooth. The
mucous membrane, together ith its
submucosa, pro#ects inside the gut
lumen like glove fingers forming
invaginations and villi that multiply the
available surface for absorption. In
addition the epithelial cells that cover
these villi have themselves numerous
hairlike pro#ections called microvilli on
the external face $lumen face% of their
plasma membrane. The absorptive area
of the intestines is thus increased
hundreds of times ith these solutions.
In the #e#unum and ileum there are
folds that have the function of
increasing the absorption surface too.
*/" !n which (art of the
digesti$e tube is water is
chiefly absorbed% #hat about
the mineral ions and $itamins%
1ost part of ater, vitamins and
mineral ions are absorbed by the small
intestine. The large intestine, hoever,
is responsible for the reabsorption of
nearly G=; of the ingested ater, an
important amount that gives
consistency to feces $colon diseases can
cause diarrhea%.
+0" From the intestinal lumen
through to the tissues 4 what
is the route of nutrients after
digestion%
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1onosaccharides, amino acids, mineral
salts and ater are absorbed by the
intestinal epithelium and collected by
capillary vessels of the intestinal villi.
8rom the capillaries, nutrients go to the
mesenteric circulation, a system of
vessels that drains the intestinal loops.
The blood of the mesenteric circulation
is drained to the portal hepatic vein and
some nutrients are processed by the
liver. 8rom the liver, nutrients are
gathered by the hepatic veins that
discharge its blood content into the
inferior vena cava. Blood from the
inferior vena cava then gains the right
chambers of the heart and is pumped to
the lungs for oxygenation. 8rom the
lungs the blood then returns to the
heart here it is pumped to the tissues
distributing nutrients and oxygen.
+1" #hat is the s(ecial route
that li(ids follow during
digestion% #hat are
chylomicrons%
Triglycerides emulsified by the bile
ithin micelles suffer the action of
lipases that break them into fatty acids
and glycerol. 8atty acids, glycerol and
cholesterol are absorbed by the
intestinal mucosa. In the interior of the
mucosal cells fatty acids and glycerol
form again triglycerides that together
ith cholesterol and phospholipids are
packed in small vesicles covered by
proteins and called chylomicrons. The
chylomicrons are released in minuscule
lymphatic vessels not in blood vessels
and they gain the lymphatic circulation.
,o the lymphatic system plays an
important role in the absorption of
lipids.
The lymphatic circulation drains its
content to the venous blood circulation.
In that manner chylomicrons reach the
liver here their lipid content is
processed and released in the blood
under the form of protein!containing
complexes called lipoproteins, like /4K,
PK4K and K4K.
+&" #hat are the so4called
@goodA and @badA cholesterol%
Kipoproteins are complexes made of
lipids $triglycerides and cholesterol% and
proteins. The lipoproteins present
different densities according to the
relationship beteen their protein and
lipid &uantities since lipids are less
dense than proteins. Ko!density
lipoproteins $K4K% are those ith a lo
protein*lipid relation( high!density
lipoproteins $/4K% have a high
protein*lipid relation( another group is
the very lo!density lipoproteins $PK4K%
ith very lo protein*lipid relation.
K4K is knon as Cbad cholesterolD
because it transports cholesterol from
the liver to the tissues and so induces
the formation of atheroma pla&ues
inside blood vessels, a condition called
atherosclerosis $do not confuse ith
arteriosclerosis% that can lead to severe
circulatory obstructions like acute
myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular
accidents and thrombosis. /4K is knon
as Cgood cholesterolD since it transports
cholesterol from the tissues to the liver
$to be eliminated ith the bile% and
elevation of the /4K blood level reduces
the risk of atherosclerosis. $PK4K
transforms into K4K after losing
triglycerides in the blood%.
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+*" #hy does the ingestion of
$egetable fibers im(ro$e the
bowel habit in (eo(le that
suffer from hard stools%
,ome types of plant fibers are not
absorbed by the intestine but play an
important role in the functioning of the
organ. They retain ater inside the
boels and thus contribute to the
softening of the fecal bolus. ' softer
fecal bolus is easier to be eliminated
during defecation. 7eople that eat less
dietary fiber may suffer from hard stools
and constipation.
++" #hat are the main
functions of the bacterial flora
within the human gut%
Bacteria that live inside the gut have
great importance in digestion. ,ome
polysaccharides like cellulose,
hemicellulose and pectin are not
digested by the digestive enzymes
secreted by the body, instead, they are
broken by enzymes released by bacteria
of the gastrointestinal tract. The
intestinal bacterial flora also make vital
substances for the functioning of the
boels facilitating or blocking the
absorption of nutrients and stimulating
or reducing peristalsis. ,ome gut
bacteria are the main source of vitamin
I for the body and so they are essential
for the blood clotting process.
In the intestinal flora there are utile but
also potentially harmful bacteria. It is
estimated that more than G== trillion
bacteria live in a human gut. ,ome
bacteria are useful too because they
compete ith other species preventing
excessive proliferation of these bacteria.
+," The releasing of digesti$e
secretions is controlled by
hormones" #hat are the
hormones that (artici(ate in
this regulation%
The hormones that participate in the
regulation of digestion are gastrin,
secretin, cholecystokin and
enterogastrone.
+-" 7ow is it (roduced and
what is the function of gastrin
in the digesti$e (rocess%
The presence of food in the stomach
stimulates the secretion of gastrin that
in its turn triggers the releasing of the
gastric #uice.
+." #here is it (roduced and
what is the function of
secretin in the digesti$e
(rocess%
,ecretin is made in the duodenum. The
chyme acidity causes the duodenum to
release this hormone that in its turn
stimulates the secretion of the
pancreatic #uice.
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+8" 7ow is it (roduced and
what is the function of
cholecystokin in the digesti$e
(rocess%
The fat level of the chyme detected in
the duodenum stimulates the secretion
of cholecystokin $..I%. ..I acts by
stimulating the secretion of the
pancreatic #uice also, and the releasing
of bile by the gallbladder.
+/" #here is it (roduced and
what is the function of
enterogastrone in the
digesti$e (rocess%
"hen the chyme is too fatty there is a
secretion of enterogastrone by the
duodenum. This hormone reduces the
peristalsis of the stomach thus sloing
the entrance of food into the duodenum
$as the digestion of fats takes more
time%.
,0" #hat are the s(ecial
structures of the a$ian
digesti$e tube and their
res(ecti$e functions%
The digestive tube of birds has special
structures, in this se&uential order2 the
crop, the proventriculus and the gizzard.
The crop has the function of temporary
storage of ingested food and it is a more
dilated area of the avian esophagus.
The proventriculus is the chemical
stomach of the birds here food is
mixed ith digestive enzymes. The
gizzard is a muscular pouch that serves
as a mechanical stomach here the
food is ground to increase the exposure
area of the food particles for the
digestive enzymes to act.
,1" 6om(ared to mammals do
birds absorb more or less
water in their digesti$e
system% #hy is this
(henomenon an ada(tation to
flight%
Bird feces are more li&uid than mammal
feces, i.e., less ater is absorbed in the
avian digestive system. The more
fre&uent elimination of feces in birds
due to their less solid feces is an
adaptation to flight since their body
eight is kept loer.
,&" #hat is meant by
@mutualist e)(loration of
cellulose digestionA8 a
(henomenon that occurs in
some mammals and insects%
/erbivorous animals eat great amounts
of cellulose, a substance not digested by
their digestive enzymes. In these
animals regions of the digestive tube
are colonized by microorganisms that
digest cellulose. This mutualist
ecological interaction beteen animals
and microorganisms occurs, e.g., in
horses, cos, rabbits and in some
insects such as termites.
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,*" 6ows swallow their food
once and then this food goes
back to the mouth to be
chewed again" 7ow can this
(henomenon be e)(lained%
The food ingested by cos and other
ruminant animals passes first ithin to
compartments of the digestive tube
called the rumen and the reticulum.
"ithin them the food suffers the action
of digestive enzymes released by
microorganisms that live there in
mutualist ecological interaction. In the
reticulum the food is divided in some
food bolus too. 'fter passing the
reticulum the food $cud% is regurgitated
to the mouth to be again cheed and
salloed in a process called
rumination. The digesting food then
enters the omasum here it is
mechanically mixed. 'fter that the food
goes to the abomasum, the organ
here the chemical digestion takes
place. 'fter leaving the abomasum $the
true stomach% the food bolus gains the
intestine.
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:es(iratory 1ystem
1" #hat is the difference
between res(iration meaning
gas e)change and cellular
res(iration%
5espiration meaning gas exchange is
the process in hich an organism
absorbs from the environment gases
necessary for its cellular metabolism
and expels gases that are products of
this metabolism. .ellular respiration
$aerobic or anaerobic% is the chemical
reaction in hich organic molecules are
degraded to make 'T7 molecules, the
main energy source for the metabolism.
6as exchange is fundamental for
cellular respiration since the supplying
of some reagents $oxygen, in aerobic
cellular respiration% and the expelling of
some products $e.g., carbon dioxide% of
this chemical reaction depends on gas
exchange.
&" #hat is the chemical
e5uation of the aerobic
cellular res(iration%
The chemical e&uation of the aerobic
cellular respiration is the folloing2
.9/G?-9 A 9 -? A H9 '47 A H9 7 !!R
9 .-? A 9 /?- A H9 'T7
*" 6onsidering the chemical
e5uation of the aerobic
cellular res(iration which
molecules does the cell need
and which molecules does it
liberate in the (rocess%
.onsidering the chemical e&uation of
the aerobic cellular respiration it is
observed that glucose and molecular
oxygen are needed as reagents and
carbon dioxide and ater are released.
The process also spends '47 and
phosphate that turn into 'T7.
+" #hat are the different ty(es
of gas e)change that occur in
animals%
In beings from the kingdom 'nimalia
the gas exchange may occur either by
diffusion, tracheal respiration,
cutaneous respiration, branchial
respiration or pulmonary respiration.
," >)ygen comes from the
en$ironment and carbon
dio)ide in the end returns to
the en$ironment" 7ow do
small animals sol$e the
(roblem of taking away and
bringing these molecules
fromKto their cells% #hy isnGt
that solution (ossible for
larger animals%
,mall animals hose tissues make
direct contact or are very close to the
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environment, like cnidarians and
poriferans, make gas exchange by
diffusion.
Karger animals ith cells ithout direct
contact ith the environment or far
from it need special gas transportation
systems. In these animals the
respiratory and the circulatory systems
play this role.
-" Beings from four (hyla of
the animal kingdom @breathA
2do gas e)change3 by
diffusion" #hich are those
(hyla% 7ow is this ty(e of
res(iration associated to
features (resent in those
animals%
The phyla of the animal kingdom hose
beings do gas exchange by diffusion are
the poriferans, the cnidarians, the
platyelminthes $flatorms% and the
nematodes $roundorms%. This type of
respiration in these beings is possible
because their tissues and cells are
relatively close to the exterior.
." #hich animals make
tracheal res(iration% !s there
a blood4like fluid that
(artici(ates in this (rocess%
Insects and arachnids are the arthropod
animals that make tracheal respiration.
In the body surface of these animals
there are many orifices called spiracles
that communicate ith small tubules,
the tracheae, through hich air
penetrates and carbon dioxide is
expelled. The tracheae ramify into
tracheoles that reach all tissues of the
animal.
In the circulatory system of insects the
blood only transports nutrients( gases
are independently transported by the
tracheal system.
8" #hat is the difference
between res(iration by
diffusion and cutaneous
res(iration% oes blood
(artici(ate in cutaneous
res(iration%
.utaneous respiration is not as simple
as diffusion. In diffusion the gases
diffuse directly beteen the external
environment and the cells. In cutaneous
respiration molecular oxygen penetrates
through the skin and it is collected by
the blood circulation that then
distributes the gas to the tissues.
.arbon dioxide is also collected from the
tissues by the blood and taken to the
skin to be eliminated to the
environment. ,o there is important
participation of blood in cutaneous
respiration.
/" #hich animals make
cutaneous res(iration%
Terrestrial annelids and adult
amphibians make cutaneous respiration
$in amphibians there is also pulmonary
respiration%.
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The thin skin and the need for living in
moist surrounds are typical features of
these animals are.
10" #hat are branchiae% #hat
are e)am(les of animals that
@breathA through branchiae%
Branchiae, also knon as gills, are small
portions of richly vascularized tissues
internal or external to the body and in
direct contact ith the surrounding
ater. The gills are organs that make
gas exchange in a&uatic annelids,
crustaceans, fishes and amphibian
larvae $e.g., tadpoles%.
11" #hat is the difference
between gills and lungs%
6ills and lungs are richly vascularized
organs that serve for gas exchange
beteen the environment and the
circulatory system.
The lungs differentiate from gills in that
they are saclike structures alays
internal to the organism and specialized
in gas exchange in terrestrial
environment. Branchiae, in their turn,
are internal or external laminar
structures in direct contact ith ater
and specialized in gas exchange in
a&uatic environment.
1&" Besides $ertebrates two
in$ertebrate (hyla contain
s(ecies that make (ulmonary
res(iration" #hich are these
(hyla%
Terrestrial molluscs and the arachnid
arthropods are the invertebrates that
present pulmonary!like respiration.
,ome terrestrial molluscs have a mantle
cavity filled ith air that makes contact
ith richly vascularized tissues that
ork as rudimentary lungs. Besides
their tracheal respiration some
arachnids have book lungs $thin folds
resembling leaves of a book% that make
gas exchange.
1*" #hat are the three ty(es
of res(iration in which the
circulatory system trans(orts
gases%
The circulatory system has an important
role in cutaneous respiration, branchial
respiration and pulmonary respiration.
The respiratory function of the blood is
tailored for transportation of gases for
exchange beteen tissues and
respiratory surfaces in contact ith the
exterior $skin, gills, lungs%.
1+" #hat are res(iratory
(igments% #hat are some
res(iratory (igments and in
which animal grou(s can each
of them be found%
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5espiratory pigments are molecules
present in the blood that bind to oxygen
transporting it to the tissues.
In vertebrates the respiratory pigment
is hemoglobin, reddish due to the iron
of its composition. In crustacean and
arachnid arthropods and in some
molluscs the respiratory pigment is
hemocyanin, blue due to the copper of
its composition. 'nnelids have
hemoglobin, hemerythrin and
chlorocruorin as respiratory pigments.
1," #hat are the organs that
form the human res(iratory
system%
The organs that are part of the human
respiratory system can be divided into
three groups2 lungs, airay and
respiratory muscles.
The lungs are the right and the left
lungs made of alveoli here gas
exchange $entrance of oxygen and exit
of carbon dioxide% takes place( the
lungs are covered by the pleura $a
serous membrane%. The airay
comprehends the nose, the pharynx,
the larynx $including the vocal cords%,
the trachea, the bronchi and the
bronchioles. The muscles upon hich
the breathing process depends are
mainly the diaphragm and the
intercostal muscles $muscles beteen
the ribs%.
1-" #hat is the anatomical
reason for the left bronchus to
be more ele$ated than the
right bronchus% #hy in most
cases of as(iration of foreign
material by children is the
obJect found in the right
bronchus%
The left bronchus is more elevated than
the right bronchus because of the
position of the heart in the left side of
the chest, anterior and inferior to the
left bronchus.
'ccidentally aspired ob#ects are
fre&uently found in the right bronchus
because the inferior angle beteen the
trachea and this bronchus is loer than
the inferior angle beteen the trachea
and the left bronchus since the left
bronchus is more horizontalized.
Therefore aspired ob#ects tend to fall in
the right side $bronchus% and not in the
left.
1." 7ow does the body defend
itself from microorganisms
and other harmful substances
that enter the airway during
the breathing (rocess%
The epithelium of the airay is a ciliated
epithelium and has mucus!secreting
specialized cells. The secreted mucus
covers the internal all of the airay
retaining organisms and foreign
particles that then are sept by the cilia
of the epithelium.
In the mucous ciliated epithelium of the
airay there is also intense activity of
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the immune system ith antibodies and
leukocytes inactivating and destroying
foreign agents.
-ther defense mechanisms of the
airay are the sneeze and the cough.
They help the elimination of solid and
semifluid particles like pathologic
residuals $sputum% and accidentally
aspired ob#ects.
18" #hich are the res(iratory
muscles in mammals%
In mammals the muscles that
participate in the breathing process are
the diaphragm and the intercostal
muscles. In respiratory insufficiency
other muscles can help the respiration,
the muscles of the shoulders, neck,
thorax and abdomen.
1/" 7ow are inhalation and
e)(iration carried out%
The diaphragm $exclusive of mammals%
and the intercostal muscles can contract
or relax varying the volume of the
thorax $the compartment here the
lungs are located%. The changing of the
thorax volume forces inhalation or
expiration.
"hen the thorax volume is increased an
internal pressure loer than the
atmospheric pressure $external% is
created and gases naturally enter the
lungs. "hen the thorax volume is
loered the internal pressure rises
above the external pressure and the air
is expelled from the lungs.
&0" #hat is the difference
between arterial and $enous
blood%
'rterial blood is the oxygen!rich and
carbon dioxide!poor blood that irrigates
the tissues. Penous blood is the oxygen!
poor and carbon dioxide!rich blood
collected from the tissues.
&1" #hat is hematosis% !n
humans where does
hematosis occur%
/ematosis is the oxygenation of the
blood. Penous blood $oxygen!poor%
after hematosis is transformed into
arterial blood $oxygen!rich%.
In humans hematosis takes place in the
lungs.
&&" #hat are the blood $essels
that carry $enous blood to the
heart% #hat is the blood
$essel that collects arterial
blood from the heart%
The blood vessels that debouch in the
heart carrying venous blood are the
inferior and the superior vena cava. The
blood vessel that carries arterial blood
from the heart is the aorta.
&*" #hat is the gas e)change
unit of the mammalian lungs%
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The gas exchange units of the
mammalian lungs are the alveoli.
&+" #hat is the (hysical
(rocess through which gas
e)change is accom(lished in
the (ulmonary al$eoli%
The gas exchange $entry of oxygen and
exit of carbon dioxide% in the pulmonary
alveoli occurs by simple diffusion in
favor of the partial pressure gradient.
"hen the oxygen partial pressure in the
inhaled air is higher than the oxygen
partial pressure of the capillaries of the
alveoli the air diffuses to the circulatory
system. If the oxygen partial pressure
in the air is loer $a rare situation since
the blood that reaches the alveoli is
venous blood% the oxygen exits the
circulatory system. The same is true for
carbon dioxide.
&," #hat is the structure of
the central ner$ous system
that regulates (ulmonary
res(iration%
The pulmonary respiration is controlled
by the neural respiratory center located
ithin the medulla $the loer part of the
brain continuous to the spinal cord%.
&-" #hat is the chemical
e5uation of the formation of
bicarbonate from carbon
dio)ide and water% #hat is
the enzyme that catalyzes this
reaction%
The chemical e&uation of the chemical
e&uilibrium of the formation of
bicarbonate having as reagents carbon
dioxide and ater is as follos2
.-? A /?= !!R /?.-H !!R /
A
A /.-H
!
The reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme
carbonic anhydrase present in red blood
cells.
&." #hat are the
conse5uences of shifting the
chemical e5uilibrium of the
formation of bicarbonate from
carbon dio)ide and water
towards the increase of
(roduct 2bicarbonate3
formation%
The increase in product formation in the
chemical e&uilibrium of the formation of
bicarbonate from carbon dioxide and
ater heightens the concentration of
hydrogen ions and thus loers the p/ of
the solution.
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&8" #hat are the
conse5uences of shifting the
chemical e5uilibrium of the
formation of bicarbonate from
carbon dio)ide and water
towards the consum(tion of
(roducts of the re$erse
reaction%
The shifting of the chemical e&uilibrium
of the formation of bicarbonate from
carbon dioxide and ater into the
reverse reaction $production of ater
and carbon dioxide% means spending of
hydrogen ions and thus it increases the
solution p/.
&/" 7ow does the (ulmonary
$entilation affect the carbon
dio)ide concentration in
blood% #hat ha((ens to the
carbon dio)ide concentration
and to the blood (7 when the
res(iratory fre5uency is either
lowered or increased%
The pulmonary ventilation fre&uency
$number of inhalations per time unit%
rises or loers the carbon dioxide
concentration in blood. If it is intense
the gas is more eliminated to the
exterior and if it is reduced the gas is
retained inside the organism.
'pplying the principles of chemical
e&uilibriums to the formation of
bicarbonate from carbon dioxide and
ater one gets the folloing2 if the
carbon dioxide concentration is
increased the e&uilibrium shifts toards
the formation of bicarbonate and
liberation of hydrogen ions and the p/
of the solution is loered( if the carbon
dioxide concentration is loered the
e&uilibrium shifts reversely toards the
formation of ater and carbon dioxide
and also of more hydrogen ions
spending and the p/ of the solution is
raised.
*0" #hat are acidosis and
alkalosis%
'cidosis is the condition in hich the
blood p/ is abnormally lo. 'lkalosis is
the condition in hich the blood p/ is
abnormally high. 0ormal p/ levels for
the human blood are beteen N.H: and
N.@: ! slightly alkaline.
*1" 7ow does the breathing
(rocess correct acidosis%
If the body experiences acidosis the
respiratory center located in the medulla
gets the information and induces the
increase of the respiratory fre&uency.
The increment of the respiratory
fre&uency makes the body eliminate
more carbon dioxide and to shift the
e&uilibrium of the formation of
bicarbonate toards the spending of
more hydrogen ions and thus the blood
p/ raises.
*&" 7ow does the breathing
(rocess correct alkalosis%
If the body undergoes alkalosis the
respiratory center located in the medulla
gets the information and induces the
loering of the respiratory fre&uency.
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The reduction of the respiratory
fre&uency makes the body retain more
carbon dioxide and to shift the
e&uilibrium of the formation of
bicarbonate toards the production of
more hydrogen ions and thus the blood
p/ loers.
**" #hat is the difference
between res(iratory acidosis
and metabolic acidosis and
what is the difference
between res(iratory alkalosis
and metabolic alkalosis%
5espiratory acidosis is that in hich the
blood p/ is lo due to increased
retention of carbon dioxide caused by
the loering of the respiratory
fre&uency or by pulmonary diseases
that impair the gas exchange. ,o the
cause of the respiratory acidosis is the
pulmonary respiration. 1etabolic
acidosis is that in hich the blood p/ is
lo not due to the pulmonary retention
of carbon dioxide but due to metabolic
disturbances. ,ome metabolic
disturbances result in liberation in the
blood of nonvolatile acids that release
hydrogen ions loering the blood p/
$e.g., diabetic ketoacidosis%.
5espiratory alkalosis is that in hich the
p/ is high due to increased expelling of
carbon dioxide caused by elevated
respiratory fre&uency. 1etabolic
alkalosis is the alkalosis caused by
metabolic disturbances that increase the
concentration of bases $alkalis% in the
blood.
*+" #here are the
chemorece(tors that detect
the acidity of the blood and
trigger the res(iratory
com(ensation located%
The chemoreceptors that participate in
the ventilation control are structures
that collect information about the acidity
and alkalinity of the blood. The
information is then transmitted by
nervous fibers to the respiratory center
located ithin the medulla. The center
then commands the respiratory muscles
to compensate the abnormal p/.
There are central and peripheral
chemoreceptors. 7eripheral
chemoreceptors of p/, carbon dioxide
partial pressure and oxygen partial
pressure are located in the alls of the
aorta and of the carotid arteries. .entral
chemoreceptors that get p/ information
are located ithin the medulla in the
respiratory center. $The pulmonary
ventilation is also controlled by
receptors that receive p/ information
from the cerebrospinal fluid.%
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6irculatory 1ystem
1" #hat is circulation%
.irculation is the movement of
substances like nutrients and gases
ithin blood vessels and cavities
throughout the organism.
&" o all animals ha$e a
circulatory system%
0ot all animals have a circulatory
system.
7oriferans, cnidarians, platyhelminthes
and nematodes $in these there are the
pseudocoelom fluid but no vessels% are
avascular animals. 3chinoderms do not
have true circulatory systems either.
*" #hat is the alternati$e
means for trans(ort of
substances in animals without
a circulatory system% #hy is
blood im(ortant for larger
animals%
In animals that do not present the
circulatory system the transport of
substances occurs by cell to cell
diffusion.
The blood is a fundamental means of
substance transport for larger animals
since in these animals there are tissues
distant from each other and from the
environment thus making diffusion
impossible.
+" #hat are the two ty(es of
circulatory systems%
The circulatory systems can be classified
into open circulatory system and closed
circulatory system.
," #hat is an o(en circulatory
system%
-pen circulatory system is the one in
hich blood does not circulate only
inside blood vessels but it also falls in
cavities that irrigate tissues. In the open
circulatory system the blood pressure is
lo and generally the blood $called
hemolymph% has lo cellularity.
'rthropods, molluscs $the cephalopods
are exception% and protochordates have
open circulatory system.
-" #hat is a closed circulatory
system%
' closed circulatory system is one in
hich blood circulates only inside blood
vessels. 8or this reason the blood
pressure is higher in animals ith closed
circulatory system. The cellularity of the
blood is also higher ith many specific
blood cells.
The closed circulatory system is a
feature of annelids, cephalopod molluscs
and vertebrates.
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." #hat are the ad$antages of
the closed circulatory system
o$er the o(en circulatory
system%
The closed circulatory system is more
efficient. ,ince blood circulates only
inside blood vessels it can do it ith
more pressure reaching farther
distances beteen the organs here
hematosis happens and the peripheral
tissues. In addition the circulatory speed
also heightens making possible more
oxygen supply to great consuming
tissues, like the muscle tissues that
then can perform faster movements.
'nimals ith an open circulatory system
$ith the exception of insects that do
gas exchange independently from the
circulation% are generally sloer and
have a lo metabolic rate.
8" #hat is the difference
between octo(uses and
mussels regarding their
circulatory systems% 7ow
does that difference influence
the mobility of these animals%
.ephalopod molluscs, like octopuses
and s&uids, have a closed circulatory
system ith blood pumped under
pressure floing ithin vessels. Bivalve
molluscs, like mussels and oysters, have
an open circulatory system $also knon
as lacunar circulatory system% here
blood flos under lo pressure since it
falls in cavities of the body and does not
only circulate ithin blood vessels.
1olluscs ith closed circulatory systems
are larger, agile and can actively move(
molluscs ith open circulatory systems
are smaller, slo and some are
practically sessile.
/" #hy8 e$en thoough they
ha$e an o(en circulatory
system8 can flying insects like
flies beat their wings with
great s(eed%
In insects the circulatory system is open
but this system does not participate in
the gas exchange process and in oxygen
supply to the tissues. 6ases go in and
out through the independent tracheal
system that allos direct contact of cells
ith the ambient air. Therefore an
insect can supply the great oxygen
demand of its fast!beating ing muscles
even having open circulatory system.
10" #hat are the ty(ical
com(onents of a closed
circulatory system%
The typical components of the closed
circulatory system are the blood vessels
ithin hich blood circulates $arteries,
veins and capillaries%, a pumping organ
$heart% and the blood or bloodlike fluid.
11" 7ow does the heart im(el
the blood%
The heart is a muscular organ that
contains chambers $right atrium and
right ventricle and left atrium and right
ventricle% through hich blood passes.
The blood enters the heart in the atria,
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goes to the ventricles and then leaves
the organ.
The blood is pumped out of the heart by
the contraction of the muscle fibers that
form the ventricular alls. The
contraction reduces the ventricle
volume thus increasing the internal
pressure and the blood then flos to the
exit vessels $pulmonary artery for the
right ventricle and aorta for the left
ventricle%. "hen ventricular muscle
fibers distend the ventricles regain their
original size and receive ne blood flo
coming from the atria.
1&" #hat is the difference
between systole and diastole
,ystole and diastole are the to stages
into hich the cardiac cycle is divided.
,ystole is the stage hen the
contraction of ventricular muscle fibers
occurs and the ventricles are emptied.
4iastole is the stage of the cardiac cycle
hen the ventricular muscle fibers
distend and the ventricles are filled ith
blood.
1*" #hat are arterial $essels8
arteries and arterioles%
'rterial vessels are every blood vessel
that carries blood from the heart to the
tissues. 'rteries and arterioles are
arterial vessels. 'rterioles are thin
arteries that end in capillaries.
0ot all arteries hoever contain arterial
blood $highly oxygenated blood%. The
pulmonary artery and its ramifications,
arteries that carry blood from the right
heart ventricle to the lungs, contain
venous blood.
1+" #hat are $enous $essels8
$eins and $enules%
Penous vessels are every blood vessel
that carries blood from the tissues to
the heart. Peins and venules are venous
vessels. Penules are thin veins that are
continuous to capillaries.
In general venous vessels carry venous
blood. The pulmonary veins that carry
blood from the lungs to the left atrium
of the heart hoever contain arterial
blood.
1," #hat are the ca(illaries of
the $ascular system%
.apillaries are small blood vessels that
perform exchange of substances
beteen the blood and the body tissues.
.apillaries are neither arteries nor are
they veins since they have distinct
features. In capillaries the all is made
of a single layer of endothelial cells
through hich substances are
exchanged. These vessels receive blood
from the arterioles and drain to the
venules.
1-" #hat is the (art of the
$ascular system that (erforms
e)change of gases and other
substances with the tissues%
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-nly capillaries perform exchange of
gases and other substances ith the
tissues.
1." Are the arteries or the
$eins constituted of more
muscle tissue% 7ow different
are the walls of these two
ty(es of blood $essels%
The arterial system has thicker muscle
alls since ithin arteries the blood
circulates under higher pressure. The
veins are more flaccid than arteries.
8rom the lumen to the external layer
both types of vessels are made of
endothelium, muscle tissue and
connective tissue. In both the
endothelium is a single layer of cells. In
arteries the muscle tissue portion is
thicker than in veins and in these
vessels the external connective tissue is
thicker than in arteries.
'rteries are the pulsating blood vessels.
The arterial pulse can be felt in a
medical examination, for example, by
the palpation of the radial artery in the
internal and lateral face of the rist
near the base of the thumb.
18" #hat are the $al$es of the
$enous system% #hat is their
function%
The valves of the venous system are
structures inside the veins that permit
blood to flo only in the normal ay
$from the tissues to the heart% and
forbid it to return in the reverse ay in
favor of gravity. The valves close hen
the pressure of the fluid column above
$after, regarding normal flux% is higher
than the fluid pressure before them.
Palves are thus fundamental for the
returning of blood to the heart.
1/" 7ow do the muscles of the
legs and of the feet contribute
to the $enous return%
The muscles of the legs, mainly the
muscles of the calves, contract and
compress the deep veins of the legs
impelling the blood to the heart.
The plantar portion of the feet retains
blood and hen it is compressed against
the ground it impels its blood volume
and aids venous return.
&0" #hat are $arices% #hy are
they more common in the
inferior limbs%
Parix means abnormal enlargement of
veins. Parices occur hen excessive
pressure against the normal blood flux
creates enlargement of the vein and
thus insufficient functioning of its valves
$venous insufficiency%.
Parices are more common in the veins
of the inferior limbs since the fluid
column above these vessels is higher.
This is the reason hy people that
spend much time standing $e.g.,
surgeons% are more susceptible to
varices.
In general varices are not the apparent
superficial veins that appear in the leg
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of varix patients. These apparent
vessels are the conse&uences of internal
varices $venous insufficiency% in the
deep internal veins of the legs and they
appear because the blood flux is
diverted to superficial veins. $7opularly
hoever apparent superficial veins are
called varices.%
&1" #hat is the lym(hatic
system%
The lymphatic system is a netork of
specialized valved vessels that drain
interstitial fluid $lymph%. The lymphatic
system is also responsible for the
transport of chylomicrons $vesicles that
contain lipids% made after the
absorption of fats by the intestinal
epithelium.
In the ay of the lymphatic vessels
there are ganglial!like structures called
lymph nodes that contain many cells of
the immune system. These cells filter
impurities and destroy microorganisms
and cellular astes. The lymphatic
vessels drain to to ma#or lymphatic
vessels, the thoracic duct and the right
lymphatic duct, that in their turns drain
into tributary veins of the superior vena
cava.
&&" #hy in inflammatory and
infectious conditions may
clinical signs related to the
lym(hatic system occur%
The lymph nodes, or lymph glands,
have lymphoid tissue that produces
lymphocytes $a type of leukocyte%. In
inflammatory and infectious conditions
the enlargement of lymph nodes of the
lymphatic circuits that drain the affected
region due to the reactive proliferation
of leukocytes is common. This
enlargement is knon as
lymphadenomegaly and sometimes it is
accompanied by pain. The search for
enlarged or painful lymph nodes is part
of the medical examination since these
findings may suggest inflammation,
infection or other diseases.
&*" #hich are the heart
chambers res(ecti$ely where
the entrance and the e)it of
blood occur%
The heart chambers through hich
blood enters the heart are the atria.
There are the right atrium and the left
atrium.
The heart chambers through hich the
blood exits the heart are the ventricles.
There are the right ventricle and the left
ventricle.
&+" 6oncerning the thickness
of their walls how different
are the heart chambers%
The ventricle alls are thicker than the
atrium alls since ventricles are
structures responsible for the pumping
of the blood to the lungs or tissues. The
muscular ork of the ventricles is
harder and their muscle fibers develop
more.
The left ventricle is more muscular than
the right ventricle because pumping
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blood to the lungs $the right ventricle
task% is easier $needs less pressure%
than pumping blood to the other tissues
of the body $the left ventricle task%.
&," #hat is $ena ca$a% #hich
ty(e of blood circulates within
the $ena ca$a%
The vena cava are either of to large
veins that debouch into the right atrium.
The superior vena cava drains all blood
that comes from the head, the superior
limbs, the neck and the superior portion
of the trunk. The inferior vena cava
carries blood drained from the inferior
portion of the trunk and the inferior
limbs.
Penous blood circulates ithin the vena
cava.
&-" #hich is the first 2human3
heart chamber into which
blood enters% #here does the
blood go after (assing that
chamber% #hat is the name of
the $al$e that se(arates the
com(artments% #hy is that
$al$e necessary%
The venous blood that comes from the
tissues arrives in the right atrium of the
heart. 8rom the right atrium the blood
goes to the right ventricle. The valve
that separates the right ventricle from
the right atrium is the tricuspid valve $a
valvular system made of three leaflets%.
The tricuspid valve is necessary to
prevent returning of blood to the right
atrium during systole $contraction of
ventricles%.
&." #hat is the function of the
right $entricle% To where does
the right $entricle (um( the
$enous blood%
The function of the right ventricle is to
get venous blood from the right atrium
and pump the blood to be oxygenated in
the lungs.
The venous blood is carried from the
right ventricle to the lungs by the
pulmonary artery and their
ramifications.
&8" #hat is the $al$e that
se(arates the right $entricle
from the (ulmonary artery%
#hy is that $al$e im(ortant%
The valve that separates the right
ventricle and the base of the pulmonary
artery is the pulmonary valve. The
pulmonary valve is important to prevent
blood from the pulmonary circulation to
flo back to the heart during diastole.
&/" o the arteries that carry
blood from the heart to the
lungs contain arterial or
$enous blood% #hat ha((ens
to the blood when it (asses
through the lungs%
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'rteries of the pulmonary circulation are
arteries that carry venous blood and not
arterial blood.
"hen the blood passes ithin the
alveolar capillaries of the lungs
hematosis $oxygenation% occurs and
carbon dioxide is released to the
exterior.
*0" #hat and how many are
the (ulmonary $eins%
The pulmonary veins are part of the
pulmonary circulation. They are vessels
that carry oxygen!rich $arterial% blood
from the lungs to the heart. There are
four pulmonary veins, to that drain
blood from the right lung and other to
that drain the left lung. The pulmonary
veins debouch into the left atrium
bringing arterial blood to the heart.
'lthough they are veins they carry
arterial blood and not venous blood.
*1" To which heart chamber
does the blood go after
lea$ing the left atrium% #hat
is the $al$e that se(arates
these com(artments%
The arterial blood that has come from
the lungs to the left atrium passes then
to the left ventricle.
The valve beteen the left ventricle and
the left atrium is the mitral valve, a
bicuspid $to leaflets% valve. The mitral
valve is important because it prevents
the regurgitation of blood to the left
atrium during systole $contraction of the
ventricles%.
*&" #hat is the function of the
left $entricle% #here does the
blood go after lea$ing the left
$entricle%
The function of the left ventricle is to
get blood from the left atrium and to
pump the blood under high pressure to
the systemic circulation. 'fter leaving
the left ventricle the blood enters the
aorta, the largest artery of the body.
**" #hat is the $al$e that
se(arates the aorta from the
heart% #hat is the im(ortance
of that $al$e%
The valve beteen the left ventricle and
the aorta is the aortic valve. The aortic
valve prevents the retrograde flux of
blood to the left ventricle during
diastole. Besides, as the aortic valve
closes during diastole, part of the
retrograde blood flux is impelled
through the coronary ostia $openings%,
orifices located in the aorta all #ust
after the valvular insertion and
contiguous to the coronary circulation
responsible for the blood supply of the
cardiac tissues.
*+" !s the $entricle lumen
larger during systole or during
diastole%
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,ystole is the stage of the cardiac cycle
on hich the ventricles contract. ,o the
lumen of these chambers is reduced and
the pressure upon the blood ithin
them is heightened.
4uring diastole the opposite occurs. The
muscle fibers of the ventricles relax and
the lumen of these chambers enlarges
helping the entrance of blood.
*," #hat is the stage of the
cardiac cycle during which the
$entricles are filled%
The filling of the ventricles ith blood
occurs during diastole.
*-" >f which ty(e of tissue is
the heart made% 7ow is this
tissue o)ygenated and
nutrified%
The heart is made of striated cardiac
muscle tissue. The heart muscle is
called the myocardium and it is
oxygenated and nutrified by the
coronary arteries. The coronary arteries
come from the base of the aorta and
ramify around the heart penetrating the
myocardium.
4iseases of the coronary arteries are
severe conditions.
*." #hich are the two main
metabolic gases trans(orted
by the blood%
The main metabolic gases transported
by the blood are molecular oxygen $-?%
and carbon dioxide $.-?%.
*8" 7ow do res(iratory
(igments act%
5espiratory pigments are oxygen!
carrying molecules present in the blood.
"hen the oxygen concentration is high,
for example, in the pulmonary alveoli,
the respiratory pigments bind to the
gas. In conditions of lo oxygen
concentration, e.g., in tissues, the
respiratory pigments release the
molecule.
In the human blood the respiratory
pigment is hemoglobin, present ithin
the red blood cells.
*/" 7ow different are
o)yhemoglobin and
hemoglobin% #here is it
e)(ected to find a higher
concentration of
o)yhemoglobin8 in (eri(heral
tissues or in the lungs%
-xygen!bound hemoglobin is called
oxyhemoglobin. In the lungs the oxygen
concentration is higher and so there is a
higher oxyhemoglobin concentration. In
the peripheral tissues the situation is
the reverse, the concentration of
oxygen is loer and there is more free
hemoglobin.
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+0" #hat is hemoglobin F%
#hy does the fetus need a
different hemoglobin%
/emoglobin 8 is the hemoglobin found
in the mammalian fetus and hemoglobin
' is the normal hemoglobin.
/emoglobin 8 has higher affinity for
oxygen.
The fetus needs hemoglobin capable of
extracting oxygen from the motherQs
circulation. Therefore the fetus uses
hemoglobin 8 since it has higher affinity
for oxygen than the motherQs
hemoglobin.
+1" !n high altitudes is it
necessary for the blood to
ha$e more or less
hemoglobin%
In high altitudes the air is rarefied and
oxygen concentration is loer than in
lo altitudes. In this situation the
efficiency of the respiratory system
must be greater and thus the organism
synthesizes more hemoglobin $and
more red blood cells% trying to get more
oxygen. This phenomenon is knon as
compensatory hyperglobulinemia.
The compensatory hyperglobulinemia is
the reason hy athletes that ill
compete in high altitudes need to arrive
in the place some days before the event
so there is time for their body to make
more red blood cells and they ill be
less affected by the effects of the lo
atmospheric oxygen concentration
$fatigue, reduced muscular strength%.
+&" #hat is the substance that
stimulates the (roduction of
red blood cells% #hich is the
organ that secretes it% Ender
what conditions does this
secretion increase%
The substance that stimulates the
production of red blood cells by the
bone marro is erythropoietin.
3rythropoietin is a hormone secreted by
the kidneys. Its secretion is increased
hen there is deficient tissue
oxygenation $tissue hypoxia% caused
either by reduced oxygen availability $as
it occurs in high altitudes% or by internal
diseases, as in pulmonary diseases.
+*" #hy is carbon mono)ide
to)ic for humans%
/emoglobin ClikesD carbon monoxide
$.-% much more than it likes oxygen.
"hen there is carbon monoxide in the
inhaled air it binds to hemoglobin
forming carboxyhemoglobin by
occupying the binding site here
oxygen ould bind. 4ue to the higher
hemoglobin affinity for carbon monoxide
thus $e.g., in intoxication from car
exhausts% there is no oxygen transport
and the individual undergoes hypoxia,
loses conscience, inhales more carbon
monoxide and may even die.
Intoxication by carbon monoxide is an
important cause of death in fires and in
closed garages.
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++" #hat is the stage of
cellular res(iration during
which carbon dio)ide is
liberated%
In aerobic cellular respiration the
release of carbon dioxide happens in the
transformation of pyruvic acid into
acetyl!.o' $to molecules% and in the
Irebs cycle $four molecules%. 8or each
glucose molecule, six carbon dioxide
molecules are made.
+," 7ow is carbon dio)ide
released by cellular
res(iration trans(orted from
the tissues to be eliminated
through the lungs%
In vertebrates almost N=; of the
carbon dioxide is transported by the
blood in the form of bicarbonate, ?:;
bound to hemoglobin and :; dissolved
in the plasma.
+-" #hat is the difference
between double closed
circulation and sim(le closed
circulation%
4ouble closed circulation, or closed
circulation, is that in hich the blood
circulates through to associated and
parallel vascular systems2 one that
carries blood to and takes blood from
the peripheral tissues $the systemic
circulation% and the other that carries
blood to and takes blood from the
tissues that perform gas exchange ith
the environment, e.g, the lungs
$pulmonary circulation%. 4ouble
circulation occurs in amphibians,
reptiles, birds and mammals.
,imple closed circulation, or simple
circulation, is the one in hich the
tissues that perform gas exchange are
associated in series ith the systemic
circulation, as in fishes.
+." 7ow many chambers does
the fish heart ha$e%
The fish heart is a tube made of to
consecutive chambers2 one atrium and
one ventricle.
+8" oes the fish heart (um(
$enous or arterial blood%
The venous blood coming from the
tissues enters the atrium and passes to
the ventricle that then pumps the blood
toards the gills. 'fter oxygenation in
the gills the arterial blood goes to the
tissues. ,o the fish heart pumps venous
blood.
+/" #hy is the fish circulation
classified as a sim(le and
com(lete circulation%
.omplete circulation is that in hich
there is no mixture of venous blood and
arterial blood. ,imple circulation is that
in hich the blood circulates only in one
circuit $as opposed to the double
circulation that have to circuits, the
systemic circulation and the pulmonary
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circulation%. In fishes the circulatory
system is simple and complete.
,0" 7ow many heart chambers
does the am(hibian heart
ha$e%
The amphibian heart has three heart
chambers2 to atria and one ventricle.
,1" #hy can the am(hibian
circulation be classified as
double and incom(lete%
The amphibian circulation is double
because it is composed of systemic and
pulmonary circulations2 respectively,
heart!tissues!heart and heart!lungs!
heart. ,ince amphibians have only one
ventricle in the heart, venous blood
taken from the tissues and arterial
blood coming from the lungs are mixed
in the ventricle that then pumps the
mixture back to the systemic and to the
pulmonary circulations. The amphibian
circulation is classified as incomplete
because venous and arterial blood mix
in the circuit.
The blood oxygenation in amphibians
occurs also in the systemic circulation
since their skin is a gas exchange
organ.
,&" #hat is the difference
between the am(hibian heart
and the re(tile heart%
The reptiles have double and incomplete
circulation too, three heart chambers
$to atria and one ventricle%. The reptile
heart hoever presents the beginning of
a ventricular septation that partially
separates a right and left region of the
chamber. "ith the partial ventricular
septation the mixture of arterial ith
venous blood in the reptile heart is less
than in amphibians.
,*" 7ow many chambers do
the bird heart and the
mammalian heart ha$e%
6oncerning tem(erature
maintenance what is the
ad$antage of the double and
com(lete circulation of these
animals%
The bird and the mammalian hearts are
divided into four chambers2 right
atrium, right ventricle, left atrium and
left ventricle.
Birds and mammals are homeothermic,
i.e., they control their body
temperature. The four!chambered heart
and the double circulation provide the
supply of more oxygenated blood to the
tissues making possible a higher
metabolic rate $mainly cellular
respiration rate%. 7art of the energy
produced by the cellular respiration is
used to maintain the body temperature.
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,+" 6oncerning the mi)ture of
arterial with $enous blood
what is the difference
between the human fetal
circulation and the adult
circulation%
In the human fetal circulation there are
to communications beteen arterial
and venous blood characterizing an
incomplete circulation. -ne of them is
the oval foramen, an opening beteen
the right and the left atria of the fetal
heart. The other is the arterial duct, a
short vessel connecting the pulmonary
artery to the aorta. These
communications close a fe days after
birth and so they are not present in the
adult heart.
,," 7ow is heart contraction
triggered%
/eart contraction is independent from
neuronal stimulus $although it can be
modulated by the autonomous nervous
system%. In the heart there are
pacemaker cells that trigger by
themselves the action potentials that
begin the muscle contraction. These
cells are concentrated at to special
points of the heart2 the sinoatrial node
$,' node% located in the superior
portion of the right atrium and the
atrioventricular node $'P node% located
near the interatrial septum.
The action potentials generated by
depolarization of the ,' node cells
propagate cell to cell throughout the
atria producing the atrial contraction.
The atrial depolarization also propagates
to the 'P node that then transmits the
electric impulse to the ventricles
through specialized conduction bundles
of the interventricular septum $the
bundle of /is% and then to the 7urkin#e
fibers of the ventricle alls causing
ventricular contraction. $The atrial
contraction precedes the ventricular
contraction for blood to fill the ventricles
before the ventricular contraction.%
The repolarization of the ,' node makes
the atria relax and then the ventricles
relax too.
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=)cretory 1ystem
1" #hat is e)cretion%
3xcretion in 7hysiology is the process of
elimination of metabolic astes and
other toxic substances from the body.
&" #hat are nitrogen wastes%
0itrogen astes are residuals derived
from the degradation of proteins. They
are made from chemical transformation
of the amine group of amino acid
molecules.
*" #hat are the three main
ty(es of nitrogen wastes
e)creted by li$ing beings%
The main nitrogen astes excreted by
living beings are ammonia, uric acid and
urea. Kiving beings that secrete
ammonia are knon as ammoniotelic.
.reatures that secrete uric acid are
knon as uricotelic. -rganisms that
secrete urea are called ureotelic.
+" #hy are most ammoniotelic
beings a5uatic animals%
'&uatic animals, like crustaceans, bony
fishes and amphibian larvae, generally
are ammoniotelic since ammonia
diffuses more easily through
membranes and it is more ater!soluble
than the other nitrogen astes.
'mmonia is still the most energetically
economical nitrogen aste to be
synthesized.
," #hy after the (assage of
animals from the a5uatic to
the terrestrial habitat does the
abandonment of the
ammoniotelic e)cretion occur%
'mmonia is a highly toxic molecule if
not diluted and &uickly excreted out of
the body. 8or this reason the
ammoniotelic excretion as abandoned
in terrestrial habitats because the
availability of ater for dilution is
reduced in this medium and astes
cannot be excreted so promptly to the
exterior.
-" 6om(aring to)icity and the
need for dilution in water how
different are the ureotelic and
the uricotelic e)cretions%
#hat are some e)am(les of
animals that (resent these
res(ecti$e ty(es of e)cretion%
Lrea is more ater!soluble than uric
acid $an almost insoluble substance%.
Lrea is also more toxic. Both hoever
are less toxic than ammonia.
,ome invertebrates, chondrichthian
fishes, adult amphibians and mammals
are ureotelic. 5eptiles, birds and most
arthropods are uricotelic.
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." #hat is the nitrogen waste
in am(hibian lar$ae and in the
adult animal%
,ince amphibian larvae are a&uatic they
excrete ammonia. The terrestrial adult
excretes urea.
8" #hy is the uricotelic
e)cretion essential for a$ian
and re(tile embryos%
In reptiles and birds the excretory
system is uricotelic since uric acid is
insoluble, less toxic and suitable to be
stored ithin the eggs here their
embryos develop.
/" 7ow do embryos of
(lacental mammals e)crete
nitrogen wastes%
7lacental animals, including embryos,
excrete urea. In the adult placental
mammal urea is excreted through the
urine. In embryos the molecule passes
to the motherQs blood through the
placenta and it is excreted in the
motherQs urine.
10" #hat is the main nitrogen
waste of humans%
/uman beings excrete mainly urea
eliminated ith the urine.
11" 7ow is urea formed in the
human body%
Lrea is a product of the degradation of
amino acids. In the process amino acids
lose their amine group hich is then
transformed into ammonia. In the liver
ammonia reacts ith carbon dioxide to
form urea and ater, a process called
ureogenesis.
In the intermediary reactions of the
ureogenesis a molecule of ornithine is
consumed and another is produced. 8or
this reason ureogenesis is also knon
as the ornithine cycle.
1&" #hich are the organs of
the e)cretory system%
The excretory system is formed of
kidneys $to%, ureters $to%, bladder
and urethra.
1*" #hat are the $essels that
carry blood to the kidneys% !s
this blood arterial or $enous%
The arterial vessels that carry blood to
be filtrated by the kidneys are the renal
arteries. The renal arteries are
ramifications of the aorta and so the
blood filtered by the kidneys is arterial
$oxygen!rich% blood.
1+" #hich are the $essels that
drain filtered blood from the
kidneys%
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The venous vessels that collect the
blood filtered by the kidneys are the
renal veins. The renal veins carry the
blood that has been reabsorbed in the
nephron tubules.
1," #hat is the functional
unity of the kidneys%
The functional $filtering% unity of the
kidneys is the nephron. ' nephron is
made of afferent arteriole, efferent
arteriole, glomerulus, Boman's
capsule, proximal tubule, loop of /enle,
distal tubule and collecting duct.
In each kidney there are about one
million nephrons.
1-" #hat are the three main
renal (rocesses that combined
(roduce urine%
Lrine is made by the occurrence of
three processes in the nephron2
glomerular filtration, tubular resorption
and tubular secretion.
In the nephron the blood carried by the
afferent arteriole enters the glomerular
capillary netork here it is filtered.
The filtration implies that part of the
blood returns to the circulation through
the efferent arteriole and the other part,
knon as the glomerular filtrate, enters
the proximal tubule of the nephron. In
the nephron tubules $also knon as
convoluted tubules% substances of the
glomerular filtrate like ater, ions and
small organic molecules are resorbed by
the cells of the tubule all and gain
again the circulation. These cells also
secrete other substances inside the
tubules. The urine is formed of not
resorbed filtered substances and of
secreted $by the tubules% substances.
Lrine is drained by the collecting ducts
to the ureter of each kidney, then it
enters the bladder and later it is
discharged through the urethra.
The nephron tubules are surrounded by
an extensive capillary netork that
collects resorbed substances and
provides others to be secreted.
1." #hat is the main
transformation (resented by
the glomerular filtrate in
com(arison to the blood%
6lomerular filtrate is the name given to
the plasma after it has passed the
glomerulus and entered the BomanQs
capsule. The glomerular filtrate has a
different composition compared to urine
since the fluid has not yet undergone
tubular resorption and secretion.
The main difference beteen the blood
and the glomerular filtrate is that in the
latter the amount of proteins is at a
minimum and there are no cells or blood
platelets.
18" #hat is (roteinuria% #hy
is (roteinuria a sign of
glomerular renal inJury%
7roteinuria means losing of proteins
through urine. Lnder normal conditions
proteins are too big to be filtered by the
glomerulus and they are practically
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absent in the urine $the fe filtered
proteins may also be resorbed in the
nephron tubules%. 7roteinuria is an
indication that a more than expected
amount of proteins is passing the
glomerulus suggesting glomerular
disease, e.g., in diabetic nephropathy.
The glomerulus also blocks the passage
of blood cells and platelets $hematuria is
often a sign of urinary disease although
less specific of kidneys since the blood
may come from the loer parts of the
excretory tract%.
1/" #here does most of the
water resorbed after
glomerular filtration go% #hat
are the other substances
resorbed by the ne(hron
tubules%
-nly =.: to G; of the glomerular filtrate
is eliminated as urine. The remaining
volume, containing mainly metabolic
ions, glucose, amino acids and ater, is
resorbed through the nephron tubules
$by means of active or passive
transport% and gains the blood
circulation again.
The convolute tubules of the nephron
are responsible for the resorption of
substances.
&0" #hy do cells of the
ne(hron tubules (resent a
great amount of
mitochondria%
The cells of the tubule all have high
number of mitochondria because many
substances are resorbed or secreted
through them by means of active
transport $a process that spends
energy%. Therefore many mitochondria
are necessary for the energetic supply
$'T7 supply% of this type of transport.
&1" #hat is tubular secretion%
#hat are some e)am(les of
substances secreted through
the renal tubules%
Tubular secretion is the passage of
substances from the blood capillaries
that surround the nephron tubules to
the tubular lumen for these substances
to be excreted ith urine. 'mmonia,
uric acid, potassium, bicarbonate and
hydrogen ions, metabolic acids and
bases, various ingested drugs
$medicines% and other substances are
secreted by the nephron tubules.
&&" !n which ne(hron (ortion
does the regulation of acidity
and alkalinity of the (lasma
occur%
The regulation of the acid!basic
e&uilibrium of the body is done by the
kidneys and depends upon the tubular
resorption and secretion.
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&*" 7ow do kidneys
(artici(ate in the regulation of
the acid4basic e5uilibrium of
the body% 7ow are alkalosis
and acidosis res(ecti$ely
corrected by the kidneys%
Iidneys can regulate the acidity or
alkalinity of the plasma varying the
excretion of hydrogen and bicarbonate
ions.
In alkalosis $abnormally high level of
the plasma p/% the kidneys excrete
more bicarbonate and the e&uilibrium of
formation of bicarbonate from ater
and carbon dioxide shifts toards
formation of more hydrogen ions and
bicarbonate and then the plasma p/ is
loered. "hen the body undergoes
acidosis $abnormal lo level of the
plasma p/% the kidneys excrete more
hydrogen ions and retain more
bicarbonate thus the e&uilibrium of
formation of bicarbonate from ater
and carbon dioxide shifts toards more
hydrogen consumption and the plasma
p/ is increased.
&+" 7ow do kidneys
(artici(ate in the blood
$olume control% 7ow is the
blood $olume of the body
related to the arterial
(ressure%
The kidneys and the hormones that act
upon them are the main physiological
regulators of the total blood volume of
the body. 's more ater is resorbed in
the nephron tubules the more the blood
volume increases( as more ater is
excreted in urine the more the blood
volume loers.
The blood volume in its turn has a direct
relation to blood pressure. The blood
pressure increases hen the blood
volume increases and it loers hen
the blood volume loers. That is the
reason hy one of the main groups of
antihypertensive drugs is the diuretics.
4octors often prescribe diuretics for the
hypertensive patients to excrete more
ater and thus loer their blood
pressure.
&," #hich are the three
hormones that (artici(ate in
the regulation of the renal
function%
'ntidiuretic hormone $or '4/, or
vasopressin%, aldosterone and atrial
natriuretic factor $or '08% are hormones
that participate in the regulation of the
excretory system.
&-" #hat is the function of the
antidiuretic hormone% #here
is it made and which are the
stimuli that increase or reduce
its secretion%
The antidiuretic hormone is secreted by
the hypophysis $also knon as pituitary%
and it acts in the nephron tubules
increasing the resorption of ater.
"hen the body needs to retain ater,
for example, in cases of blood loss and
abrupt blood pressure loering or in
cases of abnormally high blood
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osmolarity, there is stimulus for '4/
secretion.
"hen the body has an excess of ater,
as in cases of excessive ingestion or in
abnormally lo blood osmolarity, the
secretion of '4/ is blocked and the
diuresis increases. '4/ is also knon as
vasopressin since it increases the blood
volume and thus heightens the blood
pressure.
&." #hy does the ingestion of
alcohol increase diuresis%
'lcohol inhibits the secretion of '4/
$antidiuretic hormone% by the pituitary.
That is hy hen it is drunk to excess
the person urinates too much.
&8" 7ow does aldosterone act
and where is it (roduced%
'ldosterone is a hormone that acts upon
the nephron tubules stimulating the
resorption of sodium. Therefore it
contributes to the increase of the blood
osmolarity and conse&uently to the
increase of the blood pressure.
'ldosterone is made by the adrenals,
glands located over the superior portion
of the kidneys.
&/" #hat is an e$olutionary
e)(lanatory hy(othesis for the
secretion by the heart of a
hormone that regulates the
renal function% #hich is that
hormone%
The renal regulator hormone secreted
by the heart is the atrial natriuretic
factor $or '08%. The '08 increases the
excretion of sodium in the nephron
tubules causing less resorption of ater,
more urinary volume, and thus loering
the blood pressure. The atrial natriuretic
factor is secreted hen there is an
increase of the length of the heart
muscle fibers in response to high blood
pressure. The '08 is a natural
antihypertensive substance. ,ince the
health of the heart depends largely
upon the stability of the normal blood
pressure the evolution should have
preserved the atrial natriuretic factor to
allo information from the heart to be
an additional mechanism for the renal
control of the blood pressure.
*0" #hat is hemodialysis%
/emodialysis is the artificial blood
filtration made by specific machines in
substitution of the kidneys.
/emodialysis may be necessary in
patients suffering from diseases that
cause renal failure, like diabetic renal
complications, lupic renal complications
and others. 4uring hemodialysis the
blood of the patient is deviated to the
filtering machine and after the filtration
it returns to the body.
/emodialysis is generally done to,
three or more times a eek in a process
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that takes several hours. ,ometimes
kidney transplantation is an alternative
to hemodialysis.
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=(ithelia
1" #hat is the function of the
skin in humans%
The skin is the external covering of the
body. In humans its main functions are
protection, perception of information
from the environment, control of the
body temperature and secretion of
substances.
&" #hat are the tissues that
form the skin in $ertebrates%
The skin of vertebrates is made of
epidermis, an external layer of epithelial
tissue, and dermis, a layer of connective
tissue under the epidermis. -ne can cite
also the hypodermis, a layer of adipose
tissue under the dermis.
,kin annexes may exist in some phyla
and classes, like hair, seat glands and
sebaceous glands.
*" Besides the skin what are
the other co$erings of the
body%
Besides the skin there are other
covering tissues made of epithelium
over other tissue layers. They are the
tissues that cover the internal surfaces
of hollo organs, like the organs of the
digestive tube, the airay, the renal
tubules, the ureters, the bladder, the
urethra and the blood vessels. The
glands and the serous membranes are
made of epithelial tissue too.
+" #hat are some functions of
the e(ithelium%
The epithelial tissues can perform
covering, impermeability and protection
against the environment, for example,
in the skin, resorption, as in the guts
and renal tubules, gas exchange, for
example, the amphibian skin, thermal
regulation, like seating, secretion of
substances, as in the epithelium of
glands. In some animals the skin also
has the important function of
camouflage and mimicry .
," #hat is the ty(ical feature
of the e(ithelia% 7ow different
is it from the connecti$e
tissue%
The typical feature of the epithelium is
the absence or almost absence of space
beteen cells. The epithelial cells are
compactly positioned side!by!side ith
the help of specialized structures for cell
adhesion like desmosomes and
interdigitations. This feature relates to
the fact that these tissues are generally
exposed to an exterior surround and so
they need more resistance and
impermeability against the entrance of
strange material into the body.
The connective tissue presents opposite
features due to its filling function. It has
much interstitial material $the matrix%
and relatively large space beteen cells.
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-" #hat are the s(ecialized
structures that hel( the
adhesion between cells%
The structures responsible for the union
of the epithelial cells are called cell
#unctions. The main cell #unctions are
interdigitations, desmosomes, zonula
adherens $adherens #unction%, tight
#unctions $zonula occludens% and gap
#unctions.
." !s the e(ithelium
$ascularized% 7ow do
nutrients and o)ygen reach
the e(ithelium% #hy is this
feature an im(ortant
e$olutionary ac5uisition%
3pithelia are not vascularized
$capillaries do not directly reach their
cells%. The epithelium exchanges
substances by diffusion ith the
connective tissue situated under it.
,ince the epithelia are not vascularized
minuscule skin in#uries or scratches that
happen all the time do not trigger
bleeding and do not expose the blood to
contamination from external agents.
This is an important protective strategy
discovered by evolution.
8" 7ow are the e(ithelial
tissues classified%
The epithelial tissues are classified
according to the shape of the cells that
form it $epithelial cells may be cuboidal,
columnar, or s&uamous% and according
to the number of layers in hich those
cells are placed in the tissue $into
simple or stratified%.
The main types of epithelial tissues are
simple cuboidal, simple columnar,
simple s&uamous, stratified s&uamous
and pseudostratified columnar
$resembling more than one layer but
actually having only one%. There are
also stratified cuboidal and stratified
columnar epithelia $rare%.
/" 7ow different is the sim(le
cuboidal e(ithelium from the
columnar e(ithelium% #here
can these e(ithelia be found in
the human body%
The simple cuboidal epithelium is made
of a single layer of cuboidal epithelial
cells. The simple columnar epithelium is
made of a single layer of prismatic cells.
The simple cuboidal epithelium can be
found, for example, in the renal tubules
and in the alls of the thyroid follicles.
The simple columnar is the epithelium
that covers internally the intestines, the
stomach and the gallbladder, for
example.
10" 7ow different is the sim(le
s5uamous e(ithelium from the
stratified s5uamous
e(ithelium% #here can these
e(ithelia be found in the
human body%
The simple s&uamous epithelium is
made of a single layer of flat
$s&uamous% cells. The stratified
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s&uamous epithelium is made of the
same type of flat cells placed in several
superimposed layers.
The simple s&uamous epithelium is
found in the pulmonary alveoli. The
stratified s&uamous epithelium can be
found in the moist mucosae, like the
mucosae of the mouth, esophagus and
vagina, and it is the epithelium of the
skin.
11" #hat is the function of
keratin in the e(idermis%
The epidermis is the outer layer of the
skin made of epithelial tissue. In the
epidermis there are keratin!secreting
cells $keratinocytes%. Ieratin is an
insoluble protein that impregnates the
surface of the skin providing protection
and impermeability. In mammals
keratin also forms the hairs.
The keratinized cells of the skin surface
form the corneal layer. These cells die
and are continuously replaced by
others.
1&" 7ow different is the fish
e(idermis from the am(hibian
e(idermis%
The fish epidermis is very thin and
contains mucus!secreting cells. The fish
skin does not present keratin. The
mucus has a protective function and it
also helps the sliding of the animal
under ater. $The fish scales originate
from the dermis and not from the
epidermis.%
In amphibians there is already a slight
keratinization of the skin, probably an
additional adaptation to the terrestrial
environment. 'mphibians have smooth
and et epidermis ithout scales. These
features facilitate their cutaneous
respiration.
1*" #hich are the glands
(resent in the e(idermis of
mammals8 birds and re(tiles%
In the epidermis of birds and reptiles
there are practically no glands. In
mammals there are seat glands and
sebaceous glands.
1+" #hat are melanocytes%
1elanocytes are epithelial cells of the
skin specialized in secretion of melanin.
1elanin is a pigment that besides
coloring the skin, the iris of the eye and
the hair, also orks as a filter against
the ultraviolet radiation of the sun thus
protecting the body against the harmful
effects of this radiation $mainly burns
and carcinogenic mutations%.
1elanocytes are the cells affected in one
of the more deadly skin cancers2
melanoma.
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0usculoskeletal
1ystem
1" #hich are the organs that
are (art of the
musculoskeletal system%
The main organs and tissues that are
part of the musculoskeletal system in
humans are the cartilages, the bones
and the muscles.
&" #hat are the functions of
the musculoskeletal system%
The musculoskeletal system has the
functions of supporting and protecting
organs, maintenance of the body spatial
conformation, motion of organs, limbs
and bodily portions and nutrient storage
$glycogen in muscles, calcium and
phosphorus in bones%.
*" #hich ty(e of tissue are the
cartilaginous and the osseous
tissue%
The cartilaginous and the osseous
tissues are considered connective
tissues since they are tissues in hich
the cells are relatively distant from
others ith a great amount of
extracellular matrix in the interstitial
space.
+" #hat are the cells that form
the cartilaginous tissue%
The main cells of the cartilages are the
chondrocytes, originated from the
chondroblasts that secrete the
intersticial matrix. There are also
chondroclasts, cells ith many
lisosomes and responsible for the
digestion and remodelation of the
cartilaginous matrix.
," #hat is the constitution of
the cartilaginous matri)%
The cartilaginous matrix is made of
collagen fibers, mainly collagen type II,
and of proteoglycans, proteins
associated to glycosaminoglycans,
chiefly hyaluronic acid. The
proteoglycans provide the typical
rigidity of the cartilages.
-" #hat are some functions of
the cartilages in the human
body%
.artilages are responsible for the
structural support of the nose and ears.
The trachea and the bronchi are also
organs ith cartilaginous structures that
prevent the closing of these tubes. In
#oints there are cartilages that cover the
bones providing a smooth surface to
reduce the friction of the #oint
movement. In the formation of bones
the cartilages act as a mold and they
are gradually substituted by the osseous
tissue.
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." #hat are the three main
cell ty(es that form the
osseous tissue% #hat are their
functions%
The three main cell types of the osseous
tissue are the osteoblasts, the
osteocytes and the osteoclasts.
-steoblasts are knon as bone!forming
cells since they are the cells that secrete
the proteinaceous part of the bone
matrix $collagen, glycoproteins and
proteoglycans%. The bone matrix is the
intercellular space here the mineral
substances of the bones are deposited.
-steocytes are differentiated mature
osteoblasts formed after these cells are
completely surrounded by the bone
matrix. -steocytes have the function of
supporting the tissue.
-steoclasts are the giant multinucleate
cells that remodelate the osseous
tissue. They are originated from
monocytes and they contain many
lisosomes. -steoblasts secrete enzymes
that digest the osseous matrix creating
canals throughout the tissue.
8" #hat is the bone matri)%
#hat are its main
com(onents%
Bone matrix is the content that fills the
intercellular space of the osseous tissue.
The bone matrix is made of mineral
substances $about :;%, mainly
phosphorus and calcium salts, and
organic substances $<:;%, mainly
collagen, glycoproteins and
proteoglycans.
/" #hat are the 7a$ersian
canals and the ?olkmannBs
canals of the bones% !s the
osseous tissue $ascularized%
The /aversian canals are longitudinal
canals present in the osseous tissue
ithin hich blood vessels and nerves
pass. The osseous tissue distributes
itself in a concentric manner around
these canals. The PolkmannQs canals are
communications beteen the /arvesian
canals.
The osseous tissue is highly
vascularized in its interior.
10" #hat are the functions of
the osseous tissue%
The main functions of the osseous tissue
are2 to provide structural rigidity to the
body and to delineate the spatial
positioning of the other tissues and
organs( to support the body eight( to
serve as a site for mineral storage,
mainly of calcium and phosphorus( to
form protective structures for important
organs like the brain, the spinal cord,
the heart and the lungs( to ork as a
lever and support for the muscles,
providing movement( to contain the
bone marro here hematopoiesis
occurs.
11" #hat are the flat bones
and the long bones%
The main bones of the body may be
classified as flat or long bones $there
are bones not classified into these
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categories%. 3xamples of flat bones are
the skull, the ribs, the hipbones, the
scapulae and the sternum. 3xamples of
long bones are the humerus, the radius,
the ulna, the femur, the tibia and the
fibula.
1&" #hat are the ty(es of
muscle tissues% #hat are the
mor(hological features that
differentiate those ty(es%
There are three types of muscle tissue2
the skeletal striated muscle tissue, the
cardiac striated muscle tissue and the
smooth muscle tissue.
The striated muscles present under
microscopic vie transversal stripes and
their fibers $cells% are multinucleate $in
the skeletal% or may have more than
one nucleus $in the cardiac%. The
smooth muscle does not present
transversal stripes and it has spindle!
shaped fibers each ith only one
nucleus.
1*" #hich is the ty(e of
muscle tissue that mo$es the
bones%
The bones are moved by the skeletal
striated muscles. These muscles are
voluntary $controlled by volition%.
1+" #hich is the ty(e of
muscle tissue that contracts
and rela)es the heart
chambers%
The myocardium of the heart is made of
cardiac striated muscle tissue.
1," #hich is the ty(e of
muscle tissue that (erforms
the (eristaltic mo$ements of
the intestines%
The smooth muscle tissue is responsible
for the peristaltic movements of the
intestines. The smooth muscles are not
controlled by volition.
1-" #hich is the ty(e of
muscle tissue that hel(s to
(ush the food down through
the eso(hagus%
The esophageal all in its superior
portion is made of skeletal striated
muscle. The inferior portion is made of
smooth muscle. In the intermediate
portion there are skeletal striated and
smooth muscles. 'll of these muscles
are important to push the food don
toards the stomach.
1." 7ow is the stri(ed (attern
of the striated muscle cells
formed%
The functional units of the muscle fibers
are the sarcomeres. "ithin the
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sarcomeres blocks of actin and myosin
molecules are posed in organized
manner. The sarcomeres align in
se&uence forming myofibrils that are
longitudinally placed in the cytoplasm of
the muscle fibers $cells%. The grouping
of consecutive blocks of actin and
myosin in parallel filaments creates the
striped pattern of the striated muscle
tissue seen under the microscope.
18" #hat are sarcomeres%
,arcomeres are the contractile units of
the muscle tissue formed of alternating
actin blocks $thin filaments% and myosin
blocks $thick filaments%. ,everal
sarcomeres placed in linear se&uence
form a myofibril. Therefore one muscle
fiber $cell% has many myofibrils made of
sacomeres.
The compartments here myofibrils are
inserted are delimited by an excitable
membrane knon as sarcolemma. The
sarcolemma is the plasma membrane of
the muscle cell.
1/" #hat are the main
(roteins that constitute the
sarcomere% #hat is the
function of those molecules in
the muscle cells%
In the sarcomere there are organized
actin and myosin blocks. Troponin and
tropomyosin also appear associated to
actin.
The actin molecules hen activated by
calcium ions liberated in the proximities
of the sarcomere are pulled by myosin
molecules. This interaction beteen
actin and myosin shortens the myofibrils
originating the phenomenon of muscle
contraction.
&0" #hat are the (ositions of
actin and myosin molecules in
the sarcomere before and
during the muscle
contraction%
,chematically actin filaments attached
perpendicularly to both sarcomere
extremities $longitudinal sides% make
contact ith myosin filaments
positioned in the middle of the
sarcomere and in parallel to the actin
filaments.
Before the contraction the sarcomeres
are extended $relaxed% since the contact
beteen actin and myosin filaments is
only made by their extremities. 4uring
contraction actin filaments slide along
the myosin filaments and the
sarcomeres shorten.
&1" 7ow do calcium ions
(artici(ate in muscle
contraction% #hy do both
muscle contraction and
muscle rela)ation s(end
energy%
In the muscle cells calcium ions are
stored ithin the sarcoplasmic
reticulum. "hen a motor neuron emits
stimulus for the muscle contraction
neurotransmitters called acetylcholine
are released in the neuromuscular
#unction and the sarcolemma is excited.
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The excitation is conduced to the
sarcoplasmic reticulum that then
realeases calcium ions into the
sarcomeres.
In the sarcomeres the calcium ions bind
to troponin molecules associated to
actin activating myosin binding sites of
actin. The myosin, then able to bind to
actin, pulls this protein and the
sarcomere shortens. The summation of
simultaneous contraction of sarcomeres
and myofibrils constitutes the muscle
contraction. 4uring muscle relaxation
the calcium ions return back to the
sarcoplasmic reticulum.
8or myosin to bind to actin, and thus for
the contraction to occur, hydrolysis of
one 'T7 molecule is necessary. 4uring
relaxation the return of calcium ions to
the sarcoplasmic reticulum is an active
process that spends 'T7 too. ,o both
muscle contraction and relaxation are
energy!spending processes.
&&" #hat is myoglobin% #hat
is the function of this
molecule in the muscle tissue%
1yoglobin is a pigment similar to
hemoglobin and present in muscle
fibers. 1yoglobin has a great affinity for
oxygen. It keeps oxygen bound and
releases the gas under strenuous
muscle ork. ,o myoglobin acts as an
oxygen reserve for the muscle cell.
&*" 7ow does (hos(hocreatine
act in the muscle contraction
and rela)ation%
7hosphocreatine is the main means of
energy storage of the muscle cells.
4uring relaxed periods 'T7 molecules
made by the aerobic cellular respiration
transfer highly energized phosphate
groups to creatine forming
phosphocreatine. In exercise periods
phosphocreatine and '47 resynthesize
'T7 to dispose energy for the muscle
contraction.
&+" #hat ha((ens when the
o)ygen su((ly is insufficient
to maintain aerobic cellular
res(iration during muscle
e)ercise%
If oxygen from hemoglobin or
myoglobin is not enough for the energy
supply of the muscle cell the cell then
begins to do lactic fermentation in an
attempt to compensate the deficiency.
The lactic fermentation releases lactic
acid and this substance causes muscle
fatigue and predisposes the muscles to
cramps.
&," #hat is the
neurotransmitter of the
neuromuscular Junction% 7ow
does the ner$ous system
trigger muscle contraction%
The nervous cells that trigger the
muscle contraction are the motor
neurons. The neurotransmitter of the
motor neurons is acetylcholine. "hen a
motor neuron is excited the depolarizing
current flos along the membrane of its
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axon until reaching the synapse at the
neuromuscular #unction $the neural
impulse passage zone beteen the axon
extremity and the sarcolemma%. 0ear
the axonal extremity the depolarization
allos the entrance of calcium ions into
the axon $note that calcium also has a
relevant role here%. The calcium ions
stimulate the neuron to release
acetylcholine in the synapse.
'cetylcholine then binds to special
receptors in the outer surface of the
sarcolemma, the permeability of this
membrane is altered and an action
potential is created. The depolarization
is then conduced along the sarcolemma
to the sarcoplasmic reticulum that thus
releases calcium ions for the sarcomere
contraction.
&-" To increase the strength of
the muscle work is the muscle
contraction intensely
increased%
'n increase in the strength of the
muscle ork is not achieved by increase
in the intensity of the stimulation of
each muscle fiber. The muscle fiber
obeys an all!or!nothing rule, i.e., its
contraction strength is only one and
cannot be increased.
"hen the body needs to increase the
strength of the muscle ork a
phenomenon knon as spatial
summation occurs2 ne muscle fibers
are recruited in addition to the fibers
already in action. ,o the strength of the
muscle contraction increases only hen
the number of active muscle cells
increases.
&." #hat is the difference
between s(atial summation
and tem(oral summation of
muscle fibers% #hat is tetany%
,patial summation is the recruiting of
ne muscle fibers to increase the
muscle strength. Temporal summation
occurs hen a muscle fiber is
continuously stimulated to contract
ithout being able to conclude
relaxation.
The permanence of a muscle fiber under
a continuous state of contraction by
temporal summation is knon as tetany
$e.g., the clinical condition of patients
contaminated by the toxin of the
tetanus bacteria%. Tetany ends hen all
available energy for contraction is spent
or hen the stimulus ceases.
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9er$ous 1ystem
1" #hat are the (hysiological
systems known as integrati$e
systems% #hy is this
designation Justified%
The integrative systems are the nervous
system and the endocrine system. The
designation is #ustified since both
systems control and regulate biological
functions and act at distance receiving
information from organs and tissues and
sending effector commands $nervous
impulses or hormones% to organs and
tissues thus integrating the body.
&" #hich are the structures
that are (art of the ner$ous
system%
The structures that form the nervous
system can be divided into the central
nervous system $.0,% and the
peripheral nervous system $70,%.
The organs of the .0, are the brain
$cerebrum, brainstem and cerebellum%
and spinal cord. The 70, is made of
nerves and neural ganglia. Besides
these organs the meninges $dura!
mater, arachnoid and pia!mater% are
part of the nervous system too since
they cover and protect the encephalon
and the spinal cord.
*" #hich are the main cells of
the ner$ous system%
The main cells of the nervous system
are the neurons. Besides the neurons
the nervous system is also constituted
of glial cells.
+" #hat are the functional
differences between neurons
and glial cells%
6lial cells and neurons are the cells that
form the nervous system. 0eurons are
cells that have the function of receiving
and transmitting the neural impulses
and glial cells $astrocytes,
microgliacytes, ependymal cells and
oligodendrocytes% are the cells that
support, feed and insulate $electrically%
the neurons. The ,chann cells that
produce the myelin sheath of the
peripheral nervous system can also be
considered glial cells.
," #hat are the three main
(arts into which a neuron can
be di$ided% #hat are their
res(ecti$e functions%
The three mains parts into hich a
neuron can be didactically divided are2
dendrites, cell body and axon.
4endrites are pro#ections of the plasma
membrane that receive the neural
impulse from other neurons. The cell
body is here the nucleus and the main
cellular organelles are located. 'xon is
the long membrane pro#ection that
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transmits the neural impulse at distance
to other neurons, to muscle cells and to
other effector cells.
-" #hat is the name of the
terminal (ortion of the a)on%
The terminal portion of the axon is
called presynaptic membrane. Through
this membrane neurotransmitters are
released into the synaptic #unction.
." #hat are syna(ses%
,ynapses are the structures that
transmit the neural impulse beteen
to neurons.
"hen the electric impulse arrives the
presynaptic membrane of the axon
releases neurotransmitters that bind to
postsynaptic receptors of the dendrites
of the next cell. The activated state of
these receptors alters the permeability
of the dendritic membrane and the
electric depolarization propagates along
the neuron plasma membrane to its
axon.
8" #hat is an e)am(le of a
situation in which the neuron
cell body is located in a (art of
the body and its a)onal
terminal (ortion is in another
distant (art of the body% #hy
does this ha((en%
1ost of the neurons are situated ithin
the brain and the spinal cord $central
nervous system% in places knon as
neural nuclei. 0eural ganglia, or simply
ganglia, are structures of the peripheral
nervous system located beside the
spinal column or near some organs
here neuron cell bodies are also
located.
0eurons situated at specific points can
present distant axonal terminations and
they also can receive impulses from
axons of distant neurons. The inferior
motor neurons situated in the spinal
cord are examples since their axons can
transmit information to the extremities
of the inferior limbs triggering
contractions of the foot.
/" According to the function of
the transmitted neural
im(ulse which are the ty(es of
neurons% 7ow different are
the conce(ts of afference and
efference of the neural
im(ulse transmission%
There are three types of neurons2
afferent neurons, efferent neurons and
interneurons. 'fferent neurons are
those that only transmit sensory
information from the tissues to neural
nuclei and ganglia $here they make
connection ith interneurons or effector
neurons%. 3fferent neurons are those
that transmit commands to tasks
performed in several parts of the body.
Interneurons, also knon as association
neurons or relay neurons, serve as
connection beteen to other neurons.
'fference is the conduction of sensory
impulses and efference is the
conduction of effector impulses
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$impulses that command some body
action%.
10" #hat are ner$es%
'xons extend throughout the body
inside nerves. 0erves are axon!
containing structures presenting many
axons and covered by connective tissue.
The nerves connect neural nuclei and
ganglia ith the tissues.
0erves may contain only sensory axons
$sensory nerves%, only motor axons
$motor neurons% or both types of axons
$mixed nerves%.
11" #hat are ganglia%
6anglia $singular ganglion%, or neural
ganglia, are structures located outside
the central nervous system $for
example, beside the spinal column or
near viscera% made of concentration of
neuron bodies.
3xamples of neural ganglia are the
ganglia that concentrate cell bodies of
sensory neurons in the dorsal roots of
the spinal cord and the ganglia of the
myenteric plexus responsible for the
peristaltic movements of the digestive
tube.
In the central nervous system $.0,% the
concentrations of neuron bodies are
called nuclei and not ganglia.
1&" #hat is meant by the
(eri(heral ner$ous system
2;913%
The peripheral nervous system
comprehends the nerves and ganglia of
the body.
1*" #hat is the function of the
myelin sheath% o all a)ons
(resent a myelin sheath%
The function of the myelin sheath is to
improve the safety and speed of the
neural impulse transmission along the
axon. The myelin sheath serves as an
electrical insulator preventing the
dispersion of the impulse to other
ad#acent structures. ,ince the myelin
sheath has gaps called 5anviersQ nodes
in its length, the neural impulse C#umpsD
from one node to another thus
increasing the speed of the neural
transmission.
0ot all neurons have a myelin sheath.
There are myelinated axonal fibers and
unmyelinated ones.
1+" #hat are the cells that
(roduce the myelin sheath% >f
which substance is the myelin
sheath formed%
In the central nervous system $.0,% the
myelin sheath is made by apposition of
oligodendrocyte membranes. 3ach
oligodendrocyte can cover portions of
axons of several different neurons. In
the peripheral nervous system $70,%
the myelin sheath is made by
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consecutive ,chann cell membranes
covering segments of a single axon. The
5anviersQ nodes appear in the
intercellular space beteen these cells.
The myelin sheath is rich in lipids but it
also contains proteins.
1," #hat are some diseases
characterized by (rogressi$e
loss of the a)onal myelin
sheath%
1ultiple sclerosis is a severe disease
caused by progressive destruction of the
myelin sheath in the central nervous
system. The 6uillain!BarrW disease is
due to destruction of the myelin sheath
in the peripheral nervous system caused
by autoimmunity $attack by the on
immune system%. The genetic deficiency
in the formation or preservation of the
myelin sheath is an U!linked inheritance
called adrenoleukodystrophy. The movie
CKorenzoQs -ilD featured a boy ith this
disease and his father's dramatic search
for treatment.
1-" #hat are meninges and
cerebros(inal fluid%
1eninges are the membranes that
enclose and protect the central nervous
system $.0,%. .erebrospinal fluid is the
fluid that separates the three layers that
form the meninges and it has the
functions of nutrient transport, defense
and mechanical protection for the .0,.
The cerebrospinal fluid fills and protects
cavities of the brain and the spinal cord.
1." #hat is the difference
between brain and cerebrum%
#hat are the main (arts of
these structures%
The concept of brain, or encephalon,
comprehends the cerebrum $mostly
referred to as the hemispheres, but
actually the concept also includes the
thalamus and the hypothalamus%, the
brainstem $midbrain, pons and medulla%
and the cerebellum. Brain and spinal
cord form the central nervous system
$.0,%.
18" 7ow is the cerebrum
anatomically di$ided%
The cerebrum is divided into to
cerebral hemispheres, the right and the
left. 3ach hemisphere is made of four
cerebral lobes2 frontal lobe, parietal
lobe, temporal lobe and occipital lobe.
3ach cerebral lobe contains the gray
matter and the hite matter. The gray
matter is the outer portion and it is
made of neuron bodies( the gray matter
is also knon as the cerebral cortex.
The hite matter is the inner portion
and it is hite because it is in the region
here axons of the cortical neurons
pass.
1/" #hich is the brain region
res(onsible for the
coordination and e5uilibrium
of the body%
In the central nervous system the
cerebellum is the main controller of the
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motor coordination and e&uilibrium of
the body. $4o not confuse this ith
muscle command, performed by the
cerebral hemispheres%.
&0" #hy is the cerebellum
more de$elo(ed in mammals
that Jum( or fly%
The cerebellum is the main brain
structure that coordinates the
movement and the e&uilibrium of the
body. 8or this reason it appears more
developed in mammals that #ump or fly
$like bats%. The cerebellum is also very
important for the flight of birds.
&1" #hich is the brain region
res(onsible for the regulation
of breathing and blood
(ressure%
The neural regulation of breathing,
blood pressure and other physiological
parameters like heartbeat, digestive
secretions, peristaltic movements and
transpiration is performed by the
medulla.
The medulla, together ith the pons
and the midbrain, is part of the
brainstem.
&&" #hich is the brain region
that recei$es conscious
sensory information% #hich is
the brain region that triggers
the $oluntary motor acti$ity%
In the brain conscious sensory
information is received by the neurons
situated in a special region called
postcentral gyrus $or sensory gyrus%.
6yri are the convolutions of the
cerebrum. 3ach of the to postcentral
gyri are located in one of the parietal
lobes of the cerebrum.
The voluntary motor activity $voluntary
muscle movement% is commanded by
neurons situated in the precentral gyrus
$or motor gyrus%. 3ach of the to
precentral gyri are located in one of the
frontal lobes of the cerebrum.
The names post! and pre!central refer
to the fact that the motor and sensory
gyri are spaced apart in each cerebral
hemisphere by the sulcus centralis, a
fissure that separates the parietal and
frontal lobes.
&*" #hat is the s(inal cord% >f
which elements is the s(inal
cord constituted%
The spinal cord is the dorsal neural cord
of vertebrates. It is the part of the
central nervous system that continues
in the trunk to facilitate the nervous
integration of the hole body.
The spinal cord is made of groups of
neurons situated in its central portion
forming the gray matter and of axon
fibers in its exterior portion forming the
hite matter. 0eural bundles connect to
both lateral sides of the spinal cord
segments to form the dorsal and ventral
spinal roots that #oin to form the spinal
nerves. The dorsal spinal roots present
a ganglion ith neurons that receive
sensory information( the ventral spinal
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roots contain motor fibers. Therefore
the dorsal roots are sensory roots and
the ventral roots are motor roots.
&+" #hich are the brain
regions associated with
memory%
'ccording to researchers some of the
main regions of the nervous system
associated ith the memory
phenomenon are the hippocampus,
situated in the interior portion of the
temporal lobes, and the frontal lobe
cortex, both part of the cerebral
hemispheres.
&," 7ow is it structurally
e)(lained that the motor
acti$ity of the left side of the
body is controlled by the right
cerebral hemis(here and the
motor acti$ity of the right side
of the body is controlled by
the left cerebral hemis(here%
In the cerebral hemispheres there are
neurons that centrally command and
control muscle movements. These
neurons are called superior motor
neurons and they are located in a
special gyrus of both frontal lobes
knon as motor gyrus $or precentral
gyrus%. The superior motor neurons
send axons that transmit impulses to
the inferior motor neurons of the spinal
cord $for neck, trunk and limb
movements% and to the motor nuclei of
the cranial nerves $for face, eyes and
mouth movements%.
The fibers cross to the other side in
specific areas of those axon paths.
'bout ?*H of the fibers that go don the
spinal cord cross at the medullar level
forming a structure knon as pyramidal
decussation. The other $G*H% of fibers
descend in the same side of their
original cerebral hemisphere and cross
only ithin the spinal cord at the level
here their associated motor spinal root
exit. The fibers that command the
inferior motor neurons of the cranial
nerves cross to the other side #ust
before the connection ith the nuclei of
these nerves.
The motor fibers that descend from the
superior motor neurons to the inferior
motor neurons of the spinal cord form
the pyramidal tract. In#uries in this
tract, for example, caused by spinal
sections or by central or spinal tumors
may lead to paraplegia and tetraplegia.
&-" #hat is meant by the arch
refle)%
In some situations the movement of the
skeletal striated muscles does not
depend upon commands of the superior
motor neurons, i.e., it is not triggered
by volition.
Involuntary movements of those
muscles may happen hen sensory
fibers that make direct or indirect
connection ith inferior motor neurons
are unexpectedly stimulated in
situations that suggest danger to the
body. This happens, for example, in the
patellar reflex, or knee #erk reflex, hen
a sudden percussion on the knee patella
$kneecap% triggers an involuntary
contraction of the &uadriceps $the
extension muscle of the thigh%. 'nother
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example of the arch reflex occurs hen
someone steps on a sharp ob#ect2 one
leg retracts and the other, by the arch
reflex, distends to maintain the
e&uilibrium of the body.
&." #hich are the ty(es of
neurons that (artici(ate in the
s(inal arch refle)% #here are
their cell bodies situated%
In the arch reflex first a sensory neuron
located in the ganglion of a dorsal spinal
root collects the stimulus information
from the tissues. This sensory neuron
makes direct or indirect $through
interneurons% connection ith inferior
motor neurons of the spinal cord. These
motor neurons then command the reflex
reaction. ,o sensory neurons,
interneurons and inferior motor neurons
participate in the arch reflex.
&8" #hat are the res(ecti$e
constituents of the gray
matter and of the white
matter of the s(inal cord%
The gray matter, or gray substance, of
the spinal cord contains predominantly
neuron bodies $inferior motor neurons,
secondary sensory neurons and
interneurons%. The hite matter is
mainly made of axons that connect
neurons of the brain ith spinal
neurons.
&/" !s the neural im(ulse
generated by the stimulus
that triggers the arch refle)
restricted within the neurons
of this circuit%
The sensory fiber that first conducts the
arch reflex connects ith neurons of the
arch reflex but it also connects ith
secondary sensory neurons of the spinal
cord that transmit information upards
to other neurons of the brain. This is
obvious since the person that received
the initial stimulus $e.g., the percussion
on his*her kneecap% perceives it
$meaning that the brain became
conscious of the fact%.
*0" 7ow is it e)(lained that a
(erson with the s(inal cord
sectioned at the cer$ical le$el
is still able to (erform the
(atellar refle)%
The arch reflex depends only on the
integrity of the fibers at a single spinal
level. In the arch reflex the motor
response to the stimulus is automatic
and involuntary and does not depend
upon the passage of information to the
brain. ,o it happens even if the spinal
cord is damaged at other levels.
*1" 7ow does (oliomyelitis
affect the neural transmission
in the s(inal cord%
The poliovirus parasites and destroys
spinal motor neurons causing paralysis
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of the muscles that depend on these
neurons.
*&" 6oncerning $olition of the
indi$idual how can the
reactions of the ner$ous
system be classified%
The efferences $reactions% of the
nervous system can be classified into
voluntary, hen controlled by the ill,
and involuntary, those not consciously
controlled. 3xamples of reactions
triggered by volition are the movements
of the limb, tongue and respiratory
muscles. 3xamples of involuntary
efferences are those that command the
peristaltic movements, the heartbeat
and the arterial all muscles. The
skeletal striated muscles are voluntarily
contracted( the cardiac striated and the
smooth muscles are involuntarily
contracted.
**" #hat are the functional
di$isions of the ner$ous
system%
8unctionally the nervous system can be
divided into the somatic nervous system
and visceral nervous system.
The somatic nervous system includes
the central and peripheral structures
that make voluntary control of
efferences. .entral and peripheral
structures that participate in the control
of the vegetative $unconscious%
functions of the body are included in the
concept of visceral nervous system.
The efferent portion of the visceral
nervous system is called the autonomic
nervous system.
*+" #hat are the two di$isions
of the autonomic ner$ous
system%
The autonomic nervous system is
divided into the sympathetic nervous
system and the parasympathetic
nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system
comprehends the nerves that come out
from the ganglia of the neural chains
lateral to the spinal column $near the
spinal cord% and thus are distant from
the tissues they innervate. The central
and peripheral neurons associated to
those neurons are also part of the
sympathetic.
The parasympathetic nervous system is
made of nerves and central or
peripheral neurons related to the
visceral ganglia, neural ganglia situated
near the tissues they innervate.
*," #hat is the antagonism
between the sym(athetic and
the (arasym(athetic neural
actions%
In general the actions of the
sympathetic and the parasympathetic
are antagonistic, i.e., hile one
stimulates something the other inhibits
and vice versa. The organs, ith fe
exceptions, get efferences from these
to systems and the antagonism
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beteen them serves to modulate their
effects. 8or example, the
parasympathetic stimulates salivation
hile the sympathetic inhibits it( the
parasympathetic constricts pupils hile
the sympathetic dilates it( the
parasympathetic contracts the bronchi
hile the sympathetic relaxes them( the
parasympathetic excites the genital
organs hile the parasympathetic
inhibits the excitation.
*-" Esing e)am(les of
in$ertebrate ner$ous systems
how can the (rocess of
e$olutionary ce(halization be
described%
.onsidering the example of
invertebrates it is observed that
evolution makes the increasing of the
complexity of the organisms to be
accompanied by convergence of nervous
cells to special structures for controlling
and commanding2 the ganglia and the
brain. In simple invertebrates, like
cnidarians, the nervous cells are not
concentrated but they are found
dispersed in the body. In
platyhelminthes a beginning of
cephalization ith the anterior ganglion
concentrating neurons is already
verified. In annelids and arthropods the
existence of a cerebral ganglion is
evident. In cephalopod molluscs the
cephalization is even greater and the
brain commands the nervous system.
*." #hat are some main
differences of the $ertebrate
ner$ous systems com(aring to
in$ertebrates%
In vertebrates the nervous system is
ell!characterized, having the brain and
dorsal neural cord protected by rigid
skeletal structures. In most
invertebrates the nervous system is
predominantly ganglial, ith ventral
neural cords.
*8" #hat are the (rotecti$e
structures of the central
ner$ous system (resent in
$ertebrates%
In vertebrates the brain and the spinal
cord are protected by membranes, the
meninges, and by osseous structures,
respectively the skull and the vertebral
column. These protections are
fundamental for the integrity of those
important organs that command the
functioning of the body.
*/" #hat is the nature of the
stimulus recei$ed and
transmitted by the neurons%
0eurons receive and transmit chemical
stimuli through neurotransmitters
released in the synapses. 'long the
neuron body hoever the impulse
transmission is electrical. ,o neurons
conduct electric and chemical stimuli.
+0" #hat are the two main
ions that (artici(ate in the
electrical im(ulse
transmission in neurons%
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The to main ions that participate in the
electrical impulse transmission in
neurons are the sodium cation $0aA%
and the potassium cation $IA%.
+1" #hich is the normal sign
of the electric charge between
the two sides of the neuron
(lasma membrane% #hat is
the (otential difference
2$oltage3 generated between
these two sides% #hat is that
$oltage called%
's in most cells the region #ust outside
the surface of the neuron plasma
membrane presents a positive electrical
charge in relation to the region #ust
inside that thus is negative.
The normal $at rest% potential difference
across the neuron membrane is about M
N= mP $millivolts%. This voltage is called
the resting potential of the neuron.
+&" 7ow do the sodium and
(otassium ions maintain the
resting (otential of the
neuron%
The plasma membrane of the neuron
hen at rest maintains an electric
potential difference beteen its external
and internal surfaces. This voltage is
called resting potential. The resting
potential about MN= mP indicates that
the interior is more negative than the
exterior $negative polarization%. This
condition is maintained by transport of
sodium and potassium ions across the
plasma membrane.
The membrane is permeable to
potassium ions but not to sodium ions.
't rest the positive potassium ions exit
the cell in favor of the concentration
gradient since ithin the cell the
potassium concentration is higher than
in the extracellular space. The positive
sodium ions cannot hoever go into the
cell. 's positive potassium ions exit the
cell ith not enough compensation of
positive ions entering the cell, the
intracellular space becomes more
negative and the cell stays polarized.
+*" 7ow is the de(olarization
of the neuronal (lasma
membrane generated% 7ow
does the cell return to its
original rest%
"hen the neuron receives a stimulus by
the binding of neurotransmitters to
specific receptors sodium channels open
and the permeability of the plasma
membrane in the postsynaptic region is
altered. ,odium ions then go into the
cell causing loering $less negative% of
the membrane potential. If this
reduction of the membrane potential
reaches a level called the excitation
threshold, or threshold potential, about
M:= mP, the action potential is
generated, i.e., the depolarization
intensifies until reaching its maximum
level and the depolarization current is
transmitted along the remaining length
of the neuronal membrane.
If the excitation threshold is reached
voltage!dependent sodium channels in
the membrane open alloing more
sodium ions to enter the cell in favor of
the concentration gradient and an
approximate MH: mP level of positive
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polarization of the membrane is
achieved. The voltage!dependent
sodium channels then close and more
voltage!dependent potassium channels
open. 7otassium ions then exit the cell
in favor of the concentration gradient
and the potential difference of the
membrane decreases, a process called
repolarization.
The action potential triggers the same
electrical phenomenon in neighboring
regions of the plasma membrane and
the impulse is thus transmitted from the
dendrites to the terminal region of the
axon.
++" #hat is the e)citation
threshold of a neuron% 7ow
does this threshold relate to
the @all4or4nothingA rule of the
neural transmission%
The excitation threshold of a neuron is
the depolarization level that must be
caused by a stimulus to be transmitted
as a neural impulse. This value is about
M:= mP.
The transmission of the neural impulse
along the neuronal membrane obeys an
all!or!nothing rule2 or it happens ith
maximum intensity or nothing happens.
'lays and only hen the excitation
threshold is reached the depolarization
continues and the membrane reaches
its maximum possible positive
polarization, about AH: mP. If the
excitation threshold is not reached
nothing happens.
+," 7ow does the
de(olarization of the neuronal
membrane start%
The primary cause of the neuronal
depolarization is the binding of
neurotransmitters released in the
synapse $by the axon of the neuron that
sent the signal% to specific receptors in
the membrane of the neuron that is
receiving the stimulus. The binding of
neurotransmitters to those receptors is
a reversible phenomenon that alters the
membrane permeability of the region
since the binding causes sodium
channels to open. "hen positive sodium
ions enter the cell in favor of their
concentration gradient, the membrane
voltage increases, thus lessening the
negative polarization. If this
depolarization reaches the excitation
threshold $about M:= mP% the
depolarization continues, the action
potential is reached and the impulse is
transmitted along the cell membrane.
+-" 7ow different are the
conce(ts of action (otential8
resting (otential and
e)citation threshold
concerning neurons%
'ction potential is the maximum
positive voltage level achieved by the
neuron in the process of neuronal
activation, around A H: mP. The action
potential triggers the depolarization of
the neighboring regions of the plasma
membrane and thus the propagation of
the impulse along the neuron.
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5esting potential is the membrane
voltage hen the cell is not excited,
about MN= mP.
3xcitation threshold is the voltage level,
about M:= mP, that the initial
depolarization must reach for the action
potential to be attained.
+." !n chemical terms how is
the neuronal re(olarization
achie$ed%
5epolarization is the return of the
membrane potential from the action
potential $AH: mP% to the resting
potential $!N= mP%.
"hen the membrane reaches its action
potential voltage!gated sodium channels
close and voltage!gated potassium
channels open. ,o sodium stops
entering into the cell and potassium
starts to exit. Therefore the
repolarization is due to exiting of
potassium cations from the cell.
The repolarization causes the potential
difference temporarily to increase under
MN= mP, belo the resting potential, a
phenomenon knon as
hyperpolarization.
+8" #hat is the mechanism by
which the neural im(ulse is
transmitted along the a)on%
The neural impulse is transmitted along
the neuronal membrane through
depolarization of consecutive
neighboring regions. "hen a region in
the internal surface of the membrane is
depolarized it becomes more positive in
relation to the neighboring internal
region. ,o positive electrical charges
$ions% move toards this more negative
region and voltage!gated sodium
channels are activated and open. The
action potential then linearly propagates
along the membrane until near the
presynaptic region of the axon.
+/" #hat is the structure
through which the neural
im(ulse is transmitted from
one cell to another% #hat are
its (arts%
The structure through hich the neural
impulse passes from one cell to another
is the synapse. The synapse is
composed by the presynaptic
membrane in the terminal portion of the
axon of the transmitter cell, the
synaptic cleft $or synaptic space% and
the postsynaptic membrane in the
dendrite of the receptor cell.
,0" 7ow does syna(tic
transmission between neurons
take (lace%
The propagation of the action potential
along the axon reaches the region
immediately anterior to the presynaptic
membrane causing its permeability to
calcium ions to change and these ions
to enter the cell. In the presynaptic area
of the axon there are many
neurotransmitter!repleted vesicles that
by means of exocytosis activated by the
calcium influx release the
neurotransmitters into the synaptic
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cleft. The neurotransmitters then bind
to specific receptors of the postsynaptic
membrane. $The binding of
neurotransmitters to their receptors is
reversible, i.e., the neurotransmitters
are not consumed after the process.%
"ith the binding of neurotransmitters to
the postsynaptic receptors the
permeability of the postsynaptic
membrane is altered and the
depolarization that ill lead to the first
action potential of the postsynaptic cell
begins.
,1" #hat are some im(ortant
neurotransmitters%
The folloing are some
neurotransmitters2 adrenaline
$epinephrine%, noradrenaline
$norepinephrine%, acetylcholine,
dopamine, serotonin, histamine, gaba
$gamma aminobutyric acid%, glycine,
aspartate, nitric oxide.
,&" 1ince neurotransmitters
are not consumed in the
syna(tic (rocess8 what are the
mechanisms to reduce their
concentrations in the syna(tic
cleft after they ha$e been
used%
,ince the binding of neurotransmitters
to the postsynaptic receptors is
reversible, after these neurochemicals
perform their role they must be
eliminated from the synaptic cleft.
0eurotransmitters can then bind to
specific proteins that carry them back to
the axon they came from in a process
called neurotransmitter re!uptake. They
can also be destroyed by specific
enzymes, like acetylcholinesterase, an
enzyme that destroys acetylcholine. -r
they can simply diffuse out of the
synaptic cleft.
,*" Fluo)etine is an
antide(ressant drug that
(resents an action mechanism
related to the syna(tic
transmission" #hat is that
mechanism%
8luoxetine is a substance that inhibits
the re!uptake of serotonin, a
neurotransmitter that acts mainly in the
central nervous system. By inhibiting
the re!uptake of the neurotransmitter
the drug increases its availability in the
synaptic cleft thus improving the
neuronal transmission.
,+" #hat is the neuromuscular
syna(se%
0euromuscular synapse is the structure
through hich the neural impulse
passes from the axon of a motor neuron
to the muscle cell. This structure is also
knon as neuromuscular #unction, or
motor end plate. 's in the nervous
synapse, the axonal terminal membrane
releases the neurotransmitter
acetylcholine in the cleft beteen the
to cells. 'cetylcholine binds to specific
receptors of the muscle membrane,
dependent sodium channels then open
and the depolarization of the muscle
membrane begins. The impulse is then
transmitted to the sarcoplasmic
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reticulum that releases calcium ions into
the sarcomeres of the myofibrils thus
triggering contraction.
,," 7ow does the ner$ous
system get information about
the e)ternal en$ironment8 the
organs and the tissues%
Information about the conditions of the
external and internal environments, like
temperature, pressure, touch, spatial
position, p/, metabolite levels $oxygen,
carbon dioxide, etc.%, light, sounds, etc.,
are collected by specific neural
structures $each for each type of
information% called sensory receptors.
,ensory receptors are distributed
throughout the tissues according to
their specific roles. The receptors get
that information and transmit them
through their on axons or through
dendrites of neurons that connect to
them. The information reaches the
central nervous system that interprets
and uses it to control and regulate the
body.
,-" #hat are sensory
rece(tors%
,ensory receptors are structures
specialized in the ac&uiring of
information, like temperature,
mechanical pressure, p/, chemical
environment and luminosity,
transmitting them to the central
nervous system. ,ensory receptors may
be specialized cells, e.g., the
photoreceptors of the retina, or
specialized interstitial structures, for
example the vibration receptors of the
skin. In this last case they transmit
information to dendrites of sensory
neurons connected to them. There are
also sensory receptors that are
specialized terminations of neuronal
dendrites $e.g., the olfactory receptors%.
,." According to the stimuli
they collect how are the
sensory rece(tors classified%
The sensory receptors are classified
according to the stimuli they get2
mechanoreceptors are stimulated by
pressure $e.g., touch or sound%(
chemoreceptors respond to chemical
stimuli $olfactory, taste, p/, metabolite
concentration, etc.%( thermoreceptors
are sensitive to temperature changes(
photoreceptors are stimulated by light(
nocireceptors send pain information(
proprioceptors are sensitive to the
spatial position of muscles and #oints
$they generate information for the
e&uilibrium of the body%.
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?isual 1ystem
1" #hat is $ision% #hy is
$ision im(ortant for life on
earth%
Pision is the ability of some living beings
to perceive, to distinguish and to
interpret luminous stimuli.
Pision is important on earth mainly in
the terrestrial and in the superficial
a&uatic habitats because our planet is
intensely exposed to sunlight and thus
light and colors become distinguishing
factors of ob#ects present in the
environment, even at distance. This
distinction provided ne survival
strategies for the organisms, ne
protection mechanisms against external
dangers, ne ays to find food and to
communicate ith other individuals,
ne types of courting and reproduction
behaviors, etc. That is, it created ne
possibilities of interaction ith the
surrounds and increased capacity to
explore ne ecological niches.
&" 7ow does (hotosensiti$ity
in cnidarians8 annelids and
worms differ from insects8
ce(halo(ods and $ertebrates%
In the first mentioned group of animals
there are photoreceptor cells organized
in ocelli or diffusely dispersed in the
body. These animals do not form
images.
In the animals of the second group the
photoreceptor cells are part of more
sophisticated structures, the eyes, able
to form images and to send them to the
nervous system.
*" #hat are the structures
that com(ose the human
$ision a((aratus%
The organs of the human visual
apparatus are the eyes, the optical
nerves and the visual areas of the brain
$located in the occipital lobes of both
hemispheres%.
+" #hat are the main
structures of the human eye%
The main structures of the human eye
are the cornea, the iris, the pupil, the
ciliary muscles, the crystalline lens and
the retina $the space beteen the
crystalline lens and the retina ithin the
eyeball is filled ith vitreous humor%.
," #hat is the function of the
iris and of the (u(il%
The iris orks like the diaphragm of a
photographic camera since it has
muscles that contract or relax varying
the pupil diameter. "hen the luminous
intensity heightens the parasympathetic
nervous system commands the
contraction of the pupil( hen there is
shortage of light the sympathetic
nervous system stimulates the dilation
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of the pupils. These movements depend
upon the muscles of the iris.
-" #hich is the (art of the
human $isual system where
the rece(tors that sense light8
i"e"8 the (hotorece(tor cells8
are located% 7ow do those
cells work%
The photoreceptor cells form the retina,
a lamina that covers the internal
posterior region of the eyeball. The
photosensitive cells of the retina are
divided into to types2 the cone cells
and the rod cells. These cells have
pigments that sense specific light ave
ranges $fre&uencies% and trigger action
potentials conducted by the optical
nerves to the visual area of the brain.
." 1ince the $isual images are
(roJected in an in$erted
manner on the retina why
donGt we see things u(side
down%
,ince the crystalline lens is a convex
spherical lens it forms inverted images
on the retina $every converging lens
forms inverted images%. The inverted
information follos through the optical
nerves until the occipital cerebral cortex
that contains the visual area of the
brain. In the brain the interpretation of
the image takes place and the inverted
information is reverted.
8" #hat ty(e of structure is
the crystalline lens% #hat is
its function%
The crystalline is a converging spherical
lens. This natural lens has the function
to pro#ect images of ob#ects onto the
retina.
/" #hat is $isual
accommodation%
Pisual accommodation is the
phenomenon of varying the curvature of
the crystalline lens to make possible the
variation of its refractivity to ad#ust the
images of ob#ects exactly onto the
retina. The visual accommodation is
accomplished by the action of the ciliary
muscles.
The nitid vision depends on the visual
accommodation since, if the images are
not pro#ected onto the retina but in
front or behind it, they ill appear
blurred. The closer an ob#ect is more
the ciliary muscles must compress the
crystalline lens $increasing its
curvature%( the more distant an ob#ect
is more the ciliary muscles must relax.
10" #hat are the near (oint
and the far (oint of the $ision%
The near point is the closest distance
beteen an ob#ect and the eye that
makes possible the formed image to be
focused, i.e., it is the point in hich the
ciliary muscles are in their maximum
contraction. The far point is the most
distant point from the eye in hich an
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ob#ect can be placed and its image is
still focused, i.e., it is the situation of
maximum relaxation of the ciliary
muscles. The zone beteen the near
point and the far point is called the
accommodation zone.
11" 7ow can the $isual
deficiencies known as myo(ia
and hy(ermetro(ia be
o(tically e)(lained%
1yopia is the visual condition in hich
the images are formed before $in front
of% the retina. /ypermetropia is the
visual condition in hich the point of
image formation is beyond $behind% the
retina. 'ctually myopia is due to an
increase in the distance beteen the
retina and the crystalline lens, mainly
caused by a slight flattening of the
eyeball. In hypermetropia the retina is
too close to the crystalline lens due to
slight shortening of the eyeball.
In myopia the near point and the far
point of vision come closer $the
refractivity of the crystalline lens that
corresponds to the maximum distension
capacity of the ciliary muscles is not
enough to provide visual
accommodation%. In hypermetropia the
ciliary muscles are not able to contract
more to compensate the inade&uate
position of the retina, i.e., the near
point becomes more distant.
1&" #hat are (resbyo(ia and
astigmatism%
7resbyopia is the visual impairment in
hich there is loss of the cililary muscle
strength thus reducing the capability of
the crystalline lens to ad#ust images of
near ob#ects onto the retina. In
presbyopia the near point of vision
becomes more distant. The disease
generally occurs in old people.
'stigmatism is caused by irregular
shape of the refractive structures,
mainly the cornea. In astigmatism a
single ob#ect!point may produce more
than one image onto the retina and so
the vision becomes distorted.
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7earing 1ystem
1" #hat are the structures
that (artici(ate in the human
auditory sensiti$ity%
The structures of the human auditory
sensitivity are the ears $external, middle
and internal%, the vestibulocochlear
nerves and the auditory areas of the
brain $located in the temporal lobes of
both hemispheres%.
&" #hat are the main (arts of
the human ear%
The human ear is divided into three
mains parts2 the external ear, the
middle ear and the internal ear.
*" #hat are the structures
that form the e)ternal ear%
#hat is its function%
The internal ear comprises the pinna, or
auricle, and the auditory canal. Its
function is to conduct the sound aves
to the tympanum.
+" #hat are the elements that
form the middle ear% #hat are
the names of the three middle
ear ossicles that (artici(ate in
the (honosensiti$ity%
The middle ear is formed by the
tympanum, the ossicular chain and the
oval indo. The functional ossicles of
the middle ear are the hammer
$malleus%, the incus and the stapes.
," #hat is the tym(anum% !n
which (art of the ear is it
located and what is its
function%
The tympanum $or ear drum% is a
membrane located in the middle ear
#ust after the auditory canal and so it
separates the middle ear from the
external ear. The function of the
tympanum is to vibrate ith the same
fre&uency of the sound aves that
reach it.
-" 7ow is the sound $ibration
ca(tured by the tym(anum
transmitted through the
ossicular chain of the middle
ear%
The acoustic transmission from the
external to the middle ear $and to the
internal ear too% is entirely mechanical.
The vibration of the tympanic
membrane triggers the vibration of the
hammer that then causes the incus to
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vibrate. The incus then causes the
stapes to vibrate.
." #hat are the elements that
constitute the internal ear%
#hat are the functions of
those structures%
In the internal ear there are the cochlea
and the semicircular canals. The fluid
that fills the cochlea receives vibration
from the ossicular chain of the middle
ear and transmits the pressure to the
semicircular canals. "ithin the
semicircular canals the pressure
variation of the filling fluid moves cilia of
the hair cells of these structures. The
hair cells then generate action
potentials that are transmitted to the
brain through the auditory nerves.
8" #hy is there a sense of
(ressure change inside the ear
when someone goes down a
mountain%
The pressure inside the middle ear is
maintained e&ual to the external ear $so
to the exterior too% due to a
communicating duct beteen the middle
ear and the pharynx called the auditory
tube, or 3ustachian tube. "hen
someone goes don a mountain the air
pressure upon the middle ear increases
and it is necessary to do some exercises
like fake salloing to force the
opening of the pharyngeal orifice of the
auditory tube to e&ualize the pressure
again.
/" #hat is the $estibular
system% 7ow does it o(erate%
The vestibular system is the part of the
ear that participates in the control and
regulation of the e&uilibrium of the body
$balance%.
The semicircular canals of the inner
$internal% ear are perpendicularly placed
and detect changes in the gravitational
position of the head $this is another
sensorial function of the inner ear,
besides auditory perception%. "hen the
head rotates the pressure of the fluid
ithin the canals upon the cilia of
specific receptor cells varies and these
cells generate action potentials
transmitted by the vestibulocochlear
nerve. The neural impulse is then
interpreted by the brain as information
about the gravitational position of the
head.
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=ndocrine 1ystem
1" #hat is the difference
between the endocrine gland
and the e)ocrine gland%
3ndocrine gland is a gland hose
secretions $called hormones% are
collected by the blood and reach the
tissues through the circulation. The
hypophysis $pituitary% and the adrenals
are examples of endocrine glands.
3xocrine gland is a gland hose
secretions are released externally
through ducts $into the skin, intestinal
lumen, mouth, etc.%. The sebaceous
glands and the salivary glands are
examples of exocrine glands.
&" #hat is the constitution of
the endocrine system%
The endocrine system is constituted by
the endocrine glands and the hormones
they secrete.
*" #hat is the histological
nature of the glands% 7ow are
they formed%
The glands are epithelial tissues. They
are made of epithelium that during the
embryonic development invaginated
into other tissues.
In the exocrine glands the invagination
has preserved secretion ducts. In the
endocrine glands the invagination is
complete and there are no secretion
ducts.
+" #hy is the endocrine
system considered one of the
integrati$e systems of the
body% #hat is the other
(hysiological system that also
has this function%
The endocrine system is said to have
integrative character since the
hormones produced by the endocrine
glands are substances that act at a
distance and many of them act in
different organs of the body. ,o the
endocrine glands receive information
from some regions of the body and they
can produce effects in other regions
providing functional integration for the
body.
Besides the endocrine system, the other
physiological system that also has
integrative function is the nervous
system. The nervous system integrates
the body through a netork of nerves
connected to central and peripheral
neurons. The endocrine system
integrates the body through hormones
that travel through the circulation and
are produced by the endocrine glands.
," #hat are hormones%
/ormones are substances secreted by
the endocrine glands and collected by
the circulation that act to produce
effects upon specific organs and tissues.
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/ormones are effectors of the endocrine
system.
-" #hat are target organs of
the hormones%
Target organs, target tissues and target
cells are those specific organs, tissues
and cells upon hich each hormone acts
and produces its effects. /ormones
selectively act upon their targets due to
specific receptor proteins present in
these targets.
." 7ow does the circulatory
system (artici(ate in the
functioning of the endocrine
system%
The circulatory system is fundamental
for the functioning of the endocrine
system. The blood collects the
hormones made by the endocrine
glands and through the circulation these
hormones reach their targets. "ithout
the circulatory system the 'action at
distance' characteristic of the endocrine
system ould not be possible.
8" Are hormones only
(roteins%
,ome hormones are proteins, like
insulin, glucagon and '4/, others are
derived from proteins $modified amino
acids%, like adrenaline and
noradrenaline, other are steroids, like
the corticosteroids and estrogen.
/" #hat are the main
endocrine glands of the
human body%
The main endocrine glands of the
human body are the pineal gland $or
pineal body%, the hypophysis $or
pituitary%, the thyroid, the parathyroids,
the endocrine part of the pancreas, the
adrenals and the gonads $testicles or
ovaries%.
-ther organs like the kidneys, the heart
and the placenta also have endocrine
functions.
10" #hat is the (ineal gland%
The pineal gland, also knon as pineal
body or epiphysis, is situated centrally
in the head. It secretes the hormone
melatonin, a hormone produced at night
and related to the regulation of the
circadian rhythm $or circadian cycle, the
akefulness!sleep cycle%. 1elatonin
possibly regulates many body functions
related to the night!day alternation.
11" #hat is the osseous ca$ity
where the (ituitary gland is
located%
The pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is
located in the sella turcica of the
sphenoid bone $one of the bones in the
base of the skull%. ,o the gland is
situated ithin the head.
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1&" #hat are the main
di$isions of the hy(o(hysis%
#hat are their functions%
The hypophysis is divided into to
portions2 the adenohypophysis, or
anterior hypophysis, and the
neurohypophysis, or posterior
hypophysis.
In the adenohypophysis to hormones
that act directly, the groth hormone
$6/% and the prolactin, and four tropic
hormones, i.e., hormones that regulate
other endocrine glands, the
adrenocorticotropic hormone $'.T/%,
the thyroid!stimulating hormone $T,/%,
the luteinizing hormone $K/% and the
follicle!stimulating hormone $8,/% are
produced.
The neurohypohysis stores and releases
to hormones produced in the
hypothalamus, oxytocin and the
antidiuretic hormone $'4/, or
vasopressin%.
1*" #hat is the relation
between the hy(othalamus
and the hy(o(hysis%
The hypothalamus is a part of the brain
situated #ust above the hypophysis. The
hypothalamus gets peripheral and
central neural impulses that trigger
response of its neurosecretory cells. The
axons of these cells go don to the
adenohypophysis to regulate the
hipophyseal secretions by means of
negative feedback. "hen the plasma
levels of adenohypophyseal hormones
are too high the hypothalamus detects
this information and commands the
interruption of the production of the
hormone. "hen the blood level of an
adenohypophyseal hormone is lo the
hypothalamus stimulates the secretion
of the hormone.
The hypothalamic cells produce the
hormones released by the
neurohypophysis. These hormones are
transported by their axons to the
hypophysis and then released in the
circulation.
1+" #hat are the hormones
secreted by the
adenohy(o(hysis% #hat are
their res(ecti$e functions%
The adenohypophisys secretes 6/
$groth hormone%, prolactin, '.T/
$adrenocorticotropic hormone%, T,/
$thyroid!stimulating hormone%, 8,/
$follicle!stimulating hormone% and K/
$luteinizing hormone%.
6/, also knon as somatotropic
hormone $,T/%, acts upon bones,
cartilages and muscles promoting the
groth of these tissues. 7rolactin is the
hormone that in omen stimulates the
production and secretion of milk by the
mammary glands. The '.T/ is the
hormone that stimulates the cortical
portion of the adrenal gland to produce
and secrete the cortical hormones
$glucocorticoids%. The T,/ is the
hormone that stimulates the activity of
the thyroid gland increasing the
production and secretion of its
hormones TH and T@. The 8,/ is a
gonadotropic hormone, i.e., it
stimulates the gonads and in omen it
acts upon the ovaries inducing the
groth of follicles, in men it stimulates
spermatogenesis. The K/ is also a
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gonadotropic hormone that acts upon
the ovaries of omen to stimulate
ovulation and the formation of the
corpus luteum $that secretes estrogen%
and in men upon the testicles to
stimulate the production of
testosterone.
1," #hat is the relation
between the thyroid and the
hy(o(hysis%
The hypophysis secretes T,/, thyroid!
stimulating hormone. This hormone
hastens the secretion of thyroid
hormones $triiodothyronine and
thyroxine, or TH and T@%.
"hen the plasma concentration of
thyroid hormones is high this
information is detected by the
hypothalamus and by the hypophysis
and this gland reduces the T,/
secretion. "hen the thyroid hormone
levels are lo the T,/ secretion
increases. It is thus a negative
feedback.
In#uries of the hypophysis that cause
T,/ hyposecretion $for example, in case
of tissue destruction% or hypersecretion
$in case, e,g., of excessive cell
proliferation or cancer% can change the
functioning of the thyroid gland
completely.
1-" #hat are some diseases
caused by abnormal D7
secretion by the hy(o(hysis%
In childhood deficient 6/ secretion may
lead to delayed groth and in severe
cases to nanism $darfism%. 3xcessive
production of 6/ in children may cause
exaggerated osseous groth and
gigantism. In adults 6/ excess $for
example, in hypophiseal cancer or in
people that rongly ingest 6/ as a
nutritional supplement% may lead to
acromegaly, excessive and
disproportional groth of the bone
extremities, like the skull, the
maxillaries, the hands and the feet.
1." #hat are the target
tissues and target organs of
each adenohy(o(hyseal
hormone%
6/2 bones, cartilages and muscles.
7rolactin2 mammary glands. '.T/2 the
cortical portion of the adrenals. T,/2
thyroid gland. 8,/ and K/2 ovaries and
testicles.
18" #hat are the hormones
secreted by the
neurohy(o(hysis% #hat are
their res(ecti$e functions%
The neurohypophysis secretes oxytocin
and the antidiuretic hormone $'4/%.
-xytocin is secreted in omen during
delivery to increase the strength and
fre&uency of the uterine contractions
and thus to help the babyQs birth.
4uring the lactation period the infantQs
sucking action on the motherQs nipples
stimulates the production of oxytocin
that then increases the secretion of milk
by the mammary glands.
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Pasopressin, or '4/, participates in the
ater regulation of the body and thus in
the control of the blood pressure since it
allos the resorption of free ater
through the renal tubules. 's ater
goes back to the circulation the blood
volume increases.
1/" #hat is the difference
between diabetes mellitus and
diabetes insi(idus% #hat are
the characteristic signs of
diabetes insi(idus%
4iabetes mellitus is the disease caused
by deficient insulin secretion by the
pancreas or by impaired capturing of
this hormone by the cells. 4iabetes
insipidus is the disease caused by
deficient '4/ secretion by the pituitary
$hypophysis% or also by impaired
sensitivity of the kidneys to this
hormone.
In diabetes insipidus the blood lacks
'4/ and so tubular resorption of ater
in the kidneys is reduced and a great
volume of urine is produced. The patient
urinates a lot and many times a day, a
sign also accompanied by polydipsia
$increased thirst and exaggerated
ingestion of ater% and sometimes by
dehydration.
&0" #hy does the urinary
$olume increase when
alcoholic be$erages are
ingested%
'lcohol inhibits the '4/ $antidiuretic
hormone% secretion by the hypophysis.
Ko '4/ reduces the tubular resorption
of ater in the kidneys and thus the
urinary volume increases.
&1" #hich are the target
organs and target tissues of
the neurohy(o(hysis%
The target organs of oxytocin are the
uterus and the mammary glands. The
target organs of '4/ are the kidneys.
&&" #here in the body is the
thyroid gland located%
The thyroid is located in the anterior
cervical region $frontal neck%, in front of
the trachea and #ust belo the larynx. It
is a bilobated mass belo the 'damQs
apple.
&*" #hat are the hormones
secreted by the thyroid gland%
#hat are their functions%
The thyroid secretes the hormones
thyroxine $T@%, triiodothyronine $TH%
and calcitonin.
TH and T@ are iodinated substances
derived from the amino acid tyrosine.
They act to increase the cellular
metabolic rate of the body $cellular
respiration, metabolism of proteins and
lipids, etc.%. .alcitonin inhibits the
release of calcium cations by the bones
thus controlling the blood level of
calcium.
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&+" #hy is the dietary
obtainment of iodine so
im(ortant for thyroid
functioning%
The obtainment of iodine from the diet
is important for the thyroid because this
chemical element is necessary for the
synthesis of the thyroid hormones TH
and T@. The iodine supply often comes
from the diet.
&," #hat is a goiter% #hat is
endemic goiter% 7ow is this
(roblem socially sol$ed%
6oiter is the abnormal enlargement of
the thyroid gland. The goiter appears as
a tumor in the anterior neck and it may
be visible or sometimes not visible but
palpable. 6oiter can occur in
hypothyroidism or in hyperthyroidism.
3ndemic goiter is the goiter caused by
deficient iodine ingestion $deficiency of
iodine in the diet%. The endemic
character of the disease is explained
because the iodine content of the diet is
often a social or cultural condition
affecting many people of some
geographical regions. The
hypothyroidism caused by deficient
iodine ingestion is more fre&uent in
regions far from the sea coast $since
sea food is rich in iodine%.
0oadays the problem is often solved
by obligatory addition of iodine in table
salt. 's table salt is a idely used
condiment the supply of iodine in diet is
almost assured by this method.
&-" #hat ha((ens to the T17
2thyroid4stimulating hormone3
blood le$el in hy(othyroidism%
#hy is there enlargement of
the thyroid in the endemic
goiter disease%
"hen there is lo TH and T@ secretion
by the thyroid the T,/ secretion by the
hypophysis is very stimulated and the
T,/ blood level increases. The increase
in the T,/ availability promotes the
enlargement of the thyroid gland.
The thyroid enlargement is a reaction of
a tissue that tries to compensate the
functional deficiency by making the
gland increase its size.
&." #hat are some signs and
sym(toms found in (atients
with hy(erthyroidism%
The hormones made by the thyroid
gland stimulate the basal metabolism of
the body. In hyperthyroidism there is
abnormally high production and
secretion of TH and T@ so the basal
metabolic rate is increased. The signs of
this condition may be tachycardia
$abnormally high heart rate%, eight
loss, excessive heat sensation,
excessive seating, anxiety, etc. -ne of
the typical signs of hyperthyroidism is
exophthalmos $protrusion of the
eyeballs%. 6enerally the patient also
presents goiter.
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&8" #hat are some signs and
sym(toms found in (atients
with hy(othyroidism%
In hypothyroidism the production and
secretion of TH and T@ are impaired.
,ince these thyroid hormones stimulate
the basal metabolism of the body
$cellular respiration, fat acid and protein
metabolism, etc.% the patient ith
hypothyroidism may present
bradycardia $lo heart rate%, lo
respiratory rate, excessive tiredness,
depression, cold intolerance and eight
gain. /ypothyroidism is normally
accompanied by goiter $enlargement of
the thyroid in the neck%.
&/" #hat is the (hysiological
cause of the syndrome known
as cretinism%
.retinism is caused by chronic
deficiency of the thyroid hormones $TH
and T@% during childhood. The chronic
hypothyroidism during childhood may
cause retardation and lo stature due to
the lo basal metabolic rate in a period
of life hen groth and development of
mind faculties occur.
*0" #hat are the
(arathyroids% #here are they
located and what are the
hormones secreted by these
glands%
The parathyroids are four small glands
embedded to in each posterior face of
one thyroid lobe. The parathyroids
secrete parathormone, a hormone that
together ith calcitonin and vitamin 4
regulates the calcium blood level.
*1" #hat is the relation
between secretion of
(arathormone and the calcium
blood le$el%
The parathormone increases the calcium
blood level since it stimulates the
resorption $remodelation% of the
osseous tissue. "hen osteoclasts
remodel bones calcium is released in
the circulation.
7arathormone also acts increasing the
calcium absorption in the intestines by
vitamin 4 activation. It acts in the
kidneys promoting tubular calcium
resorption too.
*&" #hat is a mi)ed gland%
#hy is the (ancreas
considered a mi)ed gland%
1ixed gland is a gland that produces
endocrine and exocrine secretions.
The pancreas is an example of a mixed
gland because it secretes hormones in
the circulation, like insulin and
glucagon, but it also releases an
exocrine secretion, the pancreatic #uice.
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**" #hat are the (ancreatic
tissues in$ol$ed res(ecti$ely
in the e)ocrine and endocrine
secretions% #hat are their
res(ecti$e hormones and
enzymes%
The exocrine secretion of the pancreas
is produced in the pancreatic acini,
aggregates of secretory cells that
surround small exocrine ducts. The
exocrine pancreas secretes digestive
enzymes of the pancreatic #uice2
amylase, lipase, trypsin, chymotrypsin,
carboxypeptidase, ribonuclease,
deoxyribonuclease, elastase and
gelatinase.
The endocrine secretion of the pancreas
is produced and secreted by small
groups of cells dispersed throughout the
organ called islets of Kangerhans. The
pancreatic islets make insulin, glucagon
and somatostatin.
*+" #hat is the im(ortance of
the glucose blood le$el for
human health%
The glucose blood level $glycemia% must
be kept normal. If it is abnormally lo
there is not enough glucose to supply
the energetic metabolism of the cells. If
it is abnormally and chronically high it
causes severe harm to the peripheral
nerves, the skin, the retina, the kidneys
and other important organs and it may
predispose to cardiovascular diseases
$acute myocardial infarction, strokes,
thrombosis, etc%. If it is acutely too high
medical emergencies like diabetic
ketoacidosis and the hyperglycemic
hyperosmolar state may occur.
*," #hat are the functions of
insulin and glucagon for the
blood glucose control%
6lucagon increases glycemia and insulin
reduces it. They are antagonistic
pancreatic hormones. 6lucagon acts
stimulating glycogenolysis and thus
forming glucose from glycogen
breaking. Insulin is the hormone
responsible for the entrance of glucose
from the blood into the cells.
"hen glycemia is lo, for example,
during fasting, glucagon is secreted and
insulin is inhibited. "hen glycemia is
high, as after meals, there are inhibition
of glucagon and more secretion of
insulin.
*-" #hat are the target
organs u(on which insulin and
glucagon act%
6lucagon mainly acts upon the liver.
Insulin acts in general upon all cells.
Both also act upon the adipose tissue
respectively stimulating $glucagon% and
inhibiting $insulin% the use of fatty acids
in the energetic metabolism $an
alternate path of the energetic
metabolism is activated hen there is
shortage of glucose%.
*." #hat are the effects of
somatostatin for the
(ancreatic hormonal
secretion%
,omatostatin inhibits both insulin and
glucagon secretions.
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*8" #hat is diabetes mellitus%
4iabetes mellitus is the disease caused
by deficient production or action of
insulin and the conse&uent lo glucose
uptake by the cells and high blood
glucose level.
*/" #hat are the three main
signs of diabetes%
The three main signs of diabetes
mellitus are knon as the diabetic triad2
polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia.
7olyuria is the excessive elimination of
urine( in diabetes it is caused by
reduced ater resorption in the renal
tubules due to increased osmolarity of
the glomerular filtrate $caused by
excessive glucose%. 7olydipsia is the
exaggerated ingestion of ater( the
thirst is due to the excessive ater loss
in the urine. 7olyphagia is the
exaggerated ingestion of food caused by
deficiency in energy generation by
glucose!lacking cells.
+0" #hy do diabetic (atients
often undergo dietary sugar
restriction% #hat are the main
com(lications of diabetes
mellitus%
4iabetic patients are often advised to
ingest less carbohydrates since these
substances are degraded into glucose
and this molecule is absorbed in the
intestines. The dietary sugar restriction
goal is to control glycemia to maintain it
at normal levels.
The main complications of diabetes are
tissue in#uries that occur in vaious
organs caused by the chronic increased
blood osmolarity2 in the peripheral
nerves $diabetic neuropathy%, resulting
in sensitivity loss, increased ounds
$the person does not feel that the tissue
is being ounded and the ound
expands% and muscle fatigue( in the
kidneys $diabetic nephropathy%, causing
glomerular lesions that may lead to
renal failure( in the retina $diabetic
retinopathy%, leading to vision
impairment and blindness( in the skin,
as a conse&uence of the neuropathy.
4iabetes mellitus also is one of the
ma#or risk factors for cardiovascular
diseases like embolism, myocardial
infarction and stroke.
+1" #hat is the difference
between ty(e ! diabetes
mellitus and ty(e !! diabetes
mellitus%
Type I diabetes, also knon as #uvenile
diabetes, or insulin!dependent diabetes
$this name is not ade&uate as type II
diabetes may become insulin!
dependent%, is the impaired production
of insulin by the pancreas believed to be
caused by destruction of cells of the
islets of Kangerhans by autoantibodies
$autoimmunity%.
Type II diabetes occurs in the adult
individual and it is often diagnosed in
people of more advanced age. In type II
diabetes there is normal or lo
secretion of insulin by the pancreas but
the main cause of the high glycemia is
the peripheral resistance of the cells to
the action of the hormone.
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+&" !n ancient Dreece the
father of 0edicine8
7y(ocrates8 described a
method of diagnosing diabetes
mellitus by tasting the
(atientGs urine" #hat is the
(hysiological e)(lanation for
this archaic method%
Lnder normal conditions the glucose
filtered by the renal glomeruli is almost
entirely resorbed in the nephron tubules
and not excreted in urine. "ith the
elevated glucose blood level the renal
tubules cannot resorb all the filtered
glucose and some amount of the
substance appears in the urine. This
amount is enough to provide the seet
taste that helped /ypocrates to
diagnose diabetes and to differentiate it
from other diseases accompanied by
polyuria. 0oadays the method is
inconceivable due to the danger of
contamination of the tester by disease
agents possibly present in the patient's
urine.
+*" #hat are the main
treatments of diabetes
mellitus%
The general goal of the diabetes
treatment is to maintain normal
glycemic levels.
Type I diabetes is treated ith
parenteral administration of insulin.
Insulin must be administered
intravenously or intramuscularly
because as a protein it ould be
digested if ingested orally. In type II
diabetes treatment is done ith oral
drugs that regulate the glucose
metabolism or in more severe cases
ith parenteral administration of insulin.
The moderation of carbohydrate
ingestion is an important aid to diabetes
treatment.
The diabetes treatment ith the use of
hypoglycemic agents, like insulin or oral
medicines, must be carefully and
medically supervised since if rongly
used these drugs may abruptly decrease
the glucose blood level, cause
hypoglycemia and even death.
1any other forms of diabetes treatment
are under research orldide.
++" 7ow can bacteria (roduce
human insulin on an industrial
scale% #hat are the other
forms of insulin made
a$ailable by the
(harmaceutical industry%
Bacteria do not naturally synthesize
insulin. It is possible hoever to implant
human genetic material containing the
insulin gene into the bacterial 40'. The
mutant bacteria then multiply and
produce human insulin. The insulin is
isolated and purified for later
commercialization. This biotechnology is
knon as the recombinant 40'
technology.
Besides human insulin the
pharmaceutical industry also produces
insulin to be used by humans made
from the pancreas of pigs and cos.
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+," #here are the adrenal
glands located% 7ow many are
they and what are their
(ortions%
3ach adrenal gland is located on the top
of each kidney $forming a hat!like
structure for the kidneys%, so there are
to glands. The adrenal parenchymal
structure is divided into to portions2
the most peripheral is the cortical
portion, or adrenal cortex, and the
central is the medullary portion, or
adrenal medulla.
+-" #hat are the hormones
secreted by the adrenal
medulla% #hat are their
res(ecti$e functions%
The medullary portion of the adrenals
secretes hormones of the catecholamine
group2 adrenaline $also knon as
epinephrine% and noradrenaline $also
knon as norepinephrine%. Besides their
hormonal function, adrenaline and
noradrenaline act as neurotransmitters
too. The neurons that use them as
neurotransmitters are called adrenergic
neurons.
'drenaline increases the glycogen
breaking into glucose $glycogenolysis%
thus increasing glycemia and the basal
metabolic rate of the body. 'drenaline
and noradrenaline are released during
situations of danger $fightfight or flight
response% and they intensify the
strength and rate of the heartbeat and
selectively modulate the blood irrigation
in some tissues by selective vasodilation
and selective vasoconstriction. By
vasodilation they increase the blood
supply to the brain, the muscles and the
heart and by vasoconstriction they
reduce the blood supply to the kidneys,
the skin and the gastrointestinal tract.
,ubstances like adrenaline and
noradrenaline that promote vasodilation
or vasoconstriction are called vasoactive
substances.
+." #hat are the hormones
secreted by the adrenal
corte)% #hat are their
res(ecti$e functions%
The cortical portion of the adrenals
secretes hormones of the corticoid $or
corticosteroid% group, derived from
cholesterol2 glucocorticoid,
mineralocorticoids and cortical sex
hormones.
The glucocorticoids are cortisol and
cortisone. The glucocorticoids stimulate
the formation of glucose from the
degradation of proteins of the muscle
tissue $gluconeogenesis% and so they
help to increase glycemia. These
hormones play an important
immunosuppressant role, i.e., they
reduce the action of the immune system
and for this reason they are used as
medicine to treat inflammatory and
autoimmune diseases and re#ection of
transplanted organs.
The mineralocorticoids aldosterone and
deoxycorticosterone regulate the
sodium and potassium blood
concentration and thus they control the
ater level of the extracellular space.
'ldosterone increases the sodium
resorption and thus the ater resorption
in the renal tubules and it also
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stimulates the renal excretion of
potassium and hydrogen.
The adrenal cortical sex hormones are
androgens, male sex hormones present
in men and omen. In men their main
site of production is the testicle and
they promote the appearance of
secondary male sex characteristics, like
body hair and beard, deep voice, the
male pattern of fat distribution and
maturation of the genitalia. If
abnormally high in omen they cause
inhibited maturation of the female
genitalia and disturbances of the
menstrual cycle.
+8" #hy are glucorticoids
used in trans(lant (atients%
7atients ith transplanted organs are
prone to host versus graft re#ection
since their on immune system tends to
attack the grafted organ because of
recognition of the grafted tissue as
foreign matter. In the prevention and
treatment of this common problem
patients are given glucorticoids or other
immunosupressants. 6lucocorticoids
have an immunosuppressant action and
so they reduce the aggression of the
immune system against the graft.
The immune action hoever is also very
important for the individual. The
immune system defends the body
against invasion and infection by
pathogenic agents $virus, bacteria,
toxins% besides being fundamental for
the elimination of modified cells that
may proliferate and cause cancer.
7atients receiving immunosuppressants
like glucocorticoids are thus under
increased risk of infectious and
neoplastic diseases.
+/" #hat are the hormones
(roduced by the testicles and
the o$aries%
The testicles make androgenic
hormones, the main of them being
testosterone. The ovaries produce
estrogen and progesterone.
,0" #hat is the endocrine
function of the (lacenta%
The placenta is not a permanent gland
of the endocrine system but it also has
endocrinal function. The placenta
produces estrogen and progesterone. It
also secretes human chorionic
gonadotropin $/.6, that acts similarly
to the hypophyseal K/%, human
placental lactogen, similar to prolactin
and stimulant of the mammary glands,
and a series of hormonal peptides
similar to the hormones of the
hypothalamus!hypophysis axis.
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!mmune 1ystem
1" #hat is the function of the
immune system%
The immune system performs specific
defense against agents, the antigens,
that are foreign or harmful to the body.
3xogenous antigens are often in contact
ith the skin or entering the airay, the
digestive tube and the genital orifices
and mucosae. They can also penetrate
the circulation directly through ounds.
&" #hat are the two grou(s of
defense mechanisms of the
body against foreign or
harmful agents% #hat is the
difference between them%
The body has many defense
mechanisms against foreign pathogenic
agents. These mechanisms are divided
into to groups2 the specific
mechanisms and the unspecific
mechanisms. The specific mechanisms
are part of the immune system and
comprehend the humoral immune
response and the cellular immune
response that respectively produce
antibodies and defense cells against
specific antigens. The unspecific
mechanisms fight in a general manner
any type of antigen $they do not have
specificity% and in them a series of
defense means are included, like the
skin barrier against foreign agents, the
mucous and ciliated epithelium of the
airay, inflammation $the inflammatory
response% and the action of unspecific
proteins and defense cells $e.g.,
interferons and macrophages%.
*" #hat is inflammation%
Inflammation is the initial response of
the unspecific defense system versus
aggressions against the body $the
aggressions may be caused by
infectious parasites, chemical
contamination, trauma, physical agents
like heat and fire, autoimmunity, etc.%.
4uring inflammation a series of
unspecific leukocytes present in the
circulation are attracted to the in#ury
site in an attempt to destroy harmful
agents and to isolate the affected region
of the tissue.
+" 7ow does the inflammation
mechanism work%
"hen some tissue in#ury occurs
histamine and other vasoactive
substances $called mediators of
inflammation% are released, they cause
vasodilation and the blood flo to the
affected site increases. 6ranulocyte
leukocytes present in the blood are
attracted to the site of the in#ury by
substances knon as chemotactic
factors also released by the in#ured
tissue and by the active granulocytes in
the area. The granulocytes exit the
capillaries by diapedesis, i.e., using
pseudopods. 1acrophages present in
the region are activated too. These cells
flood the extracellular space of the
affected area trying to kill or eliminate
harmful agents, to prevent tissue
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necrosis and to isolate the damaged
tissue.
," #hat is (us%
7us is a residual of the inflammatory
reaction. It contains a mixture of
fragments of dead leukocytes, infectious
agents $generally bacteria% and tissues.
-" #hat is the association
between inflammation and
fe$er%
In the tissue region here inflammation
occurs bacterial toxins, cytokines,
prostaglandins, interleukins and
endothelins are released. These
substances gain the circulation and
reach the central nervous system hich
then commands the increase of the
body temperature.
." #hich ty(e of defense cell
do bacteria attract and cause
to multi(ly during the
inflammation (rocess% #hat is
the name gi$en to the waste
material (roduced by the
inflammation triggered by
bacterial infection%
The main leukocytes that generally
multiply and participate in the
inflammation reaction against bacterial
infections are the neutrophils. In this
type of inflammation the blood level of
these cells are increased, a clinical
condition knon as neutrophilia.
In the bacterial inflammation fragments
of dead bacteria, dead neutrophils and
tissues form the pus.
8" >f which ty(e of defense
cell do worm infections
stimulate the multi(lication%
The main leukocytes that generally
multiply and participate in the defense
against orm infections are the
eosinophils. In this type of inflammation
the blood level of these cells are
increased, a clinical condition knon as
eosinophilia.
3osinophils are also increased in allergic
conditions.
/" >f which ty(e of defense
cell do $iral infections
stimulate the multi(lication%
The main leukocytes that generally
multiply and participate in the defense
against viral infections are the
lymphocytes. In this type of
inflammation the blood level of these
cells are increased, a clinical condition
knon as lymphocytosis.
10" #hat is the defense
mechanism that begins to
work when inflammation fails
to sto( an infection%
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If the inflammatory attack is not enough
to halt the infectious process the body
still relies on a specific defense, the
immune response proper $humoral and
cellular% performed by the lymphocytes.
11" #hat is the difference
between humoral s(ecific
immune res(onse and cellular
s(ecific immune res(onse%
/umoral specific immune response is
the defense system by means of
antibodies, defense proteins secreted by
lymphocytes that attack foreign agents
ith high specificity. .ellular specific
immune response is the defense system
by means of specific lymphocytes $cells%
that directly attack other foreign cells
and agents.
1&" #hat is an antigen%
'ntigen is any substance, particle or
infectious agent recognized as foreign to
the body. The contact of the antigen
ith the body promotes a defense
reaction against the antigen $unspecific,
specific or both%.
1*" #hat are the cells
res(onsible for the (roduction
of antibodies%
The cells that produce antibodies, i.e.,
the cells of the humoral immune
system, are the B lymphocytes $B cells%.
1+" #hat are
immunoglobulins%
Immunoglobulin is the alternate name
given to antibody. Immunoglobulins are
complex proteins containing an
invariable portion and a variable portion
and made of four polypeptide chains.
The variable portion of each
immunoglobulin is responsible for the
high specificity of the antigen!antibody
bond.
1," 7ow do antibodies work to
neutralize antigens%
The antibodies, or immunoglobulins, act
to facilitate the destruction of antigens2
they attract phagocytic leukocytes, they
trigger the attack of specific defense
molecules $activation of the complement
system% and they directly neutralize the
toxicity of some antigens.
1-" 7ow can an organism that
once underwent contact with
an antigen be immunized
against future infections by
the same agent%
This phenomenon is called immune
memory. "hen an antigen makes
contact for the first time ith cells of
the humoral immune system, B
lymphocytes that are producers of
specific immunoglobulins against that
antigen multiply and in days synthesize
their antibodies. This is called primary
response. ,ome of these specific B
lymphocytes remain in the circulation
for a long time, sometimes during the
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entire life of the individual, and they
become the memory cells of the
immune system. "hen the body is
exposed in the future to the same
antigen the production of antibodies ill
be faster and more intense since the
immune system is already prepared to
react against that antigen. This is called
the secondary response.
1." 7ow can the immune
memory lead to the efficacy of
$accines and also (roduce
allergies%
Paccines are controlled inoculations of
fragments of infectious agents or of
inactive infectious agents to induce the
primary immune response, the
formation of specific memory B
lymphocytes against the antigen.
Therefore the organism produces
immunoglobulins and becomes prepared
to destroy antigens hen exposed to
ne infections by those agents.
In allergies the humoral immune system
is sensitized $makes antibodies and
specific memory B lymphocytes% against
some common environmental
substances rongly recognized as
antigens. 8or example, pollen!derived
substances, dust particles, compounds
present in foods or in medicines, etc.
may be recognized as antigens
triggering the primary response and
creating an immune memory against
them that then become causes of
allergy. The more the individual is
exposed to those substances the more
intense is the immune reaction.
The Ig3 antibodies that cause allergy
bind to receptors of leukocytes called
mastocytes hose cytoplasm is full of
histamine granules. The antibody!
mastocyte bond causes these cells to
release a great amount of histamine in
the circulation, stimulating inflammation
and generating the allergic symptoms
and signs. 8or this reason allergy is
treated ith antihistamines, drugs that
block the histaminic reaction.
3xacerbated allergic reactions, for
example, in hypersensitivity to some
medicines like penicillin and sulfas, may
cause anaphylactic shock, a severe
clinical condition that sometimes leads
to death.
18" 7ow different are the
actions of antibodies against
bacteria and against $irus%
#hy is the cellular immune
res(onse acti$ated in case of
chronic $iral infection%
The antibodies of the humoral immune
system act against extracellular agents,
like toxins or bacteria, but they are not
active in the intracellular space and they
cannot fight virus efficiently.
In case of viral infection $and also of
cancerous or precancerous cells% the
immune attack is made by the cellular
immune system, mediated by T and 0I
$natural killers% lymphocytes that
destroy specific cells and virus.
1/" 7ow does the cellular
immune res(onse take (lace%
The lymphocytes that participate in the
cellular immune response are the T
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lymphocytes. T lymphocytes
differentiate into three main types2
cytotoxic T lymphocytes $cytotoxic T
cell%, helper T lymphocytes $helper cell%
and suppressor T lymphocytes. The
cytotoxic cells are the effectors of the
system, i.e., they directly attack other
cells recognized as foreign $for example,
fungi cells, cells infected by virus,
neoplastic cells, graft cells, etc.%. The
helper cells and the suppressor T
lymphocytes act as regulators of the
system releasing substances that
respectively stimulate and inhibit the
immune action of T and B lymphocytes.
'fter the primary immune response
memory T lymphocytes also remain in
the circulation to provide faster and
more effective reaction in case of future
infections.
&0" #hat are the antigen4
(resenting cells of the
immune system%
The antigen!presenting cells of the
immune system, also knon as '7.
cells, are cells that do phagocytosis and
digestion of foreign $to the body%
microorganisms and later expose
antigens derived from these
microorganisms in the outer side of
their plasma membrane. These
processed antigens are then recognized
by lymphocytes that activate the
immune response. ,everal types of
cells, like the macrophages, can act as
antigen!presenting cells.
&1" #hat are (assi$e and
acti$e immunization%
According to the duration of
the (rotection how do these
ty(es of immunization differ%
'ctive immunization is that in hich an
antigen penetrates the body triggering
the primary immune response and the
production of memory lymphocytes and
antibodies that provide faster and more
effective immune defense in future
infections by the same antigen. 7assive
immunization is that in hich
immunoglobulins against an antigen are
inoculated in the body to provide
protection in case the body becomes
infected by the antigen.
'ctive immunization tends to be longer
lasting than passive immunization since
in the active type as ell as antibodies,
specific memory lymphocytes remain in
the circulation. In the passive
immunization the duration of the
protection is that of the duration of the
antibodies in the circulation.
&&" #hy is maternal milk
im(ortant for the immune
(rotection of the baby%
Besides being nutritionally important,
maternal milk participates in the
defense of the baby against infectious
agents. ,oon after delivery the mother
produces a more fluid milk called
colostrum that is rich in
immunoglobulins $antibodies%. These
antibodies are not absorbed by the
babyQs circulation but they cover the
internal surface of the babyQs boels
thus attacking possible antigens and
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making more difficult the proliferation of
pathogenic bacteria ithin the organ.
&*" 7ow are anti$enoms
(roduced% #hy are
anti$enoms an e)am(le of
(assi$e immunization%
'ntivenoms are obtained by the
folloing process2 the venom $antigen%
is inoculated into other mammals, e.g.,
in horses( these animals make specific
antibodies against the antigen( blood
from the animals is collected and
purified to get the antibodies( this
antibody!containing material is the
antivenom. "hen a human being is
infected by the antigen the specific
antivenom is given to him*her and the
action against the antigen occurs.
'ntivenoms may also be administered
as a preventive measure and, since it is
basically made of specific
immunoglobulins against some antigen,
the process is an example of passive
immunization.
&+" #hat is the difference
between homologous and
heterologous
immunoglobulins%
/omologous immunoglobulin is the
human $from the same species%
immunoglobulin. In case of inoculation
in animals as in veterinary procedures
homologous immunoglobulin is that
from the blood of animals of the same
species of the animal undergoing
treatment. /eterologous
immunoglobulin is that obtained from
animals of different species from the
individual into hich it ill be
inoculated.
The homologous immunoglobulin is
safer since it is collected from beings of
the same species of the individual in
hich it ill be inoculated and thus the
risk of the antibodies to be recognized
as foreign and to trigger an immune
response is loer. /eterologous
immunoglobulins are more prone to
being destroyed by the on antibodies
of the individual.
&," #hat are natural acti$e
immunization and artificial
acti$e immunization%
0atural active immunization is that in
hich a previous natural infection
induces the primary immune response,
specific memory cells are produced and
the individual becomes immune to ne
infections ith the antigen. This is hat
happens in diseases that affect people
only once in life, like mumps and
chickenpox.
'rtificial active immunization is that in
hich the primary immune response is
caused by the inoculation into an
individual of specially prepared
antigens. This is the case ith vaccines.
&-" #hy are $accines made of
the own disease agent or of
fragments of it%
The goal of vaccines is to artificially
induce a specific primary immune
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response $and the conse&uent formation
of antibodies and memory cells%
concerning a given infection or disease
in order to immunize the individual
against infections by the pathogenic
agent in the future.
,ince each antibody does not act
against a variety of antigens but instead
it acts only against its specific antigen,
it is necessary for the immune system
to make contact in some ay ith the
antigen against hich the immunization
is anted. The reconnaissance of
specific molecular portions of each
antigen causes the immune system to
produce the specific variable portion of
the immunoglobulins to attack that
antigen. Therefore to induce the active
immunization it is necessary to
inoculate into the body small parts of
the infectious agent or the agent
entirely $dead or inactivated%.
&." #hat are the ty(es of
antigenic agents that may
constitute $accines%
Paccines can be constituted of dead
agents of disease, of inactivated agents
of disease, of inactivated toxins or of
fragments of the infectious agent.
3xamples of some vaccines and their
type of antigenic agents are2 B.6,
inactivated tuberculosis bacilli(
antitetanic vaccine, inactivated toxin(
antidiphtheric, inactivated toxin(
antipolio ,alk, dead poliovirus( antipolio
,abin, attenuated $inactivated%
poliovirus.
&8" #hy doesnGt a long lasting
$accine against common cold
e)ist yet%
Piruses that present a high mutation
rate like the virus that causes the
common cold escape easily from the
action of vaccines against them. 'fter a
primary immune response $natural or
artificially induced% against the virus in
the next season of infection ne mutant
resistant strains appear and the
protection obtained ith the immune
response of the last season is lost. $-ne
could say that the high mutation rate is
a form of CimmunizationD found by
these viruses.%
&/" #hy are $accines used in
the (re$ention but not in the
treatment of infections% #hy
can anti$enom serums be
used in (re$ention and
treatment%
Paccines are not used in the treatment
of infections because they depend on
the primary immune response that
takes about a eek to occur and is not
so intense and effective. 'ntivenom
serums hoever are inoculated into the
circulation and used as an immediate
treatment because they are made of a
great amount of immunoglobulin
$antibodies% hich is potent against
their respective specific venom.
*0" #hat is the 9A $accine%
The 40' vaccine, or 40' vaccination, is
a vaccination technology based on
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genetic engineering. In 40' vaccination
a recombinant plasmid $vector%
containing the gene of a specific antigen
that is part of a given pathogenic agent
is inserted into cells of the individual to
be immunized. These cells then begin to
produce the antigen that triggers the
primary immune response and
theoretically the individual becomes
immunized against that antigen.
*1" #hat is the name gi$en to
conditions in which the own
immune system of the
indi$idual is the agent of
diseases% #hat are some
e)am(les of these conditions%
4iseases caused by the action of the
on immune system of the individual
are called autoimmune diseases.
The autoimmune diseases appear hen
the immune system makes antibodies or
defense cells that attack cells, tissues
and organs of its on body. The
attacked cells or tissues are rongly
recognized as antigens by the immune
system. 5heumatoid arthritis, lupus,
scleroderma, vitiligo, pemphigus, type I
diabetes mellitus, .rohn's disease
$chronic inflammation of the gut%,
myasthenia gravis, 6raves disease,
/ashimoto's disease, etc., are all
examples of autoimmune diseases.
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Dametogenesis
1" #hat are gametes%
6ametes are cells specialized in sexual
reproduction. They contain half of the
maximum number of chromosomes of
the species and unite ith another
gamete giving birth to a zygote ith
double of the number of chromosomes
of the gametic cells.
In humans gametes are formed by
meiosis( the male gametes are the
sperm cells and the female gametes are
the egg cells.
&" #hat is the ty(e of cell
di$ision that allows se)ual
re(roduction% #hat is
gametogenesis%
1eiosis is the type of cell division that
allos sexual reproduction since it
reduces to a half the number of
chromosomes of the species making
possible the combination of to
gametes to form a ne individual. $In
some beings meiosis creates haploid
gametophytes that by means of mitosis
generate gametes. 3ven in this case the
function of meiosis is the same2 to
provide cells ith half of the number of
chromosomes of the species ith
separation of the homologous.%
6ametogenesis is the name given to the
process of gamete production.
*" #hat is the name of the
cells ca(able of making
gametes% #hat is the (loidy
of these gamete4forming
cells%
The cells that form gametes are the
germ cells as opposed to the somatic
cells. The ploidy $number of
chromosomes% of the germ cells is the
same as the somatic cells $only during
the formation of gametes meiosis occurs
and the number of chromosomes is
reduced to half%.
+" #hat are gonads% #hat are
the male and the female
gonads in humans%
6onads are the organs that produce
gametes. They contain the germ cells
that undergo division and generate
gametes. In males the gonads are the
testicles. In females the gonads are the
ovaries.
," !ndicating the name and
res(ecti$e (loidy of each
in$ol$ed cell how can the
formation of s(erm cells from
germ cells be described%
The formation of sperm cells, or
spermatogenesis, begins ith a germ
cell called spermatogonium $?n% that
suffers mitosis and gives birth to the
spermatocyte I $?n%. The spermatocyte
I undergoes meiosis I and generates
to spermatocyte II $n% that then
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undergo meiosis II and produce four
spermatids $n%. 3ach spermatid
undergoes a maturation process called
spermiogenesis and four sperm cells
appear.
-" #hat is the difference
between s(ermatogonium and
s(ermatocyte !%
The male germ cells are the
spermatogonia $diploid cells, ?n%
situated in the testicles. They mature
and by means of mitosis give birth to
spermatocytes I $?n% that ill undergo
meiosis.
." #hat is the difference
between s(ermatocyte ! and
s(ermatocyte !!%
The spermatocyte I $?n% undergoes the
first division of meiosis $meiosis I%
originating to spermatocyte II
$haploid, n%.
8" #hat is the difference
between s(ermatocyte !! and
s(ermatid%
The spermatids $n% are the products of
the second division of meiosis $meiosis
II% in the male gametogenesis. 3ach
spermatocyte II originates to
spermatids totaling four spermatids for
each spermatocyte I that enter meiosis.
/" #hat is the difference
between s(ermatids and
s(erm cells% #hat is the name
of the transformation of
s(ermatids into s(erm cells%
,perm cells $the male gametes% are
matured spermatids that have already
undergone differentiation $appearance
of the flagellum, reduction of the
cytoplasm, formation of the acrosome,
increase in the number of
mitochondria%. This differentiation
process is called spermiogenesis.
10" #hat is the acrosome of
the s(erm cell% 7ow is it
formed%
The acrosome is a structure that
contains a great number of digestive
enzymes, it is located in the anterior
end of the sperm cell and it is formed by
the union of 6olgi apparatus vesicles.
The function of the acrosome is to
release its enzymes hen the sperm cell
meets the egg cell to break the external
covering of the female gamete thus
making fecundation possible.
11" #hat is the function of the
flagellum of the s(erm cell%
7ow is it formed%
The flagellum of the sperm cell is made
by the centrioles that migrate to the
region posterior to the nucleus. Its
function is to promote locomotion
toards the egg cell.
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1&" #hy is the cyto(lasm of
s(erm cells $ery reduced%
#hy do mitochondria of s(erm
cells concentrate in the base
of the flagellum%
The reduced cytoplasm of sperm cells
decreases the cell eight and provides a
more hydrodynamic shape for the
locomotion in fluids.
The high concentration of mitochondria
at the base of the flagellum of the
sperm cell is necessary for the energetic
supply of the flagellum $for it to beat
and move the sperm cell%.
1*" 6oncerning e$ents during
the (eriods of life how
different is the gametogenesis
in women and in men%
The formation of spermatogonia in men
takes place during the embryonic
period. The formation of sperm cells
hoever is a continuous process that
begins in puberty and goes on until old
age and sometimes during all the
remaining life of the man.
In omen all oogonia are formed before
birth. The oogonia turn into oocytes I
that enter the first division of meiosis
$meiosis I%. This division hoever is
interrupted at prophase and continues
only in puberty. 'fter the beginning of
menses an egg cell is released during
each period and, if fecundated, it
finishes the meiotic division. The
oogenesis stops after menopause
$cessation of the menstrual activity% and
the climacteric period of life begins.
1+" !ndicating the name and
res(ecti$e (loidy of each
in$ol$ed cell how can the
formation of egg cells from
germ cells be described%
The formation of egg cells begins ith a
germ cell called oogonium $?n% that
undergoes mitosis and gives birth to the
oocyte I $?n%. The oocyte I undergoes
meiosis I that hoever is interrupted at
prophase. 'fter puberty during each
menstrual cycle an oocyte I finishes the
meiosis I and generate one oocyte II $n%
and the first polar body $n%. "ith
fecundation the oocyte II then
undergoes meiosis II and produces the
mature egg cell $n% and the second
polar body $n%.
1," #hat is the first (olar
body% 7ow different is it from
the oocyte !!%
In oogenesis the oogonium
differentiates into oocyte I $?n% and this
cell enters meiosis. 'fter finishing the
first meiotic division $meiosis I% the
oocyte I forms to cells2 the oocyte II
$n% and the first polar body. The oocyte
II is bigger because it gets almost all
the cytoplasm and the cytoplasmic
structures of the oocyte I as a strategy
for metabolite and nutrient storage. The
oocyte II cell goes then to the second
meiotic division. The first polar body is
very small and almost lacks cytoplasm(
it disintegrates or stays attached to the
oocyte II.
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1-" #hat is the relation
between fecundation and the
end of the meiotic (rocess
during oogenesis%
The oocyte II only completes the second
meiotic division $interrupted at
metaphase% if fecundation by a male
gamete occurs. $-ne can say therefore
that in fact the female gamete is the
oocyte II%.
1." #hat is the second (olar
body%
'fter termination of the second meiotic
division of the oocyte II to cells are
generated2 the egg cell proper and the
second polar body. The second polar
body is a very small cell that almost
lacks cytoplasm and stays adnexal to
the egg cell. The entire cytoplasmic
content of the oocyte II passes to the
egg cell.
18" #hat is the relationshi(
between the menstrual cycle
and o$ulation%
-vulation is the releasing of the female
gamete from the ovary. -vulation is a
periodical event that occurs during each
menstrual cycle. .onsidering as the first
day of the menstrual cycle the day hen
menses begins, the ovulation occurs
around the G@th day hen the
concentrations of the hormones K/ and
8,/ reach high levels.
1/" 7ow does the male
gamete (enetrate the egg
cell% 7ow does the female
gamete (rotect itself from the
entrance of more gametes
after the entrance of the first
s(erm cell%
The sperm cell that reaches the egg cell
triggers the acrosome reaction, a
process in hich hydrolytic enzymes of
the acrosome are released on the
external surface of the zona pellucida
$the protective layer that surrounds the
egg cell%. ' portion of this layer is
digested by the acrosomal enzymes
alloing the sperm cell to reach the
plasma membrane of the egg cell
carrying out fecundation.
't the moment that the sperm cell
makes contact ith the egg cell
membrane a chemical alteration of this
membrane occurs. 3nzymes secreted by
exocytosis $cortical reaction% make the
zona pellucida unable to bind to other
sperm cells $zonal reaction% and other
male gametes cannot enter the egg cell.
&0" #hat are the female
(ronucleus and the male
(ronucleus%
The female pronucleus is the proper
haploid nucleus of the egg cell. 1ale
pronucleus is the haploid nucleus of the
sperm cell that has fecundated the egg
cell. 'fter fecundation both pronuclei
fuse forming the nucleus of the diploid
zygote.
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&1" 6oncerning their size and
basic mor(hology how and
why do the male and the
female gametes differentiate
from each other%
The female gametes are big cells full of
vitellus $nutritive material%. The male
gametes are small, mobile and agile
flagellate cells.
Those features are related to their
respective biological functions. "hile
the female gametes have the basic
functions of receiving the sperm cell
nucleus and of storing nutrients for the
zygote, the male gametes have the
function of active movement toards
the egg cell.
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:e(roducti$e
1ystem
1" #hat are the organs that
are (art of the male genital
system%
The organs that comprise the male
genital system are the testicles, the
epididymides, the vas deferens, the
seminal vesicles, the e#aculatory duct,
the prostate, the bulbourethral glands,
the urethra and the penis.
&" 6oncerning re(roduction
what is the function of the
testicles%
The testicles are the male gonads, i.e.,
the organs here the production of
gametes takes place. In human beings
the gametes are made by meiosis that
occur in the testicles.
*" After (assing the
e(ididymides through which
structures do s(erm cells go
until e)teriorization%
'fter leaving the epididymis in the
testicle sperm cells enter the vas
deferens, after that they receive
secretions from the seminal vesicles and
gather $from right and left sides% in the
e#aculatory duct that passes inside the
prostate. They also get secretions from
the prostate and the bulbourethral
glands and then go through the urethra,
inside the penis, to the exterior.
+" #hat is the function of the
secretions of the (rostate8
seminal $esicle and
bulbourethral glands in
re(roduction%
These secretions along ith sperm cells
from the testicles form the semen. The
secretions have the function of
nourishing the sperm cells and serving
them as a fluid means of propagation.
The basic p/ of the seminal fluid also
neutralizes the acid secretions of the
vagina alloing the survival of sperm
cells in the vaginal environment after
copulation.
," #hat are the endocrine
glands that regulate se)ual
acti$ity in males% 7ow does
this regulation work and what
are the in$ol$ed hormones%
In males the sexual activity is regulated
by the endocrine glands hypophysis
$pituitary%, adrenals and gonads
$testicles%.
The 8,/ $follicle!stimulating hormone%
secreted by the adenohypophysis acts
upon the testicles stimulating the
spermatogenesis. The K/ $luteinizing
hormone%, another adenohypophyseal
hormone, stimulates the production of
testosterone by the testicles too.
Testosterone, hose production
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intensifies after the beginning of
puberty, acts in several organs of the
body and it is responsible for the
appearing of the male secondary sex
characteristics $beard, body hair, deep
voice, increase of the muscle and
osseous mass, maturation of genitalia,
etc.% Testosterone also stimulates
spermatogenesis.
-" #hat are the organs that
are (art of the female
re(roducti$e system%
The organs that constitute the female
reproductive system are the ovaries, the
8allopian tubes $or uterine tubes%, the
uterus, the vagina and the vulva.
." !n which (eriod of life does
the formation of gametes
begin in women%
The meiosis that forms female gametes
begins in the cells of the ovarian follicles
before birth. 'fter the beginning of
puberty, under hormonal stimuli, during
each menstrual cycle one of the cells is
released on the surface of the ovary and
meiosis resumes. The meiotic process is
only concluded hoever if fecundation
happens.
8" #hat is the organ that
releases the female gamete
under formation% 7ow is this
release triggered% #hat is the
organ that collects the
released gametes%
The organ that liberates the female
gamete is the ovary, the female gonad.
The releasing of the oocyte is a
response to hormonal stimuli. The
immature egg cell $still an oocyte% falls
into the abdominal cavity and is picked
up by the 8allopian tube $uterine tube,
or oviduct%, a tubular structure that
connects the ovary ith the uterus.
/" #hat are the anatomical
relationshi(s between the
organs of the female
re(roducti$e system from the
e)ternal $ul$a to the o$aries%
The external female genitalia is called
the vulva. The vulva is the external
opening of the vaginal canal, or vagina.
The vagina is the copulation organ of
the females and its posterior extremity
communicates ith the uterus through
the uterine cervix. The uterus is divided
into to portions2 the cervix and the
uterine cavity. The lateral alls of the
uterine fundus communicate ith the
8allopian tubes. The other extremity of
each 8allopian tube ends in fimbria
forming fringes in the abdominal cavity.
Beteen the uterine tube and the ovary
there is still intra!abdominal space.
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10" #hat is the menstrual
cycle%
The menstrual cycle is the periodic
succession of interactions beteen
hormones and the organs of the female
reproductive system that, after the
beginning of puberty, regulates the
release of the female gametes and
prepares the uterus for fecundation and
pregnancy.
11" #hat are the endocrine
glands in$ol$ed in the
menstrual cycle% #hat are the
hormones in action%
The endocrine glands that secrete
hormones involved in the menstrual
cycle are the hypophysis $pituitary% and
the ovaries.
The hormones from adenohypophysis
are 8,/ $follicle!stimulating hormone%
and K/ $luteinizing hormone% and the
hormones from the ovaries are estrogen
and progesterone.
1&" #hat e$ent marks the
beginning of the menstrual
cycle% #hat is the blood
concentration of F178 '78
estrogen and (rogesterone in
this (hase of the cycle%
By convention the menstrual cycle
begins at the day that menses begins.
$1enses is the endometrial hemorrhage
excreted through the vaginal canal.% 't
these days the hormones 8,/, K/,
estrogens and progesterone are in lo
concentration.
1*" After menses what is the
hormone that influences the
maturation of the o$arian
follicles%
The maturation of the ovarian follicles
after menses is stimulated by the action
of 8,/ $follicle!stimulating hormone%.
1+" #hat is the hormone
secreted by the growing
o$arian follicles% #hat is the
action of that hormone u(on
the uterus%
The follicles that are groing after
menses secrete estrogen. These
hormones act upon the uterus
stimulating the thickening of the
endometrium $the internal mucosa of
the uterus%.
1," #hat is the relationshi(
between the estrogen le$el
and the '7 le$el in the
menstrual cycle% #hat is the
function of '7 in the
menstrual cycle and when
does its blood concentration
reach a (eak%
The increase in the blood concentration
of estrogen ith the groing of the
ovarian follicle causes the hypophysis to
secrete K/. In this phase K/ acts
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together ith 8,/ promoting the
maturation of the follicle that at the
G@th day ruptures releasing the female
gamete $ovulation%. 'fter the release of
the ovum K/ acts stimulating the
formation of the corpus luteum, a
structure made from the remaining
follicular mass. The K/ concentration is
at maximum at the G@th day of the
cycle.
1-" #hat are the hormones
that (romote the release of
the female gamete from the
follicle and at which day of the
menstrual cycle does this
(henomenon ha((en% #hat is
this e$ent called%
The hormones that promote the release
of the ovum from the follicle are 8,/
and K/, hormones found in maximum
blood concentration around the G@th
day of the cycle. The release of the
female gamete from the ovary is called
ovulation. -vulation happens at
$around% the G@th day of the menstrual
cycle.
1." 7ow does the female
gamete mo$e from the o$ary
to the uterus%
The female gamete released from the
ovary falls into the surrounding
abdominal cavity and is collected by the
8allopian tube. The internal epithelium
of the uterine tubes has ciliated cells
that move the ovum or the fecundated
egg cell toards the uterus.
18" 7ow long after o$ulation
must fecundation occur to be
effecti$e%
If fecundation does not occur
approximately ?@ hours after ovulation
the released ovum often dies.
1/" #hat is the structure into
which the follicle is
transformed after o$ulation%
#hat is the im(ortance of that
structure in the menstrual
cycle%
The follicle that released the ovum
suffers the action of K/ and is
transformed into the corpus luteum. The
corpus luteum is very important
because it secretes estrogen and
progesterone.
These hormones prepare the uterine
mucosa, also knon as endometrium,
for nidation $implantation of the zygote
in the uterine all% and embryonic
development since they stimulate the
thickening of the mucous tissue,
increase its vascularity and make the
appearing of uterine glycogen!producing
glands.
&0" #hat is the im(ortance of
the uterine glycogen4
(roducing glands%
The uterine glands produce glycogen
that can be degraded into glucose to
nourish the embryo before the complete
development of the placenta.
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&1" 7ow does the hy(o(hysis4
cor(us luteum negati$e
feedback work% #hat is the
name gi$en to the atro(hied
cor(us luteum after this
feedback (rocess%
'fter ovulation the estrogen and
progesterone secretions from the corpus
luteum inhibit the hypophyseal 8,/ and
K/ secretions $this happens by inhibition
of 6n5/, gonadotropin!releasing
hormone, a hypothalamic hormone%.
The blood concentration of these
adenohypophyseal hormones falls to
basal levels again. 's K/ loers the
corpus luteum $luteum means CyelloD%
becomes atrophic and turns into the
corpus albicans $ChiteD%. "ith the
regression of the corpus luteum the
production of estrogen and
progesterone ceases.
&&" !n hormonal terms why
does menses occur%
1enses is the endometrial monthly
des&uamation that occurs as the
estrogen and progesterone levels fall
after the regression of the corpus
luteum because these hormones, mainly
progesterone, can no longer support
and maintain the thickening of the
endometrium.
&*" #hat is the e)(lanation
for the bleeding that
accom(anies menses%
The hemorrhage that accompanies
menses occurs because the
endometrium is a richly vascularized
tissue. The rupture of blood vessels of
the uterine mucosa during the
menstrual des&uamation causes the
bleeding.
&+" #hich are the (hases of
the menstrual cycle%
The menstrual cycle is divided into to
main phases2 the follicular $or
menstrual% phase and the luteal $or
secretory% phase.
The menstrual phase begins at the first
day of menses and lasts until ovulation
$around the G@th day%. The luteal phase
begins after ovulation and ends hen
menses begins $around the ?>th day%.
&," !ncluding main e$ents and
hormonal changes how can
the menstrual cycle be
described%
-ne can imagine a cycle like an analog
clock at hich at = oQclock is the
beginning and the end of the menstrual
cycle and that 9 oQclock corresponds to
the G@h day of the cycle.
't = oQclock the menses and so the
menstrual cycle begins and 8,/ blood
level begins to increase. 'round ?
oQclock the maturing follicles under 8,/
action are already secreting estrogen
and the endometrium is thickening.
'round H oQclock estrogen is intensely
stimulating the increase of K/ blood
level. 't 9 oQclock $the G@th day% K/ is
at its maximum concentration and 8,/
also at high levels to promote ovulation,
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K/ then stimulates the formation of the
corpus luteum. 'round N oQclock the
corpus luteum is already secreting a
great amount of estrogen and
progesterone and the endometrium
thickens even more, concomitant
loering of 8,/ and K/ occurs ith the
increasing of the ovarian hormones.
'round GG oQclock the reduced K/ and
8,/ levels make the corpus luteum turn
into the corpus albicans, the production
of estrogen and progesterone ceases
and the endometrium regresses. 't =
oQclock again $?>th day% the
endometrium des&uamates and a ne
menstrual cycle begins.
&-" !n general what is the
(hase of the menstrual cycle
when co(ulation may lead to
fecundation%
'lthough this is not a rule, to be
effective fecundation in general must
occur ithin about ?@ hours after
ovulation $that occurs around the G@th
day of the menstrual cycle%.
8ecundation may occur even if
copulation took place up to H days
before ovulation since the male gametes
remain viable for about N? hours ithin
the female reproductive system.
The fertile period of the omen hoever
is considered the period from N days
before ovulation to N days after
ovulation.
&." #hat is the (art of the
female re(roducti$e system
where fecundation occurs%
8ecundation generally occurs in the
8allopian tubes but it can also take
place ithin the uterus. There are cases
hen fecundation may occur even
before the ovum enters the uterine
tube, a fact that may lead to a severe
medical condition knon as abdominal
pregnancy.
&8" 7ow does the se)ual
arousal mechanism in women
facilitate fecundation%
4uring sexual arousal in omen the
vagina secretes substances to neutralize
its acidity thus alloing the survival of
sperm cells ithin it. 4uring the female
fertile period hormones make the mucus
that covers the internal surface of the
uterus less viscous to help the passage
of sperm cells to the uterine tubes.
4uring copulation the uterine cervix
advances inside the vagina to facilitate
the entering of male gametes through
the cervical canal.
&/" #hat is nidation% !n which
(hase of the menstrual cycle
does nidation occur%
0idation is the implantantion of the
embryo in the uterus. 0idation occurs
around the Nth day after fecundation,
i.e., N to > days after ovulation
$obviously, it occurs only if fecundation
also occurs%. ,ince it occurs in the luteal
phase the progesterone level is high and
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the endometrium is in its best condition
to receive the embryo.
*0" #hat is tubal (regnancy%
1any times fecundation takes place in
the 8allopian tubes. 6enerally the nely
formed zygote is taken to the uterus
here nidation and the embryonic
development occur. In some cases
hoever the zygote cannot go don to
the uterus and the embryo implants
itself in the uterine tube tissue,
characterizing the tubal pregnancy.
Tubal pregnancy is a severe clinical
condition since often the tube ruptures
during gestation causing hemorrhage
and even death of the oman. The most
common treatment for tubal pregnancy
has been surgery.
*1" 7ow do hormonal tests to
detect (regnancy work%
Kaboratory tests to detect pregnancy
commonly test for human chorionic
gonadotropin $/.6% concentration in
blood or urine samples. If the level of
this hormone is abnormally high,
pregnancy is likely.
*&" oes the hy(o(hysis4
o$aries endocrine a)is work in
the same way during
(regnancy as in non4(regnant
women% !f (regnancy does
not occur how does another
menstrual cycle begin%
The functioning of the hypophysis is
altered during pregnancy. ,ince
estrogen and progesterone levels
remain elevated during the gestational
period the production of 6n5/
$gonadotropin!releasing hormone% from
the hypothalamus is inhibited. The lack
of 6n5/ thus inhibits the secretion of
8,/ and K/ from the hypophysis and a
ne menstrual cycle does not begin.
If pregnancy does not occur the
loering of estrogen and progesterone
levels stimulates the production of
6n5/ by the hypothalamus. This
hormone then hastens the
adenohypophyseal secretion of 8/, and
K/ that in their turn stimulate the
maturation of follicles and the beginning
of a ne menstrual cycle.
**" #hat is the endocrine
function of the (lacenta%
The placenta besides being the organ
through hich the exchange of
substances beteen the mother and the
fetus is done also has the function of
secreting estrogen and progesterone to
keep a high level of these hormones
during pregnancy. $The placenta still
secretes other hormones like human
placental lactogen, that act similarly to
the hypophyseal hormones that regulate
reproduction, and /.6, human
chorionic gonadotropin.%
*+" 7ow do contrace(ti$e (ills
generally work%
.ontraceptive pills generally contain the
hormones estrogen and progesterone. If
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taken daily from the @th day after
menses the abnormal elevation of these
hormones acts upon the hypophysis!
hypothalamus endocrine axis inhibiting
the 8,/ and K/ secretions. ,ince these
hormones then do not reach their
normal high levels during the menstrual
cycle ovulation does not occur.
$Treatment ith contraceptive pills must
be initiated under medical supervision.%
*," #hat are the common
contraindications of the
contrace(ti$e (ills%
There are medical reports associating
the use of contraceptive pills ith
vomiting, nausea, vertigo, headaches,
hypertension and other pathological
conditions. ,ome research has
attempted to relate the medical
ingestion of estrogen and progesterone
ith increased propensity to
cardiovascular diseases $like infarction,
strokes and thrombosis% and to
malignant neoplasias $cancers%. 4octors
must alays be asked about the risks
and benefits of the contraceptive pill
prior to use.
*-" #hat are the most
common methods of male and
female surgical sterilization%
Pasectomy is the most common method
of surgical sterilization in men. In
vasectomy the vas deferens inside the
scrotum are sectioned and closed at a
section hich ill forbid the sperm cells
to follo to the e#aculatory duct but still
alloing the release of seminal fluid
during e#aculation.
,urgical sterilization of omen is often
done by bilateral tubal ligation. "ith
tubal ligation the ovum does not pass to
the uterus so the sperm cells cannot
reach it.
*." 7ow does the
contrace(ti$e dia(hragm
work% #hat are the
limitations of this
contrace(ti$e method%
The contraceptive diaphragm is an
artifact made of latex or plastic that
hen placed on the vaginal fundus
covers the uterine cervix forbidding the
passage of sperm cells through the
cervical canal. To be more effective the
diaphragm needs to be used together
ith spermicide. This method hoever
does not prevent sexually transmitted
diseases $,T4s%.
*8" #hy is the use of condoms
not Just a contrace(ti$e
method but also a health
(rotection beha$ior%
The use of condoms besides being an
efficient contraceptive method also
helps the prevention of diseases caused
by sexually transmitted agents $,T4s%,
like syphilis, gonorrhea, /7P $human
papilloma virus that may lead to genital
cancers% infestation, /IP infection, etc.
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*/" #hat is the normal
duration of the menstrual
cycle% 7ow does the calendar
contrace(ti$e method work%
The normal duration of the menstrual
cycle is ?> days but it can vary among
different omen or in different cycles of
the same oman.
In the calendar contraceptive method
the date n!G@ $n minus G@% is taken
considering n the number of days of the
normal menstrual cycle of the oman
$generally nB?>%. The safety margin AH
or MH refers to the days around n!G@
that intercourse should be avoided to
prevent pregnancy. $This method is not
exempt from failures. ' doctor must
alays be consulted before relying on
any contraceptive method.%
+0" 7ow is the o$ulation date
estimated with the control of
the womanGs body
tem(erature%
-ne method to estimate the exact
ovulation day is daily control of the
body temperature taken alays under
same conditions. 't the ovulation day
the body temperature often increases
about =.: degrees centigrade.
+1" #hat is the contrace(ti$e
mechanism of the !E%
The IL4 $intrauterine device% is a piece
of plastic coated ith copper that is
inserted ithin the uterus by a doctor.
.opper is then gradually released $IL4
may last : to G= years% and since it has
a spermicidal action sperm cells are
destroyed before fecundation. Besides
this mechanism the movement of the
IL4 inside the uterus causes slight
endometrial inflammation that helps to
prevent nidation.
+&" Denerally how does a male
animal realize that the female
is rece(ti$e to co(ulation%
In most vertebrate species ith internal
fecundation the females have
reproductive cycles ith fertile periods.
4uring this period the female secretes
pheromones $odoriferous substances
that attract the male of the species%
from the skin and mucosae. The
presence of the male individual and his
pheromones also stimulates the release
of pheromones by the female. $1any
animals also use pheromones for
territorial demarcation and for signal
transmission beteen individuals about
the location of dangers and food.%
+*" #hat is (arthenogenesis%
7arthenogenesis is the reproduction or
formation of a ne individual from the
egg cell but ithout fecundation by the
male gamete. 'ccording to the species,
individuals born by parthenogenesis
may be male or female, or of any sex.
In bees the drone $the single male bee%
is haploid and born by parthenogenesis
hile the females $&ueen and orkers%
are diploid.
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=mbryology
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=mbryonic
e$elo(ment
1" #hat is the cell di$ision
(rocess directly related to the
embryonic growth%
The embryonic groth depends directly
on mitosis. Through this type of cell
division the zygote divides itself giving
birth to a series of cells that by mitosis
also compose differentiated tissues and
organs until the formation of a complete
individual.
&" #hat is the function of the
$itellus in the $ertebrate egg%
7ow are these eggs classified
according to the amount of
$itellus within them%
Pitellus $yolk% is the nutritive material
that accumulates in the cytoplasm of
the egg $zygote% ith the function of
nourishing the embryo. 'ccording to the
amount of vitellus in them, the
vertebrate eggs are classified as
oligolecithal $little yolk%, centrolecithal,
or heterolecithal $more yolk diffusely
distributed% and telolecithal $more yolk
concentrated in one end of the egg%.
*" #hat are the animal (ole
and the $egetal (ole of the
$ertebrate egg%
The animal pole of a telolecithal egg is
the portion of the egg ith little vitellus,
it is opposite to the vegetal pole hich
is the region here the yolk is
concentrated.
+" #hat are the four initial
stages of the embryonic
de$elo(ment%
The four initial stages of the embryonic
development are the morula stage, the
blastula stage, the gastrula stage and
the neurula stage.
," #hat is the cell di$ision
during the first stage of the
embryonic de$elo(ment
called% 7ow is this stage
characterized%
The cell division in the first stage of the
embryonic developments is called
cleavage, or segmentation. In this stage
several mitoses occur from the zygote
forming the ne embryo.
-" #hat are the cells (roduced
in the first stage of the
embryonic de$elo(ment
called%
The cells that result from the cleavage
$the first stage of the embryonic
development% are called blastomeres. In
this stage the embryo is called morula
$similar to a CmorusD, mulberry%.
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." After the morula stage what
is the ne)t stage% #hat is the
mor(hological feature that
defines this stage%
'fter passing the morula stage in hich
the embryo is a compact mass of cells,
the next stage is the blastula stage. In
the blastula stage the compactness is
lost and an internal cavity filled ith
fluid appears inside, the blastocele.
8" After the blastula stage
what is the following stage of
the embryonic de$elo(ment%
#hat is the (assage from
blastula to the ne)t stage
called%
The blastula turns into gastrula in a
process knon as gastrulation.
/" #hat is gastrulation% 7ow
during gastrulation are the
first two germ layers formed%
#hat are these germ layers%
6astrulation is the process through
hich a portion of the blastula all
undergoes invagination inside the
blastocele, forming a tube called
archenteron $primitive intestine%. The
cells of the inner side of the tube form
the endoderm $germ layer% and the cells
of the outer side form the ectoderm
$another germ layer%. It is the beginning
of the tissue differentiation in embryonic
development.
10" #hat are the archenteron
and the blasto(ore% #hat is
the stage of the embryonic
de$elo(ment in which these
structures are formed% #hat
are the destinations of the
archenteron and of the
blasto(ore%
'rchenteron is the tube formed during
gastrulation by means of invagination of
the blastula all inside the blatocele. It
is the origin of the gastrointestinal tract.
Blastopore is the opening of the
archenteron to the exterior. The
blastopore gives birth to one of the
extremities of the digestive tube2 the
mouth in protostome beings, or the
anus in deuterostome beings.
11" 7ow is the mesoderm
2third germ layer3 of
tri(loblastic animals formed%
The mesoderm appears from
differentiation of endodermal cells that
cover the dorsal region of the
archenteron.
1&" #hat are the three ty(es
of germ layers that form
tissues and organs in animals%
The three germ layers are the
ectoderm, the mesoderm and the
endoderm.
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1*" 7ow are animals classified
according to the germ layers
(resent in their embryonic
de$elo(ment%
.nidarians are diploblastic, i.e., they
present only endoderm and ectoderm.
"ith the exception of poriferans, all
remaining animals are triploblastic.
7oriferans do not present differentiated
tissue organization and so they do not
classify regarding germ layers $although
sometimes they are mentioned as
diploblastic%.
1+" 7ow does the embryo turn
from gastrula into neurula%
7ow is the neural tube
formed% #hat is the
embryonic origin of the
ner$ous system in
$ertebrates%
The neurula stage is characterized by
the appearance of the neural tube along
the dorsal region of the embryo. The
groth of mesoderm in that region
induces the differentiation of ectodermal
cells #ust above. These cells then
differentiate forming the neural tube. ,o
the origin of the nervous system is the
ectoderm $the same germ layer that
gives birth to the skin%.
1," #hat is the notochord%
7ow is this structure formed%
The notochord is a rodlike structure that
forms the supporting axis of the embryo
and gives birth to the vertebral column
in vertebrates. It is formed by
differentiation of mesodermal cells.
1-" #hat is the coelom% To
which structures do coeloms
gi$e birth% Are all animals
coelomate%
.oeloms are cavities delimited by
mesoderm. .oeloms originate the
cavities here the internal organs of the
body are located, like the pericardial
cavity, the peritoneal cavity and the
pleural cavity.
Besides coelomate animals, there are
acoelomate animals, like
platyhelminthes, and pseudocoelomate
animals, like nematodes.
1." #hat is the germ layer
from which the coeloms
originate%
The coeloms are originated from
mesoderm.
18" #hat are (leura8
(ericardium and (eritoneum%
7leura is the membrane that covers the
lungs and the inner all of the chest(
pericardium is the membrane that
covers the heart( peritoneum is the
membrane that covers most organs of
the gastrointestinal tract and part of the
abdominal cavity. 'll these membranes
delimit coeloms $internal cavities%.
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1/" After the neurula stage
and from its $entral (ortion to
the dorsal how can the
mor(hology of the embryo be
described%
In a schematic longitudinal section of
the embryo after the neurula stage, the
outermost layer of cells is the ectoderm.
In the ventral region comes the
archenteron tube formed of endodermal
cells. In both sides of the embryo
coeloms delimited by mesoderm are
present. In the central region above the
archenteron and in the middle of the
coeloms there is the notochord. In the
dorsal region #ust above the notochord
lies the neural tube.
&0" #hat are somites%
,omites are differentiated portions of
mesodermal tissue longitudinally
distributed along the embryo. The
somites originate the muscle tissue and
portions of the connective tissues.
&1" #hat are histogenesis and
organogenesis%
/istogenesis is the process of tissue
formation in the embryonic
development. -rganogenesis is the
process of organ formation. Before
histogenesis and organogenesis the
primitive embryonic structures have
been already formed2 germ layers,
neural tube, notochord, coeloms,
somites.
&&" From which germ layer do
the e(idermis and the ner$ous
system originate% #hat are
other organs and tissues made
from that germ layer%
3pidermis and nervous system have the
same embryonic origin2 the ectoderm.
The epidermal appendages $like nails,
hair, seat glands and sebaceous
glands%, the mammary glands, the
adenohypophysis, the cornea, the
crystalline lens and the retina are also
derived from ectoderm.
&*" From which germ layer do
blood cells originate% #hat
are other organs and tissues
made from that germ layer%
Blood cells have a mesodermal
embryonic origin. -ther organs made
from mesoderm are2 covering serous
membranes like the pericardium, the
peritoneum and the pleura, muscles,
cartilages, dermis, adipose tissue,
kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra,
gonads, blood and lymph vessels,
bones.
&+" From which germ layer do
the li$er and the (ancreas
originate% #hat are other
organs and tissues made from
that germ layer%
The liver and the pancreas are
originated from the endoderm. 'lso
from endodermal origin are the epithelia
of the airay, the epithelia of the
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bladder, of the urethra and of the 6I
tube $except of the mouth and anus%,
the alveolar cells of the lungs and the
thyroid and parathyroid glands.
&," #hat are twins%
Denetically what are the two
ty(es of twins that can be
generated%
Tins are simultaneously generated
$ithin the motherQs uterus% offspring.
Tins classify according to zygosity as
monozygotic or as dizygotic tins.
1onozygotic tins, also knon as
identical tins, are those originated
from one single fertilized ovum
$therefore from one single zygote%(
monozygotic tins are genetically
identical, i.e., they have identical
genotypes and are necessarily of the
same sex. 4izygotic tins, also knon
as fraternal tins, are those generated
from to different ova fecundated by
to different sperm cells( so they are
not genetically identical and they are
not necessarily of the same sex.
&-" #hat is (olyembryony%
7olyembryony is the phenomenon in
hich a single embryo in its initial
embryonic stage divides itself forming
many ne individuals of the same sex
and genetically identical. This is the
ay, for example, in hich reproduction
takes place in armadillos of the genus
4asypus. 7olyembryony is an example
of natural CcloningD.
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=)traembryonic
0embranes
1" #hat are e)traembryonic
membranes%
3xtraembryonic membranes are
membranous structures that appear in
parallel ith the embryo and play
important roles in the embryonic
development. They form from the
embryo but do not become part of the
individual organism after its birth.
&" #hat are the
e)traembryonic membranes
(resent in $ertebrates%
The extraembryonic membranes that
may be present in vertebrates are the
yolk sac, the amnion, the chorion, the
allantois and the placenta.
*" Are the e)traembryonic
membranes the same in all
$ertebrates%
The presence of each extraembryonic
membrane varies according to the
vertebrate class.
In fishes and amphibians only the yolk
sac is present. In reptiles and birds
besides the yolk sac there are also the
amnion, the chorion and the allantois.
In placental mammals besides all these
membranes the placenta is present too.
+" 7ow is the yolk sac formed%
#hat is the function of the
yolk sac%
The yolk sac is formed from the
covering of the vitellus by some cells
originated from the primitive gut.
The yolk sac stores vitellus, the main
nourishment source of non!placental
embryos.
," #hich is the
e)traembryonic membrane
whose function is to store
nitrogen wastes of the
embryo% !s this function
(resent in (lacental
mammalian embryos%
The allantois is the extraembryonic
membrane hose function is to store
the excreted matter of the embryo.
In placental mammals the allantois is
present but it does not exert that
function since the embryonic astes are
collected by the motherQs body through
the placenta.
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-" #hy can the allantois be
considered an ada(tation to
terrestrial life%
The allantois is an adaptation to dry
land because in embryos of oviparous
terrestrial beings, like reptiles and birds,
the metabolic residuals cannot be
immediately excreted to the a&uatic
surrounds $as fishes and amphibian
larvae do%. It as necessary then for
the appearance of a structure capable of
storing the embryonic excretes until
hatching.
." #hat is the difference
between amnion and chorion%
'mnion is the membrane that covers
the embryo. .horion is the membrane
that covers the amnion, the yolk sac
and the allantois. The space delimited
by the chorion and the amnion is called
amniotic cavity and it is filled ith
aminiotic fluid. The amniotic cavity has
the functions of preventing desiccation
of the embryo and of protecting it
against mechanical shocks.
8" #hy can the amnion also be
considered an ada(tation to
terrestrial life%
The amnion is also an adaptation to dry
land since one of its functions is to
prevent desiccation of the embryo.
/" #hat is the chorioallantois
membrane (resent in the
embryonic de$elo(ment of
re(tiles and birds% 7ow does
this membrane (artici(ate in
the energetic metabolism of
the embryo%
The chorioallantois membrane is formed
by #uxtaposition of some regions of the
chorion and the allantois. ,ince it is
porous, the chorioallantois membrane
allos the passage of gases beteen
the embryo and the exterior thus
making aerobic cellular respiration
possible.
10" !n which ty(e of animals
does the (lacenta e)ist% #hat
is its main function%
True placenta is present in placental
mammals.
The placenta is formed from the chorion
of the embryo and from the motherQs
endometrium. Its main function is to
allo the exchange of substances
beteen the fetus and the motherQs
body.
11" #hat are the main
substances transferred from
the mother to the fetus
through the (lacenta% And
from the fetus to the mother%
8rom the mother to the fetus the main
transferred substances through the
placenta are ater, oxygen, nutrients
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and antibodies. 8rom the fetus to the
mother, metabolic astes, including
urea $nitrogen aste%, and carbon
dioxide.
1&" !s there a e)change of
cells between the mother and
the fetus through the
(lacenta%
Lnder normal conditions, there is no
passage of cells across the placenta
during gestation. The placenta has a
smooth mucosa separating the richly
vascularized region in contact ith the
motherQs endometrium from the
umbilical cord in contact ith the fetal
blood. This barrier is knon as placental
barrier. 'lthough permeable to some
substances $selective permeability% the
placental barrier forbids the passage of
cells.
1*" #hat are the endocrine
functions of the (lacenta%
The placenta has endocrine function
since it secretes the hormones
progesterone and estrogen that
maintain the endometrium $internal
covering of the uterus% and prevent
menses during pregnancy. The placenta
also secretes other important hormones
for pregnancy regulation.
1+" #hat is the function of the
umbilical cord%
The umbilical cord is a set of blood
vessels that connects the fetus ith the
placenta. In the fetus one extremity of
the cord inserts into the center of the
abdominal all $the later scar of this
insertion is the umbilicus or navel%.
The function of the umbilical cord is to
allo the transport of substances,
nutrients, gases and residuals, beteen
the fetus and the motherQs body.
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Biology Questions and Answers
Botany
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Biology Questions and Answers
;lant 6lassification
1" #hat are the main cellular
features of the beings of the
(lant kingdom%
The typical plant cells are eukaryotic
$have nucleus%, autotrophic $produce
their on food% and photosynthetic $use
light to make food%. 7lant cells also
have chloroplasts and a cell all $a
structure exterior to the plasma
membrane% made of cellulose.
&" 7ow different are animal
cells from (lant cells%
"hile plant cells are eukaryotic,
autotrophic, photosynthetic and have
chloroplasts and cell all, the animal
cells are eukaryotic, heterotroph and do
not present chloroplasts nor cell all.
*" o (lants ha$e tissue
organization and s(ecialized
organs%
7lants have specialized organs $like
reproductive organs, roots, limbs,
leaves% and differentiated tissues
$vascular tissue in tracheophytes,
support tissue, parenchyma, etc.%
+" #hat are the subkingdoms
into which the (lant kingdom
is di$ided%
The kingdom 7lantae is divided into to
big subkingdoms2 the bryophytes and
the tracheophytes $pteridophytes,
gymnosperms and angiosperms%. The
criterion for the division is the presence
or not of conductive $vascular% tissue.
," #hat is the difference
between bryo(hytes and
tracheo(hytes%
Bryophytes are nonvascular plants
$mosses, liverorts, hornorts%, i.e.,
they do not have a conductive system
for transport of sugar, ater and
nutrients. Tracheophyte plants are
vascular plants, they have conductive
structures.
-" #hat are the four main
grou(s into which the study of
the (lants is di$ided%
In Botany the plant kingdom is divided
into bryophytes, pteridophytes,
gymnosperms and angiosperms.
." #hat is the difference
between cry(togamic and
(hanerogamic (lants%
.ryptogamic $hidden sex organs% plants
are those that do not present floers or
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seeds. They comprise the bryophytes
and the pteridophytes.
7hanerogamic plants are those having
seeds. They comprise the gymnosperms
and the angiosperms.
8" #hat are the two di$isions
of the angios(erms%
The angiosperms are divided into
monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous.
$These categories are explained later in
this text.%
/" #hat are the three basic
se)ual life cycles studied in
Biology% #hich of them
corres(onds to metagenesis%
#hich of them is the human
life cycle%
,exual reproduction may take place
through three different types of life
cycles2 the haplontic $the being is
haploid% haplobiontic $a single type of
being% cycle( the diplontic $the being is
haploid% haplobiontic $a single type of
being% cycle( and the diplobiontic cycle
$to types of beings, one haploid and
the other diploid%. The diblobiontic cycle
is knon as alternation of generations,
or metagenesis. In humans the cycle is
diplontic haplobiotic $a single diploid
being%.
10" #hat res(ecti$ely are
zygotic meiosis8 gametic
meiosis and s(oric meiosis%
Jygotic meiosis is the one that occurs in
the haplontic haplobiontic life cycle.
6ametes from adult haploid individuals
unite forming the diploid zygote. The
zygote undergoes meiosis and
generates four haploid cells that by
mitosis develop into adult individuals.
Therefore in the zygotic meiosis the cell
that undergoes meiosis is the zygote
and the gametes are formed by mitosis.
6ametic meiosis is that in hich meiosis
produces gametes, i.e., haploid cells
that each of hich can unite ith
another gamete forming the zygote. It
occurs in the diplontic haplobiontic life
cycle $e.g., in humans% in hich the
individual is diploid and meiosis forms
gametes.
,poric meiosis happens in metagenesis
$alternation of generations, or
diplobiontic life cycle%. In this life cycle
cells from the diploid individual $called
sporophyte% undergo meiosis producing
haploid spores that do not unite ith
others but instead develop by mitosis
into haploid individuals $called
gametophytes%. In this life cycle the
gametes are made by mitosis from cells
of the gametophyte.
11" Are gametes always made
by meiosis%
In the plant life cycle $diplobiontic life
cycle% and in the haplontic haplobiontic
life cycle gametes are made by mitosis
and not by meiosis. -bviously in some
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stage of these sexual life cycles meiosis
must occur.
1&" #hy is the (lant life cycle
known as alternation of
generations%
The plant life cycle is knon as
alternation of generations because in
this cycle there are to different forms
of living beings that alternate each
other, one haploid and the other diploid.
'lternation of generations is also called
the diplobiontic cycle, or metagenesis,
and it does not occur only in plants,
other living beings, like cnidarians,
present the cycle.
1*" For each of the three ty(es
of life cycles what is the
res(ecti$e (loidy of the
indi$idual that re(resents the
adult or lasting form%
In the haplontic haplobiontic life cycle
the single and lasting form is haploid. In
the diplontic haplobiontic life cycle it is
diploid. In the diplobiontic life cycle the
lasting individual that alternates ith
the intermediate form may be the
haploid gametophyte $as in bryophytes%
or the diploid sporophyte $as in
pteridophytes%.
1+" o (lants (resent only
se)ual re(roduction%
There are asexual forms of reproduction
in plants. ,ome naturally detached
pieces of root, limbs or leaves develop
into another complete individual.
'rtificial asexual reproduction of plants
can be obtained by means of grafting or
cutting.
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Bryo(hytes
1" #hat are the main
characteristics of the
bryo(hytes%
Bryophytes are nonvascular plants, i.e.,
they do not have conductive tissues and
they perform transport of ater and
nutrients by diffusion( they are
cryptogamic, i.e., they do not present
floers or seeds( they are small in size(
they present ater!dependant
fecundation( in their life cycle the
lasting form is haploid $the
gametophyte% and the sporophyte
depends on the gametophyte to survive.
&" #hat are the main
bryo(hyte grou(s%
The main bryophyte groups are the
mosses, the liverorts and the
hornorts.
*" 7ow is the trans(ort of
substances done across the
bryo(hyte tissues% 7ow is this
feature related to the general
size of these (lants%
In bryophytes there are no ater!
conducting or nutrient!conducting
structures and the transport of these
substances is done by cell to cell
diffusion. The small size of bryophytes
relates to this feature since if there are
no conductive vessels it is not viable to
have cells too far from each other $the
emergence of the conductive tissues in
tracheophytes alloed their increase in
size%.
+" #hat is the life cycle ty(e
of bryo(hytes%
's in all plants the life cycle of
bryophytes is diplobiontic $alternation of
generations%. In bryophytes the lasting
form is the haploid one.
," !n general where is the
s(oro(hyte (ositioned in
relation to the gameto(hyte in
bryo(hytes% 7ow does the
s(oro(hyte obtain nutrients%
The bryophyte sporophyte in general is
a tiny long stem that gros on the top
of the gametophyte. The sporophyte
depends totally upon the gametophyte
to obtain nutrients.
-" #hy can the bryo(hytes be
considered the @am(hibians of
the (lant worldA%
Kike adult amphibians, the bryophytes
live in the terrestrial environment but
they depend on ater to reproduce. 8or
this reason the nickname is #ustified.
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;terido(hytes
1" #hat are the main
re(resentati$es of the
(terido(hytes% !s this (lant
grou( cry(togamic or
(hanerogamic%
The better knon pteridophytes are the
ferns and the maidenhairs, from the
filicinae $filicopsida% group, and the
selaginellas, mosslike plants from the
lycopodineae group $lycopsida%.
7teridophytes are cryptogamic plants,
i.e., they are floerless and seedless.
&" 7ow different are
(terido(hytes from
bryo(hytes regarding
substance trans(ort%
7teridophytes are tracheophyte
$vascular% plants, i.e., they have tissues
specialized in conduction of ater and
nutrients. Bryophytes are nonvascular
plants. In pteridophytes therefore the
substance transport is done through
vessels and in bryophytes that transport
occurs by diffusion.
*" #hy are (terido(hytes
better ada(ted to dry land
than bryo(hytes% #ere
(terido(hytes always less
abundant than (hanerogamic
(lants%
'lthough bryophytes and pteridophytes
have ater!dependant gametes for
fecundation the emergence of
conductive vessels in this last group
facilitated life in a terrestrial
environment. The conductive vessels of
the pteridophytes collect ater from the
moist soil and distribute it to the cells.
Bryophytes do not have this option and
they depend entirely on the ater that
reaches the aerial part of the plant and
so they need to live in humid or rainy
places.
Before the ascension of the
phanerogamic plants $plants that
present seeds% the pteridophytes ere
the plants that predominated in the
terrestrial environment. The large
pteridophyte forests of the
.arboniferous period $named after the
pteridophytes% are responsible for the
formation of coal deposits, mainly in
3urope, 'sia and 0orth 'merica( the
.arboniferous period occurred beteen
?<= and H9= million years ago and is
part of the 7aleozoic era.
+" #hat is the e$olutionary
im(ortance of (terido(hytes%
's the first tracheophytes,
pteridophytes ere also the first plants
to extensively colonize the terrestrial
environment forming forests. They also
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constituted an important source of food
for terrestrial animals. By presenting
conductive vessels they could be larger,
a feature inherited from them by
phanerogamic plants.
," #hat are the main (arts of
ferns%
8erns are constituted by small roots that
come donards from the rhizome
$stem, often horizontalized%. The fronds
also arise from the rhizome. -n the
back side of each leaf of the plant there
are small dustlike dots called sori
$singular, CsorusD, also knon as
CseedsD%.
-" #hat is the ty(e of life
cycle (resent in
(terido(hytes%
Kike all plants pteridophytes present
diplobiontic $alternation of generations,
or metagenesis% life cycle.
." #hy are (terido(hytes
more common in humid
(laces%
7teridophytes are more common in
humid places because they depend on
ater for their gametes to fecundate
one another. In humid environments
their reproduction is more intense and
they proliferate.
8" #hat is the structure of the
adult fern within which cells
undergoing meiosis can be
found%
In these plants meiosis takes place
ithin structures called sorus $plural,
sori%, small dustlike bron dots lining
the underside of fern leaves. The sori
contain sporangia here reproductive
cells undergo meiosis and here spores
are produced.
/" #hat is the (rothallus of
(terido(hytes%
7rothallus is the pteridophyte
gametophyte $the haploid individual
that forms gametes%. The gametophyte
develops by mitosis from a spore.
10" 7ow are gametes formed
in the (terido(hyte life cycle8
by mitosis or meiosis% #hat is
the ty(e of meiosis that occurs
in (terido(hytes%
In pteridophytes gametes are made by
mitosis from special cells of the
gametophyte. 's in all plants, in
pteridophytes, meiosis is sporic, i.e.,
cells of the sporophyte undergo meiosis
and generate spores that then by
mitosis develop into the gametophyte.
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11" #hat is the lasting form in
(terido(hytes8 the
gameto(hyte or the
s(oro(hyte% 7ow can it be
com(ared to bryo(hytes%
The lasting form in pteridophytes is the
diploid $?n% sporophyte $the fern itself,
for example%. In bryophytes the lasting
form is the gametophyte $n%.
1&" #hat is )a)im%
1ost pteridophytes have subterraneous
stems parallel to the substrate called
rhizomes. Uaxim is a type of
pteridophyte ith an aerial stem
generally perpendicular to the soil and
from hich hundreds of roots arise to
absorb ater from the environment.
The xaxim stem is used to make floer
pots and other plant supports for
gardening $also popularly knon as
xaxim%.
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Dymnos(erms
1" #hat are the main di$isions
and re(resenting s(ecies of
the gymnos(erms%
This group of plants can be divided into
conifers $pine, se&uoia, cypress%, that
have floers knon as strobiles
$cones%, cycads $very ancient
gymnosperms, like the cycads used in
garden architecture, that also form
strobiles%, gnetaceae $gnetum% and
ginkgos $the knon species is 6inkgo
biloba%.
&" 7ow different are
gymnos(erms from
bryo(hytes and
(terido(hytes%
6ymnosperms are not cryptogamic as
bryophytes and pteridophytes are. They
are phanerogamic and so they form
floers and seeds.
*" #hat is the e$olutionary
im(ortance of the emergence
of seeds in the (lant kingdom%
The evolutionary importance of the seed
is related to the plant capability of
distant colonization and to the
protection of the embryo. 3mbryo!
containing seeds can be carried by
ater, ind and animals and germinate
in different environments. This fact
contributes to the exploration of a
variety of ecological niches and for the
diversity of plant species.
,eeds in addition protect the plant
embryo against external aggressions
and they also provide germination under
more ade&uate conditions $inside the
seed%. These features contribute to the
evolutionary success of the
phanerogam.
+" !n which areas of the globe
is gymnos(erm abundance
noteworthy%
These plants are the typical vegetation
of cold regions like the taiga, or boreal
forest, of the northern hemisphere, or
the araucaria forests of the southern
hemisphere.
," #hat is the life cycle of the
gymnos(erms%
's all plants they present a diplobiontic
life cycle, i.e., alternation of generations
ith diploid and haploid stages. The
lasting $final% stage is the diploid one.
-" #hat is (ollen%
7ollen grains are the male
gametophytes of the phanerogamic
$floering% plants. Therefore ithin the
pollen grains the male gametes of these
plants are formed by mitosis.
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." 7ow are the male gametes
of gymnos(erms formed%
#hat is the relationshi(
between the (ollen grains and
the conce(t of alternation of
generations%
In the male strobiles $cones% there are
microsporophylls $fertile leaves of the
strobile% that contain microsporangia.
"ithin the microsporagium spore
mother cells undergo meiosis and
generate haploid microspores. The
microspore all develops into inglike
pro#ections $to facilitate its aerial
propagation% and mitosis occurs
producing to cells, the generative cell
and the tube cell. The final structure
containing these elements is the pollen
grain.
The pollen grain relates to the
alternation of generations since it is the
male gametophyte $the haploid stage of
the life cycle%.
8" 7ow are the female
gametes of gymnos(erms
formed% #hat is the
relationshi( between this
(rocess and the conce(t of
alternation of generations%
In the female strobiles $cones% there are
megasporophylls $fertile leaves of the
strobile% that contain megasporangia. In
the megasporangium the spore mother
cell undergoes meiosis generating four
haploid cells of hich three regress and
one gives birth to the functional
megaspore. The functional megaspore
by several mitosis forms the female
gametophyte that contains the
oospheres $female gametes% of the
plant. The female gametophyte is
located ithin the megasporangium that
has a small opening, the micropyle,
through hich the pollen tube enters.
The process is related to the diplobiontic
life cycle $alternation of generations%
since the functional megaspore
generates the haploid stage of the plant
$the female gametophyte%.
/" 7ow do fecundation and
zygote formation occur in
these (lants% o these
(rocesses de(end on water%
The microsporangia in the male strobile
rupture at the right period of the year
releasing thousands of pollen grains.
,ince their pollen grains are CingedD
they can be transported by the ind
over distances. "hen the pollen grains
fall into the female strobiles they pass
the micropyle and enter the pollen
chamber. This process is called
pollination.
"ithin the pollen chamber the
generative cell nucleus divides forming
to gametic nuclei and the tube cell
elongates forming the pollen tube. The
pollen tube penetrates the female
gametophyte and the gametic nuclei
$also knon as sperm nuclei% pass
through the tube( one of them unites
ith an oosphere $the female gamete%
and forms the zygote $?n%. 6enerally
fecundation occurs one year after
pollination and during this time interval
the maturation of the male and of the
female gametes takes place.
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The fecundation in these plants is
independent from ater. The
gametophytes hoever are entirely
dependent on the sporophyte $the adult
plant% for nutrition and hydration.
10" 7ow are the gymnos(erm
seeds formed% #hat are the
(loidies of the structures that
com(ose the seeds%
Their seeds are formed from
differentiation of the megasporangia in
the female strobiles $cones%. 'fter an
oosphere is fecundated the female
gametophyte originates the haploid $n%
primary endosperm $nutritive tissue
that covers the embryo% and the
covering of the megasporangium turns
into the diploid $?n% seed shell.
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Angios(erms
1" #hat are angios(erms8 the
flowering (lants% #hat is the
main feature that
distinguishes them from the
gymnos(erms%
8loering plants have floers and seeds
$phanerogamic plants%. They differ from
gymnosperms by having their seeds
ithin fruits.
&" #hat are the two main
grou(s into which flowering
(lants are di$ided%
'ngiosperm plants are divided into
monocotyledonous $monocots% and
dicotyledonous $dicots%.
*" #hat are the main
mor(hological differences
between monocot (lants and
dicot (lants%
The main differentiation criteria beteen
monocots and dicots are2 number of
cotyledons $seed leaf% in seeds, one in
monocots and to in dicots( pattern of
leaf veins, parallel in monocots,
reticulated in dicots( multiplicity of petal
number, multiples of three in monocots,
multiples of four or five in dicots(
position of vascular bundles in the stem,
scattered in monocots, concentrically
ringed in dicots.
6rasses, banana tree, sugar cane,
orchids are examples of monocots.
,unfloers, oaks and aterlilies are
examples of dicots.
+" #hat are the androecium
and the gynoecium% #hat are
the other structures of
flowers%
'ndroecium is the set of male
reproductive structures of floers. It
comprehends the stamens formed of
filament and anther( one floer has one
androecium that may have one or
several stamens. 6ynoecium is the set
of female reproductive structures of
floers. It generally is composed of a
single pistil that includes the stigma, the
style and the ovary. The androecium
usually surrounds the central
gynoecium.
Besides the androecium and the
gynoecium typical floers are also made
of peduncle, sepals and petals.
," #hat is (ollination% #hat
are the main forms of
(ollination%
The process in hich pollen grains $the
male gametophytes of phanerogamic
plants% reach the female gametophyte is
called pollination.
The main forms of pollination are2
anemophily, in hich pollen is carried
by ind. /ydrophily, pollination helped
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by ater( entomophily, pollen carried by
insects( ornitophily, pollination by birds(
chiropterophily, pollen dissemination by
bats.
.haracteristics of the floers of each
plant species relate to the type of
pollination used by the plant. .olored
floers are specialized in bird and insect
attraction( nocturnal floers generally
are hite and perfumed, many
specialized in pollination by bats( the
nectar is also a specialization to attract
pollinator animals( floers that produce
an exaggerated amount of pollen often
use the ind as pollinator( the position
of anthers more external or internal
next to the nectar is a ay to facilitate
the pollen dissemination respectively by
the ind or by animals.
-" 7ow are the male
gameto(hytes and the male
gametes formed in
angios(erms%
In the anthers of each stamen there are
pollen sacs. "ithin the pollen sacs there
are microspore mother cells, or
microsporocytes. These cells undergo
meiosis forming microspores. 3ach
microspore by mitosis forms a pollen
grain containing one generative cell and
one tube cell. The pollen grain is the
male gametophyte.
"hen pollination occurs and the pollen
grain makes contact ith the stigma
$the apex of the pistil% the tube cell
elongates its cytoplasm forming the
pollen tube that gros toards the
ovary. The generative cell divides
forming to sperm nuclei $male
gametes% that migrate through the
pollen tube.
." 7ow many cellular nuclei
does the (ollen tube of
angios(erms ha$e% #hat is
the (loidy of each of these
nuclei%
The pollen tube that is the mature male
gametophyte of angiosperms has three
cellular nuclei2 to sperm nuclei and
one tube cell nucleus.
'll those nuclei are part of the male
gametophyte of the plant and thus each
of them is haploid $n%.
8" 7ow is the female
gameto(hyte formed in
angios(erms%
In the floer ovary there are
megasporangia enclosed by a tegument
having a small opening, the micropyle.
"ithin the megasporangium there is a
megasporocyte, or megaspore mother
cell, that undergoes meiosis forming
four megaspores of hich three regress
and only one is functional. The
functional megaspore undergoes $three%
mitosis generating eight cells that as a
hole form the embryonic sac.
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/" #hat is the embryonic sac%
#hich are the cells that form
the embryonic sac% #hat are
their (loidies%
The embryonic sac is the female
gametophyte of angiosperms.
The embryonic sac is composed of three
cells that remain next to the micropyle,
to lateral synergids and the central
oosphere $egg%( one binucleated cell,
the polar nuclei, is placed in the central
region( three antipodal cells stay in the
opposite side to the micropyle.
,ince all these cells come by mitosis
from the functional megaspore they are
haploid $n%.
10" After (ollination how does
fecundation occur in
angios(erms% !n these (lants
is fecundation de(endent on
water%
'fter pollination one of the sperm nuclei
from the pollen tube unites ith the
oosphere of the embryonic sac forming
the diploid $?n% zygote. The other
sperm nucleus fuses ith the polar
nuclei of the embryonic sac originating a
triploid $Hn% cell that by mitosis ill turn
into the secondary endosperm of the
seed. The synergids and the antipodal
cells degenerate after the fecundation
process.
8ecundation in these plants is
independent from ater.
11" #hat is the difference
between self (ollination and
cross (ollination% #hich of
these two modes of
(ollination contributes more
to the (lant di$ersity%
,elf pollination occurs hen pollen
grains from a floering plant fall into
the pistils of the same plant and thus
gametes from the same individual unite
to form a zygote. .ross pollination
occurs hen pollinators carry pollen
grains from a plant to reach other
individual plants of the same species
thus gametes of different individuals
form the zygote.
,ince it promotes formation of zygotes
containing genes from different
individuals $ne gene combinations%
cross pollination contributes more to
biological diversity.
1&" #hat is dichogamy%
4ichogamy is the phenomenon of the
maturation of female reproductive
structures of the plant in a different
period to the maturation of the male
reproductive structures. 4ichogamy
prevents self pollination and makes
cross pollination almost obligatory so
assisting in an evolutionary strategy to
promote genetic recombination.
1*" #hat are the ty(ical
structures of the seed% #hat
is endos(erm%
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' typical seed is composed of the
embryo, endosperm and shell. "ithin
seeds of angiosperms there are one or
to cotyledons $seed leaf, one in
monocots, to in dicots%.
The endosperm is the tissue ithin the
seed that has the function of nourishing
the embryo.
1+" 7ow different are the
endos(erm of gymnos(erms
and the endos(erm of
angios(erms%
In gymnosperms the endosperm is
haploid $n%, it is called primary
endosperm. In angiosperm the
endosperm is triploid $Hn%, it is called
secondary endosperm.
1," #hat are cotyledons%
.otyledons, or seed leaves, are
structures formed by the embryo of
angiosperms to absorb nutrients from
the endosperm and to store and
transfer these nutrients to the embryo.
$.otyledons are auxiliary embryonic
structures%.
,eeds of monocots have a single
cotyledon. ,eeds of dicots have to
cotyledons.
1-" #hat are the main
functions of fruits%
The main functions of fruits are the
protection and spreading of seeds.
1." From which floral
structure do fruits come%
8ruits are modified ovaries of the
floers.
18" 7ow are fruits formed%
The fecundation in angiosperms triggers
the release of hormones that act upon
the ovaries. The ovary all then
develops into a fruit that contains the
seeds.
1/" Are fruits always the flesh
(art of the @fruitsA% !s the
edible (art of the onion a
fruit%
In some so!called fruits the actual fruit
is not the flesh part. 8or example, the
flesh part of the straberry is not the
fruit. The fruits are the small hard dots
on the surface of the straberry.
'nother example2 the flesh part of the
cashe is not the fruit. The fruit is the
nut.
The edible part of the onion is the stem
of the plant and not the fruit.
&0" #hy are there (lants
ha$ing single4seeded fruits
and (lants ha$ing fruits with
more than one seed%
7lants that produce single!seeded fruits,
for example, mango and avocado, often
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have ovaries ith only one egg inside.
8ruits ith more than one seed are
originated from plants hose ovaries
have more than one egg.
&1" #hat are infructescences8
(seudofruits and
(arthenocar(ic fruits%
Infructescences are aggregated fruits
formed from inflorescences, aggregated
floers. 6rape clusters are examples of
infructescences. 7seudofruits are CfruitsD
not made in the ovaries and in general
their true fruits lack development and
are found ithin the flesh, like in apples
and pears. 7arthenocarpic fruits are
those made ithout fecundation, by
means of hormonal stimuli, like
bananas.
&&" #hat is the e$olutionary
im(ortance of the fruits for
the angios(erms%
The fruits contain seeds and they can
detach from the plant falling on the
ground or can serve as food for animals.
Therefore ith the emergence of fruits
the seeds of angiosperms could be
transported across long distances
contributing to the propagation of the
species.
&*" #hat are the trends of the
gameto(hyte in the e$olution
of (lants%
' tendency of the gametophyte
evolution in plants has been toards the
formation of gametes that are
independent from ater. In bryophytes
and in pteridophytes the fecundation is
totally dependent on ater. In
phanerogamic plants such dependency
does not exist.
'nother tendency is the reduction in the
size and duration of the gametophyte.
In bryophytes the gametophyte is
indeed the lasting stage. In
pteridophytes, gymnosperms and
angiosperms it became the temporary
stage and its relative size as
successively reduced.
' third evolutionary trend relates to the
interdependency beteen gametophytes
and sporophytes. In bryophytes the
sporophyte is entirely dependent on the
gametophyte to survive. In the
remaining plants the sporophyte is the
independent stage and the once
autotrophic gametophyte in bryophytes
and pteridophytes became dependent
upon the sporophyte in the
phanerogamic plants.
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;lant Tissues
1" 7ow are the (lant tissues
classified according to their
functions%
7lant tissues are divided into groth
$embryonic% tissues, supporting, filling
and photosynthetic tissues $ground
tissues%, conductive $vascular% tissues
and covering $dermal% tissues.
3mbryonic tissues2 primary meristems(
secondary meristems. ,upporting
tissues2 collenchyma( sclerenchyma.
8illing and photosynthetic tissues2
photosynthetic parenchyma( storage
parenchyma. .onductive tissues2
xylem( phloem. .overing tissues2
epidermis( periderm.
&" #hich are the growth
tissues of (lants% 7ow do they
classify and where can they be
found%
The groth tissues of the plants are the
meristems. 1eristems are the tissues
that produce the plant groth giving
birth to all other tissues( they are
formed of undifferentiated cells having
intense cell division rate. 1eristems
classify as primary meristems and as
secondary meristems.
7rimary meristems are found in the
apex of the stem, in the lateral buds of
the stem, in the basis and tips of the
shoots and ithin the root cap. 7rimary
meristems are responsible for the
primary groth $lengthening% of the
plant.
,econdary meristems are those that
make the plant gro in thickness
$secondary groth% and they are
formed by tissues that thicken the
stem2 cambium and phellogen $cork
cambium%.
*" #hat is the difference
between the lateral and the
a(ical buds of the (lants%
Kateral buds are portions of
meristematic tissue located in the base
of the shoots. 'pical buds are portions
of meristematic tissue situated in the tip
of the stem and shoots.
+" #hat are a(ical meristems%
#hich ty(e of (lant growth
does this meristem (romote%
'pical meristems are those primary
meristems found in the apex of the
stem and in the tips of shoots and roots.
The apical meristems are responsible for
the primary groth of the plants.
," #hat are lateral
meristems% #here can they
be found and which ty(e of
(lant growth do they
(romote%
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Kateral, or secondary, meristems, are
the cambium and the phellogen $also
knon as cork cambium%, tissues from
the stem, branches and roots that by
mitosis generate other tissues. These
tissues participate in the secondary
groth of plant, i.e., in the thickening of
the stem, branches and roots.
-" #hat are the main features
of the meristematic cells% #hy
do these cells need to ha$e a
high mitotic rate%
1eristematic cells have very thin cell
alls, small vacuoles, a ell!centralized
nucleus and they are constantly
undergoing mitosis. 1eristematic cells
need a high mitotic rate because they
are responsible for the plant groth.
." #hat is the best
identification hy(othesis for a
(lant tissue seen under the
microsco(e ha$ing most cells
undergoing cell di$ision%
The best hypothesis is that the tissue is
a sample of meristematic tissue.
1eristematic tissues seen under the
microscope have many cells undergoing
mitosis.
8" #hich are the (lant tissues
res(onsible for the su((orting
of the (lant%
The plant supporting tissues are the
collenchyma and the sclerenchyma.
The collenchyma is made of living and
elongated cells that accumulate
cellulose and pectin in some regions of
the cell all making them une&ually
thick and thus providing flexibility.
The sclerenchyma is made mostly of
dead cells killed by lignin deposition
$lignin is an impermeable biopolymer%
forming elongated, rigid and
impermeable fibers. The sclerenchyma
is a plant tissue idely used in the
textile industry.
/" #hich is the (lant tissue
res(onsible for the filling of
the s(ace between other
tissues%
The plant!filling tissue is generically
called parenchyma. The plant
parenchyma can be divided into
photosynthetic parenchyma, a tissue
that has cells ith many chloroplasts
and a high photosynthesis rate found
mainly in leaves, and storage
parenchyma, specialized in the storage
of ater $e.g., in cactus%, starch or air
$e.g., in a&uatic plants%.
10" #here in the lea$es is the
(hotosynthetic tissue often
located%
The main photosynthetic tissue is the
photosynthetic parenchyma $also knon
as chlorenchyma, do not confuse ith
collenchyma% often located beteen the
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superior and the inferior epidermis of
the leaves.
11" 7ow are water8 mineral
salts and food 2sugar3
trans(orted throughout the
(lant%
"ater, mineral salts and sugar are
transported throughout the plant
through conductive vessels formed by
specialized tissues.
1&" #hich are the s(ecialized
conducti$e tissues of the
(lants%
The vascular tissues of the plants are
the xylem and the phloem. Uylem is the
plant tissue that forms the vessels that
conduct ater and mineral salts
absorbed from the soil to the plant cells.
7hloem is the plant tissue that forms
the vessels that conduct dissolved sugar
from the leaves $here they are
produced by photosynthesis% to other
plant cells.
1*" #hat are the cell ty(es
that form the )ylem% #hat are
the main features of those
cells%
The main cells of the xylem are the
tracheids and the vessel elements
$these only in angiosperms%. The
tracheids and the vessel elements are
dead cells that have lost their cytoplasm
and only their cell all impregnated ith
lignin $an impermeable biopolymer%
remained. The tracheids form tubes that
communicate ith neighboring tubes
through pores( the vessel elements do
not present pores but instead they
communicate ith the successive vessel
element through perforations in their
extremities.
1+" #hat are the cell ty(es
that form the (hloem% #hat
are the main features of those
cells%
The main cells that form the phloem are
the sieve elements and the companion
cells. The sieve elements form the
vessel alls( they are living enucleated
cells positioned in series forming the
sieve tubes. Beteen successive vessel
elements there are communicating
pores. The companion cells are located
outside and alongside the sieve tubes
and they help in the absorption of the
material to be transported.
1," #hat is the $ascular
cambium% #hat is its
function%
Pascular cambium is the secondary
meristematic tissue that in roots and in
the stem forms the vascular tissues
$xylem and phloem% of the plant.
Lsually the outer side of the vascular
cambium produces a layer of phloem
and the inner $more central% side of the
tissue produces a layer of xylem.
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1-" #hat are $ascular
bundles% 7ow does the
configuration of the $ascular
bundles within the stem
differentiate monocots from
dicots%
Pascular bundles are segments of xylem
and associated phloem that run
longitudinally ithin the stem. In dicots
the vascular bundles are organized side!
by!side forming concentric rings. In
monocots the vascular bundles are
scattered and do not form rings.
1." #hat are the main (lant
tissues that form the rings
obser$ed on stem sections of
some trees%
The rings observed on a stem cross
section of dicot trees are made of
conductive tissues2 xylem and phloem.
18" 7ow can the age of a tree
be estimated from the
analysis of the rings (resent
on a cross section of its stem%
8or the groth of the tree it is
necessary to have formation of ne
vessels ithin the stem, a task
performed by the vascular cambium.
The vascular cambium is more active in
hot seasons $summer and spring%
generating a lighter band made of large
calibered vessels. 4uring inter and fall
the vascular cambium produces the
opposite, so small calibered vessels and
a darker band appears outside the
previous lighter band. Therefore to
ring bands are made yearly, one lighter
and the other darker. By a direct count
of these band pairs one can estimate
the age of the tree.
1/" #hat are the (lant tissues
that constitute the functional
structures of the leaf $eins%
Keaf veins are made of vascular tissues.
They are constituted by xylem and
phloem that respectively conduct ater
and mineral nutrients $xylem% and sugar
$phloem%.
&0" #hich are the (lant
tissues s(ecialized in
co$ering%
The covering tissues, or dermal tissues,
of the plants are the epidermis $that
covers the leaves and the young stems
and shoots% and the periderm $a tissue
that substitutes the epidermis in stems,
shoots and roots%. The periderm is
made of phelloderm, phellogen and
suber $cork%.
&1" #hich are the (lant
tissues that co$er the stem
and the lea$es%
The stem may be covered by epidermis
$having stomata, cuticle and
photosynthetic cells% as in monocots or,
alternatively, the epidermis is
substituted by the periderm
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$phelloderm, phellogen and cork% as in
dicots and gymnosperms.
The leaves are covered by epidermis.
&&" #hat is (hellogen% #hat
is its function%
7hellogen, also knon as cork cambium,
is the meristematic plant tissue
responsible for the formation of the
periderm $the covering of the stem,
shoots and roots%. The inner side of the
phellogen layer forms the phelloderm
and its outer side forms the cork
$suber%. The suber secretes suberin, an
impermeable substance that
impregnates the tissue.
&*" #hich ty(e of (lant tissue
is cork%
.ork, the material, for example, used to
cap ine bottles, is extracted from the
suber of a special oak called cork oak.
&+" #hat are the (lant root
hairs% #here can they be
found and what is their
function%
The root hairs are external elongated
pro#ections of the root epidermis. Their
role is to increase the absorption of
ater by the root.
&," #hy does bark often die
and break naturally%
The bark is the mature periderm of the
stem, branches and roots. It dies and
breaks hen these structures gro and
thus the peridermal suber formed of
already dead cells ruptures.
&-" #hat is the leaf cuticle%
The leaf cuticle is a thin axy layer
made of cutin and axes on the outer
surface of the leaf epidermis. Its
function is to control the cellular
transpiration.
&." #hich are the (lant
tissues that form the (lant
roots%
The roots have a central portion called
medulla made of vascular tissue $inner
xylem and outer phloem%. The medulla
is surrounded by the medullary
parenchyma and delimited by pericycle,
a meristem that originates the
secondary roots $ramifications%.
3xternally to the medulla lies the
cortical portion formed of endodermis
$that surrounds the pericycle% and
cortical parenchyma. The covering of
the roots is epidermis $ith root hairs%
later substituted by suberized $corky%
periderm.
&8" #hat is the root ca(%
The root cap is a protective structure
located in the tip of the groing root. It
protects the meristematic tissue of the
root forming a cap that surrounds the
tip. The cover is necessary since during
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the groth of the root the meristem
otherise ould be in#ured by the
friction ith the soil.
&/" #hat are secondary roots%
!n origin how secondary roots
differentiate from shoots%
,econdary roots are ramifications of the
primary $main% root. The secondary
roots emerge from the pericycle, inner
tissue of the root. The shoots originate
from the lateral buds of the stem.
Therefore the origin of the secondary
roots is endogenous and the origin of
the shoots is exogenous.
*0" #hy do roots of many
swam( (lants ha$e a s(ecial
mor(hology%
,amp and marsh plants generally
present supporting roots that ramify
from portions of the stem above the
ground helping the plant to fixate don
the muddy and sandy soil. They may
also have respiratory roots
$pneumatophores%, structures that
emerge from buried roots to catch
oxygen.
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;lant ;hysiology
1" #hy do (lants need to
e)change gases with the
en$ironment%
7lants need to do gas exchange because
they create aerobic cellular respiration
$like animals% and they need to get
molecular oxygen and to release carbon
dioxide. Besides aerobic cellular
respiration plants still need to get
carbon dioxide to make photosynthesis
and to release the molecular oxygen
that is the product of this reaction.
&" #hat are the main gas
e)change organs of the
(lants% 7ow is the (rocess
accom(lished%
In the covering of the leaves and of the
primary structure of the stem gas
exchange is made through the cuticle
and pores of the epidermis. In the
covering of the secondary structure of
the stem of oody plants gas exchange
is made through the lenticels of the
periderm $small breaches of the cork%.
The gas exchange in plants is
accomplished by simple diffusion.
*" #hat is (lant trans(iration%
#hat are the two main ty(es
of (lant trans(iration (rocess%
#hich of them is more
significant in $olume%
Transpiration is the loss of ater from
the plant to the atmosphere in the form
of vapor.
Transpiration occurs through the cuticle
of the epidermis $cuticular transpiration%
or through the ostioles of the stomata
$stomatal transpiration%. The most
important is stomatal transpiration since
it is more intense and physiologically
regulated.
+" #hat are stomata% 7ow do
these structures (artici(ate in
the (lant trans(iration%
,tomata $singular, stoma% are small
specialized passages for ater and
gases present in the epidermis of the
plants. 's the plant needs more or less
to lose ater and heat the stomata
respectively close or open preventing or
alloing the passage of gases by
diffusion.
," #hat are the elements that
constitute the stomata%
The stoma is made of a central opening,
the ostiole, or slit, delimited by to
guard cells responsible for its closing or
opening. ' substomatal chamber is
located under the ostiole.
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-" 7ow do (lants control the
o(ening and the closing of the
stomata%
The opening and the closing of the
stomata depend upon the necessity of
the plant to lose ater and heat through
transpiration $exit of ater vapor means
elimination of heat%. "hen the plant has
excessive ater the guard cells become
turgid and the ostiole opens. "hen little
ater is available the guard cells
become flaccid and the ostiole closes.
"ater enters and goes out the stomata
by osmosis.
-ther factors like light intensity and
carbon dioxide concentration in the
leaves influence the opening and the
closing of the stomata. "hen luminosity
is high the photosynthesis rate
increases and the stomata open to
absorb more carbon dioxide from the
environment and release heat( hen
luminosity is lo the stomata tend to
close. "hen the carbon dioxide
concentration in the photosynthetic
parenchyma is lo the stomata open to
absorb more of the gas and make
photosynthesis possible( hen such
concentration is high the stomata tend
to close.
." o (lants (laced under an
en$ironment drier than the
habitat where they are used to
li$ing ha$e an increase or a
reduction in the time during
which their stomata remain
o(en%
If plants from a moister region ere
transferred to a drier region probably
their stomata ould remain closed for a
longer time, i.e., the time during hich
stomata are open ill be reduced to
loer the loss of ater by transpiration.
8" #hy do some (lants
ada(ted to a dry en$ironment
o(en their stomata only at
night%
4uring the day in dry habitats the guard
cells become flaccid and the stomata
close( concurrently carbon dioxide is
disalloed to pass to participate in
diurnal photosynthesis. ,ome plants
from dry regions solve this problem
through the method of nocturnal carbon
dioxide fixation. 't night, hen ater
loss by transpiration is loer, the
stomata open, carbon dioxide enters
and it is stored ithin the parenchymal
tissues. 4uring the day the stored gas is
mobilized to be used in photosynthesis.
/" 7ow has the (osition of the
stomata changed in some
(lants to (re$ent e)cessi$e
water loss by trans(iration%
In some plants that have leaves that
receive too much sunlight the stomata
concentrate in the inferior epidermis, so
their heating is loer and less ater is
lost by stomatal transpiration. In other
plants of dry environments the stomata
group in some regions of the leaf( over
the surface of these areas the ater
concentration of the air is higher
comparing to the environment and the
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loss of ater by transpiration is thus
reduced. ,ome plants of dry climates
also have stomata ithin cavities.
10" !s trans(iration the only
way through which lea$es lose
water%
7lants do not only lose ater as vapor,
as by transpiration. The leaves also lose
li&uid ater by a phenomenon knon as
gutation. 6utation takes place through
structures called hydathodes similar to
stomata. 6utation mainly occurs hen
transpiration is difficult due to high air
humidity or hen the plant is placed in
a atery soil.
11" #hen air humidity is high
does the (lant trans(iration
increase or lower%
"hen air humidity is high transpiration
diminishes. ,ince transpiration is a
simple diffusion process it depends upon
the concentration gradient of ater
beteen the plant and the environment.
If the atmosphere has too much ater
vapor the gradient becomes loer or
even reversed.
1&" 7ow do the water
absor(tion $olume and the
water trans(iration $olume
com(arati$ely $ary in (lants
in a day% #hat is the final
com(arati$e balance of these
(rocesses%
4uring the day the transpired volume of
ater is higher than the volume
absorbed by the roots. 't night the
situation reverses and the roots absorb
more ater than the transpired volume.
It is observed that the transpired and
the absorbed volumes practically e&ual
in a day.
1*" 7ow do (lants sol$e the
(roblem of trans(orting
substances throughout their
tissues%
In bryophytes the substance transport is
done by diffusion. In tracheophytes
$pteridophytes, gymnosperms and
angiosperms% there are specialized
conductive vessels, the xylem that
carries ater and mineral salts and the
phloem that conducts organic material
$sugar%.
1+" !s trans(ortation of gases
in tracheo(hytes made
through the $ascular tissues%
.arbon dioxide and oxygen are not
transported through the xylem or
phloem. These gases reach the cells and
exit the plant by diffusion through
intercellular spaces or beteen
neighboring cells.
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1," Are the )ylem and the
(hloem made of li$ing cells%
The cells that constitute the xylem ducts
are dead cells killed by lignin deposition.
The cells of the phloem are living cells.
1-" #hat is the im(ortance of
lignin for the )ylem
formation%
Kignin is important because it is
deposited on the cell all of the xylem
cells providing impermeability and
rigidity to the xylem vessels.
1." #hat is root (ressure%
5oot pressure is the pressure that
forces ater from the soil to be
absorbed by the xylem of the root. It is
due to the osmotic gradient beteen the
interior of the root and the soil.
18" #hat is ca(illarity% 7ow is
this (henomenon chemically
e)(lained% #hat is the
rele$ance of ca(illarity for
water trans(ort in (lants%
.apillarity is the phenomenon through
hich ater moves inside extremely
thin tubes $capillaries% aided by the
attraction beteen ater molecules and
the capillary all. The capillarity
phenomenon is possible because ater
is a polar molecule and forms
intermolecular hydrogen bonds.
Therefore there is electrical attraction
$adhesion force% beteen the capillary
all and the ater molecules that then
pull each other $cohesion force% since
they are bound. 0ot #ust ater but
other li&uids may move inside capillaries
by capillarity.
.apillarity is not too relevant for the
transport of ater in plants. It
contributes only to a fe centimeters of
ascension.
1/" #hat are the forces that
make water to flow within the
)ylem from the roots to the
lea$es%
"ater enters the roots due to the root
pressure and a ater column is
maintained ithin the xylem from the
roots to the leaves. The most important
factor that makes ater ascend is
transpiration, mainly in the leaves. 's
leaves lose ater by transpiration their
cells tend to attract more ater creating
suction inside the xylem. The cohesion
property of ater that keeps its
molecules bound $one pulls the other%
by hydrogen bonds helps the process.
&0" #hat is tree girdling%
#hat ha((ens to a (lant when
that girdle is remo$ed from
the stem 2below the
branches3%
1alpighiQs girdling, or tree girdling, is
the removal from a stem of a complete
external girdle containing the phloem
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$that is more external% but preserving
the xylem $that is more internal%.
"hen a girdle like that is removed
belo the branches the plant dies
because organic food $sugar% is
disalloed to pass to the region belo
the girdle and thus roots die from the
lack of nutrients. ,ince roots die the
plant does not get ater and mineral
salts and dies too.
&1" #hat are (lant hormones%
7lant hormones, also called
phytohormones, are substances that
control the embryonic development and
the groth of the adult plant.
&&" #hat are the main natural
(lant hormones and what are
their res(ecti$e effects%
The main natural plant hormones and
their respective functions are the
folloing2
'uxins $the best knon natural auxin is
I'', indoleacetic acid%2 their function is
to promote plant groth, distension and
cellular differentiation. 6ibberellins2
have action similar to auxins $groth
and distension%, stimulate floering and
fruit formation and activate seed
germination. .ytokinins2 increase
cellular division rate and together ith
auxins help groth and tissue
differentiation, slo the plant aging.
3thylene $ethene%2 a gas released by
plants that participates in the groth
process and has noteorthy role in fruit
ripening and in leaf abscission.
&*" #hat is the (lant
coleo(tile% #hy does the
remo$al of the coleo(tile
e)tremity disallow (lant
growth%
.oleoptile is the first $one or more%
aerial structure of the sprouting plant
that emerges from the seed. It encloses
the young stem and the first leaves,
protecting them.
The top of the coleoptile generally is the
region here auxins are made. If this
region is removed, plant groth stops
since auxins are necessary to promote
groth and tissue differentiation.
&+" #hat is indolacetic acid
2!AA3%
Indolacetic acid $indolyl!H!acetic acid%,
or I'', is the main natural auxin made
by plants. It promotes plant groth and
cellular differentiation.
&," #hat are synthetic au)ins
and what are their uses%
,ynthetic auxins, like indolebutyric acid
$IB'% and naphthalenic acid $0''% are
substances similar to I'' $a natural
auxin% but artificially made. ,ome are
used to accelerate methods of asexual
reproduction $like grafting or budding%
and others are even used as herbicides
since they selectively kill some plants
$mainly dicots%.
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&-" #here in (lants is a large
amount of !AA found%
'uxins are produced and found in large
amount in the apical buds of the stem
and shoots and in the young leaves.
&." 7ow do (hytohormones
hel( the de$elo(ment of
(arthenocar(ic fruits%
7arthenocarpic fruits are those produced
ithout fecundation. ,ome plants
naturally make parthenocarpic fruits,
like the banana tree, stimulated by their
on hormones.
'ngiosperms that do not naturally
produce parthenocarpic fruits may do it
if auxins are applied to floers before
fecundation. Therefore even ithout
fecundation the ovaries gro and fruits
are formed although seedless.
&8" 7ow do au)ins act hel(ing
the lateral 2secondary3
growth of the stem%
'uxins stimulate the formation of
conductive vessels, xylem and phloem,
promoting the thickening of the stem.
&/" #hat ha((ens when the
au)in concentration in some
structures of the (lant is o$er
the action range of the
hormone%
In some parts of the plant $stem, roots,
lateral buds% there are auxin
concentration ranges in hich the
hormonal action is positive $stimulate
groth%. It is observed that
concentrations over the superior limit of
those ranges have the opposite effect
$inhibition of groth%.
*0" #hat is the (henomenon
of a(ical dominance in (lants%
7ow can it be artificially
eliminated%
'pical dominance is the phenomenon
through hich high $over the positive
range limit% auxin concentrations due to
auxins from the apical bud moving
donard the stem inhibit the groth
of the lateral buds of the plant. 't the
beginning of the stem development the
apical dominance causes the plant
groth to be longitudinal $upards%
since the groth of the lateral buds
remains inhibited. 's the lateral buds
become more distant from the apex the
auxin concentration in these buds
loers and shoots gro more easily.
The groth of tree branches can be
stimulated preventing the apical
dominance through the removal of the
apical bud.
*1" #hat are gibberellins%
#here are they (roduced%
6ibberellins are plant hormones that
stimulate plant groth, floering and
fruit formation $also parthenocarpy% and
the germination of seeds. There are
more than N= knon types of
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gibberellins. 6ibberellins are made in
the apical buds and in young leaves.
*&" #hat are cytokinins%
#here are they made%
.ytokinins are phytohormones active in
the promotion of cellular division, they
slo don the aging of tissues and act
together ith auxins stimulating plant
groth. .ytokinins are produced by the
root meristem and distributed through
the xylem.
**" #hat is the (lant hormone
remarkable for stimulating
flowering and fruit ri(ening%
#hat are the uses and
(ractical incon$eniences of
that hormone%
The plant hormone notable for
stimulating and accelerating fruit
ripening is the gas ethylene $ethene%.
By being a gas, ethylene acts not only
in the plant that produces it but also in
neighboring ones.
,ome fruit processing industries use
ethylene to accelerate fruit ripening. -n
the other hand, if the intensification or
acceleration of fruit ripening is not
desirable care must be taken to prevent
the mixture of ripe fruits that release
ethylene ith the others.
*+" Are the de$elo(ment and
growth of (lants only
influenced by (lant hormones%
7hysical and chemical environmental
factors, like intensity and position of
light in relation to the plant,
gravitational force, temperature,
mechanical pressures and chemical
composition of the soil and of the
atmosphere, can also influence the
groth and development of plants.
*," #hat are (lant tro(isms%
Tropisms are movements caused by
external stimulus. In Botany the studied
plant tropisms are2 phototropism
$tropism in response to light%,
geotropism $tropism in response to the
earth gravity% and thigmotropism
$tropism in response to mechanical
stimulus%.
*-" To which direction does
the growth of one side of a
stem8 branch or root induce
the structure to cur$e%
"henever one side of a stem, branch or
root gros more than the other side the
structure curves toards the side that
gros less. $This is an important
concept for plant tropism problems.%
*." #hat is (hototro(ism%
7hototropism is the movement of plant
structures in response to light.
7hototropism may be positive or
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negative. 7ositive phototropism is that
in hich the plant movement $or
groth% is toards the light source and
negative phototropism is that in hich
the movement $or groth% is inverse,
aay from the light source.
7hototropism relates to auxins since the
exposition of one side of the plant to
light makes these hormones
concentrate in the darker side. This fact
makes the auxin action upon the stem
to be positive, i.e., the groth of the
darker side is more intense and the
plant arcs toards the lighter side. In
the root $hen submitted to light, in
general experimentally% the auxin action
is negative $over the positive range%,
the groth of the darker side is
inhibited and the root curves toards
this side.
*8" #hat are the ty(es of
(lant geotro(isms% #hy do
the stem and the root (resent
o((osite geotro(isms%
The types of geotropisms are the
positive geotropism, that in hich the
plant gros in favor of the gravitational
force, as for example in roots, and the
negative geotropism, that against the
gravitational force, for example, in the
stem.
5oot geotropism and stem geotropism
are opposed due to different
sensitivities to auxin concentration in
these structures. The folloing
experiment can demonstrate the
phenomenon2 ,tem and root are placed
in a horizontal position $parallel to the
ground% and naturally auxins
concentrate along their bottom part.
Lnder this condition it is observed that
the stem gros upards and the root
gros donards. This happens
because in the stem the high auxin
concentration in the bottom makes this
side gro $longitudinally% more and the
structures arcs upards. In the root the
high auxin concentration in the bottom
inhibits the groth of this side and the
upper side gros more making the root
to curve donards.
*/" #hat is thigmotro(ism%
Thigmotropism is the movement or
groth of the plant in response to
mechanical stimuli $touch or physical
contact%, as hen a plant gros around
a supporting rod. It occurs for example
in grape and passionfruit vines, etc.
+0" #hat is (hoto(eriod%
7hotoperiod is the daily time period of
light exposure of a living being. The
photoperiod may vary according to the
period of the year.
+1" #hat is (hoto(eriodism%
7hotoperiodism is the biological
response presented by some living
beings to their daily time of light
exposure $photoperiod%.
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+&" #hat are the (lant organs
res(onsible for the (erce(tion
of light $ariation% #hat is the
(igment res(onsible for this
(erce(tion%
Keaves are mainly responsible for
perception of light intensity in plants.
The pigment that performs this
perception and commands
photoperiodism is called phytochrome.
+*" 7ow does the
(hoto(eriodism affect the
flowering of some (lants%
8loering is a typical and easy to
observe example of photoperiodism.
1ost floering plants floer only during
specific periods of the year or hen
placed under some conditions of daily
illumination. This occurs because their
blossoming depends on the duration of
the photoperiod that in its turn varies
ith the season of the year. 8loering is
also affected by exposition to certain
temperatures.
++" #hat is the critical
(hoto(eriod% 7ow can the
critical (hoto(eriod relate to
flowering be e)(erimentally
determined%
The critical photoperiod is the limit of
the photoperiod duration for the
occurrence of some biological response.
This limit can be a maximum or a
minimum, according to the
characteristics of the biological response
and to the studied plant.
To determine the critical photoperiod
relating to floering, ?@ groups of
plants of the same species can be taken
and the folloing experiment can be
done2 3ach group is submitted to a
different photoperiod, the first group to
G hour of daily exposure to light, the
second to ? hours, the third to H hours,
and so on, until the last group is
exposed to ?@ hours. It is observed
later that beyond a specific duration of
light exposure plants present or do not
present floering and the remaining
submitted to a shorter photoperiod
present opposite behavior. The duration
of the light exposure that separates
these to groups is the critical
photoperiod.
+," 7ow do (lants classify
according to their
(hoto(eriodism4based
flowering%
'ccording to their photoperiodism!based
floering plants classify as long!day
plants, those that depend on longer
photoperiods than the critical
photoperiod to floer, as short!day
plants, those that depend on shorter
photoperiods than the critical
photoperiod to floer, and as indifferent
plants, hose floering does not
depend on the photoperiod.
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+-" #hy do most (lants
(resent o((osite (hyllota)is%
7hyllotaxis is the ay leaves are
arranged on shoots. 1ost plants have
opposite phyllotaxis $alternating in
se&uence, one in one side of the shoot,
the folloing in the opposite side% as a
solution to prevent self shading of the
leaves thus improving the efficiency of
photosynthesis.
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Denetics
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Denetic 6once(ts
1" #hat is a gene%
' gene is a se&uence of 40'
nucleotides that codifies the production
of a protein.
&" !s a gene a tri(let of
consecuti$e 9A nucleotides%
' gene is not a triplet of 40'
nucleotides ith their respective
nitrogen!containing bases, like ''6 or
.6T. The nucleotide triplets may be
pieces of genes but not genes.
' gene is a portion of a 40' molecule
that codifies a specific protein. Thus it is
formed by several 40' nucleotide
triplets.
*" 7ow is the conce(t of
chromosome related to the
conce(t of the gene%
' chromosome is a 40' molecule. '
chromosome may contain several
different genes and also 40' portions
that are not genes.
+" #hat is meant by @gene
locusA%
6ene locus $locus means place% is the
location of a gene in a chromosome,
i.e., the position of the gene in a 40'
molecule.
," #hat are alleles of a gene%
4iploid individuals have paired
chromosomes. 8or example in humans
there are ?H pairs of chromosomes
totaling @9 chromosomes. 3ach pair
comprehends homologous
chromosomes, one chromosome from
the father and another from the mother,
both of them containing information
related to the production of the same
proteins $ith the exception of the sex
chromosomes, hich are partially
heterologous%. ,o in the diploid
individual it is said that each gene has
to alleles, one in each chromosome of
the homologous pair.
-" Are the alleles of a gene
necessarily originated one
from the father and the other
from the mother% Are there
e)ce(tions%
It is natural that alleles have come one
from the father and the other from the
mother but it is not obligatory. In a
CcloneD generated by nucleus
transplantation technology, for example,
the alleles come from a single
individual. In polysomies $as in trisomy
?G% each gene of the affected
chromosome has three alleles, in
trisomies, or four, in tetrasomies.
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." #hat is a (henoty(e%
' phenotype is every observable
characteristic of a living being
conditioned by its genes. ,ome
phenotypes may be altered by
nongenetic factors $for example,
artificial hair coloring%. ,pecific
phenotypes are also called phenotypical
traits.
8" #hat is a genoty(e% #hat
is the difference between
genoty(e and (henoty(e%
6enotype is the genes, 40' nucleotide
se&uences contained in the
chromosomes of an individual, that
condition the phenotype. 7henotypes
then are a biological manifestation of
genotypes.
8or example, the altered hemoglobin
chain of sickle cell disease and the
manifestation of the disease itself are
the phenotype. The altered 40'
nucleotide se&uence in the gene that
codifies the production of that abnormal
hemoglobin chain is the genotype.
/" oes the en$ironment e)ert
an influence on the
(henoty(e%
' phenotype may be altered $compared
to the original situation conditioned by
its genotype% by nongenetic means.
3xamples2 some hormones may cease
to be secreted due to diseases but the
genes that determine their secretion
remain intact( a person can go to a
hairdresser and change the color of
his*her hair( plastic surgery can be
performed to alter facial features of an
individual( colored contact lenses may
be orn( a plant can gro beyond its
genetically conditioned size by
application of phytohormones.
5evealing cases of environmental
influence on phenotypes are observed in
monozygotic tins that have gron in
different places. 6enerally these tins
present very distinct phenotypical
features due to the environmental and
cultural differences of the places here
they lived and to their different
individual experiences in life.
$Biologically programmed phenotypical
changes, like nonpathological changes
of the skin color caused by sunlight
exposure, tanning, or the variation of
the color of some floers according to
the p/ of the soil cannot be considered
independent from the genotype.
'ctually these changes are planned by
the genotype as natural adaptations to
environmental changes.%
10" Are en$ironmental
(henoty(ical changes
transmitted to the offs(ring%
.hanges caused on phenotypes by the
environment are not transmitted to the
offspring $unless their primary cause is
genotypical change in germ cells or in
gametic cells%. If a person changes the
color of the hair or undergoes aesthetic
plastic surgery the resulting features are
not transmitted to his*her offspring.
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11" #hat are the situations in
which the en$ironment can
alter the genoty(e of an
indi$idual% #hat is the
condition for this ty(e of
change to be transmitted to
the offs(ring%
The environment can only alter
genotypes hen its action causes
alterations in the genetic material
$mutations% of the individual, i.e.,
deletion, addition or substitution of
entire chromosomes or of nucleotides
that form the 40' molecules.
1utations are only transmitted to the
offspring hen affecting the germ cells
that produce gametes or the gametes
themselves.
1&" #hat are some e)am(les
of (henoty(ical characteristics
that (resent two or more
$arieties and of (henoty(ical
features that do not $ary% !n
relation to the genes
corres(ondent to those
characteristics that $ary
among indi$iduals what can
be e)(ected about their
alleles%
.olor of the eyes, color of the hair, color
of the skin, height, blood type are
examples of phenotypical features that
present to or more varieties. -ther
examples are the color of floers and
seeds in some plants, the sex of the
individual in dioecius species, etc.
3xamples of phenotypical characteristics
that do not present variation among
individuals of the same species are2 in
general the number of limbs, the
anatomical position of the organs, the
general constitution of tissues and cells,
etc.
7henotype possibility of presenting
natural variations $in beings of the same
species% are necessarily determined by
to or more different alleles of the
correspondent gene. These different
alleles combine and form different
genotypes that condition the different
phenotypes $variations%.
1*" 6onsidering a (air of
homologous chromosomes
containing a gene ha$ing two
different alleles how many
different genoty(es can the
indi$idual (resent%
If a gene of a diploid species has
different alleles, for example, ' and 'Q,
the possible genotypes are2 'Q'Q, '',
and ''Q. ,o any of these three different
genotypes may be the genotype of an
individual.
1+" For an indi$idual ha$ing a
genoty(e formed of two
different alleles that condition
different $arieties of the same
(henoty(ical trait8 u(on what
will the (henoty(ical feature
actually manifested de(end%
If an individual presents a gene having
different alleles $common situation%, for
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example, ' and 'Q, three types of
genotypes may be formed2 '', 'Q'Q and
''Q. The &uestion refers to an individual
bearing a genotype made of to
different alleles, so it is the ''Q
genotype $the heterozygous individual%.
This ''Q individual may manifest the
phenotype conditioned by the allele ' or
the phenotype conditioned by the allele
'Q or still a mixed phenotype of those
to forms. If the allele ' is dominant
over the allele 'Q the form conditioned
by ' ill manifest. If 'Q is the dominant
allele, the form determined by 'Q ill
manifest. This phenomenon is knon as
dominance and occurs because the
recessive $nondominant% allele
manifests only hen present in double
in the genotype $in homozygosity%,
hile the dominant allele manifests
even hen in heterozygosity. If none of
the alleles dominate a mixture of the
to varieties conditioned by both alleles
appears or instead a third form may
come out.
1," #hat is the difference
between dominant allele and
recessi$e allele%
4ominant allele is the allele that
determines phenotypical features that
manifest in homozygous or
heterozygous genotypes.
In 6enetics the dominant allele is
represented in uppercase, e.g., C'D, and
its recessive allele is ritten in
loercase, CaD.
In molecular terms generally the
recessive allele has a nucleotide
se&uence previously identical to the
corresponding se&uence in the dominant
allele but that during evolution as
inactivated by mutation. This fact
explains the expression of the dominant
phenotype in heterozygosity $since one
functional allele is still present%.
1-" #hene$er a (air of alleles
has different alleles is there
dominance between them%
0ot in all cases of a gene having to
different alleles is the dominance
complete. There are genes in hich
heterozygosity occurs ith incomplete
dominance $manifestation of an
intermediate phenotype in relation to
the homozygous, like in the color of
roses, beteen hite and red% and
other genes that present codominance
$expression of a third different feature,
as in the 10 blood group system%.
1." #hat is the difference
between homozygosity and
heterozygosity%
/omozygosity occurs hen an individual
has to identical alleles of a gene, for
example, '' or aa. /eterozygosity
occurs hen an individual has to
different alleles of the same gene, in the
example, 'a.
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18" #hy can it be said that a
recessi$e allele can remain
hidden in the (henoty(e of an
indi$idual and re$ealed only
when manifested in
homozygosity in the
offs(ring%
' recessive allele can remain hidden
because it does not manifest in
heterozygous individual, i.e., it may be
present in the genotype but not
expressed in the phenotype. "hen this
allele is transmitted to the offspring and
forms homozygous genotype ith
another recessive allele from other
chromosomal lineage the phenotypical
characteristics that come out reveal its
existence.
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0endelGs 'aws
1" #ho was Dregor 0endel%
1endel is considered the father of
6enetics. /e as a monk, biologist and
botanist born in 'ustria in G>?? and
ho died in G>>@. 4uring the years
G>:H to G>9H he cultivated pea plants in
the gardens of his monastery to be used
in his research. /is experiments
consisted of crossing pea plants of
distinct characteristics $size, color of the
seeds, etc.%, cataloging the results and
interpreting them. The experiments led
him to enunciate his las, results
published in G>>9 ith no scientific
repercussion at that time. -nly at the
beginning of the ?=th century, in G<=?,
G> years after his death, ere his merits
broadly recognized.
&" #hat in Denetics is
hybridization%
/ybridization in 6enetics is the crossing
of individuals from CpureD and different
lineages in relation to a given trait, i.e.,
the crossing of different homozygous for
the studied trait.
In 1endelQs experiments ith peas, for
example, a plant from a green pea
lineage obtained from self fecundation
of its ascendants through several
generations as crossed $cross
fecundation% ith another plant from a
yello lineage also obtained by self
fecundation of ascendants. $The self
fecundation through several generations
of ascendants and the exclusive
obtainment of individuals ith the
desired characteristics ensured that the
individuals of the parental generation
ere CpureD, i.e., homozygous for that
characteristic.%
*" #hat is monohybridism%
1onohybridism is the study of only one
characteristic in the crossing of to pure
individuals $hybridization% for that
characteristic.
+" 6onsidering hybridization in
a trait like the color of the
flowers of a gi$en (lant
s(ecies 2red dominantK yellow
recessi$e3 conditioned by a
(air of different alleles8 what
are the (henoty(ical results of
the first generation 2F13 and
the (henoty(ical results of the
second generation 2F&8 formed
by crossing among F1
genoty(es3% #hat are the
(henoty(ical (ro(ortions in F1
and F&%
In relation to genotypes and phenotypes
the hybridization comprises of2 parental
generation $7%2 55 $read%, yy $yello%.
8G generation $55 x yy%2 5y $red%. 8?
generation $5y x 5y%2 55 $red%, 5y
$red%, 5y $red% and yy $yello%.
In the 8G generation the proportion of
red floers is G==;. In the 8?
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generation, the phenotypical proportion
is three red $N:;% to one yello $?:;%.
," 6onsidering hybridization in
a trait like the color of the
flowers of a gi$en (lant
s(ecies 2redKyellow3
conditioned by a (air of
different alleles in relation to
com(lete dominance 2red
dominantK yellow recessi$e38
why in the F1 generation is
one of the colors missing%
In this monohybridism one of the colors
does not appear in the 8G generation
because their parental generators are
pure, i.e., homozygous, and in 8G all
descendants are heterozygous $each
parental individual forms only one type
of gamete%. ,ince only heterozygous
genotypes appear and red is dominant
over yello the individuals of the 8G
generation ill present only red floers.
-" 6onsidering hybridization in
a gi$en trait like the color of
the hair of a mammalian
s(ecies 2whiteKblack3
conditioned by a (air of
different alleles under
com(lete dominance 2black
dominant8 BK white recessi$e8
w38 how can the (henoty(ical
(ro(ortion obtained in the F&
generation be e)(lained%
#hat is this (ro(ortion%
In the monohybridism conditioned by
to different alleles the 8G generation
presents only heterozygous individuals
$B%. In 8? there is one individual BB,
to individuals B and one individual
. In relation to the phenotype there
are in 8? to black individuals and one
hite individual, since black is the
dominant color. ,o the proportion is
H2G, three black!haired to one hite!
haired.
." #hat is meant by saying
that in relation to a gi$en trait
conditioned by a gene with
two different alleles the
gametes are always @(ureA%
To say that gametes are pure means
that they alays carry only one allele of
the referred trait. 6ametes are alays
CpureD because in them the
chromosomes are not homologous, they
contain only one chromosome of each
type.
8" #hat is the 0endelBs first
law%
The 1endelQs first la postulates that a
characteristic $trait% of an individual is
alays determined by to factors, one
inherited from the father and the other
from the mother and the direct offspring
of the individual receives from it only
one of these factors $aleatory%. In other
ords, each trait is determined by to
factors that segregate during gamete
formation.
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The 1endelQs first la is also knon as
the la of purity of gametes. 1endel
deduced the ay genes and alleles ere
transmitted and traits ere conditioned
ithout even knoing of the existence
of these elements.
/" #hich is the ty(e of gamete
2for a gi$en trait3 (roduced by
a dominant homozygous
indi$idual% #hat is the
genoty(ical (ro(ortion of
these gametes% #hat about a
recessi$e homozygous
indi$idual%
If an individual is dominant
homozygous, for example, '', it ill
produce only gametes having the allele
'. The proportion thus is G==; of ''
gametes.
If an individual is recessive
homozygous, for example, aa, it ill
produce only gametes having the allele
a, also in a G==; proportion.
10" #hich is the ty(e of
gamete (roduced by a
heterozygous indi$idual%
#hat is the genoty(ical
(ro(ortion of these gametes%
/eterozygous individuals, for example,
'', produce to different types of
gametes2 one containing the allele '
and another type containing the allele a.
The proportion is G2G.
11" !n the F& generation of a
hybridization for a gi$en trait
conditioned by a (air of alleles
T and t8 according to 0endelBs
first law what are the
genoty(es of each
(henoty(ical form% 7ow many
res(ecti$ely are the
genoty(ical and (henoty(ical
forms%
In the mentioned hybridization the
genotypical forms in 8? ill be TT, tt
and Tt. Therefore there ill be three
different genotypical forms and to
different phenotypical forms
$considering T dominant over t%.
1&" #hy can the crossing of an
indi$idual that manifests
dominant (henoty(e with
another that manifests
recessi$e (henoty(e 2for the
same trait3 determine
whether the dominant
indi$idual is homozygous or
heterozygous%
8rom the crossing of an individual
having recessive phenotype ith
another having dominant phenotype $for
the same trait% it is possible to
determine hether the dominant
individual is homozygous or
heterozygous. This is true because the
genotype of the recessive individual is
obligatorily homozygous, for example,
aa. If the other individual is also
homozygous, '', the 8G offspring ill
be only heterozygous $aa x '' B only
'a%. If the other individual is
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heterozygous there ill be to different
genotypical forms, 'a and aa in the G2G
proportion. ,o if a recessive phenotype
appears in the direct offspring the
parental individual that manifests
dominant phenotype is certainly
heterozygous.
1*" #hat is a genetic family
tree%
6enetic family tree is a schematic family
tree that shos the biological
inheritance of some trait through
successive generations.
6enetic family trees are useful because
it is practically impossible and ethically
unacceptable to make experimental
crossings for genetic testing beteen
human beings. "ith the help of family
tress the study is made by analysis of
marriages $and crossings% that have
already occurred in the past. 8rom the
analysis of family trees, for example,
information on probabilities of the
emergence of some phenotype and
genotypes $including genetic diseases%
in the offspring of a couple can be
obtained.
1+" #hat are the main
con$entional symbols and
signs used in genetic family
trees%
In genetic family trees the male sex is
usually represented by a s&uare and the
female by a circle. .rossings are
indicated by horizontal lines that
connect s&uares to circles and their
direct offspring are listed belo and
connected to that line. The presence of
the studied phenotypical form is
indicated by a complete hachure
$shading% of the circle or the s&uare
correspondent to the affected individual.
It is useful to enumerate the individuals
from left to right and from top to
bottom for easy reference.
1," #hat are the three main
ste(s for a good study of a
genetic family tree%
,tep G2 to determine hether the
studied phenotypical form has a
dominant or recessive pattern. ,tep ?2
to identify recessive homozygous
individuals. ,tep H2 to identify the
remaining genotypes.
1-" #hat is 0endelBs second
law%
1endelQs second la postulates that to
or more different traits are also
conditioned by to or more pair of
different factors and that each inherited
pair separates independently from the
others. In other ords, gametes are
formed alays ith an aleatory
representative of each pair of the
factors that determine phenotypical
characteristics.
1endelQs second la is also knon as
the la of independent segregation of
factors, or la of independent
assortment.
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1." #hat is the condition for
0endelBs second law to be
$alid%
1endelQs second la is only valid for
genes located in different chromosomes.
8or genes situated in the same
chromosome, i.e., linked genes $genes
in linkage% the la is not valid since the
segregation of these genes is not
independent.
18" According to 0endelBs
second law8 in the crossing
between homozygous
indi$iduals concerning two
(airs of nonlinked alleles8
AABB ) aaBB8 what are the
genoty(ical and (henoty(ical
(ro(ortions in F1 and F&%
7arental genotypes2 ''BB, aaBB.
6ametes from the parental generation2
'b and aB. Thus 8G ill present G==;
'aBb gametes $and the phenotypical
correspondent form%.
's 8G are 'aBb individuals the gametes
from their crossing can be2 'B, 'b, aB
and ab. The casual combination of these
gametes forms the folloing genotypical
forms2 one ''BB, to ''Bb, to 'aBb,
four 'aBB, one 'abb, one 'abb, one
aaBB, to aaBb and to aabb. The
phenotypical proportion then ould be2
nine 'XBX $double dominant%( three
'Xbb $dominant for the first pair,
recessive for the second%( three aaBX
$recessive for the first pair, dominant
for the second%( one aabb $double
recessive%.
1/" 6onsidering inde(endent
segregation of all factors8 how
many ty(es of gametes does a
?$LL#wMyzz indi$idual
(roduce% #hat is the formula
to determinate such number%
The mentioned individual ill produce
eight different types of gametes
$attention, gametes and not zygotes%.
To determine the number of different
gametes produced by a given multiple
genotype the number of heterezygous
pairs is counted $in the mentioned case,
three% and the result is placed as an
exponent of to $in the example, ?
H
B
>%.
&0" 7ow is it (ossible to
obtain the (robability of
emergence of a gi$en
genoty(e formed of more than
one (air of different alleles
with inde(endent segregation
from the knowledge of the
(arental genoty(es%
Taking as example the crossing of
'aBb.c ith aaBB.c, for each
considered pair of allele it is possible to
verify hich genotypes it can form $as
in an independent analysis% and in
hich proportion. '' x aa2 'a, aa $G2G%.
Bb x BB2 BB, Bb $G2G%. .c x .c2 .., .c,
cc $G2?2G%. The genotype to hich the
probability is to be determined is for
example aaBbcc. 8or each pair of this
genotype the formation probability is
determined2 to aa, =.:( to Bb, =.:( to
cc, =.?:. The final result is obtained by
multiplication of these partial
probabilities, =.: x =.: x, =.:, resulting
=.=9?:.
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9on4mendelian
!nheritance
1" According to 0endelBs law
(henoty(ical characteristics
would be determined by (air
of factors 2alleles3 that
se(arate inde(endently in
gametes" #hat are the main
ty(es of inheritances that are
e)ce(tions to 0endelBs rules%
There are many types of inheritance
that do not follo the mendelian
pattern. 0otable among them are2
multiple alleles, gene interactions
$complementary genes, epistasis and
&uantitative, or polygenic, inheritance%,
linkage ith or ithout crossing over
and sex!linked inheritance.
7leiotropy, lacking of dominance and
lethal genes do not fit as variations of
inheritance since genes can have these
behaviors and at the same time obey
mendelian las.
1utations and aneuploidies are
abnormalities that also alter the
mendelian pattern of inheritance as ell
as mitochondrial inheritance $passage of
mitochondrial 40' from the mother
through the cytoplasm of the egg cell to
the offspring%.
&" #hat is the genetic
condition in which the
heterozygous indi$idual has
different (henoty(e from the
homozygous indi$idual%
This condition is called lack of
dominance and it can happen in to
ays2 incomplete dominance or
codominance.
In incomplete dominance the
heterozygous presents an intermediate
phenotype beteen the to types of
homozygous, as in sickle cell anemia in
hich the heterozygous produces some
sick red blood cells and some normal
red blood cells. .odominance occurs, for
example, in the genetic determination of
the 10 blood group system, in hich
the heterozygous has a phenotype
totally different from the homozygous,
not being an intermediate form.
*" #hat is (leiotro(y%
7leiotropy $or pliotropy% is the
phenomenon in hich a single gene
conditions several different phenotypical
traits.
,ome phenotypical traits may be
sensitive to pleiotropic effects $for
example, inhibition% of other genes,
even hen conditioned by a pair of
alleles in simple dominance. In these
cases a mixture of pleiotropy and gene
interaction is characterized.
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+" #hat are lethal genes%
Kethal genes are genes having at least
one allele that, hen present in the
genotype of an individual, causes death.
There are recessive lethal alleles and
dominant lethal alleles. $There are also
genes having alleles that are dominant
hen in heterozygosity but lethal hen
in homozygosity, i.e., the dominance
related to the phenotype does not
correspond to the dominance related to
lethality.%
," #hat are multi(le alleles%
!s there dominance in multi(le
alleles%
1ultiple alleles is the phenomenon in
hich the same gene has more than
to different alleles $in normal
mendelian inheritance the gene has only
to alleles%. -bviously these alleles
combine in pairs to form the genotypes.
In multiple alleles relative dominance
among the alleles may exist. ' typical
example of multiple alleles is the
inheritance of the 'B- blood group
system, in hich there are three alleles
$', B or -, or I', IB and i%. I' is
dominant over i, hich is recessive in
relation to the other IB allele. I' and IB
lack dominance beteen themselves.
'nother example is the color of rabbit
fur, conditioned by four different alleles
$., .ch, .h and c%. In this case the
dominance relations are . R .ch R .h
R c $the symbol R means Cdominates
overD%.
-" #hat are gene interactions%
#hat are the three main ty(es
of gene interactions%
6ene interaction is the phenomenon in
hich a given phenotypical trait is
conditioned by to or more genes $do
not confuse ith multiple alleles in
hich there is a single gene having
three or more alleles%.
The three main types of gene
interaction are2 complementary genes,
epistasis and polygenic inheritance $or
&uantitative inheritance%.
." #hat are com(lementary
genes% oes this inheritance
(attern obey 0endelBs second
law%
.omplementary genes are different
genes that act together to determine a
given phenotypical trait.
8or example, consider a phenotypical
trait conditioned by ? complementary
genes hose alleles are respectively U,
x, Y and y. 7erforming hybridization in
8? @ different phenotypical forms are
obtained2 UXYX $double dominant%,
UXyy $dominant for the first pair,
recessive for the second%, xxYX
$recessive for the first pair, dominant
for the second% and xxyy $double
recessive%. This is hat happens, for
example, regarding the color of
budgerigar feathers, in hich the double
dominant interaction results in green
feathers, the dominant for the first pair,
recessive for the second interaction
results in yello feathers, the recessive
for the first pair, dominant for the
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second interaction leads to blue feathers
and the double recessive interaction
leads to hite feathers.
3ach complementary gene segregates
independently from the others since
they are located in different
chromosomes. Therefore the pattern
follos 1endelQs second la $although it
does not obey 1endelQs first la%.
8" #hat is e(istasis% #hat is
the difference between
dominant e(istasis and
recessi$e e(istasis%
3pistasis is the gene interaction in hich
a gene $the epistatic gene% can disallo
the phenotypical manifestation of
another gene $the hypostatic gene%. In
dominant epistasis the inhibitor allele is
the dominant allele $for example, I% of
the epistatic gene so inhibition occurs in
dominant homozygosity $II% or in
heterozygosity $Ii%. In recessive
epistasis the inhibitor allele is the
recessive allele of the epistatic gene $i%
so inhibition occurs only in recessive
homozygosity $ii%.
/" !n the hybridization of &
genes 2+ different alleles8 & of
each (air3 how does e(istasis
affect the (ro(ortion of
(henoty(ical forms in the F&
generation%
In dihybridism ithout epistasis double
heterozygous parental individuals cross
and in 8? @ phenotypical forms appear.
The proportion is < double dominant to
H dominant for the first pair, recessive
for the second to H recessive for the
first pair, dominant for the second to G
double recessive $<2H2H2G%.
.onsidering that the epistatic gene is
the second pair and that the recessive
genotype of the hypostatic gene means
lacking of the characteristic, in the 8?
generation of the dominant epistasis the
folloing phenotypical forms ould
emerge2 GH dominant for the second
pair or recessive for the first, i.e., the
characteristic does not manifest, H
dominant for the first pair, recessive for
the second, i.e., the characteristic
manifests. The phenotypical proportion
ould be GH2H. In the recessive
epistasis in 8? the phenotypical forms
that ould emerge are2 < double
dominant $the characteristic manifests%,
N recessive for the first pair or recessive
for the second, i.e., the characteristic
does not manifest. ,o the phenotypical
proportion ould be <2N.
These examples sho ho epistasis
changes phenotypical forms and
proportions, from the normal <2H2H2G in
8? to GH2H in dominant epistasis or to
<2N in recessive epistasis $note that
some forms have even disappeared%.
$If the recessive genotype of the
hypostatic gene is active, not simply
meaning that the dominant allele does
not manifest, the number of
phenotypical forms in 8? changes.%
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10" #hat is (olygenic
inheritance% 7ow does it
work%
7olygenic inheritance, also knon as
&uantitative inheritance, is the gene
interaction in hich a given trait is
conditioned by several different genes
having alleles that may or may not
contribute to increase the phenotype
intensity. The alleles may be
contributing or noncontributing and
there is no dominance among them.
7olygenic inheritance is the type of
inheritance, for example, of skin color
and of stature in humans.
.onsidering a given species of animal in
hich the length of the individual is
conditioned by polygenic inheritance of
three genes, for the genotype having
only noncontributing alleles $aabbcc% a
basal phenotype, for example, H= cm,
ould emerge. .onsidering also that for
each contributing allele a : cm increase
in the length of the animal is added, so
in the genotype having only contributing
alleles $''BB..% the animal ould
present the basal phenotype $H= cm%
plus H= cm more added by each
contributing allele, i.e., its length ould
be 9= cm. In the case of triple
heterozygosity, for example, the length
of the animal ould be @: cm. That is
the ay polygenic inheritance orks.
11" #hat is the most (robable
inheritance (attern of a trait
with gaussian (ro(ortional
distribution of (henoty(ical
forms%
If a trait statistically has a normal
$gaussian, bell!shaped curve%
distribution of its phenotypical forms it
is probable that it is conditioned by
polygenic inheritance $&uantitative
inheritance%.
In &uantitative inheritance the effects of
several genes add to others making it
possible to represent the trait variation
of a given population in a gaussian
curve ith the heterozygous genotypes
in the center, i.e., appearing in larger
number, and the homozygous in the
extremities.
1&" 7ow to find the number of
(air of alleles in$ol$ed in
(olygenic inheritance using
the number of (henoty(ical
forms of the trait they
condition%
.onsidering CpD the number of
phenotypical forms and CaD the number
of involved alleles of the polygenic
inheritance. The formula p B ?a A G is
then applied.
$1any times it is not possible to
determine precisely the number of
phenotypical forms, p, due to the
multigenic feature of the inheritance,
since often the observed variation of
phenotypes seems to be on a continuum
or the trait suffers environmental
influence.%
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1*" #hy is se)4linked
inheritance an e)am(le of
nonmendelian inheritance%
,ex!linked inheritance is a type of
nonmendelian inheritance because it
opposes 1endelQs first la, hich
postulates that each trait is alays
conditioned by to factors $alleles%. In
nonhomologous regions of the sex
chromosomes the genotypes of the
genes contain only one allele $even in
the case of the UU karyotype, i.e., in
omen, one of the U chromosomes is
inactive%.
1+" #hat is mitochondrial
inheritance%
1itochondrial inheritance is the passage
of mitochondrial 40' molecules
$mt40'% to the offspring. 'll stock of
mt40' an individual has have come
from the mother, the maternal
grandmother, the maternal great
grandmother and so on, since
mitochondria are inherited from the
cytoplasm of the egg cell $that later
constitutes the cytoplasm of the
zygote%.
There are several genetic diseases
caused by mitochondrial inheritance,
like Keber's hereditary optic neuropathy,
that leads to loss of the central vision of
both eyes, and the Iearns!,ayre
syndrome, a neuromuscular disease
that causes ophthalmoplegia and muscle
fatigue.
1itochondrial inheritance is an excellent
means of genetic analysis of the
maternal lineage $#ust like the Y
chromosome is an excellent means of
study of the paternal lineage%.
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'inkage and
6rossing >$er
1" #hy is not 0endelBs second
law always $alid for two or
more (henoty(ical traits of an
indi$idual%
1endelQs second la, or the la of the
independent assortment, is valid for
genes located in different chromosomes.
These genes during meiosis segregate
independently.
1endelQs second la hoever is not
valid for phenotypical features
conditioned by genes located in the
same chromosome $genes under
linkage%, since these genes, knon as
linked genes, do not separate in meiosis
$except for the phenomenon of crossing
over%.
&" #hy is droso(hila a
con$enient animal for the
study of linked genes%
The fruit fly drosophila is suitable for the
study of 6enetics because it presents
many distinct traits but only four
chromosomes $one sex chromosome
and three autosomes%.
*" #hat is linkage%
To genes are said to be under linkage,
or linked, hen they reside in the same
chromosome.
8or example, the research of the human
genome discovered that the factor III of
clotting gene and the factor P of clotting
gene are located in the same
chromosome $the human chromosome
G%. The factor PII gene hoever is not
linked to those genes since it is located
in the chromosome GH.
+" #hat is crossing o$er% 7ow
is meiosis related to this
(henomenon%
Kinked alleles, for example, '!b and a!
B, form the gametes '!b and a!B that
maintain the linkage of the alleles. This
type of linkage is called complete
linkage. In the first division of meiosis
$meiosis I% hoever the crossing over
phenomenon may occur. .hromosomes
from a pair of homologous may
exchange extremities and some once
linked alleles, for example, '!b and a!B,
recombine to form different gametes, in
the case, '!B and a!b.
.rossing over may happen hen the
arms of the chromatids of each
homologous are paired during meiosis.
1atching portions of the extremities of
to nonsister chromatids $one from one
homologous of the pair% break and the
pieces are exchanged, each of them
becoming part of the arm of the other
chromatid. 8or example, if the allele ' is
situated in a side of the arm relating to
the point of breaking and the allele b is
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located in the other side, they ill be
separated and gametes '!B and a!b ill
be formed, instead of '!b and a!B.
$The percentage of recombinant
gametes relating to normal gametes
depends upon the crossing over rate
that in its turn depends upon ho far
distant the given alleles are in the
chromosome.%
," !n genetic recombination by
crossing o$er what is the
difference between (arental
gametes and recombinant
gametes%
7arental gametes are those gametes
that maintain the original linkage of
genes $alleles% in the chromosome.
5ecombinant gametes are those in
hich the original linkage is undone due
to exchange of chromosomal pieces by
crossing over during meiosis.
-" #hat is recombination
fre5uency%
5ecombination fre&uency, or crossing
over rate, is the percentage of
recombinant gametes made by crossing
over $in relation to the number of
parental gametes made%. It alays
refers to to genes located in the same
chromosome.
." #hy does the
recombination fre5uency of
genes $ary with the distance
between them in the
chromosome%
The farther the distance beteen the
loci of to genes in a chromosome the
higher the recombination fre&uency
beteen these genes. This is true
because once alleles are nearer in the
chromosome it is more probable that
they are kept united hen chromosomal
extremities are exchanged by crossing
over. -n the other hand, if they are
farther apart it ill be easier for them to
separate by crossing over.
8" #hat is a centimorgan%
.entimorgan, or recombination unit, by
convention is a distance beteen to
linked genes that corresponds to G; of
recombination fre&uency of these
genes.
/" 7ow can the conce(t of
recombination fre5uency be
used in genetic ma((ing%
6enetic mapping is the determination of
the location of the genes in a
chromosome.
By determining the recombination
fre&uency beteen several different
linked genes it is possible to estimate
the distance beteen them in the
chromosome. 8or example, if a gene '
has a recombination fre&uency of ?=;
ith the gene B, this gene B has
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recombination fre&uency of :; ith the
gene . and this gene . has
recombination fre&uency of G:; ith
the gene ', it is possible to assert that
the gene ' is ?= centimorgans distant
from the gene B and that beteen them
lies the gene . at G: centimorgans of
distance from the gene '.
10" !s crossing o$er im(ortant
for the di$ersity of biological
e$olution%
,exual reproduction and recombination
of linked genes $crossing over% are,
along ith mutations, the main
instruments of biological variability.
,exual reproduction allos many
combinations beteen genes situated in
different chromosomes. .rossing over,
hoever, is the only means to provide
recombination of alleles located in a
same chromosome. .rossing over
probably emerged and has been
maintained by the evolution because of
its importance to biological diversity.
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1e) etermination
and 1e)4'inked
!nheritance
1" 7ow is the genetic
determination of se)
established in humans%
In the diploid genome of human beings
there are @9 chromosomes, @@ of them
are autosomes and to are sex
chromosomes. The individual inherits
one of these chromosomes from each
parent.
The human sex chromosomes are called
U chromosome and Y chromosome.
Individuals having to U chromosomes
$@@ A UU% are female. Individuals
having one U chromosome and one Y
chromosome $@@ A UY% are male.
$Individuals @@ A YY do not exist since
the chromosome Y is exclusively from
paternal lineage.%
&" #hat are the homologous
and the heterologous (ortions
of the human se)
chromosomes%
/omologous portion is that in hich
there are genes having alleles in both Y
and U sex chromosomes. The
homologous portions are situated more
in the central part of the sex
chromosomes, near the centromere.
/eterologous portion is that hose
genes do not have correspondent alleles
in the other sex chromosome. These
genes are located more in the peripheral
regions of the arms of the Y and U
chromosomes.
*" 6oncerning the se)
chromosomes of the LM
system which ty(e of gamete
do the male and the female
indi$iduals res(ecti$ely
(roduce%
The individual of the male sex is UY so
he forms gametes containing either the
U chromosome or the Y chromosome in
a G2G proportion. The individual of the
female sex is UU and thus she forms
only gametes containing an U
chromosome.
+" !s it (ossible that an L
chromosome of a woman can
ha$e come from her father%
It is not only possible that an U
chromosome of a oman is from her
father, it is certain. 3very oman has
an U chromosome from her father and
the other U chromosome from her
mother.
In men hoever the U chromosome
comes alays from his mother and the
Y chromosome is alays from his
father.
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," !s it more indicated for a
geneticist desiring to ma( the
L chromosome of the mother
of a gi$en family 2the
researcher does not ha$e
access to her 9A8 only access
to the genetic material of the
offs(ring3 to analyze the
chromosomes of her
daughters or of her sons%
To analyze the U 40' of a mother
$assuming no access to her on
material% it is more indicated to study
the genetic material of her sons since all
U chromosomes of males come from the
mother hile the daughters have U
chromosomes from the mother and
from the father. By researching the
material of the sons it is ensured that
the studied U chromosome is from the
mother.
-" o the genes of the L and M
chromosomes determine only
se) characteristics%
Besides sex genes the sex
chromosomes have also autosomal
genes, genes that codify several
proteins related to nonsexual traits.
." #hat are the main diseases
caused by errors of the
number of se) chromosomes
in the cells of an indi$idual%
4iseases caused by abnormal number of
sex chromosomes are called sex
aneuploidies.
The main sex aneuploidies are2 @@ A
UUU, or trisomy U $omen hose cells
have an additional U chromosome%( @@
A UUY, or Ilinefelter's syndrome $men
hose cells have an extra U
chromosome%( @@ A UYY, or double Y
syndrome $men hose cells have an
additional Y chromosome%( @@ A U,
TurnerQs syndrome $omen hose cells
lack an U chromosome%.
8" #hat is the inacti$ation of
the L chromosome% #hat is a
Barr body%
Inactivation of the U chromosome is a
phenomenon that occurs in omen.
,ince omen have to U chromosomes
only one of them remains active and
functional mixed to the chromatin hile
the other remains condensed and
inactive.
In the same oman in some cell
lineages the functional U chromosome is
the one from the father and in other cell
lineages the functional chromosome is
the U from the mother characterizing a
condition knon as mosaicism $related
to the U chromosome%.
Lnder the microscope the inactive U
chromosome is seen as a granule
generally in the periphery of the
nucleus. This granule is called the Barr
body.
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/" Besides the LM system are
there other se) determination
systems%
,ome animals have a sex determination
system different from the UY system.
The U= system is the sex determination
system of many insects( in this system
the females are UU and the males have
only one U chromosome $a conditioned
represented by U=%.
In birds, in some fishes and in
lepidopterae $butterflies% insects the sex
determination is made by the J"
system( in this system females are J"
and males are JJ.
In another system, the haploid!diploid
sex determination system, one of the
sexes is represented by the fertilized
diploid individual and the individual of
the opposite sex is formed by
parthenogenesis, being haploid $it
occurs in bees and other insects%.
10" #hat are L4linked traits%
U!linked traits are phenotypical traits
conditioned by genes located in the
nonhomologous $heterologous% portions
of the U chromosome.
11" 7ow many alleles of genes
that condition L4linked traits
do female and male
indi$iduals res(ecti$ely
(resent%
8or each correspondent gene to an U!
linked trait omen present alays to
alleles since they have to U
chromosomes. 1en present only one
allele of genes related to U!linked traits
since they have one U chromosome.
1&" #hat is the clinical
deficiency (resented by
hemo(hilic (eo(le% #hat is
the genetic cause of that
deficiency%
/emophilia is a disease characterized by
impaired blood clotting and the affected
person is more prone to internal and
external hemorrhages.
7atients ith hemophilia ' have
alteration in the gene that codifies the
factor PIII of blood clotting, a gene
located in the non!homologous portion
of the U chromosome. 7atients ith
hemophilia B present a defect of the
gene that codifies the factor IU of
clotting, a gene also located in the non!
homologous region of the U
chromosome. Thus both diseases are U!
linked diseases.
1*" #hat are all (ossibilities
of genoty(es and (henoty(es
formed in the combination of
alleles res(onsible for the
(roduction of factor ?!!!%
.onsidering the alleles Uh and U, here
Uh represents the allele that conditions
hemophilia ', in omen the possible
genotypes are UU, UUh and UhUh. In
men the possible genotypes are UY and
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UhY. .oncerning the phenotypes, factor
PIII is produced in every individual ith
at least one nonaffected U chromosome.
,o the omen UU and U Uh and the
men UY are normal. -nly omen UhUh
and men UhY have the disease.
1+" #hy is it rare to find
hemo(hilic women%
There are more hemophilic men than
hemophilic omen because omen
need to have to U chromosomes
affected to develop the disease hile in
men the disease manifests hen the
single U chromosome is affected.
1," !s it (ossible for any son
of a cou(le formed by a
hemo(hilic man 2LhM3 and a
nonhemo(hilic noncarrier
2LL3 woman to be hemo(hilic%
If mothers are not affected by the
disease and noncarriers of the gene $do
not have an Uh allele% it is impossible
for their sons to be hemophilic since the
U chromosome of males alays comes
from the mother. /emophilic sons are
only possible hen the mother is
hemophilic $homozygous for the
hemophilic gene, a very rare situation%
or carriers of an affected U chromosome
$UUh%.
1-" #hat is the clinical
manifestation of the disease
known as daltonism%
The U!linked daltonism is a disease in
hich the affected individual sees the
red color as green or confounds these
to colours.
1." #hat is the ty(e of genetic
inheritance of daltonism% !s
daltonism more fre5uent in
men or in women% #hat is the
(hysiological e)(lanation for
the daltonism%
4altonism is a recessive U!linked
inheritance $gene situated in the
nonhomologous portion of the U
chromosome%.
4altonism is more fre&uent in men since
in them only the single U chromosome
needs to be affected for the disease to
manifest. In omen it is necessary for
both U chromosomes to be affected for
the disease to come out.
The disease appears due to a defect in
the gene that codifies a retinal pigment
sensitive to red.
18" Are se)4linked diseases
associated only to genes of
the L chromosome%
There are many U!linked diseases, like
hemophilia ', hemophilia B and
adrenoleukodystrophy, but knon Y!
linked diseases are fe and very rare.
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1/" #hat are holandric genes%
/olandric genes are genes situated in
the nonhomologous region of the Y
chromosome. /olandric genes condition
phenotypes that emerge only in men
since individuals of the female sex do
not present in their U chromosomes
genes from the nonhomologous portion
of the Y chromosome $existent only in
men%. ' idely knon holandric gene is
the one that conditions hypertrichosis
pinnae $hair in the ears%, a phenotype
inherited from fathers to sons through
the Y chromosome.
&0" #hat is se)4influenced
dominance%
,ex!influenced dominance is the
phenomenon in hich the manifestation
of a phenotype of a gene in
heterozygosity depends on the sex of
the individual. 8or example, hereditary
baldness is a dominant phenotypical
form if the individual is male and it is a
recessive form if the individual is
female.
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Blood Ty(es
1" #hat are the main human
blood grou( systems%
In humans the main blood group
systems are the 'B- system, the 5h
system and the 10 system.
&" #hy is the determination of
the blood ty(es of the donor
and of the reci(ient im(ortant
in transfusions%
5ed blood cells have different antigens
in the outer surface of their plasma
membrane( for example, the antigens '
and B of the 'B- system are
glycoproteins of the membrane. If a
donor has red blood cells ith antigens
not present in the red blood cells of the
recipient $lacking of transfusion
compatibility% the immune system of the
recipient recognizes these molecules as
actual antigens $i.e., foreign
substances% and triggers a defense
response producing specific antibodies
against those antigens. The transfused
red blood cells then are destroyed by
these antibodies and the recipient
individual may even die.
*" #hat are the antigens and
the res(ecti$e antibodies of
the AB> blood grou( system%
The 'B- blood system includes the
erythrocytic antigens ' and B that can
be attacked by the antibodies anti!' and
anti!B.
The antigens ' and B are agglutinogens
and the antibodies anti!' and anti!B are
agglutinins.
+" #hat are the blood ty(es of
the AB> blood system%
The blood types of the 'B- blood
system are the type ', the type B, the
type 'B and the type -.
," #hat are the antigens and
antibodies of each blood ty(e
of the AB> blood system%
Type '2 antigen ', antibody anti!B.
Type B2 antigen B, antibody anti!'.
Type 'B2 antigens ' and B, does not
produce antibody ' neither antibody B.
Type -2 does not have antigen ' neither
antigen B, has antibodies anti!' and
anti!B.
$-bviously antibodies are made by B
lymphocytes not by red blood cells.%
-" #hat is the logic of the
transfusional com(atibility
concerning the AB> blood
grou( system%
The transfusional compatibility for the
'B- system takes into account the
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antigens present in the red blood cells
of the donor and the antibodies that the
recipient can produce. "henever the
recipient is not able to produce
antibodies against antigens of the red
blood cells of the donor the transfusion
is compatible.
,o regarding 'B- compatibility type '
can donate to type ' and to type 'B.
Type B can donate to type B and to type
'B. Type 'B can donate only to type
'B. Type - can donate to all 'B- types.
$Blood transfusion must be studied,
planned and supervised by doctors.%
." #hat are uni$ersal donors
and uni$ersal reci(ients
concerning the AB> blood
system%
Lniversals donors of the 'B- blood type
system are the individuals of the type
-. Type - blood does not have antigen
' neither antigen B in its red blood cells
and can be donated to individuals of any
'B- type.
Lniversal recipients of the 'B- blood
type system are the individuals of the
type 'B. Type 'B blood does not
contain antibody anti!' neither antibody
anti!B and people of this group can
receive blood from any of the 'B-
types.
8" #hat is the ty(e of genetic
inheritance that determines
the AB> blood grou( system%
#hat are the relations of
dominance among the
in$ol$ed alleles%
The inheritance of the 'B- blood
system is a multiple alleles inheritance.
There are three involved alleles, I', IB
and i that combine in pairs to form the
genotypes.
.oncerning dominance, the allele i is
recessive in relation to the alleles I' and
IB. Beteen I' and IB hoever lack of
dominance is established ith the
heterozygous $I'IB% manifesting distinct
phenotype.
/" #hat are the genoty(es and
res(ecti$e blood ty(es of the
AB> system%
,ince the alleles are I', IB and i the
possible genotypes are I'I' $blood type
'%, I'IB $blood type 'B%, IBIB $blood type
B% and ii $blood type -%.
10" !s it (ossible to (erform
in$estigation of natural
(aternity8 maternity or
brotherhood and sisterhood
using the AB> blood ty(ing%
By using the 'B- blood typing it is
possible only to exclude paternity,
maternity or brotherhood*sisterhood but
it is not possible to conclude positively
about these relationships.
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8or example, if an individual has type -
blood, ii genotype, he or she cannot
have biological parents of the type 'B
$I'IB genotype% since necessarily one of
his*her alleles has come from the father
and the other from the mother. 'nother
example2 a couple of individuals of the
type - $ii% in their turn can only
generate direct offspring of the type -
blood, since they do not have alleles
that condition antigen ' neither antigen
B.
11" !s AB> blood com(atibility
enough for the safety of blood
transfusion%
Besides 'B- blood compatibility the
compatibility concerning the 5h blood
system must also be checked. In
addition it is of fundamental importance
for the safety of blood transfusion
performing tests to detect agents of
main blood transmitted infectious
diseases, like /IP $'I4,%, hepatitis B
and ., syphilis, .hagas disease, etc.
$'ny transfusion must be studied,
planned and supervised by doctors.%
1&" #hat is the :h factor%
5/ factor is a protein of the red blood
cell plasma membrane that behaves as
antigen in blood transfusions triggering
a humoral $antibody!based% immune
response. 1ost people present the
protein in their red blood cells and are
part of the 5hA group. 7eople that do
not have the protein classify as 5h!.
The origin of the name 5h factor is
related to the first researches that
discovered this blood antigen as in
rhesus monkeys $C1acaca mulattaD%.
1*" 7ow are the antibodies
against the :h factor formed%
'nti!5h antibodies are made by humoral
immune response. "hen an 5h!
individual makes contact ith the 5h
factor this is recognized as foreign
$antigen%, the primary immune
response begins and small amounts of
anti!5h antibodies and memory B
lymphocytes are made. In future
contact ith the antigen there ill
already be circulating antibodies and
memory immune cells prepared to
create an intense and effective attack
against the 5h factor.
1+" #hat is blood ty(ing%
Blood typing is the determination, by
means of tests, of the classification of a
blood sample concerning blood group
systems $specially the 'B- system and
the 5h system%.
1," 7ow is the blood ty(ing
concerning the AB> system
and the :h usually done%
In the blood typing for the 'B- system
and the 5h system a blood sample is
collected from the person and three
small volumes of the sample are
separated and dispersed on glass
laminae $slides%. -n the first lamina
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serum containing anti!' antibody is
dripped( on the second lamina serum
containing anti!B antibody is dripped(
on the third lamina serum ith anti!5/
antibody is dripped. If no agglutination
reaction takes place in all of the laminae
the blood is of type -! $universal
donor%( if agglutination occurs only in
the first lamina the blood is type '!(
and so on.
There are other methods of blood
typing. Blood typing must be performed
by &ualified technicians.
1-" #hat are the inheritance
and dominance (atterns of the
:h blood system%
The inheritance pattern of the 5h blood
system is autosomal dominant, i.e., the
heterozygous manifests as 5hA. The
dominance is complete $5 is dominant
over r%. The possible genotypes are 55,
5r $both 5hA% and rr $5h!%.
.uriosity2 the 5h factor is codified by a
gene containing ?N<= 40' nucleotides
situated in the human chromosome G.
1." #hat is the logic of the
transfusional com(atibility
concerning the :h blood grou(
system%
'n 5hA donor can only donate blood to
an 5hA recipient. ' person that lacks
the 5h factor $5h!% can donate to
individuals of the 5hA and 5h! groups.
18" #hat is the :h ty(ing of
the mother and of the fetus in
the hemolytic disease of the
newborn%
In the hemolytic disease of the neborn
the mother is 5h! and the fetus 5hA. In
this disease antibodies produced by the
mother attack the fetal red blood cells.
The hemolytic disease of the ne born
is also knon as erythroblastosis fetalis.
1/" 7ow does the immune
(rocess that causes the
hemolytic disease of the
newborn take (lace%
In the hemolytic disease of the neborn
the mother has 5h! blood. This mother
hen generating her first 5hA child
makes contact, possibly during delivery,
ith 5hA red blood cells of the child and
her immune system triggers the primary
immune response against the 5h factor.
In the next gestation in hich the fetus
is 5hA the mother ill already have
much more anti!5h antibodies in her
circulation( these antibodies cross the
placental barrier and gain the fetal
circulation causing fetal hemolysis
$destruction of the red blood cells of the
fetus%.
&0" 7ow can the hemolytic
disease of the newborn be
(re$ented%
3rythroblastosis fetalis can be prevented
if in the first delivery of a 5hA child
from a 5h! mother serum containing
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anti!5h antibodies is given to the
mother in the first N? hours $after the
delivery%. Therefore the administered
anti!5h antibodies destroy the fetal red
blood cells that entered the motherQs
circulation before the triggering of her
primary immune response.
&1" #hat is the 09 blood
system% #hat is the (attern of
genetic inheritance of the 09
blood system%
The 10 blood system is a third $in
addition to the 'B- and the 5h% system
of blood antigens also related to
proteins of the red blood cell plasma
membrane.
The inheritance pattern of the 10 blood
system is autosomal ith codominance,
a type of lack of dominance in hich the
heterozygous manifests a phenotype
totally distinct from the homozygous.
The possible phenotypical forms are
three blood types2 type 1 blood, type 0
blood and type 10 blood.
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Haryoty(e and
Denetic iseases
1" #hat is karyoty(e%
The name karyotype is given to the set
of chromosomes of an individual,
usually hen visualized and identified
under the microscope. The visualization
generally is made ith the cells in the
initial phases of cell division for the
chromosomes to be seen already
replicated and condensed.
&" #hich ty(e of genetic
disease can be identified from
the $isual analysis of the
number of chromosomes
(resent in a karyoty(e%
The counting and identification of
chromosomes in the karyotype of an
individual can diagnose the
aneuploidies, diseases caused by
alteration in the number of
chromosomes in relation to the normal
number of the species.
*" #hy in the (re(aration of a
karyoty(e analysis is the use
of a substance like colchicine
interesting%
.olchicine is a substance that disallos
the formation of microtubules and thus
of the spindle fibers in cell division.
Lnder the action of this drug the cells
interrupt division at metaphase and the
anaphase does not occur. Therefore the
use of colchicine in the study of
karyotypes is interesting because
chromosomes ill be seen replicated
and condensed.
+" #hat is the karyoty(e
found in own syndrome%
4on syndrome is an aneuploidy, i.e., a
numeric alteration of chromosomes
ithin the cells compared to the normal
number of chromosomes of the species.
'ffected individuals have in their cells
an additional chromosome ?G instead of
only one pair. 8or this reason the
condition is also called trisomy ?G. The
affected person has karyotype ith @N
chromosomes2 @: A UY or @: A UU.
," #hat is aneu(loidy% #hat
are the conditions caused by
the aneu(loidies%
'neuploidy is an abnormal number of
chromosomes in the cells of an
individual.
The main aneuploidies of the human
species and their respective conditions
are2 the nullisomies $absence of any
chromosome pair of the species, often
incompatible ith life%( the monosomies
$absence of a chromosome from a pair,
for example, TurnerQs syndrome, @@ A
U%( the trisomies $an extra
chromosome, for example, the triple U
syndrome, @@ A UUU, or the 3dards
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syndrome, trisomy G>, @: A UY or @: A
UU%.
-" !n general what is the
cause of the aneu(loidies%
6enerally the aneuploidies are caused
by impaired assortment of
chromosomes during meiosis. 8or
example, hen the homologous
chromosomes of the pair ?G do not
separate gametes ith to
chromosomes ?G and gametes ithout
chromosomes ?G form. If a gamete ith
to chromosomes ?G fecundates a
normal gamete of the opposite sex the
zygote ill present trisomy $three
chromosomes ?G%. If a gamete ithout
chromosomes ?G fecundates a normal
gamete of the opposite sex there ill be
a zygote ith monosomy $ith only one
chromosome ?G%.
The defects in the separation of
chromosomes during cell division are
called chromosomal nondis#unctions.
4uring meiosis nondis#unctions may
occur in the anaphase I $nondis#unction
of homologous% as ell in anaphase II
$nondis#unction of sister chromatids%.
." o all genetic diseases
result from alteration in the
number of chromosomes of
the cells%
Besides aneuploidies there are other
genetic diseases, other chromosomal
abnormalities and also the genetic
mutations.
8" 7ow are genetic diseases
classified%
6enetic diseases classify into
chromosomal abnormalities and genetic
mutations.
'mong chromosomal abnormalities
there are the aneuploidies, diseases
caused by alterations of the normal
$euploidy% number of chromosomes of
the species. 'n example of aneuploidy is
4on syndrome, or trisomy ?G, in hich
there are three chromosomes ?G
instead of the normal pair. In the group
of chromosomal abnormalities there are
also the deletions $absence of part of a
chromosome%, the inversions $in hich
a chromosome breaks and its pieces
reconnect in inverse manner% and the
translocations $pieces of a chromosome
that exchange positions%.
In the genetic mutation group there are
the deletions $one or more 40'
nucleotide absent%, the substitutions
and the insertions.
/" #hat are genetic
mutations%
6enetic mutations are alterations of the
genetic material $compared to the
normal condition of the species%
involving modifications in the normal
nucleotide se&uence of a gene but
ithout structural or numeric
chromosomal changes.
These modifications may be deletions
$loss of nucleotides%, substitutions
$exchange of nucleotides by other
different nucleotides% or insertions
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$placement of additional nucleotides in
the 40' molecule%.
10" oes e$ery gene mutation
cause alteration in the (rotein
the gene normally codifies%
0ot every gene mutation causes
alteration in the composition of the
protein the gene codifies. ,ince the
genetic code is degenerated, i.e., there
are amino acids codified by more than
one different 40' nucleotide triplet, if
by chance the mutation substitutes one
or more nucleotides of a codifier triplet
and the nely formed triplet still
codifies the same amino acid codified by
the original triplet there ill be no
modification in the protein made from
the gene.
11" 7ow do genetic mutations
influence biological di$ersity%
Too extensive or too fre&uent genetic
mutations generally are deleterious for
individuals and species. These
mutations often cause important
phenotypical changes or defects
incompatible ith the survival of the
body and the continuity of the species.
/oever small genetic mutations that
do not cause the appearing of lethal
changes are continuously accumulated
in the genetic patrimony of the species.
These mutations gradually add to each
other giving birth to small phenotypical
changes in individuals. These small
changes are exposed to the selective
criticism of the environment $natural
selection% and the more favorable for
survival and reproduction are preserved
$the remaider are eliminated as their
carriers have difficulty in surviving and
reproducing%. In this manner the
combined processes of accumulation of
small mutations and of natural selection
incorporate ne features in the species
and they may even lead to speciation
$formation of ne species% and
promotion of biological diversity.
$-bviously only genetic mutations
transmitted by cells that originate ne
individuals, in sexual or asexual
reproduction, have evolutionary effect.%
1&" #hat are mutagenic
agents%
1utagenic agents, or mutagens, are
physical, chemical or biological factors
that can cause alteration in 40'
molecules.
3xamples of ell!knon or believed to
be mutagenic agents are2 U, alpha, beta
and gamma rays, ultraviolet radiation,
nitrous acid, many dyes, some
seeteners, some herbicides, many
substances of tobacco, some viruses,
like /7P, etc. ,mall 40' fragments
knon as transposons can also act as
mutagens hen incorporated into other
40' molecules.
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1*" 7ow are mutagenic agents
related to cancer incidence in
a (o(ulation% !s cancer a
disease transmitted to the
indi$idual offs(ring%
The exposition of a population to
mutagenic agents $for example, the
people living in the surrounds of the
.hernobyl nuclear poer plant and
exposed to the radiation from the
nuclear accident in G<>9% increases the
cancer incidence in that population. This
occurs because the mutagenic agents
increase the rate of mutation and the
probability of mutant cells to proliferate
in pathological manner $cancer%.
.ancer itself is not a hereditarily
transmissible disease. 6enetic
predispositions for the development of
cancer, hoever, can be inherited.
1+" 7ow do the re(airing
enzymes of the genetic
system act%
There are enzymes ithin the cells that
detect errors or alterations in 40'
molecules and begin a repair of those
errors. 8irst, enzymes knon as
restriction endonucleases, specialized in
cutting 40' molecules $also used in
genetic engineering%, cut the affected
piece of 40'. Then polymerase
enzymes build correct se&uences of
nucleotides correspondent to the
affected piece taking as template the
40' chain complementary to the
affected chain. 8inally the ne correct
se&uence is bound in the 40' under
repair by specific enzymes.
1," #hat are some diseases or
genetic abnormalities caused
by recessi$e genes%
3xamples of recessive genetic diseases
are2 cystic fibrosis, albinism,
phenylketonuria, galactosemia, Tay!
,achs disease.
1-" #hat are some diseases or
genetic abnormalities caused
by dominant genes% #hy are
se$ere dominant genetic
diseases rarer than recessi$e
ones%
3xamples of dominant genetic diseases
are2 /untington's disease $or
/untingtonQs chorea%,
neurofibromatosis,
hypercholesterolemia, polycystic kidney
disease.
,evere and early autosomal dominant
diseases are rarer than recessive
autosomal diseases because in this last
group the affected allele may be hidden
in the heterozygous individuals and
transmitted to the offspring until
undergoing homozygosity $actual
manifestation of the disease%. In severe
dominant diseases the heterozygous
manifests the condition and often dies
ithout having offspring. $,ome genetic
diseases are of later manifestation, like
/untington disease( in these cases the
incidence is higher because many
individuals have children before knoing
that they are carriers of the dominant
gene%.
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1." #hat is consanguineal
marriage% #hy is the
a((earing of genetic disease
more (robable in the offs(ring
of a consanguineal marriage%
.onsanguineal marriage is the marriage
beteen relatives, i.e., people having
common near ancestors.
The consanguineal marriage increases
the probability of recessive genetic
disease in the offspring since it is
common for people from the same
genetic lineage to be heterozygous
carriers of alleles that condition
recessive genetic diseases.
18" 7ow is the early diagnosis
of genetic diseases usually
done%
6enetic disease may be diagnosed in
the prenatal period by karyotype
analysis, in case of aneuploidies, or by
40' analysis, in case of other diseases.
The test is performed by removal of
material containing cells of the embryo
by amniocentesis $extraction of amniotic
fluid% or cordocentesis $puncture of the
umbilical cord% or even by chorionic
villus biopsy $that can be done earlier in
gestation%.
Lltrasonography is a diagnostic
procedure for some genetic diseases
that produce morphological variations
during the embryonic development. The
study of genetic family trees is also an
important auxiliary method in the early
diagnosis of many genetic diseases.
The 7ardy4
#einberg ;rinci(le
1" #hat is allele fre5uency%
'llele fre&uency is the percentage of
appearances of an allele in the
genotypes of a given population
$compared to the other alleles of the
studied gene%.
8or example, in the 'B- blood system
there are three alleles $I', IB and i%.
.onsidering a group of three persons,
one ith genotype I'i, other I'IB and
other ii, the fre&uency of the allele I' in
this CpopulationD is ?*9, the fre&uency
of the allele IB is G*9 and the fre&uency
of the allele i is H*9.
&" #hat is genetic
e5uilibrium%
6enetic e&uilibrium is the result of the
/ardy!"einberg la, a principle that
affirms that under specific conditions
the fre&uencies of the alleles of a gene
in a given population remain constant.
$The /ardy!"einberg principle is not
valid in the folloing conditions2 for
populations too small, in the occurrence
of noncasual $driven% crossings, for
populations ith many infertile
members and in case of action of
evolutionary factors, like natural
selection, mutations and migrations.%
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*" #hat is the mathematical
e)(ression of the genetic
e5uilibrium for genes with two
alleles% !s this statistical
distribution the same as the
statistical distribution of the
res(ecti$e (henoty(es%
.onsidering p the fre&uency of one of
the alleles and & the fre&uency of the
other allele of a given gene in a
population, in this population individuals
produce p gametes ith the first allele
for each & gamete containing the
second allele. Therefore the probabilities
of formation of homozygous genotype
for the first allele is p
?
, of homozygous
genotype for the second allele is &
?
and
of the heterozygous genotype is p.& A
&.p, i.e., ?p.&.
,ince the sum of those probabilities
necessarily is G, the resulting
mathematical expression is2 p
?
A ?p.& A
&
?
B G.
In general the number of genotypical
forms is not identical to the number of
phenotypical forms since there are
dominance and other interactions
beteen genes that affect the
manifestation of the phenotype.
+" An hy(othesis for the
e)tinction of the dinosaurs is
that the earth had been hit by
a gigantic meteor that caused
the death of those big re(tiles"
!n that case the entire genetic
(ool of those animals has
been destroyed8 in$alidating
the 7ardy4#einberg
e5uilibrium" !n Denetics what
is this ty(e of gene fre5uency
change called%
The phenomenon in hich a large
number of genes is destroyed or
introduced in a population is called
genetic drift.
"hen a genetic drift occurs the /ardy
"einberg principle is not applicable.
," #hat are the (enetrance
and the e)(ressi$ity of a
gene%
Individuals that carry a same genotype
do not alays manifest in an identical
manner the correspondent phenotype.
These manifestations may differ in
intensity, from one individual to
another, or even the phenotype may not
manifest in some percentage of carriers.
6ene penetrance is the percentage of
phenotypical manifestation of a gene in
a given population of carrier individuals
$same genotype%. 6ene expressivity is
the degree $intensity% of the
phenotypical manifestation of a gene in
each individual or group of individuals
that carry the gene $same genotype%.
The gene penetrance and the gene
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expressiveness may be influenced by
the environment.
-" #hy is a balanced
fre5uency of different alleles
of a gene in a (o(ulation more
useful for the sur$i$al of that
(o(ulation facing
en$ironmental changes%
8or a trait conditioned by to alleles, for
example, ' and a, a balanced fre&uency
beteen the alleles ' and b is more
advantageous for survival. 8or example,
in an environmental situation in hich
the aa homozygous phenotype becomes
incompatible ith life the presence of a
good number of individuals '' and 'a
ill result in better survival chance for
the species. 'nother example2 an
environmental situation in hich the
dominant phenotype becomes
incompatible ith life( in this case the
existence of heterozygous and recessive
homozygous individuals in enough
number may be fundamental for the
survival of the species.
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Denetic
=ngineering
1" #hat is biotechnology%
Biotechnology is the application of
biological knoledge to obtain ne
techni&ues, materials and compounds of
pharmaceutical, medical, agrarian,
industrial and scientific use, i.e., of
practical use.
The pioneer fields of biotechnology ere
agriculture and the food industry but
noadays many other practical fields
use its techni&ues.
&" #hat is genetic
engineering%
6enetic engineering is the use of
genetic knoledge to artificially
manipulate genes2 It is one of the fields
of biotechnology.
*" At the (resent le$el of the
biotechnology what are the
main techni5ues of genetic
engineering%
The main techni&ues of genetic
engineering today are2 the recombinant
40' technology $also called genetic
engineering itself% in hich pieces of
genes from an organism are inserted
into the genetic material of another
organism producing recombinant
beings( the nucleus transplantation
technology, popularly knon as
CcloningD, in hich a nucleus of a cell is
grafted into a enucleated egg cell of the
same species to create a genetic copy of
the donor $of the nucleus% individual(
the technology of 40' amplification, or
7.5 $polymerase chain reaction%, that
allos millions replications of chosen
fragments of a 40' molecule.
The recombinant 40' technology is
used to create transgenic organisms,
like mutant insulin!producing bacteria.
The nucleus transplantation technology
is in its initial development but it is the
basis, for example, of the creation of
C4ollyD the sheep. 7.5 has numerous
practical uses, as in medical tests to
detect microorganisms present in blood
and tissues, 40' fingerprint and
obtainment of 40' samples for
research.
+" #hat are restriction
enzymes% 7ow do these
enzymes (artici(ate in the
recombinant 9A technology%
5estriction enzymes, or restriction
endonucleases, are enzymes specialized
in the cutting of 40' fragments each
acting upon specific sites of the 40'
molecule. 5estriction enzymes are used
in the recombinant 40' technology to
obtain ith precision pieces of 40'
molecules to be later inserted into other
40' molecules cut by the same
enzymes.
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," #hat are 9A ligases% 7ow
do these enzymes (artici(ate
in the recombinant 9A
technology%
40' ligases are enzymes specialized in
tying the complementary 40' chains
that form the 40' double helix. These
enzymes are used in the recombinant
40' technology to insert pieces of 40'
cut by restriction enzymes into other
40' molecules submitted to the action
of the same endonucleases.
-" #hat are (lasmids%
7lasmids are circular 40' molecules
present in the genetic material of some
bacteria. They may contain genes
responsible for bacterial resistance to
some antibiotics and for proteins that
cause virulence $pathogenic hostility%.
." 7ow is genetic engineering
used to create bacteria
ca(able of (roducing human
insulin%
In the production of human insulin by
bacteria the human insulin gene is
incorporated into the genetic material of
these microorganisms. The mutant
bacteria multiply forming lineages of
insulin!producing bacteria.
In bacteria there are circular strands of
40' called plasmids, minichromosomes
hich act as an accessory to the main
40'. To create a mutant bacteria
capable of producing insulin a plasmid is
submitted to the action of restriction
enzymes $restriction endonucleases%
specialized in cutting 40' fragments.
The once circular plasmid is open by the
restriction enzyme. The same enzyme is
used to cut a human 40' molecule
containing the insulin gene. The piece of
human 40' containing the insulin gene
then has its extremities bound to the
plasmid ith the help of 40' ligases.
The recombinant plasmid containing the
human insulin gene is then inserted into
the bacteria.
'nother human hormone already
produced by recombinant bacteria is 6/
$somatotropin, or groth hormone%.
The insertion of 40' molecules into
cells of an individual is also the method
of the gene therapy, a promising
treatment for genetic diseases. In gene
therapy cells from an organism deficient
in the production of a given protein
receive $by means of vectors, e.g.,
virus% pieces of 40' containing the
protein gene and they then begin to
synthesize the protein.
8" #hat is cloning%
.loning is the making of an organism
genetically identical to another by
means of genetic engineering.
The basis of cloning is the nucleus
transplantation technology. ' nucleus
from a cell is extracted, generally from
an embryonic $not differentiated% cell
and this nucleus is inserted into a
previously enucleated reproductive cell
$in general an egg cell%( the egg is then
implanted in the organ here the
embryonic development ill take place.
If embryonic development occurs the
ne organism ill have identical genetic
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patrimony to the organism oner of the
cell hose nucleus as used in the
transplantation.
/" #hat is ;6:% 7ow does ;6:
works%
7.5, polymerase chain reaction, is a
method to synthesize many copies of
specific regions of a 40' molecule
knon as target!regions. Its inventor,
Iary 1ullis, on the 0obel prize for
.hemistry in G<<H.
8irst, the 40' to be tested is heated to
cause the double helix to rupture and
the polynucleotide chains to be
exposed. Then small synthetic
se&uences of 40' knon as primers
and containing nucleotide se&uences
similar to the se&uences of the
extremities of the region to be studied
$for example, a region containing a
knon gene exclusive of a given
organism% are added. The primers
paired ith the original 40' in the
extremities of the gene to be amplified.
3nzymes knon as polymerases, that
catalyze 40' replication, and nucleotide
supply are added. The primers then are
completed and the chosen region is
replicated. In the presence of more
primers and more nucleotides millions of
copies of that specific region are
generated. $7.5 is very sensitive even
using a minimal amount of 40'%.
10" #hat is the fact of
0olecular Biology on which
9A finger(rint is based%
40' fingerprint, the method of
individual identification using 40', is
based on the fact that the 40' of every
individual $ith exception of identical
tins and individual clones% contains
nucleotide se&uences exclusive to each
individual.
'lthough normal individuals of the same
species have the same genes in their
chromosomes, each individual has
different alleles and even in the inactive
portions of the chromosomes
$heterochromatin% there are differences
in nucleotide se&uences among
individuals.
11" #hy are the recombinant
9A technology and the
nucleus trans(lantation
technology still dangerous%
The recombinant 40' technology and
the nucleus transplantation technology
$cloning% are extremely dangerous since
they are able to modify, in a very short
time, the ecological balance that
evolution has taken millions of years to
create on the planet. 4uring the
evolutionary process, under the slo
and gradual action of mutations, genetic
recombinations and of natural selection
species emerged and ere modified and
genetic patrimonies ere formed. "ith
genetic engineering hoever humans
can mix and modify genes, making
changes of unpredictable long term
conse&uences, risking creating ne
plant or animal diseases, ne types of
cancers and ne disease outbreaks. It
is a field as potentially dangerous as the
manipulation of nuclear energy.
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1&" #hat is the main moral
(roblem about the cloning of
human indi$iduals%
Besides biological perils, a very serious
moral problem involves the nucleus
transplantation technology concerning
humans2 an individual right of a human
being is offended hen a man or
oman is made as a copy of another.
,ince it is impossible to first ask if the
person to be generated ants or not to
be a genetic copy of another person,
certainly the most important human
right is being offended, one's individual
freedom, hen a human being is
obliged to be a genetic copy of another.
It is indeed a danger to democracy,
hose most basic principle must be
nonviolation of individual freedom.
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=$olution
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>rigin of 'ife
1" 7ow old is the earth%
It is believed that the earth is
approximately @.: billion years old.
&" 7ow old is the uni$erse%
8rom analysis of data collected by the
/ubble telescope the age of the
universe is estimated to be about G?
billion years.
*" #hen did life a((ear on
earth%
It is estimated that life on earth
emerged about H.: billion years ago,
thus G billion years after the formation
of the planet.
+" 7istorically how has the
origin of life on earth been
e)(lained%
The most recurrent explanation for the
phenomenon of life on earth is the
mythological. 7eople from various parts
of the orld developed explanatory
myths about the origin of animals and
human beings. ,ome of those myths
ere incorporated into religions and
almost all religions have metaphorical or
transcendental explanations about the
origin of life on the planet.
"ith the development of science ne
explanatory attempts have emerged.
0otable among them are the
spontaneous generation hypothesis, or
abiogenesis, that asserted that living
beings ere created from nonliving
material, the cosmic panspermia
hypothesis, theory that life on earth is a
result of seeding from the outer space,
the autotrophic hypothesis, according to
hich the first living beings ere
autotrophs, and the heterotrophic
hypothesis, the most accepted
noadays, that affirms that life
emerged from heterotrophic cells.
't the end of the G<>=s decade a ne
hypothesis knon as the 50' orld
hypothesis as presented. This
hypothesis asserts that primitive life
had only 50' as genetic material and as
structural molecules that later turned
into 40' and proteins. The 50' orld
hypothesis is strengthened by the fact
that 50' can play a catalytic role, like
enzymes, and by the finding that some
bacteria have ribosomes made only of
50' ithout associated proteins.
," #hat is the s(ontaneous
generation hy(othesis%
The spontaneous generation
hypothesys, or abiogenesis, asserts that
life on earth has come from nonliving
material. 8or example, the fact that ith
time rats appeared around aste as
considered in the past a confirmation of
this hypothesis. ,ome supporters of
spontaneous generation associated it
ith the existence of an active principle
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$the vital elan% that ould be the source
of life, a theory knon as vitalism.
-" 7ow did the e)(eriments of
:edi and ;asteur refute the
hy(othesis of s(ontaneous
generation%
To refute the spontaneous generation
hypothesis many experiments ere
performed. 8rancisco 5edi, in G99>,
verified that maggots appeared on meat
only hen there as exposition to the
environment( ithin closed
environments, they did not appear. In
G>9?, Kouis 7asteur orking ith san!
neck flasks refuted the abiogenesis
hypothesis definitively. In this
experiment 7asteur demonstrated that
boiled $to kill microorganisms% nutritive
soups put in san!neck flasks $ith a
curved don mouth so microorganisms
could not enter easily% did not
contaminate ith microorganisms hile
the same soups ithin flasks ith open
upards mouths ere contaminated in
a fe days. The fact that both flasks
ere open refuted the argument of the
vitalists that the vital elan could not
enter the flasks. 7asteur broke the
san!necks of the flasks to demonstrate
that proliferation of microorganism
could happen if these beings ere able
to reach the broth.
." #hat is (ans(ermia%
7anspermia is a hypothesis that
describes life on earth as not originated
from the planet. The idea is that the
first living beings that colonized the
earth came from outer space, from
other planets or even from other
galaxies by traveling in meteorites,
comets, etc. 'ccording to this
hypothesis even the type of life no
existent on earth could have also been
seeded intentionally by extraterrestrial
beings in other stellar and planetary
systems.
8" #hat is the autotro(hic
hy(othesis on the origin of
life%
The autotrophic hypothesis on the origin
of life asserts that the first living beings
on earth ere producers of their on
food, #ust like plants and
chemosynthetic microorganisms.
/" #hat is the heterotro(hic
hy(othesis on the origin of
life%
'ccording to the heterotrophic
hypothesis the first living beings ere
very simple heterotrophic organisms,
i.e., not producers of their on food,
hich emerged from the gradual
association of organic molecules into
small organized structures $the
coacervates%. The first organic
molecules in their turn ould have
appeared from substances of the earth's
primitive atmosphere submitted to
strong electrical discharges, to solar
radiation and to high temperatures.
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10" #hat is the most acce(ted
hy(othesis about the origin of
life on earth% 7ow does it
com(are to the other main
hy(otheses%
The heterotrophic hypothesis is the
strongest and most accepted hypothesis
about the origin of life.
The spontaneous generation hypothesis
has been excluded by the experiments
of 7asteur. The panspermia hypothesis
is not yet completely refuted but it is
not ell!accepted since it ould be
necessary to explain ho living beings
could survive long space #ourneys under
conditions of extreme temperatures as
ell as to clarify the manner by hich
they ould resist the high temperatures
faced hen entering the earth's
atmosphere. The autotrophic hypothesis
is eakened if one takes into account
that the production of organic material
from inorganic substances is a highly
complex process re&uiring diversified
enzymatic systems and that the
existence of complex metabolic
reactions on the primitive earth ere
not probable.
11" Before the emergence of
life of what gases was the
earthGs (rimiti$e atmos(here
constituted%
The earth's primitive atmosphere as
basically formed of methane, hydrogen,
ammonia and ater vapor.
1&" #hat are the main
constituents of the earthGs
atmos(here in our time%
The present atmosphere of the earth is
constituted mainly of molecular nitrogen
$0?% and molecular oxygen $-?%.
0itrogen is the most abundant gas,
approximately >=; of the total volume.
-xygen makes up about ?=;. -ther
gases exist in the atmosphere in a lo
percentage. $-f great concern is the
increase in the amount of carbon
dioxide due to human activity, the cause
of the threatening global arming.%
1*" #as there molecular
o)ygen in the earthGs (rimiti$e
atmos(here% 7ow has that
molecule become abundant%
The presence of molecular oxygen in the
primitive atmosphere as probably at a
minimum and extremely rare. -xygen
became abundant ith the emergence
of photosynthetic beings,
approximately, G.: billion years after
the appearance of life on the planet.
1+" #hich (hysical elements
contributed to the great
amount of a$ailable energy on
the (rimiti$e earth at the time
of the origin of life%
H.: billion years ago the ater cycle as
faster than today, resulting in hard
storms ith intense electrical
discharges. There as also no chemical
protection from the ozone layer against
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391
Buyer: Victoria Proctor (vicproc6@gmaiI.com)
Transaction ID: 4KS71350WY6468607
Biology Questions and Answers
ultraviolet radiation. The temperatures
in the atmosphere and on the planet
surface ere very high. 3lectricity,
radiation and heat constituted large
available energy sources.
1," #hat was the e)(eriment
of 1tanley 0iller 21/,*3 on the
origin of life%
In G<:H ,tanley 1iller arranged an
experimental apparatus that simulated
the atmospheric conditions of the
primitive earth. The experiment
contained a mixture of methane,
ammonia, hydrogen and circulating
ater that hen heated as
transformed into vapor. /e submitted
the mixture to continuous bombardment
of electrical discharge and after days
obtained a li&uid residual ithin hich
he discovered organic molecules and
among them surprisingly the amino
acids glycine and alanine, the most
abundant constituents of proteins. -ther
researchers reproduced the 1iller
experiment and noted also the
formation of other organic molecules
such as lipids, carbohydrates and
nucleotides.
1-" #hat are coacer$ates%
.oarcervates are small structures made
of the aggregation of organic molecules
under ater solution. By electrical
attraction the molecules #oin into bigger
and more organized particles distinct
from the fluid environment forming a
membrane!like structure that separates
an internal region of the coacervate
from the exterior. The coacervates
might divide themselves and also
absorb and excrete substanc