GCSE Biology Revision


Life Processes
• • • • • • • Movement Respiration Sensitivity Growth Reproduction Excretion Nutrition

Mrs Gren – or –many naughty rabbits eat green rhubarb stems

Plant and Animal Cells


Cell specialisation .

Cell organisation system organism .

Transport In and Out of Cells • Diffusion – from a high to a low concentration until they are evenly spread • Osmosis – from a region of high water concentration to a region of low (weak to a strong solution) through a semi permeable membrane • Active transport – from a low to a high concentration across a cell membrane .

Digestion .

Balanced Diets • • • • • • • Carbohydrates Protein Lipids / Fats Vitamins Minerals Fibre Water .

The Duodenum Amylase Starch Maltose Protease Lipase Proteins Amino acids and polypeptide s Fats Fatty acids and Glycerol .

The Ileum Maltase Sucrase Lactase Peptidase Lipase Maltose Sucrose Lactose Polypeptides Fat Glucose Glucose and Fructose Glucose and Galactose Amino acids Fatty acids and Glycerol .

Absorption and Assimilation Glucose and amino acids are absorbed into the blood Fatty acids and glycerol are absorbed into the lacteal .

respiration. • Excess food is mostly stored as fat. repair. . • The food is used for growth. • Fats enter the lymphatic system which enters the blood and returns them to the liver.Assimilation • All digested glucose and amino acids pass into the liver in the Hepatic Portal Vein.

Food Testing • Starch – add iodine – turns black • Glucose or reducing sugar – add Benedict's solution and boil – turns brick red • Protein – Biuret test – add NaOH or KOH and then 1% copper sulphate – a violet colouration .

Aerobic Respiration • With oxygen • C6H12O6 + 6O2 6H2O + 6CO2 + energy .

Anaerobic Respiration • Animals Glucose • Plants Glucose Lactic acid Ethanol and carbon dioxide Oxygen debt – the amount of oxygen needed to breakdown the lactic accumulated .

Structure of Thorax .

The Thorax .

. • This increases the space inside the chest and air rushes into the lungs. The diaphragm contracts and moves down. • When we breathe in the intercostal muscles contract and the ribs move up and out.Breathing in • Is controlled by the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm.

Breathing out • The intercostal muscles and the diaphragm relax. . • The ribcage drops down and the diaphragm moves upwards. • This reduces the space inside the chest and pushes air out of the lungs.

normally ½ litre per breath • Measured with a spirometer .Breathing Rate and Depth • Rate .how many breaths per minute • Depth – how much air is being taken in.

04 4 79 Variable level 79 100% saturated .% of different gases in inhaled and exhaled air Gas Inhaled air (%) 20 Exhaled air (%) 16 Oxygen Carbon dioxide Nitrogen Water vapour 0.

Gaseous exchange .

What makes the lung good at gaseous exchange? • Large surface area – greater volume of gases exchanged • Good blood supply – O2 and CO2 exchanged more quickly • Thin membranes – allows diffusion • Moist lining – for the gases to dissolve .

bacteria and other particles stick to the mucus secreted by cells lining the airways • Cilia attached to these cells waft the mucus and dirt out of the lungs and it is swallowed. • Acid in the stomach kills the bacteria .Keeping the Lungs Clean • Dust.

Effects of Smoking •Tar causes cancer •Nicotine is addictive •Smoking removes the hairs that keep the lungs clean .


Photosynthesis light carbon dioxide+water glucose+oxygen chlorophyll 6H2O + 6CO2 C6H12O6 + 6O2 .

Leaf Structure .

• The epidermis is a protective layer of cells and contains no chloroplasts. It is here that photosynthesis takes place. • The palisade layer contains the most chloroplasts as it is near the top of the leaf. This means the light has to pass through the cell lengthways and so increases the amount of light absorbed. .• The leaf has a waxy cuticle to stop it losing water. • The palisade cells are arranged upright. The chloroplasts contain the pigment chlorophyll.

Stomata Guard cells stoma Water moves into the guard cells by osmosis and the stoma opens .

Day During the daytime the rate of photosynthesis is greater than the rate of respiration .

.Night During both the day and night respiration occurs in plants.

amount of chlorophyll or water. light intensity. how much CO2 is available. . its rate depends upon temperature. even if there is plenty of water and carbon dioxide. • Without enough light a plant cannot photosynthesise very fast.Limiting Factors • Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction. Increasing the light intensity will make photosynthesis faster.

equally. plants cease to be able to photosynthesise if it gets too hot. • Temperature can be a limiting factor too. . If it gets too cold the rate of photosynthesis will slow right down.• Sometimes photosynthesis is limited by the level of carbon dioxide. Even if there is plenty of light a plant cannot photosynthesise if it has run out of carbon dioxide.

• If you plot the rate of photosynthesis against the levels of these three limiting factors you get graphs like the ones below. .

They may also use artificial light to enable photosynthesis to continue beyond daylight hours.Maximising growth • Understanding the factors that limit photosynthesis enables greenhouse farmers to maximise the conditions for plant growth. They often use paraffin lamps inside the greenhouse because burning paraffin produces carbon dioxide as well as heat. and so makes photosynthesis proceed faster. .

Uses of Glucose • Turned into starch for storage • Converted into lipid/fat for storage – energy rich • Nitrogen can be added and turned into protein • Stored in fruit • Used in respiration .

Mineral Requirements Magnesium for chlorophyll Nitrogen for growth Phosphorus for cell membranes and DNA Remember how to test leaves for starch .

The Heart .

• Pumps blood around the body The Heart • Pumps blood to the lungs • To pick up oxygen • Remove carbon dioxide .

Double Circulation
Heart Lungs Heart Body Heart
Greater pressure,
better oxygenation, faster flow

Arteries Veins and Capillaries

Thick walls, oxygenated blood, away from heart

Thin walls, deoxygenated blood, to the heart, valves

Link arteries to veins, site of exchange of metabolites and waste


Red blood cells, transport oxygen, biconcave, no nucleus,

White blood cells, defence, engulf bacteria, produce antibodies

Platelets • Used in the clotting of blood • Damage cause them to clump and they begin the conversion of soluble fibrinogen (blood protein) into insoluble fibrin which meshes over the wound and traps red cells. They dry and form a scab .

Blood Cells .

Tissue exchange Glucose Waste PLASMA .

The lymphatic system • Transports excess fluid from the tissues • Transports digested fat • Contains white blood cells that fight infection .

William Harvey • • • • 1578-1657 Observed blood flow around the body Noticed existence of valves in veins Concluded blood pumped via veins round body • Major medical breakthrough! .

000 years before Harvey • Did not use the scientific method – Observation and experimentation • Thought blood went from side to side • Did not realise transport existed round body through capillaries .Galen • Lived 1.

Transport in Plants .

and thinner tubes called phloem vessels. .The Plant Transport System A plant's transport system is made up of two types of tubes . often also referred to as the vascular bundle.strong. The cells of these vessels are modified to make them suited to performing their special functions Together xylem and phloem form the vascular tissue. thick pipes called xylem vessels.

which contain lignin to form stiff tubes. . They are impermeable.Xylem consists of dead cells with no end walls.

and are surrounded by companion cells. with walls made of cellulose and perforated end walls. . They are permeable.Phloem consists of living cells lined with cytoplasm.

.in xylem vessels . Food (the product of photosynthesis) is taken from the leaves and moved up and down the plant to any part which needs it (for growth or for storage) .Water is taken up the plant from the roots to the leaves (for photosynthesis and transpiration) .in xylem vessels. Minerals dissolved in the water are taken up the plant to the shoots and leaves .in phloem vessels.

Transpiration •Temperature •Humidity •Air movement •Light .

Ecology – Competition and Adaptation Keeping warm Keeping cool .

Plant adaptations Not being eaten Reducing water loss .

Prey and Co-operation Snowshoe hare Arctic fox .Predators.

Food Chains .

Woodland Food Web .

Pyramid of Numbers Remember not always pyramid shape .

Pyramid of biomass fox rabbit grass Biomass is dry weight – water has been removed .

ammonium compoundsnitrite-nitrate .Decomposition Decomposers are bacteria and fungi Organic matter.

The Carbon Cycle Plants and animals die and decay .

Nitrogen Cycle .

Food Production and farming methods • • • • Monoculture Hedgerow removal Biological pest control Pesticides and herbicides and insecticides .

Energy and Waste • Burning fossil fuels such as coal. oil or gas • Greenhouse effect • Sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxides are formed which dissolve in water to form acid rain • Reduce the demand for energy so it reaches a sustainable level.will not use up the resources or pollute the planet .

Global Warming and Acid Rain .

sperm or embryos. Gene banks of frozen eggs.Conservation To prevent habitats and organisms from disappearing Limit or ban hunting. Preserve habitats . Zoos and captive breeding programmes.

The Nervous System Stimulus Response Receptor Effector Sensory Neuron Motor neuron Central nervous system .

Motor neuron .

The Eye .

suspensory ligaments loose . ciliary muscle relaxed.Accommodation Long distance – lens long and thin. suspensory ligaments taut Near – lens short and fat ciliary muscle contacted.

So do solvents . LSD and nicotine Others block the enzyme that normally breaks down the neurotransmitter Alcohol depresses synaptic activity in the brain and acts as a depressant.Nerves Synapses and Drugs Some drugs stimulate synapses like a neurotransmitter.

The CNS and Reflex Actions .

Hormones • Proteins that are chemical messengers in the body • Carried in the blood to target cells • Response is slower • May last for hours • Can stimulate more than one target .

• The blood sugar level drops .Controlling glucose. • Glucagon is produced by the pancreas allowing glucose release from the liver and muscles. • When blood sugar levels are low the insulin production stops. • After eating a lot of carbohydrate blood sugar level rises. . • Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas release insulin. the glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver.

Uses of Hormones • Controlling fertility – the contraceptive pill. may contain oestrogen and progesterone and controls the release of pituitary hormones and ovulation • Mini pill. progesterone allows ovulation but makes the vagina and uterus unsuitable for sperm • Anabolic steroids build muscle – reduce the production of testosterone .

Uses of plant hormones • Auxins allow plants to respond to the environment – tropic responses • Auxin (IAA) causes • They stimulate shoots to grow rapidly • Stops side shoots growing • Stimulates growth of roots from the base of stems or leaves • Auxin from seeds cause fruit to swell .

(parthenocarpy) Selective weedkillers 2-4-D causes weeds to grow too fast and results in death. bananas. grass doesn’t take it up well Q 3.4. cucumbers.5 page 102 for Wednesday .Plant responses and Auxins Hormone rooting powder causes roots to grow from cut stems Seedless fruits –grapes.

Homeostasis       Temperature Control Water Control Salt Balance Sugar control Carbon Dioxide Control Urea .

•Enzymes work best. . •Temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus.Temperature Control •Thermoregulation keeps the body at constant temperature (37oC).

. conduction and radiation. •Evaporation of water from a surface removes heat.Temperature Control •Heat is made in most cells but in particular muscle and liver. •Heat is lost by convection.

evaporation causes heat loss. . more blood flows nearer the skin and heat is lost. •Hairs lie flat allowing more heat out. •Sweating.Keeping Cool •Vasodilation.

You may look pale!! •Decrease in sweat.Keeping Warm •Vasoconstriction . •Shivering generates heat (respiration).less blood flows to the skin’s surface. •Hairs stand up and trap insulating air. . keeping heat in.

Carbon dioxide • Excess carbon dioxide results in a drop in the body’s pH (acidic). • Breathing out removes this excess. . • The rate and depth of breathing will alter to suit the amount of CO2.

The Kidney .

Urea • Urea is produced when proteins and amino acids are broken down in the liver. • It is poisonous. • The kidneys remove it but so does sweating !! .

The kidney .

The kidneys have four functions: • Regulation of blood water levels • Reabsorption of useful substances into the blood • Adjustment of the levels of salts and ions in the blood • Excretion of urea and other metabolic wastes .

Kidneys: how they work .

• It is only possible after a satisfactory tissue-match.Kidney transplant • This is when the diseased kidney is surgically removed and replaced by a fully functioning kidney from a deceased or a live donor. . Even after a successful tissue-match the recipient's immune system has to be drugged or suppressed to stop it from rejecting the new kidney.

• There are two solutions to the problem of kidney malfunction or failure: • Kidney transplant • Kidney dialysis .Kidney failure • In the event of kidney failure due to infection or disease. the kidney can no longer remove metabolic waste products from the body. Excretion of metabolic waste is a vital function and their accumulation will result in eventual death.


• A dialysis machine mimics the functioning of the kidney. Blood from an artery in the patient's arm is pumped into the kidney machine which removes urea and excess salts from it. • The blood is checked for air bubbles before being returned to a vein in the arm. .Kidney dialysis • In the absence of a suitable donor kidney.3 days. the alternative solution is for the patient to be hooked-up to a dialysis machine every 2 .

•Is keeping the water and salt levels constant in the blood. •They are regulated by the hypothalamus. •Water moves into the cells by osmosis and could cause them to burst.

Blood concentration too high
•The hypothalamus senses too little water in the blood. •A message is sent to the pituitary gland to release anti-diuretic hormone. •This stops the kidneys removing water and going to the loo!!

Blood concentration too low.
•Too much water in the blood stops the hypothalamus signalling the pituitary. •Water is removed by the kidneys. •Large amounts of dilute urine produced.

Mitosis .Cell Division .


DNA DNA structure discovered by Crick and Watson .

intelligence .Genetic and Environmental causes of Variation • • • • Variation is inherited Genetic – skin colour Environmental – hair length Both – height. weight.

strawberries. greenfly • This type of cell division is mitosis • Cuttings and grafting in plants • Micropropogation used by growers .Asexual reproduction • Produces identical copies called clones – onions. potatoes.

Mutations • Change in the DNA of an organism caused by an error when it is copied • Radiation and certain chemicals such as cigarette smoke can cause mutations • Most are harmful and leads to illness or death • Useful ones are rare but have a dramatic impact on a species and its evolution .

• It causes sticky mucus which blocks the lungs and pancreas . It is a recessive allele which affects 1 in 2000 children.Harmful mutations • Down’s syndrome – an extra chromosome number 21 • Cystic fibrosis is caused by a mutation in the DNA.

Genetic Engineering • Is the ability to alter DNA • A gene from one organism can be transferred into the DNA of a completely different organism • In some cases the all the DNA is removed from a cell and replaced with the DNA from another organism • Dolly the sheep was the first example of genetic cloning .

These are then bred to produce offspring. • Sexual reproduction will ensure variation . sheep. cows. To produce certain traits • In plants for taste. texture. shelf life • Is done by choosing parents with the required traits. cats and so on.Selective Breeding • In animals – dogs.

one allele into one gamete and the other into another Law of independent assortment – any gamete of the father can fertilise any gamete of the mother . Law of segregation – the 2 alleles separate when gametes are formed.Mendel Studied peas and concluded that characteristics were passed on from one generation to another.

Genetic Crosses .


Evolution • Most organisms overproduce • Population numbers remain constant • Sexual reproduction ensures that all offspring exhibit variation • These variations are inherited from the parents • From these Darwin produced his theory of evolution .

forearm.Darwin Evidence for evolution •Fossils •Homologous structures – bat’s wing. horse’s leg. .

New Species – Survival of the Fittest • The peppered moth • Pale ones no longer camouflaged during the Industrial Revolution – were no longer camouflaged • Darker ones survived to reproduce and some of their offspring were even darker • This is survival of the fittest .

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