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Exploring Life

Chapter 1, 2

he creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed


Romans 8:19

Biology is the scientific study


of life
Biology not just about memorizing factual
details

After this lecture, you


should be able to
Describe each themes help to organize biological
information
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

New properties emergent at each level


Organisms interact with each other & the environment
Life requires energy transfer and transformation
Structure and function are correlated at all levels
Cells are organisms basic units
Continuity of life is based on heritable information
Feedback mechanisms regulate biological systems
Evolution accounts for the unity and diversity of life (etc)

Understand the process of hypothesis-based science

1. Emergent Properties:
Biologists explore life from the
microscopic to the global scale.
New properties emerge with each step
upward in the hierarchy of biological order
Each level of biological organization has
emergent properties The whole is
greater than the sum of its parts
Result from arrangements and interactions
within systems
Systems biology

Study of Biological
Systems
Reductionism:
Reducing complex systems to simpler components
that are easier to study
Examples:
Studies of DNA structure and the Human Genome

Systems Biology:
Seeks to create models of the dynamic behavior of
whole biological systems
Example:
Map of interactions between proteins in a fruit fly cell

Regulatory systems:
Many biological processes are self-regulating

Examples:
1. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
A mixture of oxygen and hydrogen will not give
you the properties of water.
2. Photosynthesis will only take place in an intact
chloroplasts. Requires chlorophyll and other
chloroplast molecules. Photosynthesis will not take
place in a test tube even if chlorophyll and other
chloroplasts components are mixed in a test tube.
.Both organisms and their environments are affected
by the interactions between them

Biology can be studied at


different levels of
organization:
biosphere

ecosystem
community
population
organism
organ system
organ
tissue
cell
organelle
molecular

Biosphereall of the environments on Earth that support life


Ecosystemall the organisms living + nonliving in a particular
area and the physical components with which the organisms
interact
Communitythe entire array of organisms living in a particular
ecosystem
Populationall the individuals of a species living in a specific area
Organisman individual living thing
Organ systemseveral organs that cooperate in a specific
function
Organa structure that is composed of tissues and that provides a
specific function for the organism
Tissuesa group of similar cells that perform a specific function
Cellsthe fundamental unit of life
Organellea membrane-bound structure that performs a specific
function in a cell
Moleculea cluster of small chemical units called atoms held
together by chemical bonds

Biosphere
Ecosystem
Community
Population
Organism

Ecologist

Organ system
Organ
Tissues
Cells
Organelle
Molecule

Physiologist
Cell
Biologis
t

Molecular
Biologist

Question:
Can you give specific examples at each
hierarchy level? Atoms, molecules,
organelles, cells, etc.
Arrange the following in the correct the
hierarchy of biological organization, from
least to most complex.
Digestive system, hydrogen, intestinal cell
organelle, protein, intestinal cell, intestinal tissue

2. Living organisms interact with other


organisms and their environment
Interaction is between both living and
nonliving components
System:
A combination of components that form a
more complex organization (e.g. Cells,
organisms, and ecosystems)
Ex. Ecosystem

2. Living organisms interact with other


organisms and their environment
Both benefit each other = symbiosis
One benefit
With the expense of the other = parasitism
With no effect on the other = commensalism
With harmful effect on the other =
antagonism

Interact, but no effect to each other =


neutralism
Harmful to each other = competition

Global Warming
Humans have modified our environment
Half the human-generated CO2 stays in
atmosphere and contributes to global
warming

Global warming is a major aspect of


global climate change
Important to understand effects of global
climate change on the Earth and its
populations

Global Warming Tax For


Fuel!!!
The global warming fee adds 2.25 percent to the
full retail price of gasoline which includes
existing taxes and fees in the State of California

3. Structure and function are correlated


at all levels of biological organization
Comparative study of animals reveals close
correlation between structure & function
Anatomy
Study structure of organisms

Physiology
Study functions performed by organism

Model organisms
Short generation time

Study of Biological
Systems
Reductionism:
Reducing complex systems to simpler components
that are easier to study
Examples:
Studies of DNA structure and the Human Genome

Systems Biology:
Seeks to create models of the dynamic behavior of
whole biological systems
Example:
Map of interactions between proteins in a fruit fly cell

Regulatory systems:
Many biological processes are self-regulating

Fungi:
Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Model
Organisms
Animals
Bacteria:
Escherichia coli

Fruit fly:
Drosophila melanogaster
Nematode:
Caenorhabditis
elegans
Plants:
Arabadopsis thaliana

Mouse: Mus musculus

4. Life requires energy transfer


and transformation
Organisms in an
ecosystem will includes
producers, consumers,
decomposers
Two process related to
energy:
Recycling of chemical
nutrients
Flow of energy
Producers
-> Consumers -> Recycling
Sunlight->
Note the flow
of energy:

5. Cells: Basic units of life


Cell is the lowest level of organization
that can perform all activities of life
The ability of cells to divide is the basis of
all reproduction, growth, and repair of
multicellular organisms

Forms of cells
All cells
Are enclosed by a membrane
Use DNA as their genetic information

Eukaryotic cell has membraneenclosed organelles


Largest is usually the nucleus

Prokaryotic cell is simpler, usually


smaller, and does not contain
membrane-enclosed organelles

We will examine,
Cell structure and
organelles
Cell replication
Mitosis
Meiosis

6. Continuity of life based


on heritable information
Cells heritable information - DNA
Directs the cells activities

DNA is the substance of genes


Genes encode information for building proteins

DNA Structure and


Function
Each chromosome is one long
DNA molecule with many
genes
Genes encode information for
building proteins
DNA is inherited by offspring
from their parents
DNA controls the development
and maintenance of organisms

Genomics: Large-Scale
Analysis of DNA Sequences
An organisms genome is its entire set
of genetic instructions
The human genome has
been sequenced
using
DNA-sequencing
machines
Genomics is the study
of sets of
genes within
and between species

7. Feedback Regulation in
Biological Systems
Regulatory systems ensure a dynamic
balance in living systems
Chemical processes catalyzed by
enzymes
Many biological processes are selfregulating: (product regulates the
process)
Negative feedback
Positive feedback

Negative feedback

Positive feedback

Accumulation of product
slows down the process
itself
To achieve homeostasis
Ex. Sweating to

Product speeds up its


own production
Ex. Uterus contraction
during child birth

Study of Biological
Systems
Reductionism:
Reducing complex systems to simpler components
that are easier to study
Examples:
Studies of DNA structure and the Human Genome

Systems Biology:
Seeks to create models of the dynamic behavior of
whole biological systems
Example:
Map of interactions between proteins in a fruit fly cell

Regulatory systems:
Many biological processes are self-regulating

8. Evolution to accounts
for lifes unity and diversity
Evolution seeks to give the history of life
as an account of a changing Earth that is
billions of years old
Charles Darwin published On the Origin
of Species by Natural Selection in 1859
Darwin made two main points
1. Species show evidence of descent with
modification from common ancestors
2. Natural selection is mechanism for
descent with modification

Darwinism became almost synonymous


with the concept of evolution

As a Christian, how does the emphasis of


evolution in Biology affect your faith and
study of Biology?
The word science comes from the Latin
to know. Is science the only way of
knowing?
Does the scientific method have
epistemological limits (i.e. are there
questions beyond the scope of science)?

Limitations of Science
Limitations of science are set by its
naturalism
Science seeks natural causes for natural
phenomena
Science cannot support or falsify
supernatural explanations, which are
outside the bounds of science
Read:
Chapter 3 The Scientific Enterprise in Biology
Through the Eyes of Faith (by Richard Wright)
What other limitations are pointed out in this

Process of Science

Biologists use various


forms of inquiry to explore
life

Inquiry is the search for information and


explanation
Two main processes of scientific inquiry:
Discovery science: describe nature through
careful observation and data analysis
Examples: understanding cell structure, expanding
databases of genomes

Hypothesis-based science: explain nature


by proposing and testing hypotheses
Hypotheses are hypothetical explanations

Hypothesis: a proposed explanation for


an observation that makes testable
predictions
We solve everyday problems by using
hypotheses
Ex. Why doesnt a flashlight work?
Using deductive reasoning we realize that the
problem is either (1) the bulb or (2) the
batteries.
Further, a hypothesis must be testableand
falsifiable

Hypothesis testing in science must


have the following features:
1. Appropriate control
a control is a parallel experiment that
alters one variable under study

2. Reproducibility
this refers to the confidence we can place
in the experimental data: are our results
reliable?

Case from the nature


Observation: eastern coral snakes are
poisonous and marked with a bold colour
pattern. Scarlet king snakes are non-poisonous
but have markings that mimic coral snakes.

Eastern coral snake

Scarlet king snake

Question
Does the scarlet king snake benefit from its
mimicry of the eastern coral snake?

Hypothesis
The scarlet king snake avoids predation due to
its mimicry of the eastern coral snake.

Predictions
In areas with both species, predators will avoid
scarlet king snakes; in areas with only scarlet
king snakes, their pattern will have no
protective effect.

Test: place artificial snakes in the


environment and measure predation
how frequently the models are attacked:
Experimental group:
artificial scarlet king snakes
Control group: artificial
brown snakes
Ideally, the control group
should differ from the
experimental group by only
one variable the variable
under study

Reproducibility: place
hundreds of each kind of
snake.

Results: