Biology Spec Check

Specification checklist - biology edexcel

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Topic 1

Topic 1: Lifestyle, health and risk

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1 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the practical and investigative skills identified in numbers 4 and 5 in the table of How Science Works on page 13 of this specification.

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6 - Explain why many animals have a heart and circulation (mass transport to overcome limitations of diffusion in meeting the requirements of organisms).

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2 - Explain the importance of water as a solvent in transport, including its dipole nature

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8 - Explain how the structures of blood vessels (capillaries, arteries and veins) relate to their functions.

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7 - Describe the cardiac cycle (atrial systole, ventricular systole and diastole) and relate the structure and operation of the mammalian heart to its function, including the major blood vessels.

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11 - Explain the course of events that leads to atherosclerosis (endothelial damage, inflammatory response, plaque formation, raised blood pressure).

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10 - Describe the blood clotting process (thromboplastin release, conversion of prothrombin to thrombin and fibrinogen to fibrin) and its role in cardiovascular disease (CVD).

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12 - Describe the factors that increase the risk of CVD (genetic, diet, age, gender, high blood pressure, smoking and inactivity).

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18 - Analyse and interpret quantitative data on illness and mortality rates to determine health risks (including distinguishing between correlation and causation and recognising conflicting evidence).

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19 - Evaluate design of studies used to determine health risk factors (including sample selection and sample size used to collect data that is both valid and reliable).

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20 - Explain why people’s perceptions of risks are often different from the actual risks (including underestimating and overestimating the risks due to diet and other lifestyle factors in the development of heart disease).

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17 - Analyse data on energy budgets and diet so as to be able to discuss the consequences of energy imbalance, including weight loss, weight gain, and development of obesity.

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3 - Distinguish between monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides (glycogen and starch – amylose and amylopectin) and relate their structures to their roles in providing and storing energy (β-glucose and cellulose are not required in this topic).

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4 - Describe how monosaccharides join to form disaccharides (sucrose, lactose and maltose) and polysaccharides (glycogen and amylose) through condensation reactions forming glycosidic bonds, and how these can be split through hydrolysis reactions.

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5 - Describe the synthesis of a triglyceride by the formation of ester bonds during condensation reactions between glycerol and three fatty acids and recognise differences between saturated and unsaturated lipids

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14 - Analyse and interpret data on the possible significance for health of blood cholesterol levels and levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). Describe the evidence for a causal relationship between blood cholesterol levels (total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol) and CVD.

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9 - Describe how the effect of caffeine on heart rate in Daphnia can be investigated practically, and discuss whether there are ethical issues in the use of invertebrates

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16 - Describe how to investigate the vitamin C content of food and drink.

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15 - Discuss how people use scientific knowledge about the effects of diet (including obesity indicators), exercise and smoking to reduce their risk of coronary heart disease.

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13 - Describe the benefits and risks of treatments for CVD (antihypertensives, plant statins, anticoagulants and platelet inhibitory drugs).

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Topic 2

Topic 2: Genes and health

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Topic 2

1 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the practical and investigative skills identified in numbers 4 and 5 in the table of How Science Works on page 13 of this specification.

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Topic 2

6 - Describe the properties of gas exchange surfaces in living organisms (large surface area to volume ratio, thickness of surface, difference in concentration) and explain how the structure of the mammalian lung is adapted for rapid gaseous exchange.

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2 - Explain how models such as the fluid mosaic model of cell membranes are interpretations of data used to develop scientific explanations of the structure and properties of cell membranes.

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5 - Describe how membrane structure can be investigated practically, eg by the effect of alcohol concentration or temperature on membrane permeability.

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3 - Explain what is meant by osmosis in terms of the movement of free water molecules through a partially permeable membrane (consideration of water potential is not required)

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4 - Explain what is meant by passive transport (diffusion, facilitated diffusion), active transport (including the role of ATP), endocytosis and exocytosis and describe the involvement of carrier and channel proteins in membrane transport.

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10 - Describe the basic structure of mononucleotides (as a deoxyribose or ribose linked to a phosphate and a base, ie thymine, uracil, cytosine, adenine or guanine) and the structures of DNA and RNA (as polynucleotides composed of mononucleotides linked through condensation reactions) and describe how complementary base pairing and the hydrogen bonding between two complementary strands are involved in the formation of the DNA double helix.

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Topic 2

14 - Outline the process of protein synthesis, including the role of transcription, translation, messenger RNA, transfer RNA and the template (antisense) DNA strand (details of the mechanism of protein synthesis on ribosomes are not required at AS).

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12 - Explain the nature of the genetic code (triplet code only; non-overlapping and degenerate not required at AS).

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13 - Describe a gene as being a sequence of bases on a DNA molecule coding for a sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide chain.

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7 - Describe the basic structure of an amino acid (structures of specific amino acids are not required) and the formation of polypeptides and proteins (as amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds in condensation reactions) and explain the significance of a protein’s primary structure in determining its three-dimensional structure and properties (globular and fibrous proteins and types of bonds involved in three-dimensional structure).

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8 - Explain the mechanism of action and specificity of enzymes in terms of their three-dimensional structure and explain that enzymes are biological catalysts that reduce activation energy, catalysing a wide range of intracellular and extracellular reactions.

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9 - Describe how enzyme concentrations can affect the rates of reactions and how this can be investigated practically by measuring the initial rate of reaction.

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11 - Describe DNA replication (including the role of DNA polymerase), and explain how Meselson and Stahl’s classic experiment provided new data that supported the accepted theory of replication of DNA and refuted competing theories.

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15 - Explain how errors in DNA replication can give rise to mutations and explain how cystic fibrosis results from one of a number of possible gene mutations.

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16 - Explain the terms: gene, allele, genotype, phenotype, recessive, dominant, homozygote and heterozygote; and explain monohybrid inheritance, including the interpretation of genetic pedigree diagrams, in the context of traits such as cystic fibrosis, albinism, thalassaemia, garden pea height and seed morphology.

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17 - Explain how the expression of a gene mutation in people with cystic fibrosis impairs the functioning of the gaseous exchange, digestive and reproductive systems.

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18 - Describe the principles of gene therapy and distinguish
between somatic and germ line therapy.

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19 - Explain the uses of genetic screening: identification of carriers, preimplantation genetic diagnosis and prenatal testing (amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling) and discuss the implications of prenatal genetic screening

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20 - Identify and discuss the social and ethical issues related to genetic screening from a range of ethical viewpoints.

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