Biology Terminology

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Abiotic
an ecological factor that makes up part of the non-biological environment of an organism, e.g. temperature, pH, rainfall and humidity
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Acetylcholine
one of a group of chemicals, called neurotransmitters, released by neurones. It diffuses across the gap (synapse) between adjacent neurones and so passes an impulse from neurone to the next
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Action Potential
change that occurs in the electrical charge across the membrane of an axon when it is stimulated and a nerve impulses passes
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Actin
filamentous protein which is involved in contraction within cells, especially muscle cells
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Activation Energy
energy required to bring about a reaction - lowered by the presence of enzymes (catalyst)
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Active Immunity
resistance to disease resulting from the activities of an individual's own immune system whereby an antigen induces plasma cells to produce antibodies
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Active Site
a group of amino acids that makes up the region of an enzyme into which the substrate fits in order to catalyse a reaction
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Active Transport
movement of a substance from a region where it is in low concentration to a region where it is in high concentration. The process requires the expenditure of metabolic energy (ATP)
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Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
an activated nucleotide found in all living cells that acts as an energy carrier. The hydrolysis of ATP leads to the formation of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate (Pi), with the release of energy
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Adrenaline
a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in times of stress that prepares the body for an emergency
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Aerobic
connected with the presence of free oxygen - aerobic respiration requires free oxygen to release energy from glucose
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Allele
one of a number of alternative forms of a gene
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Allele Frequency
the number of times an allele occurs within the gene pool
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Allergen
a normally harmless substance that causes the immune system to produce an immune response
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Allergy
the response of the immune system to an allergen
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Anaerobic
connected with the absence of oxygen - anaerobic respiration releases energy from glucose or other foods without the presence of oxygen
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Antibiotic
a substance produced by living organisms that can destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms
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Antibiotic Resistance
the development in microorganisms of mechanisms that prevent antibiotics killing them
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Antibody
a protein produced by lymphocytes in response to the presence of the appropriate antigen
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Anticodon
a sequence of three adjacent nucleotides on a molecule of tRNA that is complementary to a particular codon on a mRNA molecule
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Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH)
a hormone produced by the hypothalamus that passes to the posterior pituitary gland from where it is secreted - ADH reduces the volume of water in urine by increasing water reabsorption in the kidneys
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Antigen
a molecule that triggers an immune response by lymphocytes
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Antioxidant
chemical which reduces or prevents oxidation - additive to prolong shelf life of certain foods
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Apoplastic Pathway
route through the cell walls and intercellular spaces of plants by which water and dissolved substances are transported
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Artificial Selection
breeding of organisms by human selection of parents/gametes in order to perpetuate certain characteristics and/or to eliminate others
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Asthma
a chronic illness in which there is resistance to air flow to the alveoli of the lungs as a result of the airways becoming inflamed due to an allergic response to an allergen
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Atheroma
fatty deposits in the walls of arteries, often associated with high cholesterol levels in the blood
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Autonomic Nervous System
part of the nervous system, controlling the muscles and glands, that is not under voluntary control
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Autosome
a chromosome which is not a sex chromosome
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Axon
a process extending from a neurone that conducts action potentials away from the cell body
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B Cell (B Lymphocyte)
type of white blood cell that is produced and matures within the bone marrow - B lymphocytes produce antibodies as part of their role in immunity
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Benedict's Test
a simple biochemical reaction to detect the presence of reducing sugars
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Biodiveristy
the range and variety of genes, species and habitats within a particular region
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Biomass
the total mass of living material, normally measured in a specific area over a given period of time
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Biotic
an ecological factor that makes up part of the living environment of an organism, e.g. food availability, competition, predation
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Biosensor
a device that uses biological molecules to measure the level of certain chemicals
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Biuret Test
a simple biochemical reaction to detect the presence of protein
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Body Mass Index (BMI)
a person's body mass in kg divided by the square of their height in m
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Calvin Cycle
a biochemical pathway that forms part of the light-independent reaction of photosynthesis, during which carbon dioxide is reduced to form carbohydrate
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Cancer
a disease, resulting from cells that break away from an original tumour to form secondary tumours elsewhere in the body
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Carcinogen
a chemical, a form of radiation, or other agent that causes cancer
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Cardiac Cycle
a continuous series of events which make up a single heart beat
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Cardiac Muscle
type of muscle found only in the heart - it has fewer striations than skeletal muscle and can contract continuously throughout life without stimulation by nerve impulses
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Cardiac Output
the total volume of blood that the heart can pump each minute = stroke volume x heart rate
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Carrier Molecule (Carrier Protein)
a protein on the surface of a cell that helps to transport molecules and ions across plasma membranes
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Casparian *****
a distinctive band of suberin around the endodermal cells of a plant root that prevents water passing into xylem via the cell walls - water is forced through the living part (protoplast) of the endodermal cells
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Centrifugation
process of separating out particles of different sizes and densities by spinning them at high speed in a centrifuge
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Cholinesterase
enzyme that breaks down and therefore inactivates the neurotransmitter, acetyl choline, in the synapse
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Cholesterol
lipid that is an important component of cell-surface membranes - excess in the blood can lead to atheroma
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Chromatid
one of two strands of a chromosome that are joined together by a single centromere prior to cell division
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Chromatin
the material that makes up chromosomes - it consists of DNA and the protein histone
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Chromosome
a thread-like structure made of protein and DNA by which hereditary information is physically passed from one generation to the next
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Climax Community
the organisms that make up the final stage of ecological succession
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Clone
a group of genetically identical cells or organisms formed from a single parent as the result of asexual reproduction or by artificial means
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Co-dominance
condition in which both alleles for one gene in a heterozygous organism contribute to the phenotype
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Codon
a sequence of three adjacent nucleotides in mRNA that codes for one amino acid
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Cohesion
attraction between molecules of the same type - it is important in the movement of water up a plant
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Collagen
fibrous protein that is the main constituent of connective tissues such as tendons, cartilage and bone
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Community
all the living organisms present in an ecosystem at a given time
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Complementary DNA
DNA that is made from mRNA in a process that is the reverse of normal transcription
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Condensation
chemical process in which two molecules combine to form a more complex one with the elimination of a simple substance, usually water - forms many biological polymers, e.g. polysaccharides, polypeptides
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Conservation
method of maintaining ecosystems and the living organisms that occupy them - it requires planning and organisation to make best use of resources while preserving the natural landscape and wildlife
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Consumer
any organism that obtains energy by 'eating' another - organisms feeding on plants are known as primary consumers and organisms feeding on primary consumers are known as secondary consumers
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Continuous Variation
variation in which organisms do not fall into distinct categories but show gradations from one extreme to the other
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Coronary Arteries
arteries that supply blood to the cardiac muscle of the heart
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Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
any condition, e.g. atheroma and thrombosis, affecting the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle
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Correlation
when a change in one variable is reflected by a change in the second variable
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Co-Transport
the transport of one substance coupled with the transport of another substance across a plasma membrane in the same direction through the same protein carrier
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Countercurrent System
a mechanism by which the efficiency of exchange between two substances is increased by having them flowing in opposite directions
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Covalent Bond
type of chemical bond in which two atoms share a pair of electrons, one pair from each atom
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Crossing Over
the process whereby a chromatid breaks during meiosis and rejoins to the chromatid of its homologous chromosome so that their alleles are exchanged
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Cuticle
exposed non-cellular outer layer of certain animals and the leaves of plants - waxy and impermeable to water - helps to reduce water loss
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Deciduous
plants that shed all their leaves together in one season
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Denaturation
permanent changes due to the unravelling of the 3D structure of a protein as a result of factors such as changes in temperature or pH
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Dendrite
a process, usually branched, extending from the cell body of a neurone, which conducts impulses towards the cell body
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Denitrifying Bacteria
bacteria that convert nitrates to nitrogen gas as part of the nitrogen cycle
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Depolarisation
temporary reversal of charges on the cell-surface membrane of a neurone that takes place when a nerve impulse is transmitted
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Diabetes
a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to regulate the level of blood glucose - type I and type II
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Diastole
the stage in the cardiac cycle when heart muscle relaxes
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Differentiation
the process by which cells become specialised for different functions
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Diffusion
the movement of molecules or ions from a region where they are in high concentration to one where their concentration is lower
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Diploid
cells in which the nucleus contains two sets of chromosomes
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Dipolar
having a pair of equal and opposite electrical charges
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Directional Selection
selection that operates towards one extreme in a range of variation
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Discontinuous Variation
variation shown when the characteristics of organisms fall into distinct categories, e.g. blood groups in humans
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DNA Helicase
enzyme that acts on a specific region of the DNA molecule to break the hydrogen bonds between the bases causing two strands to separate and expose the nucleotide bases in that region
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DNA Replication
the process in which the double helix of a DNA molecule unwinds and each strand acts as a template on which a new strand is constructed
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Dominant Allele
an allele that is always expressed in the phenotype of an organism
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Ecological Niche
describes how an organism fits into an environment - what a species is like, where it occurs, how it behaves, its interactions with other species and how it responds to the environment
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Ecosystem
all the living and non-living components of a particular area
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Ectothermic
an animal that uses the environment to regulate its body temperature
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Effector
an organ (muscle or gland) that responds to stimulation by a nerve impulse resulting in a change or response
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Electron
negatively charged subatomic particle that orbits the positively charged nucleus of all atoms
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Electron Carrier Molecules
a chain of carrier molecules along which electrons pass, releasing energy in the form of ATP as they do so
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Emphysema
a disease in which the walls of the alveoli break down, reducing the surface area for gaseous exchange, thereby causing breathlessness in the patient
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Endocytosis
the inward transport of large molecules through the cell-surface membrane
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Endotherm
an animal maintaining its body temperature by physiological mechanisms
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Enzyme
a protein or RNA that acts as a catalyst and so alters the speed of a biochemical reaction
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Epidemiology
the study of the spread of disease and the factors that affect this spread
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Eukaryotic Cell
a cell that has a membrane-bound nucleus and chromosomes - the cell possesses a variety of other membranous organelles, e.g. mitochondria and ER
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Exocytosis
the outward bulk transport of materials through the cell-surface membrane
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Facilitated Diffusion
diffusion involving the presence of protein carrier molecules to allow the passive movement of substances across plasma membranes
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Gamete
reproductive (sex) cell that fuses with another gamete during fertilisation
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Gel Electrophoresis
a technique used to separate DNA fragments of different lengths by placing them on agar gel and passing a voltage across them
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Gene
section of DNA on a chromosome coding for one or more polypeptides
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Gene Pool
the total number of alleles in a particular population at a specific time
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Gene Marker
a section of DNA that is used to indicate the location of a gene or other section of DNA
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Gene Mutation
a change to one or more nucleotide bases in DNA resulting in a change in genotype which may be inherited
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Gene Therapy
a mechanism by which genetic diseases, e.g. cystic fibrosis, may be cured by masking the effect of the defective gene by inserting a functional gene
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Generator Potential
depolarisation of the membrane of a receptor cell as a result of a stimulus
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Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
organism that has had its DNA altered as a result of recombinant DNA technology
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Genotype
the genetic composition of an organism
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Glomerulus
a cluster of blood capillaries enclosed by the renal (bowman's capsule) in the kidney
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Glucagon
a hormone produced by alpha cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas that increases blood glucose levels by initiating the breakdown of glycogen to glucose
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Gluconeogenesis
the conversion of non-carbohydrate molecules to glucose
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Glycogenesis
the conversion of glucose to glycogen
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Glycogenolysis
the conversion of glycogen to glucose
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Glycolysis
first part of cellular respiration in which glucose is broken down anaerobically in the cytoplasm to two molecules of pyruvate
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Glycoprotein
substance made up of a carbohydrate molecule and a protein molecule - parts of cell-surface membrane and certain hormones are glycoproteins
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Granum/Grana
a stack of thylakoids in a chloroplast - site of the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis
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Guard Cell
one of a pair of cells that surround a stoma in plant leaves and control its opening and closing
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Habitat
the place where an organism normally lives and which is characterised by physical conditions and the types of other organisms present
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Haemoglobin
globular protein in blood that readily combines with oxygen to transport it around the body - comprised of 4 polypeptide chains around an iron-containing haem group
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Haploid
cells that contain only a single copy of each chromosome, e.g. sex cells (gametes)
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Heterozygous
condition in which the alleles of a particular gene are different
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Histones
proteins which together with DNA, make up the chromosome of eukaryotic cells
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Homeostasis
the maintenance of a more or less constant internal environment
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Homologous Chromosomes
a pair of chromosomes, one maternal and one paternal, that have the same gene loci and therefore determine the same features - not necessarily identical as individual alleles of the same gene may vary and can pair up during meiosis
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Homozygous
condition in which the alleles of a particular gene are identical
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Human Genome
the totality of the DNA sequences on the chromosomes of a single human cell
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Human Genome Project
international scientific project to map the entire sequence of all the base pairs of the genes in a single human cell
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Hydrogen Bond
chemical bond formed between the positive charge on a hydrogen atom and the negative charge on another atom of an adjacent molecule, e.g. water
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Hydrolysis
the breaking down of large molecules into smaller ones by the addition of water molecules
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Hyperthermia
a condition that results from the core body temperature rising above normal
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Hypothalamus
region of the brain adjoining the pituitary gland that acts as the control centre for the autonomic nervous system and regulates body temperature and fluid balance
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Hypothermia
a condition that results from the core body temperature falling below normal
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Immunity
the means by which the body protects itself from infection
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Insulin
a hormone, produced by the alpha cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, which decreases blood glucose levels by, amongst other things, increasing the rate of conversion of glucose to glycogen
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Intercropping
the practice of growing two or more crops in close proximity usually to produce a greater yield on a piece of land
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Interspecific Competition
competition between organisms of different species
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Interspecific Variation
differences between organisms of different species
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Intraspecific Competition
competition between organisms of the same species
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Intraspecific Variation
differences between organisms of the same species
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Intrinsic Proteins
proteins of the cell-surface membrane the completely span the phospholipid bilayer from one side to the other
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Introns
portions of DNA within a gene that do not code for a polypeptide - the introns are removed from pre-messenger RNA after transcription
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Ion
an atom or group of atoms that has lost or gained one or more electrons - positively or negatively charged
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Ion Channel
a passage across a cell-surface membrane made up of a protein that spans the membrane and opens and closes to allow ions to pass in and out of the cell
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Islets of Langerhans
groups of cells in the pancreas comprising large alpha cells, which produce the hormone glucagon, and small beta cells, which produce the hormone insulin
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Isotope
variations of a chemical element that have the same number of protons and electrons but a different number of neutrons - similar chemical properties but differ in mass
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in vitro
experiments carried outside the living body, e.g. in test tubes
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in vivo
experiments carried out inside living bodies
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Krebs Cycle
series of aerobic biochemical reactions in the matrix of the mitochondria of most eukaryotic cells by which energy is obtained through the oxidation of acetylcoenzyme A produced from the breakdown of glucose
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Latent Heat of Vaporisation
heat taken in by a liquid in order to transform it into a vapour
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Ligament
a tough, fibrous connective tissue, rich in collagen, that joins bone to bone
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Light-Dependent Reaction
stage of photosynthesis in which light energy is required to produced ATP and NADPH
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Light-Independent Reaction
stage of photosynthesis which does not require light energy directly but does need the products of the light-dependent reaction to reduce carbon dioxide and to form carbohydrate
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Limiting Factor
a variable that limits the rate of a chemical reaction
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Link Reaction
the process linking glycolysis with the Krebs Cycle in which hydrogen and carbon dioxide are removed from pyruvate to form acetylcoenzyme A in the matrix of the mitochondria
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Locus
the position of a gene on a chromosome/DNA molecule
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Loop of Henle
the portion of the nephron that forms a hairpin loop that extends into the medulla of the kidneys - reabsorption of water
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Lumen
the hollow cavity inside a tubular structure, e.g. gut, blood vessel, xylem, phloem
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Lymph
a slightly milky fluid found in lymph vessels and made up of tissue fluid, fats and lymphocytes
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Lymphocytes
types of white blood cell responsible for the immune response - activated in the presence of antigens - B lymphocytes (humoral) and T lymphocytes (cell-mediated)
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Meiosis
the type of nuclear division in which the number of chromosomes is halved
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Mesophyll
tissue found between the two layers of epidermis in a plant leaf comprising an upper layer of palisade cells and a lower layer of spongy cells
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Metabolism
all the chemical processes that place in living organisms
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Microvilli
tiny projections from the cell-surface membrane of some animal cells
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Middle Lamella
layer made up of pectins and other substances found between the walls of adjacent plant cells
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Mitosis
the type of nuclear division in which the daughter cells have the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell
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Monoclonal Antibody
an antibody produced by a single clone of cells
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Monomer
one of many small molecules that combine to form a larger one known as a polymer
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Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acid
fatty acid that possesses a carbon chain with a single double bond, e.g. water
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Motor Neurone
neurone that transmits action potentials from the CNS to the effector, e.g. muscle or gland
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Multiple Alleles
a gene that has more than town possible alleles
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Mutagen
any agent that induces a mutation, e.g. chemicals, radiation, carcinogen
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Mutation
a sudden change in the amount or the arrangement of the genetic material in the cell
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Mutualism (Mutualistic)
a nutritional relationship between two species in which both gain some advantage
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Myelin
a fatty substance that surrounds axons and dendrites in certain neurones
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Myocardial Infarction
heart attack - interruption of the blood supply to the heart muscle, causing damage to an area of the heart with consequent disruption to its function
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Myosin
the thick filamentous protein found in skeletal muscle
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NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide)
a molecule that carries electrons (e-) and hydrogen ions (H+) during aerobic respiration
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NADP (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate)
a molecule that carries electrons produced in the light-dependent reaction of photosynthesis
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Negative Feedback
a series of changes, important in homeostasis, that result in a substance being restored to its normal level
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Nephron
basic functional unit of the mammalian kidney responsible for the formation of urine
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Neuromuscular Junction
a synapse that occurs between a neurone and a muscle
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Neurotransmitter
one of a number of chemicals that are involved in communication between adjacent neurones or between nerve cells and muscles, e.g. acetylcholine, noradrenaline
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Nitrifying Bacteria
microorganisms that convert ammonium compounds to nitrites and nitrates
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Nitrogen Fixation
the incorporation of atmospheric nitrogen gas into organic nitrogen-containing compounds
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Node of Ranvier
a gap in the myelin sheath that surrounds the axon of a neurone
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Normal Distribution
a bell-shaped curve produced when a certain distribution is plotted on a graph
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Nucleotides
complex chemicals made up of an organic base, a sugar and a phosphate - basic units of nucleic acids DNA and RNA
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Oestrus
the period in the oestrous cycle immediately after ovulation when the female is most fertile
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Oncogenes
mutated versions of proto-oncogenes that result in increased cell division leading to the growth of a tumour
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Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
means of treating dehydration involving giving, by mouth, a balanced solution of salts and glucose that stimulates the gut to reabsorb water
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Osmosis
the passage of water from a region of high water potential to a region where its water potential is lower, through a selectively permeable membrane
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Oxidation
chemical reaction involving the loss of electrons (e-)
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Oxidation-Reduction
a chemical reaction in which electrons are transferred from one substance to another substance - the substance losing electrons is oxidised and the substance gaining electrons is reduced (OIL RIG)
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Oxidative Phosphorylation
the formation of ATP in the electron transport system (ETC) of aerobic respiration
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Palisade Cells
long, narrow cells, packed with chloroplasts, that are found in the upper region of a leaf and which carry out photosynthesis
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Parasite
an organism that lives on or in a host organism - parasite gains a nutritional advantage and the host is harmed
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Passive Immunity
resistance to disease that is acquired from the introduction of antibodies from another individual, rather than an individual's own immune system, e.g. mother's milk - short-lived
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Pathogen
any microorganism that causes disease
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Pentose Sugar
a sugar that possesses five carbon atoms, e.g. ribose, deoxyribose
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Peptide Bond
the chemical bond formed between two amino acids during condensation
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Phagocytosis
mechanism by which cells engulf particles to form a vesicle or a vacuole
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Phenotype
the characteristics of an organism, often visible, resulting from both its genotype and its interaction with the environment
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Phloem
plant tissue that transports the products of photosynthesis (glucose and oxygen) from leaves to the rest of the plant
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Phospholipid
trigylceride in which one of the three fatty acid molecules is replaced by a phosphate molecule - important in the structure and function of plasma membranes
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Photolysis
splitting of a water molecule by light, e.g. during the light-dependent reaction of photosynthesis - H+, e- and oxygen
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Photomicrograph
photograph of an image produced by a micoscope
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Pioneer Species
a species that can colonise bare rock or ground
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Plasmid
a small circular piece of DNA found in bacterial cells
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Plasmodesmata
fine strands of cytoplasm that extend through pores in adjacent plant cell walls and connect the cytoplasm of one cell with another
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Plasmolysis
the shrinkage of the cytoplasm away from the cell wall that occurs as a plant cell loses water by osmosis
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Polygenes
group of genes that are responsible for controlling a characteristic
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Polymer
large molecule made up of repeating smaller molecules - monomers
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Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
process of making many copies of a specific sequence of DNA or part of a gene - genetic technology and genetic fingerprinting
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Polymerases
group of enzymes that catalyse the formation of long-chain molecules (polymers) from similar basic units (monomers)
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Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA)
fatty acid that possesses carbon chains with many double C = C bonds
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Population
a group of individuals of the same species that occupy the same habitat at the same time
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Positive Feedback
process which results in a substance that departs from its normal level becoming further from its norm
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Primary Structure of a Protein
the sequence of amino acids that make up the polypeptides of a protein
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Primary Succession
the progressive colonisation of bare rock or other barren terrain by living organisms
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Producer
an organism that synthesises organic molecules from simple inorganic ones, e.g. CO2 and water - most producers are photosynthetic and form the first trophic level in a food chain
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Prokaryotic Cell
a cell of an organism belonging to the kingdom Prokaryotae that is characterised by lacking a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, e.g. bacteria
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Proton
positively charged sub-atomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom
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Protoplast
the living portion of a plant cell - nucleus and cytoplasm and the organelles it contains
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Quaternary Structure of a Protein
a number of polypeptide chains linked together, and sometimes associated with non-protein groups (e.g. iron haem group), to form a protein
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Receptor
a cell adapted to detect changes in the environment
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Recessive Allele
the condition in which the effect of an allele is apparent in the phenotype of a diploid organism only in the presence of another identical allele
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Recognition Site
a nucleotide sequence, usually 4,6 or 8 nucleotides, that is recognised by a restriction endonuclease, and to which it attaches
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Recombinant DNA Technology/Genetic Engineering
processes by which genes are manipulated, altered or transferred from organism to organism
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Reduction
chemical process involving the gain of electrons
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Reflex Arc
the nerve pathway in the body taken by an action potential that leads to a rapid, involuntary response to a stimulus
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Refractory Period
period during which the membrane of the axon of a neurone cannot be depolarised and no new action potential can be initiated
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Renal Capsule
the cup shaped portion of the start of the nephron that encloses the glomerulus
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Repolarisation
return to the resting potential (-70mv) in the axon of a neurone after an action potential (+40mv)
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Resting Potential
the difference in the electrical charge maintained across the membrane of the axon of a neurone when not stimulated
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Restriction Endonucleases
a group of enzymes that cut DNA molecules at a specific sequence of bases called a recognition sequence
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RNA Polymerase
enzyme that joins together nucleotides to form mRNA during transcription
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Saltatory Conduction
propagation of a nerve impulse along a myelinated dendron or axon in which the action potential jumps from one node of Ranvier to another
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Saprobiotic Microorganism/Saprophyte
an organism that obtains its food from the dead or decaying remains of other organisms
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Sarcomere
a section of myofibril between two Z-lines the forms the basic structural unit of skeletal muscle
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Saturated Fatty Acid
a fatty acid in which there are no double C=C bonds between the carbon atoms
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Schwann Cell
cell around a neurone whose cell-surface membrane wraps around the dendron or axon to form the myelin sheath
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Secondary Structure of a Protein
the way in which the chain of amino acids of the polypeptides of a protein is folded - e.g. ionic bonds, disulfide bridges
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Secondary Succession
the recolonisation of an area after an earlier community has been removed or destroyed
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Selection
process that results in the best-adapted individuals in a population surviving to breed and so pass their favourable alleles to the next generation
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Selection Pressure
the environmental force altering the frequency of alleles in a population
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Selective Breeding
breeding of organisms by human selection of parents/gametes in order to perpetuate certain characteristics and/or to eliminate others
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Semi-Conservative Replication
the means by which DNA makes exact copies of itself by unwinding the double helix so that each chain acts as a template for the next - new copies possess one original and one new strand of DNA - ensures genetic continuity between generations of cells
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Sensory Neurone
a neurone that transmits an action potential from a sensory receptor to the CNS
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Serum
clear liquid that is left after blood has clotted and clot has been removed - blood plasma without clotting factors
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Sickle-Cell Anaemia
inherited blood disorder in which abnormal haemoglobin leads to red blood cells becoming sickle-shaped and less able to carry oxygen
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Sinoatrial Node (SAN)
an area of heart muscle in the right atrium that controls and coordinates the contraction of the heart - pacemaker
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Skeletal Muscle
the muscle that makes up the bulk of the body and which works under conscious control, e.g. voluntary muscle
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Smooth Muscle/Involuntary or Unstriated Muscle
in the alimentary canal and walls of blood vessels - its contraction is not under conscious control
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Sodium-Potassium Pump
protein channels across cell-surface membranes that use ATP to move Na+ out of the cell in exchange for K+ ion that move in
258 of 302
Speciation
the evolution of two or more species form existing species
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Species
a group of similar organisms that can breed together to produce fertile offspring
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Species Diversity
the number of different species and the number of individuals of each species within any one community
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Stabilising Selection
selection that tends to eliminate the extremes of the phenotype range within a population - constant environmental conditions
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Stem Cells
undifferentiated dividing cells that occur in embryos and in adult animal tissues that require constant replacement, e.g. bone marrow
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Stimulus
a detectable change in the internal or external environment of an organism that produces a change in that organism
264 of 302
Stoma/Stomata
a pore, mostly found in the lower epidermis of a leaf, through which gases diffuse in and out of the leaf
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Stroke Volume
the volume of blood pumped at each ventricular contraction of the heart
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Stroma
matrix of the chloroplast where the light-independent reaction of photosynthesis takes place
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Substrate
a substance that is acted on or used by another substance or process - or nutrient medium used to grow microorganisms
268 of 302
Substrate-Level Phosphorylation
the formation of ATP by the direct transfer of a phosphate group from a reactive intermediate to ADP (ADP+Pi -> ATP)
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Supernatant Liquid
the liquid portion of a mixture left at the top of a tube when suspended particles have been separated out at the bottom during centrifugation
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Symplastic Pathway
route through the cytoplasm and plasmodesmata of plant cells by which water and dissolved substances are transported
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Synapse
a junction between neurones in which there is a narrow gap, the synaptic cleft, across which a neurotransmitter can pass
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Systole
the stage in the cardiac cycle in which the heart muscle contracts - atrial systole when the atria contract and ventricular systole when the ventricles contract
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Tendon
tough, flexible, but inelastic, connective tissue that joins muscle to bone
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Tertiary Structure of a Protein
the folding of a whole polypeptide chain in a precise way, as determined by the amino acids of which it is composed - 3D structure - folding and bonding
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Threshold Level/Value
the minimum intensity that a stimulus must reach in order to trigger an action potential in a neurone
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Thrombosis
formation of a blood clot within a blood vessel that may lead to a blockage
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Thylakoid
series of flattened membranous sacs in a chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll and the associated molecules needed for the light-dependent reaction of photosynthesis
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Tidal Volume
the volume of air breathed in and out during a single breath when at rest
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Tissue
a group of similar cells organised into a structural unit that serves a particular function
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Tissue Fluid
fluid that surrounds the cells of the body - similar composition to blood plasma but it lacks proteins - supplies and nutrients to cells and removes waste products
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T Cell (T Lymphocyte)
type of white blood cell that is produced in the bone marrow but matures in the thymus gland - coordinate immune response and kill infected cells
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Transcription
formation of mRNA molecules from DNA that makes up a particular gene - first stage of protein synthesis
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Transducer Cells
cells that convert a non-electrical signal, e.g. light or sound, into an electrical (nervous) signal and vice versa
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Transduction
the process by which one form of energy is converted into another or the natural process by which genetic material is transferred between one host cell and another by a virus
285 of 302
Transpiration
evaporation of water from a plant
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Triglyceride
a lipid molecule made up of a glycerol molecule and three fatty acids
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Trophic Level
the position of an organism in a food chain
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Tumour
a swelling in an organism that is made up of cells that continue to divide in an abnormal way (cancer)
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Tumour Suppressor Gene
a gene that maintains normal rates of cell division and so prevents the development of tumours
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Turgid
a plant cell that contains the maximum volume of water it can - additional entry of water is prevented by the cell wall stopping further expansion of the cell - may burst!
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Ultrafiltration
filtration assisted by blood pressure, e.g. formation of tissue fluid
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Unsaturated Fatty Acid
a fatty acid in which there are one or more double C=C bonds between the carbon atoms
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Vaccination
the introduction of a vaccine containing appropriate disease antigens into the body - injection or by mouth - in order to induce artificial immunity
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Vasoconstriction
narrowing of the internal diameter of blood vessels - reduce heat loss
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Vasodilation
widening of the internal diameter of blood vessels - increase heat loss
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Vector
carrier - e.g. plasmid - carries DNA into a cell or to an organism that carries a parasite to its host
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Voltage-Gated Channel
protein channel across a cell-surface membrane that opens and closes according to changes in the electrical potential across the membrane
298 of 302
Water Potential
the pressure created by water molecules - measure of the extent to which a solution gives out water = the greater the number of water molecules present, the higher the water potential - pure water = 0
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Xerophyte
a plant adapted to living in dry conditions, e.g. marram grass, cacti
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Xylem
dead, hollow, elongated tubes, with lignified side walls and no end walls, that transport water in most plants
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Xylem
dead, hollow, elongated tubes, with lignified side walls and no end walls, that transport water in most plants
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

one of a group of chemicals, called neurotransmitters, released by neurones. It diffuses across the gap (synapse) between adjacent neurones and so passes an impulse from neurone to the next

Back

Acetylcholine

Card 3

Front

change that occurs in the electrical charge across the membrane of an axon when it is stimulated and a nerve impulses passes

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

filamentous protein which is involved in contraction within cells, especially muscle cells

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

energy required to bring about a reaction - lowered by the presence of enzymes (catalyst)

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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