Biology Key Words

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Active Site
The site on an enzyme where the reactants bind
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Active Transport
The movement of substances against a concentration gradient and/or across a cell membrane, using energy
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Adaptation
Special feature that makes an organism particularly well suited to the environment where it lives
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Allele
A version of a particular gene
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Alveoli
Tiny air sacs in the lungs which increase the surface area for gaseous exchange
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Amino Acids
The building blocks for protein
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Amylase
The enzyme that breaks down starch into sugars and is made in the salivary gland and pancreas
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Antibiotic
Drug that destroys bacteria inside cells without damaging human cells
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Asexual Reproduction
Reproduction that involves only one parent, with no fusion of gametes, producing genetically identical offspring
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Auxin
A plant hormone that controls the responses of plants to light (phototropism) and gravity (gravitropism)
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Bacteria
Single-celled organisms that reproduce rapidly
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Bile
Yellowy-green liquid made in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and is released into the small intestine and emulsifies fats
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Biofuel
Fuel made from biological material which is renewable and sustainable
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Biogas
Methane produced by the fermentation of biological materials
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Biological Detergent
Washing detergent that contains enzymes
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Biomass
Biological material from living or recently living organisms
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Organs in the breathing system
Ribs, intercostal muscles, diaphragm, lungs, tubes
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Capillary
The smallest blood vessel that runs between individual cells and which has walls that are only one cell thick
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Carbon Neutral
A process that uses as much carbon dioxide as it produces
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Carrier
Individual that is heterozygous for a faulty allele that causes a genetic disease in the homozygous form
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Catalyst
A substance that speeds up a chemical reaction and remains chemically unchanged at the end (is not used up)
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Cellulose
A big carbohydrate molecule that makes up plant and algal cell walls
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Central Nervous System (CNS)
The CNS is made up of the brain and spinal chord where information is processed
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Chlorophyll
Green pigment contained in chloroplasts
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Chromosome
Thread-like structure that carries the genetic information found in the nucleus of a cell
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Clone
Offspring produced by asexual reproduction which is identical to its parent
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Combustion
Burning
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Cystic Fibrosis
A genetic disease that affects the lungs, digestive and reproductive systems, caused by a recessive allele
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Decomposer
Micro-organism that breaks down waste products and dead bodies
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Denature
Change the shape of the enzyme active site so it can no longer speed up a reaction
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Diffusion
The net movement of particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration
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Distillation
A process that separates the components of a mixture based on their different boiling points
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Dominant
The characteristic that will show up even if only one of the alleles is inherited
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Double-Blind Trial
A drug trial in which neither patient nor the doctor knows if the patient is receiving the drug or a placebo
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Drug
A chemical that causes changes in the body
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Ecology
The scientific study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment
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Enzyme
Protein molecule that acts as a biological catalyst by changing the rate of reactions without being affected itself
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Evaporation
Liquid -> Gas
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Evolution
The process of slow change in living organisms over long periods of time as those best adapted to survive breed successfully
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Extremeophile
Organism that lives in very extreme environments
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Fatty Acids
Building blocks of lipids
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Fermentation
The reaction in which enzymes in yeast turn glucose into ethanol and carbon dioxide
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FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
A female hormone that stimulates the eggs to mature in the ovaries and the ovaries to produce oestrogen
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Gamete
Sex cell which has 23 chromosones (half the normal number)
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Gene
A short section of DNA carrying genetic information
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Genetic Material
The DNA which carries the instructions for making a new cell or a new individual
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Glycerol
Building blocks of lipids
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Gravitropism
Response of a plant to the force of gravity, controlled by auxin
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Glycogen
Carbohydrate store in animals
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Guard Cells
The cells which surround the stomata in the leaves of plants and control their opening and closing
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Haemoglobin
The red pigment that carries oxygen around the body
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Homeostasis
The maintenance of constant internal body conditions
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Immunosuppressant Drug
A drug that suppresses the immune system of the recipient of a transplanted organ to prevent rejection
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Impulse
Electrical signal carried along the neurons
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Indicator Species
Lichens of insects that are particularly sensitive to pollution and so can be used to indicate changes in the environmental pollution levels
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Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's Theory of Evolution
Useful, acquired characteristics are passed on to offspring
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Insulin
Hormone that changes glucose into glycogen
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Isotonic
Having the same concentration of solutes as another solution
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Kidney
Organ that filters the blood and removes excess salts, water and removes urea
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Kingdom
The highest group in the classification system e.g. animals, plants
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Lactic Acid
Product of anaerobic respiration, builds up in muscles, used in yoghurt and cheese making
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Lipase
Enzyme that breaks down fats and oils into fatty acids and glycerol
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Malnourished
The condition when the body does not get a balanced diet
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Meiosis
Cell division of gametes, reduces the number of chromosomes in the daughter cell
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Metabolic Rate
The rate at which the reactions of your body take place
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Mitochondria
The site of aerobic cellular respiration in a cell
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Mitosis
Cell division that creates two identical cells
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Mutation
Change in the genetic material of an organism
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Mycoprotein
A food based on the fungus Fusarium that grows an reproduces rapidly
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Natural Selection
The process by which evolution takes place, only the fittest will survive and reproduce to pass on their genes
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Negative Pressure
When the external pressure is lower than the internal pressure
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Oestrogen
Female hormone which stimulates lining of womb to build up
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Osmosis
The movement of water from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration through a partially permeable membrane
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Ovulation
The release of a mature egg from the ovary
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Oxygen Debt
The extra oxygen that must be taken into the body after exercise has stopped to complete the aerobic respiration of lactic acid
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Pancreas
Organ that produces insulin and many digestive enzymes
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Partially Permeable
Only allowing certain substances to pass through
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Pathogen
Micro-organism that causes disease
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Perflurocarbon
Chemical which can be used as artificial blood
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Phloem
Transports sugars
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Phototropism
Response of a plant to light, controlled by auxin
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Pituitary Gland
Gland in the brain which produces a range of hormones controlling body fucntions
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Placebo
Used in clinical trials as a control (does not contain any drug at all)
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Plasma
Clear, yellow liquid part of blood which carries dissolved substances and blood cells around the body
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Platelet
Fragment of cell in the blood which is vital for blood clotting
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Polydactyly
A genetic condition inherited through a dominant allele which results in extra fingers and toes
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Positive Pressure
External pressure is higher than internal pressure
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Progesterone
Female sex hormone used in contraceptive pills
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Protease
Enzyme that breaks down proteins into amino acids
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Receptor
Detects changes in the environment
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Recessive
The characteristic that only shows up in the offspring if both of the alleles are inherited
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Reflex
Rapid automatic response of the nervous system that does not involve conscious thought
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Reflex Arc
Sense organ > Sensory neuron > Relay neuron > Motor neuron > Effector organ
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Salivary gland
Gland in the mouth that produces saliva containing amylase
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Sexual Reproduction
Reproduction that involves the fusion of gametes, producing genetic variety in the offspring
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Specialised
Adapted for a particular function
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Speciation
The formation of a new species
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Statin
A drug that lowers blood cholesterol and improves the balance of HDLs to LDLs
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Stem Cell
Undifferentiated cell with the potential to form a wide variety of different cell types
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Stent
Metal mesh placed in the artery, used to open up a blood vessel by the inflation of a tiny balloon
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Stomata
Openings in the leaves of plants (underside mostly) which allow gases to go in and out, opened and closed by guard cells
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Substrate
The material/chemical on which an enzyme acts
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Synapse
Gap between neurons where information is chemically transferred
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Thalidomide
A drug that causes deformities in the foetus when given to pregnant women to cure morning sickness, now used to treat leprosy
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Thermoregulatory Centre
The area of the brain which is sensitive to the blood temperatue
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Transpiration Stream
The movement of water through a plant from the roots to leaves as a result of water loss from the leaves due to evaporation
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Type 1 Diabetes
Caused when the pancreas cannot make insulin
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Urea
The waste product formed by the breakdown of excess amino acids in the liver
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Vaccine
The dead or inactive pathogen material used in a vaccination
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Valve
Prevents backflow of blood
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Variegated
Having different colours
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Villus
Finger-like projections in the lining of the small intestine which increase the surface area for absorption of digested food into the blood
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Wilting
The process by which plants droop when they are short of water or are too hot which reduces further water loss and prevents cell damage
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Xylem
Transports water
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Card 2

Front

The movement of substances against a concentration gradient and/or across a cell membrane, using energy

Back

Active Transport

Card 3

Front

Special feature that makes an organism particularly well suited to the environment where it lives

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

A version of a particular gene

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Tiny air sacs in the lungs which increase the surface area for gaseous exchange

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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