F212 definitions

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Risk factor
A risk factor is a factor that increases your chance of developing a particular disease.
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Metabolism is the sum total of all the biochemical reactions taking place in the cells of an organism.
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Covalent bonds
Covalent bonds are formed when electrons are shared between atoms.
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Carbohydrates make up a group of molecules contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the ration Cn(H20)n
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Polysaccharides are polymers of monosaccharides. They consist of hundreds to thousands of monosaccharide monomers bonded together to form a single large molecule.
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A simple sugar molecule. The monomer of ploysaccharides.
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A 6-carbon monosaccharide sugar.
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Glycosidic bond
The covalent bond formed when carbohydrate molecules are joined together in condensation reactions.
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A reaction in which a molecule is broken down into two smaller molecules by the addition of a water molecule and the breaking of a covalent bond.
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A type of chemical reaction in which two molecules are joined together by means of a covalent bond to form a larger molecule, and at the same time a water molecule is released.
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A polysaccharide found in plant cells. It is formed from the covalent bonding of many glucose molecules.
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A polysaccharide found in animal cells. Formed from the bonding together of many glucose molecules, used as a store of glucose/energy.
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A carbohydrate polymer that forms plant cell walls, made by bonding many beta-glucose molecules together in long chains.
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Amino acids
An organic compound that contains both an amino group (-NH2) and a carboxyl group (-COOH). Amino acids are monomers of protein molecules.
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Removal of amine (NH2) group from an amino acid.
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Peptide bond
The covalent bond formed when amino acids are joined together in condensation reactions.
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Primary structure
The sequence of amino acids found in a protein molecule.
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Secondary structure
The coiling or folding of parts of a protein molecule due to the formation of hydrogen bonds formed as the protein is synthesised. the main forms of secondary structure are the alpha-helix and beta-pleated sheets.
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Tertiary structure
The overall three-dimensional shape of a protein molecule. It is the result of interactions between parts of the protein molecule such as hydrogen bonding, formation of disulfide bridges, ionic bonds and hydrophobic interactions.
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Quaternary structure
Protein structure where a protein consists of more than one polypeptide chain.
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An enzyme capable of digesting proteins.
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Globular protein
A protein with relatively spherical molecules, soluble in water, often having metabolic roles in an organism.
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Fibrous protein
A protein with a relatively long, thin structure, which is insoluble in water and metabolically inactive, often having a structural role within the organism.
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The protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells.
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A structural fibrous protein found in connective tissue, bones, skin and cartilage.
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Prosthetic group
A non-protein organic molecule that forms a permanent part of a functioning protein molecule.
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Lipids are a diverse group of chemicals that dissolve in organic solvents. They include fatty acids, triglycerides and cholesterol.
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Fatty acid
A molecule consisting of a fatty (hydrocarbon) chain and an acid (carboxylic acid -COOH) group.
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A molecule consisting of a glycerol molecule and three fatty acid molecules covalently bonded together.
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A lipid molecule (not a triglyceride) found in all cell membranes and involved in the synthesis of steroid hormones.
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A 3-carbon (alcohol) molecule. It forms the basis of lipids when fatty acids are bonded to it.
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Ester bond
The bond formed when fatty acid molecules are joined to glycerol molecules in condensation reactions.
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A molecule consisting of a glycerol molecule, two fatty acid molecules and a phosphate group covalently bonded together. Phospholipids form the basis of cell membranes.
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Hydrogen bond
A weak bond formed when partially positively charged groups come close to partially negatively charged groups. It is seen in water molecules, and in the secondary and tertiary structure of proteins.
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Food tests
Simple tests that show the presence of various biological molecules in samples or sturctures.
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The use of comparative studies or samples to determine the concentration of quantity of a substance in a sample.
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Quantitative test
A quantitative test gives a measure of a substance in units, not simply an indication of its presence.
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Nucleotides are the monomers of all nucleic aids. Each nucleotide is formed by bonding together a phosphate group, a sugar molecule an a nitrogenous base.
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Organic base
Nitrogenous base in nucleic acid: adenine, thymine, uracil, cytosine, guanine.
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Thymine, cytosine and uracil - nitrogenous bases consisting of a single ring structure.
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Adenine and guanine - nitrogenous bases consisting of a double ring structure.
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Base-pairing rules
Complementary base-pairing, between nitrogenous bases in nucleic acids. Adenine pairs with thymine (or uracil). Guanine pairs with cytosine.
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Deoxyribonucleic acid - a polymer of nucleotide molecules that form the instructions for the synthesis of proteins found within organisms. These nucleotides contain the 5-carbon sugar deoxyribose.
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Semi-conservative replication
The replication of a DNA strand where the two strands unzip, and a new strand is assembled onto each 'conserved' strand according to the complementary base-pairing rules. The replicated double helix consists of an old strand a newly synthesised one.
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Ribonucleic acid - a single-stranded polynucleotide molecule that exsists in three forms. Each form plays a part in the synthesis of proteins within cells.
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Messenger RNA (mRNA)
A type of RNA polynucleotide involved in protein synthesis. Carries the information coding for a polypeptide from the nucleus to the ribosome in the cytoplasm.
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Transfer RNA (tRNA)
A type of RNA polynucleotide involved in protein systhesis. It transports amino acids to the ribosomes to be added to the growing polypeptide chain.
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A length of DNA that carries the code for the sythesis of one (or more) specific polypeptides.
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A catalyst is a a substance that increases the rate of a reaction but does not take part in the reaction, and and the end of the reaction remains unchanged.
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Active site
The area on an enzyme molecule to which the substrate binds.
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Enzyme-substrate complex
The intermediate structure formed when a substrate molecule binds to an enzyme molecule.
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Enzyme-product complex
The intermediate structure formed in which product molecules are bound to an enzyme molecule.
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A protein molecule that acts as a biological catalyst.
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Enzymes catalyse reactions outside the cell.
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Enzymes catalyse reactions inside the cell.
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Activation energy
The level of energy required to enable a reaction to take place. Enzymes reduce the amount of energy required to allow a reaction to proceed.
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Lock-and-key hypothesis
The theory of enzyme action in which the enzyme active site is complementary to be substrate molecule, like a lock and a key.
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Induced fit hypothesis
The theory of enzyme action in which the enzyme molecule changes shape to fit the substrate molecule more closely as it binds to it.
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An irreversible change in the tertiary structure of a protein molecule. It leads to the loss of function in most proteins.
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Optimum (temperature/pH)
The condition that gives the fastest rate of reaction in enzyme controlled reactions.
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Limiting factor
A variable that limits the rate of a process. If it is increased, then the rate of the process will increase.
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An enzyme inhibitor is any substance or molecule that slows down the rate of an enzyme-controlled reaction by affecting the enzyme molecule in some way.
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Competitive inhibitor
A substance that reduces the rate of an enzyme-controlled reaction by binding to the enzyme's active site.
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Non-competitive inhibitor
An inhibitor of an enzyme-controlled reaction that binds to the enzyme molecule in a region away from the active site.
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A molecule or ion that helps and enzyme to work. It may be an inorganic ion or a coenzyme.
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An organic non-protein molecule that binds temporarily with substrate to an enzyme active site. It is essential for enzyme activity.
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The total substances taken into an animal or plant for use in metabolism.
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Balanced diet
A balanced diet is one that contains all the nutrients required for health in appropriate proportions.
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Obesity if when a person is 20% or more heavier than the recommended weight for their height.
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Body mass index (BMI)
mass in kg/height in m^2
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A combination of lipid, cholesterol and protein used to transport fats and cholesterol around the body.
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High-density lipoproteins (HDLs)
HDLs are produced by a combination of unsaturated fats, cholesterol and protein. These tend to carry cholesterol from the body tissues back to the liver.
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Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs)
LDLs are produced by a combination of saturated fats, cholesterol and protein. These tend to carry cholesterol from the liver to the tissues.
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Selective breeding
Where humans select the individual organisms that are allowed to breed according to chosen characteristics.
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Heating to 72°c for 15 seconds and then cooling rapidly to 4°c, killing harmful microorganisms.
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Health is a state of mental, physical and social well-being, not just the absence of disease.
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Disease is a departure from good health caused by a malfunction of the mind or body.
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A parasite is an organism that lives in or on another living thing, causing harm to its host.
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A pathogen is an organism that causes disease.
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Transmission is the way in which a parasitic microorganism travels from one host to another.
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An organism that carries a disease-causing organism (pathogen) from one host to another.
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Primary defences
The defenses that prevent the entry of a pathogen into the body.
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Immune response
The immune response is the specific response to a pathogen, which involves the action of lymphocytes and the production of antibodies.
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A cell that can carry out phagocytosis and ingest bacteria or small particles. Macrophages and neutrophils are phagocytes.
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Large, phagocytic, Amoeba-like white blood cells that engulf, ingest and digest bacteria, damaged cells and worn-out red blood cells
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Phagocytic white blood cells. The engulf and digest bacteria. Neutrophils have a many-lobed nucleus, and a granular cytoplasm due to the large number of lysosomes present.
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A foreign molecule (which may be protein or glycoprotein) that can provoke an immune response. Organisms have antigens on their plasma membranes.
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Protein molecules released by the immune system in response to an antigen, which are capable of neutralising the effects of the antigen.
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Antigen-presenting cell
A macrophage that has ingested a pathogen and displays the pathogen's antigens on its cell surface membrane.
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Cell signalling
The communication between cells that allows effective coordination of a response.
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Hormone-like proteins produced by vertebrate cells, which are used for communication between cells, allowing some cells to regulate the activities of others.
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Memory cells
Cells that circulate in the blood after an immune response. They speed up the response to a subsequent attack by the same pathogen.
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White blood cells that circulate around the body in the blood and lymph.
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Clonal selection
The selection of cells (of the immune system) with a specific receptor site. These cells will undergo clonal expansion as part of the immune response.
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Clonal expansion
The division of selected cells by mitosis to increase their numbers.
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a deliberate exposure to antigenic material which activates the immune system to make an immune response and provide immunity.
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Passive immunity
Immunity acquired without activation of the lymphocyes. It is provided by antibodies that have not been manufactured by stimulating the immune system.
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Active immunity
Immunity that is acquired by activation of the immune system
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Artificial immunity
Immunity aquired as a result of deliberate exposure to antigens or by the injection of antibodies.
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Natural immunity
Immunity acquired through exposure to disease during the normal course of life.
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
A combination of diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
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The deposition of fatty substances in the walls of the arteries.
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A blood clot.
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Cardiovascular disease
A disease of the heart or circulatory system.
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Coronary heart disease (CHD)
A disease of the heart caused by malfunction of the coronary arteries.
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The death of part of the brain due to a lack of blood flow to that part of the brain and subsequent oxygen deficiency.
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The study of the distribution of a disease in populations, and the factors that influence its spread.
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A group of individual organisms very similar in appearance, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and genetics, whose members are able to interbreed freely to produce fertile offspring.
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A habitat is the place where and organism lives.
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The number and variety of living things to be found in the world, in an ecosystem or in a habitat.
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All the living organisms and all the non-living components in a specific area and their interactions.
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The exact role of an organism in the ecosystem.
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Species richness
The number of species present in a habitat.
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Species eveness
The number of individuals there are of each species in a habitat.
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Simpson's diversity index
A formula used to measure the diversity of a habitat.
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The organisation of living organisms (or other items) into groups according to their shared similarities.
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The study of the principles of classification.
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The study of the evolutionary relationships between organisms.
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Organisms with cells that do not contain a true nucleus.
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Included all organisms that don't fit into the other four kingdoms. Many are single-celled, but some are multicellular.
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Organisms that are mostly saprophytic. They consist of a mycelium with walls made from chitin.
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Multicellular organisms that gain their nutrition from photosynthesis.
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Heterotrophic multicellular eukaryotes.
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Classification group. Carl Woese's three-domain classification system divides the Kingdom Prokaryotae into tow domains and places all Eukaryotes in a third domain.
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Taxonomic group. Living organisms are grouped into one of the five kingdoms: Prokaryotae, Protocista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia.
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A taxonomic group used in classification of living organisms. Similar classes are grouped into the same phylum.
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Taxonomic group used in classification of living organisms. Members of the same class share some characteristics. Within each class are orders.
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Taxonomic group used in the classification of living organisms. Similar families are placed in the same order.
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Taxonomic group used in the classification of living organisms. Related genera are placed in the same family.
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Taxonomical group used in the classification of living organisms. Species that are similar are placed in the same genus.
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Binomal system
The binomal system uses two names to identify each species: the genus a=name and the species name.
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Dichotomous key
A dichotomous key uses a series of questions with two alternative answers to help you identify a specimen.
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The differences between individuals.
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Genetic variation
Variation causes by differences between the genes and the combination of genes or alleles.
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Continuous variaiton
Variation between organisms in which there is a full range of intermediate phenotypes between two extemes
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Discontinuous variation
Variation between living organisms of a species where there are discrete groups of phenotypes with no or very few individuals in between.
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A feature of a living organism that increases it chance of survival and long-term reproductive success.
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A plant specially adapted to living in dry areas.
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Natural selection
The 'selection' by the environment of particular individuals that show certain variations. These individuals will survive to reproduce and pass on their variations to the next generation.
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The formation of a new species.
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When a species ceases to exsist.
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Conservation in situ
Conserving a species in its natural habitat.
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Conservation ex situ
Conservation of a species outside of its natural habitat.
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Sympatric speciation
Selection that occurs within one area - some factor other than geographical separation has prevented free interbreeding between members of the species.
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Selection pressure
An external pressure that drive evolution in a particular direction.
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Allopatric speciation
Speciation due to organisms of a species being separated by geographical barriers so that over time members of two populations become so different that they cannot interbreed and are considered two different species.
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An assessment of the damage that may be caused to the (local) environment by a proposed development.
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Metabolism is the sum total of all the biochemical reactions taking place in the cells of an organism.



Card 3


Covalent bonds are formed when electrons are shared between atoms.


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Card 4


Carbohydrates make up a group of molecules contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the ration Cn(H20)n


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Card 5


Polysaccharides are polymers of monosaccharides. They consist of hundreds to thousands of monosaccharide monomers bonded together to form a single large molecule.


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