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Biological Themes
Biology: the science of living organisms and the interactions among them
1. The Seven Major Themes of Biology
Evolution: the theory that species change over time
Scientists suggest that evolution occurs by a process called natural selection.
Organisms that have certain inheritable traits (adaptations) are better able to survive
in specific environments than organisms that lack those traits .
Reproduction and Inheritance
Reproduction: asexual (no exchange of genetic information between organisms) or
sexual (genetic information is exchanged between organisms)
Inheritance: the acquisition of traits by offspring
Development: the process by which an organism grows
Unicellular vs. Multicellular Development
Structure and Function
Morphology: the internal and external appearance of an organism
Anatomy = Internal Morphology
Energy Relationships
All organisms use energy
Autotrophs vs. Heterotrophs
Ecology: the study of the relationship between organisms and their environments
Science and Society
Knowledge from biological science can be applied to specific problems in society to
improve human life.
How biological knowledge should be used involves decisions based on ethics
2. The Seven Characteristics of Life
Cells: all living things are composed of cells
Organization: all organisms are organized at both molecular and cellular levels
atoms molecules organelles cells tissues organs organ systems
Metabolism: all organisms use energy for growth and maintenance
Response to the Environment: a response is a reaction to a stimulus
Growth: all living things grow, growth occurs through cell division and cell enlargement
Reproduction: all organisms have the ability to reproduce, reproduction is necessary for the
continuity of life
Adaptation: organisms have adaptations that give them an advantage in an environment