The Biology I Course was developed through the Ohio Department of Higher Education OER Innovation Grant. The course is part of the Ohio Transfer Assurance Guides and is also named OSC003. This work was completed and the course was posted in October 2019. For more information about credit transfer between Ohio colleges and universities, please visit: www.ohiohighered.org/transfer.Team LeadCathy Sistilli Eastern Gateway Community CollegeContent ContributorsLisa Aschemeier Northwest State Community CollegeShaun Blevins Rhodes State CollegeRachel Detraz Edison State Community College Sara Finch Sinclair Community CollegeWendy Gagliano Clark State Community College AJ Snow University of Akron Wayne CollegeLibrarianAmanda Rinehart Ohio State UniversityReview TeamJessica Hall Ohio Dominican UniversitySanhita Gupta Kent State UniversityErica Mersfelder Sinclair Community College
Food provides the body with the nutrients it needs to survive. Many of these critical nutrients are biological macromolecules, or large molecules, necessary for life. Different smaller organic molecule (monomer) combinations build these macromolecules (polymers). What specific biological macromolecules do living things require? How do these molecules form? What functions do they serve? We explore these questions in this chapter.
As with people, it is vital for individual cells to be able to interact with their environment. In order to properly respond to external stimuli, cells have developed complex mechanisms of communication that can receive a message, transfer the information across the plasma membrane, and then produce changes within the cell in response to the message. In multicellular organisms, cells send and receive chemical messages constantly to coordinate the actions of distant organs, tissues, and cells. The ability to send messages quickly and efficiently enables cells to coordinate and fine-tune their functions.
Cell reproduction is a process of cell division that divides one cell into two identical cells. In multicellular organisms cell reproduction can be for growth, development or repair, whereas in single cell organisms it is a mechanism of reproduction. The focus of this content is the cell cycle in eukaryotic cells, regulation of the cell cycle, and consequences of a lack of regulation in the context of cancer. A summary of binary fission in prokaryotic cells is also included.
Your body has many kinds of cells, each specialized for a specific purpose. Just as we use a variety of materials to build a home, the human body is constructed from many cell types. For example, epithelial cells protect the body's surface and cover the organs and body cavities within. Bone cells help to support and protect the body. Immune system cells fight invading bacteria. Additionally, blood and blood cells carry nutrients and oxygen throughout the body while removing carbon dioxide. Each of these cell types plays a vital role during the body's growth, development, and day-to-day maintenance. In spite of their enormous variety, however, cells from all organisms—even ones as diverse as bacteria, onion, and human—share certain fundamental characteristics.
Plants and animals must take in and transform energy for use by cells. Plants, through photosynthesis, absorb light energy and form organic molecules such as glucose. Glucose has potential energy in the form of chemical energy stored in its bonds. This chapter covers the metabolic pathways of cellular respiration and describes the chemical reactions that use energy in glucose and other organic molecules to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the cell’s “energy currency” fueling virtually all energy requiring processes. The chemical reactions of cellular respiration are a series of oxidation- reduction (redox) reactions that are divided into three stages: glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.
The theory of evolution is the unifying theory of biology, meaning it is the framework within which biologists ask questions about the living world. Its power is that it provides direction for predictions about living things that are borne out in ongoing experiments. The Ukrainian-born American geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously wrote that “nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution.” He meant that the tenet that all life has evolved and diversified from a common ancestor is the foundation from which we approach all questions in biology.
This chapter outlines information on the regulation of gene expression in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This includes transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational regulation.
IntroductionThis chapter covers the details of the Central dogma including transcription and translation. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription are compared. Eukaryotic RNA processing is described. Protein synthesis is outlined including protein folding and modifications of the newly created proteins.
Animal evolution began in the ocean over 600 million years ago with tiny creatures that probably do not resemble any living organism today. Since then, animals have evolved into a highly diverse kingdom. But what is an animal? While we can easily identify dogs, birds, fish, spiders, and worms as animals, other organisms, such as corals and sponges, are not as easy to classify. Animals vary in complexity—from sea sponges to crickets to chimpanzees—and scientists are faced with the difficult task of classifying them within a unified system. They must identify traits that are common to all animals as well as traits that can be used to distinguish among related groups of animals. The animal classification system characterizes animals based on their anatomy, morphology, evolutionary history, features of embryological development, and genetic makeup. This classification scheme is constantly developing as new information about species arises. Understanding and classifying the great variety of living species help us better understand how to conserve the diversity of life on earth.
Meiosis is the process of cell division that produces haploid gametes. In sexual reproduction haploid gametes combine through fertilization to form a genetically recombined diploid zygote. Meiosis includes two successive divisions and processes such as crossing over and independent assortment that increase genetic variability in gametes produced. Life cycles detail the events between meiosis and fertilization that vary for different multicellular organisms.
Genetics is the study of heredity. Johann Gregor Mendel set the framework for genetics long before chromosomes or genes had been identified, at a time when meiosis was not well understood. Mendel selected a simple biological system and conducted methodical, quantitative analyses using large sample sizes. Because of Mendel’s work, the fundamental principles of heredity were revealed. We now know that genes, carried on chromosomes, are the basic functional units of heredity with the capability to be replicated, expressed, or mutated. Today, the postulates put forth by Mendel form the basis of classical, or Mendelian, genetics. Not all genes are transmitted from parents to offspring according to Mendelian genetics, but Mendel’s experiments serve as an excellent starting point for thinking about inheritance.
The cellular processes of life require energy. How do living organism obtain energy and how is it used? This Chapter answers these questions by exploring forms of energy and energy transfer within and between living organisms, as well as the role of enzymes and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in chemical reactions in cells.
This chapter begins with the details of the Chromosome Theory of Inheritance and moves onto discuss homologous recombination and the creation of new chromosomes. It also describes genetic linkage maps and how to calculate distances of genes on chromosomes. The second part of this chapter is focused on karyotypes, nondisjunction and creation of individuals with abnormal numbers of chromosomes.
Virtually all life on Earth depends on Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses energy in sunlight to form organic molecules such as glucose. This transformation of light energy to chemical energy provides fuel for the metabolic processes in all organisms. Photosynthesis also produces oxygen required for aerobic cellular respiration. This chapter covers light energy as part of the electromagnetic spectrum, basic structures involved in photosynthesis and the metabolic pathways of photosynthesis divided into the light-dependent reactions and the Calvin cycle.
In scientific terms, phylogeny is the evolutionary history and relationship of an organism or group of organisms. A phylogeny describes the organism's relationships, such as from which organisms it may have evolved, or to which species it is most closely related. Scientists must collect accurate information that allows them to make evolutionary connections among organisms. It is a highly dynamic field of biology because phylogenetic modeling concepts are constantly changing as new information is collected. Over the last several decades, new research has challenged scientists’ ideas about how organisms are related.
Carl Woese and his colleagues proposed that all life on Earth evolved along three lineages, called domains. Two of the three domains—Bacteria and Archaea—are prokaryotic. Prokaryotes were the first inhabitants on Earth, appearing 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. These organisms are abundant and ubiquitous; that is, they are present everywhere. In addition to inhabiting moderate environments, they are found in extreme conditions: from boiling springs to permanently frozen environments in Antarctica; from salty environments like the Dead Sea to environments under tremendous pressure, such as the depths of the ocean; and from areas without oxygen, such as a waste management plant, to radioactively contaminated regions, such as Chernobyl. Prokaryotes reside in the human digestive system and on the skin, are responsible for certain illnesses, and serve an important role in the preparation of many foods.
The plasma membrane, the cell membrane, has many functions, but the most basic one is to define the cell's borders and keep the cell functional. The plasma membrane is selectively permeable. This means that the membrane allows some materials to freely enter or leave the cell, while other materials cannot move freely, but require a specialized structure, and occasionally, even energy investment for crossing.