Study Guide

Introduction to Biology By

Emily Lain

Reviewed by

Tessa Scrobola

About the Author

Emily J. Lain has a Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. During the pursuit of her degrees, Ms. Lain participated in several research projects pertain- ing to disturbance ecology. Her most recent project focuses on the impacts of hurricane disturbance on migratory songbirds during their spring migration. She also supervised a long-term avian migration research station and database. Over the past several years, Ms. Lain worked as a biology laboratory instructor for biological sci- ences majors and nursing students. Currently she is researching hurricane impacts, teaching biology labs, and working as an instructor for this course.

About the Reviewer

Ms. Scrobola went to King’s College for her pre-med undergraduate degree before going to the University of Scranton for her Master’s in Secondary Education concentrating in biology. She has her Pennsylvania teaching certificate in biology. She taught high school science for a year at Crestwood High School before coming to Penn Foster, starting in admissions and then moving through Student CARE and high school as an academic advisor to finally becoming the college biology and earth science instructor. She also currently teaches biology at Lackawanna County Community College part time.

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INTRODUCTION Welcome to the wonderful world of biology! Few subjects can teach as much about the world around you as biology. During this course, you’ll gain insight into the origin of life, the rela- tionships among all living organisms and the environment, and even how your own body works.

The course consists of five lessons. Each lesson covers infor- mation from several chapters of the textbook. This study guide gives you your reading assignments for each chapter of your textbook. It also highlights and clarifies important information in each chapter.

At the end of each lesson, you’ll complete an examination covering information from all of the chapters that comprise that lesson.

OBJECTIVES When you complete this course, you’ll be able to

n Describe the characteristics of living things

n Explain and apply the scientific method

n Identify the structure and function of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells

n Explain the process of photosynthesis

n Identify basic chemistry and the properties of water

n Describe the basic traits of organic molecules

n Describe the steps involved in cellular respiration

n Explain the processes of mitosis and meiosis and identify the phases of each

n Discuss the basic principles of both Mendelian and modern genetics

n Describe the structure and function of DNA and RNA

n Describe the traits of cancer and explain how it develops


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n List the domains and kingdoms of living organisms

n Discuss Darwin’s theory of natural selection and evolution

n Compare and contrast the types of natural selection and evolution

n Compare and contrast the traits of microorganisms

n Differentiate between major plant groups and outline their characteristics

n Identify and describe basic plant anatomy, responses, and reproduction

n List the characteristics of the major classes of invertebrates

n Name and describe seven classes of nonextinct vertebrates

n Discuss the functions of four types of animal tissues

n Identify the components and functions of major human organ systems

n Identify and explain the components of the immune system

n Explain the factors that influence population growth

n Describe the organization and development of communi- ties, as well as the characteristics of ecosystems

n Explain the effects modern human society has had on many of the world’s ecosystems

YOUR TEXTBOOK Your textbook, Essentials of Biology, contains most of the detailed information upon which your examinations are based. Your textbook material is divided into chapters. The pages for each chapter are clearly indicated in the contents.

Instructions to Students2

Listed below are some of the features of your textbook:

n “Learning Outcomes” listed at the beginning of each chapter, to help you focus on what you should learn in the reading

n Short questions at the end of each chapter that test your knowledge about what you’ve read

n Exercises at the end of each chapter that teach you to think critically

n A glossary of key terms

n An index for fast, easy reference of topics

At the end of every chapter in your textbook is a summary. Read this material carefully to check your understanding. Following the summary are a number of tools you can use to review the material you’ve just studied. We highly recommend that you complete “Key Terms,” “Testing Yourself,” “Thinking Scientifically,” and “Bioethical Issue.” The answers to most of these questions and problems are included in Appendix A.

COURSE MATERIALS This course includes the following materials:

1. This study guide, which contains an introduction to your course, plus

n A lesson assignments page with a schedule of study assignments

n Assignment lessons emphasizing the main points in the textbook

n Self-checks and answers to help you assess your understanding of the material

n A research project

2. Your course textbook, Essentials of Biology, which contains the assigned reading material. The McGraw Hill online resource is not part of the course. It is not required.

Instructions to Students 3

Instructions to Students4

Please take a look at the research project at the end of this study guide so you’ll know what’s expected of you in complet- ing the project. You can work on the project as you work through the course. Don’t wait until you complete all the coursework before you begin the research project.

A STUDY PLAN This study guide is intended to help you achieve the maxi- mum benefit from the time you spend on this course. It doesn’t replace the textbook in any way. It serves as an intro- duction to the material that you’ll read in the book and as an aid to assist you in understanding this material.

This study guide divides your course into five lessons. Each lesson contains several assignments, with a self-check for each assignment. A comprehensive examination covers the material from each of the five lessons. Be sure to complete all work related to a lesson before moving on to the next lesson.

Below is a suggested format for using this study guide. Remember that this is just a suggested plan. If you feel that another method would help you learn more effectively, by all means use that method.

1. Note the pages for each assignment.

2. Scan the assigned pages in the textbook. Make a note of the headings and illustrations. Write down questions to yourself.

3. Keep your textbook open to the chapter and read the assignment text in this study guide. When the study guide makes references to passages or figures in the textbook, refer to the text to complete your understand- ing. It may answer your questions or inspire more.

4. Read the assigned pages in the textbook. This time, pay close attention to details. Concentrate on gaining an understanding of the concepts being presented.

5. Check on anything that’s still not clear, and reexamine the pages and illustrations to which the study guide refers. Then complete the self-check. You can check your answers using the answers at the back of this study

guide. If you have problems completing any self-check question, reread the sections of the textbook that pertain to the problem area.

6. Complete each assignment in this way. If you miss any questions, review the pages of the textbook covering those questions. The self-checks are designed to reveal weak points that you need to review. Don’t send the self- check answers to the school. They’re for you to evaluate your understanding of the material.

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