Keystone Preparation


Characteristics of Life

  • Homeostasis-is the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant.
  • Homeostatic Mechanism- Mechanisms that aid in homeostasis and regulate internal environments.

1. Response to Stimuli

2. Growth and Change

3. Ability to Reproduce

4.Have a Metabolism and Breath

5.Regulation of Internal Environment

6. Made up of Cells

7. Passing Traits onto Offspring

Scientific Method

  • Principal (scientific)- is testable for consistency by performing an experiment. Can be disproved.
  • Scientific Theory-well substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and the repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.

My Notes

Basic Chemistry

  • Allele Frequency-Allele frequency, or gene frequency, is the proportion of a particular allele (variant of a gene) among all allele copies being considered. It can be formally defined as the percentage of all alleles at a given locus in a population gene pool represented by a particular allele.

  • Atom-the basic unit of a chemical element.


1. Interpret the information on a periodic table to determine the number of protons, neutrons , & electrons in an atom.

protons- positively charged

neutrons- uncharged

electrons- negatively charged

atomic mass = protons + electrons

atomic number = protons



Organic Chemistry

  • DNA-deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.

  • DNA Replication- the process of producing two identical replicas from one original DNA molecule. This biological process occurs in all living organisms and is the basis for biological inheritance.

  • Macromolecule-a molecule containing a very large number of atoms, such as a protein, nucleic acid, or synthetic polymer.

  • Lipids-any of a class of organic compounds that are fatty acids or their derivatives and are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. They include many natural oils, waxes, and steroids.


Cell Structure and Function

  • Ribosome- the protein-synthesizing machines of the cell. They translate the information encoded in messenger RNA (mRNA) into a polypeptide.

  • Plastids- major double membrane organelle found in plant cells

  • Mitochondrion-an organelle found in large numbers in most cells, in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur. It has a double membrane, the inner layer being folded inward to form layers (cristae).

  • Nucleus-the central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth.

  • Plasma Membrane-a microscopic membrane of lipids and proteins that forms the external boundary of the cytoplasm of a cell or encloses a vacuole, and that regulates the passage of molecules in and out of the cytoplasm.

Cell Theory Notes

Cell Membrane and Transport

  • Impermeable-not allowing fluid to pass through.
  • Osmosis - movement of water from a higher concentration to a lower concentration through a semipermeable membrane
  • Endocytosis- an energy-using process by which cells absorb molecules (such as proteins) by engulfing them. It is used by all cells of the body because most substances important to them are large polar molecules that cannot pass through the hydrophobic plasma or cell membrane. The opposite process is exocytosis
  • Diffusion-the process by which molecules intermingle as a result of their kinetic energy of random motion. Consider two containers of gas A and B separated by a partition. The molecules of both gases are in constant motion and make numerous collisions with the partition
  • Facilitated Diffusion- (also known as facilitated transport or passive-mediated transport) is the process of spontaneous passive transport (as opposed to active transport) of molecules or ions across a biological membrane via specific trans-membrane integral proteins


Cell Division (Mitosis and Meiosis)


  • Co-Dominance -Both alleles are expressed equally (not blending)

  • Gene Expression-the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product. These products are often proteins, but in non-protein coding genes such as transfer RNA (tRNA) or small nuclear RNA (snRNA) genes, the product is a functional RNA.

  • Selective Breeding -When humans breed plants or animals to get more desired or specific traits

  • Polygenic Trait-Traits that display a continuous distribution, such as height or skin color, are polygenic. The inheritance of polygenic traits does not show the phenotypic ratios characteristic of Mendelian inheritance, though each of the genes contributing to the trait is inherited as described by Gregor Mendel.

  • Dominant Inheritance-. A dominant allele will mask a recessive allele, if present. A dominant allele is denoted by a capital letter (A versus a). Since each parent provides one allele, the possible combinations are: AA, Aa, and aa. Offspring whose genotype is either AA or Aa will have the dominant trait expressed phenotypically, while aa individuals express the recessive trait.

Some More Genetics Vocab

Genetic Technology

  • Cloning-replicate (a fragment of DNA placed in an organism) so that there is enough to analyze or use in protein production

  • Bioenergetics-the study of the transformation of energy in living organisms.

  • Gene Splicing- A term used to refer to the process by which the DNA of an organism is cut and a gene, perhaps from another organism, is inserted. (See genetic engineering and recombinant DNA.)

  • Genetic Engineering-the deliberate modification of the characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material.

  • Genetically Modified Organism- any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.

DNA and Protein Synthesis

  • Protein Synthesis-the process by which amino acids are linearly arranged into proteins through the involvement of ribosomal RNA, transfer RNA, messenger RNA, and various enzymes.

  • Semiconservative Replication-describes the mechanism by which DNA is replicated in all known cells. This mechanism of replication was one of three models originally proposed for DNA replication: Semiconservative replication would produce two copies that each contained one of the original strands and one new strand.

  • Chromosomal Mutation-A mutation involving a long segment of DNA. These mutations can involve deletions, insertions, or inversions of sections of DNA. In some cases, deleted sections may attach to other chromosomes, disrupting both the chromosomes that loses the DNA and the one that gains it.



  • Vestigial Structures-genetically determined structures or attributes that have apparently lost most or all of their ancestral function in a given species, but have been retained through evolution.

  • Theory- well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.

  • Genetic Drift-variation in the relative frequency of different genotypes in a small population, owing to the chance disappearance of particular genes as individuals die or do not reproduce.



  • Pumps (ion or molecule)-a vacuum pump that depends for its action on the adhesion of the gas or vapor molecules to a rapidly moving metal disk or cylinder by which they are carried away.

  • System-a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular.

  • Chloroplast-a plastid that contains chlorophyll and in which photosynthesis takes place.

Cell Respiration vs Photosynthesis


Cell Respiration

  • Cellular Respiration-what cells do to break up sugars into a form that the cell can use as energy. This happens in all forms of life. Cellular respiration takes in food and uses it to create ATP, a chemical which the cell uses for energy.

  • ATP-nucleoside triphosphate used in cells as a coenzyme, often called the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism.



  • Decomposer- An organism that decomposes organic material (for energy)

  • Food chain- The transfer of energy through multiple organisms diets

  • Biotic- Relating to living things

  • Agriculture-the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.

  • Aquatic-of or relating to water

  • Biome-a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g., forest or tundra.

  • Biogeochemical Cycle-a pathway by which a chemical substance moves through both biotic (biosphere) and abiotic (lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere) compartments of Earth.