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LS Vocabulary

Building The Ultimate You:
Absorption - The process or action by which one thing absorbs or is absorbed by another.
Cell- The smallest unit of living things.
Circulatory system- The closed network in the body through which blood and the materials in it travel.
Data- Facts that are collected by observation or experimentation from which theories are sometimes derived.
Digestive system- The parts of the body of an animal that take part in the digestion of food.
Elastic- The ability of a material to return to its former shape after being bent or stretched.
Excretion- The ways in which living things get rid of their wastes from their cells, tissues, and organs.
Feedback- The process by which a system controls itself by using its own output.
Hierarchical- Belonging to any system of things ranked one above another.
Homeostasis- A stable, normal internal condition that is maintained in a living thing even though changes take
place in the environment.
Impulse- An electrical and chemical signal passed along a nerve cell to another nerve call or to a muscle, or
from a sensory organ to the brain.
Mechanism- A system of causally interacting parts and processes that produce one or more effects.
Model- To make a particular part or feature of the world easier to understand, define, quantify, visualize, or
simulate by referencing it to existing and usually commonly accepted knowledge.
Multicellular- Describing an organism that consists of many cells.
Muscle- The tissue in humans and animals that can change in size and making the body move when stimulated
by nerves.
Muscular system- A system that permits movement of the body, maintains posture, and circulates blood
throughout the body.
Neural- Of or relating to a nerve or the nervous system.
Negative feedback- A reaction that causes a decrease in function. It occurs in response to a stimulus.
Nervous system- The system of nerves and nerve centers in an animal or human, including the brain, spinal
cord and nerves.
Nutrient- Components in foods that an organism uses to survive and grow.
Objectivity- The idea that scientists, in attempting to uncover truths about the natural world, must aspire to
eliminate personal biases, a priori commitments, emotional involvement, etc.
Organ- A group of cells or tissues in an organism that performs a particular function.
Organ system- A group of organs that work together to perform a particular function.
Positive feedback- The output enhances the original stimulus.
Regulate- Any process that modulates the frequency, rate or extent of any biological process, quality or
Reliable- The degree of stability exhibited when a measurement is repeated under identical conditions.
Respiratory system- The group of organs, tissues, and tubes by which air enters and leaves the body and
oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.
Stimulus- Something that excites or causes a living organism, or part of an organism, to respond—that is, to do
something, such as to move or grow.
Tissue- A group of similar cells working together to perform a particular function.
You Are What You Eat:
Aerobic: requiring oxygen
Amino acid: organic compounds that combine to form proteins, the building blocks of life
Anaerobic: relies on energy sources other than oxygen
Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP): a compound consisting of an adenosine molecule bonded to two phosphate
groups. ADP is formed when one phosphate group detaches and releases energy
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP): a compound consisting of an adenosine molecule bonded to three phosphate
groups. ATP provides the energy needed by our cells for physiological processes
Backbone (hydrocarbon): series of covalently bounded carbon atoms that create the continuous chain of the
Bond: the force that holds atoms together to form compounds
Carbohydrate: a large molecule of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen that is a major source of energy for animals
Carbon dioxide: gas composed of two oxygen atoms bonded to one carbon atom used by producers in
Chemical equation: a symbolical representation of what happens when two atoms come in contact with one
Chemical process: a method or means of somehow changing one or more chemicals or chemical compounds
Chemical reaction: A process in which atoms of the same or different elements rearrange themselves to form a
new substance
Compound: a substance composed of two or more chemical elements
Covalent bond: Electronegativity: a measure of the ability of an atom in a molecular substance to attract
electrons to itself.
Endergonic: a metabolic or chemical process that results in a net increase in energy
Energy: capacity of a physical system to do work, has many forms: chemical, kinetic, mechanical
Exergonic: a metabolic or chemical process that releases energy
Glucose: sugar formed by plants as a product of photosynthesis, essential to living organisms
Hydrocarbon: any chemical compound that consists of only hydrogen and carbon
Ionic bond: a type of chemical bonding that is the result of a transfer of electrons from one atom to another,
typically between metal and nonmetal atoms
Law of Conservation of Mass: the scientific law that states that mass cannot be gained or lost in a chemical
reaction and that matter cannot be created or destroyed
Lipid: large molecules necessary for living organisms; provide stored energy and make up the cell membrane
Macromolecule: large molecules necessary for life. Examples include carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids
Molecule: a group of chemical elements bonded together
Net transfer: involve chemical components being "transferred" from one phase or set of phases to others
Nucleic acid: large molecules that contain genetic information
Oxygen: chemical element which is necessary for cellular respiration and therefore, life
Photosynthesis: the process by which producers use the energy of sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to
produce glucose and oxygen
Product: new material(s) formed as a result of a chemical reaction
Protein: a nutrient found in food that is made of many amino acids joined together, essential for normal cell
structure and function
Reactant: substance(s) present at the start of a chemical reaction
Sugar: any of numerous soluble carbohydrates (as glucose or sucrose) that occur naturally especially in plants.
Transfer: The conversion of one form of energy into another, or the movement of energy from one place to
Transform: to change in form, appearance, or structure
Valence electrons: electrons located in the outermost electron shell of an atom, which participate in chemical
Decoding Your Future:
Chromosomes - A threadlike, gene-carrying structure found in the nucleus. Each chromosome consists of one
very long DNA molecule and associated proteins.
Coding regions - that portion of a gene's DNA or RNA, composed of exons, that codes for protein. The region
is bounded nearer the 5' end by a start codon and nearer the 3' end with a stop codon.
Crossing Over – when regions of similar chromosomes swap places during the process of meiosis; contributes
to the genetic variation within sex cells and therefore offspring
Daughter cell - A cell that is the offspring of a cell that has undergone mitosis or meiosis. The term "daughter"
does not indicate the sex of the cell.
DNA - A double-stranded, helical nucleic acid molecule capable of replicating and determining the inherited
structure of a cell's proteins.
Environmental factors - Environmental factor or ecological factor or ecofactor is any factor, abiotic or biotic,
that influences living organisms
Gene - A discrete unit of hereditary information consisting of a specific nucleotide sequence in DNA (or RNA,
in some viruses).
Genetic material - refers to those materials found in the nucleus, mitochondria and cytoplasm, which play a
fundamental role in determining the structure and nature of cell substances, and capable of self-propagating and
Genetic variation - Variations of genomes between members of species, or between groups of species thriving
in different parts of the world as a result of genetic mutation.
Inherited traits - A trait or character that is genetically inherited or passed down from generation to generation.
Meiosis - A form of cell division happening in sexually reproducing organisms by which two consecutive
nuclear divisions (meiosis I and meiosis II) occur without the chromosomal replication in between, leading to
the production of four haploid gametes (sex cells), each containing one of every pair of homologous
chromosomes (that is, with the maternal and paternal chromosomes being distributed randomly between the
Multicellular organism - Having or consisting of many cells or more than one cell to perform all vital
Mutation - A permanent, heritable change in the nucleotide sequence in a gene or a chromosome; the process
in which such a change occurs in a gene or in a chromosome.
Noncoding regions - components of an organism's DNA that do not encode protein sequences.
Parent cell -The cell giving rise to daughter cells by cell division.
Population -A group of organisms of one species that interbreed and live in the same place at the same time
Probability - The likelihood of an event to occur
Proteins - A molecule composed of polymers of amino acids joined together by peptide bonds. It can be
distinguished from fats and carbohydrates by containing nitrogen. Other components include carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen, sulphur, and sometimes phosphorus.
Replication - The process of duplicating or producing an exact copy of a polynucleotide strand such as DNA
Sexual reproduction - A mode of reproduction involving the fusion of female gamete (ovum) and male gamete
(spermatozoon), which forms a zygote that potentially develops into genetically distinct offspring.
Specialized cells - Some cells in multicellular organisms are modified to carry out a particular function, such as
transporting a certain substance or executing a specific task
Traits - Characteristics or attributes of an organism that are expressed by genes and/or influenced by the
Adaptation – a trait that increases an organism's likelihood of survival and/or reproduction in an environment
Adaptation - changes in the distribution of traits within a population over time due to natural selection (this
definition is stressed within the NGSS)
Antibiotic – an agent that destroys and/or kills bacteria
Antibiotic resistance – the ability of a bacterium to survive in the presence of an antibiotic that would normally
destroy and/or kill it
Asexual reproduction – the process by which individuals inherit all of their chromosomes from a single parent,
thus being genetically identical to that parent
Bacteria – single celled prokaryotic organism
Distribution – the number of individuals with a certain trait in a population
Evolution – the process whereby a population changes over time
Mutation – a change in the DNA of an organism
Natural selection – the process whereby organisms with heritable traits better suited to their environment tend
to survive and reproduce more often than others within the population
Population – a group of the same type of species living in a common area
Proliferation – the increase in the number of something
Variation – difference; a different form of something
Its All Relative:
Amino acid – organic compounds that combine to form proteins, the building blocks of life
Anatomical – of or relating to body structure(s)
Ancestry – the origin or background of something
Beneficial – having a positive effect
Biological – relating to living organism
Branch – to divide into two or more smaller parts
Common ancestry – two or more organisms who are related by a single ancestor
Descent- Derivation from an ancestor; lineage
Development- the act or process of growing or causing something to grow or become larger or more advanced
DNA sequence- A succession of letters that indicate the order of nucleotides within a DNA (using GACT)
Embryological- dealing with the formation, development, structure, and functional activities of embryos
Evolve- To change over time
Flock- A large number of animals, especially birds, sheep or goats
Fossil record- The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossil-containing rock
formations and sedimentary layers
Gel electrophoresis- a method for separation and analysis of macromolecules and their fragments, based on their size and
Gene- a segment of DNA that codes for amino acids, determines organisms traits
Group behavior- System of behaviors and psychological processes occurring within a social group or between social
Herd- A social grouping of certain animals of the same species
Migrate- The physical movement by animals from one area to another
Species- The largest group of organisms in which two individuals are capable of reproducing fertile offspring
Swarm- A behavior exhibited by organisms of similar size which aggregate together
Top Predators:
Abiotic factors – A nonliving condition or thing, as climate or habitat that influences or affects an ecosystem
and the organism in it: Abiotic factors can determine which species of organisms will survive in a given
environment. 1
Aerobic - (of an organism or tissue) requiring the presence of air or free oxygen for life. 1
Anaerobic - (of an organism or tissue) living in the absence of air or free oxygen. 1
Autotroph - An organism capable of synthesizing its own food from inorganic substances
using light or chemical energy. 1
Biodiversity – The number, variety, and genetic variation of different organisms found within a specified
geographic region. 1
Biomass – The amount of living matter in a given habitat, expressed either as the weight of organisms per unit
area or as the volume of organisms per unit volume of habitat. 1
Biotic factors– A living thing, as an animal or plant that influences or affects an ecosystems.1
Carbon cycle – The circulation of carbon atoms in the biosphere as a result of photosynthetic conversion of
carbon dioxide into complex organic compounds by plants, which are consumed by other organisms: the carbon
returns to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide as a result of respiration, decay by fungi, bacteria, etc.,
and combustion of fossil fuels. 1
Carrying capacity – The maximum population size that can be regularly sustained by an environment; the
point where the population size levels off in the logistic growth model.2
Ecosystem – The community living in an area and its physical environment.2
Energy – The ability to bring about changes or to do work.2
Energy flow – The movement of energy through a community via feeding relationships.2
Extinction – The act or process of dying out; disappearance of a species from the Earth.1
Habitat destruction – Process by which the natural environment of an organism is degraded or fragmented;
primary threat to the survival of many species.
Heterotroph - An organism requiring organic compounds for its principal source of food.1
Inorganic – Not having the structure or organization characteristic of living bodies; noting or pertaining to
compounds that are not hydrocarbons or their derivatives.1
Invasive species – An introduced species that is not native to a specific location and has a tendency to damage
the environment and economy
Matter – Anything that has mass and occupies space.2
Metabolism – The sum of all chemical reactions (energy exchanges) in cells.3
Organic – Characteristic of, pertaining to, or derived from living organisms; noting or pertaining to a class of
chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that
now includes all other compounds of carbon.1
Overexploitation – harvesting species from the environment at rates faster than they can naturally repopulate;
harvesting beyond sustainable yield.
Overpopulation – The number of organisms in an ecosystem exceed its carrying capacity.
Population – A group of individuals of the same species living in the same area at the same time and sharing a
common gene pool. A group of potentially interbreeding organisms in a geographic area.2
Resource - Materials from the environment that provide benefit to organisms and is necessary for survival.
Speciation – The formation of new species as a result of geographic, physiological, anatomical, or behavioral
factors that prevent previously interbreeding populations from breeding with each other.1
Species – One or more populations of interbreeding or potentially interbreeding organisms that are
reproductively isolated in nature from all other organisms. Populations of individuals capable of interbreeding
and producing viable, fertile offspring.2
Trophic levels – Any class of organisms that occupy the same position in a food chain, as primary consumers,
secondary consumers, and tertiary consumers.1
Building The Ultimate You:
Circulatory system
Digestive system
Muscular system
Negative feedback
Nervous system
Organ system
Positive feedback
Respiratory system
You Are What You Eat:
Amino acid
Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP)
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
Hydrocarbon Backbone
Carbon Dioxide
Chemical Equation
Chemical Process
Chemical Reaction
Covalent Bond
Ionic Bonds
Law of Conservation of Mass
Net Transfer
Nucleic Acid
Valence Electrons
Decoding Your Future:
Coding Regions
Crossing Over
Daughter Cell
Environmental Factors
Genetic Material
Genetic Variation
Inherited Traits
Multicellular organism
Noncoding Regions
Parent Cell
Sexual reproduction
Specialized Cells
Antibiotic Resistance
Asexual Reproduction
Natural Selection
Its All Relative:
Amino acid
Common Ancestry
DNA Sequence
Fossil Record
Gel Electrophoresis
Group Behavior
Top Predators:
Abiotic Factors
Biotic Factors
Carbon Cycle
Carrying Capacity
Energy Flow
Habitat Destruction
Invasive Species
Trophic levels