Biology Homework

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1. Introduction to Biology

So, the introduction to biology is a very broad and complex field that attempts to cover the origin of mankind all the way to the molecular level of individual cells. Modern biology is the study of multiple different disciplines in furthering interdisciplinary research and new inventions.

However, the study of biology is not just about life itself. In other words, biology as a science has a strong historical and philosophical element and it is here that historical perspectives become quite important. By understanding how the ideas and theories of the early pioneers developed and how the discipline grew, students are better able to appreciate and contextualize modern thought. From environmental biology and microbiology to anatomy and physiology, even up to the genetic basis of all living organisms, history provides a platform for appreciation of the sheer diversity of research and knowledge which biology encompasses today. This provides a meaningful segue into considering the depth and breadth of modern biological concepts and investigations. And inevitably, biological research is forging forwards and there could not be a more exciting time to study biology.

Then, the sciences, which eventually grew out of natural philosophy, the parochial studies began to become more specialized and separate. For example, the scientific investigation of natural history, particularly those aspects relating to the works. The works of Linnaeus heralded the development of hierarchical classification systems for the natural world and the formalization of the two-name binomial system for all living organisms. Charles Darwin and his seminal book ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’ published in 1859 presented the principles of evolution by natural selection. Since then, his work has continuously catalyzed the further development of the field known as evolutionary biology. These historical perspectives are useful for situating the significance of biology, as well as gaining an appreciation for the natural progression of scientific inquiry and advances in understandings.

Moving on, the introduction to biology should delve into what biology is, the history of biology, and the modern relevance of biology in human society. The history of biology involves the study of life in a variety of different aspects. Of particular importance are the origins of biological investigation and the emergence of modern concepts, principles, and theories. As such, it is quite common when we begin our study of biology that we first ground our thoughts. Some history of biology includes the study of the people, events, and development of science over time and often puts biological concepts in a new light.

2. Cell Structure and Function

If we look closely at the definitions of life, we’ll find that life is the condition which distinguishes living things from non-living things collectively. We realize that all organisms are made up of cells, therefore the cells which will certainly make an organism like us. Therefore understanding the organelles in cells composing of various life forms gives us a thought what life is. As said by cell hypothesis, the cell is the standard unit of life. All life forms come from cells. New cells are made of officially existing cells. Numerous researchers have added to our comprehension of cell hypothesis. In 1838, a German scientist Matthias Schleiden found that all plants are made out of cells. In 1839, Theodor Schwann found that all creatures are made out of cells. And in 1855, Rudolf Virchow concluded that all cells come from pre-existing cells. Not at all like the developments of electronic contraptions where newer the innovation it has small scale estimated creation units, our “cell innovation” self-gettings most put stock in a huge create of an organ to conceal another life form and does not bolster smaller scale intercede innovation. Cells can be prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells. The essential distinction is in the presence of the cell nucleus and the organization of hereditary material. Prokaryotic cells are basic in structure. Eukaryotic cells are more unpredictable. So in a prokaryotic cell, hereditary material lies unattached in the cytoplasm while in the eukaryotic cell, hereditary material is stored in the core, a twofold film-bound structure. The last fascinating cell certainty is that there are relatively little contrasts between cell surface cells in potatoes and animal cells. For example, both cells have layers and covers and a vacuole, but plant cell vacuole is significantly larger compared to animal cells. This would suggest plant cells are significantly more efficient in maintaining the water levels of the creature cells.

3. Genetics and Heredity

Genetics is a fascinating field of biology that is perhaps more important now than ever. Genes are the basic units of heredity. It is the “coded” information in our genes that determines the essence of all living things. It is through the study of genetics that an understanding of how traits and characteristics are passed from one generation to the next is developed. Dominant genes will develop as long as they are in the presence of independent genes. It is only in the last few decades that the enormous importance of genetics and inheritance in medicine has become fully appreciated. There are many genetic diseases, including sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and Huntington’s chorea that are caused by the inheritance of two copies of a faulty gene. A person’s physical appearance is the product of the specific combination of dominant and independent genes that he/she has received from both parents. The science of genetics has been used for a multitude of things, and it is a huge advantage in many areas. For example, in agriculture, it has been used to produce crops that have more nutritional value or that are in some way better for the environment. In recent times, there has been enormous public interest in the completion of the Human Genome Project. This was a project that had as its ultimate goal the sequencing of the enormously long DNA molecules that compose the chromosomes that are found in the nucleus of each of the cells in our body. The project took fourteen years and was officially completed in April 2003. One of the outcomes from this research is that it has made it possible to identify all the 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA and to determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA. This research has made, and will continue to make, an enormous impact on the understanding of genetics and what role it plays in human life. Also, it has significant importance in genetic testing, screening, and gene therapy. These methodologies are also increasingly significant in medical diagnoses, allowing the provision of more effective and personalized medical care. Whether you need help in relation to the study of genetics, apply genetics in improving food production, or discuss the topic of genetics and inheritance in human life, our expert biology tutors can help. Our biology tutors are well equipped to help in some of these popular topics which have been tested over the years, including Advanced Placement in Biology, Gene Action and Communication, and Genes and Medicines.

4. Evolution and Natural Selection

Evolution is the unifying principle of biology. It helps us understand why organisms are the way they are and how they have changed over time. Evolution also provides a solid scientific explanation for the existence of all living things – from the simplest bacteria to the very complex human beings. The process of evolution can be explained by the fact that over time, species change. Scientists believe that genetic variation among individuals of a species is a key component of evolution and natural selection. Genetic variation is a result of mutation, genetic recombination, and immigration. Mutation is a random change in the DNA of an organism and these changes can be inherited. Genetic recombination occurs during the formation of egg or sperm cells, a process that results in each egg or sperm carrying a mixture of its parent cell’s genes. Immigration brings new alleles into a population. Genetic variation can also be caused by random events. For example, a natural disaster or a disease outbreak could kill a large number of individuals, leading to a loss of genetic variation. When a small number of individuals remains, there is the chance that the genetic makeup of the survivors will be different from the original population. Over time, the survivors and their descendants may continue to evolve and can result in a new population with a different genetic makeup. These survivors and their descendants are said to experience genetic drift. Natural selection is the process by which species that are better adapted to their environment survive for longer, breed more, and increase the frequency of the advantageous allele in the population. That is, those organisms with the beneficial genetic variation will have more of a chance to survive and reproduce, while organisms with the harmful variation will be selected against. As a result of natural selection, the advantageous variation will become more common in the population. Over many generations, a new species that are so different from their ancestors may be produced. For example, humans are closely related to the great apes – in particular, chimpanzees. About 7 million years ago, human ancestors started to evolve in a different way and ultimately the species “Homo sapiens” was produced. And that’s how natural selection and evolution can lead to the diversity of life on the earth.

5. Ecology and Environmental Science

Environmental science is the study of the environment and how to help it. Environmental scientists may do the following activities: study the environment and learn how we can keep it healthy, look at all the things that harm the environment and try to find out ways to stop or prevent it, find solutions to minimize or end pollution, help in the planning and development of land and resources, develop and promote laws that protect the environment, teach and spread knowledge about the environment and what can be done to help it. Environmental scientists learn how nature works. This helps them to find ways to solve problems in the environment. By better understanding our environment, environmental scientists can discover new ways to keep it healthy and make possible a long future for those that inhabit it, including humanity and other animals.

Ecologists might study how the natural habitat of a Florida panther interacts with other organisms in that environment. This could be the animals that the panther eats, the vegetation in the area, or even the microorganisms living in the soil. By studying how all these different elements interact, ecologists are able to create a better understanding of the panther’s natural habitat and how we can help to protect and support the species.

Ecology is the study of interactions between organisms and their environment. Environmental science is the study of the environment and how to protect it. Both of these fields are very important for understanding the world around us. For example, a pollutant might be found to affect the growth of a certain plant species. An ecologist would be interested in studying the interactions between the pollutant, the plant, and the other organisms in that area. An environmental scientist, on the other hand, would likely be interested in finding ways to reduce the levels of that pollutant in the environment. Thus, ecology and environmental science often go hand in hand, with ecology focusing on the interactions between living organisms and their environment and environmental science looking at ways that we can use our understanding of the environment to provide a better future for all organisms.

The Importance of Biodiversity in Ecosystems

1. Introduction to Biodiversity

The term ‘biodiversity’ or biological diversity implies the variety of living organisms present in a particular area. Several legal definitions of biodiversity have been developed; the international treaty – the Convention on Biological Diversity – defines biodiversity as: ‘the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems’. As well as the numbers of different species, biodiversity also includes the genetic diversity within species which is vital on a longer term as it is the raw material for adaption to a changing environment and is the basis for diversity between different species. Biodiversity also includes the various habitats where different species can live which extends to the range of different ecosystems; from meadows to forests to deserts and so on. The largest biodiversity is found in the tropics, and so it is no surprise that the rainforests of South America, Africa and South East Asia are the locations associated with the most variety of different wildlife and plants. These are all characterized by consistently warm and wet conditions and so are stable environments rich in nutrients. This allows many different species to develop their own little ecological niche where different plants can compete and animals can specialize in certain feeding habits. However, the concept of defining and measuring biodiversity is a complex topic. This is because of the many different ways that diversity can be considered and the varying scales in which it can be viewed or investigated. At its simplest, biodiversity can be seen in terms of the numbers of different species present in an ecosystem. The period of scientific and technological progress, gave rise to the development of much more sophisticated techniques in the field of species identification such as DNA bar coding. This has allowed many more species to be identified which has then increased the body of knowledge about biodiversity on earth. So understanding of complexity of an ecosystem and its relationships to the wider environment can be identified and appreciated. Over the thirty years or more, there has been a drive to conserve and preserve biodiversity. This has come about for different reasons but in most cases it’s due to human activity which has left the environment damaged as a result of industrial development, particularly in medc’s. There has been a realization that natural environment.

2. The Role of Biodiversity in Ecosystems

Having learnt about biodiversity and its importance, we are now in a better position to appreciate its role in an ecosystem. Logan (2008) defines biodiversity as the variety of species and genetic differences in the world or in a particular ecosystem. From the definition, we can see that the three major levels of biodiversity are genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity. As we know, genes are responsible for the hereditary characteristics of a species; hence, genetic diversity will affect the long-term survival of a species. For example, a study of the survival of endemic fish species in Mexico individually exposed to copper sulphate resulted in the elimination of a small-sized population rather than that of a large one (Dooley and Bartsch, 2000). They concluded that genetic diversity among the studied population was the determining factor for the survival of the species. On the other hand, species diversity is the variety of species within a habitat or a particular ecosystem. High species diversity will ensure natural sustainability for all life forms; since there are many different species that suit well for many different conditions and there is a better chance to find a species that can fix a problem, such as a carbon dioxide excess from the atmosphere. This is the reason why rainforests with high species diversity can survive and not easily be destroyed by a single disease or insect pest. Ecosystem diversity is the variety of similar ecosystems found in different areas of the world. It also refers to the diversity within a similar type of ecosystem. Shown in Figure 2, the loss of ecosystem and species diversity caused by human activities has led to a change in an ecosystem over time which is also known as ‘ecosystem flux’. Because of ecosystem flux, ecosystems become more fragile and fewer organisms can tolerate disturbance. Under such conditions, ecosystems will lose their productivity from year to year and may reach a turning point where an ecosystem cannot maintain or repair itself easily after a major disturbance. For example, the tropical rainforest, which is nutrient and water-limited, cannot tolerate the sudden nutrient loss due to deforestation. In practice, it is difficult to measure the importance of biodiversity in an ecosystem. However, many years of scientific research provide strong evidence that we need to be concerned about the biodiversity in an ecosystem. Because of the high level of species diversity and functional diversity in an ecosystem, it can offer a better chance for: i) various resources, such as nutrients and water, to be used more efficiently and recycled in a sustainable way; ii) with a complex food web and many different species targeting different areas in a similar habitat, there is a higher chance of a stable and balanced ecosystem being maintained and allowing natural selection to take place; and iii) better efficiency of energy flow in an ecosystem, resulting in better productivity for the plants. From this point of view, biodiversity is a very important component in a natural ecosystem such as a lake. Whether at the gene, species, or ecosystem level, biodiversity is important to the normal functioning of an ecosystem and also to provide us with various resources and services. In fact, some scientists have proposed that we need different levels of biodiversity to sustain the various resources that we benefit from an ecosystem. For example, higher genetic diversity in crops will give us a better chance in selecting a species that resists certain pests or diseases; and high species diversity in coral reefs will ensure that different resources, such as food and shelter, are utilized more effectively.

3. Threats to Biodiversity

There are many direct and indirect threats to biodiversity, and human beings are the primary cause of most of them. For example, activities such as logging, mining and road building all result in the deforestation of an area, which has a negative impact on biodiversity. This is because the habitat loss for many species means that they are no longer able to find the food, water and shelter that they need to survive, and this leads to a decline in their population. Once it has reached a certain level, a species becomes increasingly at risk of extinction and is vulnerable to natural events that may otherwise not be possible in a healthy population. Pollution is another direct threat to biodiversity, and there are many different examples of how this occurs. For example, oil spills can create a film on top of the water which reduces the amount of sunlight that can penetrate into the water. This prevents the photosynthesis of aquatic plants and their growth, which has a knock-on effect for organisms higher up the food chain. Another example may be the release of chemicals such as pesticides into the environment. Pesticides are used by farmers and gardeners to try and reduce the numbers of pests that can damage crops and plants. However, many of these chemicals are toxic to both the targeted pests and to non-target organisms such as birds, insects and other wildlife which may feed on the treated plants. This can lead to large-scale damage of local ecosystems if these organisms are affected and can impact biodiversity in a significant manner. Over-exploitation of resources is also a massive threat to biodiversity and one that is felt by many natural ecosystems around the world. This is brought about by practices such as overfishing, hunting and even the removal of plants for sale as ornaments or homeopathic remedies. For example, the demand for hardwood trees in tropical rain forests such as teak and mahogany has led to vast areas being deforested. This not only reduces the biodiversity in the area itself, but the longer the practice continues, the more species are put at risk of extinction.

4. Conservation of Biodiversity

2. Gene and Seed Banks Gene banks obtain and store samples of thousands of different types of wild and cultivated plants. It is vitally important to keep a wide genetic base and preserve as many different species as possible, particularly from areas under the greatest threat. The largest gene bank in the world is found in the United States which holds about 280,000 different samples. However, storage and maintenance costs are high. Seed banks are similar, but differ in that the emphasis is placed on storing seeds rather than living tissue. The largest collection of seeds in the UK is held by the Millennium Seed Bank, based at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. It hopes to preserve by 2010 a quarter (24%) of the globe’s plant species. Such an approach is important for a number of reasons: maintain capacity to develop new drugs, which have often been found directly in plants or have been developed from substances found within other organisms; the provision of crop improvement, such as developing new varieties with resistance to disease; and the key issue of re-establishing habitats which are lost through human intervention and natural disasters. By adopting this method, the development of seeds, which are often relatively easy to store and transfer around the world, has allowed for different species to be exchanged and improved through time.

1. National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries National parks and wildlife sanctuaries are established with the specific aim of protecting natural ecosystems, habitats and the species they contain. India has about 90 national parks and over 450 wildlife sanctuaries, including the Sundarbans. The Kruger National Park in South Africa, which extends over two million hectares, is also under its protection. Such areas are not always completely safe from human activities, but the limited control over the movements of tourists often helps. In areas such as the Galapagos Islands decisions involving when and how many tourists can visit particular sites are carefully regulated according to the breeding seasons of the indigenous wildlife. The authorities in the Galapagos also make regular checks on the numbers of different species to ensure that the pressure from visitors doesn’t threaten the conservation and heritage of the islands. This is a short term policy compared with the long term conservation of animals in their natural habitat, known as in-situ conservation. Such practices can lead to the introduction of flagship species, which act as a focus for conservationists. For example, the panda has become the symbol for conservation work in China on bamboo forest habitats.

The main goal of biodiversity conservation is to manage and protect the variety of life on Earth. Just as biodiversity itself is a cooperative affair deriving from the countless species interacting in positive and negative ways, so its conservation is the shared responsibility of humankind. This involves as a first step that both individuals and states need to recognize the true value of biological diversity, and at the same time they need to appreciate the seriousness. Conservation has two closely related and perhaps overlapping elements—preservation and utilization. There are a number of ways in which biological diversity can be preserved. For example,

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, it is a reassuring thought that life on Earth always finds a way. Nonetheless, this should not be taken for granted, and the potential catastrophic effects of reductions in biodiversity should never be underestimated. To allow us to retain our rich and varied ecosystems, it is essential that we fully understand the links between the genetic diversity of species and the sustenance of the ecosystems in which they live. Moreover, fragmentation and the ecological isolation of biodiversity hot spots must be reversed. This may take time and, in the short term, it may be necessary to artificially manage and control the genetic diversity that we have. This has already been successful with the ‘genetic rescue’ involving the Florida panther, but obviously this is not ideal for any species in the long term. We must strive to create ‘corridors’ between isolated areas of high biodiversity, thereby allowing species to interbreed and maintain genetic diversity. However, this could be challenging for international efforts, which are an essential part of this proposed solution. The protection of important areas of biodiversity is essential, not only to provide areas of natural beauty for future generations, but to ensure the continued stability of the ecosystems we rely upon for many resources today. This means that the biodiversity of ecosystems across the Earth must be evaluated and ranked in importance. Political and financial pressure can then be placed on world and wildlife organisations to manage and protect these areas from real threats, such as destruction by tourism, deforestation and climate change.

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