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LIFE SCIENCE (5-8) and (9-12)

CELLS - have structures and perform functions such as energy production, transport of molecules, waste disposal, synthesis of new molecules, and the storage of genetic material. Cell functions involve chemical reactions made possible by protein catalysts, called enzymes. Genetic information is stored in DNA. Cells develop and to respond to their environment. Plant cells are different from animal cells because they contain chloroplasts and have a cell wall (for support). The process of photosynthesis connects the sun and the energy needs of living systems. Cells can develop from a single cell to form an embryo in which the cells multiply and differentiate to form the many specialized cells, tissues and organs that comprise the final organism.

THE MOLECULAR BASIS OF HEREDITY - the instructions for characteristics of an organism are found in DNA (A, G, C, and T). DNA is encoded in genes and replicated Each DNA molecule forms a single chromosome. Human cells contain two copies of each of 22 different chromosomes. In addition, there is a pair of chromosomes that determines sex: a female contains two X chromosomes and a male contains one X and one Y chromosome. Transmission of genetic information to offspring occurs through egg and sperm cells that contain only one representative from each chromosome pair. An egg and a sperm unite to form a new individual. Only mutations in germ cells can create the variation that changes an organism's offspring.

Species evolve over time. Diversity of organisms is the result of evolution. Natural selection provides a scientific explanation for fossils and similarities observed among the diverse species of living organisms. The millions of different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms that live on earth today are related by descent from common ancestors. Biological classifications are based on how organisms are related. Organisms are classified into a hierarchy of groups and subgroups based on structural similarities. Species is the most specific unit of classification.

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STUDY CARDS Characteristics LS-CS-1test STUDY CARDS Diversity Types LS-BD-1test
Set 1 Microscope LS-CS-2test Set 1 Variation/Reproduction LS-BD-2test
Set 2 Body Systems LS-CS-3test Set 2 DNA LS-BD-3test

Medical Advancements LS-CS-4test Set 3 Affecting Diversity LS-BD-4test



THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF ORGANISMS - Atoms and molecules on the earth cycle among the biotic and abiotic parts of the ecosystem. Energy flows through ecosystems in one direction, from photosynthetic organisms to herbivores to carnivores and decomposers. Organisms cooperate and compete, have interrelationships and interdependencies. Human beings live within the world's ecosystems, modify them as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening current global stability.

MATTER, ENERGY, AND ORGANIZATION IN LIVING SYSTEMS - Living systems require a continuous input of energy to maintain their chemical and physical organizations. The energy for life comes from the sun. Plants capture this energy by absorbing light and using it to form carbon-containing (organic) molecules, used to make proteins, DNA, sugars, and fats. Cells usually store energy temporarily in ATP. The complexity and organization of organisms accommodates the need for obtaining, transforming, transporting, releasing, and eliminating the matter and energy used to sustain the organism. The distribution and abundance of organisms and populations in ecosystems are limited by matter and energy as well as the ability of the ecosystem to recycle materials. Matter and energy flows and chemical elements are recycled. Matter and energy are conserved in each change.

THE BEHAVIOR OF ORGANISMS – Multi-cellular animals have nervous systems, generating behavior from specialized cells that conduct signals rapidly through the long cell extensions that make up nerves. Sensory organs and specialized cells detect light, sound, while chemicals and enable animals to monitor, adapt and respond to what is going on in the world around them. Response to external stimuli can result from interactions, as well as environmental changes. Plants also respond to environmental stimuli. Behaviors have evolved through natural selection. Behavioral biology provides links to psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

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STUDY CARDS Structures and Processes LS-PFF-1test STUDY CARDS Relationships LS-IE-1test
Set 1 Role of Plants
LS-PFF-2test Set 1 Energy Flow
Set 2 Soil LS-PFF-3test Set 2 Monitoring LS-IE-3test
Set 3 Modifying Plants
LS-PFF-4test Set 3 Sustainability LS-IE-4test
Set 4
LS-PFF-UTtest Set 4 Terrarium LS-IE-UTtest