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General Biology

First Semester Study Guide


The following chapters were covered in the first semester biology course:

            1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 13

 Remember:  There is some detail in these chapters that we did not cover.  The answer to the questions below do NOT have to be in complete sentences! This is for YOU to use as exam preparation.



*Turn to page A8-A9. Review those pages.


Chapter 1:

  1. Define and give examples of qualitative and quantitative data.




  1. Describe the following parts of the scientific method:


  1. hypothesis:


  1. experiment:


  1. data:


  1. conclusion:



  1. A student wanted to know if fertilizer would make her bean plants grow faster.  She planted 2 rows of beans.  The first row of beans was treated with fertilizer.  The second row was not.  After 2 weeks she measured the height of the beans.  Identify the following parts of this experiment:


Experimental Group:   






Manipulated Variable (independent):



Responding Variable (dependent):




  1. Write an appropriate hypothesis for the experiment described above.



  1. How many manipulated variables are in a controlled experiment?



  1. Turn to page 30-31 of your textbook.  Answer questions 30-32 on page 30 and answer questions 7-8 on page 31:











  1. What is peer review and why is it important? (p.12 of the text)




  1. What is a scientific theory? How is a theory different than a hypothesis?







  1. List the SI unit (with correct prefix) that would be appropriate for measuring each of the following:

Height of a tree=


Mass of a penny=


Mass of a dog=




  1. What is homeostasis?  How do humans maintain homeostasis of body temperature?





  1. What is metabolism?  Give several examples of metabolic reactions. (HINT: Chapter 8, 9 and 13)





Chapter 2: Chemistry in Biology

  1. What are the 4 most common elements found in organic compounds?










  1. Fill in the chart below with the information regarding the 4 classes of biological compounds:


Classes:                       Function                                                 Monomer(s)                                                             





























Nucleic Acid









  1. Write the correct monomer that goes with the polymer.







Nucleic Acid





  1. Which kind of organic compound stores the most energy?






  1.  Which monosaccharide is used by cells as an energy (quick) source?




  1.  What type of biological molecule are enzymes?  What is another name for enzymes? What do they do?      







  1. What is a substrate? 






  1. What are some factors that could impact the function of an enzyme?




Chapters 8 & 9: Energy in Cells

  1. Draw the pictures of ATP and ADP on page 227 in your text or from your notes. Which molecule is “charged”? Point to the bond that is broken when energy is released (used).











  1. Complete the chart below:                                                                                            




(chemical formulas)


(chemical formulas)

Where in the cell does this occur?


Cellular respiration
















  1. What is the purpose photosynthesis and what is the chemical reaction?





  1. What molecule is responsible for capturing light energy from the sun?



  1. In which part of the plant will you find the most chloroplasts?



  1. What is the purpose of cellular respiration and what is the chemical reaction for cellular respiration?





  1. What kinds of cells do cellular respiration?




Chapter 7: Cells

  1. Complete the following table on differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells:





Nucleus (present/absent)




Ribosomes (present/absent)




Cell Membrane (present/absent)




Organelles (ER, golgi, mitochondria)  present/absent










  1. Briefly describe the function of the following cell parts:
    1. Cell membrane =



    1. Cytoskeleton=



    1. Ribosome=



    1. Golgi apparatus=



    1. Mitochondrion=



    1. Chloroplast=



    1. Nucleus=



    1. Endoplasmic reticulum=



    1. Vacuole=




  1. Complete the following table comparing plant and animal cells.




Cell membrane




Cell wall













  1. What is the general function of cilia and flagella? Make a drawing to show what each of these looks like on a cell.









  1. List the main molecules of the cell membrane.





  1. What does selectively permeable mean?






  1. Complete the following table regarding osmosis.


Type of solution

More water outside or inside cell

More solute outside or inside cell

Direction water moves

Change in cell size






























  1. Complete the following table on the forms of cellular transport.


Transport Type

Do these particles move from high to low concentration or low to high concentration?

Do these particles move with or against the concentration gradient?

Does it require energy


(simple, osmosis and facilitated)






Active Transport

(endocytosis, exocytosis,

and protein pumps)






  1. Explain the difference between endocytosis and exocytosis.






  1. What are the levels of organization for a multicellular organism from smallest to largest? (Use the following terms: tissue, cell, organ system, organism, organ)          



Chapter 12 & 13: DNA

  1. What is the shape of DNA?





  1. Draw and describe the structure of a chromosome using the following terms: histones (proteins), chromosome, DNA and nucleotide.






  1. What are the three parts of a nucleotide?




  1. What are the base pairing rules for DNA? (What bases go together?)





  1. What is DNA replication?  Why is it necessary? When does it occur?




  1. If the following bases compose one half of the DNA template during replication, what will be the base order on the new daughter strand?





  1. DNA codes for what biological molecule?





  1. What is a gene?





  1. What are three differences between DNA and RNA.






  1. What kinds of organisms make proteins?




  1. What happens during transcription, and where does it take place? What type of RNA molecule is made?





  1. What happens during translation, and where does it take place? What is the role of tRNA?





  1. Using figure 13-7 on page 368 in your book. Be able to identify mRNA, rRNA and tRNA. What process is occurring, and where is it taking place?




  1. Identify the codon on the drawing on page 368. (Write what is is)







  1. Transcribe and translate the following DNA sequence using the genetic code table on p. 367:                                              A T C T A G G C T





amino acid:





  1. The function of a protein depends on its shape. How does the order of amino acids affect the shape of a protein?




  1. Proteins made during translation result in specific functions and traits in an organism.  Give a couple of escamples of the following types of traits

a.       structural  



b.      physiological  



c.       behavioral traits.




  1. List least three causes of mutations.




  1. Compare the impact of mutations in a somatic cell (liver, heart, etc) with mutations in a gamete. (egg, sperm). Which is more severe?





  1. Define and give examples of point mutations and frameshift mutations. Which type of mutation has a more dramatic effect on the resulting sequence of amino acids?





  1. Give an example of a silent mutation, where two codons code for the same amino acid.






Chapter 10: Cell Cycle

  1. The cell cycle consists of a growth stage and a division stage.  What is the growth portion of the cell cycle called?  What are the division portions of the cell cycle called?




  1. Name the 3 stages of interphase AND briefly explain what happens in each. What is the most important part of interphase?





  1. During _____________________________ the contents of the nucleus are divided evenly.  During


________________________________________ the cytoplasm is divided.




  1. Compare the number of chromosomes before and after mitosis.




  1. Name, in order, the phases of mitosis AND briefly tell what happens to the CHROMOSOMES in each:





  1. What process insures that every cell in a multicellular organism has the same DNA?




  1. What is the purpose of mitosis in multicellular organisms?




  1. A multicellular organism starts as a single cell. What process produces a multicellular organism?




  1. What is differentiation?












  1. What are specialized cells and in what ways are cells different from each other?





  1. What factors cause cells to differentiate and become specialized?





  1. What is a stem cell?





  1. Define totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent are they refer to stem cells.