Key Biology Definitions/Terms

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This Flashcard Deck provides some of the most useful terms and definitions you need to know when studying Biology.

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Key Biology Definitions/Terms
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Question Answer
Adaptation Adaptation, in biology, the process by which a living thing becomes better suited to its environment.
Age The length of time an organism has lived or normally lives, or the length of time an object or material has existed.
Albumin Albumin, a simple protein found in most animals and in some plants. Albumins dissolve in water and dilute salt solutions and coagulate (curdle or clot) in the presence of heat.
Amino Acid Amino Acids, chemical compounds produced by living organisms. Many amino acids are the structural units of proteins.
Biology Biology, the science that deals with living things. The earth is home to a diverse range of living organisms.
Evolution Evolution, as defined in biology, the continual process by which one form of life changes, or evolves, into another form.
Microbiology microbiology.jpg (image/jpg) Microbiology, the branch of biology concerned with microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and certain algae and fungi.
Microorganism Microorganism, or Microbe, an organism so small that it cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope.
Mutation Mutation, in a general sense, any change in the genetic makeup of an organism; such a change usually causes the organism to have a trait not possessed by any of its ancestors.
Osmosis Osmosis, the spontaneous flow of a liquid or gaseous substance through a semipermeable membrane.
Photosynthesis Photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy in cells that contain chlorophyll, a green pigment.
Protein Protein, a large, complex organic molecule. Proteins are found in all living cells, making up about one-half of the dry weight of most organisms.
Spore Spore, a tiny reproductive body that is typically unicellular. Spores are usually produced asexually.
Assimilation Assimilation, in biology, the process by which plants and animals utilize foods in the building of living tissue.
Balance of Nature Balance of Nature, or Ecological Balance, the balanced relationship of the plants, animals, and other living organisms that make up a natural community.
Bioethics Bioethics, the study of the ethical questions arising from biological (especially medical) research and technology.
Biofeedback Biofeedback, a process in which a person can learn to influence certain bodily functions that scientists once believed were beyond conscious control.
Biological clock Biological Clock, a popular term for an internal regulator responsible for various cyclical responses in living things.
Bioluminescence Bioluminescence, the production of light by living organisms as the result of chemical changes.
Carbohydrates Carbohydrates, a class of chemical compounds that are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
Carbon Cycle Carbon Cycle, the series of natural processes by which carbon in the air is made available to living things, is used by them, and is then returned to the air.
Cybernetics Cybernetics, the study and comparison of the way in which animals and machines control their movements and internal functions.
Family Family, in biology, a group of living things believed to have a common ancestor. A family consists of one or more genera (singular: genus) made up of one or more species, or distinctive kinds, of living things.
Fermentation Fermentation, a type of anaerobic respiration, an energy-releasing process that takes place in the absence of free (chemically uncombined) oxygen.
Kingdom Kingdom, in natural science, one of several groups into which objects are classified.
Parasite Parasite, an organism that lives in or on another organism, called the host, from which it obtains its food.
Symbiosis Symbiosis, a close association between two different organisms. Symbiosis is a Greek word that means “living together.” In one type of symbiosis, known as mutualism, both partners benefit from the association.
Variety Variety, in biology, a group of plants or animals within a species. Varieties of animals are usually called breeds.
Adaptation The process in which a living thing adapts to its environment