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Key knowledge
Name five structures found in all plant and animal cells.
Cell membrane (controls passage of substances) nucleus
( controls cell activities) cytoplasm (site of chemical
reactions) mitochondria (site of energy release during
respiration) ribosomes (site of protein synthesis)
What other structures are found in plant and algal cells
Cellulose cell wall (strength) Chloroplasts ( contain
chlorophyll for photosynthesis) permanent vacuole
( containscell sap for support)
How are bacterial cells different?
Smaller, no nucleus, DNA free in cytoplasm, plasmids
present (circles of DNA)
What are yeast cells like?
Larger than bacteria, single celled, reproduce by budding,
can respire anaerobically to produce alcohol and carbon
dioxide (fermentation).
What are the special features of the following cells?
Fat cells
Can expand x1000. Little cytoplasm and few mitochondria.

Cone cells from eyes

Outer segment contains a chemical pigment that changes
Middle layer is full of mitochondria to release energy to
change the pigment back
Synapse connects to optic nerve

Root hair cells

Large surface area to take up water large permanent
vacuole to speed up osmosis

Sperm cells
Long tail for movement Lots of mitochondria Acrosome
with digestive enzymes to break into egg Large nucleus
What substances can diffuse?
Liquids and gases
What conditions are needed?
A higher concentration in one place.
How do the particles move?
Randomly by bumping into each other. No energy input is
What factors increase the rate of diffusion?
A steeper concentration gradient.
A shorter distance.
A higher temperature
A larger surface area

What diffuses into and out of our cells?

Oxygen and carbon dioxide during gas exchange
Amino-acids, glucose, water.
What is differentiation?
When cells specialise to carry out different jobs.
What is a tissue?
A group of cells with similar structure and function
working together.
Name three animal tissues.
Muscular tissue contracts to move substances. Glandular
tissue secretes enzymes and hormones. Epithelial tissue
covers the body and organs.
Name four plant tissues.
Epidermal tissue covers and protects surfaces.
Mesophyll tissue contains chloroplasts for photosynthesis.
Xylem transports water and mineral ions
Phloem transports dissolved food.
What is an organ?
Several tissues working together eg stomach pancreas
What happens during digestion?
Large insoluble molecules are broken down into smaller,
soluble ones.
List the parts of the digestive system that food passes
through in order.
Mouth gullet stomach small intestine large
intestine rectum anus.
Where does most of the breakdown occur?
Stomach and small intestine.
What do the salivary gland and pancreas release?
Where is soluble food absorbed into the blood.?
Small intestines.
Where is water absorbed?
In the large intestines.
What are the main plant organs?
Leaf stem root flower
What is the equation for photosynthesis?
carbon dioxide + water glucose + oxygen.
What type of energy does it use?
Light energy
Where does it happen?
In the chloroplasts in plant and algal cells.
Which pigment absorbs the light energy?
What is glucose converted into for storage?
What chemical is used to test for starch?
Iodine solution which turns from orange to blue-black.
How are leaves adapted for photosynthesis?
Broad = big surface area
Lots of chlorophyll in chloroplasts
Air spaces for carbon dioxide diffusion
Veins to deliver water
What are the limiting factors for photosynthesis?

Light (stops at night)

Temperature (slow if cold)
Carbon dioxide levels
(often limiting factor on a sunny day)

What happens to the enzymes controlling photosynthesis if

the temperature gets too high?
They are denatured (destroyed).
How can you investigate the effect of light on the rate of
What do plants use glucose for?
As an energy source. Energy is released during respiration
to build smaller molecules into larger ones like cellulose
in cell walls
to make starch for storage
to make amino acids by combining with nitrate ions from
the soil
to make fats and oils

Why is glucose turned into starch for storage?

Starch is insoluble so it doesnt affect the water balance
in the cells.
Why is some starch stored in leaf cells?
As an energy source in the dark.
What is a tuber?
A storage organ full of starch.
How do you test a leaf for starch?
What conditions maximise photosynthesis?

Warmth, light, lots of carbon dioxide and water.

What can be controlled in a greenhouse or polytunnel?

Temperature, light, carbon dioxide, water

What is hydroponics?
Growing plants in water containing mineral ions.

How are conditions controlled?

By computer systems.

How are profits increased?

Crops grow quickly, yields are high, crops are clean, few
staff are needed. However more energy is needed.
What factors affect the distribution of organisms in the

Temperature : Low temperatures mean slow plant growth

Nutrients like mineral ions are needed by plants

Light limits photosynthesis

Water controls plant and animal distribution

Oxygen (for water-living organisms) and carbon dioxide

levels (for plants)

What do food chains begin with?

What is a quadrat?
A square frame that you put on the ground.
How should sample areas be chosen?
At random.
How can random samples be chosen?
Using a random number generator.
What is quantitative sampling?
When you take a number of readings and find the mean
number of organisms per m2.
Why is a large sample size better?
The results will be more representative of the true
What are the mean, median ,mode and range?
Mean = total number of values
Median = middle value of the range
Mode = most frequently occurring value
Range = between minimum and maximum values
How can you measure how the distribution of organisms
changes due to an environmental factor?
Use a transect.
How do you set up a line transect?
Stretch a tape between two points and sample at regular
intervals along the line.
How could you improve your data?
Repeat several times in similar places.
What does reproducible mean?
Other people using your method would get similar results
to you.
What does a valid investigation do?
Answer the question you were asking.
Why are 100 quadrats better than 10?
The data should be more valid and reproducible.
What variables can be controlled in field work?
Time of day
Time of year
What factors can change distribution of species?
Climate change
Availability of food
Weather patterns
What are proteins made of?
Long chains of amino acids
What are they used for?
Making muscles and tendons
Some hormones are proteins
Antibodies are proteins
Enzyme catalysts are proteins

What is a catalyst?
A chemical that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction
but is not used up.
Why are enzymes called biological catalysts?
They speed up chemical reactions in your body.
What is the active site?
The special shape on the surface of the folded protein
molecule (enzyme) that the substrate fits into perfectly.
What type of reactions do enzymes control?
Building larger molecules from smaller ones
Changing one molecule into another
Breaking down large molecules into smaller ones.

Enzymes are specific. What does this mean?

Each enzyme only controls the rate of one reaction.

What factors affect the rate of reactions controlled by

Temperature: Speeds up reactions until the enzyme is
denatured above its optimum temperature.
pH: The wrong pH can change the 3D shape so the active
site is lost. Stomach enzymes work in acid conditions.
What is the optimum temperature for most human
37 C
Where are digestive enzymes produced?
In cells in glands (salivary gland and pancreas) and in cells
lining the gut.
Where do these enzymes act?
Inside the gut.
How is food moved through the gut?
By muscle contraction in the walls.
Which enzymes digest carbohydrate?
Which carbohydrase enzyme breaks down starch into
Where is amylase made?
In the salivary glands, pancreas and small intestine.
Where do enzymes produced in the pancreas go?
Into the small intestine.
Which enzymes digest proteins and into what?
Protease enzymes into amino acids.
Where are they produced?
Stomach, pancreas, small intestine.
What are lipids broken down into and by which enzymes?
Fatty acids and glycerol by lipase enzymes.
Where does this happen?
In the small intestines.
What happens to all the small, soluble molecules after
They are absorbed into the blood through the walls of the
small intestines.
What are the conditions like in the stomach?
Acidic due to hydrochloric acid released from glands in the
stomach lining. This also kills bacteria.
How does your stomach avoid damage?
A thick layer of mucus coats the walls.
What is special about stomach enzymes?
They work best at acid pHs.
How is this acid neutralised before it reaches the small
The liver makes bile which neutralises it.
What does bile do to fats?
It emulsifies them so they break up into small droplets
with a large surface area for enzymes to act on quickly.
Where are enzymes found in the home?
In biological detergents to remove stains made of proteins
and fats.
How are enzymes used in industry?
Proteases predigest baby foods.
Cheap starch is turned into sugar.
Glucose is changed into fructose so it tastes sweeter and
you eat less.
Enzymes save energy when reactions happen at lower
What are the advantages of biological detergents?
They work at lower temperatures and save energy..
What are some disadvantages?
They may cause allergies.
They go into the sewage system and may reach rivers and
the sea.

What is a disadvantage of low temperature washing?

Not all pathogens are killed.

How are enzymes used in medicine?

Are detected in tests for liver damage
As part of urine test strips for diabetes
In tablets to replace enzymes absent due to a damaged
To dissolve clots after heart attacks
To treat some blood cancers
What is the equation for aerobic respiration?
Glucose + oxygen carbon dioxide + water (+ energy)

Where in the cell does aerobic respiration take place?

In the mitochondria.

How can you tell that a cell is very active?

It will contain lots of mitochondria

What is the purpose of respiration?

To release energy from food for

Building new molecules in cells

Making muscles contract
Keeping the body at a constant temperature
What do muscle fibres do when they are provided with
Contract to cause movement.
Why do you need to release more energy when you
So the muscles have enough energy to contract.
What is glycogen?
A storage form of glucose in the muscles.

How does your body respond to exercise?

Heart rate increases and arteries dilate to supply more
oxygen and glucose and take away more carbon dioxide.
Breathing rate increases and each breath is deeper to
supply more oxygen and remove more carbon dioxide.

Why is exercise beneficial?

Heart and lungs become larger and blood supply increases.
What is the equation for anaerobic respiration?
Glucose lactic acid (+ lass energy)

When does it happen?

When oxygen is not supplied fast enough.

What effect does lactic acid have on muscles?

It makes them fatigued.

(H) What happens to lactic acid after exercise?

It is broken down to carbon dioxide and water using
What is this process called?
Repaying the oxygen debt.
What do you continue doing until the debt is repaid?
Breathing faster with a faster heart rate to supply the
What are new cells needed for?
Growth and repair.
What process produces identical cells?
What happens to your DNA at the start of cell division?
It replicates (is copied).
How many new cells are produced?
Two genetically identical copies.
What is differentiation?
When cells become specialised to perform different
How does it happen?
Different genes are switched on and off in different cells.
When does differentiation happen in animal cells?
At an early stage of development.
In plants?
Cells can differentiate all through the plants life.
Which type of cell division takes place in the reproductive
organs (ovaries and testes)?

What are gametes?

Sex cells with half the normal number of chromosomes.

How many new cells are produced?

Four genetically different cells.

What happens at fertilisation?

Two sex cells join to produce a body cell with the full
chromosome number.

How is variation produced?

All gametes are different and when they fuse new
combinations of alleles are produced.
What are stem cells?
Undifferentiated cells that can become any cell type.
How could they be used?
To cure paralysis
To grow replacement organs
What are the problems with stem cells?
They may come from aborted or spare embryos which
people think are potential life.
They may cause cancers.
Research is slow and expensive
What are future possibilities?
Umbilical cord blood could be used.
Adult stem cells from bone marrow could be used.
What is therapeutic cloning?
Using adult cells to make a cloned embryo of themselves as
a stem cell source, avoiding rejection if new organs are
grown from them.
What did Gregor Mendel work on?
Breeding peas.
Why did people ignore his findings?
No one knew about genes or chromosomes so didnt
understand his theories.
What do we inherit?
What are chromosomes made of?
DNA which is a double helix.
What is a gene?
A section of DNA that codes for a protein.
(H) What is the genetic code?
The sequence of bases in the DNA molecule. Each set of
three bases codes for an amino acid in the protein.
How does a mutation change the protein made?
It codes for the wrong amino acid so the protein has the
wrong structure.
What is DNA fingerprinting?
Making a pattern to show your unique DNA .
What are the two sex chromosomes?
X and Y XX = girl XY = boy.
What do we call different versions of the same gene?
How do we inherit alleles?
One from each parent.
What is a dominant allele?
One that produces a characteristic even if only one copy is
What is a recessive allele?
When you need two copies to produce the characteristic.
What is genotype?
The genetic makeup of an individual.
What is phenotype?
The physical appearance of an individual
What does a family tree show?
How characteristics like genetic diseases have been passed
What does homozygous mean?
You have two identical alleles.
What does heterozygous mean?
You have inherited two different alleles.
How do we show dominant alleles?
With upper case letters.
What is polydactyly and what causes it?
Being born with extra fingers or toes caused by a dominant
What is cystic fibrosis and what causes it?
When you produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the
airways and organs. Caused by a recessive allele.
What is a carrier?
An individual with only one recessive allele so no symptoms.
How can you show genetic crosses?



Offspring genotypes

What do genetic tests show?
If people are carrying a faulty allele.
What is embryo screening?
Testing embryos produced by IVF to see if they carry a
faulty allele and only using the ones without it.
What are the arguments in favour of using embryonic stem
cells in research and treatment?
They could teat many incurable conditions like paralysis
and diabetes.
The embryos are often spare from fertility treatment.
They could grow new tissues and organs for transplant.
Embryos created from adult cells for treatment would
never become babies.
Umbilical cord embryonic stem cells could be used.
What are the arguments against?
The treatment is experimental and could cause cancers.
Embryos are potential babies. They cannot give permission.
The research is time consuming and expensive.
Why dont we know when life on Earth began?
There are no records and little valid evidence.
When do we think it began?
3-4 billion years ago.
What are fossils?
The remains of organisms from millions of years ago
preserved in rocks, ice or other places e.g. amber.
How are fossils formed?
The hard parts dont decay.
They are covered in sediment and become mineralised.
Sometimes it is too cold for decay e.g. ice fossils
It may be too acid for decay e.g. peat bogs
Fossils can be footprints, burrows or droppings.
Why is the fossil record incomplete?
Early organisms were soft bodied so they left little trace.
The right conditions werent present when they died.
Fossils have been destroyed by geological activity.
What does the fossil record tell us?
How organisms have changed since life began.

What is extinction?
The permanent loss of all members of a species.

What can cause extinction?

Changes in conditions like new predators, new diseases,
more successful competitors, or an environmental change
like an Ice Age.
What causes large scale extinctions?
Single catastrophic events like volcanic eruptions or
asteroid collisions.
What do we think caused the dinosaurs to become extinct?
A giant asteroid put dust into the atmosphere causing
darkness and a global winter. Most plants died so animals
had little food.
What is geographical isolation?
When two populations of the same species become
separated by a feature like a mountain, river or sea.

What happens during evolution?

The best adapted members of a species survive to breed
and pass their characteristics on to their offspring.

How can isolation produce new species?

Different conditions in different areas mean that
different characteristics will be selected for. Only the
best adapted individuals in each environment survive to
reproduce. The two populations may change so much over
several generations that they can no longer breed
What is an endemic species?
One that is found in only one place in the world.