Photosynthesis in a nutshell

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-  Biology as a science deals with the origin, history, process, and physical characteristics, of plants and animals: it includes botany,  and zoology. A study of biology includes the study of the chemical basis of living organisms, .  Other related sciences include microbiology and organic chemistry.  See the "  an excellent reference!! The main difference between a lifeless clump of chemicals, and a living life form, composed of the same chemicals, is;  Information and access to an energy source.  The word science comes from a Latin word scientica, which means knowledge, or information.   Science is a process of systematically gathering detailed information and gaining exact knowledge.  That vital  information includes; how the basic elements are organized and how they utilize energy.   We do not know all the "life" information secrets but we are learning more every day.  

The three s, are; Zygotic meiosis, Sporic meiosis, and Gametic meiosis,

Amoeba - one basic life form.
Amoebas (and there are many different kinds) feed by (the engulfing and ingesting of foreign particles or waste matter by phagocytes)--they flow around their prey (usually a smaller cell) and engulf it. Organism that eat other organisms are usually called "consumers".  The amoeba's cell membrane then fuses with itself, trapping the prey in a "food vacuole" where it will be digested.

Amoeba image courtesy of

Famous scientist quote:
"Those engaged in the arts and sciences, Most Gracious Emperor Charles, find many serious obstacles to the exact study and successful application of them.  In the first place, no slight inconvenience results from too great separation beween branches of study which serve for the perfection of one art."  Andreas Vesalius (1514 - 1564) wrote "The Anatomy of the Human Body" published in 1543.

On-Line Biology Book: Table of Contents

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study life over a wide range of scales:

  • at the atomic and , through , and (study of organic molecules, their structures, functions and interactions)
  • at the cellular scale, through
  • at the multicellular scale, through , and
  • at the level of the development or of an individual organism, through
  • at the level of the of , in and interactions between them in (behavior and adaptability)
  • on the multi-species scale of , through (comparison and classification of living organisms)
  • to the top of the scale in (study of , interactions between living and their ) and
  • to (or exobiology, or astrobiology), a mostly speculative field that considers the possibility, and possible nature, of extraterrestrial life.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- (, ) -- (, , , )-- ---- (Evolutionary biology) -- ("Evo-devo" or Evolution of Development) -- -- (, , , ) -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- () -- -- -- / --- --- (, , , , , , , , , , )-- (the study of cancer) -- -- (, )-- (Algology) -- (, ) -- -- -- -- -- (the study of poisons and ) -- -- --

As you can see there are far more than 25 branches of biology.  There are also several related disciplines.


Biology encompasses a broad spectrum of academic fields that are often viewed as independent disciplines. Together, they study life over a wide range of :

  • at the atomic and molecular scale, through , , and to some extent
  • at the cellular scale, through
  • at the multicellular scales, through , , and
  • at the level of the development or of an individual organism, through
  • at the level of heredity between parent and offspring through
  • at the level of group behavior through
  • at the level of an entire , through
  • on the multi-species scale of , through
  • at the level of interdependent populations and their habitats through and

and speculatively through at the level of life beyond the Earth.

-- -- --

Reference source : 

Wikipedia BIOLOGY Basic Topics: 


Parts of an animal cell.


Agriculture Research Service

Biological aide Ellie Giron (left) and ARS chemist Phyllis Johnson prepare a sample for analysis at the ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Photo by Bruce Fritz

Science in Your Shopping Cart - VIDEO 
What are some of the ways in which scientific discoveries at the Agricultural Research Service have made a difference in our daily lives? (14 min., 1996)
Select your Internet connection speed:  |

Conversations from the Hall of Fame - VIDEO
An ongoing series... snippets from interviews with members of ARS' Scientific Hall of Fame. New interviews are being added about every two weeks, so please visit again.

Select video and your Internet connection speed:

Edward B.
Inducted 2003


Janice M.
Inducted 2003



Nailing a Snail to Protect Catfish - VIDEO
(2 minutes, 2002)
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Buffers Against Water Pollution - VIDEO
(2 minutes, 2002)
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More - Agriculture Research Services Videos (LIST): 

USDA - Department of Agriculture - Multimedia links:


Georgia Department of Agriculture ``Working for You!" (video below)






Spark your interest in biology by watching these Public Broadcasting Service NOVA programs. 
See this and more at

- Information in the life sciences in the form of , , an of biology terms and a .

- The scientific method consists of stating a problem then; (1) make observations, (2) formulate a hypothesis, (3) design an experiment, collect and interpret the data, consult prior knowledge, and (4) reach conclusions.  

A good experiment has a large sample; it is controlled so that only one variable is assessed, it  is placebo controlled, and it is conducted in a double blind manner.  Scientific discovery is not always as well planned as the scientific method may seem to suggest.  Sometimes new knowledge comes simply from being in the right place at the right time or from being particularly aware of the unusual.  The opposite of the scientific method (and its organized planning) is discovery by "accident".

A hypothesis is a guess as to why something happens. Observations lead to questions regarding the event. Why is the sky blue? How does gravity affect falling objects? In attempting to answer a question about the nature of the world, a scientist will form a hypothesis (or a guess) regarding the question's answer.  Experiments, data gathering and study will then help the scientist to reach a conclusion.

References for the Scientific Method:  

- Living things are built almost entirely of organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur, and water.  Water is vital to life because it forms the basis of many body fluids, it is imbibed by structures such as seeds, and it controls temperature regulation.  







Ecology Resources

More Biology Stuff

Teaching Biology


For information on the Cambrian period: 


For information on the "tree of life" (quite relevant to taxonomy): 

For general information on evolution: 



What is Evolution?
Biology Links:  Evolution

Evolution in the above links is based on current scientific evidence.

Famous scientist quote:
"When on board H.M.S. Beagle as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America, and in the geographical relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent."  Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882) developed the natural selection theory. 



(See our page for more protist information.)

Try this search facility - just click on the first letter of what you need information on.

Timeline credit:


Periodic Chart of the Elements with correlation to their health aspects - , and its health effects and environmental effects,  In four languages

Taxonomy/Anthropology - For a good tutorial check

- A study of life starts with chemistry.  All life forms are composed of basic chemical elements.  Atomic elements prefer to exist as molecules.  Earth life thrives on water.  Common water.  The human body for example is about 3/5ths water.  Life is built up from some very common materials.  There is one substance though that is more complicated and vital to life.  It is protein.  A Dutch biochemist, named Mulder, first used the word "protein" in 1838.  He got the word form a Greek word meaning "holding first place."  A protein molecule is quite large compared to fat or sugar molecules.  Although proteins are complicated they consist the elements of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur.  Some parts of the human body contain more than other parts but it exists is some amount in all parts of the body and it is vital for life to exist.  There is no living organism that does not contain protein.  Viruses for example contain a complicated type of protein called nucleoprotein.  Nucleoprotein contains a type of substance called nucleic acid  in association with the protein.  When proteins are exposed to an acid the protein breaks apart into smaller molecules.  These smaller molecules are called amino-acids.  Millions of different proteins can be formed from the combinations of different amino-acid molecules.  Some common proteins are:  keratin, fibroin, collagen, and the important and numerous globular proteins.

Difference Patterson Tutorial; PR 613: Protein Structure and Function -Structural Biology I     Excellent!!


- The word was first used in 1878 and comes from two Greek words meaning , "in yeast."  All enzymes are globular proteins.  Enzymes control body chemistry.  The enzymes of the human body work by means of (  That is the surface of the enzyme enables other molecules to react in a manner they would not without the surface of the enzyme present.  The enzyme being the catalyst is not changed in any manner from the action of the protein.  The human body contains only a small quantity of enzymes but even this small quantity is sufficient.  They are important to many functions including food digestion.   Click ( for the enzyme database.  For an explanation of what an enzyme is click here


& FUNCTIONS -  Most cells are small and can be seen only with a microscope.  Some, however such as egg cells of birds, can be seen with the naked eye.  Others, like nerve cells, may be very small in some of their dimensions, but extremely long; a single human nerve cell may be as much as 3 or 4 feet long, and anImage from elephant's nerve cell may be even longer.  To say that cells are generally small is not saying much, however, because even among microscopic cells there is a wide range in size. Biologists took it for granted that cells are bounded by a membrane - the plasma membrane, as it is often called.  It had been known for al long time that lipids  (  and many substances soluble in lipids move with relative ease between the cell and the surrounding medium.  From this it was deduced that the outer boundary of the cell, the cell membrane, must contain        (        NOTE:  Cell image from           )   lipids, and that fat-soluble substances could move across the membrane by being dissolved in it.  The cell membrane is not simply an envelope giving mechanical strength and shape and some protection to the cell, though these functions are important.  It is an active component of the living cell and playing a complex  and dynamic roll in life processes.  It regulates the traffic in materials between the precisely ordered interior of the cell and essentially unfavorable and potentially disruptive outer environment.    The processes include diffusion,  ( osmosis,  ( and phagocytosis.   ( Phagocytosis is when the material engulfed is in the form of large particles or chunks of matter.  Usually portions of the cell flow around the material, enclosing it within a chamber.    When the engulfed material is liquid or consists of very small particles, the process is often termed pinocytosis.   (  Indicating a slight difference in the way the material is engulfed.  

Cell Biology Links - Click on the links below for detailed information.

(pl. protonemata) the filamentous (moss) or thallose (fern) gametophyte stage of non-seed plants  


The green filamentous growth that arises from spore germination in liverworts and mosses and eventually gives rise to a mature gametophyte.

Cell Images

Cellular Respiration

Whole Process

Evergreen ligustrum (often called privet) shrubs and trees thrive throughout the state of Florida. They are widely used as landscape shrubs, hedges, and specimen trees. Many species and cultivars are available with a diversity of leaf colors, leaf forms, and growth habits. All selections are tolerant of heavy pruning, which makes them suited for clipped hedges. Because of a rapid growth rate, many require pruning to maintain them within bounds. The white flowers are attractive during late spring and early summer. However, the pungent odor may be objectionable.

  -  Within most cells (though not of bacteria and blue-green algae), the largest and one of the most conspicuous structural areas is the nucleus, the control center of the cell.  The nucleus plays the central role in cellular reproduction, the process whereby a single cell undergoes cell division and forms two new cells.  The nucleus directs the metabolic activities of the living cell and guides the life of the cell as long as it lives.  Biologists attach so much importance to the nucleus that they even have a special name, cytoplasm, for all the protoplasm other than the nucleus; the nucleus and the cytoplasm  can thus be thought of as the two major subdivisions of protoplasm.

- The chromosomes are elongate, threadlike bodies clearly visible only when the cell in undergoing division.  They are composed of nucleic acid and protein.  The chromosomes bear, apparently in linear arrangement, the basic units of heredity, called genes.  It is the genes that determine the characteristics of cells, as they  are passed form generation to generation, and that act as the units of control  in the day-to-day activities of living cells.  They are the code units of the transmission of bits of information from parent to offspring, and for the determination of the enzymes that so precisely regulate the myriad interdependent chemical reactions of life.  



NEW!    - pDRAW32 lets you enter a DNA name and coordinates for genetic elements, such as genes, to be plotted on your DNA plots.  pDRAW32 lets you "clone" fragments of DNA generated by virtual digestion with restriction enzymes and optionally blunted at one or both ends. Up to 3 fragments may be cloned at a time (can you replicate that in the lab?). Each fragment may be inverted relative to its original orientation. Genetic elements contained in the cloned fragments are transferred to the cloned DNA. (...and much more!)

We found an excellent Genetics tutorial: Morgan.  You will have to register to view it but it is free.

  - National Human Genome Research Institute

DNA Laboratory Activities - The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

DNA without tears!
A simple experiment using phenopthalein and tubes of water to demonstrate the epidemiology of HIV-1
Fun with Sephadex G-25 columns!
Students "translate" a lima bean DNA extraction procedure
Learn how to use the spectrophotometer and micropipette
Bacterial tranformations using antibiotic resistant plasmids
Introduction to electrophoresis
Measuring UV using yeast cells...adapted from KSU's Yeast Project
Two activities for karyotyping: a paper cut out method and a lab usinghuman cells
Procedure to ligate fragments of genomic DNA from spinach into a vector plasmid; this recombinant DNA is then used to transform Escherichia coli cells.
Inserting a spinach genomic clone into a plasmid
A couple of easy techniques which can be used to observe the development of a chick embryo
The purpose of this lab is to grow plants in tissue cultures and to see what effect the different concentrations of hormones have on embryodevelopment
This activity allows students to strip away the cell walls of plant cells (using enzymes) and then observe the resulting spherical protoplasts
Using restriction enzymes to digest thymus DNA
An experiment using bacterial cultures to simulate a small scale "epidemic"
A relatively simple plant transformation experiment
Students simulate tests done in the field to determine the active ingredients in plants
This ecological laboratory uses the biotechnological tool of the bioassay to demonstrate the effects of toxic substances on living organisms  

- Viruses are infectious particles that consist of a DNA or RNA molecule packaged in a protein capsid.  A virus can multiply only inside a host cell, whose genetic mechanisms it subverts for its own reproduction.  Both the structure of the virus and its mode of replication differ widely between viruses.  The usual outcome of a viral infection is the lysis (destruction) of the infected cell, with the release of viral particles.  Some viruses, however, can instead become integrated into the host chromosome, where their genes are replicated along with those of the host cell.  Because viruses sometimes carry host DNA sequences from one species to another, they make possible an occasional mixing of different gene pools during their evolution.  Virulent viruses usually kill the cells they infect.  Other viruses, although also often able to kill cells, frequently have a more subtle effect.  These viruses are called temperate.  Virus infected bacteria which appear un-infected but have the hereditary ability to produce phage, are called lysogenic.  (Phage - indicating something that devours another)  The lambda genome has two set of genes, one controlling lytic growth, the other lysogenic growth.  Upon infection, genes promoting both lytic growth and lysogenic integration are expressed.  Which pathway succeeds is determined by the competing action of these early gene products and by the influence of host factors.  The lambda phage is a well studied temperate phage which can grow in synchrony with its host (E.coli) in its lysogenic phase, or go into a lytic phase, when its genome is replicated many times by a rolling circle mechanism.  The lytic cycle is that part of the life cycle of a temperate phage in which it multiplies rapidly, destroying its host and releasing many copies into the medium.  The pathway genes in the lambda immunity region are:  cro, Or, and cI.  The lambda system provides one of the best studied examples of a genetic switch.  Two back-to-back promoters in the region of cI and cro control the genetic switch.  When cI is present it activates its own synthesis and blocks transcription of cro.  When cI is inactivated, transcription of cro can occur, resulting in the lytic cycle.  The cI protein combines with the operator, Or.  Transcription is the process by which an RNA polymerase produces single-stranded RNA complementary to one strand of DNA or, rarely RNA.  Polymerase are enzymes producing a polynucleotide sequence, complementary to a pre-existing template polynucleotide.  DNA polymerase requires a primer from which to start polymerization whereas RNA polymerase does not.  Polymerization is the combination of several molecules to form a more complex molecule, usually by addition or a condensation process.  It is sometimes a reversible process.



- The Microbiology
Information Portal.


Famous scientist quote:
"The sciences gain by mutual support.  When, as the result of my first communications on the fermentations in 1857-1858, it appeared that the ferments, properly so-called, are living beings, that the germs of microscopic organisms abound in the surface of all objects, in th air and in water; that the theory of spontaneous generation is chimerical; ..." Louis Pasteur (1822 - 1895)  developed a method of inoculation of cattle for anthrax proving the efficacy of vaccinations.

for Biology



- Homework Help

Click on the names in the List below for detailed information.

    nabaena is a of , or blue-green , found as . It is known for its abilities, and they form relationships with certain plants, such as the . They are one of four genera of cyanobacteria that produce , which are harmful to local wildlife, as well as farm animals and pets.  


- Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium's virtual jellyfish exhibit to learn about the jellyfish's biology, life cycle, relatives and even see live pictures on the JellyCam. Also has two classroom activities, one K-4 and the other 5-12.

- Information on ctenophores ("comb jellies") with links to cnidarian and jellyfish information.

- CNN report on jellyfish with a Quicktime movie.

Sea Stars/Starfish

- Brief information on the armored sand star's biology, habitat/range, diet, reproduction, and some interesting facts.

- Brief information on the bat star's biology, habitat/range, diet, reproduction, and some interesting facts.

- Brief information on the fragile star's biology, habitat/range, diet, reproduction, and some interesting facts.

- Brief information on the giant spiny sea star's biology, habitat/range, diet, reproduction, and some interesting facts.

- Information on its description, habitat, diet, breeding, etc.






Mark Isaak
- very good

- Sponges/Porifera - Cindarians - Bilaterians - Protostomia vs. Deuterostomia - Lophotrochozoans vs. Ecdysozoans - Glatworms/Platyhelminthes - Annelids - Mollusks/Mollusca - Roundworms/Nematoda - Arthropods - Chordates


  Lot's of links here alphabetically  General Ecology and Biodiversity   Behavioral Ecology  Evolutionary Ecology


  Difference between Food chain and Food web explained.


Long Term Effects


  Human Issues  New aquarium cycle


Very Detailed



Metabolic Energy Cycle Geothermal Simplified

Energy Pyramid

  Flow of Energy  Different kinds of pyramids



Metabolic Pathways Wall Chart 

You can access the individual images by clicking in a reduced image of an entire section of the wall chart (use the linkS below).



A Primer News

  The Truth About Stem Cells

Comparative Embryology


Human Anatomy

Human Biology

(See "Medicine" above)





What is zoology anyway?

The study of animals.
The branch of biology that studies and classifies animals and animal life. It is a branch of biology that is concerned with the scientific study of animals, including their biology, distribution, and identification and including the study of animals - mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, spiders, and mollusks (including mussels).
The science and history of the animal kingdom, including its king, the House Fly (Musca maledicta). The father of Zoology was Aristotle, as is universally conceded, but the name of its mother has not come down to us. Two of the science's most illustrious expounders were Buffon and Oliver Goldsmith, from both of whom we learn (L'Histoire generale des animaux and A History of Animated Nature) that the domestic cow sheds its horn every two years.
OK, OK enough of the definitions - now tell me some zoology details.  I want details please.

Online Field Guides 

- Animal Kingdom Sites

General animal kingdom sites:





General animal kingdom sites:

-- NOVA Site, Great Information


Famous scientist quote:
"There is only one genus of man and this genus is unique in its order.  Since the [natural] history of man interests us most directly and should stand as the basis of comparison to which we submit the accounts of all other animals, we shall treat it in greater detail." 
Georges Cuvier (1769 - 1832) is the father of comparative anatomy and paleontology, and animal classifications. 

Loads of information on amphibians. Includes a tutorial on amphibian embryonic development, amphibian pictures and more.
Information on bird identification, bird songs, pictures, clipart and more.

Information on speech, mating habits, migration and other behavioral characteristics exhibited by birds.

Discover some interesting facts about animals.

Learn about the characteristics that differentiate mammals from other vertebrates.

Information and resources pertaining to primates. Includes images of different primate species.

Learn about turtles, lizards, snakes and other reptiles. Includes wonderful images of various reptiles.

Get information on how to become a marine biologist or search a database that contains over 2,000 marine species.


Human Anatomy

Human Biology

(See "Medicine" above)

What is Botany?

English/German Botany Dictionary:


(Be sure to click on the subjects in the left column to explore this great site.)

- [ ]


Photosynthesis & Plants

Light Absorption

and Conversion Factors

MUST HAVE!  TI-83 Plus BETTER!  TI-89 BEST!  Voyage 200      

Molecular Biology Software -

DICTIONARIES - - It is most important to be able to understand scientific words and terms when reading technical material. 

Nuclear Terminology

Browse articles in all areas of topics within , , , , , , , , , , , and . Includes and .

Medical resource provides extensive information on , , , , , , , and . Focuses on family and community health.

<< Glossary & Dictionary Links 
Look up words here
  - Each line of letters is from a  different source so check them all. >>


or try this one....
Kimball's Biology Pages  or this one......
                Q        Y 
Bio Informer
or this one.....
PAE Glossary  or this one.....
K Q Michael Shaw  or this one.....-------------------------

- Identify biological specimens from images.

Online image database links.

Just enter the name of the image you want, like "paramecium" and search for images.

Microscopic Image Search Engines

General Biology Image Search Engines

Animal - Nature - Plant Image Links


Microsopic Images From University of Oregon


Herbaceous Roots

Herbaceous Stems

Woody Stems / Roots

Woody Stems



Definitions of fruit:

  • the ripened reproductive body of a seed plant
  • the consequence of some effort or action; "he lived long enough to see the fruit of his policies"
  • cause to bear fruit
  • yield: an amount of a product
  • bear fruit; "the trees fruited early this year"
  • In botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary, together with its seeds, of a flowering plant. In cuisine, when discussing fruit as food, the term usually refers to just those plant fruits that are sweet and fleshy, examples of which would include plum, apple and orange. However, a great many common vegetables, as well as nuts and grains, are the fruit of the plants they come from. ...

Fruit links:

(Mildews, mushrooms, fungus, etc.

Definitions of Fungi:

  • saprophytic and parasitic organisms that lack chlorophyll and include molds, rusts, mildews, smuts, mushrooms and yeast; singular, fungus.
  • Mushrooms.
  • (sing. Fungus)-A class of cellular plants, of which Mushrooms, Toadstools, and Moulds, are familiar examples. 77
  • A group of organisms that lack chlorophyll and obtain nutrients from dead or living organic matter
  • Aerobic, multicellular, nonphotosynthetic, heterotrophic microorganisms. The fungi include mushrooms, yeast, molds, and smuts. Most fungi are saprophytes, obtaining their nourishment from dead organic matter. Along with bacteria, fungi are the principal organisms responsible for the decomposition of carbon in the biosphere. Fungi have two ecological advantages over bacteria: (1) they can grow in low moisture areas, and (2) they can grow in low pH environments. ...
  • Molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms, and puffballs, a group of organisms lacking in chlorophyll (ie, are not photosynthetic) and which are usually non-mobile, filamentous, and multicellular. Some grow in soil, others attach themselves to decaying trees and other plants whence they obtain nutrients. Some are pathogens, others stabilize sewage and digest composted waste.
  • Simple plants, often microscopic, that lack photosynthetic pigment.

Peziza arvernensis

Coprinus comatus






Protista (Algae)

Non-vascular plants (Mosses, Liverworts)


Simple / Complex Tissues

Mitosis:  (Science: biology) A of of a , consisting of a of various , by of which the normally of the of of the of the . mitosis, the by which the and , is four .

Nobel Prize 2001
by Jim Wanamaker of Lew-Port
by Frans Hochstenbach
Sumanas Inc.
from "Cells Alive!"
Kuby Immunology
Dolan DNA Learning Center
by Leif Saul
from PBS
by Jon C. Glase at Cornell
Bill By - The Science Guy
from PBS

- Moneran


(See our page for more protist information.)





The Pterophyta (ferns) are the second largest division
of the plant kingdom with different 20,000 species.






biological graphing



Health, Biology, Chemistry

Agriculture, Earth and Environment

Research, Communication and Literacy Tutorials


The Lives of a Cell : Notes of a Biology Watcher
by Lewis Thomas

Listen to this book now by clicking on this link to Yahoo!


- A highly recommended freshwater protozoa guide!

  Contains excellent information for ecologists as well. Thanks to David Patterson for submitting information in this section.
The WWW links on these pages will take you directly to the various web site pages.  Your browser URL address line will tell you the origin of the site.



See our our other great biology pages:  

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