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Edexcel Biology Glossary

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    Hi, I was looking for a list of Biological terms, that are needed for Edexcel Biology AS or/and A2, with their definition next to them. I have been having trouble finding something like this. Can anyone give me a link to where I can find this or something similar.

    I'd really appreciate it if anyone could help. :please:
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    (Original post by Freyma)
    Hi, I was looking for a list of Biological terms, that are needed for Edexcel Biology AS or/and A2, with their definition next to them. I have been having trouble finding something like this. Can anyone give me a link to where I can find this or something similar.

    I'd really appreciate it if anyone could help. :please:
    Hi Hope this helps! It helped me with my revision!

    Keywords
    Autotrophic – organisms which can make their own food
    Photosynthesis – the process by which plants make food from carbon dioxide and water using
    energy from the sun trapped using chlorophyll contained in the chloroplast.
    Heterotrophic – Organisms which eat other organisms to get their food
    ATP – Molecules that releases energy when the terminal phosphate bond is broken to form ADP
    Redox – Linked oxidation/reduction reactions
    Hydrogen acceptor – molecules that accept hydrogen in cellular reactions
    Electron transport chain – Series of carriers along which an electron is passed in a series of redox
    reactions resulting in the production of ATP
    Grana – Stacks of thylakoid within a chloroplast
    Thylakoid – membrane disc which is a unit of granum in a chloroplast
    Stroma – matrix which surrounds the membrane stacks in a chloroplast
    Photosystem I – Chlorophyll complex involved in cyclic and noncyclic photophosphorylation
    Photosystem II – Chlorophyll complex involved in noncyclic photophosphorylation
    Photochemical reaction- Reaction which depends on light
    Photophosphorylation – Process by which ATP is made in plants whereby an excited electron from
    PS I is passed along an electron transport chain to produce ATP and returned to PS I
    Photolysis – The splitting of a water molecule by light
    Calvin cycle – Series of reactions which make up the light independent stage of photosynthesis
    resulting in the synthesis of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide
    RuBP – 5 carbon compound found in the calvin cycle
    RUBISCO – Enzyme involved in the removal of a molecule of CO2 from RuBP
    GP – Phosphorylated 3 carbon compound in the Krebs cycle
    GALP – Reduced form of GP also part of the Krebs cycle
    Ecosystem – Environment including all the living organisms interacting, the cycling of nutrients and
    the physical and chemical environment in which the organisms are living
    Habitat – Place where an organism lives
    Population – Group of organisms of the same species living and breeding together in a particular
    niche in a habitat
    Community – All of the population of living organisms which live in a habitat at any one time
    Ecological niche - The role of an organism within an ecological community
    Habitat niche – The role of an organism in relation to a specific habitat
    Abiotic factors - nonliving elements of the ecosystem
    Biotic factors – The living elements of a habitat the affect an organisms ability to survive there.
    Biosphere – all areas of the earth’s surface where living organisms survive
    Biomes – Major ecosystems of the world
    Succession – Process by which communities of organisms colonising an area change over time
    Opportunist/ Pioneer Species – Organisms which are the first to colonise bare rock or sand
    Humus – organic component of soil
    Climax community – A self sustaining community with relatively constant biodiversity and species
    range. The most productive group of organisms that a given environment can support long term
    Plagioclimax – a climax community brought about by human intervention
    Microclimate – small areas with a distinct climate which is different to the surrounding areas
    Leaching - Loss of minerals from soil as water passes through rapidly
    Loam – ideal soil with a wide range of particle sizes and plenty of humus
    Intraspecific competition – Competition between members of the same species for the same
    resources within a community
    Interspecific competition – Competition between members of different species for the same
    resources within a community
    Endemic – found in a particular region or country
    Biomass – Mass of biological material in a given organism or habitat
    GPP – percentage of the energy from the sun which is transferred into plant material
    NPP – percentage of the sun’s energy converted into plant biomass
    Food Chain – Simple feeding interactions between organisms in a community
    Trophic level - Feeding positions in a food chain or web
    Food web – more complex food interaction between organisms in a community
    Decomposers – An organism which breaks down dead plant and animal matter
    Secondary production – Energy used to make new animal biomass
    Carbon sinks - reservoirs where carbon is removed from the atmosphere and locked up in organic
    material or inorganic compounds
    Greenhouse effect – The way in which greenhouse gases reduce the amount of heat lost from the
    surface of the earth
    Temperature proxies – Indirect or inferred measurements of the temperature of the earth
    Error lines – Indications of the range of error in a given measurement or inference
    Mean values – The value obtained by dividing the sum of a set of values by the number of values in
    the set
    Interglacial – periods between ice ages
    Wiggle matching – A process used to calibrate inferred, indirect, or imprecise way of measuring.
    Calibration – checking adjusting or standardising a piece of measuring equipment
    Correlation – A factor that appears to be linked to a change or event.
    Causal relationship – one factor directly causes an effect in another
    Extrapolate – Use available data on which to base estimations of value which fall outside the known
    range
    Optimum temperature – Temperature at which enzymes work best
    Denature – When the tertiary and quaternary structure of the protein is destroyed
    Biofuels – Fuels produced from biomass
    Genome – All the DNA of an individual
    Proteome – All the proteins produced from the DNA of an individual
    Allele frequency – The relative frequency of a particular allele in a population
    Gene families – A group of closely related genes
    Sickle cell disease – A genetic disease affecting the formation of haemoglobin, which in turn affects
    the shape of the red blood cells
    DNA profiling - using a sample of DNA to identify an individual.
    Rigor mortis – the stiffening of the muscles which takes place within a few hours of death as the cells
    run out of ATP
    Forensic Entomology - The study of insect life in relation to crime
    Ribosomes – Cell organelle that is the site of protein synthesis
    Triplet Code – Three bases of DNA which code for a single amino acid
    Codon – Three base pairs of DNa or RNA coding for a particular amino acid
    Transcription – production of mRNA from a DNA strand
    Translation – The conversion of the information in mRNA into a polypeptide or protein
    mRNA – RNA that carries information from the DNA in the nucleus out into the cytoplasm to be
    translated into proteins on the ribosomes
    DNA-directed RNA polymerase – enzyme involved in making an RNA copy from a DNA template
    using transcription in the nucleus
    Template Strand – The DNA strand which provides the template for ordering the sequence of
    nucleotides in the mRNA
    Sense strand – The DNA strand which has the same sequence as the resulting RNA
    Antisense strand – The strand of DNA which acts as a template for the formation of mRNA
    tRNA – small unit of RNA that codes for a specific amino acid and attaches to it in the cytoplasm
    before carrying it to the surface of a ribosome for protein synthesis
    rRNA – RNA which makes up the bulk of the ribosomes
    Anticodon – The three base sequences of tRNA which is complementary to the RNA codon of the
    mRNA on the surface of a ribosome
    Mini satellite – 20-50 base sequence repeated 50-several hundred times in DNA introns
    Micro satellite – 2-4 base sequence repeated 5-15 times in a DNA intron
    Restriction endonucleases – Enzymes used to chop DNA molecules into fragments at particular point
    in the intron sequences
    Gel Electrophoresis – Type of chromatography where individual DNA fragments are separated using
    an electric current
    Southern Blotting – A process in the production of a DNA profile
    Gene probe – Short DNA sequences used to identify specific sequences in the production of a DNA
    profile
    Short tandem repeats – micro-satellite regions of the DNA widely used in DNA identification
    Pathogen – A microorganism that causes disease
    Toxin – A poison produce by a pathogen and causes disease
    Tobacco mosaic virus – First virus to be identified
    Envelope – a lipid outer layer found in some viruses
    Capsid – protein coat of virus
    Capsomeres – Repeating protein units which make up the capsid
    Bacteriophages – viruses which infect bacteria
    Reverse transcriptase – enzyme used by viruses to produce DNA molecules which correspond to the
    viral genome
    Plasmid – extra circular strand of DNA, separate from the main chromosome found in bacteria
    Lysogenic Pathway – Stage in viral lifecycle when the viral DNA is inserted into the host DNA so it is
    replicated everytime the host cell reproduces. The virus is dormant – it does not cause disease
    Non virulent – not disease causing
    Provirus – Viral DNA inserted into the DNA of the host cell so that it is replicated everytime the host
    cell replicates
    Lytic pathway – Stage in viral lifecycle when the viral DNA is replicated is replicated independently of
    the host cell DNA and the virus is virulent
    Virulent – capable of causing disease
    Retrovirus – Viruses with RNA as their genetic material and relatively complex lifecycles
    Exocytosis – moving substances out of a cell by emptying a membrane bound vesicle
    Hypertonic – a solution with a higher solute concentration than the cell contents
    Mesosome – infolding of the cell membrane seen in some bacteria
    Capsule – Layer of starch, gelatin, protein or glycolipid which protects bacteria from phagocytosis by
    white blood cells. This is a slime layer if it is very thin
    Pilli – Thread like protein projections from the surface of some bacteria which seem to be used for
    attachment to the host cell and for sexual reproduction
    Flagella – Thin extension made up of many stranded helix of the protein flagelin which makes about
    100 revolutions per second and moves the bacterium along
    Peptidoglycan – Parallel polysaccharide chains with short peptide cross-linkages found in bacterial
    cell walls
    Gram staining – one way of identifying different types of bacteria
    Gram positive – Bacteria which stain purply-blue with gram staining
    Teichoic acid – chemical found in the walls of gram positive bacteria which binds to the crystal violet
    colour in the gram stain to give the typical gram positive colour
    Gram negative – Bacteria which stain red with gram staingin
    Cocci – spherical bacteria often linked together in chains
    Bacilli – Rod shaped bacteria
    Spirilla – Bacteria with a twisted shape
    Vibrios – comma shaped bacteria

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Updated: March 28, 2012
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