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Observing cell structure

There are two types of microscopes: light (up to X1500

and low resolution); and electron (up to X500000 and
high resolution).
Resolution is how well small, close objects can be
seen separately. High resolution produces detailed
images of cells (ultrastructure).
Specimens need preparation to make structures visible.
Light microscopes need stains (e.g. acetic orcein for
DNA). Electron microscopes need lead salts to scatter
electrons and produce images. The pictures produced
are called micrographs.
The magnification of a micrograph is the observed
size/actual size.

Cell structure and function
Organelles; nucleus, nucleolus (makes ribosomes),
mitochondria (make ATP for cellular energy),
lysosomes (contain lytic enzymes), chloroplasts (plant
cells only), centrioles (animal cells only, aid cell
division), cilia and flagella (beat to produce cell
Ribosomes make proteins, rough endoplasmic
reticulum transports the protein to Golgi apparatus
which packages and secretes it out of the cell.
Eukaryotic cells have a true nucleus and membranebound organelles. Prokaryotes have naked DNA and
small organelles with no membranes around them.

Cell membranes
The fluid mosaic is a phospholipid bilayer with
scattered proteins.
The cell surface membrane is for transport (partially
permeable) and recognition/signalling (e.g. receptor
molecules for hormones).
Passive transport (diffusion/facilitated diffusion) does
not use energy, while active transport does and is
against a concentration gradient.
Osmosis is diffusion of water from high water potential
to low across a cell membrane. Endocytosis is bulk
movement of fluid/particles into a cell. Exocytosis is
movement to the outside of the cell.

The cell cycle
The life cycle of a dividing cell is the cell cycle. It
mostly involves copying and checking genetic
information. The final small part involves mitosis which
forms two new cells.
Cells can continue a cell cycle or they differentiate.

Cell organisation
New cells produced in mitosis are genetically identical
(same chromosome combinations) to each other and
the parent cell. Cells formed by meiosis are not
genetically identical.
Some mitosis (e.g. bone marrow) produces stem
cells. These can differentiate into many different cell
types (e.g. red blood cells, neutrophils). They are
specialised for their function (e.g. epithelial or guard
Cells are organised into tissues (e.g. squamous or
ciliated epithelium; xylem/phloem) which are
organised into organ systems.

Gaseous exchange
The alveolus wall is an efficient exchange surface as it
is only one cell thick. It is moist and is highly folded for
a large surface area.
Alveoli are supplied with a rich network of capillaries
which carry blood close to the alveolus wall (the
exchange surface).
Muscles move air in and out of the lungs (ventilation).
Along with the blood supply, this keeps up a
concentration gradient of O2 & CO2.
These features increase the rate of diffusion of O2 into
the blood from the alveolus and CO2 out of the blood
into the alveolus.

Lung structure and function
The trachea and bronchi have rings of cartilage which
keep them open for airflow during ventilation.
Smooth muscle contracts and narrows the bronchi
and bronchioles and elastic tissue opens these
airways. This controls airflow.
Goblet cells in the lining of the trachea, bronchi and
bronchioles secrete mucus which traps particles (e.g.
pollen and bacteria).
Ciliated epithelial cells in the lining beat upwards. This
removes any swallowed mucus or particles, keeping
the lungs clean.

Animal transport systems
Large multicellular animals have a small surface area
for their volume, resulting in a large distance for
diffusion of gases.
They need a special transport (blood) system to
supply O2 and remove CO2, especially if very active
(e.g. birds, mammals and fish).
Single system (fish): heart gills body heart.
Double system (mammals): left heart body right
heart lungs left heart.
Closed circulatory system (fish, birds and mammals):
blood stays in blood vessels. Open system (insects):
blood leaves vessels.

The main stages of mitosis are: Prophase

(chromosomes thicken, become visible); Metaphase
(chromosomes line up on the equator); Anaphase
(chromatids separate); and Telophase (each set of
chromatids forms a new nucleus).

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Heart structure
The left ventricle wall (thick) pumps blood around the
body. The right ventricle wall (thinner) only has to
pump blood to the lungs.
Atrial walls are very thin since they only have to
pump blood a short distance into the ventricles.
Cardiac cycle: chambers fill; ventricles contract
(cuspid valves close, lub sound); atria contract
(semi-lunar valves close, dub sound).
The Sino-Atrial Node (in right atrium) maintains beat
rhythm. The AtrioVentricular Node and Purkyne
fibres pass the beat on to ventricles.
Plant transport water & xylem
Water and dissolved minerals taken up by roots are
carried by an open tube of dead cells (xylem
vessels) up the stem to leaves.
Water gets to the xylem across the root cortex by
the apoplast (cell wall) and symplast (cytoplasm)
The waterproof Casparian strip in endodermis cells
forces water into the symplast. This creates root
pressure in the xylem.
The transpiration stream pulls water up the xylem.
Cohesion holds water molecules together;
adhesion holds them to the xylem walls.

Blood contains cells, plasma proteins and dissolved
Tissue fluid is blood minus cells and plasma proteins.
Haemoglobin (Hb) in red blood cells picks up O2 easily
at the lungs where O2 pressure is high (Hb
dissociation curve is to the left and S-shaped) and
releases it at tissues where O2 pressure is low.
CO2 from tissues combines with Hb, making it release
O2 (CO2 makes the dissociation curve move to the
right). This Bohr effect means more O2 for active
tissues. The CO2 diffuses into plasma.
Plant transport translocation and phloem
Phloem is a living tissue which carries substances (e.g.
sucrose, growth substances) around the plant. This is
called translocation.
Translocation occurs from where sucrose is produced
(the source, e.g. leaves) to where they are used (the
sink, e.g. roots, meristems).
Translocation requires energy to actively pump (load)
the sucrose into the source. Sucrose is used at the
sink, and mass flow occurs.
Two cell types in phloem: sieve tubes (tube of cells)
and companion cells (have organelles and move
sucrose into sieve tubes).

Biological molecules proteins
A dipeptide is two amino acids joined together by a
peptide bond. Many amino acids form a polypeptide
chain. This forms a protein.
Primary structure is the unique sequence of different
amino acids in a polypeptide chain (different for each
protein molecule).
Secondary structure is how the polypeptide chain
folds: pleated (beta-sheet) or twisted (alpha-helix)
and held by hydrogen bonds.
Tertiary structure is the 3D shape of a protein;
quaternary is several polypeptides in the protein
molecule (e.g. four in haemoglobin).

Biological molecules carbohydrates
C6H12O6 is the formula for glucose ( and forms). The
six carbon atoms are arranged in a single sugar ring (a
Two monosaccharides can be joined by a glycosidic
bond (in a condensation reaction) to form a
disaccharide (maltose, sucrose).
Many monosaccharides form a polysaccharide e.g.
coiled chains in starch (amylose), straight in cellulose
and branching in glycogen.
Starch and glycogen are compact chains of glucose so
are good for energy storage. Straight cellulose forms
strong fibres (in cell walls).

Biological molecules lipids/identification
Lipids: mainly triglycerides made up of a glycerol
head joined to three fatty acid (hydrocarbon) chains;
insoluble, good for insulation.
Phospholipids: have one fatty acid replaced by a
phosphate group. The phosphate is hydrophilic and
the fatty acids are hydrophobic.
Identification: proteins by the biuret test (blue to
purple); starch by iodine (brown to blue-black); lipids
by emulsion test (goes cloudy).
Benedicts test: blue to orange or green for reducing
sugars (mono and some disaccharides). Non-reducing
sugars (sucrose) are boiled with acid.

Nucleic acids 1
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule with two
chains (strands) of nucleotides (polynucleotides)
twisted in a double helix.
DNA nucleotide: made up of a sugar (deoxyribose); a
phosphate group; and a base (either Adenine,
Guanine, Cytosine or Thymine).
A on one strand always pairs with T on the opposite
strand and G always pairs with C. This is called
complementary base pairing.
The order of bases in a section of DNA codes for the
sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide this DNA
section is a gene.
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Nucleic acids 2
DNA can copy itself (replicate) by using (conserving)
each strand to make a new one by base pairing,
forming two new DNA molecules.
RNA is like DNA but is a single strand. Its nucleotides
have ribose sugar (not deoxyribose) and Uracil
replaces Thymine as a base.
DNA is a store of information (in the nucleus) used
to make all the proteins (e.g. enzymes) needed to
control cell activities.
Messenger RNA is a copy of the DNA sequence
which is used in the cytoplasm (with other types of
RNA) to make proteins.

Enzymes 1
Enzymes speed up (catalyse) metabolic reactions by
lowering activation energy. Some catalyse reactions
inside cells (intracellular); others are secreted
They are globular proteins with a unique 3D (tertiary)
shape. Part of this is an active site which only fits a
specific substrate molecule.
Lock and key hypothesis: a key fitting a lock (as
above). Induced fit hypothesis: the active site changes
shape to fit the substrate.
An enzyme-substrate complex forms. Bonds are
made or broken and an enzyme-product complex
forms. Product is then released.

Enzymes 2
At low temperatures there is less kinetic energy and
enzymes are slower. At high temperatures enzymes
can be denatured and stop working.
A too-high or too-low pH alters the enzyme shape
and slows reaction; there is an optimum pH and
temperature at which an enzyme works best.
Increasing substrate or enzyme concentration
speeds up the reaction. It reaches a maximum rate;
further increase has no effect.
Competitive inhibitors act like the substrate and slow
an enzyme. Non-competitive inhibitors change the
shape of an enzyme.

Diet and nutrition
A balanced diet has seven components. If these are
unbalanced malnutrition can occur (obesity from too
much energy-rich food).
Plant material (fruit, vegetables, rice, cereal) is
essential in a diet. All food chains, including human
ones, start with plants.
Too much saturated fat (e.g. in meat, dairy foods) can
lead to coronary heart disease (coronary arteries
blocked by cholesterol).
Low Density Lipoproteins (small fat/protein drops in
blood) carry cholesterol which can stick to artery walls
causing blockages.

Food production
Selective breeding is only using organisms which
have the required characteristics high milk yield in
cows or disease resistance in crops.
Fertilisers improve crop growth. Pesticides improve
yield by reducing disease. Antibiotics slow spread of
disease (e.g. in cattle).
Microorganisms grown rapidly for food production
(e.g. yeast in bread making). Mycoprotein is made
from fungus but may be unpalatable.
Food spoilage by microorganisms can be prevented
by heating (cooking, pasteurising), adding sugar/salt,
freezing or irradiation.

Health and disease
Parasite: lives in/on a host and causes harm (e.g.
Plasmodium). Pathogen: a disease-causing organism
(e.g. Mycobacterium, HIV).
Malaria: caused by Plasmodium and spread by
mosquitoes (the vector). TB: caused by
Mycobacterium and spread by coughs.
HIV/AIDS: caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus
and spread by exchange of body fluids (e.g. during
unprotected sex, sharing needles).
These diseases have global impact (they affect
millions of people). Malaria affects over 200 million
people; HIV and TB are spreading.

Smoking and disease/new medicines
Tar from smoking: narrows airways; paralyses cilia;
causes inflammation and coughing (bronchitis); and
increases risk of infection.
Alveoli lose elasticity, burst and surface area is
reduced (emphysema). Carcinogenic chemicals in
tar cause lung cancer.
Nicotine in blood causes clots and stroke. CO causes
atherosclerosis (damage to arteries) and coronary
heart disease (CHD).
Tropical plants (high biodiversity), and using DNA to
show how bacteria cause disease, may result in the
development of new medicines.

Immunity 1
The immune response recognises a pathogen by its
surface molecules (antigens) and makes specific
Antibodies are large blood proteins with a specific Y
shape. Part of this fits antigen molecules of a specific
pathogen and attaches.
Attached antibodies can neutralise (or kill) pathogens,
e.g. by causing bacteria to clump together
Antibodies are produced by B-cell lymphocytes
(white blood cells). T-cell lymphocytes attack
pathogens directly.
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Immunity 2
Memory cells remain in the blood after an infection.
They recognise the pathogen if it re-infects for a
faster immune response.
Other white blood cells, phagocytes, kill pathogens
by engulfing and ingesting them (phagocytosis).
Artificial immunity: injection of a weakened pathogen
to produce memory response; or injecting antibodies
(no memory cells).
Natural immunity: infection by pathogen (causes
immune memory to protect next time); or a mother
can transfer antibodies to a baby.

A species is a group of organisms with similar
characteristics which can interbreed and produce fertile
A habitat is the place where an organism lives.
Biodiversity is the different habitats, species and
genetic variation in an ecosystem.
Biodiversity can be measured by random sampling
counting the number of species using quadrats instead
of in the whole habitat.
Recording the number of species is known as species
richness. Recording how many of each species is
species evenness.

Classification: sorting organisms into groups (e.g.
phylum, class).
Taxonomy: studying characteristics of organisms so
they can be classified. Phylogeny: how organisms
are related in evolution.
1 Prokaryotes: single celled; have no nucleus (naked
2 Fungi: cells walls of chitin; have hyphae which form
a mycelium.
3 Plants: all multicellular; photosynthesise; cell wall of
4 Animals: multicellular; heterotrophic; can locomote.
5 Protoctists: organisms that dont fit into above
groups (e.g. algae).

Evolution 1
Variation is the differences between individual
organisms. Variation occurs between different species
and within the same species.
Continuous variation is when there are two extremes
and a full range of values in between (e.g. weight or
height in humans).
Discontinuous variation is when there are distinct types
with no values in between (e.g. male or female, earlyor late-flowering).
Darwin observed: offspring are similar to parents; no
two individuals are identical; organisms can
overproduce; population size is stable.

Evolution 2
Darwin proposed: there is a struggle to survive;
organisms with the best adaptations survive better
and pass on their characteristics.
The frequency (percentage) of these adaptations
(variants) in a population increase they have been
selected (natural selection).
In separate populations selected adaptations may be
so different that they cannot interbreed forming a
new species (speciation).
Insects and bacteria reproduce rapidly; the fast
pesticide- and drug-resistance evolution makes it
hard to find new pesticides or drugs.

Conservation 1
Extinction is when a species ceases to exist. Human
activities have increased extinction (e.g. due to hunting
and habitat destruction).
Species conservation allows us to learn new
technology from how organisms function. It is important
to the environment.
Climate change can alter rainfall patterns. This could
affect crop growth or cause diseases (e.g. malaria) to
occur in new areas.
Biodiversity allows the breeding or cultivating of new
varieties of plants/animals which can survive diseases
or changing habitats.

Conservation 2
Conservation in situ is conserving a species in its
habitat. This also protects the habitat but humans
may want to use the land (conflict).
Conservation of endangered species ex situ is
conserving a species outside its habitat (e.g.
breeding endangered species in zoos, collecting
seeds of rare/extinct plant species in seed banks).
Although breeding species in zoos protects from
extinction, they are not in their own habitat and might
not survive in the wild.
Nations cooperate with laws about conservation (e.g.
CITES (Convention in Trade in Endangered Species).
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This document may have been altered from the original