AP Biology, Chapter 1 Vocabulary


Descent with modification; the idea that living species are descendants of ancestral species that were different from the present-day ones; also define more narrowly as the change in the genetic composition of a population from generation to generation

emergent properties

New properties that arise with each step upward in a hierarchy of life, owing to the arrangement and interaction of parts as complexity increases

systems biology

An approach to studying biology that aims to model the dynamic behavior of whole biological systems


The entire portion of the Earth inhabited by life; the sum of all the planet's ecosytems


All the organisms in a given area as well as the abiotic factors with which they interaction; one or more communities and the physical environment around them.


All the organisms that inhabit a particular area; an assemblage of populations of different species living close enough together for potentiality interaction


A localized group of individuals of the same species that can interbreed, producing fertile offspring


Individual living things.

organ, organ system

A body part consisting of two or more issues that carries out a particular function in the body.


An integrated group of cells with a common function, structure, or both.


Life's fundamental unit of structure and function.


Any of several membrane-enclosed structures with specialized functions, suspended in the cytosol of eukaryotic cells


Chemical structure consisting of two or more atoms held together by covalent bonds.

eukaryotic cell

A type of cell with a membrance-enclosed nucleus and a membrane-enclosed organelles.

prokaryotic cell

A type of cell lacking a membrane-enclosed nucleus and membrane-enclosed organelles.


A double-stranded, helical nucleic acid molecule, consisting of nucleotide monomers with a deoxyribose sugar and the nitrogenous bases adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T); capable of being replicated and determining the inherited struc


A discrete unit of hereditary information consisting of a specific nucleotide sequence in DNA (or RNA , in some viruses)


The genetic material of an organism or virus; the complete complement of an organism's or virus's genes along with its noncoding nucleic acid sequences


The use of computers, software, and the mathematical models to process and integrate biological information from large data sets.

negative feedback

A primary mechanism of homeostasis, whereby a change in a physiological variable triggers a response that counteracts the initial change.

positive feedback

A physiological control mechanism in which a change in a variable triggers mechanisms that amplify that change.


A taxonomic category above the kingdom level. Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya.


The domain that includes all eukaryotic organisms.


The search for information and explanation, often focused by specific questions.

discovery science

The process of scientific inquiry that focues on describing nature.


Recorded observations.

inductive reasoning

A type of logic in which generalizations are based on a large number of specific observations.


A tentative answer to a well-framed question, narrower in scope than a theory and subject to testing.

deductive reasoning

A type of logic in which specific results are predicted from a general premise.

controlled experiment

An experiment in which an experiential group is compared with a control group that varies only the factor being tested.


An explanation that is broad in scope, generates new hypotheses, and is supported by a large body of evidence.


A representation of a theory or process.


The application of scientific knowledge for a specific purpose, often involving industry or commerce but also including uses in basic research.