Biology Topics

Anatomical Direction

Find out the difference between dorsal and ventral. Remember the dorsal fin on the great white shark is on it's back.


Chemistry of life dealing with the organic compounds and metabolism. These are the processes occurring in organisms that make them alive.


All the necessary facts on the life processes of representative organisms in NY Regents biology


Cells are the structural and functional units of life. The smallest living things with all life functions. All cells come from other cells. Exceptions are the virus and the fact that the chloroplast and mitochondria have their own DNA.


Important biological concepts for the New York regents exam, "The Living Environment"


The study of the relationship between an organism and its environment is called ecology. It involves living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) things.


Special proteins that can be synthetic (build up) or hydrolytic (breakdown) Digestive enzymes are Maltase, Protease, Lipase and Amylase.


In order for a species to survive it must have variety to cope with an ever-changing environment. If an organism cannot adapt to these changing environmental conditions it will eventually become extinct. Variety truly is the spice of life.

Excretion and Locomotion

Excretion is the removal of METABOLIC wastes. There are many advantages to independent movement. These can be finding food, avoiding predation and the ever popular find a mate.


Organisms pass on their genetic information to the next generation by their DNA. The study of the possible outcomes of this genetic recombination of sexually reproducing organisms is called genetics. Sex insures variety within a species.

Life Functions

In order to maintain life an organism must exhibit life functions or metabolism. They are respiration, reproduction, regulation, growth, excretion, nutrition, transport, and synthesis. The 3 R's GENTS


Lipids a fancy name for fats. They are used for stored energy and a structural component of the biphospholipid cell membrane and steroids. Fats can be saturated (filled with hydrogen ions) or unsaturated (not filled with hydrogen ions).


Some special tips and memory tools for remembering your biology terms


Physical: dissolving in saliva, chewing, tearing and ripping using the teeth. This increases the surface area of the food and makes chemical digestion easier. Chemical digestion uses enzymes for chemical change.


Autotrophism is the ability to synthesize organic nutrients (food). Most of this is accomplished by Photosynthesis.


Changes occur all the time both inside and outside an organism. A successful organism can adapt to these changes. The ultimate goal of any organism is Homeostasis (to maintain a stable internal environment). This DYNAMIC EQUILLIBRIUM is maintained through the control and coordination of metabolic activities by the nervous and endocrine systems.


All organisms must reproduce for the species to survive. This is the only life function not needed for the survival of the individual organism. Sex insures variety within a species.


ALL organisms use respiration to store energy in the form of ATP. The ATP is used for a variety of different life activities such as walking, thinking and active transport.

Scientific Method

There are certain rules that scientists follow in order to solve a problem. Just as a chef follows a recipe, scientists must follow the scientific method to assure that their results are consistent and accurate with each experiment. This also allows for experiments to be repeated many times and by others thus verifying the results. (Assures it is correct)


System of classification or organization based upon similarities in structure. Developed by Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist in the 18th century. Linneaus used Latin names because the words would not change over time.


Deals with movement into, out of and circulation within an organism.