We are living in a golden age of biology. A large and diverse community of scientists is studying a myriad of questions that are as relevant to our lives as they are interesting: How can errors in cell growth lead to cancer? How do plants trap solar energy, and what might this teach us about global climate? How do living creatures form ecological networks, and how do human activities disrupt them? How did the great diversity of life on Earth evolve from the first microbes, and how does such evolution have an impact on human health? How do mutations in genes lead to disease? How can DNA—the molecular basis of heredity—be used in forensic investigations? These are just a few examples of how biology is woven into the fabric of society as never before. If you try, you can easily think of a dozen ways that biology affects your life each day. Welcome to the big adventure of the 21st century!
A student with little or no college-level science experience—develop an appreciation for biology and apply that understanding to your own life and to the society in which you live. We believe that such a biological erspective is essential for any educated person, which is why we named our book Essential Biology. So, whatever your reasons for taking
this course, even if only to fulfill your school’s science requirement, you’ll soon discover that exploring life has never been more important or exhilarating.
1. Introduction: Biology Today
2. Essential Chemistry for Biology
3. The Molecules of Life
4. A Tour of the Cell
5. The Working Cell
6. Cellular Respiration: Obtaining Energy from Food
7. Photosynthesis: Using Light to Make Food
✨ Unit_2: Genetics ✨
8. Cellular Reproduction: Cells from Cells
9. Patterns of Inheritance
10. The Structure and Function of DNA
11. How Genes Are Controlled
12. DNA Technology
✨ Unit_3: Evolution and Diversity ✨
13. How Populations Evolve
14. How Biological Diversity Evolves
15. The Evolution of Microbial Life
16. Plants, Fungi, and the Move onto Land
17. The Evolution of Animals
✨ Unit_4: Ecology ✨
18. An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
19. Population Ecology
20. Communities and Ecosystems
✨ Unit_5: Animal Structure and Function ✨
21. Unifying Concepts of Animal Structure and Function
22. Nutrition and Digestion
23. Circulation and Respiration
24. The Body’s Defenses
26. Reproduction and Development
27. Nervous, Sensory, and Locomotor Systems
✨ Unit_6: Plant Structure and Function ✨
28. The Life of a Flowering Plant
29. The Working Plant
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