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iGCSE Biology Notes


Planning an experiment
NOTE: Pyrogailol dissolved in NaOH absorbs O2 from a
system whilst soda lime absorbs CO2
CORMS styled questions (usually 6 marks).
Have some repetition in it so that you can have comparison, and to reduce risk
of errors and anomalies. If you were to only take one measurement, and it's
wrong, you would not have any valid data.


What factor are you investigating? Will you have a range of values? (Yo
always have a minimum of 5 values in a range) Or will you have two gro
with the factor and one without? What is your control?


What species/size/age/gender will you use? Note if you were plan

investigation into enzyme activity, you would identify the enzyme


You MUST take more than one reading- you should take a minimum of 3
and repeat the whole experiment.


What will you be measuring, how often and what are the units? You should
how you will take the measurement, and with what equipment.


You must say what factors you will keep the same to make sure you have
out a fair test, e.g. temperature/light intensity/volume of water etc.

Effect drinking tea has on heart rate

Change- 2 groups: one group with tea, the other with water
Organism- human, same gender + same age
Repetition- how many people in each group
Measurement- heart rate in beats per minute, describe how you would do this,
and when
Same- temperature of tea/water, volume of tea/water, level of exercise before
drinking tea, same room/temperature of room
After considering these factors you should then write your description in full.

Describe the levels of organization within

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organs and systems.



Organelles are highly organized structures of molecules. They have

a specific function within a cell. Mitochondria are an example, generating energy
for our bodys cells.
Cells are made up of Organelles, described as a functional unit; they are the
basis of living things.
Tissues are a collection of similar cells all serving a common function.
Organs are made up of several kinds of tissues together forming a functioning
Organ Systems are several organs forming an organ system. Like the
cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood and blood vessels.

Cell Structure
a) Levels of Organisation
2.1 describe the levels of organisation within organisms: organelles,
cells, tissues, organs and systems
b) Cell Structure
2.2 recognise cell structures, including the nucleus, cytoplasm, cell
membrane, cell wall, chloroplast and vacuole
2.3 describe the functions of the nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane,
cell wall, chloroplast and vacuole
2.4 describe the differences between plant and animal cells
A cell membrane controls what goes in and out of the cell.

The cytoplasm is where the chemical reactions take place, the

mitochondria in the cytoplasm is where respiration takes place to release
energy. The cytoplasm also contains enzymes that control the chemical


The nucleus is like the 'brain' of the cell, it controls the cell, telling it what
to do. It also contains strands of chromosomes, DNA which is important
when the cell reproduces.


The mitochondria store and release energy in the form of ATP

(Adenosine triphosphate) through respiration.

Plant cells have extra features:

They have a cell wall, made of cellulose. It gives the cell shape and
structure and provides support. It also means the cell can't burst; it
becomes turgid when it is full of water.


They have chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll - the green pigment that

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allows it to absorb light energy and convert it to chemical energy during


Plant cells have a permanent vacuole that contains cell sap; it provides

Flaccid plant cell lacking water results in little

turgor pressure, leading to the plant wilting
Turgid plant cell full of water, with a lot of turgor
Plasmolysis severe lack of water in plant leads to
membrane pulling away from inelastic cellulose cell
wall. The cell dies.
Lysis too much water in animal cell causes it to

water leads to shrinking

Movement of substances into and out of

2.12 recall simple definitions of diffusion, osmosis and active transport
2.13 understand that movement of substances into and outPage3
of cells can be by
diffusion, osmosis and active transport
2.15 understand the factors that affect the rate of movement of substances into
and out of cells to include the effects of surface area to volume ratio,
temperature and concentration gradient
2.16 describe simple experiments on diffusion and osmosis using living and nonliving systems

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2.12 recall simple definitions of diffusion, osmosis and active transport
Diffusion: this is the net movement of fluid molecules from a region of high
concentration to a region of low concentration. i.e down a concentration
gradient. The steeper the gradient, as in the bigger the difference in
concentration, the faster diffusion will occur. It is passive - no energy is required.
Osmosis: this is like diffusion, except it involves water molecules. So again,
water molecules move via osmosis from a region of high water potential to a
region of low water potential, through a partially permeable membrane. In our
body cells, the cell surface membrane is partially permeable, its function is to
control what is allowed to enter the cell.
Active transport: This is the active uptake of molecules against a
concentration gradient using ATP energy, through a selectively permeable
e.g. root hair cells taking up nitrate ions

#19 Active transport

Sometimes substances are required to be move

against the Concentration Gradient, or faster than they would by
Passive Transport. In these cases, Active Processes are used, which
require energy.
There are many occasions when cells need to take in substances which
are only present in small quantities around them.
E.g. root hair cells in plants take in nitrate ions from the soil. Their
concentration are often higher inside the root hair cell than in the soil, so
the diffusion gradient is from the root hair the soil. Despite this, the
root hair cells still can take nitrate ions in, by active transport.


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The importance of active transport: energy-consuming process by

which substances are transported against a concentration gradient, e.g.
ion uptake by root hairs and glucose uptake by epithelial cells of villi.
Active Transport/Diffusion

The active transport is carried out by carrier proteins in the

membrane, which bind to the solute molecule, change shape and carry
the molecule across the membrane.

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2.13 understand that movement of substances into and out of cells can
be by diffusion, osmosis and active transport
Diffusion: e.g. oxygen diffusing into red blood cells, or carbon dioxide diffusing
into leaves for photosynthesis, or glucose/maltose diffusing through one cell
thick epidermis of villi to the capillaries.
Osmosis: e.g. when water diffuses into plant cells it makes the cells turgid, which
provides the plant with support so it can stand upright. If water diffuses out of
the cell, it becomes flaccid and wilts. The cell is turgid because the water
entering the cell makes the cytoplasm and the vacuole push against the cell
wall, exerting turgor pressure.
Active transport: e.g. root hair cells actively taking up mineral ions such as
magnesium for chlorophyll. In humans, in our kidneys, salts are actively taken up
into the blood.
2.15 understand the factors that affect the rate of movement of
substances into and out of cells to include the effects of surface area to
volume ratio, temperature and concentration gradient

Page6 have more

Surface area to volume ratio: with a high surface area, the molecules
space to get into the cell, compared to a cell with the same volume but lower
surface area.
Temperature: temperature increases the kinetic energy of the particles, so
diffusion occurs quicker.

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Concentration gradient: The steeper it is, i.e. the greater the difference in
concentration between 2 regions, the faster the rate of diffusion/osmosis.
2.16 describe simple experiments on diffusion and osmosis using living
and non-living systems
Potato experiment. Take a cylinder of potato (which has a high starch content)
and place it in a beaker of distilled water. The potato with increase in volume as
the water moves from high water potential in beaker to lower water potential in
potato, increasing its volume the solution is hypotonic as it has lower
concentration of solutes than the potato. Now do the same, but with very sugary
water (sucrose) and observe potato shrink as water in potato moves from
higher water potential in potato to the lower water potential in the sucrose, in
hypertonic solution.
(Isotonic solution has same concentration of solutes no change in size
Hypotonic solution has lower concentration of solutes increase in size
Hypertonic solution has higher concentration of solutes decrease in size)
Also, potassium permanganate experiment, in which you simply fill a shallow
circular tub with water then add potassium permanganate to one end and watch
it diffuse throughout the liquid gradually.
Varying volume agar jelly cubes in hydrochloric acid and a pH indicator,
measuring the time taken for entire cube to change colour.

Nutrition in Humans & Biological Molecules

2.25 understand that energy requirements vary with activity levels,
age and pregnancy
As a young person a lot of energy is used because: activity levels tend to be
high; energy is being used for growth. As a person ages they no longer use
energy for growth and tend to have a less active lifestyle: thus having lower
energy requirements.
Having a less or more active lifestyle has an effect because the more you do- the
more energy you use- the more you need- the higher energy requirements. For
example, an athlete has a more active lifestyle so has to eat more.
When pregnant a woman is not only supporting her own body but also that of
her baby, this mean she requires the energy for both of them, increasing her
energy requirements.
2.24 identify sources and describe functions of carbohydrate, protein,
lipid (fats and oils), vitamins A, C and D, and the mineral ions calcium
and iron, water and dietary fibre as components of the diet


immediate energy
bananas, brown rice, whole meal foods and potatoes.

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Growth; repair
sea food, eggs, pork and soy.
long term energy store; insulation; protection
fish, eggs, milk and beef.
Vitamin A
maintaining normal reproduction; good vision; formation and maintenance
of healthy skin, teeth and soft tissues of the body; immune function (has antioxidant properties).
Milk, cheese, eggs, fatty fish, yellow-orange vegetables and fruits such as
carrots, pumpkin, mango, apricots, and other vegetables such as spinach,
Vitamin C
aiding absorption of iron and copper; healthy bones; helps fight
Blackcurrants, orange, grapefruit, guava, kiwi fruit, raspberries, sweet peppers
(Capsicum), broccoli, sprouts
Vitamin D
immune function; healthy skin; muscle strength
Sunlight on skin allows the body to produce Vitamin D. Few foods contain
significant amounts however main dietary sources are fortified margarine,
salmon, herring, mackerel, and eggs.
development and maintenance of bones and teeth; good functioning
muscles and nerves; heart function
Milk, cheese, yoghurt, bony fish, legumes, fortified soy beverages and fortified
breakfast cereals.
Haemoglobin in red blood cells (important for transport of oxygen to
tissues); component of myoglobin (muscle protein).
Red meats beef, lamb, veal, pork, fish, chicken and wholegrain cereals
Dietary fibre
Keeping the bowels functioning well; reduces the risk of bowl cancer
Cereals, bread, rice, beans and nuts.
Chemical reactions in cells need water; respiration; cytoplasm; blood
2.31 describe the structure of a villus and explainPage8
how this helps
absorption of the products of digestion in the small intestine
The villi are in the small intestine, and are small protrusions that trap and absorb
broken down food molecules.
They have microvilli on their surfaces to increase surface area further.

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They have very thin walls, only one cell thick; this enables molecules to pass
through easily in a short diffusion pathway.
They also increase the surface area of the small intestine wall meaning that
there is a lot of surface for diffusion to happen through.
On the outside of villi there are capillaries which pick up the diffused food into
the blood stream, and they get a great supply of blood to maintain a high
concentration gradient.

2.30 understand that the liver produces bile and stores it in the gall
bladder, and understand the role of bile in neutralizing stomach acid
and emulsifying lipids
Bile is produce by the liver and stored in the gall bladder.
Enzymes in the small intestine work best in alkaline conditions, their optimum
pH level is around 8-9, but the food is acidic after being in the stomach. Bile is
alkaline and so when it is released into the small intestine it enables the
enzymes to work on the chime by neutralizing it.
Bile also emulsifies fat; this gives it a larger surface area, which means that it
is easier for lipases to work.
The absorption of fatty acids and glycerol from the small intestine
Following the chemical and mechanical breakdown of food in the digestive tract,
most nutrients are absorbed into the blood through intestinal Page9
capillaries. Many
digested fats, however, are too large to enter the blood capillaries and are
instead absorbed into lymphatic capillaries by intestinal lacteals. Fats are added
to the blood when lymph joins the bloodstream.

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the role of digestive enzymes, to
include the digestion of starch to
glucose by amylase and maltase,
the digestion of proteins to amino
digestion of lipids to fatty acids
and glycerol by lipases
Enzymes break down food into simpler molecules that can diffuse through the
thin ileum lining and are soluble in blood plasma for transportation. Also, these
simple molecules are necessary for essential processes like respiration or
making new tissue, but also to synthesize new long chain molecules/tissue
for different purposes like glycogen or cellulose or starch or sucrose
hence these simple molecules are the building blocks.
Amylase and maltase convert starch to glucose and maltose
Proteases convert proteins to amino acids
Lipases convert lipids to (3) fatty acids and glycerol.
Enzymes and reactions
Many chemical reactions can be speeded up by substances called catalysts.
Within living organisms, these reactions (metabolic reactions) are controlled by
catalysts called enzymes. Enzyme molecules are proteins that catalyze
metabolic processes by lowering the activation energy but not being used up per
se. Their active sites lock onto specific
substrates, breaking them down into the
Enzymes and reactions:
Temperature, pH and enzymes:
The activity of enzymes is affected by
temperature and pH.

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Effect of temperature on enzymes

The optimum (best) temperature for enzymecontrolled reactions is 370C (body temperature).
As the temperature increases, the rate of
reaction increases. But very high temperatures
denature enzymes.
The graph shows the typical change in an
enzyme's activity with increasing temperature.
The enzyme activity gradually increases with
temperature up to around 37oC, or body
temperature. Then, as the temperature
continues to rise, the rate of reaction falls
rapidly as heat energy denatures the enzyme.
Most enzymes are denatured above 500C. Denaturing is where the extreme
temperature causes the enzymes active site to break down and deform,
thereby making it much less efficient at latching onto substrate and successfully
breaking it down.
Effect of pH on enzymes

Changes in pH also alter an enzymes shape and slow down its activity, but this
can usually be reversed if the optimum pH is restored.
An extreme pH can denature enzymes the active site is deformed permanently.
Enzymes - 'Lock and key' model
Enzymes are very specific, each kind of enzyme catalyze one kind of reaction
only. To catalyze a reaction, enzyme molecule and substrate molecule need to
and joint together by a temporary bond.
Each molecule has a special shape and an active site into which
its substrate molecule fits exactly.
This enzyme is amylase, and its active site is just the right size and shape
for a substrate molecule (starch in this case).


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The starch slots into the

active site.

The starch is split into maltose molecules.

The enzyme is unaltered, and ready to accept another part of the starch
molecule. Saliva starts the chemical breakdown of food but also makes food into
bolus, so is lubricated and moves down oesophagus smoothly and higher surface
area make is easier for enzymes.

2.28 explain how and why food is moved through the gut by peristalsis
Food is moved through the gut by peristalsis, whereby in the oesophagus, it
contracts and relaxes in succession to force food down the digestive system.
Muscles move food because mechanical action is needed to get food through the
2.27 understand the processes of ingestion, digestion, absorption,
assimilation and egestion
Ingestion: taking food into the body, i.e. eating through your mouth.
Digestion: process in which large insoluble molecules of food are broken down
into smaller ones.
Absorption: the process by which soluble molecules produced
by digestion are
taken from the gut (occurs mostly in the small intestine.) The soluble products of
digestion are then transported to the various tissues by the circulatory system.
Assimilation: the cells of the tissues absorb the molecules for use.
Egestion: removal of waste- undigested- products as faeces.

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2.26 describe the structures of the human alimentary canal and

describe the functions of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small
intestine, large intestine and pancreas
The mouth
Mechanical digestion happens here- your jaw action.
A bolus is created; this is a ball of food covered in saliva. This is help full as the
food is lubricated to enable swallowing and enzymes in the saliva can begin to
break down the food. (amylase)
The oesophagus
This tube connects your mouth and stomach. It is next to the trachea.
Peristalsis- or muscular contractions- moves the food downward.
The stomach
Churning mechanically digests whilst protease (pepsin) does so chemically.
Chyme is the name for liquid food existing in the stomach.
The hydrochloric acid kills bacteria that are taken into the gut with the food.
The small intestine
In the duodenum, bile secreted from gall bladder neutralizes chyme and
emulsifies lipids so lipases will have a larger surface area to work on amylase,
lipase and protease finish breaking down the ingested food. These were made by
the pancreas.
At the Ileum, digested molecules are absorbed into the blood stream through
thin walls.
Villi cover the inside giving it a large surface area which many molecules can
diffuse through into the blood.
Large intestine
This absorbs water from undigested food, producing faeces.
This produces the enzymes lipase, amylase and protease and insulin.
*Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the Gall Bladder, before being
secreted into the duodenum on the chyme.


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adapted as:
It has folds
Very long (7mts) so increased surface
Great blood supply to maintain high
concentration gradient
Thin lining for short diffusion pathway
Villi adapted as:
One cell thick epidermis
Capillaries have great blood supply
Microvilli increase surface area

2.32 describe an experiment to investigate the energy content in a

food sample
Hold a piece of food under a tube of water, burn the food. When
it is fully burned
compare the heat of the temperature before and after and multiply by 4.2 and
multiply this by the mass of the water.
Energy contentj = Massg * Temperature ChangeC * Specific heat capacity
Joules (Change in H)= Grams * Celsius Change * 4.2 (in water)

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SHC = Energy required to raise temperature of 1g of a substance by 1 0C In

H2O, this is 4.2

Biological molecules
2.5 recall the chemical elements present in carbohydrates, proteins
and lipids (fats and oils)
2.6 describe the structure of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids as
large molecules made up of smaller basic units: starch and glycogen
from simple sugar; protein from amino acids; lipid from fatty acids and
2.7 describe the tests for glucose and starch
2.8 understand the role of enzymes as biological catalysts in metabolic
2.9 understand how the functioning of enzymes can be affected by
changes in temperatures
2.11 describe how to carry out simple controlled experiments to
illustrate how enzyme activity can be affected by changes in

Benedicts test for glucose:

Starts blue, goes brick red if positive, or stays blue for negative.

Iodine test for starch:

Starts orange-brown, goes blue-black if positive, or stays the same if

Hydrogen carbonate




Starts red (Usually calibrated at 0.04% as this is atmospheric level),

becomes yellow is high Carbon dioxide concentration, purple-blue in low
carbon dioxide concentration.
2.5 recall the chemical elements present in carbohydrates, proteins
and lipids (fats and oils)
Carbohydrates and lipids: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen










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2.6 describe the structure of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids as

large molecules made up of smaller basic units: starch and glycogen
from simple sugar; protein from amino acids; lipid from fatty acids and
Simple sugars e.g. glucose, maltose, lactose Starch, and glycogen, etc
Amino acids Protein
Fatty acids + glycerol Lipids
2.7 describe the tests for glucose and starch
Test for glucose
Benedict's solution-blue solution.
Benedict's test:
Add 2 cm3 of Benedict's solution to 2 cm 3 of glucose solution in a test tube and
shake the mixture. Leave the test tube in a beaker of boiling water for five
As a control experiment, repeat step 1 using 2 cm 3 of distilled water in place of
glucose solution.
The colour change after five minutes is the blue Benedict's solution turning
brick-red or orange-red precipitate, proving the existence of Glucose.




Starch can be detected by the iodine test. A few drops of iodine solution added
to any substance containing starch will produce a blue-black colour.
Add a few drops of iodine solution to a piece of potato on a white plotting tile.




Plants store glucose in the form of starch.

*Variegated leaves dont have chloroplasts at the outside of leaves, and so no
glucose is produced here, nor is any starch stored here. This can be seen as a
starch test would show the centre to be blue black, while the outer edges,
orange brown.
*The importance of light can be shown in photosynthesis by leaving
Page16a leaf in the
dark for a long time. With no light, no photosynthesis, and thus, no more glucose
and then starch, can be produced. To respire, starch stored is converted back to
glucose and respired. This diminishes starch amount, so iodine test may sty
orange-brown and not go blue-black.
2.8 understand the role of enzymes as biological catalysts in metabolic

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Enzymes are biological catalysts made of proteins that speed up chemical
reactions without being used up/chemically altered. They lower activation
2.9 understand how the functioning of enzymes can be affected by
changes in temperatures
Colder temperatures mean that the molecules arent moving around as fast, so
the metabolic reactions occur slower.
However, an enzyme has an optimum temperature wherein the enzymes
perform the best they can as the warm temperature means the rate of reaction
is high, but the temperature isnt too high as we shall see below.
Very high temperatures denature enzymes so they do not function anymore.
This is because enzymes active sites, where they latch onto substrate to form
enzyme-substrate-complexes, are deformed by very high temperatures and
cannot easily break down more molecules.
2.11 describe how to carry out simple controlled experiments to
illustrate how enzyme activity can be affected by changes in
The effect of temperature on enzyme activity, example-amylase
I will have 5 water baths of temperatures 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 with a similar
test tube in each one and a test tube at room temperature as a control. Each
test tube contains 30 cm3 of 0.5M starch solution. The control test tube will have
boiled amylase solution added to it to see if starch will break down by itself
without the amylase being able to catalyze the digestion.
I will add 10 cm3 of amylase solution to each test tube in the water baths, the
amylase solution being of the same source of amylase and the same
concentration. I will time how long it takes for the amylase to digest the starch.
To tell when the starch has been digested, I will add one drop of iodine solution
to the mixture, which will start of blue-black, as starch is still present, and will
turn yellow when it has been digested to simple glucose molecules. So I will time
how long it takes for this to happen using a stopwatch.
To ensure reliability, I will repeat the experiment 3 times at each temperature
and calculate the mean, but ignoring anomalies. Results will be recorded in a
table and plotted on a graph for comparison.

2.33 recall that the process of respiration releases Page17
energy in living
Just recall this. Energy is locked up in food molecules such as glucose. Living
organisms release energy by breaking these molecules down or oxidising them.
Without respiration, you wouldnt have energy to do all your physical activities
and survive. Plants and most animals, including humans, respire aerobically.

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These complex organisms need a lot of energy to survive.

2.34 describe







Aerobic respiration is with oxygen, anaerobic respiration is without it. Basically,

your muscle cells can respire anaerobically for short periods of time when there
is a shortage of oxygen.
And aerobic respiration releases more energy, but the good thing with anaerobic
respiration is that its almost instant, its quick which is why events such as a
100m sprint which requires a quick burst of energy is anaerobic. But anaerobic
respiration leads to the production of lactic acid-a poison, which builds up in your
muscles. The lactic acid concentrations build up slowly in the muscles and may
eventually become high enough to cause fatigue, muscular pains and cramps to
stop you from continuing.
This is why you continue to breathe hard after anaerobic exercise for a while, as
you are repaying your oxygen debt, which is the oxygen required to oxidize and
convert the harmful lactic acid into harmless products like carbon dioxide and
2.35 recall the word equation and the balanced chemical symbol
equation for aerobic respiration in living organisms
Glucose + oxygen carbon dioxide + water + energy (ATP)
C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP
IN YEAST (FERMENTATION): yeast + sugar alcohol + carbon dioxide
2.36 recall the word equation for anaerobic respiration in plants and in
Glucose lactic acid + less energy
C6H12O6 2C3H6O3 + Less energy
Experiment to demonstrate the evolution of CO 2 and heat from
respiring seeds:
Heat from respiration Set up two vacuum flasks, one with germinating peas
and one with boiled peas. Insert a thermometer, surrounded by cotton wool to
allow CO2 to escape but not heat, and record the change in temperature after 2
hours. Germinating peas are living and so respire, giving of heat, thus heat
change will be much higher whereas the flask with boiled peas have no
temperature change as they are dead and do not respire.
CO2 evolved Put peas to respire in a conical flask, with a bung on top with a
pipe leading to a test tube of Hydrogen carbonate indicator Page18
(orange-red) which
will yellow from CO2 evolved, whereas with dead peas it will remain orange-red
as no excess carbon dioxide is produced for dead peas cannot respire, increasing
the concentration of CO2 above 0.04%.

Transport in Humans
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Its functions:

To transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells.

To remove waste and carbon dioxide from the cells.

To provide for efficient gas exchange.

The right side of the heart
collects deoxygenated blood form the body and pumps it to the lungs.
The left side collects oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the

2.66 understand the general structure of the circulation system to

include the blood vessels to and from the heart, the
lungs, the liver and the kidneys.
The double circulation
Beginning at the lungs, blood flows into the left-hand side of
the heart, and then out to the rest of the body. It is brought
back to the right-side of the heart, before going back to the
lungs again.
This is call a double circulation system, because the blood
travels through the heart twice on one complete journey
around the body:

One circuit links the heart and lungs (pulmonary circuit)

The other circuit links the heart with the rest of the body (systemic
The importance of a double circulation

Oxygenated blood is kept separate from deoxygenated blood. The septum

in the heart ensures this complete separation. Oxygenated blood flows
through the left side of the heart while deoxygenated blood flows through
the right.

The blood pressure in the systemic circulation is kept higher than that in
the pulmonary circulation. The left ventricle, with a thicker wall, pumps
blood under higher pressure to the body and delivers oxygenated blood
effectively to all parts of the body. The right ventricle has a thinner wall and
pumps blood to the lungs under lower pressure, thereby avoiding any lung

Vein - to the heart

Artery - away from heart
Lung - pulmonary
Liver - hepatic
Kidney - renal
Between the gut and liver is the hepatic portal vein.


2.65 describe the structure of arteries, veins and capillaries and

understand their roles

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Take blood away from the heart
Blood in them is under high pressure
They are delivering blood to an organ
Thick, muscle wall; small lumen
Arteries get smaller the further away they are, due to lower volume and
pressure away from heart.
Take deoxygenated blood to the heart
Blood is under low pressure
Their blood is returning from an organ
Relatively thin wall; large lumen (to give low blood pressure)
Valves stop blood flowing back in the wrong direction
Exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is taken place here
Very thin cell walls (one cell thick) so that substances can diffuse easily with
short diffusion pathway.
In arteries, lumen is smaller because: with a higher pressure of blood coming in
waves at every heart beat, the arteries must have a thick elastic layer to stretch
and expand under stress, as compared to veins. Furthermore, blood pumped
from the thicker left ventricle is much thicker because it must reach all parts of
the systemic circuit, i.e. most body cells, thus there is greater risk of rupture,
thus a thicker outside muscular layer is necessary as this can be fatal. Also,
given the fact that the majority of the pressure is given by the heart, as per
P=F/A, having a smaller cross sectional area for constant force given by the
heart results in greater pressure far from the heart so the whole body can be
reached. Unlike veins, there are no infolding valves to prevent back flow.
In veins, lumens can be bigger as the blood flow through is more constant and
not in waves - it doest have to adapt to changes in pressure and volume of
blood as much , thus it doesnt need a thick elastic layer. Also, as it is so far from
the heart that initiates blood flow, blood pressure through veins is less, thus risk
of rupture is less and a thick muscular wall is not necessary. Veins, unlike
arteries have valves that prevent back flow and so do not need to maintain high
pressure. They are often located close to muscles; when they contract, they
force blood in veins onward.
2.64 explain how the heart rate changes during exercise and under the
influence of adrenaline
During exercise muscles require more energy, which is created through
respiration. That requires more oxygen to be brought to cells and more carbon
dioxide to be taken away, this means the heart needs to increase its speed so
that more blood is sent to muscles.
2.63 describe the structure of the heart and how it functions
The heart can be thought of in four sections: the right atrium; the right ventricle;
the left atrium; the left ventricle. A description of the workings of the heart:
The right atrium fills with blood (from the vena cava) and the valve is closed;

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This area is squeezed forcing the blood through an tricuspid valve into the right
ventricle; This area contracts forcing the blood through semi-lunar valves up
through the pulmonary artery where it is oxygenated at the lungs; the
pulmonary vein fills the left atrium with oxygenated blood upon return; This
contracts, forcing the blood through the bicuspid valve into the left ventricle;
when the left ventricle contracts the blood is forced out through the aorta,
having gone through the semi-lunar valves. The septum prevents oxygenated
blood mixing with deoxygenated blood.
Things to remember:
o Veins lead to the heart; arteries lead away.
o Atrium means entrance hall in Latin; hence the atrium is where blood enters
the heart.
o The left side is bigger than the right as it has to pump blood through the
whole body, and the right ventricle pumps blood at a low pressure to prevent
pulmonary damage.
o Coronary arteries and veins supply the heart with its own blood, and if these
get blocked, you could have a heart attack or a blood clot in your heart.
o You
were examining someone's heart and using his or her own left and right.
o The Atria are wider and more thin-walled as they only pump the blood a short
way to the ventricles.
o The Septum separates the deoxygenated blood from the oxygenated blood.
o The pulmonary artery splits into two to go to each lung.
o Tendon connects muscle to bone.
o Ligament connects bone to bone synovial fluids in joints between bones,
synovial membrane and capsule.
2.62 understand that platelets are involved in blood clotting, which
prevents blood loss and the entry of microorganisms
When you have a wound you are at risk of losing blood and
Platelets are produced in the bone marrow- they are fragments of cells. The
chemicals in platelets turn fibrigen in the blood into a solid called fibrin. A
network of fibrin creates inherits red blood cells and platelets; it will then dry
over to form a scab, beneath which the tissue can begin to repair.
2.60 describe how the immune system responds to disease using white
blood cells, illustrated by phagocytes ingesting Page21
pathogens and
lymphocytes releasing antibodies specific to the pathogen
White blood cells are specialized cells that can stop pathogens in your body.
They can detect the presence of pathogens because of chemicals they give off.

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The cell then engulfs the pathogen. If then destroys the cell with digestive
enzymes phagocytosis.
When a lymphocyte meets its specific pathogen it divides: one cells it creates
being a memory cell; the other being the cell, which will create anti-bodies
specific to the pathogen.
One type of antibody clumps pathogens together for easier digestion for the
phagocytes, whilst one other neutralizes the pathogens antigen, the other
cause the cells to burst, or put labels on the pathogens to make them more
visible to the phagocytes.
If the memory cells every meet the pathogen again they will
create the anti-bodies more quickly and in greater quantity.
Phagocytes have the ability to move out of capillaries to the
site of an infection. They then engulf (ingest) the infecting
pathogens and kill them by digesting them.

2.61 understand that vaccination results in the manufacture of memory

cells, which enable future antibody production to the pathogen to occur
sooner, faster and in greater quantity
Vaccination is when a harmless or inactive form of a pathogen is injected into
the body. It stimulates a response from the immune system with out putting the
body at risk.
When the pathogen will meet the lymphocyte that has the ability to get rid of it,
it will be disposed of. The key thing is, though, that when the lymphocyte divides
it will create memory cells. If the same pathogen is ever in the blood stream
again (in the case of a real harmful infection) the memory cells will meet it and
produce the appropriate anti-bodies making the immune reaction occur sooner
and faster meaning a greater quantity of anti-bodies will be produced from when
the pathogen enters the body, dealing with the pathogen before you actually
feel its effects (i.e. colds, sneezing from influenza).
2.57 describe the composition of the blood: red blood cells, white blood
cells, platelets and plasma
The blood has several different components.
o 55% of the blood is plasma: hay colored liquid containing water with
different things dissolved in it.
o There are many red blood cells (Erythrocytes.)
o There are fewer white blood cells: Phagocytes; lymphocytes.
o Platelets (dead cells) play an important role in clotting, causing the chemical
called fibrigen to turn into a solid called Fibrin that inherits red blood cells
and platelets to dry over the wound as a scab, allowing for repair to occur

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2.58 understand the role of plasma in the transport of carbon dioxide,

digested food, urea, hormones and heat energy


Water - which is the main component of plasma - is a solvent and a liquid; so

plasma carries these different things around the body dissolved in water:
Carbon- Hydrogen carbonate
o Dig

food- soluble sugars and amino acids

Water, a good insulator, also carries heat, which is important in the
regulation of body temperature.

Extension (not technically on syllabus, but not sure) Plasma carries CO2
around the body. How? CO2 + H2O HCO3 - + H + The CO2 reacts with water
molecules to produce the Hydrogen Carbonate ion. In the lungs the reaction
reverses to produce CO2 again. CO2 is, therefore, carried as an aqueous ion in
the plasma
2.59 explain how adaptations of red blood cells, including shape,
structure and the presence of haemoglobin, make them suitable for the
transport of oxygen
Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. In order to do this they
have haemoglobin - which is made from iron - that can bond to oxygen to make
Red blood cells are enucleate (they have no nucleus) to make
room for the
haemoglobin. There are no mitochondria as the cells respire anaerobically so the
cells don't use any oxygen. They are biconcave; they are a flat disk with a dip in
the middle. The shape and flexibility of a flat disk enables them to pass through
narrow capillaries.
They have a dip in the middle to increase the surface area to volume ratio and
decrease the distance for diffusion meaning that diffusion of oxygen happens

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quickly. They have very thin walls also for a short diffusion pathway.

Gas exchange in Humans

2.38 understand the role of diffusion in gas exchange
Diffusion is the movement of particles from an area of high density to an area of
low density. In this way gasses will move from an area dense with gas to an area
of low density.
In the circulatory system oxygen enters the blood and carbon dioxide leaves the
blood via gaseous exchange. Gasses move across the walls of alveoli to an area
of lower concentration than they are in: Oxygen moves into the blood as there is
a low density of oxygen in the blood; Carbon dioxide moves into the lungs as it is
an area of lower concentration.
2.46 explain how alveoli are adapted for gas exchange by diffusion
between air in the lungs and blood in capillaries
The alveoli have are thin, this allows gasses to diffuse through them easily.
They are small and there are millions of them meaning there is a large surface
area to volume ratio, through which much gas can diffuse at once.
Alveoli have a moist lining for gasses to dissolve into.
Capillaries have a rich blood supply through the pulmonary artery from the
heart, to maintain high concentration gradient.
Describe the structure of the thorax, including the ribs, intercostal
muscles, diaphragm, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli and pleural
The thorax is the part of your body that lies between your neck and your
abdomen (around your stomach), and it includes all of the above. They are vital
for gas exchange.
Air enters your body through your nose - through your two external nostrils
whose walls bear a fringe of hairs. The nostrils lead into two nasal passages
which are lined with moist mucous membrane. Breathing through the nose has
the following advantages:
1. Dust and foreign particles, including bacteria in the air, are trapped by
the hairs in the nostrils, ciliated epithelial cells, or as well as by the
mucus on the mucous membrane. Cilia beat back and forward,
sweeping the mucous out toward the mouth.
2. Air is warmed and moistened before it enters the lungs.
3. Harmful chemicals may be detected by small sensory cells in the
mucous membrane.


The air in your nasal passages enters the pharynx, then to the larynx, and then
into your trachea. The trachea lies in front of your oesophagus. It extends
downwards from the larynx into the chest cavity. The lower end of the trachea
divides into two tubes, the bronchi (singular: bronchus), one to each lung. Each
bronchus divides repeatedly and ends in very small, fine bronchioles. Each
bronchiole ends in a cluster of air sacs called alveoli.

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Each lung lies in the pleural cavity, within which the lung expands. The pleural
cavity is lined by two transparent elastic membranes called the pleura (singular:
pleuron) or pleural membranes. The inner pleuron covers the lung. The outer
pleuron is in contact with the walls of the thorax and the diaphragm. A thin
layer of lubricating fluid between the pleura allows the membranes to glide over
each other easily when the lungs expand and contract during breathing.
Within the lungs, the bronchial tubes divide repeatedly, giving rise to smaller
tubes called bronchioles as mentioned earlier. They each end in a cluster of air
sacs or alveoli (singular: alveolus). Thousands of alveoli are found in the lungs,
providing a very large surface area for gas exchange.
Your chest wall is supported by the ribs. They are attached dorsally to the
backbone in such a way that they can move up and down. The ribs are attached
ventrally to the chest bone or sternum. Two sets of muscles,
the external and internal intercostal muscles, can be found between the
ribs. They are antagonistic muscles. When the external intercostal muscles
contract, the internal intercostal muscles relax and vice versa.
The diaphragm, which is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle and elastic tissue,
separates the thorax from the abdomen. When the diaphragm muscles contract,
the diaphragm flattens downwards and whey they relax, the diaphragm arches
upwards again.


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2.45 understand the





During inhalation/inspiration:

Your diaphragm contracts and flattens to make more volume of air inside


Your external intercostal muscles contract while your internal intercostal

muscles relax, again increasing the volume.


Your ribs move upwards and outwards. Your sternum also
moves up and
The volume of your thoracic cavity increases.


Air pressure in your lungs causes them to expand to fill up the enlarged
space in your thorax.


Expansion of your lungs causes the air pressure inside them to decrease.

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Atmospheric pressure (pressure of air outside) is now higher than the

pressure within your lungs. This causes air to rush into your lungs from

During exhalation/expiration:

Your diaphragm relaxes and arches upwards.

Your internal intercostal muscles contract while your external intercostal

muscles relax.

Your ribs move downwards and inwards. Your sternum also moves down to
its original position.

The volume of your thoracic cavity decreases.

Your lungs are compressed and air pressure inside them increases as the
volume decreases.

Air pressure within the lungs is now higher than atmospheric pressure. The air is
forced out of your lungs to the exterior.


When you inhale, you...
Relax your
Internal intercostal muscles and
Contract your
External intercostal muscles
When you exhale, your...
External intercostal muscles
Relax and your
Internal intercostal muscles
Understand the biological consequences of smoking on the lungs and
circulatory systems:
Lung cancer The tar in smoke has many cancer causing carcinogens.
Bronchitis Tar in smoke severely damages the ciliated epithelial cells in the
lining of the bronchi and trachea - cilia cannot now sweep up mucous, leading to
Emphysema The smoke damages and causes the walls of the alveoli to
break down and fuse together, forming inefficient irregular airspaces, so gas
exchange is very inefficient and so less oxygen is received, thus simple tasks like
walking are made difficult.
Carbon monoxide in smoke CO bonds more tightly with hemoglobin than
with O2 thus eventually many red blood cells form tight bonds
with the CO,
reducing the amount of O 2 reaching cells this makes physical activity very
Factors that limit the rate of photosynthesis
1) Temperature

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A low temperature will limit the rate as the molecules will move less and
therefore the reaction happens slower
2) Carbon dioxide
A shortage of the rate as fewer molecules will be available for the reaction.
3) Light intensity
A shortage of light means there is less energy to power the reaction.
Limiting factors explained:
Light, temperature and the availability of carbon dioxide interact and in practice
any one of them may be the factor that limits photosynthesis.
If one of these factors is closest to its minimum value it will limit the rate.
Increasing this factor will increase the rate.
The rate will continue to increase until another factor becomes limiting.
Any further increase in the original factor will now not increase the rate.
With no limiting factors, increasing a factor above a certain level will not
increase the rate. All chlorophyll molecules are being used.
Gas Exchange in the leaf - key points:
The surface area of leaves is increased by the flattened shape and internal air
Most photosynthesis takes place in the palisade cells.
Carbon dioxide needs to reach the palisade cells.
Plants have stomata to obtain carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
This carbon dioxide is used in photosynthesis.
The size of stomata is controlled by guard cells, which surround them.
Stomata open during daylight hours, to enable carbon dioxide to diffuse in.
The process by which plants lose water vapour from the surface of their
It evaporates into the air spaces in the leaf, and then diffuses out through the
Transpiration is more rapid in hot, dry and windy conditions: Page 5
O Heat causes the water to evaporate quicker.
O Dry conditions increases the water vapour concentration gradient. Wind
moves the water vapour away from the leaf, maintaining the concentration
Most of the water lost by transpiration leaves through the stomata.
Stomata close when it is dark, when carbon dioxide is not required.


This reduces the amount of water lost by the plant at a time when it is not
needed for photosynthesis.
If plants lose water faster than the roots replace it, the stomata can close to
prevent wilting.
2.17 describe the process of photosynthesis and understand its
importance in the conservation of light energy to chemical energy

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Photosynthesis is the process in which energy- from the sunlight- is used to

create glucose and then energy.
Light energy is absorbed by chlorophyll in plants leaves. It is then used to
convert carbon dioxide (fsrom the air) and water (from the ground) into glucose;
which is used for respiration. Oxygen is a by-product of this process.
This is using light energy, from the sun, to create chemical energy (glucose);
which conserves the energy from the sun.
Factors limiting photosynthesis
Three factors can limit the speed of photosynthesis: light intensity, carbon
dioxide concentration and temperature.



Without enough light, a plant cannot photosynthesise very quickly, even if

there is plenty of water and carbon dioxide.
Increasing the light intensity will boost the speed of



Sometimes photosynthesis is limited by the concentration

of carbon dioxide in the air. Even if there is plenty of light, a
plant cannot photosynthesise if there is insufficient carbon dioxide.


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If it gets too cold, the rate of photosynthesis will decrease. Plants

cannot photosynthesise if it gets too hot as its enzymes denature.
If you plot the rate of photosynthesis against the levels of these
three limiting factors, you get graphs like the ones to the left.

2.20 describe the structure of the leaf and explain

how it is adapted for photosynthesis
Leaves have a large surface area; this allows them to
absorb more sunlight. They are also thin, meaning that carbon
dioxide has a shorter way to travel. In addition the stomata allow the entrance of
carbon dioxide. Waxy cuticle reduces excess
The more complex adaptations are of
internal leaf structure.
epidermis is thin and
more light can reach
the palisade cells
the upper epidermis.
The palisade cells
themselves are to the
top of
the leaf so they can
absorb more if the
they contain chloroplasts so
that they can
The spongy layer has air spaces in: these allow for carbon dioxide to diffuse
through the leaf, and they increase the surface area.
2.21 understand that plants require mineral ions for growth and that
magnesium ions are needed for chlorophyll and nitrate ions are needed
for amino acids
As well as water and sunlight, plants require mineral ions to grow. Different
mineral ions do different things, two key examples of this are that: magnesium
ions are needed for chlorophyll; nitrate ions are needed for amino acids. A lack
of nitrates result in stunted growth and a lack of magnesium ions results in
yellowed leaves.

4th Form iGCSE Biology Notes

1.3 recall the term pathogen and know that pathogens
may be fungi,
bacteria, protoctists or viruses.
Pathogens are micro-organisms that cause disease.
Bacteria, fungi, viruses and Protoctists all cause disease in a variety of ways.
For example, bacteria release toxins. Another useful example of pathogens
causing disease is viruses destroying host cells. Pathogenic protoctista include
plasmodium, which causes malaria.

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1.2 describe the common features shared by organisms within the

following main groups
Multicellular organisms
Their cells contain chloroplasts able to carry out photosynthesis
Their cells have cellulose cell walls
They store carbohydrates as starch or sucrose, which is how sugars are
typically translocated in the phloem, and is stored sometimes in fruit
formation, the ovaries after fertilisation (sucrose is a disaccharide of
Fructose and Glucose; Fructose and Glucose are in turn isomers of each
other) F-G-F-G-F-G-F-G-F-G-F-G = S
Examples include flowering plants, such as a cereal (for example maize),
and a herbaceous legume (for example peas or beans)
These are multicellular organisms
They have no cell walls
They usually have nervous coordination and are able to move from one
place to another (hence also no cell walls are important for flexibility)
They often store carbohydrate as glycogen
Examples include mammals (humans) and insects (mosquito)
Usually organised into a mycelium made from thread-like structures
called hyphae, which contain many nuclei, that are not separated by cell
walls i.e. the hyphae form continuous stretches of cytoplasm.
Mostly multicellular, apart from yeast
Their cells have walls made of polysaccharide chitin
They feed by extracellular digestion; secretion of digestive enzymes
onto organic dead material and absorption of the organic products
(saprotrophic nutrition consumption of only dead organic material)
They may store carbohydrate as glycogen
Examples include Mucor (hyphal example) and yeast (single cell example)
These are microscopic single-celled organisms
Prokaryotic no nucleus (enucleate), rather DNA/RNA/Genetic Material is
in a single circular chromosome loose in the cytoplasm
Cell wall made of protein polysaccharide some have an additional layer
outside of the wall capsule or slime layer.
Some have flagella, in order to move
They lack a nucleus but contain a circular chromosome of DNA/RNA
Plasmids are small circular rings of nucleic acid floating in the cytoplasm,
very important in genetic engineering
Some bacteria can carry out photosynthesis but most feed off other living or
dead organisms

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Examples include Lactobacillus bulgaricus (used in the production of yoghurt

from milk) and Pneumococcus (pathogen causing pneumonia)
Coccus round shaped
Bacillus rod shaped

These are microscopic single-celled organisms
Some, like Amoeba, that live in pond water, have features
an animal cell
Some like Chlorella, have chloroplasts and are more like plants
A pathogenic example is Plasmodium, responsible for causing malaria


*Algae are normally defined as protozoa because most algae are unicellular
units working closely with one another and those that are multicellular are
very simplistic structures, lacking the complexity and organs of plants
These are macro particles, proteins, smaller than bacteria
They are parasitic and can reproduce only inside living cells
reproduction is the only thing it can do from Mrs C Gren
They infect every type of living organism
They have a wide variety of shapes and sizes
They have Acellular structure but have a protein coat surrounding contain
one type of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, of only a few genes, that are
all that it is required to reproduce
Sometimes, they may inherit stolen membrane from a host cell called an
envelope may surround the virus particle
Examples include the influenza virus (causes flu) and HIV virus (causes







require nutrition
excrete their waste
respond to their surroundings
control their internal conditions
grow and develop.


*Viruses are interesting as they can only

reproduce, and that too only inside a living cell
from which they may inherit an envelope

Feeding relationships
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4.4 explain the names given to different trophic levels to include

producers, primary, secondary and tertiary consumers and
Different trophic levels= different feeding levels
Producer (turns light energy into chemical energy (photosynthesise food
Primary consumer (feeds on the producer and gains its energy heterotrophic)
Secondary consumers
Tertiary consumers
(Decomposers feed at every level)
N.B. The arrows in the food chain follow the direction of energy/biomass transfer.
The top consumer is known as the: Top Carnivore
Habitat: places in an ecosystem where one type of organism live (this could be
another organism itself, like for parasites or decomposers)
Population: how many organisms of the same species live in the same
Community: population of all species
Food web: diagram showing interrelations between food chains
Interactions within a food chain: 1. Feeding (Predation)
2. Cycles (e.g. Nitrogen Cycle)
3. Competition for resources
eaning they feed on others
Saprotrophic: a subset of heterotrophic, feeding only on dead things, decaying
them fungi and
Autotrophic: self feeding, making food via photosynthesising: plants, bacteria
or Protoctists.
Heterotrophic: animals are heterotrophic, m some bacteria do this
Bio-mass: the dry mass of organic material

4.5 understand the concepts of food chains, food webs, pyramids of

number, pyramids of biomass and pyramids of energy transfer


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A food chain shows the transfer of energy up across many trophic

levels, beginning with the producers then the primary consumers and so forth.

A food web links several animals within a habitat showing what consumes what
and is consumed by what. It shows the feeding interactions between food webs.


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A pyramid of number progresses through the trophic levels of a food chain

representing the number of each species by the area of the pyramid block.
All pyramids of bio-mass are in a true pyramid shape as energy and bio-mass
acquired from the trophic level below is used or lost (typically about 90%) at
each trophic level, so the level above will always have less bio-mass to feed on
and actually conserve. Only 10% of the biomass of an organism fed upon will
become part of the biomass of the predating organism.

A pyramid of biomass represents the dry biomass of each trophic level

by the area of a pyramid block.

4.7 explain why only about 10% of energy is transferred from one
trophic level to the next.
The reason why not all of the energy will make it to the next tropic level is that
some of it will be used up on the level it is at.
The energy is used for the life processes of the animal that it is in if a
mammal, a lot of energy is used for maintaining a high, constant body
Energy can be used for respiration and movement.
Some of the biomass is egested/excreted.
Things like bones or stalks may not be eaten.
4.6 understand the transfer of substances and of energy along a food
As one thing consumes another, the energy and other things inside it for
example fat and vitamins get transferred to the consumer, absorbed through

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the ileum and assimilated by cells. Glucose molecules not immediately needed
for respiration can be used to make glycogen for storage, building up bio-mass.
If you eat a fatty piece of beef you get the fat from the cow.

Nitrogen Cycle

n.b. N2 and O2 gas can combine under intense heat in lightening to

produce nitrates that fall to earth
n.b.The Haber Process is an industrial process by which fertilisers like
NH4NO3 are produced
Carbon cycle:
Carbon Cycle:

Vascular bundles

Xylem and phloem tissues are found in groups called vascular
bundles. The
position of these bundles varies in different parts of the plant. In a leaf, for
example, the phloem is usually found closer to the lower surface.

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Xylem vessels are tough and strong, so the vascular bundles are in the centre of
the root to resist forces that could pull the plant out of the ground.

The stem has to resist compression (squashing) and bending forces caused by
the plants weight and the wind. The vascular bundles are arranged near the
edge of the stem, with the phloem on the outside and the xylem on the inside.

2.51 describe the role of

phloem in transporting
sucrose and amino acids
between the leaves and
other parts of the plant
composed of living
cells, with cell walls
of Page37
cellulose and a
retained cytoplasm
At the end of each
cell is a cross sectional sieve plate, through which the living cytoplasm
extends, forming a long sieve tube
It transports products of photosynthesis, like sucrose (disaccharide of
isomers Fructose and Glucose) and amino acids from leaves to places

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that need them in the form of sap, like young leaves or roots that
must grow and synthesise proteins
Phloem cells do not have nuclei; rather, they are controlled by
companion cells in order to direct the contents to their destinations
Phloem translocation is the name given to the movement of sap around
the phloem network

Glucose and similar products of photosynthesis are transported as sucrose

Sucrose is soluble, making it easy to transport
It is non-reducing; it does not react like glucose so easily

2.52 describe the role of the xylem in transporting water and mineral
salts from the roots to other parts of the plant

Xylem is a continuous vessel of dead cells lined end to end, containing

no cytoplasm
Instead, they have a hollow lumen
The walls contain a woody, strong material called lignin, that makes
them strong enough to support the weight of the plant, and
impermeable to water so it does not decompose, weaken or leak
The cells begin life as normal cells, but gradually the cellulose cell walls
become impregnated with lignin in a process called lignification
In the Xylem as opposed to the Phloem, the fluid (water and inorganic
mineral salts like Nitrates, Phosphates, Magnesium, etc) only flow
from the roots up to the leaves due to the forces Page38
of adhesion and
cohesion upon water, the pressure from the phloem itself, and also the
transpiration stream which allows water to diffuse up easily.
Cohesion adhesion tension theory
This theory however describes the movement of water from roots to the

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leaves of a plant. Because of osmosis water from soil reach the xylem of
roots of a plant. Water molecules are bonded to each other by hydrogen
bonding, hence water form a string of molecules during its movement
toward xylem. The water molecules stick together (cohesion) and get
pulled up by the force called tension. This force is exerted because of the
evaporation at
the surface of
the leaf. Also,
attraction of the
water to the
aids this.

The theory is based

Cohesive and adhesive properties of water molecules to form an
unbroken continuous water column in the xylem.
Transpiration pull or tension exerted on this water column.
Xylem vessels are tubular structures extending from roots to the top of
the plants. Cells are placed one above the other, with their end walls
perforated forming a continuous tube. These are supported by xylem
tracheids which are characterised by having pores in their walls .one end
of xylem tube is connected with the root hairs via pericycle, endodermis
and cortex and another end is connected with the sub stomatal cavity in
the leaves via mesophyll cells. This tube is filled with water.
The water is filled inside the xylem capillaries and due to cohesion and
adhesion properties of water, it forms a continuous water column. The
water column cannot be broken or pulled away from the xylem walls
because of cohesion and adhesion of water.

2.53 explain how water is absorbed by root hair cells

Water enters root hair cells by osmosis from a higher water potential in
the soil to a lower water potential inside the root hair cells through a
partially permeable membrane. The roots are full of minerals, which
artificially lower the concentration of water inside the root cells, so water
is always drawn into them from the soil. This enables transpiration to
happen even if the soil is very dry. The roots take the
minerals up against the concentration gradient through a
selectively permeable membrane and is, therefore, an
example of active transport
concentration gradient be using
energy through a selectively permeable
with carrier proteins).
Root hair cells increase the roots surface area at a cellular level, whereas
the branching of roots increases surface area to volume ratio at a tissue
level. Increasing the surface area means it is easier for water to diffuse
through the partially permeable membrane and into the transpiration

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Mineral salts like phosphate, nitrates and magnesium cannot be retrieved
passively through diffusion as the concentration is higher in the roots than
in the soil to enable easy osmosis, therefore they are retrieved using
Active Transport and energy through a selectively permeable membrane
lined with carrier proteins that envelope nutrient ions on the outside of
the membrane that fit its shape, in order to release them into the root
cells, dissolved in the water.
2.54 understand that transpiration is the evaporation of water from the
surface of a plant roots
The absorbed water is transported through the roots to the rest of the plant
where it is used for different purposes:


is a reactant used in photosynthesis

supports leaves and shoots by keeping the cells rigid and turgid
cools the leaves by evaporation
transports dissolved minerals around the plant

Leaves are adapted for photosynthesis by having a large surface area, and
contain openings, called stomata to allow carbon dioxide into the leaf. Although
these design features are good for photosynthesis, they can result in the leaf
losing a lot of water. The cells inside the leaf have water on their surface. Some
of this water evaporates, and the water vapour can then escape from inside the
leaf by diffusion. To reduce loss the leaf is coated in a wax cuticle to stop the
water vapour escaping through the epidermis. Leaves usually have fewer
stomata on their top surface to reduce this water loss.
You should be able to explain why most plants will wilt if they get flooded by sea
water. (Hint: sea water contains many chemicals in solution, such as salt.
Osmosis will move water across the plant cell membrane, from the weaker to the
stronger solution.)
2.55 explain how the rate of transpiration is affected by changes in
humidity, wind speed, temperature and light intensity


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2.56 describe experiments to investigate the role of environmental

factors in determining the rate of transpiration from a leafy shoot
Investigating transpiration
The rate of transpiration off a leaf from specific sides can be investigated by
measuring the decrease in mass due to water loss, or by measuring the volume
of water absorbed.
Decrease in mass:
Cut the leaves from the plant, and one or both surfaces may be coated with
grease to prevent transpiration. The table shows some typical results:
Leaf 1

Leaf 2

Leaf 3

Leaf 4

Surface coated with grease


Upper only

Lower only


% decrease in mass



The results show that most transpiration happens from the lower surface of the
coating the upper surface caused water loss similar to coating no surface
at all (leaf 2 vs leaf 1)
coating the lower surface caused water loss similar to coating both
surfaces (leaf 3 vs leaf 4)
Water uptake can be measured by an instrument called a volume
The diagram below shows the apparatus set up for a potometer. Vaseline is
applied around the rubber bungs to ensure an airtight seal, thus the only
water loss from the apparatus is via transpiration. The function of the
reservoir is to allow the air bubble to travel back to the start of the
measuring scale on repeating the experiment. As water moves up through

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the plant the air bubble moves along the scale giving
measure of water absorbed by the
and hence

transpiration rate.

The faster the bubble moves, the greater the rate of water uptake - and so the
greater the rate of transpiration. You can vary the conditions to investigate the
effect of changing temperature, humidity, wind speed or light intensity (hair
dryer, heat, and lamps).
The following factors affect the rate of transpiration:
The opening and closing of the stomata is controlled by the guard cells.
In light, guard cells take up water by osmosis and become turgid.
Because their inner walls are rigid they are pulled apart, opening the
pore. In darkness water is lost and the inner walls move together closing
the pore.
Because of this, the transpiration rate is increased by an increase in light
Plants which live in extreme environments have adaptations to control their
transpiration rate.
Xerophytes live in deserts where water is scarce and evaporation is rapid, or in
windy habitats where evaporation can also be rapid. Their typical features are:

deep roots to reach water far underground

shallow spreading roots to collect occasional rainfall
leaves reduced to spines with minimum surface area for transpiration
reduced number of stomata to reduce transpiration rate
rolled leaves, leaf hairs and stomata sunk in pits to trap moist air,
increasing humidity and slowing diffusion of water vapour from the
rolled leaves also prevent wind from flowing easily on the underside of
the leaf, increasing the concentration gradient
waxy leaf cuticle which is thicker (preventing evaporation)
stomata opening at night and closed at midday when evaporation rate
would be highest and high brightness would (reversedPage42
stomatal rhythm).
storage of water in succulent tissues

The advantages and disadvantages of

sexual and asexual reproduction:
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Sexual reproduction involves the fusion of two haploid gametes. The advantages
of sexual reproduction are that the offspring may inherit beneficial qualities from
both parents, and that thus there are more alleles (gene variants), genetic
variation among the offspring, increasing the ability for an organism population
to collectively adapt to environmental changes. Genetic variation increases the
chances of a species survival as some individual organisms will be better
adapted to changes in the environment. The disadvantages of sexual
reproduction are that two parents are required, so it will take more time and
energy to reproduce this may be difficult in barren scenarios.
Asexual reproduction, on the other hand, does not involve gametes as the
offspring arise from one parent through cell division the offspring are clones.
Thus the advantages of asexual reproduction are that only one parent is
required, and that beneficial qualities are more likely to be passed on to the
offspring since all offspring are genetically identical to the parent. However, the
disadvantage of having genetically identical offspring is that there is less
variation, so the organism will be less adapted to changes in the environment.

Reproduction is the production of new organisms. Reproduction is

necessary to ensure the continuity of species.
Asexual reproduction produces genetically identical offspring from
one parent by mitosis or simple fission is bacteria. Genetically identical
offspring are called clones.
Sexual reproduction involves the fusion of two haploid gametes to
form a diploid zygote, producing genetically dissimilar offspring from two
parents. Gametes are special reproductive cells produced
themselves by meiosis (a type of cell division that reduces
chromosomes by half).
The process by which the nucleus of the male gamete fuses with the
nucleus of the female gamete to form a zygote is called fertilisation.
In Asexual Reproduction, before the cell divides, the nucleus divides
and each chromosome is copied into two identical nuclei.
The only variation or alleles producible in Asexual Reproduction are via
Genders are only present in organisms produced via Sexual
Male Gametes are Sperm
Female Gametes are Ova


A males cell will be a diploid as it has the full number of

chromosomes (46 for humans)
A females cell will also be a diploid as it has the full number of
chromosomes (46 for humans)
Both of these cells will split by meiosis, to create the gametes/sex
cells for fertilisation these cells have half the normal number of
chromosomes, and so are called haploids (23 for humans)
The nuclei of the gametes fuse to form a zygote in a process
called fertilisation now, the new cell, which is a variation of its
parent cells, is diploid (with 46 chromosomes in humans)
This zygote then splits continuously by mitosis to exponentially
create more and more cells, but this time they have the same

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number of chromosomes as before as the chromosomes are copied

before splitting
During this process, some cells move around and form differently
shaped structures and some specialise, as it begins to turn into an
Foetus is the name given to the developing embryo when it has
recognisable features, like hands and heads for humans

Sexual Reproduction:



Fusion of gametes combines

genetic information from two
parents and so results in variety
and alleles. Some may be better
adapted to the current conditions.
Also, they are more adapted to
move into new climates.

It requires a second parent and

finding a mate could require a lot of

The species has a greater chance of Finding a mate takes time and
survival in changing conditions as
sexual reproduction takes longer
there is more variety.
than asexual reproduction.

Asexual Reproduction:


Only one parent is required, so no

need for a parent to find a mate.

Lack of variation means that a

change in the environment could
mean that they all die out.

Large numbers can be produced in

a short time.

The lack in variation means they

are not suited to moving away.

All offspring are genetically

identical so can survive in the same
conditions as the parents. If parent
is well adapted, so will the



3.8 describe the structure and explain the function of the male and
female reproductive systems
Male reproductive system

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Testis - produce sperm cells by meiosis

Epididymus - store sperm
Vas deferens (sperm duct) - carries sperm to the penis
The prostate and two seminal vesicles - adds fluid to the sperm, creating
semen prostate makes semen alkali in order to neutralise acidic secretions in
vagina, also they add 80% of the semen volume via sugar based secretions
The urethra - carries sperm or urine to the end of, and out of the penis
Bladder - stores/holds urine

Female reproductive system

Ovaries here one haploid ovum (created here also by the meiosis of diploid
cells) matures from their follicles, before leaving behind yellow corpus
luteum (matured follicles where the egg has already left, from where
progesterone is produced)
Oviducts/Fallopian Tube - The site of fertilisation; carry the eggs/zygote to the
Uterus - develops the fertilised egg on the placenta along thePage45
uterus lining
(which sheds at time of menstruation)
Cervix - entrance to uterus
Uterus wall/Uterus composed of muscle which will stretch to accommodate
pregnancy and contract in delivery
Uterus lining accepts and develops the fertilised egg/zygote into embryo
then foetus then baby, and the lining is also where the placenta develops, so

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that it can exchange gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide, and also nutrients
and urea wastes

Uterus Space where embryo grows

Vagina where penis is introduced and so can collect the sperm cells and allow
them to move up through the cervix and towards the fallopian tube
NOTE: Fertilisation happens in the fallopian tube not the uterus (!), but
the zygote formed implants in the uterus lining with the placental
formation in pregnancy, in order to become an embryo by mitosis.
3.9 understand the roles of oestrogen and progesterone in the
menstrual cycle


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Ovary is the endocrine gland of Oestrogen:

Oestrogen causes:
1. Ovary lining to build up
2. Causes the hormone LH to be produced, which in turn cause the egg to
be released (ovulation) on day 14 (by causing the ovary wall to rupture
on about day 13)
The empty follicle now becomes the yellow corpus luteum - this starts
the production of progesterone:
Progesterone causes:
1. Ovary lining to be sustained unto day about day 25, when the lining and
egg begin to dissolve and break down
2. This causes the menstrual period to occur on about dayPage47
1 to 5
3. It also inhibits the maturation of another follicle
4. Progesterone is also secreted by the amnion in case of pregnancy, so that
the pregnancy is not aborted
3.10 describe the role of the placenta in the nutrition of the developing

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The embryo cannot breath, digest or excrete in the amniotic fluid in the amnion
The embryo quickly develops a placenta (the blood vessels and structures of the
placenta are of the embryo, not the mother!), which brings the mothers blood
supply very close to the foetus blood supply. The two blood streams never mix
(otherwise the mothers white blood cells would attack the foetus!), but they are
close enough for diffusion to occur.
Diffuse from foetus to mother - CO2, water, urea
Diffuse from mother to foetus - O2, glucose, amino acids, minerals
The placenta is adapted for diffusion in much the same way as other exchange
organs, i.e. it has;
- Huge surface area (it has lots of villi-like projections)
- Only a few cells thick, short diffusion pathway
- Blood supplies keep the concentration gradients high

Oxygen diffuses

from mother's blood to foetal

acids and
by facilit

diffusion into the foetal blood;

Sodium, potassium and calcium are actively transported into the foetal

Antibodies also pass from mother to foetus to give the foetus passive immunity
during the pregnancy and for a few months after birth.
Throughout pregnancy, the placenta releases oestrogen, progesterone, HPL
(Human Placental Lactogen), and CG (Chorionic Gonadotrophin).


Waste substances from the foetus are carried by the umbilical artery. They
diffuse into the blood-filled space and into the mother's vein to be carried away.
Nutrients are carried by the mother's artery to the placenta. They diffuse into
the capillaries of the foetus. They are taken to the foetus by the umbilical vein.

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Functions of the hormones released from the placenta

Stimulates growth of uterus.
Inhibits release of FSH.
Stimulates the duct system of the breasts to develop.
Inhibits lactation by inhibiting the release of prolactin.
Increases the sensitivity of the uterus to the hormone oxytocin (this
causes the uterus wall to contract).

Maintains the uterus lining/endometrium.

Stimulates the development of milk glands in the breasts.
Inhibits the release of prolactin.
Inhibits the release of FSH, which would cause another follicle to mature.

3.11 understand how the developing embryo is protected by amniotic

The amniotic fluid (mainly water) cannot be compressed much; it absorbs
pressure, so most force on the uterus wall will not harm the embryo
There is also the strong amnion sac surrounding the fluid to contain it and stop
it leaking, while a mucus plug keeps pathogens out at the cervix
3.12 understand the roles of oestrogen and testosterone in the
development of secondary sexual characteristics
Reproductive Hormones:
During puberty boys make testosterone in their testes and girls make oestrogen
in their ovaries

Sexual drive develops

Causes testes to drop & penis to enlarge
Triggers spermatogenesis (sperm manufacture)
Causes growth of pubic, facial and armpit hair
Causes larynx to enlarge (voice breaks)
Causes muscles to grow, increase in body mass

- Sexual drive develops


- Voice deepens but no sudden deepening

- Triggers menstruation cycle to begin; ovaries release an egg
every month until menopause (unless pregnancy or some other
condition that inhibits this, or even hormone induced

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contraceptives like The Pill)

- Causes maturation of vagina
- Causes breasts to grow
- Causes growth of pubic and armpit hair
- Causes hips to widen, rounded shape appears

Plant reproduction:
Flowers are important in the sexual reproduction of plants. They produce male
sex cells (pollen grains) and female sex cells (contained in the ovules). These
must meet for reproduction to begin - a process called pollination.

Parts of a flower



Protects the unopened flower


May be brightly coloured to attract insects


The male part of the flower, comprising an anther attached to

a filament


Produces the male sex cells (pollen) by meiosis


The top of the female part of the flower, which collects pollen


Produces the female sex cells (contained in the ovules) by



Here, the one ovum is stored per ovule


Provides support for the anthers


Through this, the pollen tube grows and digests in order to

reach the ovule, go through the micropyle and into the ovule
so the pollen nucleus can fuse with the ovums nucleus in

Small hole/weakened part of ovule through which pollen tube

can travel to the ovum (the tip of the pollen tube dissolves
Micropyle here) so the nuclei can fuse in fertilisation

Base just below the sepal that provides support to the flower
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The female parts of the flower, that after fertilisation may

form the seed and fruit

Insect-pollinated flowers
Flowers with brightly-coloured petals are usually insect-pollinated
flowers. Insects carry pollen from one flower to another.

Cross section through an insect-pollinated flower the nectary produces

sugary nectar to attract insects

Wind-pollinated flowers
Grasses have wind-pollinated flowers. They have small petals, and
their stamens and stigmas hang outside the flower.

Cross-section through a wind-pollinated flower


Pollination and flowers

Flowers are adapted for pollination by insects or by the wind.

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3.4 understand that the growth of the pollen tube followed by

fertilisation leads to seed and fruit formation
Pollination: the deposition of pollen from the anther of one flower onto the
stigma of a different flower of the same species. When pollination occurs, the
pollen grows a pollen tube which digests down the stigma of the flower. The
pollen tube carries the nucleus of the pollen through the ovary, and then through
a small weakened hole in the ovule called the micropyle; the nucleus of the
male gamete then fuses with the nucleus of the female gamete, the ovum fertilisation.
When fertilization has happen the flower will change in the following ways:

The petals may die and fall away, as they are now redundant


The zygote will begin to divide my mitosis and specialise into an embryo
plant this has a radical (small root) and plumule (small shoot)


The other contents of the ovule develop into cotyledons, which are
seed leaves (some plants may have two and so one can split the seeds
of these dicotleydons or some have one monocotyledons). The
Cotyledons provide the carbohydrate and lipid energy and food store for
the seed prior to, and during, germination


The ovule wall becomes the seed coat or the testa

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The micropyle remains, in order to allow some water to enter the seed
when conditions are met for germination


The seed as a whole is essentially the ovule and its contents


The surrounding ovary may fill up with sugars like fructose and sucrose
and expand to form fruits


The ovary wall

becomes the
fruit coat,
which can
take many

3.5 understand the conditions needed for seed germination

In order to germinate (grow into a new plant) seeds need the following
- Presence of water (all enzyme activities require aqueous media)
- Presence of Oxygen (seed needs to respire to live)
- Warmth/Correct temperature (recall enzymes work at optimum temp)
For experiments, pyrogailol in sodium hydroxide solution absorbs oxygen


N.B. When dormant, seeds are exceptionally dry in order to lower

metabolism and survive for many years without even germinating, until
the conditions are right
When a seed germinates the cells inside it start to grow rapidly and form the
new shoot and root. The seed contains a limited store of carbohydrate and lipid,

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which it uses as a fuel for respiration to provide the energy for growth. During
this stage the seed must produce leaves so it can begin to photosynthesize. The
danger is that the seed will run out of stored energy before it makes leaves. If
this happens it will die. Thus, before germination and the growth of roots and
shoots in order to begin photosynthesising its own energy source (glucose) for
respiration, it must continue to use up the carbohydrate and lipid source of the
Plants must disperse their seeds so that the germinating seeds do not
have too much competition that may reduce numbers. There are four
methods of dispersal:
1. Wind
2. Animal
3. Mechanical
4. Water
Artificial cloning in plants
Cloning plants has many important commercial implications - it allows a
successful variety of a plant to be produced cheaply in a short space of time and
on a massive scale.
Cuttings (Propagation):

Plant cuttings can be dipped in hormone rooting powder before planting

The simplest way to clone a plant is to take a cutting:
1. cut off a branch from the parent plant
2. remove the lower leaves and plant the stem in damp compost
3. plant rooting hormones in rooting powder can be used to encourage
new roots to develop
4. cover the cutting in a clear plastic bag to keep it moist and warm
After a few weeks, new roots develop and a new plant is produced.
Tissue culture:
Tissue culture is another artificial way to clone plants. It uses tiny pieces from
the parent plant, rather than cuttings. Sterile agar jelly with plant hormones
and lots of nutrients are needed. Tissue culture is more expensive and more
difficult than taking cuttings.

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Asexual reproduction in plants

Since there is only one parent involved in asexual reproduction, the
offspring are genetically identical to the parent and to each other they
are clones.

Some plants naturally produce side branches with plantlets on them. The
spider plant does this. Other plants, such as strawberries, produce
runners with plantlets on them.

Strawberry plant with runners stems growing sideways


Many plants naturally develop underground food storage organs that later
develop into the following years plants - potato tubers and
daffodil bulbs
are examples of this.

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Daffodil bulb at the start and end of spring

i.e. natural = bulbs, runners
i.e. artificial = cuttings, tissue culture
5.1 describe how glasshouses and polythene tunnels can be used to
increase the yield of certain crops
- The transparent material allows sufficient natural light for
photosynthesis during the summer months, while additional lighting
gives a 'longer day' during the winter.
The greenhouse effect also happens in greenhouses. Short wave radiation
entering the greenhouse becomes longer wave radiation as it reflects off
surfaces. This longer wave radiation cannot leave, so the greenhouse
heats up.
Burning fuels to raise the temperature when the external heat is too low
also produces carbon dioxide and water vapour. The water vapour
maintains a moist atmosphere (high humidity) and therefore reduces
the loss of water by transpiration. The carbon dioxide is a raw material
of photosynthesis and a limiting factor, so increasing Photosynthesis
increases the rate of photosynthesis and thus growth, too. Interestingly,
inefficient burning of fuels can lead to production of ethane gas, which
stimulates fruit ripening.
Glasshouses also protect plants from things such as strong winds and
heavy rain, or spring frost. They can even protect against consumers
and predators.
Also, growing plants in a hydroponic culture provides exactly the right
balance of mineral ions for the specific crop being grown.

5.3 Fertilisers


Understand the use of fertilizers to increase crop yield

We can increase the growth of plants in farming by the application
of fertilizers to the soil. Fertilisers are usually in the form
of nitrate and phosphate, or combination of both.

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These compounds go down into the soil and are taken up from the root
structure, and move in the transpiration stream up to the leave.
Potassium essential for plant membranes
Nitrate essential for making plant proteins
Phosphate essential for DNA and membranes
(Magnesium - to make chlorophyll)
Fertilisers can be divided into two groups:
1. Organic fertilizers
Produced from animal waste on farm
This usually take the forms like Cow faeces, collected by the farmer
It often goes through the process
of decomposition and fermentation and form a substance known
as slurry.
This gives crop plant a supply of nitrate and phosphate to promote
2. Artificial fertilizers
Take the forms of chemicals
Potassium nitrate
Ammonium nitrate
Apply to the field, they will go into solution in the soil water. This will
release nitrates and promote growth in the same way as it would do at the
Problems with fertilizers: Eutrophication:
1. Rainwater can dissolve nitrates from farmers fertilizers
2. The nitrates are leached into rivers
3. Increased concentration of nitrates causes algal blooms where algae
grow and multiply very fast
4. This cuts off light to the river-bed plants, making photosynthesis harder;
they then die
5. Decomposition Bacteria that decay plants use up the rivers
oxygen, and no oxygen is put back into the river as plants cannot
photosynthesise and die
6. The lack of oxygen - the water is anoxic - causes sea-life like fish to die
5.4 understand the reasons for pest control and the advantages and
disadvantages of using pesticides and biological control with crop
When all the crops are of the same type in (say, a field) we call this a
Monocultures are typically susceptible to pests due to abundance, presence
often for large amounts of time per year, and also lack of variation. This
can lead to financial losses on the behalf of the farmer.Page57
To overcome this farmers have two solutions:
Biological Control:
Biological control introducing a biological organism which will eat the pest, but
not the crop plant (e.g. birds are sometimes encouraged inside greenhouses
because they eat caterpillars)

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. No toxic chemicals, no bioaccumulation etc
. Less impact on the wildlife, or humans
- Not 100% effective
Can be difficult to control, there is a danger that the introduced species
would start preying on an alternative prey so it will not die out
It is difficult to match a predator to prey, and so can just find alternative
prey instead, being detrimental to environment
It can take a long time
Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill the pest but not the crop.
- Pesticides are chemicals so they are easy to obtain

Easy to apply

Very effective

- Pesticides can be toxic, they could kill other animals and plants, then the
pests they are aimed to kill; pesticides can also be harmful to humans

Bioaccumulation is when non-biodegradable pesticides build up through

the food chain, causing problems for animals higher in the food chain

Mutation/adaptation in the pests often leads to resistance which means

pesticides have to be applied in higher concentration therefore the
pesticide is more toxic or the pesticide no longer works and then the
farmers have to find alternative pesticides

Bioaccumulation is when toxins build up in a food chain. The animals at the top of the
food chain are affected most severely.
This is what happens:

Small amounts of toxic substances - often from human activity - are taken up by
These plants are eaten by primary consumers.


The primary consumers are eaten by secondary consumers, Page58

and the secondary
consumers are eaten by higher level consumers.


At each stage (trophic level) of the food chain, harmless substances are excreted
but the toxins remain in the tissues of the organisms - so the concentration of toxin
becomes most concentrated in the body tissues of the animals at the top of the food

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An example of bioaccumulation is the use of DDT as an insecticide in the 1950s and

1960s. Birds of prey were badly affected because it made the shells of their eggs very
thin, causing them to break easily when the birds tried to incubate them.
Pesticides are non biodegradable, and so continue to be absorbed in tissue.

5.5 understand the role of yeast in the production of beer

Production of beer:
1. Barley seeds are germinated by soaking in water and laying out on flat
surface in malthouse. When germinating, the barley seeds produces
amylase enzyme, which can digest starch into maltose later when
2. The seeds are killed to make malt
3. Malt is ground up and mixed with water in a mash tun. Amylase breaks
down starch into maltose, leaving sweet liquid.
4. Mash is boiled and filtered.
5. Bitter Hops are added for taste and preservatives, and yeast is added,
which begins fermenting the sugars into alcohol: glucose/maltose
ethanol + carbon dioxide
6. Beer is centrifuged, filtered and sometimes pasteurised
7. Beer is put into casks or barrels
Investigating fermentation
One way to investigate fermentation is to study the production of carbon dioxide
under different conditions. In the presence of carbon dioxide:
limewater turns cloudy white (milky)
hydrogen carbonate indicator changes from orange to yellow
Set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram.

Fermentation experiment
1. Dissolve sugar in previously boiled water, making sure no oxygen bubbles
2. Add yeast and mix to form a suspension, and pour into a boiling tube.
3. Add a layer of parrafin oil.
4. Connect a delivery tube to a second boiling tube, this time containing
limewater or hydrogencarbonate indicator (red to yellow).
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5. Do the same for control with boiled yeast

The layer of paraffin oil prevents oxygen entering the mixture, while allowing
carbon dioxide to escape. It usually takes an hour or so for fermentation to be
visible. The number of bubbles over a set time can be counted, or the
appearance of the indicator can be compared to a control containing boiled
(dead) yeast. The conditions that can be investigated include:

concentration of sugar

Making yoghurt
Some bacteria are useful to us. They may be useful in making:

silage (fermented plant material used to feed cattle and sheep in winter)

Yoghurt is made from pasteurised milk using bacteria

Understand the role of bacteria (Lactobacillus) in the production of


1. Cow produces milk through the process of milk production.

1. Milk goes through process called pasteurization to remove
pathogens such as TB bacillus. This heat treatment kills off
any pathogens in the milk.

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1. Milk sugars are converted into lactic acid. This is brought

about by incubating the milk by 45-46 Celsius and add
lactobacillus, which produces the enzyme that breaks down
the milk sugar lactose to produce lactic acid.
Lactic acid results in lower pH, creating acidic condition. This
causes milk proteins to denature, and also preserves
the yoghurt for longer from pathogens by making the
pH level lower. Coagulation.
Milk proteins will solidify. This solidification of milk product
produces what we called yoghurt.
Fish farming
Within fish farms large numbers of fish are kept in freshwater or seawater tanks
and enclosures. This keeps the amount of space needed to a minimum but the
fish may fight unless kept in separate tanks:
intraspecific competition (competition between individuals of the same
species) is reduced by keeping fish of different ages/sizes in separate

interspecific competition (competition between individuals of different

species) is reduced by keeping different species of fish in separate tanks

In addition, male and female fish are kept in separate tanks unless the farmer
wants them to breed.
Fish farming has some advantages over sea fishing, including:

controlled water quality: temperature, pH, nutrients, etc

protection against predators (cages/nets)
other competing species are kept out (pesticides/biological control)
frequent feeding allows for rapid growth
fish can be kept more densely together, increasing internal temperature
and so enzyme activity
selective breeding can increase the yield by only putting in the same tank
larger fish or less aggressive fish
interspecific competition can be eliminated by only keeping fish of the
same species in the same tank, whilst intraspecific competition can be
reduced by only keeping similar size/age fish in the same tank

The fish kept in fish farms may be the products of selective breeding, for
example to produce fish that grow faster than wild fish.
There are drawbacks to fish farms:

There is a greater risk of disease because the fish may be closely related
due to selective breeding and they live closely together.
Sterile water, pesticides and antibiotics may be neededPage61
to control
The large amounts of waste produced by the fish must be removed
regularly, and this may cause eutrophication of the surrounding water.
The fish may be fed using pellets made from other, less valuable fish that
may have been caught from the wild. This has the potential to damage
wild fish stocks.

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5th Form iGCSE Biology Notes

The removal of waste products of metabolism from living organisms
Excretion in Flowering Plants

2.67 understand the origin of carbon dioxide and oxygen as waste products of metabolism
and their loss from the stomata of a leaf
CO2 and O2 are excreted by leaves via the stomata. O2 is excreted during photosynthesis
and CO2 is excreted during respiration, and they are released through the stomata of a leaf,
controlled by guard cells.
2.68 recall that the lungs, kidneys and skin are organs of excretion
Excretion in Humans:
Humans have 3 main excretory organs;
1. Lungs excrete CO2 and H2O
2. Skin excretes H2O
3. Kidneys excrete H2O, urea, excess minerals and other wastes.
2.70 describe the structure of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder
and urethra
2.71 describe the structure of a nephron, to include Bowmans capsule and
glomerulus, convoluted tubules (proximal PCT and distal DCT), loop of
Henley and collecting duct
The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney; i.e. where both
ultrafiltration and osmoregulation occurs
2.72 describe ultrafiltration in the Bowmans capsule and the composition of the
glomerular filtrate
Blood in the Afferent Arteriole leading to the Glomerulus is at High
Pressure with a greater diameter; the renal artery is directly connected
to the aorta.
The Efferent Arteriole is narrow, thus leading to a high pressure in the
high pressure forces the plasma in blood, and the solutes
dissolved like H2O, salts, Amino Acids, Glucose, Urea , and is called the
Glomerular Filtrate

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2.73 understand that water is reabsorbed into the blood from the collecting duct
Too much water is present in the Glomerular Filtrate, and so excess is
Selectively Reabsorbed in the Collecting Ducts
2.74 understand that selective reabsorption of glucose occurs at the proximal
convoluted tubule
Selective reabsorption of glucose molecules from the Glomerular Filtrate
occurs in the first Proximal Convoluted Tubule; it gets filtered out because
it is a small molecule dissolved in the blood plasma
Normally no glucose is present in urine , but if a positive test is received, it
can be an indication of diabetes - insulin stimulates glucose uptake by
increasing the permeability of the first convoluted tubules but in diabetics
there is a deficiency of insulin, therefore too little glucose it taken up in the
kidneys, leading to high blood sugar levels
The reabsorption of glucose is facilitated by INSULIN
2.76 understand that urine contains water, urea and salts
2.75 describe the role of ADH in regulating the water content of the blood
Key Terms
ADH (Anti-Diuretic Hormone)
A hormone released from the pituitary gland which helps water levels in the
body, as and when excess/lack of water is detected by the hypothalamus.
Specialised nerve cells, called osmoreceptors, in the hypothalamus of the brain
sense the Na concentration of the blood. The nerve endings of these
osmoreceptors are located in the posterior pituitary gland and secrete ADH.
The more concentrated the plasma, the more ADH is released into the blood.
When the ADH reaches the kidneys, it causes them to reabsorb more water. This
keeps more water in the body and produces more concentrated urine.
When the plasma is more dilute, less ADH is released into the bloodstream. This
allows more water to leave the kidneys, producing a more dilute urine.
This method of control is an example of negative feedback.
ADH, which is secreted by the pituitary gland, controls the ability of water to
pass through and away from the cells in the walls of the collecting ducts (by


controlling its permeability). If no ADH is present, then no water can pass

through the walls of the ducts. The more ADH present, the more water can pass
through as ADH makes the collecting duct walls more permeable. More ADH

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makes the concentration of the urine greater and the volume lower.
It is ADHs responsibility to makes sure water concentration/potential of
blood is isotonic with the cytoplasm of cells, so that they neither crenate
nor undergo lysis.
When blood water levels are too low:
1. Hypothalamus detects
2. Pituitary gland releases ADH into bloodstream
3. ADH travels all over the body
4. Only the cells in the collecting duct of the nephrons of the kidney have
receptors for ADH, so only they respond to the hormone
5. The collecting duct becomes more permeable
6. Water is drawn out of the collecting duct back into the blood
7. Water levels return to normal
When blood water levels are too high:
1. Hypothalamus detects
2. Pituitary gland releases less ADH into bloodstream
3. Less ADH travels all over the body
4. Only the cells in the collecting duct of the nephrons of the kidney have
receptors for ADH, so only they respond to the hormone
5. The collecting duct becomes less permeable
6. Water is not drawn out of the collecting duct back into the blood
7. Water levels return to normal
How alcohol and ecstasy affect ADH
Alcohol suppresses ADH production. This causes the kidneys to produce more dilute
urine. It can lead to dehydration.
Ecstasy increases ADH production. This causes the kidneys to reabsorb water. It can
result in the body having too much water.


2.69 understand how the kidney carries out its roles of excretion and osmoregulation
(osmoregulation happens as if the tissue fluids in the body are either hypotonic or

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hypertonic to the cytoplasm in the cells, the cells may undergo lysis or crenation

# 91 Function of the kidney - filtration and reabsorption

The function of the kidney is to filter blood, removing urea and excess H2O, reabsorbing
glucose, some H2O and some mineral salts.
Urine is made by filtration and selective reabsorption
As blood passes through the kidneys, it is filtered. This removes most of the urea from it,

and also excess H2O and salts.

As this liquid moves through the kidneys, any glucose in it is reabsorbed back into the blood.
Most of the H2O is also reabsorbed along with some of the salts.


The final liquid produced by the kidneys is a solution of urea and salts in water. It is called
urine, and it flows out of the kidneys, along the ureters and into the bladder. It is stored in the
bladder for a while, before being released from the body through the urethra.

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Filtration happens in renal capsules

Renal Artery is connected directly to the Aorta, for maximum pressure so that
ultrafiltration at the renal capsule is maximised!
Blood is brought to the renal capsule in a branch of the renal artery. Small molecules,
including water and most of the things dissolved in its, are squeezed out of the blood into
the renal capsule.
There are thousands of renal capsules in the cortex of each kidney. Each one is shaped like
a cup. It has a tangle of blood capillaries, called a glomerulus, in the middle. The blood
vessels bringing blood to each glomerulus is quite wide, but the one taking blood
away is narrow. This means that the blood in the glomerulus cannot get away easily.
Quite a high pressure builds up, squeezing the blood in the glomerulus against the
capillary walls. Also, the Renal Arteries are connected directly to the Aorta, for
maximum pressure so that ultrafiltration at the glomerulus is maximised!
These walls have small holes in them. So do the walls of the renal capsules. Any molecules
small enough to go through these holes will be squeezed through, into the space in the
Bowmans Capsule/ Glomerular.
Only small molecules can go through. These include water, salt, glucose and urea. Most
protein molecules are too big, so they stay in the blood, along with the blood cells. Some
water and salt is selectively reabsorbed, controlled by the hormone ADH which determines
the permeability of the walls of collecting ducts, and most glucose is also reabsorbed. Insulin
for sugar.

2.71 describe the structure of a nephron, to include Bowmans capsule and

glomerulus, convoluted tubules, loop of Henley, collecting duct


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How Urine is made

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The fluid in the renal capsule is a solution of glucose, salts and urea dissolved in water.
Some of the substances in this fluid are needed by the body. All of the glucose, some of the
water and some of the salts need to be kept in the blood.
Wrapped around each kidney tubule are blood capillaries. Useful substances from the fluid
in the kidney tubule are reabsorbed, and pass back into the blood in these capillaries.
The remaining fluid continues on its way along the tubule. By the time it gets to the
collecting duct, it is mostly water, with urea and salts dissolved in its. It is called urine. The
kidneys are extremely efficient at reabsorbing water. Over 99% of the water entering the
tubules is reabsorbed.
The relative amount of water reabsorbed depends on the state of hydration of the body
(how much water is in the blood), and is controlled by secretion of the hormone ADH from
the pituitary gland, as the blood water level is checked by the hypothalamus.
On a hot day: we sweat more to cool down --> the body needs to conserve water -->
produce a small amount of concentrated urine.
On a cold day: little sweat is being produced --> we tend to produce a larger volume of dilute
Filtered blood returns to the vena cava (main vein) via a renal vein, at lower pressure.
Naturally the blood after the glomerulus and before reabsorption of water occurs is the most
viscous. The urine formed in the kidney passes down a ureter into the bladder, where it is
stored. A sphincter muscle controls the release of urine through urethra.

Blood sugar
Glucose in the blood stream
A bag/sac in animals stores urine prior to urination


A thick layer of fat between the skin and the muscle layers of whales and other
marine mammals, from which an oil is obtained.
Kidney tubule / Nephron Filtration

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Unit found in the kidney. Each kidney has millions.

Pelvis Funnel/Pelvic Region
Shaped cavity of the kidney into which urine is emptied before it drains into the ureter, after
the collecting ducts start joining in the Medulla and into the Pelvic Region
Bowman's capsule
Hollow cup of cells that surround the glomerulus. This is where filtrate enters the
A ball of blood capillaries under high pressure, which act as the site of ultrafiltration
Glomerular filtrate
Fluid forced from the blood out of the capillaries of the glomerulus into the Bowman's
capsule by ultrafiltration (the blood vessels leading away from the glomerulus are
much thinner than those coming into it, thus there is great pressure in the
glomerulus and small solutes are forced out into the nephron). Composed of water,
salts, glucose and urea.
The process where small molecules are forced from the blood out of the capillaries of the
glomerulus, under high pressure, into the Bowman's capsule.
Loop of Henley
U-shaped loop that runs down into the medulla of the kidney, from which water and salts are
resorbed into the blood
Cortex (of the kidney)
The outer layer of the kidney - less salty that the Medulla.

A condition where little or no insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response
to an
increase in blood sugar level

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The separation of smaller molecules from larger molecules in a solution by

selective diffusion through a semi-permeable membrane
The movement of the molecules from an area of high concentration to an area of
low concentration down a concentration gradient.
The act or process of discharging waste matter from blood, tissues, or organs
A polymer of glucose that is the main form of carbohydrate storage in animals and
occurs primarily in the liver and the muscle tissue. It is readily converted into
glucose as needed by the body to satisfy its energy needs.
The maintenance of a constant internal environment inside a living organism
A substance produced by one tissue and transported by the bloodstream to
another to effect a physiological change.
Selective reabsorption
Process where specific molecules are removed from the nephron and put back
into the blood. Occurs in the first coiled tubule of the nephron. For example,
glucose is part of the Glomerular filtrate but is reabsorbed via collecting ducts into
the blood stream.
A region of the brain that coordinates the activity of the pituitary gland and is
responsible for temperature regulation
An abnormally low body temperature

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A hormone secreted by the pancreas and involved in the regulation of the
metabolism of carbohydrates in particular the conversion of glucose to glycogen,
which lowers the blood glucose level.
A pair of organs that maintain proper water and electrolyte balance regulate acidbase concentration, and filter the blood of metabolic wastes which are then
excreted as urine.
Medulla (of the kidney)
The central and more deeper part of the kidney, more concentrated with salts. It
has bulges called pyramids extending to the inside/concave side of the kidney.
Nephrons join up at the Medulla, before emptying urine into the pelvis and then
The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are
necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken
down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life,
are synthesised.
Negative feedback
Feedback that reduces the output of a system.
Renal artery
An artery originating from the aorta and supplying the kidney. It is linked directly to
the aorta to provide a large blood pressure for ultrafiltration. Kidneys get 1/4 of
the bodys cardiac output for this reason.
Renal vein

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A vein that returns blood to the heart via the inferior vena cava. It naturally has
regulated salt, regulated water content, less oxygen, and no urea as compared
with blood just before the glomerulus.
Selective Reabsorption
Useful materials like amino acids, sugars, etc are reabsorbed into the blood at
the proximal convoluted tubule. Water is reabsorbed at the Loop of Henley this is where urine is made. Focussed osmoregulation occurs in the distal
convoluted tubule and the collecting duct, as here the permeability and thus
rate of water reabsorption can be altered by Anti-diuretic Hormone (ADH)
produced by the pituitary gland. More water is reabsorbed if the level of water
in the body is low. Conversely, less is reabsorbed if blood water level is hight - this
is Negative Feedback!
This can happen either in the Cortex but mainly in the Medulla as here the
concentration of salts is greater.
To excrete perspiration or moisture through the pores in the skin.
A water-soluble compound that forms the bulk of the nitrogen containing waste
present in urine. It is the end product of protein metabolism - when ammonia is
formed in the body as a result of deamination of excess amino acids in the liver
(removal of amino group like NH2), it is corrosive and so is connected to CO2
particles changing it into urea and water. It is carried from the liver in the blood to
the kidneys. The highest concentration of urea is in the Hepatic Vein. The
urea is removed during ultrafiltration at the kidneys.


When amino acids are broken down they make ammonia, which is toxic, so the
liver turns ammonia into urea.
Urea is the product of the metabolism of amino acids

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The long, narrow duct that conveys urine from the kidney to the bladder.
The duct through which urine is discharged from the bladder and through which
semen is discharged in the male.
The waste product secreted by the kidneys that in mammals is discharged from
the body through the urethra after the sphincter muscles at the bladder relax; it
consists of some water, urea and salts as well as other metabolic wastes and
toxins being excreted.
Dilation/Expansion of a blood vessel, usually to bring the blood vessel closer to
the surface of the skin - i.e. when hot, so heat loss to outside air can be
Constriction of a blood vessel, usually to move them away from the skin surface i.e. when cold, so heat loss to outside air is restricted.
A passive process in which some of the molecules of a solution move across a
semi-permeable membrane from a region of high water potential to one of low
water potential. It does not require respiration but does require living cell
A long, irregularly shaped gland lying behind the stomach, the secrets pancreatic


enzymes like amylase, proteases and lipase and juice into the duodenum and
insulin into the bloodstream.
Partially (or selectively for active transport) permeable membrane

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A membrane which allows some substances to diffuse through, but not others.

Coordination and response

Homeostasis = the maintenance of constant internal body conditions
Students will be assessed on their ability to:
2.77 understand that organisms are able to respond to changes in their

Stimulus > Receptor > Coordination > Effector > Response

2.78 understand that homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal

environment and that body water content (OSMOREGULATION - think kidneys,
collecting duct, Hypothalamus, permeability, ADH, pituitary gland) and body
temperature (THERMOREGULATION) are both examples of homeostasis - maintaining
a constant body temperature is done by Homeothermic animals and this is called
Thermoregulation, and is done in order to maintain close to optimum temperature for
their metabolism and so enzymes can function most productively.

THERMOREGULATION (it is a negative feedback loop: when hot, it tries to make the
body temperature cooler to 37 degrees but when cold, tries to increase it):

STIMULUS = Temperature of the body, specifically the blood

RECEPTOR = Thermoregulatory Centre is located in the Hypothalamus
CO-ORDINATION = hormones/nerve impulses (Central Nervous System)
RESPONSE is of negative feedback = Shivering
Vasoconstriction - blood flow diverted from outer blood vessels, causing
them to to contract and move away from the skin surface, thereby
reducing the rate of heat loss to outside. Done by tiny sphincter muscles.
Hairs raised - tiny erector muscles contract.

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Vasodilation - increasing blood flow to outer blood vessels causes them to

dilate and extend closer to the skin, increasing the rate of exchange of
heat to the outside. Done by tiny sphincter muscles.
Hairs flat - tiny erected muscles relax.

OSMOREGULATION - so that water concentration is isotonic with cell cytoplasms

RECEPTOR = Hypothalamus
CO-ORDINATION = (Chemical with ADH) Brain + Spine = Central Nervous System
EFFECTOR = Kidney - specifically, the collecting tubes of nephrons
RESPONSE = Regulated/ Filtered Blood

Stimulus = Change in the external or internal environment

Coordination = enables organisms to sense/detect stimuli in the environment or

internally and respond appropriately

Effector = Things like muscles/Glands that directly cause the response

2.79 understand that a coordinated response requires a stimulus, a receptor and
an effector
Flowering plants
2.80 understand that plants respond to stimuli
Plants respond to changes in the environment or stimuli, which could be things like
Temperature, Light, and Gravity.


The link between plant receptors, (effectors) and response usually takes the form of
hormones, like auxin.

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The response could be Growth or Tropisms etc. Response to light is phototropism and
response to gravity is geotropism.

2.81 describe the geotropic responses of roots and stems

Plants also respond to stimuli. As plants don't have nerves their responses are limited to
hormones only. Plants respond to the following stimuli;

- Gravity. Roots grow towards gravitational pull and stems grow away, therefore roots are
positively geotropic, whereas shoots are negatively geotropic. In roots Auxin actually
inhibits growth, therefore if a root begins to grow sideways or at an angle to the action of
gravity, auxin accumulates on the lower side; there is more growth on the upper side of
the root, therefore it grows/bends down towards the action of gravity.

- Water. Roots grow towards water. This is hydrotropic.

- Light. Shoots grow towards light. Shoots are positively phototropic. When plants are
growing, more auxin accumulates on the shaded side of the plant as opposed to the
illuminated side. This means the shoot grows more on the shaded side than the
illuminated one, growing/bending towards light.

Phototropism is controlled by hormones released by the growing tip of the shoot. Only the
tip makes the hormone. If you remove the tip, the shoot stops growing. The hormone
made by the tip is called Auxin. Auxin is a plant hormone that moves through the plant as
a solution in water, and is produced in the tips of shoots before diffusing backwards,
stimulating cell elongation.

You need to know an experiment that demonstrates Geotropism.


The best example is to grow a runner bean seed with a clinostat, which as it rotates

slowly should show that the root seems to be continuously turning as it trie to grow with
positive geotropism, in line with gravity. Let the root start to grow downwards first to show
that it is truly geotropic.

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You also need to know an experiment that demonstrates Phototropism. The best example
is to repeat the example above, but look at the growth of the shoot!

2.82 describe positive phototropism of stems

2.83 describe how responses can be controlled by nervous or by hormonal
Nervous System

Endocrine System

nerve impulses transmitted through nerve

cells as ions moving in and out of the
neurone - (chemicals are used at the

hormones transmitted through he

bloodstream, having been made by a gland

fast and instant

travel slowly and take longer to act

response is short lived

response lasts a long duration usually

ultra localised effect i.e. individual muscle


can have widespread effects on different

organs, so long as they have their cells
correct receptors - how widespread the
effect is is directly linked to how many
cells/effectors the hormone can affect

communication and understand the differences between the two systems

Neurotransmitter - Chemical involved in passing nerve impulses from one nerve cell
to the next across a synapse.

2.84 understand that the central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal

In neurones, the impulses are not an electrical current, but rather the
movement of ions through the axon, before chemicals sent across the
synapse or junction between neurones cause the same to happen for
the next neurone, and so on, sending the signal.


cord and is linked to sense organs by nerves - nerves are a bundle of neurones e.g.
spinal nerves, optic nerve, e.t.c

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2.85 understand that stimulation of receptors in the sense organs sends electrical
impulses along nerves into and out of the central nervous system, resulting
in rapid responses

2.86 describe the structure and functioning of a simple reflex arc illustrated by
the withdrawal of a finger from a hot object

Nerves & the Nervous system:

The nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord.
Sense organs (e.g. pain receptors in skin, or photoreceptors in the eye) are linked to the
brain via nerves.

Stimulation of the sense organs results in an electrical signal (a nerve impulse) being sent
along the nerve to the brain. Nerve impulses are very quick (~120m/s), allowing rapid
responses to the stimulus. This involves sensory neurones going to the spinal cord, up the
spinal cord, and to the brain, which then sends impulses down the spinal cord which then
go via motor neurones to effectors, which carry out actions. Some sense organs are not
connected directly to the brain. This is a defence mechanism allowing almost instant
responses to threatening or dangerous stimuli (e.g. pain). These instant responses are
controlled by nerves in the spine, rather than the brain and are called reflexes.

Reflex arcs are where the neurones go through the spinal cord only, not the brain, thus it is
an unconscious action. Usually, it is in order to protect from heat, force, danger, etc.

An example of a reflex is he iris reflex, in response to light levels changing as

determined by the retinal photoreceptors, causing the colliery muscles to
contract/relax, changing the shape of the lens for focussing

Receptor > Sensory neurone through the dorsal (dorsal = back) root ganglion,
which has the neurone cell body > Across a synapse to the relay neurone > Via a
synapse, impulses travel along motor neurone > Effector acts

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The Myelin Sheath is a fatty layer which prevents short circuits and speeds up

1. Stimulus is a hot object

2. Receptors send impulse along the sensory neurone
3. Sensory neurone goes through a dorsal root of the spine, going past the dorsal
root ganglion, where its cell body is
4. The impulse goes across a synapse to the relay neurone
5. The impulse then goes across another synapse, and is carried down the motor
6. This goes to the effector
7. Muscle fibres then contract, moving the hand away from the hot object
8. As you dont have to think about it, the action is a lot faster that if it is done


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2.87 describe the structure and function of the eye as a receptor

Reflexes in the eye:

Structure Function

Cornea - Initially refracts (bends) light entering the eye.

Iris - Controls the amount of light enter ring the eye by adjusting the size of the pupil.

Pupil - Hole which allows light into the eye.

Lens - Focuses light onto retina by changing shape.

Suspensory ligaments - hold the Lens into position

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Ciliary muscle - Changes the shape of the lens by altering the tension on the suspensory

Retina - Contains light-sensitive photoreceptor cells (rods = black and white, cones =
colours) which convert light energy into a nerve impulse (i.e. transduce light energy to
electrical energy).

Fovea - Area where most light is focused at the center of the retina, very sensitive to
colour (most cones here).

Optic nerve - Transmits nerve impulses to the brain, where they are interpreted.

Sclera - Outer protective layer of eye

Choroid - Make the interior dark by having lots of blood vessels, which prevents internal
reflection of light and nourishes the retina

Blind spot - no cones or rods/ photo receptors are present at this point of the retina, as it is
where the optic nerve leaves the eye.

Vitreous Humour - Jelly-like liquid that maintains eye pressure and shape behind the lens

Aqueous Humour - Runny fluid that nourishes the cornea and maintains the correct
pressure at the front of the eye.

Light is detected by photoreceptors in the eye. These receptors form the retina (the inner
lining of the eye). There are two types of photoreceptor;

- Rods, which see only in black & white

- Cones, which see in either red, blue or green (3 types of cone)

There are two types of reflex you need to know about in the eye;

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1. Responding to different light levels

2. Focusing the eye

Responding to different light levels:

In the dark
1. Photoreceptors detect
2. Reflex occurs
3. Muscles in the Iris are the effectors
- Radial muscles in Iris contract
- Circulatory muscles in Iris relax
4. Pupil diameter opens
5. More light enters the eye

In the light
1. Photoreceptors detect
2. Reflex occurs
3. Muscles in the Iris are the effectors
- Radial muscles in Iris relax
- Circulatory muscles in Iris contract
4. Pupil diameter closes
5. Less light enters the eye


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Focusing the eye (Accomodation):

Near Object
1. Incoming light is divergent
2. Ciliary muscles contract
3. Suspensory ligaments are loose
4. Lens becomes fat
5. Light is refracted more
Light converges on the retina

This is because the angle at which light rays approach the lens when near is greater
than if they are farther away, so must be refracted more, and so need a fatter,
rounder lens.

Distant Object
1. Incoming light is parallel
2. Ciliary muscles relax
3. Suspensory ligaments are tight
4. Lens is pulled thin
5. Light is refracted less

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Light converges on the retina

Controlling Skin temperature:

Too hot
When you are hot the following happen (controlled by reflexes);
1. Hairs on skin lie flat (less insulating air trapped)
2. Sweating starts
3. Blood is diverted close to the surface of the skin (more heat radiation)

Too cold
When you are cold the following happen (controlled by reflexes);
1. Hairs on skin stand up (more insulating air trapped)
2. Sweating stops
3. Shivering starts, so muscles respire more, producing more heat
4. Blood is diverted away from the surface of the skin (less heat radiation)

How is blood diverted?

Arterioles in the skin can open and close in response to nerve messages.

Vasoconstriction arteriole closes

Vasodilation arteriole opens

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The net effect is to open arterioles under the surface of the skin when hot and close them
when cold.

Hormones you need to know:

Control of blood glucose;

1. You eat a meal. It is digested and glucose is absorbed into the blood stream.
2. Blood glucose level rises
3. Pancreas detects
4. Pancreas releases insulin into bloodstream
5. Insulin travels all over the body
6. Only the cells in the liver have receptors for insulin, so only they respond to the
7. The liver cells (theyre called hepatocytes) take up the glucose out of the blood stream .
8. The glucose if converted into glycogen, which is stored inside liver cells.
9. Blood glucose level falls back to normal.

Hyperglycaemia: blood glucose level is dangerously high (causes coma and can be fatal)
Hypoglycaemia: blood glucose level is dangerously high (causes coma and can be fatal)

Type I Diabetes: a disease in which people cannot make insulin (glucose is not
selectively reabsorbed in the nephron)

2.88 understand the function of the eye in focusing near and distant

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objects, and in responding to changes in light intensity

2.89 describe the role of the skin in temperature regulation, with

reference to sweating, vasoconstriction and vasodilation

2.90 understand the sources, roles and effects of the following hormones: ADH,
adrenaline, insulin, testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen

Homologous pair - chromosomes come in pairs, and they code for the same thing
e.g. petal colour
Allele - when, in a homologous pair of chromosomes, specific genes are different
but code for the same type of thing - i.e. white instead of red flowers, therefore the
phenotype or what you might see will be different, and a different set of
characteristics will emerge


Homozygous - If the genes are identical, then it is homozygous

Heterozygous - like above, if the genes differ and there are different alleles, it is

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Phenotypes = What you can see

3.17 understand the meaning of the terms: dominant, recessive,
homozygous, heterozygous, phenotype, genotype and codominance
Dominant: the characteristic displayed (i.e. the phenotype) by a heterozygous
pair will be of the nominal allele. Conversely, the characteristic not shown is
called the recessive allele
Codominance: where both parental genotypes are dominant, therefore as
neither allele is recessive, we get third phenotypes in the first filial generation.
They both contribute to its phenotype.

Let R be the allele for red flower, and W be allele for white flower
all R all W
Genotypes of offsprings are all RW in First Filial Generation
R and W R and W
Genotypes of offspring: RR, RW, WW in ration 1:2:1
Phenotypes of offspring: RR = Red, WW = White, RW = Pink

3.21 understand that the sex of a person is controlled by one pair of

chromosomes, XX in a female and XY in a male

3.23 understand that division of a diploid cell by mitosis produces two cells
which contain identical sets of chromosomes - when a parent cell divides to
provide daughter cells
We know that diploid cells are entering mitosis as their nuclear membrane
begins to break down = Prophase. At this stage, the pair of chromatids
connected by the centromere, is distinctly visible - two chromatids make up each

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Metaphase = a structure called the spindle forms and chromatids attach to it.

Anaphase = spindle draws the chromatids to the poles

Telophase = two new nuclei form as they develop individual nuclear



In mammals, body cells are diploid. The chromosomes need to be copied exactly
so that new cells can be produced for:


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repair to damaged tissue

replacement of worn-out cells
The type of cell division involved is called mitosis. The diagram shows how it

Identical cells

Mitosis produces two genetically identical cells in which the number of

chromosomes is the same as in the original cell.

Meiosis makes four non identical haploid daughters.


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In human cells, diploid number = 46, haploid number = 23

1. Produces 2 daughter cells
2. Daughter cells are diploid (i.e. only have 46 chromosomes)
3. Daughter cells are genetically identical to each other
4. Daughter cells are genetically identical to parent cell
5. Occurs in one stage
6. Happens everywhere in the body

1. Produces 4 daughter cells
2. Produces gametes
2. Daughter cells are haploid (i.e. have 23 pairs of chromosomes)
3. Gametes are genetically different to each other
4. Gametes not genetically different to parent cell

5. Occurs in two stages

6. Happens in reproductive organs only

Therefore, fertilization produces a diploid cell (which will grow by mitosis) from two haploid

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Each parent gives only one of each of the pairs of chromosomes to their gametes. A pair
of chromosomes will have exactly the same genes on them, but not necessarily the same
alleles! This is the source of genetic variation in gametes.

Alleles for the same gene can be;

- Dominant always affect the phenotype (allele represented with capital letter)
- Recessive never affect the phenotype in the presence of a dominant allele (allele
represented with lower case letter)
- Co-dominant affect the phenotype equally in the presence of another co-dominant
allele (both alleles have capital letters)


Inheritance patterns are always given using a genetic diagram. If this comes up you get
loads of marks for it, but only if you use the genetic diagram!

More Key Words:

Phenotype: physical appearance

Genotype: the combination of alleles an individual possesses
Heterozygous: two different alleles in genotype (i.e. B b)
Homozygous: both alleles the same in genotype (i.e. B B or b b)

Inheritance of gender is governed by the 23rd chromosome. Boys have an X and a Y, girls
have two X chromosomes

Variation within a species is produced by two factors
1. The environment
2. The genotype.

New alleles arise in the population through mutation

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Mutation - a rare, random change in the genetic code of a gene. The mutated gene will
therefore produce a slightly different protein to the original non-mutant gene. The new
protein might

1. Work just as well as it did before (neutral mutation)

2. Work better than before (beneficial mutation)
3. Work worse / not at all (harmful mutation)

Beneficial mutations give a selective advantage to the individual. Individuals with this kind
of mutated allele are more likely to survive, reproduce and pass their alleles on. This is the
basis of Natural Selection

Natural Selection:

Darwin came up with this theory.

Darwins 1st Observation: Not all individuals survive

Darwins 2nd Observation: There is variation in a species
Darwins Conclusion: The better adapted individuals survive (the fittest) and reproduce,
passing their alleles onto the next generation. Over time this process leads to evolution.

Evolution: the formation of a new species from an original species.

Mutations can be inherited or happen on their own. The frequency that mutation occurs
naturally can be increased by exposure to radiation (e.g. gamma rays, X-rays and
ultraviolet rays) and some chemical mutagens (e.g. chemicals in tobacco).

3.28 understand that variation within a species can be genetic, environmental, or a

combination of both

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3.33 understand that the incidence of mutations can be increased by exposure to

ionising radiation (for example gamma rays, X-rays and ultraviolet rays) and some
chemical mutagens (for example chemicals in tobacco)


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c) Genetic modification (genetic engineering)

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

5.12 describe the use of restriction enzymes to cut DNA at specific sites and
ligase enzymes to join pieces of DNA together
5.13 describe how plasmids and viruses can act as vectors, which take up pieces
of DNA, then insert this recombinant DNA into other cells
5.14 understand that large amounts of human insulin can be manufactured from
genetically modified bacteria that are grown in a fermenter
5.15 evaluate the potential for using genetically modified plants to improve food
production (illustrated by plants with improved resistance to pests)
5.16 understand that the term transgenic means the transfer of genetic
material from one species to a different species.
Restriction enzymes are used to cut out genes from desired source
Ligase enzymes then join the genes from the desired source with those of the
vector, which could either be the plasmid of a bacterium or a virus, making
Recombinant DNA - this is the DNA made as a result of ligase joining the snippet
from the desired source with the DNA of the vector virus or plasmid
The target then inserts this recombinant DNA into other cells, in order to reproduce
As the organism reproduces, the phenotype is expressed more and more


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