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Terence Qi

8.3 Patterns in Nature

1. Organisms are made of cells that have similar structural characteristics

Outline the historical development of the cell theory, in particular, the contributions of Robert Hooke and Robert Brown.

Describe evidence to support the cell theory

The cell theory states:

o All living organisms are composed of cells or are the product of cells
o All cells are produced from pre-existing cells
Evidence for the theory comes from the use of microscopes to observe living things
o Living things were observed to be composed of cells.

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Discuss the significance of technological advances to developments in the cell theory
With light microscopes, especially with staining techniques, many organelles were visible
o Hooke discovered the cell through a light microscope
o Different organelles were discovered at different times, the discovery of mitosis also disproved the previous
spontaneous generation theory
The development of electron microscopes by Ruska discovered even more organelles

Identify cell organelles seen with current light and electron microscopes and describe the relationship between the structure of
cell organelles and their function.
Light Microscopes

Electron Microscopes
Name Function
Golgi body A stack of flat membrane sacs where final synthesis and
packaging of protein in membrane-bound vesicles occurs
before secretion.
Ribosomes Tiny organelles that are sites of production of proteins.
Composed of spherical bodies of RNA and protein.
Nucleolus Site where ribosomal RNA is found and is the site of
ribosome formation.
Mitochondria Provides energy for the cell, and the site of respiration.
Surrounded by two membranes, inner membrane is folded
(cristae/crista) and respiration occurs on the folds.
Lysosomes Digest/break down foreign bodies and old/damaged cell
organelles. Contains very acidic digestive enzymes. Produced
by the Golgi bodies.
Microtubules Control the shape of the cell and assist in movement.
Centrioles Composed of microtubules, and organise the formation of
the spindle during mitosis.
Endoplasmic reticulum A system of membranous sacs and tubules. Provides internal
surface for chemical reactions in cell, and provides a series of
channels which material can be circulated. Rough ER has
ribosomes attached, produces proteins. Smooth ER has no
ribosomes attached, and is the site of lipid manufacture, and
assists in the inactivation of drugs e.g. alcohol.
Chloroplasts Composed of complex system of membranes, and is the site
of photosynthesis. Only in green plant cells.

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2. Membranes around cells provide separation from and links with the external environment
Identify the major groups of substances found in living cells and their uses in cell activities
Organic chemicals
o Based on the chemical carbon, which can form polymers from smaller molecules
o Monosaccharides (mono=one)
Simple sugars such as glucose (C-6H12O6)
o Disaccharides (di=two)
Sugars composed for two monosaccharides together e.g. table sugar (sucrose)
o Polysaccharides (poly=many)
Huge molecules made from thousands of sugar molecules joined in chains or networks
Glucose- the fuel of respiration to create energy in the form of ATP
Starch- made by plants to store excess sugar
Glycogen- made by animals to store sugar
Cellulose- made by plants as structural chemical e.g. cell wall is made of cellulose

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o Fats and oils
o Used to store excess energy food
o Carbohydrates can be converted to fat for storage
o Cell membranes built from protein and lipids
o Main structural chemicals of organelles, cells, bone and hair
o Polymers of amino acid molecules in chains
Nucleic acids
Genetic information of every cell
Huge polymer of sugars, phosphate and bases coiled in double helix
Controls cell activities
Inorganic chemicals
o E.g. water, carbon dioxide, minerals
o All living things 75%-95% water
Describe the current model of membrane structure and explain how it accounts for the movement of some substances into and
out of cells
Every cell is surrounded by a cell membrane
This membrane regulates what enters or leaves the cell
The cell membrane is differentially permeable
o Only certain substances can cross this membrane
Cell membranes can form, reform, and change, so they are very dynamic.
The cell membrane is approximately 40% lipid and 60% protein
The current model of the cell membrane is the fluid mosaic model
o According to the model, the cell membrane is a thin sheet composed of 2 layers (a bilayer) of special lipids
called phospholipids
o This bilayer is very fluid, and the lipids can move easily
o Other lipids and cholesterol are also found in it
o Proteins are also scattered throughout the membrane
o There are 2 types of proteins:
Integral proteins- these pass through both layers and come out on both sides
Peripheral proteins- these are attached to the integral proteins inside or outside
Passive Transport
Movement of substances across the cell membrane that requires no energy
o Diffusion- the movement of substances such as water and oxygen through the membrane from high to low
concentration, following the solute concentration gradient. The substances diffuse right through the
phospholipid layers
Osmosis- specific type of diffusion where water diffuses against the concentration gradient to dilute
areas with higher solute concentration to become isotonic
o Facilitated diffusion- the diffusion of substances into the cell through the integral proteins in the cell
Active Transport
Sometimes, molecules cannot pass through the cell membrane because:
o The molecules may be too large
o May be stopped by the concentration gradient
o May carry an electrical charge
In active transport, specific carrier proteins bind to these molecules and bring them inside the cell. This requires the use
of energy

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Examples of active transport include:
o Endocytosis- a form of active transport where large molecules are transported across a membrane. There are 3
types of endocytosis:
Pinocytosis- where the material being transported is a liquid
Phagocytosis- where the material being transported is a solid
Receptor mediated endocytosis- the molecule/material binds to receptor sites in the membrane
called coated pits.
Explain how the surface area to volume ratio of cells affects the rate of movement into and out of cells
The volume of a cell determines its metabolic needs and wastes
The surface area of a cell determines the rate at which wastes are removed and nutrients are absorbed
There must be sufficient surface area to accommodate the volume
When the size of a cell increases, the surface area increases at a slower rate than the volume
o This therefore means that the cell removes wastes and absorbs nutrients at an inefficient rate for the volume
Therefore, cells are generally quite small to maintain a large surface area to volume ratio
3. Plants and animals have specialised structures to obtain nutrients from their environment
Identify some examples that demonstrate the structural and functional relationships between cells, tissues, organs and organ
systems in multicellular organisms
Cells->tissues->organs->organ systems
Tissues- a collection of similar cells
Organs- a group of similar tissues that have a particular function
Organ systems- organs working together to carry out particular functions
Animal tissue Description Function and relationship to organs
Epithelial tissue Closely packed cells arranged in sheets Forms a protective surface or skin, lines
cavities and tubes in the body, covers
internal organs
Muscle Cells with the ability to contract Skeletal muscles are responsible for
voluntary movement, smooth muscles
line some hollow structures such as the
intestines, bladder and uterus and
contract without our conscious control.
Cardiac muscle makes up with heart
and contracts rhythmically. Muscles are
made up of muscle tissue, blood, nerve
and connective tissue.
Nerve Consists of neurones, made up of Detect changes. Transmit electrical
axons, cell bodies, dendrites and glial messages. Activate muscles and organs
cells. The long projections allow for and bring about control and
efficient electric transmission of nerve coordination.
Connective Cells that secrete a matrix Are a major component of tendons,
ligaments, bone, and fatty deposits.
Depending on the matrix secreted, they
add strength and support. In some
organs, such as ligaments, they provide
Blood Red blood cells, white blood cells and Helps carry oxygen, nutrients to organs.
platelets Removes wastes. Responsible for
fighting infections and blood clotting.

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Distinguish between autotrophs and heterotrophs in terms of nutrient requirements

Autotrophs are living things that can supply their own food. Most autotrophs use photosynthesis to make their own
food though some use chemosynthesis to obtain energy from inorganic substances e.g. cyanobacteria
Heterotrophs are organisms that depend on other organisms as sources of food.
Identify the materials required for photosynthesis and its role in ecosystems
o Series of reactions that converts carbon dioxide and water in the presence of light and chlorophyll into sugars
and oxygen
o Each stage is controlled by its own set of enzymes
Photosynthesis transforms radiant energy from the sun into chemical energy in organisms
o Begins food chains where energy is passed on to different trophic levels
Photosynthesis cycles carbon dioxide into oxygen in the carbon oxygen cycle
Identify the general word equation for photosynthesis and outline this as a summary of a chain of biochemical reactions
Carbon dioxide + watersunlight glucose + oxygen + water
Light reaction
o Occurs in grana of chloroplasts (thykaloids)
o Light energy that is absorbed splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen (photolysis)
o Forms two high-energy molecules called ATP and NADPH
Dark reaction (carbon fixation stage)
o Occurs in stroma of chloroplasts
o Joins the hydrogen to carbon dioxide to form a glucose molecule
o ATP and NADPH supply energy for reaction and are changed back into ADP and NADH to return to the grana to
become re-energised
Explain the relationship between the organisation of the structures used to obtain water and minerals in a range of plants and
the need to increase surface area available for absorption
Root system of flowering plants (angiosperms)
o Anchors plant in soil
o Absorbs water and mineral ions
o Supports the plant
Root tip has a root cap
o Protects the end of the root as it pushes through the soil
Meristematic tissue
o Behind the root cap
o Cell division constantly makes new cells for growth
Zone of elongation
o Behind the meristematic tissue
o New cells get longer causing root to push out through the soil
Root hairs
o Outer layer of root
o Increase surface area of root for absorption of water and mineral ions
Water passes through the root hairs to the cortex to the xylem
o Water then travels up xylem to the leaves
Explain the relationship between the shape of the leaves, the distribution of tissues in them and their role
Leaf stalk (petiole)
o Provides transport for water and sugars
Shape of plants related to the native environment of the species
o Leaves found on plants in lower rainforest have large leaves to collect maximum sunlight
o Desert plants have leaves with reduced surface area to reduce water loss
o Upper and lower surface of leaf
o Fit together closely to reduce evaporation and stop bacteria and fungi from entering
o Often covered in thin waxy cuticle

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o Found usually in lower surface epidermis
o Consists of two guard cells and a pore which opens and closes depending upon sunlight and/or water
Mesophyll tissue
o Lies between upper and lower epidermis
o Top zone contains palisade mesophyll
o Lower zone has spongy mesophyll
o Contain chloroplasts and carry out photosynthesis
Vascular bundles
o Xylem tissue which delivers water and mineral ions
o Phloem tissue which transports soluble organic compounds made in photosynthesis to the rest of the plant
o Cambium tissue makes new xylem and phloem

Explain the role of teeth in increasing the surface area of complex foods for exposure to digestive chemicals
Break food in small pieces by biting and chewing
o Food has greater surface area to volume ratio which means digestive systems have a greater ability to work
efficiently and effectively
o Used for biting, chisel shaped
o Used for tearing, pointy
o Used for crushing food, sharp cutting edges
o Used for grinding food, large flat surfaces with blunt ridges
o Released by salivary glands
o Contains salivary amylase which splits starch into units of maltose

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Explain the relationship between the length and overall complexity of digestive systems of a vertebrate herbivore and a
vertebrate carnivore with respect to the chemical composition of their diet and the functions of the structures involved.
Alimentary canal- long tube running from mouth to anus
o Tube between mouth and stomach
o Food pushed by rhythmic muscle contractions called peristalsis
o Chemical digestion of food particularly proteins
o Amylase- breaks down carbs to glucose
o Protease- breaks down proteins to amino acids
o Lipase- breaks down lipids into glycerol and fatty acids
o Mechanical digestion through churning of food
o Carnivores generally have simple stomachs, shorter digestion time
o Herbivores generally have complex stomachs, longer digestion time
Small intestine
o Broken down molecules absorbed through the walls of the digestive system into the blood
o Absorbed by folds called villi which increase surface area
o Villi have smaller folds on surface called microvilli

Large intestine
o Water and soluble compounds absorbed
o Undigested material eliminated as faeces through anus

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4. Gaseous exchange and transport systems transfer chemicals through the internal and external environments of plants and
Compare the roles of respiratory, circulatory and excretory systems
Circulatory system
o Transport of digested foods and oxygen to all cells and the transport of metabolic waste products away from
Respiratory system
o Exchanges gases between the internal and external environment
Excretory system
o Removes waste products of metabolism from the body
o Regulates the composition of blood (e.g. osmoregulation)
Identify and compare the gaseous exchange surfaces in an insect, a fish, a frog and a mammal
Exchange of gases occurs by diffusion across a moist cell membrane
Gaseous exchange structures must meet the following needs:
o A very large SA
o A means of getting gases to internal cells
o Protection from damage
o Maintenance of moisture
Gas exchange surfaces are internal
o Highly folded microstructures that supply the large surface area
o Surrounded by capillaries
Expansion of volume of chest completed by tightening of diaphragm muscle
Expulsion of air is through relaxing of the muscles

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o Narrow, many-branched air tubes
o Connected to exoskeleton at sites called spiracles
o Air sacs that have fine hairs that trap foreign particles and valves to help control the air flow
o The fine endings of tracheae
o Filled with fluid so that gaseous exchange can occur by diffusion with every cell
Respiration occurs through the contraction and relaxation of abdominal muscles, which forces air out and sucks air in


Gas exchange takes place on the skin, which requires a certain moisture level and temperature range
o Has lungs composed of relatively simple sacs with internal sub-divisions
o Oxygen in air diffuses into the moist skin (subcutaneous breathing) and is transported by the blood to the
heart to the body
o Air can also be passed in and out through the lungs by the pumping movement on the floor of the mouth
(buccal pump) and the opening and closing of the nostrils

o Gills provide external gas exchange surface
o Gill filaments
Spread out in water to increase surface area
Richly supplied with blood vessels
o Operculum
Cover over the gills that protects the delicate gill structure
o Water flows from the mouth, to the gill filaments, then out behind the operculum
o Blood flows through the fills in the opposite direction to water for maximum exchange of gases

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Explain the relationship between the requirements of cells and the need for transport systems in multicellular organisms

Large multicellular organisms have small SA:V ratios

o Cannot carry out simple exchange of nutrients and wastes like unicellular organisms
o Cells deep in the inner part of the organism would starve or be poison by their own wastes if there were no
transport system

Outline the transport system in plants

Water transport

Vascular system
o Transport system in plants
o Contains vascular tissue
Vascular tissue
o Composed of xylem, phloem and cambium
Root hair cells
o Increases surface area so that sufficient water and minerals can be absorbed by plants
o Water and minerals flow from the root hairs to the xylem vessels
o Responsible for the movement of water and mineral ions
o Continuous water filled system from roots to leaves
o Xylem tissue
Composed of xylem vessels and tracheids
Xylem vessels are the wood of the stem and are dead hollow tubes strengthened with lignin
o Water moves through xylem through:
Transpirational pull
Water evaporates from stomates, and water enters roots through osmosis
Cohesive and adhesive forces
Cohesive force is the attraction between water molecules
Adhesive force is the attraction between the fibres of cell wall and water molecules
Causes water to enter root hairs; pushes water through stem and places upward pressure in
the xylem

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o Sugars in the form of starch that were produced through photosynthesis in the leaves are converted to sucrose
and are transported to other plant tissues in the phloem
o Consists of long columns of living sieve tube cells with companion cells and other supporting tissue
o Organism materials are transported both upwards and downwards (translocation)

o Responsible for the production of more xylem and phloem
Gaseous exchange in plants

o When the stomatal pores open, gases and water is lost from the leaf
o Transpiration
Water diffuses out of cells and then into intermolecular air spaces and then out through the leaf
o Guard cells
When the guard cells gain water, the pore opens, and when the guard cells lose water, the pore
o Located on the underside of the leaf
o Pores are open in lights, and closed in dark or when there is a lack of water

o Pores in the woody stems of plants
o Composed of small areas of loosely arranged cells with air spaces
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Compare open and closed circulatory systems

Closed circulatory systems

o Usually found in vertebrates e.g. humans
o Composed of closed blood vessels that carry blood, forming a continuous system
o Capillaries run between the cells of all tissues, and heart pumps blood around the body through capillaries
o Fast blood movement
Open circulatory systems
o Usually found in invertebrates e.g. insects
o Organs lie in cavity (haemocoel) filled with colourless blood that bathes the organs
o Blood (haemolymph) is circulated by a tubular heart(s)/accessory hearts
o There are no definite blood vessels
o Is not the main transport system for gases, which is the branched tracheal system
Therefore, its is not vital for blood the flow fast through definite path of blood vessels

Use available evidence to discuss, using examples, the role of technologies, such as the use of radioisotopes in tracing the path
of elements through living plants and animals

o Carbon-14 is added to the carbon dioxide supply of the plant, which is taken in
o Movement of the radioisotope is traced by taking an autoradiograph, where the plant is placed against
photographic film
o Used to detect damaged heart muscle after a heart attack
o Isotope only accumulates in normal, undamaged heart muscle
o Used for scintigraphy
A method of scanning that is used to examine the organs of the body in the diagnosis of cancer and
other diseases
5. Maintenance of organisms requires growth and repair
Identify mitosis as a process of nuclear division and explain its role

Mitosis is the process by which a multicellular organism grows, repairs, maintains and reproduces itself
o Produces identical cells
o Mitosis refers to the process of the division of the nucleus, and cytokinesis is the division of the cytoplasm
Nucleus contains inherited structures (chromosomes) that carry the information which controls all the cells activities

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Stages of mitosis

o Chromosomal replication occurs in the nucleus
o Each chromosome is visible as two identical joined strands called chromatids
o Nuclear membrane disappears by the end of prophase
o Microtubules stretch across the cell, forming a spindle
o Chromosomes line up their centromere with the spindle fibres, and separate into chromatids
o Chromatids (single-stranded chromosomes) move towards opposite poles of the cell, carried by spindle fibres
o The spindle disappears, and new nuclear membranes form around the two sets of chromosomes

Occurs immediately after mitosis

In animal cells, the cytoplasm constricts at the centre in a process called cleavage, separating the cytoplasm into two
In plant cells a cell plate forms across the centre, which then forms a new cell wall

Cell cycle

Interphase is composed of three periods

o The time gap between the end of mitosis and the start of chromosome duplication
o The synthesis phase when the chromosomes become double-stranded
o The time gap between the end of synthesis and the start of mitosis
o Mitosis
o State where cell division no longer occurs

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Identify the sites of mitosis in plants, insects and mammals


Meristematic cells
o Cells that are capable of mitosis
Mitosis usually occurs in the tips of roots and stems, causing an increase in length (primary growth)
o Also occurs in special cells in the stem, causing an increase in width (secondary growth)
Secondary growth occurs with cambium cells, which produce secondary tissues
Primary growth occurs from apical meristems
o The growing point where mitosis occurs at the tips of roots and stems
o Cells undergo rapid mitosis, then enlarge and then mature
Potential growth sites are called buds, which contain meristematic cells in leaf axils


Insects generally do not begin mitosis until they reach pupal form
In pupal form, the larval cells break down, and cells called imaginal discs start to divide
o This process forms the adult insect (imago)

Mitosis rates are generally high in young mammals until they reach adulthood, where processes slow down to a
maintenance level
Explain the need for cytokinesis in cell division

Cytokinesis is necessary to ensure that the chromosome number in each cell remains constant, and so that the
daughter cells can undertake regular metabolic processes
Identify that nuclei, mitochondria and chloroplasts contain DNA

DNA is found in the nucleus, mitochondria and chloroplasts

Chromosomes are composed of proteins and the nucleic acid DNA
o Coded chemical instructions that direct the growth, differentiation and functioning of a cell
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o Separate instructions that code particular activities or characteristics
o Composed of short lengths of a chromosome and consist of DNA

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