Biol 101 Study Guide – Exam 1 Fall 2006
I. BIOLOGY AND PROPERTIES OF LIFE
Be familiar with the eight fundamental properties of life, themes of biology and the scientific
method. Do not simply memorize this information. You must understand how to apply it as
well. I will ask you to distinguish between a hypothesis, a prediction, an experiment, a
conclusion and a theory. I may also ask you to make a distinction between inductive and
deductive logic as we discussed in class, and more importantly, to apply your understanding of
deductive and inductive logic to the scientific method.
2. CHEMISTRY OF LIFE
Words that should be familiar: matter, mass, element, atom, proton, neutron, electron, atomic
number, atomic weight (mass number),ion, isotope, atom, molecule, compound, cation, anion,
What are radioisotopes and why are they useful in biology? What elements make up most
Be familiar with common formulas, e.g., water and sodium chloride.
It would be useful to know the different types of bonds formed between elements and the
energetic tendencies responsible for bond formation: ionic bonds, covalent bonds (polar and
nonpolar) and hydrogen bonds. Why are bonds important to living systems? In what ways can
chemical compounds be similar & different? (think emergent properties and difference between
molecular and structural formulas).
What are several characteristics of water that are emergent properties resulting from hydrogen
Understand the concept of pH and the pH scale. How are hydrogen ions and protons related
with respect to pH? What is an acid...a base? What is a buffer and how do buffers work?
What are some properties of the carbon atom? How does the valence of carbon determine the
kinds and number of bonds formed by a carbon atom? How do carbon skeletons vary? How
does this variation make diverse and complex organic molecules possible? What are functional
What is condensation (dehydration) synthesis? hydrolysis? Why are these processes
important and how do they relate to monomers and polymers? What are monomers?
What are carbohydrates, how are they structured and of why are the important?
What's the difference between simple sugars (monosaccharides), disaccharides and
What are important biological functions of carbohydrates (simple sugars or polysaccharides)?
How are lipids classified? What distinguishes them from other classes of macromolecules?
Be familiar with these classes of lipids: fatty acids, triglycerides (or neutral fats or
triacylglycerols), phospholipids, waxes, terpenes, prostaglandins and steroids. What is the
difference between a fatty acid and a triglyceride? What are the 2 building blocks of a
triglyceride? How are triglycerides formed? What's the difference between a saturated and an
unsaturated fat? Apart from fatty acids and triglycerides, what other substances can be
classified as lipids? What are important biological functions of lipids?
What characteristics distinguish proteins from other major classes of macromolecules? How
are they structured and of what importance are they? Which one varies from amino acid to
amino acid? What are the different levels of protein organization? Why are proteins,
particularly enzymes, important?
What distinguishes nucleic acids from other major groups of biologically important
What are the 2 types of nucleic acids and what are their building blocks?
What are nucleotides and what are their major components?
Be familiar in a general way with the 3 dimensional structure of DNA, i.e. what is a double
OK, So you’re wondering what the questions will be like on the first exam. Here are several examples of
questions appropriate for the first exam.
To combat disorder, livings things use:
a)evolution b)energy c)adaptation d)reproduction e)phyla
This term describes all the chemical activities that organisms perform to synthesize or break down
a)metabolism b)evolution c)adaptation d)responsiveness e)photosynthesis
There are several distinctively different types of genetic material found in living organisms (i.e. DNA
represents only one type of hereditary material). a)TRUE b)FALSE
A biologist can always prove a hypothesis "false", but never prove a hypothesis "true". a)TRUE b)FALSE
An appropriate sequence of steps in the scientific method would be:
a)collect facts, form a hypothesis, experiment, accept or reject the hypothesis
b)form a theory, experiment, collect facts, accept or reject the theory
c)form a theory, collect facts, experiment, accept or reject the theory
d)experiment, collect facts, form a theory, accept or reject the theory
e)accept or reject the theory, form a hypothesis, collect facts, experiment
Experiments are designed to a)collect facts about life b)test theories c)test hypotheses
d)prove hypotheses e)give biologists something to do
This number is unique to each element. a)mass number b)isotope number c)atomic number
d)number of electrons in outer energy level e)more than one answer is correct
When an atom ionizes, what happens?
a)it shares one or more electrons with another atom b)it emits energy as it loses an electron
c)it completely give up or takes up one or more electrons d)it shares a hydrogen atom with another
What is the difference between single and double covalent bonds?
a)the number of atoms bound together b)the number of pairs of electrons shared between atoms
c)the number of protons in the nuclei d)the number neutrons in the nuclei
e)the ratio of neutrons to protons
Interactions between atoms to form different molecules usually involves interactions of
a)protons b)neutrons c)electron e)a and b e)b and c
The Sodium atom (atomic number = 11) with 1 electron in its outermost shell will tend to
a)become a positively charged ion. b)become a negatively charged ion c)remain electrically neutral
d)become either a positively or negatively charged ion e)will not ionize
The element Osmium has 76 protons, 114 neutrons and 76 electrons. A neutral Osmium ion will have a
different number of a)protons b)neutrons c)electrons d)a and c e)none of these
The element Osmium has 76 protons, 114 neutrons and 76 electrons. A different Osmium isotope will have
a different number of a)protons b)neutrons c)electrons d)a and c e)none of these
Water molecules tend to stick to each other because of
a)hydrogen bonds b)ionic bonds c)covalent bonds d)magnetic attraction e)single bonds
What is the defining characteristic of an acid?
a)it donates hydrogen ions b)it accepts hydrogen ions c)it will donate or accept hydrogen ions
d)it has an excess of hydroxide (hydroxyl) ions e)all of the above
Compared with a pH of 7, a solution of pH 6 has ____ the hydrogen ion concentration.
a)1/10 b)6/7 c)twice d)100 times e)can't really determine the H+ concentration.