On the attached pages are all of the objectives for each of the chapters which we have covered in this class during the first half of the year. Highlight the objectives based on the following:

PINK: Objectives which you could answer right now without the help of any notes

GREEN: Objectives which you have looked up and can now remember

BLUE: Objectives which have reviewed, but will have to review multiple times

During your studying, check that you are correct about your pink objectives and green objectives and take notes on the objectives which are in blue. These blue objectives would also be useful on index cards. Dig up any old study guides or exams to help you review

Topics which we have covered so far:

Biology as a science


Organic molecules

Free energy changes


Prokaryotes and eukaryotes


Subcellular organizaiton


Coupled reactions



Carbon cycle



Cell cycle

Early evidence for evolution

Evidence for evolution

Evolutionary patterns

Phylogenetic classification

Evolutionary relationships



1. Briefly describe unifying themes that pervade the science of biology.

2. Diagram the hierarchy of structural levels in biology.

3. Explain how the properties of life emerge from complex organization.

4. Describe seven emergent properties associated with life.

5. Distinguish between holism and reductionism.

6. Explain how technological breakthrough contributed to the formulation of the cell theory and our current knowledge of the cell.

7. Distinguish between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

8. Explain, in their own words what is meant by "form fits function".

9. List and distinguish among the five kingdoms of life.

10. Briefly describe how Charles Darwin’s ideas contributed to the conceptual framework of biology.

11. Outline the scientific method.

12. Distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning.

13. Explain how science and technology are interdependent.


1. Define element and compound.

2. State four elements essential to life that make up 96% of living matter.

3. Describe the structure of the atom.

4. Define and distinguish among atomic number, mass number, atomic weight and valence.

5. Given the atomic number and mass number, determine the number of electrons.

6. Explain why radioisotopes are important to biologists.

7. Explain how electron configuration influences the chemical behavior of an atom.

8. Explain the octet rule and predict how many bonds an atom might form.

9. Explain why nobel gasses are so uneactive.

10. Define electronegativity and explain how it influences the formation of chemical bonds.

11. Distinguish among nonpolar covalent, polar covalent, and ionic bonds.

12. Describe the formation of a hydrogen bond and explain how it differs from a covalent or ionic bond.

13. Explain why weak bonds are important to living organisms.

14. Describe how the relative concentrations of reactants and products affect a chemical reaction.

15. Describe the chemical conditions on early Earth and explain how they were different from today.


1.Describe how water contributes to the fitness of the environment to support life.

2. Describe the structure and geometry of a water molecule, and explain what properties emerge as a result of this structure.

3. Explain the relationship between the polar nature of water and its ability to form hydrogen bonds.

4. List five characteristics of water that are emergent properties resulting from hydrogen bonding.

5. Describe the biological significance of the cohesiveness of water.

6. Distinguish between heat and temperature.

7. Explain how water’s high specific heat, high heat of vaporization, and expansion upon freezing affect both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

8. Explain how the polarity of the water molecule makes it a versatile solvent.

9. Define molarity and list some advantages of measuring substances in moles.

10. Write the equation for the dissociation of water, and explain what is actually transferred from one molecule to another.

11. Explain the basis for the pH scale.

12. Explain how acids and bases directly or indirectly affect the hydrogen ion oncentration of a solution.

13. Using the bicarbonate buffer system as an example, explain how buffers work.

14. Describe the causes of acid precipitation, and explain how it adversely affects the fitness of the environment.

15. Life on earth probably evolved in water.

16. Living cells are 70-95% water.

17. Water covers about ¾ of the earth.

18. In nature, water naturally exists in all three physical states of matter – solid, liquid and gas.


1. Summarize the philosophies of vitalism and mechanism, and explain how they influenced the development of organic chemistry, as well as mainstream biological thought.

2. Explain how carbon’s electron configuration determines the kinds and number of bonds carbon will form.

3. Describe how carbon skeletons may vary, and explain how this variation contributes to the diversity and complexity of organic molecules.

4. Distinguish among the three types of isomers: structural, geometric, and enantiomers.

5. Recognize the major functional groups,. And describe the chemical properties of organic molecules in which they occur.


1. List the levels of biological hierarchy from subatommic particles to macromolecules.

2. Explain how organic polymers contribute to biological diversity.

3. Describe how covalent linkages are formed and broken in organic polymers.

4. Describe the distinguishing characteristics of carbohydrates, and explain how they are classified.

5. List four characteristics of a sugar.

6. Identify a glycosidic linkage and describe how it is formed.

7. Describe the important biological functions of polysaccharides.

8. Distinguish between the glycosidic linkages found in starch and cellulose, and explain why the difference is biologically important.

9. Explain what distinguishes lipids from other major classes of macromolecules.

10. Describe the unique properties, building block molecules and biological importance of three important groups of lipids: fats, phospholipids and steroids.

11. Identify ester linkage and describe how it is formed.

12. Distinguish between a saturated fat and unsaturated fat, and list some unique emergent properties that are a consequence of these structural differences.

13. Describe the characteristics that distinguish proteins from other major classes of macromolecules and explain the biologically important functions of this group.

14. List and recognize four major components of an amino acid, and explain how amino acids may be grouped according to the physical and chemical properties of the side chains.

15. Identify a peptide bond and explain how it is formed.

16. Explain what determines protein conformation and why it is important.

17. Define primary structure and describe how it may be deduced in the laboratory.

18. Describe the two types of secondary protein structure, and explain the role of hydrogen bonds in maintaining the structure.

19. Explain how weak interactions and disulfide bridges contribute to tertiary protein structure.

20. Using collagen and hemoglobin as examples, describe quaternary protein structure

21. Define denaturation and explain how proteins may be denatured.

22. Describe the characteristics that distinguish nucleic acids from the other major groups of macromolecules.

23. Summarize the functions of nucleic acids.

24. List the major components of a nucleotide, and describe how these monomers are linked together to form a nucleic acid.

25. Distinguish between a pyrimidine and a purine.

26. List the functions of nucleotides.

27. Briefly describe the three-dimensional structure of DNA.


1. Explain the role of catabolic and anabolic pathways in the energy exchanges of cellular metabolism.

2. Distinguish between kinetic and potential energy.

3. Distinguish between open and closed systems.

4. Explain, in your own words, the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

5. Explain why highly ordered living organisms do not violate the second law of thermodynamics.

6. Write and define each component of the equation for free-energy change.

7. Write the Gibbs equation for free energy change.

8. Explain how changes in temperature influence the maximum amount of usable energy that can be harvested from a reaction.

9. Explain the usefulness of free energy.

10. List two major factors capable of driving spontaneous processes.

11. Describe the relationship between free energy and equilibrium.

12. Distinguish between exergonic and endergonic reactions.

13. Explain why metabolic disequilibrium is one of the defining features of life.

14. Describe the three main kinds of cellular work.

15. Describe the function of ATP in a cell.

16. List the three components of ATP and identify the major class of macromolecules to which ATP belongs.

17. Explain how ATP performs cellular work.

18. Describe the function of enzymes in biological systems.

19. Explain the relationship between enzyme structure and enzyme specificity.

20. Explain the induced-fit model of enzyme function and describe the catalytic cycle of an enzyme.

21. Describe several mechanisms by which enzymes lower activation energy.

22. Explain how substrate concentration affects the rate of an enzyme-controlled reaction.

23. Explain how enzyme activity can be regulated or controlled by environmental factors, co-factors, and enzyme inhibitors.

24. Explain how metabolic pathways are regulated.

25. Explain how the location of enzymes in a cell influences metabolism.


1. Distinguish between magnification and resolving power.

2. Describe the principles, advantages, and limitations of the light microscope, transmission electron microscope, and scanning electron microscope.

3. Describe the major steps of cell fractionation and explain why it is a useful technique.

4. Distinguish between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

5. Explain why there are both upper and lower limits to cell size.

6. Explain why compartmentalization is important in eukaryotic cells.

7. Describe the structure and function of the nucleus and briefly explain how the nucleus controls protein synthesis in the cytoplasm.

8. Describe the structure and function of a eukaryotic ribosome.

9. List the components of the endomembrane system, describe their structures and functions, and summarize the relationships among them.

10. Explain how impaired lysosomal function can cause the symptoms of storage diseases.

11. Describe the different structures and functions of vacuoles.

12. Describe the structure of a mitochondrion and explain the importance of compartmentalization in mitochondrial function.

13. Distinguish among amyloplasts, chromoplasts, and chloroplasts.

14. Identify the three functional compartments of a chloroplast. Explain the importance of compartmentalization in chloroplast function.

15. Explain the roles of mitochondria and chloroplasts.

16. Explain the role of peroxisomes in eukaryotic cells.

17. Describe the functions of the cytoskeleton.

18. Describe the structure, monomers, and functions of microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments.

19. Explain how the ultrastructure of cilia and flagella relate to their functions.

20. Describe the development of plant cell walls.

21. Describe the structure and list four functions of the extracellular matrix in animal cells.

22. Describe the structures of intercellular junctions found in plant and animal cells and relate those structures to their functions.


1.Describe the properties of phospholipids and their arrangement in cellular membranes.

2.Explain what freeze-fracture techniques reveal about the involvement of proteins in membranes.

3.Describe the fluid properties of the cell membrane and explain how membrane fluidity is influenced by membrane composition.

4.Describe how proteins and carbohydrates are spatially arranged in cell membranes and how they contribute to membrane function.

Traffic across Membranes

5.Describe factors that affect the selective permeability of membranes.

6.Describe the locations and functions of transport proteins.

7.Define diffusion. Explain what causes diffusion and why it is a spontaneous process.

8.Explain what regulates the rate of passive transport.

9.Explain why a concentration gradient across a membrane represents potential energy.

10Distinguish between hypertonic, hypotonic, and isotonic solutions.

11Define osmosis and predict the direction of water movement based on differences in solute concentrations.

12Describe how living cells with and without walls regulate the balance of water content.

Evolution, Unity, and Diversity

13.Explain how transport proteins are similar to enzymes.

14.Explain how transport proteins facilitate diffusion.

15.Explain how active transport differs from diffusion.

16.Explain what mechanism can generate a membrane potential or electrochemical gradient.

17.Describe the process of co-transport.

18.Explain how large molecules are transported across the cell membrane.

19.Compare pinocytosis and receptor-mediated endocytosis.


1. Distinguish between fermentation and cellular respiration.

2. Describe the summary equation for cellular respiration. Also note the specific chemical equation for the degradation of glucose.

3. Explain how ATP is recycled in cells.

4. Define oxidation and reduction.

5. Explain how redox reactions are involved in energy exchanges.

6. Explain why organic molecules that have an abundance of hydrogen are excellent cellular fuels.

7. Describe the role of NAD+ and the electron transport chain during respiration.

8. Describe the cellular regions where glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and the electron transport chain occur.

9. Describe how the carbon skeleton of glucose changes as it proceeds through glycolysis.

10. Explain why ATP is required for the preparatory steps of glycolysis.

11. Identify where sugar oxidation, substrate-level phosphorylation, and the reduction of NAD+ occur in glycolysis.

12. Describe where pyruvate is oxidized to acetyl CoA, what molecules are produced, and how this process links glycolysis to the Krebs cycle.

13. Describe the form and fate of the carbons in the Krebs cycle. Note the role of oxaloacetate in this cycle.

14. Describe the point at which glucose is completely oxidized during cellular respiration.

15. Explain how the exergonic "slide" of electrons down the electron transport chain is coupled to the endergonic production of ATP by chemiosmosis.

16. Describe the process of chemiosmosis.

17. Explain how membrane structure is related to membrane function in chemiosmosis.

18. Summarize the net ATP yield from the oxidation of a glucose molecule by constructing an ATP ledger that includes coenzyme production during the different stages of glycolysis and cellular respiration.

19. Explain why fermentation is necessary.

20. Compare the fate of pyruvate in alcohol fermentation and lactic acid fermentation.

21. Compare the processes of fermentation and cellular respiration.

22. Describe evidence that the first prokaryotes produced ATP by glycolysis.

23. Describe how food molecules other than glucose can be oxidized to make ATP.

24. Explain how glycolysis and the Krebs cycle can contribute to anabolic pathways.

25. Explain how ATP production is controlled by the cell and what role the allosteric enzyme, phosphofructokinase, plays in the process.


1.Distinguish between autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrition.

2.Distinguish between photoautotrophs and chemoautotrophs.

3.Describe the structure of chloroplasts and indicate their locations within plant cells. Describe where most chloroplasts are located in a leaf.

4.Explain how chloroplast structure relates to its function.

5.Write a summary equation for photosynthesis.

6.Explain van Niel's hypothesis and describe how it contributed to our current understanding of photosynthesis.

7.Explain the role of redox reactions in photosynthesis.

8.Describe in general the two main stages of photosynthesis.

9.Describe the wavelike and particle-like behaviors of light.

10Describe the relationship between an action spectrum and an absorption spectrum.

11Explain why the absorption spectrum for chlorophyll differs from the action spectrum for photosynthesis.

12List the wavelengths of light that are most effective for photosynthesis.

13Explain what happens when chlorophyll or accessory pigments absorb photons.

14List the components of a photosystem and explain their functions.

15.Trace electron flow through photosystems II and I.

16.Compare cyclic and noncyclic electron flow and explain the relationship between these components of the light reactions.

17.Describe important differences in chemiosmosis between oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and photophosphorylation in chloroplasts.

18.Summarize the carbon-fixing reactions of the Calvin cycle and describe changes that occur in the carbon skeletons of intermediates.

19.Describe the role of ATP and NADPH in the Calvin cycle.

20.Describe what happens to rubisco when the O2 concentration is much higher than CO2.

21.describe the major consequences of photorespiration.

22.Describe two important photosynthetic adaptations that minimize photorespiration.

23.Describe the fate of photosynthetic products.


1. Explain how cell division functions in reproduction, growth, and repair.

2. Describe the structural organization of the genome.

3. Describe the major events of cell division that enable the genome of one cell to be passed on to two daughter cells.

4. Describe how the chromosome number changes throughout the human life cycle.

5. List the phases of the cell cycle and describe the sequence of events that occurs during each phase.

6. List the phases of mitosis and describe the events characteristic of each phase.

7. Recognize the phases of mitosis from diagrams and micrographs.

8. Draw or describe the spindle apparatus, including centrosomes, kinetochore microtubules, nonkinetochore microtubules, asters, and centrioles (in animal cells).

9. Describe what characteristic changes occur in the spindle apparatus during each phase of mitosis.

10. Explain the current models for poleward chromosomal movement and elongation of the cell's polar axis.

11. Compare cytokinesis in animals and plants.

12. Describe the process of binary fission in bacteria and how this process may have evolved in eukaryotic mitosis. Regulation of the Cell Cycle

13. Describe the roles of checkpoints, cyclin, Cdk, and MPF in the cell cycle control system.

14. Describe the internal and external factors that influence the cell cycle control system..

15. Explain how the abnormal cell division of cancerous cells differs from normal cell division.


1.Explain why organisms reproduce only their own kind and why offspring more closely resemble their parents than unrelated individuals of the same species.

2.Explain what makes heredity possible.

3.Distinguish between asexual and sexual reproduction.

4.Diagram the human life cycle and indicate where in the human body that mitosis and meiosis occur; which cells are the result of meiosis and mitosis; and which cells are haploid.

5.Distinguish among the life cycle patterns of animals, fungi, and plants.

6.List the phases of meiosis I and meiosis II and describe the events characteristic of each phase. Recognize the phases of meiosis from diagrams or micrographs.

7.Describe the process of synapsis during prophase I and explain how genetic recombination occurs.

8.Describe the key differences between mitosis and meiosis. Explain how the end result of meiosis differs from that of mitosis.

9.Explain how independent assortment, crossing over, and random fertilization contribute to genetic variation in sexually reproducing organisms.

10.Explain why inheritable variation was crucial to Darwin's theory of evolution.


1. State the two major points that Charles Darwin made in The Origin of Species concerning Earth's biota. 2. Compare and contrast Plato's philosophy of idealism and Aristotle's scala naturae.

3. Describe Carolus Linnaeus's contribution to Darwin's theory of evolution

4. Describe Georges Cuvier's contribution to paleontology.

5. Explain how Cuvier and his followers used the concept of catastrophism to oppose the theory of evolution.

6. Explain how the principle of gradualism and Charles Lyell's theory of uniformitarianism influenced Darwin's ideas about evolution.

7. Describe Jean Baptiste Lamarck's model for how adaptations evolve. Explain the challenges to Lamarck's ideas with respect to current understandings of biology.

8. Describe how Darwin used his observations from the voyage of the HMS Beagle to formulate and support his theory of evolution.

9. Describe how Lyell and Alfred Russel Wallace influenced Darwin.

10. Explain what Darwin meant by "descent with modification."

11. Explain what evidence convinced Darwin that species change over time.

12. Describe the three inferences Darwin made from his observations that led him to propose natural selection as a mechanism for evolutionary change.

13. Explain how an essay by the Rev. Thomas Malthus influenced Charles Darwin.

14. Distinguish between artificial selection and natural selection.

15. Explain why the population is the smallest unit that can evolve.

16. Using some contemporary examples, explain how natural selection results in evolutionary change.

17. Describe the research that suggested to David Reznick and John Endler that the life-history traits among guppy populations are correlated with the main type of predator in a stream pool.

18. Explain how homologous structures support Darwin's theory of natural selection. Explain how biogeography and the fossil record support the evolutionary deductions based on homologies.

19. Explain the problem with the statement that Darwinism is "just a theory." Distinguish between the scientific and colloquial use of the word "theory."


1. Explain why it is incorrect to say that individual organisms evolve.

2. Explain what is meant by "the modern synthesis.

3. define a population; define a species.

4. Explain how microevolutionary change can affect a gene pool.

5. State the Hardy-Weinberg theorem.

6. Write the general Hardy-Weinberg equation and use it to calculate allele and genotype frequencies.

7. Explain why the Hardy-Weinberg theorem is important conceptually and historically.

8. List the conditions a population must meet to maintain Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.

9. Define microevolution.

10. Define evolution at the population level.

11. Explain how genetic drift, gene flow, mutation, nonrandom mating, and natural selection can cause microevolution.

12. Explain the role of population size in genetic drift.

13. Distinguish between the bottleneck effect and the founder effect.

14. Explain why mutation has little quantitative effect on a large population.

15. Explain how quantitative and discrete characters contribute to variation within a population.

16. Define polymorphism and morphs. Describe an example of polymorphism within the human population.

17. Distinguish between gene diversity and nucleotide diversity. Describe examples of each in humans.

18. List some factors that can produce geographic variation among closely related populations. Define a cline.

19. Explain why even though mutation can be a source of genetic variability, it contributes a negligible amount to genetic variation in a population.

20. Describe the cause of nearly all genetic variation in a population.

21. Explain how genetic variation may be preserved in a natural population.

22. Briefly describe the neutral theory of molecular evolution and explain how changes in gene frequency may be nonadaptive.

23. Distinguish between Darwinian fitness and relative fitness.

24. Describe what selection acts on and what factors contribute to the overall fitness of a genotype.

25. Describe examples of how an organism's phenotype may be influenced by the environment.

26. Distinguish among stabilizing selection, directional selection, and diversifying selection.

27. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of sexual reproduction.

28. Define sexual dimorphism and explain how it can influence evolutionary change.

29. Distinguish between intrasexual selection and intersexual selection.

30. Describe at least four reasons why natural selection cannot breed perfect organisms.


1. Distinguish between anagenesis and cladogenesis.

2. Define biological species according to Ernst Mayr.

3. Distinguish between prezygotic and postzygotic isolating mechanisms.

4. Describe five prezygotic isolating mechanisms and give an example of each.

5. Explain why many hybrids are sterile.

6. Explain how hybrid breakdown maintains separate species even if gene flow occurs.

7. Describe some limitations of the biological species concept.

8. Define and distinguish among each of the following: ecological species concept, pluralistic species concept, morphological species concept, and genealogical species concept.

9. Distinguish between allopatric and sympatric speciation.

10. Explain the allopatric speciation model and describe the role of intraspecific variation and geographic isolation.

11. Define a ring species and describe an example found in salamanders.

12. Describe examples of adaptive radiation in the Gal·pagos and Hawaiian archipelagoes.

13. Explain how reproductive barriers evolve. Describe an example of the evolution of a prezygotic barrier and the evolution of a postzygotic barrier.

14. Define sympatric speciation and explain how polyploidy can cause reproductive isolation.

15. Distinguish between an autopolyploid and an allopolyploid species and describe examples of each.

16. Describe an example of sympatric speciation in fish.

17. List some points of agreement and disagreement between the two schools of thought about the tempo of speciation (gradualism versus punctuated equilibrium).

18. Explain why speciation is at the boundary between microevolution and macroevolution.

19. Define exaptation and illustrate this concept with an example.

20. Explain how the evolution of changes in temporal and spatial developmental dynamics can result in evolutionary novelties. Define evo-devo, allometric growth, heterochrony, and paedomorphosis.

21. Explain why extracting a single evolutionary progression from a fossil record can be misleading.

22. Define and illustrate the concept of species selection. Explain why evolutionary trends are not directional.


1. Distinguish between phylogeny and systematics.
2. Describe the process of sedimentation and the formation of fossils. Explain what portions of organisms mostly fossilize and why.
3. Distinguish between relative dating and absolute dating.
4. Explain how isotopes can be used in absolute dating.
5. Explain why the fossil record is incomplete.
6. Describe two dramatic chapters in the history of continental drift. Explain how those movements affected biological evolution.
7. Explain how mass extinctions have occurred and how they affected the evolution of surviving forms.
8. Describe the evidence related to the impact hypothesis associated with the Cretaceous extinctions. Describe the hypothesized consequences of such an impact.
9. Distinguish between systematics and taxonomy.
10. Explain how species are named and categorized into a hierarchy of groups.
11. List the major taxonomic categories from the most to least inclusive.
12. Define the parts and describe the interrelationships within a cladogram. Explain how a cladogram is constructed.
13. Distinguish between homologous and analogous structures. Explain why the similarity of complex systems implies a more recent common ancestor.
14. Distinguish between shared primitive characters and shared derived characters. Compare the definitions of an ingroup and outgroup.
15. Compare the cladistic and phylocode classification systems.
16. Explain how nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences can be used to help classify organisms. Explain the advantages that molecular methods have over other forms of classification.
17. Explain the principle of parsimony. Explain why any phylogenetic diagram is viewed as a hypothesis.
18. Explain how molecular clocks are used to determine the approximate time of key evolutionary events. Explain how molecular clocks are calibrated in actual time.
19. Explain how scientists determined the approximate time when HIV first infected humans.
20. Describe an example of a conflict between molecular data and other evidence, such as the fossil record. Explain how these differences can be addressed.




1. Explain how the histories of Earth and life are inseparable.
2. Describe the major events in Earth's history from its origin up to about 2 billion years ago. In particular, note when Earth first formed, when life first evolved, and what forms of life existed up until about 2 billion years ago.
3. Describe the timing and significance of the evolution of photosynthesis.
4. Describe the timing of key events in the evolution of the first eukaryotes and later multicellular eukaryotes. Describe the snowball-Earth hypothesis.
5. Describe the timing of key evolutionary adaptations as life colonized land.
6. Contrast the concept of spontaneous generation and the principle of biogenesis. Describe the biogenesis paradox and suggest a solution.
7. Describe the four stages of the hypothesis for the origin of life on Earth.
8. Describe the contributions that A. I. Oparin, J. B. S. Haldane, and Stanley Miller made toward developing a model for the abiotic synthesis of organic molecules. Describe the conditions and locations where most of these early organic reactions probably occurred on Earth.
9. Describe the evidence that suggests that RNA was the first genetic material. Explain the significance of the discovery of ribozymes.
10. Describe how natural selection would have worked in an early RNA world.
11. Describe the key properties of protobionts in the evolution of the first cells.
12. Describe the evidence that suggests that life first evolved on the sea floor near deep-sea vents.
13. Describe the basis for R. H. Whittaker's five-kingdom system.
14. List, distinguish among, and describe examples from each of the five kingdoms.
15. Compare the three-domain system and R. H. Whittaker's five-kingdom system of classification.