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  • Biology Power Standards

  Formulate a testable hypothesis, design and conduct an experiment to test the hypothesis, analyze the data, consider alternative explanations, and draw conclusions supported by evidence from the investigation. Explain how cell processes are influenced by internal and external factors, such as pH and temperature, and how cells and organisms respond to changes in their environment to maintain homeostasis. Describe factors that affect the carrying capacity of an ecosystem and relate these to population growth. Explain how ecosystems can change as a result of the introduction of one of more new species.  For example: The effect of migration, localized evolution or disease organism. Use words and equations to differentiate between the processes of photosynthesis and respiration in terms of energy flow, beginning reactants and end products. Explain how matter and energy is transformed and transferred among organisms in an ecosystem, and how energy is dissipated as heat into the environment. Recognize that cells are composed primarily of a few elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur), and describe the basic molecular structures and the primary functions of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Recognize that the work of the cell is carried out primarily by proteins, most of which are enzymes, and that protein function depends on the amino acid sequence and the shape it takes as a consequence of the interactions between those amino acids. Describe how viruses, prokaryotic cells, and eukaryotic cells differ in relative size, complexity and general structure. Explain the function and importance of cell organelles for prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic cells as related to the basic cell processes of respiration, photosynthesis, protein synthesis and cell reproduction. Compare and contrast passive transport (including osmosis and facilitated transport) with active transport such as endocytosis and exocytosis. Explain the process of mitosis in the formation of identical new cells and maintaining chromosome number during asexual reproduction. Explain the relationships among DNA, genes and chromosomes. In the context of a monohybrid cross, apply the terms phenotype, genotype, allele, homozygous and heterozygous. Describe the process of DNA replication and the role of DNA and RNA in assembling protein molecules. Use concepts from Mendel’s laws of segregation and independent assortment to explain how sorting and recombination (crossing over) of genes during sexual reproduction (meiosis) increases the occurrence of variation in a species. Use the processes of mitosis and meiosis to explain the advantages and disadvantages of asexual and sexual reproduction. Explain how mutations like deletions, insertions, rearrangements or substitutions of DNA segments in gametes may have no effect, may harm, or rarely may be beneficial, and can result in genetic variation within a species. Describe how some diseases can sometimes be predicted by genetic testing and how this affects parental and community decisions. Describe how evidence led Darwin to develop the theory of natural selection and common descent to explain evolution. Use scientific evidence, including the fossil record, homologous structures, and genetic and/or biochemical similarities, to show evolutionary relationships among species. Recognize that artificial selection has led to offspring through successive generations that can be very different in appearance and behavior from their distant ancestors. Explain why genetic variation within a population is essential for evolution to occur. Explain how competition for finite resources and the changing environment promotes natural selection on offspring survival, depending on whether the offspring have characteristics that are advantageous or disadvantageous in the new environment. Explain how genetic variation between two populations of a given species is due, in part, to different selective pressures acting independently on each population and how, over time, these differences can lead to the development of new species. Describe the social, economic, and ecological risks and benefits of biotechnology in agriculture and medicine.  For example: Selective breeding, genetic engineering, and antibiotic development and use. Describe the social, economic and ecological risks and benefits of changing a natural ecosystem as a result of human activity.  For example: Changing the temperature or composition of water, air or soil; altering the populations and communities, developing artificial ecosystems; or changing the use of land or water. Describe how the functions of individual organ systems are integrated to maintain homeostasis in an organism. Explain how the body produces antibodies to fight disease and how vaccines assist this process. Recognize that a gene mutation in a cell can result in uncontrolled cell division called cancer, and how exposure of cells to certain chemicals and radiation increases mutations and thus increases the chance of cancer.

  • The focus in Biology is on understanding concepts, theories, and principles that relate to living things.  This will be done through investigation and analysis of cells, organisms and ecosystems.