This Unit focuses on the importance of Biological molecules. If we want to understand what makes organisms and their organs function we need to focus in on the parts they’re made of: cells, organelles and biological molecules. Despite the tremendous variety of molecules that are important to living things, we are still able to find patterns among them. Similar shape and chemical make-up help us to categorize biological molecules into four general groups. These groups can be further refined into how the different biological molecules are used. From converting energy to making important structures, biological molecules provide cells with the important ingredients needed for life.
Biological Processes & Interactions
This Unit expands on the understanding of Biological molecules from Unit 1. In cells, biological molecules interact with each other in predictable ways. Most importantly, though, is how molecules are moved into and out of cells in order for reactions to occur. The balance between the internal and external environments is critical to life’s processes. A large part of an organism’s biological activity is focused on maintaining this balance. Nutrients and energy need to be acquired and stored. Wastes need to be removed. Genetic information needs to be copied correctly before cell division. Even on a population level individuals interact in a way that affects their population growth. Each biological process is made of smaller steps that can lead to change or back to the starting point.
Choices in Biology
This Unit is focused on Choices in Biology. The many concepts and details about biological molecules, their interactions, and biological processes provides us with an impressive toolbox to use in understanding problems involving Biology. We will take turns problem solving environmental problems, medical problems, and problems related to food systems. Each problem is related directly to the work you have studied so far in this course. Answers to each of the four big questions will help you to recall important details related to these problems. You can always refer back to the discussions and your Portfolio regularly through to the end of the course.
In this Unit you will be able to demonstrate your best skills and understanding of concepts that you practiced in this course. The concepts and details about biological molecules, their interactions, and biological processes will allow you to demonstrate how they are linked together. You will show these connections in a lab investigation that you will perform at home. You will also demonstrate the interconnectedness of all the concepts you learned about Biology in this course in a final task. Answers to each of the four big questions will help you to recall important details related to these concepts.