Sciences  : Biology


Test Yourself for Biology!

by marie on 22 Mar 2005 04:10 am

I hand wrote most of my biology questions, but I happened to stumble upon this on my computer. A little test I made for myself on chromosomes and stuff:

The Chemistry of Life

  1. What are the most frequently occurring chemical elements in living things?
  2. What other elements are needed by living organisms?
  3. State one role for each of the elements mentioned in 2.
  4. Outline the difference between an atom and an ion.
  5. Outline the properties of water that are significant to living organisms.
  6. Explain the significance to organisms of water as a coolant, transport medium and habitat, in terms of its properties.
  7. Define organic.
  8. Dram the basic structure of a generalized amino acid.
  9. Draw the ring structure of glucose and ribose.
  10. Draw the structure of glycerol and a generalized fatty acid.
  11. Outline the role of condensation and hydrolysis in the relationships between monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides; fatty acids, glycerol and glycerides; amino acids, dipeptides and polypeptides.
  12. Draw the structure of a generalized dipeptde, showing the peptide linkage.
  13. List two examples for each of monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides.
  14. State one function of a monosaccharide and one function of a polysaccharide.
  15. State three functions of lipids.
  16. Discuss the use of carbohydrates and lipids in energy storage.


  1. Define enzyme
  2. Define active site
  3. Explain enzyme – substrate specificity
  4. Explain the effects of temperature pH and substrate concentration on enzyme activity.
  5. Define denaturation.

DNA structure

  1. Outline the DNA nucleotide structure
  2. State the names of the four bases in DNA
  3. Outline how the DNA nucleotides are linked together by covalent bonds into a single strand.
  4. Explain how a DNA double helix is formed using complementary base pairing and hydrogen bonds.
  5. Draw a simple diagram of the molecular structure of DNA.

DNA replication

  1. Why is DNA replication semi-conservative?
  2. Explain DNA replication.
  3. Explain the significance of complementary base pairing in the conservation of the base sequence of DNA.

Transcription and Translation

  1. Compare the structure of RNA and DNA.
  2. Outline DNA transcription in terms of the formation of an RNA strand complementary to the DNA strand by RNA polymerase.
  3. Describe the genetic code in terms of codons composed of triplets of bases.
  4. Explain the process of translation leading to peptide linkage formation.
  5. Define degenerate
  6. Define universal.
  7. Explain the relationship between one gene and one polypeptide.

Cell Respiration

  1. Define cell respiration.
  2. In cell respiration what is glucose broken down into?
  3. What is pyruvate converted into?
  4. What is pyruvate broken down into in cell respiration?


  1. What is photosynthesis?
  2. What is white light composed of?
  3. What is the main photosynthetic pigment?
  4. Outline the differences in absorption of red, blue and green light by chlorophyll.
  5. What is light energy used for?
  6. What are ATP and hydrogen used for?
  7. How can the rate of photosynthesis be measured?
  8. Outline the effects of temperature, light intensity and carbon dioxide concentration of the rate of photosynthesis.


Chromosomes, Genes, Alleles, and Mutations.

  1. What are Eukaryote chromosomes made out of?
  2. What happens in karyotyping?
  3. Describe one application of karyotyping.
  4. Define gene.
  5. Define allele
  6. Define genome
  7. Define gene mutation.
  8. Explain the consequence of a base substitution mutation in relation to the process of transcription and translation, using the example of sickle cell anemia.


  1. What is meiosis?
  2. Define homologous chromosome.
  3. Outline the process of meiosis.
  4. Explain how the movement of chromosomes during meiosis can give rise to genetic variety in the resulting haploid cells.
  5. Explain non-disjunction.
  6. What is Mendel’s law of segregation?
  7. Explain the relationship between Mendel’s law of segregation and meiosis.

Theoretical Genetics.

  1. Define Genotype
  2. Define Phenotype
  3. Define dominant allele
  4. Define recessive allele
  5. Define codominant alleles
  6. Define locus.
  7. Define homozygous.
  8. Define heterozygous
  9. Define carrier.
  10. Define test cross
  11. Construct a Punnett grid
  12. Construct a Pedigree chart.
  13. When do some gene’s have more than one allele?
  14. Describe the ABO blood groups as an example of codominance and multiple alleles.
  15. Outline how the sex chromosomes determine gender by referring to the inheritance of X and Y chromosomes in humans.
  16. Define sex linkage
  17. State two examples of sex linkage.
  18. What are female carriers for X-linked recessive alleles?
  19. Calculate and predict the genotypic and phenotypic ratios of offspring of monohybrid crosses involving any of the above patterns of inheritance.
  20. Deduce the genotypes or phenotypes of individuals in pedigree charts.

Genetic Engineering and Other Aspects of Biotechnology

  1. What is PCR?
  2. What does PCR do?
  3. What is gel electrophoresis?
  4. What is gel electrophoresis used for?
  5. Describe two applications of DNA profiling.
  6. Define genetic screening.
  7. Discuss three advantages and/or disadvantages of genetic screening.
  8. What is the Human Genome Project?
  9. Describe two possible advantageous outcomes of this project.
  10. Why can genetic material be transferred between species?
  11. Outline a basic technique used for gene transfer involving plasmids, a host cell, restriction enzymes and DNA ligase.
  12. State two examples of the current uses of genetically modified crops or animals.
  13. Discuss the potential benefits and possible harmful effects of one example of genetic modification.
  14. Outline the process of gene therapy using a named example.
  15. Define clone.
  16. Outline a technique for cloning using differentiated cells.
  17. Discuss the ethical issues of cloning in humans.

Human Health and Physiology


  1. Explain why digestion of large food molecules is essential.
  2. Explain the need for enzymes in digestion.
  3. State the source substrate, products and optimum pH condition for one amylase, one protease, and on lipase.
  4. Draw a diagram of the digestive system.
  5. Outline the function of the stomach small intestine and large intestine.
  6. Distinguish between absorption and assimilation.
  7. Explain how the structure of the villus is related to its role in absorption of the need products of digestion.

The Transport System.

  1. Draw a diagram of the heart showing all four chambers, associated blood vessels and valves.
  2. Describe the action of the heart in terms of collecting blood, pumping blood, and opening and closing valves.
  3. Outline the control of the heartbeat in terms of the pacemakers, nerves, and adrenalin.
  4. Explain the relationship between the structure and function of arteries, capillaries, and veins.
  5. What is blood composed of?
  6. What is transported by the blood?

Gas Exchange

  1. List the feature of alveoli that adept them to gas exchange.
  2. Stat the difference between ventilation, gas exchange and cell respiration.
  3. Explain the necessity for a ventilation system.
  4. Dram a diagram of the ventilation system.
  5. Explain the mechanism of ventilation in human lungs including the action of the internal and external intercostal muscles, the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles.


Location: Cambridge, UK


Welcome to Biology!

by marie on 17 Aug 2004 06:29 am

Hello! I am one of the moderators for biology, and I just wanted to give a warm welcome to those who are starting the subject, or are in the middle of the course. Biology is an enjoyable subject, and having a passion for a subject makes it easier to do well in an exam.

I should add that I took SL biology, so I'd be grateful for advice from those who have taken, or are taking, HL.

I intend to post some advice on revising and typing up labs, but at the moment all of my notes are in transit to England. Once I get to them I'll try to type up something.


Location: Cambridge, UK

by alia on 19 Aug 2004 03:52 am

Greetings! I'm also a moderator for the bio section

Welcome, fellow Bio SLers/HLers!

I currently take Bio HL, so while Marie takes care of all the Bio SLers, I'll be taking care of the Bio HLers.

If you don't have some kind of love for bio, taking HL bio is not going to be fun or easy. There's a LOT you're going to have to cover. Lots of terms, theories, diagrams, tables, statistics, even MATH! If you enjoy bio, it's gonna be way easy to learn it all. Plus, it's better to actually understand the stuff, rather than mere memorization.

And remember, taking lots of notes during class and actually listenin to the a must. Sure you *might* doze off occasionally [which I'm sure won't happen if you luuurve bio], and you can always copy your buddy's notes. But it's important to have your own set of notes. We all have our own way of note-taking...our own way of understanding stuff. Plus, your friend's handwriting might be awful !! Being able to read your own handwriting is...guaranteed.

Anyhoo, post questions, post advices...anything! - as long as it's bio related.

Have fun! and ENJOY BIOLOGY!!


by aleefia on 27 Sep 2004 01:52 am


my name is aleefia. i'm in the middle of doing higher biology, well septermber really of my ib2 year (exam is in may). do you know where i can find past ib question papers, with the mark scheme, or if theres any book with them included?



by Joseph on 14 Feb 2005 05:47 am

marie wrote:

Hello! I am one of the moderators for biology, and I just wanted to give a warm welcome to those who are starting the subject, or are in the middle of the course. Biology is an enjoyable subject, and having a passion for a subject makes it easier to do well in an exam.

I should add that I took SL biology, so I'd be grateful for advice from those who have taken, or are taking, HL.

I intend to post some advice on revising and typing up labs, but at the moment all of my notes are in transit to England. Once I get to them I'll try to type up something.

I'll be more than happy to answer your questions .

Dear Marie,

could you please send me an email to me so that I could ask you specific questions regarding biology

thank you


by Nowakowski on 17 Feb 2005 07:58 pm


If someone needs help with biochemistry, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, may find me helpful as well, since I am studying Neuroscience.


Location: Edinburgh (Uni) / Poland Gdansk


Tips to Ace the Multiple Choice

by marie on 18 Aug 2004 07:34 am

1) Go to your syllabus and highlight all your Type I requirements (items that have 1 on the right side). These are simple things such as definitions of technical terms. I just highlighted the '1', so the writing wouldn't get hard to see.

2) Get out the good old flash cards and formulate questions for the requirements. For example, if it says 'State that the human genome project is an international cooperative venture established to complete the human genetic sequence', the question would be 'What is the human genome project?'. I ended up filling two books of flashcards:


Yes, writing them is a pain, but once you do revision goes tremendously smoothly. Moreover, the process of writing them is part of the revision!

3) Memorize! Now you can go over the questions repetitively.

After doing past papers I found that at least 70% of the multiple choice questions were Type I questions. The rest were Type II. Therefore, by knowing all the Type I questions you are almost guaranteed to get at least 70% right. Don't forget to study the Type IIs also!

Do you have any tips? Please submit!


Location: Cambridge, UK

by aleefia on 27 Sep 2004 01:56 am

my teacher always says go with your first instinct for mc. so try it.



How to test the skin's sensitivity to touch?

by Yvonne on 22 Feb 2006 07:37 pm

Hi guys,

For my last Biology Planning Practical I have to plan an investigation into how to determine the skin's sensitivity to touch in different regions of the body.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Thanks, Yvonne xx.



Biology HL syllabus details

by ibers on 10 Jan 2005 12:13 pm

If possible, can anyone post the link of a site in which i can find a detailed bio HL syllabus with detailed answers?


by Guest on 22 Jan 2006 08:18 pm

would be helpful to post the site if you find it on here....




internal assessment Help!

by Hails on 03 Nov 2005 09:34 pm

Hey everyone, i have lost my copy of the internal assessment criterea for bio, and was wondering if anyone could help me out and send it to me, or just post it here. That would be great! good luck to everyone else out there, just remember that we're all stuck in sh*t up to our knees..



Test Yourself on Definitions

by marie on 22 Mar 2005 04:21 am

I also found this on my computer. Feel free to copy, paste, and print it to test yourself.

Organelle A discrete structure within a cell, and has a specific function

Tissue Group of specialized cells

Organ Group of specialized tissues

Organ System Group of specialized organs

Diffusion The passive movement of particles from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration, as a result of the random motion of particles.

Osmosis The passive movement of water molecules from a region of lower solute concentration to a region of higher solute concentration, across a partially permeable membrane.

Organic Compounds containing carbon that are found in living organisms.

Enzyme Globular proteins which act as catalysts of chemical reactions.

Active Site An active site is aregion on the surface of an enzyme to which substrates bind and which catalyses a chemical reaction involving the substrates.

Denaturation The changing of the structure of an enzyme so that it can no longer carry out it’s function.

Degenerate Having more than one base triplet to code for one amino acid.

Universal Found in all living things.

Cell respiration Controlled release of energy in the form of ATP from organic compounds in cells.

Photosynthesis The conversion of light energy into chemical energy.

Chlorophyll Main photosynthetic pigment in plants.

Gene A heritable factor that controls a specific characteristic.

Allele One specific form of a gene, differing from other alleles by one or a few bases only and occupying the same gene locus as other alleles of the gene.

Genome The whole of the genetic information of an organism.

Gene Mutation A change in the base sequence of a gene.

Homologous Chromosomes Chromosomes that have the same genes as each other, in the same sequence, but not necessarily the same alleles of those genes.

Genotype The alleles possessed by an organism.

Phenotype The characteristics of an organism.

Dominant allele An allele that has the same effect on the phenotype whether it is present in the homozygous or heterozygous state.

Recessive allele An allele that only has an effect on the phenotype when it is present in the homozygous state.

Codominant alleles Pairs of alleles that both affect the phenotype when preent in a heterozygote.

Locus The particular position on homologous chromosomes of a gene.

Homozygous Having two identical alleles of a gene.

Heterozygous Having two different alleles of a gene.

Carrier An individual that has a recessive allele of a gene that does not have an effect on their phenotype.

Test cross Testing a suspected heterozygote by crossing it with a known homozygous recessive.

Sex linkage The association of a characteristic with gender, be ause the gene controlling the characteristic is located on a sex chromosome.

Genetic screening Testing an individual of the presence or adsence of a gene.

Human Genome Project An international cooperative venture established to sequence the complete human genome.,

Clone A group of genetically identical organisms or a group of cells artificially derived from a single parent.


Location: Cambridge, UK


needing help in bio planning labs

by nata_dove_lie on 07 Dec 2004 07:04 am

Hi everyone!

You all know that planning labs are compulsory and a pain (as most of the IB) in the science subjets, but not as much as when you have an old bio teacher that spaces out every five minutes, has no idea what he is talking about, expects students to learn a 500 page book by heart, and thinking that we can manage to do a planning lab with no background info whatsoever.

The title of the planning lab is 'how fit am I and how do I determine this' (pretty sad right?'. Well, if any of you have done a similar planning lab, or have any ideas, could you please tell me?

I have an idea about a person running up and down a step for different lengths of time, but I don't know if it is correct and how it would help to show anything.