►This site was originally created for my kids and their cousins, because we did science together. We eventually added more friends and I ended up having science classes for five years. I am no longer adding to the site (since 2014), but will leave it up for others' use. I do post to facebook occasionally if I come across something to share. =)

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Apologia General Science, Module 9, What is Life?

We made DNA!
What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Students:
Quizlet M9
Do these as you come to them in the chapter:
DNA game - match up nucleotides - Click on DNA Replication, then Unzip.
• Comparing Cell Size - really cool
From Cells to Systems - interactive, animated tutorial

Parents/Educators:
Yummy DNA!
Edible cells we made for Biology


There are 4 criteria for life.
If something fails to meet even ONE of these, it is not alive.
  1. All life forms contain DNA.
  2. All life forms can take energy from their surroundings and convert it to usable energy for themselves.
  3. All life forms can sense and respond to changes.
  4. All life forms reproduce.


(1) p. 217-219, DNA and Life
Criterion #1 - All life forms contain DNA
DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid, Hear pronunciation. Click on the little speaker.
Click to see animated images of DNA structures.  This is just to familiarize yourself with what DNA strands can look like as they are rotated.
More images of DNA

Atoms and Molecules
Molecules are made of combinations of 2 or more atoms linked together.  The atoms of the molecules that make up skin consist of different kinds of atoms that make up the molecules of hair, nails, organs, etc.
If a substance has only one type of atom throughout, it actually has no molecules, but is a pure substance, such as iron, gold, or other elements.


Atoms make up molecules.  Molecules make up DNA.
The atoms are like the ingredients.  They can be used in many different recipes, and each type of molecule has its own recipe of atoms.


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(2) p. 2210-224, The Structure of DNA

►See a drawing of DNA.  Note that A and T are linked together, and C and G are linked together.
These letters represent the names for the nucleuotides in DNA.  Adenine always links to Thymine, and Cytosine always links to Guanine.


DNA Barcoding -- Wow.



How to make Yummy DNA.
DNA game - match up nucleotides - Click on DNA Replication, then Unzip.


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(3) p. 225-229a, Energy and Life
Criterion #2 - All life forms can take energy from their surroundings and convert it into usable energy for themselves.
Everything around you has energy in it.  When we eat, we are taking energy from food and transferring it to our bodies.
Plants do not "eat" but they do take energy from their surroundings and produce their own food.  They take this energy and convert it to usable energy that helps them live.  They do this by a process called photosynthesis.  Leaves produce food in the form of a simple sugar, called glucose.
Xylem carries water to the leaf, and phloem carries food to all parts of the plant.



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(4) p. 229-231, Sensing and Responding to Change
Criterion #3 - All life forms can sense changes in their surroundings and respond to those changes.
You've seen animals react with instinct.  They build homes, protect their young, and when there is severe  weather, they know where to go.
Earthworms go deeper into the soil when there is bright sunlight, and come up for air if there is a heavy rain that could drown them.
When you are cold you can put on a coat.  When you are thirsty, you can get a glass of ice water.
Most flowers open when the sun rises.  Plants grow toward sunlight, and wilt when they have insufficient water.
These are all responses to change.


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(5)  p. 231-235, Reproduction and Life
Criterion #4 -- All life forms reproduce.

Genesis 1:20-28, KJV
Creation of fish, fowl, beasts and cattle
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Creation man in the image of God
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


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(6) p. 235b-238, The Cell - Life's Smallest Unit
Cells make copies of themselves. Inside of every cell is DNA.


Blood cells, skin cells, brain cells, muscle cells... lots of types of cells!
Some things to know about cells:
  1. Cells are very small -- there are about a hundred trillion in your body!
  2. It doesn't take a lot of cells to make a living organism.  Some organisms have only a single cell!
  3. Cells themselves can reproduce.  Your body is constantly replacing dead cells in your body.
  4. One of the organelles in the cell is the nucleus.  This is where the DNA is!
  5. There are three basic kinds of cells:
    animal cells - these have a nucleus that holds the DNA.
    plant cells - these also have a nucleus, but unlike an animal cell, plant cells  have a large water vacuole in the center that, when full, keeps the plant stem upright.
    bacteria - these cells have no nucleus.  There is still DNA, but there is no nucleus.  The DNA strands are throughout the cell.

About Plant Cells:
  • Plant cells have a large vacuole in the center that fills with water/sap to keep the stem and leaves of the plant rigid.  If you forget to water a plant, the plant will wilt because the vacuoles are not filled.
  • Plant cells also have a cell wall that helps the cell be more rigid than an animal cell.
  • The chloroplasts are in the cells of plants, and contain chlorophyll that gives the plant it's green color.
  • Photosynthesis takes place in the chloroplasts, making glucose, a simple sugar that is food for the plant.
  • Both plant and animal cells have a nucleus.
►Plant cells have organelles (or tiny organs) that are "floating" in a jelly-like substance called cytoplasm.  All organelles have a particular job.  When you get to biology, you will learn the names of all the organelles and their jobs.
►See drawings of plant cells here.  Note how differently they are drawn, but always look for the vacuole to make sure it is a plant cell.  Some are 3D, and some are more simple than others.


About Animal Cells:
  • Animal cells are the kinds of cells in all animals and in humans.
  • All animal cells have a nucleus which is one of the organelles of a cell.  The nucleus controls what happens inside the cell.
  • The nucleus contains the DNA for that particular type of cell.  (Atoms make up molecules.  Molecules make up DNA, which is the genetic information for that cell.)
  • The cell membrane holds the cell together and controls which substances can get in and out.
►See drawings of animal cells here.  Note how differently they are drawn.  Some are more detailed than others, but all have a nucleus.


From cells, to tissues, to organs, to systems:
  1. Blood cells, skin cells, brain cells, muscle cells... lots of types of cells!  There are hundreds of trillions of cells that make up your entire body, and there are all kinds.
  2. Cells make up tissues.  A group of the same type of cell is called tissue.   Muscles cells form muscle tissue.
  3. Tissues make up organs.  An important organ is your heart, and is made up of muscle and other tissues.  The brain and lungs are other important organs made up of tissues.
  4. Groups of organs make up systems (like the digestive system, skeletal system, respiratory system, etc).
Interactive, animated tutorial: From Cells to Systems  Turn on the subtitles if needed.
For General Science, this is better than any video I have found.
My class, let me know if you were able to get all 6 questions right at the end.  You can re-do the tutorial as many times as you like.

Really cool:  Comparing Cell Size - Use the slider below the picture to slowly zoom in.
Compare the size of a grain of rice to a blood cell!  Also see an atom and a water molecule at the end.
On the way, notice the amoeba, smaller than a grain of salt.
And the paramecium, (pear-uh-ME-see-um) about the size of an extremely tiny sliver of the corner of an amoeba.  When you zoom all the way back out, the paramecium disappears from view, but you can still barely see the amoeba.
(You will learn about the amoeba and paramecium soon.)
Also see adenine - one of the nucleotides that make up DNA.

One of the edible cells we made in Biology - Animal Cell:

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