In Keystone Biology, students learn that organisms share common characteristics of life. Cells have organized structures and systems necessary to support chemical reactions needed to maintain the living condition. Structure is related to function at all biological levels of organization. Through a variety of mechanisms, organisms seek to maintain a biological balance between their internal and external environments. Organisms obtain and use energy to carry out their life processes. Organisms on Earth interact and depend in a variety of ways on other living and nonliving things in their environments. Human population growth causes depletion of natural resources, and such global changes can cause biodiversity to diminish.

In addition, Keystone Biology teaches that new cells arise from the division of pre-existing cells, a form of “evolution,” as it were. Evolution is the result of many random processes selecting for the survival and reproduction of a population. DNA segments contain information for the production of proteins necessary for growth and function of cells. Recent developments in genetic engineering have impacted the fields of medicine, forensics, and agriculture.

PRE-REQUISITES: None

ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME: 16-18 weeks or approximately 65 – 75 hours

MAJOR TOPICS AND CONCEPTS 

Basic Biological Principles

  • Characteristics of Living Things
  • Cell Structure
  • Structure and Function

The Chemical Basis for Life

  • Properties of Water
  • Carbon
  • Monomers and Polymers
  • Macromolecules
  • Enzymes
  • Factors that affect enzymes

Bioenergetics

  • Organelles Used for Energy
  • Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
  • ATP

Homeostasis and Transport

  • Cell Membranes
  • Transport Across Membranes
  • Transport Within Cells
  • Homeostasis

Cell Growth and Reproduction

  • The Cell Cycle
  • Mitosis and Meiosis
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA and Inheritance

Genetics

  • Patterns of Inheritance
  • Chromosome Changes
  • Gene to Protein
  • Mutations and Proteins
  • Genetic Engineering

Theory of Evolution

  • Changes in Populations
  • Speciation
  • Mutations and Evolution
  • Evidence of Evolution
  • Scientific Theories

Ecology

  • Ecological Organization
  • Biotic and Abiotic Factors
  • Energy in Ecosystems
  • Biological Interactions
  • Cycles in Ecosystems
  • Changes in Ecosystems

LINKS TO FULL COURSE CURRICULUM MAPS

SEGMENT A/B