Biology How Life Works

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  • Table of Contents


    We invite you to explore the Biology: How Life Works, Second Edition Table of Contents.


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      • 1.1 The Scientific Method
      • 1.2 Chemical and Physical Principles
      • 1.3 The Cell
      • 1.4 Evolution
      • 1.5 Ecological Systems
      • 1.6 The Human Footprint

    • Case 1: The First Cell: Life’s Origins


      • 2.1 Properties of Atoms
      • 2.2 Molecules and Chemical Bonds
      • 2.3 Water: The Medium of Life
      • 2.4 Carbon: Life’s Chemical Backbone
      • 2.5 Organic Molecules
      • 2.6 How Did the Molecules of Life Form?

      • 3.1 Major Biological Functions of DNA
      • 3.2 Chemical Composition and Structure Of DNA
      • 3.3 Retrieval of Genetic Information Stored In DNA: Transcription
      • 3.4 Fate of the RNA Primary Transcript

      "I like the chapter's focus on the essentials, and inclusion of molecular biology. This chapter builds the central dogma as a starting point, which is a nice way to approach it. "


      —Morris Maduro, University of California, Riverside



      • 4.1 Molecular Structure of Proteins
      • 4.2 Translation: How Proteins Are Synthesized
      • 4.3 Protein Evolution and the Origin of New Proteins

      • 5.1 Structure of Cell Membranes
      • 5.2 The Plasma Membrane and Cell Wall
      • 5.3 The Internal Organization of Cells
      • 5.4 The Endomembrane System
      • 5.5 Mitochondria and Chloroplasts

      • 6.1 An Overview of Metabolism
      • 6.2 Kinetic and Potential Energy
      • 6.3 The Laws of Thermodynamics
      • 6.4 Chemical Reactions
      • 6.5 Enzymes and the Rate of Chemical Reactions

      • 7.1 An Overview of Cellular Respiration
      • 7.2 Glycolysis: The Splitting of Sugar
      • 7.3 Pyruvate Oxidation
      • 7.4 The Citric Acid Cycle
      • 7.5 The Electron Transport Chain and Oxidative Phosphorylation
      • 7.6 Anaerobic Metabolism and the Evolution of Cellular Respiration
      • 7.7 Metabolic Integration

      "Overall, my impression of this chapter is very good...easy to read and follow. A nice touch is the explanation the difference between carbon atoms and their electrons in glucose and those in CO₂. This is not often seen in textbooks, students are expected to sort of magically accept that when electrons are removed from glucose and go into NADH, the carbon has lost electrons. This should help them a lot."


      —Peter Kourtev, Central Michigan University



      • 8.1 Photosynthesis: An Overview
      • 8.2 The Calvin Cycle
      • 8.3 Capturing Sunlight into Chemical Forms
      • 8.4 Challenges to Photosynthetic Efficiency
      • 8.5 The Evolution of Photosynthesis

    • Case 2: Cancer: When Good Cells Go Bad


      • 9.1 Principles of Cell Communication
      • 9.2 Cell Signaling Over Long and Short Distances
      • 9.3 Cell-surface and Intracellular Receptors
      • 9.4 G Protein-coupled Receptors and Short-term Responses
      • 9.5 Receptor Kinases and Long-term Responses

      "I found the chapter engaging and informative, and consistent with the authors intentions of stripping the information presented down to its essential elements without a blizzard of terminology to confuse students."


      —John Flaspohler, Concordia College



      • 10.1 Tissues and Organs
      • 10.2 The Cytoskeleton
      • 10.3 Cell Junctions
      • 10.4 The Extracellular Matrix

      • 11.1 Cell Division
      • 11.2 Mitotic Cell Division
      • 11.3 Meiotic Cell Division
      • 11.4 Regulation of the Cell Cycle
      • 11.5 What Genes are Involved in Cancer?


      • 12.1 DNA Replication
      • 12.2 Replication of Chromosomes
      • 12.3 Isolation, Identification, and Sequencing of DNA Fragments
      • 12.4 Recombinant DNA and Genetically Modified Organisms

      "I am very impressed with the fact that this chapter combines both DNA replication & manipulation. They are intimately related with respect to molecular biology. Having them together will likely help students understand the applicability of DNA replication to modern biology research."


      —Tim Christensen, East Carolina University



      • 13.1 Genome Sequencing
      • 13.2 Genome Annotation
      • 13.3 Gene Number, Genome Size, and Organismal Complexity
      • 13.4 Organization of Genomes
      • 13.5 Viruses and Viral Genomes

      • 14.1 The Rate and Nature of Mutations
      • 14.2 Small-Scale Mutations
      • 14.3 Chromosomal Mutations
      • 14.4 DNA Damage and Repair

      • 15.1 Genotype and Phenotype
      • 15.2 Genetic Variation and Individual Uniqueness
      • 15.3 Genomewide Studies of Genetic Variation
      • 15.4 Genetic Variation in Chromosomes

      • 16.1 Early Theories of Inheritance
      • 16.2 The Foundations of Modern Transmission Genetics
      • 16.3 Segregation: Mendel’s Key Discovery
      • 16.4 Independent Assortment
      • 16.5 Patterns of Inheritance Observed in Family Histories

      "The addition and multiplication rule is usually the hardest to understand and grasp. This text illustrates this concept well as the figures contain pea pods with different probabilities listed for each pea. It gives the student a visual way to learn as well as gives easy-to-follow examples."


      —Tracie Delgado, Northwest University



      • 17.1 The X and Y Sex Chromosomes
      • 17.2 Inheritance of Genes in the X Chromosome
      • 17.3 Genetic Linkage and Recombination
      • 17.4 Inheritance of Genes in the Y Chromosome
      • 17.5 Inheritance of Mitochondrial and Chloroplast DNA

      • 18.1 Heredity and Environment
      • 18.2 Resemblance among Relatives
      • 18.3 Twin Studies
      • 18.4 Complex Traits in Health and Disease

      • 19.1 Chromatin to Messenger RNA in Eukaryotes
      • 19.2 Messenger RNA to Phenotype in Eukaryotes
      • 19.3 Transcriptional Regulation in Prokaryotes

      • 20.1 Genetic Programs of Development
      • 20.2 Hierarchical Control of Development
      • 20.3 Evolutionary Conservation of Key Transcription Factors in Development
      • 20.4 Combinatorial Control in Development
      • 20.5 Cell Signaling in Development

      "This chapter explains the profound in simple terms with large amount of interesting examples, which could be the best one among all the ones that I have read."


      —Min Zhong, Auburn University



    • Case 4: Malaria: Co-evolution of Humans and a Parasite


      • 21.1 Genetic Variation
      • 21.2 Measuring Genetic Variation
      • 21.3 Evolution and the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium
      • 21.4 Natural Selection
      • 21.5 Migration, Mutation, Genetic Drift, and Non-random Mating
      • 21.6 Molecular Evolution

      • 22.1 The Biological Species Concept
      • 22.2 Reproductive Isolation
      • 22.3 Speciation
      • 22.4 Speciation and Selection

      "This chapter has it all: strong, engaging narrative; examples of research and science as a process; integration of concepts from other chapters."


      —Erik Scully, Towson University



      • 23.1 Reading a Phylogenetic Tree
      • 23.2 Building a Phylogenetic Tree
      • 23.3 The Fossil Record
      • 23.4 Comparing Evolution’s Two Great Patterns

      • 24.1 The Great Apes
      • 24.2 African Origins
      • 24.3 Distinct Features of Our Species
      • 24.4 Human Genetic Variation
      • 24.5 Culture, Language, and Consciousness

      • 25.1 The Short-term Carbon Cycle
      • 25.2 The Long-term Carbon Cycle
      • 25.3 The Carbon Cycle: Ecology, Biodiversity, and Evolution

    • Case 5: The Human Microbiome: Diversity Within


      • 26.1 Two Prokaryotic Domains
      • 26.2 An Expanded Carbon Cycle
      • 26.3 Other Biogeochemical Cycles
      • 26.4 The Diversity of Bacteria
      • 26.5 The Diversity of Archaea
      • 26.6 The Evolutionary History of Prokaryotes

      • 27.1 The Eukaryotic Cell: A Review
      • 27.2 Eukaryotic Origins
      • 27.3 Eukaryotic Diversity
      • 27.4 The Fossil Record of Protists

      • 28.1 The Phylogenetic Distribution of Multicellular Organisms
      • 28.2 Diffusion vs. Bulk Transport
      • 28.3 How to Build a Multicellular Organism
      • 28.4 Variations on a Theme: Plants vs. Animals
      • 28.5 The Evolution of Complex Multicellularity

      "This is my favorite chapter of the book...It is NOVEL, I haven't seen anything like it in any other Intro Bio book. It is HIGHLY SYNTHETIC. The section on adhesion/communication/development beautifully synthesizes evolution and cellular function, and the section comparing multicellularity in plants vs. animals beautifully synthesizes development and anatomy."


      —Peter Armbruster, Georgetown University



    • Case 6: Agriculture: Feeding a Growing Population


      • 29.1 Plant Structure and Function: An Evolutionary Perspective
      • 29.2 The Leaf: Acquiring Co2 While Avoiding Desiccation
      • 29.3 The Stem: Transport of Water through Xylem
      • 29.4 The Stem: Transport of Carbohydrates through Phloem
      • 29.5 The Root: Uptake of Water and Nutrients from the Soil

      • 30.1 Alternation of Generations
      • 30.2 Seed Plants
      • 30.3 Flowering Plants
      • 30.4 Asexual Reproduction

      • 31.1 Shoot Growth and Development
      • 31.2 Plant Hormones
      • 31.3 Secondary Growth
      • 31.4 Root Growth and Development
      • 31.5 The Environmental Context of Growth and Development
      • 31.6 Plants Have Sensory Systems that Control the Timing of Developmental Events.

      • 32.1 Protection against Pathogens
      • 32.2 Defense against Herbivores
      • 32.3 Allocating Resources to Defense
      • 32.4 Defense and Plant Diversity

      "I like the chapter. It conveys important information without being overly technical. It covers the major points and omits the minutia."


      —John DuBois, Middle Tennessee State University



      • 33.1 Plant Diversity: An Evolutionary Overview
      • 33.2 Bryophytes
      • 33.3 Spore-dispersing Vascular Plants
      • 33.4 Gymnosperms
      • 33.5 Angiosperms

      • 34.1 Growth and Nutrition
      • 34.2 Reproduction
      • 34.3 Diversity

    • Case 7: Predator-Prey: A Game of Life and Death


      • 35.1 Nervous System Function and Evolution
      • 35.2 Neuron Structure
      • 35.3 Neuron Function
      • 35.4 Nervous System Organization

      • 36.1 Animal Sensory Systems
      • 36.2 Smell and Taste
      • 36.3 Sensing Gravity, Movement, and Sound
      • 36.4 Vision
      • 36.5 Brain Organization and Function
      • 36.6 Memory and Cognition

      • 37.1 Muscles: Biological Motors That Generate Force and Produce Movement
      • 37.2 Muscle Contractile Properties
      • 37.3 Animal Skeletons
      • 37.4 Vertebrate Skeletons

      • 38.1 An Overview of Endocrine Function
      • 38.2 Properties of Hormones
      • 38.3 The Vertebrate Endocrine System
      • 38.4 Other Forms of Chemical Communication

      • 39.1 Delivery of Oxygen and Elimination of Carbon Dioxide
      • 39.2 Respiratory Gas Exchange
      • 39.3 Oxygen Transport by Hemoglobin
      • 39.4 Circulatory Systems
      • 39.5 The Evolution, Structure, and Function of the Heart

      "There is no way this chapter is written just to memorize facts. It is written in a way to present facts but in a way that actually gives you the details and the facts to understand rather than memorize."


      —Raul Galvan, South Texas College



      • 40.1 Patterns of Animal Metabolism
      • 40.2 Animal and Nutrition Diet
      • 40.3 Adaptations for Feeding
      • 40.4 Digestion and Absorption of Food

      • 41.1 Water and Electrolyte Balance
      • 41.2 Excretion of Wastes in Relation to Electrolyte Balance
      • 41.3 Structure and Function of the Mammalian Kidney

      • 42.1 The Evolutionary History of Reproduction
      • 42.2 Movement onto Land and Reproductive Adaptations
      • 42.3 Human Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology
      • 42.4 Gamete Formation to Birth in Humans

      • 43.1 Innate Immunity
      • 43.2 Adaptive Immunity: B cells, Antibodies, and Humoral Immunity
      • 43.3 Adaptive Immunity: T cells and Cell-Mediated Immunity
      • 43.4 Three Infections: A Virus, Bacterium, and Eukaryote

    • Case 8: Biodiversity Hotspots: Rain Forests and Coral Reefs


      • 44.1 A Tree of Life for More Than a Million Animal Species
      • 44.2 The Simplest Animals: Sponges, Cnidarians, Ctenophores, and Placozoans
      • 44.3 Bilaterian Animals
      • 44.4 Vertebrate Diversity
      • 44.5 The Evolutionary History of Animals

      "I like the chapter. It is able to get through a great deal of diversity without the reader feeling that they are just clicking through groups."


      —Andrea Ward, Adelphi University



      • 45.1 Tinbergen’s Questions
      • 45.2 Genes and Behavior
      • 45.3 Learning
      • 45.4 Orientation, Navigation, and Biological Clocks
      • 45.5 Communication
      • 45.6 Social Behavior
      • 45.7 Behavior and Sexual Selection

      • 46.1 Populations and their Properties
      • 46.2 Population Growth and Decline
      • 46.3 Age-structured Population Growth
      • 46.4 Metapopulation Dynamics

      "The writing style is excellent. The manner in which the math is discussed is a definite improvement over the majority of texts. "


      —Troy Ladine, East Texas Baptist University



      • 47.1 The Niche
      • 47.2 Antagonistic Interactions between Species
      • 47.3 Mutualistic Interactions between Species
      • 47.4 Ecological Communities
      • 47.5 Ecosystems
      • 47.6 Biomes and Diversity Gradients

      • 48.1 The Physical Basis of Climate
      • 48.2 Biomes
      • 48.3. Global Ecology: Cycling Bioessntial Elements
      • 48.4. Global Biodiverisity

      • 49.1 The Anthropocene Period
      • 49.2 Human Influence on the Carbon Cycle
      • 49.3 Human Influence on the Nitrogen And Phosphorus Cycles
      • 49.4 Human Influence on Evolution
      • 49.5 Conservation Biology
      • 49.6 Scientists and Citizens in the 21st Century