The Complete Idiot's Guide to Life Science

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If you are a would-be or a weekend scientist, this book is a good place to begin your study. Though the core of the book is biology, you are will be introduced to anatomy, zoology, ecology, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry, ornithology (the study of birds), and herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians).
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If you are a would-be or a weekend scientist, this book is a good place to begin your study. Though the core of the book is biology, you are will be introduced to anatomy, zoology, ecology, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry, ornithology (the study of birds), and herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028631998
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 8/11/2000
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Science and Life.
A Good Place to Start. The Characteristics of Life.
Move, Move, Move! Organization Is Everything. Homeo-what? Energy-Use It! Reproduction. Growing, Growing, Grown.
Moving Toward "Real" Science.
What's That? How Does It Work? Is It Science, or Magic? Greek Science. Galileo and the Beginnings of Modern Science.
The Scientific Method.
The Working Hypothesis. Nonchallenging and Challenging Tests.
Heeere's ... Matter and Elements.
Matter: Does It Matter? The Elements: You Are What You Are.

2. In the Beginning.
The "Big Bang" Theory. The Spontaneous Generation Theory.
Redi's Experiment. Spallanzani's Experiment. Pasteur's Experiment.
In the Primordial Soup.
Forming a Simple Organic Compound. Miller and Urey's Soup.
Soup Ingredients.
Forming Complex Organic Compounds Out of "Nothing". Complex Organic Compounds in the Sea. Corralling the Compounds. What's So Important About DNA? Go Forth and Multiply!

3. History of Life on Earth.
Macroevolution. The Fossil Record.
Paleontology Develops. Uncovering the Layers of Life. The Incomplete Fossil Record.
Measuring Geologic and Evolutionary Time. Mass Extinctions: The Dinosaurs.

4. Understanding the Cells: The Building Blocks of Life.
The Building Blocks of Life.
Building a Theory. Cell Structure and Function.The "C" Word: Chemistry.
Less is Less?
The Basics of Animal and Plant Eukaryotes. Get Those Organelles to Work, Work, Work! The Basics of Plant Eukaryotes. Fluid Movement: The Key to Cell Interaction.
Cell Division. But Can You See It?

5. Physi-What?
Physiology: Movin' Metabolism. Photosynthesis.
Chlorophyll: The Start of It All. Light-Dependent Reactions. Light-Independent Reactions.
Respiration: Breathing?
Break Down That Sugar! Anaerobic Respiration. Aerobic Respiration.
More Building Blocks for Energy.
DNA: The First Building Block. RNA: The Next Building Block.
Protein Synthesis.


6. Watch Out! Viruses and Bacteria.
The Five Kingdoms.
The Kingdom Monera. The Kingdom Protista. The Kingdom Fungi. The Kingdom Plantae. The Kingdom Animalia.
Viruses: Organisms Without a Kingdom.
Virus Structure. Vaccinations, Pasteur, and Rabies. Complexity Defined: The AIDS Virus. Diversity and Reproduction of Viruses.
Bacteria: The Basic Monerans.
Types and Structure of Bacteria. Nutrition and Nitrogen-Fixing.

7. The Catchall Kingdom: Protists.
The Kingdom Protista. Protozoa.
Sarcodina: The Squishy Movers. Ciliophora: Stroke! Stroke! Stroke! Zoomastigina: Whip! Whip! Whip! Sporozoa: The Do-Nothing Protozoans.
Algae: The Other Protists.
Algae Structure and Classification. Chlorophyta: The Green Algae. Phaeophyta: The Brown Algae. Rhodophyta: The Red Algae. Chrysophyta: The Golden-Brown Algae. Pyrrophyta: The Fire Algae.
Euglena: The Misfit Algae-Protozoa.

8. Fungi!
The Main Event: Decomposing.
Fungal Bodies. Sex Among the Fungi.
The No-Fits: Fungus-Like Protists.
Slime! Aquanauts and Others.
Zygomycetes: The Spoilers. Sac Fungi: Yeasts, Truffles, Morels, and Pathogens. Club Fungi: Mushrooms and Puffballs. Imperfect Fungi.

9. Green, Green, Green: Plants.
The Leap from Water to Land.
The Fossil Record of Plants. Classification and Breakdown.
Mosses and Worts.
Mosses. The Worts: Liver and Horn.
Ferns and Other Seedless Vasculars.
More Seedless Vascular Plants: Ferns. More Seedless Vasculars: The Fern Allies.
Conifers and Other Gymnosperms.
More Gymnosperms: The Cycads. Gingkos. Still More Gymnosperms: The Gnetophytes.
The Flowering Plants: Angiosperms.
Monocots. Dicots.

10. Flying, Crawling, and Other Creatures: Animals.
Classifying the Animal Kingdom.
Mirror, Mirror. Sensation Is Everything. The Gut. Cavities, Anyone? Segmentation.
Invertebrates Rule, Vertebrates Drool!
Primitive Invertebrates: Sponges and Cnidarians. Worms, Worms, Worms: Flat and Round.
Mollusks and Annelids.
Creepy Crawlies: Arthropods. Echinoderms. Chordates and Vertebrates.


11. Movement! The Skeletal-Muscular System.
Always, Always, Always: Organization!
Skin Organization. Skeletal Organization. Muscular Organization.
Skin: The All-Purpose Covering.
The Epidermis. The Dermis.
Dem Bones, Dem Bones: The Skeletal System.
Bone Structure. Bone Development. Human Skeletal Structure.
Muscles and How They Work.
Skeletal Muscle Structure and Movement. Controlling Those Contractions.

12. The Nervous and Sensory Systems.
Always, Always, Always: Organization!
Invertebrate Organization. Bilateral and Cephalized Invertebrate Organization. Vertebrate Organization.
The Command Center: The Brain. The Pathways: Neurons and the Peripheral Nervous System. The Messengers: Nerve Impulses.
Functional Parts of Neurons. Send Those Messages Down The Line!
The Five Senses, and More.
Types of Sensory Receptors. Somatic Sensations and the Special Senses.

13. The Digestive System.
Always, Always, Always: Organization!
Incomplete Digestive Systems. Complete Digestive Systems.
Down the Hatch: Digestion.
Motility and Muscles. Fill That Stomach!
Use It: Absorption! You Are What You Eat: Nutrition.

14. The Respiratory System.
Always, Always, Always: Organization.
Gas Diffusion in Aquatic Environments. Gas Diffusion in Terrestrial Environments. Organization and Diversity.
In and Out: The Mechanism of Breathing. Gas Exchange and Transport. Exercise and Other Oddities.
Exercise: Go, Go, Go!

15. The Circulatory System.
Always, Always, Always: Organization.
The Basics.
At the Heart of the Matter: The Heart.
The Cardiac Cycle. Controlling the Cycle: Do You Have a Say?
The Delivery System: Blood Vessels.
Coronary Circulation. Renal Circulation. Arteries and Veins: The Main Highways.
The Blood of Life: Blood.
Plasma. Blood Solids.

16. The Immune and Lymphatic Systems.
Always, Always, Always: Organization!
Pathogens. The First Line of Defense: Nonspecific Defenses. The Second Line of Defense: Specific Defenses.
Cells of the Immune System. Your Lymphatic System. Your Immune System in Action.
B-cells Sound the Alarm. T-Cells and the Cell-Mediated Response.
Immunity, Drugs, and Disorders.
Vaccines: The Wonder Drugs. When the Immune Response Fails.

17. Endocrine and Reproductive Systems.
Always, Always, Always: Organization. Your Endocrine System.
The Wonderful World of Hormones. The Glands That Secrete the Hormones.
Human Reproductive Systems.
The Male Reproductive System. The Female Reproductive System.
Fertilization and Development.
Nine Months and Counting. Into the World.


18. The Plant Body.
The "Typical" Plant.
Monocots. Dicots.
Tissue, Tissue ... Which Plant's Got the Tissue?
Ground Tissues. Vascular Tissues. Dermal Tissues.
Meristems: Where It All Starts.
Roots, Stems, and Leaves: The Basics. Roots. Stems. Leaves.

19. Woody Plants.
Herbaceous vs. Woody Plants. Tissue Formation of Secondary Growth. Arf! Arf!: Bark and Wood.
Changing Wood: Heartwood and Sapwood. Early? Late? Hard? Soft?
How Far Can You Grow?

20. Plant Nutrition and Transport.
Nutrition Requirements. Minerals, Minerals-Where Are the Minerals? Water and Mineral Absorption. Water Transport and Conservation.
Transpiration. Controlling Water Loss.
The Phloem Highway.
Storage and Transport of Organic Compounds. Translocation. Pressure Flow Theory.

21. Plant Reproduction and Development.
Reproductive Modes. Hey, Sailor! Flowers!
Flower Structure. From Microspores to Pollen Grains. From Megaspores to Eggs.
Pollination and Fertilization. Embryo Development.
Seeds. Fruit Formation and Seed Dispersal.
Growth and Development Patterns.


22. Evolution.
Darwin and His Theory. Natural Selection. The Origins of Humans. From Apes to Neanderthals to Humans. Lucy and the Black Skull: The Missing Links?

23. Genetics.
A Man and His Peas: Mendel. Three Mendelian Principles.
The Principle of Dominance and Recessiveness. The Principle of Segregation. The Principle of Independent Assortment.
Patterns of Inheritance. Population Genetics.

24. Genetic Engineering.
Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology.
Plasmids and Restriction Enzymes. How Restriction Enzymes Work.
Double Trouble! Got You By the Riff-Lips: DNA Fingerprinting. The Human Genome Project.

25. Tying It All Together: Ecology.
Living on Earth. Terrestrial Biomes. Aquatic Biomes. Ecosystem Structure. Population Dynamics.

26. The Future of the Biosphere.
Resource and Habitat Destruction.
Renewable Resources. Nonrenewable Resources.
Pollution and Global Climate Change.
Acid Rain. Ozone Thinning.
Population Control. Maintaining the Biosphere.
Solar-Hydrogen Energy. Wind Energy. Fusion Power.
A. Glossary. B. Geological Time Scale of Life.

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