Origins of Life: Biochemistry and Introduction to Cells

BIG IDEAS: 
  • The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
  • Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
  • Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.
In this unit, we'll start off with a discussion of the conditions of the early Earth that allowed for the formation of living cells.  We'll transition into a brief foray into biochemistry as it applies to cells and their function.
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November 18, 2013  Video In this podcast, Mr. Andersen describes the conditions that existed on the early Earth that allowed for the development of organic molecules that eventually gave rise to life on Earth. Abiogenesis 
November 18, 2013  Video In this podcast, Mr. Andersen discusses various scientific evidence of life's origins on Earth. Origins of Life-Scientific Evidence 
November 22, 2013  Activity Here are the slides for the Matchbook Summaries we did in class today. Origins of Life Matchbook Summaries 
November 20, 2013  Video In this podcast, Mr. Andersen discusses the endosymbiont theory that explains how mitochondria and chloroplasts were derived. Endosymbiosis 
November 20, 2013  Activity This sheet describes the jigsaw reading activity we will participate in during class. Jigsaw Reading: Origins of Life Readings 
November 20, 2013  Topic Review Guide Complete this TRG after you have viewed the videos on origins of life and have read Chapter 18 in your text.  Origins of Life TRG 
December 2, 2013  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen discusses the various properties of water that make it an important compound for life. Water: A Polar Molecule 
December 4, 2013  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen explains the process of polymerization: the formation of large organic molecules through the joining of smaller base units called monomers. Polymers 
January 9, 2014  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen reviews the 4 major categories of organic compounds important to living things.  Biological Molecules 
December 6, 2013  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen discusses lipids, their structure and function in living organisms. Lipids 
December 6, 2013  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen discusses various carbohydrates, their structure and function in living organisms. Carbohydrates 
December 9, 2013  Activity In this activity, we will build paper models of biological molecules. Modeling Life's Important Compounds  
December 3, 2013  Activity In this lab activity, you will investigate the various properties of water that make it one of life's essential compounds.  Properties of Water Lab 
December 6, 2013  Topic Review Guide Complete this TRG after you have watched all the videos and done the chapter readings from Chapter 2.  Biologically Important Molecules Part 1 TRG 
December 10, 2013  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen discusses proteins, their properties, and their importance in living organisms. Proteins 
January 6, 2014  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen discusses characteristics of enzymes and how they function.  Enzymes 
December 10, 2013  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen discusses the structure and types of nucleic acids, and their role in living organisms. Nucleic Acids 
January 6, 2014  Activity This is the list of terms you will use to build your concept map on the properties of water. Properties of Water Concept Map 
January 10, 2014  Lab Handout You will need to read this prior to completing the enzyme lab.  Biofuels Enzyme Lab Quick Guide 
January 8, 2014  Video In this video, Mr. Andersen explains how the shape of biological polymers helps dictate their function.  Biological and Polymer Systems 
January 8, 2014  Activity We will be constructing 3D models of proteins so that you can see how the shape of a protein is determined by the composition of the various amino acids that make it up. Modeling Protein Structure 
January 6, 2014  Topic Review Guide Complete this TRG after you have watched the videos about enzymes and their role in regulating biochemical reactions in cells. Enzymes TRG 
January 8, 2014  Topic Review Guide Complete this TRG once you have watched the videos on proteins and nucleic acids and have done the assigned text readings.  Biomolecules Part 2 TRG 
January 14, 2014  Lab Investigation In this lab, we will use the enzyme cellobiase to learn about various environmental factors affecting its activity. Biofuels Enzyme Lab 
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