Threshold concepts and misconceptions in biology
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Biology
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Threshold ConceptsSpecific misconceptions
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EvolutionIt is goal directed and moves towards better solutions
Humans are the ultimate goal of evolution
Humans have stopped evolving
Individuals evolve during their life
Evolution will produce new useable structures without intermediary steps (as opposed to working on current structures that have intermediary uses - like feathers and wings)
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Energy transformation:
Photosynthesis & respiration
Energy in food webs
Plants only respire at night
Plants don’t utilize the food they produce
Energy is “used up” (destroyed)
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Electrostatic interactions:
Hydrophilic & hydrophobic interactions
Molecular interactions, protein folding, membrane formatio
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Atoms “want” to have a full outer shell
Hydrophobic molecules are “attracted” to each other (as opposed to simply being pushed together as hydrophilic molecules are being attracted to each other).
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Water:
Hydrogen bonding, solubility, evaporation
Wind always cools things down (they are missing they link with wind increasing evaporation)
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Diffusion:
Transport across membranes
Diffusion is goal orientated (as opposed to the result of the random movement of individual particles)
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OsmosisWater is “sucked in” by solutes
Water molecules stop moving when equilibrium is reached
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Surface area to volume ratio:
Consequences for heat & diffusion
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Genetics:
Chromosomes, genes, mutations, transcription, translation
A somatic-cell mutation will affect the entire organism
Each somatic cell will be using all its DNA all the time
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Homeostasis:
Endothermy & exothermy
When people feel cold, their body temperature drops like an exotherm (difference between perception and fact)
Most of our (humans, endotherms) energy expenditure is physical exercise
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Cell Division: the cell cyleStudents think the cell is at rest during interphase.
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