Biology for AP®

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Biology for AP® Course Outline

What makes Biology the study of life?

Concepts Covered:

  • How is Science Involved in Biology?
  • What are the Themes and Concepts of Biology?

What is the Chemical Foundation of Life?

Concepts Covered:

  • What are the Building Blocks of Life?
  • Why is Water so Important in Life?
  • What Role does Carbon have in Life?

How are Macromolecules Involved in Life?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the Synthesis of Macromolecules?
  • When is a Macromolecule Considered a Carbohydrate?
  • What are the Major Roles of Lipids?
  • How are Proteins Related to Our Body’s Functionality?
  • What do Nucleic Acids have to do with DNA?

What is a Cell Structure Composed of?

Concepts Covered:

  • What does a Cell do for an Organism?
  • What Distinguishes a Prokaryotic Cell from a Regular Cell?
  • How are Eukaryotic Cells Different from Prokaryotic Cells?
  • How do the Endomembrane System and Proteins Work Together?
  • Why is the Cytoskeleton Important in Cell Composition?
  • How are Cells and Cellular Activities Connected?

What is the Structure and Function of Plasma Membranes?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is a Cell Membrane Made of?
  • How is Passive Transport involved?
  • When does Active transport Occur?
  • What Happens during Bulk Transport?

How does Metabolism Work?

Concepts Covered:

  • How does Energy Play a Role in Metabolism?
  • What are the Different Types of Energy in the Process?
  • What are the Laws of Thermodynamics?
  • When does the Process of ATP Occur?
  • How do Enzymes Work?

When does Cellular Respiration Occur?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the Relationship Between Energy and Living Systems?
  • What Happens during Glycolysis?
  • How does Oxidation of Pyruvate and the Citric Acid Cycle Begin?
  • Why is Oxidative Phosphorylation an Important Process?
  • What is Difference Between Anaerobic Cellular Respiration and Fermentation?
  • How are Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Lipid Metabolic Pathways Connected?
  • Why do Organisms Need to Regulate Cellular Respiration?

What is Photosynthesis?

Concepts Covered:

  • Why is Photosynthesis Important?
  • How do the Light-Dependent Reactions Work in Photosynthesis?
  • How Can You Use Light Energy to Make Organic Molecules?

How do Cells Communicate?

Concepts Covered:

  • How do Cellular Receptors and Signaling Molecules Work Together?
  • When does the Propagation of the Signal Take Place?
  • What Happens When the Cell Responds to the Signal?
  • What is Different in the Signaling of Single-Celled Organisms?

Why do Cells Reproduce?

Concepts Covered:

  • What Takes Place during Cell Division?
  • What is the Cell Cycle?
  • What Has Control of the Cell Cycle?
  • When Could Cancer be Detected in the Cell Cycle?
  • Why do Prokaryotic Cells Divide?

What do Meiosis and Sexual Reproduction have in Common?

Concepts Covered:

  • Why does the Process of Meiosis Occur?
  • What is Sexual Reproduction?

How are Mendel's Experiments Important to Heredity?

Concepts Covered:

  • Who created the laws of probability?
  • What is the difference between characteristics and traits?
  • When are the Laws of Inheritance applied?

Why is it Important to Understand Modern Concepts of Inheritance?

Concepts Covered:

  • How are Chromosomal Theory and Genetic Linkage related?
  • How do chromosomes affect inherited disorders?

What is the Structure and Function of DNA?

Concepts Covered:

  • What Makes DNA so Special?
  • How does DNA Sequencing work?
  • When does DNA Replication Occur?
  • What is involved in DNA Replication of Prokaryotes?
  • What’s the difference in DNA Replication in Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes?
  • Why does DNA have to repair?

What is the Relationship Between Genes and Proteins?

Concepts Covered:

  • What does a Genetic Code consist of?
  • When does Prokaryotic Transcription occur?
  • What is Eukaryotic Transcription?
  • Why does RNA Processing happen in Eukaryotes?
  • How do ribosomes assist with Protein Synthesis?

How are Genes Expressed?

Concepts Covered:

  • How is Gene Expression regulated?
  • What is Prokaryotic Gene Regulation?
  • What happens in Eukaryotic Epigenetic Gene Regulation?
  • Why is Gene Regulation with Eukaryotic Transcription important?
  • When does Eukaryotic Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation occur?
  • What are the steps in Eukaryotic Translational and PostTranslational Gene Regulation?
  • How does Gene Regulation involve Cancer?

What is the Relationship between Biotechnology and Genomics?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is Biotechnology?
  • What is Genome Mapping?
  • How does Whole-Genome Sequencing help us today?
  • Why is Genomics important?
  • How does Proteomics compliment Genomics?

Where do Species Come from and how do they Adapt?

Concepts Covered:

  • What does Evolution have to do with life?
  • How do new species form?
  • How does Reconnection and Rates of Speciation affect one another?

How has Evolution affected different Populations?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is Population Evolution?
  • How is Population Genetics used?
  • What happens when populations go through Adaptive Evolution?

Why Phylogenies are involved in the History of Life?

Concepts Covered:

  • How do we organize life on Earth?
  • Why are relationships determined during Evolution?
  • What are the different perspectives of the Phylogenetic Tree?

What are Viruses?

Concepts Covered:

  • Why do Viral Evolution, Morphology, and Classification have to occur?
  • What happens in a Viral Infection and what role do hosts play in it?
  • What are ways to prevent and treat Viral Infections?
  • How are Prions and Viroids a presence in Viruses?

How are Prokaryotes, Bacteria, and Archaea Related?

Concepts Covered:

  • How can Prokaryotes vary?
  • What is the structure of a Prokaryote?
  • What does the Metabolism do in a Prokaryote?
  • Why do Bacterial Diseases happen in humans?
  • How can Prokaryotes be beneficial?

What is the Physiology and Forms of Plants?

Concepts Covered:

  • What does the plant body consist of?
  • Why are the plant stems so important?
  • How do the roots function?
  • What are the different parts of the leaves?
  • How does a plant transport water and solutes?
  • Why do plants have sensory systems?

How does the Animal Body Function?

Concepts Covered:

  • What are the primary tissues in animals?
  • Animal Primary Tissues
  • Why do animals go through homeostasis?

What is involved in an Animal's Digestive System and their Nutrition?

Concepts Covered:

  • How do digestive systems work?
  • How do nutrition and energy production work together?
  • What happens during the digestive system process?
  • Why does the digestive system need to be regulated?

Why do we have a Nervous System?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the relationship between Neurons and Glial cells?
  • How do neurons communicate?
  • What does the central nervous system consist of?
  • What are the main functions of the peripheral nervous system?
  • Why do nervous system disorders form?

How does the Sensory System work?

Concepts Covered:

  • What are the different parts to the sensory process?
  • What is Somatosensation?
  • Why are we able to taste and smell?
  • What is the relationship between hearing and vestibular sensation?
  • What is vision?

What makes up the Endocrine System?

Concepts Covered:

  • What are the different types of hormones?
  • How do hormones work?
  • How does the body regulate itself?
  • What happens during hormone production regulation?
  • Why are the endocrine glands an important part of the system?

What differentiates the Musculoskeletal System from Other Systems?

Concepts Covered:

  • What are the different types of skeletal systems?
  • What does bone consist of?
  • What role do joints play in skeletal movement?
  • How are muscle contraction and locomotion helpful to us?

What does the Respiratory System do?

Concepts Covered:

  • How do the lungs use different systems of gas exchange?
  • How is gas exchanged across respiratory surfaces?
  • What happens during the process of breathing?
  • Why are gases transported in human bodily fluids?

What is the Circulatory System's Role for the Body?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the Circulatory System?
  • What are the different components that make up blood?
  • How do the Mammalian heart and blood vessels work together?
  • Why is it important for the body to regulate blood flow and blood pressure?

What is the Purpose of Osmotic Regulation and Excretion?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the difference between Osmoregulation and Osmotic Balance?
  • How do the kidneys and Osmoregulatory organs work together?
  • What do the Excretion Systems do?
  • What are examples of Nitrogenous Waste?
  • When does the body need to control hormones of Osmoregulatory Functions?

Why is the Immune System so Crucial?

Concepts Covered:

  • How are immune responses innate?
  • What is an Adaptive Immune Response?
  • How do Antibodies affect the immune system?
  • What happens when there are disruptions in the immune system?

What is the Process of Animal Reproduction and Development?

Concepts Covered:

  • What are the different reproduction methods?
  • What are the different methods of fertilization?
  • How does human reproductive anatomy and Gametogenesis work?
  • How are hormones controlled of human production?
  • How does fertilization and early embryonic development occur?
  • Why does Organogenesis go along with vertebrate formation?
  • What is the process of human pregnancy and birth?

How does Ecology Play a Role in the Biosphere?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the scope of Ecology?
  • How is Biogeography and Ecology different?
  • What is a Terrestrial Biome?
  • How would you describe an Aquatic Biome?
  • What are the effects of Climate and Global Climate Change?

How does Population Affect Community Ecology?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the purpose of Population Demography?
  • Why does Natural Selection have such a huge impact on life histories?
  • What are some environmental limits to population growth?
  • What are the dynamics of population and how are they regulated?
  • Why can human population growth be a bad thing?
  • How does Community Ecology function?
  • What are the Proximate and Ultimate causes of behavior in behavioral biology?

Why do We have Different Ecosystems?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the Ecology for Ecosystems?
  • How does energy flow through Ecosystems?
  • What are Biogeochemical Cycles?

How does Conservation Biology help with Biodiversity?

Concepts Covered:

  • What is the Biodiversity Crisis?
  • Why is Biodiversity important to human life?
  • When is Biodiversity threatened?
  • How can we preserve Biodiversity?

About the book

Biology for AP® 

Biology for AP® Courses covers the scope and sequence requirements of a typical two-semester Advanced Placement® biology course. The text provides comprehensive coverage of foundational research and core biology concepts through an evolutionary lens. Biology for AP® Courses was designed to meet and exceed the requirements of the College Board’s AP® Biology framework while allowing significant flexibility for instructors. Each section of the book includes an introduction based on the AP® curriculum and includes rich features that engage students in scientific practice and AP® test preparation; it also highlights careers and research opportunities in biological sciences.

Advanced Placement® and AP® are trademarks registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this textbook.

About the authors:

Senior Contributing Authors

Julianne Zedalis, The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, CA
John Eggebrecht, Cornell University

Contributing Authors

Yael Avissar, Rhode Island College
Jung Choi, Georgia Institute of Technology
Jean DeSaix, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Vladimir Jurukovski, Suffolk County Community College
Robert Wise, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
Connie Rye, East Mississippi Community College

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