Key Terms

abstract
opening section of a scientific paper that summarizes the research and conclusions
applied science
form of science that aims to solve real-world problems
atom
smallest and most fundamental unit of matter
basic science
science that seeks to expand knowledge and understanding regardless of the short-term application of that knowledge
biochemistry
study of the chemistry of biological organisms
biology
the study of living organisms and their interactions with one another and their environments
biosphere
collection of all the ecosystems on Earth
botany
study of plants
cell
smallest fundamental unit of structure and function in living things
community
set of populations inhabiting a particular area
conclusion
section of a scientific paper that summarizes the importance of the experimental findings
control
part of an experiment that does not change during the experiment
deductive reasoning
form of logical thinking that uses a general inclusive statement to forecast specific results
descriptive science
form of science that aims to observe, explore, and investigate; also known as discovery science
discussion
section of a scientific paper in which the author interprets experimental results, describes how variables may be related, and attempts to explain the phenomenon in question
ecosystem
all the living things in a particular area together with the abiotic, nonliving parts of that environment
eukaryote
organism with cells that have nuclei and membrane-bound organelles
evolution
process of gradual change during which new species arise from older species and some species become extinct
falsifiable
able to be disproven by experimental results
homeostasis
ability of an organism to maintain constant internal conditions
hypothesis
suggested explanation for an observation, which can be tested
hypothesis-based science
form of science that begins with a specific question and potential testable answers
inductive reasoning
form of logical thinking that uses related observations to arrive at a general conclusion
introduction
opening section of a scientific paper, which provides background information about what was known in the field prior to the research reported in the paper
life science
field of science, such as biology, that studies living things
macromolecule
large molecule, typically formed by the joining of smaller molecules
materials and methods
section of a scientific paper that includes a complete description of the substances, methods, and techniques used by the researchers to gather data
microbiology
study of the structure and function of microorganisms
molecular biology
study of biological processes and their regulation at the molecular level, including interactions among molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins
molecule
chemical structure consisting of at least two atoms held together by one or more chemical bonds
natural science
field of science that is related to the physical world and its phenomena and processes
neurobiology
study of the biology of the nervous system
organ
collection of related tissues grouped together performing a common function
organ system
level of organization that consists of functionally related interacting organs
organelle
small structures that exist within cells and carry out cellular functions
organism
individual living entity
paleontology
study of life’s history by means of fossils
peer-reviewed manuscript
scientific paper that is reviewed by a scientist’s colleagues who are experts in the field of study
phylogenetic tree
diagram showing the evolutionary relationships among various biological species based on similarities and differences in genetic or physical traits or both; in essence, a hypothesis concerning evolutionary connections
physical science
field of science, such as geology, astronomy, physics, and chemistry, that studies nonliving matter
plagiarism
using other people’s work or ideas without proper citation, creating the false impression that those are the author’s original ideas
population
all of the individuals of a species living within a specific area
prokaryote
single-celled organism that lacks organelles and does not have nuclei surrounded by a nuclear membrane
results
section of a scientific paper in which the author narrates the experimental findings and presents relevant figures, pictures, diagrams, graphs, and tables, without any further interpretation
review article
paper that summarizes and comments on findings that were published as primary literature
science
knowledge that covers general truths or the operation of general laws, especially when acquired and tested by scientific methods
scientific methods
research methods with defined steps that include observation, formulation of a hypothesis, testing, and confirming or falsifying the hypothesis
serendipity
fortunate accident or a lucky surprise
theory
tested and confirmed explanation for observations or phenomena
tissue
group of similar cells carrying out related functions
variable
part of an experiment that the experimenter can vary or change
zoology
study of animals