Copyright

Ch 17: Life Sciences Overview

About This Chapter

Developed by our subject experts, the lessons in this chapter provide an overview of the life sciences. Increase your knowledge of basic needs of living organisms, the structure and function of the cell, and biodiversity.

Life Sciences Overview - Chapter Summary

These lessons will provide you with an overview of key topics in the life sciences. Take a look at living organisms' defining characteristics, energy and life, and human and animal evolution. Additional life science information includes:

  • Definition of life sciences
  • Unicellular and multicellular organisms
  • Cellular structure, function, and the cell cycle
  • Sexual and asexual reproduction
  • Genetics
  • Forms of evolutionary change
  • Fossil records of speciation, biological diversity and mass extinction
  • Effects of extinction and species loss

These short lessons are each accompanied by a quiz to test your understanding of the material presented. Videos average 5-10 minutes run time. They come with a written transcript and timeline tags that makes it easy to locate any specific section for replay. Log in on your mobile device any time you have a few minutes to work on a lesson.

15 Lessons in Chapter 17: Life Sciences Overview
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Are Life Sciences?

1. What Are Life Sciences?

The life sciences study all types of living things. Branches of the life science study things from the tiniest microorganisms to the largest animals. Learn about the many branches of the life sciences and what it's like to work in these fields.

The Defining Characteristics of Living Organisms

2. The Defining Characteristics of Living Organisms

A house is not a living thing, but the people, animals, and plants living inside it are. So how do we define 'life'? Learn about seven characteristics that all living organisms have in common, no matter how different they may look on the outside.

Unicellular Organisms: Definition & Examples

3. Unicellular Organisms: Definition & Examples

Life takes a great variety of forms. This world is home to many simple organisms that live in a variety of environments. In this lesson, we will examine unicellular organisms to gain a better understanding of them.

Multicellular Organism: Examples & Definition

4. Multicellular Organism: Examples & Definition

Most organisms consist of only one cell and are invisible to the naked eye. Others, such as the rabbit, the bread mold and the pine tree, are made of many cells. Learn how to classify the multi-cellular organisms that inhabit our world.

Living Organisms: Basic Needs

5. Living Organisms: Basic Needs

There are many types of living organisms on Earth. But what makes us all the same is our basic needs for survival, which is a shorter list than you might think!

Energy and Life: The Transformation of Energy in Living Organisms

6. Energy and Life: The Transformation of Energy in Living Organisms

While the sun is an excellent source of energy, not all forms of life can utilize the sun's energy directly. This lesson describes how plants transform the sun's energy into potential energy stored in sugar, how living organisms utilize energy in sugar to perform work, and how the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular respiration is necessary for life.

The Cell: Structure & Function

7. The Cell: Structure & Function

The cell is a small, but complex structure. Take a look inside the outer plasma membrane of a cell and discover the functions of some common cellular components, including the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and mitochondria, in this lesson.

The Cell Cycle: Definition, Phases & Sequence

8. The Cell Cycle: Definition, Phases & Sequence

Learn about the dividing and non-dividing states of the cell and discover the different phases of the cell cycle, including interphase, cytokinesis, and the stages of cell division.

Asexual vs. Sexual Reproduction: Comparison & Characteristics

9. Asexual vs. Sexual Reproduction: Comparison & Characteristics

Did you know that some organisms can reproduce without a mate? Check out this video lesson on asexual versus sexual reproduction to discover the different ways organisms can reproduce and the main differences between mitosis and meiosis.

Genetics: Heredity, Traits & Chromosomes

10. Genetics: Heredity, Traits & Chromosomes

We view manipulation of genes in our crops and livestock as a recent development. Yet, man has been manipulating the genetic makeup of his food for thousands of years through cultivation and breeding. This lesson will begin to help you understand how genetics works.

The History of Animal & Human Evolution

11. The History of Animal & Human Evolution

Animals, including humans, have a vast, complex evolutionary history. In this lesson, we will look at the evolution of animals, including invertebrates and vertebrates.

Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms

12. Evolutionary Change: Definition and Forms

You've probably heard of Charles Darwin and evolution. We know that evolution is change over time, but here we will look at how these changes may have occurred during Earth's history.

What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

13. What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

Imagine making a list of all of the species you have ever heard of; it would be an enormous list! There are many different species on this planet. This lesson will explore the diversity of species, as well as the different types of diversity and how diversity of life is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Fossil Evidence for Biological Diversity, Speciation, & Mass Extinction

14. Fossil Evidence for Biological Diversity, Speciation, & Mass Extinction

One of the best sources of evidence we have for evolution is the fossil record. Fossils provide a wealth of information on how species change over time and for exciting events like mass extinctions and new species formation.

Consequences of Extinction & Species Loss

15. Consequences of Extinction & Species Loss

Extinction is something that occurs naturally, but can also be fueled by human activities. In this lesson, you'll learn about extinction, its causes, and also its effects.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support