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Biological Molecules – The first topic of the course is focussed on the “chemistry of life” and the various chemical building blocks on which life is built. Organic molecules such as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins and their functions within living cells are covered as well as the synthesis of DNA and proteins; incredibly important functions that literally are the underlying “code” for the natural world. The topic also delves into the function and action of enzymes, natural catalysts of biological and cellular chemical reactions as well as how inorganic ions such as nitrates and calcium play their part in living systems before rounding off on why the characteristics and properties of water make it so incredibly important.
Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things – This topic goes deep within the cell to discover the difference in structures of eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses. Here you will also discover the various forms of cell division and how these work together within organisms to sustain life and promote growth as well as their role in the reproduction of plants and animals. This unit also takes a look at the microscope and how we can use them to observe at the cellular and intracellular level.
Classification and Biodiversity - This topic looks at the various models for classifying organisms according to their characteristics and considers the evidence used in the creation of these models. The important idea of natural selection is also discovered and why it can lead to the appearance of completely new species.
Exchange and Transport – In this topic we discover the various transport mechanisms found within the cells of living organisms that allows the movement of vital substances and waste products around the body and into and out of cells. These include the circulatory system, and how it functions and is controlled as well as the vascular system found in plants.