A-Level Biology Yr 13 2022-23

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3.5 Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only)
Life depends on continuous transfers of energy. In photosynthesis, light is absorbed by chlorophyll and this is linked to the production of ATP. In respiration, various substances are used as respiratory substrates. The hydrolysis of these respiratory substrates is linked to the production of ATP. In both respiration and photosynthesis, ATP production occurs when protons diffuse down an electrochemical gradient through molecules of the enzyme ATP synthase, embedded in the membranes of cellular organelles. The process of photosynthesis is common in all photoautotrophic organisms and the process of respiration is common in all organisms, providing indirect evidence for evolution.In communities, the biological molecules produced by photosynthesis are consumed by other organisms, including animals, bacteria and fungi. Some of these are used as respiratory substrates by these consumers. Photosynthesis and respiration are not 100% efficient. The transfer of biomass and its stored chemical energy in a community from one organism to a consumer is also not 100% efficient.

  • Photosynthesis
  • Aerobic Respiration
  • Anaerobic Respiration
  • Nitrogen Cycle

3.6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only)
A stimulus is a change in the internal or external environment. A receptor detects a stimulus. A coordinator formulates a suitable response to a stimulus. An effector produces a response. Receptors are specific to one type of stimulus. Nerve cells pass electrical impulses along their length. A nerve impulse is specific to a target cell only because it releases a chemical messenger directly onto it, producing a response that is usually rapid, short-lived and localised. In contrast, mammalian hormones stimulate their target cells via the blood system. They are specific to the tertiary structure of receptors on their target cells and produce responses that are usually slow, long-lasting and widespread. Plants control their response using hormone-like growth substances.

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