Scientific Method

  1. Be able to name the two types of variables in an experiement.  Which one do we measure as the results of the experiment?  
  2. Understand the meaning of these terms:  Observation, experiment, test, hypothesis, theory.  What are the two most important variables in an experiment?
  3. What is a control group?  Why do experiments have a control group?
  4. Which has more evidence, a theory or a hypothesis? 
  5. Who can challenge a scientific hypothesis
  6. Do all scientists rigidly follow the scientific method in a step by step manner
  7. What is the scientific term for an educated guess
  8. Understand the meaning of the following terms:  placebo, blind experiment, double blind experiment, model, experimental test, observational test




1.      Be able to explain the difference between correlation and causation

2.      Why do we use statistics

3.      Be able to explain the differences between mean, median and mode

4.      What is the relationship between standard error and variability

5.      Which experiment would we trust more, one with a small confidence interval or one with a large confidence interval?

6.      What do we get if we add the standard error to the sample average?  What do we get if we subtract the standard error from the sample average?

7.      What does it mean if we say results are “statistically significant?”  Which is more likely to be significant, a large sample or a small sample?

8.      Why do we trust primary literature more than secondary?



Chemistry of Life

  1. Which elements are the most common in living organisms?
  2. What do these terms mean: matter, mass, atom, element, molecule, valence shell, mixture, compound, acid, base, pH
  3. Explain how each of these bonds occurs:  covalent bond, ionic bond, hydrogen bond
  4. know the charge and location of each of these subatomic particles: proton, neutron, electron.  Which particle controls what type of element an atom belongs to?  Which particle determines which isotope an electron will be?  Which particle controls the charge on an ion?
  5. What conditions are stable (i.e. “make an atom happy”) for the outer electron layer
  6. What do these words mean: solution, solute, solvent, hydrophilic, hydrophobic
  7. What unique properties of water make it important for life
  1. Be able to explain what a monomer, dimer, trimer and polymer are.  What are the monomers of proteins? 



Large Biological Molecules

  1. Name the major four major classes of biological molecules
  2. What is a polysaccharide?  Name three carbohydrate polymers and know what they are used for
  3. What are proteins used for?  What are they made of?
  4. Be able to explain the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of a protein
  5. Which major group do enzymes belong to?  How do enzymes work? Are they altered or used up by a reaction?  What is an active site?  What does it mean if we say an enzyme is “denatured”?
  6. What are lipids made of
  7. Are most lipids hydrophilic or hydrophobic.  What about phospholipids?  Where in cells are phospholipids common?
  8. What is a fatty acid?  What do the terms saturated and unsaturated mean?  What type of bonds allow unsaturated fatty acids to form?
  9. Where are sterols/steroids used?
  10. Where are nucleic acids found? 
  11. What are the two major types of nucleic acids?
  12. What are the three components found in every nucleic acid monomer?
  13. What is ATP?