Chapter 4 Genetics Topics Technology & genetics



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IB Biology Year One Study Guide Spring Test 1 kmz

Chapter 4 Genetics Topics

Technology & genetics

  • What does DNA profiling allow us to do? PCR? Reverse Transcriptase-PCR?


Genetic Modification/recombination

  • Gene transfer: horizontal vs. vertical

  • Cloning

  • GMO: Benefits? Risks?

    • Bt corn. What is that all about? How to deal with resistance?

    • Transgenic organisms

Any thoughts about how institutes like the Beijing Genomics Institute will play a role in our understanding of microorganisms from the article “The Gene Factory” by Michael Specter? Are genomes of microbes important?
Chapter 17 Microbes & Biotechnology

  • Five Kingdoms vs. Three domains: archaea, eubacteria, eukaryotes

    • Structure vs. genetics

    • Carl Woese: what did he study? How did that change scientists understanding of evolutionary trees?

  • Prokaryotes: differences & similarities between archaea & eubacteria? Cell walls, membranes, rRNA

    • Eubacteria: Gram pos vs. neg. Differences in wall & membrane structure. Antibiotic resistance? General shapes.

    • Archaea: Extremophiles. What does that mean?

Habitat diversity: Specific examples of the biodiversity of these super cool extremophiles!?!

  • Three domain characteristics: similarities? Differences?

    • Think about histones, introns, ribosomes, cell wall, membranes, organelles

  • Viruses: general structure. Viruses vs. Retroviruses vs. RNA. How different/similar from prokaryotic & eukaryotic cells.

  • Eukaryotes: what is so special about them?

    • Microscopic eukaryotes: similarities/differences in structure, how they obtain food, move, etc..

      • Fungi: Saccharomyces. Protists: Amoeba, Euglena, Paramecium. Algae: Chlorella

  • Reverse Transcriptase: what does this enzyme relate to?

    • HIV: How does HIV infect cells & cause more viral particles to be made? What enzymes are involved? HIV targets T helper cells---a key player in our immune systems’ defense of our bodies against pathogens.

    • RT-PCR: How useful? By using this tool, scientists are able to look at what?

  • Gene therapy: how are the “normal” alleles inserted?

    • Germ line vs. somatic cell

    • Risks & benefits of gene therapy

    • Use: severe combined immune deficiency diseases like adenosine deaminase deficiency or being born without a thymus (where T cells mature).

  • Review The Structure of DNA: sugar phosphate “backbone” w/ phosphodiester” bonds and hydrogen bonding between nitrogenous bases

  • Basics of Gel Electrophoresis

    • DNA “fingerprinting”

    • Basic mechanisms of pulling DNA through an electric field & separation by molecular weight, charge, shape

    • Restriction enzymes “cut sites”: what do they do?

    • Examples of restriction enzymes: EcoR1 vs. Bam HI

    • Plasmids-building recombinants. General knowledge of DNA banding patterns & purpose of “standard ladders”

Be comfortable with reading gels and understanding the phenotypes & genotypes present



  • Roles of microbes in Ecosystems: be able to distinguish between the three main roles microbes play

    • Producers vs. Nitrogen fixers vs. Decomposers

    • Have a rough idea of nitrogen cycle

    • A specific example of a genus and its role

Short answer questions: THERE WILL NOT BE ANY ESSAYS. These might help studying!



  1. Carl Woese suggested the three domain phylogenetic tree in 1990, as an improvement to Robert Whittaker’s five kingdoms. So currently two different schemes exist for organizing all organisms on our planet.

Part a. In the first scheme, everything from bacteria to polar bears can be classified into one of five kingdoms. Please identify each of these kingdoms, identify a unifying characteristic that each organism within the kingdom shares, and finally, provide an example of an organism within each of the kingdoms. Which group do humans fall under?

Part b. The second major scheme for classifying/identifying all organisms on the planet is based upon three "Domains" as designated by Woese. What are these three domains, and what main characteristics are used to separate the three groups? Include and define the role histones, introns, ribosomes, cell wall, membranes, and organelles play in distinguishing the three domains. Which group do humans fall under?



Part c. What is a phylogeny and how is one these charts organized.  Please create a phylogeny of your own and include at least five real organisms that currently exist on our planet. OK…fine, if you want to include extinct species…go for it!

  1. The enzyme reverse transcriptase performs a very specific job. Part a. How does it play a role in HIV infection. Explain how HIV actually infects cells & enzymes involved. Why is it so devastating for the body to have untreated HIV running rampant.

Part b. Research scientists use RT-PCR often in labs. What do they use it for? The field of evolutionary development biology (EVO-DEVO) often utilizes this technique to study what? Think about the poster describing why ducks have bills and birds have beaks.

IB Biology Year One Study Guide Spring Test 1


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