Essay Assignments Essay #1: (Outline due Sept. 20; Essay due Sept. 26)

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Essay Assignments
Essay #1: (Outline due Sept. 20; Essay due Sept. 26)
Enzymes are proteins that are extremely important to the efficient and accurate completion of biological reactions.

  1. Explain how enzymes increase the rate of biological interactions.

  2. Explain how the relationship between enzyme and its triggered reaction are specific.

  3. Explain how the following factors can affect the rate of an enzyme catalyzed reaction: temperature, pH, noncompetitive inhibitors, and competitive inhibitors.

  4. Design a brief experiment to measure how temperature would affect the rate of an enzyme catalyzed reaction.

Essay #2: (Outline due Sept. 28; Essay due Oct. 3)
The unique properties of water make life possible on Earth. Select two properties of water and:

a. for each property, identify and define the property and explain how the structure of water relates to this property.

b. for each property, describe one example of how this characteristic affects the functioning of living organisms.

Essay #3: (Outline due Oct. 5; Essay due Oct. 11)
Prions (pronounced pree-ahns) are agents that cause a novel type of fatal brain disease. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease), sheep scrapie and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) of humans are examples of prion diseases. Prions enter cells and convert normal proteins found within the cells into prions just like themselves. The normal cell proteins have all the same "parts" as the prions--specifically the same amino acid building blocks--but they fold differently.

  1. Describe is the primary, secondary, and tertiary structure of a protein. Explain what force or forces (covalent bonds, ionic bonds, hydrogen bonds, or van der Waals forces) are involved in each level of structure.

  2. Explain whether or not you expect both the normal and the infectious versions of a prion protein to have the same primary structure? Why or why not.

  3. Explain whether or not you expect both the normal and the infectious versions of a prion protein to have the same tertiary structure? Why or why not.

Essay #4: (Outline due Oct. 13; Essay due Oct. 17)
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are physiologically different in many ways, but both represent functional collections of living matter.

  1. Describe three major differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

  2. It has been theorized that the organelles of eukaryotic cells evolved from prokaryotes living symbiotically within a larger cell. Make an argument for or against this theory by comparing and contrasting the structure of prokaryotic cell with eukaryotic cell organelles.

Essay #5: (Outline due Oct. 19; Essay due Oct. 24)
Lipids are important components of living organisms.

    1. Explain what a lipid is and one of its uses in a living organism.

    2. Explain why saturated fatty acids are more likely to be solid at room temperature than unsaturated fatty acids.

    3. Explain the structure of the phospholipid molecule favors the formation of a bilayered membrane.

Essay #6: (Outline due Oct. 26; Essay due Nov. 1) Short Answer Questions (require 4-5 sentences each)

        1. A plant cell with low water potential is placed into an open water bath with a higher water potential, explain what will happen to the cell. If solute is added to the open water bath, explain what will happen to the cell.

        1. In one type of enzyme regulation, the presence of the end product of a metabolic pathway inhibits an enzyme in an early step in the pathway. Explain this type of enzyme regulation.

Essay #7: (Outline due Nov. 2; Essay due Nov. 7)
Mitosis and meiosis are both integral processes in gene transmission. However, the processes, while similar, have distinct differences. For these processes:

  1. Explain how alleles are transmitted differently in mitosis versus meiosis and why both processes are necessary.

  2. Genetic variation in offspring is the result of several processes. Explain these processes at the chromosomal level.

Essay #8: (Outline due Nov. 9; Essay due Nov. 14) Short Answer Questions (require 4-5 sentences each)

  1. Many medications work as competitive inhibitors of enzymes in our own body. Explain how competitive inhibition of enzymes works.

  1. Describe three pieces of evidence that support endosymbiotic theory.

Essay #9: (Outline due Nov. 16; Essay due Nov. 21)
It is theorized that glycolysis was the first metabolic pathway for the production of ATP.

  1. Provide three pieces of evidence that support this point.

  2. Describe how the citric acid cycle is related to chemiosmosis and oxidative phosphorylation.

Essay #10: (Outline due Nov. 22; Essay due Nov. 28)

Plants utilize several photopigments to harness light energy of various wavelengths from the sun. The figures illustrate the absorbance spectra of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and the carotenoids, and the action spectrum of photosynthesis. Use the figures, and your knowledge of biology, to answer the following questions.

  1. Discuss the similarities and differences between the peak absorbances of the different photopigments and the peaks of photosynthesis activity at various wavelengths of visible light. Explain which photopigments have the greatest and smallest effects on the rate of photosynthesis.

  2. Discuss the advantages gained by a plant that has more than one photopigment.

  3. Primitive plants occur in aquatic ecosystems and water allows more blue and red light to penetrate than green light. Discuss the frequency with the color green appears in existing terrestrial plants.

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