biology: The study of living things. The scientists who study them are known as biologists.
breed: (noun) Animals within the same species that are so genetically similar that they produce reliable and characteristic traits. German shepherds and dachshunds, for instance, are examples of dog breeds. (verb) To produce offspring through reproduction.
cell: (in biology) The smallest structural and functional unit of an organism. Typically too small to see with the unaided eye, it consists of a watery fluid surrounded by a membrane or wall. Depending on their size, animals are made of anywhere from thousands to trillions of cells. Most organisms, such as yeasts, molds, bacteria and some algae, are composed of only one cell.
colleague: Someone who works with another; a co-worker or team member.
conservation: The act of preserving or protecting something. The focus of this work can range from art objects to endangered species and other aspects of the natural environment.
COVID-19: A name given to the disease that erupted into a massive global pandemic in 2020. It first emerged in 2019 and is caused by a new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms can include pneumonia, trouble breathing, feeling too tired to walk more than a few steps, fever, headaches, low blood-oxygen levels, blood clots and brain “fog.”
egg: A reproductive cell that contains half of the genetic information necessary to form a complete organism. In humans and in many other animals, ovaries produce eggs. When an egg fuses with a sperm, they combine to produce a new cell, called a zygote. This is the first step in the development of a new organism.”
embryo: The early stages of a developing organism, or animal with a backbone, consisting only one or a few cells. As an adjective, the term would be embryonic — and could be used to refer to the early stages or life of a system or technology.
endangered: An adjective used to describe species at risk of going extinct.
engineer: A person who uses science and math to solve problems. As a verb, to engineer means to design a device, material or process that will solve some problem or unmet need.
field: An area of study, as in: Her field of research is biology. Also a term to describe a real-world environment in which some research is conducted, such as at sea, in a forest, on a mountaintop or on a city street. It is the opposite of an artificial setting, such as a research laboratory.
genetic: Having to do with chromosomes, DNA and the genes contained within DNA. The field of science dealing with these biological instructions is known as genetics. People who work in this field are geneticists.
genome: The complete set of genes or genetic material in a cell or an organism. The study of this genetic inheritance housed within cells is known as genomics.
organism: Any living thing, from elephants and plants to bacteria and other types of single-celled life.
panda: (or giant panda) An endangered species in the bear family, found in the wild only in China. It has a distinctive white body with black coated limbs and dark spots around the eyes.
pandemic: An outbreak of disease that affects a large proportion of the population across much or most of the world.
population: (in biology) A group of individuals (belonging to the same species) that lives in a given area.
propagate: To spread or proliferate, as a wave.
radiation: (in physics) One of the three major ways that energy is transferred. (The other two are conduction and convection.) In radiation, electromagnetic waves carry energy from one place to another. Unlike conduction and convection, which need material to help transfer the energy, radiation can transfer energy across empty space.
species: A group of similar organisms capable of producing offspring that can survive and reproduce.
sperm: A reproductive cell that contains half of the genetic information necessary to form a complete organism. In humans and in many other animals, testes produce sperm. When a sperm fuses with an egg, the two combine to produce a new cell, called a zygote. This is the first step in the development of a new organism.”
tardigrade: An eight-legged creature not much larger than the period at the end of a sentence. Tardigrades live in many places, including ponds, the sea floor and parts of Antarctica where rock sticks above the ice.
tissue: Made of cells, it is any of the distinct types of materials that make up animals, plants or fungi. Cells within a tissue work as a unit to perform a particular function in living organisms. Different organs of the human body, for instance, often are made from many different types of tissues.
yeast: One-celled fungi that can ferment carbohydrates (like sugars), producing carbon dioxide and alcohol. They also play a pivotal role in making many baked products rise.
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