organisms exchange substances with their environment

The 10 latest articles which support this unit:

1. Alford, L. (2023) ‘Can insects be warm-blooded?’, Biological Sciences Review, 35 (3), pp.8-11.
Insects have diverse mechanisms that alter their body temperature, from shivering to rolling dung balls and drooling. Insect physiologist Lucy Alford explores the strage world of insect thermal regulation. This article supports your study of the principles of homeostasis. Look out for the practice exam questions in this article.

2. Dinsley, J. (2002) ‘Plants, water and nutrients: how root systems work’, Biological Sciences Review, 35 (2), pp.2-6.
For large plants, like this lemon tree, being able to control the absorption and circulation of water and nutrients is essential for growth and reproduction. Botanist James Dinsley describes the ways in which plants absorb essential ions and water through their root networks. This article supports your study of gas exchange in the leaves of dicotyledonous plants and mass transport in plants.

3. Care, I. and Newman, A. (2020) ‘Biological clocks in plants: environmental responses regulating gene expression’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (3), pp.2-6.
Most organisms have a biological clock, and their components and the molecular mechanisms used are often similar across species. Here circadian biologists Isabelle Carre and Amy Newman review the plant clock and the adaptations it drives.

4. Johnston, M. (2020) ‘Plant cell connections’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (4), pp.22-25.
Plasmodesmata are nanoscopic channels that connect plant cells to each other. Plasmodesmata open and close in response to environmental factors, controlling what moves through them. Plant research Matthew Johnston explains how this plays an important part in plant defence against pathogens.

5. First mammals: being small, the secret to success’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (4), pp.30-33.
Being small was one of the key advantages for the ancestors of mammals. Palaeontologist Elsa Panciroli explains how being small contributes to larger brain proportion, keen senses and the ongoing evolutionary success of small mammals.

6. Ridley, C. (2020) ‘Mucus: helpful goo or deadly glue?’ Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.22-25.
Mucus lines the epithelial surfaces in the body that are exposed to the environment, including the respiratory, digestive and urogenital tracts. Biochemist Caroline Ridley describes how changes in the protective mucous barrier in the respiratory tract transform the mucus into a thick, sticky gel that can cause serious health problems.

7. Aliouche, H. (2019) ‘The mircobes thriving in our bowels’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (1), pp.2-5.
The gigantic and diverse community of microbes that thrive in our guts are known collectively as the gut microbiota. This article investigates how we have managed to establish and maintain a largely mutually beneficial relationship, but how its collapse can produce catastrophic effects on our health.

Other resources

Clegg, C. J. (2000) Introduction to Advanced Biology. London: John Murray. 570 CLE.

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