High School Biology : Introductory Topics

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #7 : Understanding Proteins And Nucleic Acids

Which of the following does not contribute to amino acid structure? 

Possible Answers:

Amino group

Carboxyl group 

Alpha carbon

Glycerol 

R-side group

Correct answer:

Glycerol 

Explanation:

The structure of a given amino acid consists of an alpha carbon, amino group, carboxyl group, hydrogen, and a R-side group. R-side groups can have a variety of characteristics. They can be non-polar, polar, acidic, or basic. Amino acids can bond together through a peptide bond via dehydration synthesis—the loss of a single oxygen from one amino acid’s carboxyl group and two hydrogens from the other amino acid’s amine group.

Polypeptides are polymers of amino acids formed by this process. Glycerol is a component of a phospholipid.

Example Question #11 : Understanding Proteins And Nucleic Acids

A disulfide bridge between two cysteine molecules is an example of which structural level of peptide bonds?

Possible Answers:

Secondary

Quaternary

Primary

Tertiary

Correct answer:

Tertiary

Explanation:

The cysteine-cysteine disulfide bond is an example of a tertiary bond. Tertiary bonds are bonds between R-side groups. Other examples include non-polar associated bonds, polar associations with a polar aqueous environment, and ionic bonds. Primary level bonds are described as the sequence of amino acids. Secondary bonds consist of local folding due to bonds between an oxygen on a carboxyl group with a hydrogen from an amino group. This bonding includes alpha helixes and beta sheets. Quaternary bonds are defined as the association between polypeptides. 

Example Question #12 : Understanding Proteins And Nucleic Acids

Alpha helices and beta pleated sheets are examples of what level of structure in proteins?

Possible Answers:

Secondary

Auxiliary

Tertiary

Primary

Quaternary

Correct answer:

Secondary

Explanation:

All proteins have at least a primary, secondary, and tertiary structure, but only some, such as hemoglobin, have a quaternary structure. Secondary structures are determined by hydrogen bonding between different amino acids in the polypeptide chain that form the primary structure. There may be multiple and different secondary structures in a single protein.

Example Question #13 : Understanding Proteins And Nucleic Acids

What is the basic subunit of a protein?

Possible Answers:

Nucleotides

Fatty acids

Monosaccharides

Amino acids

Glucose

Correct answer:

Amino acids

Explanation:

Amino acids link together by peptide bonds to form proteins. Nucleotides link together to form nucleic acids like DNA and RNA. Monosaccharides are sugars that form links to form carbohydrates. Fatty acids attach to a glycerol backbone to form lipids, except those that are derived from cholesterol. 

Example Question #14 : Understanding Proteins And Nucleic Acids

Which of the following elements is not found in amino acids?

Possible Answers:

Carbon

Oxygen

Nitrogen

Phosphorous

Sulfur

Correct answer:

Phosphorous

Explanation:

Phosphorous is found in nucleotides, but not amino acids. In certain reactions, proteins can be modified by kinases to contain phosphate groups. Kinases are enzymes that catalyze the transfer of phosphate groups onto substrates. They function in signal transduction pathways. 

There are only a few residues (amino acids in proteins) which can be phosphorylated: Serine, threonine, tyrosine, histidine, arginine, and lysine. 

Example Question #1 : Attributes Of Life

Of the following cellular organelles, which is paired correctly with its function?

Possible Answers:

Ribosomes synthesize proteins

Vacuoles store chromosomes

Chloroplasts package lipids

Golgi apparatus breaks down waste products

Lysosomes direct cellular activities

Correct answer:

Ribosomes synthesize proteins

Explanation:

Ribosomes may be attached to the endoplasmic reticulum or may float around in the cytoplasm freely. Ribosomes synthesize proteins using mRNA during transcription.

Vacuoles store waste to be excreted by the cell, as well as water to maintain cell volume and shape.

Golgi apparatus packages proteins, lipids, and other materials for transport and secretion outside of the cell.  

Lysosomes are structures in the cell that digest waste products.

Chloroplasts are found in plant cells and are the location of photosynthesis.

Example Question #31 : High School Biology

All lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins contain __________.

Possible Answers:

carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen

carbon and hydrogen

carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen

carbon

carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen

Correct answer:

carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen

Explanation:

The basic structure of a carbohydrate contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Lipids are made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and occasionally phosphorous.

Proteins are made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sometimes sulfur.

The only elements that will always be found in all three (lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates) are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.  

Example Question #32 : High School Biology

Which of the following is the highest form of biological organization?

Possible Answers:

Tissue

Organism

Cell

Organ

Organ system

Correct answer:

Organism

Explanation:

Cell are the basic functional unit of biology, representing the smallest form of biological organization. Tissues are made of groups of specialized cells that operate together. Organs are made of multiple tissue types and perform biological functions. Organ systems are comprised of multiple organs that work together to accomplish a biological process. Together, several organ systems form a full living organism, making organisms the highest level of biological organization.

For example, a goblet cell secretes mucus. Goblet cells are part of epithelial tissue, found in the stomach. The stomach is an organ made of smooth muscle, epithelium, and connective tissue. Together, the stomach, intestines, esophagus, and other organs form the digestive system. The full organism is composed of the digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, etc.

Example Question #3 : Attributes Of Life

Which of the following is not an abiotic factor?

Possible Answers:

Flower

Air

Water

Soil

Correct answer:

Flower

Explanation:

An ecosystem will have abiotic and biotic factors that interact with each other for survival and reproduction. An abiotic factor is non-living and is generally a part of the surroundings where an organism is found. Examples include soil, water, and oxygen. Biotic factors are referred to as living or were alive at one point, but are now dead. Examples of these are bacteria, mammals, and plants.

Example Question #4 : Attributes Of Life

Which structure in the plants is central to transpiration?

Possible Answers:

Stem

Stomata

Roots

Seeds

Correct answer:

Stomata

Explanation:

Transpiration is the process by which plants return water back into the atmosphere as vapor. This pathway is an important step in the water cycle. The stomata are pores found in the leaves, and participate in gas exchange with the air via transpiration. The opening of the pore is enveloped by a pair of cells called the guard cells, which control access to the pore. Roots are a part of the plant that are generally found underground and anchor the plant to the soil. They also absorb water and nutrients for the plant. The stem provides structural support for the plant, and the seeds are a means by which a plant can reproduce.

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