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1.1: Biological Foundations

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    347282
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    • 1.1.1: Properties of life
      From its earliest beginnings, biology has wrestled with three questions: What are the shared properties that make something “alive”? And once we know something is alive, how do we find meaningful levels of organization in its structure? And, finally, when faced with the remarkable diversity of life, how do we organize the different kinds of organisms so that we can better understand them? As new organisms are discovered every day, biologists continue to seek answers to these and other questions.
    • 1.1.2: Prokaryotic Cells and Scale
      Cells fall into one of two broad categories: prokaryotic and eukaryotic. The predominantly single-celled organisms of the domains Bacteria and Archaea are classified as prokaryotes (pro- = before; -karyon- = nucleus). Animal cells, plant cells, fungi, and protists are eukaryotes (eu- = true).
    • 1.1.3: Eukaryotic Cells
      At this point, it should be clear that eukaryotic cells have a more complex structure than do prokaryotic cells. Organelles allow for various functions to occur in the cell at the same time. Before discussing the functions of organelles within a eukaryotic cell, let us first examine two important components of the cell: the plasma membrane and the cytoplasm.


    1.1: Biological Foundations is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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