The characteristics common to all living organisms
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The Characteristics Common to All Living Organisms. Life Activities. All living things are made of matter: Matter . Anything that takes up space and has mass 2 Types of matter: 1. Inorganic 2. Organic. Review of basic science terms. Organic.

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The Characteristics Common to All Living Organisms

Life Activities

All living things are made of matter:


  • Anything that takes up space and has mass

  • 2 Types of matter:

  • 1. Inorganic

  • 2. Organic

Review of basic science terms


  • Any matter that contains the elements Carbon and Hydrogen (exception – CO & CO2)

  • All living organisms are carbon based life forms

  • Matter that is living or was once part of a living organism is most likely organic

    • Ex. Wool, Honey, Cotton, Sugar, Wood


  • Any matter that does not have carbon (except – CO & CO2)

  • Examples

  • H2O – Water

  • NaCl – Salt

  • Sand, Gold, Iron, Lead

M – Metabolism

R – Regulation

S – Synthesis

T – Transport

R – Respiration

A – Assimilation

N – Nutrition

G – Growth

E – Excretion

R - Reproduction

Mr. Stranger(The activities all living organisms perform)


  • All the chemical reactions in your body

  • Example: Burning off energy

    • A higher metabolism burns off energy faster

    • A slower metabolism burns off energy slower

      (and if food consumed is not burned, it is stored for later)


  • The maintaining of Homeostasis:

    • A constant internal environment

  • Examples:

    • Warm blooded animals create their own heat to regulate their body temperature

    • Cold blooded change their behavior to bask in the sun to regulate their body temperature


  • Combining simple substance to make complex substances

  • Example: Combine simple proteins to make muscle


  • The movement of substances within an organism

    • Unicellular:

      • Moving substances into and out of the cell using diffusion

    • Multicellular:

      • Same as unicellular, but also requires a circulatory system to bring substances to and away from each and every cell.


  • Release of chemical energy

  • Occurs in each and every cell of your body


+ C6H12O6


+ CO2

+ H2O


  • Breathing brings in oxygen

  • Eating brings in sugar

  • Energy is released for the body to use

  • Carbon Dioxide and Water are released as waste.

Respiration cont…

  • Aerobic Respiration:

    • Oxygen is used in this type of respiration

    • More efficient and more energy is released

  • Anaerobic Respiration:

    • Respiration without oxygen

    • Less efficient and less energy

      • Fermentation:

        • Yeast break down sugar in bread to release carbon dioxide

      • Lactic Acid Production:

        • Occurs in your muscles when they cannot get enough oxygen.


  • The body uses nutrients in food (proteins, fats) to build/repair/power itself.

  • “You are what you eat”



  • Is the combination of:



Taking in food

Breaking down food into simple substances

Simple substances are absorbed by the cells

Nutrition cont..


  • The different uses of food

During Synthesis and Assimilation



Used for Energy

Used for growth and repair


  • Increase in size/or maturing

  • Life Span – The maximum amount of Time an organism is expected to live


  • The removal of waste from a cell


    • Breathing out CO2

    • Sweat (perspiration)

    • Urination





Not Absorbed

Used in Respiration


(feces, poop)

Waste of Respiration Excreted

Sexual Reproduction

Asexual Reproduction


  • 2 Types

  • 2 Parents

  • Offspring are not identical to parents

  • 1 Parent

  • Offspring are identical to parent

Asexual Reproduction


Binary Fission

  • When an organism grows off the parent

  • Example:

  • Hydra

  • When one cell splits in half into 2 cells.

  • Example:

  • Bacteria

Asexual Reproduction


Binary Fission

How did life start on our wonderful Earth?

Spontaneous Generation

Early Earth

  • Formation began approximately 4.6 billion years ago.

  • Composition of the early Earth’s atmosphere:

    • Water vapor

    • Carbon Monoxide

    • Hydrogen Sulfide

    • Methane

    • Hydrogen

Stanley Miller

  • First scientist to provide evidence for the possible creation of life.

  • Simulated the conditions of the early Earth, which created the building blocks of life!

The chemistry of living things

Organic Molecules

4 Organic Molecules

  • Carbohydrates

  • Proteins

  • Fats/Oils

  • Nucleic Acids


  • Main source of energy for living things

  • Made up of 3 elements:

    • Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen

  • 2 Main Categories


  • Complex

  • Sugars

  • Fruits and other processed sugar

  • Starches

  • Potatoes, Rice, Noodles, Bread

  • When broken down, starches will become simple sugars


  • Made of Elements:

    • Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen

  • Amino Acids are the building blocks of a protein.

  • Sources: Beans, Poultry, Nuts, Eggs, Meats, Fish, etc..

  • Used for growth, repair, hair, muscles, and energy


  • A special type of protein that regulates chemical activity. It is a catalyst, which speeds up or slows down a chemical reaction, but is not changed by the reaction.

Fats/Oils(also known as lipids)

  • Made of the Elements:

    • Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen

  • Energy rich compounds

  • Fats  Solid at Room Temp.

  • Oil  Liquid at Room Temp.

  • Provide Insulation From:

    • Heat

    • Cushioning vital organs from damage

Nucleic Acids

  • “blueprints of life”

  • Store the information needed to build proteins

  • Examples:

    • DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

    • RNA (Ribonucleic acid)

Basic Level Question

Application Level Question

  • What organic molecule is solid at room temperature and is energy rich?

  • Describe how 2 life activities use solid fat. (notice how it connects our notes on Organic Molecules with Mr. Stranger)

  • Your younger brother doesn’t understand why we need to boil our water when the county water treatment plant failed. Discuss the scientist and experiment to verify this advice.

Real World Application Level Question



  • What similarities do you see between Carbohydrates and Fats?

  • What life activities must occur to change a sugar into a fat?

  • Which organic molecules can be used in respiration?

Energy is measured in Calories




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