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1.1 Life Processes

Cells

  • Can you remember the processes in MRSGREN that are common to most living things?
  • Can you recognise cell structures such as the nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane, cell wall, chloroplast and vacuole, and describe their functions?
  • What are the major differences between plant and animal cells?

If you are wondering just why cells are so special and important just watch this great cinematic video about them.

Watch this YouTube clip to learn more about the life processes MRSGREN.

Click here to learn more about the differences between animal and plant cells.

Click here to practice labelling animal and plant cells.

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Click here to read more about the different components of animal and plant cells.

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Click here to see that cells can become specialised depending on their role in an organism.

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Enzymes

  • Can you explain the role of enzymes as biological catalysts and how they are used in metabolic reactions?
  • How can enzyme function be affected by temperature?
  • How are enzymes affected by pH?
  • Can you describe a simple controlled experiment to show how enzyme activity is affected by temperature?

This fun video animation explains what enzymes are and how they work.

An informative and clear explanation about enzyme function, using key terms such as active site, substrate, ‘lock and key’, and enzyme-substrate complex.

Click here to see exactly how enzymes work with this simple animation.

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Confused as to how temperature affects enzyme function? Just watch this excellent explanation on YouTube.

This video focuses on the effect of temperature on the digestive enzyme amylase.

Click here to investigate the effect of temperature and pH on enzymes using this fantastic animation.

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Click here to see exactly what happens to an enzyme when the temperature gets too high.

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Respiration

  • Can you remember how respiration releases energy?
  • Can you write out the word equation, and the balanced chemical symbol equation, for aerobic respiration?
  • Can you write out the word equation for anaerobic respiration?
  • What are the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration?
  • Can you describe simple experiments to show that carbon dioxide and heat are produced by respiring seeds or other suitable living organisms?

Watch this investigation into respiration in horses. It looks into the amount of energy contained in their food and the efficiency with which they release the energy contained in it.

Click here to watch the science presenter Jon Chase describe aerobic respiration as the release of energy from glucose in the presence of oxygen.

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Movement of substances in and out of cells

  • Can you write a definition for diffusion, osmosis and active transport?
  • Can you explain how surface area to volume ratio, temperature, and concentration gradients, affect the rate at which these processes work?
  • Can you describe a simple experiment to demonstrate diffusion using a non-living system?

Watch this video for a brief overview of diffusion and osmosis and to see some simple experiments that you can do at home to show both processes working.

Watch this video which explains very clearly how surface area to volume ratio, temperature and concentration gradient affect the rate of diffusion.

Click here to learn about the processes of diffusion, osmosis and active transport with this interactive animation.

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Click here to investigate what happens to red blood cells when they are placed in different solutions.

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Click here to see how osmosis occurs in model cells.

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Watch this video which gives a brief overview of diffusion and the factors that affect it’s rate.

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Cell differentiation and organisation

  • Can you explain the organisation of an organism using the following terms: organelles, cells, tissues, organs and organ systems?

Watch this Ted-Ed video below to learn how all life on Earth is made from single cells joined together in an organised way.

Click here to watch a short video about cells, tissues and organs.

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Click here to work through an interactive animation that explains how the body is organised.

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Extension material

Click here to learn more about the structures found in an animal cell.

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Click here to learn more about animal cells. These cells are actually far more complex than they seem because only certain features of animal cells are discussed at IGCSE level. In fact there are other organelles that help the cell carry out its many functions.

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  1. This is a great resource! Really handy to have all these videos in the same place 🙂

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