AP Biology Essays
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Due Date
Tue 9/5 The unique properties (characteristics)of water make life possible on Earth.
Select three properties of water and:
a) for each property, identify and define the property, and explain it in terms of the physical/chemical nature of water. (2 pts/property)
b) for each property, describe one example of how the property affects the functioning of living organisms. (2 pts/property)

See sections 2.5 and 2.6

Organize your essay in 3 paragraphs, one paragraph for each property of water. Within each paragraph, address a) and b). The essay is worth 10 points, but notice there's 12 possible points, or 12 possible "ways" to get those 10 points.

Tue 9/26 Membranes are important structural features of cells
a) Describe how membrane structure is related to the transport of materials across a membrane.
b) Describe the roll of membranes in the synthesis of ATP in photosynthesis.
See chapters 5 and 7. Use BiologyNow to help you visualize and describe in your OWN words. Draw and refer to pics in your essay. Organize this essay into 2 paragraphs, with at least 6 relevant pieces (points) of info in each.
Mon 10/12 for C and F blocks Meiosis reduced chromosome number and rearranges genetic information.
a) Explain how the reduction and rearrangement are accomplished in meiosis.
b) Several human disorders occur as a result of defects in the meiotic process. Identify ONE such chromosomal abnormality; what effects does it have on the phenotype of people with the disorder? Describe how this abnormality could result from a defect in meiosis.
c) Production of offspring by parthenogenesis or cloning bypasses the typical meiotic process. Describe either parthenogenesis or cloning and compare the genomes of the offspring with those of the parents.

You'll need chapters 10 (part a), 12.1, 12.8-12.10 (part b), and 13.4 or 16.7 (part c). You may feel more comfortable using other sources as well. Just be sure to cite where you got your information, even if you only write down "text book" at the end of the essay. If you got some info from another person, cite that person who helped you!

You'll be reviewing some material (steps of meiosis), but learning some for the first time (chromosomal abnormalities, cloning) in writing this essay. Learn it well since we won't be covering it in class. Be sure to "get molecular"!

Mon 11/6 for B and F blocks Proteins are composed of amino acid subunits which form stable three-dimensional structures.
a) Describe how the genetic instructions coded in DNA are translated into the primary structure (sequence of amino acid subunits) of a protein molecule.
b) Explain how interactions among the individual amino acid subunits influence the transformation of the molecule into its three-dimensional structure and how they stabilize it.
C-block will grade this Tuedsay night.
Mon 12/4 for B and C blocks Evolution is one of the unifying concepts of modern biology.
a) Explain the mechanisms that lead to evolutionary change.
b) Describe how scientists use each of the following as evidence for evolution:
---1. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics
---2. Comparative biochemistry
---3. The fossil record
F-block will grade this Monday night. Hint: be sure all or as much from ch 17 and 18 as is relevant, paying special attention to describing natural selection at a molecular level.
Possible Essay #19 for test 1/26

A group of students designed an experiment to measure transpiration rates in a particular species of plant. Plants were divided into four groups and were exposed to the following conditions.
Group 1: room conditions, Group 2: room conditions with increased humidity. Group 3: room conditions with increased air movement. Group 4: room conditions with additional light.
The cumulative water loss due to transpiration of water from each plant was measured at 10-min intervals for 10 minutes. Water loss was expressed as mL of water per cm2 of leaf surface area. The data for all plants in Group 1 was averaged. 10 min: 3.5x10^-4, 20 min: 7.7x10^-4, 30 min: 10.6x10^-4.

a) Construct and label a graph using the data for Group 1. Using the same set of axes, draw and label three additional lines representing the results that you would predict for Groups 2, 3, and 4.
b) Explain how biological and physical processes are responsible for the differences between each of your predictions and the data for Group 1.
c) Explain how the concept of water potential is used to account for the movement of water from the plant stem to the atmosphere during transpiration.

Possible Essay #37 for test 1/26

Seeds that are randomly positioned when planted in a pot of soil placed on a window sill produce seedlings with downward growing roots and upward growing shoots. Above ground, the shoots are oriented toward light. Describe the physiological mechanisms that occur to produce:

a) the downward growth of the roots
b) the upward growth of the shoots
c) the bending of the shoots toward the light.

Possible Essay #50 for test 1/26 Angiosperms (flowering plants) have wide distribution in the biosphere and the largest number of species in the plant kingdom.
a) Discuss the function of four structures for reproduction found in angiosperms, and the adaptive (evolutionary) significance of each.
b) Mosses (bryophytes) have not achieved the widespread terrestrial success of angiosperms. Discuss how the anatomy and reproductive strategies of mosses limit their distribution.
c) Explain alternation of generations in either angiosperms or mosses.
Possible Essay #78 for test 1/26 a) Describe the effects of 3 plant hormones on plant growth and development.
b) Design an experiment to demonstrate the effect of one of these plant hormones on plant growth and development.
Due 3/13 An important defense against diseases in vertebrate animals is the ability to eliminate, inactivate, or destroy foreign substances and organisms. Explain how the immune system achieves THREE of the following:
- Provides an immediate nonspecific immune response
- Activates T and B cells in response to an infection
- Responds to a later exposure to the same infectious agent
- Distinguishes self from nonself.
Due Mon 3/26 beginning of class Structure/function relationships are integral to biology. for each of the following three structures, describe the structure, explain how the structure is responsible for its function, and explain how the structure contributes to the function of the organ system to which it belongs.
1) nephron, 2) villus, 3) colon.
You'll have to read some of chapter 42, also (which you'll need to do Monday night, anyway). Remember: try to keep your actual writing time to less than 22 minutes!
Due Mon 4/2 beginning of class Feedback mechanisms are used by organisms to maintain the steady-state physiological condition known as homeostasis. For each of the following mechanisms explain:
a) what detects the change in the variable
b) what might cause an increase in the variable, and how it is corrected
c) what might cause an decrease in the variable, and how it is corrected
d) Use a diagram to help you explain.

Mechanisms: 1) osmolarity of the blood, 2) sperm production in human males, 3) the menstrual cycle in human females (answer the questions in relation to whether the female gets pregnant that cycle or not).
Consider this more test review than "AP Essay". Meaning: be a bit more thorough than you need for a regular essay, but don't worry about style of writing. You can even use bullet points if you want.