1.2a Important levels of organization for structure and function include organelles,

cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and whole organisms.

1.2b Humans are complex organisms. They require multiple systems for digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, excretion, movement, coordination, and immunity.

The systems interact to perform the life functions.

1.2c The components of the human body, from organ systems to cell organelles, interact

to maintain a balanced internal environment. To successfully accomplish this, organisms

possess a diversity of control mechanisms that detect deviations and make corrective


1.2d If there is a disruption in any human system, there may be a corresponding imbalance in homeostasis.

1.2e The organs and systems of the body help to provide all the cells with their basic

needs. The cells of the body are of different kinds and are grouped in ways that enhance

how they function together.

1.2f Cells have particular structures that perform specific jobs. These structures per-

form the actual work of the cell. Just as systems are coordinated and work together, cell

parts must also be coordinated and work together.

1.2g Each cell is covered by a membrane that performs a number of important functions for the cell. These include: separation from its outside environment, controlling

which molecules enter and leave the cell, and recognition of chemical signals. The

processes of diffusion and active transport are important in the movement of materials

in and out of cells.

1.2h Many organic and inorganic substances dissolved in cells allow necessary chemical

reactions to take place in order to maintain life. Large organic food molecules such as

proteins and starches must initially be broken down (digested to amino acids and simple sugars respectively), in order to enter cells. Once nutrients enter a cell, the cell will

use them as building blocks in the synthesis of compounds necessary for life.

1.2i Inside the cell a variety of specialized structures, formed from many different molecules, carry out the transport of materials (cytoplasm), extraction of energy from nutrients (mitochondria), protein building (ribosomes), waste disposal (cell membrane), storage (vacuole), and information storage (nucleus).

1.2j Receptor molecules play an important role in the interactions between cells. Two

primary agents of cellular communication are hormones and chemicals produced by

nerve cells. If nerve or hormone signals are blocked, cellular communication is

disrupted and the organism’s stability is affected.