Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should know:

  • the number of chromosomes is characteristic of each species and can vary enormously between species

  • genetics is based on the concept of the gene as the unit of inheritance

  • that sexual reproduction always includes two distinctive processes: the production of gametes, which involves meiosis, and fertilisation. The two processes are accompanied by changes in the chromosome number, from diploid to haploid and fr
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Acknowledgements

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The content acknowledged be
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5.2 Madagascan diversity

Activity 7

Watch the video sequence below, which focuses on just three lemur species – the ring-tailed (in a very brief sequence, leaping from one tree to another), the golden bamboo lemur, already mentioned, and the sifaka, plus the
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4.2 Other members of the bear family

Other omnivorous species of bear include the Asian black bear, the North American black bear and the Andean spectacled bear. Although polar bears spend their winters hunting seals out on the Arctic sea-ice, they have to come ashore when the ice melts in spring and find other sources of food.

Activity 2
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3.3 Variation

Fossil rodents are first found in rocks that date from around 65 million years ago (from the Eocene) and are thought to have evolved from insectivore/omnivore-type mammals that lived 100 million years ago (in the Cretaceous period). To say that they evolved from simply means that there probably is a direct line of descent but that the descendants have changed from their forebears. One of the most significant ways that evolutionary change can be brought about is by a process known as na
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3.1 First steps towards a distance scale

As you will see from Table 2, when it comes to astronomy and cosmology, one is called on to deal with a wide range of distances. (Note that a light-year (ly) is the distance light travels in one year, i.e. 9.46 × 1015 m. The distances are also quoted in a very commonly used astronomical unit of distance: the megapar
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1 Introducing cosmology

General relativity has a very different conceptual basis from that of Newtonian mechanics. Its success in accounting for the precession of Mercury's orbit, and the bending of light by massive objects like the Sun, gives us confidence that our picture of space and time should be Einstein's rather than Newton's. In this and the following units, we turn our attention to the study of the large-scale structure of spacetime. We see how spacetime as a whole is curved by the gross distribution of mas
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • describe the characteristics of light emitted by stars, and hence the information of cosmological interest that can be deduced from it;

  • distinguish between true and false statements relevant to the distribution and motion of stars within galaxies, and of galaxies within clusters and superclusters;

  • outline the methods used for estimating the distances to stars and to galaxies;

  • explain and
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Acknowledgements

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons licence). See Terms and Conditions.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following for permission to reproduce:

Figure 1a: Neil Borden/Science Photo Library; Figure: 1b NOAA/Science Photo Library; Figure 1c: Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy/Science Photo Library; Figure 11: Science Photo Library; Figure 14: Science Museum.


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5.1.6 Pulling it all together

The electric and magnetic fields given by Equations 7.21 and 7.23 can satisfy all four of Maxwell's equations in empty space. Gauss's law and the no-monopole law are immediately satisfied because the fields are transverse. Faraday's law and the Ampère–Maxwell law will also be satisfied if we can find electric and magnetic fields that obey Equations 7.24 and 7.26.

We are looking for wave-like solutions, so it is sensible to try

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1 Overview

As you walk down the street one day, you hear a voice from somewhere behind you that seems to be discussing this unit. It says:

‘My dad's tutor's no joker, and he told me the TMA's going to hit home with a bang.’

You turn to find the face behind the voice, which is a gravelly Glaswegian baritone, but the man has gone, leaving you to ponder what he has said. Let us call his sentence exam
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Faraday and Maxwell

Michael Faraday (1791–1867)

Figure 21
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2.3.2 Equilibrium and irreversibility

As the science of thermodynamics developed beyond its industrial roots, two powerful ideas came to the fore – equilibrium and irreversibility. These ideas were already implicit in studies of heat. You have already seen that heat flow from a hot steak to a cold plate is an irreversible process. The effect of this process is to cool down the hot steak and warm up the cold plate, leading to a more uniform distribution of temperature. The heat transfer continues until a state of e
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5.3 The outcomes of the public debate

Box 2 contains an edited version of the Executive Summary of the document GM Nation? Findings of the Public Debate. This is a lengthy summary, but it is worth exploring in some detail. The unedited version can be found on http://www.gmnation.org.uk/.

Box 2:
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5.2.1 The GM Science Review

The review was undertaken by the GM Science Review Panel, chaired by the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King. Its role was to assess the evidence available in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The panel produced two reports, the first in July 2003 and the second in January 2004. The main conclusions of these reports are listed below.

  • The risk to human health is very low.

  • There is little likelihood of such plan
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2.2 Why study ecology?

These days, bird watching is a popular leisure activity and in the past so were collecting insects, wild flowers and birds’ eggs (although such activities are not now recommended – indeed, they are often illegal – because of the potential damage they cause to flora and fauna). Some amateurs are or were truly experts in their fields. In fact, much of the original identification of the British flora and fauna was done by amateur naturalists. Many a Victorian vicar or other self-taught nat
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1.5.2 Sedimentary processes

Sedimentary grains are formed when the rocks at the Earth's surface are slowly broken up physically by exposure to wind and frost, and decomposed (chemically) by rainwater or biological action. These processes are collectively termed weathering. Once a rock has been broken up by weathering, the small rock fragments and individual mineral grains can be eroded from their place of origin by water, wind or glaciers and transported to be deposited elsewhere as roughly horizontal layers of sediment
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1.4.4 O is for Objectivity

One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective.

This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may be
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13 Post-compulsory science education

In a speech to the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2001, the then UK Secretary of State for Education said:

Young people choosing vocational study will be able to see a ladder of progression that gives structure, purpose and expectation to their lives, in the same way that a future pathway is clear to those who leave school to gain academic A-levels and enter university. Over-16s in full-time education will be abl
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Europe and the law
This unit will give you a basic understanding of EU law and the interaction between EU and domestic law. It will provide a brief explanation of the European Convention on Human Rights and other European legislation, as well as the background to such institutions as the European Council, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. First publish
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