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In vascular plants , the root is the organ of a plant body that typically lies below the surface of the soil. This is not always the case, however, since a root can also be aerial (that is, growing above the ground) or aerating (that is, growing up above the ground or especially above water). Furthermore, a stem normally occurring below ground is not exceptional either (see rhizome ). So, it is better to define root as a part of a plant body that bears no leaves, and therefore also lacks nodes


Wood is an organic material; in the strict sense it is produced as secondary xylem in the stems of trees (and other woody plants). In a living tree it conducts water and nutrients to the leaves and other growing tissues, and has a support function, enabling woody plants to reach large sizes or to stand up for themselves. However, wood may also refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, and to material engineered from wood, or wood chips or fiber. People have used wood for millen


Cell structure of a bacterium, one of the two groups of prokaryotic life. The prokaryotes (pronounced /proʊˈkærioʊtiːz/ ; singular prokaryote /proʊˈkæriət/ ) are a group of organisms that usually lack a cell nucleus (= karyon), or any other membrane-bound organelles. They differ from the eukaryotes, which have a cell nucleus. Most are unicellular, but a few prokaryotes such as Myxobacteria have multicellular stages in their life cycles. [1] The word prokaryote


In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are often used, such as based on similarity of DNA or morphology. Presence of specific locally adapted traits may further subdivide species into subspecies. Biologists' working definition A usable defini

Peripheral nerve

A peripheral nerve , or simply nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of peripheral axons (the long, slender projections of neurons). A nerve provides a common pathway for the electrochemical nerve impulses that are transmitted along each of the axons. Nerves are found only in the peripheral nervous system. In the central nervous system, the analogous structures are known as tracts. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] Neurons are sometimes called nerve cells , though this term is potentially misleading since many neu


Two alpinists Acclimatization is the process of an organism adjusting to chronic change in its environment, often involving temperature, moisture, food, often relating to seasonal climate changes. (In laboratory conditions, this process is controlled to one variable change only and is termed "Acclimation"). Acclimatization usually occurs in a short time, and within one organism's lifetime (compare adaptation). This may be a discrete occurrence or may instead represent part of a periodic cyc


Amphibians (class Amphibia, from Amphi- meaning "on both sides" and -bios meaning "life"), such as frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians, are ectothermic (or cold-blooded) animals that metamorphose from a juvenile water-breathing form, either to an adult air-breathing form, or to a paedomorph that retains some juvenile characteristics. Proteidae (mudpuppies and waterdogs) are good examples of paedomorphic species. Though amphibians typically have four limbs, the caecilians are notabl


A material's absorption spectrum shows the fraction of incident electromagnetic radiation absorbed by the material over a range of frequencies. An absorption spectrum is, in a sense, the opposite of an emission spectrum. Every chemical element has absorption lines at several particular wavelengths corresponding to the differences between the energy levels of its atomic orbitals. For example, an object that absorbs blue, green and yellow light will appear red when viewed under white light. A


A flower, also known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta , also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to mediate the union of male sperm with female ovum in order to produce seeds. The process begins with pollination, is followed by fertilization, leading to the formation and dispersal of the seeds. For the higher plants, seeds are the next generation, and serve as the primary means by which i


A fungus (pronounced /ˈfʌŋgəs/ ) is a eukaryotic organism that is a member of the kingdom Fungi (pronounced /ˈfʌndʒaɪ/ ). [2] The fungi are heterotrophic organisms possessing a chitinous cell wall. The majority of species grow as multicellular filaments called hyphae forming a mycelium; some fungal species also grow as single cells. Sexual and asexual reproduction of the fungi is commonly via spores, often produced on specialized structures or in fruiting


Insects (Class Insecta ) are arthropods, having a hard exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae. They are the most diverse group of animals on the planet and include approximately 30 Notoptera, 35 Zoraptera , 150 snakefly, 200 silverfish, 300 alderfly, 300 webspinner, 350 jumping bristletail, 550 scorpionfly, 600 Strepsiptera , 1,200 caddisfly, 1,700 stonefly, 1,800 earwig, 2,000 flea, 2,200 mantis, 2,500 mayfly, 3,


The nervous system is an organ system containing a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals between different parts of its body. In most animals the nervous system consists of two parts, central and peripheral. The central nervous system of vertebrates (such as humans) contains the brain, spinal cord, and retina. The peripheral nervous system consists of sensory neurons, clusters of neurons called ganglia , and nerves connecting t

Cell structure

What is a cell? The word cell comes from the Latin word "cella", meaning "small room", and it was first coined by a microscopist observing the structure of cork. The cell is the basic unit of all living things, and all organisms are composed of one or more cells. Cells are so basic and critical to the study of life, in fact, that they are often referred to as "the building blocks of life". Organisms - bacteria, amoebae and yeasts, for example - may consist of as few as one cell, while a typical


Insects (Class Insecta ) are a major group of arthropods and the most diverse group of animals on the Earth, with over a million described species—more than half of all known living organisms [ 2 ] [ 3 ] —with estimates of undescribed species as high as 30 million, thus potentially representing over 90% of the differing life forms on the planet. [ 4 ] Insects may be found in nearly all environments on the planet, although only a small number of species occur in the oceans, a habitat dominated b


A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts, egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea). All the


Chloroplasts contain several important membranes, vital for their function. Like mitochondria, chloroplasts have a double-membrane envelope, called the chloroplast envelope. Each membrane is a phospholipid bilayer, between 6 and 8 nm thick, and the two are separated by a gap of 10-20nm, called the intermembrane space. The outer membrane is permeable to most ions and metabolites, but the inner membrane is highly specialised with transport proteins. The origin of chloroplasts is now largely accep

Biological membrane

Cross section view of the structures that can be formed by phospholipids in aqueous solutions A biological membrane or biomembrane is an enclosing or separating amphipathic layer that acts as a barrier within or around a cell. It is, almost invariably, a lipid bilayer, composed of a double layer of lipid-class molecules, specifically phospholipids, with occasional proteins intertwined, some of which function as channels. [ Function Such membranes typically define enclosed spaces or compartments


Neoteny (pronounced /niːˈɒtɨniː/ ), also called juvenilization , is the retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles (a kind ofpedomorphosis), and is a subject studied in the field of developmental biology. In neoteny, the physiological (or somatic) development of an animal or organism is slowed or delayed (fallaciously, seen as a dilation of biological time). Ultimately this process results in the retention, in the adults of a species,


Albinism (from Latin albus, "white"; see extended etymology) is a form of hypopigmentary congenital disorder, characterized by a partial (in hypomelanism, also known as hypomelanosis) or total (amelanism or amelanosis) lack of melanin pigment in the eyes, skin and hair (or more rarely the eyes alone). Albinism results from inheritance of recessive alleles. The condition is known to affect mammals (including humans), fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. While the most common term for an organi


Biology is the study of the many varieties of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli , tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek ß?????ίa - ßί??, bios , "life"; -???ίa, -logia, study of ) is a branch of the natural sciences concerned with the study of living organisms and their interaction with each other and their environment. The term was first used by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. The science of biology examines the structure, function, growth, orig

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