Physical Anthropology chapter 1-4

Proposed by Darwin, the units of inheritance, supposedly accumulated in the gametes so they could be passed on to offspring
gemmules
an outdated, disreputed theory that the phenotype of an offspring was uniform blend of the parent’s phenotypes
Blending inheritance
the basic unit of inheritance; a sequence of DNA on a chromosome, coded to produce a specific protein
gene
one or more alternative forms of a gene
allele
refers to an allele that is expressed in an organism’s phenotype and that simultaneously masks the effects of another allele
dominant
an allele that is expressed in an organism’s phenotype if two copies are present but is masked if the dominant allele is present
recessive
the basic principles associate with the transmission of genetic material, forming the basis of genetics, including the law of segregation and the law of independent assortment
Mendelian inheritance
the genetic makeup of an organism; the combination of alleles for a given gene
genotype
the *physical* expression of the genotype; it may be influenced by the environment
phenotype
the strand of DNA found in the nucleus of eukaryotes that contains hundreds of thousands of genese
chromosomes
a unified theory of evolution that combines genetics with natural selection
evolutionary synthesis
a specialty within the field of genetics; it focuses on the changes in gene frequencies and the effects of those changes on adaptation and evolution
population genetics
a random change in a gene or chromosome, creating a new trait that may be advantageous, deleterious, or neutral in its effects on the organism
mutation
admixture or the exchange of alleles between two populations.
gene flow
the random change in allele frequency from one generation to the next with greater effect in small populations
genetic drift
anatomical
Pertaining to an organism’s physical structure.
anthroplogy
The study of humankind, viewed from the perspective of all people and all times.
arboreal
Tree-dwelling; adapted to living in the trees.
archaeology
The study of historic or prehistoric human populations through the analysis of material remains.
artifacts
Material objects from past cultures.
biocultural approach
The scientific study of the interrelationship between what humans have inherited genetically and culture.
biological anthroplogy
The study of the evolution, variation, and adaptation of humans and their past and present relatives.
bipedalism
Walking on two legs.
cultural anthropology
The study of modern human societies through the analysis of the origins, evolution, and variation of culture.
culture
Learned behavior that is transmitted from person to person.
data
Evidence gathered to help answer questions, solve problems, and fill gaps in scientific knowledge.
empirical
Verified through observation and experiment.
forensic anthroplogy
The scientific examination of skeletons in hope of identifying the people whose bodies they came from.
genome
The complete set of chromosomes for an organism or species that represents all the inheritable traits.
hominin
Humans in a more recent evolutionary taxonomy; based on genetics.
hypotheses
Testable statements that potentially *explain* specific phenomena observed in the natural world.
language
A set of written or spoken symbols that refer to things (people, places, concepts, etc.) other than themselves.
linguistic anthropology
The study of the construction, use, and form of language in human populations.
material culture
The part of culture that is expressed as objects that humans use to manipulate environments.
morphology
Physical shape and appearance.
nonhoning canine
An upper canine that, as part of a nonhoning chewing mechanism, is not sharpened against the lower third premolar.
physical anthroplogy
The original term for biological anthropology
primates
A group of mammals in the order Primates that have complex behavior, varied forms of locomotion, and a unique suite of traits, including larger brains, forward-facing eyes, fingernails, and reduced snouts.
scientific law
A theory that becomes absolutely true.
scientific method
An empirical research method in which data is gathered from observations of phenomena, hypotheses are formulated and tested, and conclusions are drawn that validate or modify the original hypotheses.
social learning
the capacity to learn from other humans, enabling the accumulation of knowledge across many generations
socioloinguistics
the science of investigating language’s social contexts
terrestrial
life-forms, including humans, that live on land versus living in water or in trees
theory
a set of hypotheses that have been rigorously tested and validated, leading to their establishment as a generally accepted explanation of specific phenomena
genotype
The genetic makeup of an organism; the combination of alleles for a given gene.
genus
A group of related species.
geology
The study of Earth’s physical history.
habitat
The specific area of the natural environment in which an organism lives.
Lamarchism
First proposed by Lamarck, the theory of evolution through the inheritance of acquired characteristics in which an organism can pass on features acquired during its lifetime.
Mendelian inheritance
he basic principles associated with the transmission of genetic material, forming the basis of genetics, including the law of segregation and the law of independent assortment.
mutation
A random change in a gene or chromosome, creating a new trait that may be advantageous, deleterious, or neutral in its effects on the organism.
natural selection
The process by which some organisms, with features that enable them to adapt to the environment, preferentially survive and reproduce, thereby increasing the frequency of those features in the population.
paleontology
The study of extinct life-forms through the analysis of fossils.
pandemic
wide regional or global spread of infectious disease
phenotype
The physical expression of the genotype; it may be influenced by the environment.
population genetics
A specialty within the field of genetics; it focuses on the changes in gene frequencies and the effects of those changes on adaptation and evolution.
recessive
An allele that is expressed in an organism’s phenotype if two copies are present, but is masked if the dominant allele is present.
species
a group of related organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile, viable offspring
systematics
the study and classification of living organisms to determine their evolutionary relationships with one another
taxonomy
the classification of organisms into a system that reflects degrees of relatedness
uniformitarianism
the theory that processes that occurred in the geologic past are still at work today
adenine
One of four nitrogen bases that make up DNA and RNA; it pairs with thymine in DNA molecules and uracil in RNA molecules.
adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
An important cellular molecule, created by the mitochondria and carrying the energy necessary for cellular functions.
amino acids
Organic molecules combined in a specific sequence to form a protein.
antibodies
Molecules that form as part of the primary immune response to the presence of foreign substances; they attach to the foreign antigens.
anticodons
Sequences of three nitrogen bases carried by tRNA, they match up with the complementary mRNA codons and each designate a specific amino acid during protein synthesis.
antigens
Substances, such as bacteria, foreign blood cells, and enzymes, that stimulate the immune system’s antibody production.
autosomes
All chromosomes, except the sex chromosomes, that occur in pairs in all somatic cells (not the gametes).
coding DNA
Sequences of a gene’s DNA (also known as exons) that are coded to produce a specific protein and are transcribed and translated during protein synthesis.
codominance
Refers to two different alleles that are equally dominant; both are fully expressed in a heterozygote’s phenotype.
codons
The sequences of three nitrogen bases carried by mRNA that are coded to produce specific amino acids in protein synthesis.
complementary bases
The predictable pairing of nitrogen bases in the structure of DNA and RNA, such that adenine and thymine always pair together (adenine and uracil in RNA) and cytosine and guanine pair together.
cross-over
The process by which homologous chromosomes partially wrap around each other and exchange genetic information during meiosis.
cytoplasm
The jellylike substance inside the cell membrane that surrounds the nucleus and in which the organelles are suspended.
cytosine
One of four nitrogen bases that make up DNA and RNA; it pairs with guanine.
diploid cell
A cell that has a full complement of paired chromosomes.
epigenetic
referse to heritable changes but without alteration in the genome
essential amino acids
those amino acids that cannot be synthesized into the body; they must be supplied by the diet
eukaryotes
multicelled organisms that have a memebrane-bound nucleus containing both the genetic material and specialized organelles
free-floating nucleoitides
Nucleotides (the basic building block of DNA and RNA) that are present in the nucleus and are used during DNA replication and mRNA synthesis.
gametes
Sexual reproductive cells, ova and sperm, that have a haploid number of chromosomes and that can unite with a gamete of the opposite sex to form a new organism.
guianine
One of four nitrogen bases that make up DNA and RNA; it pairs with cytosine.
haplogroups
A large set of haplotypes, such as the Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA, that may be used to define a population.
haploid cell
A cell that has a single set of unpaired chromosomes, half of the genetic material.
haplotypes
A group of alleles that tend to be inherited as a unit due to their closely spaced loci on a single chromosome.
heritability
The proportion of phenotypic variation that is due to inheritance rather than to environmental influence.
heteroplasmic
Refers to a mixture of more than one type of organellar DNA, such as mitochondrial DNA, within a cell or a single organism’s body, usually due to the mutation of the DNA in some organelles but not in others.
heterozygous
Refers to the condition in which a pair of alleles at a single locus on homologous chromosomes are different.
homeotic (Hox) genes
Also known as homeobox genes, they are responsible for differentiating the specific segments of the body, such as the head, tail, and limbs, during embryological development.
homologous
Refers to each set of paired chromosomes in the genome.
homoplasmic
Refers to nuclear DNA, which is identical in the nucleus of each cell type (except red blood cells).
homozygous
Refers to the condition in which a pair of alleles at a single locus on homologous chromosomes are the same.
karyotype
The characteristics of the chromosomes for an individual organism or a species, such as number, size, and type.
law of independent assortment
Mendel’s Second Law, which asserts that the inheritance of one trait does not affect the inheritance of other traits.
law of segregation
Mendel’s First Law, which asserts that the two alleles for any given gene (or trait) are inherited, one from each parent; during gamete production, only one of the two alleles will be present in each ovum or sperm.
linkage
Refers to the inheritance, as a unit, of individual genes closely located on a chromosome; an exception to the Law of Independent Assortment.
locus
The location of an allele, or gene, on a chromosome.
matriline
DNA, such as mitochondrial DNA, whose inheritance can be traced from mother to daughter or to son.
meiosis
The production of gametes through one DNA replication and two cell (and nuclear) divisions, creating four haploid gametic cells.
messenger RNA (mRNA)
The molecules that are responsible for making a chemical copy of a gene needed for a specific protein, that is, for the transcription phase of protein synthesis.
microstellites
Specific loci in nuclear or organellar DNA that have repeated units of 1-4 base pairs in length; they can be used in various genetic studies.
mitochondria
Energy-producing (ATP) organelles in eukaryotic cells; they possess their own independent DNA.
mitosis
The process of cellular and nuclear division that creates two identical diploid daughter cells.
monosomy
Refers to the condition in which only one of a specific pair of chromosomes is present in a cell’s nucleus.
noncoding DNA
Sequences of a gene’s DNA (also known as introns) that are not coded to produce specific proteins and are excised before protein synthesis.
nondisjunctions
Refers to the failure of the chromosomes to properly segregate during meiosis, creating some gametes with abnormal numbers of chromosomes.
nucleotide
The building block of DNA and RNA, comprised of a sugar, a phosphate group, and one of four nitrogen bases.
nucleus
A membrane-bound structure in eukaryotic cells that contains the genetic material.
paleogenetics
The application of genetics to the past, especially in anthropology and paleontology; the study of genetics in past organisms.
patriline
DNA whose inheritance can be traced from father to daughter or son, such as the Y-chromosome, which passes from father to son.
peptide bond
Chemical bond that joins amino acids into a protein chain.
polygenic
Refers to one phenotypic trait that is affected by two or more genes.
polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
A technique that amplifies a small sample of DNA into a larger amount that can be used for various genetic tests.
polymorphism
Refers to the presence of two or more separate phenotypes for a certain gene in the population.
polypeptide
Also known as a protein, a chain of amino acids held together by multiple peptide bonds.
prokaryotes
Single-celled organisms with no nuclear membranes or organelles and with their genetic material as a single strand in the cytoplasm.
recombination
The exchange of genetic material between homologous chromosomes, resulting from a cross-over event.
regulatory genes
Those genes that determine when structural genes and other regulatory genes are turned on and off for protein synthesis.
regulatory proteins
Proteins involved in the expression of control genes.
replication
The process of copying nuclear DNA prior to cell division, so that each new daughter cell receives a complete complement of DNA.
ribonucleic acid (RNA)
A single-stranded molecule involved in protein synthesis, consisting of a phosphate, ribose sugar, and one of four nitrogen bases.
ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
A fundamental structural component of a ribosome.
ribosomes
The organelles attached to the surface of endoplasmic reticulum, located in the cytoplasm of a cell; they are the site of protein synthesis.
sex chromosomes
The pair of chromosomes that determine an organism’s biological sex.
single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
Variations in the DNA se-quence due to the change of a single nitrogen base; also known as point mutations.
somatic cells
Diploid cells that form the organs, tissues, and other parts of an organism’s body.
structural genes
Genes coded to produce particular products, such as an enzyme or hormone, rather than for regulatory proteins.
structural proteins
Proteins that form an organism’s physical attributes.
thymine
One of four nitrogen bases that make up DNA; it pairs with adenine.
transcription
The first step of protein synthesis, involving the creation of mRNA based on the DNA template.
transfer RNA (tRNA)
The molecules that are responsible for transporting amino acids to the ribosomes during protein synthesis.
translation
The second step of protein synthesis, involving the transfer of amino acids by tRNA to the ribosomes, which are then added to the protein chain.
translocations
Rearrangements of chromosomes due to the insertion of genetic material from one chromosome to another.
triplets
Sequences of three nitrogen bases each in DNA, known as codons in mRNA.
trisomy
Refers to the condition in which an additional chromosome exists with the homologous pair.
uracil
One of four nitrogen bases that make up RNA; it pairs with adenine.
zygote
The cell that results from a sperm’s fertilization of an ovum.
abnormal hemoglobin
Hemoglobin altered so that it is less efficient in binding to and carrying oxygen.
admixture
The exchange of genetic material between two or more populations.
anthropogenic
Refers to any effect caused by humans.
balanced polymorphism
Situation in which selection maintains two or more phenotypes for a specific gene in a population.
capillaries
Small blood vessels between the terminal ends of arteries and the veins.
deme
A local population of organisms that have similar genes, interbreed, and produce offspring.
demic diffusion
A population’s movement into an area previously uninhabited by that group.
directional selection
Selection for one allele over the other alleles, causing the allele frequencies to shift in one direction.
disruptive selection
Selection for both extremes of the phenotypic distribution; may eventually lead to a speciation event.
endogamous
Refers to a population in which individuals breed only with other members of the population.
equilibrium
A condition in which the system is stable, balanced, and unchanging.
exogamous
Refers to a population in which individuals breed only with nonmembers of their population.
fitness
Average number of offspring produced by parents with a particular genotype compared to the number of offspring produced by parents with another genotype.
founder effect
The accumulation of random genetic changes in a small population that has become isolated from the parent population due to the genetic input of only a few colonizers.
frameshift mutation
The change in a gene due to the insertion or deletion of one or more nitrogen bases, which causes the subsequent triplets to be rearranged and the codons to be read incorrectly during translation.
gene pool
All the genetic information in the breeding population.
glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)
An enzyme that aids in the proper functioning of red blood cells; its deficiency, a genetic condition, leads to hemolytic anemia.
Hemoglobinopathies
A group of related genetic blood diseases characterized by abnormal hemoglobin.
hemolytic anemias
A condition of insufficient iron in the blood due to the destruction of red blood cells resulting from genetic blood diseases, toxins, or infectious pathogens.

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