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Larkhall Academy

Advanced Higher Biology

Cells and Proteins

This Unit builds on understanding of the genome from Higher Biology and Higher Human Biology. Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of proteomics, protein structure, binding and conformational change; membrane proteins; detecting and amplifying a stimulus; communication within multicellular organism and protein control of cell division. The study of protein is primarily a laboratory-based activity, so the Unit includes important laboratory techniques for biologists. This skills-based sequence covers health and safety considerations, through the use of liquids and solutions, to a selection of relevant separation and antibody techniques. In addition, much work on cell biology is based on the use of cell lines, so includes techniques related to cell culture and microscopy. These techniques could be delivered in an integrated manner within this Unit.

Organisms and Evolution

This Unit builds on understanding of selection in the context of evolution and immune response from Higher Biology and Higher Human Biology. Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of evolution; variation and sexual reproduction; sex and behaviour and parasitism. It covers the role of sexual reproduction and parasitism in the evolution of organisms. Biological variation is a central concept in this Unit and is best observed in the natural environment. This Unit covers suitable techniques for ecological field study. Methods of sampling and the classification and identification of organisms are introduced. Evolution is considered from the impact of drift and selection on variation. The study of sexual behaviour provides opportunities to use the techniques of ethology. There are many opportunities to explore the systems approach required for the understanding of parasite biology. In addition, there are many opportunities to explore wider ethical issues relating to the importance of scientific knowledge and its application in challenging social and economic circumstances.

Investigative Biology

This Unit builds on understanding of the scientific method from Higher Biology and Higher Human Biology. Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of investigative biology and its communication. The Unit covers scientific principles and processes, experimentation and critical evaluation of biological research. Learners will do this through the key aspects of the scientific method, literature and communication and ethics; pilot studies, variables, experimental design, controls, sampling and ensuring reliability; evaluating background information, experimental design, data analysis and conclusions. The collection of experimental data will provide an opportunity to develop planning and organising skills.

Skills, knowledge and understanding

¨ extending and applying knowledge of biology to new situations, interpreting and analysing information to solve complex problems

¨ planning and designing biological experiments/investigations, using reference materials and including risk assessments, to test a hypothesis or to illustrate particular effects

¨ carrying out complex experiments in biology safely, recording systematic detailed observations and collecting data

¨ selecting information from a variety of sources and presenting detailed information, appropriately, in a variety of forms

¨ processing and analysing biological information/data (using calculations, significant figures and units, where appropriate)

¨ making reasoned predictions and generalisations from a range of evidence/information

¨ drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence/justification

¨ critically evaluating experimental procedures by identifying sources of error, suggesting and implementing improvements

¨ drawing on knowledge and understanding of biology to make accurate statements, describe complex information, provide detailed explanations and integrate knowledge

¨ communicating biological findings/ information fully and effectively

¨ analysing and evaluating scientific publications and media reports


SQA Advanced Higher Biology - 

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