Biology

A:

The poinsettia comes from Mexico and Central America. The Aztecs, who called it "Cuetlaxochitl," used the flower in medicine and dyes. After the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Christian priests began using it in religious rituals.

See Full Answer
Filed Under:
  • What Are the Three Types of Symbiotic Relationships?

    Q: What Are the Three Types of Symbiotic Relationships?

    A: Three types of symbiotic relationships are mutualism, commensalism and parasitism. In symbiosis, at least one member of the pair benefits from the relationship, while the host may also benefit, may be unaffected or may be harmed.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is the Role of Producers in an Ecosystem?

    Q: What Is the Role of Producers in an Ecosystem?

    A: Producers are able to make their own food and do not rely on the ecosystem for nourishment. Examples of producers include photosynthetic microbes and plants.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is a "niche" in Biology?

    Q: What Is a "niche" in Biology?

    A: The niche that an organism occupies is the opening in the environment that the organism fills to make a living. A species' niche is its place in an ecosystem relative to the other organisms present.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is Zooplankton?

    Q: What Is Zooplankton?

    A: Zooplankton are small animals that live in water. They are generally weak swimmers and range in size from 2 micrometers to 8 inches long; they also live close to the surface.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Are the Four Ways That Pathogens Are Spread?

    Q: What Are the Four Ways That Pathogens Are Spread?

    A: The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry states that four ways pathogens are spread are by droplet infection, direct contact, bodily fluids and vectors. Pathogens can also be spread via contaminated food and water.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Why Is Homeostasis Important to Organisms?

    Q: Why Is Homeostasis Important to Organisms?

    A: By maintaining homeostasis, organisms remain healthy, strong and stable, with protection from the attacks of foreign organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Homeostasis enables organisms to remain balanced while living in constantly changing environments.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Infections Does Penicillin Cure?

    Q: What Infections Does Penicillin Cure?

    A: Penicillin treats middle ear infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, bronchitis and laryngitis, according to MedicineNet. The Free Dictionary claims that penicillin also treats skin infections, respiratory ailments and scarlet fever.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Where Are Proteins Made in a Cell?

    Q: Where Are Proteins Made in a Cell?

    A: In a cell, proteins are made in the cell's ribosomes. Ribosomes string together long chains of amino acids to synthesize proteins. The mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid), tRNA (transfer ribonucleic acid) and the amino acids work together to form proteins.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is the Purpose of Photosynthesis?

    Q: What Is the Purpose of Photosynthesis?

    A: Photosynthesis is a process that allows plants to harvest energy in sunlight and store it chemically, by producing sugars. Sugars hold energy in their molecular bonds; when the plant breaks down these bonds, energy is released that the organism can then use. Although green plants are the most famous photosynthesizing organisms, some bacteria, algae and protists carry out the process as well.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Are the Main Characteristics of Algae?

    Q: What Are the Main Characteristics of Algae?

    A: Algae are any eukaryotes, other than plants, that conduct photosynthesis. They range from single-celled organisms to multicellular seaweeds over 180 feet in length with specialized organs. They are found in most environments, especially very wet ones, perhaps most notably the oceans, where they are the dominant producers.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How Are Bacteria Different From Animal and Plant Cells?

    Q: How Are Bacteria Different From Animal and Plant Cells?

    A: Plants and animals are multi-cellular organisms composed of eukaryotic cells, while bacteria are single-cell prokaryotic organisms. Each eukaryotic cell of a plant or animal includes a central nucleus containing DNA and membrane-bound organelles, such as endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. A bacterial cell has no nucleus or membrane-bound organelles.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is the Difference Between Anabolism and Catabolism?

    Q: What Is the Difference Between Anabolism and Catabolism?

    A: Anabolism is a process in which the liver creates new proteins from digested nutrients, while catabolism involves the breaking down of proteins into essential amino acids. Both are vital to the body's metabolism and maintaining healthy cell function.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How Do Fungi Reproduce?

    Q: How Do Fungi Reproduce?

    A: Fungi reproduce in one of two ways: asexually through mitosis, or sexually through meiosis. Sexual reproduction occurs far less frequently than asexual production and usually only when necessary to adapt to environmental change.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How Are Gram-Positive Cocci in Pairs Interpreted?

    Q: How Are Gram-Positive Cocci in Pairs Interpreted?

    A: A Gram stain showing gram-positive cocci in pairs, or diplococci, is a morphological characteristic of several bacteria. Gram stains can be positive or negative, depending on the cell wall composition of the bacteria. Morphologies in Gram stains include cocci, rods, coccobacilli and spirochetes
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is a Natural Ecosystem?

    Q: What Is a Natural Ecosystem?

    A: A natural ecosystem is an ecosystem that occurs as it would without the influence of human beings. The term “ecosystem” refers to all of the plants, animals, fungi, protozoans, bacteria and other organisms that live in the same area. All of these distinct species share highly interconnected lives and, in many ways, function as one unit.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Are the Branches of Biological Science?

    Q: What Are the Branches of Biological Science?

    A: There are multiple branches of biology, including agriculture, anatomy, genetics, biochemistry, botany and zoology. Each branch of biology studies a specific aspect of nature and living organisms.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is an Example of Parasitism in Coral Reefs?

    Q: What Is an Example of Parasitism in Coral Reefs?

    A: One example of a parasitic relationship in coral reefs includes crustaceans from the Copepoda or Isopoda orders, which attach to fish in the reefs, sometimes causing harm but at other times simply holding on and feeding on food particles that float by them. Coral reefs feature organisms that coexist in a number of different relationships, including parasitism, but also symbiosis, competition, commensalism and mutualism.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Why Is Blood Considered to Be a Tissue?

    Q: Why Is Blood Considered to Be a Tissue?

    A: Scientists categorize blood as a connective tissue for two primary reasons. According to Rutgers University, blood originates in embryo in the mesoderm, one of the three primary layers of cells; blood shares this origin with other kinds of connective tissue. And, like other kinds of connective tissue, blood plays a connective role with respect to the systems within the human body.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is a Nonliving Thing?

    Q: What Is a Nonliving Thing?

    A: A nonliving thing is no longer living or has never had the traits of life including respiration, reproduction, movement, metabolism, sensitivity and growth. Nonliving things do not require energy to continue existing in their current state.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Why Are Decomposers Important?

    Q: Why Are Decomposers Important?

    A: Decomposers are important because they are crucial for the proper functioning of ecosystems. They recycle the minerals found in dead plants and animals back into the food chain. Ecosystems do not waste energy or materials, and as such, the decomposers capitalize on any remaining energy in a dead organism and make the minerals available to the entire biome.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is the Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Matter?

    Q: What Is the Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Matter?

    A: The main difference between organic and inorganic matter is organic compounds contain carbon and carbon-hydrogen bonds, while most inorganic compounds do not contain carbon. Organic compounds are produced by and are associated with living organisms. Inorganic compounds are created by non-living natural processes or human intervention.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under: