The Tools of Life Scientists

Term Definition
Compound Light Microscope consists of a tube with lenses, a stage, and a light source- it magnifies the image
Mass the amount of matter in an object – the basic unit of measure is the kilogram
Graduated Cylinder measures the volume of liquids – basic unit is liter
Volume the amount of space an object occupies
liquid is measured in liters
solid objects are measured in cubic meters (m^3) or cubic centimeters (cm^3)
Calorimeter the instrument heat is measured in
Computers can share, collect, store, organize, and analyze information – can create graphs, solve math problems, and analyze data – life scientists are able to solve problems that they were not able to solve in past.
Electron Microscope tiny particles of matter are used to magnify images
Transmission Electron Microscope electrons pass through the specimen and produce a flat image – can magnify up to 200,000 times the actual size
Length how long an object is – the basic unit of length is the meter
Meter Stick measures the length of objects – basic unit is meter
Balance measures the mass of an object – basic unit is kilogram
Thermometer measures how hot or cold an object is – basic unit is degree
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) provides a clearer image than x-rays by using short bursts of magnetic field – useful for studying brain and spinal tissue
(less than a CT scan)
CT Scan (computerized tomography) low dosage x-ray beams are passed through the body at different angels, & often a dye is injected to help highlight tissues – provides a clearer, more detailed image than x-rays – useful for studying brain and spinal tissue
X-rays used for almost a century to see internal structures of organisms (bones, heart, lungs) and the structures of proteins
Scanning Electron Microscopes electrons bounce off the surface of the specimen and a three-dimensional (3-D) image is produced – can magnify up to 100,000 times the actual size
The International System of Measurement (SI) metrics, is used by scientists all over the world
Joules the measurement heat is measured in
Energy what heat is

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