nature's preservative

Amber Talk

amber
A hardened substance formed when molecules in certain tree resins polymerize, or join to form larger molecules. There is no exact age, hardness, or other quantifiable definition of amber. Using sophisticated chemical tests, however, scientists can identify amber's characteristic signatures.

arthropod
A member of the phylum Arthropoda, including all insects, crustaceans, and spiders. A phylum is one of the largest groupings of organisms; all vertebrates, for example, are members of the phylum chordata. Adults usually have a segmented body, an external (exo-) skeleton, and jointed limbs.

chemical ecology
The study of the origin, function and significance of natural chemicals involved in interactions within and between organisms; for example, reproduction, feeding and competition.

entomology
The study and classification of members of the phylum insecta (the insects).

morphology
The structure and form of an organism.

null hypothesis
A statement that something does not exist, or can not happen, or is not related. These statements cannot be proven.

polymerase chain reaction
A genetic-engineering technique able to multiply tiny segments of DNA millions of times, for use in chemical and biological experiments, and in forensics.

replication
The practice of repeating a scientific experiment to assure its accuracy; a good scientific report lists everything needed to perform replication.

spore
A dormant "seed" formed by a bacteria when it's facing starvation. Surrounded by a protein coat, spores are known to be able to withstand radiation, heat, cold, and oxidation.

taxon
A category of organisms, based on their morphology and genetic code (based on "taxonomy," the study of grouping organisms by these characteristics.

temperate zone
Regions on the globe with distinct summer and winter; north of the Tropic of Cancer to about 66 degrees north latitude, and south of the Tropic of Capricorn to about 66 degrees south latitude.

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