Units of Measurement in Biological Systems

The Systemé International d'Unités (SI units), which is now generally accepted as the universal scientific system of measure, is based on the meter and kilogram (m, kg) rather than the centimeter and gram of the older cgs system. It has seven basic units of measurement:

Quantity SI unit Symbol

Amount of substance mole mol

Mass kilogram kg

Time second s

Length meter m

Electric current ampere A

Thermodynamic temperature kelvin K

Light intensity candela cd

Several important units employed in biological systems which are derived from SI units include the following:

Definition in terms

Quantity to be measured

of basic units

SI unit



IO-3 m3


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