This news brief, from January of 2006, traces the source of the SARS virus. Using phylogenetics, biologists have come up with a plausible path of transmission which may help us prevent future outbreaks of diseases such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile virus.
UC Museum of Paleontology
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topic of viruses (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class. It also includes hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history.
- Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.
- Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.
- As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.
- Scientists use multiple lines of evidence (including morphological, developmental, and molecular evidence) to infer the relatedness of taxa.