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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes

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Overview:
This 13-minute film describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish by studying its genome an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

Author/Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
15-20 minutes

Teaching tips:
HHMI provides a variety of teacher resources to accompany this video: an in-depth film guide, student quiz, two demonstrations and three student lessons

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit.

  • Evolution is often defined as a change in allele frequencies within a population.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Evolution results from mutations.

  • Natural selection and genetic drift act on the variation that exists in a population.

  • Mutation is a random process.

  • Organisms cannot intentionally produce adaptive mutations in response to environmental influences.

  • Evolution does not consist of progress in any particular direction.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

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