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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
High altitude adaptations: The work of Emilia Huerta-Sánchez

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Overview:
This research profile follows statistician and population geneticist Emilia Huerta-Sánchez as she studies the adaptations that allow Tibetan highlanders to live 13,000 feet above sea level without developing altitude sickness.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
30 minutes

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topic of the regulation of gene expression (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). This research profile includes discussion and essay questions that can be assigned to students. Get tips for using research profiles in your classroom.

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

  • Evolution is still continuing today.

  • Evolutionary change can sometimes happen rapidly.

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

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • 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.

  • New heritable traits can result from mutations.

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction.

  • Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing.

  • Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Scientific findings and evidence inspire new questions and shape the directions of future scientific research.

  • Science is a human endeavor.

  • Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.

Teacher background:

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