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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: Superbug, super-fast evolution

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Overview:
Methicillin-resistant staph infections now contribute to more US deaths than does HIV. This news brief from April of 2008 explains the quirks of bacterial evolution that make them such a threat.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article includes a video podcast, a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, and 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.

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

  • Evolution results from selection acting upon genetic variation within a population. (LS4.B)

  • Depending on environmental conditions, inherited characteristics may be advantageous, neutral, or detrimental.

  • 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. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life.

Teacher background:

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