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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: Ghosts of epidemics past

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Overview:
HIV and malaria both constitute global health threats, respectively affecting more than 30 million and 200 million people worldwide. This news brief from October 2008 describes new research that reveals an unexpected evolutionary link between the two.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
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. This example could be easily integrated into instruction on basic selection, particularly as a supplement to discussion of the classic sickle cell anemia example. 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)

  • Mutations are random.

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

  • Populations, not individuals, evolve.

  • 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)

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

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

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence. (P4, P6, NOS3)

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

  • Some traits of organisms are not adaptive.

Teacher background:

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