This news brief from April 2009 describes how synthetic biologists are using the process of directed evolution to improve the efficiency of biofuel production.
UC Museum of Paleontology
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.
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. (LS4.C)
- Artificial selection provides a model for natural selection.
- Evolution results from selection acting upon genetic variation within a population. (LS4.B)
- Mutations are random.
- Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction. (LS4.B, LS4.C)
- Depending on environmental conditions, inherited characteristics may be advantageous, neutral, or detrimental.
- 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.