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Battling bacterial evolution: The work of Carl Bergstrom


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This research profile examines how the scientist Carl Bergstrom uses computer modeling to understand and control the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospitals.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

30-40 minutes

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This research profile includes discussion and essay questions that can be assigned to students. Get tips for using research profiles in your classroom.

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)

  • Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Natural selection acts on the variation that exists in a population. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • 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)

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)

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

  • The real process of science is complex, iterative, and can take many different paths.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data. (P2, P3, P4, NOS1)

  • Science is a human endeavor. (NOS7)

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

  • Natural selection is dependent on environmental conditions.

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