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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

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Teaching materials database

Found 41 resources for the concept: Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction

Viruses and Host Evolution
Students learn about natural selection in rabbits by observing the effects of a virus on the Australian rabbit population.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Chamberlain, Don

Resource type: Classroom activity

Adaptation: The case of penguins
The process of natural selection produces stunning adaptations. Learn about the history of this concept, while you explore the incredible adaptations that penguins have evolved, allowing them to survive and reproduce in a climate that reaches -60°C!
This article appears at Visionlearning.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Visionlearning

Resource type: Article

Relevance of evolution: Conservation
Explore just a few of the many cases in which evolutionary theory helps us form conservation strategies.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

Webcast: Endless forms most beautiful
In lecture one of a four part series, evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll discusses Darwin and his two most important ideas: natural selection and common ancestry.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video Lecture

Mechanisms of evolution
Learn about the basic processes that have shaped life and produced its amazing diversity.
This article is located within Evolution 101.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

Natural selection: The basics
Darwin's most famous idea, natural selection, explains much of the diversity of life. Learn how it works, explore examples, and find out how to avoid misconceptions.
This article is located within Evolution 101.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Tutorial

Origami Birds
Students build and evolve and modify paper-and-straw “birds” to simulate natural selection acting on random mutations.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

Comic strip: Survival of the sneakiest
This comic follows the efforts of a male cricket as he tries to attract a mate, and in the process, debunks common myths about what it means to be evolutionarily "fit."

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Comic

Exploring Variation and Heritability
Students explore the natural variations present in a variety of organisms by examining sunflower seeds and Wisconsin Fast Plants™ to consider the role of heredity in natural selection.

Audience: 9-12

Source: MUSE

Resource type: Classroom activity

Relevance of evolution: Agriculture
Explore just a few of the many cases in which evolutionary theory helps us secure and improve the world's crops. Genetic diversity, disease resistance and pest control are highlighted.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

Relevance of evolution: Medicine
Explore just a few of the many cases in which evolutionary theory helps us understand and treat disease. Bacterial infections, HIV, and Huntington's disease are highlighted.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

Breeding Bunnies
Students simulate breeding bunnies to show the impact that genetics can have on the evolution of a population of organisms.

Audience: 9-12

Source: WGBH

Resource type: Classroom activity

Investigating Natural Selection
Students experience one mechanism for evolution through a simulation that models the principles of natural selection and helps answer the question: How might biological change have occurred and been reinforced over time?

Audience: 9-12

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Resource type: Classroom activity

Evolution and Antibiotic Resistance
Students learn why evolution is at the heart of a world health threat by investigating the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance in such menacing diseases as tuberculosis.

Audience: 9-12

Source: WGBH

Resource type: Classroom activity

Evo in the news: "Superweed" discovered in Britain?
This news brief, from October of 2005, describes the discovery of an herbicide resistant weed in Britain and illustrates the relationship between genetic engineering and evolution.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: A fish of a different color
This news brief, from February 2006, describes how a mutated zebrafish gene may help us understand human evolution and the genes underlying human skin color. Humans and zebrafish both inherited the same pigmentation gene from their common ancestor.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Warming to evolution
Global warming increasingly affects many aspects of our environment, from the sea level to tropical storm strength. But that's far from the full story. This news brief from July 2006 describes how global warming has already begun to affect the evolution of several species on Earth.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Quick evolution leads to quiet crickets
The tropical island of Kauai has always been a quiet place, but now it may be getting even more quiet. This news brief, from December 2006, reveals how Kauai's cricket population has evolved into a "chirpless" variety in just a few years.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Got lactase?
The ability to digest milk is a recent evolutionary innovation that has spread through some human populations. This news brief from April 2007 describes how evolution has allowed different human populations to take advantage of the nutritional possibilities of dairying and links evolution with the prevalence of lactose tolerance among people of different ethnicities.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Cheating cheetahs prosper
Biologists have discovered that female cheetahs consistently seek out multiple mates. This news brief, from July 2007, explains how the evolutionary implications of this behavior may help conservation efforts targeting these endangered animals.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Another perspective on cancer
This news brief, from October of 2007, describes the evolutionary underpinnings of cancer. Recognizing cancer as a form of cellular evolution helps explain why a cure remains elusive and points the way toward new treatments.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Evolution from a virus's view
This news brief from December 2007 describes a new virulent strain of the common cold and examines how and why virulence evolves.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Evolution's dating and mating game
This news brief from May of 2008 describes new research on octopus mating and reveals how evolution can favor some surprising courtship behaviors.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Better biofuels through evolution
This news brief from April 2009 describes how synthetic biologists are using the process of directed evolution to improve the efficiency of biofuel production.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Bed bugs bite back thanks to evolution
This news brief of September 2010 examines the resurgence of bed bugs throughout the country, and the real bad news is that those bed bugs have evolved resistance to the chemicals most commonly used for eradication.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Aloha, spider style! The work of Rosemary Gillespie
This research profile follows Dr. Rosemary Gillespie to Hawaii as she evaluates hypotheses about the evolution of the colorful happy-face spider.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

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

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

Biological warfare and the coevolutionary arms race
The rough-skinned newt looks harmless enough but is, in fact, packed full of one of the most potent neurotoxins known to man. Find out how an evolutionary arms race has pushed these mild-mannered critters to the extremes of toxicity and how evolutionary biologists have unraveled their fascinating story.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

Fire ants invade and evolve
Understanding the evolution of fire ants may help scientists control the spread of these pests, which have already taken over much of the U.S.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

Variability and Selection in Natural Populations of Wood Lice
In this lab, students measure the amount of variation in a natural population of terrestrial wood lice and then determine which traits are subject to selection by predators by performing a simulated predation experiment.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Berkelhamer, Rudi

Resource type: Lab activity

The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans
This 14-minute film describes the connection between the infectious parasitic disease malaria and the genetic disease sickle cell anemia - one of the best-understood examples of natural selection in humans.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

The Meaning of Genetic Variation
Students investigate variation in the beta globin gene by identifying base changes that do and do not alter function, and by using several internet-based resources to consider the significance in different environments of the base change associated with sickle cell disease.

Audience: 9-12

Source: National Institutes of Health

Resource type: Classroom activity

Evo in the News: Evolutionary history in a tiny package
This news brief, from March 2012, describes the discovery four new species—all miniature chameleons—and explores the concept of island dwarfism.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Image

Juego evolutivo de citas y apareamiento
Largamente asumidos como solitarios, al menos una especie de pulpo lleva una compleja vida amorosa. El mes pasado, los biólogos Christine Huffard, Roy Caldwell y Farnis Boneka reportaron los resultados de los primeros estudios a largo plazo sobre el comportamiento de apareamiento de pulpos en la naturaleza...

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Mejores biocombustibles gracias a la evolución
Actualmente, la mayoría de nosotros llenamos nuestro tanque de gasolina con combustibles fósiles, es decir, restos de plantas y animales que murieron muchos millones de años atrás y eventualmente se convirtieron en petróleo — pero, por supuesto, esto no puede perdurar para siempre. El petróleo es un recurso limitado y en algún momento se va a terminar. Para ayudar a solucionar este problema, muchos científicos, políticos, gente de negocios y ciudadanos preocupados han puesto sus esperanzas en los biocombustibles...

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Las chinches de cama pican de nuevo gracias a la evolución
Las chinches de cama puede parecer un viejo problema pasado de moda, sin embargo ahora están de vuelta — y con venganza. Hace cincuenta años, estas plagas chupadoras de sangre estaban casi erradicadas en los Estados Unidos gracias, en parte, al uso de pesticidas como el DDT. Hoy, se arrastran entre las sabanas — y atormentan a los desgraciados soñadores — en todo el país...

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Clipbirds
Students learn about variation, reproductive isolation, natural selection, and adaptation through this version of the bird beak activity.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Classroom activity

The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaption
This 10-minute film describes the research of Dr. Michael Nachman and colleagues, whose work in the field and in the lab has documented and quantified physical and genetic evolutionary changes in rock pocket mouse populations.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes
This 13-minute film describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish by studying its genome – an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

Evo in the news: No more mystery meat
This news brief from April 2013 describes new research on the origin of American cattle breeds. The story told by the cows' genes crisscrosses the trajectory of human evolutionary history — from wild aurochs that lived alongside Neanderthals, to Christopher Columbus and, ultimately, the American West …

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Antibiotic resistant bacteria at the meat counter
This news brief from May 2013 describes research showing that a large percentage of the meat in supermarkets is contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria. An evolutionary perspective explains how antibiotic resistance arises in the first place and why the prevalence of resistant bugs in livestock has health professionals and scientists worried.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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