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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

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Found 29 resources for the concept: Scientists use the similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences to infer the relatedness of taxa

imageInterview: Nicole King on the origins of multicellularity
Biologist and UC Berkeley Professor Nicole King explains how she investigates a major transition in evolutionary history: the evolution of multicellular life forms from unicellular ones.
This article appears at ActionBioscience.org.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ActionBioscience.org

Resource type: Interview with Scientist

imageWebcast: The science of evolution
Evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll introduces the field of Evo-Devo, using examples from fruit flies, butterflies, and icefish to explain how this research is transforming our understanding of evolution.
This video is available from the New York Times website.

Audience: 9-12

Source: New York Times

Resource type: Video

imageSolving the Mystery of the Neandertals
An interactive and engaging web activity that compares the number of mutations in the mitochondrial genomes to determine ancestry and relatedness.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Dolan DNA Learning Center

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageSimilarities and differences: Understanding homology and analogy
This interactive investigation explains what homologies and analogies are, how to recognize them, and how they evolve.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Online activity or lab

imageChromosome Comparison 2: Comparison of Human and Chimp Chromosomes
Students observe that the banding patterns seen on stained chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees show striking similarities. Possible evolutionary relationships are explored, as are the chromosomes and relationships of other apes.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Lab activity

imageAnolis Lizards
Students "take a trip" to the Greater Antilles to figure out how the Anolis lizards on the islands might have evolved.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Collins, Jennifer

Resource type: Lab activity

imageHominid Cranium Comparison (The "Skulls" Lab)
Students describe, measure and compare cranial casts from contemporary apes, modern humans, and fossil hominids to discover some of the similarities and differences between these forms and to see the pattern leading to modern humans.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ENSI

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEvo in the news: Tracking SARS back to its source
This news brief, from January of 2006, traces the source of the SARS virus. Using phylogenetics, biologists have come up with a plausible path of transmission which may help us prevent future outbreaks of diseases such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile virus.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Evolutionary evidence takes the stand
This news brief, from January of 2007, describes the role of phylogenetic evidence in a Libyan court case. Six medical workers have been convicted of injecting children with HIV-tainted blood - but the evolutionary history of the virus paints a different picture.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The new shrew that's not
This news brief from March of 2008 describes scientists' discovery of a new mammal species, a giant elephant shrew. Though elephant shrews resemble regular shrews, recent genetic evidence suggests that elephant shrews actually sprang from a much older (and perhaps more charismatic) branch of the tree of life - the one belonging to elephants and their relatives.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Tough conservation choices? Ask evolution
The earth is facing a biodiversity crisis. Nearly 50% of animal and plant species could disappear within our lifetime. To stem this rapid loss of biodiversity, we'll need to act quickly -- but where should we begin? This news brief, from December 2008, explains how evolutionary history can help us set conservation priorities.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Making sense of ancient hominin DNA
In March 2010 German researchers announced that they had managed to extract DNA from the 40,000 year old fossil bone from a child discovered in a Siberian cave and that it didn't match up to the known genetic sequences of either humans or Neanderthals! This news brief examines the evidence in more detail and considers what that evidence might — or might not — mean about such claims.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageIsland biogeography and evolution: Solving a phylogenetic puzzle using molecular genetics
Students focus on the evolution of three species of lizards using real data sets – geographical and geological data, then morphology, and finally molecular data – to determine possible phylogenetic explanations.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Filson, R.P.

Resource type: Lab activity

imageInvestigating Common Descent: Formulating Explanations and Models
Students formulate explanations and models that simulate structural and biochemical data as they investigate the misconception that humans evolved from apes.

Audience: 9-12

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageAloha, 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

imageA closer look at a classic ring species: The work of Tom Devitt
The Ensatina salamander has been extensively investigated because it is a ring species — a species that demonstrates how geography and the gradual accumulation of genetic differences factor into the process of speciation. Biologist Tom Devitt continues the more than 50 years of Ensatina research by applying new genetic techniques and asking new questions about this classic evolutionary example.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageUsing trees to understand plants: The work of Chelsea Specht
This research profile follows scientist Chelsea Specht as she pieces together the evolutionary history of tropical plants and their pollinators--and in the process, tries to figure out how to conserve endangered species.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageWebcast: Fossils, genes, and embryos
In lecture three of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley examines the original objections to Darwin's theory and shows how modern evidence supports the theory.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video Lecture

imageWebcast: Selection in action
In lecture two of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley discusses how just a few small genetic changes can have a big effect on morphology, using examples from maize, dog breeding, and stickleback fish.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video Lecture

imageEvolutionary trees from the tabloids and beyond
This article describes practical applications of phylogenetics, focusing on intriguing cases ripe for deployment in classrooms--like using phylogenetics to investigate crimes.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageUsing trees to uproot HIV: The work of Satish Pillai
This research profile follows scientist Satish Pillai as he studies the evolution of HIV within infected individuals. His research uses the tools of phylogenetics to investigate vaccine development and the possibility of curing the disease.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageHow boogieing birds evolved: The work of Kim Bostwick
This research profile follows ornithologist Kim Bostwick through the jungles of Ecuador and the halls of museums as she investigates the evolution of an exotic bird's complex mating dance.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageInvestigating a Deep Sea Mystery
In this lab activity, students examine authentic morphological and phylogenetic data of three fish families and then pose and test alternative hypotheses about the fishes' classification.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ETOL

Resource type: Lab activity

imageEvo 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

image¿Decisiones de conservación difíciles? Pregúntale a la evolución
¿Si tu casa se incendiara, que es lo que te llevarías cuando estés huyendo? La decisión puede ser difícil entre juguetes de niños, álbumes de fotos y documentos importantes compitiendo por tu atención. Desafortunadamente, nos enfrentamos con una decisión difícil cuando tenemos que definir nuestros esfuerzos de conservación. Las actividades humanas podrían estar desencadenado la sexta extinción masiva de la Tierra...

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageSound trees
Students learn how spectrograms represent sound variation and then examine the sounds of owls for traits that might be useful in determining evolutionary relationships. They compare these traits to morphological ones and test their hypotheses.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Resource type: Lab activity

imageTeaching the Process of Molecular Phylogeny and Systematics: A Multi-Part Inquiry-Based Exercise
Students explore molecular data from Homo sapiens and four related primates and develop hypotheses regarding the ancestry of these five species by analyzing DNA sequences, protein sequences, and chromosomal maps.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Lents, Nathan, et al

Resource type: Lab activity

imageEvo 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

imageEvo in the news: A new old animal
A new species of velvet worm was recently discovered in Vietnam. This news brief from September 2013 describes the key position of velvet worms in evolutionary history and how they help us better understand the fossil record of the Cambrian period.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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