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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

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Teaching materials database

Found 60 resources for the concept: As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life

imageViruses 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

imageEvolutionary biology: Technology for the 21st century
The evolutionary biologist Jim Bull gives his perspective on how evolution matters to society today: from producing polio vaccines to solving tabloid-style crimes.
This article appears at ActionBioscience.org.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ActionBioscience.org

Resource type: Article

imageInterview: Anthony Barnosky on climate change and mammal evolution
UC Berkeley Professor Anthony Barnosky gives the inside scoop on how climate change has affected past speciation of mammals and how it may affect biodiversity in the future.
This article appears at ActionBioscience.org.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ActionBioscience.org

Resource type: Interview with Scientist

imageLearn about the tree of life
This tutorial on phylogenetics explains the basics of tree-thinking and provides many examples from real organisms.
This resource is available from the Peabody Museum of Natural History

Audience: 9-12

Source: Peabody Museum of Natural History

Resource type: Tutorial

imageParasites and pathogens take the leap
Diseases like SARS, HIV, and West Nile Virus may be new to humans, but they are old news to other species. These and other emerging infectious diseases have recently added humans to the list of hosts they infect. An evolutionary perspective can help us better understand and, we hope, control this problem.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageRelevance 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

imageWebcast: From butterflies to humans
In lecture four of a four part series, evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll uses the developmental genetics of insects to explain how old genes can learn new tricks and how this can help us understand human evolution.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video Lecture

imageWhy study the tree of life?
This short video provides several examples of the practical applications of phylogenetics.
This resource is available from the Peabody Museum of Natural History

Audience: 9-12

Source: Peabody Museum of Natural History

Resource type: Video

imageEvo in the news: Ghosts of epidemics past
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.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageInterview: Douglas Futuyma on natural selection
This interview with one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of today addresses many aspects of natural selection: how it works, examples, misconceptions, and implications.
This article appears at ActionBioscience.org.

Audience: 9-12

Source: ActionBioscience.org

Resource type: Interview with Scientist

imageRelevance 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

imageRelevance 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

imageEvolution 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

imageArtificially Selecting Dogs
Students learn how artificial selection can be used to develop new dog breeds with characteristics that make the dogs capable of performing a desirable task.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Collins, Jennifer

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageEvo in the news: Fighting the evolution of malaria in Cambodia
This news brief from December 2009 focuses on one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases: malaria. Malaria is normally treatable, but now some strains are evolving resistance to our most effective drug. Find out how researchers and doctors are trying to control the evolution of the disease.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: One small fossil, one giant step for polar bear evolution
This news brief from April 2010 describes what scientists have learned by extracting DNA from a polar bear fossil more than 100,000 years old. Though the fossil itself was just a fragment of the skeleton—the lower left portion of the jaw, still containing a tooth—the DNA had a lot to say about polar bear evolution.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Livestock kick a drug habit
This news brief, from September of 2005, describes the FDA ban on the use of the antibiotic Baytril in poultry production. The decision was made in order to reduce the danger presented by the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo 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

imageEvo in the news: Evolution and the avian flu
This news brief, from November of 2005, describes the threat of avian flu. The stage is set for this virus to evolve into a strain that could cause a deadly global pandemic.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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: Evolution at the scene of the crime
This news brief, from March 2006, describes how DNA fingerprinting is being used to prosecute and exonerate the accused. DNA fingerprinting relies on the processes of mutation and genome evolution.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Conserving the kakapo
This news brief, from April 2006, chronicles how researchers are using evolutionary theory to guide their strategies for conserving a critically endangered parrot - with some impressive results!

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The other green (r)evolution
Though corn is "all-natural" in some ways, in others it is entirely manmade. This news brief from February 2007 explains the evolutionary tools that ancient humans used to engineer modern corn and the tools that scientists are using today to reconstruct corn's evolutionary history.

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: A chink in HIV's evolutionary armor
Medical researchers have spent billions of dollars and many decades trying to develop an HIV vaccine but have, thus far, failed. Why is an HIV vaccine so elusive? This news brief from March 2007 explains how HIV's rapid rate of evolution challenges medicine and describes a new discovery that may allow vaccine developers to sidestep that evolution.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo 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

imageEvo in the news: Evolving conservation strategies
This news brief, from June 2007, explains how biologists are using evolutionary theory to protect the biodiversity that exists today and that may evolve tomorrow.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Genealogy enthusiasts mine DNA for clues to evolutionary history
This news brief, from November 2007, turns an evolutionary lens on businesses that use DNA for genealogy research and, in the process, illuminates what their genetic tests really track.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo 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

imageEvo 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

imageEvo in the news: Superbug, super-fast evolution
Methicillin-resistant staph infections now contribute to more US deaths than does HIV. This news brief from April of 2008 explains the quirks of bacterial evolution that make them such a threat.

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: HIV's not-so-ancient history
First described in 1981, HIV is a distinctly modern disease. But for how long before its discovery did HIV lurk unnoticed in human populations? This news brief from November 2008 describes new research offering insight into when (and how) HIV got its start.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Coping with climate change
This news brief from May 2009 explores the difference between phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary change in relation to the media's coverage of climate change.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo 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

imageEvo in the news: Sex, speciation, and fishy physics
More than 500 species of cichlid fish inhabit Africa's Lake Victoria. This news brief from March 2009 explains new research suggesting that the physics of light may have played an important role in cichlid diversification and in the recent drop in their diversity.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The evolutionary history of jogging
This news brief from March 2010 describes a new fitness trend: barefoot running. Though it might sound like just another fitness fad, soon to go the way of hula-hoops or jazzercise, this trend has a surprising connection to evolution.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo 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

imageEvo in the news: Spreading disease on evolutionary timescales
Most infectious diseases that we are familiar with are passed from human to human; however, on evolutionary timescales, pathogens don't necessarily respect species boundaries. This news brief from November 2010 examines a recently discovered case of disease swapping among species involving a deadly strain of malaria.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Genetic variation helps rescue endangered panthers
In the 1990s, scientists predicted that the Florida panther would be extinct within 20 years and, in 1995, formulated a bold plan to save them. This news brief of December 2010 reports on the success of that plan which gave the panther a second lease on life by the infusion of genetic variation.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: Toxic river means rapid evolution for one fish species
This news brief from March 2011 examines the genetic basis for the evolution of resistance to PCBs in the Hudson River tomcod. Though this is great for the tomcod, what might it mean for other organisms in the ecosystem?

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageAncient fossils and modern climate change: The work of Jennifer McElwain
Wondering how global warming will affect our planet? Scientist Jennifer McElwain studies the fossil record in order to learn more about how global warming has affected life on Earth in the past and how it might affect life on Earth in the future.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageBattling 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

imageAngling for evolutionary answers: The work of David O. Conover
Human activity has certainly affected our physical environment - but it is also changing the course of evolution. This research profile follows scientist David O. Conover as he investigates the impact of our fishing practices on fish evolution and discovers what happened to the big ones that got away.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageFrom the origin of life to the future of biotech: The work of Andy Ellington
This research profile examines how scientist Andy Ellington has co-opted the power of artificial selection to construct new, useful molecules in his lab. The results of his work could help protect us from terrorist attacks and fight HIV and cancer.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

imageHow to survive a mass extinction: The work of David Jablonski
Through detailed analysis of patterns in the fossil record, scientist David Jablonski reconstructs the rules that helped dictate who lived and died in past mass extinctions. This research profile describes his surprising discoveries and their disturbing implications for the biodiversity crisis today.

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

imageA look at linguistic evolution
We typically think of evolution occurring within populations of organisms. But in fact, evolutionary concepts can be applied even beyond the biological world. Any system that has variation, differential reproduction, and some form of inheritance will evolve if given enough time. Find out how an understanding of evolution can illuminate the field of linguistics.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Audience: 9-12

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

imageFire 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

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

imageEvo in the News: Climate change causes loss of genetic diversity
This news brief, from April 2012, describes how climate change is affecting a population of chipmunks in Yosemite National Park. The chipmunks' loss of genetic variation may affect their ability to survive and their future evolutionary potential.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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

imageSexo, especiación y física subacuática
Evolución en las noticias relata una reciente historia que señala como comprender física básica puede revelar como la evolución esta ocurriendo hoy — en especial, como la física de la luz tiene influencia sobre la selección sexual, especiación y el colapso de la biodiversidad, producto de la polución causada por los humanos...

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageMejores 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

imageLas 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

imageEvo in the news: Influenza, an ever-evolving target for vaccine development
Some vaccines provide lifelong protection with one or a few doses, but the flu requires a new shot every year. And in some years, the flu shot is hardly effective at all. Why is the flu vaccine different from so many other vaccines? This news brief from February 2013 provides the evolutionary explanation.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

imageEvo in the news: The recent roots of dental disease
This news brief from March 2013 describes new research suggesting that human dietary changes associated with the invention of agriculture and the Industrial Evolution caused an epidemic of tooth decay and gum disease. This link between diet and oral health is an example of a mismatch to modernity — a case in which a disease results from a modern lifestyle feature that our lineage has not experienced during the course of its evolutionary history.

Audience: 9-12

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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: 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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