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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

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Found 55 resources for the concept: Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population

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: 13-16

Source: WGBH

Resource type: Classroom activity

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Hotspots for evolution
Why are there so many different species in the tropics? This news brief, from June 2006, suggests why: warmer weather may be linked to a quicker pace for evolution.

Audience: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

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: 13-16

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: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Evolution in the fast lane?
Have humans, with all of our technological advances, exempted ourselves from further evolution? Perhaps not. This news brief, from February 2008, examines genetic research which suggests that human evolution may haved actually accelerated in our recent history.

Audience: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Evolution down under
This news brief, from September of 2008, describes an unusual contagious cancer currently decimating Tasmanian devil populations. Learn about the fascinating interplay between the evolution of the devils and the evolution of the disease.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Evolving altitude aptitude
This news brief from October 2010 examines new research that makes it clear that Tibetan highlanders have not just acclimated to their mountain home; evolutionary adaptations have equipped them with unique physiological mechanisms for dealing with low oxygen levels.

Audience: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the news: Gender-biased bacteria throw off an evolutionary balance
The percentage of southwestern whiteflies infected with Rickettsia bacteria has skyrocketed; but this is not a boon for local farmers, as the bacterium actively helps the pest spread. This news brief examines how evolutionary theory accounts for this and how we might turn it in our favor.

Audience: 13-16

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: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

Angling 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

The genes that lie beneath: The work of Leslea Hlusko
Evolutionary biologist Leslea Hlusko’s research takes her from the deserts of Ethiopia, where she hunts for hominid and primate fossils, to a baboon colony in San Antonio where she takes thousands of measurements of the primates' imposing canines. This research profile describes how the two projects are linked by a hunt for genetic variation, a key component of natural selection.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

Using 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: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

Mantis shrimp shoulder their evolutionary baggage and bluff
Like all organisms, mantis shrimp carry baggage from their evolutionary history. Find out how this baggage has coaxed them into a deadly bluffing game.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

A 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: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Article

Evolution connection: Proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids
This short slide set weaves basic information about carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids into one evolutionary story regarding the evolution of lactose tolerance, which relates to students’ everyday lives. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Article

Webcast: 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: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video Lecture

Evolution connection: DNA replication
This short slide set explains the fidelity of DNA replication in evolutionary terms. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo Connection slide set

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: 13-16

Source: Berkelhamer, Rudi

Resource type: Lab activity

Selection and evolution with a deck of cards
This classroom exercise introduces the concept of evolution by natural selection in a hypothesis-driven, experimental fashion, using a deck of cards.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Evolution: Education and Outreach

Resource type: Classroom activity

Inducing Evolution in Bean Beetles
In this lab, students design and conduct experiments to evaluate whether evolution by natural selection (or alternatively, genetic drift) may be induced in laboratory populations.

Audience: 13-16

Source: Morehouse College and Emory University

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: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

Stabilization of the fig-pollinator mutualism
Students read a 2008 paper on the role of parasites in stabilizing the fig-pollinator mutualism alongside an interactive guide that explains each section of the paper and draws the reader's attention to important points in the article.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Annotated journal article

Mechanisms of evolution slide set
This set of three PowerPoint slides featuring personal response questions (i.e., multiple choice questions that can be used with "clicker" technology) can be incorporated into lectures on the mechanisms of evolution in order to actively engage students in thinking about evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

Natural selection and adaptation slide set
This set of five PowerPoint slides featuring personal response questions (i.e., multiple choice questions that can be used with "clicker" technology) can be incorporated into lectures on natural selection and adaptation in order to actively engage students in thinking about evolution.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

Problem-based discussion: Natural selection in Darwin's finches
This set of two PowerPoint slides featuring questions for problem-based discussion (i.e., open-ended questions that engage students with each other and with course material) can be easily incorporated into lectures on natural selection.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Slide set

High altitude adaptations: The work of Emilia Huerta-Sánchez
This research profile follows statistician and population geneticist Emilia Huerta-Sánchez as she studies the adaptations that allow Tibetan highlanders to live 13,000 feet above sea level without developing altitude sickness.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Research profile

Evo in the News: When fighting leukemia, evolutionary history matters
This news brief, from December 2011, describes how evolutionary history can factor into the success of a bone marrow transplant.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo in the News: Acidic oceans prompt evolution
This news brief, from October 2012, describes new research into the evolutionary response that ocean acidification may prompt in some plankton species.

Audience: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Sexo, 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: 13-16

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: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Resource type: Video

Evo 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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

Evo 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: 13-16

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: 13-16

Source: UC Museum of Paleontology

Resource type: Evo in the News article

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