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Parasites and pathogens take the leap


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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.

Evolution: Education and Outreach

Grade level:

20 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article is written for teachers and comes with links to additional examples, supplementary information, and classroom tips. It is also available as a pdf at http://www.springerlink.com/content/m30241657r03072m/fulltext.pdf

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • Occupying new environments can provide new selection pressures and new opportunities, leading to speciation. (LS4.C)

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

Teacher background:

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