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Evolution connection: Ribosomes


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This short slide set explains how some antibiotics target the bacterial ribosome and don't attack the ribosomes in our own cells through a quirk of evolutionary history. Save the slide set to your computer to view the explanation and notes that go along with each slide.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

5 minutes

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topics of organelle structure or transcription/translation (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). Incorporate these slides immediately after you’ve discussed the ribosome--either as a cellular structure or its role in protein synthesis.

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

  • Through billions of years of evolution, life forms have continued to diversify in a branching pattern, from single-celled ancestors to the diversity of life on Earth today.

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.

  • The early evolutionary process of eukaryotes included the merging of prokaryote cells.

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

Teacher background:

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