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Lesson summary for:
DNA to Darwin: Malaria and the human genome


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In this case study, students investigate the origin and action of mutations that are thought to have arisen in human populations in response to selection pressure from malaria.

DNA to Darwin

Grade level:

1-2 hours

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topics of transcription and translation (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus).

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

  • There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Depending on environmental conditions, inherited characteristics may be advantageous, neutral, or detrimental.

  • Natural selection sometimes favors heterozygotes over homozygotes at a locus.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

Teacher background:

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