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imageDNA to Darwin: Darwin's 'abominable mystery' - the origin of flowering plants
Students build a phylogenetic tree from the chloroplast genome in order to learn about the origin of flowers and the characteristics of the first flowering plants.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Elaiosomes and seed dispersal by ants
In this activity, students build a phylogenetic tree of plants. From the dated tree, students infer when elaiosomes (a plant structure) arose and use this information to examine hypotheses about possible reasons for the evolution of elaiosomes.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Evolution of colour vision in primates
Students explore the molecular basis and evolutionary origin of trichromatic (red/green/blue) color vision in humans and our close evolutionary relatives using nucleic acid sequences of opsins, key proteins involved in the process.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Lactose tolerance
Students analyze genetic data to discover which genetic variants are associated with lactose tolerance in different populations. A statistical test (chi-squared) is used to work out whether specific genetic changes have significant effects on lactase persistence.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Malaria and the human genome
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.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Superbugs - choosing our enemies
In this case study, students compare the genomes of MRSA and its genetic cousin MSSA to locate DNA differences and mobile elements that could be expected to improve the bacterium’s resistance to antibiotics and its ability to cause disease.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: The evolution of taste receptors
Students investigate the evolution of taste receptors by using protein sequence data to generate a phylogenetic tree of sweet, umami and bitter taste receptors from six animal species. In a second, more advanced activity, the evolution of bitter taste receptors by gene duplication is studied using DNA sequence data. The unusual case of the giant panda, which has lost the ability to taste meaty flavours, is also introduced.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Woolly mammoths and their relatives
In this case study, the evolutionary relationship of the extinct Woolly mammoth to modern elephants and other species is investigated. Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences are used for this purpose.

Audience: 13-16

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity

imageDNA to Darwin: Woolly mammoths and their relatives
In this case study, the evolutionary relationship of the extinct Woolly mammoth to modern elephants and other species is investigated. Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences are used for this purpose.

Audience: 9-12

Source: DNA to Darwin

Resource type: Classroom activity


 

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