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  • Seed Dispersal in Tropical Forests

    Seed Dispersal in Tropical Forests

    Activity

    In this activity, students use data from published studies to understand patterns of seed dispersal and apply these ideas to the design of a conservation area.

  • Stalking the Genetic Basis of a Trait

    Stalking the Genetic Basis of a Trait

    Activity

    In this activity students analyze data on the expression of the tb1 gene and use it to formulate an explanation as to how a specific difference in the corn version of the gene explains the phenotype of less branching.

  • Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation

    Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation

    Scientists at Work

    (8 min 3 sec) Watch researchers follow brown spider monkeys in a tropical forest of Colombia to determine which plant seeds they are dispersing. Seed dispersers are critical to the forest’s ability to grow and regenerate. 

  • Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Data Point

    To study the change in diet as human populations changed lifestyles from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists, scientists measured carbon isotopes in the collagen tissues of human skeletons from North America.

  • Selective Breeding in Maize

    Selective Breeding in Maize

    Data Point

    Researchers performed the longest-running, controlled artificial selection experiment to study whether they could increase the protein concentration of maize (corn) by selective breeding.

  • The Teosinte Hypothesis

    The Teosinte Hypothesis

    Activity

    In this lesson, students work through the mathematics and concepts behind George Beadle’s claim that teosinte is the wild ancestor of maize. Also available in Spanish.

  • Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement the film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn, which tells the story of how geneticists and archaeologists have come together to determine how and where corn was domesticated nearly 9,000 years ago. Also available in Spanish.

  • Modeling Ecosystem Effects of Termite Mound Patterns

    Modeling Ecosystem Effects of Termite Mound Patterns

    Data Point

    Dr. Corina Tarnita and colleagues studied how a pattern of termite mounds across a dryland ecosystem enhances resilience against desertification.

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