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  • Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Activity

    Students explore the geographic distribution of lactase persistence around the world by analyzing real data collected by scientists.

  • Understanding Variation

    Understanding Variation

    Activity

    This lesson complements the film The Biology of Skin Color and discusses variation in human skin color and polygenic inheritance. Also available in Spanish.

  • Zebrafish and Skin Color

    Zebrafish and Skin Color

    Activity

    This lesson complements the film The Biology of Skin Color and explores how experimental work in zebrafish led to a better understanding of the role of the gene SLC24A5 in human skin color.

  • Lactase Film with Quiz

    Lactase Film with Quiz

    Interactive Video

    (14 min 52 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film that explores the evolution of the ability to digest lactose as adults (lactose tolerance) and the genetic changes associated with the trait.

  • Skin Color Interactive Video

    Skin Color Interactive Video

    Interactive Video

    (18 min 58 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film that explores the evidence for the evolution of the variation in skin color among human populations.

  • Film Guide for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Guide for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Biology of Skin Color. Featuring anthropologist Dr. Nina Jablonski, the film walks us through the evidence that differences in human skin color are adaptations to varying intensity of UV light. Also available in Spanish.

  • Lactase Persistence: Evidence for Selection

    Lactase Persistence: Evidence for Selection

    Activity

    This activity provides a case study in human evolution that connects genotype, phenotype, culture, and graphical analysis skills. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Making of the Fittest

    The Making of the Fittest

    Collection

    Each film takes students on an adventure—from the postglacial lakes in southern Alaska to the deserts of the American Southwest, and from the icy Antarctic to the highlands of East Africa,...

  • The Biology of Skin Color

    The Biology of Skin Color

    Short Film

    (18 min 58 sec) Penn State University anthropologist Dr. Nina Jablonski walks us through the evidence that the different shades of skin color among human populations arose as adaptations to the intensity of ultraviolet radiation in different parts of the world. Also available in Spanish.

  • Teacher Guide: Evolution

    Teacher Guide: Evolution

    Teacher Guide

    Topics include: natural selection, artificial selection, population genetics, human adaptations and evolution, and phylogenetics.

  • The Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    The Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    Short Film

    (14 min 52 sec) Follow human geneticist Spencer Wells, Director of the Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society, as he tracks down the genetic changes associated with the ability to digest lactose as adults. Also available in Spanish.

  • Regulation of the Lactase Gene

    Regulation of the Lactase Gene

    Click & Learn

    Lactase persistence results from a mutation that changes how transcription factors interact, thereby affecting gene expression.

  • Recent Adaptations in Humans

    Recent Adaptations in Humans

    Click & Learn

    Lactose tolerance, sickle cell anemia, and bitter taste perception are three examples of recently evolved human traits.

  • The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans

    The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans

    Short Film

    (14 min 3 sec) In some parts of the world, there is an intimate connection between the infectious parasitic disease malaria and the genetic disease sickle cell anemia. Also available in Spanish

  • Film Guides: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    Film Guides: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture, which tells the story of the evolution of the ability to digest lactose, a genetic trait that arose in humans within the last 10,000 years in some pastoralist cultures.

  • Film Guides: Natural Selection in Humans

    Film Guides: Natural Selection in Humans

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans, which describes the connection between malaria and sickle cell anemia—one of the best-understood examples of natural selection in humans. Also available in Spanish.

  • Genetics of Bitter Taste Perception

    Genetics of Bitter Taste Perception

    Lecture

    (50 min 39 sec) How humans perceive bitter taste, and the evolution of taste perception.

  • Genetics of Human Origins and Adaptation

    Genetics of Human Origins and Adaptation

    Lecture

    (58 min 31 sec) Genetic evidence shows that humans evolved in Africa and continue to evolve.

  • Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans

    Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans

    Lecture

    Where and when did humans arise? What distinguishes us from other species? Did our distant ancestors look and behave like us?

  • Using DNA to Trace Human Migration

    Using DNA to Trace Human Migration

    Click & Learn

    All living humans originated from populations of ancestors who migrated out of Africa less than 100,000 years ago. Learn how scientists have used genetic markers to trace the migration routes and origins of modern human populations.

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