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  • Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Data Points

    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 Points

    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

    Activities

    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.

  • Popped Secret Film with Quiz

    Popped Secret Film with Quiz

    Interactive Videos

    (17 min 51 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film on the evolutionary origins of corn.

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

    Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guides

    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.

  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Short Films

    (17 min 51 sec) Where did corn come from? Genetic and archeological data point to what may seem like an unlikely ancestor: a wild Mexican grass called teosinte. Also available in Spanish.

  • Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—On Land

    Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—On Land

    Activities

    A lesson in which students analyze graphs and data on pollen grains and fern spores to form a picture of the living landscape before and after the K-T mass extinction.

  • Breeding Corn from Teosinte

    Breeding Corn from Teosinte

    Clips

    (52 sec) Corn was originally bred from the teosinte plant by native Mexican farmers. The morphologies of modern-day corn and teosinte plants are compared to illustrate how artificial selection can bring about dramatic changes in plants.

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