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  • Sodium Channel Evolution in Electric Fish

    Sodium Channel Evolution in Electric Fish

    Data Points

    Scientists investigated how gene duplication contributed to the evolution of electric fish.

  • Understanding Variation in Human Skin Color

    Understanding Variation in Human Skin Color

    Lessons

    In this activity, students extend the concepts covered in the short film The Biology of Skin Color through the application of models and mathematical thinking to explain how genomic variation and human ancestry can explain differences in skin color, a polygenic trait.

  • Zebrafish and Skin Color

    Zebrafish and Skin Color

    Lessons

    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.

  • Thermoregulation in Dinosaurs

    Thermoregulation in Dinosaurs

    Data Points

    Grady and colleagues compared dinosaur fossil evidence with evidence from living animal species to shed more light on the type of thermoregulation that dinosaurs used—ectothermy, endothermy, or mesothermy.

  • Origin of a Gene Mutation Causing Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

    Origin of a Gene Mutation Causing Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

    Data Points

    This activity analyzes a published scientific figure from a study of a family that has a high prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Amylase Copy Number and Diet

    Amylase Copy Number and Diet

    Data Points

    A team of scientists investigated whether there is a correlation between the number of AMY1 gene copies and the type of diet (high-starch or low-starch) of a population.

  • Slug Power

    Slug Power

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore photos of a sea slug and chloroplasts as phenomena to explore photosynthesis concepts.

  • Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Case Studies

    In this case study, students use real data to propose hypotheses, make predictions, and justify claims with evidence, as an exploration of concepts presented in the short film The Biology of Skin Color.

  • Activity for The Biology of Skin Color

    Activity for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Activities

    This activity explores the evidence that differences in human skin color are adaptations to varying intensity of UV light, as discussed in the short film The Biology of Skin Color.

  • Schooling Behavior of Stickleback Fish from Different Habitats

    Schooling Behavior of Stickleback Fish from Different Habitats

    Data Points

    A team of scientists studied the schooling behavior of threespine stickleback fish by experimentally testing how individual fish responded to an artificial fish school model.

  • How Did Dinosaurs Regulate Their Body Temperature?

    How Did Dinosaurs Regulate Their Body Temperature?

    Lessons

    This activity uses data from a 2014 scientific paper to explore thermoregulation in living and extinct animals, including dinosaurs. 

  • Activity for The Origin of Humans

    Activity for The Origin of Humans

    Film Activities

    This activity explores the concepts and research on the evolutionary origins of humans discussed in the short film Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans.

  • The Lone Anole

    The Lone Anole

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore a photo of an anole lizard as a phenomenon to explore adaptations and natural selection.

  • Milk: How Sweet Is It?

    Milk: How Sweet Is It?

    Labs & Demos

    In this activity, students simulate a lactose tolerance test, similar to the one shown in the short film The Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture, to determine which samples contain the lactase enzyme.

  • Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Labs & Demos

    This classroom experiment supports the film The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch. Students collect and analyze data to learn why even slight variations in beak size can make the difference between life and death.

  • Using DNA to Explore Lizard Phylogeny

    Using DNA to Explore Lizard Phylogeny

    Card Activities

    In this activity, students explore the phenomenon of convergent evolution presented in the short film The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree. They build and interpret phylogenetic trees to infer how certain adaptations evolved among the Anole lizard populations of the Caribbean.

  • Activity for Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    Activity for Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    Film Activities

    This activity explores the concepts and research on the anole lizards discussed in the short film The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree, including adaptation by natural selection, convergent evolution, and the formation of new species.

  • Lactose Intolerance: Fact or Fiction

    Lactose Intolerance: Fact or Fiction

    Lessons

    In this activity, students evaluate and discuss statements about the evolutionary relationship between milk consumption and lactose tolerance discussed in the short film Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture.

  • Using Genetic Crosses to Analyze a Stickleback Trait

    Using Genetic Crosses to Analyze a Stickleback Trait

    Card Activities

    A hands-on activity in which students analyze the results of genetic crosses between stickleback fish with different traits.

  • Modeling the Regulatory Switches of the Pitx1 Gene in Stickleback Fish

    Modeling the Regulatory Switches of the Pitx1 Gene in Stickleback Fish

    Labs & Demos

    A hands-on activity in which students interpret molecular diagrams and build physical models of eukaryotic gene regulation.

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