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  • Teacher Guide: AP Biology

    Teacher Guide: AP Biology

    Teacher Guide

    This guide correlates all the resources available on the Holiday Lectures on Science DVDs and throughout the BioInteractive.org website to specific Big Ideas, Enduring Understandings, and Essential Knowledge threads of the new AP® Biology Curriculum Framework. 

  • The Making of the Fittest: Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies

    The Making of the Fittest: Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies

    Short Film

    (15 min 27 sec) After the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago, populations of marine stickleback fish became stranded in freshwater lakes dotted throughout the Northern Hemisphere in places like Alaska and British Columbia. These fish have adapted to a freshwater environment drastically different than the ocean.

  • 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 and Adaptation

    The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation

    Short Film

    (10 min 25 sec) The rock pocket mouse is a living example of Darwin’s process of natural selection. 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.

  • 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?

  • Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Transcription

    Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Transcription

    Animation

    (2 min 5 sec) General transcription factors, activators, and repressors interact to regulate the transcription of eukaryotic DNA into RNA.

  • Bacterial Quorum Sensing

    Bacterial Quorum Sensing

    Click & Learn

    Understand how quorum sensing works by reasoning through experiments involving genetically-engineered bioluminescent bacteria.

  • The LUX operon controls light production

    The LUX operon controls light production

    Animation

    (2 min 25 sec) A single transcription factor controls this operon, which contains five genes necessary to produce bioluminescence.

  • The molecular cascade in bacterial quorum sensing

    The molecular cascade in bacterial quorum sensing

    Animation

    (3 min 20 sec) Quorum sensing regulates gene expression by a protein phosphorylation cascade that controls transcription.

  • Genetic Switches

    Genetic Switches

    Click & Learn

    Learn about how gene switches can control expression of genes in different tissues.

  • Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads

    Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads

    Lecture

    How has the amazing diversity of plants and animals evolved? What can fossils, butterflies, and stickleback fish tell us about the deep common ancestry of all living forms?

  • Paintbrush Gene

    Paintbrush Gene

    Animation

    (49 sec) In two related Drosophila species, a so-called paintbrush gene is activated to "paint" the pigment on the body. In one species, an extra switch activates the gene, resulting in spotted wings.

  • Pitx1 Expression

    Pitx1 Expression

    Animation

    (55 sec) In the stickleback fish, pelvic-fin reduction resulted from changes in the regulatory switch elements of the Pitx1 gene. In the marine ancestor, the Pitx1 gene is activated in the pelvic-fin region during development to generate the fin. In the pelvic-reduced stickleback, the regulatory switch that normally turns on the Pitx1 gene is either missing or non-functional.

  • PPAR-gamma Activation in the Fat Cell

    PPAR-gamma Activation in the Fat Cell

    Animation

    (2 min 49 sec) The PPAR-gamma receptor activates certain genes in a fat cell, resulting in the storage of fat and changes in hormone levels.

  • MECP2

    MECP2

    Animation

    (43 sec) This animation shows how the protein MECP2, in conjuction with another protein complex, can act as an "on-off' switch for gene expression.

  • p53

    p53

    Animation

    (26 sec) A 3D animation showing the molecule p53 binds to DNA and initiates the transcription of mRNA.

  • X Inactivation

    X Inactivation

    Animation

    (55 sec) This animation shows how the random deactivation of one of the X chromosomes in a pair can lead to a mozaicism in the expression genes. 

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