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  • 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.

  • The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    Short Films

    (17 min 45 sec) This film explores the adaptation of anole lizards (genus Anolis) to habitats common across the islands of the Caribbean. The anoles are excellent examples of adaptive radiation, convergent evolution, and speciation through reproductive isolation.

  • The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch

    The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch

    Short Films

    (15 min 54 sec) This film explores four decades of research on the evolution of Galápagos finches, which has illuminated how species form and diversify.

  • Lactose Digestion in Infants

    Lactose Digestion in Infants

    Animations

    (53 sec) The lactase enzyme is produced in the small intestine of infants. It digests lactose by breaking it into glucose and galactose.

  • Diet and the Evolution of Salivary Amylase

    Diet and the Evolution of Salivary Amylase

    Lessons

    This activity engages students in analyzing authentic scientific data that explore the effects of different diets on the evolution of an enzyme that breaks down starch.

  • How Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

    How Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

    Lessons

    A lesson that requires students to read detailed scientific passages and explain how an understanding of specific icefish adaptations might lead to a treatment or cure for human disorders, such as osteoporosis and anemia. 

  • Icefish Blood Adaptations: Viscosity

    Icefish Blood Adaptations: Viscosity

    Lessons

    In this simple lab activity, students simulate and compare how blood pumps through the circulatory system of icefish and other fish.

  • Icefish Blood Adaptations: Antifreeze Proteins

    Icefish Blood Adaptations: Antifreeze Proteins

    Labs & Demos

    In this activity, students investigate the importance of antifreeze proteins for icefish survival through two simple labs.

  • Film Guides: The Birth and Death of Genes

    Film Guides: The Birth and Death of Genes

    Film Activities

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes, which describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish. The icefish makes an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

  • Molecular Genetics of Color Mutations in Rock Pocket Mice

    Molecular Genetics of Color Mutations in Rock Pocket Mice

    Lessons

    In these activities, students transcribe and translate portions of the rock pocket mouse Mc1r gene to further explore the genetic variations responsible for different coat colors as described in the short film Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation.

  • Factors That Affect the Mosquito Life Cycle

    Factors That Affect the Mosquito Life Cycle

    Labs & Demos

    In this lab activity, students rear mosquitoes to test variables that might affect the mosquito life cycle.

  • The Mosquito Life Cycle Activity

    The Mosquito Life Cycle Activity

    Lessons

    In this activity, students study the mosquito life cycle by breeding and observing them and then demonstrate how these data could be used to inform public policy.

  • Motor cabal toxins block motor neuron synapses

    Motor cabal toxins block motor neuron synapses

    Animations

    (3 min 28 sec) Multiple cone snail toxins attack different molecules of the nervous system and cause paralysis.

  • Prialt blocks motor synapse in fish

    Prialt blocks motor synapse in fish

    Animations

    (2 min 31 sec) Prialt, a drug derived from cone snail venom, paralyzes fish by blocking calcium channels at a motor synapse.

  • Molecular Mechanism of Synaptic Function

    Molecular Mechanism of Synaptic Function

    Animations

    (1 min 9 sec) This animation shows how neurons send and receive signals to communicate with one another at contact points called synapses.

  • Signal molecules trigger transcription factors

    Signal molecules trigger transcription factors

    Animations

    (2 min 4 sec) Varying concentrations of a signaling molecule activate different transcription factors and determine cell fate.

  • Cells of the Immune System

    Cells of the Immune System

    Click & Learn

    An overview of the immune system, concentrating on the roles played by B and T lymphocytes, and the antigen-presentation system.

  • CTL killing a target cell

    CTL killing a target cell

    Clips

    (1 min 17 sec) Video microscopy of a cytotoxic T lymphocyte in action.

  • Planarian Regeneration and Stem Cells

    Planarian Regeneration and Stem Cells

    Scientists at Work

    (11 min 47 sec) A mini-documentary discussing the remarkable regenerative capabilities of the planarian, and how HHMI researcher Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado uses them to study the biology of stem cells.

  • Sickle Cell Anemia

    Sickle Cell Anemia

    Animations

    (1 min) Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease that affects hemoglobin.

  • X Inactivation

    X Inactivation

    Animations

    (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. 

  • Immunology Virtual Lab

    Immunology Virtual Lab

    Virtual Labs

    This virtual lab teaches the procedures of performing an ELISA test to determine whether a particular antibody is present in a patient's blood sample.

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