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  • 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.

  • Genetic Origin of Variation in Human Skin Color

    Genetic Origin of Variation in Human Skin Color

    Data Point

    Dr. Rebecca Lamason and colleagues studied the genetic origin of variation in human skin color using a model organism, the zebrafish.

  • Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Human Skin Color: Evidence for Selection

    Activity

    This case study is based on the short film The Biology of Skin Color. Students use real data to propose hypotheses, make predictions, and justify claims with evidence. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Origin of Flight: What Use Is Half a Wing?

    The Origin of Flight: What Use Is Half a Wing?

    Scientists at Work

    (8 min 16 sec) Biologist Ken Dial's study of how young birds use their developing wings sheds light on the evolution of flight in birds.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Explore Your Inner Animals

    Explore Your Inner Animals

    Click & Learn

    This interactive explores different anatomical features of the human body and what they reveal about the evolutionary history we share with other organisms, including earlier, long-extinct species.

  • How Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

    How Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

    Activity

    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. 

  • Molecular Genetics of Color Mutations in Rock Pocket Mice

    Molecular Genetics of Color Mutations in Rock Pocket Mice

    Activity

    A lesson that requires students to transcribe and translate portions of the wild-type and mutant rock pocket mouse Mc1r genes and compare sequences to identify the locations and types of mutations responsible for the coat color variation described in the film. Also available in Spanish.

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