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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the News: "Error. Greed does not compute."

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Overview:
This news brief from May 2011 describes how researchers are using tiny robots to study the evolution of altruistic behaviors.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
10 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, as well as advanced discussion questions for undergraduates. It also includes hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Natural selection and genetic drift act on the variation that exists in a population.

  • Variation of a character within a population may be discrete or continuous.

  • Organisms cannot intentionally produce adaptive mutations in response to environmental influences.

  • Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing.

  • Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations.

  • Natural selection is capable of acting at multiple hierarchical levels: on genes, on cells, on individuals, on populations, on species, and on larger clades.

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists may explore many different hypotheses to explain their observations.

  • Scientists use experimental evidence to study evolutionary processes.

Teacher background:

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