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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: Spreading disease on evolutionary timescales

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Overview:
Most infectious diseases that we are familiar with are passed from human to human; however, on evolutionary timescales, pathogens don't necessarily respect species boundaries. This news brief from November 2010 examines a recently discovered case of disease swapping among species involving a deadly strain of malaria.

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.

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence.

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

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.

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