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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes

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Overview:
This 13-minute film describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish by studying its genome – an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.

Author/Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
15-20 minutes

Teaching tips:
HHMI provides a variety of teacher resources to accompany this video: an in-depth film guide, student quiz, two demonstrations and three student lessons

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

  • There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit.

  • Evolution is often defined as a change in allele frequencies within a population.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Evolution results from mutations.

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

  • Mutation is a random process.

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

  • Evolution does not consist of progress in any particular direction.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

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