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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Evolution and Antibiotic Resistance

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Overview:
Students learn why evolution is at the heart of a world health threat by investigating the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance in such menacing diseases as tuberculosis.

Author/Source:
WGBH

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
One to three class periods.

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topic of Eubacteria (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). This activity could serve as a lecture extension and might be good as a take home assignment or as assigned group work outside of class.

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

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

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

  • Natural selection acts on phenotype as an expression of genotype.

  • New heritable traits can result from mutations.

  • Mutation is a random process.

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction.

  • 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 can act on the variation in a population in different ways.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • 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.

Teacher background:

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