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Lesson summary for:
From the origin of life to the future of biotech: The work of Andy Ellington

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Overview:
This research profile examines how scientist Andy Ellington has co-opted the power of artificial selection to construct new, useful molecules in his lab. The results of his work could help protect us from terrorist attacks and fight HIV and cancer.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
30-40 minutes

Teaching tips:
This research profile includes discussion and essay questions that can be assigned to students. Get tips for using research profiles 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.

  • Artificial selection provides a model for natural selection.

  • Evolution results from selection acting upon genetic variation within a population. (LS4.B)

  • Mutations are random.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)

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

  • Science is a human endeavor. (NOS7)

  • Scientists use artificial selection as a model to learn about natural selection. (P2)

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life.

Teacher background:

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