Organisms and Evolution

How are genomic changes associated with patterns of host specificity, virulence, and speciation as disease-causing organisms evolve? Does disease exposure vary geographically in birds? How can we identify the bird pathogens? What are the factors controlling the reproductive success of invasive weeds? To answer such questions, researchers turn to bioinformatics and use a variety of experiments, both in the field and in the lab, combined with genomic, mathematical, and GIS-based tools.

In the Year 2525… Using Real Time PCR Data to Analyze a Founder Scenario

This activity will place the concepts of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium into a contemporary context.  During the activity students will interpret data from real-time PCR and use it to calculate allele frequencies.  These allele frequencies will then serve as a hypothetical founder population, for which students will run simulations using Allele A1 software to predict possible future allele frequen Read more about In the Year 2525… Using Real Time PCR Data to Analyze a Founder Scenario

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Molecular Conservation & Evolutionary Relationships

Students attempt to determine how sequences are used as evolutionary tools to determine relative age of relationship of organisms. Students are given sections of DNA and amino acid sequences and asked to determine differences between them. In part 1, students work with online DNA sequences found on BLAST. In part 2, students use paper based amino acid sequences. Read more about Molecular Conservation & Evolutionary Relationships

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