Tag Archives: pseudogenes

Evolution: Retroviruses, Pseudogenes, and Transposons

Occasionally we need to learn content that involves a lecture-style delivery with students taking lots of notes.  Today was one of those days.  The PowerPoint includes content as well as links to the videos we watched.  Briefly, students were introduced to Linnaeus, Lamarck, and Darwin for some background information on how our understanding of evolution has changed over time.  We then transitioned into learning about concepts that help explain how the DNA available to an organism can change over time, and how changes in DNA can be used as a tool to track the relationships between species.  The videos embedded in the PowerPoint are also provided below:

Evolution: The Beak of the Finch – Day 1

After some great discussion around evolution, pseudogenes, and the reactivation of the gene encoding teeth in chickens, we started off the lesson with a TED Talk from Jack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken.  Students engaged in a spirited debate about the ethical considerations around tinkering with genetics.  We then transitioned to the HHMI Biointeractive video: The Beak of the Finch.  Students received a copy of the student quiz to work on in class and to either take home and complete as homework (for students taking the AP History exam tomorrow) or to complete in class tomorrow.