Class Prep on Dec. 6th: Evolution

colors-2-_custom-afc93498ec5df91f516ee25aa3141c750524cd16-s700-c85For class on Dec. , please do the following:

  • Read Biology 20.1, 20.3, 20.4 (20.2 optional) or EO Wilson’s Life on Earth chapter 3
  • Listen to this news story about color and be prepared to answer these questions in class: (a) what selective pressure(s) are mentioned in the news story? (b) what is the result of the pressures?
  • Also, to get some perspective on (cosmic) evolution through a short oral history of the universe, listen to the “What Are The Origins Of The Universe?” TED Radio Hour segment. The rest of the episode has some fantastic perspectives on biological evolution as well.

If you’re curious about how some butterfly wings take on vivid colors, give this Deep Look video a watch.

For Nov. 1: How our microbes make us who we are, TED talk by Rob Knight

For class on Tuesday, Nov. 1st, please come in having watched this TED talk by Rob Knight and worked through the items below.

  • Jot down three specific takeaways.
  • Consider the image of “microbes” found in the gut shown at 1:15. What kind of microscope was used to produce this image? Why does it have color?
  • How are microbes in the human microbiome identified and characterized?
  • According to Rob Knight, how many “human” cells make up a typical person’s body? How many “other” cells are there?
  • What happens to a number of children who are given antibiotics within 6 months of birth?
  • What connection (even if only speculative) can you draw between this talk and probiotic products you may have seen or heard about in recent years?