Today, we’ll wrap up our discussion of ecosystem services and ecological restoration with a short segment of Harvard Business Review‘s interview of Mark Tercek. What is being restored and who is benefitting? What are the benefits?
Okay, so human activity has degraded the integrity of ecosystems and richness of biodiversity. What are we doing about that?
Now that we’ve taken a look at the basics of ecology, we’ll get an overview of the HIPPO threats to ecosystems and biodiversity, which EO Wilson describes in this TED Talk, at about 16 minutes and 24 seconds in.
How can we use the concepts we’ve discussed to understand the nature and origins of cooperation and altruism? How does cooperation in humans differ from the cooperation of chimpanzees in this TED Talk by Frans de Waal?
- Listen to this NPR news story about color and discuss these questions: (a) what selective pressure(s) are mentioned in the news story? (b) what is the result of the pressures?
- Listen to the Weekend Edition news story “In Just 6 Generations, Butterflies Brighten Their Colors“, then consider (a) what selective pressures are being applied (b) by what or whom (c) resulting in what final outcome?
If you’re curious about the color-creating structures of butterfly wings mentioned in the NPR stories, give this Deep Look video a watch.
- This video will go by quickly, but try to take note of what catches your attention in this extremely fast fly-through of history of life on earth.
Now that we’ve watched the video, let’s consider these questions:
- Drawing upon on our discussion of cells and DNA as well as your own thoughts on the nature of life, why do you think it took so long for eukaryotic life to arise after prokaryotic life arose?
- Why do you think there’s an explosion of diversity and complexity toward the end of this video?
You have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete this part of the exam.
Write your responses to the questions on the answer sheet provided.
Each response is worth up to 3 points unless otherwise noted.
You may use your notes, any textbooks and the Internet.
All responses must be in your own words, with sources mentioned (no need to formally cite, but do give credit) when applicable. Plagiarism of any kind will be reported to the Lesley University Academic Integrity Committee.
1. Below is a painting by David Goodsell depicting a mycoplasma cell which has a diameter of 0.25µm (micrometers). The orange strands running throughout the interior is DNA. Ribosomes are shown in magenta, while phosopholipids are show in light green.
a. Based on the information presented here, is mycoplasma a prokaryote or eukaryote? Give two reasons why.
b. Mycoplasma can cause illness in humans. If a mycoplasma cell is found by a macrophage (a type of immune system cell), it will be taken into the macrophage to be digested and rendered harmless. What is this process is involved in this phenomenon and what steps are involved?