Exam Review: back to those granola bars

How can we use what we’ve covered this semester to make more sense of these granola bars? Here are some questions we can consider:

  • What is ALA? A molecule? Ionic compound? Protein? Cell?
  • How can we understand or classify vitamin E and zinc with the concepts we’ve covered?
  • How does Bacillus coagulans make one of these bars probiotic?
  • What are “ancient grains“? Can evolution offer some perspectives on what them?
    Probiotic granola bars
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In Class Apr. 20th: selective pressures

colors-2-_custom-afc93498ec5df91f516ee25aa3141c750524cd16-s700-c85To consider the concept of selective pressure, we will…

  • 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.

In Class Apr. 20th: the evolution of life in 60 seconds

  • 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?

Prep for Mar. 20th: big history, deep time and the origins of life

As we head into the topic of evolution, please do the following for our next class:

As usual, there may be a quiz.

If you want to get a head start on the reading for this part of the course, here it is (for Nov. 30th):

  • Biology by Raven 20.1, 20.3, 20.4 (20.2 optional) 
  • EO Wilson’s Life on Earth chapter 3
  • OpenStax Biology 18.1 and part of 18.2 (adaptive radiation).

On Apr. 6th, class ends at 5PM…

grant.programso that you can attend the 6PM talk The Evolution of Darwin’s Finches on the Galápagos Islands at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, if you would like. Not only does this talk directly connect with the evolution part of our course this semester, but you may also it for the biology-related talk/event you’ve been asked to attend for course credit. If you attend, take good notes; guidelines will be posted soon on how to submit write-ups for events.