Unit 4 Introduction
Credit Unit 4 has two areas of focus. First you will explore the structure and function of the DNA molecule, and learn how the cell turns genetic information stored in a nucleic acid into a functional protein, which is ultimately the basis of traits upon which natural selection acts. The second focus involves exploring evolutionary theory. You will examine the evidence that supports the theory, look at how evolution of a species can be tracked through time, and how new species can arise due to the effects of natural selection.
By the end of Credit Unit 4 you should be able to:
Describe in simple terms some of the major techniques of recombinant DNA technology, their products and uses, describe applications of DNA technology in various fields.
Describe the theory of evolution in terms of variation and natural selection within populations, the circumstances under which evolution occurs, and how evolution explains biological diversity and adaptation. (Why does a beaver have a flat tail and webbed feet?)
Describe the criteria by which organisms are classified into different species, reproductive barriers that separate species, and the processes that are thought to lead to the formation of a new species. (How is it that related species of squirrels live on the opposite sides of a canyon?)
Explain how natural selection drives evolution.
Express how changes in the genome can affect the phenotype or traits within a population.
- Be able describe selected key cell processes.