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Role of the Theory of Evolution in teaching genetics

Posted by etatro on 10 Apr 2013 at 06:18 GMT

I wonder whether anyone has considered what seems to be obvious but not explicitly mentioned is the interplay of genetics and evolution. I've conceptualized an exercise for an intro genetics course whether the students analyze homologous gene sequences and create taxonomic trees & highlight differences. I would expect them to try to discuss possible implications for certain things; for example within mammals a particular gene might have little species to species variation; however among other vertebrates, the sequence drifts --- what speculations can we make. Or when a new gene arises from a duplication somewhere in genetic taxonomy. Other other side of this leaf is questions on mechanisms of genetics across different taxa and how things might be selected for or against and what role they have in speciation. It seems an obvious direction to go, but I rarely see it in Intro Genetics courses. If these students had recently taken other general bio courses, or animal anatomy/physiology or ecology, they should be primed for this discussion.

No competing interests declared.