UniServe Science Biology Table of Contents

9.3 Blueprint of Life

General resources Evolution Genetics
Chromosomes and inheritance DNA structure Reproductive technologies

General resources

Explore DNA and genetics - from ABC (Australia) - brings together ABC news, transcripts, features and forums covering the issue. And it is regularly updated

DNA Interactive - teacher resources, from Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory

Genetic Science Learning Center - from the University of Utah, has comprehensive coverage of basic genetics, genetic disorders, genetics in society and thematic units on genetics of deafness and the genetic testing of new born infants

Blazing a Genetic Trail - from Howard Hughes Medical Institute - includes topics such as how genetic disorders are inherited, and the Human Genome Project. Also available as a pdf (8 MB)

DNA from the Beginning: An animated primer on the basics of DNA, genes, and heredity - from the DNA Learning Center, requires Flash Player

Gene Almanac DNA Learning Center - from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Biology and Evolutionary Theory - exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy - from Talk.Origins Archive (Talk.Origins is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology).

Graphics Gallery - a series of labeled diagrams with explanations representing the important processes of biotechnology. Each diagram is followed by a summary of information, providing a context for the process illustrated. From Access Excellence, includes Mutation of Chromosomes, Crossing-over and Recombination During Meiosis

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Darwin and the theory of Evolution

Welcome to the Evolution Wing - from the Museum of Paleontology, University of California, includes links to A History of Evolutionary Thought and a case study in convergent evolution Vertebrate Flight. Further links to teacher resources on Understanding Evolution

Natural Selection: The Basics - student activities from Berkely University. Darwin's most famous idea, natural selection, explains much of the diversity of life. Learn how it works, explore examples, and find out how to avoid misconceptions.

Darwin's Finches, a symbol of evolution in the Galapagos - from Galapagos web site, The Rochester Institute of Technology

Did Darwin get it wrong? Searching for the ancestor of Darwin's finches - pdf file (5.8 KB), from Holt, Rinehart and Winston Publishers

Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural selection with some of its Applications - article in text format by A E Wallace, from Project Gutenberg Mirror Site in Sydney

Concept of punctuated equilibrium in evolution and how it differs from the gradual process proposed by Darwin

Score One for Punk Eek: The fitful evolution of bacteria supports a controversial theory - a short Scientific American article on the controversy of punctuated equilibrium


Alfred Russel Wallace (contemporary of Darwin, a forgotten father of modern science)

Evidence for Evolution - Fossil Record

Evolution and the Fossil Record - web version of booklet from the American Geological Institute. Printable version of booklet in pdf (1.02 MB)

Fossil Horses in Cyberspace - from Florida Museum of Natural History, "learn about paleontology and evolution by exploring the rich fossil record of horses"

Dinosauria On-line - from The Dinostore, contains links to articles, definitions, geological history, cladogram of the dinosaurs

Archaeopteryx: An Early Bird - from Museum of Paleontology, University of California Berkeley - Archaeopteryx is a transitional form between birds and reptiles, and is the earliest known bird

All About Archaeopteryx - from Talk Origins

The Fossil Record and Evolution - Carnegie scientists prove that Darwin got it right -from Carnegie Museums

Evidence for Evolution - Comparative embryology

COMPARATIVE EMBRYOLOGY: THE VERTEBRATE BODY - pdf (43 KB) from Public Broadcasting Service

Evidence for Evolution - Comparative anatomy

Evolution Makes Sense of Homologies - from University of British Columbia (the term homology was coined in 1848 and refers to structural similarities among organisms)

Evolution: Evidence from Living Organisms - from Earlham College

Clines, species and Eucalypts: an evolutionary perspective - Ph D thesis by James Holman, see summary on page 1 (pdf, 2.5 MB in total)

Molecular evolution

Molecular Evolution of Prions - a review of rouge prion protein (prions cause Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans) - from The Official Mad Cow Disease Home Page, a project of the Sperling Biomedical Foundation

Natural selection and observed changes in a species

The Process of Speciation - learning about biological evolution - from Global Change, University of Michigan

Australian Native Poisonous Plants - from australian plants online - native fauna in Western Australia such as the brush-tail possum have developed a tolerance to plants which contain fluoroacetate, while eastern members of the same species have not

Latitudinal Clines - scroll to p.23, Climatic stress program; pdf file (1.72 MB) - from Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research

Conservation genetics - molecular detectives at work - a NOVA resource from the Australian Academy of Science

The Peppered Moth - an Update - The Peppered Moth is routinely used as an example of evolution.But is this well-known story wrong? From Kenneth R. Miller, University of Colorado

Fine Tuning the peppered moth paradigm - by B.S. Grant, College of William & Mary - 10-page paper (published by Society for the Study of Evolution), downloadable as pdf (34 KB)

Recent history of melanism in American peppered Moths - paper by B. S. Grant and L. L. Wiseman, The College of William and Mary, published in The Journal of Heredity. Downloadable as pdf (76 KB)

Development of resistance - evolution in action

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE - a fact sheet from the World Health Organisation - looks at the emergence of drug-resistent microbes

Microbes: Their Diversity, Antibacterial Targets and Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance - from Access Excellence

Integrated pest management - the good, the bad and the genetically modified - a NOVA resource from the Australian Academy of Science

More food, cleaner food - gene technology and plants - a NOVA resource from the Australian Academy of Science

Evolution debate

EVOLUTION vs CREATIONISM - from Syracuse University. A page of Links to related web sites on both evolution and creationism.

15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense - preview of an article in Scientific American


Learning from the Fossil Record - from The Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley - includes a collection of classroom activities

From Access Excellence

Evolution - a series of laboratory activities, lesson plans on evolution and related themes

From Restriction Maps to Cladograms

Constructing a Phylogenetic Tree Using DNA Sequence Data

Using Amino Acid Sequences to Show Evolutionary Relationships

Molecular Biology and Primate Phylogenetics

Human Evolution - interactive timeline of hominid evolution from A Science Odyssey at PBS Online

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Mendelian Genetics - from The Biology Project, The University of Arizona (Australian mirror site)

Gregor Mendel

Pea Soup - The Story of Mendel - including a Brief Biography of Mendel, Mendel's Discoveries and Interactive Pea Experiment

Genetics, including Mendel: Experiment 1 - from Access Excellence

Gregor Mendel (1823-1884) - from Access Excellence

Experiments in Plant Hybridization (1865) by Gregor Mendel - English translation of Mendel's original paper, from the Mendel Web


Chromosomes carry genes - caase study of a sex-linked recessive trait - from "DNA from the Beginning"

Morgan: A Genetics Tutorial - a comprehensive coverage of genetics that includes Morgan's work with Drosophila, from Waksman Student Tutorials, Rutgers University

Mutant Fruit Flies - interactive exhibit from The Exploratorium

Sex-Linked Inheritance: Drosophilia - from Access Excellence

Thomas Hunt Morgan and his Legacy - from Nobel e-Museum

Human phenotypes

Phenotypes and Genotypes for human eye colors - from Science Education on the Web


Meiosis Tutorial - from The Biology Project, University of Arizona (Australian mirror site)

Meiosis animations and diagrams

How Cells Divide: Mitosis vs. Meiosis - from Nova, PBS Online

Animal Cell Meiosis - from Cella Alive, slow download

Cell Division - from Copernicus Project

The Stages of Meiosis - good diagrams from The University of Hamburg.


Web Labs - from BioLogica (Concord Consortium), includes two online interactives, Dragon Genetics (explores the relationship between genotype and phenotype in Dragons) and Mendel's Peas (meiosis and pedigree), requires ShockWave

GenScope - computer software for the Macintosh which helps students learn about genetics covering DNA, chromosome, cell, phenotype and genotype, pedigree, mitosis, meiosis and much more

Dragon Investigations - worksheets to accompany GenScope, can be downloaded in pdf format

BioLogica - computer software for both Windows and Macintosh which helps students learn about genetics covering DNA, chromosome, cell, phenotype and genotype, pedigree, mitosis, meiosis and much more, download from

Pea Experiment - an interactive pea experiment where you can breed your own hybrid pea plants

Class room Activities - from Genetics Education Partnership

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Chromosomes and inheritance

Sutton and Boveri

Did Sutton and Boveri Propose the So-Called Sutton-Boveri Chromosome Hypothesis? - article from the Scientific Electronic Library Online (this hypothesis attempted to establish a parallel between cytological chromosome behavior and the principles followed by Mendelian factors)

THEODOR BOVERI: The Life of a Great Biologist 1862 - 1915 - a discussion of his work - from Zygote web site, Swathmore College

Beadle and Tatum (One gene - one protein hypothesis)

Genetic Control of Biochemical Reactions in Neurospora: Beadle and Tatum (1941) - lecture notes from Memorial University of Newfoundland outlining Beadle and Tatum's research and findings

The One Gene/One Enzyme Hypothesis - Beadle and Tatum's 1941 Breakthrough - from Access Excellence

Edward Tatum - Biography - from Nobel e-Museum, link to his Nobel lecture

George Beadle - Biography - from Nobel e-Museum, link to his Nobel lecture

Gene maps and graphics

A Gene Map of the Human Genome - from the National Institute of Health (1999 version)

Human Cytogenetics - includes karyotypes and ideograms for human

Primate Cytogenetics Network - includes karyotypes and ideograms for many primates


Data Sets - ample human phenotypes (from first year students at an Australian university)


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DNA structure

James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962 - for discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material - from the Nobel e-Museum

Biographical Sketch of James Dewey Watson - from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

James Dewey Watson (1928 - ) - from Access Excellence

James Watson & Francis Crick - from Time Magazine Scientists and Thinkers

Maurice Wilkins DNA ENABLER - from The New Zealand Edge: Heroes

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) - from Contribution of 20th Century Women to Physics at University of California (UCLA)

Rosalind Elsie Franklin, Pioneer Molecular Biologist - Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of DNA - from Women in Science (San Diego Supercomputer Center)

Rosalind Franklin 1920 - 1958 - from A Science Odyssey

Rosalind Franklin (1920 - 1958) - from Access Excellence

Rosalind Franklin: Dark Lady of DNA - Book Sheds New Light on a Scientific Landmark - from NPR media organisation

DNA structure

Build a DNA Molecule - online activity - from the Genetic Science Learning Center

Molecular Biology - links to problem sets and tutorials (e.g. Nucleic Acids Problem Set) - from The Biology Project, The University of Arizona

DNA extraction

How to Extract DNA from Anything Living -a laboratory procedure from the Genetic Science Learning Center

Introduction to DNA extractions - from Access Excellence - includes protocols for onion, wheat germ, lima bean, bacteria, thymus and yeast

DNA Extraction - from Access Excellence; at the end of this activity the student should be able to:

DNA Extraction from Cheek Cells - explanation and Student instructions for DNA extraction - from Science Education Connection, Department of Biochemistry, The University of Arizona


DNA replication and protein synthesis - online interactive from A Science Odyssey, requires Shockwave

DNA Model - from Double Helix, CSIRO, provides templates and instructions

Mutations and mutagens

A Vital Legacy - Biological and Environmental Research in the Atomic Age - a 48 page booklet (download in pdf, 1.84 MB) from Oak Ridge National Laboratory

History of Plant Breeding - from Colorado State University, example of plant breeding involving artificially induced mutations (slow to load)


DNA-o-gram Generator - this site illustrates the coding and decoding of DNA and the occurrence of mutations in an interactive, novel way (students write a message, it is encoded into combinations of As, Ts, Gs and Cs, sent as an email to a friend who in turn types in the coded message which is decoded as long as no errors or mutations have occurred)

How do Mutations Occur? - online activity from the Genetic Science Learning Center

What is a Mutation? - online activity from the Genetic Science Learning Center

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Reproductive technologies

Gene Technology in Australia - from CSIRO covers topics such as Gene Technology: What are its uses? Current Australian Research and The great GT debate

Biotechnology Australia - has fact sheets on topics such as Gene Technology, Biotechnology in Medicine and Biotechnology and Food. See also Biotechnology Online (factual information about biotechnology for secondary schools)

Artificial Insemination

Project Elephant - from Indianapolis Zoo

Meeting the Challenge of Conserving Endangered Species - from Smithsonian Zoological Park

Why Does The Cheetah Lack Genetic Diversity? - from Cheetah Conservation Fund

Gentically Modified Food and Plants

More food, cleaner food - gene technology and plants - from NOVA at the Australian Academy of Science

Designing Trees - article from Scientific American on the genetic engineering of pest-resistant trees


Module Guide: Cloning in Focus - from Genetic Science learning Center (material for 1-8 class periods); also Concept Maps on Cloning

Transgenic Species

Chromosomes 6 - a brief review of the novel of the same name by Robin Cook, transgenic bonobos are bred for human transplants

Transgenic Animals - from The Virtual Embryo, The University of Calgary

What are Transgenic Plants? - from Colorado State University

Genetically engineered pest management

Integrated pest management - the good, the bad and the genetically modified - from NOVA, the Australian Academy of Science

Genetically engineered diseases and disasters

National Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome Network - is possibly the first genetically engineered disease (although other web sources state the cause as a toxin not necessarily genetically engineered)


What are some issues in Cloning? - online activity from the Genetic Science Learning Center

Genetic engineering: animal welfare and ethics - from the Boyd Group, forum for open exchange of views on issues of concern related to the use of animals in science

Ethics and transgenic crops: a review - an article in the Electronic Journal of Biotechnology

Killer virus: An engineered mouse virus leaves us one step away from the ultimate bioweapon - reprint of an article from The New Scientist

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