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The Making of the Fittest
Transcript of The Making of the Fittest
The Everyday Math of Evolution: Chance, Selection, and Time
Argues that it is the best way to fully understand the power of natural selection and to eliminate some of the doubts against the probability of events in evolution.
Einstein's Theory of Compounding Interest is mathematically similar to Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection because growth from an initial point is dramatic after many years of compounding.
Small differences in individuals are important when compounded by natural selection over time, they add up to the large differences between species.
Many people struggle to understand the scale of time that is involved in evolution, which makes them doubt it.
Mutations depend on chance and time to take prevalence in a population, which depends on population size and generation time.
Large percentages of advantage or disadvantage could change the population very rapidly depending on the conditions.
Running in Place for Eons
The discovery of the Archaea domain led to many other discoveries including the study of the archaean genome which revealed that their DNA contains many pieces of the DNA code that also exist in humans and other eukaryotes.
Immortal genes encode functions involved in decoding genetic material like RNA and DNA
Immortal genes preserve the DNA record as evidence of common ancestors, the processes of natural selection and descent with modification on a large geological timescale.
Introduction: The Bloodless Fish of Bouvet Island
Making New from the Old
The colobus monkey uses its full color vision to eat the leaves in plants that other animals cannot see.
It eats about four to six pounds of leaves per day.
Their digestive system is specialized specifically for the digestion of only leaves.
New functions and genes are made from "old" genes.
Direct evidence of natural selection, sexual selection, and the descent of species with modification comes from tracing the steps of evolution in DNA.
Focused on the origin and evolution of eye vision because animals that have it are very dependent on it, visual systems are adapted to the habitats that the animals live in, we understand the large and small differences in species abilities and in the colors that they see, and finally because the genes underlying color vision and its evolution have been studied more than those affecting any other trait.
Broken Pieces of Yesterday's Life
The coelancanth fish was analyzed. It is the only living member of an ancient tribe, with body features that link it to distant ancestors that lived 360 million years ago. It is now called a "living fossil.'
Fossil genes are telltale clues to past capabilities, and to shifts in species' ways of living from those of their ancestors.
They reveal how we are different from our hominid ancestors.
A theory that explains the reduction in the number of opsin genes and the loss of full color vision that occurred in the ancestors of mammals is because early mammals were nocturnal.
About Sean B. Carroll
The Allan Wilson Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin.
Leads the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which is the largest private supporter of science education activities in the US.
Research centered on the genes that control animal body patterns and have large effects in the evolution of animal diversity.
Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species
and Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo
The Making of the Fittest
By: Sean B. Carroll
How and Why Evolution Repeats Itself
Our Flesh and Blood:
Arms races, the Human Race, and Natural Selection
The Making and Evolution of Complexity
Bouvet Island is located in the South Atlantic Ocean between Cape of Good Horn Africa and Cape Horn in South America.
In 1928 a zoology student on a Norwegian research ship discovered the "Icefish."
The fish were discovered to have no red blood cells (hemoglobin) which results in the blood being completely colorless.
Their blood is composed of unusual proteins, they act as an "antifreeze" and lower the temperature threshold at which ice crystals can form.
Mammal species that live in frigid waters have a high myoglobin concentration (bind oxygen to muscles) which allows the mammals to be submerged for long periods of time without needing to get air
Allows species to live in conditions where others can't survive.
A Blackfin Icefish
The West Triplet Geyser
Yellowstone National Park
The Colobus Monkey
The Oregon Rough-Skinned Newt
The Great Barrier Reef:Australia
The howler monkey's call can be heard from up to three miles away.
The natural history of these primates suggests that similar conditions in different parts of he world can favor the gain and loss of similar traits at different times in a different species.
The recurring events in different species involve the same genes, and sometimes the very same letters of DNA code.
"About." Sean B. Carroll. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
Carroll, Sean B. The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2006. Print.
"Department of Vertebrate Zoology." Smithsonian Institution. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.
Luzardo, Allegra. "Howler Monkey (Mono Aullador)." Ardent Light. N.p., 23 June 2013. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.
Onabanjo, Remi. "The Great Barrier Reef in Jeopardy." Anne Fontaine Foundation. N.p., 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
Reicek, Peter. "The Bloodless Icefishes." The Antarctic Sun Science News. N.p., 19 Sept. 2008. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
"Volcanic Springs." Volcanic Springs. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
Wild, Alex. "Primates of Kibale Forest." Primates of Kibale Forest. N.p., 08 Sept. 2012. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
The skin of the Oregon rough-skinned newt is covered with a toxin called tetrodotoxin (TTX). It has enough toxin on its skin to kill several people.
Garden snakes are resistant to the TTX. The level of resistance varies among individual snakes, as well as the TTX production among individual newts.
The variation in predator and prey creates a "co-evolutionary" arms race where selection favors the increasingly resistant snakes and increasingly toxic newts.
Arms races are examples of evolution in a fast-forward mode. An increased selection each species accelerates the rate of evolutionary change.
The repetition of evolution is not limited to the past or to unusual species.
Human species have been shaped by our physical environment and pathogens that are in our environment
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia extends about 1200 miles.
It is the largest structure on Earth built by living organisms and the only one that is visible from the Moon.
Describes the insight into the making and evolution of complexity.
The DNA record contains key insight into how complexity and diversity have evolved through the use of ancient body-building genes.
1. Where were Icefish originally discovered?
2. What was Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection mathematically compared to?
3. Where were the samples that led to the discovery of Archaea found?
4. How many pounds of leaves do colobus monkeys eat per day?
5. From what distance can howler monkey's call be heard from?