AP Biology Lab 8 Evolution of Taste - AP Biology Lab 8...

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Introduction to Probability and Statistics
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 56
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AP Biology Lab 8: Population Genetics and EvolutionBackground InformationAs early as the 2,500 years B.P., several Greek philosophers theorized about the union of male and female traits to formoffspring. In the 17thcentury, Leeuwenhoek concluded that semen and eggs carried hereditary factors conveyed to the offspring.Throughout the next century, scientists developed theories on the processes of development; LaMarck was one of the first to discussthe possibility of acquiring changed traits from parents. For example, he thought that if giraffes had to stretch to eat the tops of trees,their offspring would be born with longer necks. During the 19thcentury, Darwin published his theory of evolution, stating that members of a population vary considerablyin their genetic makeup. Those that are the “fittest” for their environment are better able to survive and reproduce, and therefore passthese suitable traits on to the next generation. This “natural selection” creates a population that is different from the previousgenerations. Since Darwin’s theories were published, several others have expounded on his work, leading to the ideas of adaptationand mutation. Recent research has determined that chromosomes, present in each sex’s reproductive material, carry the genes thatdetermine individual characteristics. A population, which consists of all the individuals of a species that live in the same place at the same time, is affected by itsown characteristics. Population genetics is the effect that heredity has on a population. What happens to that group of organisms overthe course of a number of generations can be expressed mathematically.There are three key elements of any population: size, density, and dispersion. Population size is important to the groups’ability to reproduce without a lot of inbreeding. Inbreeding can be the downfall of a population if recessive traits, many of which areharmful, become a common occurrence. Population density can affect the ability of individuals to reproduce, based on whether theyever encounter another to mate with. Dispersion, or how populations are arranged, can also affect populations.Populations evolve by responding to their surroundings through natural selection. This change actually occurs in thefrequency of gene alleles in the population. William Castle, and American scientist; Godfrey Hardy, a British mathematician; andWilhelm Weinberg, a German physician, independently determined that the frequencies of genes in a population remain constantunless certain forces act on the population. Dominant alleles will not replace recessive alleles, and the ratio of heterozygous and
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Introduction to Probability and Statistics
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 56
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
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