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Define biological evolution:

The genetic makeup of a population can change over many generations.


Define natural selection:

The gradual, non-random process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers; beneficial alleles have a higher probability of being passed onto subsequent generations.


Random DNA mutations lead to:

1. neutral alleles
2. beneficial alleles
3. deleterious alleles


Neutral alleles:

no advantage or disadvantage to the individual


Beneficial alleles:

are advantageous to individuals since they make them better able to compete for resources and reproduce


Deleterious alleles:

make individuals less able to compete for resources and reproduce


What are the 2 different experimental approaches that genetics research uses?

1. hypothesis testing
2. discovery-based science


What are the three fields of genetics research?

1. transmission genetics
2. molecular genetics
3. population genetics


Transmission genetics:

examines how traits are passed from one generation to the next


Molecular genetics:

deals with the molecular features of DNA and how these underlie gene expression


Population genetics:

deals with the genetic composition of populations and how it changes over time and space


What does transmission genetics entail?

1. looks at patterns of inheritance (Mendelian and non-Mendelian)
2. the basic experimental approach in transmission genetics is the genetic cross


What is the genetic cross?

the mating of 2 individuals and analysis of the traits of their offspring over several generations


What does molecular genetics entail?

1. goal is to describe the molecular features of gene structure and function, scaling from DNA molecules to whole genomes
2. molecular technologies allow the introduction of genes into animals and plants--treatment for genetic diseases; agriculture modification of animals and plants in various ways


What does population genetics entail?

1. connects the work of Mendel on inheritance to that of Darwin
2. genetic technologies allow the introduction of genes into animals and plants--agriculture modification of plants and animals; gene therapy for treatment of genetic diseases