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Define evolution

Evolution is the slow and continuous change of organisms from one generation to the next.


What is a binomial species name?

1. Genus/generic name
2. Species name

Homo sapiens


Explain how evidence from fossils supports current ideas about human evolution.

- The features from the fossils are a mixture of those found in humans and apes.
- Most fossils are found in rock.
- Generally the deeper the rock the older the fossil.
- By arranging fossils in chronological order gradual changes can be seen. This provides evidence because it shows how species have changed and developed.


How are stone tools dated from their environment?

By looking at the age of the sediment layers its found in

The deeper it is the older it tends to be.


How have stone tools developed over time?

- Becoming more efficient and better suited for the job

- Simple = more complex

- Pebbles = rocks = flint and wood


Describe the fossil evidence for human like species...

- 4.4 million years ago = Ardi. Structure of feet suggest she climbed trees. Long arms, short legs. Brain size similar to chimpanzees. Structure of legs suggests she walked upright.

- 3.2 million years ago = Lucy. Arched feet-more adapted to walking. Arms and legs were a mixture. Brain slightly larger. Walked upright mor efficiently.

- 1.6 million years ago = Leakey. More human like. Short arms, long legs. Brain size similar to humans. Better adapted to walking upright.


What is the cause of genetic variation?

It’s due to the mutation of genes.


How do adaptations allow organisms to survive?

- Organisms are adapted to survive in different conditions. The better suited they’re for an environment the more chance they have of surviving.

- For example = polar bears are well adapted for the artic.
Thick fur and fat
White fur for camouflage


How does natural selection allow some members of a species to survive better than others when conditions change?

Individuals in a species show a wide range of variation and this variation is because of differences in their genes.

Individuals with characteristics most suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce. The genes that allow these individuals to be successful are passed to their offspring.


How can natural selection lead to the evolution of a new species?

Natural selection leads to evolutionary change when individuals with certain characteristics have a greater survival or reproductive rate than others in a population and pass on these characteristics to their offspring.

The offspring will inherit these characteristics and the cycle will happen all over again.


Explain how the development of resistance in organisms supports Darwin’s theory

It shows how an organism has had to adapt/evolve to be better suited to its surroundings.


What are the names of the scientists who first developed the theory of evolution by natural selection?

Charles Darwin
Alfred Russel wallace


Describe some of the evidence Darwin and Wallace used to support their ideas

Bacteria = would become less affected by particular antibiotics (resistant).
Shows bacteria is better adapted to an environment.


What is the impact of the idea of evolution on modern biology?

It has made scientists look in more depth at how creatures have developed/adapted to the changing environment.

Understand many areas of biology.

All life changes by evolution.

All descended from a common ancestor.


What is meant by the pentadactyl limb?

Where is it found?

It’s a limb with 5 digits.

It’s found in mammals, reptiles e.t.c
For example a human hand and a bats wing.
The limb has a similar structure in these different species.

The similarity suggests and gives evidence towards evolution in species with a pentadactyl limb have all evolved from a common ancestor.


Explain how changes to the pentadactyl limb provide evidence for evolution by natural selection.

It shows how individuals have had to adapt to different environments.

For example bats and birds pentadactyl limb have changed so they can fly whereas humans have evolved so they can hold things.


What are the 5 kingdoms?

- Animalia
- Plantae
- Fungi = mushrooms, yeast
- Prokaryotes = single celled organisms-no nucleus
- Protists = eukaryotic. Algae


What is genetic analysis?

Genetic analysis is the overall process of studying and researching in fields of science that involve genetics and molecular biology.

Genetic analysis may be done to identify genetic/inherited disorders and also to make a differential diagnosis in certain somatic diseases such as cancer.


Why are new breeds an varieties created?

People will artificially breed/select to get:
- The most yield
- The desired characteristic for an animal/plant.
- Increasing the disease resistance.


What is a genetically modified organisms?

It is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.


How is selective breeding carried out?

- Decide which characteristics are important.
- Choose parents that show these characteristics.
- Select the best offspring from parents to breed the next generation.
- Repeat the process continuously.


What are the impact of selective breeding on domesticated animals and plants?

They Will all share the same similar genes.
This means if there is a disease all will be affected.

There's increased risk of genetic disease caused by recessive genes.

Some genes would be lost, making it more difficult to produce new varieties in the future.


How is tissue culture carried out?

- Tissue sample scraped from parent plant.
- Samples placed in Agar growth medium containing nutrients and auxins.
- Samples developed into tiny plantlets.
- Plantlets planted into compost.


Why does tissue culture produce many identical cells?

Because they’re all from the same parent and share the same genes.


What are the advantages of using tissue culture in medical research?

You can carry out all kinds of experiments on tissue in isolation.

Can look at the effects of a particular substance or environmental change on the cells of a single tissue. - no complications from other processes in the organisms.


What are the advantages of using tissue culture in plant breeding programs?

Because they’re exact copies you can select the characteristics you want that plant to have. (Colour of flowers, height, e.t.c)

It quickly produces mature plants.


What are the main stages of genetic engineering?

- Selection of desired characteristics
- Isolation of the genes responsible for the characteristics
- Insertion of the genes into other organisms
- Replication of the genetically modified organisms


What are some of the uses of selectively bred organisms in agriculture?

You can pick the characteristics wanted so you get a bigger yield.
Over generations the yield with continuously increase.


What are some of the uses of genetically engineered organisms in:



Agriculture = Resistant to herbicides. This increases yield because it only kills weeds.

Medicines = Transfer human genes that produce useful proteins into sheep and cows. E.G human antibodies used in therapy for illnesses like arthritis and some cancers.


Benefits and risks of using selective breeding

Benefits = higher profit. Help eliminate diseases. Higher quality products. Higher yield. Provide a sustainable food chain for the growing population.

Risks = loss of species. No control of genetic mutations. Discomfort to animals. Can create offspring with different traits. Changes the evolution of the species.