EVOLUTION NEVER ENDS
Question 1: Explain antibiotic resistance observed in bacteria in light of Darwinian selection theory.
Answer: Darwinian selection theory states that individuals with favourable variations are better adapted than individuals with a less favourable variation. It means that nature selects the individuals with useful variation as these individuals are better evolved to survive in the existing environment. An example of such selection is antibiotic resistance in bacteria. When the bacterial population was grown on an agar plate containing antibiotic penicillin, the colonies that were sensitive to penicillin died, whereas one or few bacterial colonies that were resistant to penicillin survived. This is because these bacteria had undergone chance mutation, which resulted in the evolution of a gene that made them resistant to penicillin drug. Hence, the resistant bacteria multiplied quickly as compared to non-resistant (sensitive) bacteria, thereby increasing their number. Hence, the advantage of an individual over other helps in the struggle for existence.
Question 2: Find out from newspapers and popular science articles any new fossil discoveries or controversies about evolution.
Answer: Fossils of dinosaurs have revealed the evolution of reptiles in the Jurassic period. As a result of this, the evolution of other animals such as birds and mammals has also been discovered. However, two unusual fossils recently unearthed in China have ignited a controversy over the evolution of birds. Confuciusornis is one such genus of primitive birds that were crow-sized and lived during the Cretaceous period in China.
Question 3: Attempt giving a clear definition of the term species.
Answer: Species can be defined as a group of organisms, which have the capability to interbreed in order to produce fertile offspring.
Question 4: Try to trace the various components of human evolution (hint: brain size and function, skeletal structure, dietary preference, etc.)
Answer: The various components of human evolution are as follows.