Genetically diverse populations are more likely to survive changing environments. Recombination and mutation provide for genetic diversity. Some new gene combinations have little effect, some can produce organisms that are better suited to their environments, and others can be deleterious.
The student will investigate and understand common mechanisms of inheritance and protein synthesis. Key concepts include a) cell growth and division; b) gamete formation; c) cell specialization; d) prediction of inheritance of traits based on the Mendelian laws of heredity; e) historical development of the structural model of DNA; f) genetic variation; g) the structure, function, and replication of nucleic acids; h) events involved in the construction of proteins; i) use, limitations, and misuse of genetic information; and j) exploration of the impact of DNA technologies.