Artificial Selection

A long experiment we started this week was our plant lab. It will take around 50 days but we get to selectively breed plants which is pretty cool. We watched a video on foxes that where selectively bred for the trait of kindness. After breeding the most friendly with the most friendly they noticed that the trait they selected wasn’t the only trait that was passed down. Other traits like floppy ears and elongated vertebrae where starting to become a trait that was passed down. The foxes had become domesticated. I think it’s pretty cool how this happened but I don’t know if I am morally for changing living animals to better enhance human lives. This experiment connects mostly to Big Idea 3. A lot of Big Idea 3 is about genotypes and patterns in traits. Also genotypes are the blue prints for phenotypes and what makes you look the way you do is proteins. There are different ways to get the same proteins from genotypes so there is more variation in genotypes from organism to organism than variation in proteins. Looking at the chart of the proteins that you get from the genes took me right back to freshman biology and I instantly remembered filling out sheets of proteins and the different ways to get to them. It felt good to remember something from freshman biology for once. I have forgotten most of it so its nice to know some information is still locked in my brain.

This week we also learned a lot more about Darwin and his theories. Even though Darwin didn’t understand genetics he believed favorable traits could be passed on to offspring. Darwin also had his theory of evolution, VISTA ( Variation, Inheritance, Selection, Time, Adaption). One thing I don’t understand is how he never knew about genetics if he believed traits could be passed on. What did he think was causing the continuation of traits? I don’t know if he had theories or not but it would be cool to know what he thought happened.

The main take away from this was that I might still know some biology but there is much more to learn. Also I’m waiting to use the dehydrated bees because I have no idea what they could be used for and I’m so curious/excited. If anyone knows please tell me.



2 thoughts on “Artificial Selection

  1. I agree that domestication brings up some moral issues. Especially in animals, many species have been bred to be used by humans so much that there is no way for them to live any other life. I’d like to think the domestication of some species is good, though. In dogs, for example, even though they were bred to be companions, they can arguably still live a pretty good life with humans. With genetic engineering on the rise and breeding methods becoming more advanced the morality of domestication is brought into question a lot more.

    As for the bees, my guess is that we’ll be using them to pollinate our plants. The way they normally pollinate plants anyways is that pollen gets stuck to their bodies when they are getting nectar from flowers and some of it gets dropped at the next flower they fly to. They don’t have to be alive to do this as long as they are manually moved by something else.


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