Phylogeny and the Tree of Life

Hey it’s Professor Dave, I wanna tell you about the tree of life. By now we know a lot about natural selection and the ways that populations of organisms can change dramatically over long periods of time, just like slow geological processes that create mountains and canyons. Over the half-billion years since the Cambrian explosion, […]

The Missing Link That Wasn’t

It’s 1912, and an amateur archaeologist named Charles Dawson came forward with a discovery that almost changed our understanding of human evolution. Almost. Dawson’s find was some unusual human-like skull fragments, and he showed them to the Keeper of Geology at the British Museum, Sir Arthur Smith Woodward. He explained that the fragments were given […]

PCR & Molecular Systematics! Pt 2

Welcome back to Science In Real Life! In part 1 of this episode, we used PCR to isolate and amplify a specific region from the genome of 8 species of the carrot family, and then we sent the PCR product to the magical land of the DNA sequencing facility. You were probably left wondering “whyy […]