Genetic Code Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Genetic Code College Essay Examples

Title: Video Reflection of Cracking Your Genetic Code

  • Total Pages: 3
  • Words: 941
  • Sources:0
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Watch the video 'Cracking Your Genetic Code' on the PBS website:

Reflect on the video and explain why you agree with what is going on (similar to a persuasive essay). Address the biotech aspect as well.

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Title: Organic Evolution

  • Total Pages: 12
  • Words: 4338
  • References:10
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Please be careful in changing words, and citing references. Many of the questions on this exam don’t have definitive answers. I am looking for how you apply evolutionary theory to problems that have been discussed. Your answers should be between 3-4 pages double spaced per answer. You are limited to a maximum of 20 pages total for the exam. You should include references cited placed at the end of each question (do not count towards page totals).

1. Please discuss the pre-biotic conditions on planet earth. Why did it take approximately one half billion years before the earliest bacteria-like life evolved? Why did the formation of oxygen by photosynthesizers make such a difference on the planet? Specifically, why does it appear that the aerobic metabolic pathway is a mirror image of the photosynthetic pathway? What would have happened to this system if oxygen had been present on earth 4 billion years ago?

2. Biologists have found that the majority of genetic code in higher animals appears to serve no function. These large sequences appear to be the result of mutations that led to insertions. Logically, there should be a cost to having extraneous DNA. What is this cost? Why does natural selection not act by favoring organisms without these extra sequences of nucleotides? How do you interpret the data on bacteria that tend to have small genomes and lower amounts of “junk DNA”? Do extra copies of genes offer organisms any advantages? (hint: in your answer discuss Hox-gene complexes and their importance in the evolution of animal).

3. The Cambrian explosion is the first and only time in the fossil record that complex highly diverse organisms appear without much evidence of ancestral forms. How do you explain this? In Origin of the Species, Darwin was a little unclear as to how he envisioned changes from one species into several. In some areas he spoke of a gradual change over a long period, but in his illustration, he implied that some species remained almost constant for a long time before a radical change. The debate has continued with two views being expressed as “gradualism” and “punctuated equilibrium”. Which view do you think has more data and why? In your answer, please refute the view that you think has the least evidence.

4. There are a number of invertebrates that switch sex during their life span. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this life cycle? Why do we not see more species that can switch from sexual to asexual reproduction and why do so few possess the ability to undergo sex changes during their lifespan? What are the limits, selective advantages and selective disadvantages to sex switching?

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Barrows, E. (2001). Animal Behavior Desk Reference. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Mueller, Guo and Ayala. (1991). Density Dependent natural Selction and Trade-Offs in Life History Traits. Science, 253(1), 433-35.

Ricklefs and Whiles. (2007). The Economy of Nature: Data Analysis Update. New York: Macmillan.

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Title: Language Instinct

  • Total Pages: 6
  • Words: 1647
  • Works Cited:1
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Task:
Read the book "Language Instinct" written by S.Pinker.
Choose 3 of the following for S.Pinker`s "Language Instinct". The length for each answer is 2 pages( double-spaced, typewritten)

1. All languages are "discrete combinatorial systems," which means they contain rules that combine basic symbols (as words) into an infinite number of different larger structures (such as sentences). Other such systems are rare, but they do exist. The genetic code of DNA-which serves as the basis for life on earth-is built in a similar way, allowing for the creation of a potential infinity of novel life forms.
Some other discrete combinatorial systems that humans possess are involved in aesthetic activities like music and dance. What is the relationship between the language instinct and these other aspects of the human mind? Is it likely that such systems emerged out of language, either through biological evolution or cultural development? Or could they have evolved independently? What sort of evidence would bear on this issue?
2. The structures of speech and sign are constrained by biological mechanisms; they are not cultural innovations. Because of this, the complaint that people nowadays don't use English properly is quite bizarre. It would be like saying that birdsong has been gradually corrupted over the last several hundred years. But writing is a different story. Although it is plainly based on existing languages such as English, it is a cultural invention. Not all societies have it, and children require careful instruction in order to learn it. What is the proper role of "language mavens" in determining rules and standards of writing? How can scientific research on sentence comprehension and composition tell us how to improve the teaching of writing skills?
3. We are entranced by the idea of animals learning language, and popular movies and television shows are are populated with singing chimps, talking dolphins, and even the occasional loquacious horse. Pinker argues that from the standpoint of biology, attempting to teach one species the communicative system of another makes little sense. Trying to teach a human baby to sing like a bird or chatter like a monkey isn't likely to succeed, and would not tell us very much if it did.
Why are we so fascinated by the idea of talking animals? What is at stake-scientifically or socially-in the debate over the capacities of apes and other animals? How are these attempts to teach human language to non humans different from the study of the communications systems that animals use spontaneously in the wild?
4. Debates over the nature of the human mind have always been intimately
related to our political, social, and religious views. Defenders of the claim
that the mind is infinitely malleable, free from biological constraints, view this
as an optimistic, liberal doctrine, while more biological perspectives -
especially those informed by evolutionary theory - are seen by many as
tainted by racism and sexism.
On the other hand, scholars such as the linguist Noam Chomsky have argued that the moral superiority of the empiricist view of the mind is far from clear. Historically, the notion that humans can be "shaped" in any manner that an authority chooses has been the premise behind many brutal and repressive activities. As Pinker puts it, a blank slate is a dictator's dream. Furthermore, a theory of the mind informed by evolutionary theory is actually inconsistent with the notion that there exist profound cognitive differences between human groups.
Should these ethical and political considerations be taken into account as we develop theories of the mind? How have they affected our way of thinking about these issues in the past? In particular, what motivations might have led people to the view that languages are cultural inventions that vary without limit or, alternatively, to believe that language is a species-specific biological instinct?

In my order I pointed that I will be sending sources to your e-mail address or fax. I want to inform you that I will not be able to send you the source. (I won`t send anything else). The author has to find the source in a library or somewhere else.

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Works Cited:


Pinker, Steven. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1994.

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