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Week 1 Biology Discussion

For your primary post, select ONE of the following discussion topics. Please select only one of the three topics listed. Using your own words, write a primary post of at least 125 words that follows the instructions. Be sure to address everything listed in the instructions. Each topic has two subtopics [a, b]; please address both of them.

Your primary post is worth up to 14 points. Also, make a substantive reply to a fellow classmate on any topic. Use your own words. You don’t need to use any sources other than the ones specified, but if you do use other sources, you must cite them.

Topic 1. Climate Change / Terrestrial Species. Watch the 7.5 minute video by Cox (2016) about how climate change affects the “species range” of terrestrial species. This video can be found in the “Instructor Insights” of Week 1. Based on the video, address the following:

  1. Describe three things you learned from the video.
  2. Explain how the video relates to the field of biology.

Topic 2. Evo-devo. Watch the video (Olsen, 2007) featuring Sean Carroll discussing the science of evolution and the field of evolutionary-developmental biology (evo-devo).

  1. Describe three things you learned from the video.
  2. Tell me what these things teach us about biology.

Topic 3. The cusp of a revolution in medicine. In a recent op-ed, Craig Venter (2017) shares his opinion that we are “on the cusp of a revolution” in medicine.

Venter also addresses the issue of human germline editing, which is something we discuss in a later part of this course. For now, let me just note that editing the human germline means making permanent changes to the DNA of eggs, sperm, or a fertilized ova. Such changes would be permanent and would be passed on to future generations.

  1. Describe three things you learned from this opinion article.
  2. Explain how this article relates to biology.


Olsen, E. (2007, June 25) Sean Carroll on evolution and the science of evo-devo. [Video]. The New York Times. Retrieved from


Cox, J. (2016). Climate change and species range (version 2). [Video]. Retrieved from this course shell in Instructor Insights, Week 1. (×285/playerSkin/31110461/&course_id=_224226_1&content_id=_23868226_1)


Venter, C. (2017, December 13). Genetic sequencing is the future of medicine. [Op-Ed]. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

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