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Hardy-Weinberg Made Easy

Hardy-Weinberg Made Easy

Author: paula hogan

By the end of this tutorial the student will be able to "use data from mathematical models based on the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium to analyze genetic drift and effects of selection on the evolution of specific populations".  -Based on Learning Objective 1.6 from AP Biology Curriculum Framework, College Board, 2013

In this case-based approach, students are introduced to population genetics using the lactose intolerance gene as a case study. The tutorial includes videos, readings, and experimentation to help students understand and apply the Hardy-Weinberg model to human population genetics.  

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Lactose Intolerance Video

In this parody, two hippies try to promote "lactose tolerance" among the intolerant. It is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek hook to get students interested in the topic.

Students should answer the "Jumpstart" questions after/while watching the video.

Lactose Intolerance Video Jumpstart Questions

Questions to accompany the lactose intolerance video parody

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Where in the world is lactose intolerance?

Students analyze two maps showing (1) global prevalence rates of lactose intolerance and (2) global per capita rates of milk consumption to look for patterns and connections between these phenomena. Students then revise their hypothesis about the persistence of the lactose intolerance trait in the population.

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Crash Course Biology #18: Population Genetics

In this video, the key ingredients for populations to evolve are explained, as well as the components of the Hardy-Weinberg model. The video also explains the mathematical logic behind the Hardy-Weinberg equation, and the derivation of the equation. I would have students watch and take notes on the first 6:31 of the video and pause it prior to the math. Students should then complete the Hardy-Weinberg simulation activity.

Beanie Babies: A Population Genetics Simulation

A lab using beans to simulate Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium conditions, as well as the effects of evolutionary forces on population genetics.

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Got Lactase? The Coevolution of Genes and Culture

A video from describing the connection between lactose tolerance and pastoralism. Should be viewed as students complete the "Got Lactase?" worksheet.

Got Lactase? Worksheet

Worksheet to accompany the "Got Lactase?" video

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Crash Course Biology #18: Population Genetics

Students should watch the second half of the video (from 6:34 on) and take notes on the derivation and components of the Hardy-Weinberg Equation. A class discussion with further examples and practice problems will follow.

Got Lactase? Final Assessment

An assessment of students' understanding of the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium theory and its usefulness in explaining the population genetics of the human trait, lactose intolerance.

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