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Revolution in Evolution: What's New in Evolution Since You Took High School Biology?

Professor Elio Schaechter

Recent advances in our understanding of evolution have modified some central principles that we learned in high school biology. This lecture will discuss how complex biological entities can come about “horizontally” from other organisms such as viruses, rather than only “vertically” by gene modification and selection, as we once thought. A second basic principle we learned was that all characteristics are passed through our genes and cannot simply be inherited. We now know that non-genetic modifications can occur to our DNA after we are born through epigenetics. Think of this lecture as a friendly romp through some conceptual thickets that concern today’s biologists.

Instructor: Moselio (Elio) Schaechter is an Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Microbiology at Tufts Medical School in Boston, where he chaired the department for 23 years. He authored twelve books and served as President of the American Society for Microbiology. He is now an Adjunct Professor of Biology at UC San Diego and San Diego State. He received his PhD in microbial cytology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Coordinator: Jack Holtzman

Course Number: OSHR-70078   Credit: 0 units

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