Biology - Evolution, Natural Selection and DNA | Alison

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Biology - Evolution, Natural Selection and DNA - Revised

Learn more about evolution, natural selection, DNA, chromosomes, and chromatids with this biology course.

Free Course
This free online biology course will introduce you to the concepts of evolution and natural selection and the causes of these fundamental biological processes. Evolution and natural selection are very important concepts in the study of biology. Natural selection is a process resulting in the evolution of organisms that are best adapted to their environment, which occurs over thousands and even millions of years.
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Assessment

  • Certification

  • Responsive

  • Publisher

    Khan Academy





View course modules


Evolution is a process of gradual change that takes place over many generations. During this time, species of animals, plants, or insects slowly change some of their physical characteristics. This course will start with an introduction to evolution and natural selection. You will learn about Darwin's idea of evolution by natural selection which involves variation, differential reproduction, and heredity. You will also look into the natural selection and the owl butterfly to give you a better understanding of the concept.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the basic unit of heredity or the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person's body has the same DNA. This course will discuss how the DNA codes all of our genetic information. You will also study the variation in a species and look into chromosomes, chromatids, and chromatin. You will learn that chromosomes are single-stranded groupings of condensed chromatin, and a chromatid is one-half of two identical copies of a replicated chromosome.

In evolution, the success of a species can depend on changes to just one allele on one gene in one chromosome. By the end of this course, you will learn about the naturally occurring variation within species and how mutations and reproduction continue this process. You will also learn how DNA copies itself and turns into the proteins that make up all living organisms. Check out this course and learn more about how and why there is such diversity among plants and animals today.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss what natural selection and evolution are
  • Describe the causes of variations in a species
  • Outline the effect of reproduction on variety in an organism
  • Explain a basic overview of DNA and how it works
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the vocabulary of DNA


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