Tutor profile: Jordan C.
Subject: Natural Sciences
Why is biodiversity so important to environmental health?
Biodiversity is the different number of species within an ecosystem, including the global environment. In an ecosystem where there is a drastic decrease in biodiversity, the health of the environment suffers greatly. For example, in locations were coral has died off, other species in that area have subsequently disappeared. As a result of this drastic decline, this event inevitably depletes the resources various species depend on for life.
How does evolutionary genetics differ from regular genetics? Isn’t it the same thing?
Evolutionary genetics pertains to evolution. In evolutionary genetics, genomes from different species are compared in order to look for similarities and changes that could explain specific physical traits. For example, the genomes of flies of related species have different reproductive strategies that are studied for comparison. These different strategies may have branched off at a specific point, with one genetic marker changing. This comparison expands the understanding of evolution. Genetics, on the other hand, studies issues such as genetic abnormalities, disorders, or differences in a population. For example, cancer genetics are used in the medical field to help patients determine their individual cancer risks while determining the best indicator of how to efficiently locate any developing cancer within the body.
How does primatology relate to anthropology, considering primates are animals and not human? Why is it so important to study non-humans in a human based science?
Scientists study primates because they offer a guide into the study of human behavior. Through primatology, anthropologists can gain a window into human evolution. Many primate species have complex cultures and behavior similar to that of humans. By understanding these structures, the evolution of human culture and its importance to society becomes evident and we can easily see the progression of human development. For example, in baboon society, there is a political element and a system of laws that is strictly adhered to in the troop. These types of societal dynamics often exhibit close similarities to human cultures.
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