1. Gauley, A. (2021) ‘The domestication of wheat: genetic changes for improved crops’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (4), pp.26-29.
Plant biologist Adam Gauley explains how humans have exerted selective pressure on wheat to alter its biology. This article links to your units on Genetic Information, Variation and Relationships Between Organisms and Energy Transfers In and Between Organisms, and supports your study of genetic diversity and adaptation and energy and ecosystems. Look out for the discussion questions in this article.
2. Kerr, H. (2021) ‘Epigenetics, lifestyle and ageing’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (4), pp.2-5.
We now know that there is more to genetic variation that just the DNA base sequence itself. Our epigenetic landscape is subject to modification by our environment and lifestyle, as well as that of our parents and grandparents. Geneticist Holly Kerr explores the interplay between lifestyle, epigenetics and ageing. This article links to your unit on The Control of Gene Expression and supports your learning of the regulation of transcription and translation.
3. Le Vin, A. (2021) ‘Spotlight: cephalopods: adaptation of successful carnivores’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (4), pp.22-25.
The class Cephalopoda includes nautilus, cuttlefish, squid and octopus. All have a range of adaptations for a carnivorous lifestyle. Zoologist Ashley Le Vin investigates how these adaptations make them so successful. This article links to your unit on Genetic Information, Variation and Relationships Between Organisms and supports your study of genetic diversity and adaptation.
4. Ravenscroft, Z. (2021) ‘Restoring estuarine and coastal habitats in the UK’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (3), pp.7-11.
The climate crisis brings with it rising sea levels and storm intensification. Senior marine officer Zahra Ravenscroft discusses how estuarine and coastal habitats are on the front line. Look out for the exam-style questions in this article.
5. Alford, L. (2020) ‘The power of flowers in agricultural landscapes’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.35-38.
Landscape simplification is undermining the valuable role that natural ecosystems can play. Insect physiologist Lucy Alford explains how we can use biodiversity to restore their attributes.
6. Donald, C. (2020) ‘Why climate change is bad for our health’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.2-5.
The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Human activities have intensified these changes to our global environment. A particular concern is how climate conditions influence our interactions with disease-transmitting insects. Virologist Claire Donald looks at why climate change may increase the risk of mosquito-transmitted disease.
7. Martin, H. (2020) ‘The species problem’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.20-21.
Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be found in every ocean and are one of the most geographically widespread mammals on earth. Currently researchers only recognise one species, Orcinus orca, and several distinct ‘types’. But are these ‘types’ separate species?
8. Miller, J. (2020) ‘Habitat fragmentation and gene flow’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (1), pp.6-10.
Habitat destruction is increasing worldwide as the human population expands and consumes more natural resources. Conservation biologist Jonny Miller explains why species that live in fragmented habitats struggle, and what can be done to help them.
9. Spooner, R. and Gohel, R. (2019) ‘What is…? A ring species’, Biological Sciences Review, 31 (4). p.25.
A species can be defined as a group of individuals that can interbreed in the wild. What mechanisms might cause speciation – the generation of new species from an ancestral species? Biologists Rober Spooner and Raksha Gohel examine the concept of a ring species.