ERIC Number: EJ1148305
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
EvoluZion: A Computer Simulator for Teaching Genetic and Evolutionary Concepts
Zurita, Adolfo R.
Journal of Biological Education, v51 n3 p273-283 2017
EvoluZion is a forward-in-time genetic simulator developed in Java and designed to perform real time simulations on the evolutionary history of virtual organisms. These model organisms harbour a set of 13 genes that codify an equal number of phenotypic features. These genes change randomly during replication, and mutant genes can have null, positive or negative effects on the organisms' fitness, allowing to model effects of both selection pressures and drift on gene evolution. There are two versions of this program: version 1.6.x_haploid; focused on macroevolutionary events and depicting prokaryote-like organisms, and version 2.3.x_diploid that simulate diploid, sexually reproducing organisms, and it is more adequate to teach micro-evolution as well as key genetic concepts such as Mendel's laws, epistasis, genetic linkage, genetic mapping among others. Different data sets can be collected periodically during running in order to perform further analyses. In addition, the complete genealogy of extant as well as extinct organisms can be recorded. EvoluZion is well suited for teaching evolutionary biology concepts to students of all levels in a pedagogic way. This is mainly due to three main program features: (i) its intuitive and simple graphical interface (ii) a visualisation similar to videogames (iii) flexible integration of a wide range of biological phenomena into a single simulation.
Descriptors: Computer Simulation, Teaching Methods, Evolution, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Computer Software, Programming Languages, Computer Interfaces, Visualization, Biology, Tutorial Programs, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A