This assignment it mostly a straight-forward matter of going back to the course material about adaptations to ultraviolet radiation and then showing you understand the material by explaining it clearly and doing a very small amount of applying it to yourself. The question looks long, but your answers will not need to be. Read the directions below (and keep going back to reread them as you work on the assignment!), and write your answer. Turn in your answer as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. Double-space your answer.
PART A: PLEASE TITLE THIS PART OF YOUR ANSWER “PART A”
Describe as clearly as you can the relationship in humans between ultraviolet (UV) radiation and each of the following, NUMBERING EACH PART OF YOUR ANSWER as follows:
- vitamin D
- skin cancer
AND, for each of the above, explain their significance for human fitness. That is, why does each of these things matter for the ability of humans to survive and reproduce? Each of the three should take two or three sentences.
HINT : Remember that the folate issue and the skin cancer issue are separate issues, which is why you’re being asked about them separately here. The reason UV radiation is connected to skin cancer is unrelated to the reason it is connected to folate.
PART B: PLEASE TITLE THIS PART OF YOUR ANSWER “PART B”
Living on the surface of the earth involves exposure to UV radiation. Humans have evolved to adapt to this aspect of their niche. Explain some of these adaptations to UV radiation by doing the following, NUMBERING EACH PART OF YOUR ANSWER as follows:
1) Describe one specific genetic adaptation (a trait that comes from the DNA you inherit) to UV radiation that you personally have that you generally share with all humans. What is the adaptation AND how, specifically, does it help to increase human fitness? (It’s OK to repeat yourself from above regarding the significance for human fitness. Better to repeat yourself than skip answering this part of the question!)
2) Describe one specific genetic adaptation to UV radiation that you have but that varies among humans, so that your specific trait is somewhat different from that of other individuals. Explain your trait, AND what specific niche your trait is best adapted for, AND how the trait increases fitness in that specific niche. Say whether you currently live in that niche AND explain your answer.
HINT (OK, actually me practically telling you the answer!): This is all about variation in the genetics for skin color and the different niches are primarily different latitudes on Earth.
HINT #2: To successfully address fitness this section, you’ll need to think about folate, skin cancer, and vitamin D — so your answer better include mentions of all three!
3) Describe one specific physiological adaptation to UV radiation that you have the capacity for that helps you increase your fitness. Under what circumstances does it become important for fitness, AND why? (It’s OK to repeat yourself from above regarding the significance for human fitness. Better to repeat yourself than skip answering this part of the question!)
4) Describe one specific cultural behavior that you have learned and that either helps or harms your fitness in relation to UV radiation. In what way does it help or harm fitness? (It’s OK to repeat yourself from above regarding the significance for human fitness. Better to repeat yourself than skip answering this part of the question!)
Please remember that ALL of your above discussion should concern adaptations to exposure to ultraviolet radiation! Do not discuss adaptations to heat, cold, oxygen level, or anything else — just adaptations related to UV radiation!
There is no official minimum length. This will probably take a couple of double-spaced pages, or more depending on your formatting. Each piece of the answer (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, B4) will probably take two or three sentences to answer. You’ll be better off putting in more detail than less, as long as your details are accurate.