SC.912.L.16.9

Explain how and why the genetic code is universal and is common to almost all organisms.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Heredity and Reproduction -

A. DNA stores and transmits genetic information. Genes are sets of instructions encoded in the structure of DNA.

B. Genetic information is passed from generation to generation by DNA in all organisms and accounts for similarities in related individuals.

C. Manipulation of DNA in organisms has led to commercial production of biological molecules on a large scale and genetically modified organisms.

D. Reproduction is characteristic of living things and is essential for the survival of species.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2000310: Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000320: Biology 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000430: Biology Technology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
3027010: Biotechnology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002480: Forensic Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017, 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002490: Forensic Sciences 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017, 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000440: Genetics Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002420: Integrated Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002430: Integrated Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920015: Access Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2000315: Biology 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000500: Bioscience 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
2000510: Bioscience 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
2002425: Integrated Science 2 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.912.L.16.In.3: Recognize that a substance called DNA carries genetic information in all organisms, and changes (mutations) in DNA can be helpful or harmful to an organism.
SC.912.L.16.Su.2: Recognize that all organisms have a substance called DNA with unique information.
SC.912.L.16.Pa.2: Recognize similarities in characteristics of plants and animals of the same type (species).

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Suspect Strawberry, DNA testing?:

This lesson uses the scientific method to extract DNA from food sources, other than strawberries, to support that DNA is common to almost all organisms.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bird Brains - Evolutionary Relationships:

Students will compare the sequence of amino acids in a gene shared between humans and six other organisms and infer evolutionary relationships among the species.

Type: Lesson Plan

Personal DNA Testing:

A lesson with multi-media components from PBS/NOVA that focuses on DNA testing, including techniques, purposes, and considerations for biotechnology and human decisions regarding health. Students will learn about single nucleotide polymorphisms, how they are used in science, and how they are being used in the medical field. Students will apply this knowledge by looking at a mock data set and probabilities to inform medical recommendations.

Type: Lesson Plan

CRACKING THE CODE/CLONING PAPER PLASMID:

This is an activity where students "crack" the genetic code. They will "read" and "write" a message. They will also participate in "cloning" a plasmid.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

The Universal Genetic Code:

Learn how to better understand the composition of DNA, the purpose of the information in DNA, why the DNA sequence is considered a universal code, and what might happen if mistakes appear in the code with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Text Resources

Humans and Squid Evolved Same Eyes Using Same Genes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text discusses the evolution of the eye across different types of organisms. Eyes have evolved independently several times (such as in squid vs. humans), though all animals with eyes share the Pax6 gene, which is responsible for organizing the formation of a simple eye. The evolution of the Pax6 gene, particularly in how its RNA product is spliced, is responsible for the diversity of eye types, such as the camera eye in squid.

Type: Text Resource

Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article provides some of the newest and most exciting information relating to the DNA in living things. It is a synopsis of a recent experiment in which scientists were able to successfully add two new "letters" into DNA and have the cell replicate these new bases. This could lead to advances in genetics, medicine, and various other fields of study.

Type: Text Resource

Virtual Manipulative

DNA-The Double Helix:


In this interactive game, the students will understand how a DNA molecule is built up, how the copies of the DNA molecule made and what is the meaning of base-pairing. The job of the students in this game is to first make exact copies of a double-stranded DNA molecule by correctly matching the base pairs to each strand, and to then determine which organism the DNA belongs to.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

The Universal Genetic Code:

Learn how to better understand the composition of DNA, the purpose of the information in DNA, why the DNA sequence is considered a universal code, and what might happen if mistakes appear in the code with this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

The Universal Genetic Code:

Learn how to better understand the composition of DNA, the purpose of the information in DNA, why the DNA sequence is considered a universal code, and what might happen if mistakes appear in the code with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.