Papua New Guinea, 2019 — Marine biologists recently discovered a new species of aquatic organism, which they named Species Q, living in a remote estuary on the southern coast of this nation. The qualities of species Q make it an excellent candidate for use in cancer research. Species Q is very ecosystem specific: conditions necessary for its survival are found only in its environment. A recent earthquake and subsequent shifting of tectonic plates have disturbed these conditions, and monitoring studies show that species Q’s numbers are declining. Attempts to transplant species Q have failed. Attempts to import other species who might remedy the environmental situation have failed, and previous attempts to repair the environmental damage through chemical and physical manipulation of the ecosystem have also failed. If species Q dies out, it will be extinct and lost forever, which will slow the progress being made on cancer research. Biologists believe the only remaining solution is to selectively breed a species of fish called guinea fish that already lives in this environment. There are currently several variations of this species. If bred for the proper traits, guinea fish can counteract the environmental problems and save species Q!
EVO is a game designed and developed for the Baltimore County Public School System as part of their biology curriculum, including Standard, Honors, GT, and AP courses. In the game, biology student use various types of genetic crosses of the Guinea Fish to illustrate and explain how expressed traits are passed from parent to offspring. EVO helps students understand complex biological and genetic concepts not easily explained through classroom instruction.