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Sample records for bias natural selection

  1. Estimates of the average strength of natural selection are not inflated by sampling error or publication bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapczyk, Frances N; Conner, Jeffrey K

    2007-10-01

    Kingsolver et al.'s review of phenotypic selection gradients from natural populations provided a glimpse of the form and strength of selection in nature and how selection on different organisms and traits varies. Because this review's underlying database could be a key tool for answering fundamental questions concerning natural selection, it has spawned discussion of potential biases inherent in the review process. Here, we explicitly test for two commonly discussed sources of bias: sampling error and publication bias. We model the relationship between variance among selection gradients and sample size that sampling error produces by subsampling large empirical data sets containing measurements of traits and fitness. We find that this relationship was not mimicked by the review data set and therefore conclude that sampling error does not bias estimations of the average strength of selection. Using graphical tests, we find evidence for bias against publishing weak estimates of selection only among very small studies (N<38). However, this evidence is counteracted by excess weak estimates in larger studies. Thus, estimates of average strength of selection from the review are less biased than is often assumed. Devising and conducting straightforward tests for different biases allows concern to be focused on the most troublesome factors.

  2. Codon Usage Patterns in Corynebacterium glutamicum: Mutational Bias, Natural Selection and Amino Acid Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guiming Liu

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The alternative synonymous codons in Corynebacterium glutamicum, a well-known bacterium used in industry for the production of amino acid, have been investigated by multivariate analysis. As C. glutamicum is a GC-rich organism, G and C are expected to predominate at the third position of codons. Indeed, overall codon usage analyses have indicated that C and/or G ending codons are predominant in this organism. Through multivariate statistical analysis, apart from mutational selection, we identified three other trends of codon usage variation among the genes. Firstly, the majority of highly expressed genes are scattered towards the positive end of the first axis, whereas the majority of lowly expressed genes are clustered towards the other end of the first axis. Furthermore, the distinct difference in the two sets of genes was that the C ending codons are predominate in putatively highly expressed genes, suggesting that the C ending codons are translationally optimal in this organism. Secondly, the majority of the putatively highly expressed genes have a tendency to locate on the leading strand, which indicates that replicational and transciptional selection might be invoked. Thirdly, highly expressed genes are more conserved than lowly expressed genes by synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions among orthologous genes fromthe genomes of C. glutamicum and C. diphtheriae. We also analyzed other factors such as the length of genes and hydrophobicity that might influence codon usage and found their contributions to be weak.

  3. [Natural selection].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, E

    1985-05-01

    Much of the resistance against Darwin's theory of natural selection has been due to misunderstandings. It is shown that natural selection is not a tautology and that it is a two-step process. The first step, the production of variation, is under the control of chance; the second step, selection proper, is an anti-chance process, but subject to many constraints. The target of selection is the individual as a whole, and many neutral mutations can be retained as hitchhikers of successful genotypes. Sexual selection results from selection for pure reproductive success.

  4. Berkson’s bias, selection bias, and missing data

    OpenAIRE

    Westreich, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    While Berkson’s bias is widely recognized in the epidemiologic literature, it remains underappreciated as a model of both selection bias and bias due to missing data. Simple causal diagrams and 2×2 tables illustrate how Berkson’s bias connects to collider bias and selection bias more generally, and show the strong analogies between Berksonian selection bias and bias due to missing data. In some situations, considerations of whether data are missing at random or missing not at random is less i...

  5. Distinguishing Selection Bias and Confounding Bias in Comparative Effectiveness Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haneuse, Sebastien

    2016-04-01

    Comparative effectiveness research (CER) aims to provide patients and physicians with evidence-based guidance on treatment decisions. As researchers conduct CER they face myriad challenges. Although inadequate control of confounding is the most-often cited source of potential bias, selection bias that arises when patients are differentially excluded from analyses is a distinct phenomenon with distinct consequences: confounding bias compromises internal validity, whereas selection bias compromises external validity. Despite this distinction, however, the label "treatment-selection bias" is being used in the CER literature to denote the phenomenon of confounding bias. Motivated by an ongoing study of treatment choice for depression on weight change over time, this paper formally distinguishes selection and confounding bias in CER. By formally distinguishing selection and confounding bias, this paper clarifies important scientific, design, and analysis issues relevant to ensuring validity. First is that the 2 types of biases may arise simultaneously in any given study; even if confounding bias is completely controlled, a study may nevertheless suffer from selection bias so that the results are not generalizable to the patient population of interest. Second is that the statistical methods used to mitigate the 2 biases are themselves distinct; methods developed to control one type of bias should not be expected to address the other. Finally, the control of selection and confounding bias will often require distinct covariate information. Consequently, as researchers plan future studies of comparative effectiveness, care must be taken to ensure that all data elements relevant to both confounding and selection bias are collected.

  6. Naturally Biased Associations Between Music and Poetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertazzi, Liliana; Canal, Luisa; Micciolo, Rocco; Ferrari, Fulvio; Sitta, Sebastiano; Hachen, Iacopo

    2017-02-01

    The study analyzes the existence of naturally biased associations in the general population between a series of musical selections and a series of quatrains. Differently from other studies in the field, the association is tested between complex stimuli involving literary texts, which increases the load of the semantic factors. The stimuli were eight quatrains taken from the same poem and eight musical clips taken from a classical musical version of the poem. The experiment was conducted in two phases. First, the participants were asked to rate 10 couples of opposite adjectives on a continuous bipolar scale when reading a quatrain or when listening to a musical clip; then they were asked to associate a given clip directly with the quatrains in decreasing order. The results showed the existence of significant associations between the semantics of the quatrains and the musical selections. They also confirmed the correspondences experienced by the composer when writing the musical version of the poem. Connotative dimensions such as rough or smooth, distressing or serene, turbid or clear, and gloomy or bright, characterizing both the semantic and the auditory stimuli, may have played a role in the associations. The results also shed light on the accomplishment of the two diverse methodologies adopted in the two different phases of the test. Finally, the role of specific musical components and their combinations is likely to have played an important role in the associations, an aspect that shall be addressed in further studies.

  7. Model selection bias and Freedman's paradox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukacs, P.M.; Burnham, K.P.; Anderson, D.R.

    2010-01-01

    In situations where limited knowledge of a system exists and the ratio of data points to variables is small, variable selection methods can often be misleading. Freedman (Am Stat 37:152-155, 1983) demonstrated how common it is to select completely unrelated variables as highly "significant" when the number of data points is similar in magnitude to the number of variables. A new type of model averaging estimator based on model selection with Akaike's AIC is used with linear regression to investigate the problems of likely inclusion of spurious effects and model selection bias, the bias introduced while using the data to select a single seemingly "best" model from a (often large) set of models employing many predictor variables. The new model averaging estimator helps reduce these problems and provides confidence interval coverage at the nominal level while traditional stepwise selection has poor inferential properties. ?? The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo 2009.

  8. Selection bias and measures of inequality

    OpenAIRE

    Vazquez-alvarez, Rosalia; Melenberg, Bertrand; Soest, Arthur van

    2002-01-01

    Variables typically used to measure inequality (e.g., wage earnings, household income or expenditure), are often plagued by nonrandom item nonresponse. Ignoring non-respondents or making (often untestable) assumptions on the nonresponse sub-population can lead to selection bias on estimates of inequality. This paper draws on the approach by Manski (1989,1994) to derive bounding intervals on both the Gini coefficient and the Inter-Quartile range. Both sets of bounds provide alternative measure...

  9. Natural Selection and Morality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Rosas

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Resumen:En este ensayo abordo los intentos, relativamente recientes, de dar una explicación de la moralidad como adaptación por selección natural. Mi exposición tiene una introducción y cuatro partes: en la primera explico en qué consiste la paradoja del altruismo biológico. En la segunda expongo la solución que apela a la selección de grupos, recientemente resurgida; la solución que presuntamente aplicó Charles Darwin cuando formuló sus reflexiones biológicas sobre la moralidad humana. En la tercera expongo la solución sociobiológica, que opta por negar que la selección natural pueda explicar directamente la moralidad humana. La moralidad se presenta más bien como opuesta a la naturaleza diseñada por selección natural. En la cuarta parte desarrollo brevemente una explicación de la moralidad como adaptación que beneficia a los individuos. No opone la moralidad a la naturaleza, ni apela a la selección de grupos. Se sirve de un mecanismo de selección que opera a través de preferencias en la interacción social.Abstract:In this essay, I address recent attempts to account for morality as an adaptation due to natural selection. After a brief introduction, my exposition has four sections. I first explain the paradox of biological altruism. Second, I explain the solution to the paradox in terms of group selection. This solution was presumably applied by Darwin himself as he discussed human morality, and it has experienced a recent revival, though it remains suspicious to most biologists. In the third section I offer a socio-biological solution that opts for denying that morality can be explained by any form of natural selection. Morality is opposed to human nature as designed by natural selection. In the fourth, I argue for an explanation in terms of individual selection. It does not oppose morality to nature, and does not need the workings of group selection; rather, it operates through the agents’ psychological preferences

  10. Biased selection in Twin Cities health plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, B; Feldman, R

    1985-01-01

    The data in Tables 1 through 4 show significant differences in the enrollment of higher health-related financial risk individuals and their families among health plans. FFS enrollees are older and exhibit more chronic illness on average. IPAs enroll a greater proportion of females than do PGP or FFS plans. PGPs and IPAs do not differ significantly in the age and chronic illness of their enrollees, but IPAs enroll a significantly greater proportion of females than do PGPs. The age difference between FFS and prepaid plans appears to be greater for long-term enrollees. The same pattern is true of chronic illness, but the results are often not statistically significant. We do not have time-series data, however, and cannot conclude that future comparisons among long-term enrollees will remains as they are now. In any care our data do not support the hypothesis that biased selection is a short-term problem that will be corrected as the population in prepaid plans ages. Our data contain a cross-section of environments for health plans in firms: long- and short-term offerings, long- and short-term enrollees, high and low out-of-pocket premium costs, etc. Our strongest results are the simplest: across all plans and environments there are significant differences in enrollee characteristics. These differences would not be inefficient if all groups paid actuarially fair premiums. However, mandatory offering and community-rating allow prepaid plans to enroll a younger population with less chronic illness and to maintain an information asymmetry that prevents employers and employees from determining--either prior to or following enrollment--the relationship of the prepaid plan's premium to its marginal cost.

  11. Perceptual and performance biases in action selection

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    When we see an object in the world, there may be a large number of different ways to interact with that object. This large 'visuomotor space' can be constrained through affordances (perceptually available object properties defining potential uses), task demands and the actor's intentions. The effects of perceptual biases can be modified by performance factors, such as a limb's end-state-comfort (ESC; Rosenbaum et al. 1990). We investigated how two other potential performance biases affected i...

  12. Natural Number Bias in Operations with Missing Numbers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, Konstantinos P.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates the hypothesis that there is a natural number bias that influences how students understand the effects of arithmetical operations involving both Arabic numerals and numbers that are represented by symbols for missing numbers. It also investigates whether this bias correlates with other aspects of students' understanding of…

  13. On the nature of cultural transmission networks: evidence from Fijian villages for adaptive learning biases

    OpenAIRE

    Henrich, Joseph; Broesch, James

    2011-01-01

    Unlike other animals, humans are heavily dependent on cumulative bodies of culturally learned information. Selective processes operating on this socially learned information can produce complex, functionally integrated, behavioural repertoires—cultural adaptations. To understand such non-genetic adaptations, evolutionary theorists propose that (i) natural selection has favoured the emergence of psychological biases for learning from those individuals most likely to possess adaptive informatio...

  14. Target selection biases from recent experience transfer across effectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moher, Jeff; Song, Joo-Hyun

    2016-02-01

    Target selection is often biased by an observer's recent experiences. However, not much is known about whether these selection biases influence behavior across different effectors. For example, does looking at a red object make it easier to subsequently reach towards another red object? In the current study, we asked observers to find the uniquely colored target object on each trial. Randomly intermixed pre-trial cues indicated the mode of action: either an eye movement or a visually guided reach movement to the target. In Experiment 1, we found that priming of popout, reflected in faster responses following repetition of the target color on consecutive trials, occurred regardless of whether the effector was repeated from the previous trial or not. In Experiment 2, we examined whether an inhibitory selection bias away from a feature could transfer across effectors. While priming of popout reflects both enhancement of the repeated target features and suppression of the repeated distractor features, the distractor previewing effect isolates a purely inhibitory component of target selection in which a previewed color is presented in a homogenous display and subsequently inhibited. Much like priming of popout, intertrial suppression biases in the distractor previewing effect transferred across effectors. Together, these results suggest that biases for target selection driven by recent trial history transfer across effectors. This indicates that representations in memory that bias attention towards or away from specific features are largely independent from their associated actions.

  15. Biased selection within the social health insurance market in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castano, Ramon; Zambrano, Andres

    2006-12-01

    Reducing the impact of insurance market failures with regulations such as community-rated premiums, standardized benefit packages and open enrolment, yield limited effect because they create room for selection bias. The Colombian social health insurance system started a market approach in 1993 expecting to improve performance of preexisting monopolistic insurance funds by exposing them to competition by new entrants. This paper tests the hypothesis that market failures would lead to biased selection favoring new entrants. Two household surveys are analyzed using Self-Reported Health Status and the presence of chronic conditions as prospective indicators of individual risk. Biased selection is found to take place, leading to adverse selection among incumbents, and favorable selection among new entrants. This pattern is absent in 1997 but is evident in 2003. Given that the two incumbents analyzed are public organizations, the fiscal implications of the findings in terms of government bailouts, are analyzed.

  16. Addressing selection bias in dental health services research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J Y; Rozier, R G; Norton, E C; Vann, W F

    2005-10-01

    When randomization is not possible, researchers must control for non-random assignment to experimental groups. One technique for statistical adjustment for non-random assignment is through the use of a two-stage analytical technique. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the use of this technique to control for selection bias in examining the effects of the The Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children's (WIC) on dental visits. From 5 data sources, an analysis file was constructed for 49,512 children ages 1-5 years. The two-stage technique was used to control for selection bias in WIC participation, the potentially endogenous variable. Specification tests showed that WIC participation was not random and that selection bias was present. The effects of the WIC on dental use differed by 36% after adjustment for selection bias by means of the two-stage technique. This technique can be used to control for potential selection bias in dental research when randomization is not possible.

  17. Selection bias in the reported performances of AD classification pipelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelson, Alex F; Zuluaga, Maria A; Lorenzi, Marco; Hutton, Brian F; Ourselin, Sébastien

    2017-01-01

    The last decade has seen a great proliferation of supervised learning pipelines for individual diagnosis and prognosis in Alzheimer's disease. As more pipelines are developed and evaluated in the search for greater performance, only those results that are relatively impressive will be selected for publication. We present an empirical study to evaluate the potential for optimistic bias in classification performance results as a result of this selection. This is achieved using a novel, resampling-based experiment design that effectively simulates the optimisation of pipeline specifications by individuals or collectives of researchers using cross validation with limited data. Our findings indicate that bias can plausibly account for an appreciable fraction (often greater than half) of the apparent performance improvement associated with the pipeline optimisation, particularly in small samples. We discuss the consistency of our findings with patterns observed in the literature and consider strategies for bias reduction and mitigation.

  18. On the nature of cultural transmission networks: evidence from Fijian villages for adaptive learning biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrich, Joseph; Broesch, James

    2011-04-12

    Unlike other animals, humans are heavily dependent on cumulative bodies of culturally learned information. Selective processes operating on this socially learned information can produce complex, functionally integrated, behavioural repertoires-cultural adaptations. To understand such non-genetic adaptations, evolutionary theorists propose that (i) natural selection has favoured the emergence of psychological biases for learning from those individuals most likely to possess adaptive information, and (ii) when these psychological learning biases operate in populations, over generations, they can generate cultural adaptations. Many laboratory experiments now provide evidence for these psychological biases. Here, we bridge from the laboratory to the field by examining if and how these biases emerge in a small-scale society. Data from three cultural domains-fishing, growing yams and using medicinal plants-show that Fijian villagers (ages 10 and up) are biased to learn from others perceived as more successful/knowledgeable, both within and across domains (prestige effects). We also find biases for sex and age, as well as proximity effects. These selective and centralized oblique transmission networks set up the conditions for adaptive cultural evolution.

  19. Dealing with selection bias in educational transition models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holm, Anders; Jæger, Mads Meier

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes the bivariate probit selection model (BPSM) as an alternative to the traditional Mare model for analyzing educational transitions. The BPSM accounts for selection on unobserved variables by allowing for unobserved variables which affect the probability of making educational...... transitions to be correlated across transitions. We use simulated and real data to illustrate how the BPSM improves on the traditional Mare model in terms of correcting for selection bias and providing credible estimates of the effect of family background on educational success. We conclude that models which...... account for selection on unobserved variables and high-quality data are both required in order to estimate credible educational transition models....

  20. Naturally Biased? In Search for Reaction Time Evidence for a Natural Number Bias in Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamvakoussi, Xenia; Van Dooren, Wim; Verschaffel, Lieven

    2012-01-01

    A major source of errors in rational number tasks is the inappropriate application of natural number rules. We hypothesized that this is an instance of intuitive reasoning and thus can persist in adults, even when they respond correctly. This was tested by means of a reaction time method, relying on a dual process perspective that differentiates…

  1. A field test of the extent of bias in selection estimates after accounting for emigration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letcher, B.H.; Horton, G.E.; Dubreuil, T.L.; O'Donnell, M. J.

    2005-01-01

    Question: To what extent does trait-dependent emigration bias selection estimates in a natural system? Organisms: Two freshwater cohorts of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) juveniles. Field site: A 1 km stretch of a small stream (West Brook) in western Massachusetts. USA from which emigration could be detected continuously. Methods: Estimated viability selection differentials for body size either including or ignoring emigration (include = emigrants survived interval, ignore = emigrants did not survive interval) for 12 intervals. Results: Seasonally variable size-related emigration from our study site generated variable levels of bias in selection estimates for body size. The magnitude of this bias was closely related with the extent of size-dependent emigration during each interval. Including or ignoring the effects of emigration changed the significance of selection estimates in 5 of the 12 intervals, and changed the estimated direction of selection in 4 of the 12 intervals. These results indicate the extent to which inferences about selection in a natural system can be biased by failing to account for trait-dependent emigration. ?? 2005 Benjamin H. Letcher.

  2. Uncovering Circumbinary Planetary Architectural Properties from Selection Biases

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Gongjie; Tao, Molei

    2016-01-01

    The new discoveries of circumbinary planetary systems shed light on the understanding of planetary system formation. Learning the architectural properties of these systems is essential for constraining the different formation mechanisms. We first revisit the stability limit of circumbinary planets. Next, we focus on eclipsing stellar binaries and obtain an analytical expression for the transit probability in a realistic setting, where finite observation period and planetary orbital precession are included. Then, understanding of the architectural properties of the currently observed transiting systems is refined, based on Bayesian analysis and a series of hypothesis tests. We find 1) it is not a selection bias that the innermost planets reside near the stability limit for eight of the nine observed systems, and this is consistent with a log uniform distribution of the planetary semi-major axis; 2) it is not a selection bias that the planetary and stellar orbits are nearly coplanar ($\\lesssim 3^\\circ$), and th...

  3. Natural selection. VII. History and interpretation of kin selection theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, S A

    2013-06-01

    Kin selection theory is a kind of causal analysis. The initial form of kin selection ascribed cause to costs, benefits and genetic relatedness. The theory then slowly developed a deeper and more sophisticated approach to partitioning the causes of social evolution. Controversy followed because causal analysis inevitably attracts opposing views. It is always possible to separate total effects into different component causes. Alternative causal schemes emphasize different aspects of a problem, reflecting the distinct goals, interests and biases of different perspectives. For example, group selection is a particular causal scheme with certain advantages and significant limitations. Ultimately, to use kin selection theory to analyse natural patterns and to understand the history of debates over different approaches, one must follow the underlying history of causal analysis. This article describes the history of kin selection theory, with emphasis on how the causal perspective improved through the study of key patterns of natural history, such as dispersal and sex ratio, and through a unified approach to demographic and social processes. Independent historical developments in the multivariate analysis of quantitative traits merged with the causal analysis of social evolution by kin selection.

  4. Estimating Sampling Selection Bias in Human Genetics: A Phenomenological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risso, Davide; Taglioli, Luca; De Iasio, Sergio; Gueresi, Paola; Alfani, Guido; Nelli, Sergio; Rossi, Paolo; Paoli, Giorgio; Tofanelli, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    This research is the first empirical attempt to calculate the various components of the hidden bias associated with the sampling strategies routinely-used in human genetics, with special reference to surname-based strategies. We reconstructed surname distributions of 26 Italian communities with different demographic features across the last six centuries (years 1447–2001). The degree of overlapping between "reference founding core" distributions and the distributions obtained from sampling the present day communities by probabilistic and selective methods was quantified under different conditions and models. When taking into account only one individual per surname (low kinship model), the average discrepancy was 59.5%, with a peak of 84% by random sampling. When multiple individuals per surname were considered (high kinship model), the discrepancy decreased by 8–30% at the cost of a larger variance. Criteria aimed at maximizing locally-spread patrilineages and long-term residency appeared to be affected by recent gene flows much more than expected. Selection of the more frequent family names following low kinship criteria proved to be a suitable approach only for historically stable communities. In any other case true random sampling, despite its high variance, did not return more biased estimates than other selective methods. Our results indicate that the sampling of individuals bearing historically documented surnames (founders' method) should be applied, especially when studying the male-specific genome, to prevent an over-stratification of ancient and recent genetic components that heavily biases inferences and statistics. PMID:26452043

  5. Molecular Signatures of Natural Selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Rasmus

    2005-01-01

    provide important functional information. This review provides a nonmathematical description of the issues involved in detecting selection from DNA sequences and SNP data and is intended for readers who are not familiar with population genetic theory. Particular attention is placed on issues relating......There is an increasing interest in detecting genes, or genomic regions, that have been targeted by natural selection. The interest stems from a basic desire to learn more about evolutionary processes in humans and other organisms, and from the realization that inferences regarding selection may...

  6. Introduction. Modelling natural action selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescott, Tony J; Bryson, Joanna J; Seth, Anil K

    2007-09-29

    Action selection is the task of resolving conflicts between competing behavioural alternatives. This theme issue is dedicated to advancing our understanding of the behavioural patterns and neural substrates supporting action selection in animals, including humans. The scope of problems investigated includes: (i) whether biological action selection is optimal (and, if so, what is optimized), (ii) the neural substrates for action selection in the vertebrate brain, (iii) the role of perceptual selection in decision-making, and (iv) the interaction of group and individual action selection. A second aim of this issue is to advance methodological practice with respect to modelling natural action section. A wide variety of computational modelling techniques are therefore employed ranging from formal mathematical approaches through to computational neuroscience, connectionism and agent-based modelling. The research described has broad implications for both natural and artificial sciences. One example, highlighted here, is its application to medical science where models of the neural substrates for action selection are contributing to the understanding of brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

  7. Selecting, weeding, and weighting biased climate model ensembles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, C. S.; Picton, J.; Huerta, G.; Nosedal Sanchez, A.

    2012-12-01

    In the Bayesian formulation, the "log-likelihood" is a test statistic for selecting, weeding, or weighting climate model ensembles with observational data. This statistic has the potential to synthesize the physical and data constraints on quantities of interest. One of the thorny issues for formulating the log-likelihood is how one should account for biases. While in the past we have included a generic discrepancy term, not all biases affect predictions of quantities of interest. We make use of a 165-member ensemble CAM3.1/slab ocean climate models with different parameter settings to think through the issues that are involved with predicting each model's sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing given what can be observed from the base state. In particular we use multivariate empirical orthogonal functions to decompose the differences that exist among this ensemble to discover what fields and regions matter to the model's sensitivity. We find that the differences that matter are a small fraction of the total discrepancy. Moreover, weighting members of the ensemble using this knowledge does a relatively poor job of adjusting the ensemble mean toward the known answer. This points out the shortcomings of using weights to correct for biases in climate model ensembles created by a selection process that does not emphasize the priorities of your log-likelihood.

  8. Gender Wage Gap Accounting: The Role of Selection Bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar, Michael; Kim, Seik; Leukhina, Oksana

    2015-10-01

    Mulligan and Rubinstein (2008) (MR) argued that changing selection of working females on unobservable characteristics, from negative in the 1970s to positive in the 1990s, accounted for nearly the entire closing of the gender wage gap. We argue that their female wage equation estimates are inconsistent. Correcting this error substantially weakens the role of the rising selection bias (39 % versus 78 %) and strengthens the contribution of declining discrimination (42 % versus 7 %). Our findings resonate better with related literature. We also explain why our finding of positive selection in the 1970s provides additional support for MR's main hypothesis that an exogenous rise in the market value of unobservable characteristics contributed to the closing of the gender gap.

  9. Player Selection Bias in National Football League Draftees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Kyle S; Fukuda, David H; Redd, Michael J; Stout, Jeffrey R; Hoffman, Jay R

    2016-11-01

    Beyer, KS, Fukuda, DH, Redd, MJ, Stout, JR, and Hoffman, JR. Player selection bias in National Football League draftees. J Strength Cond Res 30(11): 2965-2971, 2016-Relative age effects (RAEs) have been studied as a potential factor associated with player selection bias in numerous sports. However, little research has examined the role of RAEs among National Football League (NFL) draftees. The purpose of the current study was to determine the existence of RAEs in NFL draftees from the last 10 NFL drafts. Draftee birth dates were collected and divided into calendar and scholastic quarters (SQ1-SQ4). To determine the presence of RAEs in specific subsets, NFL draftees were grouped according to round drafted, position, level of conference play, and age at the time of the draft. Significant χ tests (p ≤ 0.05) comparing observed birth-date distributions vs. the expected birth-date distribution from the general population were followed up by calculating the standardized residual for each quarter (z > ±2.0 indicating significance). Overall, no RAEs were seen when birth-date distribution was assessed using calendar quarters (p = 0.47), but more draftees were born in SQ2 (December-February) than expected (p < 0.01; z = +2.2). Significantly more draftees were born in SQ2 than expected for middle-round draftees (p = 0.01; z = +2.4), skill positions (p = 0.03; z = +2.3), Power Five college draftees (p < 0.01; z = +2.6), and early draftees (p < 0.01; z = +3.1). However, reverse RAEs were seen among late draftees, with fewer draftees being born in SQ2 (z = -3.6) and more being born in SQ4 (June-August; z = +2.6) than expected. In contrast to previous research, the current study observed significant RAEs in NFL draftees from the last 10 years. This player selection bias should be considered when evaluating long-term athlete development models in American football.

  10. Postcopulatory fertilization bias as a form of cryptic sexual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Bonneaud, Camille

    2008-05-01

    Males and females share most of their genetic material yet often experience very different selection pressures. Some traits that are adaptive when expressed in males may therefore be maladaptive when expressed in females. Recent studies demonstrating negative correlations in fitness between parents and their opposite-sex progeny suggest that natural selection may favor a reduction in trait correlations between the sexes to partially mitigate intralocus sexual conflict. We studied sex-specific forms of selection acting in Anolis lizards in the Greater Antilles, a group for which the importance of natural selection has been well documented in species-level diversification, but for which less is known about sexual selection. Using the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), we measured fitness-related variation in morphology (body size), and variation in two traits reflecting whole animal physiological condition: running endurance and immune function. Correlations between body size and physiological traits were opposite between males and females and the form of natural selection acting on physiological traits significantly differed between the sexes. Moreover, physiological traits in progeny were correlated with the body-size of their sires, but correlations were null or even negative between parents and their opposite-sex progeny. Although results based on phenotypic and genetic correlations, as well as the action of natural selection, suggest the potential for intralocus sexual conflict, females used sire body size as a cue to sort sperm for the production of either sons or daughters. Our results suggest that intralocus sexual conflict may be at least partly resolved through post-copulatory sperm choice in A. sagrei.

  11. Limitation of Inverse Probability-of-Censoring Weights in Estimating Survival in the Presence of Strong Selection Bias

    OpenAIRE

    Howe, Chanelle J.; Cole, Stephen R.; Chmiel, Joan S.; Muñoz, Alvaro

    2011-01-01

    In time-to-event analyses, artificial censoring with correction for induced selection bias using inverse probability-of-censoring weights can be used to 1) examine the natural history of a disease after effective interventions are widely available, 2) correct bias due to noncompliance with fixed or dynamic treatment regimens, and 3) estimate survival in the presence of competing risks. Artificial censoring entails censoring participants when they meet a predefined study criterion, such as exp...

  12. Selected Natural Materials in History

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Julian F.V.Vincent

    2005-01-01

    @@ 1 Technology of natural materials Early man used conveniently shaped stones as tools."Workshop" areas have been found with large numbers of stones, some showing signs of being worked[1].However, organic materials like wood will decay under normal wet conditions in the presence of oxygen, so we won't find the same sort of evidence for wooden tools. It is safe to assume that early man used sticks as probes and clubs, and maybe even for making some sort of nestlike protection against the elements and predators, since we see chimpanzees and other animals doing this sort of thing. So wood, and almost certainly other plant materials such as fibrous leaves, and bone and other materials gleaned from dead animals, would be used from the earliest times. We need to know this in order to establish the idea that Man can be expected to have a long history of the use and manipulation of natural materials. This needs skills in choosing materials for certain uses on the basis of their mechanical properties,whether those properties are to do with the ease of shaping the material or the effectiveness of that material in use. Occasionally the material was chosen simply because it was readily available. If we find that a particular material was always used for a certain job, it's reasonable to deduce that Man was exerting materials selection criteria through experience.

  13. Intron evolution in Neurospora: the role of mutational bias and selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yu; Whittle, Carrie A; Corcoran, Pádraic; Johannesson, Hanna

    2015-01-01

    We used comparative and population genomics to study intron evolutionary dynamics in the fungal model genus Neurospora. For our investigation, we used well-annotated genomes of N. crassa, N. discreta, and N. tetrasperma, and 92 resequenced genomes of N. tetrasperma from natural populations. By analyzing the four well-annotated genomes, we identified 9495 intron sites in 7619 orthologous genes. Our data supports nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) and tandem duplication as mechanisms for intron gains in the genus and the RT-mRNA process as a mechanism for intron loss. We found a moderate intron gain rate (5.78-6.89 × 10(-13) intron gains per nucleotide site per year) and a high intron loss rate (7.53-13.76 × 10(-10) intron losses per intron sites per year) as compared to other eukaryotes. The derived intron gains and losses are skewed to high frequencies, relative to neutral SNPs, in natural populations of N. tetrasperma, suggesting that selection is involved in maintaining a high intron turnover. Furthermore, our analyses of the association between intron population-level frequency and genomic features suggest that selection is involved in shaping a 5' intron position bias and a low intron GC content. However, intron sequence analyses suggest that the gained introns were not exposed to recent selective sweeps. Taken together, this work contributes to our understanding of the importance of mutational bias and selection in shaping the intron distribution in eukaryotic genomes.

  14. Estimates of External Validity Bias When Impact Evaluations Select Sites Nonrandomly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Stephen H.; Olsen, Robert B.; Orr, Larry L.; Stuart, Elizabeth A.

    2016-01-01

    Evaluations of educational programs or interventions are typically conducted in nonrandomly selected samples of schools or districts. Recent research has shown that nonrandom site selection can yield biased impact estimates. To estimate the external validity bias from nonrandom site selection, we combine lists of school districts that were…

  15. Persistence of an extreme male-biased adult sex ratio in a natural population of polyandrous bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosztolányi, A; Barta, Z; Küpper, C; Székely, T

    2011-08-01

    In a number of insects, fishes and birds, the conventional sex roles are reversed: males are the main care provider, whereas females focus on matings. The reversal of typical sex roles is an evolutionary puzzle, because it challenges the foundations of sex roles, sexual selection and parental investment theory. Recent theoretical models predict that biased parental care may be a response to biased adult sex ratios (ASRs). However, estimating ASR is challenging in natural populations, because males and females often have different detectabilities. Here, we use demographic modelling with field data from 2101 individuals, including 579 molecularly sexed offspring, to provide evidence that ASR is strongly male biased in a polyandrous bird with male-biased care. The model predicts 6.1 times more adult males than females (ASR=0.860, proportion of males) in the Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus. The extreme male bias is consistent between years and concordant with experimental results showing strongly biased mating opportunity towards females. Based on these results, we conjecture that parental sex-role reversal may occur in populations that exhibit extreme male-biased ASR.

  16. Natural biased coin encoded in the genome determines cell strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorri, Faezeh; Mahini, Hamid; Sharifi-Zarchi, Ali; Totonchi, Mehdi; Tusserkani, Ruzbeh; Pezeshk, Hamid; Sadeghi, Mehdi

    2014-01-01

    Decision making at a cellular level determines different fates for isogenic cells. However, it is not yet clear how rational decisions are encoded in the genome, how they are transmitted to their offspring, and whether they evolve and become optimized throughout generations. In this paper, we use a game theoretic approach to explain how rational decisions are made in the presence of cooperators and competitors. Our results suggest the existence of an internal switch that operates as a biased coin. The biased coin is, in fact, a biochemical bistable network of interacting genes that can flip to one of its stable states in response to different environmental stimuli. We present a framework to describe how the positions of attractors in such a gene regulatory network correspond to the behavior of a rational player in a competing environment. We evaluate our model by considering lysis/lysogeny decision making of bacteriophage lambda in E. coli.

  17. Natural biased coin encoded in the genome determines cell strategy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faezeh Dorri

    Full Text Available Decision making at a cellular level determines different fates for isogenic cells. However, it is not yet clear how rational decisions are encoded in the genome, how they are transmitted to their offspring, and whether they evolve and become optimized throughout generations. In this paper, we use a game theoretic approach to explain how rational decisions are made in the presence of cooperators and competitors. Our results suggest the existence of an internal switch that operates as a biased coin. The biased coin is, in fact, a biochemical bistable network of interacting genes that can flip to one of its stable states in response to different environmental stimuli. We present a framework to describe how the positions of attractors in such a gene regulatory network correspond to the behavior of a rational player in a competing environment. We evaluate our model by considering lysis/lysogeny decision making of bacteriophage lambda in E. coli.

  18. Separating Selection Bias and Non-coverage in Internet Panels using Propensity Matching.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lensvelt-Mulders, G.J.L.M.; Lugtig, P.J.; Hubregtse, M.

    2009-01-01

    Many internet-panels consist of self-selected respondents and hence cover a relatively small part of the population. Estimates based on Internet-panels therefore may suffer from non-coverage and self-selection bias. One way to correct for these biases is to use adjustment weighting(Lee, 2006). Howev

  19. Guidelines for Selecting Bias-Free Textbooks and Storybooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Council on Interracial Books for Children, Inc., New York, NY.

    These guidelines are meant to assist parents and educators in identifying books for children that are free of sexism, racism, ageism, and classism. Methods for analyzing both storybooks and textbooks for bias are presented. Special emphasis is placed on evaluating basal readers and history texts. A number of evaluative checklists are presented…

  20. Bias of selection on human copy-number variants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Although large-scale copy-number variation is an important contributor to conspecific genomic diversity, whether these variants frequently contribute to human phenotype differences remains unknown. If they have few functional consequences, then copy-number variants (CNVs might be expected both to be distributed uniformly throughout the human genome and to encode genes that are characteristic of the genome as a whole. We find that human CNVs are significantly overrepresented close to telomeres and centromeres and in simple tandem repeat sequences. Additionally, human CNVs were observed to be unusually enriched in those protein-coding genes that have experienced significantly elevated synonymous and nonsynonymous nucleotide substitution rates, estimated between single human and mouse orthologues. CNV genes encode disproportionately large numbers of secreted, olfactory, and immunity proteins, although they contain fewer than expected genes associated with Mendelian disease. Despite mouse CNVs also exhibiting a significant elevation in synonymous substitution rates, in most other respects they do not differ significantly from the genomic background. Nevertheless, they encode proteins that are depleted in olfactory function, and they exhibit significantly decreased amino acid sequence divergence. Natural selection appears to have acted discriminately among human CNV genes. The significant overabundance, within human CNVs, of genes associated with olfaction, immunity, protein secretion, and elevated coding sequence divergence, indicates that a subset may have been retained in the human population due to the adaptive benefit of increased gene dosage. By contrast, the functional characteristics of mouse CNVs either suggest that advantageous gene copies have been depleted during recent selective breeding of laboratory mouse strains or suggest that they were preferentially fixed as a consequence of the larger effective population size of wild mice. It

  1. Sex-Specific Selection and Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Humans and Flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Changde; Kirkpatrick, Mark

    2016-09-01

    Sexual dimorphism results from sex-biased gene expression, which evolves when selection acts differently on males and females. While there is an intimate connection between sex-biased gene expression and sex-specific selection, few empirical studies have studied this relationship directly. Here we compare the two on a genome-wide scale in humans and flies. We find a distinctive "Twin Peaks" pattern in humans that relates the strength of sex-specific selection, quantified by genetic divergence between male and female adults at autosomal loci, to the degree of sex-biased expression. Genes with intermediate degrees of sex-biased expression show evidence of ongoing sex-specific selection, while genes with either little or completely sex-biased expression do not. This pattern apparently results from differential viability selection in males and females acting in the current generation. The Twin Peaks pattern is also found in Drosophila using a different measure of sex-specific selection acting on fertility. We develop a simple model that successfully recapitulates the Twin Peaks. Our results suggest that many genes with intermediate sex-biased expression experience ongoing sex-specific selection in humans and flies.

  2. Sex-Specific Selection and Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Humans and Flies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changde Cheng

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Sexual dimorphism results from sex-biased gene expression, which evolves when selection acts differently on males and females. While there is an intimate connection between sex-biased gene expression and sex-specific selection, few empirical studies have studied this relationship directly. Here we compare the two on a genome-wide scale in humans and flies. We find a distinctive "Twin Peaks" pattern in humans that relates the strength of sex-specific selection, quantified by genetic divergence between male and female adults at autosomal loci, to the degree of sex-biased expression. Genes with intermediate degrees of sex-biased expression show evidence of ongoing sex-specific selection, while genes with either little or completely sex-biased expression do not. This pattern apparently results from differential viability selection in males and females acting in the current generation. The Twin Peaks pattern is also found in Drosophila using a different measure of sex-specific selection acting on fertility. We develop a simple model that successfully recapitulates the Twin Peaks. Our results suggest that many genes with intermediate sex-biased expression experience ongoing sex-specific selection in humans and flies.

  3. A Bias for the Natural? Children's Beliefs about Traits Acquired through Effort, Bribes, or Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockhart, Kristi L.; Keil, Frank C.; Aw, Justine

    2013-01-01

    Three studies compared beliefs about natural and late blooming positive traits with those acquired through personal effort, extrinsic rewards or medicine. Young children (5-6 years), older children (8-13 years), and adults all showed a strong bias for natural and late blooming traits over acquired traits. All age groups, except 8- to 10-year-olds,…

  4. Microscopic nature of ferro- and antiferromagnetic interface coupling of uncompensated magnetic moments in exchange bias systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruyters, M; Schmitz, D

    2008-02-22

    Exchange bias in layered CoO/Fe structures is investigated by x-ray resonant magnetic reflectivity (XRMR) measurements. Element-specific hysteresis loops are obtained from x-ray magnetic circular dichroism effects in the XRMR spectra. Evidence is provided for the existence of different types of uncompensated moments in the antiferromagnetic material. Explanations are given for the microscopic nature of these moments and the complex exchange interactions that determine the magnetization reversal in exchange bias systems.

  5. Selective Attention and Drug Related Attention Bias in Methadone Maintenance Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Nejati

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the main problems of the drug abusers is drug related attention bias, which causes craving, and as a result drive the drug abusers to take narcotics. Methadone is used as a maintenance treatment for drug abusers. The purpose of this study is evaluation of the effect of Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT on selective attention and drug related attention bias. This study investigated drug cue-related attention bias and selective attention in 16 methadone-maintained patients before and 45 days after methadone therapy period. Stroop color-word test and addiction Stroop test were used as measurement methods. Results show less reaction time and higher accuracy in Color-Word Stroop Test after MMT and less delay for addict related word in addiction Stroop test. It is concluded that methadone can improve selective attention capability and reduce drug related attention bias.

  6. Selection biases in observational studies affect associations between 'moderate' alcohol consumption and mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naimi, Timothy S; Stockwell, Timothy; Zhao, Jinhui; Xuan, Ziming; Dangardt, Frida; Saitz, Rich; Liang, Wenbin; Chikritzhs, Tanya

    2017-02-01

    Selection biases may lead to systematic overestimate of protective effects from 'moderate' alcohol consumption. Overall, most sources of selection bias favor low-volume drinkers in relation to non-drinkers. Studies that attempt to address these types of bias generally find attenuated or non-significant relationships between low-volume alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease, which is the major source of possible protective effects on mortality from low-volume consumption. Furthermore, observed mortality effects among established low-volume consumers are of limited relevance to health-related decisions about whether to initiate consumption or to continue drinking purposefully into old age. Short of randomized trials with mortality end-points, there are a number of approaches that can minimize selection bias involving low-volume alcohol consumption.

  7. Limitation of inverse probability-of-censoring weights in estimating survival in the presence of strong selection bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Chanelle J; Cole, Stephen R; Chmiel, Joan S; Muñoz, Alvaro

    2011-03-01

    In time-to-event analyses, artificial censoring with correction for induced selection bias using inverse probability-of-censoring weights can be used to 1) examine the natural history of a disease after effective interventions are widely available, 2) correct bias due to noncompliance with fixed or dynamic treatment regimens, and 3) estimate survival in the presence of competing risks. Artificial censoring entails censoring participants when they meet a predefined study criterion, such as exposure to an intervention, failure to comply, or the occurrence of a competing outcome. Inverse probability-of-censoring weights use measured common predictors of the artificial censoring mechanism and the outcome of interest to determine what the survival experience of the artificially censored participants would be had they never been exposed to the intervention, complied with their treatment regimen, or not developed the competing outcome. Even if all common predictors are appropriately measured and taken into account, in the context of small sample size and strong selection bias, inverse probability-of-censoring weights could fail because of violations in assumptions necessary to correct selection bias. The authors used an example from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, 1984-2008, regarding estimation of long-term acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-free survival to demonstrate the impact of violations in necessary assumptions. Approaches to improve correction methods are discussed.

  8. Selection bias in species distribution models: An econometric approach on forest trees based on structural modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-StPaul, N. K.; Ay, J. S.; Guillemot, J.; Doyen, L.; Leadley, P.

    2014-12-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used to study and predict the outcome of global changes on species. In human dominated ecosystems the presence of a given species is the result of both its ecological suitability and human footprint on nature such as land use choices. Land use choices may thus be responsible for a selection bias in the presence/absence data used in SDM calibration. We present a structural modelling approach (i.e. based on structural equation modelling) that accounts for this selection bias. The new structural species distribution model (SSDM) estimates simultaneously land use choices and species responses to bioclimatic variables. A land use equation based on an econometric model of landowner choices was joined to an equation of species response to bioclimatic variables. SSDM allows the residuals of both equations to be dependent, taking into account the possibility of shared omitted variables and measurement errors. We provide a general description of the statistical theory and a set of applications on forest trees over France using databases of climate and forest inventory at different spatial resolution (from 2km to 8km). We also compared the outputs of the SSDM with outputs of a classical SDM (i.e. Biomod ensemble modelling) in terms of bioclimatic response curves and potential distributions under current climate and climate change scenarios. The shapes of the bioclimatic response curves and the modelled species distribution maps differed markedly between SSDM and classical SDMs, with contrasted patterns according to species and spatial resolutions. The magnitude and directions of these differences were dependent on the correlations between the errors from both equations and were highest for higher spatial resolutions. A first conclusion is that the use of classical SDMs can potentially lead to strong miss-estimation of the actual and future probability of presence modelled. Beyond this selection bias, the SSDM we propose represents

  9. Testing for biases in selection on avian reproductive traits and partitioning direct and indirect selection using quantitative genetic models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reed, Thomas E; Gienapp, Phillip; Visser, Marcel E

    2016-01-01

    Key life history traits such as breeding time and clutch size are frequently both heritable and under directional selection, yet many studies fail to document micro-evolutionary responses. One general explanation is that selection estimates are biased by the omission of correlated traits that have c

  10. Testing for biases in selection on avian reproductive traits and partitioning direct and indirect selection using quantitative genetic models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reed, Thomas E; Gienapp, Phillip; Visser, Marcel E

    2016-01-01

    ey life history traits such as breeding time and clutch size are frequently both heritable and under directional selection, yet many studies fail to document micro-evolutionary responses. One general explanation is that selection estimates are biased by the omission of correlated traits that have ca

  11. Comparing Patterns of Natural Selection across Species Using Selective Signatures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shapiro, Jesse; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-12-01

    Comparing gene expression profiles over many different conditions has led to insights that were not obvious from single experiments. In the same way, comparing patterns of natural selection across a set of ecologically distinct species may extend what can be learned from individual genome-wide surveys. Toward this end, we show how variation in protein evolutionary rates, after correcting for genome-wide effects such as mutation rate and demographic factors, can be used to estimate the level and types of natural selection acting on genes across different species. We identify unusually rapidly and slowly evolving genes, relative to empirically derived genome-wide and gene family-specific background rates for 744 core protein families in 30 c-proteobacterial species. We describe the pattern of fast or slow evolution across species as the"selective signature" of a gene. Selective signatures represent aprofile of selection across species that is predictive of gene function: pairs of genes with correlated selective signatures are more likely to share the same cellular function, and genes in the same pathway can evolve in concert. For example,glycolysis and phenylalanine metabolism genes evolve rapidly in Idiomarina loihiensis, mirroring an ecological shift in carbon source from sugars to amino acids. In a broader context, our results suggest that the genomic landscape is organized into functional modules even at the level of natural selection, and thus it may be easier than expected to understand the complex evolutionary pressures on a cell.

  12. Comparing Patterns of Natural Selection Across Species Using Selective Signatures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alm, Eric J.; Shapiro, B. Jesse; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-12-18

    Comparing gene expression profiles over many different conditions has led to insights that were not obvious from single experiments. In the same way, comparing patterns of natural selection across a set of ecologically distinct species may extend what can be learned from individual genome-wide surveys. Toward this end, we show how variation in protein evolutionary rates, after correcting for genome-wide effects such as mutation rate and demographic factors, can be used to estimate the level and types of natural selection acting on genes across different species. We identify unusually rapidly and slowly evolving genes, relative to empirically derived genome-wide and gene family-specific background rates for 744 core protein families in 30 gamma-proteobacterial species. We describe the pattern of fast or slow evolution across species as the 'selective signature' of a gene. Selective signatures represent a profile of selection across species that is predictive of gene function: pairs of genes with correlated selective signatures are more likely to share the same cellular function, and genes in the same pathway can evolve in concert. For example, glycolysis and phenylalanine metabolism genes evolve rapidly in Idiomarina loihiensis, mirroring an ecological shift in carbon source from sugars to amino acids. In a broader context, our results suggest that the genomic landscape is organized into functional modules even at the level of natural selection, and thus it may be easier than expected to understand the complex evolutionary pressures on a cell.

  13. Equivalence between Step Selection Functions and Biased Correlated Random Walks for Statistical Inference on Animal Movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchesne, Thierry; Fortin, Daniel; Rivest, Louis-Paul

    2015-01-01

    Animal movement has a fundamental impact on population and community structure and dynamics. Biased correlated random walks (BCRW) and step selection functions (SSF) are commonly used to study movements. Because no studies have contrasted the parameters and the statistical properties of their estimators for models constructed under these two Lagrangian approaches, it remains unclear whether or not they allow for similar inference. First, we used the Weak Law of Large Numbers to demonstrate that the log-likelihood function for estimating the parameters of BCRW models can be approximated by the log-likelihood of SSFs. Second, we illustrated the link between the two approaches by fitting BCRW with maximum likelihood and with SSF to simulated movement data in virtual environments and to the trajectory of bison (Bison bison L.) trails in natural landscapes. Using simulated and empirical data, we found that the parameters of a BCRW estimated directly from maximum likelihood and by fitting an SSF were remarkably similar. Movement analysis is increasingly used as a tool for understanding the influence of landscape properties on animal distribution. In the rapidly developing field of movement ecology, management and conservation biologists must decide which method they should implement to accurately assess the determinants of animal movement. We showed that BCRW and SSF can provide similar insights into the environmental features influencing animal movements. Both techniques have advantages. BCRW has already been extended to allow for multi-state modeling. Unlike BCRW, however, SSF can be estimated using most statistical packages, it can simultaneously evaluate habitat selection and movement biases, and can easily integrate a large number of movement taxes at multiple scales. SSF thus offers a simple, yet effective, statistical technique to identify movement taxis.

  14. Strong biases in infrared-selected gravitational lenses

    CERN Document Server

    Serjeant, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Bright submm-selected galaxies have been found to be a rich source of strong gravitational lenses. However, strong gravitational lensing of extended sources leads inevitably to differential magnification. In this paper I quantify the effect of differential magnification on simulated far-infrared and submm surveys of strong gravitational lenses, using a foreground population of Navarro-Frenk-White plus de Vaucouleurs' density profiles, with a model source resembling the Cosmic Eyelash and QSO J1148+5251. Some emission line diagnostics are surprisingly unaffected by differential magnification effects: for example, the bolometric fractions of [C II] 158um and CO(J=1-0), often used to infer densities and ionisation parameters, have typical differential magnification effects that are smaller than the measurement errors. However, the CO ladder itself is significantly affected. Far-infrared lensed galaxy surveys (e.g. at 60um) strongly select for high-redshift galaxies with caustics close to AGN, boosting the appare...

  15. The Return to College: Selection Bias and Dropout Risk

    OpenAIRE

    Hendricks, Lutz; Leukhina, Oksana

    2014-01-01

    We study two long-standing questions: (i) What part of the measured return to education is due to selection? (ii) The ex post return to schooling is higher than the return to most financial assets. How large are the contributions of various frictions to the "high" return to schooling? We focus in particular on the roles of college dropout risk, borrowing constraints, and learning about ability. We develop and calibrate a model of school choice. Key model features are: (i) ability heterogeneit...

  16. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlgemuth, Melville J; Moss, Cynthia F

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation-sonar vocalizations-offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors.

  17. The MOSDEF Survey: AGN Multi-wavelength Identification, Selection Biases, and Host Galaxy Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azadi, Mojegan; Coil, Alison L.; Aird, James; Reddy, Naveen; Shapley, Alice; Freeman, William R.; Kriek, Mariska; Leung, Gene C. K.; Mobasher, Bahram; Price, Sedona H.; Sanders, Ryan L.; Shivaei, Irene; Siana, Brian

    2017-01-01

    We present results from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey on the identification, selection biases, and host galaxy properties of 55 X-ray, IR, and optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at 1.4optical spectra of galaxies and AGNs and use the BPT diagram to identify optical AGNs. We examine the uniqueness and overlap of the AGNs identified at different wavelengths. There is a strong bias against identifying AGNs at any wavelength in low-mass galaxies, and an additional bias against identifying IR AGNs in the most massive galaxies. AGN hosts span a wide range of star formation rates (SFRs), similar to inactive galaxies once stellar mass selection effects are accounted for. However, we find (at ∼2–3σ significance) that IR AGNs are in less dusty galaxies with relatively higher SFR and optical AGNs in dusty galaxies with relatively lower SFR. X-ray AGN selection does not display a bias with host galaxy SFR. These results are consistent with those from larger studies at lower redshifts. Within star-forming galaxies, once selection biases are accounted for, we find AGNs in galaxies with similar physical properties as inactive galaxies, with no evidence for AGN activity in particular types of galaxies. This is consistent with AGNs being fueled stochastically in any star-forming host galaxy. We do not detect a significant correlation between SFR and AGN luminosity for individual AGN hosts, which may indicate the timescale difference between the growth of galaxies and their supermassive black holes.

  18. Darwin's explanation of design: from natural theology to natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2010-08-01

    Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and other physical scientists ushered in a conception of the universe as matter in motion governed by natural laws. Their discoveries brought about a fundamental revolution, namely a commitment to the postulate that the universe obeys immanent laws that can account for natural phenomena. The workings of the universe were brought into the realm of science: explanation through natural laws. Darwin completed the Copernican revolution by extending it to the living world. Darwin demonstrated the evolution of organisms. More important yet is that he discovered natural selection, the process that explains the "design" of organisms. The adaptations and diversity of organisms, the origin of novel and complex species, even the origin of mankind, could now be explained by an orderly process of change governed by natural laws. The origin of species and the exquisite features of organisms had previously been explained as special creations of an Omniscient God. Darwin brought them into the domain of science. Evolution is a creative process that produces genuine novelty. The creative power of evolution arises from a distinctive interaction between chance and necessity, between random mutation and natural selection.

  19. Active Learning to Overcome Sample Selection Bias: Application to Photometric Variable Star Classification

    CERN Document Server

    Richards, Joseph W; Brink, Henrik; Miller, Adam A; Bloom, Joshua S; Butler, Nathaniel R; James, J Berian; Long, James P; Rice, John

    2011-01-01

    Despite the great promise of machine-learning algorithms to classify and predict astrophysical parameters for the vast numbers of astrophysical sources and transients observed in large-scale surveys, the peculiarities of the training data often manifest as strongly biased predictions on the data of interest. Typically, training sets are derived from historical surveys of brighter, more nearby objects than those from more extensive, deeper surveys (testing data). This sample selection bias can cause catastrophic errors in predictions on the testing data because a) standard assumptions for machine-learned model selection procedures break down and b) dense regions of testing space might be completely devoid of training data. We explore possible remedies to sample selection bias, including importance weighting (IW), co-training (CT), and active learning (AL). We argue that AL---where the data whose inclusion in the training set would most improve predictions on the testing set are queried for manual follow-up---i...

  20. Exploring Selective Exposure and Confirmation Bias as Processes Underlying Employee Work Happiness: An Intervention Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Paige; Kern, Margaret L; Waters, Lea

    2016-01-01

    Employee psychological capital (PsyCap), perceptions of organizational virtue (OV), and work happiness have been shown to be associated within and over time. This study examines selective exposure and confirmation bias as potential processes underlying PsyCap, OV, and work happiness associations. As part of a quasi-experimental study design, school staff (N = 69) completed surveys at three time points. After the first assessment, some staff (n = 51) completed a positive psychology training intervention. Results of descriptive statistics, correlation, and regression analyses on the intervention group provide some support for selective exposure and confirmation bias as explanatory mechanisms. In focusing on the processes through which employee attitudes may influence work happiness this study advances theoretical understanding, specifically of selective exposure and confirmation bias in a field study context.

  1. Missing concepts in natural selection theory reconstructions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginnobili, Santiago

    2016-09-01

    The concept of fitness has generated a lot of discussion in philosophy of biology. There is, however, relative agreement about the need to distinguish at least two uses of the term: ecological fitness on the one hand, and population genetics fitness on the other. The goal of this paper is to give an explication of the concept of ecological fitness by providing a reconstruction of the theory of natural selection in which this concept was framed, that is, based on the way the theory was put to use in Darwin's main texts. I will contend that this reconstruction enables us to account for the current use of the theory of natural selection. The framework presupposed in the analysis will be that of metatheoretical structuralism. This framework will provide both a better understanding of the nature of ecological fitness and a more complete reconstruction of the theory. In particular, it will provide what I think is a better way of understanding how the concept of fitness is applied through heterogeneous cases. One of the major advantages of my way of thinking about natural selection theory is that it would not have the peculiar metatheoretical status that it has in other available views. I will argue that in order to achieve these goals it is necessary to make several concepts explicit, concepts that are frequently omitted in usual reconstructions.

  2. Observational selection biases in time-delay strong lensing and their impact on cosmography

    CERN Document Server

    Collett, Thomas E

    2016-01-01

    Inferring cosmological parameters from time-delay strong lenses requires a significant investment of telescope time; it is therefore tempting to focus on the systems with the brightest sources, the highest image multiplicities and the widest image separations. We investigate if this selection bias can influence the properties of the lenses studied and the cosmological parameters that are inferred. Using a population of lenses with ellipsoidal powerlaw density profiles, we build a sample of double and quadruple image systems. Assuming reasonable thresholds on image separation and flux, based on current lens monitoring campaigns, we find that the typical density profile slopes of monitorable lenses are significantly shallower than the input ensemble. From a sample of quadruple image lenses we find that this selection function can introduce a 3.5% bias on the inferred time-delay distances if the ensemble of deflector properties is used as a prior for a cosmographical analysis. This bias remains at the 2.4% level...

  3. Are Secondary School Students Still Hampered by the Natural Number Bias? A Reaction Time Study on Fraction Comparison Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hoof, Jo; Lijnen, Tristan; Verschaffel, Lieven; Van Dooren, Wim

    2013-01-01

    Rational numbers and particularly fractions are difficult for students. It is often claimed that the "natural number bias" underlies erroneous reasoning about rational numbers. This cross-sectional study investigated the natural number bias in first and fifth year secondary school students. Relying on dual process theory assumptions that…

  4. The nature of selection during plant domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purugganan, Michael D; Fuller, Dorian Q

    2009-02-12

    Plant domestication is an outstanding example of plant-animal co-evolution and is a far richer model for studying evolution than is generally appreciated. There have been numerous studies to identify genes associated with domestication, and archaeological work has provided a clear understanding of the dynamics of human cultivation practices during the Neolithic period. Together, these have provided a better understanding of the selective pressures that accompany crop domestication, and they demonstrate that a synthesis from the twin vantage points of genetics and archaeology can expand our understanding of the nature of evolutionary selection that accompanies domestication.

  5. Quantifying the biases in metagenome mining for realistic assessment of microbial ecology of naturally fermented foods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisam, Santosh; Romi, Wahengbam; Ahmed, Giasuddin; Jeyaram, Kumaraswamy

    2016-01-01

    Cultivation-independent investigation of microbial ecology is biased by the DNA extraction methods used. We aimed to quantify those biases by comparative analysis of the metagenome mined from four diverse naturally fermented foods (bamboo shoot, milk, fish, soybean) using eight different DNA extraction methods with different cell lysis principles. Our findings revealed that the enzymatic lysis yielded higher eubacterial and yeast metagenomic DNA from the food matrices compared to the widely used chemical and mechanical lysis principles. Further analysis of the bacterial community structure by Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing revealed a high recovery of lactic acid bacteria by the enzymatic lysis in all food types. However, Bacillaceae, Acetobacteraceae, Clostridiaceae and Proteobacteria were more abundantly recovered when mechanical and chemical lysis principles were applied. The biases generated due to the differential recovery of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) by different DNA extraction methods including DNA and PCR amplicons mix from different methods have been quantitatively demonstrated here. The different methods shared only 29.9–52.0% of the total OTUs recovered. Although similar comparative research has been performed on other ecological niches, this is the first in-depth investigation of quantifying the biases in metagenome mining from naturally fermented foods. PMID:27669673

  6. Potential sources of analytical bias and error in selected trace element data-quality analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Angela P.; Garbarino, John R.; Olsen, Lisa D.; Rosen, Michael R.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Struzeski, Tedmund M.

    2016-09-28

    Potential sources of analytical bias and error associated with laboratory analyses for selected trace elements where concentrations were greater in filtered samples than in paired unfiltered samples were evaluated by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Quality Specialists in collaboration with the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) and the Branch of Quality Systems (BQS).Causes for trace-element concentrations in filtered samples to exceed those in associated unfiltered samples have been attributed to variability in analytical measurements, analytical bias, sample contamination either in the field or laboratory, and (or) sample-matrix chemistry. These issues have not only been attributed to data generated by the USGS NWQL but have been observed in data generated by other laboratories. This study continues the evaluation of potential analytical bias and error resulting from matrix chemistry and instrument variability by evaluating the performance of seven selected trace elements in paired filtered and unfiltered surface-water and groundwater samples collected from 23 sampling sites of varying chemistries from six States, matrix spike recoveries, and standard reference materials.Filtered and unfiltered samples have been routinely analyzed on separate inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry instruments. Unfiltered samples are treated with hydrochloric acid (HCl) during an in-bottle digestion procedure; filtered samples are not routinely treated with HCl as part of the laboratory analytical procedure. To evaluate the influence of HCl on different sample matrices, an aliquot of the filtered samples was treated with HCl. The addition of HCl did little to differentiate the analytical results between filtered samples treated with HCl from those samples left untreated; however, there was a small, but noticeable, decrease in the number of instances where a particular trace-element concentration was greater in a filtered sample than in the associated

  7. Educational Research with Real-World Data: Reducing Selection Bias with Propensity Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adelson, Jill L.

    2013-01-01

    Often it is infeasible or unethical to use random assignment in educational settings to study important constructs and questions. Hence, educational research often uses observational data, such as large-scale secondary data sets and state and school district data, and quasi-experimental designs. One method of reducing selection bias in estimations…

  8. The MOSDEF survey: AGN multi-wavelength identification, selection biases and host galaxy properties

    CERN Document Server

    Azadi, Mojegan; Aird, James; Reddy, Naveen; Shapley, Alice; Freeman, William R; Kriek, Mariska; Leung, Gene C K; Mobasher, Bahram; Price, Sedona H; Sanders, Ryan L; Shivaei, Irene; Siana, Brian

    2016-01-01

    We present results from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey on the identification, selection biases and host galaxy properties of 55 X-ray, IR and optically-selected active galactic nuclei (AGN) at $1.4 < z < 3.8$. We obtain rest-frame optical spectra of galaxies and AGN and use the BPT diagram to identify optical AGN. We examine the uniqueness and overlap of the AGN identified at different wavelengths. There is a strong bias against identifying AGN at any wavelength in low mass galaxies, and an additional bias against identifying IR AGN in the most massive galaxies. AGN host galaxies span a wide range of star formation rate (SFR), similar to inactive galaxies once stellar mass selection effects are accounted for. However, we generally identify IR AGN in less dusty galaxies with relatively higher SFR and optical AGN in dusty galaxies with relatively lower SFR. X-ray AGN selection does not display a bias with host galaxy SFR. These results are consistent with those from larger studies at low...

  9. Associations among Selective Attention, Memory Bias, Cognitive Errors and Symptoms of Anxiety in Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Sarah E.; Weems, Carl F.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the linkages among selective attention, memory bias, cognitive errors, and anxiety problems by testing a model of the interrelations among these cognitive variables and childhood anxiety disorder symptoms. A community sample of 81 youth (38 females and 43 males) aged 9-17 years and their parents completed…

  10. Co-evolution of black holes and galaxies: the role of selection biases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portinari, Laura

    2016-10-01

    Quasars are tracers of the cosmological evolution of the Black Hole mass- host galaxy relation, and indicate that the formation of BHanticipated that of the host galaxies. We find that selection effects andstatistical biases dominate the interpretation of the observational results;and co-evolution (= constant BH/galaxy mass ratio) is still compatiblewith observations.

  11. Natural selection drives Drosophila immune system evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlenke, Todd A; Begun, David J

    2003-08-01

    Evidence from disparate sources suggests that natural selection may often play a role in the evolution of host immune system proteins. However, there have been few attempts to make general population genetic inferences on the basis of analysis of several immune-system-related genes from a single species. Here we present DNA polymorphism and divergence data from 34 genes thought to function in the innate immune system of Drosophila simulans and compare these data to those from 28 nonimmunity genes sequenced from the same lines. Several statistics, including average K(A)/K(S) ratio, average silent heterozygosity, and average haplotype diversity, significantly differ between the immunity and nonimmunity genes, suggesting an important role for directional selection in immune system protein evolution. In contrast to data from mammalian immunoglobulins and other proteins, we find no strong evidence for the selective maintenance of protein diversity in Drosophila immune system proteins. This may be a consequence of Drosophila's generalized innate immune response.

  12. Multigenerational response to artificial selection for biased clutch sex ratios in Tigriopus californicus populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, H J; Richardson, J M L; Anholt, B R

    2014-09-01

    Polygenic sex determination (PSD) is relatively rare and theoretically evolutionary unstable, yet has been reported across a range of taxa. Evidence for multilocus PSD is provided by (i) large between-family variance in sex ratio, (ii) paternal and maternal effects on family sex ratio and (iii) response to selection for family sex ratio. This study tests the polygenic hypothesis of sex determination in the harpacticoid copepod Tigriopus californicus using the criterion of response to selection. We report the first multigenerational quantitative evidence that clutch sex ratio responds to artificial selection in both directions (selection for male- and female-biased families) and in multiple populations of T. californicus. In the five of six lines that showed a response to selection, realized heritability estimated by multigenerational analysis ranged from 0.24 to 0.58. Divergence of clutch sex ratio between selection lines is rapid, with response to selection detectable within the first four generations of selection.

  13. Born at the wrong time: selection bias in the NHL draft.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert O Deaner

    Full Text Available Relative age effects (RAEs occur when those who are relatively older for their age group are more likely to succeed. RAEs occur reliably in some educational and athletic contexts, yet the causal mechanisms remain unclear. Here we provide the first direct test of one mechanism, selection bias, which can be defined as evaluators granting fewer opportunities to relatively younger individuals than is warranted by their latent ability. Because RAEs are well-established in hockey, we analyzed National Hockey League (NHL drafts from 1980 to 2006. Compared to those born in the first quarter (i.e., January-March, those born in the third and fourth quarters were drafted more than 40 slots later than their productivity warranted, and they were roughly twice as likely to reach career benchmarks, such as 400 games played or 200 points scored. This selection bias in drafting did not decrease over time, apparently continues to occur, and reduces the playing opportunities of relatively younger players. This bias is remarkable because it is exhibited by professional decision makers evaluating adults in a context where RAEs have been widely publicized. Thus, selection bias based on relative age may be pervasive.

  14. Appropriate microwave frequency selection for biasing superconducting hot electron bolometers as terahertz direct detectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, S. L.; Li, X. F.; Jia, X. Q.; Kang, L.; Jin, B. B.; Xu, W. W.; Chen, J.; Wu, P. H.

    2017-04-01

    Terahertz (THz) direct detectors based on superconducting niobium nitride (NbN) hot electron bolometers (HEBs) and biased by a simple microwave (MW) source have been studied. The frequency and power of the MW are selected by measuring the MW responses of the current–voltage (I–V) curves and resistance–temperature (R–T) curves of the NbN HEBs. The non-uniform absorption theory is used to explain the current jumps in the I–V curves and the resistance jumps in the R–T curves. Compared to the thermal biasing, the MW biasing method can improve the sensitivity, make the readout system much easier and consumes less liquid helium, which is important for long lasting experiments. The noise equivalent power (NEP) of 1.6 pW Hz‑1/2 and the response time of 86 ps are obtained for the detectors working at 4.2 K and 0.65 THz.

  15. Selection bias in evaluating of influenza vaccine effectiveness: a lesson from an observational study of elderly nursing home residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukushima, Wakaba; Hayashi, Yoshimitsu; Mizuno, Yaichi; Suzuki, Kanzo; Kase, Tetsuo; Ohfuji, Satoko; Fujieda, Megumi; Maeda, Akiko; Hirota, Yoshio

    2008-11-25

    Selection bias is of critical concern in the study of influenza vaccine effectiveness when using an observational study design. This bias is attributable to the inherently different characteristics between vaccinees and non-vaccinees. The differences, which are related both to vaccination and signs of clinical disease as an outcome, may lead to erroneous estimation of the effectiveness. In this report, we describe how selection bias among elderly nursing home residents may lead to a spurious interpretation of the protective effect of influenza vaccine. Our results should be a lesson in the importance of regarding selection bias when assessing influenza vaccine effectiveness.

  16. Quantifying selective reporting and the Proteus phenomenon for multiple datasets with similar bias.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Pfeiffer

    Full Text Available Meta-analyses play an important role in synthesizing evidence from diverse studies and datasets that address similar questions. A major obstacle for meta-analyses arises from biases in reporting. In particular, it is speculated that findings which do not achieve formal statistical significance are less likely reported than statistically significant findings. Moreover, the patterns of bias can be complex and may also depend on the timing of the research results and their relationship with previously published work. In this paper, we present an approach that is specifically designed to analyze large-scale datasets on published results. Such datasets are currently emerging in diverse research fields, particularly in molecular medicine. We use our approach to investigate a dataset on Alzheimer's disease (AD that covers 1167 results from case-control studies on 102 genetic markers. We observe that initial studies on a genetic marker tend to be substantially more biased than subsequent replications. The chances for initial, statistically non-significant results to be published are estimated to be about 44% (95% CI, 32% to 63% relative to statistically significant results, while statistically non-significant replications have almost the same chance to be published as statistically significant replications (84%; 95% CI, 66% to 107%. Early replications tend to be biased against initial findings, an observation previously termed Proteus phenomenon: The chances for non-significant studies going in the same direction as the initial result are estimated to be lower than the chances for non-significant studies opposing the initial result (73%; 95% CI, 55% to 96%. Such dynamic patterns in bias are difficult to capture by conventional methods, where typically simple publication bias is assumed to operate. Our approach captures and corrects for complex dynamic patterns of bias, and thereby helps generating conclusions from published results that are more robust

  17. The Natural Selection of Bad Science

    CERN Document Server

    Smaldino, Paul E

    2016-01-01

    Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings. Such poor methods persist despite perennial calls for improvement, suggesting that they result from something more than just misunderstanding. The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favor them, leading to the natural selection of bad science. This dynamic requires no conscious strategizing---no deliberate cheating nor loafing---by scientists, only that publication is a principle factor for career advancement. Some normative methods of analysis have almost certainly been selected to further publication instead of discovery. In order to improve the culture of science, a shift must be made away from correcting misunderstandings and towards rewarding understanding. We support this argument with empirical evidence and computational modeling. We first present a 60-year meta-analysis of statistical power in the behavioral sciences and show that power has not improved despite repeated demonstrations of the necessity...

  18. Bias due to selective genotyping in genomic prediction using H-BLUP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Lei; Madsen, Per; Sapp, Robyn

    frequencies are usually not available. However, such VC doesn’t take ongoing selection based on genomic information into account. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of selective genotyping and of different strategies to compute G on the accuracy and potential bias in VC estimates by using H......H-BLUP uses a variance-covariance structure based on a combined relationship matrix (H), which augments a pedigree-based relationship matrix (A) with a genomic relationship matrix (G) for genotyped individuals. In practice, often only preselected individuals are genotyped and this selective...

  19. Quantifying the impact of selection bias caused by nonparticipation in a case-control study of mobile phone use

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vrijheid, Martine; Richardson, Lesley; Armstrong, Bruce K;

    2009-01-01

    To quantitatively assess the impact of selection bias caused by nonparticipation in a multinational case-control study of mobile phone use and brain tumor.......To quantitatively assess the impact of selection bias caused by nonparticipation in a multinational case-control study of mobile phone use and brain tumor....

  20. Reducing selection bias in case-control studies from rare disease registries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mistry Pramod K

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In clinical research of rare diseases, where small patient numbers and disease heterogeneity limit study design options, registries are a valuable resource for demographic and outcome information. However, in contrast to prospective, randomized clinical trials, the observational design of registries is prone to introduce selection bias and negatively impact the validity of data analyses. The objective of the study was to demonstrate the utility of case-control matching and the risk-set method in order to control bias in data from a rare disease registry. Data from the International Collaborative Gaucher Group (ICGG Gaucher Registry were used as an example. Methods A case-control matching analysis using the risk-set method was conducted to identify two groups of patients with type 1 Gaucher disease in the ICGG Gaucher Registry: patients with avascular osteonecrosis (AVN and those without AVN. The frequency distributions of gender, decade of birth, treatment status, and splenectomy status were presented for cases and controls before and after matching. Odds ratios (and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for each variable before and after matching. Results The application of case-control matching methodology results in cohorts of cases (i.e., patients with AVN and controls (i.e., patients without AVN who have comparable distributions for four common parameters used in subject selection: gender, year of birth (age, treatment status, and splenectomy status. Matching resulted in odds ratios of approximately 1.00, indicating no bias. Conclusions We demonstrated bias in case-control selection in subjects from a prototype rare disease registry and used case-control matching to minimize this bias. Therefore, this approach appears useful to study cohorts of heterogeneous patients in rare disease registries.

  1. Natural selection and the maximization of fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birch, Jonathan

    2016-08-01

    The notion that natural selection is a process of fitness maximization gets a bad press in population genetics, yet in other areas of biology the view that organisms behave as if attempting to maximize their fitness remains widespread. Here I critically appraise the prospects for reconciliation. I first distinguish four varieties of fitness maximization. I then examine two recent developments that may appear to vindicate at least one of these varieties. The first is the 'new' interpretation of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection, on which the theorem is exactly true for any evolving population that satisfies some minimal assumptions. The second is the Formal Darwinism project, which forges links between gene frequency change and optimal strategy choice. In both cases, I argue that the results fail to establish a biologically significant maximization principle. I conclude that it may be a mistake to look for universal maximization principles justified by theory alone. A more promising approach may be to find maximization principles that apply conditionally and to show that the conditions were satisfied in the evolution of particular traits.

  2. Photo-z Estimation: An Example of Nonparametric Conditional Density Estimation under Selection Bias

    CERN Document Server

    Izbicki, Rafael; Freeman, Peter E

    2016-01-01

    Redshift is a key quantity for inferring cosmological model parameters. In photometric redshift estimation, cosmologists use the coarse data collected from the vast majority of galaxies to predict the redshift of individual galaxies. To properly quantify the uncertainty in the predictions, however, one needs to go beyond standard regression and instead estimate the full conditional density f(z|x) of a galaxy's redshift z given its photometric covariates x. The problem is further complicated by selection bias: usually only the rarest and brightest galaxies have known redshifts, and these galaxies have characteristics and measured covariates that do not necessarily match those of more numerous and dimmer galaxies of unknown redshift. Unfortunately, there is not much research on how to best estimate complex multivariate densities in such settings. Here we describe a general framework for properly constructing and assessing nonparametric conditional density estimators under selection bias, and for combining two o...

  3. The natural selection of bad science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smaldino, Paul E; McElreath, Richard

    2016-09-01

    Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings. Such poor methods persist despite perennial calls for improvement, suggesting that they result from something more than just misunderstanding. The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favour them, leading to the natural selection of bad science. This dynamic requires no conscious strategizing-no deliberate cheating nor loafing-by scientists, only that publication is a principal factor for career advancement. Some normative methods of analysis have almost certainly been selected to further publication instead of discovery. In order to improve the culture of science, a shift must be made away from correcting misunderstandings and towards rewarding understanding. We support this argument with empirical evidence and computational modelling. We first present a 60-year meta-analysis of statistical power in the behavioural sciences and show that power has not improved despite repeated demonstrations of the necessity of increasing power. To demonstrate the logical consequences of structural incentives, we then present a dynamic model of scientific communities in which competing laboratories investigate novel or previously published hypotheses using culturally transmitted research methods. As in the real world, successful labs produce more 'progeny,' such that their methods are more often copied and their students are more likely to start labs of their own. Selection for high output leads to poorer methods and increasingly high false discovery rates. We additionally show that replication slows but does not stop the process of methodological deterioration. Improving the quality of research requires change at the institutional level.

  4. Observational selection biases in time-delay strong lensing and their impact on cosmography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collett, Thomas E.; Cunnington, Steven D.

    2016-11-01

    Inferring cosmological parameters from time-delay strong lenses requires a significant investment of telescope time; it is therefore tempting to focus on the systems with the brightest sources, the highest image multiplicities and the widest image separations. We investigate if this selection bias can influence the properties of the lenses studied and the cosmological parameters inferred. Using an ellipsoidal power-law deflector population, we build a sample of double- and quadruple-image systems. Assuming reasonable thresholds on image separation and flux, based on current lens monitoring campaigns, we find that the typical density profile slopes of monitorable lenses are significantly shallower than the input ensemble. From a sample of quads, we find that this selection function can introduce a 3.5 per cent bias on the inferred time-delay distances if the properties of the input ensemble are (incorrectly) used as priors on the lens model. This bias remains at the 2.4 per cent level when high-resolution imaging of the quasar host is used to precisely infer the properties of individual lenses. We also investigate if the lines of sight for monitorable strong lenses are biased. The expectation value for the line-of-sight convergence is increased by 0.009 (0.004) for quads (doubles) implying a 0.9 per cent (0.4 per cent) bias on H0. We therefore conclude that whilst the properties of typical quasar lenses and their lines of sight do deviate from the global population, the total magnitude of this effect is likely to be a subdominant effect for current analyses, but has the potential to be a major systematic for samples of ˜25 or more lenses.

  5. Entropy-based gene ranking without selection bias for the predictive classification of microarray data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serafini Maria

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We describe the E-RFE method for gene ranking, which is useful for the identification of markers in the predictive classification of array data. The method supports a practical modeling scheme designed to avoid the construction of classification rules based on the selection of too small gene subsets (an effect known as the selection bias, in which the estimated predictive errors are too optimistic due to testing on samples already considered in the feature selection process. Results With E-RFE, we speed up the recursive feature elimination (RFE with SVM classifiers by eliminating chunks of uninteresting genes using an entropy measure of the SVM weights distribution. An optimal subset of genes is selected according to a two-strata model evaluation procedure: modeling is replicated by an external stratified-partition resampling scheme, and, within each run, an internal K-fold cross-validation is used for E-RFE ranking. Also, the optimal number of genes can be estimated according to the saturation of Zipf's law profiles. Conclusions Without a decrease of classification accuracy, E-RFE allows a speed-up factor of 100 with respect to standard RFE, while improving on alternative parametric RFE reduction strategies. Thus, a process for gene selection and error estimation is made practical, ensuring control of the selection bias, and providing additional diagnostic indicators of gene importance.

  6. On the nature and correction of the spurious S-wise spiral galaxy winding bias in Galaxy Zoo 1

    CERN Document Server

    Hayes, Wayne; Silva, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    The Galaxy Zoo 1 catalog displays a bias towards the S-wise winding direction in spiral galaxies which has yet to be explained. The lack of an explanation confounds our attempts to verify the Cosmological Principle, and has spurred some debate as to whether a bias exists in the real universe. The bias manifests not only in the obvious case of trying to decide if the universe as a whole has a winding bias, but also in the more insidious case of selecting which galaxies to include in a winding direction survey. While the former bias has been accounted for in a previous image-mirroring study, the latter has not. Furthermore, the bias has never been {\\em corrected} in the GZ1 catalog, as only a small sample of the GZ1 catalog was re-examined during the mirror study. We show that the existing bias is a human {\\em selection} effect rather than a human chirality bias. In effect, the excess S-wise votes are spuriously "stolen" from the elliptical and edge-on-disk categories, not the Z-wise category. Thus, when select...

  7. Pervasive natural selection in the Drosophila genome?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guy Sella

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Over the past four decades, the predominant view of molecular evolution saw little connection between natural selection and genome evolution, assuming that the functionally constrained fraction of the genome is relatively small and that adaptation is sufficiently infrequent to play little role in shaping patterns of variation within and even between species. Recent evidence from Drosophila, reviewed here, suggests that this view may be invalid. Analyses of genetic variation within and between species reveal that much of the Drosophila genome is under purifying selection, and thus of functional importance, and that a large fraction of coding and noncoding differences between species are adaptive. The findings further indicate that, in Drosophila, adaptations may be both common and strong enough that the fate of neutral mutations depends on their chance linkage to adaptive mutations as much as on the vagaries of genetic drift. The emerging evidence has implications for a wide variety of fields, from conservation genetics to bioinformatics, and presents challenges to modelers and experimentalists alike.

  8. Who can escape the natural number bias in rational number tasks? A study involving students and experts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obersteiner, Andreas; Hoof, Jo Van; Verschaffel, Lieven; Dooren, Wim Van

    2016-08-01

    Many learners have difficulties with rational number tasks because they persistently rely on their natural number knowledge, which is not always applicable. Studies show that such a natural number bias can mislead not only children but also educated adults. It is still unclear whether and under what conditions mathematical expertise enables people to be completely unaffected by such a bias on tasks in which people with less expertise are clearly biased. We compared the performance of eighth-grade students and expert mathematicians on the same set of algebraic expression problems that addressed the effect of arithmetic operations (multiplication and division). Using accuracy and response time measures, we found clear evidence for a natural number bias in students but no traces of a bias in experts. The data suggested that whereas students based their answers on their intuitions about natural numbers, expert mathematicians relied on their skilled intuitions about algebraic expressions. We conclude that it is possible for experts to be unaffected by the natural number bias on rational number tasks when they use strategies that do not involve natural numbers.

  9. A selection model for accounting for publication bias in a full network meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mavridis, Dimitris; Welton, Nicky J; Sutton, Alex; Salanti, Georgia

    2014-12-30

    Copas and Shi suggested a selection model to explore the potential impact of publication bias via sensitivity analysis based on assumptions for the probability of publication of trials conditional on the precision of their results. Chootrakool et al. extended this model to three-arm trials but did not fully account for the implications of the consistency assumption, and their model is difficult to generalize for complex network structures with more than three treatments. Fitting these selection models within a frequentist setting requires maximization of a complex likelihood function, and identification problems are common. We have previously presented a Bayesian implementation of the selection model when multiple treatments are compared with a common reference treatment. We now present a general model suitable for complex, full network meta-analysis that accounts for consistency when adjusting results for publication bias. We developed a design-by-treatment selection model to describe the mechanism by which studies with different designs (sets of treatments compared in a trial) and precision may be selected for publication. We fit the model in a Bayesian setting because it avoids the numerical problems encountered in the frequentist setting, it is generalizable with respect to the number of treatments and study arms, and it provides a flexible framework for sensitivity analysis using external knowledge. Our model accounts for the additional uncertainty arising from publication bias more successfully compared to the standard Copas model or its previous extensions. We illustrate the methodology using a published triangular network for the failure of vascular graft or arterial patency.

  10. Bias in the Listeria monocytogenes enrichment procedure: Lineage 2 strains outcompete lineage 1 strains in University of Vermont selective enrichments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruhn, Jesper Bartholin; Vogel, Birte Fonnesbech; Gram, Lone

    2005-01-01

    tested, indicating a bias in strains selected by the enrichment procedures. Bias also occurred when coinoculating two lineage 2 or lineage 1 strains; however, it did not appear to correlate with origin (clinical versus food). Identical coinoculation experiments in BHI suggested that the selective...... compounds in UVM I and II influenced this bias. The results of the present study demonstrate that the selective procedures used for isolation of L. monocytogenes may not allow a true representation of the types present in foods. Our results could have a significant impact on epidemiological studies...

  11. Impact of marker ascertainment bias on genomic selection accuracy and estimates of genetic diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Heslot

    Full Text Available Genome-wide molecular markers are often being used to evaluate genetic diversity in germplasm collections and for making genomic selections in breeding programs. To accurately predict phenotypes and assay genetic diversity, molecular markers should assay a representative sample of the polymorphisms in the population under study. Ascertainment bias arises when marker data is not obtained from a random sample of the polymorphisms in the population of interest. Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS is rapidly emerging as a low-cost genotyping platform, even for the large, complex, and polyploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L. genome. With GBS, marker discovery and genotyping occur simultaneously, resulting in minimal ascertainment bias. The previous platform of choice for whole-genome genotyping in many species such as wheat was DArT (Diversity Array Technology and has formed the basis of most of our knowledge about cereals genetic diversity. This study compared GBS and DArT marker platforms for measuring genetic diversity and genomic selection (GS accuracy in elite U.S. soft winter wheat. From a set of 365 breeding lines, 38,412 single nucleotide polymorphism GBS markers were discovered and genotyped. The GBS SNPs gave a higher GS accuracy than 1,544 DArT markers on the same lines, despite 43.9% missing data. Using a bootstrap approach, we observed significantly more clustering of markers and ascertainment bias with DArT relative to GBS. The minor allele frequency distribution of GBS markers had a deficit of rare variants compared to DArT markers. Despite the ascertainment bias of the DArT markers, GS accuracy for three traits out of four was not significantly different when an equal number of markers were used for each platform. This suggests that the gain in accuracy observed using GBS compared to DArT markers was mainly due to a large increase in the number of markers available for the analysis.

  12. Using Card Games to Simulate the Process of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilliot, Matthew E.; Harden, Siegfried

    2014-01-01

    In 1858, Darwin published "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection." His explanation of evolution by natural selection has become the unifying theme of biology. We have found that many students do not fully comprehend the process of evolution by natural selection. We discuss a few simple games that incorporate hands-on…

  13. Orientation Bias of Optically Selected Galaxy Clusters and Its Impact on Stacked Weak Lensing Analyses

    CERN Document Server

    Dietrich, Jörg P; Song, Jeeseon; McKay, Christopher P Davis Timothy A; Baruah, Leon; Becker, Matthew; Benoist, Christophe; Busha, Michael; da Costa, Luiz A N; Hao, Jiangang; Maia, Marcio A G; Miller, Christopher J; Ogando, Ricardo; Romer, A Kathy; Rozo, Eduardo; Rykoff, Eli; Wechsler, Risa

    2014-01-01

    Weak-lensing measurements of the averaged shear profiles of galaxy clusters binned by some proxy for cluster mass are commonly converted to cluster mass estimates under the assumption that these cluster stacks have spherical symmetry. In this paper we test whether this assumption holds for optically selected clusters binned by estimated optical richness. Using mock catalogues created from N-body simulations populated realistically with galaxies, we ran a suite of optical cluster finders and estimated their optical richness. We binned galaxy clusters by true cluster mass and estimated optical richness and measure the ellipticity of these stacks. We find that the processes of optical cluster selection and richness estimation are biased, leading to stacked structures that are elongated along the line-of-sight. We show that weak-lensing alone cannot measure the size of this orientation bias. Weak lensing masses of stacked optically selected clusters are overestimated by up to 3-6 per cent when clusters can be uni...

  14. Correcting Type Ia Supernova Distances for Selection Biases and Contamination in Photometrically Identified Samples

    CERN Document Server

    Kessler, Richard

    2016-01-01

    We present a new technique to create a bin-averaged Hubble Diagram (HD) from photometrically identified SN~Ia data. The resulting HD is corrected for selection biases and contamination from core collapse (CC) SNe, and can be used to infer cosmological parameters. This method, called "Bias Corrected Distances" (BCD), includes two fitting stages. The first BCD fitting stage combines a Bayesian likelihood with a Monte Carlo simulation to bias-correct the fitted SALT-II parameters, and also incorporates CC probabilities determined from a machine learning technique. The BCD fit determines 1) a bin-averaged HD (average distance vs. redshift), and 2) the nuisance parameters alpha and beta, which multiply the stretch and color (respectively) to standardize the SN brightness. In the second stage, the bin-averaged HD is fit to a cosmological model where priors can be imposed. We perform high precision tests of the BCD method by simulating large (150,000 event) data samples corresponding to the Dark Energy Survey Supern...

  15. Real-time Analysis and Selection Biases in the Supernova Legacy Survey

    CERN Document Server

    Perrett, K; Sullivan, M; Pritchet, C; Conley, A; Carlberg, R; Astier, P; Balland, C; Basa, S; Fouchez, D; Guy, J; Hardin, D; Hook, I M; Howell, D A; Pain, R; Regnault, N

    2010-01-01

    The Supernova Legacy Survey (SNLS) has produced a high-quality, homogeneous sample of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) out to redshifts greater than z=1. In its first four years of full operation (to June 2007), the SNLS discovered more than 3000 transient candidates, 373 of which have been confirmed spectroscopically as SNe Ia. Use of these SNe Ia in precision cosmology critically depends on an analysis of the observational biases incurred in the SNLS survey due to the incomplete sampling of the underlying SN Ia population. This paper describes our real-time supernova detection and analysis procedures, and uses detailed Monte Carlo simulations to examine the effects of Malmquist bias and spectroscopic sampling. Such sampling effects are found to become apparent at z~0.6, with a significant shift in the average magnitude of the spectroscopically confirmed SN Ia sample towards brighter values for z>0.75. We describe our approach to correct for these selection biases in our three-year SNLS cosmological analysis (SNL...

  16. THEORETICAL ANALYSIS AND PRACTICE ON THE SELECTION OF KEY PARAMETERS FOR HORIZONTAL BIAS BURNER

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘泰生; 许晋源

    2003-01-01

    The air flow ratio and the pulverized-coal mass flux ratio between the rich and lean sides are the key parameters of horizontal bias burner. In order to realize high combustion efficiency, excellent stability of ignition, low NOx emission and safe operation, six principal demands are presented on the selection of key parameters. An analytical model is established on the basis of the demands, the fundamentals of combustion and the operation results. An improved horizontal bias burner is also presented and applied. The experiment and numerical simulation results show the improved horizontal bias burner can realize proper key parameters, lower NOx emission, high combustion efficiency and excellent performance of part load operation without oil support. It also can reduce the circumfluence and low velocity zone existing at the downstream sections of vanes, and avoid the burnout of the lean primary-air nozzle and the jam in the lean primary-air channel. The operation and test results verify the reasonableness and feasibility of the analytical model.

  17. Correcting Type Ia Supernova Distances for Selection Biases and Contamination in Photometrically Identified Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, R.; Scolnic, D.

    2017-02-01

    We present a new technique to create a bin-averaged Hubble diagram (HD) from photometrically identified SN Ia data. The resulting HD is corrected for selection biases and contamination from core-collapse (CC) SNe, and can be used to infer cosmological parameters. This method, called “BEAMS with Bias Corrections” (BBC), includes two fitting stages. The first BBC fitting stage uses a posterior distribution that includes multiple SN likelihoods, a Monte Carlo simulation to bias-correct the fitted SALT-II parameters, and CC probabilities determined from a machine-learning technique. The BBC fit determines (1) a bin-averaged HD (average distance versus redshift), and (2) the nuisance parameters α and β, which multiply the stretch and color (respectively) to standardize the SN brightness. In the second stage, the bin-averaged HD is fit to a cosmological model where priors can be imposed. We perform high-precision tests of the BBC method by simulating large (150,000 event) data samples corresponding to the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Program. Our tests include three models of intrinsic scatter, each with two different CC rates. In the BBC fit, the SALT-II nuisance parameters α and β are recovered to within 1% of their true values. In the cosmology fit, we determine the dark energy equation of state parameter w using a fixed value of {{{Ω }}}{{M}} as a prior: averaging over all six tests based on 6 × 150,000 = 900,000 SNe, there is a small w-bias of 0.006+/- 0.002. Finally, the BBC fitting code is publicly available in the SNANA package.

  18. Objects in Kepler's Mirror May be Larger Than They Appear: Bias and Selection Effects in Transiting Planet Surveys

    CERN Document Server

    Gaidos, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Statistical analyses of large surveys for transiting planets such as the Kepler mission must account for systematic errors and biases. Transit detection depends not only on the planet's radius and orbital period, but also on host star properties. Thus, a sample of stars with transiting planets may not accurately represent the target population. Moreover, targets are selected using criteria such as a limiting apparent magnitude. These selection effects, combined with uncertainties in stellar radius, lead to biases in the properties of transiting planets and their host stars. We quantify possible biases in the Kepler survey. First, Eddington bias produced by a steep planet radius distribution and uncertainties in stellar radius results in a 15-20% overestimate of planet occurrence. Second, the magnitude limit of the Kepler target catalog induces Malmquist bias towards large, more luminous stars and underestimation of the radii of about one third of candidate planets, especially those larger than Neptune. Third,...

  19. Microcredit and domestic violence in Bangladesh: an exploration of selection bias influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajracharya, Ashish; Amin, Sajeda

    2013-10-01

    This article explores the relationship between women's participation in microcredit groups and domestic violence in Bangladesh. Several recent studies have raised concern about microcredit programs by reporting higher levels of violence among women who are members. These results, however, may be attributable to selection bias because members might differ from nonmembers in ways that make them more susceptible to violence to begin with. Using a sample of currently married women from the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS) (N = 4,195), we use propensity score matching (PSM) as a way of exploring selection bias in this relationship. Results suggest that the previously seen strong positive association between membership and violence does not hold when an appropriate comparison group, generated using PSM, is used in the analyses. Additional analyses also suggest that levels of violence do not differ significantly between members and nonmembers and instead could depend on context-specific factors related to poverty. Members for whom a match is not found report considerably higher levels of violence relative to nonmembers in the unmatched group. The background characteristics of members and nonmembers who do not match suggest that they are more likely to be younger and from relatively well-to-do households.

  20. Semiparametric efficient and robust estimation of an unknown symmetric population under arbitrary sample selection bias

    KAUST Repository

    Ma, Yanyuan

    2013-09-01

    We propose semiparametric methods to estimate the center and shape of a symmetric population when a representative sample of the population is unavailable due to selection bias. We allow an arbitrary sample selection mechanism determined by the data collection procedure, and we do not impose any parametric form on the population distribution. Under this general framework, we construct a family of consistent estimators of the center that is robust to population model misspecification, and we identify the efficient member that reaches the minimum possible estimation variance. The asymptotic properties and finite sample performance of the estimation and inference procedures are illustrated through theoretical analysis and simulations. A data example is also provided to illustrate the usefulness of the methods in practice. © 2013 American Statistical Association.

  1. Inappropriately Applying Natural Number Properties in Rational Number Tasks: Characterizing the Development of the Natural Number Bias through Primary and Secondary Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hoof, Jo; Verschaffel, Lieven; van Dooren, Wim

    2015-01-01

    The natural number bias is known to explain many difficulties learners have with understanding rational numbers. The research field distinguishes three aspects where natural number properties are sometimes inappropriately applied in rational number tasks: density, size, and operations. The overall goal of this study was to characterize the…

  2. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  3. ENHANCEMENTS TO NATURAL ATTENUATION: SELECTED CASE STUDIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vangelas, K; W. H. Albright, W; E. S. Becvar, E; C. H. Benson, C; T. O. Early, T; E. Hood, E; P. M. Jardine, P; M. Lorah, M; E. Majche, E; D. Major, D; W. J. Waugh, W; G. Wein, G; O. R. West, O

    2007-05-15

    In 2003 the US Department of Energy (DOE) embarked on a project to explore an innovative approach to remediation of subsurface contaminant plumes that focused on introducing mechanisms for augmenting natural attenuation to achieve site closure. Termed enhanced attenuation (EA), this approach has drawn its inspiration from the concept of monitored natural attenuation (MNA).

  4. Accounting for selection bias in species distribution models: An econometric approach on forested trees based on structural modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ay, Jean-Sauveur; Guillemot, Joannès; Martin-StPaul, Nicolas K.; Doyen, Luc; Leadley, Paul

    2015-04-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used to study and predict the outcome of global change on species. In human dominated ecosystems the presence of a given species is the result of both its ecological suitability and human footprint on nature such as land use choices. Land use choices may thus be responsible for a selection bias in the presence/absence data used in SDM calibration. We present a structural modelling approach (i.e. based on structural equation modelling) that accounts for this selection bias. The new structural species distribution model (SSDM) estimates simultaneously land use choices and species responses to bioclimatic variables. A land use equation based on an econometric model of landowner choices was joined to an equation of species response to bioclimatic variables. SSDM allows the residuals of both equations to be dependent, taking into account the possibility of shared omitted variables and measurement errors. We provide a general description of the statistical theory and a set of application on forested trees over France using databases of climate and forest inventory at different spatial resolution (from 2km to 8 km). We also compared the output of the SSDM with outputs of a classical SDM in term of bioclimatic response curves and potential distribution under current climate. According to the species and the spatial resolution of the calibration dataset, shapes of bioclimatic response curves the modelled species distribution maps differed markedly between the SSDM and classical SDMs. The magnitude and directions of these differences were dependent on the correlations between the errors from both equations and were highest for higher spatial resolutions. A first conclusion is that the use of classical SDMs can potentially lead to strong miss-estimation of the actual and future probability of presence modelled. Beyond this selection bias, the SSDM we propose represents a crucial step to account for economic constraints on tree

  5. Complex Mutation and Weak Selection together Determined the Codon Usage Bias in Bryophyte Mitochondrial Genomes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bin Wang; Jing Liu; Liang Jin; Xue-Ying Feng; Jian-Qun Chen

    2010-01-01

    Mutation and selection are two major forces causing codon usage biases. How these two forces influence the codon usages in green plant mitochondrial genomes has not been well investigated. In the present study, we surveyed five bryophyte mitochondrial genomes to reveal their codon usagepatterns as well as the determining forces. Three interesting findings were made. First, comparing to Chara vulgaris, an algal species sister to all extant land plants, bryophytes have more G, C-ending codon usages in their mitochondrial genes. This is consistent with the generally higher genomic GC content in bryophyte mitochondria, suggesting an increased mutational pressure toward GC. Second, as indicated by Wright's Nc-GC3s plot, mutation, not selection, is the major force affecting codon usages of bryophyte mitochondrial genes. However, the real mutational dynamics seem very complex. Context-dependent analysis indicated that nucleotide at the 2nd codon position would slightly affect synonymous codon choices. Finally, in bryophyte mitochondria, tRNA genes would apply a weak selection force to finetune the synonymous codon frequencies, as revealed by data of Ser4-Pro-Thr-Val families. In summary,complex mutation and weak selection together determined the codon usages in bryophyte mitochondrial genomes.

  6. Selection bias in genetic-epidemiological studies of cleft lip and palate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christensen, K.; Holm, N.V.; Kock, K. (Odense Univ. (Denmark)); Olsen, J. (Aarhus Univ. (Denmark)); Fogh-Anderson, P.

    1992-09-01

    The possible impact of selection bias in genetic and epidemiological studies of cleft lip and palate was studied, using three nationwide ascertainment sources and an autopsy study in a 10% sample of the Danish population. A total of 670 cases were identified. Two national record systems, when used together, were found suitable for ascertaining facial cleft in live births. More than 95% ascertainment was obtained by means of surgical files for cleft lip (with or without cleft palate) without associated malformations/syndromes. However, surgical files could be a poor source for studying isolated cleft palate (CP) (only a 60% and biased ascertainment), and they cannot be used to study the prevalence of associated malformations or syndromes in facial cleft cases. The male:female ratio was 0.88 in surgically treated cases of CP and was 1.5 in nonoperated CP cases, making the overall sex ratio for CP 1.1 (95% confidence limits 0.86-1.4) The sex ratio for CP without associated malformation was 1.1 (95% confidence limits 0.84-1.6). One of the major test criteria in CP multifactorial threshold models (higher CP liability among male CP relatives) must be reconsidered, if other investigations confirm that a CP sex-ratio reversal to male predominance occurs when high ascertainment is achieved. 24 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.

  7. Bias-controlled selective excitation of vibrational modes in molecular junctions: a route towards mode-selective chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkovich, Roie; Härtle, Rainer; Thoss, Michael; Peskin, Uri

    2011-08-28

    We show that individual vibrational modes in single-molecule junctions with asymmetric molecule-lead coupling can be selectively excited by applying an external bias voltage. Thereby, a non-statistical distribution of vibrational energy can be generated, that is, a mode with a higher frequency can be stronger excited than a mode with a lower frequency. This is of particular interest in the context of mode-selective chemistry, where one aims to break specific (not necessarily the weakest) chemical bond in a molecule. Such mode-selective vibrational excitation is demonstrated for two generic model systems representing asymmetric molecular junctions and/or scanning tunneling microscopy experiments. To this end, we employ two complementary theoretical approaches, a nonequilibrium Green's function approach and a master equation approach. The comparison of both methods reveals good agreement in describing resonant electron transport through a single-molecule contact, where differences between the approaches highlight the role of non-resonant transport processes, in particular co-tunneling and off-resonant electron-hole pair creation processes.

  8. Selection bias in follow-up interviews with individuals attending the emergency department for occupational injuries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oesterlund, Anna H; Lander, Flemming; Rytter, Søren;

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine whether supplementary interview participation was comparable for occupationally injured patients attending two hospital emergency departments and to investigate the magnitude of selection bias in relation to sex, age, severity, job tasks and industry risk level. METHODS...... were compared for study recruitment by age and sex. Respondents and non-respondents to the interview were compared for age, sex, injury severity, job tasks and industry risk level. RESULTS: Of 4002 patients attending the two hospitals, 1693 (42%) participated in the interview. One hospital had...... a markedly higher response rate to the questionnaire, but the proportions of participation in the interview were similar in the two hospitals. Patients aged job task and industry risk level were not significantly different...

  9. Educational Research with Real-World Data: Reducing Selection Bias with Propensity Scores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill L. Adelson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Often it is infeasible or unethical to use random assignment in educational settings to study important constructs and questions. Hence, educational research often uses observational data, such as large-scale secondary data sets and state and school district data, and quasi-experimental designs. One method of reducing selection bias in estimations of treatment effects is propensity score analysis. This method reduces a large number of pretreatment covariates to a single scalar function and allows researchers to compare subjects with similar probability to receive the treatment. This article provides an introduction to propensity score analysis and stratification, an example illustrating its use, and suggestions for using propensity score analysis in educational research.

  10. Selection biases in empirical p(z) methods for weak lensing

    CERN Document Server

    Gruen, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    To measure the mass of foreground objects with weak gravitational lensing, one needs to estimate the redshift distribution of lensed background sources. This is commonly done in an empirical fashion, i.e. with a reference sample of galaxies of known spectroscopic redshift, matched to the source population. In this work, we develop a simple decision tree framework that, under the ideal conditions of a large, purely magnitude-limited reference sample, allows an unbiased recovery of the source redshift probability density function p(z), as a function of magnitude and color. We use this framework to quantify biases in empirically estimated p(z) caused by selection effects present in realistic reference and weak lensing source catalogs, namely (1) complex selection of reference objects by the targeting strategy and success rate of existing spectroscopic surveys and (2) selection of background sources by the success of object detection and shape measurement at low signal-to-noise. For intermediate-to-high redshift ...

  11. Getting to Darwin: Obstacles to Accepting Evolution by Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is central to modern biology, but is resisted by many people. This paper discusses the major psychological obstacles to accepting Darwin's theory. Cognitive obstacles to adopting evolution by natural selection include conceptual difficulties, methodological issues, and coherence problems that…

  12. A Working Model of Natural Selection Illustrated by Table Tennis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinc, Muhittin; Kilic, Selda; Aladag, Caner

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection is one of the most important topics in biology and it helps to clarify the variety and complexity of organisms. However, students in almost every stage of education find it difficult to understand the mechanism of natural selection and they can develop misconceptions about it. This article provides an active model of natural…

  13. Comparison of Relative Bias, Precision, and Efficiency of Sampling Methods for Natural Enemies of Soybean Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannerman, J A; Costamagna, A C; McCornack, B P; Ragsdale, D W

    2015-06-01

    Generalist natural enemies play an important role in controlling soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae), in North America. Several sampling methods are used to monitor natural enemy populations in soybean, but there has been little work investigating their relative bias, precision, and efficiency. We compare five sampling methods: quadrats, whole-plant counts, sweep-netting, walking transects, and yellow sticky cards to determine the most practical methods for sampling the three most prominent species, which included Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), Coccinella septempunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae). We show an important time by sampling method interaction indicated by diverging community similarities within and between sampling methods as the growing season progressed. Similarly, correlations between sampling methods for the three most abundant species over multiple time periods indicated differences in relative bias between sampling methods and suggests that bias is not consistent throughout the growing season, particularly for sticky cards and whole-plant samples. Furthermore, we show that sticky cards produce strongly biased capture rates relative to the other four sampling methods. Precision and efficiency differed between sampling methods and sticky cards produced the most precise (but highly biased) results for adult natural enemies, while walking transects and whole-plant counts were the most efficient methods for detecting coccinellids and O. insidiosus, respectively. Based on bias, precision, and efficiency considerations, the most practical sampling methods for monitoring in soybean include walking transects for coccinellid detection and whole-plant counts for detection of small predators like O. insidiosus. Sweep-netting and quadrat samples are also useful for some applications, when efficiency is not paramount.

  14. Potential sources of analytical bias and error in selected trace element data-quality analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Angela P.; Garbarino, John R.; Olsen, Lisa D.; Rosen, Michael R.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Struzeski, Tedmund M.

    2016-09-28

    Potential sources of analytical bias and error associated with laboratory analyses for selected trace elements where concentrations were greater in filtered samples than in paired unfiltered samples were evaluated by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Quality Specialists in collaboration with the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) and the Branch of Quality Systems (BQS).Causes for trace-element concentrations in filtered samples to exceed those in associated unfiltered samples have been attributed to variability in analytical measurements, analytical bias, sample contamination either in the field or laboratory, and (or) sample-matrix chemistry. These issues have not only been attributed to data generated by the USGS NWQL but have been observed in data generated by other laboratories. This study continues the evaluation of potential analytical bias and error resulting from matrix chemistry and instrument variability by evaluating the performance of seven selected trace elements in paired filtered and unfiltered surface-water and groundwater samples collected from 23 sampling sites of varying chemistries from six States, matrix spike recoveries, and standard reference materials.Filtered and unfiltered samples have been routinely analyzed on separate inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry instruments. Unfiltered samples are treated with hydrochloric acid (HCl) during an in-bottle digestion procedure; filtered samples are not routinely treated with HCl as part of the laboratory analytical procedure. To evaluate the influence of HCl on different sample matrices, an aliquot of the filtered samples was treated with HCl. The addition of HCl did little to differentiate the analytical results between filtered samples treated with HCl from those samples left untreated; however, there was a small, but noticeable, decrease in the number of instances where a particular trace-element concentration was greater in a filtered sample than in the associated

  15. Religious attendance after elevated depressive symptoms: is selection bias at work?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lloyd Balbuena

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In an attempt to determine if selection bias could be a reason that religious attendance and depression are related, the predictive value of elevated depressive symptoms for a decrease in future attendance at religious services was examined in a longitudinal panel of 1,673 Dutch adults. Religious attendance was assessed yearly over five years using the single question, “how often do you attend religious gatherings nowadays?” Depressive symptoms were assessed four times within the first year using the Depression subscale of the Brief Symptom Inventory. Logistic regression models of change in attendance were created, stratifying by baseline attendance status. Attenders who developed elevated symptoms were less likely to subsequently decrease their attendance (relative risk ratio: 0.55, 95% CI [0.38–0.79] relative to baseline as compared to those without elevated symptoms. This inverse association remained significant after controlling for health and demographic covariates, and when using multiply imputed data to account for attrition. Non-attenders were unlikely to start attending after elevated depressive symptoms. This study provides counter evidence against previous findings that church attenders are a self-selected healthier group.

  16. Hybrid Predictor and Field-Biased Context Pixel Selection Based on PPVO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyin Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Most pixel-value-ordering (PVO predictors generated prediction-errors including −1 and 1 in a block-by-block manner. Pixel-based PVO (PPVO method provided a novel pixel scan strategy in a pixel-by-pixel way. Prediction-error bin 0 is expanded for embedding with the help of equalizing context pixels for prediction. In this paper, a PPVO-based hybrid predictor (HPPVO is proposed as an extension. HPPVO predicts pixel in both positive and negative orientations. Assisted by expansion bins selection technique, this hybrid predictor presents an optimized prediction-error expansion strategy including bin 0. Furthermore, a novel field-biased context pixel selection is already developed, with which detailed correlations of around pixels are better exploited more than equalizing scheme merely. Experiment results show that the proposed HPPVO improves embedding capacity and enhances marked image fidelity. It also outperforms some other state-of-the-art methods of reversible data hiding, especially for moderate and large payloads.

  17. Darwin, microbes and evolution by natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moxon, E Richard

    2011-01-01

    Born 200 years ago, Darwin's revolutionary ideas were derived largely from his observations on life forms that evolved relatively recently, including various flowering plants, worms, birds and domesticated animals. Yet, life appeared on planet earth close to 4 billion years ago in the form of unicellular organisms collectively called bacteria. It was only shortly after "On the Origin of Species" was published (1859) that the "germ theory" of infectious diseases was formulated. Microbes (viruses, bacteria, fungi and microparasites) received scant mention in Darwin's writings, although pioneers of the Golden Age of Bacteriology, such as Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), were contemporaries. Today, microbes offer extraordinary testimony and powerful model systems of direct relevance to the essentials of Darwinian selection, such as understanding microbial-host interactions, the evolution of pathogens and the emergence of drug- or vaccine-related resistance.

  18. On Inferring Demand for Health Care in the Presence of Anchoring, Acquiescence, and Selection Biases

    OpenAIRE

    Jay Bhattacharya; Adam Isen

    2008-01-01

    In the contingent valuation literature, both anchoring and acquiescence biases pose problems when using an iterative bidding game to infer willingness to pay. Anchoring bias occurs when the willingness to pay estimate is sensitive to the initially presented starting value. Acquiescence bias occurs when survey respondents exhibit a tendency to answer 'yes' to questions, regardless of their true preferences. More generally, whenever a survey format is used and not all of those contacted partici...

  19. A General Framework for Considering Selection Bias in EHR-Based Studies: What Data Are Observed and Why?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haneuse, Sebastien; Daniels, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Electronic health records (EHR) data are increasingly seen as a resource for cost-effective comparative effectiveness research (CER). Since EHR data are collected primarily for clinical and/or billing purposes, their use for CER requires consideration of numerous methodologic challenges including the potential for confounding bias, due to a lack of randomization, and for selection bias, due to missing data. In contrast to the recent literature on confounding bias in EHR-based CER, virtually no attention has been paid to selection bias possibly due to the belief that standard methods for missing data can be readily-applied. Such methods, however, hinge on an overly simplistic view of the available/missing EHR data, so that their application in the EHR setting will often fail to completely control selection bias. Motivated by challenges we face in an on-going EHR-based comparative effectiveness study of choice of antidepressant treatment and long-term weight change, we propose a new general framework for selection bias in EHR-based CER. Crucially, the framework provides structure within which researchers can consider the complex interplay between numerous decisions, made by patients and health care providers, which give rise to health-related information being recorded in the EHR system, as well as the wide variability across EHR systems themselves. This, in turn, provides structure within which: (i) the transparency of assumptions regarding missing data can be enhanced, (ii) factors relevant to each decision can be elicited, and (iii) statistical methods can be better aligned with the complexity of the data. PMID:27668265

  20. Ion current rectification inversion in conic nanopores: nonequilibrium ion transport biased by ion selectivity and spatial asymmetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Yu; Wang, Lin; Xue, Jianming; Chang, Hsueh-Chia

    2013-01-28

    We show both theoretically and experimentally that the ion-selectivity of a conic nanopore, as defined by a normalized density of the surface charge, significantly affects ion current rectification across the pore. For weakly selective negatively charged pores, intra-pore ion transport controls the current and internal ion enrichment/depletion at positive/reverse biased voltage (current enters/leaves through the tip, respectively), which is responsible for current rectification. For strongly selective negatively charged pores under positive bias, the current can be reduced by external field focusing and concentration depletion at the tip at low ionic strengths and high voltages, respectively. These external phenomena produce a rectification inversion for highly selective pores at high (low) voltage (ionic strength). With an asymptotic analysis of the intra-pore and external ion transport, we derive simple scaling laws to quantitatively capture empirical and numerical data for ion current rectification and rectification inversion of conic nanopores.

  1. Exploring Genetic Drift and Natural Selection through a Simulation Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maret, Timothy J.; Rissing, Steven W.

    1998-01-01

    Reports on the development of a laboratory exercise that would allow students to explore the concept of genetic drift. Discusses the concept of genetic drift that is coincident with natural selection and that closely models the real world. (DDR)

  2. Natural Selection Is a Sorting Process: What Does that Mean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    To learn why natural selection acts only on existing variation, students categorize processes as either creative or sorting. This activity helps students confront the misconception that adaptations evolve because species need them.

  3. Objects in Kepler's Mirror May be Larger Than They Appear: Bias and Selection Effects in Transiting Planet Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, Eric; Mann, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Statistical analyses of large surveys for transiting planets such as the Kepler mission must account for systematic errors and biases. Transit detection depends not only on the planet's radius and orbital period, but also on host star properties. Thus, a sample of stars with transiting planets may not accurately represent the target population. Moreover, targets are selected using criteria such as a limiting apparent magnitude. These selection effects, combined with uncertainties in stellar radius, lead to biases in the properties of transiting planets and their host stars. We quantify possible biases in the Kepler survey. First, Eddington bias produced by a steep planet radius distribution and uncertainties in stellar radius results in a 15%-20% overestimate of planet occurrence. Second, the magnitude limit of the Kepler target catalog induces Malmquist bias toward large, more luminous stars and underestimation of the radii of about one-third of candidate planets, especially those larger than Neptune. Third, because metal-poor stars are smaller, stars with detected planets will be very slightly (target average. Fourth, uncertainties in stellar radii produce correlated errors in planet radius and stellar irradiation. A previous finding, that highly irradiated giants are more likely to have "inflated" radii, remains significant, even accounting for this effect. In contrast, transit depth is negatively correlated with stellar metallicity even in the absence of any intrinsic correlation, and a previous claim of a negative correlation between giant planet transit depth and stellar metallicity is probably an artifact.

  4. The interaction of sexually and naturally selected traits in the adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    The question of how genetic variation translates into organismal diversity has puzzled biologists for decades. Despite recent advances in evolutionary and developmental genetics, the mechanisms that underlie adaptation, diversification and evolutionary innovation remain largely unknown. The exceptionally diverse species flocks of cichlid fishes are textbook examples of adaptive radiation and explosive speciation and emerge as powerful model systems to study the genetic basis of animal diversification. East Africa's hundreds of endemic cichlid species are akin to a natural mutagenesis screen and differ greatly not only in ecologically relevant (hence naturally selected) characters such as mouth morphology and body shape, but also in sexually selected traits such as coloration. One of the most fascinating aspects of cichlid evolution is the frequent occurrence of evolutionary parallelisms, which has led to the question whether selection alone is sufficient to produce these parallel morphologies, or whether a developmental or genetic bias has influenced the direction of diversification. Here, I review fitness-relevant traits that could be responsible for the cichlids' evolutionary success and assess whether these were shaped by sexual or natural selection. I then focus on the interaction and the relative importance of sexual vs. natural selection in cichlid evolution. Finally, I discuss what is currently known about the genes underlying the morphogenesis of adaptively relevant traits and highlight the importance of the forthcoming cichlid genomes in the quest of the genetic basis of diversification in this group.

  5. Optimal classifier selection and negative bias in error rate estimation: an empirical study on high-dimensional prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boulesteix Anne-Laure

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In biometric practice, researchers often apply a large number of different methods in a "trial-and-error" strategy to get as much as possible out of their data and, due to publication pressure or pressure from the consulting customer, present only the most favorable results. This strategy may induce a substantial optimistic bias in prediction error estimation, which is quantitatively assessed in the present manuscript. The focus of our work is on class prediction based on high-dimensional data (e.g. microarray data, since such analyses are particularly exposed to this kind of bias. Methods In our study we consider a total of 124 variants of classifiers (possibly including variable selection or tuning steps within a cross-validation evaluation scheme. The classifiers are applied to original and modified real microarray data sets, some of which are obtained by randomly permuting the class labels to mimic non-informative predictors while preserving their correlation structure. Results We assess the minimal misclassification rate over the different variants of classifiers in order to quantify the bias arising when the optimal classifier is selected a posteriori in a data-driven manner. The bias resulting from the parameter tuning (including gene selection parameters as a special case and the bias resulting from the choice of the classification method are examined both separately and jointly. Conclusions The median minimal error rate over the investigated classifiers was as low as 31% and 41% based on permuted uninformative predictors from studies on colon cancer and prostate cancer, respectively. We conclude that the strategy to present only the optimal result is not acceptable because it yields a substantial bias in error rate estimation, and suggest alternative approaches for properly reporting classification accuracy.

  6. Giant Panda habitat selection in the Foping Nature Reserve, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Skidmore, A.K.; Shao, X.; Dang, D.; Wang, T.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2005-01-01

    Little is known about habitat selection of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), especially about the relationship between giant panda presence and bamboo and tree structures. We presented data on giant panda habitat use and selection in Foping Nature Reserve (NR), China. We used 1,066 radiotrac

  7. Pangenome evidence for higher codon usage bias and stronger translational selection in core genes of Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shixiang Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Codon usage bias, as a combined interplay from mutation and selection, has been intensively studied in Escherichia coli. However, codon usage analysis in an E. coli pangenome remains unexplored and the relative importance of mutation and selection acting on core genes and strain-specific genes is unknown. Here we perform comprehensive codon usage analyses based on a collection of multiple complete genome sequences of E. coli. Our results show that core genes that are present in all strains have higher codon usage bias than strain-specific genes that are unique to single strains. We further explore the forces in influencing codon usage and investigate the difference of the major force between core and strain-specific genes. Our results demonstrate that although mutation may exert genome-wide influences on codon usage acting similarly in different gene sets, selection dominates as an important force to shape biased codon usage as genes are present in an increased number of strains. Together, our results provide important insights for better understanding genome plasticity and complexity as well as evolutionary mechanisms behind codon usage bias.

  8. Pangenome Evidence for Higher Codon Usage Bias and Stronger Translational Selection in Core Genes of Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shixiang; Xiao, Jingfa; Zhang, Huiyong; Zhang, Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Codon usage bias, as a combined interplay from mutation and selection, has been intensively studied in Escherichia coli. However, codon usage analysis in an E. coli pangenome remains unexplored and the relative importance of mutation and selection acting on core genes and strain-specific genes is unknown. Here we perform comprehensive codon usage analyses based on a collection of multiple complete genome sequences of E. coli. Our results show that core genes that are present in all strains have higher codon usage bias than strain-specific genes that are unique to single strains. We further explore the forces in influencing codon usage and investigate the difference of the major force between core and strain-specific genes. Our results demonstrate that although mutation may exert genome-wide influences on codon usage acting similarly in different gene sets, selection dominates as an important force to shape biased codon usage as genes are present in an increased number of strains. Together, our results provide important insights for better understanding genome plasticity and complexity as well as evolutionary mechanisms behind codon usage bias.

  9. The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst redshift distribution: selection biases or rate evolution at high-z?

    CERN Document Server

    Coward, David; Branchesi, Marica; Gendre, Bruce; Stratta, Giulia

    2013-01-01

    We employ realistic constraints on selection effects to model the Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) redshift distribution using {\\it Swift} triggered redshift samples acquired from optical afterglows and the TOUGH survey. Models for the Malmquist bias, redshift desert, and the fraction of afterglows missing because of host galaxy dust extinction, are used to show how the "true" GRB redshift distribution is distorted to its presently observed biased distribution. Our analysis, which accounts for the missing fraction of redshifts in the two data subsets, shows that a combination of selection effects (both instrumental and astrophysical) can describe the observed GRB redshift distribution. The observed distribution supports the case for dust extinction as the dominant astrophysical selection effect that shapes the redshift distribution.

  10. Inferential selection bias in a study of racial bias: Revisiting ‘Working twice as hard to get half as far’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LJ Zigerell

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This study revisits an important recent article about racial bias and finds that many of its inferences are weakened when we analyze the data more completely. DeSante in 2013 reported evidence from a survey experiment indicating that Americans reward Whites more than Blacks for hard work but penalize Blacks more than Whites for laziness. However, the present study demonstrates that these inferences were based on an unrepresentative selection of possible analyses: the original article does not include all possible equivalent or relevant analyses, and when results from these additional analyses are combined with the results reported in the original article, the strength of inferences is weakened. Moreover, newly-reported evidence reveals heterogeneity in racial bias: respondents given a direct choice between equivalent targets of different races favored the Black target over the White target. These results illustrate how the presence of researcher degrees of freedom can foster production of inferences that are not representative of all inferences that a set of data could produce. This study thus highlights the value of preregistering research design protocols and required public posting of data.

  11. A selective emotional decision-making bias elicited by facial expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furl, Nicholas; Gallagher, Shannon; Averbeck, Bruno B

    2012-01-01

    Emotional and social information can sway otherwise rational decisions. For example, when participants decide between two faces that are probabilistically rewarded, they make biased choices that favor smiling relative to angry faces. This bias may arise because facial expressions evoke positive and negative emotional responses, which in turn may motivate social approach and avoidance. We tested a wide range of pictures that evoke emotions or convey social information, including animals, words, foods, a variety of scenes, and faces differing in trustworthiness or attractiveness, but we found only facial expressions biased decisions. Our results extend brain imaging and pharmacological findings, which suggest that a brain mechanism supporting social interaction may be involved. Facial expressions appear to exert special influence over this social interaction mechanism, one capable of biasing otherwise rational choices. These results illustrate that only specific types of emotional experiences can best sway our choices.

  12. Visual selective attention biases contribute to the other-race effect among 9-month-old infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markant, Julie; Oakes, Lisa M; Amso, Dima

    2016-04-01

    During the first year of life, infants maintain their ability to discriminate faces from their own race but become less able to differentiate other-race faces. Though this is likely due to daily experience with own-race faces, the mechanisms linking repeated exposure to optimal face processing remain unclear. One possibility is that frequent experience with own-race faces generates a selective attention bias to these faces. Selective attention elicits enhancement of attended information and suppression of distraction to improve visual processing of attended objects. Thus attention biases to own-race faces may boost processing and discrimination of these faces relative to other-race faces. We used a spatial cueing task to bias attention to own- or other-race faces among Caucasian 9-month-old infants. Infants discriminated faces in the focus of the attention bias, regardless of race, indicating that infants remained sensitive to differences among other-race faces. Instead, efficacy of face discrimination reflected the extent of attention engagement.

  13. Selection Bias, Vote Counting, and Money-Priming Effects: A Comment on Rohrer, Pashler, and Harris (2015) and Vohs (2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    When a series of studies fails to replicate a well-documented effect, researchers might be tempted to use a “vote counting” approach to decide whether the effect is reliable—that is, simply comparing the number of successful and unsuccessful replications. Vohs’s (2015) response to the absence of money priming effects reported by Rohrer, Pashler, and Harris (2015) provides an example of this approach. Unfortunately, vote counting is a poor strategy to assess the reliability of psychological findings because it neglects the impact of selection bias and questionable research practices. In the present comment, we show that a range of meta-analytic tools indicate irregularities in the money priming literature discussed by Rohrer et al. and Vohs, which all point to the conclusion that these effects are distorted by selection bias, reporting biases, or p-hacking. This could help to explain why money-priming effects have proven unreliable in a number of direct replication attempts in which biases have been minimized through preregistration or transparent reporting. Our major conclusion is that the simple proportion of significant findings is a poor guide to the reliability of research and that preregistered replications are an essential means to assess the reliability of money-priming effects. PMID:27077759

  14. Selection bias, vote counting, and money-priming effects: A comment on Rohrer, Pashler, and Harris (2015) and Vohs (2015).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadillo, Miguel A; Hardwicke, Tom E; Shanks, David R

    2016-05-01

    When a series of studies fails to replicate a well-documented effect, researchers might be tempted to use a "vote counting" approach to decide whether the effect is reliable-that is, simply comparing the number of successful and unsuccessful replications. Vohs's (2015) response to the absence of money priming effects reported by Rohrer, Pashler, and Harris (2015) provides an example of this approach. Unfortunately, vote counting is a poor strategy to assess the reliability of psychological findings because it neglects the impact of selection bias and questionable research practices. In the present comment, we show that a range of meta-analytic tools indicate irregularities in the money priming literature discussed by Rohrer et al. and Vohs, which all point to the conclusion that these effects are distorted by selection bias, reporting biases, or p-hacking. This could help to explain why money-priming effects have proven unreliable in a number of direct replication attempts in which biases have been minimized through preregistration or transparent reporting. Our major conclusion is that the simple proportion of significant findings is a poor guide to the reliability of research and that preregistered replications are an essential means to assess the reliability of money-priming effects.

  15. Variation in the Intensity of Selection on Codon Bias over Time Causes Contrasting Patterns of Base Composition Evolution in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Benjamin C.; Campos, José L.; Haddrill, Penelope R.; Charlesworth, Brian

    2017-01-01

    Four-fold degenerate coding sites form a major component of the genome, and are often used to make inferences about selection and demography, so that understanding their evolution is important. Despite previous efforts, many questions regarding the causes of base composition changes at these sites in Drosophila remain unanswered. To shed further light on this issue, we obtained a new whole-genome polymorphism data set from D. simulans. We analyzed samples from the putatively ancestral range of D. simulans, as well as an existing polymorphism data set from an African population of D. melanogaster. By using D. yakuba as an outgroup, we found clear evidence for selection on 4-fold sites along both lineages over a substantial period, with the intensity of selection increasing with GC content. Based on an explicit model of base composition evolution, we suggest that the observed AT-biased substitution pattern in both lineages is probably due to an ancestral reduction in selection intensity, and is unlikely to be the result of an increase in mutational bias towards AT alone. By using two polymorphism-based methods for estimating selection coefficients over different timescales, we show that the selection intensity on codon usage has been rather stable in D. simulans in the recent past, but the long-term estimates in D. melanogaster are much higher than the short-term ones, indicating a continuing decline in selection intensity, to such an extent that the short-term estimates suggest that selection is only active in the most GC-rich parts of the genome. Finally, we provide evidence for complex evolutionary patterns in the putatively neutral short introns, which cannot be explained by the standard GC-biased gene conversion model. These results reveal a dynamic picture of base composition evolution. PMID:28082609

  16. Twins like to be seen: Observational biases affecting spectroscopically selected binary stars

    CERN Document Server

    Cantrell, Andrew G

    2014-01-01

    Massive binary stars undergo qualitatively different evolution when the two components are similar in mass ('twins'), and the abundance of twin binaries is therefore important to understanding a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. We reconsider the results of Pinsonneault & Stanek (2006), who argue that a large proportion of binary stars have nearly equal-mass components; we find that their data imply a relatively small number of such 'twins.' We argue that samples of double-lined spectroscopic binaries are biased towards systems with nearly equal-brightness components. We present a Monte-Carlo model of this bias, which simultaneously explains the abundance of twins in the unevolved binaries of Pinsonneault & Stanek (2006), and the lack of twins in their evolved systems. After accounting for the bias, we find that their observed mass ratios may be consistent with a variety of intrinsic distributions, including either a flat distribution or a Salpeter distribution. We conclude that the observed over...

  17. A hidden Markov model to identify and adjust for selection bias: an example involving mixed migration strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Fieberg, John R.; Paul B Conn

    2014-01-01

    An important assumption in observational studies is that sampled individuals are representative of some larger study population. Yet, this assumption is often unrealistic. Notable examples include online public-opinion polls, publication biases associated with statistically significant results, and in ecology, telemetry studies with significant habitat-induced probabilities of missed locations. This problem can be overcome by modeling selection probabilities simultaneously with other predicto...

  18. A hidden Markov model to identify and adjust for selection bias: an example involving mixed migration strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fieberg, John R; Conn, Paul B

    2014-05-01

    An important assumption in observational studies is that sampled individuals are representative of some larger study population. Yet, this assumption is often unrealistic. Notable examples include online public-opinion polls, publication biases associated with statistically significant results, and in ecology, telemetry studies with significant habitat-induced probabilities of missed locations. This problem can be overcome by modeling selection probabilities simultaneously with other predictor-response relationships or by weighting observations by inverse selection probabilities. We illustrate the problem and a solution when modeling mixed migration strategies of northern white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Captures occur on winter yards where deer migrate in response to changing environmental conditions. Yet, not all deer migrate in all years, and captures during mild years are more likely to target deer that migrate every year (i.e., obligate migrators). Characterizing deer as conditional or obligate migrators is also challenging unless deer are observed for many years and under a variety of winter conditions. We developed a hidden Markov model where the probability of capture depends on each individual's migration strategy (conditional versus obligate migrator), a partially latent variable that depends on winter severity in the year of capture. In a 15-year study, involving 168 white-tailed deer, the estimated probability of migrating for conditional migrators increased nonlinearly with an index of winter severity. We estimated a higher proportion of obligates in the study cohort than in the population, except during a span of 3 years surrounding back-to-back severe winters. These results support the hypothesis that selection biases occur as a result of capturing deer on winter yards, with the magnitude of bias depending on the severity of winter weather. Hidden Markov models offer an attractive framework for addressing selection biases due to their

  19. Genome-wide polymorphisms show unexpected targets of natural selection

    OpenAIRE

    Pespeni, Melissa H.; Garfield, David A.; Manier, Mollie K; Palumbi, Stephen R.

    2011-01-01

    Natural selection can act on all the expressed genes of an individual, leaving signatures of genetic differentiation or diversity at many loci across the genome. New power to assay these genome-wide effects of selection comes from associating multi-locus patterns of polymorphism with gene expression and function. Here, we performed one of the first genome-wide surveys in a marine species, comparing purple sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, from two distant locations along the species...

  20. Picture Novelty Influences Response Selection and Inhibition: The Role of the In-Group Bias and Task-Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinchenko, Artyom; Mahmud, Waich; Alam, Musrura Mefta; Kabir, Nadia; Al-Amin, Md. Mamun

    2016-01-01

    The human visual system prioritizes processing of novel information, leading to faster detection of novel stimuli. Novelty facilitates conflict resolution through the enhanced early perceptual processing. However, the role of novel information processing during the conflict-related response selection and inhibition remains unclear. Here, we used a face-gender classification version of the Simon task and manipulated task-difficulty and novelty of task-relevant information. The novel quality of stimuli was made task-irrelevant, and an in-group bias was tightly controlled by manipulation of a gender of picture stimuli. We found that the in-group bias modulated the role of novelty in executive control. Novel opposite-sex stimuli facilitated response inhibition only when the task was not demanding. By contrast, novelty enhanced response selection irrespective of the in-group factor when task-difficulty was increased. These findings support the in-group bias mechanism of visual processing, in cases when attentional resources are not limited by a demanding task. The results are further discussed along the lines of the attentional load theory and neural mechanisms of response-inhibition and locomotor activity. In conclusion, our data showed that processing of novel information may enhance executive control through facilitated response selection and inhibition. PMID:27788213

  1. Fixation Biases towards the Index Finger in Almost-Natural Grasping.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitris Voudouris

    Full Text Available We use visual information to guide our grasping movements. When grasping an object with a precision grip, the two digits need to reach two different positions more or less simultaneously, but the eyes can only be directed to one position at a time. Several studies that have examined eye movements in grasping have found that people tend to direct their gaze near where their index finger will contact the object. Here we aimed at better understanding why people do so by asking participants to lift an object off a horizontal surface. They were to grasp the object with a precision grip while movements of their hand, eye and head were recorded. We confirmed that people tend to look closer to positions that a digit needs to reach more accurately. Moreover, we show that where they look as they reach for the object depends on where they were looking before, presumably because they try to minimize the time during which the eyes are moving so fast that no new visual information is acquired. Most importantly, we confirmed that people have a bias to direct gaze towards the index finger's contact point rather than towards that of the thumb. In our study, this cannot be explained by the index finger contacting the object before the thumb. Instead, it appears to be because the index finger moves to a position that is hidden behind the object that is grasped, probably making this the place at which one is most likely to encounter unexpected problems that would benefit from visual guidance. However, this cannot explain the bias that was found in previous studies, where neither contact point was hidden, so it cannot be the only explanation for the bias.

  2. Student Sorting and Bias in Value-Added Estimation: Selection on Observables and Unobservables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Jesse

    2009-01-01

    Nonrandom assignment of students to teachers can bias value-added estimates of teachers' causal effects. Rothstein (2008, 2010) shows that typical value-added models indicate large counterfactual effects of fifth-grade teachers on students' fourth-grade learning, indicating that classroom assignments are far from random. This article quantifies…

  3. Covariate balance assessment, model selection and bias in propensity score matching: A simulation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ali, Sanni; Groenwold, Rolf H.H.; Belitser, S.; Roes, Kit C.B.; Hoes, Arno W.; De Boer, Anthonius; Klungel, Olaf H.

    2015-01-01

    Background: In building propensity score (PS) model, inclusion of interaction/square terms in addition to the main terms and the use of balance measures has been suggested. However, the impact of assessing balance of several sets of covariates and their interactions/squares on bias/precision is not

  4. Factors influencing predation on juvenile ungulates and natural selection implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. M. Barber-Meyer

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Juvenile ungulates are generally more vulnerable to predation than are adult ungulates other than senescent individuals, not only because of their relative youth, fragility, and inexperience, but also because of congenital factors. Linnell et al.’s (Wildl. Biol. 1: 209-223 extensive review of predation on juvenile ungulates concluded that research was needed to determine the predisposition of these juveniles to predation. Since then, various characteristics that potentially predispose juvenile ungulates have emerged including blood characteristics, morphometric and other condition factors, and other factors such as birth period, the mother’s experience, and spatial and habitat aspects. To the extent that any of the physical or behavioral traits possessed by juvenile ungulates have a genetic or heritable and partly independent epigenetic component that predisposes them to predation, predators may play an important role in their natural selection. We review the possible influence of these characteristics on predisposing juvenile ungulates to predation and discuss natural selection implications and potential selection mechanisms. Although juvenile ungulates as a class are likely more vulnerable to predation than all but senescent adults, our review presents studies indicating that juveniles with certain tendencies or traits are killed more often than others. This finding suggests that successful predation on juveniles is more selective than is often assumed. Because we are unable to control for (or in some cases even measure the myriad of other possible vulnerabilities such as differences in sensory abilities, intelligence, hiding abilities, tendency to travel, etc., finding selective predation based on the relatively few differences we can measure is noteworthy and points to the significant role that predation on juveniles has in the natural selection of ungulates. Future research should compare characteristics, especially those known to

  5. She more than he: gender bias supports the empathic nature of yawn contagion in Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norscia, Ivan; Demuru, Elisa; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2016-02-01

    Psychological, clinical and neurobiological findings endorse that empathic abilities are more developed in women than in men. Because there is growing evidence that yawn contagion is an empathy-based phenomenon, we expect that the female bias in the empathic abilities reflects on a gender skew in the responsiveness to others' yawns. We verified this assumption by applying a linear model on a dataset gathered during a 5 year period of naturalistic observations on humans. Gender, age and social bond were included in the analysis as fixed factors. The social bond and the receiver's gender remained in the best model. The rates of contagion were significantly lower between acquaintances than between friends and family members, and significantly higher in women than in men. These results not only confirm that yawn contagion is sensitive to social closeness, but also that the phenomenon is affected by the same gender bias affecting empathy. The sex skew, also found in other non-human species, fits with the female social roles which are likely to require higher empathic abilities (e.g. parental care, group cohesion maintenance, social mediation). The fact that female influence in social dynamics also relies on face-to-face emotional exchange raises concerns on the negative repercussions of having women's facial expressions forcibly concealed.

  6. When natural selection gives gene function the cold shoulder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutter, Asher D; Jovelin, Richard

    2015-11-01

    It is tempting to invoke organismal selection as perpetually optimizing the function of any given gene. However, natural selection can drive genic functional change without improvement of biochemical activity, even to the extinction of gene activity. Detrimental mutations can creep in owing to linkage with other selectively favored loci. Selection can promote functional degradation, irrespective of genetic drift, when adaptation occurs by loss of gene function. Even stabilizing selection on a trait can lead to divergence of the underlying molecular constituents. Selfish genetic elements can also proliferate independent of any functional benefits to the host genome. Here we review the logic and evidence for these diverse processes acting in genome evolution. This collection of distinct evolutionary phenomena - while operating through easily understandable mechanisms - all contribute to the seemingly counterintuitive notion that maintenance or improvement of a gene's biochemical function sometimes do not determine its evolutionary fate.

  7. The Nature of Selected English Teachers' Online Participation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodesiler, Luke

    2015-01-01

    This article documents an investigation into the nature of selected secondary English teachers' online participation across platforms (i.e., blogs, microblogs, social networking sites) as they explored issues related to teaching, learning, and literacy. Ethnographic content analysis of online artifacts generated over approximately 10 months…

  8. Reconsidering the logical structure of the theory of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-12-01

    Natural selection has been criticized as a tautology. This would be a major problem for evolutionary biology, if true, because tautological statements can't be falsified and, therefore, can't be scientific. There is merit to this critique insofar as the theory of natural selection is indeed generally described in a tautological manner. However, natural selection can be described non-tautologically if we're careful. Natural selection should be defined as the theory that attempts to predict and retrodict evolutionary change through environmental forces acting upon organisms. However, this re-framing comes at a cost: it reveals, based on our current knowledge of evolutionary forces, the lack of ability to make accurate predictions about expected changes except in the most simple of circumstances. I suggest that evolutionary biologists should work to develop "principles of evolution," based on an expanded and more focused research program designed to identify common trends in evolution, which will ultimately allow us to make more accurate predictions and retrodictions about evolution.

  9. The insufficient part of abiogenesis theory - natural selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploompuu, Tõnu

    2016-04-01

    Abiogenesis has already been studied for a whole century. There have been studies on the synthesis of precursors of biopolymers, concentration processes and polymerization pathways, sites of initiation of life. Autoreplication has been explained. Protocells have been constructed from abiogenic membranes. But one essential aspect for life - the natural selection - has been marginalized in these investigations. Despite the convincing use of natural selection in biology for one and half century, it has not been used sufficiently in the models of the beginning of life. Pictorially - Darwin's pond model is used without darwinism. This generates an unnecessary interruption on the path for understanding the process. Natural selection is essential in abiogenesis, in the genesis of biological information system. A selection of more collaborative autoreplicate biopolymers and the depolymerisation of others was required. Only natural selection was able to combine biopolymer molecules for life. The primary natural selection can operate only in an environment with variable physical and chemical conditions. The selective agent must constantly fluctuate during a long time span and a large area. Formation of the simplest complex of life needs homeostasis. The best sites for constant fluctuations are littoral areas of oceans. Two very constant fluctuations - waves and tides - occur there. The best conditions for the origin of life were exactly in the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment at temperature nealy 100° C. Earth's surface was then protected against the UV destruction by a thick cloud cover. High evaporation at the hotter parts of shore rocks increased the concentration of the primordial soup and there was excellent selective power by routine water level fluctuations. Because of the water level fluctuations salty ocean water and fresh water from continuous downpours alternated at the littoral zones. In low temperatures the formation of life would be hindered by UV

  10. Selection bias in the link between child wantedness and child survival: theory and data from Matlab, Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishai, David; Razzaque, Abdur; Christiansen, Susan; Mustafa, A H M Golam; Hindin, Michelle

    2015-02-01

    We examine the potential effects of selection bias on the association between unwanted births and child mortality from 7,942 women from Matlab, Bangladesh who declared birth intentions in 1990 prior to conceiving pregnancies. We explore and test two opposing reasons for bias in the distribution of observed births. First, some women who report not wanting more children could face starvation or frailty; and if these women are infecund, the remaining unwanted births would appear more healthy. Second, some women who report not wanting more children could have social privileges in acquiring medical services, abortion, and contraceptives; and if these women avoid births, the remaining unwanted births would appear less healthy. We find (1) no overall effect of unwantedness on child survival in rural Bangladesh in the 1990s, (2) no evidence that biological processes are spuriously making the birth cohort look more healthy, and (3) some evidence that higher schooling for women who avoid unwanted births is biasing the observed sample to make unwanted births look less healthy. Efforts to understand the effect of unwantedness in data sets that do not control for complex patterns of selective birth may be misleading and require more cautious interpretation.

  11. Selection bias in dynamically-measured super-massive black hole samples: consequences for pulsar timing arrays

    CERN Document Server

    Sesana, A; Bernardi, M; Sheth, R K

    2016-01-01

    Supermassive black hole -- host galaxy relations are key to the computation of the expected gravitational wave background (GWB) in the pulsar timing array (PTA) frequency band. It has been recently pointed out that standard relations adopted in GWB computations are in fact biased-high. We show that when this selection bias is taken into account, the expected GWB in the PTA band is a factor of about three smaller than previously estimated. Compared to other scaling relations recently published in the literature, the median amplitude of the signal at $f=1$yr$^{-1}$ drops from $1.3\\times10^{-15}$ to $4\\times10^{-16}$. Although this solves any potential tension between theoretical predictions and recent PTA limits without invoking other dynamical effects (such as stalling, eccentricity or strong coupling with the galactic environment), it also makes the GWB detection more challenging.

  12. Natural selection on plant physiological traits in an urban environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambrecht, Susan C.; Mahieu, Stephanie; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2016-11-01

    Current rates of urbanization are creating new opportunities for studying urban plant ecology, but our knowledge of urban plant physiology lags behind that of other ecosystems. Moreover, higher temperatures, elevated CO2, and increased inorganic nitrogen deposition along with altered moisture regimes of urban as compared to rural areas creates a compelling analog for studying adaptations of plants to climate change. We grew plants under common conditions in a greenhouse to determine whether populations of Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) differed in phenological, morphological, and physiological traits. We also used a field experiment to test for natural selection on these traits in urban Montpellier, France. Urban plants flowered and senesced later than rural plants, and natural selection favored later phenology in the urban habitat. Natural selection also favored larger plants with more leaves, and increased photosynthesis and leaf nitrogen concentration. Ours is the first study to document selection on plant functional traits in an urban habitat and, as such, advances our understanding of urban plant ecology and possible adaptations to climate change.

  13. Introgression of mitochondrial DNA promoted by natural selection in the Japanese pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus abramus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ji; Mao, Xiuguang; Sun, Haijian; Irwin, David M; Zhang, Shuyi; Hua, Panyu

    2014-12-01

    Introgression of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) between closely related taxa can be promoted by either neutral processes or natural selection. Since mitochondrial gene-encoded proteins play critical roles in oxidative metabolism, mtDNA genes are commonly considered to experience strong selective constraint. However, metabolic requirements vary across climatic and ecological gradients, thus modifying potential selective pressures acting on mtDNA genes. Here we conducted tests to detect adaptive evolution occurring in two mtDNA genes (Cytb and ND5) in individuals of Japanese pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus abramus) across the mainland of China and Hainan Island. Nuclear DNA markers identified two clades in both the mainland and Hainan Island populations, whereas each of these regions had a specific mtDNA clade. This cyto-nuclear discordance is most likely caused by introgression of the mtDNA by ruling out two other alternative scenarios (incomplete lineage sorting and sex-biased gene flow). Although population-based analyses revealed purifying selection acting on Cytb and neutrality in ND5, multiple nonsynonymous substitutions in both Cytb and ND5 were suggested to have been caused by positive selection by a divergence-based analysis. Our study supports the view that molecular adaptation can occur at genes under strong purifying selection if nonsynonymous substitutions cause radical changes in the physicochemical properties of amino acids.

  14. Naturally selecting solutions: the use of genetic algorithms in bioinformatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Timmy; Sleator, Roy D; Walsh, Paul

    2013-01-01

    For decades, computer scientists have looked to nature for biologically inspired solutions to computational problems; ranging from robotic control to scheduling optimization. Paradoxically, as we move deeper into the post-genomics era, the reverse is occurring, as biologists and bioinformaticians look to computational techniques, to solve a variety of biological problems. One of the most common biologically inspired techniques are genetic algorithms (GAs), which take the Darwinian concept of natural selection as the driving force behind systems for solving real world problems, including those in the bioinformatics domain. Herein, we provide an overview of genetic algorithms and survey some of the most recent applications of this approach to bioinformatics based problems.

  15. The nature of assembly bias - I. Clues from a LCDM cosmology

    CERN Document Server

    Lacerna, Ivan

    2010-01-01

    We present a new proxy for the overdensity peak height for which the large-scale clustering of haloes of a given mass does not vary significantly with the assembly history. The peak height, usually taken to be well represented by the virial mass, can instead be approximated by the mass inside spheres of different radii, which in some cases can be larger than the virial radius and therefore include mass outside the individual host halo. The sphere radii are defined as r = $a$ delta_t + $b$ log_10(M_vir/M_nl), where delta_t is the age relative to the typical age of galaxies hosted by haloes with virial mass M_vir, M_nl is the non-linear mass, and $a$=0.2 and $b$=-0.02 are the free parameters adjusted to trace the assembly bias effect. Note that $r$ depends on both halo mass and age. In this new approach, some of the objects which were initially considered low-mass peaks belong to regions with higher overdensities. At large scales, i.e. in the two-halo regime, this model properly recovers the simple prescription...

  16. The Phenomenological Status of the Theory of Natural Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Ginnobili

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Some scholars have pointed out the phenomenological character of the theory of natural selection, in the sense that it does not propose new theoretical terms. Since others have held that one of the characteristics of explanatory theories is that they conceptually enrich their field of application, it could be said that the theory in question is lacking with respect to its explanatory capacity. The article addresses this issue by proposing an informal reconstruction of the Darwinian theory of natural selection using structuralist meta-theoretical tools. The objective is to show that the theory suggests at least one explanatory concept, which could be called “aptitude”, although all of its concepts are non-theoretical in the structuralist sense.

  17. Adverse Selection Models with Three States of Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela MARINESCU

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In the paper we analyze an adverse selection model with three states of nature, where both the Principal and the Agent are risk neutral. When solving the model, we use the informational rents and the efforts as variables. We derive the optimal contract in the situation of asymmetric information. The paper ends with the characteristics of the optimal contract and the main conclusions of the model.

  18. Population thinking and natural selection in dual-inheritance theory

    OpenAIRE

    Houkes, WN Wybo

    2012-01-01

    A deflationary perspective on theories of cultural evolution, in particular dual-inheritance theory, has recently been proposed by Lewens. On this ‘pop-culture’ analysis, dual-inheritance theorists apply population thinking to cultural phenomena, without claiming that cultural items evolve by natural selection. This paper argues against this pop-culture analysis of dual-inheritance theory. First, it focuses on recent dual-inheritance models of specific patterns of cultural change. These model...

  19. A clinical trial alert tool to recruit large patient samples and assess selection bias in general practice research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scheidt-Nave Christa

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many research projects in general practice face problems when recruiting patients, often resulting in low recruitment rates and an unknown selection bias, thus limiting their value for health services research. The objective of the study is to evaluate the recruitment performance of the practice staff in 25 participating general practices when using a clinical trial alert (CTA tool. Methods The CTA tool was developed for an osteoporosis survey of patients at risk for osteoporosis and fractures. The tool used data from electronic patient records (EPRs to automatically identify the population at risk (net sample, to apply eligibility criteria, to contact eligible patients, to enrol and survey at least 200 patients per practice. The effects of the CTA intervention were evaluated on the basis of recruitment efficiency and selection bias. Results The CTA tool identified a net sample of 16,067 patients (range 162 to 1,316 per practice, of which the practice staff reviewed 5,161 (32% cases for eligibility. They excluded 3,248 patients and contacted 1,913 patients. Of these, 1,526 patients (range 4 to 202 per practice were successfully enrolled and surveyed. This made up 9% of the net sample and 80% of the patients contacted. Men and older patients were underrepresented in the study population. Conclusion Although the recruitment target was unreachable for most practices, the practice staff in the participating practices used the CTA tool successfully to identify, document and survey a large patient sample. The tool also helped the research team to precisely determine a slight selection bias.

  20. The mouse X chromosome is enriched for sex-biased genes not subject to selection by meiotic sex chromosome inactivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khil, Pavel P; Smirnova, Natalya A; Romanienko, Peter J; Camerini-Otero, R Daniel

    2004-06-01

    Sex chromosomes are subject to sex-specific selective evolutionary forces. One model predicts that genes with sex-biased expression should be enriched on the X chromosome. In agreement with Rice's hypothesis, spermatogonial genes are over-represented on the X chromosome of mice and sex- and reproduction-related genes are over-represented on the human X chromosome. Male-biased genes are under-represented on the X chromosome in worms and flies, however. Here we show that mouse spermatogenesis genes are relatively under-represented on the X chromosome and female-biased genes are enriched on it. We used Spo11(-/-) mice blocked in spermatogenesis early in meiosis to evaluate the temporal pattern of gene expression in sperm development. Genes expressed before the Spo11 block are enriched on the X chromosome, whereas those expressed later in spermatogenesis are depleted. Inactivation of the X chromosome in male meiosis may be a universal driving force for X-chromosome demasculinization.

  1. Crop domestication and its impact on naturally selected trophic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yolanda H; Gols, Rieta; Benrey, Betty

    2015-01-01

    Crop domestication is the process of artificially selecting plants to increase their suitability to human requirements: taste, yield, storage, and cultivation practices. There is increasing evidence that crop domestication can profoundly alter interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies. Overall, little is known about how these interactions are affected by domestication in the geographical ranges where these crops originate, where they are sympatric with the ancestral plant and share the associated arthropod community. In general, domestication consistently has reduced chemical resistance against herbivorous insects, improving herbivore and natural enemy performance on crop plants. More studies are needed to understand how changes in morphology and resistance-related traits arising from domestication may interact with environmental variation to affect species interactions across multiple scales in agroecosystems and natural ecosystems.

  2. Substitution rate and natural selection in parvovirus B19

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenković, Gorana G.; Ćirković, Valentina S.; Šiljić, Marina M.; Blagojević, Jelena V.; Knežević, Aleksandra M.; Joksić, Ivana D.; Stanojević, Maja P.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate substitution rate and imprints of natural selection on parvovirus B19 genotype 1. Studied datasets included 137 near complete coding B19 genomes (positions 665 to 4851) for phylogenetic and substitution rate analysis and 146 and 214 partial genomes for selection analyses in open reading frames ORF1 and ORF2, respectively, collected 1973–2012 and including 9 newly sequenced isolates from Serbia. Phylogenetic clustering assigned majority of studied isolates to G1A. Nucleotide substitution rate for total coding DNA was 1.03 (0.6–1.27) x 10−4 substitutions/site/year, with higher values for analyzed genome partitions. In spite of the highest evolutionary rate, VP2 codons were found to be under purifying selection with rare episodic positive selection, whereas codons under diversifying selection were found in the unique part of VP1, known to contain B19 immune epitopes important in persistent infection. Analyses of overlapping gene regions identified nucleotide positions under opposite selective pressure in different ORFs, suggesting complex evolutionary mechanisms of nucleotide changes in B19 viral genomes. PMID:27775080

  3. Natural selection in the field and the classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

    This dissertation examined natural selection in westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) and undergraduate learning in the subject area natural selection. Translocation---moving individuals to a new habitat to establish, re-establish or supplement a population---is a crucial management strategy for cutthroat trout. One of the major questions managers face in a translocation is which population(s) should contribute individuals? Unfortunately, we often know little about the differences among potential contributing population. The goal of the first half of this dissertation was to look for differences in performance among individuals from five populations of westslope cutthroat trout. I assessed survival, growth, and condition (Chapter 2) and dispersal (Chapter 3) following the translocation of embryos from these five populations to six introduction sites in Cherry Creek. No differences existed among these populations in relative survival, growth, or condition at age 1 or 2. In contrast, statistically significant differences existed in dispersal distance among these populations. These differences were consistent across some, but not all, introduction locations. As our knowledge of evolutionary biology has continued to grow, so too has our knowledge of how students learn evolution. Students taught using active learning strategies can learn substantially more about complex scientific concepts than students taught using primarily lectures. The goal of the second half of this dissertation was to further examine how students learn natural selection and how instructors facilitate that learning. I conducted a national survey of the relationship between an instructor's use of active learning strategies and how much students learned about natural selection (Chapter 4). I used a random sample of instructors from the largest and most prestigious universities in the country so that my results could be inferred to this large population of instructors. The degree to

  4. The role of natural selection in the origin of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Iris

    2011-02-01

    It is commonly accepted among origin-of-life scientists that the emergence of life was an evolutionary process involving at one stage or other the working of natural selection. Researchers disagree, however, on the nature of the chemical infrastructure that could have formed prebiotically, enabling the evolutionary process. The division of the origin-of-life research community into 'geneticists' and 'metabolists' usually revolves around the issue whether the first to arise prebiotically was a genetic polymer or a primitive metabolic system. In this paper I offer an alternative classification based on the attitude to the onset of natural selection. From this perspective I add to the conventional division between gene-first and metabolism-first groups a position I call "preparatory metabolism". By this line of thought, an RNA or an RNA-like polymer could not have emerged prebiotically. Nevertheless, the onset of natural selection had to wait until such a polymer had arised. This paper examines the RNA-first, RNA-later, metabolism-first and preparatory-metabolism scenarios, assessing the weaknesses and strengths of each. I conclude that despite the recent theoretical advances in all these lines of research, and despite experimental breakthroughs, especially in overcoming several RNA-first hurdles, none of the examined paradigms has yet attained decisive experimental support. Demonstrating the evolvability of a potentially prebiotic infrastructure, whether genetic or metabolic, is a most serious challenge. So is the experimental demonstration of the emergence of such an infrastructure under prebiotic conditions. The current agenda before origin-of-life researchers of all stripes and colors is the search for the experimental means to tackle all these difficulties.

  5. Scientific Research or Advocacy? Emotive Labels and Selection Bias Confound Survey Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerome K. Vanclay

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available Robert Costanza presents four compelling visions of the future, but the language he uses to describe them is emotive and value-laden and may bias the survey results. The descriptions and analogies used may evoke responses from the survey participants that reveal more about their reactions to the description than their attitudes toward a given scenario. It is hypothesized that the use of more neutral language may lead to more support for the scenario involving "self-limited consumption with ample resources" that Costanza calls "Big Government." If this hypothesis is correct, then the skeptic's policy that Costanza appears to prefer has the additional advantage of always leading to the favored outcome, regardless of the state of the world.

  6. Selective attention, memory bias, and symptom perception in idiopathic environmental intolerance and somatoform disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witthöft, Michael; Gerlach, Alexander L; Bailer, Josef

    2006-08-01

    Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) refers to a polysymptomatic condition, similar to somatoform disorders. Various processes seem to contribute to its yet unknown etiology. Attention and memory for somatic symptom and IEI-trigger words was compared among participants with IEI (n = 54), somatoform disorders (SFD; n = 44) and control participants (n = 54). Groups did not differ in a dot-probe task. However, in an emotional Stroop task, attention was biased in IEI and SFD groups toward symptom words but not toward IEI-trigger words. Only the IEI group rated trigger words as more unpleasant and more arousing, and participants remembered them better in a recognition task. These implicit and explicit cognitive abnormalities in IEI and SFD may maintain processes of somatosensory amplification.

  7. The Success Of Stock Selection Strategies In Emerging Markets: Is It Risk Or Behavioral Bias?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. van der Hart; G.J. de Zwart (Gerben); D.J.C. van Dijk (Dick)

    2005-01-01

    textabstractWe examine competing explanations, based on risk and behavioral models, for the profitability of stock selection strategies in emerging markets. We document that both emerging market risk and global risk factors cannot account for the significant excess returns of selection strategies ba

  8. The Emergence of Physiology and Form: Natural Selection Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Torday

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Natural Selection describes how species have evolved differentially, but it is descriptive, non-mechanistic. What mechanisms does Nature use to accomplish this feat? One known way in which ancient natural forces affect development, phylogeny and physiology is through gravitational effects that have evolved as mechanotransduction, seen in the lung, kidney and bone, linking as molecular homologies to skin and brain. Tracing the ontogenetic and phylogenetic changes that have facilitated mechanotransduction identifies specific homologous cell-types and functional molecular markers for lung homeostasis that reveal how and why complex physiologic traits have evolved from the unicellular to the multicellular state. Such data are reinforced by their reverse-evolutionary patterns in chronic degenerative diseases. The physiologic responses of model organisms like Dictyostelium and yeast to gravity provide deep comparative molecular phenotypic homologies, revealing mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR as the final common pathway for vertical integration of vertebrate physiologic evolution; mTOR integrates calcium/lipid epistatic balance as both the proximate and ultimate positive selection pressure for vertebrate physiologic evolution. The commonality of all vertebrate structure-function relationships can be reduced to calcium/lipid homeostatic regulation as the fractal unit of vertebrate physiology, demonstrating the primacy of the unicellular state as the fundament of physiologic evolution.

  9. Population thinking and natural selection in dual-inheritance theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houkes, Wybo

    2012-05-01

    A deflationary perspective on theories of cultural evolution, in particular dual-inheritance theory, has recently been proposed by Lewens. On this 'pop-culture' analysis, dual-inheritance theorists apply population thinking to cultural phenomena, without claiming that cultural items evolve by natural selection. This paper argues against this pop-culture analysis of dual-inheritance theory. First, it focuses on recent dual-inheritance models of specific patterns of cultural change. These models exemplify population thinking without a commitment to natural selection of cultural items. There are grounds, however, for doubting the added explanatory value of the models in their disciplinary context-and thus grounds for engaging in other potentially explanatory projects based on dual-inheritance theory. One such project is suggested by advocates of the theory. Some of the motivational narratives that they offer can be interpreted as setting up an adaptationist project with regard to cumulative change in cultural items. We develop this interpretation here. On it, dual-inheritance theory features two interrelated selection processes, one on the level of genetically inherited learning mechanisms, another on the level of the cultural items transmitted through these mechanisms. This interpretation identifies a need for further modelling efforts, but also offers scope for enhancing the explanatory power of dual-inheritance theory.

  10. Transport and selective uptake of radium into natural clay minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidaka, Hiroshi; Horie, Kenji; Gauthier-Lafaye, Françoise

    2007-12-01

    Understanding of the environmental behavior of Ra is important from the viewpoint of the long-termed repository safety of radioactive waste, but investigation of Ra behavior in natural environment is difficult to detect. We found isotopic evidence of Ra transportation and its selective uptake into clay minerals from Pb isotopic analyses. Illite grains found in calcite veins included in sandstone near the Oklo uranium deposit, Republic of Gabon, show extremely low 207Pb/ 206Pb (˜ 0.0158) isotopic ratios. Although the Pb isotopic ratios of calcite and quartz coexisting with illite indicate the formation age of each component, those of illite do not. In addition, illite grains having low 207Pb/ 206Pb isotopic ratios contain a strongly large amount of Ba (1230 to 6010 ppm) in contrast with low contents of Ba in calcite and quartz (< 0.26 ppm). Considering the chemical similarity between Ba and Ra, the 207Pb/ 206Pb isotopic data suggest an excess of 206Pb due to selective adsorption of 226Ra (and also Ba) into illite grains. This is a very rare example to show evidence of the selective adsorption behavior of Ra from the isotopic excesses of 206Pb, although the adsorption ability of Ra itself in nature was largely reported.

  11. Does natural selection explain the selforganization of the entire cosmos?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Claycomb

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Because only enduring systems ultimately persist, physicist D. B. Kelley’s theory of universalselection, or “preservation of the stable,” expounds enormously upon the genesis of every lastingphenomenon in history, making it arguably the most interdisciplinary discovery ever made in science. Inhis new book, The Origin of Everything, Kelley thus shows Darwin’s principle of natural selection, orsurvival of the fittest, to explain not only the origin of species as exposed in 1859, but the genesis ofevery steadfast assemblage ever to have endured. In other words, it isn’t just stable species that arenaturally selected to exist, as all of Nature’s many unwavering systems are ultimately selected. Kelleytherefore demonstrates that preservation of the stable is not an innate characteristic of being, but anextremely powerful process, or deterministic mechanism, which absolutely demands fitness from all suchensembles. It therein explains the tremendous amount of variation among Nature’s many assemblages,as well as their stability, or order. However extraordinary, it even unites Darwinism and Einsteinianrelativity, as it further clarifies the relative formation of every phenomenon ever to have been.Consequently, our Earth isn’t the only ecology governed by survival of the fittest, for our entire cosmosis an astronomical ecosystem determined in full via preservation of the stable itself. These findings arealso in perfect accord with the stringent demands of modern biology’s three-part algorithm, or the threefundamental mechanisms responsible for life’s stability and evolution. Remarkably, universal selectionhas even been confirmed at reputable laboratories through numerous experiments in physics, quantumphysics, chemistry and more. While Darwin thus revolutionized all of our various biological sciences byrevealing the immense logic behind every adaptation of every species, Kelley holds that universalselection revolutionizes science in its

  12. Implications of the Reduction Principal for Cosmological Natural Selection

    CERN Document Server

    Altenberg, Lee

    2013-01-01

    Smolin (1992) proposed a Darwinian process of universe reproduction - Cosmological Natural Selection - to account for the values of the parameters of the Standard Model. This idea can also be brought to bear on the laws of inheritance proposed to operate during universe production. Universe inheritance laws can themselves evolve within an enlarged state space of universe properties (another recent proposal of Smolin) that includes variation in the transmission laws. This is the strategy introduced by Nei (1967) to understand genetic transmission, through the evolutionary theory of modifier genes, whose methods are adopted here. When mechanisms of variation themselves vary, they are subject to Feldman's (1972) evolutionary Reduction Principle that selection favors greater faithfulness of replication. This dynamic is illustrated with a multitype branching process model of universe creation containing competing inheritance laws. The most faithful inheritance law dominates the ensemble of universes. The Reduction...

  13. Natural selection of stellar civilizations by the limits of growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagiannis, M. D.

    1983-10-01

    Evolution occurs in any system that possesses degrees of freedom to allow the appearance of new entities and constraints to select a few of them to become part of the system which in this manner continues to evolve. The limits of growth in a finite system, which will be imposed on all stellar civilizations by the colossal distances that separate the stars, will become the constraint that will affect the natural selection of these civilizations. Those that will manage to overcome their innate tendencies toward continuous material growth and replace them with non-material goals will be the only ones to survive this crisis. As a result the entire galaxy in a cosmically short period will become populated by stable, highly ethical and spiritual civilizations.

  14. Natural selection drives chemical resistance of Datura stramonium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda-Pérez, Adán; Castillo, Guillermo; Hernández-Cumplido, Johnattan; Valverde, Pedro L.; Borbolla, María; Cruz, Laura L.; Tapia-López, Rosalinda; Fornoni, Juan; Flores-Ortiz, César M.

    2016-01-01

    Plant resistance to herbivores involves physical and chemical plant traits that prevent or diminish damage by herbivores, and hence may promote coevolutionary arm-races between interacting species. Although Datura stramonium’s concentration of tropane alkaloids is under selection by leaf beetles, it is not known whether chemical defense reduces seed predation by the specialist weevil, Trichobaris soror, and if it is evolving by natural selection. We measured infestation by T. soror as well as the concentration of the plants’ two main tropane alkaloids in 278 D. stramonium plants belonging to 31 populations in central Mexico. We assessed whether the seed predator exerted preferences on the levels of both alkaloids and whether they affect plant fitness. Results show great variation across populations in the concentration of scopolamine and atropine in both leaves and seeds of plants of D. stramonium, as well as in the intensity of infestation and the proportion of infested fruits by T. soror. The concentration of scopolamine in seeds and leaves are negatively associated across populations. We found that scopolamine concentration increases plant fitness. Our major finding was the detection of a positive relationship between the population average concentrations of scopolamine with the selection differentials of scopolamine. Such spatial variation in the direction and intensity of selection on scopolamine may represent a coevolutionary selective mosaic. Our results support the view that variation in the concentration of scopolamine among-populations of D. stramonium in central Mexico is being driven, in part, by selection exerted by T. soror, pointing an adaptive role of tropane alkaloids in this plant species. PMID:27114866

  15. Bias and Stability of Single Variable Classifiers for Feature Ranking and Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhraei, Shobeir; Soltanian-Zadeh, Hamid; Fotouhi, Farshad

    2014-11-01

    Feature rankings are often used for supervised dimension reduction especially when discriminating power of each feature is of interest, dimensionality of dataset is extremely high, or computational power is limited to perform more complicated methods. In practice, it is recommended to start dimension reduction via simple methods such as feature rankings before applying more complex approaches. Single Variable Classifier (SVC) ranking is a feature ranking based on the predictive performance of a classifier built using only a single feature. While benefiting from capabilities of classifiers, this ranking method is not as computationally intensive as wrappers. In this paper, we report the results of an extensive study on the bias and stability of such feature ranking method. We study whether the classifiers influence the SVC rankings or the discriminative power of features themselves has a dominant impact on the final rankings. We show the common intuition of using the same classifier for feature ranking and final classification does not always result in the best prediction performance. We then study if heterogeneous classifiers ensemble approaches provide more unbiased rankings and if they improve final classification performance. Furthermore, we calculate an empirical prediction performance loss for using the same classifier in SVC feature ranking and final classification from the optimal choices.

  16. Loads bias genetic and signaling switches in synthetic and natural systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samanthe M Lyons

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Biological protein interactions networks such as signal transduction or gene transcription networks are often treated as modular, allowing motifs to be analyzed in isolation from the rest of the network. Modularity is also a key assumption in synthetic biology, where it is similarly expected that when network motifs are combined together, they do not lose their essential characteristics. However, the interactions that a network module has with downstream elements change the dynamical equations describing the upstream module and thus may change the dynamic and static properties of the upstream circuit even without explicit feedback. In this work we analyze the behavior of a ubiquitous motif in gene transcription and signal transduction circuits: the switch. We show that adding an additional downstream component to the simple genetic toggle switch changes its dynamical properties by changing the underlying potential energy landscape, and skewing it in favor of the unloaded side, and in some situations adding loads to the genetic switch can also abrogate bistable behavior. We find that an additional positive feedback motif found in naturally occurring toggle switches could tune the potential energy landscape in a desirable manner. We also analyze autocatalytic signal transduction switches and show that a ubiquitous positive feedback switch can lose its switch-like properties when connected to a downstream load. Our analysis underscores the necessity of incorporating the effects of downstream components when understanding the physics of biochemical network motifs, and raises the question as to how these effects are managed in real biological systems. This analysis is particularly important when scaling synthetic networks to more complex organisms.

  17. Loads bias genetic and signaling switches in synthetic and natural systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Samanthe M; Xu, Wenlong; Medford, June; Prasad, Ashok

    2014-03-01

    Biological protein interactions networks such as signal transduction or gene transcription networks are often treated as modular, allowing motifs to be analyzed in isolation from the rest of the network. Modularity is also a key assumption in synthetic biology, where it is similarly expected that when network motifs are combined together, they do not lose their essential characteristics. However, the interactions that a network module has with downstream elements change the dynamical equations describing the upstream module and thus may change the dynamic and static properties of the upstream circuit even without explicit feedback. In this work we analyze the behavior of a ubiquitous motif in gene transcription and signal transduction circuits: the switch. We show that adding an additional downstream component to the simple genetic toggle switch changes its dynamical properties by changing the underlying potential energy landscape, and skewing it in favor of the unloaded side, and in some situations adding loads to the genetic switch can also abrogate bistable behavior. We find that an additional positive feedback motif found in naturally occurring toggle switches could tune the potential energy landscape in a desirable manner. We also analyze autocatalytic signal transduction switches and show that a ubiquitous positive feedback switch can lose its switch-like properties when connected to a downstream load. Our analysis underscores the necessity of incorporating the effects of downstream components when understanding the physics of biochemical network motifs, and raises the question as to how these effects are managed in real biological systems. This analysis is particularly important when scaling synthetic networks to more complex organisms.

  18. Measuring Teaching Quality in Higher Education : Assessing the Problem of Selection Bias in Course Evaluations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salomons, Anna; Goos, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    Student evaluations of teaching are widely used to measure teaching quality and compare it across different courses, teachers, departments and institutions: as such, they are of increasing importance for teacher promotion decisions as well as student course selection. However, the response on course

  19. The importance of estimating selection bias on prevalence estimates, shortly after a disaster.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grievink, L.; Velden, P.G. van der; Yzermans, C.J.; Roorda, J.; Stellato, R.K.

    2006-01-01

    PURPOSE: The aim was to study selective participation and its effect on prevalence estimates in a health survey of affected residents 3 weeks after a man-made disaster in The Netherlands (May 13, 2000). METHODS: All affected adult residents were invited to participate. Survey (questionnaire) data we

  20. The importance of estimating selection bias on prevalence estimates shortly after a disaster.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grievink, Linda; Velden, Peter G van der; Yzermans, C Joris; Roorda, Jan; Stellato, Rebecca K

    2006-01-01

    PURPOSE: The aim was to study selective participation and its effect on prevalence estimates in a health survey of affected residents 3 weeks after a man-made disaster in The Netherlands (May 13, 2000). METHODS: All affected adult residents were invited to participate. Survey (questionnaire) data we

  1. Worry or craving? A selective review of evidence for food-related attention biases in obese individuals, eating-disorder patients, restrained eaters and healthy samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werthmann, Jessica; Jansen, Anita; Roefs, Anne

    2015-05-01

    Living in an 'obesogenic' environment poses a serious challenge for weight maintenance. However, many people are able to maintain a healthy weight indicating that not everybody is equally susceptible to the temptations of this food environment. The way in which someone perceives and reacts to food cues, that is, cognitive processes, could underlie differences in susceptibility. An attention bias for food could be such a cognitive factor that contributes to overeating. However, an attention bias for food has also been implicated with restrained eating and eating-disorder symptomatology. The primary aim of the present review was to determine whether an attention bias for food is specifically related to obesity while also reviewing evidence for attention biases in eating-disorder patients, restrained eaters and healthy-weight individuals. Another aim was to systematically examine how selective attention for food relates (causally) to eating behaviour. Current empirical evidence on attention bias for food within obese samples, eating-disorder patients, and, even though to a lesser extent, in restrained eaters is contradictory. However, present experimental studies provide relatively consistent evidence that an attention bias for food contributes to subsequent food intake. This review highlights the need to distinguish not only between different (temporal) attention bias components, but also to take different motivations (craving v. worry) and their impact on attentional processing into account. Overall, the current state of research suggests that biased attention could be one important cognitive mechanism by which the food environment tempts us into overeating.

  2. Selective attention to food-related stimuli in hunger: are attentional biases specific to emotional and psychopathological states, or are they also found in normal drive states?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogg, K; Bradley, B P; Hyare, H; Lee, S

    1998-02-01

    Previous work has indicated that anxiety disorders and eating disorders are associated with selective processing of stimuli relevant to patients' concerns (e.g. Mathews and MacLeod, 1994; Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 25-50; Channon et al., 1988; British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 27, 259-260). A dot probe task was used to investigate whether attentional biases are also a feature of a normal drive state. Specifically, we examined whether hunger is associated with biases in selective attention and in pre-attentive processes for food-relevant stimuli. Subjects with high levels of hunger showed a greater attentional bias for food-related words presented in a suprathreshold exposure condition (words shown for 500 msec), in comparison with those with low hunger. There was no evidence in the present study of a hunger-related bias in pre-attentive processes (i.e. when words were shown for 14 msec and masked). Results suggest that a non-emotional motivational state, such as hunger, is associated with a bias in certain aspects of information processing, such as selective attention, for stimuli that are relevant to the motivational state. Findings are discussed in relation to recent research into emotion-related cognitive biases.

  3. General trends in selectively driven codon usage biases in the domain archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriarte, Andrés; Jara, Eugenio; Leytón, Lucía; Diana, Leticia; Musto, Héctor

    2014-10-01

    Since the advent of rapid techniques for sequencing DNA in the mid 70's, it became clear that all codons coding for the same amino acid are not used according to neutral expectations. In the last 30 years, several theories were proposed for explaining this fact. However, the most important concepts were the result of analyses carried out in Bacteria, and unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes like mammals (in other words, in two of the three Domains of life). In this communication, we study the main forces that shape codon usage in Archaeae under an evolutionary perspective. This is important because, as known, the orthologous genes related with the informational system in this Domain (replication, transcription and translation) are more similar to eukaryotes than to Bacteria. Our results show that the effect of selection acting at the level of translation is present in the Domain but mainly restricted to only a phylum (Euryarchaeota) and therefore is not as extended as in Bacteria. Besides, we describe the phylogenetic distribution of translational optimal codons and estimate the effect of selection acting at the level of accuracy. Finally, we discuss these results under some peculiarities that characterize this Domain.

  4. Nonmaternal Care's Association With Mother's Parenting Sensitivity: A Case of Self-Selection Bias?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomaguchi, Kei M; Demaris, Alfred

    2013-06-01

    Although attachment theory posits that the use of nonmaternal care undermines quality of mothers' parenting, empirical evidence for this link is inconclusive. Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 1,233), the authors examined the associations between nonmaternal care characteristics and maternal sensitivity during the first 3 years of children's lives, with special attention to selection effects and moderation by resource levels. Findings from fixed-effects regression models suggested that, on average, there is little relationship between nonmaternal care characteristics and maternal sensitivity, once selection factors are held constant. Some evidence of moderation effects was found, however. Excellent-quality care is related to more sensitivity for mothers with lower family income. Poor-quality care is related to lower sensitivity for single mothers, but not partnered mothers. In sum, nonmaternal care characteristics do not seem to have as much influence on mothers' parenting as attachment theory claims.

  5. A Single Subset of Dendritic Cells Controls the Cytokine Bias of Natural Killer T Cell Responses to Diverse Glycolipid Antigens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Pooja; Baena, Andres; Yu, Karl O.A.; Saini, Neeraj K.; Kharkwal, Shalu S.; Goldberg, Michael F.; Kunnath-Velayudhan, Shajo; Carreño, Leandro J.; Venkataswamy, Manjunatha M.; Kim, John; Lazar-Molnar, Eszter; Lauvau, Gregoire; Chang, Young-tae; Liu, Zheng; Bittman, Robert; Al-Shamkhani, Aymen; Cox, Liam R.; Jervis, Peter J.; Veerapen, Natacha; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Porcelli, Steven A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Many hematopoietic cell types express CD1d and are capable of presenting glycolipid antigens to invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells). However, the question of which cells are the principal presenters of glycolipid antigens in vivo remains controversial, and it has been suggested that this might vary depending on the structure of a particular glycolipid antigen. Here we have shown that a single type of cell, the CD8α+ DEC-205+ dendritic cell, was mainly responsible for capturing and presenting a variety of different glycolipid antigens, including multiple forms of α-galactosylceramide that stimulate widely divergent cytokine responses. After glycolipid presentation, these dendritic cells rapidly altered their expression of various costimulatory and coinhibitory molecules in a manner that was dependent on the structure of the antigen. These findings show flexibility in the outcome of two-way communication between CD8α+ dendritic cells and iNKT cells, providing a mechanism for biasing toward either proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory responses. PMID:24412610

  6. A single subset of dendritic cells controls the cytokine bias of natural killer T cell responses to diverse glycolipid antigens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Pooja; Baena, Andres; Yu, Karl O A; Saini, Neeraj K; Kharkwal, Shalu S; Goldberg, Michael F; Kunnath-Velayudhan, Shajo; Carreño, Leandro J; Venkataswamy, Manjunatha M; Kim, John; Lazar-Molnar, Eszter; Lauvau, Gregoire; Chang, Young-tae; Liu, Zheng; Bittman, Robert; Al-Shamkhani, Aymen; Cox, Liam R; Jervis, Peter J; Veerapen, Natacha; Besra, Gurdyal S; Porcelli, Steven A

    2014-01-16

    Many hematopoietic cell types express CD1d and are capable of presenting glycolipid antigens to invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells). However, the question of which cells are the principal presenters of glycolipid antigens in vivo remains controversial, and it has been suggested that this might vary depending on the structure of a particular glycolipid antigen. Here we have shown that a single type of cell, the CD8α(+) DEC-205(+) dendritic cell, was mainly responsible for capturing and presenting a variety of different glycolipid antigens, including multiple forms of α-galactosylceramide that stimulate widely divergent cytokine responses. After glycolipid presentation, these dendritic cells rapidly altered their expression of various costimulatory and coinhibitory molecules in a manner that was dependent on the structure of the antigen. These findings show flexibility in the outcome of two-way communication between CD8α(+) dendritic cells and iNKT cells, providing a mechanism for biasing toward either proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory responses.

  7. Mixed strategies and natural selection in resource allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kareva, Irina; Berezovkaya, Faina; Karev, Georgy

    2013-01-01

    An appropriate choice of strategy for resource allocation may frequently determine whether a population will be able to survive under the conditions of severe resource limitations. Here we focus on two classes of strategies allocation of resources towards rapid proliferation, or towards slower proliferation but increased physiological and environmental maintenance. We propose a generalized framework, where individuals within a population can use either strategy in different proportion for utilization of a common dynamical resource in order to maximize their fitness. We use the model to address two major questions, namely, whether either strategy is more likely to be selected for as a result of natural selection, and, if one allows for the possibility of resource over-consumption, whether either strategy is preferable for avoiding population collapse due to resource exhaustion. Analytical and numerical results suggest that the ultimate choice of strategy is determined primarily by the initial distribution of individuals in the population, and that while investment in physiological and environmental maintenance is a preferable strategy in a homogeneous population, no generalized prediction can be made about heterogeneous populations.

  8. Mosquito management in the face of natural selection

    KAUST Repository

    Agusto, Folashade B.

    2012-09-01

    The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an appealing method for managing mosquito populations while avoiding the environmental and social costs associated with more traditional control strategies like insecticide application. Success of SIT, however, hinges on sterile males being able to compete for females. As a result, heavy and/or continued use of SIT could potentially diminish its efficacy if prolonged treatments result in selection for female preference against sterile males. In this paper we extend a general differential equation model of mosquito dynamics to consider the role of female choosiness in determining the long-term usefulness of SIT as a management option. We then apply optimal control theory to our model and show how natural selection for female choosiness fundamentally alters management strategies. Our study calls into question the benefits associated with developing SIT as a management strategy, and suggests that effort should be spent studying female mate choice in order to determine its relative importance and how likely it is to impact SIT treatment goals. © 2012.

  9. Natural selection for costly nutrient recycling in simulated microbial metacommunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Richard A; Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-11-07

    Recycling of essential nutrients occurs at scales from microbial communities to global biogeochemical cycles, often in association with ecological interactions in which two or more species utilise each others' metabolic by-products. However, recycling loops may be unstable; sequences of reactions leading to net recycling may be parasitised by side-reactions causing nutrient loss, while some reactions in any closed recycling loop are likely to be costly to participants. Here we examine the stability of nutrient recycling loops in an individual-based ecosystem model based on microbial functional types that differ in their metabolism. A supplied nutrient is utilised by a "source" functional type, generating a secondary nutrient that is subsequently used by two other types-a "mutualist" that regenerates the initial nutrient at a growth rate cost, and a "parasite" that produces a refractory waste product but does not incur any additional cost. The three functional types are distributed across a metacommunity in which separate patches are linked by a stochastic diffusive migration process. Regions of high mutualist abundance feature high levels of nutrient recycling and increased local population density leading to greater export of individuals, allowing the source-mutualist recycling loop to spread across the system. Individual-level selection favouring parasites is balanced by patch-level selection for high productivity, indirectly favouring mutualists due to the synergistic productivity benefits of the recycling loop they support. This suggests that multi-level selection may promote nutrient cycling and thereby help to explain the apparent ubiquity and stability of nutrient recycling in nature.

  10. Kinematic bias on centrality selection of jet events in pPb collisions at the LHC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armesto, Néstor, E-mail: nestor.armesto@usc.es [Departamento de Física de Partículas and IGFAE, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, E-15706 Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain); Gülhan, Doğa Can, E-mail: dgulhan@mit.edu [Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Milhano, José Guilherme, E-mail: guilherme.milhano@tecnico.ulisboa.pt [CENTRA, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, P-1049-001 Lisboa (Portugal); Physics Department, Theory Unit, CERN, CH-1211 Genève 23 (Switzerland)

    2015-07-30

    Centrality selection has been observed to have a large effect on jet observables in pPb collisions at the Large Hadron Collider, stronger than that predicted by the nuclear modification of parton densities. We study to which extent simple considerations of energy–momentum conservation which link the hard process with the underlying event that provides the centrality estimator, affect jets observables in such collisions. We develop a simplistic approach that considers first the production of jets in a pp collision as described by PYTHIA. From each pp collision, the value of the energy of the parton from the proton participating in the hard scattering is extracted. Then, the underlying event is generated simulating a pPb collision through HIJING, but with the energy of the proton decreased according to the value extracted in the previous step, and both collisions are added. This model is able to capture the bulk of the centrality effect for central to semicentral collisions, for the two available sets of data: dijets from the CMS Collaboration and single jets from the ATLAS Collaboration. As expected, the model fails for peripheral collisions where very few nucleons from Pb participate.

  11. Selection BIAS: Stereotypes and discrimination related to having a history of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Larry R; White, Craig D; Shapiro, Jenessa R; Hebl, Michelle R

    2016-01-01

    Although great strides have been made in increasing equality and inclusion in organizations, a number of stigmatized groups are overlooked by diversity initiatives, including people with a history of cancer. To examine the workplace experiences of these individuals in selection contexts, we conducted 3 complementary studies that assess the extent to which cancer is disclosed, the stereotypes associated with cancer in the workplace, and discrimination resulting from these stereotypes. In a pilot study, we surveyed 196 individuals with a history of cancer (across 2 samples) about their workplace disclosure habits. In Study 1, we explored stereotypes related to employees with a history of cancer using the framework outlined by the stereotype content model. In Study 2, we used a field study to assess the experiences of job applicants who indicated they were "cancer survivors" (vs. not) with both formal and interpersonal forms of discrimination. This research shows that cancer is disclosed at relatively high rates (pilot study), those with a history of cancer are stereotyped as being higher in warmth than competence (Study 1), and the stereotypes associated with those who have had cancer result in actual discrimination toward them (Study 2). We discuss the theory behind these findings and aim to inform both science and practice with respect to this growing workplace population.

  12. Contributions of natural and sexual selection to the evolution of premating reproductive isolation: a research agenda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safran, Rebecca J; Scordato, Elizabeth S C; Symes, Laurel B; Rodríguez, Rafael L; Mendelson, Tamra C

    2013-11-01

    Speciation by divergent natural selection is well supported. However, the role of sexual selection in speciation is less well understood due to disagreement about whether sexual selection is a mechanism of evolution separate from natural selection, as well as confusion about various models and tests of sexual selection. Here, we outline how sexual selection and natural selection are different mechanisms of evolutionary change, and suggest that this distinction is critical when analyzing the role of sexual selection in speciation. Furthermore, we clarify models of sexual selection with respect to their interaction with ecology and natural selection. In doing so, we outline a research agenda for testing hypotheses about the relative significance of divergent sexual and natural selection in the evolution of reproductive isolation.

  13. Effects of natural and sexual selection on adaptive population divergence and premating isolation in a damselfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Erik I; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Friberg, Magne

    2006-06-01

    The relative strength of different types of directional selection has seldom been compared directly in natural populations. A recent meta-analysis of phenotypic selection studies in natural populations suggested that directional sexual selection may be stronger in magnitude than directional natural selection, although this pattern may have partly been confounded by the different time scales over which selection was estimated. Knowledge about the strength of different types of selection is of general interest for understanding how selective forces affect adaptive population divergence and how they may influence speciation. We studied divergent selection on morphology in parapatric, natural damselfly (Calopteryx splendens) populations. Sexual selection was stronger than natural selection measured on the same traits, irrespective of the time scale over which sexual selection was measured. Visualization of the fitness surfaces indicated that population divergence in overall morphology is more strongly influenced by divergent sexual selection rather than natural selection. Courtship success of experimental immigrant males was lower than that of resident males, indicating incipient sexual isolation between these populations. We conclude that current and strong sexual selection promotes adaptive population divergence in this species and that premating sexual isolation may have arisen as a correlated response to divergent sexual selection. Our results highlight the importance of sexual selection, rather than natural selection in the adaptive radiation of odonates, and supports previous suggestions that divergent sexual selection promotes speciation in this group.

  14. Evolution and natural selection: learning by playing and reflecting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Herrero

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Scientific literacy is more than the simple reproduction of traditional school science knowledge and requires a set of skills, among them identifying scientific issues, explaining phenomena scientifically and using scientific evidence. Several studies have indicated that playing computer games in the classroom can support the development of students’ conceptual understanding about scientific phenomena and theories. Our paper presents a research study where the role of the video game Spore as a learning tool was analysed in a Biology class. An ethnographical perspective served as the framework for the organization and development of a workshop comprised of five sessions with 22 4th grade students, and their Biology teacher. The results show that this video game could become an interesting learning tool to improve students’ understanding of evolution and natural selection. The students could combine their previous knowledge with the academic knowledge obtained though the simulation presented by the video game. To sum up, an attempt has been made to give some empirical guidance about effective approaches to the utilisation of games in classrooms, additionally paying attention to a number of concerns related to the effectiveness of video games as learning tools.

  15. Individual biases, cultural evolution, and the statistical nature of language universals: the case of colour naming systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baronchelli, Andrea; Loreto, Vittorio; Puglisi, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Language universals have long been attributed to an innate Universal Grammar. An alternative explanation states that linguistic universals emerged independently in every language in response to shared cognitive or perceptual biases. A computational model has recently shown how this could be the case, focusing on the paradigmatic example of the universal properties of colour naming patterns, and producing results in quantitative agreement with the experimental data. Here we investigate the role of an individual perceptual bias in the framework of the model. We study how, and to what extent, the structure of the bias influences the corresponding linguistic universal patterns. We show that the cultural history of a group of speakers introduces population-specific constraints that act against the pressure for uniformity arising from the individual bias, and we clarify the interplay between these two forces.

  16. Citation bias and selective focus on positive findings in the literature on the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), life stress and depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, de Ymkje Anna; Roest, A. M.; Franzen, M.; Munaf, M. R.; Bastiaansen, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Caspi et al.'s 2003 report that 5-HTTLPR genotype moderates the influence of life stress on depression has been highly influential but remains contentious. We examined whether the evidence base for the 5-HTTLPR-stress interaction has been distorted by citation bias and a selective focus o

  17. Evidence that Natural Selection is the Primary Cause of the Guanine-cytosine Content Variation in Rice Genes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaoli Shi; Xiyin Wang; Zhe Li; Qihui Zhu; Ji Yang; Song Ge; Jingchu Luo

    2007-01-01

    Cereal genes are classified into two distinct classes according to the guanine-cytosine (GC) content at the third codon sites (GC3). Natural selection and mutation bias have been proposed to affect the GC content. However, there has been controversy about the cause of GC variation. Here, we characterized the GC content of 1 092 paralogs and other single-copy genes in the duplicated chromosomal regions of the rice genome (ssp. indica) and classified the paralogs into GC3-rich and GC3-poor groups. By referring to out-group sequences from Arabidopsis and maize, we confirmed that the average synonymous substitution rate of the GC3-rich genes is significantly lower than that of the GC3-poor genes. Furthermore,we explored the other possible factors corresponding to the GC variation including the length of coding sequences, the number of exons in each gene, the number of genes in each family, the location of genes on chromosomes and the protein functions. Consequently, we propose that natural selection rather than mutation bias was the primary cause of the GC variation.

  18. Human fertility, molecular genetics, and natural selection in modern societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix C Tropf

    Full Text Available Research on genetic influences on human fertility outcomes such as number of children ever born (NEB or the age at first childbirth (AFB has been solely based on twin and family-designs that suffer from problematic assumptions and practical limitations. The current study exploits recent advances in the field of molecular genetics by applying the genomic-relationship-matrix based restricted maximum likelihood (GREML methods to quantify for the first time the extent to which common genetic variants influence the NEB and the AFB of women. Using data from the UK and the Netherlands (N = 6,758, results show significant additive genetic effects on both traits explaining 10% (SE = 5 of the variance in the NEB and 15% (SE = 4 in the AFB. We further find a significant negative genetic correlation between AFB and NEB in the pooled sample of -0.62 (SE = 0.27, p-value = 0.02. This finding implies that individuals with genetic predispositions for an earlier AFB had a reproductive advantage and that natural selection operated not only in historical, but also in contemporary populations. The observed postponement in the AFB across the past century in Europe contrasts with these findings, suggesting an evolutionary override by environmental effects and underscoring that evolutionary predictions in modern human societies are not straight forward. It emphasizes the necessity for an integrative research design from the fields of genetics and social sciences in order to understand and predict fertility outcomes. Finally, our results suggest that we may be able to find genetic variants associated with human fertility when conducting GWAS-meta analyses with sufficient sample size.

  19. The nature of the relative bias between galaxies of different spectral type in 2dFGRS

    CERN Document Server

    Conway, E; Wild, V; Peacock, J A; Hawkins, E; Norberg, P; Madgwick, D S; Baldry, I K; Baugh, C M; Bland-Hawthorn, J; Bridges, T; Cannon, R; Cole, S; Colless, M; Collins, C; Couch, W; Dalton, G B; De Propris, R; Driver, S P; Efstathiou, G P; Ellis, Richard S; Frenk, C S; Glazebrook, K; Jackson, C; Jones, B; Lahav, O; Lewis, I; Lumsden, S; Percival, W; Peterson, B A; Sutherland, W; Taylor, K; The 2dFGRS Team

    2004-01-01

    We present an analysis of the relative bias between early- and late-type galaxies in the Two-degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS). Our analysis examines the joint counts in cells between early- and late-type galaxies, using approximately cubical cells with sides ranging from 7h^{-1}Mpc to 42h^{-1}Mpc. We measure the variance of the counts in cells using the method of Efstathiou et al. (1990), which we find requires a correction for a finite volume effect. We fit lognormal models to the one-point density distribution and develop methods of dealing with biases in the recovered variances resulting from this technique. We directly fit deterministic models for the joint density distribution function, f(delta_E,delta_L), to the joint counts in cells using a maximum likelihood technique. Our results are consistent with a scale invariant relative bias factor on all scales studied. Linear bias is ruled out on scales less than l=28h^{-1}Mpc. A power-law bias model is a significantly better fit to the data on al...

  20. Implicit Social Biases in People With Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birmingham, Elina; Stanley, Damian; Nair, Remya; Adolphs, Ralph

    2015-11-01

    Implicit social biases are ubiquitous and are known to influence social behavior. A core diagnostic criterion of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is abnormal social behavior. We investigated the extent to which individuals with ASD might show a specific attenuation of implicit social biases, using Implicit Association Tests (IATs) involving social (gender, race) and nonsocial (nature, shoes) categories. High-functioning adults with ASD showed intact but reduced IAT effects relative to healthy control participants. We observed no selective attenuation of implicit social (vs. nonsocial) biases in our ASD population. To extend these results, we supplemented our healthy control data with data collected from a large online sample from the general population and explored correlations between autistic traits and IAT effects. We observed no systematic relationship between autistic traits and implicit social biases in our online and control samples. Taken together, these results suggest that implicit social biases, as measured by the IAT, are largely intact in ASD.

  1. Examining undergraduate understanding of natural selection and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balgopal, Meena Michelle

    2007-12-01

    This dissertation explores the understanding of evolution and natural selection by zoology and biological sciences education majors in two upper-division undergraduate courses. To date, there has been little research on evolution misconceptions held by these two populations. Students' misconceptions regarding evolution typically revolve around teleological and Lamarckian explanations for adaptations, origin of variation, and fitness. There are other misconceptions, however, that are described in this dissertation. The overarching objective of the dissertation was to identify variables that might influence the conceptual change. A mixed-method analysis was developed to identify instances of conceptual change that go undetected when only quantitative analyses are used. Through interpretations of in-depth interviews, written discourse, diagnostic tests, instructor interviews, and field notes, it was discovered that students' professional and personal affiliations influenced their motivation to resolve misconceptions. There were three main findings of this doctoral study. First, the effects of direct instruction on misconceptions enabled students to identify incorrect teleological wording but did not necessarily change students' writing about evolution. Higher-achieving students with career interests in biology were more likely to resolve their teleological misconceptions than lower-achieving students. Second, zoology student written discourse could be divided into subjective, objective, and authentic categories based on personal and professional connections that students made in their writing. Students who wrote authentically expressed intentions of pursuing professional biological research. Third, biological sciences education students were found to have composite identities based on personal and professional affiliations, which either hindered or enhanced their motivation to resolve evolution misconceptions. Students' personal affiliations to religious communities

  2. Natural selection against a circadian clock gene mutation in mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spoelstra, K.; Wikelski, Martin; Daan, Serge; Loudon, Andrew; Hau, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms with an endogenous period close or equal to the natural light-dark cycle are considered evolutionarily adaptive (‘circadian resonance hypothesis’). Despite remarkable insight into the molecular mechanisms driving circadian cycles, this hypothesis has not been tested under natural c

  3. Natural fibre selection for composite eco-design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Corona, Andrea; Madsen, Bo; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky;

    2016-01-01

    Natural fibre composites (NFC) are gaining interest in manufacturing because they address some of the environmental problems of traditional composites: use of non-renewable resources, and large impacts related to their production and disposal. Since natural fibres are not yet optimized for compos...

  4. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies. Volume 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntington, H.G.; Schuler, G.E. [eds.

    1989-04-01

    The Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established in 1976 at Stanford University to provide a structural framework within which energy experts, analysts, and policymakers could meet to improve their understanding of critical energy problems. The ninth EMF study, North American Natural Gas Markets, was conducted by a working group comprised of leading natural gas analysts and decision-makers from government, private companies, universities, and research and consulting organizations. The EMF 9 working group met five times from October 1986 through June 1988 to discuss key issues and analyze natural gas markets. This third volume includes technical papers that support many of the conclusions discussed in the EMF 9 summary report (Volume 1) and full working group report (Volume 2). These papers discuss the results from the individual models as well as some nonmodeling analysis related to US natural gas imports and industrial natural gas demand. Individual papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  5. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntington, H.G.; Schuler, G.E. (eds.)

    1989-04-01

    The Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established in 1976 at Stanford University to provide a structural framework within which energy experts, analysts, and policymakers could meet to improve their understanding of critical energy problems. The ninth EMF study, North American Natural Gas Markets, was conducted by a working group comprised of leading natural gas analysts and decision-makers from government, private companies, universities, and research and consulting organizations. The EMF 9 working group met five times from October 1986 through June 1988 to discuss key issues and analyze natural gas markets. This third volume includes technical papers that support many of the conclusions discussed in the EMF 9 summary report (Volume 1) and full working group report (Volume 2). These papers discuss the results from the individual models as well as some nonmodeling analysis related to US natural gas imports and industrial natural gas demand. Individual papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  6. Natural selection of mitochondria during somatic lifetime promotes healthy aging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodell, Anders; Rasmussen, Lene J; Bergersen, Linda H;

    2013-01-01

    Stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis during life-time challenges both eliminates disadvantageous properties and drives adaptive selection of advantageous phenotypic variations. Intermittent fission and fusion of mitochondria provide specific targets for health promotion by brief temporal stres...

  7. Predation and selection for antibiotic resistance in natural environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leisner, Jørgen; Jørgensen, Niels O. G.; Middelboe, Mathias

    2016-01-01

    Genes encoding resistance to antibiotics appear, like the antibiotics themselves, to be ancient, originating long before the rise of the era of anthropogenic antibiotics. However, detailed understanding of the specific biological advantages of antibiotic resistance in natural environments is still...... lacking, thus limiting our efforts to prevent environmental influx of resistance genes. Here, we propose that antibiotic-resistant cells not only evade predation from antibiotic producers but also take advantage of nutrients released from cells that are killed by the antibiotic-producing bacteria. Thus......, predation is potentially an important mechanism for driving antibiotic resistance during slow or stationary phase of growth when nutrients are deprived. This adds to explain the ancient nature and widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance in natural environments unaffected by anthropogenic antibiotics...

  8. Media Bias

    OpenAIRE

    Sendhil Mullainathan; Andrei Shleifer

    2002-01-01

    There are two different types of media bias. One bias, which we refer to as ideology, reflects a news outlet's desire to affect reader opinions in a particular direction. The second bias, which we refer to as spin, reflects the outlet's attempt to simply create a memorable story. We examine competition among media outlets in the presence of these biases. Whereas competition can eliminate the effect of ideological bias, it actually exaggerates the incentive to spin stories.

  9. Selection on protein-coding genes of natural cyanobacterial populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mes, T.H.M.; Doeleman, M.W.; Lodders, N.; Nübel, U.; Stal, L.J.

    2006-01-01

    We examined the distribution of synonymous and non-synonymous changes in 12 protein-coding genes of natural populations of cyanobacteria to infer changes in gene functionality. By comparing mutation distributions within and across species using the McDonald–Kreitman test, we found data sets to conta

  10. Natural selection against a circadian clock gene mutation in mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spoelstra, Kamiel; Wikelski, Martin; Daan, Serge; Loudon, Andrew S I; Hau, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms with an endogenous period close to or equal to the natural light-dark cycle are considered evolutionarily adaptive ("circadian resonance hypothesis"). Despite remarkable insight into the molecular mechanisms driving circadian cycles, this hypothesis has not been tested under natura

  11. Natural ingredients based cosmetics. Content of selected fragrance sensitizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rastogi, S C; Johansen, J D; Menné, T

    1996-06-01

    In the present study, we have investigated 42 cosmetic products based on natural ingredients for content of 11 fragrance substances: geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, eugenol, isoeugenol, cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic alcohol, alpha-amylcinnamic aldehyde, citral, coumarin, dihydrocoumarin and alpha-hexylcinnamic aldehyde. The study revealed that the 91% (20/22) of the natural ingredients based perfumes contained 0.027%-7.706% of 1 to 7 of the target fragrances. Between 1 and 5 of the chemically defined synthetic constituents of fragrance mix were found in 82% (18/22) of the perfumes. 35% (7/20) of the other cosmetic products (shampoos, creams, tonics, etc) were found to contain 0.0003-0.0820% of 1 to 3 of the target fragrances. Relatively high concentrations of hydroxycitronellal, coumarin, cinnamic alcohol and alpha-amyl cinnamic aldehyde were found in some of the investigated products. The detection of hydroxycitronellal and alpha-hexylcinnamic aldehyde in some of the products demonstrates that artificial fragrances, i.e., compounds not yet regarded as natural substances, may be present in products claimed to be based on natural ingredients.

  12. Selected References on Asbestos: Its Nature, Hazards, Detection, and Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Education Association, Washington, DC.

    This document provides teachers with sources of information about the nature, hazards, detection, and control of asbestos. Because many school buildings include asbestos-containing materials, teachers and other school personnel must be aware of the potential dangers to students and to themselves and take steps to have asbestos hazards contained or…

  13. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smith Thomas B

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Natural selection is a potent evolutionary force that shapes phenotypic variation to match ecological conditions. However, we know little about the year-to-year consistency of selection, or how inter-annual variation in ecology shapes adaptive landscapes and ultimately adaptive radiations. Here we combine remote sensing data, field experiments, and a four-year study of natural selection to show that changes in vegetation structure associated with a severe drought altered both habitat use and natural selection in the brown anole, Anolis sagrei. Results In natural populations, lizards increased their use of vegetation in wet years and this was correlated with selection on limb length but not body size. By contrast, a die-back of vegetation caused by drought was followed by reduced arboreality, selection on body size, and relaxed selection on limb length. With the return of the rains and recovery of vegetation, selection reverted back to pre-drought pattern of selection acting on limb length but not body size. To test for the impact of vegetation loss on natural selection during the drought, we experimentally removed vegetation on a separate study island in a naturally wet year. The experiment revealed similar inter-annual changes in selection on body size but not limb length. Conclusion Our results illustrate the dynamic nature of ecology driving natural selection on Anolis morphology and emphasize the importance of inter-annual environmental variation in shaping adaptive variation. In addition, results illustrate the utility of using remote sensing data to examine ecology's role in driving natural selection.

  14. Solid supported reagents for effecting selective transformation in natural products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.P. Santhanakrishnan

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Polymer supported N-bromoacetamide resin can be easily prepared by the bromination of the acetamide resin and can be used for the transformation of furan ring in tetranortriterpenoids to butryolactone with excellent selectivity and in good yield in shorter time under microwave irradiation condition.

  15. Geographical structure and differential natural selection among North European populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McEvoy, Brian P; Montgomery, Grant W; McRae, Allan F;

    2009-01-01

    reflecting response to infectious disease epidemic. Such an event may explain a striking selective sweep centered on the rs2508049-G allele, close to the HLA-G gene on chromosome 6. Evidence of the sweep extends over a 8-Mb/3.5-cM region. Overall, the results illustrate the power of dense genotype and sample...

  16. Crop domestication and its impact on naturally selected trophic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Yolanda H.; Gols, Rieta; Benrey, Betty

    2015-01-01

    Crop domestication is the process of artificially selecting plants to increase their suitability to human requirements: taste, yield, storage, and cultivation practices. There is increasing evidence that crop domestication can profoundly alter interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natu

  17. Natural selection on genes that underlie human disease susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blekhman, Ran; Man, Orna; Herrmann, Leslie; Boyko, Adam R.; Indap, Amit; Kosiol, Carolin; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Teshima, Kosuke M.; Przeworski, Molly

    2008-01-01

    What evolutionary forces shape genes that contribute to the risk of human disease? Do similar selective pressures act on alleles that underlie simple vs. complex disorders? [1-3]. Answers to these questions will shed light on the origin of human disorders (e.g., [4]), and help to predict the population frequencies of alleles that contribute to disease risk, with important implications for the efficient design of mapping studies [5-7]. As a first step towards addressing them, we created a hand-curated version of the Mendelian Inheritance in Man database (OMIM). We then examined selective pressures on Mendelian disease genes, genes that contribute to complex disease risk and genes known to be essential in mouse, by analyzing patterns of human polymorphism and of divergence between human and rhesus macaque. We find that Mendelian disease genes appear to be under widespread purifying selection, especially when the disease mutations are dominant (rather than recessive). In contrast, the class of genes that influence complex disease risk shows little signs of evolutionary conservation, possibly because this category includes both targets of purifying and positive selection. PMID:18571414

  18. Phenotypic selection on leaf WUE and related ecophysiological traits for natural populations of desert sunflowers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donovan, L.A.; Rosenthal, D.R.; Dudley, S.A.; Ludwig, F.

    2007-01-01

    Plant water-use efficiency (WUE) is expected to affect plant fitness and thus be under natural selection in arid habitats. Although many natural population studies have assessed plant WUE, only a few related WUE to fitness. The further determination of whether selection on WUE is direct or indirect

  19. A Hands-On Exercise to Demonstrate Evolution by Natural Selection & Genetic Drift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Helen J.; Young, Truman P.

    2003-01-01

    Although students "learn" (i.e., hear about) the components of evolution by natural selection in high school biology courses, few of them truly understand or remember them. Evolution by natural selection, although seemingly simple, requires that several conditions be met. The trait of concern must exhibit variation within the population; this…

  20. Student Sorting and Bias in Value Added Estimation: Selection on Observables and Unobservables. NBER Working Paper No. 14666

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Jesse

    2009-01-01

    Non-random assignment of students to teachers can bias value added estimates of teachers' causal effects. Rothstein (2008a, b) shows that typical value added models indicate large counter-factual effects of 5th grade teachers on students' 4th grade learning, indicating that classroom assignments are far from random. This paper quantifies the…

  1. Natural Selection of Mitochondria During Somatic Lifetime Promotes Healthy Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders Bertil Rodell

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis during life-time challenges both eliminates disadvantageous properties and drives adaptive selection of advantageous phenotypic variations. Intermittent fission and fusion of mitochondria provide specific targets for health promotion by brief temporal stressors, interspersed with periods of recovery and biogenesis. For mitochondria, the mechanisms of selection, variability, and heritability, are complicated by interaction of two independent genomes, including the multiple copies of DNA in each mitochondrion, as well as the shared nuclear genome of each cell. The mechanisms of stress-induced fission, followed by recovery-induced fusion and biogenesis, drive the improvement of mitochondrial functions, not only as directed by genotypic variations, but also as enabled by phenotypic diversity. Selective adaptation may explain unresolved aspects of aging, including the health effects of exercise, hypoxic and poisonous preconditioning, and tissue-specific mitochondrial differences. We propose that intermittent purposeful enhancement of mitochondrial biogenesis by stressful episodes with subsequent recovery paradoxically promotes adaptive mitochondrial health and continued healthy aging.

  2. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard

    OpenAIRE

    Smith Thomas B; Buermann Wolfgang; Calsbeek Ryan

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Natural selection is a potent evolutionary force that shapes phenotypic variation to match ecological conditions. However, we know little about the year-to-year consistency of selection, or how inter-annual variation in ecology shapes adaptive landscapes and ultimately adaptive radiations. Here we combine remote sensing data, field experiments, and a four-year study of natural selection to show that changes in vegetation structure associated with a severe drought altered b...

  3. Natural selection and the distribution of identity-by-descent in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albrechtsen, Anders; Moltke, Ida; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2010-01-01

    There has recently been considerable interest in detecting natural selection in the human genome. Selection will usually tend to increase identity-by-descent (IBD) among individuals in a population, and many methods for detecting recent and ongoing positive selection indirectly take advantage of ...

  4. The Biases of Optical Line-Ratio Selection for Active Galactic Nuclei, and the Intrinsic Relationship between Black Hole Accretion and Galaxy Star Formation

    CERN Document Server

    Trump, Jonathan R; Zeimann, Gregory R; Luck, Cuyler; Bridge, Joanna S; Grier, Catherine J; Hagen, Alex; Juneau, Stephanie; Montero-Dorta, Antonio; Rosario, David J; Brandt, W Niel; Ciardullo, Robin; Schneider, Donald P

    2015-01-01

    We use 317,000 emission-line galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to investigate line-ratio selection of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). In particular, we demonstrate that "star formation dilution" by HII regions causes a significant bias against AGN selection in low-mass, blue, star-forming, disk-dominated galaxies. This bias is responsible for the observed preference of AGNs among high-mass, green, moderately star-forming, bulge-dominated hosts. We account for the bias and simulate the intrinsic population of emission-line AGNs using a physically-motivated Eddington ratio distribution, intrinsic AGN narrow line region line ratios, a luminosity-dependent Lbol/L[OIII] bolometric correction, and the observed Mbh-sigma relation. These simulations indicate that, in massive (log(M*/Msun) > 10) galaxies, AGN accretion is correlated with specific star formation rate but is otherwise uniform with stellar mass. There is some hint of lower black hole occupation in low-mass (log(M*/Msun) < 10) hosts, although o...

  5. Enhanced bias stability of solution-processed zinc-tin-oxide thin film transistors using self-assembled monolayer as a selective channel passivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, Jae-Sang; Park, Sung-Kyu

    2013-10-01

    The enhanced positive bias stability of amorphous zinc-tin-oxide thin-film transistors (a-ZTO TFTs) were obtained by applying self-assembled monolayer (SAM) as a selective passivation layer on the metal-oxide back channel area. The a-ZTO TFTs with passivation layers such as poly(methyl methacylate) (PMMA), SAM, and SAM/PMMA were fabricated by simple solution methods. After deposition of the passivation layers, the electrical characteristics of a-ZTO TFTs have not been changed and the threshold voltage shift (deltaV(th)) under gate-bias stress for around 10(4) seconds was improved. The deltaV(th) of the devices with PMMA, SAM, and SAM/PMMA dual layer were 3.79 V, 3.2 V, and 2.17 V, respectively.

  6. Darwin, natural selection and the biological essentiality of aluminium and silicon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, Christopher

    2009-12-01

    If one was asked to produce a set of 'Trump Cards' based upon 'Forces of Nature Defining Life on Earth' then which card would be 'Top Trump'? I was recently chastised on the Darwin Today website for suggesting Darwin and 'natural selection' rather than, for example, Newton and 'gravity'. Although there is no denying the significance of gravity, my argument in favour of natural selection is simply that gravity is just one factor that contributes towards an outcome which ultimately is defined by natural selection. Both the beauty and the brilliance of natural selection are reflected in its omnipotence to explain the myriad observations of life and, as I will affirm herein, its explanation of the biological essentiality of aluminium and silicon is no exception.

  7. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively peutral sites across the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui;

    2011-01-01

    throughout the genome. Further, we show that the widespread presence of weakly deleterious alleles, rather than a small number of strongly positively selected mutations, is responsible for the correlation between neutral genetic diversity and recombination rate. This work suggests that natural selection has......A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries...... and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations...

  8. Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur, North East India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asghar, M; Meitei, S Y; Luxmi, Y; Achoubi, N; Meitei, K S; Murry, B; Sachdeva, M P; Saraswathy, K N

    2014-01-01

    Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur in comparison with other North East Indian population has been studied. Crow's index as well as Johnston and Kensinger's index for natural selection were calculated based on differential fertility and mortality. The mortality component was found to be lower compared to fertility component in all the populations which may attribute to comparatively improved and easily accessible health care facilities. However, different selection pressures, artificial and natural, seem to be influencing the selection intensity through induced abortion and spontaneous abortion among the two non-tribal migrant groups: Bamon and Muslims, respectively. This study highlights the probable interaction of artificial and natural selection in determining the evolutionary fate of any population group.

  9. A computational study of how orientation bias in the lateral geniculate nucleus can give rise to orientation selectivity in primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levin eKuhlmann

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Controversy remains about how orientation selectivity emerges in simple cells of the mammalian primary visual cortex. In this paper, we present a computational model of how the orientation-biased responses of cells in lateral geniculate nucleus can contribute to the orientation selectivity in simple cells in cats. We propose that simple cells are excited by lateral geniculate fields with an orientation-bias and disynaptically inhibited by unoriented lateral geniculate fields (or biased fields pooled across orientations, both at approximately the same retinotopic co-ordinates. This interaction, combined with recurrent cortical excitation and inhibition, helps to create the sharp orientation tuning seen in simple cell responses. Along with describing orientation selectivity, the model also accounts for the spatial frequency and length response functions in simple cells, in normal conditions as well as under the influence of the GABAA antagonist, bicuculline. In addition, the model captures the response properties of LGN and simple cells to simultaneous visual stimulation and electrical stimulation of the LGN. We show that the sharp selectivity for stimulus orientation seen in primary visual cortical cells can be achieved without the excitatory convergence of the lateral geniculate nucleus input cells with receptive fields along a line in visual space, which has been a core assumption in classical models of visual cortex. We have also simulated how the full range of orientations seen in the cortex can emerge from the activity among broadly tuned channels tuned to a limited number of optimum orientations, just as in the classical case of coding for colour in trichromatic primates.

  10. Stability as a natural selection mechanism on interacting networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco A. Tamarit

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Biological networks of interacting agents exhibit similar topological properties for a wide range of scales, from cellular to ecological levels, suggesting the existence of a common evolutionary origin. A general evolutionary mechanism based on global stability has been proposed recently  [J I Perotti, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 108701 (2009]. This mechanism was incorporated into a  model of a growing network of interacting agents in which each new agent's membership in the network is determined by the agent's effect on the network's global stability. In this work, we analyze different quantities that characterize the topology of the emerging networks, such as global connectivity, clustering and average nearest neighbors degree, showing that they reproduce scaling behaviors frequently observed in several biological systems. The influence of the stability selection  mechanism on the dynamics associated to the resulting network, as well as  the interplay  between some topological and functional features are also analyzed.Received: 17 July 2010; Accepted: 27 September 2010; Edited by: D. H. Zanette; Reviewed by: V. M. Eguiluz, Inst. Fisica Interdisciplinar y Sist. Complejos, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; DOI: 10.4279/PIP.020005

  11. Successful sex pre-selection using natural family planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSweeney, Léonie

    2011-03-01

    The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that gender can be preselected by timing coitus in relation to ovulation, the marker of ovulation being the Peak symptom according to the Billings Method. A blind prospective study of 99 couples wishing to preselect the sex of their child was conducted in Nigeria, using the Post-Peak approach of Billings Method for males and Pre-Peak for females. Research co-ordinators examined the 'post-conception' form within four months of conception. This form recorded the timing of coitus prior to conception, and from this, the sex of child was predicted. 94 of the couples had a child of pre-selected sex showing a method success of 94.9%. 78 of 81 predicting a male were successful (96.3%) and 16 of the 18 predicting a female (88.9%). There was one user-failure, a couple who wanted a girl, timed coitus as for a boy, which they had. The study indicates that where comprehensive instruction is provided, the sex of a child can be preselected with a high degree of confidence by timing coitus, using the Post-Peak approach of Billings Method for males and Pre-Peak for females.

  12. From prebiotic chemistry to cellular metabolism--the chemical evolution of metabolism before Darwinian natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meléndez-Hevia, Enrique; Montero-Gómez, Nancy; Montero, Francisco

    2008-06-07

    It is generally assumed that the complex map of metabolism is a result of natural selection working at the molecular level. However, natural selection can only work on entities that have three basic features: information, metabolism and membrane. Metabolism must include the capability of producing all cellular structures, as well as energy (ATP), from external sources; information must be established on a material that allows its perpetuity, in order to safeguard the goals achieved; and membranes must be able to preserve the internal material, determining a selective exchange with external material in order to ensure that both metabolism and information can be individualized. It is not difficult to understand that protocellular entities that boast these three qualities can evolve through natural selection. The problem is rather to explain the origin of such features under conditions where natural selection could not work. In the present work we propose that these protocells could be built by chemical evolution, starting from the prebiotic primordial soup, by means of chemical selection. This consists of selective increases of the rates of certain specific reactions because of the kinetic or thermodynamic features of the process, such as stoichiometric catalysis or autocatalysis, cooperativity and others, thereby promoting their prevalence among the whole set of chemical possibilities. Our results show that all chemical processes necessary for yielding the basic materials that natural selection needs to work may be achieved through chemical selection, thus suggesting a way for life to begin.

  13. Selective isolation of components from natural volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrins as selective reagent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Shengqiang; Lu, Mengxia; Chu, Chu; Yan, Jizhong; Huang, Juan; Ying, Yongfei

    2016-04-29

    Selective separation of chemical components from seven kinds of volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with three types of cyclodextrins as selective reagent was investigated in this work. Preparative separation of chemical components from volatile oil is generally quite challenging due to their extremely complexity of the composition. A biphasic solvent system n-hexane-0.10 mol L(-1) cyclodextrin (1:1, v/v) was selected for separation of components from volatile oil and three types of cyclodextrins were investigated, including β-cyclodexrin, methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin. All kinds of volatile oils are from seven kinds of traditional Chinese herb. Results showed that some chemical components could be well separated with high purity from each kind of volatile oil using different type of cyclodextrin as selective reagent. For example, germacrone and curcumenone could be selectively separated from volatile oil of Curcumae Rhizoma with methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin as selector respectively, and other five components were selectively separated from volatile oil of Chuanxiong Rhizoma, Myristicae Semen, Aucklandiae Radix and Angelicae Sinensis Radix by countercurrent chromatography with different cyclodexrin as selective reagent. Separation mechanism for separation of components from volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrin as selective reagent was proposed. Peak resolution of the present separation method could be greatly influenced by the chemical compositions of volatile oil.

  14. Intergroup bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewstone, Miles; Rubin, Mark; Willis, Hazel

    2002-01-01

    This chapter reviews the extensive literature on bias in favor of in-groups at the expense of out-groups. We focus on five issues and identify areas for future research: (a) measurement and conceptual issues (especially in-group favoritism vs. out-group derogation, and explicit vs. implicit measures of bias); (b) modern theories of bias highlighting motivational explanations (social identity, optimal distinctiveness, uncertainty reduction, social dominance, terror management); (c) key moderators of bias, especially those that exacerbate bias (identification, group size, status and power, threat, positive-negative asymmetry, personality and individual differences); (d) reduction of bias (individual vs. intergroup approaches, especially models of social categorization); and (e) the link between intergroup bias and more corrosive forms of social hostility.

  15. Assessing the alignment of sexual and natural selection using radiomutagenized seed beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, D J; Holman, L

    2015-05-01

    A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology concerns the relationship between natural and sexual selection. Sexual selection might augment natural selection, for example if mutations that harm female fecundity also reduce male mating success. Conversely, sexual selection might favour traits that impair naturally selected fitness components. We induced detrimental mutations in Callosobruchus maculatus beetles using X-ray irradiation and then experimentally measured the effect of precopulatory sexual selection on offspring number and survival rate. Sexual selection treatment had a negative effect on egg-to-adult survivorship, although the number of progeny reaching adulthood was unaffected, perhaps because eggs and juveniles that failed to develop lessened competition on the survivors. We hypothesize that the negative effect of sexual selection arose because sexually competitive males transmitted a smaller nuptial gift or carried alleles that conferred reduced survival. Although we found no evidence that sexual selection on males can purge alleles that are detrimental to naturally selected fitness components, such benefits might exist in other environmental or genetic contexts.

  16. Concentration-mortality responses of Myzus persicae and natural enemies to selected insecticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacci, Leandro; Rosado, Jander F; Picanço, Marcelo C; Pereira, Eliseu J G; Silva, Gerson A; Martins, Júlio C

    2012-01-01

    The toxicity of six insecticides was determined for the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and some of its natural enemies - the predatory beetles Cycloneda sanguinea (Coccinellidae) and Acanthinus sp. (Anthicidae), and the wasp parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae (Aphidiidae). Natural enemies from these groups are important natural biological control agents in a number of agroecosystems, and insecticides potentially safe to these non-target organisms should be identified using standardized tests. Thus, concentration-mortality bioassays were carried out with both the aphid and its natural enemies to assess the toxicity and selectivity of acephate, deltamethrin, dimethoate, methamidophos, methyl parathion, and pirimicarb. The latter insecticide was highly selective to all natural enemies tested, and its LC(90) for M. persicae was 14-fold lower than the field rate recommended for control of the aphid in brassica crops. Methyl parathion also showed selectivity to C. sanguinea and Acanthinus sp., but not to D. rapae. Acephate was the least potent insecticide against M. persicae and was equally or more toxic to the natural enemies relative to the aphid. Pirimicarb and methyl parathion were efficient against M. persicae and selective in favor of two of the natural enemies tested. Acanthinus sp. and C. sanguinea were more tolerant to the insecticides than was the parasitoid D. rapae. This study shows that there are selective insecticides that may be compatible with conservation of natural enemies in brassica crops, which is important practical information to improve integrated pest management systems in these crops.

  17. Less healthy, but more active: Opposing selection biases when recruiting older people to a physical activity study through primary care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carey Iain M

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Physical activity studies in older people experience poor recruitment. We wished to assess the influence of activity levels and health status on recruitment to a physical activity study in older people. Methods Comparison of participants and non-participants to a physical activity study using accelerometers in patients aged ≥ 65 years registered with a UK primary care centre. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR of participants in the accelerometer study with various adjustments. Analyses were initially adjusted for age, sex and household clustering; the health variables were then adjusted for physical activity levels and vice versa to look for independent effects. Results 43%(240/560 participated in the physical activity study. Age had no effect but males were more likely to participate than females OR 1.4(1.1–1.8. 46% (76/164 of non-participants sent the questionnaire returned it. The 240 participants reported greater physical activity than the 76 non-participants on all measures, eg faster walking OR 3.2(1.4–7.7, or 10.4(3.2–33.3 after adjustment for health variables. Participants reported more health problems; this effect became statistically significant after controlling for physical activity, eg disability OR 2.4(1.1–5.1. Conclusion Physical activity studies on older primary care patients may experience both a strong bias towards participants being more active and a weaker bias towards participants having more health problems and therefore primary care contact. The latter bias could be advantageous for physical activity intervention studies, where those with health problems need targeting.

  18. Opportunity for natural selection among some selected population groups of Northeast India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Das Farida

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Selection potential based on differential fertility and mortality has been computed for seven population groups inhabiting different geographical locations of Northeast India. Materials and Methods: Crow′s as well as Johnston and Kensinger′s index have been used for the present purpose. Results and Conclusion: Irrespective of the methodology, the total index of selection was found to be highest among the Deoris followed by the Kaibartas. The lowest selection index was found among the Oraon population. If the relative contribution of fertility and mortality components to the total index is considered to be multiplicative, it is observed that in all these communities the fertility component exceeds that of mortality component, which may indicate initiation of demographic transitional phase in the selected populations with the betterment of healthcare and socioeconomic condition within the last few decades.

  19. Comparison of selection methods to deduce natural background levels for groundwater units

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffioen, J.; Passier, H.F.; Klein, J.

    2008-01-01

    Establishment of natural background levels (NBL) for groundwater is commonly performed to serve as reference when assessing the contamination status of groundwater units. We compare various selection methods to establish NBLs using groundwater quality data forfour hydrogeologically different areas i

  20. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively peutral sites across the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui;

    2011-01-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries...... and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations...... of genetic variation, like allele frequencies, are also correlated with recombination rate and whether these correlations can be explained solely by negative selection against deleterious mutations or whether positive selection acting on favorable alleles is also required. Here we attempt to address...

  1. Natural selection constrains neutral diversity across a wide range of species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell B Corbett-Detig

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The neutral theory of molecular evolution predicts that the amount of neutral polymorphisms within a species will increase proportionally with the census population size (Nc. However, this prediction has not been borne out in practice: while the range of Nc spans many orders of magnitude, levels of genetic diversity within species fall in a comparatively narrow range. Although theoretical arguments have invoked the increased efficacy of natural selection in larger populations to explain this discrepancy, few direct empirical tests of this hypothesis have been conducted. In this work, we provide a direct test of this hypothesis using population genomic data from a wide range of taxonomically diverse species. To do this, we relied on the fact that the impact of natural selection on linked neutral diversity depends on the local recombinational environment. In regions of relatively low recombination, selected variants affect more neutral sites through linkage, and the resulting correlation between recombination and polymorphism allows a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of the impact of selection on linked neutral diversity. By comparing whole genome polymorphism data and genetic maps using a coalescent modeling framework, we estimate the degree to which natural selection reduces linked neutral diversity for 40 species of obligately sexual eukaryotes. We then show that the magnitude of the impact of natural selection is positively correlated with Nc, based on body size and species range as proxies for census population size. These results demonstrate that natural selection removes more variation at linked neutral sites in species with large Nc than those with small Nc and provides direct empirical evidence that natural selection constrains levels of neutral genetic diversity across many species. This implies that natural selection may provide an explanation for this longstanding paradox of population genetics.

  2. Four decades of opposing natural and human-induced artificial selection acting on Windermere pike (Esox lucius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Edeline, Eric; Asbjørn Vøllestad, L; Haugen, Thrond O; Winfield, Ian J; Fletcher, Janice M; Ben James, J; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2007-06-01

    The ability of natural selection to drive local adaptation has been appreciated ever since Darwin. Whether human impacts can impede the adaptive process has received less attention. We tested this hypothesis by quantifying natural selection and harvest selection acting on a freshwater fish (pike) over four decades. Across the time series, directional natural selection tended to favour large individuals whereas the fishery targeted large individuals. Moreover, non-linear natural selection tended to favour intermediate sized fish whereas the fishery targeted intermediate sized fish because the smallest and largest individuals were often not captured. Thus, our results unequivocally demonstrate that natural selection and fishery selection often acted in opposite directions within this natural system. Moreover, the two selective factors combined to produce reduced fitness overall and stronger stabilizing selection relative to natural selection acting alone. The long-term ramifications of such human-induced modifications to adaptive landscapes are currently unknown and certainly warrant further investigation.

  3. From Ends to Causes (and Back Again) by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blancke, Stefaan; Schellens, Tammy; Soetaert, Ronald; Van Keer, Hilde; Braeckman, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection is one of the most famous metaphors in the history of science. Charles Darwin used the metaphor and the underlying analogy to frame his ideas about evolution and its main driving mechanism into a full-fledged theory. Because the metaphor turned out to be such a powerful epistemic tool, Darwin naturally assumed that he could also…

  4. The basic science and mathematics of random mutation and natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinman, Alan

    2014-12-20

    The mutation and natural selection phenomenon can and often does cause the failure of antimicrobial, herbicidal, pesticide and cancer treatments selection pressures. This phenomenon operates in a mathematically predictable behavior, which when understood leads to approaches to reduce and prevent the failure of the use of these selection pressures. The mathematical behavior of mutation and selection is derived using the principles given by probability theory. The derivation of the equations describing the mutation and selection phenomenon is carried out in the context of an empirical example.

  5. Representations of Nature of Science in Selected Histories of Science in

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Bing; Li, Yue; Chen, Bo

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the representations of nature of science (NOS) in the eight histories of science selected from three series of integrated science textbooks used in junior high school in China. Ten aspects of NOS were adopted in the analytical framework. It was found that NOS had not been well treated in the selected histories of…

  6. Emergence of life: from functional RNA selection to natural selection and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Jeffrey Tze-Fei

    2014-06-01

    This study tracks the rise, evolution and post-evolution of the genetic information system through emergence of life. The major stages traversed include prebiotic synthesis, functional RNA selection by metabolite, RNA World, peptidated RNA world, co-evolution of genetic code and amino acid biosynthesis, last universal common ancestor, Darwinian evolution and synthetic life.

  7. Understanding our love affair with p-chlorophenyl: present day implications from historical biases of reagent selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Dean G; Gagnon, Moriah M; Boström, Jonas

    2015-03-12

    We report here an unexpectedly strong preference toward para substitution in phenyl rings within drug discovery programs. A population analysis of aromatic rings in various drug databases demonstrated that para substitution is favored over meta and ortho regioisomers, with p-chlorophenyl (p-ClPh) being one of the most predominant examples. We speculate that the frequency of p-ClPh is traced back to historical models of medicinal chemistry where para-substituted regioisomers were perhaps more easily accessed, and further reinforced by Topliss in 1972 that if Ph was active, the p-ClPh should be made because of ease of synthesis and hydrophobicity driven potency effects. On the basis of our analysis, the para bias has become useful conventional wisdom but perhaps so much so that a perception has been created that druglike space favors a linear aromatic structure. It is hoped this analysis will catalyze a new look at design of reagent databases and screening collections.

  8. Viewpoint: A challenge to academic health centers and the National Institutes of Health to prevent unintended gender bias in the selection of clinical and translational science award leaders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnes, Molly; Bland, Carole

    2007-02-01

    In controlled studies, both men and women preferentially select men over women for leadership positions, even when credentials are identical and despite field studies demonstrating women's equivalent or slightly better leadership effectiveness. The assumption that men will make better leaders than women is attributed to the pervasive existence of unconscious stereotypes that characterize both men and leaders as agentic or action oriented and women as dependent. The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap is a novel, prestigious award that will place considerable power in the hands of one principal investigator-conditions that predict activation of bias in favor of selecting male leaders. The authors review research supporting this assertion. To mitigate the impact of this bias and broaden the pool of potential leaders for this transformative initiative, the authors offer the following suggestions. To academic health centers they suggest (1) internal search committees comprised of at least 35% women that establish a priori the desired qualities for the CTSA leader and broadly solicit applicants, (2) explicit specification of the full range of desirable skills of a CTSA leader, and (3) systematic efforts to increase awareness of the negative impact of unconscious gender bias on women's advancement. To the NIH they suggest (1) the new multiple principal investigator rule for the CTSA program, (2) a statement in the request for applications (RFA) encouraging diversity among principal investigators, (3) repetition in the RFA of the public NIH statement of the importance of work life balance for young investigators, and (4) constitution of study sections with at least 35% women.

  9. The response of natural enemies to selective insecticides applied to soybean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varenhorst, A J; O'Neal, M E

    2012-12-01

    Natural enemies of the invasive pest Aphis glycines Matsumura can prevent its establishment and population growth. However, current A. glycines management practices include the application of broad-spectrum insecticides that affect pests and natural enemies that are present in the field at the time of application. An alternative is the use of selective insecticides that affect the targeted pest species, although having a reduced impact on the natural enemies. We tested the effects of esfenvalerate, spirotetramat, imidacloprid, and a combination of spirotetramat and imidacloprid on the natural enemies in soybean during the 2009 and 2010 field season. The natural enemy community that was tested differed significantly between 2009 and 2010 (F = 87.41; df = 1, 598; P enemies did not vary between the broad-spectrum and selective insecticides; however, the abundance of natural enemies was reduced by all insecticide treatments when compared with the untreated control. In 2010, the selective insecticide imidacloprid had more natural enemies than the broad-spectrum insecticide. Although we did not observe a difference in the abundance of the total natural enemy community in 2009, we did observe more H. axyridis in plots treated with spirotetramat. In 2010, we observed more O. insidiosus in plots treated with imidacloprid. We suggest a couple of mechanisms to explain how the varying insecticides have different impacts on separate components of the natural enemy community.

  10. Estimating selection through male fitness: three complementary methods illuminate the nature and causes of selection on flowering time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-02-24

    Our understanding of selection through male fitness is limited by the resource demands and indirect nature of the best available genetic techniques. Applying complementary, independent approaches to this problem can help clarify evolution through male function. We applied three methods to estimate selection on flowering time through male fitness in experimental populations of the annual plant Brassica rapa: (i) an analysis of mating opportunity based on flower production schedules, (ii) genetic paternity analysis, and (iii) a novel approach based on principles of experimental evolution. Selection differentials estimated by the first method disagreed with those estimated by the other two, indicating that mating opportunity was not the principal driver of selection on flowering time. The genetic and experimental evolution methods exhibited striking agreement overall, but a slight discrepancy between the two suggested that negative environmental covariance between age at flowering and male fitness may have contributed to phenotypic selection. Together, the three methods enriched our understanding of selection on flowering time, from mating opportunity to phenotypic selection to evolutionary response. The novel experimental evolution method may provide a means of examining selection through male fitness when genetic paternity analysis is not possible.

  11. The paradoxical advantages and disadvantages of natural selection: the case history of Charles Darwin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieb, J

    2007-01-01

    The biology of natural selection is an enduring mystery, as is the nature of Charles Darwin's chronic illness. Of the theories advanced to explain the latter, Oedipal conflicts and Chagas' disease are preeminent. Hypomania, however, propelled Darwin to the pinnacle of scientific achievement and good health, the depression that followed condemning him to intellectual stagnation, lethargy, impaired memory and concentration, and incapacitating gastrointestinal disorders. Examples of natural selection in humans are much sought after when, ironically, one need look no further than Darwin himself.

  12. GPCR偏向性配体介导的选择性功能%Selective functions of GPCR biased ligands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘路路; 蔡欣; 张宁; 白波; 陈京

    2012-01-01

    G蛋白偶联受体(GPCR)是当今药物治疗中最有效靶向作用的受体超家族之一,它在人类的正常生理状态和疾病过程中都发挥着极大的功效.近年研究发现,GPCR脱敏作用的调节器β-arrestin,可作为真正的衔接蛋白将信号转导到多重效应途径.β-arrestin介导的信号对生化和功能方面的影响力都不同于传统G蛋白介导的信号.由此发现辨别出的多种G 蛋白-偏向配体或β-arrestin偏向配体,不仅是用来研究GPCR信号生化特征的有效工具,还具有被开发成治疗药物的潜力.因此,该文就偏向性配体的特点、作用机制、药理学作用及研究偏向性配体的技术进行综述.%G protein-coupled receptor( GPCR ), superfamily represent some of the most successful targets of modern drug therapy, with proven significant efficacy in a broad range of human conditions and disease processes. It has recently been appreciated that β-arrestins, once viewed simply as regulators of GPCR desensitization, act as multifunctional adapter proteins that mediate distinct intracellular signals. Moreover, β-arrestin-mediated signaling has distinct functional and biochemical consequences from that mediated by G proteins. With the discovery of β-arrestin-mediated signaling has come a new appreciation of G protein-and β-arrestin- biased ligans. These ligands are not only useful tools for investigating the biochemistry of GPCR signalling, they also have the potential to be developed into new classes of therapeutics. Therefore, this article will mainly review the property, mechanism, pharmacological effects of biased ligands and the new research technologies.

  13. Growth differences and competition between Listeria monocytogenes strains determine their predominance on ham slices and lead to bias during selective enrichment with the ISO protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilelidou, Evangelia; Manthou, Evanthia; Skandamis, Panagiotis

    2016-10-17

    Listeria monocytogenes strains are widespread in the environment where they live well mixed, often resulting in multiple strains contaminating a single food sample. The occurrence of different strains in the same food might trigger strain competition, contributing to uneven growth of strains in food and to bias during selective procedures. We tested the growth of seven L. monocytogenes strains (C5, 6179, ScottA, PL24, PL25, PL26, PL27) on ham slices and on nutrient-rich agar at 10°C, singly and in combinations. Strains were made resistant to different antibiotics for their selective enumeration. In addition, growth of single strains (axenic culture) and competition between strains in xenic cultures of two strains was evaluated in enrichment broth and on selective agar. According to ISO 11290-1:1996/Amd 1:2004 standard protocol for detection of L. monocytogenes, two enrichment steps both followed by streaking on ALOA were performed. Strain cultures were directly added in the enrichment broth or used to inoculate minced beef and sliced hams which were then mixed with enrichment broth. 180-360 colonies were used to determine the relative percentage of each strain recovered on plates per enrichment step. The data showed a significant impact of co-cultivation on the growth of six out of seven strains on ham and a bias towards certain strains during selective enrichment. Competition was manifested by: (i) cessation of growth for the outcompeted strain when the dominant strain reached stationary phase, (ii) reduction of growth rates or (iii) total suppression of growth (both on ham and in enrichment broth or ALOA). Outgrowth of strains by their competitors on ALOA resulted in limited to no recovery, with the outcompeting strain accounting for up to 100% of the total recovered colonies. The observed bias was associated with the enrichment conditions (i.e. food type added to the enrichment broth) and the strain-combination. The outcome of growth competition on food or

  14. Unification of regression-based methods for the analysis of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrissey, Michael B; Sakrejda, Krzysztof

    2013-07-01

    Regression analyses are central to characterization of the form and strength of natural selection in nature. Two common analyses that are currently used to characterize selection are (1) least squares-based approximation of the individual relative fitness surface for the purpose of obtaining quantitatively useful selection gradients, and (2) spline-based estimation of (absolute) fitness functions to obtain flexible inference of the shape of functions by which fitness and phenotype are related. These two sets of methodologies are often implemented in parallel to provide complementary inferences of the form of natural selection. We unify these two analyses, providing a method whereby selection gradients can be obtained for a given observed distribution of phenotype and characterization of a function relating phenotype to fitness. The method allows quantitatively useful selection gradients to be obtained from analyses of selection that adequately model nonnormal distributions of fitness, and provides unification of the two previously separate regression-based fitness analyses. We demonstrate the method by calculating directional and quadratic selection gradients associated with a smooth regression-based generalized additive model of the relationship between neonatal survival and the phenotypic traits of gestation length and birth mass in humans.

  15. Chemo- and site-selective derivatizations of natural products enabling biological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles, Omar; Romo, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Bioactive natural products and derivatives remain an enduring starting point for the discovery of new cellular targets for disease intervention and lead compounds for the development of new therapeutic agents. The former goal is accomplished through the synthesis of bioactive cellular probes from natural products, enabling insights into the mechanism of action of these natural products by classical affinity chromatography or more recent proteome profiling methods. However, the direct and selective modification of native natural products for these purposes remains a challenge due to the structural complexity and the wide functional group diversity found in these natural substances. The lack of selective synthetic methods available to directly manipulate unprotected complex small molecules, in particular to perform structure-activity relationship studies and prepare appropriate cellular probes, has recently begun to be addressed, benefitting from the broader emerging area of chemoselective synthetic methodology. Thus, new reagents, catalysts and reaction processes are enabling both chemo- and site-selective modifications of complex, native natural products. In this review, we describe selected recent examples of these functionalization strategies in this emerging area.

  16. Darwin and his pigeons. The analogy between artificial and natural selection revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theunissen, Bert

    2012-01-01

    The analogy between artificial selection of domestic varieties and natural selection in nature was a vital element of Darwin's argument in his Origin of Species. Ever since, the image of breeders creating new varieties by artificial selection has served as a convincing illustration of how the theory works. In this paper I argue that we need to reconsider our understanding of Darwin's analogy. Contrary to what is often assumed, nineteenth-century animal breeding practices constituted a highly controversial field that was fraught with difficulties. It was only with considerable effort that Darwin forged his analogy, and he only succeeded by downplaying the importance of two other breeding techniques - crossing of varieties and inbreeding - that many breeders deemed essential to obtain new varieties. Part of the explanation for Darwin's gloss on breeding practices, I shall argue, was that the methods of his main informants, the breeders of fancy pigeons, were not representative of what went on in the breeding world at large. Darwin seems to have been eager to take the pigeon fanciers at their word, however, as it was only their methods that provided him with the perfect analogy with natural selection. Thus while his studies of domestic varieties were important for the development of the concept of natural selection, the reverse was also true: Darwin's comprehension of breeding practices was moulded by his understanding of the working of natural selection in nature. Historical studies of domestic breeding practices in the eighteenth and nineteenth century confirm that, besides selection, the techniques of inbreeding and crossing were much more important than Darwin's interpretation allowed for. And they still are today. This calls for a reconsideration of the pedagogic use of Darwin's analogy too.

  17. Natural selection and genital variation: a role for the environment, parasites and sperm ageing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Male genitalia are more variable between species (and populations) than other organs, and are more morphologically complex in polygamous compared to monogamous species. Therefore, sexual selection has been put forward as the major explanation of genital variation and complexity, in particular cryptic female choice for male copulatory courtship. As cryptic female choice is based on differences between males it is somewhat paradoxical that there is such low within-species variation in male genitalia that they are a prime morphological identification character for animal species. Processes other than sexual selection may also lead to genitalia variation but they have recently become neglected. Here I focus on pleiotropy and natural selection and provide examples how they link genitalia morphology with genital environments. Pleiotropy appears to be important because most studies that specifically tested for pleiotropic effects on genital morphology found them. Natural selection likely favours certain genital morphology over others in various environments, as well as by reducing re-infection with sexually transmitted diseases or reducing the likelihood of fertilisation with aged sperm. Both pleiotropy and natural selection differ locally and between species so may contribute to local variation in genitalia and sometimes variation between monogamous and polygamous species. Furthermore, the multitude of genital environments will lead to a multitude of genital functions via natural selection and pleiotropy, and may also contribute to explaining the complexity of genitalia.

  18. Variation in natural selection for growth and phlorotannins in the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jormalainen, V; Honkanen, T

    2004-07-01

    Directional selection for plant traits associated with resistance to herbivory tends to eliminate genetic variation in such traits. On the other hand, balancing selection arising from trade-offs between resistance and growth or spatially variable selection acts against the elimination of genetic variation. We explore both the amount of genetic variation and variability of natural selection for growth and concentration of phenolic secondary compounds, phlorotannins, in the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus. We measured variation in selection at two growing depths and two levels of nutrient availability in algae that had faced two kinds of past growing environments. Genetic variation was low for growth but high for phlorotannins. The form and strength of selection for both focal traits depended on the past growing environment of the algae. We found strong directional selection for growth rate in algae previously subjected to higher ultraviolet radiation, but not in algae previously subjected to higher nutrient availability. Stabilizing selection for growth occurred especially in the deep growing environment. Selection for phlorotannins was generally weak, but in some past-environment-current-environment combinations we detected either directional selection against phlorotannins or stabilizing selection. Thus, phlorotannins are not selectively neutral but affect the fitness of F. vesiculosus. In particular, there may be a fitness cost of producing phlorotannins, but the realization of such a cost varies from one environment to another. Genetic correlations between selective environments were high for growth but nonexistent for phlorotannins, emphasizing the high phenotypic plasticity of phlorotannin production. The highly heterogeneous selection, including directional, stabilizing, and spatially variable selection as well as temporal change in selection due to responses to past environmental conditions, probably maintains a high amount of genetic variation in phlorotannins

  19. Heterogeneity, self-Selection Bias and Return to Education%异质性、自选择偏差和教育收益率

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    缪柏其; 舒海兵; 叶五一

    2011-01-01

    Employing latest 8urvey data, this paper adopts generalized selection correction method which allows heterogeneity and self-selection bias problem, to estimate the return to college education of 2006. Meanwhile, we compare our results with traditional model and analyze the applicability of other non-experimental evaluation method. We find the retum to college for 2006 has increased substantially with the deeply economic reform and development of labor market. In addition, there is no significantly observable heterogeneity, but evidently unobservable heterogeneity and self-selection bias, and people sort into schooling on the basis of the principle of comparative advantage.%采用广义选择修正法,在考虑异质性和自选择偏差问题基础之上,结合最新的调查数据,评估了我国2006年高等教育收益率,并与传统模型下的研究结果进行了比较.同时还分析了其他非实验数据效应评估模型在本文的适用性.研究结果表明,随着经济改革深化和劳动市场的完善,2006年的高等教育收益率较之前有了显著的提高.另外,还发现可观察的异质性不明显,但不可观察的异质性和自选择偏差选择显著存在,且人们会根据自己的比较优势选择是否接受高等教育.

  20. Estimating the "Impact" of Out-of-Home Placement on Child Well-Being: Approaching the Problem of Selection Bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Lawrence M.; Bruch, Sarah K.; Johnson, Elizabeth I.; James, Sigrid; Rubin, David

    2009-01-01

    This study used data on 2,453 children aged 4-17 from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being and 5 analytic methods that adjust for selection factors to estimate the impact of out-of-home placement on children's cognitive skills and behavior problems. Methods included ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions and residualized…

  1. Selective enrichment media bias the types of Salmonella enterica strains isolated from mixed strain cultures and complex enrichment broths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorski, Lisa

    2012-01-01

    For foodborne outbreak investigations it can be difficult to isolate the relevant strain from food and/or environmental sources. If the sample is contaminated by more than one strain of the pathogen the relevant strain might be missed. In this study mixed cultures of Salmonella enterica were grown in one set of standard enrichment media to see if culture bias patterns emerged. Nineteen strains representing four serogroups and ten serotypes were compared in four-strain mixtures in Salmonella-only and in cattle fecal culture enrichment backgrounds using Salmonella enrichment media. One or more strain(s) emerged as dominant in each mixture. No serotype was most fit, but strains of serogroups C2 and E were more likely to dominate enrichment culture mixtures than strains of serogroups B or C1. Different versions of Rappaport-Vassiliadis (RV) medium gave different patterns of strain dominance in both Salmonella-only and fecal enrichment culture backgrounds. The fittest strains belonged to serogroups C1, C2, and E, and included strains of S. Infantis, S. Thompson S. Newport, S. 6,8:d:-, and S. Give. Strains of serogroup B, which included serotypes often seen in outbreaks such as S. Typhimurium, S. Saintpaul, and S. Schwarzengrund were less likely to emerge as dominant strains in the mixtures when using standard RV as part of the enrichment. Using a more nutrient-rich version of RV as part of the protocol led to a different pattern of strains emerging, however some were still present in very low numbers in the resulting population. These results indicate that outbreak investigations of food and/or other environmental samples should include multiple enrichment protocols to ensure isolation of target strains of Salmonella.

  2. Selective Aptamers for Detection of Estradiol and Ethynylestradiol in Natural Waters

    KAUST Repository

    Akki, Spurti U.

    2015-08-18

    © 2015 American Chemical Society. We used in vitro selection to identify new DNA aptamers for two endocrine-disrupting compounds often found in treated and natural waters, 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE). We used equilibrium filtration to determine aptamer sensitivity/selectivity and dimethyl sulfate (DMS) probing to explore aptamer binding sites. The new E2 aptamers are at least 74-fold more sensitive for E2 than is a previously reported DNA aptamer, with dissociation constants (Kd values) of 0.6 μM. Similarly, the EE aptamers are highly sensitive for EE, with Kd of 0.5-1.0 μM. Selectivity values indicate that the E2 aptamers bind E2 and a structural analogue, estrone (E1), equally well and are up to 74-fold selective over EE. One EE aptamer is 53-fold more selective for EE over E2 or E1, but the other binds EE, E2, and E1 with similar affinity. The new aptamers do not lose sensitivity or selectivity in natural water from a local lake, despite the presence of natural organic matter (∼4 mg/L TOC). DMS probing suggests that E2 binding occurs in relatively flexible single-stranded DNA regions, an important finding for rational redesign of aptamers and their incorporation into sensing platforms. This is the first report of aptamers with strong selectivity for E2 and E1 over EE, or with strong selectivity for EE over E2 and E1. Such selectivity is important for achieving the goal of creating practically useful DNA-based sensors that can distinguish structurally similar estrogenic compounds in natural waters.

  3. Selection bias in dynamically-measured super-massive black hole samples: its consequences and the quest for the most fundamental relation

    CERN Document Server

    Shankar, Francesco; Sheth, Ravi K; Ferrarese, Laura; Graham, Alister W; Savorgnan, Giulia; Allevato, Viola; Marconi, Alessandro; Laesker, Ronald; Lapi, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    We compare the set of local galaxies having dynamically measured black holes with a large, unbiased sample of galaxies extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We confirm earlier work showing that the majority of black hole hosts have significantly higher velocity dispersions sigma than local galaxies of similar stellar mass. We use Monte-Carlo simulations to illustrate the effect on black hole scaling relations if this bias arises from the requirement that the black hole sphere of influence must be resolved to measure black hole masses with spatially resolved kinematics. We find that this selection effect artificially increases the normalization of the Mbh-sigma relation by a factor of at least ~3; the bias for the Mbh-Mstar relation is even larger. Our Monte Carlo simulations and analysis of the residuals from scaling relations both indicate that sigma is more fundamental than Mstar or effective radius. In particular, the Mbh-Mstar relation is mostly a consequence of the Mbh-sigma and sigma-Mstar relati...

  4. Intraspecific shape variation in horseshoe crabs: the importance of sexual and natural selection for local adaptation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faurby, Søren; Nielsen, Kasper Sauer Kollerup; Bussarawit, Somchai

    2011-01-01

    A morphometric analysis of the body shape of three species of horseshoe crabs was undertaken in order to infer the importance of natural and sexual selection. It was expected that natural selection would be most intense, leading to highest regional differentiation, in the American species Limulus...... from nine populations, representing three species, were analyzed using a digitizer to position sixty morphometric landmarks in a three-dimensional space. Discriminant analysis revealed strong regional structuring within a species, which suggests strong philopatry, and showed the existence...

  5. Nonmaternal Care’s Association With Mother’s Parenting Sensitivity: A Case of Self-Selection Bias?

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Although attachment theory posits that the use of nonmaternal care undermines quality of mothers’ parenting, empirical evidence for this link is inconclusive. Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 1,233), the authors examined the associations between nonmaternal care characteristics and maternal sensitivity during the first 3 years of children’s lives, with special attention to selection effects and mo...

  6. GENETIC MUTATIONS AND NATURAL SELECTION – STEPS ON THE PATH OF EVOLUTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan Mihaela Balan

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available It is nowadays considered that mutation is one o the most important sources of variety existent in nature. We may therefore consider that the diversity of the living world is the result of a long process of successive adaptations to the actions of the environment and that these adaptations were defined by natural selection as morphological and functional features of both animal and vegetal species.

  7. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of...

  8. Artificial selection for structural color on butterfly wings and comparison with natural evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Wasik, Bethany R.; Liew, Seng Fatt; Lilien, David A.; Dinwiddie, April J.; Noh, Heeso; Cao, Hui; Monteiro, Antónia

    2014-01-01

    Despite significant efforts to study structural colors in nature, little is known about how such colors and structures evolved in the first place. To address this key question, we performed the first artificial selection (to our knowledge) on a structural color using butterflies. We demonstrated rapid evolution of violet structural color from ultra-violet brown scales in Bicyclus anynana butterflies with only six generations of selection. Furthermore, we identified the structural changes resp...

  9. Worldwide increase of obesity is related to the reduced opportunity for natural selection

    OpenAIRE

    Budnik, Alicja; Henneberg, Maciej

    2017-01-01

    Worldwide rise of obesity may be partly related to the relaxation of natural selection in the last few generations. Accumulation of mutations affecting metabolism towards excessive fat deposition is suggested to be a result of less purging selection. Using the WHO and UN data for 159 countries there is a significant correlation (r = 0.60, p30kg/m2). This correlation remains significant (r = 0.32., p

  10. From Ends to Causes (and Back Again) by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blancke, Stefaan; Schellens, Tammy; Soetaert, Ronald; Van Keer, Hilde; Braeckman, Johan

    2014-04-01

    Natural selection is one of the most famous metaphors in the history of science. Charles Darwin used the metaphor and the underlying analogy to frame his ideas about evolution and its main driving mechanism into a full-fledged theory. Because the metaphor turned out to be such a powerful epistemic tool, Darwin naturally assumed that he could also employ it as an educational tool to inform his contemporaries about his findings. Moreover, by using the metaphor Darwin was able to bring his theory in accordance with both the dominant philosophy of science in his time and the respected tradition of natural theology. However, as he introduced his theory of evolution by natural selection in On the origin of species in 1859, the metaphor also turned out to have a serious downside. Because of its intentional overtones, his contemporaries systematically misunderstood his metaphor not as a natural mechanism causing evolution to occur but as an agent who works towards particular ends. The difference in success between natural selection as an epistemic tool and its failure as an educational tool is labelled as a paradox. We explain the paradox from a cognitive perspective and discuss the implications for teaching evolution.

  11. Imprints of natural selection along environmental gradients in phenology-related genes of Quercus petraea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberto, Florian J; Derory, Jérémy; Boury, Christophe; Frigerio, Jean-Marc; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Kremer, Antoine

    2013-10-01

    We explored single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation in candidate genes for bud burst from Quercus petraea populations sampled along gradients of latitude and altitude in Western Europe. SNP diversity was monitored for 106 candidate genes, in 758 individuals from 32 natural populations. We investigated whether SNP variation reflected the clinal pattern of bud burst observed in common garden experiments. We used different methods to detect imprints of natural selection (FST outlier, clinal variation at allelic frequencies, association tests) and compared the results obtained for the two gradients. FST outlier SNPs were found in 15 genes, 5 of which were common to both gradients. The type of selection differed between the two gradients (directional or balancing) for 3 of these 5. Clinal variations were observed for six SNPs, and one cline was conserved across both gradients. Association tests between the phenotypic or breeding values of trees and SNP genotypes identified 14 significant associations, involving 12 genes. The results of outlier detection on the basis of population differentiation or clinal variation were not very consistent with the results of association tests. The discrepancies between these approaches may reflect the different hierarchical levels of selection considered (inter- and intrapopulation selection). Finally, we obtained evidence for convergent selection (similar for gradients) and clinal variation for a few genes, suggesting that comparisons between parallel gradients could be used to screen for major candidate genes responding to natural selection in trees.

  12. Nest-site selection pattern of Grusjaponensis in Zhalong Nature Reserve of northeast China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Qing-ming; ZOU Hong-fei

    2011-01-01

    Nest-site selection patterns of Red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) and the effects of environmental variables were studied during the years of 2002-2008 in Zhalong Nature Reserve, Qiqihar city,northeast China. The nest-site selection pattern of Red-crowned cranes included two orders and three choices: the choice of nest-site habitat type within the macro-habitat order, nest zone selection and nest-site micro-habitat selection within the micro-habitat order. Various habitats (such as Carex swamps and reed fire districts) can be selected as the nest sites for Red-crowned cranes, of which reed swamps (93.15%) are given a preference. Factor Analysis reveals that the micro-habitat selection are affected by four main factors: fire, security (concealment / disturbance),incubation (conditions, nest-material), and food. Further analysis reveals that Red-crowned cranes have certain adaptability to the changes of nesting habitat quality in the Zhalong wetlands. In conclusion, fire, reeds,and water were the most important variables for nest-site habitat selection of Red-crowned Cranes in Zhalong Nature Reserve.

  13. Natural selection on floral volatile production in Penstemon digitalis: highlighting the role of linalool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parachnowitsch, Amy L; Burdon, Rosalie C F; Raguso, Robert A; Kessler, André

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection is thought to have shaped the evolution of floral scent; however, unlike other floral characters, we have a rudimentary knowledge of how phenotypic selection acts on scent. We found that floral scent was under stronger selection than corolla traits such as flower size and flower color in weakly scented Penstemon digitalis. Our results suggest that to understand evolution in floral phenotypes, including scent in floral selection, studies are crucial. For P. digitalis, linalool was the direct target of selection in the scent bouquet. Therefore, we determined the enantiomeric configuration of linalool because interacting insects may perceive the enantiomers differentially. We found that P. digitalis produces only (S)-(+)-linalool and, more interestingly, it is also taken up into the nectar. Because the nectar is scented and flavored with (S)-(+)-linalool, it may be an important cue for pollinators visiting P. digitalis flowers.

  14. Darwin's Arguments in Favour of Natural Selection and against Special Creationism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nola, Robert

    2013-01-01

    In many places in "The Origin of Species", Darwin compares his own theory of Natural Selection favourably with Special Creationism which comes off as a bad second best. He does this using some version of the argument form known as "Inference to the Best Explanation". The first part of this paper is methodological. It considers Whewell's notion of…

  15. Different levels of natural antibodies in chickens divergently selected for specific antibody responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parmentier, H.K.; Lammers, A.; Hoekman, J.J.; Vries Reilingh, de G.; Zaanen, I.T.A.; Savelkoul, H.F.J.

    2004-01-01

    We studied the presence of Natural antibodies in plasma samples from individual birds from selected chicken lines at young and old age. Binding, specificity, and relative affinity to various antigens were determined in plasma from non-immunized female chickens at 5 weeks of age, and in plasma obtain

  16. Human vs. Computer Diagnosis of Students' Natural Selection Knowledge: Testing the Efficacy of Text Analytic Software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Haertig, Hendrik

    2012-01-01

    Our study examines the efficacy of Computer Assisted Scoring (CAS) of open-response text relative to expert human scoring within the complex domain of evolutionary biology. Specifically, we explored whether CAS can diagnose the explanatory elements (or Key Concepts) that comprise undergraduate students' explanatory models of natural selection with…

  17. Evolving Better Cars: Teaching Evolution by Natural Selection with a Digital Inquiry Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, Anne M.; Schultheis, Elizabeth H.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary experiments are usually difficult to perform in the classroom because of the large sizes and long timescales of experiments testing evolutionary hypotheses. Computer applications give students a window to observe evolution in action, allowing them to gain comfort with the process of natural selection and facilitating inquiry…

  18. Medical students from natural science and nonscience undergraduate backgrounds. Similar academic performance and residency selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, R L; Sarnacki, R E; Schimpfhauser, F T; Katz, L A

    1980-06-27

    The majority of matriculating US medical students continue to major in the natural sciences as college undergraduates in the belief that this will enhance their chances of admission to and their performance in medical school. The present study compared the academic performance and residency selection of natural science and nonscience majors in three separate medical school classes at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Statistical analysis of grades in the first two years of medical school, clinical performance in the third year, and part I and part II National Board Medical Examination scores revealed no significant differences across three class replications. Residency selection among graduating seniors was also independent of undergraduate major. It is suggested that admissions committees, premedical advisors, and students reconsider their attitudes about the necessity of concentration in the natural sciences before entering medical school.

  19. Feature Selection for Natural Language Call Routing Based on Self-Adaptive Genetic Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koromyslova, A.; Semenkina, M.; Sergienko, R.

    2017-02-01

    The text classification problem for natural language call routing was considered in the paper. Seven different term weighting methods were applied. As dimensionality reduction methods, the feature selection based on self-adaptive GA is considered. k-NN, linear SVM and ANN were used as classification algorithms. The tasks of the research are the following: perform research of text classification for natural language call routing with different term weighting methods and classification algorithms and investigate the feature selection method based on self-adaptive GA. The numerical results showed that the most effective term weighting is TRR. The most effective classification algorithm is ANN. Feature selection with self-adaptive GA provides improvement of classification effectiveness and significant dimensionality reduction with all term weighting methods and with all classification algorithms.

  20. The effect of natural selection on the performance of maximum parsimony

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    Ofria Charles

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Maximum parsimony is one of the most commonly used and extensively studied phylogeny reconstruction methods. While current evaluation methodologies such as computer simulations provide insight into how well maximum parsimony reconstructs phylogenies, they tell us little about how well maximum parsimony performs on taxa drawn from populations of organisms that evolved subject to natural selection in addition to the random factors of drift and mutation. It is clear that natural selection has a significant impact on Among Site Rate Variation (ASRV and the rate of accepted substitutions; that is, accepted mutations do not occur with uniform probability along the genome and some substitutions are more likely to occur than other substitutions. However, little is know about how ASRV and non-uniform character substitutions impact the performance of reconstruction methods such as maximum parsimony. To gain insight into these issues, we study how well maximum parsimony performs with data generated by Avida, a digital life platform where populations of digital organisms evolve subject to natural selective pressures. Results We first identify conditions where natural selection does affect maximum parsimony's reconstruction accuracy. In general, as we increase the probability that a significant adaptation will occur in an intermediate ancestor, the performance of maximum parsimony improves. In fact, maximum parsimony can correctly reconstruct small 4 taxa trees on data that have received surprisingly many mutations if the intermediate ancestor has received a significant adaptation. We demonstrate that this improved performance of maximum parsimony is attributable more to ASRV than to non-uniform character substitutions. Conclusion Maximum parsimony, as well as most other phylogeny reconstruction methods, may perform significantly better on actual biological data than is currently suggested by computer simulation studies because of natural

  1. Unweaving misconceptions: Guided learning, simulations, and misconceptions in learning principles of natural selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Brian E.

    College students often come to the study of evolutionary biology with many misconceptions of how the processes of natural selection and speciation occur. How to relinquish these misconceptions with learners is a question that many educators face in introductory biology courses. Constructivism as a theoretical framework has become an accepted and promoted model within the epistemology of science instruction. However, constructivism is not without its skeptics who see some problems of its application in lacking necessary guidance for novice learners. This study within a quantitative, quasi-experimental format tested whether guided online instruction in a video format of common misconceptions in evolutionary biology produced higher performance on a survey of knowledge of natural selection versus more constructivist style learning in the form of student exploration of computer simulations of the evolutionary process. Performances on surveys were also explored for a combination of constructivist and guided techniques to determine if a consolidation of approaches produced higher test scores. Out of the 94 participants 95% displayed at least one misconception of natural selection in the pre-test while the study treatments produced no statistically significant improvements in post-test scores except within the video (guided learning treatment). These overall results demonstrated the stubbornness of misconceptions involving natural selection for adult learners and the difficulty of helping them overcome them. It also bolsters the idea that some misconceptions of natural selection and evolution may be hardwired in a neurological sense and that new, more long-term teaching techniques may be warranted. Such long-term strategies may not be best implemented with constructivist techniques alone, and it is likely that some level of guidance may be necessary for novice adult learners. A more substantial, nuanced approach for undergraduates is needed that consolidates successful

  2. Reducing bias in maintenance energy expected progeny difference by accounting for selection on weaning and yearling weights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J L; Garrick, D J; Speidel, S E

    2009-05-01

    Maintenance energy requirements of cattle can be predicted from published equations utilizing metabolic BW and milk production potential. Metabolic BW is a function of BW at a constant fat percentage or BCS. Pedigree and performance records can be used in random regression models to predict genetic merit for metabolic BW and milk production potentials. The purpose of this study was to present a methodology for predicting mature cow maintenance energy EPD using mature cow BW and BCS and accounting for prior selection of replacement females at weaning and yearling ages. Variance components were obtained for direct and maternal effects on weaning weight, direct effects on postweaning BW gain, and direct coefficients for random regression on mature weights (MW) adjusted for BCS. These BW were transformed into metabolic BW by taking BW to the power of 0.75, variance components were estimated for metabolic BW, and were then used to predict breeding values from which cow maintenance energy EPD could be derived. Data used in this analysis were obtained from the Red Angus Association of America and limited to herds with MW and corresponding BCS observations. The data set included 52,338 BW records on 21,103 individuals. Weaning and yearling contemporaries to those with MW observations, but with no MW records themselves, were included to account for selection occurring before maturity. Heritability estimates for weaning weight direct, weaning weight maternal, and postweaning BW gain were 0.18 +/- 0.02, 0.16 +/- 0.02, and 0.18 +/- 0.02, respectively. Mature BW observed at 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 yr of age had heritability estimates of 0.45 +/- 0.03, 0.44 +/- 0.03, 0.49 +/- 0.03, 0.66 +/- 0.04, and 0.62 +/- 0.05, respectively. Correlations between weaning weight direct and MW ranged from 0.65 +/- 0.07 to 0.82 +/- 0.04, and correlations between MW at different ages ranged from 0.95 +/- 0.03 to 0.99 +/- 0.01. The genetic correlations between postweaning BW gain and MW ranged from 0

  3. Biased causal inseparable game

    CERN Document Server

    Bhattacharya, Some Sankar

    2015-01-01

    Here we study the \\emph{causal inseparable} game introduced in [\\href{http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n10/full/ncomms2076.html}{Nat. Commun. {\\bf3}, 1092 (2012)}], but it's biased version. Two separated parties, Alice and Bob, generate biased bits (say input bit) in their respective local laboratories. Bob generates another biased bit (say decision bit) which determines their goal: whether Alice has to guess Bob's bit or vice-verse. Under the assumption that events are ordered with respect to some global causal relation, we show that the success probability of this biased causal game is upper bounded, giving rise to \\emph{biased causal inequality} (BCI). In the \\emph{process matrix} formalism, which is locally in agreement with quantum physics but assume no global causal order, we show that there exist \\emph{inseparable} process matrices that violate the BCI for arbitrary bias in the decision bit. In such scenario we also derive the maximal violation of the BCI under local operations involving tracele...

  4. Imbalance of predator and prey armament: geographic clines in phenotypic interface and natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2006-01-01

    The escalation of defensive/offensive arms is ubiquitous in prey-predator evolutionary interactions. However, there may be a geographically varying imbalance in the armaments of participating species that affects the outcome of local interactions. In a system involving the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and its obligate seed predator, the camellia weevil (Curculio camelliae), we investigated the geographic variation in physical defensive/offensive traits and that in natural selection on the plant's defense among 17 populations over a 700-km-wide area in Japan. The sizes of the plant defensive apparatus (pericarp thickness) and the weevil offensive apparatus (rostrum length) clearly correlated with each other across populations. Nevertheless, the balance in armaments between the two species was geographically structured. In the populations for which the balance was relatively advantageous for the plant's defense, natural selection on the trait was stronger because in the other populations, most plant individuals were too vulnerable to resist the attacks of the weevil, and their seeds were infested independent of pericarp thickness. We also found that the imbalance between the defensive/offensive armaments and the intensity of natural selection showed clear latitudinal clines. Overall, our results suggest that the imbalance of armament between sympatric prey and predator could determine the strength of local selection and that climatic conditions could affect the local and overall trajectory of coevolutionary arms races.

  5. Selection of natural Gas Fired Advanced Turbine Systems (GFATS) program - Task 3. Topical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-06-01

    Research continued on natural gas-fired turbines.The objective of Task 3 was to perform initial trade studies and select one engine system (Gas-Fired Advanced Turbine System [GFATS]) that the contractor could demonstrate, at full scale, in the 1998 to 2000 time frame. This report describes the results of the selection process. This task, including Allison internal management reviews of the selected system, has been completed. Allison`s approach to ATS is to offer an engine family that is based on the newest T406 high technology engine. This selection was based on a number of parameters including return on investment (ROI), internal rate of return (IRR) market size and potential sales into that market. This base engine family continues a history at Allison of converting flight engine products to industrial use.

  6. Induced defences alter the strength and direction of natural selection on reproductive traits in common milkweed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, K A; Cory, K A; Johnson, M T J

    2017-01-30

    Evolutionary biologists have long sought to understand the ecological processes that generate plant reproductive diversity. Recent evidence indicates that constitutive antiherbivore defences can alter natural selection on reproductive traits, but it is unclear whether induced defences will have the same effect and whether reduced foliar damage in defended plants is the cause of this pattern. In a factorial field experiment using common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., we induced plant defences using jasmonic acid (JA) and imposed foliar damage using scissors. We found that JA-induced plants experienced selection for more inflorescences that were smaller in size (fewer flowers), whereas control plants only experienced a trend towards selection for larger inflorescences (more flowers); all effects were independent of foliar damage. Our results demonstrate that induced defences can alter both the strength and direction of selection on reproductive traits, and suggest that antiherbivore defences may promote the evolution of plant reproductive diversity.

  7. Reliable Path Selection Problem in Uncertain Traffic Network after Natural Disaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available After natural disaster, especially for large-scale disasters and affected areas, vast relief materials are often needed. In the meantime, the traffic networks are always of uncertainty because of the disaster. In this paper, we assume that the edges in the network are either connected or blocked, and the connection probability of each edge is known. In order to ensure the arrival of these supplies at the affected areas, it is important to select a reliable path. A reliable path selection model is formulated, and two algorithms for solving this model are presented. Then, adjustable reliable path selection model is proposed when the edge of the selected reliable path is broken. And the corresponding algorithms are shown to be efficient both theoretically and numerically.

  8. Natural selection. V. How to read the fundamental equations of evolutionary change in terms of information theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, S A

    2012-12-01

    The equations of evolutionary change by natural selection are commonly expressed in statistical terms. Fisher's fundamental theorem emphasizes the variance in fitness. Quantitative genetics expresses selection with covariances and regressions. Population genetic equations depend on genetic variances. How can we read those statistical expressions with respect to the meaning of natural selection? One possibility is to relate the statistical expressions to the amount of information that populations accumulate by selection. However, the connection between selection and information theory has never been compelling. Here, I show the correct relations between statistical expressions for selection and information theory expressions for selection. Those relations link selection to the fundamental concepts of entropy and information in the theories of physics, statistics and communication. We can now read the equations of selection in terms of their natural meaning. Selection causes populations to accumulate information about the environment.

  9. THE RETARDATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES TRANSFORMATION IN SOUTHEASTERN POLAND IN THE LIGHT OF SELECTED STRATEGIC DOCUMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogusława Baran-Zgłobicka

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Stopping the overexploitation of non-renewable and, to some extent, renewable resources represents an enormous challenge in the context of preserving these resources for the future generations. The problem of mitigating the transformation of natural resources should be viewed from the perspective of animate and inanimate nature (including the rational use of mineral and water resources, reducing the emission of harmful substances to the environment, excessive production and storage of waste as well as stopping the degradation of space. At the same time, the scope of using natural resources and protecting them is regulate d by relevant legislation and provisions in strategic and planning documents. Taking into account the problems of mitigation at the programming and planning stage enables making appropriate decisions in the environment management process at various levels of local government. The area selected for study was south-eastern Poland. The region is characterised by a great diversity of its natural environment, whose resources have been intensively used and transformed for several centuries. Detailed studies were conducted in selected, functionally varied counties and municipalities of the Lubelskie, Podkarpackie and Świętokrzyskie provinces. It was analysed to what extent the retardation of natural resources transformation was taken into account and presented in strategic documents.

  10. Environmental cost-effectiveness analysis in intertemporal natural resource policy: evaluation of selective fishing gear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronbak, Lone Grønbæk; Vestergaard, Niels

    2013-12-15

    In most decision-making involving natural resources, the achievements of a given policy (e.g., improved ecosystem or biodiversity) are rather difficult to measure in monetary units. To address this problem, the current paper develops an environmental cost-effectiveness analysis (ECEA) to include intangible benefits in intertemporal natural resource problems. This approach can assist managers in prioritizing management actions as least cost solutions to achieve quantitative policy targets. The ECEA framework is applied to a selective gear policy case in Danish mixed trawl fisheries in Kattegat and Skagerrak. The empirical analysis demonstrates how a policy with large negative net benefits might be justified if the intangible benefits are included.

  11. Clonal selection of vitis vinifera cv. malbec: Confluence of science and nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Biondolillo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available It is not overstated that Argentinean viticulture identifies with Malbec, the vine which long ago was introduced in the country from France and which has marvelously naturalized here. However, the variety Malbec has many different expressions, depending very much on environmental and cultivating conditions and on natural mutations occurred over time. A modern viticulture cannot do without the capability of exactly identifying and differentiating clones of the same variety and from the ability to do that over contingency. This work on clonal selection, conceived and developed by a very polyvalent team, focuses exactly on defining instruments to unequivocally distinguish and select different clones and using these instruments to analyze, classify and select all different clones representing the highest variability of Malbec in Argentina ever sampled. The work bases on traditional instruments – phenotypic and enological analysis – and on a molecular marker selection program. Through the synergy of all these methods the team has come to the selection of 16 superior clones of Malbec and will proceed by sharing and mapping three of those clones on the country different micro-environments for grapevine growing regions, giving Argentinean viticulture a key instrument to identify its most valuable grape wine variety.

  12. Size-biased allocation of prey from male to offspring via female: family conflicts, prey selection, and evolution of sexual size dimorphism in raptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonerud, Geir A; Steen, Ronny; Løw, Line M; Røed, Line T; Skar, Kristin; Selås, Vidar; Slagsvold, Tore

    2013-05-01

    In birds with bi-parental care, the provisioning link between prey capture and delivery to dependent offspring is regarded as often symmetric between the mates. However, in raptors, the larger female usually broods and feeds the nestlings, while the smaller male provides food for the family, assisted by the female in the latter part of the nestling period, if at all. Prey items are relatively large and often impossible for nestlings to handle without extended maternal assistance. We video-recorded prey delivery and handling in nests of a raptor with a wide diet, the Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus, and simultaneously observed prey transfer from male to female outside the nest. The male selectively allocated larger items, in particular birds and larger mammals, to the female for further processing and feeding of nestlings, and smaller items, in particular lizards and smaller mammals, directly to the nestlings for unassisted feeding. Hence, from the video, the female appeared to have captured larger prey than the male, while in reality no difference existed. The female's size-biased interception of the male's prey provisioning line would maximize the male's foraging time, and maximize the female's control of the allocation of food between her own need and that of the offspring. The male would maximize his control of food allocation by capturing smaller prey. This conflict would select for larger dominant females and smaller energy-efficient males, and induce stronger selection the longer the female depends on the male for self-feeding, as a proportion of the offspring dependence period.

  13. Strong natural selection on juveniles maintains a narrow adult hybrid zone in a broadcast spawner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, Carlos; Hellberg, Michael E

    2014-12-01

    Natural selection can maintain and help form species across different habitats, even when dispersal is high. Selection against inferior migrants (immigrant inviability) acts when locally adapted populations suffer high mortality on dispersal to unsuitable habitats. Habitat-specific populations undergoing divergent selection via immigrant inviability should thus show (1) a change in the ratio of adapted to nonadapted individuals among age/size classes and (2) a cline (defined by the environmental gradient) as selection counterbalances migration. Here we examine the frequencies of two depth-segregated lineages in juveniles and adults of a Caribbean octocoral, Eunicea flexuosa. Distributions of the two lineages in both shallow and deep environments were more distinct when inferred from adults than juveniles. Despite broad larval dispersal, we also found an extremely narrow hybrid zone (<100 m), with coincident clines for molecular and morphological characters of the host coral and its algal symbiont. Effective dispersal estimates derived from the hybrid zone are remarkably small (<20 m) for a broadcast spawner. The large selection coefficient against mismatched genotypes derived from cohort data is consistent with that from field transplant experiments. Narrow hybrid zones and limited effective dispersal may be a common outcome of long periods of postsettlement, prereproductive selection across steep ecological gradients. Strong diversifying selection provides a mechanism to explain the prevalence of depth-segregated sibling species in the sea.

  14. The selects of bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (l. spreng. from natural populations in Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Malinowska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Five plants of bearberry selected from natural stands in Poland and one from a Botanical Garden were propagated by cuttings. The clonal plants were first kept under observation for two years planted on different substrates in containers and were afterwards field cultivated for three subsequent years. The existence of a significant differentiation within these Arctostaphylos uva-ursi clones was proved. Two selects of good ornamental features as well as with high concentration of medicinal substance - arbutin were chosen. Plants started fruiting in the fourth year of growth and the area covered by a single plant exceeded 2 m2 after five years of cultivation.

  15. R. A. Fisher. The relevance of the genetical theory of natural selection

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    Paola Monari

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Starting from the main statement that “. . . natural selection is not evolution. . . ”, R.A. Fisher built the foundation of the genetic theory of population in his famous work Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930. He rewrote the scientific paradigm proposed by Darwin in statistical terms using the calculus of probability and, most importantly, statistics. The key to his formal transposition is in the analysis of variance inwhich Fisher interpreted as phenomenical variability by means of random variability: this completely original result would become a fundamental chapter of statisticalmethod. It is not by chance that at the same time he published his statistical method for research workers in which the analysis of variance dominated his primary elements of the design of experiments.

  16. Natural selection theory in non-majors' biology: Instruction, assessment and conceptual difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Dianne L.

    Evolution by natural selection is the dominant and unifying theme in biology, yet many college students hold alternative conceptions about the topic even after completing general biology. To develop effective instructional strategies and track conceptual understanding, it is useful to have a detailed assessment tool easily used with large classes. This study presents the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS), a distractor-driven twenty item multiple-choice test that assesses understanding of ten concepts related to natural selection: biotic potential, stable populations, limited natural resources, limited survival, variation within a population, variation inherited, differential survival, change in populations, origin of variation, and origin of species. Development, refinement, and field-testing of individual CINS items are presented, and validity, readability, reliability and factor analysis of the CINS are described. There was significant correlation between student performance on the posttest CINS and end-of-semester interviews suggesting that the CINS is a useful classroom tool. The CINS was used as both a pretest and posttest to determine relative difficulty of the concepts among college students. The three most challenging concepts were random origin of variation, how populations change over time due to changing proportions of alleles, and how new species originate. Many students chose distractors including "need" as a driving force. Results support the use of non-traditional methods, as only students in such classes demonstrated any improvement on the CINS posttest. Pre and posttesting with the CINS was also used to assess relative effectiveness of using two types of supplemental reading materials (selections from narrative, non-textbook sources or from other general biology textbooks) in a general biology course. These results suggest that specific content of readings was more important than style of the readings. Implications for teaching both

  17. Darwin's passionate environmentalism or the dangerous fallacy of the 'All-sufficiency of natural selection' theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, David

    2012-01-01

    Following his last edition of the Origin of Species in 1872, Darwin spent much of the rest of his life searching for possible mechanisms, such as the pangenes in the blood, which would communicate information from the environment to the genome. In each of his six editions of the 'Origin', he stated that there were two forces in evolution - natural selection and conditions of existence. Of the two, he claims that the latter is the more powerful. In so doing, he recognized that natural selection could only operate within the bounds of possibility, that is the environment. August Weismann claimed that conditions of existence had no place in evolution. His publication, the 'All-sufficiency of natural selection', was based on mutilation (cutting tails of rodents and watching the next generation grow tails), which has nothing to do with Darwin's concept of conditions of existence. Nonetheless, evolutionary biologists in general followed the line of the 'all sufficiency' theory and ignored Darwin's conditions of existence, which in other words means the environment. Natural selection has a weak predictive power as it is based on random events. However, the conditions of existence have, by contrast, strong predictive powers that can be tested. The environmental views of two of the greatest evolutionists, Lamarck and Darwin, have been consistently ignored by most evolution theorists who came after them, continuing for over 200 years. Looking at the fossil record through the eyes of Darwin's conditions of existence, not to mention the recent changes in height and shape over the last century, it is possible to draw important conclusions about the past and predictions of the future. With new knowledge of epigenetics, it is perhaps time that Darwin's conditions of existence were given a second hearing.

  18. Are most samples of animals systematically biased? Consistent individual trait differences bias samples despite random sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biro, Peter A

    2013-02-01

    Sampling animals from the wild for study is something nearly every biologist has done, but despite our best efforts to obtain random samples of animals, 'hidden' trait biases may still exist. For example, consistent behavioral traits can affect trappability/catchability, independent of obvious factors such as size and gender, and these traits are often correlated with other repeatable physiological and/or life history traits. If so, systematic sampling bias may exist for any of these traits. The extent to which this is a problem, of course, depends on the magnitude of bias, which is presently unknown because the underlying trait distributions in populations are usually unknown, or unknowable. Indeed, our present knowledge about sampling bias comes from samples (not complete population censuses), which can possess bias to begin with. I had the unique opportunity to create naturalized populations of fish by seeding each of four small fishless lakes with equal densities of slow-, intermediate-, and fast-growing fish. Using sampling methods that are not size-selective, I observed that fast-growing fish were up to two-times more likely to be sampled than slower-growing fish. This indicates substantial and systematic bias with respect to an important life history trait (growth rate). If correlations between behavioral, physiological and life-history traits are as widespread as the literature suggests, then many animal samples may be systematically biased with respect to these traits (e.g., when collecting animals for laboratory use), and affect our inferences about population structure and abundance. I conclude with a discussion on ways to minimize sampling bias for particular physiological/behavioral/life-history types within animal populations.

  19. Natural selection and family X location interaction in the common (dry bean plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís Henrique Pirola

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Natural selection takes place while advancing generations of segregant populations of self pollinating species by the population (bulk method. There is evidence that it maintains the individuals with greater grain yield. The question arises whether natural selection preserves the individuals which are more adapted only to the environment where the generation advance occurred, that is, if it contributes to increasing the genotype x environment interaction in the family assessment. This study was carried out to check this hypothesis in the common bean plant using families derived from a segregating population from a cross between the Carioca MG x ESAL 686 cultivars. The segregating populations increase in homozygosity was obtained by the population (bulk method until the F14 generation, in three distinct locations in Minas Gerais state: Lavras, Lambari and Patos de Minas. Forty-seven F14:15 families were randomly taken from the population in each location and later multiplied to obtain F14:16 families. These families were jointly assessed with three controls using a triple 12 x 12 lattice design in the three locations of generation advance in the wet season of 1998/1999. All the estimated parameters showed that while advancing segregant populations by the population (bulk method, natural selection acted to preserve the individuals which are more adapted to the environment in which they were advanced.

  20. Polymer Selection Approach for Commonly and Uncommonly Used Natural Fibers Under Uncertainty Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    AL-Oqla, Faris M.; Sapuan, S. M.

    2015-07-01

    Factors like awareness of the scarcity of non-renewable natural resources, high petroleum prices, and demands for environmental sustainability, as well as reducing the amount of environmental pollution, have led to a renewed interest in natural fiber reinforced polymer composites as a potential bio-based material type. The best polymer matrix type in view of the wide range of conflicting criteria to form a polymeric-based composite material suitable for sustainable industry under an uncertainty environment has still not been sufficiently determined. This work introduces a selection model to evaluate the available polymers for natural fibers to enhance the industrial sustainability theme. The model built was developed to evaluate various polymer types and to determine their relative merits taking account of various conflicting criteria for both commonly used and uncommonly used natural fibers utilizing the analytical hierarchy process technique. It was found that the choice of the best polymer type for a certain fiber type depends strongly on the polymers' intrinsic desirable conflicting characteristics. Polymers evaluations are illustrated for different technical criteria in order to facilitate the polymer selection process for various industrial applications with high confidence levels.

  1. Present status of understanding on the G6PD deficiency and natural selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tripathy V

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available G6PD deficiency is a common hemolytic genetic disorder, particularly in the areas endemic to malaria. Individuals are generally asymptomatic and hemolytic anemia occurs when some anti-malarial drugs or other oxidizing chemicals are administered. It has been proposed that G6PD deficiency provides protection against malaria. Maintaining of G6PD deficient alleles at polymorphic proportions is complicated because of the X-linked nature of G6PD deficiency. A comprehensive review of the literature on the hypothesis of malarial protection and the nature of the selection is being presented. Most of the epidemiological, in vitro and in vivo studies report selection for G6PD deficiency. Analysis of the G6PD gene also reveals that G6PD-deficient alleles show some signatures of selection. However, the question of how this polymorphism is being maintained remains unresolved because the selection/fitness coefficients for the different genotypes in the two sexes have not been established. Prevalence of G6PD deficiency in Indian caste and tribal populations and the different variants reported has also been reviewed.

  2. Identifying signatures of natural selection in Tibetan and Andean populations using dense genome scan data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abigail Bigham

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available High-altitude hypoxia (reduced inspired oxygen tension due to decreased barometric pressure exerts severe physiological stress on the human body. Two high-altitude regions where humans have lived for millennia are the Andean Altiplano and the Tibetan Plateau. Populations living in these regions exhibit unique circulatory, respiratory, and hematological adaptations to life at high altitude. Although these responses have been well characterized physiologically, their underlying genetic basis remains unknown. We performed a genome scan to identify genes showing evidence of adaptation to hypoxia. We looked across each chromosome to identify genomic regions with previously unknown function with respect to altitude phenotypes. In addition, groups of genes functioning in oxygen metabolism and sensing were examined to test the hypothesis that particular pathways have been involved in genetic adaptation to altitude. Applying four population genetic statistics commonly used for detecting signatures of natural selection, we identified selection-nominated candidate genes and gene regions in these two populations (Andeans and Tibetans separately. The Tibetan and Andean patterns of genetic adaptation are largely distinct from one another, with both populations showing evidence of positive natural selection in different genes or gene regions. Interestingly, one gene previously known to be important in cellular oxygen sensing, EGLN1 (also known as PHD2, shows evidence of positive selection in both Tibetans and Andeans. However, the pattern of variation for this gene differs between the two populations. Our results indicate that several key HIF-regulatory and targeted genes are responsible for adaptation to high altitude in Andeans and Tibetans, and several different chromosomal regions are implicated in the putative response to selection. These data suggest a genetic role in high-altitude adaption and provide a basis for future genotype/phenotype association

  3. Natural selection and the evolutionary ecology of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Phylum Glomeromycota).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helgason, Thorunn; Fitter, Alastair H

    2009-01-01

    Darwin's model of evolution by natural selection was based on his observations of change in discrete organisms in which individuals are easy to define. Many of the most abundant functional groups in ecosystems, such as fungi and bacteria, do not fit this paradigm. In this review, we seek to understand how the elegant logic of Darwinian natural selection can be applied to distributed clonal organisms. The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are one such group. Globally, they are ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, are locally distributed among many host plant species, and are significant drivers of nutrient cycling in ecosystems. The AM fungi are intractable to study, as the few taxa that can be cultured cannot be grown in the absence of plant roots. Research has focused on the plant-fungus interface, and thus on the symbiotic phenotype. A model is discussed for the interchange of materials at the interface that throws the emphasis of research onto the behaviour of the individual organisms and removes the need to test for phenomena such as selectivity, co-evolution, and cheating. The AM fungi are distributed organisms with an extensive external mycelium that is likely to be under strong environmental selection. AM fungi show sufficient phenotypic variation and fitness differentials for selection to occur, and developments in genetic analyses suggest that a better understanding of heritability in these organisms is not far away. It is argued that direct selection on fungal traits related to their survival and performance in the soil independent of the host is likely to be the major driver of differentiation in the AM fungi, and the evidence for direct fungal responses to soil conditions such as pH, hypoxia, and temperature is reviewed.

  4. Complex and changing patterns of natural selection explain the evolution of the human hip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Mark; Roseman, Charles C

    2015-08-01

    Causal explanations for the dramatic changes that occurred during the evolution of the human hip focus largely on selection for bipedal function and locomotor efficiency. These hypotheses rest on two critical assumptions. The first-that these anatomical changes served functional roles in bipedalism-has been supported in numerous analyses showing how postcranial changes likely affected locomotion. The second-that morphological changes that did play functional roles in bipedalism were the result of selection for that behavior-has not been previously explored and represents a major gap in our understanding of hominin hip evolution. Here we use evolutionary quantitative genetic models to test the hypothesis that strong directional selection on many individual aspects of morphology was responsible for the large differences observed across a sample of fossil hominin hips spanning the Plio-Pleistocene. Our approach uses covariance among traits and the differences between relatively complete fossils to estimate the net selection pressures that drove the major transitions in hominin hip evolution. Our findings show a complex and changing pattern of natural selection drove hominin hip evolution, and that many, but not all, traits hypothesized to play functional roles in bipedalism evolved as a direct result of natural selection. While the rate of evolutionary change for all transitions explored here does not exceed the amount expected if evolution was occurring solely through neutral processes, it was far above rates of evolution for morphological traits in other mammalian groups. Given that stasis is the norm in the mammalian fossil record, our results suggest that large shifts in the adaptive landscape drove hominin evolution.

  5. Fisher's fundamental theorem of inclusive fitness and the change in fitness due to natural selection when conspecifics interact

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijma, P.

    2010-01-01

    Competition and cooperation is fundamental to evolution by natural selection, both in animals and plants. Here, I investigate the consequences of such interactions for response in fitness due to natural selection. I provide quantitative genetic expressions for heritable variance and response in fitn

  6. Hydrogen selective membrane for the natural gas system. Development of CO{sub 2}-selective biogas membrane. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vestboe, A.P.

    2012-02-15

    The project started as a literature study and technology development project for a hydrogen selective membrane for the natural gas system. The introduction of hydrogen (for example produced from wind turbines by surplus electricity) in the gas system makes it possible to store energy which can be selectively used with high energy conversion in fuel cells directly located at the end users. In order to make this possible, it is necessary to have a separating unit that can selectively remove hydrogen from the gas mixture and deliver it as fuel to the electrical generator (a fuel cell). In the project, several existing technologies were evaluated with regard to the application in view. It was concluded that while other technologies are ripe, they are costly in energy and unsuitable for the relatively low capacity application that are in question close to the end users. Membrane technology was evaluated to be the most suitable, although the technology is still under development in many cases. In the project it was found that metallic membranes in the form of palladium coated stainless discs would answer the needs for the high purity needed. Laboratory development yielded discs that could separate hydrogen from natural gas, however, the flux was low compared to the needs of the application. It was found that at least 2 bar pressure difference of hydrogen would be needed to get a high enough flux. The way to achieve this pressure would necessitate a compressor which would consume an energy amount high enough to invalidate the concept. When concluding on the results and the study it was found that the direction of the project could be changed towards developing CO{sub 2}-selective membranes with the goal of developing membrane technology that could upgrade biogas by removing CO{sub 2}. The laboratory equipment and setup that were developed in the first part of the project could be used directly in this second part of the project. In this second part of the project it was

  7. Hydrogen selective membrane for the natural gas system. Development of CO{sub 2}-selective biogas membrane. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vestboe, A.P.

    2012-02-15

    The project started as a literature study and technology development project for a hydrogen selective membrane for the natural gas system. The introduction of hydrogen (for example produced from wind turbines by surplus electricity) in the gas system makes it possible to store energy which can be selectively used with high energy conversion in fuel cells directly located at the end users. In order to make this possible, it is necessary to have a separating unit that can selectively remove hydrogen from the gas mixture and deliver it as fuel to the electrical generator (a fuel cell). In the project, several existing technologies were evaluated with regard to the application in view. It was concluded that while other technologies are ripe, they are costly in energy and unsuitable for the relatively low capacity application that are in question close to the end users. Membrane technology was evaluated to be the most suitable, although the technology is still under development in many cases. In the project it was found that metallic membranes in the form of palladium coated stainless discs would answer the needs for the high purity needed. Laboratory development yielded discs that could separate hydrogen from natural gas, however, the flux was low compared to the needs of the application. It was found that at least 2 bar pressure difference of hydrogen would be needed to get a high enough flux. The way to achieve this pressure would necessitate a compressor which would consume an energy amount high enough to invalidate the concept. When concluding on the results and the study it was found that the direction of the project could be changed towards developing CO{sub 2}-selective membranes with the goal of developing membrane technology that could upgrade biogas by removing CO{sub 2}. The laboratory equipment and setup that were developed in the first part of the project could be used directly in this second part of the project. In this second part of the project it was

  8. On the nature of the first galaxies selected at 350 microns

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Sophia A; Willner, S P; Pearson, Chris P; Ashby, M L N; Benford, Dominic J; Clements, David L; Dye, Simon; Farrah, Duncan; Fazio, G G; Huang, J -S; Lebouteiller, V; Floc'h, Emeric Le; Mainetti, Gabriele; Moseley, S Harvey; Negrello, Mattia; Serjeant, Stephen; Shafer, Richard A; Staguhn, Johannes; Sumner, Timothy J; Vaccari, Mattia

    2009-01-01

    [abridged] We present constraints on the nature of the first galaxies selected at 350 microns. The sample includes galaxies discovered in the deepest blank-field survey at 350 microns (in the Bootes Deep Field) and also later serendipitous detections in the Lockman Hole. Spectral energy distribution templates are fit to identified counterparts, and the sample is found to comprise IR-luminous galaxies at 1selected galaxy provides an additional confirmation, showing prominent dust grain features typically associated with star-forming galaxies. Compared to submillimeter galaxies selected at 850 and 1100 microns, galaxies selected at 350 microns have a similar range of far-infrared color temperatures. However, no 350-micron-selected sources are reliably detected at 850 or 1100 microns. Galaxies in our sample with redshifts 1

  9. The difficulty of avoiding false positives in genome scans for natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallick, Swapan; Gnerre, Sante; Muller, Paul; Reich, David

    2009-05-01

    Several studies have found evidence for more positive selection on the chimpanzee lineage compared with the human lineage since the two species split. A potential concern, however, is that these findings may simply reflect artifacts of the data: inaccuracies in the underlying chimpanzee genome sequence, which is of lower quality than human. To test this hypothesis, we generated de novo genome assemblies of chimpanzee and macaque and aligned them with human. We also implemented a novel bioinformatic procedure for producing alignments of closely related species that uses synteny information to remove misassembled and misaligned regions, and sequence quality scores to remove nucleotides that are less reliable. We applied this procedure to re-examine 59 genes recently identified as candidates for positive selection in chimpanzees. The great majority of these signals disappear after application of our new bioinformatic procedure. We also carried out laboratory-based resequencing of 10 of the regions in multiple chimpanzees and humans, and found that our alignments were correct wherever there was a conflict with the published results. These findings throw into question previous findings that there has been more positive selection in chimpanzees than in humans since the two species diverged. Our study also highlights the challenges of searching the extreme tails of distributions for signals of natural selection. Inaccuracies in the genome sequence at even a tiny fraction of genes can produce false-positive signals, which make it difficult to identify loci that have genuinely been targets of selection.

  10. Genome-wide Selective Sweeps in Natural Bacterial Populations Revealed by Time-series Metagenomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chan, Leong-Keat; Bendall, Matthew L.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Schwientek, Patrick; Tremblay, Julien; Schackwitz, Wendy; Martin, Joel; Pati, Amrita; Bushnell, Brian; Foster, Brian; Kang, Dongwan; Tringe, Susannah G.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Moran, Mary Ann; Shade, Ashley; Newton, Ryan J.; Stevens, Sarah; McMahon, Katherine D.; Malmstrom, Rex R.

    2014-06-18

    Multiple evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the formation of genetically and ecologically distinct bacterial groups. Time-series metagenomics enables direct observation of evolutionary processes in natural populations, and if applied over a sufficiently long time frame, this approach could capture events such as gene-specific or genome-wide selective sweeps. Direct observations of either process could help resolve how distinct groups form in natural microbial assemblages. Here, from a three-year metagenomic study of a freshwater lake, we explore changes in single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies and patterns of gene gain and loss in populations of Chlorobiaceae and Methylophilaceae. SNP analyses revealed substantial genetic heterogeneity within these populations, although the degree of heterogeneity varied considerably among closely related, co-occurring Methylophilaceae populations. SNP allele frequencies, as well as the relative abundance of certain genes, changed dramatically over time in each population. Interestingly, SNP diversity was purged at nearly every genome position in one of the Chlorobiaceae populations over the course of three years, while at the same time multiple genes either swept through or were swept from this population. These patterns were consistent with a genome-wide selective sweep, a process predicted by the ‘ecotype model’ of diversification, but not previously observed in natural populations.

  11. Genome-wide Selective Sweeps in Natural Bacterial Populations Revealed by Time-series Metagenomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chan, Leong-Keat; Bendall, Matthew L.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Schwientek, Patrick; Tremblay, Julien; Schackwitz, Wendy; Martin, Joel; Pati, Amrita; Bushnell, Brian; Foster, Brian; Kang, Dongwan; Tringe, Susannah G.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Moran, Mary Ann; Shade, Ashley; Newton, Ryan J.; Stevens, Sarah; McMcahon, Katherine D.; Mamlstrom, Rex R.

    2014-05-12

    Multiple evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the formation of genetically and ecologically distinct bacterial groups. Time-series metagenomics enables direct observation of evolutionary processes in natural populations, and if applied over a sufficiently long time frame, this approach could capture events such as gene-specific or genome-wide selective sweeps. Direct observations of either process could help resolve how distinct groups form in natural microbial assemblages. Here, from a three-year metagenomic study of a freshwater lake, we explore changes in single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies and patterns of gene gain and loss in populations of Chlorobiaceae and Methylophilaceae. SNP analyses revealed substantial genetic heterogeneity within these populations, although the degree of heterogeneity varied considerably among closely related, co-occurring Methylophilaceae populations. SNP allele frequencies, as well as the relative abundance of certain genes, changed dramatically over time in each population. Interestingly, SNP diversity was purged at nearly every genome position in one of the Chlorobiaceae populations over the course of three years, while at the same time multiple genes either swept through or were swept from this population. These patterns were consistent with a genome-wide selective sweep, a process predicted by the ecotype model? of diversification, but not previously observed in natural populations.

  12. Natural Products Screening for the Identification of Selective Monoamine Oxidase-B Inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarmouh, Najla O.; Messeha, Samia S.; Elshami, Faisel M.; Soliman, Karam F. A.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors (MAO-BIs) are used for the initial therapy of Parkinson’s disease. Also, MAO-BIs have shown to be effective neuroprotective agents in several neurodegenerative diseases. However, some concerns exist regarding the long-term use of these compounds. Meanwhile, natural compounds showed potential MAO-B selective inhibitions. To date, few selective natural MAO-BIs have been identified. Therefore, the current study is designed to identify plants with potent and specific MAO-B inhibition. Study Design In this work, we utilized high throughput screening to evaluate the different plants ethanolic extract for their effectiveness to inhibit recombinant human (h)MAO-A and hMAO-B and to determine the relative selectivity of the top MAO-BI. Methodology Recombinant human isozymes were verified by Western blotting, and the 155 plants were screened. A continuous fluorometric screening assay was performed followed by two separate hMAO-A and hMAO-B microtiter screenings and IC50 determinations for the top extracts. Results In the screened plants, 9% of the extracts showed more than 1.5-fold relative inhibition of hMAO-B (RIB) and another 9% showed more than 1.5-fold relative inhibition of hMAO-A. The top extracts with the most potent RIBs were Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Phellodendron amurense bark, Glycyrrhiza uralensis roots, and Ferula assafoetida roots, with the highest RIB of 5.9-fold. Furthermore, extensive maceration of the promising extracts led to increase inhibitory effects with a preserved RIB as confirmed with luminescence assay. The top four extracts hMAO-BIs were equally potent (IC50= 1.3 to 3.8 μg/mL) with highly significant relative selectivities to inhibit hMAO-B (4.1- to 13.4-fold). Conclusion The obtained results indicate that Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Ferula assafoetida, Glycyrrhiza uralensis roots, and Phellodendron amurense ethanolic extracts have selective inhibitions for human MAO-B. Investigating these plant extracts as

  13. Potential self-selection bias in a nested case-control study on indoor environmental factors and their association with asthma and allergic symptoms among pre-school children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bornehag, Carl-Gustaf; Sundell, Jan; Sigsgaard, T.;

    2006-01-01

    , including health, building characteristics of the home, and socioeconomic factors between participating and non-participating families in a nested case-control study on asthma and allergy among children. Information was collected in a baseline questionnaire to the parents of 14,077 children aged 1-6 years...... in a first step. In a second step 2,156 of the children were invited to participate in a case-control study. Of these, 198 cases and 202 controls were finally selected. For identifying potential selection bias, information concerning all invited families in the case-control study was obtained from...... the baseline questionnaire. Results show that there are several possible biases due to self-selection involved in an extensive study on the impact of the home environment on asthma and allergy among children. Factors associated with participating were high socioeconomic status of the family, more health...

  14. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M.

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection.

  15. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection.

  16. Impact of natural cleaning on the selection of a washing system for solar collectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerstein, A.

    1981-04-01

    The desired optical properties (reflectivity, transmissivity, etc.) of solar energy collector surfaces such as mirrors and photovoltaic surfaces are degraded over time by soiling. Cost benefit evaluation of alternative methods for washing the surface or retarding the optical degradation must take into account natural cleaning processes such as precipitation and frost, which impact the scheduling as well as the benefits of washing. A probabilistic method developed to address this question is used to compare truck-mounted versus mirror-mounted washing systems for central receiver plants. The comparison of these systems is shown to be sensitive to the seasonally-varying frequency and effectiveness of natural cleaning processes. The implications of this analysis for such diverse issues as cost/benefit evaluation of soil-retardant mirror coatings and formulation of plant site selection criteria are noted.

  17. A pin-point selection of underground water and hot spring sources by using natural radioactivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kurata, Nobuo [Sokuchi Tansui Risachisenta K.K. (Japan)

    1999-12-01

    It is proved by many actually excavated results that there is an underground water vein at a place where void space like fragmentation zone exits continuously to underground depth. A natural radioactive matter rises through cracks and tears of rocks to reach surface of ground, from where it seems to emit into air with many other kinds of radiation. A used tester is a special detector scintillation type and is made up so as to measure radiation by dividing radiations to underground, on and from earth surface, and in air. And, from difference between both measured values, which are count numbers of Bi and Tl, a radioactivity intensity can be recorded automatically through a calculation circuit. Here were described on underground fragmentation zone surveying method using gamma ray selection type tester, relationship between characteristic point of natural radioactivity and fragmentation zone, introduction of pin-pint method using a graphical example, and application of resources showing rock fragmentation zone. (G.K.)

  18. Empirical tests of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts of ADHD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thagaard, Marthe S; Faraone, Stephen V; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J;

    2016-01-01

    -based evolutionary accounts for ADHD in adherence with the PRISMA guideline. The PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were screened for relevant publications, by combining search terms covering evolution/selection with search terms covering ADHD. RESULTS: The search identified 790 records. Of these, 15 full......-text articles were assessed for eligibility, and three were included in the review. Two of these reported on the evolution of the seven-repeat allele of the ADHD-associated dopamine receptor D4 gene, and one reported on the results of a simulation study of the effect of suggested ADHD-traits on group survival...... validity for the disorder. CONCLUSIONS: This review indicates that the natural selection-based accounts of ADHD have not been subjected to empirical test and therefore remain hypothetical....

  19. Selective catalytic reduction of nitric oxide by ammonia over Cu-exchanged Cuban natural zeolites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moreno-Tost, Ramon; Santamaria-Gonzalez, Jose; Rodriguez-Castellon, Enrique; Jimenez-Lopez, Antonio [Departamento de Quimica Inorganica, Cristalografia y Mineralogia, Facultad de Ciencias, Unidad Asociada del Instituto de Catalisis y Petroleoquimica, CSIC, Universidad de Malaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071 Malaga (Spain); Autie, Miguel A.; Glacial, Marisol Carreras [Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas, Ciudad de la Habana, La Habana (Cuba); Gonzalez, Edel [Instituto Superior Pedagogico ' Enrique Jose Varona' , La Habana (Cuba); Pozas, Carlos De las [Centro de Gerencia de Programas y Proyectos Priorizados, La Habana (Cuba)

    2004-07-15

    The catalytic selective reduction of NO over Cu-exchanged natural zeolites (mordenite (MP) and clinoptilolite (HC)) from Cuba using NH{sub 3} as reducing agent and in the presence of excess oxygen was studied. Cu(II)-exchanged zeolites are very active catalysts, with conversions of NO of 95%, a high selectivity to N{sub 2} at low temperatures, and exhibiting good water tolerance. The chemical state of the Cu(II) in exchanged zeolites was characterized by H{sub 2}-TPR and XPS. Cu(II)-exchanged clinoptilolite underwent a severe deactivation in the presence of SO{sub 2}. However, Cu(II)-exchanged mordenite not only maintained its catalytic activity, but even showed a slight improvement after 20h of reaction in the presence of 100ppm of SO{sub 2}.

  20. The age-specific force of natural selection and biodemographic walls of death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Kenneth W.; Evans, Steven N.; Steinsaltz, David

    2013-01-01

    W. D. Hamilton’s celebrated formula for the age-specific force of natural selection furnishes predictions for senescent mortality due to mutation accumulation, at the price of reliance on a linear approximation. Applying to Hamilton’s setting the full nonlinear demographic model for mutation accumulation recently developed by Evans, Steinsaltz, and Wachter, we find surprising differences. Nonlinear interactions cause the collapse of Hamilton-style predictions in the most commonly studied case, refine predictions in other cases, and allow walls of death at ages before the end of reproduction. Haldane’s principle for genetic load has an exact but unfamiliar generalization. PMID:23657010

  1. Student concepts of Natural Selection from a resource-based perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Scott Shawn

    The past two decades have produced a substantial amount of research about the teaching and learning of evolution; however, recent research often lacks a theoretical foundation. Application of a new theoretical framework could help fill the void and improve research about student concepts of evolution. This study seeks to show that a resource-based framework (Hammer et al., 2005) can improve research into student concepts of natural selection. Concepts of natural selection from urban community college students were assessed via qualitative (interviews, written open-response questions, and write/think aloud procedures) and quantitative methods (coded open response analysis, Concept Inventory for Natural Selection (CINS)(Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002). Results showed that students demonstrate four important aspects of resource-based framework: the multi-faceted construction of concepts, context sensitivity/ concept flexibility, at-the-moment activation of resources, and perceptual frames. In open response assessment, evolutionary-gain responses produced significantly different responses than evolutionary-loss questions with: 1) significantly more correct answers for the gain than loss question (Wilcoxon signed rank test, z = -3.68, p=0.0002); 2) more Lamarckian responses to loss than the gain question (Fisher exact, p=0.0039); and significantly different distributions in expanded need vs basic need answers (Fishers exact, p = 0.02). Results from CINS scores showed significant differences in post activity scores between students that held different naive concepts associated with origin of variation, origin of species, differential reproduction, and limited survival suggesting that some naive ideas facilitate learning. Outcomes also suggest that an everyday or self-experience typological perceptual frame is an underlying source of many incorrect ideas about evolution. Interview and write/think aloud assessments propose four process resources applied by students as

  2. Comparison of subtypes of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from naturally contaminated watershed samples using a combination of non-selective and selective enrichment methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two enrichment methods for Listeria monocytogenes using Immuno Magnetic Separation were tested to determine if they selected the same subtypes of isolates. Both methods included a non-selective enrichment and one included subculture in Fraser Broth. Naturally contaminated watershed samples from the ...

  3. David Hull's generalized natural selection as an explanation for scientific change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Michelle Yvette

    2001-10-01

    Philosophers of science such as Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn have employed evolutionary idiom in describing scientific change. In Science as a Process (1988) Hull makes evolutionary theory explanatorily applicable. He modifies key evolutionary terms in order that both biological evolution and scientific change are instances of a general selection process. According to Hull, because of naturally-existing competition for credit among researchers and the professional lineages they constitute, scientists are constrained to cooperate and collaborate. This process entails two important philosophical consequences. First, it allows for a natural justification of why the sciences can provide objective empirical knowledge. Second, appreciating its strength means that a philosophical analysis of scientific change is solidly difficult features to combine. I work on strengthening two weaknesses in Hull's arguments. First, operating in his analysis is an unexplicated notion of ``information'' running parallel to the equally opaque notion of genetic information. My third chapter provides a clear account of ``genetic information'' whose usefulness extends beyond the assistance it can render Hull as a clear concept is needed in biological contexts as well. The fourth and fifth chapters submit evidence of scientific change from radio astronomy. Hull insists on empirical backing for philosophical theses but his own book stands to suffer from selection effects as it offers cases drawn from a single subspecialty in the biological sciences. I found that in the main scientists and the change they propel accords well with Hull's explanation. However, instances of major change reveal credit- and resource-sharing to a degree contrary with what Hull would expect. My conclusion is that the naturalness of competition, instantiated during the course of standardized and relatively ``normal'' scientific research, is not the norm during periods of new research and its uncertain standards of

  4. Artificial selection for structural color on butterfly wings and comparison with natural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasik, Bethany R; Liew, Seng Fatt; Lilien, David A; Dinwiddie, April J; Noh, Heeso; Cao, Hui; Monteiro, Antónia

    2014-08-19

    Brilliant animal colors often are produced from light interacting with intricate nano-morphologies present in biological materials such as butterfly wing scales. Surveys across widely divergent butterfly species have identified multiple mechanisms of structural color production; however, little is known about how these colors evolved. Here, we examine how closely related species and populations of Bicyclus butterflies have evolved violet structural color from brown-pigmented ancestors with UV structural color. We used artificial selection on a laboratory model butterfly, B. anynana, to evolve violet scales from UV brown scales and compared the mechanism of violet color production with that of two other Bicyclus species, Bicyclus sambulos and Bicyclus medontias, which have evolved violet/blue scales independently via natural selection. The UV reflectance peak of B. anynana brown scales shifted to violet over six generations of artificial selection (i.e., in less than 1 y) as the result of an increase in the thickness of the lower lamina in ground scales. Similar scale structures and the same mechanism for producing violet/blue structural colors were found in the other Bicyclus species. This work shows that populations harbor large amounts of standing genetic variation that can lead to rapid evolution of scales' structural color via slight modifications to the scales' physical dimensions.

  5. Epigenetics as an answer to Darwin’s special difficulty, Part 2: Natural selection of metastable epialleles in honeybee castes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas Mark Ruden

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In a recent perspective in this journal, Brian R. Herb discussed how epigenetics is a possible mechanism to circumvent Charles Darwin’s special difficulty in using natural selection to explain the existence of the sterile-fertile dimorphism in eusocial insects. Darwin’s classic book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection explains how natural selection of the fittest individuals in a population can allow a species to adapt to a novel or changing environment. However, in bees and other eusocial insects, such as ants and termites, there exist two or more castes of genetically similar females, from fertile queens to multiple sub-castes of sterile workers, with vastly different phenotypes, lifespans, and behaviors. This necessitates the selection of groups (or kin rather than individuals in the evolution of honeybee hives, but group and kin selection theories of evolution are controversial and mechanistically uncertain. Also, group selection would seem to be prohibitively inefficient because the effective population size of a colony is reduced from thousands to a single breeding queen. In this follow-up perspective, we elaborate on possible mechanisms for how a combination of both epigenetics, specifically, the selection of metastable epialleles, and genetics, the selection of mutations generated by the selected metastable epialleles, allows for a combined means for selection amongst the fertile members of a species to increase colony fitness. This intra-caste evolution hypothesis is a variation of the epigenetic directed genetic error (EDGE hypothesis, which proposes that selected metastable epialleles increase genetic variability by directing mutations specifically to the epialleles. Natural selection of random metastable epialleles followed by a second round of natural selection of random mutations generated by the metastable epialleles would allow a way around the small effective population size of eusocial insects.

  6. The evolution of social learning rules: payoff-biased and frequency-dependent biased transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendal, Jeremy; Giraldeau, Luc-Alain; Laland, Kevin

    2009-09-21

    Humans and other animals do not use social learning indiscriminately, rather, natural selection has favoured the evolution of social learning rules that make selective use of social learning to acquire relevant information in a changing environment. We present a gene-culture coevolutionary analysis of a small selection of such rules (unbiased social learning, payoff-biased social learning and frequency-dependent biased social learning, including conformism and anti-conformism) in a population of asocial learners where the environment is subject to a constant probability of change to a novel state. We define conditions under which each rule evolves to a genetically polymorphic equilibrium. We find that payoff-biased social learning may evolve under high levels of environmental variation if the fitness benefit associated with the acquired behaviour is either high or low but not of intermediate value. In contrast, both conformist and anti-conformist biases can become fixed when environment variation is low, whereupon the mean fitness in the population is higher than for a population of asocial learners. Our examination of the population dynamics reveals stable limit cycles under conformist and anti-conformist biases and some highly complex dynamics including chaos. Anti-conformists can out-compete conformists when conditions favour a low equilibrium frequency of the learned behaviour. We conclude that evolution, punctuated by the repeated successful invasion of different social learning rules, should continuously favour a reduction in the equilibrium frequency of asocial learning, and propose that, among competing social learning rules, the dominant rule will be the one that can persist with the lowest frequency of asocial learning.

  7. STATUS OF SOIL MICROBIAL POPULATION, ENZYMATIC ACTIVITY AND BIOMASS OF SELECTED NATURAL, SECONDARY AND REHABILITATED FORESTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. S. Daljit Singh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Substantial clearance of forests and conversion of forest into various land use types contribute to deterioration of soil fertility and associated nutrients loss. Soils from natural and rehabilitated forest in Chikus Forest Reserve and also enrichment planting forest and secondary forest of Tapah Hill Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia were selected in order to assess the influence of land use change on biological properties. This study was carried out to provide fundamental information on soil biological properties and also to compare the differences between natural forest, mono-rehabilitated forest, mixed planting forest and natural regenerated forest (secondary forest. Six subplots (20×20 m were established at each study plot and soil samples were collected at the depths of 0-15 cm (topsoil and 15-30 cm (subsoil. Soil microbial population was determined using spread-plate technique. Fluorescein Diacetate (FDA hydrolysis was used to assess the amount of microbial enzymatic activity for each forest plot. Soil Microbial Biomass C (MBC and N (MBN were extracted using chloroform fumigation extraction technique and the amount of MBC was determined by dichromate digestion, while MBN via Kjeldahl digestion technique. Soil acidity was determined by pH meter and moisture content was elucidated using gravimetric method. The levels of microbial population of bacterial and fungal at natural significantly exceeded the corresponding values of rehabilitated and secondary forest. However, microbial population is much higher in rehabilitated forest of Tapah Hill compared to that of secondary forest and also Chikus Forest Reserve planted forest which proves that rehabilitation activities do help increase the level of microbial community in the soils. Longer period of time after planting as in enrichment planting compared to mono planting of S. leprosula plantation showed that restoring and recovery of the planted forest needed time. Deforestation activities

  8. The effect of initial linkage disequilibrium and natural selection in pooled populations : experiments with Tribolium and simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, P.

    1972-01-01

    In chapter 2 a number of the mechanisms are discussed through which genetic polymorphisms can be maintained in natural populations: overdominance, frequency dependent selection and neutral alleles with associative overdominance. The overdominance model is emphasized because overdominance is also the

  9. Elucidating the role of genetic drift and natural selection in cork oak differentiation regarding drought tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Valiente, J A; Lorenzo, Z; Soto, A; Valladares, F; Gil, L; Aranda, I

    2009-09-01

    Drought is the main selection agent in Mediterranean ecosystems and it has been suggested as an important evolutionary force responsible for population diversification in these types of environments. However, population divergence in quantitative traits can be driven by either natural selection, genetic drift or both. To investigate the roles of these forces on among-population divergence in ecophysiological traits related to drought tolerance (carbon isotope discrimination, specific leaf area, leaf size and leaf nitrogen content), we compared molecular and quantitative genetic differentiation in a common garden experiment including thirteen cork oak (Quercus suber L.) populations across a gradient of rainfall and temperature. Population differentiation for height, specific leaf area, leaf size and nitrogen leaf content measured during a dry year far exceeded the molecular differentiation measured by six nuclear microsatellites. Populations from dry-cool sites showed the lowest nitrogen leaf content and the smallest and thickest leaves contrasting with those from humid-warm sites. These results suggest (i) these traits are subjected to divergence selection and (ii) the genetic differences among populations are partly due to climate adaptation. By contrast, the low among-population divergence found in basal diameter, annual growth and carbon isotopic discrimination (a surrogate for water use efficiency) suggests low or no divergence selection for these traits. Among-population differentiation for neutral markers was not a good predictor for differentiation regarding the quantitative traits studied here, except for leaf size. The correlation observed between the genetic differentiation for leaf size and that for molecular markers was exclusively due to the association between leaf size and the microsatellite QpZAG46, which suggests a possible linkage between QpZAG46 and genes encoding for leaf size.

  10. Natural selection and the conditions for existence: representational vs. conditional teleology in biological explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, John O

    2005-01-01

    Human intentional action, including the design and use of artifacts, involves the prior mental representation of the goal (end) and the means to achieve that goal. This representation is part of the efficient cause of the action, and thus can be used to explain both the action and the achievement of the end. This is intentional teleological explanation. More generally, teleological explanation that depends on the real existence of a representation of the goal (and the means to achieve it) can be called representational teleological explanation. Such explanations in biology can involve both external representations (e.g., ideas in the mind of God) and internal representations (souls, vital powers, entelechies, developmental programs, etc.). However, another type of explanation of intentional action (or any other process) is possible. Given that an action achieving a result occurs, the action can be explained as fulfilling the necessary conditions (means) for that result (end), and, reciprocally, the result explained by the occurrence of those necessary conditions. This is conditional teleological explanation. For organisms, natural selection is often understood metaphorically as the designer, intentionally constructing them for certain ends. Unfortunately, this metaphor is often taken rather too literally, because it has been difficult to conceive of another way to relate natural selection to the process of evolution. I argue that combining a conditional teleological explanation of organisms and of evolution provides such an alternative. This conditional teleology can be grounded in existence or survival. Given that an organism exists, we can explain its existence by the occurrence of the necessary conditions for that existence. This principle of the 'conditions for existence' was introduced by Georges Cuvier in 1800, and provides a valid, conditional teleological method for explaining organismal structure and behavior. From an evolutionary perspective, the

  11. Kaon and pion production in centrality selected minimum bias Pb+Pb collisions at 40 and 158 A.GeV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dinkelaker, Peter

    2009-07-01

    Results on charged kaon and negatively charged pion production and spectra for centrality selected Pb+Pb minimum bias events at 40 and 158A GeV have been presented in this thesis. All analysis are based on data taken by the NA49 experiment at the accelerator Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. The kaon results are based on an analysis of the mean energy loss of the charged particles traversing the detector gas of the time projection chambers (TPCs). The pion results are from an analysis of all negatively charged particles h{sup -} corrected for contributions from particle decays and secondary interactions. For the dE/dx analysis of charged kaons, main TPC tracks with a total momentum between 4 and 50 GeV have been analyzed in logarithmic momentum log(p) and transverse momentum p{sub t} bins. The resulting dE/dx spectra have been fitted by the sum of 5 Gaussians, one for each main particle type (electrons, pions, kaons, protons, deuterons). The amplitude of the Gaussian used for the kaon part of the spectra has been corrected for efficiency and acceptance and the binning has been transformed to rapidity y and transverse momentum pt bins. The multiplicity dN/dy of the single rapidity bins has been derived by summing the measured range of the transverse momentum spectra and an extrapolation to full coverage with a single exponential function fitted to the measured range. The results have been combined with the mid-rapidity measurements from the time-of-flight detectors and a double Gaussian fit to the dN/dy spectra has been used for extrapolation to rapidity outside of the acceptance of the dE/dx analysis. For the h{sup -} analysis of negatively charged pions, all negatively charged tracks have been analyzed. The background from secondary reactions, particle decays, and gamma-conversions has been corrected with the VENUS event generator. The results were also corrected for efficiency

  12. On the computational assessment of white matter hyperintensity progression: difficulties in method selection and bias field correction performance on images with significant white matter pathology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valdes Hernandez, Maria del C.; Gonzalez-Castro, Victor; Wang, Xin; Doubal, Fergus; Munoz Maniega, Susana; Wardlaw, Joanna M. [Centre for Clinical Brian Sciences, Department of Neuroimaging Sciences, Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Ghandour, Dina T. [University of Edinburgh, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Armitage, Paul A. [University of Sheffield, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Sheffield (United Kingdom)

    2016-05-15

    Subtle inhomogeneities in the scanner's magnetic fields (B{sub 0} and B{sub 1}) alter the intensity levels of the structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) affecting the volumetric assessment of WMH changes. Here, we investigate the influence that (1) correcting the images for the B{sub 1} inhomogeneities (i.e. bias field correction (BFC)) and (2) selection of the WMH change assessment method can have on longitudinal analyses of WMH progression and discuss possible solutions. We used brain structural MRI from 46 mild stroke patients scanned at stroke onset and 3 years later. We tested three BFC approaches: FSL-FAST, N4 and exponentially entropy-driven homomorphic unsharp masking (E{sup 2}D-HUM) and analysed their effect on the measured WMH change. Separately, we tested two methods to assess WMH changes: measuring WMH volumes independently at both time points semi-automatically (MCMxxxVI) and subtracting intensity-normalised FLAIR images at both time points following image gamma correction. We then combined the BFC with the computational method that performed best across the whole sample to assess WMH changes. Analysis of the difference in the variance-to-mean intensity ratio in normal tissue between BFC and uncorrected images and visual inspection showed that all BFC methods altered the WMH appearance and distribution, but FSL-FAST in general performed more consistently across the sample and MRI modalities. The WMH volume change over 3 years obtained with MCMxxxVI with vs. without FSL-FAST BFC did not significantly differ (medians(IQR)(with BFC) = 3.2(6.3) vs. 2.9(7.4)ml (without BFC), p = 0.5), but both differed significantly from the WMH volume change obtained from subtracting post-processed FLAIR images (without BFC)(7.6(8.2)ml, p < 0.001). This latter method considerably inflated the WMH volume change as subtle WMH at baseline that became more intense at follow-up were counted as increase in the volumetric change. Measurement of WMH volume change remains

  13. Dust evolution, a global view I. Nanoparticles, nascence, nitrogen and natural selection … joining the dots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. P.

    2016-12-01

    The role and importance of nanoparticles for interstellar chemistry and beyond is explored within the framework of The Heterogeneous dust Evolution Model for Interstellar Solids (THEMIS), focusing on their active surface chemistry, the effects of nitrogen doping and the natural selection of interesting nanoparticle sub-structures. Nanoparticle-driven chemistry, and in particular the role of intrinsic epoxide-type structures, could provide a viable route to the observed gas phase OH in tenuous interstellar clouds en route to becoming molecular clouds. The aromatic-rich moieties present in asphaltenes probably provide a viable model for the structures present within aromatic-rich interstellar carbonaceous grains. The observed doping of such nanoparticle structures with nitrogen, if also prevalent in interstellar dust, could perhaps have important and observable consequences for surface chemistry and the formation of precursor pre-biotic species.

  14. Natural scene logo recognition by joint boosting feature selection in salient regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Wei; Sun, Jun; Naoi, Satoshi; Minagawa, Akihiro; Hotta, Yoshinobu

    2011-01-01

    Logos are considered valuable intellectual properties and a key component of the goodwill of a business. In this paper, we propose a natural scene logo recognition method which is segmentation-free and capable of processing images extremely rapidly and achieving high recognition rates. The classifiers for each logo are trained jointly, rather than independently. In this way, common features can be shared across multiple classes for better generalization. To deal with large range of aspect ratio of different logos, a set of salient regions of interest (ROI) are extracted to describe each class. We ensure the selected ROIs to be both individually informative and two-by-two weakly dependant by a Class Conditional Entropy Maximization criteria. Experimental results on a large logo database demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed method.

  15. Soy isoflavones--benefits and risks from nature's selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setchell, K D

    2001-10-01

    Phytoestrogens have become one of the more topical areas of interest in clinical nutrition. These non-nutrient bioactive compounds are ubiquitous to the plant kingdom and possess a wide range of biological properties that contribute to the many different health-related benefits reported for soy foods and flaxseeds--two of the most abundant dietary sources of phytoestrogens. Reviewed is the recent knowledge related to their pharmacokinetics and clinical effects, focusing mainly on isoflavones that are found in high concentrations in soy foods. Arguments are made for considering soy isoflavones as natural selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) based upon recent data of their conformational binding to estrogen receptors. Rebuttal is made to several key and important issues related to the recent concerns about the safety of soy and its constituent isoflavones. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the literature but merely highlight recent research with key historical perspectives.

  16. What the Alligator didn't Know: Natural Selection and Love in Our Mutual Friend

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Bown

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available This essay reads 'Our Mutual Friend' as Dickens’s rejoinder to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, and sees it as a novel that is profoundly shaped by the imaginative impact of Darwin’s work. However, the direct influence of 'On the Origin of Species' is not the essay’s major concern. Instead, the essay sees this novel as a response to some of the questions posed by Darwin’s work about how a natural world driven by chance and contigency, death, waste and hunger might be redeemed.   I focus on the figure of Mr Venus, the taxidermist who, I argue, is an affectionate portrait of Dickens’s friend Richard Owen. By tracing Owen’s involvement in debates over evolution and the origins of life, I show that these contemporary debates had a considerable backwash in a novel saturated with the metaphors of evolution, and centrally concerned with the nature of, and the relationship betweeen, life and death. I suggest that Mr Venus’s shop is a comic version of the Hunterian Museum, over which Owen presided, and that its portrayal encapuslates the novel’s concerns with evolution, life and death. I argue that Dickens’s response to the challenge of Darwinism is to see love as the world’s redemption, and that he uses transmuted versions of Mr Venus’s shop as a vivid metaphor for the idea that love is the redeeming spark of life.   I suggest, though, that in the post-Darwinian imaginative landscape, love could not redeem all, and that Dickens’s redeeming vision of love is finally inadequate to save all his characters. ‘What the alligator knew, ages deep in the slime’ was that love was powerless against nature -and what it didn’t know, and Dickens tried to show in this, his last completed novel, is that in spite of the ruthless rapacity of both nature and human society, love makes the world go round.

  17. Paths to selection on life history loci in different natural environments across the native range of Arabidopsis thaliana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fournier-Level, A.; Wilczek, A.M.; Cooper, M.D.; Roe, J.L.; Anderson, J.; Eaton, D.; Moyers, B.T.; Petipas, R.H.; Schaeffer, R.N.; Pieper, B.; Reymond, M.; Koornneef, M.; Welch, S.M.; Remington, D.L.; Schmitt, J.

    2013-01-01

    Selection on quantitative trait loci (QTL) may vary among natural environments due to differences in the genetic architecture of traits, environment-specific allelic effects or changes in the direction and magnitude of selection on specific traits. To dissect the environmental differences in selecti

  18. Sex-specific effects of natural and sexual selection on the evolution of life span and ageing in Drosophila simulans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Archer, C.R.; Duffy, E.; Hosken, D.J.; Mokkonen, M.; Okada, K.; Oku, K.; Sharma, M.D.; Hunt, J.

    2015-01-01

    1. Variation in the strength of age-dependent natural selection shapes differences in ageing rates across species and populations. Likewise, sexual selection can promote divergent patterns of senescence across the sexes. However, the effects of these processes on the evolution of ageing have largely

  19. On the Nature of the First Galaxies Selected at 350 Micrometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sophia A.; Chanial, Pierre F.; Willner, S. P.; Pearson, Chris P.; Ashby, M. L. N.; Benford, Dominic J.; Clements, David L.; Dye, Simon; Farrah, Duncan; Fazio, G. G.; Huang, J. S.; Lebouteiller, V.; Le Floc'H, Emeric; Mainetti, Gabriele; Harvey Moseley, S.; Negrello, Mattia; Serjeant, Stephen; Shafer, Richard A.; Staguhn, Johannes; Sumner, Timothy J.; Vaccari, Mattia

    2009-01-01

    We present constraints on the nature of the first galaxies selected at 350 micrometers. The sample includes galaxies discovered in the deepest blank-field survey at 350 micrometers (in the Bo6tes Deep Field) and also later serendipitous detections in the Lockman Hole. In determining multiwavelength identifications, the 350 lam position and map resolution of the second generation Submillimeter High Angular Resolution Camera are critical, especially in the cases where multiple radio sources exist and the 24 micrometer counterparts are unresolved. Spectral energy distribution templates are fitted to identified counterparts, and the sample is found to comprise IR-luminous galaxies at 1 nature of the dominant source of the 350 micrometers background-star-forming galaxies in the epoch of peak star formation in the universe-could be more effectively probed using ground-based instruments with their angular resolution and sensitivity offering significant advantages over space-based imaging. Key words: galaxies: high-redshift galaxies: starburst infrared: galaxies submillimeter

  20. Variation in performance of surfactant loading and resulting nitrate removal among four selected natural zeolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Huade; Bestland, Erick; Zhu, Chuanyu; Zhu, Honglin; Albertsdottir, Dora; Hutson, John; Simmons, Craig T; Ginic-Markovic, Milena; Tao, Xian; Ellis, Amanda V

    2010-11-15

    Surfactant modified zeolites (SMZs) have the capacity to target various types of water contaminants at relatively low cost and thus are being increasingly considered for use in improving water quality. It is important to know the surfactant loading performance of a zeolite before it is put into application. In this work we compare the loading capacity of a surfactant, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (HDTMA-Br), onto four natural zeolites obtained from specific locations in the USA, Croatia, China, and Australia. The surfactant loading is examined using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. We then compare the resulting SMZs performance in removing nitrate from water. Results show that TGA is useful to determine the HDTMA loading capacity on natural zeolites. It is also useful to distinguish between a HDTMA bi-layer and a HDTMA mono-layer on the SMZ surface, which has not been previously reported in the literature. TGA results infer that HDTMA (bi-layer) loading decreases in the order of US zeolite>Croatian zeolite>Chinese zeolite>Australian zeolite. This order of loading explains variation in performance of nitrate removal between the four SMZs. The SMZs remove 8-18 times more nitrate than the raw zeolites. SMZs prepared from the selected US and Croatian zeolites were more efficient in nitrate removal than the two zeolites commercially obtained from Australia and China.

  1. Reduced disease in black abalone following mass mortality: Phage therapy and natural selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn S Friedman

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Black abalone, Haliotis cracherodii, populations along the NE Pacific ocean have declined due to the rickettsial disease withering syndrome (WS. Natural recovery on San Nicolas Island (SNI off Southern California suggested the development of resistance in island populations. Experimental challenges in one treatment demonstrated that progeny of disease-selected black abalone from SNI survived better than did those from naïve black abalone from Carmel Point (CP in mainland coastal central California. Unexpectedly, the presence of a newly observed bacteriophage infecting the WS rickettsia (WS-RLO had strong effects on the survival of infected abalone. Specifically, presence of phage-infected RLO (RLOv reduced the host response to infection, RLO infection loads, and associated mortality. These data suggest that the black abalone: WS-RLO relationship is evolving through dual host mechanisms of resistance to RLO infection in the digestive gland via tolerance to infection in the primary target tissue (the post-esophagus coupled with reduced pathogenicity of the WS-RLO by phage infection, which effectively reduces the infection load in the primary target tissue by half. Sea surface temperature patterns off southern California, associated with a recent hiatus in global-scale ocean warming, do not appear to be a sufficient explanation for survival patterns in SNI black abalone. These data highlight the potential for natural recovery of abalone populations over time and that further understanding of mechanisms governing host-parasite relationships will better enable us to manage declining populations.

  2. Reduced disease in black abalone following mass mortality: Phage therapy and natural selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanblaricom, Glenn R.

    2014-01-01

    Black abalone, Haliotis cracherodii, populations along the NE Pacific ocean have declined due to the rickettsial disease withering syndrome (WS). Natural recovery on San Nicolas Island (SNI) of Southern California suggested the development of resistance in island populations. Experimental challenges in one treatment demonstrated that progeny of disease-selected black abalone from SNI survived better than did those from naïve black abalone from Carmel Point in mainland coastal central California. Unexpectedly, the presence of a newly observed bacteriophage infecting the WS rickettsia (WS-RLO) had strong effects on the survival of infected abalone. Specifically, presence of phage-infected RLO (RLOv) reduced the host response to infection, RLO infection loads, and associated mortality. These data suggest that the black abalone: WS-RLO relationship is evolving through dual host mechanisms of resistance to RLO infection in the digestive gland via tolerance to infection in the primary target tissue (the post-esophagus) coupled with reduced pathogenicity of the WS-RLO by phage infection, which effectively reduces the infection load in the primary target tissue by half. Sea surface temperature patterns off southern California, associated with a recent hiatus in global-scale ocean warming, do not appear to be a sufficient explanation for survival patterns in SNI black abalone. These data highlight the potential for natural recovery of abalone populations over time and that further understanding of mechanisms governing host–parasite relationships will better enable us to manage declining populations.

  3. Impact of bias discrepancy and amino acid usage on estimates of the effective number of codons used in a gene, and a test for selection on codon usage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuglsang, Anders

    2007-01-01

    The effective number of codons (Nc) used in a gene is one of the most commonly used measures of synonymous codon usage bias, owing much of its popularity to the fact that it is species independent and that simulation studies have shown that it is less dependent of gene length than other measures....... that exists for Buchnera sp. APS and Borrelia burgdorferi....

  4. Phylogeography and natural selection in the Tenerife gecko Tarentola delalandii: testing historical and adaptive hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gübitz, T; Thorpe, R S; Malhotra, A

    2000-09-01

    Combining phylogeographic and matrix correspondence approaches in the analysis of geographical variation provides a fruitful approach to inferring the causes of molecular and morphological evolution within species. Here we present a study on the gecko Tarentola delalandii on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, which provides an outstanding model of an exceptionally high degree of phylogeographic differentiation in magnitude and pattern on a small spatial scale. We reconstruct the population history of T. delalandii using phylogeographic information, matrix correspondence tests and estimates of divergence times in conjunction with geological data. It appears that populations differentiated on three precursor islands and secondary contact followed the junction of these islands. The cytochrome b sequence appears to be evolving at least at approximately 1% per million years in this species. Matrix correspondence tests indicate that morphological character systems may reflect ecological selection regimes (colour pattern), history (body dimensions) or both (scalation). The results imply that natural selection can override a historical legacy, but also underline the potential relevance of molecular phylogenetic data for the interpretation of geographical variation in morphology.

  5. An evaluation of criteria for selecting vehicles fueled with diesel or compressed natural gas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Hesterberg

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available We reviewed selection criteria for diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG fueled vehicles, comparing engine emissions, fire and safety, toxicity, economics, and operations. Diesel- and CNG-fueled vehicles with the latest emission-control technology, including engine-exhaust aftertreatment, have very similar emissions of regulated and unregulated compounds, particles through all size ranges, and greenhouse gases. Although toxicity data are limited, no significant toxicity differences of engine emissions were reported. Operating and maintenance costs are variable, with no consistent difference between diesel- and CNG-fueled vehicles. The main operating concern with CNG vehicles is that they are less fuel efficient. Higher infrastructure costs are involved with implementing a CNG-fueled vehicle fleet, giving diesel vehicles a distinct cost advantage over CNG vehicles. For a given budget, greater emissions reductions can thus be achieved with diesel+filter vehicles. Finally, diesel vehicles have a significant fire-and-safety advantage over CNG vehicles. In summary, infrastructure costs and fire-and-safety concerns are much greater for CNG-fueled vehicles. These considerations should be part of the decision-making process when selecting a fuel for a transportation system.

  6. Relative contribution of dispersal and natural selection to the maintenance of a hybrid zone in Littorina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Raquel; Vilas, Carlos; Mosquera, Javier; García, Carlos

    2004-12-01

    Habitat preference behavior may play an important role in nonallopatric speciation. However, most examples of habitat preference contributing to differentiation within natural populations correspond to parasites or herbivores living in the discrete environments constituted by their animal or plant hosts. In the present study we investigated migration guided by habitat preference in the intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis in a hybrid zone associated with an ecotone across the shore, which is therefore a continuously varying environment. First, we found evidence for this behavior in one of the two locations studied. Second, we made reciprocal transplants to suppress the phenotypic gradient observed across the hybrid zone and measured the relative contributions of selection and migration to its regeneration. Selection played an important role at the two locations studied, but migration was only important at one, where it accounted for between a third and a half of the regenerated gradient. This overall minor effect of migration was relevant for theoretical models dealing with nonallopatric speciation, because it suggested that variation for habitat preference did not have an important role in the initiation of the differentiation process. The preference behavior observed in the hybrid zone would have evolved secondarily, as a consequence of habitat-dependent fitness differences between phenotypes.

  7. Extractive fixed-site polymer sorbent for selective boron removal from natural water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Neha; Kumar, Sanjukta A; Shinde, Rakesh N; Pandey, Ashok K; Kumar, Sangita D; Reddy, A V R

    2013-09-15

    Water contamination by boron is a widespread environmental problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends maximum boron concentration of 2.4 mg L(-1) for drinking water. The paper presents a simple method for preparation of functionalized sheet sorbent for selective extraction of boron from natural water. The pores of commercially available poly(propylene) membrane were functionalized by room temperature in situ crosslinking of poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) with a cyclic diamine piperazine. The precursor membranes were chemically modified with N-methyl D-glucamine which is selective for boron. Characterization of membrane was carried out using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) techniques. The functionalized membrane has been characterized in terms of parameters that influence the sorption of boron from aqueous streams like pH, uptake capacity, contact time, effects of competing ions and reusability. The maximum boron sorption capacity determined experimentally was 28 mg g(-1). The studies showed that trace concentrations of boron were quantitatively removed from water at neutral pH. The developed fixed site polymer sorbent exhibited high sorption capacity and fast kinetics as compared to various sorbents reported in literature. It was successfully applied for the removal of boron from ground water and seawater samples in presence of high concentration of interfering ions.

  8. Insights into cation exchange selectivity of a natural clinoptilolite by means of dielectric relaxation spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Fuentes, Gerardo; Devautour-Vinot, Sabine; Diaby, Sekou; Henn, François

    2011-09-01

    Purified natural clinoptilolite from the Tasajeras deposit, Cuba, and some of its metal exchanged forms are studied, at the dehydrated state, by means of dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (DRS) using two different modus operandi: complex impedance spectroscopy and dielectric dynamic thermal analysis. Data analysis yields the determination of the extra-framework cation (EFC) population into the various possible crystallographic sites of the zeolitic framework as well as of the activation energy characterizing the localized hopping mechanism of EFC. First, it is shown that the DRS responses obtained here match well with the previous reported data, which were previously localized EFCs in positions close to M1 and M2 sites when the clinoptilolite is modified to almost homoionic form. From this outcome, it can be concluded that all EFCs are in the same crystallographic situation regarding solvation or, in other terms, that no steric effect can be taken into account to explain cationic selectivity. Second, based on the assumption that the activation energy for EFC hopping is directly connected to the EFC/framework interaction and on simple thermodynamics consideration, we show this interaction does not govern the EFC exchange reaction. So, it is emphasized that EFC/H2O interaction is the key factor for cation exchange selectivity.

  9. A Framework for Selecting Indicators to Assess the Sustainable Development of the Natural Heritage Site

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Sustainable world heritage management represents an approach for managing the resources of a property by integrating environmental, economic, and social issues. It aims to provide sustainable benefits for future generations, while protect the property and minimize the possible adverse social, economic and environmental impacts. Indicators of sustainable development, which summarize information for decision-making, are invaluable to learn the efficiency and effectiveness of property management. Scientists in many fields devised several conceptual models of environmental statistics and indicators, of which, DPSIR (Driving forces - Pressure - State - Impact - Response)is thought to be the best available one in identifying and developing indicators of sustainable development. Based on the DPSIR conceptual model and indicator selection criteria, the present paper proposed a methodology framework for selecting indicators to assess the sustainable development of a natural heritage site.The proposed framework included a multi-level hierarchical structure for various indicators and indexes, a modified DPSIR frame to identify key issues in property management and a set of indicators for evaluating the sustainability in Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries.

  10. Exploring the nature of Mid-IR selected buried AGN candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Martin; Chini, Rolf; Huchra, John P.; Leipski, Christian; Mueller, Sven A. H.; Ott, Stephan; Siebenmorgen, Ralf; Wilkes, Belinda

    2005-06-01

    Among 3000 sources detected by the ISOCAM Parallel Survey at 6.7 micron in an area of 8 square degrees at high galactic latitude we have discovered a population of extremely infrared unknown objects. With a typical 6.7 micron flux between 4 and 0.7 mJy they have red 2MASS and optical counterparts. The analysis of the ISO and 2MASS colours suggests that we have found AGN with a pronounced near- and mid-IR emission from nuclear dust. We performed optical spectroscopy for 55 of the 80 AGN candidates selected by their red near-mid-IR colors. We find 27% type 1 AGN (redshift range z=0.1-1), 13% type 2 AGN (z=0.1-0.5), and 60% extremely reddened emission line galaxies (ELGs) with LINER and HII type spectra (z=0.07-0.3). Our multi-wavelength examination of the ELGs indicates that they resemble a population different from known IR luminous starburst galaxies. The high MIR/NIR flux ratio and the rather low FIR upper flux limits on IRAS-ADDSCANs argue against a pure starburst nature, suggesting that the red ELGs contain a buried AGN. While new IR surveys from Spitzer will certainly detect new interesting objects of that type, we have already identified a promising IR sample which has been further focussed by optical spectroscopy. Therefore, we apply for 19-38 micron IRS low resolution spectroscopy of 10 red ELGs carefully selected from our sample (6.7 micron flux > 1 mJy). By focussing on really buried AGN candidates and the [Ne V]24.3um and [O IV]25.9um lines, this proposal substantially goes beyond our shallower cycle-1 IRS 5-40 micron observations of MIR selected (mainly type 1 and type 2) AGN.

  11. Footprints of natural and artificial selection for photoperiod pathway genes in Oryza.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chao-Li; Hung, Cheng-Yu; Chiang, Yu-Chung; Hwang, Chi-Chuan; Hsu, Tsai-Wen; Huang, Chi-Chun; Hung, Kuo-Hsiang; Tsai, Kun-Chan; Wang, Kuo-Hsiung; Osada, Naoki; Schaal, Barbara Anna; Chiang, Tzen-Yuh

    2012-06-01

    Asian rice, Oryza sativa, consists of two major subspecies, indica and japonica, which are physiologically differentiated and adapted to different latitudes. Genes for photoperiod sensitivity are likely targets of selection along latitude. We examined the footprints of natural and artificial selections for four major genes of the photoperiod pathway, namely PHYTOCHROME B (PhyB), HEADING DATE 1 (Hd1), HEADING DATE 3a (Hd3a), and EARLY HEADING DATE 1 (Ehd1), by investigation of the patterns of nucleotide polymorphisms in cultivated and wild rice. Geographical subdivision between tropical and subtropical O. rufipogon was found for all of the photoperiod genes in plants divided by the Tropic of Cancer (TOC). All of these genes, except for PhyB, were characterized by the existence of clades that split a long time ago and that corresponded to latitudinal subdivisions, and revealed a likely diversifying selection. Ssp. indica showed close affinity to tropical O. rufipogon for all genes, while ssp. japonica, which has a much wider range of distribution, displayed complex patterns of differentiation from O. rufipogon, which reflected various agricultural needs in relation to crop yield. In japonica, all genes, except Hd3a, were genetically differentiated at the TOC, while geographical subdivision occurred at 31°N in Hd3a, probably the result of varying photoperiods. Many other features of the photoperiod genes revealed domestication signatures, which included high linkage disequilibrium (LD) within genes, the occurrence of frequent and recurrent non-functional Hd1 mutants in cultivated rice, crossovers between subtropical and tropical alleles of Hd1, and significant LD between Hd1 and Hd3a in japonica and indica.

  12. Selected personality traits and achievement motivation in university students of physical culture, education and natural sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Sigmund

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding personality variables and other important psychological traits in the university population appears topical particularly with respect to personality, motivation, health as well as overall academic achievement. A significant role is played by correlations of the monitored variables in relation to selected study specialization. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of the present study is to extend the knowledge on selected personality traits and the level of achievement motivation in a specific group of university students with respect to the diversity of their study specialization. METHODS: The study included a total of 522 students from Palacký University. These were students from the Faculty of Physical Culture (n = 118, Faculty of Education (n = 218 and Faculty of Science (n = 186. In terms of age, the study focused on young adults aged 19 to 26. In the research, psychodiagnostic methods were used to perform diagnostics and to fulfil the overall research plan. All diagnostic methods used are fully standardized and contain domestic normative values. We monitored variables such as personality, achievement motivation and achievement anxiety. Statistical result processing was conducted using the Statgraphics programme v. 9.0. Result processing was made using parametric as well as non-parametric statistical methods (Shapiro-Wilk, Mann-Whitney, Kruskal-Wallis, Spearman’s correlation. RESULTS: University students specialized in physical culture showed the highest values of extraversion and psychoticism, and clearly the lowest values of neuroticism compared to the students of education and natural sciences. The highest values of openness were observed in the students specialized in sports. In terms of the overall achievement motivation related to study specialization, almost identical values were observed. However, the students of physical culture showed significantly lower values of achievement debilitating anxiety

  13. Did natural selection make the Dutch taller? A cautionary note on the importance of quantification in understanding evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarka, Maja; Bolstad, Geir H; Wacker, Sebastian; Räsänen, Katja; Hansen, Thomas F; Pélabon, Christophe

    2015-12-01

    One of the main achievements of the modern synthesis is a rigorous mathematical theory for evolution by natural selection. Combining this theory with statistical models makes it possible to estimate the relevant parameters so as to quantify selection and evolution in nature. Although quantification is a sign of a mature science, statistical models are unfortunately often interpreted independently of the motivating mathematical theory. Without a link to theory, numerical results do not represent proper quantifications, because they lack the connections that designate their biological meaning. Here, we want to raise awareness and exemplify this problem by examining a recent study on natural selection in a contemporary human population. Stulp et al. (2015) concluded that natural selection may partly explain the increasing stature of the Dutch population. This conclusion was based on a qualitative assessment of the presence of selection on height. Here, we provide a quantitative interpretation of these results using standard evolutionary theory to show that natural selection has had a minuscule effect.

  14. Natural selection on a measure of parasite resistance varies across ages and environmental conditions in a wild mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, A D; Wilson, A J; Pilkington, J G; Clutton-Brock, T H; Pemberton, J M; Kruuk, L E B

    2011-08-01

    Parasites detrimentally affect host fitness, leading to expectations of positive selection on host parasite resistance. However, as immunity is costly, host fitness may be maximized at low, but nonzero, parasite infection intensities. These hypotheses are rarely tested on natural variation in free-living populations. We investigated selection on a measure of host parasite resistance in a naturally regulated Soay sheep population using a longitudinal data set and found negative correlations between parasite infection intensity and annual fitness in lambs, male yearlings and adult females. However, having accounted for confounding effects of body weight, the effect was only significant in lambs. Associations between fitness and parasite resistance were environment-dependent, being strong during low-mortality winters, but negligible during harsher high-mortality winters. There was no evidence for stabilizing selection. Our findings reveal processes that may shape variation in parasite resistance in natural populations and illustrate the importance of accounting for correlated traits in selection analysis.

  15. Analysis of an influence of the bias correction method on the projected changes of flood indices in the selected catchments in Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osuch, Marzena; Lawrence, Deborah; Meresa, Hadush K.; Napiórkowski, Jaroslaw J.; Romanowicz, Renata J.

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the study is an estimation of the uncertainty in flood indices introduced by bias correction of climate model variables in ten catchments in Poland. A simulation approach is used to obtain daily flows in catchments under changing climatic conditions, following the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios. Climate projections were obtained from the EURO-CORDEX initiative, and time series of precipitation and air temperature from different RCM/GCMs for the periods: 1971-2000, 2021-2050 and 2071-2100 were used. The climate model outputs in the Poland area are highly biased; therefore, additional post processing in the form of bias correction of precipitation and temperature is needed. In this work we used four versions of the quantile mapping method (empirical quantile mapping, and three distribution based mappings: double gamma, single gamma and Birnbaum-Sanders) for correction of the precipitation time series and one method for air temperature correction (empirical quantile method). The HBV rainfall-runoff catchment-based model is used to estimate future flow time series. The models are calibrated using the available precipitation, air temperature, and flow observations for the period 1971-2000. Model performance is evaluated using observed data for the period 2001-2010. We also verify performance using the EURO-CORDEX simulations for the reference period (1971-2000), both with and without bias correction of the RCM/GCM outputs. Finally, the models are run for the future climate simulated by the RCM/GCM models for the years: 2021-2050 and 2071-2100. Changes in the mean annual flood and in flood quantiles are analysed and the effect of bias correction on the estimated changes is also considered. The results indicate substantial differences between climate models and catchments. The regional variability has a close relationship with the flood regime type. Catchments where high flows are expected to increase have a rainfall-dominated flood regime in the current

  16. Distinguishing the roles of trait and state anxiety on the nature of anxiety-related attentional biases to threat using a free viewing eye movement paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Andrea L; Purdon, Christine; Quigley, Leanne; Carriere, Jonathan; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Although attentional biases to threatening information are thought to contribute to the development and persistence of anxiety disorders, it is not clear whether an attentional bias to threat (ABT) is driven by trait anxiety, state anxiety or an interaction between the two. ABT may also be influenced by "top down" processes of motivation to attend or avoid threat. In the current study, participants high, mid and low in trait anxiety viewed high threat-neutral, mild threat-neutral and positive-neutral image pairs for 5 seconds in both calm and anxious mood states while their eye movements were recorded. State anxiety alone, but not trait anxiety, predicted greater maintenance of attention to high threat images (relative to neutral) following the first fixation (i.e., delayed disengagement) and over the time course. Motivation was associated with the time course of attention as would be expected, such that those motivated to look towards negative images showed the greatest ABT over time, and those highly motivated to look away from negative images showed the greatest avoidance. Interestingly, those ambivalent about where to direct their attention when viewing negative images showed the greatest ABT in the first 500 ms of viewing. Implications for theory and treatment of anxiety disorders, as well as areas for further study, are discussed.

  17. Did RNA editing in plant organellar genomes originate under natural selection or through genetic drift?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jobson Richard W

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The C↔U substitution types of RNA editing have been observed frequently in organellar genomes of land plants. Although various attempts have been made to explain why such a seemingly inefficient genetic mechanism would have evolved, no satisfactory explanation exists in our view. In this study, we examined editing patterns in chloroplast genomes of the hornwort Anthoceros formosae and the fern Adiantum capillus-veneris and in mitochondrial genomes of the angiosperms Arabidopsis thaliana, Beta vulgaris and Oryza sativa, to gain an understanding of the question of how RNA editing originated. Results We found that 1 most editing sites were distributed at the 2nd and 1st codon positions, 2 editing affected codons that resulted in larger hydrophobicity and molecular size changes much more frequently than those with little change involved, 3 editing uniformly increased protein hydrophobicity, 4 editing occurred more frequently in ancestrally T-rich sequences, which were more abundant in genes encoding membrane-bound proteins with many hydrophobic amino acids than in genes encoding soluble proteins, and 5 editing occurred most often in genes found to be under strong selective constraint. Conclusion These analyses show that editing mostly affects functionally important and evolutionarily conserved codon positions, codons and genes encoding membrane-bound proteins. In particular, abundance of RNA editing in plant organellar genomes may be associated with disproportionately large percentages of genes in these two genomes that encode membrane-bound proteins, which are rich in hydrophobic amino acids and selectively constrained. These data support a hypothesis that natural selection imposed by protein functional constraints has contributed to selective fixation of certain editing sites and maintenance of the editing activity in plant organelles over a period of more than four hundred millions years. The retention of genes encoding RNA

  18. Teaching Evolution & the Nature of Science via the History of Debates about the Levels at Which Natural Selection Operates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stansfield, William D.

    2013-01-01

    Students should not graduate from high school without understanding that scientific debates are essential components of scientific methodology. This article presents a brief history of ongoing debates regarding the hypothesis that group selection is an evolutionary mechanism, and it serves as an example of the role that debates play in correcting…

  19. Mathematical Physics Framework SustainingNatural Anticipation and Selection of Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfons Salden

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available An ambient intelligent environment is definitely a prerequisite for anticipating the needs and catching the attention of systems. But how to endow such an environment with natural anticipatory and attentive features is still a hardly ever properly addressed question. Before providing a roadmap towards such an ambient intelligent environment we first give cognitive-ergonomic accounts for how natural anticipation and selection of attention (NASA emerge in living organisms. In particular, we describe why, when and how exploratory and goal-directed acts by living organisms are controlled while optimizing their changing and limited structural and functional capabilities of multimodal sensor, cognitive and actuator systems. Next, we describe how NASA can be embedded and embodied in sustainable intelligent multimodal systems (SIMS. Such systems allow an ambient intelligent environment to (self- interact taking its contexts into account. In addition, collective intelligent agents (CIA distribute, store, extend, maintain, optimize, diversify and sustain the NASA embedded and embodied in the ambient intelligent environment. Finally, we present the basic ingredients of a mathematical-physical framework for empirically modeling and sustaining NASA within SIMS by CIA in an ambient intelligent environment. An environment which is modeled this way, robustly and reliably over time aligns multi-sensor detection and fusion; multimodal fusion, dialogue planning and fission; multi actuator fission, rendering and presentation schemes. NASA residing in such an environment are then active within every phase of perception-decision-action cycles, and are gauged and renormalized to its physics. After determining and assessing across several evolutionary dynamic scales appropriate fitness, utility and measures, NASA can be realized by reinforcement learning and self-organization.

  20. Tandem Duplications and the Limits of Natural Selection in Drosophila yakuba and Drosophila simulans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Rebekah L; Cridland, Julie M; Shao, Ling; Hu, Tina T; Andolfatto, Peter; Thornton, Kevin R

    2015-01-01

    Tandem duplications are an essential source of genetic novelty, and their variation in natural populations is expected to influence adaptive walks. Here, we describe evolutionary impacts of recently-derived, segregating tandem duplications in Drosophila yakuba and Drosophila simulans. We observe an excess of duplicated genes involved in defense against pathogens, insecticide resistance, chorion development, cuticular peptides, and lipases or endopeptidases associated with the accessory glands across both species. The observed agreement is greater than expectations on chance alone, suggesting large amounts of convergence across functional categories. We document evidence of widespread selection on the D. simulans X, suggesting adaptation through duplication is common on the X. Despite the evidence for positive selection, duplicates display an excess of low frequency variants consistent with largely detrimental impacts, limiting the variation that can effectively facilitate adaptation. Standing variation for tandem duplications spans less than 25% of the genome in D. yakuba and D. simulans, indicating that evolution will be strictly limited by mutation, even in organisms with large population sizes. Effective whole gene duplication rates are low at 1.17 × 10-9 per gene per generation in D. yakuba and 6.03 × 10-10 per gene per generation in D. simulans, suggesting long wait times for new mutations on the order of thousands of years for the establishment of sweeps. Hence, in cases where adaptation depends on individual tandem duplications, evolution will be severely limited by mutation. We observe low levels of parallel recruitment of the same duplicated gene in different species, suggesting that the span of standing variation will define evolutionary outcomes in spite of convergence across gene ontologies consistent with rapidly evolving phenotypes.

  1. Tandem Duplications and the Limits of Natural Selection in Drosophila yakuba and Drosophila simulans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebekah L Rogers

    Full Text Available Tandem duplications are an essential source of genetic novelty, and their variation in natural populations is expected to influence adaptive walks. Here, we describe evolutionary impacts of recently-derived, segregating tandem duplications in Drosophila yakuba and Drosophila simulans. We observe an excess of duplicated genes involved in defense against pathogens, insecticide resistance, chorion development, cuticular peptides, and lipases or endopeptidases associated with the accessory glands across both species. The observed agreement is greater than expectations on chance alone, suggesting large amounts of convergence across functional categories. We document evidence of widespread selection on the D. simulans X, suggesting adaptation through duplication is common on the X. Despite the evidence for positive selection, duplicates display an excess of low frequency variants consistent with largely detrimental impacts, limiting the variation that can effectively facilitate adaptation. Standing variation for tandem duplications spans less than 25% of the genome in D. yakuba and D. simulans, indicating that evolution will be strictly limited by mutation, even in organisms with large population sizes. Effective whole gene duplication rates are low at 1.17 × 10-9 per gene per generation in D. yakuba and 6.03 × 10-10 per gene per generation in D. simulans, suggesting long wait times for new mutations on the order of thousands of years for the establishment of sweeps. Hence, in cases where adaptation depends on individual tandem duplications, evolution will be severely limited by mutation. We observe low levels of parallel recruitment of the same duplicated gene in different species, suggesting that the span of standing variation will define evolutionary outcomes in spite of convergence across gene ontologies consistent with rapidly evolving phenotypes.

  2. Natural selection of the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) in Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvi, S.I.; Tarr, C.L.; Mcintosh, C.E.; Atkinson, C.T.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    The native Hawaiian honeycreepers represent a classic example of adaptive radiation and speciation, but currently face one the highest extinction rates in the world. Although multiple factors have likely influenced the fate of Hawaiian birds, the relatively recent introduction of avian malaria is thought to be a major factor limiting honeycreeper distribution and abundance. We have initiated genetic analyses of class II ?? chain Mhc genes in four species of honeycreepers using methods that eliminate the possibility of sequencing mosaic variants formed by cloning heteroduplexed polymerase chain reaction products. Phylogenetic analyses group the honeycreeper Mhc sequences into two distinct clusters. Variation within one cluster is high, with dN > d S and levels of diversity similar to other studies of Mhc (B system) genes in birds. The second cluster is nearly invariant and includes sequences from honeycreepers (Fringillidae), a sparrow (Emberizidae) and a blackbird (Emberizidae). This highly conserved cluster appears reminiscent of the independently segregating Rfp-Y system of genes defined in chickens. The notion that balancing selection operates at the Mhc in the honeycreepers is supported by transpecies polymorphism and strikingly high dN/dS ratios at codons putatively involved in peptide interaction. Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences were invariant in the i'iwi, but were highly variable in the 'amakihi. By contrast, levels of variability of class II ?? chain Mhc sequence codons that are hypothesized to be directly involved in peptide interactions appear comparable between i'iwi and 'amakihi. In the i'iwi, natural selection may have maintained variation within the Mhc, even in the face of what appears to a genetic bottleneck.

  3. Genome-Wide Analysis of Codon Usage Bias in Epichloë festucae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuzhang Li

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of codon usage data has both practical and theoretical applications in understanding the basics of molecular biology. Differences in codon usage patterns among genes reflect variations in local base compositional biases and the intensity of natural selection. Recently, there have been several reports related to codon usage in fungi, but little is known about codon usage bias in Epichloë endophytes. The present study aimed to assess codon usage patterns and biases in 4870 sequences from Epichloë festucae, which may be helpful in revealing the constraint factors such as mutation or selection pressure and improving the bioreactor on the cloning, expression, and characterization of some special genes. The GC content with 56.41% is higher than the AT content (43.59% in E. festucae. The results of neutrality and effective number of codons plot analyses showed that both mutational bias and natural selection play roles in shaping codon usage in this species. We found that gene length is strongly correlated with codon usage and may contribute to the codon usage patterns observed in genes. Nucleotide composition and gene expression levels also shape codon usage bias in E. festucae. E. festucae exhibits codon usage bias based on the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU values of 61 sense codons, with 25 codons showing an RSCU larger than 1. In addition, we identified 27 optimal codons that end in a G or C.

  4. Selective Factors Associated with the Evolution of Codon Usage in Natural Populations of Arboviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velazquez-Salinas, Lauro; Zarate, Selene; Eschbaumer, Michael; Pereira Lobo, Francisco; Gladue, Douglas P.; Arzt, Jonathan; Novella, Isabel S.; Rodriguez, Luis L.

    2016-01-01

    Arboviruses (arthropod borne viruses) have life cycles that include both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts with substantial differences in vector and host specificity between different viruses. Most arboviruses utilize RNA for their genetic material and are completely dependent on host tRNAs for their translation, suggesting that virus codon usage could be a target for selection. In the current study we analyzed the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) patterns of 26 arboviruses together with 25 vectors and hosts, including 8 vertebrates and 17 invertebrates. We used hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) to identify trends in codon usage. HCA demonstrated that the RSCU of arboviruses reflects that of their natural hosts, but not that of dead-end hosts. Of the two major components identified by PCA, the first accounted for 62.1% of the total variance, and among the 59 codons analyzed in this study, the leucine codon CTG had the highest correlation with the first principal component, however isoleucine had the highest correlation during amino acid analysis. Nucleotide and dinucleotide composition were the variables that explained most of the total codon usage variance. The results suggest that the main factors driving the evolution of codon usage in arboviruses is based on the nucleotide and dinucleotide composition present in the host. Comparing codon usage of arboviruses and potential vector hosts can help identifying potential vectors for emerging arboviruses. PMID:27455096

  5. Selection of yeasts with multifunctional features for application as starters in natural black table olive processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonatsou, S; Benítez, A; Rodríguez-Gómez, F; Panagou, E Z; Arroyo-López, F N

    2015-04-01

    Yeasts are unicellular eukaryotic microorganisms with a great importance in the elaboration on many foods and beverages. In the last years, researches have focused their attention to determine the favourable effects that these microorganisms could provide to table olive processing. In this context, the present study assesses, at laboratory scale, the potential technological (resistance to salt, lipase, esterase and β-glucosidase activities) and probiotic (phytase activity, survival to gastric and pancreatic digestions) features of 12 yeast strains originally isolated from Greek natural black table olive fermentations. The multivariate classification analysis carried out with all information obtained (a total of 336 quantitative input data), revealed that the most promising strains (clearly discriminated from the rest of isolates) were Pichia guilliermondii Y16 (which showed overall the highest resistance to salt and simulated digestions) and Wickerhamomyces anomalus Y18 (with the overall highest technological enzymatic activities), while the rest of strains were grouped together in two clearly differentiated clusters. Thus, this work opens the possibility for the evaluation of these two selected yeasts as multifunctional starters, alone or in combination with lactic acid bacteria, in real table olive fermentations.

  6. Selective Factors Associated with the Evolution of Codon Usage in Natural Populations of Arboviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velazquez-Salinas, Lauro; Zarate, Selene; Eschbaumer, Michael; Pereira Lobo, Francisco; Gladue, Douglas P; Arzt, Jonathan; Novella, Isabel S; Rodriguez, Luis L

    2016-01-01

    Arboviruses (arthropod borne viruses) have life cycles that include both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts with substantial differences in vector and host specificity between different viruses. Most arboviruses utilize RNA for their genetic material and are completely dependent on host tRNAs for their translation, suggesting that virus codon usage could be a target for selection. In the current study we analyzed the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) patterns of 26 arboviruses together with 25 vectors and hosts, including 8 vertebrates and 17 invertebrates. We used hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) to identify trends in codon usage. HCA demonstrated that the RSCU of arboviruses reflects that of their natural hosts, but not that of dead-end hosts. Of the two major components identified by PCA, the first accounted for 62.1% of the total variance, and among the 59 codons analyzed in this study, the leucine codon CTG had the highest correlation with the first principal component, however isoleucine had the highest correlation during amino acid analysis. Nucleotide and dinucleotide composition were the variables that explained most of the total codon usage variance. The results suggest that the main factors driving the evolution of codon usage in arboviruses is based on the nucleotide and dinucleotide composition present in the host. Comparing codon usage of arboviruses and potential vector hosts can help identifying potential vectors for emerging arboviruses.

  7. Tracking spore-forming bacteria in food: from natural biodiversity to selection by processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postollec, Florence; Mathot, Anne-Gabrielle; Bernard, Muriel; Divanac'h, Marie-Laure; Pavan, Sonia; Sohier, Danièle

    2012-08-01

    Sporeforming bacteria are ubiquitous in the environment and exhibit a wide range of diversity leading to their natural prevalence in foodstuff. The state of the art of sporeformer prevalence in ingredients and food was investigated using a multiparametric PCR-based tool that enables simultaneous detection and identification of various genera and species mostly encountered in food, i.e., Alicyclobacillus, Anoxybacillus flavithermus, Bacillus, B. cereus group, B. licheniformis, B. pumilus, B. sporothermodurans, B. subtilis, Brevibacillus laterosporus, Clostridium, Geobacillus stearothermophilus, Moorella and Paenibacillus species. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing was used to extend identification to other possibly present contaminants. A total of 90 food products, with or without visible trace of spoilage were analysed, i.e., 30 egg-based products, 30 milk and dairy products and 30 canned food and ingredients. Results indicated that most samples contained one or several of the targeted genera and species. For all three tested food categories, 30 to 40% of products were contaminated with both Bacillus and Clostridium. The percentage of contaminations associated with Clostridium or Bacillus represented 100% in raw materials, 72% in dehydrated ingredients and 80% in processed foods. In the last two product types, additional thermophilic contaminants were identified (A. flavithermus, Geobacillus spp., Thermoanaerobacterium spp. and Moorella spp.). These results suggest that selection, and therefore the observed (re)-emergence of unexpected sporeforming contaminants in food might be favoured by the use of given food ingredients and food processing technologies.

  8. Evolutionary Psychology: How Psychological Mechanisms Shaped by Natural Selection for Ancestral Environments Produce Current Behaviours

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Charles Crawford

    2009-01-01

    The central purpose of this paper is to explain how Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection can be used in understanding current human behaviour. First, Darwin's logic is briefly described. Development is an important issue when applying evolutionary theory to human behaviour. The notion of innate developmental orga-nization of psychological mechanisms is introduced. The possible social and political outcomes produced when differ-ent levels of innate developmental organization are paired with different beliefs about it are considered. The notion of psychological mechanisms as evolved adaptations is considered in some detail. Then I discuss different ways evo-htionists think about how genes are involved in the development of adaptations. The paper concludes with a frame-work for considering how ancestral adaptations function in current environments and outlines some ways of studying them. In China and many other parts of the world people desire a more harmonious society. Ⅰ hope that this paper will be of some small help in achieving this great task.

  9. Selective chlorination of natural organic matter: identification of previously unknown disinfection byproducts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavonen, Elin E; Gonsior, Michael; Tranvik, Lars J; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Köhler, Stephan J

    2013-03-01

    Natural organic matter (NOM) serve as precursors for disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water production making NOM removal essential in predisinfection treatment processes. We identified molecular formulas of chlorinated DBPs after chlorination and chloramination in four Swedish surface water treatment plants (WTPs) using ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS). Chlorine-containing formulas were detected before and after disinfection and were therefore classified to identify DBPs. In total, 499 DBPs were detected, of which 230 have not been reported earlier. The byproducts had, as a group, significantly lower ratio of hydrogen to carbon (H/C) and significantly higher average carbon oxidation state (COS), double bond equivalents per carbon (DBE/C) and ratio of oxygen to carbon (O/C) compared to Cl-containing components present before disinfection and CHO formulas in samples taken both before and after disinfection. Electrophilic substitution, the proposed most significant reaction pathway for chlorination of NOM, results in carbon oxidation and decreased H/C while O/C and DBE/C is left unchanged. Because the identified DBPs had significantly higher DBE/C and O/C than the CHO formulas we concluded that chlorination of NOM during disinfection is selective toward components with relatively high double bond equivalency and number of oxygen atoms per carbon. Furthermore, choice of disinfectant, dose, and predisinfection treatment at the different WTPs resulted in distinct patterns in the occurrence of DBP formulas.

  10. Improving uncertainty estimation in urban hydrological modeling by statistically describing bias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Del Giudice

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Hydrodynamic models are useful tools for urban water management. Unfortunately, it is still challenging to obtain accurate results and plausible uncertainty estimates when using these models. In particular, with the currently applied statistical techniques, flow predictions are usually overconfident and biased. In this study, we present a flexible and relatively efficient methodology (i to obtain more reliable hydrological simulations in terms of coverage of validation data by the uncertainty bands and (ii to separate prediction uncertainty into its components. Our approach acknowledges that urban drainage predictions are biased. This is mostly due to input errors and structural deficits of the model. We address this issue by describing model bias in a Bayesian framework. The bias becomes an autoregressive term additional to white measurement noise, the only error type accounted for in traditional uncertainty analysis. To allow for bigger discrepancies during wet weather, we make the variance of bias dependent on the input (rainfall or/and output (runoff of the system. Specifically, we present a structured approach to select, among five variants, the optimal bias description for a given urban or natural case study. We tested the methodology in a small monitored stormwater system described with a parsimonious model. Our results clearly show that flow simulations are much more reliable when bias is accounted for than when it is neglected. Furthermore, our probabilistic predictions can discriminate between three uncertainty contributions: parametric uncertainty, bias, and measurement errors. In our case study, the best performing bias description is the output-dependent bias using a log-sinh transformation of data and model results. The limitations of the framework presented are some ambiguity due to the subjective choice of priors for bias parameters and its inability to address the causes of model discrepancies. Further research should focus on

  11. Selective NOx Recirculation for Stationary Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nigel N. Clark

    2006-12-31

    Nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) generated by internal combustion (IC) engines are implicated in adverse environmental and health effects. Even though lean-burn natural gas engines have traditionally emitted lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions compared to their diesel counterparts, natural gas engines are being further challenged to reduce NOx emissions to 0.1 g/bhp-hr. The Selective NOx Recirculation (SNR) approach for NOx reduction involves cooling the engine exhaust gas and then adsorbing the NOx from the exhaust stream, followed by the periodic desorption of NOx. By sending the desorbed NOx back into the intake and through the engine, a percentage of the NOx can be decomposed during the combustion process. SNR technology has the support of the Department of Energy (DOE), under the Advanced Reciprocating Engine Systems (ARES) program to reduce NOx emissions to under 0.1 g/bhp-hr from stationary natural gas engines by 2010. The NO decomposition phenomenon was studied using two Cummins L10G natural gas fueled spark-ignited (SI) engines in three experimental campaigns. It was observed that the air/fuel ratio ({lambda}), injected NO quantity, added exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) percentage, and engine operating points affected NOx decomposition rates within the engine. Chemical kinetic model predictions using the software package CHEMKIN were performed to relate the experimental data with established rate and equilibrium models. The model was used to predict NO decomposition during lean-burn, stoichiometric burn, and slightly rich-burn cases with added EGR. NOx decomposition rates were estimated from the model to be from 35 to 42% for the lean-burn cases and from 50 to 70% for the rich-burn cases. The modeling results provided an insight as to how to maximize NOx decomposition rates for the experimental engine. Results from this experiment along with chemical kinetic modeling solutions prompted the investigation of rich-burn operating conditions

  12. Tardigrades living in extreme environments have naturally selected prerequisites useful to space conquer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidetti, Roberto; Tiziana, Altiero; Cesari, Michele; Rizzo, Angela Maria; Bertolani, Roberto; Galletta, Giuseppe; Dalessandro, Maurizio; Rebecchi, Lorena

    Extreme habitats are highly selective and can host only living organisms possessing specific adaptations to stressors. Among extreme habitats, space environment has particular charac-teristics of radiations, vacuum, microgravity and temperature, which induce rapid changes in living systems. Consequently, the response of multicellular complex organisms, able to colo-nize extreme environments, to space stresses can give very useful information on the ability to withstand a single stress or stress combinations. This knowledge on changes in living systems in space, with their similarity to the ageing processes, offers the opportunity to improve human life both on Earth and in space. Even though experimentation in space has often been carried out using unicellular organisms, multicellular organisms are very relevant in order to develop the appropriate countermeasures to avoid the risks imposed by environmental space in humans. The little attention received by multicellular organisms is probably due, other than to difficul-ties in the manipulation of biological materials in space, to the presence of only few organisms with the potential to tolerate environmental space stresses. Among them, tardigrades are small invertebrates representing an attractive animal model to study adaptive strategies for surviving extreme environments, including space environment. Tardigrades are little known microscopic aquatic animals (250-800 m in body length) distributed in different environments (from the deep sea to high mountains and deserts all over the world), and frequently inhabiting very unstable and unpredictable habitats (e.g. interstices of mosses, lichens, leaf litter, freshwater ponds, cryoconite holes). Their ability to live in the extreme environments is related to a wide variety of their life histories and adaptive strategies. A widespread and crucial strategy is cryptobiosis, a form of quiescence. It includes strategies such as anhydrobiosis and cryobiosis, characterized by

  13. Evolución por selección natural: más evidencias que nunca Evolution by natural selection: more evidence than ever before

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROBERTO F. NESPOLO

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available La teoría moderna de la evolución, entendida como la integración del conocimiento teórico y empírico de la evolución orgánica, desarrollado desde Darwin hasta ahora, es uno de los cuerpos conceptuales más importantes en biología. Sin embargo, cierto debate ha surgido en el medio científico local en torno a la validez de la selección natural como mecanismo explicativo de la evolución adaptativa. Este artículo revisa las evidencias recientes sobre el rol de la selección natural en poblaciones naturales y artificiales. Además, se presentan algunas herramientas conceptuales básicas necesarias para el estudio de la microevolución a escala ecológica, las que se discuten a la luz de la información mostrada desde un punto de vista cuantitativo. El resultado es claro: la selección natural puede ser, está siendo y ha sido medida y demostrada en el campo y en el laboratorio, no muchas, sino cientos de veces durante las últimas décadas. El estudio de la evolución por selección natural ha alcanzado una fase de madurez que es demostrada por la aparición de varias síntesis y metaanálisis así como también por el comienzo de "aplicaciones evolutivas", donde la evolución por selección natural es utilizada para resolver problemas prácticos en disciplinas diferentes a la biologia básica. Se concluye que se necesita cautela cuando se cuestiona la teoría evolutiva. La gran cantidad de evidencia disponible exige un esfuerzo serio por leer y analizar dicho conocimiento antes de criticar sus fundamentos teóricosThe modern evolutionary theory, understood as the integration of the empirically-demonstrated theoretical foundations of organic evolution, is one of the most pervasive conceptual frameworks in biology. However, some debate has arisen in the Chilean scientific community regarding the legitimacy of natural selection as a mechanism that explains adaptive evolution. This review surveys the recent evidence for natural selection and

  14. Strong signature of natural selection within an FHIT intron implicated in prostate cancer risk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Ding

    Full Text Available Previously, a candidate gene linkage approach on brother pairs affected with prostate cancer identified a locus of prostate cancer susceptibility at D3S1234 within the fragile histidine triad gene (FHIT, a tumor suppressor that induces apoptosis. Subsequent association tests on 16 SNPs spanning approximately 381 kb surrounding D3S1234 in Americans of European descent revealed significant evidence of association for a single SNP within intron 5 of FHIT. In the current study, re-sequencing and genotyping within a 28.5 kb region surrounding this SNP further delineated the association with prostate cancer risk to a 15 kb region. Multiple SNPs in sequences under evolutionary constraint within intron 5 of FHIT defined several related haplotypes with an increased risk of prostate cancer in European-Americans. Strong associations were detected for a risk haplotype defined by SNPs 138543, 142413, and 152494 in all cases (Pearson's chi(2 = 12.34, df 1, P = 0.00045 and for the homozygous risk haplotype defined by SNPs 144716, 142413, and 148444 in cases that shared 2 alleles identical by descent with their affected brothers (Pearson's chi(2 = 11.50, df 1, P = 0.00070. In addition to highly conserved sequences encompassing SNPs 148444 and 152413, population studies revealed strong signatures of natural selection for a 1 kb window covering the SNP 144716 in two human populations, the European American (pi = 0.0072, Tajima's D = 3.31, 14 SNPs and the Japanese (pi = 0.0049, Fay & Wu's H = 8.05, 14 SNPs, as well as in chimpanzees (Fay & Wu's H = 8.62, 12 SNPs. These results strongly support the involvement of the FHIT intronic region in an increased risk of prostate cancer.

  15. Anthropogenic impacts on an oyster metapopulation: Pathogen introduction, climate change and responses to natural selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Bushek

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Humans rely on marine ecosystems for a variety of services but often impact these ecosystems directly or indirectly limiting their capacity to provide such services. One growing impact is the emergence of marine disease. We present results from a unique case study examining how oysters, a dominant organism in many coastal bays and estuaries that is often harvested for food, have responded to pathogens influenced by human activities, namely the introduction of novel pathogens. Climate change has enabled a northward spread and establishment of Dermo disease in oysters along the eastern seaboard of North America and human activities inadvertently introduced MSX disease along this same coast. Oysters in Delaware Bay have responded differently to each pathogen, and uniquely to MSX disease by developing a highly resistant baywide population not documented in any other bay. Offspring were produced using parents collected from low or high disease (MSX and Dermo regions of Delaware Bay and exposed in a common garden experiment along with a naïve population from Maine. Results indicated widespread resistance to MSX disease, but not to Dermo disease, across Delaware Bay. One striking result was the demonstration of resilience in the population through its capacity to spread, presumably through larval transport, resistance to MSX disease into portions of the population that have experienced little to no MSX disease pressure themselves. Related studies indicated that larval transport mechanisms allowed widespread dispersal such that the entire metapopulation could acquire a high level of resistance over time if disease resistance is sufficiently heritable. The findings have implications for restoration, management and recovery of diseased populations. Namely, that if left to their own devices, natural selection may find a solution that enables populations to recover from introduced pathogens.

  16. Awareness Reduces Racial Bias

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Can raising awareness of racial bias subsequently reduce that bias? We address this question by exploiting the widespread media attention highlighting racial bias among professional basketball referees that occurred in May 2007 following the release of an academic study. Using new data, we confirm that racial bias persisted in the years after the study's original sample, but prior to the media coverage. Subsequent to the media coverage though, the bias completely disappeared. We examine poten...

  17. Genome patterns of selection and introgression of haplotypes in natural populations of the house mouse (Mus musculus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Staubach

    Full Text Available General parameters of selection, such as the frequency and strength of positive selection in natural populations or the role of introgression, are still insufficiently understood. The house mouse (Mus musculus is a particularly well-suited model system to approach such questions, since it has a defined history of splits into subspecies and populations and since extensive genome information is available. We have used high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP typing arrays to assess genomic patterns of positive selection and introgression of alleles in two natural populations of each of the subspecies M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus. Applying different statistical procedures, we find a large number of regions subject to apparent selective sweeps, indicating frequent positive selection on rare alleles or novel mutations. Genes in the regions include well-studied imprinted loci (e.g. Plagl1/Zac1, homologues of human genes involved in adaptations (e.g. alpha-amylase genes or in genetic diseases (e.g. Huntingtin and Parkin. Haplotype matching between the two subspecies reveals a large number of haplotypes that show patterns of introgression from specific populations of the respective other subspecies, with at least 10% of the genome being affected by partial or full introgression. Using neutral simulations for comparison, we find that the size and the fraction of introgressed haplotypes are not compatible with a pure migration or incomplete lineage sorting model. Hence, it appears that introgressed haplotypes can rise in frequency due to positive selection and thus can contribute to the adaptive genomic landscape of natural populations. Our data support the notion that natural genomes are subject to complex adaptive processes, including the introgression of haplotypes from other differentiated populations or species at a larger scale than previously assumed for animals. This implies that some of the admixture found in inbred strains of mice

  18. Science, evolution and natural selection: in praise of Darwin at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn of Naples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2015-01-01

    Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and other physical scientists ushered in a conception of the universe as matter in motion governed by natural laws. Their discoveries brought about a fundamental revolution, namely a commitment to the postulate that the universe obeys immanent laws that can account for natural phenomena. The workings of the universe were brought into the realm of science: explanation through natural laws. Darwin completed the Copernican revolution by extending it to the living world. Darwin demonstrated the evolution of organisms. More important yet is that he discovered natural selection, the process that explains the 'design' of organisms. The adaptations and diversity of organisms, the origin of novel and complex species, even the origin of mankind, could now be explained by an orderly process of change governed by natural laws. The origin of species and the exquisite features of organisms had previously been explained as special creations of an omniscient God. Darwin brought them into the domain of science.

  19. Design and optimisation of organic Rankine cycles for waste heat recovery in marine applications using the principles of natural selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ulrik; Pierobon, Leonardo; Haglind, Fredrik

    2013-01-01

    Power cycles using alternative working fluids are currently receiving significant attention. Selection of working fluid among many candidates is a key topic and guidelines have been presented. A general problem is that the selection is based on numerous criteria, such as thermodynamic performance......, boundary conditions, hazard levels and environmental concerns. A generally applicable methodology, based on the principles of natural selection, is presented and used to determine the optimum working fluid, boiler pressure and Rankine cycle process layout for scenarios related to marine engine heat...

  20. On the relative independence of thinking biases and cognitive ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanovich, Keith E; West, Richard F

    2008-04-01

    In 7 different studies, the authors observed that a large number of thinking biases are uncorrelated with cognitive ability. These thinking biases include some of the most classic and well-studied biases in the heuristics and biases literature, including the conjunction effect, framing effects, anchoring effects, outcome bias, base-rate neglect, "less is more" effects, affect biases, omission bias, myside bias, sunk-cost effect, and certainty effects that violate the axioms of expected utility theory. In a further experiment, the authors nonetheless showed that cognitive ability does correlate with the tendency to avoid some rational thinking biases, specifically the tendency to display denominator neglect, probability matching rather than maximizing, belief bias, and matching bias on the 4-card selection task. The authors present a framework for predicting when cognitive ability will and will not correlate with a rational thinking tendency.

  1. Distinctive Characteristics of Sexual Orientation Bias Crimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacey, Michele

    2011-01-01

    Despite increased attention in the area of hate crime research in the past 20 years, sexual orientation bias crimes have rarely been singled out for study. When these types of crimes are looked at, the studies are typically descriptive in nature. This article seeks to increase our knowledge of sexual orientation bias by answering the question:…

  2. Darwin vs. Wallace: When Poetry Dies and When Poetry Survives in the Not-so-Natural Selection of Memetic Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Bryce

    2011-01-01

    The theory of memetic evolution--explaining the reproduction of cultural units called "memes"--illuminates the decline of poetry as a cultural presence by clarifying the contrasting attitudes towards poetry manifested by the co-discoverers of natural selection: Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace. Darwin's eventual indifference to poetry…

  3. Selective grazing by adults and larvae of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha): application of flow cytometry to natural seston

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pires, L.M.D.; Jonker, R.R.; Donk, E. van; Laanbroek, H.J.

    2004-01-01

    1. Selective grazing of adults and larvae of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on phytoplankton and detritus from both laboratory cultures and natural seston was quantified using flow cytometry. 2. Mean clearance rate of adult zebra mussels was higher on a mixture of the green alga Scenedesmus

  4. Using Multiple Lenses to Examine the Development of Beginning Biology Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teaching Natural Selection Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sickel, Aaron J.; Friedrichsen, Patricia

    2017-03-01

    Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has become a useful construct to examine science teacher learning. Yet, researchers conceptualize PCK development in different ways. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to use three analytic lenses to understand the development of three beginning biology teachers' PCK for teaching natural selection simulations. We observed three early-career biology teachers as they taught natural selection in their respective school contexts over two consecutive years. Data consisted of six interviews with each participant. Using the PCK model developed by Magnusson et al. (1999), we examined topic-specific PCK development utilizing three different lenses: (1) expansion of knowledge within an individual knowledge base, (2) integration of knowledge across knowledge bases, and (3) knowledge that explicitly addressed core concepts of natural selection. We found commonalities across the participants, yet each lens was also useful to understand the influence of different factors (e.g., orientation, subject matter preparation, and the idiosyncratic nature of teacher knowledge) on PCK development. This multi-angle approach provides implications for considering the quality of beginning science teachers' knowledge and future research on PCK development. We conclude with an argument that explicitly communicating lenses used to understand PCK development will help the research community compare analytic approaches and better understand the nature of science teacher learning.

  5. Only pick the right grains: Modelling the bias due to subjective grain-size interval selection for chronometric and fingerprinting approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietze, Michael; Fuchs, Margret; Kreutzer, Sebastian

    2016-04-01

    Many modern approaches of radiometric dating or geochemical fingerprinting rely on sampling sedimentary deposits. A key assumption of most concepts is that the extracted grain-size fraction of the sampled sediment adequately represents the actual process to be dated or the source area to be fingerprinted. However, these assumptions are not always well constrained. Rather, they have to align with arbitrary, method-determined size intervals, such as "coarse grain" or "fine grain" with partly even different definitions. Such arbitrary intervals violate principal process-based concepts of sediment transport and can thus introduce significant bias to the analysis outcome (i.e., a deviation of the measured from the true value). We present a flexible numerical framework (numOlum) for the statistical programming language R that allows quantifying the bias due to any given analysis size interval for different types of sediment deposits. This framework is applied to synthetic samples from the realms of luminescence dating and geochemical fingerprinting, i.e. a virtual reworked loess section. We show independent validation data from artificially dosed and subsequently mixed grain-size proportions and we present a statistical approach (end-member modelling analysis, EMMA) that allows accounting for the effect of measuring the compound dosimetric history or geochemical composition of a sample. EMMA separates polymodal grain-size distributions into the underlying transport process-related distributions and their contribution to each sample. These underlying distributions can then be used to adjust grain-size preparation intervals to minimise the incorporation of "undesired" grain-size fractions.

  6. Home Range Characteristics and Habitat Selection by Daurian Hedgehogs ( Mesechinus dauuricus in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirka Zapletal

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined home range characteristics and habitat selection of Daurian hedgehogs in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia. Home ranges of hedgehogs varied from 113.15 ha to 2,171.97 ha, and were larger in early summer than late summer. Hedgehogs showed relative preference for rocky outcrops and low-density shrub habitats, and relative avoidance of high- density shrub areas. Habitat selection also changed between early and late summer, shifting to greater use of low-density shrub areas and decreased use of forb-dominated short grass. Our baseline data on home ranges and habitat selection expand understanding of hedgehog ecology and provide guidance for future management decisions in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and elsewhere in Mongolia.

  7. Darwin, malthus, süssmilch, and euler: the ultimate origin of the motivation for the theory of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klyve, Dominic

    2014-01-01

    It is fairly well known that Darwin was inspired to formulate his theory of natural selection by reading Thomas Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population. In fact, by reading Darwin's notebooks, we can even locate one particular sentence which started Darwin thinking about population and selection. What has not been done before is to explain exactly where this sentence - essentially Malthus's ideas about geometric population growth - came from. In this essay we show that eighteenth century mathematician Leonhard Euler is responsible for this sentence, and in fact forms the beginning of the logical chain which leads to the creation of the theory of natural selection. We shall examine the fascinating path taken by a mathematical calculation, the many different lenses through which it was viewed, and the path through which it eventually influenced Darwin.

  8. Direct estimates of natural selection in Iberia indicate calcium absorption was not the only driver of lactase persistence in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sverrisdóttir, Oddny Ósk; Timpson, Adrian; Toombs, Jamie; Lecoeur, Cecile; Froguel, Philippe; Carretero, Jose Miguel; Arsuaga Ferreras, Juan Luis; Götherström, Anders; Thomas, Mark G

    2014-04-01

    Lactase persistence (LP) is a genetically determined trait whereby the enzyme lactase is expressed throughout adult life. Lactase is necessary for the digestion of lactose--the main carbohydrate in milk--and its production is downregulated after the weaning period in most humans and all other mammals studied. Several sources of evidence indicate that LP has evolved independently, in different parts of the world over the last 10,000 years, and has been subject to strong natural selection in dairying populations. In Europeans, LP is strongly associated with, and probably caused by, a single C to T mutation 13,910 bp upstream of the lactase (LCT) gene (-13,910*T). Despite a considerable body of research, the reasons why LP should provide such a strong selective advantage remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine one of the most widely cited hypotheses for selection on LP--that fresh milk consumption supplemented the poor vitamin D and calcium status of northern Europe's early farmers (the calcium assimilation hypothesis). We do this by testing for natural selection on -13,910*T using ancient DNA data from the skeletal remains of eight late Neolithic Iberian individuals, whom we would not expect to have poor vitamin D and calcium status because of relatively high incident UVB light levels. None of the eight samples successfully typed in the study had the derived T-allele. In addition, we reanalyze published data from French Neolithic remains to both test for population continuity and further examine the evolution of LP in the region. Using simulations that accommodate genetic drift, natural selection, uncertainty in calibrated radiocarbon dates, and sampling error, we find that natural selection is still required to explain the observed increase in allele frequency. We conclude that the calcium assimilation hypothesis is insufficient to explain the spread of LP in Europe.

  9. The role of natural selection in human evolution – insights from Latin America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco M. Salzano

    Full Text Available Abstract A brief introduction considering Darwin's work, the evolutionary synthesis, and the scientific biological field around the 1970s and subsequently, with the molecular revolution, was followed by selected examples of recent investigations dealing with the selection-drift controversy. The studies surveyed included the comparison between essential genes in humans and mice, selection in Africa and Europe, and the possible reasons why females in humans remain healthy and productive after menopause, in contrast with what happens in the great apes. At the end, selected examples of investigations performed in Latin America, related to the action of selection for muscle performance, acetylation of xenobiotics, high altitude and tropical forest adaptations were considered. Despite dissenting views, the influence of positive selection in a considerable portion of the human genome cannot presently be dismissed.

  10. The role of natural selection in human evolution – insights from Latin America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzano, Francisco M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A brief introduction considering Darwin's work, the evolutionary synthesis, and the scientific biological field around the 1970s and subsequently, with the molecular revolution, was followed by selected examples of recent investigations dealing with the selection-drift controversy. The studies surveyed included the comparison between essential genes in humans and mice, selection in Africa and Europe, and the possible reasons why females in humans remain healthy and productive after menopause, in contrast with what happens in the great apes. At the end, selected examples of investigations performed in Latin America, related to the action of selection for muscle performance, acetylation of xenobiotics, high altitude and tropical forest adaptations were considered. Despite dissenting views, the influence of positive selection in a considerable portion of the human genome cannot presently be dismissed. PMID:27561111

  11. Selective NOx Recirculation for Stationary Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nigel Clark; Gregory Thompson; Richard Atkinson; Richard Turton; Chamila Tissera; Emre Tatli; Andy Zimmerman

    2005-12-28

    Selective NOx Recirculation (SNR) involves cooling the engine exhaust gas and then adsorbing the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from the exhaust stream, followed by the periodic desorption of NOx. By returning the desorbed, concentrated NOx into the engine intake and through the combustion chamber, a percentage of the NOx is decomposed during the combustion process. An initial study of NOx decomposition during lean-burn combustion was concluded in 2004 using a 1993 Cummins L10G 240hp natural gas engine. It was observed that the air/fuel ratio, injected NO (nitric oxide) quantity and engine operating points affected NOx decomposition rates of the engine. Chemical kinetic modeling results were also used to determine optimum NOx decomposition operating points and were published in the 2004 annual report. A NOx decomposition rate of 27% was measured from this engine under lean-burn conditions while the software model predicted between 35-42% NOx decomposition for similar conditions. A later technology 1998 Cummins L10G 280hp natural gas engine was procured with the assistance of Cummins Inc. to replace the previous engine used for 2005 experimental research. The new engine was equipped with an electronic fuel management system with closed-loop control that provided a more stable air/fuel ratio control and improved the repeatability of the tests. The engine was instrumented with an in-cylinder pressure measurement system and electronic controls, and was adapted to operate over a range of air/fuel ratios. The engine was connected to a newly commissioned 300hp alternating current (AC) motoring dynamometer. The second experimental campaign was performed to acquire both stoichiometric and slightly rich (0.97 lambda ratio) burn NOx decomposition rates. Effects of engine load and speed on decomposition were quantified, but Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) was not varied independently. Decomposition rates of up to 92% were demonstrated. Following recommendations at the 2004 ARES peer

  12. Thermoelectric power plant selection using natural gas and sugar cane bagasse; Selecao de centrais termoeletricas utilizando gas natural e bagaco de cana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leite, Caio de Paula [UNIFei - Faculdade de Engenharia Industrial, Sao Bernardo do Campo, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Mecanica]. E-mail: cleite@edu.fei.br; Tribess, Arlindo [Sao Paulo Univ., SP (Brazil). Escola Politecnica. Dept. de Engenharia Mecanica]. E-mail: atribess@usp.br

    2003-07-01

    The electric power consumption in Brazil is growing about 4.2% a year, according to ELETROBRAS Decenal Plan in 1999. The capacity of installed electrical power is approximately 50000 MW, of the which 75% are in the Southern, South eastern and Middle western regions of the country. The growth rate indicates the need of an increase of the installed capacity of 2100 MW a year to avoid the risk of the lack of energy. On the other hand, the hydraulic potential sources of the region are practically exhausted and the government budget is low for this kind of investment. Therefore the solution would be the construction of new thermoelectric plants, with the possibility using natural gas and cane bagasse. The present work consists of the evaluation of the best option considering criterion of minimum cost for kWh of energy produced for the thermo electrical plants selection. Thermo economic analysis was made evaluating the production costs of steam and electricity in exergetic basis. The results show that the power cycles and cogeneration plants that use natural gas and cane bagasse are much more economical than the ones that just use natural gas, with 48% reduction of steam cost, 40% reduction of electricity cost generated b the steam turbine in the power cycle and 37% reduction of electricity cost generated by the steam turbine in the cogeneration plant, for cane bagasse price at 4 US$ /t and natural gas price at 140 US$/t. (author)

  13. Inevitable evolution: back to the origin and beyond the 20th century paradigm of contingent evolution by historical natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witting, Lars

    2008-08-01

    Since neo-Darwinism arose from the work of Darwin and Mendel evolution by natural selection has been seen as contingent and historical being defined by an a posteriori selection process with no a priori laws that explain why evolution on Earth has taken the direction of the major evolutionary trends and transitions instead of any other direction. Recently, however, major life-history trends and transitions have been explained as inevitable because of a deterministic selection that unfolds from the energetic state of the organism and the density-dependent competitive interactions that arise from self-replication in limited environments. I describe differences and similarities between the historical and deterministic selection processes, illustrate concepts using life-history models on large body masses and limited reproductive rates, review life-history evolution with a wider focus on major evolutionary transitions, and propose that biotic evolution is driven by a universal natural selection where the long-term evolution of fitness-related traits is determined mainly by deterministic selection, while contingency is important predominately for neutral traits. Given suitable environmental conditions, it is shown that selection by energetic state and density-dependent competitive interactions unfolds to higher level selection for life-history transitions from simple asexually reproducing self-replicators to large bodied organisms with senescence and sexual reproduction between males and females, and in some cases, to the fully evolved eusocial colony with thousands of offspring workers. This defines an evolutionary arrow of time for open thermodynamic systems with a constant inflow of energy, predicting similar routes for long-term evolution on similar planets.

  14. Selection bias in dynamically-measured super-massive black hole samples: dynamical masses and dependence on Sérsic index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Francesco; Bernardi, Mariangela; Sheth, Ravi K.

    2017-01-01

    We extend the comparison between the set of local galaxies having dynamically measured black holes with galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We first show that the most up-to-date local black hole samples of early-type galaxies with measurements of effective radii, luminosities, and Sérsic indices of the bulges of their host galaxies, have dynamical mass and Sérsic index distributions consistent with those of SDSS early-type galaxies of similar bulge stellar mass. The host galaxies of local black hole samples thus do not appear structurally different from SDSS galaxies, sharing similar dynamical masses, light profiles and light distributions. Analysis of the residuals reveals that velocity dispersion is more fundamental than Sérsic index nsph in the scaling relations between black holes and galaxies. Indeed, residuals with nsph could be ascribed to the (weak) correlation with bulge mass or even velocity dispersion. Finally, targetted Monte Carlo simulations that include the effects of the sphere of influence of the black hole, and tuned to reproduce the observed residuals and scaling relations in terms of velocity dispersion and stellar mass, show that, at least for galaxies with Mbulge ≳ 1010 M⊙ and nsph ≳ 5, the observed mean black hole mass at fixed Sérsic index is biased significantly higher than the intrinsic value.

  15. Who is the Usual Suspect? Evidence of a Selection Bias Toward Faces That Make Direct Eye Contact in a Lineup Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Golde, Celine; Verstraten, Frans A. J.

    2017-01-01

    The speed and ease with which we recognize the faces of our friends and family members belies the difficulty we have recognizing less familiar individuals. Nonetheless, overconfidence in our ability to recognize faces has carried over into various aspects of our legal system; for instance, eyewitness identification serves a critical role in criminal proceedings. For this reason, understanding the perceptual and psychological processes that underlie false identification is of the utmost importance. Gaze direction is a salient social signal and direct eye contact, in particular, is thought to capture attention. Here, we tested the hypothesis that differences in gaze direction may influence difficult decisions in a lineup context. In a series of experiments, we show that when a group of faces differed in their gaze direction, the faces that were making eye contact with the participants were more likely to be misidentified. Interestingly, this bias disappeared when the faces are presented with their eyes closed. These findings open a critical conversation between social neuroscience and forensic psychology, and imply that direct eye contact may (wrongly) increase the perceived familiarity of a face. PMID:28203355

  16. The effect of inbreeding on natural selection in a seed-feeding beetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, C W

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about how inbreeding alters selection on ecologically relevant traits. Inbreeding could affect selection by changing the distribution of traits and/or fitness, or by changing the causal effect of traits on fitness. Here, I test whether selection on egg size varies with the degree of inbreeding in the seed-feeding beetle, Stator limbatus. There was strong directional selection favoring large eggs for both inbred and outbred beetles; offspring from smaller eggs had lower survivorship on a resistant host. Inbreeding treatment had no effect on the magnitude of selection on egg size; all selection coefficients were between ~0.078 and 0.096, regardless of treatment. However, inbreeding depression declined with egg size; this is because the difference in fitness between inbreds and outbreds did not change, but average fitness increased, with egg size. A consequence of this is that populations that differ in mean egg size should experience different magnitudes of inbreeding depression (all else being equal) and thus should differ in the magnitude of selection on traits that affect mating, simply as a consequence of variation in egg size. Also, maternal traits (such as egg size) that mediate stressfulness of the environment for offspring can mediate the severity of inbreeding depression.

  17. A simple and rapid method for calixarene-based selective extraction of bioactive molecules from natural products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segneanu, Adina-Elena; Damian, Daniel; Hulka, Iosif; Grozescu, Ioan; Salifoglou, Athanasios

    2016-03-01

    Natural products derived from medicinal plants have gained an important role in drug discovery due to their complex and abundant composition of secondary metabolites, with their structurally unique molecular components bearing a significant number of stereo-centers exhibiting high specificity linked to biological activity. Usually, the extraction process of natural products involves various techniques targeting separation of a specific class of compounds from a highly complex matrix. Aiding the process entails the use of well-defined and selective molecular extractants with distinctly configured structural attributes. Calixarenes conceivably belong to that class of molecules. They have been studied intensely over the years in an effort to develop new and highly selective receptors for biomolecules. These macrocycles, which display remarkable structural architectures and properties, could help usher a new approach in the efficient separation of specific classes of compounds from complex matrices in natural products. A simple and rapid such extraction method is presented herein, based on host-guest interaction(s) between a calixarene synthetic receptor, 4-tert-butyl-calix[6]arene, and natural biomolecular targets (amino acids and peptides) from Helleborus purpurascens and Viscum album. Advanced physicochemical methods (including GC-MS and chip-based nanoESI-MS analysis) suggest that the molecular structure and specifically the calixarene cavity size are closely linked to the nature of compounds separated. Incorporation of biomolecules and modification of the macrocyclic architecture during separation were probed and confirmed by scanning electronic microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The collective results project calixarene as a promising molecular extractant candidate, facilitating the selective separation of amino acids and peptides from natural products.

  18. Genetic architecture of a reinforced, postmating, reproductive isolation barrier between Neurospora species indicates evolution via natural selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Turner

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available A role for natural selection in reinforcing premating barriers is recognized, but selection for reinforcement of postmating barriers remains controversial. Organisms lacking evolvable premating barriers can theoretically reinforce postmating isolation, but only under restrictive conditions: parental investment in hybrid progeny must inhibit subsequent reproduction, and selected postmating barriers must restore parents' capacity to reproduce successfully. We show that reinforced postmating isolation markedly increases maternal fitness in the fungus Neurospora crassa, and we detect the evolutionary genetic signature of natural selection by quantitative trait locus (QTL analysis of the reinforced barrier. Hybrid progeny of N. crassa and N. intermedia are highly inviable. Fertilization by local N. intermedia results in early abortion of hybrid fruitbodies, and we show that abortion is adaptive because only aborted maternal colonies remain fully receptive to future reproduction. In the first QTL analysis of postmating reinforcement in microbial eukaryotes, we identify 11 loci for abortive hybrid fruitbody development, including three major QTLs that together explain 30% of trait variance. One of the major QTLs and six QTLs of lesser effect are found on the mating-type determining chromosome of Neurospora. Several reinforcement QTLs are flanked by genetic markers showing either segregation distortion or non-random associations with alleles at other loci in a cross between N. crassa of different clades, suggesting that the loci also are associated with local effects on same-species reproduction. Statistical analysis of the allelic effects distribution for abortive hybrid fruitbody development indicates its evolution occurred under positive selection. Our results strongly support a role for natural selection in the evolution of reinforced postmating isolation in N. crassa.

  19. Plants of the Cerrado naturally selected by grazing sheep may have potential for inhibiting development of Haemonchus contortus larva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morais-Costa, Franciellen; Soares, Ana Cláudia Maia; Bastos, Gabriela Almeida; Nunes, Yule Roberta Ferreira; Geraseev, Luciana Castro; Braga, Fernão Castro; Dos Santos Lima, Walter; Duarte, Eduardo Robson

    2015-10-01

    Plant species naturally selected by sheep grazing in the Cerrado region of Brazil were assessed in vitro for activity against Haemonchus contortus. One year of observations showed the plant families in the region exhibiting greatest richness to be Fabaceae, Rubiaceae, Malpighiaceae, Bignoniaceae, Myrtaceae, and Annonaceae. Nine species commonly selected by grazing sheep showed variation in the selectivity index with respect to the dry and rainy seasons. Coproculture was conducted in five replicates of 11 treatments: ivermectin, distilled water, or dehydrated leaves of nine selected plant species administered at 333.3 mg g(-1) fecal culture. The dried powder of Piptadenia viridiflora and Ximenia americana leaves significantly reduced the number of infective larvae compared to the distilled water control. These species showed efficacy of over 85 % despite low concentrations of proanthocyanidin. High-performance liquid chromatography analyses of extracts of these plants showed major peaks of UV spectra characteristic of flavonoids. Those naturally selected plant species with high antihelminthic efficacy show promise for use in diet as an alternative control of H. contortus in sheep.

  20. Are all biases missing data problems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Chanelle J; Cain, Lauren E; Hogan, Joseph W

    2015-09-01

    Estimating causal effects is a frequent goal of epidemiologic studies. Traditionally, there have been three established systematic threats to consistent estimation of causal effects. These three threats are bias due to confounders, selection, and measurement error. Confounding, selection, and measurement bias have typically been characterized as distinct types of biases. However, each of these biases can also be characterized as missing data problems that can be addressed with missing data solutions. Here we describe how the aforementioned systematic threats arise from missing data as well as review methods and their related assumptions for reducing each bias type. We also link the assumptions made by the reviewed methods to the missing completely at random (MCAR) and missing at random (MAR) assumptions made in the missing data framework that allow for valid inferences to be made based on the observed, incomplete data.

  1. Water-Stable Anionic Metal-Organic Framework for Highly Selective Separation of Methane from Natural Gas and Pyrolysis Gas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lan; Wang, Xusheng; Liang, Jun; Huang, Yuanbiao; Li, Hongfang; Lin, Zujin; Cao, Rong

    2016-04-20

    A 3D water-stable anionic metal-organic framework [Zn4(hpdia)2]·[NH2(CH3)2]·3DMF·4H2O (FJI-C4) was constructed based on an elaborate phosphorus-containing ligand 5,5'-(hydroxyphosphoryl)diisophthalic acid (H5hpdia). FJI-C4 with narrow one-dimensional (1D) pore channels exhibits high selectivity of C3H8/CH4 and C2H2/CH4. It is the first time for the MOF which contains phosphorus for selective separation of methane from natural gas and pyrolysis gas.

  2. Selection pressure transforms the nature of social dilemmas in adaptive networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Segbroeck, Sven; Lenaerts, Tom [MLG, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Boulevard du Triomphe-CP 212, 1050 Brussels (Belgium); Santos, Francisco C [CENTRIA, Departamento de Informatica, Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica (Portugal); Pacheco, Jorge M, E-mail: svsegbro@ulb.ac.be, E-mail: fcsantos@fct.unl.pt, E-mail: tlenaert@ulb.ac.be, E-mail: jmpacheco@math.uminho.pt [ATP-Group, CMAF, Complexo Interdisciplinar, P-1649-003 Lisboa Codex (Portugal)

    2011-01-15

    We have studied the evolution of cooperation in structured populations whose topology coevolves with the game strategies of the individuals. Strategy evolution proceeds according to an update rule with a free parameter, which measures the selection pressure. We explore how this parameter affects the interplay between network dynamics and strategy dynamics. A dynamical network topology can influence the strategy dynamics in two ways: (i) by modifying the expected payoff associated with each strategy and (ii) by reshaping the imitation network that underlies the evolutionary process. We show here that the selection pressure tunes the relative contribution of each of these two forces to the final outcome of strategy evolution. The dynamics of the imitation network plays only a minor role under strong selection, but becomes the dominant force under weak selection. We demonstrate how these findings constitute a mechanism supporting cooperative behavior.

  3. Selection Component Analysis of Natural Polymorphisms using Population Samples Including Mother-Offspring Combinations, II

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jarmer, Hanne Østergaard; Christiansen, Freddy Bugge

    1981-01-01

    Population samples including mother-offspring combinations provide information on the selection components: zygotic selection, sexual selection, gametic seletion and fecundity selection, on the mating pattern, and on the deviation from linkage equilibrium among the loci studied. The theory...... for the analysis of a sample consisting of adult individuals including combinations of a mother and one randomly chosen offspring in the case of n polymorphic autosomal loci with ma alleles at the ath locus, a = 1, 2,…, n, is developed for an organism with discrete non-overlapping generations. In this general...... analysis complete determination of the genotypes is assumed. The modifications in the analysis for the case n = 2 and m1 = m2 = 2 when the two double heterozygotes cannot be separated are discussed, and the analysis is illustrated by data from a population of Zoarces viviparus (a marine teleost)....

  4. Molecular and Population Analysis of Natural Selection on the Human Haptoglobin Duplication

    OpenAIRE

    Rodriguez, Santiago; Williams, Dylan M; Guthrie, Philip AI; McArdle, Wendy L.; Smith, George Davey; Evans, David M.; Gaunt, Tom R.; Day, Ian NM

    2012-01-01

    Haptoglobin binds free haemoglobin that prevents oxidative damage produced by haemolysis. There is a copy number variant (CNV) in the haptoglobin gene (HP) consisting of two alleles, Hp1 (no duplication), and Hp2 (1.7kb duplication involving two exons). The spread of the Hp2 allele is believed to have taken place under selective pressures conferred by malaria resistance. However, molecular evidence is lacking and Hp did not emerge in genomewide SNPs surveys for evidence of selection. In Europ...

  5. Use of hydrogen peroxide treatment and crystal violet agar plates for selective recovery of bacteriophages from natural environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asghari, A.; Farrah, S.R.; Bitton, G. (Univ. of Florida, Gainesville (United States))

    1992-04-01

    Hydrogen peroxide inactivated bacteriophages and bacteria at different rates. A concentration of 0.1% hydrogen peroxide reduced the numbers of several bacteria by an average of 94% but caused an average of 25% inactivation in the numbers of bacteriophages tested. Treating natural samples with hydrogen peroxide selectively reduced the indigenous bacterial flora and permitted better visualization of plaques of lawns of Escherichia coli C-3000. In some cases indigenous gram-positive bacteria were relatively resistant to hydrogen peroxide, but their growth could be limited by incorporation of crystal violet into the bottom agar used for plaque assays. The use of hydrogen peroxide treatment and crystal violet-containing plates permitted recovery of more phages from natural samples than did other procedures, such as chloroform pretreatment or the use of selective plating agar such as EC medium.

  6. Select strengths and biases of models in representing the Arctic winter boundary layer over sea ice: the Larcform 1 single column model intercomparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pithan, Felix; Ackerman, Andrew; Angevine, Wayne M.; Hartung, Kerstin; Ickes, Luisa; Kelley, Maxwell; Medeiros, Brian; Sandu, Irina; Steeneveld, Gert-Jan; Sterk, H. A. M.; Svensson, Gunilla; Vaillancourt, Paul A.; Zadra, Ayrton

    2016-09-01

    Weather and climate models struggle to represent lower tropospheric temperature and moisture profiles and surface fluxes in Arctic winter, partly because they lack or misrepresent physical processes that are specific to high latitudes. Observations have revealed two preferred states of the Arctic winter boundary layer. In the cloudy state, cloud liquid water limits surface radiative cooling, and temperature inversions are weak and elevated. In the radiatively clear state, strong surface radiative cooling leads to the build-up of surface-based temperature inversions. Many large-scale models lack the cloudy state, and some substantially underestimate inversion strength in the clear state. Here, the transformation from a moist to a cold dry air mass is modeled using an idealized Lagrangian perspective. The trajectory includes both boundary layer states, and the single-column experiment is the first Lagrangian Arctic air formation experiment (Larcform 1) organized within GEWEX GASS (Global atmospheric system studies). The intercomparison reproduces the typical biases of large-scale models: some models lack the cloudy state of the boundary layer due to the representation of mixed-phase microphysics or to the interaction between micro- and macrophysics. In some models, high emissivities of ice clouds or the lack of an insulating snow layer prevent the build-up of surface-based inversions in the radiatively clear state. Models substantially disagree on the amount of cloud liquid water in the cloudy state and on turbulent heat fluxes under clear skies. Observations of air mass transformations including both boundary layer states would allow for a tighter constraint of model behavior.

  7. Natural Selection, Adaptive Topographies and the Problem of Statistical Inference: The Moraba scurra Controversy Under the Microscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grodwohl, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-08-01

    This paper gives a detailed narrative of a controversial empirical research in postwar population genetics, the analysis of the cytological polymorphisms of an Australian grasshopper, Moraba scurra. This research intertwined key technical developments in three research areas during the 1950s and 1960s: it involved Dobzhansky's empirical research program on cytological polymorphisms, the mathematical theory of natural selection in two-locus systems, and the building of reliable estimates of natural selection in the wild. In the mid-1950s the cytologist Michael White discovered an interesting case of epistasis in populations of Moraba scurra. These observations received a wide diffusion when theoretical population geneticist Richard Lewontin represented White's data on adaptive topographies. These topographies connected the information on the genetic structure of these grasshopper populations with the formal framework of theoretical population genetics. As such, they appeared at the time as the most successful application of two-locus models of natural selection to an empirical study system. However, this connection generated paradoxical results: in the landscapes, all grasshopper populations were located on a ridge (an unstable equilibrium) while they were expected to reach a peak. This puzzling result fueled years of research and triggered a controversy attracting contributors from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. While the original problem seemed, at first, purely empirical, the subsequent controversy affected the main mathematical tools used in the study of two-gene systems under natural selection. Adaptive topographies and their underlying mathematical structure, Wright's mean fitness equations, were submitted to close scrutiny. Suspicion eventually shifted to the statistical machinery used in data analysis, reflecting the crucial role of statistical inference in applied population genetics. In the 1950s and 1960s, population geneticists were

  8. Preparatory selection of sterilization regime for canned Natural Atlantic Mackerel with oil based on developed mathematical models of the process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maslov A. A.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Definition of preparatory parameters for sterilization regime of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" is the aim of current study. PRSC software developed at the department of automation and computer engineering is used for preparatory selection. To determine the parameters of process model, in laboratory autoclave AVK-30M the pre-trial process of sterilization and cooling in water with backpressure of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" in can N 3 has been performed. Gathering information about the temperature in the autoclave sterilization chamber and the can with product has been carried out using Ellab TrackSense PRO loggers. Due to the obtained information three transfer functions for the product model have been identified: in the least heated area of autoclave, the average heated and the most heated. In PRSC programme temporary temperature dependences in the sterilization chamber have been built using this information. The model of sterilization process of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" has been received after the pre-trial process. Then in the automatic mode the sterilization regime of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" has been selected using the value of actual effect close to normative sterilizing effect (5.9 conditional minutes. Furthermore, in this study step-mode sterilization of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" has been selected. Utilization of step-mode sterilization with the maximum temperature equal to 125 °C in the sterilization chamber allows reduce process duration by 10 %. However, the application of this regime in practice requires additional research. Using the described approach based on the developed mathematical models of the process allows receive optimal step and variable canned food sterilization regimes with high energy efficiency and product quality.

  9. Occupants’ Utilization of Natural Ventilation: A Study of Selected Terrace House Designs in Hot-humid Climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibiyeye AI

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available With increased time spent indoors and demand for enhanced comfort levels, energy consumption in homes is rising mostly for cooling, particularly in hot-humid regions. Natural ventilation is seen as an alternative to mechanical cooling as it is totally independent on energy and has been reported to be of high potential. However, little information is available on the utilization of natural ventilation in individual living spaces in different house designs. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate occupants’ utilization of natural ventilation in living spaces under different terrace house designs in hot-humid climate and also the relationship between the openings and occupants’ satisfaction with natural ventilation. Five (5 different terrace house types in Putrajaya, Malaysia with different opening design characteristics were selected for the study. A total of 298 households from these house types were surveyed and results show that occupants mostly open their windows during the daytime to capture breeze from outside despite the fact that they owned air-conditioners. In terms of occupants’ level of satisfaction with indoor ventilation when utilizing natural ventilation, majority rated neither satisfied nor unsatisfied. Further regression analysis reveals that this level of satisfaction is significantly related to opening sizes that are in accordance with the law, duration of opening windows and AC ownership. Findings from this study will shed more light on behavioural pattern of occupants of residential buildings towards natural ventilation provisions and highlight the importance of conforming to the law governing them.

  10. [Three types of bias: distortion of research results and how that can be prevented].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groenwold, Rolf H H

    2013-01-01

    A systematic distortion of the relationship between a treatment, risk factor or exposure and clinical outcomes is denoted by the term 'bias'. Three types of bias can be distinguished: information bias, selection bias, and confounding. These three types of bias and their potential solutions are discussed using various examples.

  11. The analysis and selection of methods and facilities for cutting of naturally-deficit materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhmetov, I. D.; Zakirova, A. R.; Sadykov, Z. B.

    2016-06-01

    The comparison of perspective methods is done in the article, such as laser, plasma and combined electro-diamond methods of hard processed materials cutting. There are the review and analysis of naturally-deficit materials cutting facilities. A new electrode-tool for the combined cutting of naturally-deficit materials is suggested. This electrode-tool eliminates electrical contact between the cutting electrode-tool and side surfaces of the channel of cutting workpiece cut, which allows to obtain coplanar channels of cut.

  12. The nature of GRB-selected submillimeter galaxies: hot and young

    CERN Document Server

    Michałowski, M J; Cerón, J M Castro; Watson, D

    2007-01-01

    We present detailed fits of the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of four submillimeter (submm) galaxies selected by the presence of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) event (GRBs 980703, 000210, 000418 and 010222). These faint ~3 mJy submm emitters at redshift ~1 are characterized by an unusual combination of long- and short-wavelength properties, namely enhanced submm and/or radio emission combined with optical faintness and blue colors. We exclude an active galactic nucleus as the source of long-wavelength emission. From the SED fits we conclude that the four galaxies are young (ages 45 K) indicate that GRB host galaxies are hotter, younger, and less massive counterparts to submm-selected galaxies detected so far. Future facilities like Herschel, JCMT/SCUBA-2 and ALMA will test this hypothesis enabling measurement of dust temperatures of fainter GRB-selected galaxies.

  13. Selectivity of natural, synthetic and environmental estrogens for zebrafish estrogen receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinto, Caroline [Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5056 (United States); Grimaldi, Marina; Boulahtouf, Abdelhay [Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier, Institut National de la Santé de la Recherche Médicale U896, Institut Régional de Cancérologie de Montpellier, Université Montpellier 1, 34298 Montpellier (France); Pakdel, Farzad [Institut de Recherche sur la Santé, Environnement et Travail (IRSET), INSERM U1085, Université de Rennes 1, Rennes (France); Brion, François; Aït-Aïssa, Sélim [Unité Écotoxicologie In Vitro et In Vivo, INERIS, Parc ALATA, 60550 Verneuil-en-Halatte (France); Cavaillès, Vincent [Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier, Institut National de la Santé de la Recherche Médicale U896, Institut Régional de Cancérologie de Montpellier, Université Montpellier 1, 34298 Montpellier (France); Bourguet, William [U1054, Centre de Biochimie Structurale, CNRS UMR5048, Université Montpellier 1 et 2, 34290 Montpellier (France); Gustafsson, Jan-Ake [Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5056 (United States); Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, 14183 Huddinge (Sweden); and others

    2014-10-01

    Zebrafish, Danio rerio, is increasingly used as an animal model to study the effects of pharmaceuticals and environmental estrogens. As most of these estrogens have only been tested on human estrogen receptors (ERs), it is necessary to measure their effects on zebrafish ERs. In humans there are two distinct nuclear ERs (hERα and hERβ), whereas the zebrafish genome encodes three ERs, zfERα and two zfERβs (zfERβ1 and zfERβ2). In this study, we established HeLa-based reporter cell lines stably expressing each of the three zfERs. We first reported that estrogens more efficiently activate the zfERs at 28 °C as compared to 37 °C, thus reflecting the physiological temperature of zebrafish in wildlife. We then showed significant differences in the ability of agonist and antagonist estrogens to modulate activation of the three zfER isotypes in comparison to hERs. Environmental compounds (bisphenol A, alkylphenols, mycoestrogens) which are hER panagonists and hERβ selective agonists displayed greater potency for zfERα as compared to zfERβs. Among hERα selective synthetic agonists, PPT did not activate zfERα while 16α-LE2 was the most zfERα selective compound. Altogether, these results confirm that all hER ligands control in a similar manner the transcriptional activity of zfERs although significant differences in selectivity were observed among subtypes. The zfER subtype selective ligands that we identified thus represent new valuable tools to dissect the physiological roles of the different zfERs. Finally, our work also points out that care has to be taken in transposing the results obtained using the zebrafish as a model for human physiopathology. - Highlights: • Zebrafish is increasingly used to study the effects of estrogens. • We assessed the activity of pharmaceutical and environmental estrogens on zfERs. • Environmental estrogens displayed greater potency for zfERα compared to zfERβs. • hERβ selective agonists displayed greater potency for zf

  14. Natural selection on protein-coding genes in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bustamente, Carlos D.; Fledel-Alon, Adi; Williamson, Scott;

    2005-01-01

    Comparisons of DNA polymorphism within species to divergence between species enables the discovery of molecular adaptation in evolutionarily constrained genes as well as the differentiation of weak from strong purifying selection 1, 2, 3, 4 . The extent to which weak negative and positive darwini...

  15. Signatures of natural selection between life cycle stages separated by metamorphosis in European eel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pujolar, J.M.; Jacobsen, M.W.; Bekkevold, Dorte;

    2015-01-01

    . Using the RAD approach, outlier tests identified a total of 2413 (1.57 %) potentially selected SNPs. Functional annotation analysis identified signal transduction pathways as the most over-represented group of genes, including MAPK/Erk signalling, calcium signalling and GnRH (gonadotropin...

  16. Selectivity of natural, synthetic and environmental estrogens for zebrafish estrogen receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Caroline; Grimaldi, Marina; Boulahtouf, Abdelhay; Pakdel, Farzad; Brion, François; Aït-Aïssa, Sélim; Cavaillès, Vincent; Bourguet, William; Gustafsson, Jan-Ake; Bondesson, Maria; Balaguer, Patrick

    2014-10-01

    Zebrafish, Danio rerio, is increasingly used as an animal model to study the effects of pharmaceuticals and environmental estrogens. As most of these estrogens have only been tested on human estrogen receptors (ERs), it is necessary to measure their effects on zebrafish ERs. In humans there are two distinct nuclear ERs (hERα and hERβ), whereas the zebrafish genome encodes three ERs, zfERα and two zfERβs (zfERβ1 and zfERβ2). In this study, we established HeLa-based reporter cell lines stably expressing each of the three zfERs. We first reported that estrogens more efficiently activate the zfERs at 28°C as compared to 37°C, thus reflecting the physiological temperature of zebrafish in wildlife. We then showed significant differences in the ability of agonist and antagonist estrogens to modulate activation of the three zfER isotypes in comparison to hERs. Environmental compounds (bisphenol A, alkylphenols, mycoestrogens) which are hER panagonists and hERβ selective agonists displayed greater potency for zfERα as compared to zfERβs. Among hERα selective synthetic agonists, PPT did not activate zfERα while 16α-LE2 was the most zfERα selective compound. Altogether, these results confirm that all hER ligands control in a similar manner the transcriptional activity of zfERs although significant differences in selectivity were observed among subtypes. The zfER subtype selective ligands that we identified thus represent new valuable tools to dissect the physiological roles of the different zfERs. Finally, our work also points out that care has to be taken in transposing the results obtained using the zebrafish as a model for human physiopathology.

  17. Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection as a Tool for Measuring Greek University Students' Evolution Knowledge: Differences between Novice and Advanced Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasiou, Kyriacos; Mavrikaki, Evangelia

    2014-01-01

    The primary objective of this research was to compare various groups of Greek university students for their level of knowledge of Evolution by means of Natural Selection (ENS). For the purpose of the study, we used a well known questionnaire the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) and 352 biology majors and non-majors students from…

  18. Nature and intensity of selection pressure on CRISPR-associated genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Nobuto; Wolf, Yuri I; Makarova, Kira S; Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-03-01

    The recently discovered CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system is present in almost all archaea and many bacteria. It consists of cassettes of CRISPR repeats that incorporate spacers homologous to fragments of viral or plasmid genomes that are employed as guide RNAs in the immune response, along with numerous CRISPR-associated (cas) genes that encode proteins possessing diverse, only partially characterized activities required for the action of the system. Here, we investigate the evolution of the cas genes and show that they evolve under purifying selection that is typically much weaker than the median strength of purifying selection affecting genes in the respective genomes. The exceptions are the cas1 and cas2 genes that typically evolve at levels of purifying selection close to the genomic median. Thus, although these genes are implicated in the acquisition of spacers from alien genomes, they do not appear to be directly involved in an arms race between bacterial and archaeal hosts and infectious agents. These genes might possess functions distinct from and additional to their role in the CRISPR-Cas-mediated immune response. Taken together with evidence of the frequent horizontal transfer of cas genes reported previously and with the wide-spread microscale recombination within these genes detected in this work, these findings reveal the highly dynamic evolution of cas genes. This conclusion is in line with the involvement of CRISPR-Cas in antiviral immunity that is likely to entail a coevolutionary arms race with rapidly evolving viruses. However, we failed to detect evidence of strong positive selection in any of the cas genes.

  19. Charge-selective fractions of naturally occurring nanoparticles as bioactive nanocarriers for cancer therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yongzhong; Yi, Sijia; Sun, Leming; Huang, Yujian; Zhang, Mingjun

    2014-10-01

    A carnivorous fungus, Arthrobotrys oligospora, has been shown to secrete nanoparticles. In the present work, the potential of two charge-selective fractions of fungal nanoparticles (FNPs) as bioactive nanocarriers in cancer therapy is explored by investigating their immunostimulatory activities, cytotoxic mechanisms and in vitro immunochemotherapeutic effects. A surface charge-selective fractionation procedure to purify crude FNPs has been established, and two FNP fractions (i.e. FNP1 and FNP2), with different surface charges and similarly reduced diameters of 100-200nm, are obtained. Both FNP fractions enhance the secretion of multiple proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines from macrophages and splenocytes. However, FNP2 has stronger cytotoxicity than FNP1. It is FNP2 not FNP1 that could clearly inhibit cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis and arresting cells at the sub G0/G1 phase. Both the FNP fractions can form pH-responsive nanocomplexes with doxorubicin (DOX) via electrostatic interactions. For direct cytotoxicity, DOX-FNP2 complexes demonstrate higher activity than DOX against multiple tumor cells, while DOX-FNP1 complexes show weaker activity than DOX. Interestingly, in a co-culture experiment where splenocytes are co-cultured with tumor cells, both DOX-FNP complexes demonstrate higher cytotoxicity than DOX. In conclusion, this work proposes a combined therapeutics for cancer treatment using charge-selective fractions of FNPs as bioactive nanocarriers.

  20. Malaria life cycle intensifies both natural selection and random genetic drift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hsiao-Han; Moss, Eli L; Park, Daniel J; Ndiaye, Daouda; Mboup, Souleymane; Volkman, Sarah K; Sabeti, Pardis C; Wirth, Dyann F; Neafsey, Daniel E; Hartl, Daniel L

    2013-12-10

    Analysis of genome sequences of 159 isolates of Plasmodium falciparum from Senegal yields an extraordinarily high proportion (26.85%) of protein-coding genes with the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous polymorphism greater than one. This proportion is much greater than observed in other organisms. Also unusual is that the site-frequency spectra of synonymous and nonsynonymous polymorphisms are virtually indistinguishable. We hypothesized that the complicated life cycle of malaria parasites might lead to qualitatively different population genetics from that predicted from the classical Wright-Fisher (WF) model, which assumes a single random-mating population with a finite and constant population size in an organism with nonoverlapping generations. This paper summarizes simulation studies of random genetic drift and selection in malaria parasites that take into account their unusual life history. Our results show that random genetic drift in the malaria life cycle is more pronounced than under the WF model. Paradoxically, the efficiency of purifying selection in the malaria life cycle is also greater than under WF, and the relative efficiency of positive selection varies according to conditions. Additionally, the site-frequency spectrum under neutrality is also more skewed toward low-frequency alleles than expected with WF. These results highlight the importance of considering the malaria life cycle when applying existing population genetic tools based on the WF model. The same caveat applies to other species with similarly complex life cycles.

  1. Natural selection for grazer resistance to toxic cyanobacteria: evolution of phenotypic plasticity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hairston, N G; Holtmeier, C L; Lampert, W; Weider, L J; Post, D M; Fischer, J M; Cáceres, C E; Fox, J A; Gaedke, U

    2001-11-11

    We studied the selection response of the freshwater grazing zooplankter, Daphnia galeata, to increased abundance of cyanobacteria in its environment. Cyanobacteria are a poor-quality and often toxic food. Distinct genotypes of D. galeata were hatched from diapausing eggs extracted from three time horizons in the sediments of Lake Constance, Europe, covering the period 1962 to 1997, a time of change in both the prevalence of planktonic cyanobacteria and levels of phosphorus pollution. We assessed whether the grazers evolved to become more resistant to dietary cyanobacteria by exposing genetically distinct clones to two diets, one composed only of the nutritious green alga, Scenedesmus obliquus (good food), and the other a mixture of S. obliquus and the toxic cyanobacterium Microcvstis aeruginosa (poor food). Genotype performance was measured as the specific rate of weight gain from neonate to maturity (gj). We evaluated evolutionary change in the Daphnia population using an analysis of reaction norms based on relative (log-transformed) changes in gj. Log(gj) is a measure of the proportional effect of dietary cyanobacteria on other fitness components of the Daphnia phenotype. For comparison, we also analyze absolute (i.e., nontransformed) changes in gj and discuss the interpretations of the two approaches. Statistical results using a general linear model demonstrate a significant effect of genotype (showing differences in gj among genotypes), a significant genotype x food-type interaction (showing differences in phenotypic plasticity among genotypes), and, in the case of log-transformed data, a significant sediment-genotype-age x food-type interaction. The latter shows that phenotypic plasticity evolved over the period studied. Two constraints act on response to selection in the D. galeata-Lake Constance system. First, gj on a diet containing poor food is highly correlated with gj on a diet of good food, thus evolving resistance also meant evolving an increase in gj

  2. Natural selection in a postglacial range expansion: the case of the colour cline in the European barn owl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoniazza, Sylvain; Kanitz, Ricardo; Neuenschwander, Samuel; Burri, Reto; Gaigher, Arnaud; Roulin, Alexandre; Goudet, Jérôme

    2014-11-01

    Gradients of variation--or clines--have always intrigued biologists. Classically, they have been interpreted as the outcomes of antagonistic interactions between selection and gene flow. Alternatively, clines may also establish neutrally with isolation by distance (IBD) or secondary contact between previously isolated populations. The relative importance of natural selection and these two neutral processes in the establishment of clinal variation can be tested by comparing genetic differentiation at neutral genetic markers and at the studied trait. A third neutral process, surfing of a newly arisen mutation during the colonization of a new habitat, is more difficult to test. Here, we designed a spatially explicit approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) simulation framework to evaluate whether the strong cline in the genetically based reddish coloration observed in the European barn owl (Tyto alba) arose as a by-product of a range expansion or whether selection has to be invoked to explain this colour cline, for which we have previously ruled out the actions of IBD or secondary contact. Using ABC simulations and genetic data on 390 individuals from 20 locations genotyped at 22 microsatellites loci, we first determined how barn owls colonized Europe after the last glaciation. Using these results in new simulations on the evolution of the colour phenotype, and assuming various genetic architectures for the colour trait, we demonstrate that the observed colour cline cannot be due to the surfing of a neutral mutation. Taking advantage of spatially explicit ABC, which proved to be a powerful method to disentangle the respective roles of selection and drift in range expansions, we conclude that the formation of the colour cline observed in the barn owl must be due to natural selection.

  3. Improving uncertainty estimation in urban hydrological modeling by statistically describing bias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Del Giudice

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Hydrodynamic models are useful tools for urban water management. Unfortunately, it is still challenging to obtain accurate results and plausible uncertainty estimates when using these models. In particular, with the currently applied statistical techniques, flow predictions are usually overconfident and biased. In this study, we present a flexible and computationally efficient methodology (i to obtain more reliable hydrological simulations in terms of coverage of validation data by the uncertainty bands and (ii to separate prediction uncertainty into its components. Our approach acknowledges that urban drainage predictions are biased. This is mostly due to input errors and structural deficits of the model. We address this issue by describing model bias in a Bayesian framework. The bias becomes an autoregressive term additional to white measurement noise, the only error type accounted for in traditional uncertainty analysis in urban hydrology. To allow for bigger discrepancies during wet weather, we make the variance of bias dependent on the input (rainfall or/and output (runoff of the system. Specifically, we present a structured approach to select, among five variants, the optimal bias description for a given urban or natural case study. We tested the methodology in a small monitored stormwater system described by means of a parsimonious model. Our results clearly show that flow simulations are much more reliable when bias is accounted for than when it is neglected. Furthermore, our probabilistic predictions can discriminate between three uncertainty contributions: parametric uncertainty, bias (due to input and structural errors, and measurement errors. In our case study, the best performing bias description was the output-dependent bias using a log-sinh transformation of data and model results. The limitations of the framework presented are some ambiguity due to the subjective choice of priors for bias parameters and its inability to directly

  4. Bias in research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simundić, Ana-Maria

    2013-01-01

    By writing scientific articles we communicate science among colleagues and peers. By doing this, it is our responsibility to adhere to some basic principles like transparency and accuracy. Authors, journal editors and reviewers need to be concerned about the quality of the work submitted for publication and ensure that only studies which have been designed, conducted and reported in a transparent way, honestly and without any deviation from the truth get to be published. Any such trend or deviation from the truth in data collection, analysis, interpretation and publication is called bias. Bias in research can occur either intentionally or unintentionally. Bias causes false conclusions and is potentially misleading. Therefore, it is immoral and unethical to conduct biased research. Every scientist should thus be aware of all potential sources of bias and undertake all possible actions to reduce or minimize the deviation from the truth. This article describes some basic issues related to bias in research.

  5. Natural selection among Kinnaura of the Himalayan highland: A comparative analysis with other Indian and Himalayan populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautam, Rajesh K; Kapoor, Anup K; Kshatriya, G K

    2009-09-01

    The present investigation on fertility and mortality differential among Kinnaura of the Himalayan highland is based on data collected from 160 post-menopausal women belonging to the middle and high altitude region of Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh (Indian Himalayas). Selection potential based on differential fertility and mortality was computed for middle-and high-altitude women. Irrespective of the methodology, the total index of selection was found to be highest among middle-altitude women (0.386) as compared with high-altitude (0.370) women, whereas for the total population it is estimated to be 0.384. It was found that the Kinnaura of the Himalayan highland showing moderate index of total selection and relative contribution of the mortality component (Im) to the index of total selection is higher than the corresponding fertility component (If). The analysis of embryonic and post-natal mortality components shows that the post-natal mortality components are higher in comparison with the embryonic mortality components among highlanders and needs special intervention and health care. The present findings are compared with other Indian tribes as well as non-tribes of the Himalayan region and other parts of the country. It reveals that this index among Kinnaura is moderate than the other population groups; among the Himalayan population, the highest was reported for Galong (It = 1.07) of Arunachal, whereas the lowest was reported from Ahom (It = 0.218) of Manipur. The correlation and regression analysis between total index of selection (It) and fertility (If) and mortality (Im) components for pooled data of populations of the Indian Himalayan states show that If and Im account for 21.6 and 29.1% variability, respectively. In Crow's total index of selection (It) along with strong association, which is significant at the 1% level, this indicates that mortality plays a greater role in natural selection in comparison with fertility among populations of the Indian

  6. Attentional bias in math anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinsten, Orly; Eidlin, Hili; Wohl, Hadas; Akibli, Orly

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety (MA) as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math). Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of MA and 13 with low levels of MA) were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of six types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, was presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks) that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks). Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in MA. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words). These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense MA symptoms. PMID:26528208

  7. Attentional Bias in Math Anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orly eRubinsten

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math. Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of math anxiety and 13 with low levels of math anxiety were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of 6 types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, were presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks. Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in math anxiety. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words. These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense math anxiety symptoms.

  8. Attentional bias in math anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinsten, Orly; Eidlin, Hili; Wohl, Hadas; Akibli, Orly

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety (MA) as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math). Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of MA and 13 with low levels of MA) were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of six types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, was presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks) that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks). Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in MA. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words). These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense MA symptoms.

  9. On commercial media bias

    OpenAIRE

    Germano, Fabrizio

    2008-01-01

    Within the spokes model of Chen and Riordan (2007) that allows for non-localized competition among arbitrary numbers of media outlets, we quantify the effect of concentration of ownership on quality and bias of media content. A main result shows that too few commercial outlets, or better, too few separate owners of commercial outlets can lead to substantial bias in equilibrium. Increasing the number of outlets (commercial and non-commercial) tends to bring down this bias; but the strongest ef...

  10. Construction and selection of the natural immune Fab antibody phage display library from patients with colorectal cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bao-Ping Wu; Bing Xiao; Tian-Mo Wan; Ya-Li Zhang; Zhen-Shu Zhang; Dian-Yuan Zhou; Zhuo-Sheng Lai; Chun-Fang Gao

    2001-01-01

    AIM: To construct the natural immune Fab antibody phage display libraries of colorectal cancer and to select antibodies related with colorectal cancer. METHODS: Extract total RNA from tissue of local cancer metastasis lymph nodes of patients with colorectal cancer.RT-PCR was used to amplify the heavy chain Fd and light chain к and the amplification products were inserted successively into the vector pComb3 to construct the human libraries of Fab antibodies. They were then panned by phage display technology. By means of Dot immunoblotting and ELISA, the libraries were identified and the Fab phage antibodies binding with antigens of colorectal cancer were selected. RESULTS: The amplified fragments of Fd and к gained by RT-PCR were about 650bp. Fd and к PCR products were subsequently inserted into the vector pComb3, resulting in a recombination rate of 40% and the volume of Fab phage display library reached 1.48 x 106. The libraries were enriched about 120-fold by 3 cycles of adsorption-elution- multiplication (panning). Dot immunoblotting showed Fab expressions on the phage libraries and ELISA showed 5clones of Fab phage antibodies which had binding activities with antigens of colorectal cancer. CONCLUSION: The natural immune Fab antibody phage display libraries of colorectal cancer were constructed. They could be used to select the relative antibodies of colorectal cancer.

  11. Hydroquinone and Quinone-Grafted Porous Carbons for Highly Selective CO2 Capture from Flue Gases and Natural Gas Upgrading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Krishna, Rajamani; Yang, Jiangfeng; Deng, Shuguang

    2015-08-04

    Hydroquinone and quinone functional groups were grafted onto a hierarchical porous carbon framework via the Friedel-Crafts reaction to develop more efficient adsorbents for the selective capture and removal of carbon dioxide from flue gases and natural gas. The oxygen-doped porous carbons were characterized with scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. CO2, CH4, and N2 adsorption isotherms were measured and correlated with the Langmuir model. An ideal adsorbed solution theory (IAST) selectivity for the CO2/N2 separation of 26.5 (298 K, 1 atm) was obtained on the hydroquinone-grafted carbon, which is 58.7% higher than that of the pristine porous carbon, and a CO2/CH4 selectivity value of 4.6 (298 K, 1 atm) was obtained on the quinone-grafted carbon (OAC-2), which represents a 28.4% improvement over the pristine porous carbon. The highest CO2 adsorption capacity on the oxygen-doped carbon adsorbents is 3.46 mmol g(-1) at 298 K and 1 atm. In addition, transient breakthrough simulations for CO2/CH4/N2 mixture separation were conducted to demonstrate the good separation performance of the oxygen-doped carbons in fixed bed adsorbers. Combining excellent adsorption separation properties and low heats of adsorption, the oxygen-doped carbons developed in this work appear to be very promising for flue gas treatment and natural gas upgrading.

  12. Natural selection and molecular evolution in primate PAX9 gene, a major determinant of tooth development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Tiago V; Salzano, Francisco M; Mostowska, Adrianna; Trzeciak, Wieslaw H; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés; Chies, José A B; Saavedra, Carmen; Nagamachi, Cleusa; Hurtado, Ana M; Hill, Kim; Castro-de-Guerra, Dinorah; Silva-Júnior, Wilson A; Bortolini, Maria-Cátira

    2006-04-11

    Large differences in relation to dental size, number, and morphology among and within modern human populations and between modern humans and other primate species have been observed. Molecular studies have demonstrated that tooth development is under strict genetic control, but, the genetic basis of primate tooth variation remains unknown. The PAX9 gene, which codes for a paired domain-containing transcription factor that plays an essential role in the development of mammal dentition, has been associated with selective tooth agenesis in humans and mice, which mainly involves the posterior teeth. To determine whether this gene is polymorphic in humans, we sequenced approximately 2.1 kb of the entire four-exon region (exons 1, 2, 3 and 4; 1,026 bp) and exon-intron (1.1 kb) boundaries of 86 individuals sampled from Asian, European, and Native American populations. We provided evidence that human PAX9 polymorphisms are limited to exon 3 only and furnished details about the distribution of a mutation there in 350 Polish subjects. To investigate the pattern of selective pressure on exon 3, we sequenced ortholog regions of this exon in four species of New World monkeys and one gorilla. In addition, orthologous sequences of PAX9 available in public databases were also analyzed. Although several differences were identified between humans and other species, our findings support the view that strong purifying selection is acting on PAX9. New World and Old World primate lineages may, however, have different degrees of restriction for changes in this DNA region.

  13. Conservation of natural enemies in cotton: comparative selectivity of acetamiprid in the management of Bemisia tabaci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naranjo, Steven E; Akey, David H

    2005-06-01

    The integrated control concept emphasizes the importance of both chemical and biological control for pest suppression in agricultural systems. A two-year field study was conducted to evaluate the selectivity of acetamiprid for the control of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) in cotton compared with a proven selective regime based on the insect growth regulators (IGRs) pyriproxyfen and buprofezin. Acetamiprid was highly effective in controlling all stages of B tabaci compared with an untreated control, and generally produced lower pest densities than the IGR regime. Univariate analyses indicated that nine of 17 taxa of arthropod predators were significantly depressed with the use of acetamiprid compared with an untreated control, including common species such as Geocoris punctipes (Say), Orius tristicolor (White), Chrysoperla carnea Stephens sensu lato, Collops vittatus (Say), Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville, and Drapetis nr divergens. Compared with results from independent, concurrent studies using mixtures of broad-spectrum insecticides at the same research site, acetamiprid depressed populations of fewer predator taxa; but, for eight predator taxa significantly affected by both regimes, the average population reduction was roughly equal. In contrast, only four taxa were significantly reduced in the IGR regime compared with the untreated control and three of these were omnivores that function primarily as plant pests. Principal response curves analyses (a time-dependent, multivariate ordination method) confirmed these patterns of population change for the entire predator community. Predator:prey ratios generally increased with the use of both IGRs and acetamiprid compared with an untreated control, but ratios were consistently higher with IGRs. Parasitism by aphelinid parasitoids was unaffected or depressed slightly in all insecticide regimes compared with the control. Because of its high efficacy, acetamiprid may play an important role in later stages of B

  14. A Simulation Platform for Quantifying Survival Bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayeda, Elizabeth Rose; Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric J; Power, Melinda C;

    2016-01-01

    Bias due to selective mortality is a potential concern in many studies and is especially relevant in cognitive aging research because cognitive impairment strongly predicts subsequent mortality. Biased estimation of the effect of an exposure on rate of cognitive decline can occur when mortality......-mortality situations. This simulation platform provides a flexible tool for evaluating biases in studies with high mortality, as is common in cognitive aging research....... is a common effect of exposure and an unmeasured determinant of cognitive decline and in similar settings. This potential is often represented as collider-stratification bias in directed acyclic graphs, but it is difficult to anticipate the magnitude of bias. In this paper, we present a flexible simulation...

  15. Interpretation biases in paranoia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savulich, George; Freeman, Daniel; Shergill, Sukhi; Yiend, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Information in the environment is frequently ambiguous in meaning. Emotional ambiguity, such as the stare of a stranger, or the scream of a child, encompasses possible good or bad emotional consequences. Those with elevated vulnerability to affective disorders tend to interpret such material more negatively than those without, a phenomenon known as "negative interpretation bias." In this study we examined the relationship between vulnerability to psychosis, measured by trait paranoia, and interpretation bias. One set of material permitted broadly positive/negative (valenced) interpretations, while another allowed more or less paranoid interpretations, allowing us to also investigate the content specificity of interpretation biases associated with paranoia. Regression analyses (n=70) revealed that trait paranoia, trait anxiety, and cognitive inflexibility predicted paranoid interpretation bias, whereas trait anxiety and cognitive inflexibility predicted negative interpretation bias. In a group comparison those with high levels of trait paranoia were negatively biased in their interpretations of ambiguous information relative to those with low trait paranoia, and this effect was most pronounced for material directly related to paranoid concerns. Together these data suggest that a negative interpretation bias occurs in those with elevated vulnerability to paranoia, and that this bias may be strongest for material matching paranoid beliefs. We conclude that content-specific biases may be important in the cause and maintenance of paranoid symptoms.

  16. The Toyota Production Systems fundamental nature at selected South African organisations A learning perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nortje, F. D.

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Toyota Production System (TPS has been cited as being the pinnacle of continuous improvement approaches in manufacturing organisations, and many models of the TPS are well known. However, some authors question the effectiveness of established approaches, and propose Batesons theory of learning [1] to be an effective way to explain phenomena like the TPS. This paper investigates the degree to which TPS elements are found in selected South African organisations. It constructs a model of the TPS using Bateson's theory of learning as a framework. The adoption of TPS elements is investigated through multiple qualitative case studies in seven organisations. The analysis follows a clustering and cross-case approach combined with pattern matching. While elements vary in their use, the selected organisations practise the TPS substantially less than the model advocates, with the model being least practised in low volume job/batch manufacturing. Product-process differences and higher levels of the TPS model may clarify peculiar outcomes.

  17. Acid Activation of Natural Zeolite with High Content of Iron Oxides in Creation of Selective Sorbents and Catalysts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kadirbekov Kairat

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper studies the influence of the nature of modifying acids (mineral, organic and heteropolyacids, and their combination on the composition and structure of the iron oxide rich clinoptilolit from Shankanay field in Kazakhstan for creation of selective catalysts in hydracarbon processing and sorbents for extracting ions of lanthanide and actinide elements. It is shown that sequential processing of natural zeolite in optimal conditions, by hydrochloric and sulfosalicylic acids lead to intensive decationization and dealumination, as well as maximum removal of iron ions from the zeolite framework without destroying it. It is found that the combination of activated clinoptilolite with hydrochloric acid and phosphotungstic heteropolyacid contributes to obtain catalyst system with high surface area and acidity.

  18. Selection of suitable detergents for obtaining an active dengue protease in its natural form from E. coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liew, Lynette Sin Yee; Lee, Michelle Yueqi; Wong, Ying Lei; Cheng, Jinting; Li, Qingxin; Kang, CongBao

    2016-05-01

    Dengue protease is a two-component enzyme and is an important drug target against dengue virus. The protease activity and protein stability of dengue nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) require a co-factor region from a four-span membrane protein NS2B. A natural form of dengue protease containing full-length NS2B and NS3 protease domain NS2BFL-NS3pro will be useful for dengue drug discovery. In current study, detergents that can be used for protease purification were tested. Using a water soluble protease construct, 39 detergents were selected for both NS2B and NS2BFL-NS3pro purification. The results showed that 18 detergents were able to sustain the activity of the natural dengue protease and 11 detergents could be used for NS2B purification. The results obtained in this study will be useful for biochemical and biophysical studies on dengue protease.

  19. A Novel Evaluation Tool for Enhancing the Selection of Natural Fibers for Polymeric Composites Based on Fiber Moisture Content Criterion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faris M. AL-Oqla

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available A systematic evaluation tool for natural fibers’ capabilities based on moisture content criterion (MCC was developed and introduced as a new evaluation method. This MCC evaluation tool is designed to predict the behavior of the available natural fibers regarding distinctive desirable characteristics under the effect of the moisture absorption phenomenon. Here, the capabilities of different natural fiber types commonly used in industry, in addition to date palm fibers, were systematically investigated based on MCC. The results demonstrated that MCC is capable of predicting the relative reduction of fiber performance regarding a particular beneficial property because of the effect of moisture absorption. The strong agreements between the predicted values of MCC and results reported in the literature verify its usefulness as an evaluation tool and demonstrate its added value steps in predicting the relative behavior of fibers with a minimal range of errors compared with experimental measurements. Therefore, MCC is capable of better evaluating natural fibers regarding distinctive criteria in a systematic manner, leading to more realistic decisions about their capabilities and therefore enhancing the selection process for both better sustainable design possibilities and industrial product development.

  20. Review of the Inhibition of Biological Activities of Food-Related Selected Toxins by Natural Compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reuven Rasooly

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available There is a need to develop food-compatible conditions to alter the structures of fungal, bacterial, and plant toxins, thus transforming toxins to nontoxic molecules. The term ‘chemical genetics’ has been used to describe this approach. This overview attempts to survey and consolidate the widely scattered literature on the inhibition by natural compounds and plant extracts of the biological (toxicological activity of the following food-related toxins: aflatoxin B1, fumonisins, and ochratoxin A produced by fungi; cholera toxin produced by Vibrio cholerae bacteria; Shiga toxins produced by E. coli bacteria; staphylococcal enterotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria; ricin produced by seeds of the castor plant Ricinus communis; and the glycoalkaloid α-chaconine synthesized in potato tubers and leaves. The reduction of biological activity has been achieved by one or more of the following approaches: inhibition of the release of the toxin into the environment, especially food; an alteration of the structural integrity of the toxin molecules; changes in the optimum microenvironment, especially pH, for toxin activity; and protection against adverse effects of the toxins in cells, animals, and humans (chemoprevention. The results show that food-compatible and safe compounds with anti-toxin properties can be used to reduce the toxic potential of these toxins. Practical applications and research needs are suggested that may further facilitate reducing the toxic burden of the diet. Researchers are challenged to (a apply the available methods without adversely affecting the nutritional quality, safety, and sensory attributes of animal feed and human food and (b educate food producers and processors and the public about available approaches to mitigating the undesirable effects of natural toxins that may present in the diet.

  1. Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Maggie R; Lundberg, Derek S; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G; Dangl, Jeffery L; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2014-06-01

    Plant phenology is known to depend on many different environmental variables, but soil microbial communities have rarely been acknowledged as possible drivers of flowering time. Here, we tested separately the effects of four naturally occurring soil microbiomes and their constituent soil chemistries on flowering phenology and reproductive fitness of Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis. Flowering time was sensitive to both microbes and the abiotic properties of different soils; varying soil microbiota also altered patterns of selection on flowering time. Thus, soil microbes potentially contribute to phenotypic plasticity of flowering time and to differential selection observed between habitats. We also describe a method to dissect the microbiome into single axes of variation that can help identify candidate organisms whose abundance in soil correlates with flowering time. This approach is broadly applicable to search for microbial community members that alter biological characteristics of interest.

  2. How Natural Selection Can Create Both Self- and Other-Regarding Preferences, and Networked Minds

    CERN Document Server

    Grund, Thomas; Helbing, Dirk; 10.1038/srep01480

    2013-01-01

    Biological competition is widely believed to result in the evolution of selfish preferences. The related concept of the `homo economicus' is at the core of mainstream economics. However, there is also experimental and empirical evidence for other-regarding preferences. Here we present a theory that explains both, self-regarding and other-regarding preferences. Assuming conditions promoting non-cooperative behaviour, we demonstrate that intergenerational migration determines whether evolutionary competition results in a `homo economicus' (showing self-regarding preferences) or a `homo socialis' (having other-regarding preferences). Our model assumes spatially interacting agents playing prisoner's dilemmas, who inherit a trait determining `friendliness', but mutations tend to undermine it. Reproduction is ruled by fitness-based selection without a cultural modification of reproduction rates. Our model calls for a complementary economic theory for `networked minds' (the `homo socialis') and lays the foundations ...

  3. Darwinism and ethology. The role of natural selection in animals and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gervet, J; Soleilhavoup, M

    1997-11-01

    The role of behaviour in biological evolution is examined within the context of Darwinism. All Darwinian models are based on the distinction of two mechanisms: one that permits faithful transmission of a feature from one generation to another, and another that differentially regulates the degree of this transmission. Behaviour plays a minimal role as an agent of transmission in the greater part of the animal kingdom; by contrast, the forms it may assume strongly influence the mechanisms of selection regulating the different rates of transmission. We consider the decisive feature of the human species to be the existence of a phenotypical system of cultural coding characterized by precision and reliability which are the distinctive feature of genetic coding in animals. We examine the consequences for the application of the Darwinian model to human history.

  4. Use of space-filling curves to select sample locations in natural resource monitoring studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lister, Andrew J; Scott, Charles T

    2009-02-01

    The establishment of several large area monitoring networks over the past few decades has led to increased research into ways to spatially balance sample locations across the landscape. Many of these methods are well documented and have been used in the past with great success. In this paper, we present a method using geographic information systems (GIS) and fractals to create a sampling frame, superimpose a tessellation and draw a sample. We present a case study that illustrates the technique and compares results to those from other methods using data from Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. Our method compares favorably with results from a popular plot selection method, Generalized Random Tessellation Stratified Design, and offers several additional advantages, including ease of implementation, intuitive appeal, and the ability to maintain spatial balance by adding new plots in the event of an inaccessible plot encountered in the field.

  5. Nest site selection of white-naped crane (Grus vipio) at Zhalong National Nature Reserve, Heilongjiang, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qing-ming WU; Hong-fei ZOU; Jian-zhang MA

    2014-01-01

    White-naped crane (Grus vipio) is a globally threatened spe-cies. It is very important to analyze its nest site selection in circum-stances where there are multiple disturbances, and also helpful to accu-mulate valuable information about this threatened species and supply scientific suggestions for conservation and management. We studied nest site selection and the effects of environmental variables on nesting habits of white-naped crane at Zhalong National Nature Reserve, Qiqihar City, Heilongjiang, China, during March-May of 2002-2008. White-naped crane responded and adapted to changes in the quality of the spatial environments of landscape and microhabitat under multiple environ-mental disturbances. Nest site selection included two scales and two choices, namely the choice of nest site habitat type within the macro-habitat scale and nest site micro-habitat selection within the mi-cro-habitat scale. Nest sites were recorded only in reed marshes. The choice of nest site micro-habitat included three basic elements and six factors, namely incubation element (nest parameters factor, incubation temperature factor and incubation humidity factor), safety element (pro-tection factor and concealment factor), and food element (water factor). Water, remnant reed clusters, and fire were major resource management challenges during the breeding period for the white-naped crane in this Reserve.

  6. 文化的自然环境和心理选择%The Cultural Natural Environment and Psychological Selection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨文虎

    2013-01-01

    Regional cultures and geographical conditions rooted in natural environment change greatly in their initial stages and their development is largely determined by psychological selections. To ensure a benign impact that psychological selection has on cultural development, we must constrain the effect of power and capital by systemization. The rationality of cultural selection must be ensured by the rationality of selection procedures.%基于自然环境的地域文化,地理条件在其初始阶段具有比较大的影响,而其发展命运很大程度上由人的心理选择来决定。为了保障心理选择对文化发展的良性作用,避免其对文化前途的负面影响,必须用制度化措施制约权力和资本的作用。而文化选择结果的合理性,则必须通过选择程序的合理性来保证。

  7. An assessment of bias and uncertainty in recorded dose from external sources of radiation for workers at the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fix, J.J.; Gilbert, E.S.; Baumgartner, W.V.

    1994-08-01

    Worker dose estimates are used in epidemiologic studies of nuclear workers. A major objective of these studies is to provide a direct assessment of the carcinogenic risk of exposure to ionizing radiation at low doses and dose rates. If dose estimates used in analyses of worker data are biased, then risk estimates expressed per unit of dose will also be biased. In addition, random error in dose estimates may lead to underestimation of risk coefficients and can also distort dose-response analyses. Analyses of data from nuclear worker studies, including Hanford, have typically not been adjusted for biases and uncertainties in dose estimates in part because of the lack of adequate information on the nature and magnitude of these biases and uncertainties. This report describes an approach used to assess bias and uncertainty in radiation dose for Hanford dosimetry systems. The approach can be considered as an elaboration of work conducted by a technical committee appointed by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) used to quantify the bias and uncertainty in estimated doses for personnel exposed to radiation as a result of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons between 1945 and 1962. In addition, laboratory studies were conducted to measure bias for selected sources of photon radiation resulting from angular response characteristics of Hanford dosimeter systems. An overall assessment is presented of bias and uncertainty for photon radiation greater than 100 keV. This radiation is expected to have caused the vast majority of recorded dose for Hanford workers.

  8. Replicated origin of female-biased adult sex ratio in introduced populations of the trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Jeffrey D; Reznick, David N; López-Sepulcre, Andres

    2014-08-01

    There are many theoretical and empirical studies explaining variation in offspring sex ratio but relatively few that explain variation in adult sex ratio. Adult sex ratios are important because biased sex ratios can be a driver of sexual selection and will reduce effective population size, affecting population persistence and shapes how populations respond to natural selection. Previous work on guppies (Poecilia reticulata) gives mixed results, usually showing a female-biased adult sex ratio. However, a detailed analysis showed that this bias varied dramatically throughout a year and with no consistent sex bias. We used a mark-recapture approach to examine the origin and consistency of female-biased sex ratio in four replicated introductions. We show that female-biased sex ratio arises predictably and is a consequence of higher male mortality and longer female life spans with little effect of offspring sex ratio. Inconsistencies with previous studies are likely due to sampling methods and sampling design, which should be less of an issue with mark-recapture techniques. Together with other long-term mark-recapture studies, our study suggests that bias in offspring sex ratio rarely contributes to adult sex ratio in vertebrates. Rather, sex differences in adult survival rates and longevity determine vertebrate adult sex ratio.

  9. The VLA-COSMOS Perspective on the IR-Radio Relation. I. New Constraints on Selection Biases and the Non-Evolution of the IR/Radio Properties of Star Forming and AGN Galaxies at Intermediate and High Redshift

    CERN Document Server

    Sargent, Mark T; Murphy, E; Aussel, H; Le Floc'h, E; Frayer, D T; Martínez-Sansigre, A; Oesch, P; Salvato, M; Smolcic, V; Zamorani, G; Brusa, M; Cappelluti, N; Carollo, C M; Ilbert, O; Kartaltepe, J; Koekemoer, A M; Lilly, S J; Sanders, D B; Scoville, N Z

    2010-01-01

    VLA 1.4 GHz (rms noise ~0.012 mJy) and MIPS 24 and 70 micron (rms noise ~0.02 and ~1.7 mJy, respectively) observations covering the 2 square degree COSMOS field are combined with an extensive multi-wavelength data set to study the evolution of the IR-radio relation at intermediate and high redshift. With ~4500 sources -- of which ~30% have spectroscopic redshifts -- the current sample is significantly larger than previous ones used for the same purpose. Both monochromatic IR/radio flux ratios (q24 & q70), as well as the ratio of the total IR and the 1.4 GHz luminosity (qTIR) are used as indicators for the IR/radio properties of star forming galaxies and AGN. Using a sample jointly selected at IR and radio wavelengths in order to reduce selection biases, we provide firm support for previous findings that the IR-radio relation remains unchanged out to at least z~1.4. Moreover, based on data from ~150 objects we also find that the local relation likely still holds at 2.5

  10. Implicit Social Biases in People With Autism

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Implicit social biases are ubiquitous and are known to influence social behavior. A core diagnostic criterion of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is abnormal social behavior. We investigated the extent to which individuals with ASD might show a specific attenuation of implicit social biases, using Implicit Association Tests (IATs) involving social (gender, race) and nonsocial (nature, shoes) categories. High-functioning adults with ASD showed intact but reduced IAT effects relative to healthy ...

  11. Relation between methanogenic archaea and methane production potential in selected natural wetland ecosystems across China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, D. Y.; Ding, W. X.; Jia, Z. J.; Cai, Z. C.

    2011-02-01

    Methane (CH4) emissions from natural wetland ecosystems exhibit large spatial variability at regional, national, and global levels related to temperature, water table, plant type and methanogenic archaea etc. To understand the underlying factors that induce spatial differences in CH4 emissions, and the relationship between the population of methanogenic archaea and CH4 production potential in natural wetlands around China, we measured the CH4 production potential and the abundance of methanogenic archaea in vertical soil profiles sampled from the Poyang wetland in the subtropical zone, the Hongze wetland in the warm temperate zone, the Sanjiang marsh in the cold temperate zone, and the Ruoergai peatland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in the alpine climate zone. The top soil layer had the highest population of methanogens (1.07-8.29 × 109 cells g-1 soil) in all wetlands except the Ruoergai peatland and exhibited the maximum CH4 production potential measured at the mean in situ summer temperature. There is a significant logarithmic correlation between the abundance of methanogenic archaea and the soil organic carbon (R2 = 0.72, P nitrogen concentrations (R2 = 0.76, P affect the population of methanogens in wetland ecosystems. While the CH4 production potential is not significantly related to methanogen population (R2 = 0.01, P > 0.05, n = 13), it is related to the dissolved organic carbon concentration (R2 = 0.31, P = 0.05, n = 13). This suggests that the methanogen population might be not an effective index for predicting the CH4 production in wetland ecosystems. The CH4 production rate of the top soil layer increases with increasing latitude, from 273.64 μg CH4 kg-1 soil d-1 in the Poyang wetland to 664.59 μg CH4 kg-1 soil d-1 in the Carex lasiocarpa marsh of the Sanjiang Plain. We conclude that CH4 production potential in the freshwater wetlands of Eastern China is mainly affected by the supply of methanogenic substrates rather than temperature; in contrast

  12. Biases in categorization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das-Smaal, E.A.

    1990-01-01

    On what grounds can we conclude that an act of categorization is biased? In this chapter, it is contended that in the absence of objective norms of what categories actually are, biases in categorization can only be specified in relation to theoretical understandings of categorization. Therefore, the

  13. Political bias is tenacious.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditto, Peter H; Wojcik, Sean P; Chen, Eric Evan; Grady, Rebecca Hofstein; Ringel, Megan M

    2015-01-01

    Duarte et al. are right to worry about political bias in social psychology but they underestimate the ease of correcting it. Both liberals and conservatives show partisan bias that often worsens with cognitive sophistication. More non-liberals in social psychology is unlikely to speed our convergence upon the truth, although it may broaden the questions we ask and the data we collect.

  14. Protective natural autoantibodies to apoptotic cells: evidence of convergent selection of recurrent innate-like clones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Gregg J

    2015-12-01

    During murine immune development, recurrent B cell clones arise in a predictable fashion. Among these B cells, an archetypical clonotypic set that recognizes phosphorylcholine (PC) antigens and produces anti-PC IgM, first implicated for roles in microbial protection, was later found to become expanded in hyperlipidemic mice and in response to an increased in vivo burden of apoptotic cells. These IgM natural antibodies can enhance clearance of damaged cells and induce intracellular blockade of inflammatory signaling cascades. In clinical populations, raised levels of anti-PC IgM correlate with protection from atherosclerosis and may also downmodulate the severity of autoimmune disease. Human anti-PC-producing clones without hypermutation have been isolated that can similarly discriminate apoptotic from healthy cells. An independent report on unrelated adults has described anti-PC-producing B cells with IgM genes that have conserved CDR3 motifs, similar to stereotypic clonal sets of B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Taken together, emerging evidence suggests that, despite the capacity to form an effectively limitless range of Ig receptors, the human immune system may often recurrently generate lymphocytes expressing structurally convergent B cell receptors with protective and homeostatic roles.

  15. Co-dominant effect of selected natural dye sensitizers in DSSC performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Andery; Ekanayake, Piyasiri; Lim, Linda Biaw Leng; Bandara, J. M. R. Sarath

    2016-10-01

    Natural dyes from Ixora coccinea (RX) and Bougainvillea sp. (BG) were extracted and these individual dyes as well as the cocktail dye of RX and BG (1:1 v/v ratio) were investigated as dye sensitizers in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). To analyze the capability of the dyes, various characterization methods were deployed such as incident photon-to-current efficiency (IPCE), current-to-voltage (I-V) characteristics, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). It was found that DSSC sensitized with RX performed the best with η = 0.76%, followed by the cocktail dye (η = 0.40%) and BG (η = 0.21%). This best overall performance of RX was attributed to the charge transport resistance (Rtr = 3.89 Ω), with the highest electron density (ɳs = 9.45 × 1028) and effective diffusion coefficient (Deff = 2.43 × 10- 8 m2/s), which accounted for high Jsc. Co-dominance performance of DSSC sensitized with cocktail dye was observed where the cocktail dye has demonstrated an improved Voc as compared to RX and improved Jsc against BG, suggesting individual influence from both dyes.

  16. Selection and expansion of natural killer cells for NK cell-based immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Petra S A; Suck, Garnet; Nowakowska, Paulina; Ullrich, Evelyn; Seifried, Erhard; Bader, Peter; Tonn, Torsten; Seidl, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells have been used in several clinical trials as adaptive immunotherapy. The low numbers of these cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) have resulted in various approaches to preferentially expand primary NK cells from PBMC. While some clinical trials have used the addition of interleukin 2 (IL-2) to co-stimulate the expansion of purified NK cells from allogeneic donors, recent studies have shown promising results in achieving in vitro expansion of NK cells to large numbers for adoptive immunotherapy. NK cell expansion requires multiple cell signals for survival, proliferation and activation. Thus, expansion strategies have been focused either to substitute these factors using autologous feeder cells or to use genetically modified allogeneic feeder cells. Recent developments in the clinical use of genetically modified NK cell lines with chimeric antigen receptors, the development of expansion protocols for the clinical use of NK cell from human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are challenging improvements for NK cell-based immunotherapy. Transfer of several of these protocols to clinical-grade production of NK cells necessitates adaptation of good manufacturing practice conditions, and the development of freezing conditions to establish NK cell stocks will require some effort and, however, should enhance the therapeutic options of NK cells in clinical medicine.

  17. Natural genetic variation in selected populations of Arabidopsis thaliana is associated with ionomic differences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Buescher

    Full Text Available Controlling elemental composition is critical for plant growth and development as well as the nutrition of humans who utilize plants for food. Uncovering the genetic architecture underlying mineral ion homeostasis in plants is a critical first step towards understanding the biochemical networks that regulate a plant's elemental composition (ionome. Natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana provide a rich source of genetic diversity that leads to phenotypic differences. We analyzed the concentrations of 17 different elements in 12 A. thaliana accessions and three recombinant inbred line (RIL populations grown in several different environments using high-throughput inductively coupled plasma- mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS. Significant differences were detected between the accessions for most elements and we identified over a hundred QTLs for elemental accumulation in the RIL populations. Altering the environment the plants were grown in had a strong effect on the correlations between different elements and the QTLs controlling elemental accumulation. All ionomic data presented is publicly available at www.ionomicshub.org.

  18. ERK1-Based Pathway as a New Selective Mechanism To Modulate CCR5 with Natural Antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venuti, Assunta; Pastori, Claudia; Siracusano, Gabriel; Riva, Agostino; Sciortino, Maria Teresa; Lopalco, Lucia

    2015-10-01

    Natural human Abs, recognizing an epitope within the first extramembrane loop of CCR5 (the main HIV coreceptor), induce a long-lasting internalization (48 h) of the protein, whereas all known CCR5 modulating molecules show a short-term kinetics (60-90 min). Despite extensive studies on the regulation of CCR5 signaling cascades, which are the effect of concomitant CCR5 internalization by exogenous stimuli such as Abs, downstream signaling continues to be poorly understood. In this article, we report a hitherto unrecognized mechanism of CCR5 modulation mediated by G protein-dependent ERK1 activity. We further demonstrate that ERK1 is localized mainly in the cytoplasmic compartment and that it interacts directly with the CCR5 protein, thus provoking possible CCR5 degradation with a subsequent de novo synthesis, and that re-expression of CCR5 on the cell membrane required several days. In contrast, the RANTES treatment induces a recovery of the receptor on the cell membrane in short-term kinetics without the involvement of de novo protein synthesis. The said new pathway could be relevant not only to better understand the molecular basis of all pathologic conditions in which CCR5 is involved but also to generate new tools to block viral infections, such as the use of recombinant Abs.

  19. Cacao families and parents selected as resistant to natural infection of Moniliophthora perniciosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina S. Benjamin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The known sources of resistance to witches’ broom (WB, a severe disease of cacao, are limited. Aiming to identify families and parents resistant to Moniliophthora perniciosa, a population of 22 families was evaluated by assessing the number of brooms formed per tree during 10 years under field conditions. The population was established in randomized blocks with three replications of 12 plants each. Significant differences were observed among families. The most outstanding families were NA33 x RB39 and RB39 x P4B, which presented the lowest WB incidence during 10 years. The increase in natural field infection of Scavina clones families and their descendants were clearly demonstrated after 2006. The existence of additive effects for resistance appears clearly for families, which had other source of resistance associated with Scavina. Clones RB39, RB36, P4B, NA33 and CSUL3 are promising parents for pyramiding resistance genes and increasing the stability and durability of resistance to WB.

  20. GES DISC Datalist Enables Easy Data Selection For Natural Phenomena Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Angela; Shie, Chung-Lin; Hegde, Mahabaleshwa; Petrenko, Maksym; Teng, William; Bryant, Keith; Liu, Zhong; Hearty, Thomas; Shen, Suhung; Seiler, Edward; Kempler, Steven

    2017-01-01

    In order to investigate and assess natural hazards such as tropical storms, winter storms, volcanic eruptions, floods, and drought in a timely manner, the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) has been developing an efficient data search and access service. Called "Datalist," this service enables users to acquire their data of interest "all at once," with minimum effort. A Datalist is a virtual collection of predefined or user-defined data variables from one or more archived data sets. Datalists are more than just data. Datalists effectively provide users with a sophisticated integrated data and services package, including metadata, citation, documentation, visualization, and data-specific services (e.g., subset and OPeNDAP), all available from one-stop shopping. The predefined Datalists, created by the experienced GES DISC science support team, should save a significant amount of time that users would otherwise have to spend. The Datalist service is an extension of the new GES DISC website, which is completely data-driven. A Datalist, also known as "data bundle," is treated just as any other data set. Being a virtual collection, a Datalist requires no extra storage space.

  1. Naturally selected hepatitis C virus polymorphisms confer broad neutralizing antibody resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Justin R.; Wasilewski, Lisa N.; Snider, Anna E.; El-Diwany, Ramy; Osburn, William O.; Keck, Zhenyong; Foung, Steven K.H.; Ray, Stuart C.

    2014-01-01

    For hepatitis C virus (HCV) and other highly variable viruses, broadly neutralizing mAbs are an important guide for vaccine development. The development of resistance to anti-HCV mAbs is poorly understood, in part due to a lack of neutralization testing against diverse, representative panels of HCV variants. Here, we developed a neutralization panel expressing diverse, naturally occurring HCV envelopes (E1E2s) and used this panel to characterize neutralizing breadth and resistance mechanisms of 18 previously described broadly neutralizing anti-HCV human mAbs. The observed mAb resistance could not be attributed to polymorphisms in E1E2 at known mAb-binding residues. Additionally, hierarchical clustering analysis of neutralization resistance patterns revealed relationships between mAbs that were not predicted by prior epitope mapping, identifying 3 distinct neutralization clusters. Using this clustering analysis and envelope sequence data, we identified polymorphisms in E2 that confer resistance to multiple broadly neutralizing mAbs. These polymorphisms, which are not at mAb contact residues, also conferred resistance to neutralization by plasma from HCV-infected subjects. Together, our method of neutralization clustering with sequence analysis reveals that polymorphisms at noncontact residues may be a major immune evasion mechanism for HCV, facilitating viral persistence and presenting a challenge for HCV vaccine development. PMID:25500884

  2. REVIEW OF SELECTED BIOLOGICAL METHODS OF ASSESSING THE QUALITY OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Beata Jakubus

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The xenobiotics introduced into the environment are the effect of human activities. It is especially soil contamination that leads to degradation of soils, which may finally be referred to the biological imbalance of the ecosystem. Normally chemical methods are used for the assessment of soil’s quality. Unfortunately, they are not always quick and inexpensive. Therefore, the practice and the science at environmental monitoring more frequently employ biological methods. Most of them meet the above mentioned conditions and become a supplement of routine laboratory practices. This publication shows an overview of selected common biological methods used to estimate the quality of the environment. The first part of the paper presents biomonitoring as a first step of environmental control which relies on the observation of indicator organisms. The next section was dedicated to the bioassays, indicating the greater or lesser practical applications confirmed by literature on the subject. Particular attention has been focused on phytotests and the tests based on the invertebrates.

  3. Preference for the nearer of otherwise equivalent navigational goals quantifies behavioral motivation and natural selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell E Jackson

    Full Text Available Navigation and environmental perception precede most actions in mobile organisms. Navigation is based upon the fundamental assumption of a ubiquitous Preference for the Nearest of otherwise equivalent navigational goals (PfN. However, the magnitude and triggers for PfN are unknown and there is no clear evidence that PfN exists. I tested for PfN in human participants on a retrieval task. Results of these experiments provide the first evidence for PfN. Further, these data quantify the three primary PfN triggers and provide an experimental structure for using PfN as a behavioral metric across domains. Surprisingly, PfN exists at a high, but not universal, magnitude. Further, PfN derives most from the absolute distance to the farthest of multiple goals (d(f, with little influence of the distance to the nearest goal (d(n. These data provide previously unavailable quantification of behavioral motivation across species and may provide a measurable index of selection. These methods hold particular import for behavioral modification because proximity is a powerful determinant of decision outcomes across most behaviors.

  4. Genomic analysis of natural selection and phenotypic variation in high-altitude mongolians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinchuan Xing

    Full Text Available Deedu (DU Mongolians, who migrated from the Mongolian steppes to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau approximately 500 years ago, are challenged by environmental conditions similar to native Tibetan highlanders. Identification of adaptive genetic factors in this population could provide insight into coordinated physiological responses to this environment. Here we examine genomic and phenotypic variation in this unique population and present the first complete analysis of a Mongolian whole-genome sequence. High-density SNP array data demonstrate that DU Mongolians share genetic ancestry with other Mongolian as well as Tibetan populations, specifically in genomic regions related with adaptation to high altitude. Several selection candidate genes identified in DU Mongolians are shared with other Asian groups (e.g., EDAR, neighboring Tibetan populations (including high-altitude candidates EPAS1, PKLR, and CYP2E1, as well as genes previously hypothesized to be associated with metabolic adaptation (e.g., PPARG. Hemoglobin concentration, a trait associated with high-altitude adaptation in Tibetans, is at an intermediate level in DU Mongolians compared to Tibetans and Han Chinese at comparable altitude. Whole-genome sequence from a DU Mongolian (Tianjiao1 shows that about 2% of the genomic variants, including more than 300 protein-coding changes, are specific to this individual. Our analyses of DU Mongolians and the first Mongolian genome provide valuable insight into genetic adaptation to extreme environments.

  5. Selected elements in surface waters of Antarctica and their relations with the natural environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arkadiusz Nędzarek

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to specify the concentration of selected chemical elements in surface waters of King George Island, off the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The research encompassed six streams, a lake and an artificial water reservoir located on the western coast of Admiralty Bay. Measured hydrochemical parameters included pH, conductivity, total dissolved solids (TDS, and total and dissolved forms elements such as Al, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, Fe, As and Se. The values of pH, conductivity and TDS had the following ranges: 6.09–8.21, 6.0–875 µS cm−1 and 7.0–975 mg/L, respectively, and were typical for surface waters of Antarctica. Wide disparities were discovered regarding concentrations of the investigated elements, ranging from <0.01 µg/L for Cd to 510 µg/L for Fe, and differing from one water body to another. The investigated elements are discussed with reference to environmental conditions and anthropogenic factors. Concentrations of total and dissolved forms of elements are considered in connection with the composition of soil in their surroundings and with atmospheric deposition, mostly such as that took place locally. The increased levels of Pb and Zn concentrations in the immediate proximity of a research station suggested anthropogenic contamination.

  6. Morphological divergence rate tests for natural selection: uncertainty of parameter estimation and robustness of results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro R. Monteiro

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we used a combination of geometric morphometric and evolutionary genetics methods for the inference of possible mechanisms of evolutionary divergence. A sensitivity analysis for the constant-heritability rate test results regarding variation in genetic and demographic parameters was performed, in order to assess the relative influence of uncertainty of parameter estimation on the robustness of test results. As an application, we present a study on body shape variation among populations of the poeciliine fish Poecilia vivipara inhabiting lagoons of the quaternary plains in northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The sensitivity analysis showed that, in general, the most important parameters are heritability, effective population size and number of generations since divergence. For this specific example, using a conservatively wide range of parameters, the neutral model of genetic drift could not be accepted as a sole cause for the observed magnitude of morphological divergence among populations. A mechanism of directional selection is suggested as the main cause of variation among populations in different habitats and lagoons. The implications of parameter estimation and biological assumptions and consequences are discussed.

  7. Natural vertical transmission of dengue viruses in Aedes aegypti in selected sites in Cebu City, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edillo, Frances E; Sarcos, Janet R; Sayson, Stephanie L

    2015-12-01

    We attempted to determine the vertical transmission of dengue virus (DENV) in Aedes aegypti in selected sites in Cebu City, Philippines. Mosquito sub-adults were collected monthly from households and the field during the wet-dry-wet season from November, 2011 to July, 2012 and were laboratory-reared to adults. Viral RNA extracts in mosquitoes were assayed by hemi-nested RT-PCR. Results showed that 62 (36.26%; n=679) out of 171 mosquito pools (n=2,871) were DENV+. The minimum infection rate (MIR) of DENV ranged from 0 in wet months to 48.22/1,000 mosquitoes in April, 2012 (mid-dry). DENVs were detected in larvae, pupae, and male and female adults, with DENV-4, DENV-3, and DENV-1, in that rank of prevalence. DENV-1 co-infected with either DENV-3 or -4 or with both in April, 2012; DENV-3 and -4 were present in both seasons. More DENV+ mosquitoes were collected from households than in field premises (p0.05). By Generalized Linear Mixed models, the type of premises nested in sites and monthly total rainfall were significant predictors of monthly dengue cases (pdengue outbreak.

  8. Relation between methanogenic archaea and methane production potential in selected natural wetland ecosystems across China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Y. Liu

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Methane (CH4 emissions from natural wetland ecosystems exhibit large spatial variability at regional, national, and global levels related to temperature, water table, plant type and methanogenic archaea etc. To understand the underlying factors that induce spatial differences in CH4 emissions, and the relationship between the population of methanogenic archaea and CH4 production potential in natural wetlands around China, we measured the CH4 production potential and the abundance of methanogenic archaea in vertical soil profiles sampled from the Poyang wetland in the subtropical zone, the Hongze wetland in the warm temperate zone, the Sanjiang marsh in the cold temperate zone, and the Ruoergai peatland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in the alpine climate zone. The top soil layer had the highest population of methanogens (1.07–8.29 × 109 cells g−1 soil in all wetlands except the Ruoergai peatland and exhibited the maximum CH4 production potential measured at the mean in situ summer temperature. There is a significant logarithmic correlation between the abundance of methanogenic archaea and the soil organic carbon (R2 = 0.72, P < 0.001, n = 13 and between the abundance of methanogenic archaea and the total nitrogen concentrations (R2 = 0.76, P < 0.001, n = 13 in wetland soils. This indicates that the amount of soil organic carbon may affect the population of methanogens in wetland ecosystems. While the CH4 production potential is not significantly related to methanogen population (R2 = 0.01, P > 0.05, n = 13, it is related to the dissolved organic carbon concentration (R2 = 0.31, P = 0.05, n = 13. This suggests that the methanogen population might be not an effective index for predicting the CH4 production in wetland

  9. Selected anthropogenic and natural radioisotopes in the Barents Sea and off the western coast of Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leppänen, Ari-Pekka; Kasatkina, Nadezhda; Vaaramaa, Kaisa; Matishov, Gennady G; Solatie, Dina

    2013-12-01

    . When the (137)Cs concentrations found in cod and in haddock were compared with studies done in the early 1990's an effective half-life of (137)Cs in cod and in haddock was deduced. For cod the estimated effective half-life of (137)Cs was between 5.8 and 7.5 years and for haddock between 5.3 and 9.5 years. Similarly, the concentrations of naturally occurring (210)Po and (210)Pb were from 0.1 to 0.3 Bq/kg w.w. The (210)Po/(210)Pb ratio varied from 1.8 to 30 indicating a more efficient bioaccumulation of (210)Po than its precursor (210)Pb. The dose to humans eating Barents Sea fish was estimated. Even for people consuming large quantities of Barents Sea fish the annual dose was found to be below 20 μSv. The effective dose from anthropogenic (137)Cs was found to be less than 1% compared to the dose caused naturally occurring (210)Po and (210)Pb.

  10. Performance of selective catalytic reduction of NO with NH3 over natural manganese ore catalysts at low temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Zhu, Chengzhu; Liu, Haibo; Xu, Yongpeng; Zou, Xuehua; Xu, Bin; Chen, Tianhu

    2017-03-16

    Natural manganese ore catalysts for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NO with NH3 at low temperature in the presence and absence of SO2 and H2O were systematically investigated. The physical and chemical properties of catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area, NH3 temperature-programmed desorption (NH3-TPD) and NO-TPD methods. The results showed that natural manganese ore from Qingyang of Anhui Province had a good low-temperature activity and N2 selectivity, and it could be a novel catalyst in terms of stability, good efficiency, good reusability and lower cost. The NO conversion exceeded 85% between 150°C and 300°C when the initial NO concentration was 1000 ppm. The activity was suppressed by adding H2O (10%) or SO2 (100 or 200 ppm), respectively, and its activity could recover while the SO2 supply is cut off. The simultaneous addition of H2O and SO2 led to the increase of about 100% in SCR activity than bare addition of SO2. The formation of the amorphous MnOx, high concentration of lattice oxygen and surface-adsorbed oxygen groups and a lot of reducible species as well as adsorption of the reactants brought about excellent SCR performance and exhibited good SO2 and H2O resistance.

  11. Possible Influence of Resistance to Malaria in Clinical Presentation of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Biological Significance of Natural Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Bonilla-Abadía

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Rheumatoid arthritis (RA is a common autoimmune disease that affects all ethnic groups. Genetic factors, mainly HLA alleles, are highly associated with increased risk to develop RA. However, there are few available data about the role of these genetic polymorphisms in the prevalence or severity of RA in the Afrodescendant population, who have evolutionarily and by natural selection developed mutations that allowed them to acquire resistance to infectious diseases like malaria. Some of the mechanisms, by which this resistance was developed as a product of natural selection, are involved in different forms of immunological response, many of them of a well-known importance in the pathophysiology of RA. This paper focuses on presenting the known mechanisms of resistance to malaria and their possible contribution to the pathophysiology of RA, including “loss-of-function” mutations, lack of expression of chemokine receptors, decrease of immune complexes clearance by asplenia, or increase of immune reactivity mediated by B cells, among other mechanisms in this special group of patients.

  12. Natural resistance to experimental feline infectious peritonitis virus infection is decreased rather than increased by positive genetic selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Niels C; Liu, Hongwei; Durden, Monica; Lyons, Leslie A

    2016-03-01

    A previous study demonstrated the existence of a natural resistance to feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) among 36% of randomly bred laboratory cats. A genome wide association study (GWAS) on this population suggested that resistance was polygenic but failed to identify any strong specific associations. In order to enhance the power of GWAS or whole genome sequencing to identify strong genetic associations, a decision was made to positively select for resistance over three generations. The inbreeding experiment began with a genetically related parental (P) population consisting of three toms and four queens identified from among the survivors of the earlier study and belonging to a closely related subgroup (B). The subsequent effects of inbreeding were measured using 42 genome-wide STR markers. P generation cats produced 57 first filial (F1) kittens, only five of which (9.0%) demonstrated a natural resistance to FIPV infection. One of these five F1 survivors was then used to produce six F1/P-backcrosses kittens, only one of which proved resistant to FIP. Six of eight of the F1 and F1/P survivors succumbed to a secondary exposure 4-12 months later. Therefore, survival after both primary and secondary infection was decreased rather than increased by positive selection for resistance. The common genetic factor associated with this diminished resistance was a loss of heterozygosity.

  13. Phenolic content, antioxidant and antibacterial activity of selected natural sweeteners available on the Polish market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabek-Lejko, Dorota; Tomczyk-Ulanowska, Kinga

    2013-01-01

    Seventeen natural sweeteners available on the Polish market were screened for total phenolic content, by the Folin-Ciocalteu method, and for antioxidant activity, using the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay and the 2,2'-Azinobis (3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) radical cation decolorization assay (ABTS(·+)). In addition, we analyzed antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus strains: both those susceptible and those resistant to methicillin (MRSA). The results of the study showed that total phenolic content, antioxidant activity and antibacterial activity differ widely among different samples of sweeteners. Phenolic content, expressed as a gallic acid equivalent, ranged from 0 mg kg(-1) in white, refined sugar, xylitol and wheat malt syrup to 11.4 g kg(-1) in sugarcane molasses. Antioxidant activity was lowest in refined white sugar, xylitol, brown beet sugar, liquid fructose, and rape honey; it was average in spelt syrup and corn syrup, and highest in sugar cane, beet molasses, date and barley syrups. Despite the great variety of sweeteners, a strong correlation was noted between the concentration of phenolics and antioxidant properties, as determined by the ABTS(·+) method (r = 0.97) and the FRAP assay (r = 0.77). The strongest antibacterial activity was observed in sugarcane molasses, which was lethal to S. aureus strains at 2 and 4% concentrations in medium for susceptible and MRSA strains respectively. Other sweeteners kill bacteria in 6-15% solutions, whereas some did not show any antibacterial activities against S. aureus strains, even at 20% concentrations. Due to their high antioxidant and antibacterial activities, some of the tested sweeteners have potential therapeutic value as supporting agents in antibiotic therapy.

  14. Effect of selected natural dyes in reduction on colour changes of Egyptian linen textiles by fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Kareem, Omar

    2007-07-01

    Linen is the most historical Egyptian textile fibre liable to fungal deterioration. Fungal deterioration of dyed linen textiles may appear as undesirable different stains. In order to success in removing of fungal stains from biodeteriorated historical Egyptian dyed linen textiles, it is necessary to understand the nature and causes of these stains, hence their subsequent removal. So this paper aims to investigate the effect of fungi on dyed linen textiles. In this study linen textile samples were experimentally dyed by two different dyes, blue one as an example to vat dye and yellow one as an example to direct dye. This work is done on two of the most important dyes (Turmeric and indigo), which were popular in most of historical periods in Egypt. Dyed linen samples were experimentally biodegraded by thirty different fungal strains isolated previously from historical Egyptian linen samples. The produced change in colours of the biodeteriorated samples was detected visually. Also, the change in reflection spectra and colour differences produced to dyed linen textiles after fungal deterioration, were assessed and evaluated by using spectrophotometer. This study reported that most of tested fungi contribute to discoloration of all tested dyed linen samples. These results indicate that most of stains on historical Egyptian dyed linen textiles, may be fungal stains. The results confirm that undyed linen textiles more liable to fungal biodeterioration than dyed ones. Also the results show that yellow dyed linen textiles are more susceptible to fungal deterioration than blue dyed linen textiles. The obtained results show that Alternaria tenuissima, Chaetomium globosum, Chaetomium sp., Penicillium raistrickii, P. soppi, P. asperum, P. citrinum, Aspergillus carbonarius, A. fischeri, A. nidulans, A. terreus and A. niger, had showed the maximum colour changes of the deteriorated yellow dyed linen samples. The results also show that Alternaria tenuissima, Chaetomium sp

  15. Contrasted patterns of selection on MHC-linked microsatellites in natural populations of the Malagasy plague reservoir.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Tollenaere

    Full Text Available Plague (Yersinia pestis infection is a highly virulent rodent disease that persists in many natural ecosystems. The black rat (Rattus rattus is the main host involved in the plague focus of the central highlands of Madagascar. Black rat populations from this area are highly resistant to plague, whereas those from areas in which the disease is absent (low altitude zones of Madagascar are susceptible. Various lines of evidence suggest a role for the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC in plague resistance. We therefore used the MHC region as a candidate for detecting signatures of plague-mediated selection in Malagasy black rats, by comparing population genetic structures for five MHC-linked microsatellites and neutral markers in two sampling designs. We first compared four pairs of populations, each pair including one population from the plague focus and one from the disease-free zone. Plague-mediated selection was expected to result in greater genetic differentiation between the two zones than expected under neutrality and this was observed for one MHC-class I-linked locus (D20Img2. For this marker as well as for four other MHC-linked loci, a geographic pattern of genetic structure was found at local scale within the plague focus. This pattern would be expected if plague selection pressures were spatially variable. Finally, another MHC-class I-linked locus (D20Rat21 showed evidences of balancing selection, but it seems more likely that this selection would be related to unknown pathogens more widely distributed in Madagascar than plague.

  16. Contrasted patterns of selection on MHC-linked microsatellites in natural populations of the Malagasy plague reservoir.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollenaere, Charlotte; Ivanova, Svilena; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Loiseau, Anne; Rahalison, Lila; Rahelinirina, Soanandrasana; Brouat, Carine

    2012-01-01

    Plague (Yersinia pestis infection) is a highly virulent rodent disease that persists in many natural ecosystems. The black rat (Rattus rattus) is the main host involved in the plague focus of the central highlands of Madagascar. Black rat populations from this area are highly resistant to plague, whereas those from areas in which the disease is absent (low altitude zones of Madagascar) are susceptible. Various lines of evidence suggest a role for the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) in plague resistance. We therefore used the MHC region as a candidate for detecting signatures of plague-mediated selection in Malagasy black rats, by comparing population genetic structures for five MHC-linked microsatellites and neutral markers in two sampling designs. We first compared four pairs of populations, each pair including one population from the plague focus and one from the disease-free zone. Plague-mediated selection was expected to result in greater genetic differentiation between the two zones than expected under neutrality and this was observed for one MHC-class I-linked locus (D20Img2). For this marker as well as for four other MHC-linked loci, a geographic pattern of genetic structure was found at local scale within the plague focus. This pattern would be expected if plague selection pressures were spatially variable. Finally, another MHC-class I-linked locus (D20Rat21) showed evidences of balancing selection, but it seems more likely that this selection would be related to unknown pathogens more widely distributed in Madagascar than plague.

  17. Population variation and natural selection on leaf traits in cork oak throughout its distribution range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Valiente, José Alberto; Valladares, Fernando; Sánchez-Gómez, David; Delgado, Antonio; Aranda, Ismael

    2014-07-01

    A central issue in evolutionary biology is the exploration of functional trait variation among populations and the extent to which this variation has adaptive value. It was recently proposed that specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen concentration per mass (Nmass) and water use efficiency in cork oak play an important role in adaptation to water availability in the environment. In order to investigate this hypothesis, we explored, first, whether there was population-level variation in cork oak (Quercus suber) for these functional traits throughout its distribution range; if this were the case, it would be consistent with the hypothesis that different rainfall patterns have led to ecotypic differentiation in this species. Second, we studied whether the population-level variation matched short-term selection on these traits under different water availability conditions using two fitness components: survival and growth. We found high population-level differentiation in SLA and Nmass, with populations from dry places exhibiting the lowest values for SLA and Nmass. Likewise, reduced SLA had fitness benefits in terms of growth for plants under dry conditions. However, contrary to our expectations, we did not find any pattern of association between functional traits and survival in nine-year-old saplings despite considerable drought during one year of the study period. These results together with findings from the literature suggest that early stages of development are the most critical period for this species. Most importantly, these findings suggest that cork oak saplings have a considerable potential to cope with dry conditions. This capacity to withstand aridity has important implications for conservation of cork oak woodlands under the ongoing climate change.

  18. Detecting referral and selection bias by the anonymous linkage of practice, hospital and clinic data using Secure and Private Record Linkage (SAPREL: case study from the evaluation of the Improved Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT service

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parry Glenys

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evaluation of demonstration sites set up to provide improved access to psychological therapies (IAPT comprised the study of all people identified as having common mental health problems (CMHP, those referred to the IAPT service, and a sample of attenders studied in-depth. Information technology makes it feasible to link practice, hospital and IAPT clinic data to evaluate the representativeness of these samples. However, researchers do not have permission to browse and link these data without the patients' consent. Objective To demonstrate the use of a mixed deterministic-probabilistic method of secure and private record linkage (SAPREL - to describe selection bias in subjects chosen for in-depth evaluation. Method We extracted, pseudonymised and used fuzzy logic to link multiple health records without the researcher knowing the patient's identity. The method can be characterised as a three party protocol mainly using deterministic algorithms with dynamic linking strategies; though incorporating some elements of probabilistic linkage. Within the data providers' safe haven we extracted: Demographic data, hospital utilisation and IAPT clinic data; converted post code to index of multiple deprivation (IMD; and identified people with CMHP. We contrasted the age, gender, ethnicity and IMD for the in-depth evaluation sample with people referred to IAPT, use hospital services, and the population as a whole. Results The in IAPT-in-depth group had a mean age of 43.1 years; CI: 41.0 - 45.2 (n = 166; the IAPT-referred 40.2 years; CI: 39.4 - 40.9 (n = 1118; and those with CMHP 43.6 years SEM 0.15. (n = 12210. Whilst around 67% of those with a CMHP were women, compared to 70% of those referred to IAPT, and 75% of those subject to in-depth evaluation (Chi square p Conclusions The sample studied in-depth were older, more likely female, and less deprived than people with CMHP, and fewer had recorded ethnic minority status. Anonymous

  19. Detecting referral and selection bias by the anonymous linkage of practice, hospital and clinic data using Secure and Private Record Linkage (SAPREL): case study from the evaluation of the Improved Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background The evaluation of demonstration sites set up to provide improved access to psychological therapies (IAPT) comprised the study of all people identified as having common mental health problems (CMHP), those referred to the IAPT service, and a sample of attenders studied in-depth. Information technology makes it feasible to link practice, hospital and IAPT clinic data to evaluate the representativeness of these samples. However, researchers do not have permission to browse and link these data without the patients' consent. Objective To demonstrate the use of a mixed deterministic-probabilistic method of secure and private record linkage (SAPREL) - to describe selection bias in subjects chosen for in-depth evaluation. Method We extracted, pseudonymised and used fuzzy logic to link multiple health records without the researcher knowing the patient's identity. The method can be characterised as a three party protocol mainly using deterministic algorithms with dynamic linking strategies; though incorporating some elements of probabilistic linkage. Within the data providers' safe haven we extracted: Demographic data, hospital utilisation and IAPT clinic data; converted post code to index of multiple deprivation (IMD); and identified people with CMHP. We contrasted the age, gender, ethnicity and IMD for the in-depth evaluation sample with people referred to IAPT, use hospital services, and the population as a whole. Results The in IAPT-in-depth group had a mean age of 43.1 years; CI: 41.0 - 45.2 (n = 166); the IAPT-referred 40.2 years; CI: 39.4 - 40.9 (n = 1118); and those with CMHP 43.6 years SEM 0.15. (n = 12210). Whilst around 67% of those with a CMHP were women, compared to 70% of those referred to IAPT, and 75% of those subject to in-depth evaluation (Chi square p < 0.001). The mean IMD score for the in-depth evaluation group was 36.6; CI: 34.2 - 38.9; (n = 166); of those referred to IAPT 38.7; CI: 37.9 - 39.6; (n = 1117); and of people with CMHP 37.6; CI 37

  20. Habitat diversity in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico: Selected video clips from the Gulfstream Natural Gas Pipeline digital archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raabe, Ellen A.; D'Anjou, Robert; Pope, Domonique K.; Robbins, Lisa L.

    2011-01-01

    This project combines underwater video with maps and descriptions to illustrate diverse seafloor habitats from Tampa Bay, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama. A swath of seafloor was surveyed with underwater video to 100 meters (m) water depth in 1999 and 2000 as part of the Gulfstream Natural Gas System Survey. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in St. Petersburg, Florida, in cooperation with Eckerd College and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), produced an archive of analog-to-digital underwater movies. Representative clips of seafloor habitats were selected from hundreds of hours of underwater footage. The locations of video clips were mapped to show the distribution of habitat and habitat transitions. The numerous benthic habitats in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico play a vital role in the region's economy, providing essential resources for tourism, natural gas, recreational water sports (fishing, boating, scuba diving), materials, fresh food, energy, a source of sand for beach renourishment, and more. These submerged natural resources are important to the economy but are often invisible to the general public. This product provides a glimpse of the seafloor with sample underwater video, maps, and habitat descriptions. It was developed to depict the range and location of seafloor habitats in the region but is limited by depth and by the survey track. It should not be viewed as comprehensive, but rather as a point of departure for inquiries and appreciation of marine resources and seafloor habitats. Further information is provided in the Resources section.

  1. The roles of genetic drift and natural selection in quantitative trait divergence along an altitudinal gradient in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Y; Widmer, A; Karrenberg, S

    2015-02-01

    Understanding how natural selection and genetic drift shape biological variation is a central topic in biology, yet our understanding of the agents of natural selection and their target traits is limited. We investigated to what extent selection along an altitudinal gradient or genetic drift contributed to variation in ecologically relevant traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. We collected seeds from 8 to 14 individuals from each of 14 A. thaliana populations originating from sites between 800 and 2700 m above sea level in the Swiss Alps. Seed families were grown with and without vernalization, corresponding to winter-annual and summer-annual life histories, respectively. We analyzed putatively neutral genetic divergence between these populations using 24 simple sequence repeat markers. We measured seven traits related to growth, phenology and leaf morphology that are rarely reported in A. thaliana and performed analyses of altitudinal clines, as well as overall QST-FST comparisons and correlation analyses among pair-wise QST, FST and altitude of origin differences. Multivariate analyses suggested adaptive differentiation along altitude in the entire suite of traits, particularly when expressed in the summer-annual life history. Of the individual traits, a decrease in rosette leaf number in the vegetative state and an increase in leaf succulence with increasing altitude could be attributed to adaptive divergence. Interestingly, these patterns relate well to common within- and between-species trends of smaller plant size and thicker leaves at high altitude. Our results thus offer exciting possibilities to unravel the underlying mechanisms for these conspicuous trends using the model species A. thaliana.

  2. Tunable reverse-biased graphene/silicon heterojunction Schottky diode sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Amol; Uddin, Ahsan; Sudarshan, Tangali; Koley, Goutam

    2014-04-24

    A new chemical sensor based on reverse-biased graphene/Si heterojunction diode has been developed that exhibits extremely high bias-dependent molecular detection sensitivity and low operating power. The device takes advantage of graphene's atomically thin nature, which enables molecular adsorption on its surface to directly alter graphene/Si interface barrier height, thus affecting the junction current exponentially when operated in reverse bias and resulting in ultrahigh sensitivity. By operating the device in reverse bias, the work function of graphene, and hence the barrier height at the graphene/Si heterointerface, can be controlled by the bias magnitude, leading to a wide tunability of the molecular detection sensitivity. Such sensitivity control is also possible by carefully selecting the graphene/Si heterojunction Schottky barrier height. Compared to a conventional graphene amperometric sensor fabricated on the same chip, the proposed sensor demonstrated 13 times higher sensitivity for NO₂ and 3 times higher for NH₃ in ambient conditions, while consuming ∼500 times less power for same magnitude of applied voltage bias. The sensing mechanism based on heterojunction Schottky barrier height change has been confirmed using capacitance-voltage measurements.

  3. Genome scans for divergent selection in natural populations of the widespread hardwood species Eucalyptus grandis (Myrtaceae) using microsatellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhijiao; Zhang, Miaomiao; Li, Fagen; Weng, Qijie; Zhou, Chanpin; Li, Mei; Li, Jie; Huang, Huanhua; Mo, Xiaoyong; Gan, Siming

    2016-01-01

    Identification of loci or genes under natural selection is important for both understanding the genetic basis of local adaptation and practical applications, and genome scans provide a powerful means for such identification purposes. In this study, genome-wide simple sequence repeats markers (SSRs) were used to scan for molecular footprints of divergent selection in Eucalyptus grandis, a hardwood species occurring widely in costal areas from 32° S to 16° S in Australia. High population diversity levels and weak population structure were detected with putatively neutral genomic SSRs. Using three FST outlier detection methods, a total of 58 outlying SSRs were collectively identified as loci under divergent selection against three non-correlated climatic variables, namely, mean annual temperature, isothermality and annual precipitation. Using a spatial analysis method, nine significant associations were revealed between FST outlier allele frequencies and climatic variables, involving seven alleles from five SSR loci. Of the five significant SSRs, two (EUCeSSR1044 and Embra394) contained alleles of putative genes with known functional importance for response to climatic factors. Our study presents critical information on the population diversity and structure of the important woody species E. grandis and provides insight into the adaptive responses of perennial trees to climatic variations. PMID:27748400

  4. Aquaporins in the wild: natural genetic diversity and selective pressure in the PIP gene family in five Neotropical tree species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vendramin Giovanni G

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tropical trees undergo severe stress through seasonal drought and flooding, and the ability of these species to respond may be a major factor in their survival in tropical ecosystems, particularly in relation to global climate change. Aquaporins are involved in the regulation of water flow and have been shown to be involved in drought response; they may therefore play a major adaptive role in these species. We describe genetic diversity in the PIP sub-family of the widespread gene family of Aquaporins in five Neotropical tree species covering four botanical families. Results PIP Aquaporin subfamily genes were isolated, and their DNA sequence polymorphisms characterised in natural populations. Sequence data were analysed with statistical tests of standard neutral equilibrium and demographic scenarios simulated to compare with the observed results. Chloroplast SSRs were also used to test demographic transitions. Most gene fragments are highly polymorphic and display signatures of balancing selection or bottlenecks; chloroplast SSR markers have significant statistics that do not conform to expectations for population bottlenecks. Although not incompatible with a purely demographic scenario, the combination of all tests tends to favour a selective interpretation of extant gene diversity. Conclusions Tropical tree PIP genes may generally undergo balancing selection, which may maintain high levels of genetic diversity at these loci. Genetic variation at PIP genes may represent a response to variable environmental conditions.

  5. Natural selection and the genetic basis of osmoregulation in heteromyid rodents as revealed by RNA-seq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marra, Nicholas J; Romero, Andrea; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2014-06-01

    One adaptation of ecological and evolutionary interest is the extraordinary ability of desert rodents to retain water during waste production. Much is known regarding the unique kidney physiology of kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) and their ability to retain water during waste production, yet the genetic basis of these physiological adaptations is relatively unknown. Herein, we utilized RNA-seq data to conduct a comparative study to identify osmoregulatory genes expressed in heteromyid rodents. We sequenced kidney tissue from two temperate desert species (Dipodomys spectabilis and Chaetodipus baileyi) from two separate subfamilies of the Heteromyidae and compared these transcriptomes to a tropical mesic species (Heteromys desmarestianus) from a third subfamily. The evolutionary history of these subfamilies provided a robust phylogenetic control that allowed us to separate shared evolutionary history from convergence. Using two methods to detect differential expression (DE), we identified 1890 genes that showed consistent patterns of DE between the arid and mesic species. A three-species reciprocal BLAST analysis revealed 3511 sets of putative orthologues that, upon comparison to known Mus musculus sequences, revealed 323 annotated and full-length genic regions. Selection tests displayed evidence of positive selection (dn/ds > 1) on six genes in the two desert species and remained significant for one of these genes after correction for multiple testing. Thus, our data suggest that both the coding sequence and expression of genes have been shaped by natural selection to provide the genetic architecture for efficient osmoregulation in desert-adapted heteromyid rodents.

  6. LA SELECCIÓN NATURAL Y LOS CULTIVOS TRANSGÉNICOS: ¿UN HIATO DARWINISTA? Natural Selection and Transgenic Crops: A Darwinian Hiatus?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALEJANDRO CHAPARRO-GIRALDO

    . En el contexto de la evidencia analizada, parecería que los cultivos transgénicos no escapan a la selección natural darwinista, sin embargo es muy temprano en términos evolutivos para llegar a una conclusión sobre este asunto.In December 2008, 125 million hectares of transgenic varieties of soybean, corn, cotton and canola, were reported planted in 23 countries on five continents. These varieties were transformed with genes of prokaryote origin, rendering them resistant to lepidopteran insects attack or toleratant to commercial herbicides. Since the beginning of genetic engineering, the question whether mass release of these crops in agroecosystems, can cause either negative environmental effects in the medium term or evolutionary effects in the long term, has been raised. One way of analyzing this problem is to consider whether they can escape Darwinian natural selection, because foreign genes have been introduced through human manipulation. To this end, I study the available literature on gene flow from modified crops to their wild closely related relatives. There is empirical evidence of hybridization between improved materials, by both conventional methods (hybridization, backcross, selections and biotechnological (transfer of foreign genes, and closely related wild relatives. In any case, the effects of these hybrids depend on the interaction between the transferred gene and the wild relative, the particular ecosystem in which it occurs. The biggest environmental and evolutionary impact is the result of introgression of a transgene in the wild relative, a process that involves stabilization of the transgene in the host genome, as a result of successive generations of hybridization and backcrossing. The introgression depends more upon the nature of the gene and its localization in the donnor s genome, than on the mechanism of introduction. No negative effects on the genetic diversity of species genetically modified, have been reported, neither on the

  7. Media Bias and Reputation

    OpenAIRE

    Matthew Gentzkow; Jesse M. Shapiro

    2005-01-01

    A Bayesian consumer who is uncertain about the quality of an information source will infer that the source is of higher quality when its reports conform to the consumer's prior expectations. We use this fact to build a model of media bias in which firms slant their reports toward the prior beliefs of their customers in order to build a reputation for quality. Bias emerges in our model even though it can make all market participants worse off. The model predicts that bias will be less severe w...

  8. Biased predecision processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownstein, Aaron L

    2003-07-01

    Decision makers conduct biased predecision processing when they restructure their mental representation of the decision environment to favor one alternative before making their choice. The question of whether biased predecision processing occurs has been controversial since L. Festinger (1957) maintained that it does not occur. The author reviews relevant research in sections on theories of cognitive dissonance, decision conflict, choice certainty, action control, action phases, dominance structuring, differentiation and consolidation, constructive processing, motivated reasoning, and groupthink. Some studies did not find evidence of biased predecision processing, but many did. In the Discussion section, the moderators are summarized and used to assess the theories.

  9. Genome-wide scan for signatures of human population differentiation and their relationship with natural selection, functional pathways and diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Amato

    Full Text Available Genetic differences both between individuals and populations are studied for their evolutionary relevance and for their potential medical applications. Most of the genetic differentiation among populations are caused by random drift that should affect all loci across the genome in a similar manner. When a locus shows extraordinary high or low levels of population differentiation, this may be interpreted as evidence for natural selection. The most used measure of population differentiation was devised by Wright and is known as fixation index, or F(ST. We performed a genome-wide estimation of F(ST on about 4 millions of SNPs from HapMap project data. We demonstrated a heterogeneous distribution of F(ST values between autosomes and heterochromosomes. When we compared the F(ST values obtained in this study with another evolutionary measure obtained by comparative interspecific approach, we found that genes under positive selection appeared to show low levels of population differentiation. We applied a gene set approach, widely used for microarray data analysis, to detect functional pathways under selection. We found that one pathway related to antigen processing and presentation showed low levels of F(ST, while several pathways related to cell signalling, growth and morphogenesis showed high F(ST values. Finally, we detected a signature of selection within genes associated with human complex diseases. These results can help to identify which process occurred during human evolution and adaptation to different environments. They also support the hypothesis that common diseases could have a genetic background shaped by human evolution.

  10. Perceptual and performance biases in action selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilson, A.; van Bergen, E.; van Swieten, L.; Kent, S.; Mon-Williams, M.

    2008-01-01

    When we see an object in the world, there may be a large number of different ways to interact with that object. This large 'visuomotor space' can be constrained through affordances (perceptually available object properties defining potential uses), task demands and the actor's intentions. The effect

  11. Heterogeneous Causal Effects and Sample Selection Bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breen, Richard; Choi, Seongsoo; Holm, Anders

    2015-01-01

    The role of education in the process of socioeconomic attainment is a topic of long standing interest to sociologists and economists. Recently there has been growing interest not only in estimating the average causal effect of education on outcomes such as earnings, but also in estimating how cau......, and we illustrate our arguments and our method using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) data....

  12. Bias aware Kalman filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drecourt, J.-P.; Madsen, H.; Rosbjerg, Dan

    2006-01-01

    This paper reviews two different approaches that have been proposed to tackle the problems of model bias with the Kalman filter: the use of a colored noise model and the implementation of a separate bias filter. Both filters are implemented with and without feedback of the bias into the model state...... are illustrated on a simple one-dimensional groundwater problem. The results show that the presented filters outperform the standard Kalman filter and that the implementations with bias feedback work in more general conditions than the implementations without feedback. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved........ The colored noise filter formulation is extended to correct both time correlated and uncorrelated model error components. A more stable version of the separate filter without feedback is presented. The filters are implemented in an ensemble framework using Latin hypercube sampling. The techniques...

  13. Introduction to Unconscious Bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmelz, Joan T.

    2010-05-01

    We all have biases, and we are (for the most part) unaware of them. In general, men and women BOTH unconsciously devalue the contributions of women. This can have a detrimental effect on grant proposals, job applications, and performance reviews. Sociology is way ahead of astronomy in these studies. When evaluating identical application packages, male and female University psychology professors preferred 2:1 to hire "Brian” over "Karen” as an assistant professor. When evaluating a more experienced record (at the point of promotion to tenure), reservations were expressed four times more often when the name was female. This unconscious bias has a repeated negative effect on Karen's career. This talk will introduce the concept of unconscious bias and also give recommendations on how to address it using an example for a faculty search committee. The process of eliminating unconscious bias begins with awareness, then moves to policy and practice, and ends with accountability.

  14. Increasingly minimal bias routing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bataineh, Abdulla; Court, Thomas; Roweth, Duncan

    2017-02-21

    A system and algorithm configured to generate diversity at the traffic source so that packets are uniformly distributed over all of the available paths, but to increase the likelihood of taking a minimal path with each hop the packet takes. This is achieved by configuring routing biases so as to prefer non-minimal paths at the injection point, but increasingly prefer minimal paths as the packet proceeds, referred to herein as Increasing Minimal Bias (IMB).

  15. Measuring agricultural policy bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Henning Tarp; Robinson, Sherman; Tarp, Finn

    2010-01-01

    that the agricultural price incentive bias generally perceived to exist during the 1980s was largely eliminated during the 1990s. Results also demonstrate that general equilibrium effects and country-specific characteristics are crucial for determining the sign and magnitude of agricultural bias. Our comprehensive...... protection measure is therefore uniquely suited to capture the full impact of trade policies on relative agricultural price incentives....

  16. Bias Modeling for Distantly Supervised Relation Extraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Distant supervision (DS automatically annotates free text with relation mentions from existing knowledge bases (KBs, providing a way to alleviate the problem of insufficient training data for relation extraction in natural language processing (NLP. However, the heuristic annotation process does not guarantee the correctness of the generated labels, promoting a hot research issue on how to efficiently make use of the noisy training data. In this paper, we model two types of biases to reduce noise: (1 bias-dist to model the relative distance between points (instances and classes (relation centers; (2 bias-reward to model the possibility of each heuristically generated label being incorrect. Based on the biases, we propose three noise tolerant models: MIML-dist, MIML-dist-classify, and MIML-reward, building on top of a state-of-the-art distantly supervised learning algorithm. Experimental evaluations compared with three landmark methods on the KBP dataset validate the effectiveness of the proposed methods.

  17. Stable and selective scintillating anion-exchange sensors for quantification of 99TcO4- in natural freshwaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seliman, Ayman F; Helariutta, Kerttuli; Wiktorowicz, Szymon J; Tenhu, Heikki; Harjula, Risto

    2013-12-01

    New dual functionality scintillating anion-exchange resins were developed for selective determination of (99)TcO4(-) in various natural freshwater samples. Stable scintillating particles were formed by preparing the vinyl monomer 2-[4-(4'-vinylbiphenylyl)]-5-(4-tert-butylphenyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole (vPBD), starting with the commercial organic flour TBut-PBD and its subsequent copolymerization with styrene, divinylbenzene, and p-chloromethylstyrene mixture. To integrate the radiochemical separation and radiometric detection steps within the same bead, the chloromethyl groups of the scintillating resins were subjected to amination reactions with dioctylamine (DOA) and trioctylamine (TOA). On-line quantification of (99)TcO4(-) was achieved by packing the scintillating anion-exchange resin into Teflon tubing for quantification by a flow scintillation analyzer (FSA). The two functionalized resins were selective for pertechnetate over the common anions in natural freshwaters, especially Cl(-) and SO4(2-) with up to 1000 ppm and with up to 10 ppm I(-) and Cr2O7(2-). The uptake efficiency of the TOA sensor decreased from 97.88% to 85.08% in well water and river water, respectively, while the counting efficiency was almost constant (69.50%). The DOA performance showed lower efficiency in the two water types relative to TOA. On the other hand, the DOA sensor could be regenerated by 5 M HNO3 for reuse at least four times without losing its chemical or optical performance. The detection limit was 1.45 Bq which could be achieved by loading 45 mL from well and tap water containing the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of (99)Tc (33 Bq/L).

  18. Natural selection of human embryos: decidualizing endometrial stromal cells serve as sensors of embryo quality upon implantation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gijs Teklenburg

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pregnancy is widely viewed as dependent upon an intimate dialogue, mediated by locally secreted factors between a developmentally competent embryo and a receptive endometrium. Reproductive success in humans is however limited, largely because of the high prevalence of chromosomally abnormal preimplantation embryos. Moreover, the transient period of endometrial receptivity in humans uniquely coincides with differentiation of endometrial stromal cells (ESCs into highly specialized decidual cells, which in the absence of pregnancy invariably triggers menstruation. The role of cyclic decidualization of the endometrium in the implantation process and the nature of the decidual cytokines and growth factors that mediate the crosstalk with the embryo are unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We employed a human co-culture model, consisting of decidualizing ESCs and single hatched blastocysts, to identify the soluble factors involved in implantation. Over the 3-day co-culture period, approximately 75% of embryos arrested whereas the remainder showed normal development. The levels of 14 implantation factors secreted by the stromal cells were determined by multiplex immunoassay. Surprisingly, the presence of a developing embryo had no significant effect on decidual secretions, apart from a modest reduction in IL-5 levels. In contrast, arresting embryos triggered a strong response, characterized by selective inhibition of IL-1beta, -6, -10, -17, -18, eotaxin, and HB-EGF secretion. Co-cultures w