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Sample records for bias natural selection

  1. Hummingbird responses to gender-biased nectar production: are nectar biases maintained by natural or sexual selection?

    OpenAIRE

    Carlson, Jane E.

    2008-01-01

    Pollinators mediate the evolution of secondary floral traits through both natural and sexual selection. Gender-biased nectar, for example, could be maintained by one or both, depending on the interactions between plants and pollinators. Here, I investigate pollinator responses to gender-biased nectar using the dichogamous herb Chrysothemis friedrichsthaliana (Gesneriaceae) which produces more nectar during the male floral phase. Previous research showed that the hummingbird pollinator Phaetho...

  2. [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.

  3. Selection bias in rheumatic disease research

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Hyon K.; Nguyen, Uyen-Sa; Niu, Jingbo; Danaei, Goodarz; Zhang, Yuqing

    2014-01-01

    The identification of modifiable risk factors for the development of rheumatic conditions and their sequelae is crucial for reducing the substantial worldwide burden of these diseases. However, the validity of such research can be threatened by sources of bias, including confounding, measurement and selection biases. In this Review, we discuss potentially major issues of selection bias—a type of bias frequently overshadowed by other bias and feasibility issues, despite being equally or more p...

  4. Selection bias in rheumatic disease research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hyon K.; Nguyen, Uyen-Sa; Niu, Jingbo; Danaei, Goodarz; Zhang, Yuqing

    2014-01-01

    The identification of modifiable risk factors for the development of rheumatic conditions and their sequelae is crucial for reducing the substantial worldwide burden of these diseases. However, the validity of such research can be threatened by sources of bias, including confounding, measurement and selection biases. In this Review, we discuss potentially major issues of selection bias—a type of bias frequently overshadowed by other bias and feasibility issues, despite being equally or more problematic—in key areas of rheumatic disease research. We present index event bias (a type of selection bias) as one of the potentially unifying reasons behind some unexpected findings, such as the ‘risk factor paradox’—a phenomenon exemplified by the discrepant effects of certain risk factors on the development versus the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We also discuss potential selection biases owing to differential loss to follow-up in RA and OA research, as well as those due to the depletion of susceptibles (prevalent user bias) and immortal time bias. The lesson remains that selection bias can be ubiquitous and, therefore, has the potential to lead the field astray. Thus, we conclude with suggestions to help investigators avoid such issues and limit the impact on future rheumatology research. PMID:24686510

  5. Selection bias and the perils of benchmarking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denrell, Jerker

    2005-04-01

    To find the secrets of business success, what could be more natural than studying successful businesses? In fact, nothing could be more dangerous, warns this Stanford professor. Generalizing from the examples of successful companies is like generalizing about New England weather from data taken only in the summer. That's essentially what businesspeople do when they learn from good examples and what consultants, authors, and researchers do when they study only existing companies or--worse yet--only high-performing companies. They reach conclusions from unrepresentative data samples, falling into the classic statistical trap of selection bias. Drawing on a wealth of case studies, for instance, one researcher concluded that great leaders share two key traits: They persist, often despite initial failures, and they are able to persuade others to join them. But those traits are also the hallmarks of spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs, who must persist in the face of failure to incur large losses and must be able to persuade others to pour their money down the drain. To discover what makes a business successful, then, managers should look at both successes and failures. Otherwise, they will overvalue risky business practices, seeing only those companies that won big and not the ones that lost dismally. They will not be able to tell if their current good fortune stems from smart business practices or if they are actually coasting on past accomplishments or good luck. Fortunately, economists have developed relatively simple tools that can correct for selection bias even when data about failed companies are hard to come by. Success may be inspirational, but managers are more likely to find the secrets of high performance if they give the stories of their competitors'failures as full a hearing as they do the stories of dazzling successes. PMID:15807044

  6. 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.

  7. Selection and Biased Gene Conversion in a Multigene Family: Consequences of Interallelic Bias and Threshold Selection

    OpenAIRE

    Walsh, James Bruce

    1986-01-01

    In a previous paper, I investigated the interactions in a gene family of additive selection and biased gene conversion in a finite population when conversion events are rare. Here I extend my "weak-conversion limit" model by allowing biased interallelic conversion (conversion between alleles at the same locus) of arbitrary frequency and various threshold selection schemes for rare interlocus conversion events. I suggest that it is not unreasonable for gene families to experience threshold fit...

  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. 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...... causal effects might vary over individuals or groups. In this paper we point out one of the under-appreciated hazards of seeking to estimate heterogeneous causal effects: conventional selection bias (that is, selection on baseline differences) can easily be mistaken for heterogeneity of causal effects...

  10. Natural Disaster and Natural Selection

    OpenAIRE

    Uchida, Hirofumi; Miyakawa, Daisuke; Hosono, Kaoru; Ono, Arito; UCHINO Taisuke; Uesugi, Iichiro

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate whether a natural selection mechanism works for firm exit. By using data of firms after a devastating earthquake, the Greeat Tohoku Earthquake, we examine the impact of firm efficiency on firm exit both inside and outside the earthquake-affected areas. We find evidence suggesting that more efficeint firms are less likely to exit both inside and outside the affected areas, which supports the natural selection mechanism. However, we also find that the mechanism is ...

  11. Reinventing Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geraedts, Caspar L.; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2006-01-01

    Although many research studies report students' Lamarckian misconceptions, only a few studies present learning and teaching strategies that focus on the successful development of the concept of natural selection. The learning and teaching strategy for upper secondary students (aged 15-16) presented in this study conducted in The Netherlands is…

  12. Quantifying the Biases of Spectroscopically Selected Gravitational Lenses

    CERN Document Server

    Arneson, Ryan A; Bolton, Adam S

    2012-01-01

    Spectroscopic selection has been the most productive technique for the selection of galaxy-scale strong gravitational lens systems with known redshifts. Statistically significant samples of strong lenses provide a powerful method for measuring the mass-density parameters of the lensing population, but results can only be generalized to the parent population if the lensing selection biases are sufficiently understood. We perform controlled Monte Carlo simulations of spectroscopic lens surveys in order to quantify the bias of lenses relative to parent galaxies in velocity dispersion, mass axis ratio, and mass density profile. For parameters typical of the SLACS and BELLS surveys, we find: (1) no significant mass axis ratio detection bias of lenses relative to parent galaxies; (2) a very small detection bias toward shallow mass density profiles, which is likely negligible compared to other sources of uncertainty in this parameter; (3) a detection bias towards smaller Einstein radius for systems drawn from parent...

  13. Detecting Bias in Selection for Higher Education: Three Different Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennet-Cohen, Tamar; Turvall, Elliot; Oren, Carmel

    2014-01-01

    This study examined selection bias in Israeli university admissions with respect to test language and gender, using three approaches for the detection of such bias: Cleary's model of differential prediction, boundary conditions for differential prediction and difference between "d's" (the Constant Ratio Model). The university…

  14. 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…

  15. 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. PMID:26563393

  16. 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. PMID:16516333

  17. 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...

  18. Economic Natural Selection: What Concept of Selection?

    OpenAIRE

    Gayon, Jean

    2012-01-01

    International audience The article examines two cases of adoption of evolutionary ways of thinking by modern economists: Nelson and Winter's (Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, 1982), and evolutionary game theory (1990s and after). In both cases, the authors explicitly refer to natural selection in an economic context. I show that natural selection is taken in two different senses, which correspond to two general conceptions of the principle of natural selection, one of which contains...

  19. Inference for blocked randomization under a selection bias model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennes, Lieven N; Rosenberger, William F; Hilgers, Ralf-Dieter

    2015-12-01

    We provide an asymptotic test to analyze randomized clinical trials that may be subject to selection bias. For normally distributed responses, and under permuted block randomization, we derive a likelihood ratio test of the treatment effect under a selection bias model. A likelihood ratio test of the presence of selection bias arises from the same formulation. We prove that the test is asymptotically chi-square on one degree of freedom. These results correlate well with the likelihood ratio test of Ivanova et al. (2005, Statistics in Medicine 24, 1537-1546) for binary responses, for which they established by simulation that the asymptotic distribution is chi-square. Simulations also show that the test is robust to departures from normality and under another randomization procedure. We illustrate the test by reanalyzing a clinical trial on retinal detachment. PMID:26099068

  20. Natural selection maximizes Fisher information

    OpenAIRE

    Frank, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    In biology, information flows from the environment to the genome by the process of natural selection. But it has not been clear precisely what sort of information metric properly describes natural selection. Here, I show that Fisher information arises as the intrinsic metric of natural selection and evolutionary dynamics. Maximizing the amount of Fisher information about the environment captured by the population leads to Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection, the most profound st...

  1. 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....

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogiages, Christopher A.; Lotter, Christine

    2011-01-01

    In their research, scientists generate, test, and modify scientific models. These models can be shared with others and demonstrate a scientist's understanding of how the natural world works. Similarly, students can generate and modify models to gain a better understanding of the content, process, and nature of science (Kenyon, Schwarz, and Hug…

  4. Scatter and bias in weak lensing selected clusters

    CERN Document Server

    Hamana, Takashi; Shirasaki, Masato; Sato, Masanori

    2012-01-01

    We examine scatter and bias in weak lensing selected clusters, employing both analytic models of dark matter haloes and numerical mock data of weak lensing cluster surveys. We pay special attention to effects of the diversity of dark matter distributions within clusters. We examine the dependence of the halo shape on the peak heights, and find that the root-mean-square scatter caused by the halo diversity scales linearly with the peak heights with the proportionality factor of 0.1-0.2. The noise originates from the halo shape is found to be comparable to the source galaxy shape noise and the cosmic shear noise. We find the significant halo orientation bias, i.e., weak lensing selected clusters on average have their major axes aligned with the line-of-sight direction, and that the orientation bias is stronger for higher signal-to-noise ratio peaks. We compute the orientation bias using an analytic triaxial halo model and obtain results quite consistent with the ray-tracing results. We develop a prescription to...

  5. Onset rivalry: factors that succeed and fail to bias selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attarha, Mouna; Moore, Cathleen M

    2015-02-01

    This project examined whether previous visual history can bias perceptual dominance during onset rivalry. A predictive sequence of non-rivalrous stimuli preceded dichoptically presented rivalrous displays. One of the dichoptic images was the implied next step of the preceding sequence while the other was not. Observers reported their initial dominant percept. Across five experiments, we found that motion sequences biased perceptual selection such that a rivalrous stimulus that continued a motion sequence tended to dominate one that did not. However, signals generated by complex pattern of motion information or verbal-semantic information had no influence on selection. These results are consistent with the view that onset rivalry is an early phase of rivalry that is likely insensitive to modulation by factors originating beyond the visual system. PMID:25384763

  6. 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...

  7. Selecting class weights to minimize classification bias in acreage estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belcher, W. M.; Minter, T. C.

    1976-01-01

    Preliminary results of experiments being performed to select optimal class weights for use with the maximum likelihood classifier in acreage estimation using remote sensor imagery are presented. These weights will be optimal in the sense that the bias will be minimized in the proportion estimate obtained from the classification results by sample counting. The procedure was tested using Landsat MSS data from an 8 by 9.6 km area of ground truth in Finney County, Kansas.

  8. 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

  9. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graves, C.J.; Ros, V.I.D.; Stevenson, B.; Sniegowski, P.D.; Brisson, D.

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide

  10. Natural Selection and Morality

    OpenAIRE

    Alejandro Rosas

    2006-01-01

    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...

  11. 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…

  12. Molecular Signatures of Natural Selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Rasmus

    2005-01-01

    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...

  13. The impact of selection, gene conversion, and biased sampling on the assessment of microbial demography

    OpenAIRE

    Lapierre, Marguerite; Blin, Camille; Lambert, Amaury; Achaz, Guillaume; Eduardo P C Rocha

    2016-01-01

    International audience Recent studies have linked demographic changes and epidemiological patterns in bacterial populations using coalescent-based approaches. We identified 26 studies using skyline plots and found that 21 inferred overall population expansion. This surprising result led us to analyze the impact of natural selection, recombination (gene conversion), and sampling biases on demographic inference using skyline plots and site frequency spectra (SFS). Forward simulations based o...

  14. Is There Selection Bias in Laboratory Experiments? The Case of Social and Risk Preferences

    OpenAIRE

    Blair L. Cleave; Nikiforakis, Nikos; Slonim, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Laboratory experiments are frequently used to examine the nature of individual preferences and inform economic theory. However, it is unknown whether the preferences of volunteer participants are representative of the population from which the participants are drawn or whether they differ due to selection bias. We examine whether the social and risk preferences of participants in a laboratory experiment represent the preferences of the population from which they are recruited. To answer this ...

  15. The power of natural selection

    OpenAIRE

    Macpherson, F.

    2002-01-01

    In a recent paper, Steven Horst argued that if traditional physicalist accounts of consciousness cannot explain why there are conscious phenomena in the world then teleological accounts of consciousness that appeal to the notion of natural selection cannot do so either. I agree with Horst's conclusion but his reasoning fails to address a rebuttal to his argument made by the major proponent of such theories, namely, Fred Dretske. Dretske argues that artificial selection can create new features...

  16. The implicit nature of the anti-fat bias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harald T Schupp

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The stigmatization and discrimination of obese persons is pervasive in almost any domain of living. At the explicit level, obese people are associated with a wide range of negative characteristics. Furthermore, research with the implicit association test revealed the implicit nature of the anti-fat bias. Building upon these findings, the present study used event-related brain potential recordings in order to assess key features of implicit processes. Participants viewed a series of schematic portrayals of anorexic, medium, and obese body shapes and tools. In a passive viewing condition, participants were asked to simply look at the stimuli and, in a distraction condition, participants were asked to detect a specific tool. Viewing obese body images, as compared to medium or anorexic body images, elicited a positive potential shift over fronto-central sites and a relative negative potential over occipito-temporal regions in a time window from ~190 – 250 ms. This evaluative brain response to obese body images was similarly pronounced while participants performed a distraction task. Thus, the findings suggest that the anti-fat bias may occur spontaneously, unintentionally, and independent of explicit processing goals. A troublesome picture is emerging in Western cultures suggesting that obese-ism may appear to be as inevitable as a reflex.

  17. 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…

  18. Natural selection. III. Selection versus transmission and the levels of selection

    OpenAIRE

    Frank, Steven A.

    2011-01-01

    George Williams defined an evolutionary unit as hereditary information for which the selection bias between competing units dominates the informational decay caused by imperfect transmission. In this article, I extend Williams’ approach to show that the ratio of selection bias to transmission bias provides a unifying framework for diverse biological problems. Specific examples include Haldane and Lande’s mutation-selection balance, Eigen’s error threshold and quasispecies, Van Valen’s clade s...

  19. 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.

  20. The nature of voids: II. Tracing underdensities with biased galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Nadathur, Seshadri

    2015-01-01

    Cosmic voids may be very useful in testing fundamental aspects of cosmology. Yet observationally voids can only be seen as regions with a deficit of bright galaxies. To study how biased galaxies trace matter underdensities and how the properties of voids depend on those of the tracer galaxy population, we use a $\\Lambda$CDM N-body simulation populated with mock galaxies based on the halo occupation distribution (HOD) model. We identify voids in these mocks using the ZOBOV void finder and measure their abundances, sizes, tracer densities, and dark matter content. To separate the effects of bias from those of sampling density, we do the same for voids traced by randomly down-sampled subsets of the dark matter particles in the simulation. We find that galaxy bias reduces the total number of voids by $\\sim50\\%$ and can dramatically change their size distribution. The matter content of voids in biased and unbiased tracers also differs. Using simulations to accurately estimate the cosmological constraints that can ...

  1. The nature of voids - II. Tracing underdensities with biased galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadathur, S.; Hotchkiss, S.

    2015-11-01

    We study how the properties of cosmic voids depend on those of the tracer galaxy populations in which they are identified. We use a suite of halo occupation distribution mocks in a simulation, identify voids in these populations using the ZOBOV void finder and measure their abundances, sizes, tracer densities and dark matter content. To separate the effects of bias from those of sampling density, we do the same for voids traced by randomly downsampled subsets of the simulation dark matter particles. At the same sampling density, galaxy bias reduces the total number of voids by ˜50 per cent and can dramatically change their size distribution. The matter content of voids in biased and unbiased tracers also differs. Deducing void properties from simulation therefore requires the use of realistic galaxy mocks. We discuss how the void observables can be related to their matter content. In particular we consider the compensation of the total mass deficit in voids and find that the distinction between over- and undercompensated voids is not a function of void size alone, as has previously been suggested. However, we find a simple linear relationship between the average density of tracers in the void and the total mass compensation on much larger scales. The existence of this linear relationship holds independent of the bias and sampling density of the tracers. This provides a universal tool to classify void environments and will be important for the use of voids in observational cosmology.

  2. The simplest formulas of natural selection

    OpenAIRE

    Zamaliev, Pavel

    2014-01-01

    The dependences are found for haploid population:  time to fixation of a allele as a function of population size and allele"s relative fitness  allele frequency as a function of time  natural selection"s speed as a function of time  natural selection"s speed as a function of allele frequency.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Selection bias due to parity-conditioning in studies of time trends in fertility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sallmén, Markku; Bonde, Jens Peter; Lindbohm, Marja-Liisa;

    2015-01-01

    . METHODS: A study with prospective follow-up was taken as the model to assess the validity of fertility studies. We demonstrate the potential for selection bias using causal graphs and nationwide birth statistics and other demographic data. We tested the existence of parity-conditioning bias in data...

  7. Introduction. Modelling natural action selection

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

    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 s...

  8. Selection Bias in Educational Transition Models: Theory and Empirical Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Anders Holm; Mads Meier Jæger

    2009-01-01

    Most studies which use Mare’s (1980, 1981) seminal model of educational transitions find that the effect of family background variables decreases across educational transitions. Cameron and Heckman (1998, 2001) have argued that this “waning coefficients” phenomenon might be driven by selection on unobserved variables. This paper, first, analyzes theoretically how selection on unobserved variables leads to waning coefficients and, second, illustrates empirically how selection affects estimates...

  9. Propensity scores used for analysis of cluster randomized trials with selection bias: a simulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leyrat, C; Caille, A; Donner, A; Giraudeau, B

    2013-08-30

    Cluster randomized trials (CRTs) are often prone to selection bias despite randomization. Using a simulation study, we investigated the use of propensity score (PS) based methods in estimating treatment effects in CRTs with selection bias when the outcome is quantitative. Of four PS-based methods (adjustment on PS, inverse weighting, stratification, and optimal full matching method), three successfully corrected the bias, as did an approach using classical multivariable regression. However, they showed poorer statistical efficiency than classical methods, with higher standard error for the treatment effect, and type I error much smaller than the 5% nominal level. PMID:23553813

  10. 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.

  11. Selective reporting bias of harm outcomes within studies: findings from a cohort of systematic reviews

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saini, Pooja; Loke, Yoon K; Gamble, Carrol; Altman, Douglas G; Williamson, Paula R

    2014-01-01

    Objective To determine the extent and nature of selective non-reporting of harm outcomes in clinical studies that were eligible for inclusion in a cohort of systematic reviews. Design Cohort study of systematic reviews from two databases. Setting Outcome reporting bias in trials for harm outcomes (ORBIT II) in systematic reviews from the Cochrane Library and a separate cohort of systematic reviews of adverse events. Participants 92 systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials and non-randomised studies published in the Cochrane Library between issue 9, 2012 and issue 2, 2013 (Cochrane cohort) and 230 systematic reviews published between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2011 in other publications, synthesising data on harm outcomes (adverse event cohort). Methods A 13 point classification system for missing outcome data on harm was developed and applied to the studies. Results 86% (79/92) of reviews in the Cochrane cohort did not include full data from the main harm outcome of interest of each review for all of the eligible studies included within that review; 76% (173/230) for the adverse event cohort. Overall, the single primary harm outcome was inadequately reported in 76% (705/931) of the studies included in the 92 reviews from the Cochrane cohort and not reported in 47% (4159/8837) of the 230 reviews in the adverse event cohort. In a sample of primary studies not reporting on the single primary harm outcome in the review, scrutiny of the study publication revealed that outcome reporting bias was suspected in nearly two thirds (63%, 248/393). Conclusions The number of reviews suspected of outcome reporting bias as a result of missing or partially reported harm related outcomes from at least one eligible study is high. The declaration of important harms and the quality of the reporting of harm outcomes must be improved in both primary studies and systematic reviews. PMID:25416499

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27378978

  16. 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...

  17. The impact of contact effort on mode-specific selection and measurement bias

    OpenAIRE

    Schouten, Barry; Laan, Jan van der; Cobben, Fannie

    2014-01-01

    In 2011, a large-scale mixed-mode experiment was linked to the Crime Victimisation Survey (CVS). This experiment consisted of a randomized allocation of sample persons to the four contemporary survey modes Web, mail, telephone and face-to-face, and a follow-up using only interviewer modes. The aim of the experiment was to disentangle mode-specific selection- and measurement bias. In a previous paper (Schouten et al 2013), mode-specific selection and measurement biases were reported for a larg...

  18. Estimation and adjustment of self-selection bias in volunteer panel web surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Chengying

    2016-06-01

    By using propensity score matching method of random sample, we matched simple random sample units and volunteer panel Web survey sample units based on the equal or similar propensity score. The unbiased estimators of the population parameters are constructed by using the matching simple random sample, and the self-selection bias is estimated. We propose propensity score weighted and matching sample post stratification weighted methods to estimate the population parameters, and the self-selection bias in volunteer panel Web Surveys are adjusted.

  19. Natural selection. IV. The Price equation

    OpenAIRE

    Frank, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

    The Price equation partitions total evolutionary change into two components. The first component provides an abstract expression of natural selection. The second component subsumes all other evolutionary processes, including changes during transmission. The natural selection component is often used in applications. Those applications attract widespread interest for their simplicity of expression and ease of interpretation. Those same applications attract widespread criticism by dropping the s...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. The Effects of Sample Selection Bias on Racial Differences in Child Abuse Reporting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ards, Sheila; Chung, Chanjin; Myers, Samuel L., Jr.

    1998-01-01

    Data from the National Incidence Study (NIS) of Child Abuse and Neglect suggest no racial difference in child maltreatment, although there are more black children within the child welfare population. This study found selection bias in the NIS design caused by the exclusion of family, friends, and neighbors that resulted in differences in NIS cases…

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Pedestrian injury analysis with consideration of the selectivity bias in linked police-hospital data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarko, Andrew; Azam, Md Shafiul

    2011-09-01

    Evaluation of crash-related injuries by medical specialists in hospitals is believed to be more exact than rather a cursory evaluation made at the crash scene. Safety analysts sometimes reach for hospital data and use them in combination with the police crash data. One issue that needs to be addressed is the, so-called, selectivity (or selection) bias possible when data used in analysis are not coming from random sampling. If not properly addressed, this issue can lead to a considerable bias in both the model coefficient estimates and the model predictions. This paper investigates pedestrian injury severity factors using linked police-hospital data. A bivariate ordered probit model with sample selection is used to check for the presence of the selectivity bias and to account for it in the MAIS estimates on the Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale (MAIS). The presence of the sample selection issue has been confirmed. The selectivity bias is considerable in predictions of low injury levels. The pedestrian injury analysis identified and estimated several severity factors, including pedestrian, road, and vehicle characteristics. Male and older pedestrians were found to be particularly exposed to severe injuries. Rural roads and high-speed urban roads appear to be more dangerous for pedestrians, particularly when crossing such roads. Crossing a road between intersections was found to be particularly dangerous behavior. The size and weight of the vehicle involved in a pedestrian crash were also found to have an effect on the pedestrian injury level. The relevant safety countermeasures that may improve pedestrian safety have been proposed. PMID:21658495

  13. 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.

  14. 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....

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. A Lesson on Evolution & Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Anthony D.

    2010-01-01

    I describe three activities that allow students to explore the ideas of evolution, natural selection, extinction, mass extinction, and rates of evolutionary change by engaging a simple model using paper, pens, chalk, and a chalkboard. As a culminating activity that supports expository writing in the sciences, the students write an essay on mass…

  18. Galaxy density profiles and shapes -- II. selection biases in strong lensing surveys

    CERN Document Server

    Mandelbaum, Rachel; Keeton, Charles R

    2008-01-01

    [Abridged] Many current and future astronomical surveys will rely on samples of strong gravitational lens systems to draw conclusions about galaxy mass distributions. We use a new strong lensing pipeline (presented in Paper I of this series) to explore selection biases that may cause the population of strong lensing systems to differ from the general galaxy population. Our focus is on point-source lensing by early-type galaxies with two mass components (stellar and dark matter) that have a variety of density profiles and shapes motivated by observational and theoretical studies of galaxy properties. We seek not only to quantify but also to understand the physics behind selection biases related to: galaxy mass, orientation and shape; dark matter profile parameters such as inner slope and concentration; and adiabatic contraction. We study how all of these properties affect the lensing Einstein radius, total cross-section, quad/double ratio, and image separation distribution. We find significant (factors of seve...

  19. Does exclusion of protest zeros and warm-glow bidders cause selection bias in Contingent Valuation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grammatikopoulou, Ioanna; Olsen, Søren Bøye; Pouta, Eija

    the true WTP due to protest behavior. We conduct a contingent valuation study to estimate the WTP for conserving a Natura 2000 wetland area in Greece. We find that 54% of the positive bidders exert warm glow motivations while 29% of all responses can be classified as protest zero bids. We employ three...... different models to test for the potential impacts of how these positive warm glow and protest zero bidders are treated. We first exclude the warm glow cases, secondly we include them, and, finally, we correct for selection bias by using the Full Information Maximum Likelihood method for grouped data model....... Our findings show that removal of warm glow positive bidders does not distort the WTP estimate in any significant way. However, using the same approach for protest zero bidders, we find strong evidence of selection bias associated with removal of protest zero responses. Specifically, WTP estimates...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27385113

  4. A selected bibliography on natural radiation, 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natural radioactive substances in the environment are important in general scientific research and impacts on human beings. The natural levels of radiations are then involved in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The present bibliography is intended to meet the needs in this field. Entries complete with an abstract are selected from Nuclear Science Abstracts of vol. 1 (1948) to vol. 32 (December 1975). Only the primordial radionuclides as follows, without series, are treated concerning the levels, measurements, etc. : 40K, 50V, 87Rb, 115In, 123Te, 138La, 142Ce, 144Nd, 147Sm, 152Gd, 176Lu, 174Hf, 187Re, and 190Pt. (Mori, K.)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Natural Selection of Bad Science

    OpenAIRE

    Smaldino, Paul E.; McElreath, Richard

    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 c...

  8. Nullomers: really a matter of natural selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Acquisti

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Nullomers are short DNA sequences that are absent from the genomes of humans and other species. Assuming that nullomers are the signatures of natural selection against deleterious sequences in humans, the use of nullomers in drug target identification, pesticide development, environmental monitoring, and forensic applications has been envisioned. RESULTS: Here, we show that the hypermutability of CpG dinucleotides, rather than the natural selection against the nullomer sequences, is likely the reason for the phenomenal event of short sequence motifs becoming nullomers. Furthermore, many reported human nullomers differ by only one nucleotide, which reinforces the role of mutation in the evolution of the constellation of nullomers in populations and species. The known nullomers in chimpanzee, cow, dog, and mouse genomes show patterns that are consistent with those seen in humans. CONCLUSIONS: The role of mutations, instead of selection, in generating nullomers cast doubt on the utility of nullomers in many envisioned applications, because of their dependence on the role of lethal selection on the origin of nullomers.

  9. 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.

  10. Accounting for selection bias in association studies with complex survey data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Kathleen E; Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric J

    2014-05-01

    Obtaining representative information from hidden and hard-to-reach populations is fundamental to describe the epidemiology of many sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Unfortunately, simple random sampling is impractical in these settings, as no registry of names exists from which to sample the population at random. However, complex sampling designs can be used, as members of these populations tend to congregate at known locations, which can be enumerated and sampled at random. For example, female sex workers may be found at brothels and street corners, whereas injection drug users often come together at shooting galleries. Despite the logistical appeal, complex sampling schemes lead to unequal probabilities of selection, and failure to account for this differential selection can result in biased estimates of population averages and relative risks. However, standard techniques to account for selection can lead to substantial losses in efficiency. Consequently, researchers implement a variety of strategies in an effort to balance validity and efficiency. Some researchers fully or partially account for the survey design, whereas others do nothing and treat the sample as a realization of the population of interest. We use directed acyclic graphs to show how certain survey sampling designs, combined with subject-matter considerations unique to individual exposure-outcome associations, can induce selection bias. Finally, we present a novel yet simple maximum likelihood approach for analyzing complex survey data; this approach optimizes statistical efficiency at no cost to validity. We use simulated data to illustrate this method and compare it with other analytic techniques. PMID:24598413

  11. Country development and manuscript selection bias: a review of published studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shakiba Behnam

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Manuscript selection bias is the selective publication of manuscripts based on study characteristics other than quality indicators. One reason may be a perceived editorial bias against the researches from less-developed world. We aimed to compare the methodological quality and statistical appeal of trials from countries with different development status and to determine their association with the journal impact factors and language of publication. Methods Selection criteria: Based on the World Bank income criteria countries were divided into four groups. All records of clinical trials conducted in each income group during 1993 and 2003 were included if they contained abstract and study sample size. Data sources: Cochrane Controlled Trials Register was searched and 50 articles selected from each income group using a systematic random sampling method in years 1993 and 2003 separately. Data extraction: Data were extracted by two reviewers on the language of publication, use of randomization, blinding, intention to treat analysis, study sample size and statistical significance. Disagreement was dealt with by consensus. Journal impact factors were obtained from the institute for scientific information. Results Four hundred records were explored. Country income had an inverse linear association with the presence of randomization (chi2 for trend = 5.6, p = 0.02 and a direct association with the use of blinding (chi2 for trend = 6.9, p = 0.008; although in low income countries the probability of blinding was increased from 36% in 1993 to 46% in 2003. In 1993 the results of 68% of high income trials and 64.7% of other groups were statistically significant; but in 2003 they were 66% and 82% respectively. Study sample size and income were the only significant predictors of journal impact factor. Conclusion The impact of country development on manuscript selection bias is considerable and may be increasing over time. It seems that one

  12. ACTIVE LEARNING TO OVERCOME SAMPLE SELECTION BIAS: APPLICATION TO PHOTOMETRIC VARIABLE STAR CLASSIFICATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (1) standard assumptions for machine-learned model selection procedures break down and (2) dense regions of testing space might be completely devoid of training data. We explore possible remedies to sample selection bias, including importance weighting, co-training, 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—is an effective approach and is appropriate for many astronomical applications. For a variable star classification problem on a well-studied set of stars from Hipparcos and Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment, AL is the optimal method in terms of error rate on the testing data, beating the off-the-shelf classifier by 3.4% and the other proposed methods by at least 3.0%. To aid with manual labeling of variable stars, we developed a Web interface which allows for easy light curve visualization and querying of external databases. Finally, we apply AL to classify variable stars in the All Sky Automated Survey, finding dramatic improvement in our agreement with the ASAS Catalog of Variable Stars, from 65.5% to 79.5%, and a significant increase in the classifier's average confidence for the testing set, from 14.6% to 42.9%, after a few AL iterations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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 (1) standard assumptions for machine-learned model selection procedures break down and (2) dense regions of testing space might be completely devoid of training data. We explore possible remedies to sample selection bias, including importance weighting, co-training, 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—is an effective approach and is appropriate for many astronomical applications. For a variable star classification problem on a well-studied set of stars from Hipparcos and Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment, AL is the optimal method in terms of error rate on the testing data, beating the off-the-shelf classifier by 3.4% and the other proposed methods by at least 3.0%. To aid with manual labeling of variable stars, we developed a Web interface which allows for easy light curve visualization and querying of external databases. Finally, we apply AL to classify variable stars in the All Sky Automated Survey, finding dramatic improvement in our agreement with the ASAS Catalog of Variable Stars, from 65.5% to 79.5%, and a significant increase in the classifier's average confidence for the testing set, from 14.6% to 42.9%, after a few AL iterations.

  14. 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...

  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

    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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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,...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:26566736

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:25899152

  5. 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.

  6. The natural selection of altruistic traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehm, C

    1999-09-01

    Proponents of the standard evolutionary biology paradigm explain human "altruism" in terms of either nepotism or strict reciprocity. On that basis our underlying nature is reduced to a function of inclusive fitness: human nature has to be totally selfish or nepotistic. Proposed here are three possible paths to giving costly aid to nonrelatives, paths that are controversial because they involve assumed pleiotropic effects or group selection. One path is pleiotropic subsidies that help to extend nepotistic helping behavior from close family to nonrelatives. Another is "warfare"-if and only if warfare recurred in the Paleolithic. The third and most plausible hypothesis is based on the morally based egalitarian syndrome of prehistoric hunter-gatherers, which reduced phenotypic variation at the within-group level, increased it at the between-group level, and drastically curtailed the advantages of free riders. In an analysis consistent with the fundamental tenets of evolutionary biology, these three paths are evaluated as explanations for the evolutionary development of a rather complicated human social nature. PMID:26196335

  7. Precipitation ensembles conforming to natural variations derived from a regional climate model using a new bias correction scheme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kue Bum; Kwon, Hyun-Han; Han, Dawei

    2016-05-01

    This study presents a novel bias correction scheme for regional climate model (RCM) precipitation ensembles. A primary advantage of using model ensembles for climate change impact studies is that the uncertainties associated with the systematic error can be quantified through the ensemble spread. Currently, however, most of the conventional bias correction methods adjust all the ensemble members to one reference observation. As a result, the ensemble spread is degraded during bias correction. Since the observation is only one case of many possible realizations due to the climate natural variability, a successful bias correction scheme should preserve the ensemble spread within the bounds of its natural variability (i.e. sampling uncertainty). To demonstrate a new bias correction scheme conforming to RCM precipitation ensembles, an application to the Thorverton catchment in the south-west of England is presented. For the ensemble, 11 members from the Hadley Centre Regional Climate Model (HadRM3-PPE) data are used and monthly bias correction has been done for the baseline time period from 1961 to 1990. In the typical conventional method, monthly mean precipitation of each of the ensemble members is nearly identical to the observation, i.e. the ensemble spread is removed. In contrast, the proposed method corrects the bias while maintaining the ensemble spread within the natural variability of the observations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Bridging Emergent Attributes and Darwinian Principles in Teaching Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dongchen; Chi, Michelene T. H.

    2016-01-01

    Students often have misconceptions about natural selection as they misuse a direct causal schema to explain the process. Natural selection is in fact an emergent process where random interactions lead to changes in a population. The misconceptions stem from students' lack of emergent schema for natural selection. In order to help students…

  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. ALLStars: Overcoming Multi-Survey Selection Bias using Crowd-Sourced Active Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, D. L.; Richards, J. W.; Brink, H.; Miller, A. A.; Bloom, J. S.; Butler, N. R.; James, J. B.; Long, J. P.

    2012-09-01

    Developing a multi-survey time-series classifier presents several challenges. One problem is overcoming the sample selection bias which arises when the instruments or observing cadences differ between the training and testing datasets. In this case, the probabilistic distributions characterizing the sources in the training survey dataset differ from the source distributions in the other survey, resulting in poor results when a classifier is naively applied. To resolve this, we have developed the ALLStars active learning framework which allows us to bootstrap a classifier onto a new survey using a small set of optimally chosen sources which are then presented to users for manual classification. Several iterations of this crowd-sourcing process results in a significantly improved classifier. Using this procedure, we have built a variable star light-curve classifier using OGLE, Hipparcos, and ASAS survey data.

  14. 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,…

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. Hamilton's forces of natural selection after forty years

    OpenAIRE

    Rose, MR; Rauser, CL; Benford, G; Matos, M.; Mueller, LD

    2007-01-01

    In 1966, William D. Hamilton published a landmark paper in evolutionary biology: "The Moulding of Senescence by Natural Selection." It is now apparent that this article is as important as his better-known 1964 articles on kin selection. Not only did the 1966 article explain aging, it also supplied the basic scaling forces for natural selection over the entire life history. Like the Lorentz transformations of relativistic physics, Hamilton's Forces of Natural Selection provide an overarching f...

  18. Sexual and Natural Selection Both Influence Male Genital Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    House, Clarissa M.; Zenobia Lewis; Hodgson, Dave J.; Nina Wedell; Sharma, Manmohan D.; John Hunt; Hosken, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and divergent evolution of male genital morphology is a conspicuous and general pattern across internally fertilizing animals. Rapid genital evolution is thought to be the result of sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in genital evolution remains controversial. However, natural and sexual selection are believed to act antagonistically on male genital form. We conducted an experimental evolution study to investigate the combined effects of natural and sexual selection on ...

  19. Sexual selection, natural selection and the evolution of dimorphic coloration and ornamentation in agamid lizards

    OpenAIRE

    Stuart-Fox, D M; Ord, Terry J.

    2004-01-01

    Both sexual selection and natural selection can influence the form of dimorphism in secondary sexual traits. Here, we used a comparative approach to examine the relative roles of sexual selection and natural selection in the evolution of sexually dimorphic coloration (dichromatism) and ornamentation in agamid lizards. Sexual dimorphism in head and body size were used as indirect indicators of sexual selection, and habitat type (openness) as an index of natural selection. We examined separatel...

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Battling the GPA Bias: Selecting NSF-REU Participants for Transformative Research Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M.; Kim, C. S.; Osborn, J.

    2014-12-01

    Student grade point average (GPA) is one of the most common metrics used to select REU participants, with >85% of NSF-funded research participants nationally having an average GPA at or above 3.0 (Russell, 2004). Yet, as efforts are made to expand and diversify the pool of undergraduates participating in research experiences, privileging candidates with GPAs above 3.0 may exclude promising STEM students who can most benefit from a research experience, including community college students and recent transfer students from community colleges. Myriad factors that impinge on student GPAs are salient in the literature, including (1) early academic failure related to pre-college under-preparation (Feldman, 1993); (2) transfer shock (Molinaro, 2014; Diaz, 1992); (3) employment (DeSimone, 2008); (4) limited social support for academic pursuits (Cheng, Ickes, & Verhofstadt, 2012); (5) food insecurity (Maroto, 2013); and inadequate advising (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). A discussion of these factors with examples from student transcripts and an overview of a scoring rubric that minimizes GPA bias and can assist PIs with an alternate approach to participant selection will be included in this session.

  3. Biased perception about gene technology: How perceived naturalness and affect distort benefit perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegrist, Michael; Hartmann, Christina; Sütterlin, Bernadette

    2016-01-01

    In two experiments, the participants showed biased responses when asked to evaluate the benefits of gene technology. They evaluated the importance of additional yields in corn fields due to a newly introduced variety, which would increase a farmer's revenues. In one condition, the newly introduced variety was described as a product of traditional breeding; in the other, it was identified as genetically modified (GM). The two experiments' findings showed that the same benefits were perceived as less important for a farmer when these were the result of GM crops compared with traditionally bred crops. Mediation analyses suggest that perceived naturalness and the affect associated with the technology per se influence the interpretation of the new information. The lack of perceived naturalness of gene technology seems to be the reason for the participants' perceived lower benefits of a new corn variety in the gene technology condition compared with the perceptions of the participants assigned to the traditional breeding condition. The strategy to increase the acceptance of gene technology by introducing plant varieties that better address consumer and producer needs may not work because people discount its associated benefits. PMID:26505287

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Natural selection stops the evolution of male attractiveness

    OpenAIRE

    Hine, Emma; McGuigan, Katrina; Blows, Mark W.

    2011-01-01

    Sexual selection in natural populations acts on highly heritable traits and tends to be relatively strong, implicating sexual selection as a causal agent in many phenotypic radiations. Sexual selection appears to be ineffectual in promoting phenotypic divergence among contemporary natural populations, however, and there is little evidence from artificial selection experiments that sexual fitness can evolve. Here, we demonstrate that a multivariate male trait preferred by Drosophila serrata fe...

  10. Natural and sexual selection in a monogamous historical human population

    OpenAIRE

    Courtiol, A.; Pettay, J. E.; Jokela, M.; Rotkirch, A; Lummaa, V

    2012-01-01

    Whether and how human populations exposed to the agricultural revolution are still affected by Darwinian selection remains controversial among social scientists, biologists, and the general public. Although methods of studying selection in natural populations are well established, our understanding of selection in humans has been limited by the availability of suitable datasets. Here, we present a study comparing the maximum strengths of natural and sexual selection in humans that includes th...

  11. A Simulation Study of Truncation Selection for a Quantitative Trait Opposed by Natural Selection

    OpenAIRE

    Minvielle, Francis

    1980-01-01

    A quantitative character controlled at one locus with two alleles was submitted to artificial (mass) selection and to three modes of opposing natural selection (directional selection, overdominance and underdominance) in a large random-mating population. The selection response and the limits of the selective process were studied by deterministic simulation. The lifetime of the process was generally between 20 and 100 generations and did not appear to depend on the mode of natural selection. H...

  12. Natural Selection Opposing Artificial Selection: A Two-Locus Deterministic Simulation

    OpenAIRE

    Minvielle, Francis

    1981-01-01

    A two-locus, two-allele metric trait was submitted to artificial truncation selection and to three types of opposing natural selection (two-locus extensions of directional selection, overdominance and underdominance) by numerical simulation in a large random-mating population. Limits to selection were generally reached by generation 100. Intermediate selection plateaus were found, with minor genes, for all three modes of opposing natural selection, but they were least frequent with underdomin...

  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. PMID:26470267

  14. 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.

  15. Propensity score methods for estimating relative risks in cluster randomized trials with low-incidence binary outcomes and selection bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leyrat, Clémence; Caille, Agnès; Donner, Allan; Giraudeau, Bruno

    2014-09-10

    Despite randomization, selection bias may occur in cluster randomized trials. Classical multivariable regression usually allows for adjusting treatment effect estimates with unbalanced covariates. However, for binary outcomes with low incidence, such a method may fail because of separation problems. This simulation study focused on the performance of propensity score (PS)-based methods to estimate relative risks from cluster randomized trials with binary outcomes with low incidence. The results suggested that among the different approaches used (multivariable regression, direct adjustment on PS, inverse weighting on PS, and stratification on PS), only direct adjustment on the PS fully corrected the bias and moreover had the best statistical properties. PMID:24771662

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Development and Evaluation of the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Dianne L.; Fisher, Kathleen M.; Norman, Gregory J.

    2002-01-01

    Presents a diagnostic test to assess students' understanding of natural selection. Field-tests the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) with nonmajors and biology majors at community colleges. Compares test scores of nonmajors with performances in interviews and discusses the correlation between the test scores and the interview…

  19. Are Humans Still Evolving? A Natural Selection Discussion Lesson

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Martin

    2004-01-01

    A study is conducted to develop sound comprehension of natural selection theory by prompting students to use its concept to explain the evolutionary status of humans. In relation to the current existence of human it is stated that human populations currently undergo microevolutionary changes in allele frequencies due to natural selection and other…

  20. Natural Selection in the Field and the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

    2012-01-01

    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…

  1. 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. PMID:22438936

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Furl

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A Selective Emotional Decision-Making Bias Elicited by Facial Expressions

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholas Furl; Shannon Gallagher; 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...

  5. Resolving Ambiguity in Emotional Disorders: The Nature and Role of Interpretation Biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirsch, Colette R; Meeten, Frances; Krahé, Charlotte; Reeder, Clare

    2016-01-01

    People with emotional disorders, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and depression, demonstrate a consistent tendency, or bias, to generate negative interpretations of ambiguous material. This is different from people without emotional disorders who tend, in general, to make positive interpretations of ambiguity. If central components of an emotional disorder have high levels of inherent ambiguity (e.g., concern about the negative perceptions of others in SAD, or worry in GAD), then interpretive bias may have a causal maintaining role, and this has been demonstrated in studies using cognitive bias modification techniques. This research has also shown that interpretation biases combine with other cognitive processes, such as imagery and memory, which could exacerbate distress. Psychological interventions will benefit from effectively targeting negative interpretations, and future experimental research can inform ways to improve facilitation of more benign inferential processing to maximize amelioration of key components of emotional disorders. PMID:27019398

  6. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randau, Marcela; Carbone, Chris; Turvey, Samuel T

    2013-01-01

    The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae), representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition. PMID:23951334

  7. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Randau

    Full Text Available The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae, representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition.

  8. Case studies on selected natural food antioxidants

    OpenAIRE

    Herrero, Miguel; Mendiola, J. A.; Cifuentes, Alejandro; Ibáñez, Elena

    2013-01-01

    In this chapter, a broad description of several case studies related to common antioxidants found in food-related products is presented. In this regard, special attention is put on the novel advanced environmentally-friendly extraction methods nowadays employed to extract and purify those potent antioxidants from natural matrices. A brief description of these extraction processes is provided together with some of the instrumentation needed. Besides, the studies carried out so f...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27077759

  12. Optogenetic stimulation in a computational model of the basal ganglia biases action selection and reward prediction error.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Berthet

    Full Text Available Optogenetic stimulation of specific types of medium spiny neurons (MSNs in the striatum has been shown to bias the selection of mice in a two choices task. This shift is dependent on the localisation and on the intensity of the stimulation but also on the recent reward history. We have implemented a way to simulate this increased activity produced by the optical flash in our computational model of the basal ganglia (BG. This abstract model features the direct and indirect pathways commonly described in biology, and a reward prediction pathway (RP. The framework is similar to Actor-Critic methods and to the ventral/dorsal distinction in the striatum. We thus investigated the impact on the selection caused by an added stimulation in each of the three pathways. We were able to reproduce in our model the bias in action selection observed in mice. Our results also showed that biasing the reward prediction is sufficient to create a modification in the action selection. However, we had to increase the percentage of trials with stimulation relative to that in experiments in order to impact the selection. We found that increasing only the reward prediction had a different effect if the stimulation in RP was action dependent (only for a specific action or not. We further looked at the evolution of the change in the weights depending on the stage of learning within a block. A bias in RP impacts the plasticity differently depending on that stage but also on the outcome. It remains to experimentally test how the dopaminergic neurons are affected by specific stimulations of neurons in the striatum and to relate data to predictions of our model.

  13. Optogenetic stimulation in a computational model of the basal ganglia biases action selection and reward prediction error.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthet, Pierre; Lansner, Anders

    2014-01-01

    Optogenetic stimulation of specific types of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum has been shown to bias the selection of mice in a two choices task. This shift is dependent on the localisation and on the intensity of the stimulation but also on the recent reward history. We have implemented a way to simulate this increased activity produced by the optical flash in our computational model of the basal ganglia (BG). This abstract model features the direct and indirect pathways commonly described in biology, and a reward prediction pathway (RP). The framework is similar to Actor-Critic methods and to the ventral/dorsal distinction in the striatum. We thus investigated the impact on the selection caused by an added stimulation in each of the three pathways. We were able to reproduce in our model the bias in action selection observed in mice. Our results also showed that biasing the reward prediction is sufficient to create a modification in the action selection. However, we had to increase the percentage of trials with stimulation relative to that in experiments in order to impact the selection. We found that increasing only the reward prediction had a different effect if the stimulation in RP was action dependent (only for a specific action) or not. We further looked at the evolution of the change in the weights depending on the stage of learning within a block. A bias in RP impacts the plasticity differently depending on that stage but also on the outcome. It remains to experimentally test how the dopaminergic neurons are affected by specific stimulations of neurons in the striatum and to relate data to predictions of our model. PMID:24614169

  14. Natural selection by pulsed predation: survival of the thickest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijleveld, A.I.; Twietmeyer, S.; Piechocki, J.; van Gils, J.A.; Piersma, T.

    2015-01-01

    Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of pred

  15. Natural selection by pulsed predation : Survival of the thickest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijleveld, Allert; Twietmeyer, Sönke; Piechocki, Julia; van Gils, Jan A.; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-01-01

    Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of pred

  16. 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.

  17. Does Adverse Selection Matter? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Grönqvist, Erik

    2004-01-01

    The empirical evidence of adverse selection in insurance markets is mixed. The problem in assessing the extent of adverse selection is that private information, on which agents act, is generally unobservable to the researcher, which makes it difficult to distinguish between adverse selection and moral hazard. Unique micro data, from a dental insurance natural experiment, is here used to provide a direct test of selection. All agents in a population were stratified into different risk classes,...

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:18992003

  20. 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.

  1. Hamilton's forces of natural selection after forty years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Michael R; Rauser, Casandra L; Benford, Gregory; Matos, Margarida; Mueller, Laurence D

    2007-06-01

    In 1966, William D. Hamilton published a landmark paper in evolutionary biology: "The Moulding of Senescence by Natural Selection." It is now apparent that this article is as important as his better-known 1964 articles on kin selection. Not only did the 1966 article explain aging, it also supplied the basic scaling forces for natural selection over the entire life history. Like the Lorentz transformations of relativistic physics, Hamilton's Forces of Natural Selection provide an overarching framework for understanding the power of natural selection at early ages, the existence of aging, the timing of aging, the cessation of aging, and the timing of the cessation of aging. His twin Forces show that natural selection shapes survival and fecundity in different ways, so their evolution can be somewhat distinct. Hamilton's Forces also define the context in which genetic variation is shaped. The Forces of Natural Selection are readily manipulable using experimental evolution, allowing the deceleration or acceleration of aging, and the shifting of the transition ages between development, aging, and late life. For these reasons, evolutionary research on the demographic features of life history should be referred to as "Hamiltonian." PMID:17542838

  2. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phung, Tanya N; Huber, Christian D; Lohmueller, Kirk E

    2016-08-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  3. Selection Bias When Using Instrumental Variable Methods to Compare Two Treatments But More Than Two Treatments Are Available.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ertefaie, Ashkan; Small, Dylan; Flory, James; Hennessy, Sean

    2016-05-01

    Instrumental variable (IV) methods are widely used to adjust for the bias in estimating treatment effects caused by unmeasured confounders in observational studies. It is common that a comparison between two treatments is focused on and that only subjects receiving one of these two treatments are considered in the analysis even though more than two treatments are available. In this paper, we provide empirical and theoretical evidence that the IV methods may result in biased treatment effects if applied on a data set in which subjects are preselected based on their received treatments. We frame this as a selection bias problem and propose a procedure that identifies the treatment effect of interest as a function of a vector of sensitivity parameters. We also list assumptions under which analyzing the preselected data does not lead to a biased treatment effect estimate. The performance of the proposed method is examined using simulation studies. We applied our method on The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database to estimate the comparative effect of metformin and sulfonylureas on weight gain among diabetic patients. PMID:27227722

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Natural selection on floral morphology can be influenced by climate

    OpenAIRE

    Campbell, DR; Powers, JM

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 Royal Society of London. All rights reserved. Climate has the potential to influence evolution, but how it influences the strength or direction of natural selection is largely unknown. We quantified the strength of selection on four floral traits of the subalpine herb Ipomopsis sp. in 10 years that differed in precipitation, causing extreme temporal variation in the date of snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The chosen floral traits were under selection by hummingbird and hawkmo...

  11. Biased Allostery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edelstein, Stuart J; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2016-09-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a large group of integral membrane proteins that transduce extracellular signals from a wide range of agonists into targeted intracellular responses. Although the responses can vary depending on the category of G-proteins activated by a particular receptor, responses were also found to be triggered by interactions of the receptor with β-arrestins. It was subsequently discovered that for the same receptor molecule (e.g., the β-adrenergic receptor), some agonists have a propensity to specifically favor responses by G-proteins, others by β-arrestins, as has now been extensively studied. This feature of the GPCR system is known as biased agonism and is subject to various interpretations, including agonist-induced conformational change versus selective stabilization of preexisting active conformations. Here, we explore a complete allosteric framework for biased agonism based on alternative preexisting conformations that bind more strongly, but nonexclusively, either G-proteins or β-arrestins. The framework incorporates reciprocal effects among all interacting molecules. As a result, G-proteins and β-arrestins are in steric competition for binding to the cytoplasmic surface of either the G-protein-favoring or β-arrestin-favoring GPCR conformation. Moreover, through linkage relations, the strength of the interactions of G-proteins or β-arrestins with the corresponding active conformation potentiates the apparent affinity for the agonist, effectively equating these two proteins to allosteric modulators. The balance between response alternatives can also be influenced by the physiological concentrations of either G-proteins or β-arrestins, as well as by phosphorylation or interactions with positive or negative allosteric modulators. The nature of the interactions in the simulations presented suggests novel experimental tests to distinguish more fully among alternative mechanisms. PMID:27602718

  12. 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.

  13. Measuring the impact of health insurance with a correction for selection bias--a case study of Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, H R

    1999-08-01

    This article develops and uses methodologies to evaluate the impact of publicly-financed health insurance programmes on the use of health care. Using univariate and bivariate probit estimation techniques, the study tests and corrects for endogeneity resulting from selection bias. Potential endogeneity arises from the choice to be insured, eligibility for insurance, and differences in individuals' health status. The setting for the study is the country of Ecuador. The General Health Insurance (GHI) programme, which primarily covers workers in the formal sector of the economy, is found to have a strong positive association with the use of curative health care after correcting for selection bias, but no significant effect on the use of preventive care. Individuals with severe illnesses who are eligible for GHI have a preference for private health care, and self-select out of the GHI programme. The Seguro Campesino Social (SSC) programme, directed at farming populations, has positive but insignificant associations with both curative and preventive care. PMID:10470552

  14. Bias due to sample selection in propensity score matching for a supportive housing program evaluation in New York City.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungwoo Lim

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Little is known about influences of sample selection on estimation in propensity score matching. The purpose of the study was to assess potential selection bias using one-to-one greedy matching versus optimal full matching as part of an evaluation of supportive housing in New York City (NYC. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTINGS: Data came from administrative data for 2 groups of applicants who were eligible for an NYC supportive housing program in 2007-09, including chronically homeless adults with a substance use disorder and young adults aging out of foster care. We evaluated the 2 matching methods in their ability to balance covariates and represent the original population, and in how those methods affected outcomes related to Medicaid expenditures. RESULTS: In the population with a substance use disorder, only optimal full matching performed well in balancing covariates, whereas both methods created representative populations. In the young adult population, both methods balanced covariates effectively, but only optimal full matching created representative populations. In the young adult population, the impact of the program on Medicaid expenditures was attenuated when one-to-one greedy matching was used, compared with optimal full matching. CONCLUSION: Given covariate balancing with both methods, attenuated program impacts in the young adult population indicated that one-to-one greedy matching introduced selection bias.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    Listeria monocytogenes can be isolated from a range of food products and may cause food-borne outbreaks or sporadic cases of listeriosis. L. monocytogenes is divided into three genetic lineages and 13 serotypes. Strains of three serotypes (1/2a, 1/2b, and 4b) are associated with most human cases...... 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...

  17. 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. PMID:26998318

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Natural Selection and Developmental Constraints in the Evolution of Allometries

    OpenAIRE

    Frankino, W. Anthony; Zwaan, Bas J.; Stern, David L.; Brakefield, Paul M.

    2005-01-01

    In animals, scaling relationships between appendages and body size exhibit high interspecific variation but low intraspecific variation. This pattern could result from natural selection for specific allometries or from developmental constraints on patterns of differential growth. We performed artificial selection on the allometry between forewing area and body size in a butterfly to test for developmental constraints, and then used the resultant increased range of phenotypic variation to quan...

  1. Ontogenetic selection on hatchery salmon in the wild: natural selection on artificial phenotypes

    OpenAIRE

    Bailey, Michael M; Lachapelle, Kevin A; Kinnison, Michael T.

    2010-01-01

    Captive rearing often alters the phenotypes of organisms that are destined for release into the wild. Natural selection on these unnatural phenotypes could have important consequences for the utility of captive rearing as a restoration approach. We show that normal hatchery practices significantly advance the development of endangered Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fry by 30+ days. As a result, hatchery fry might be expected to face strong natural selection resulting from their developmental a...

  2. Mask-less patterning of organic light emitting diodes using electrospray and selective biasing on pixel electrodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sangyeob; Koo, Hyun; Cho, Sunghwan

    2015-04-01

    Wet process of soluble organic light emitting diode (OLED) materials has attracted much attention due to its potential as a large-area manufacturing process with high productivity. Electrospray (ES) deposition is one of candidates of organic thin film formation process for OLED. However, to fabricate red, green, and blue emitters for color display, a fine metal mask is required during spraying emitter materials. We demonstrate a mask-less color pixel patterning process using ES of soluble OLED materials and selective biasing on pixel electrodes and a spray nozzle. We show red and green line patterns of OLED materials. It was found that selective patterning can be allowed by coulomb repulsion between nozzle and pixel. Furthermore, we fabricated blue fluorescent OLED devices by vacuum evaporation and ES processes. The device performance of ES processed OLED showed nearly identical current-voltage characteristics and slightly lower current efficiency compared to vacuum processed OLED.

  3. 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

  4. Profile of rheumatology patients willing to report adverse drug reactions: bias from selective reporting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Protić D

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Dragana Protić,1 Nada Vujasinović-Stupar,2 Zoran Bukumirić,3 Slavica Pavlov-Dolijanović,4 Snežana Baltić,5 Slavica Mutavdžin,6 Ljiljana Markovic-Denić,7 Marija Zdravković,8 Zoran Todorović1 1Department of Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; 2Department 2, Institute of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; 3Institute for Medical Statistics and Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; 4Department 5, Institute of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; 5Department 5, Institute of Rheumatology, Belgrade, Serbia; 6Institute of Physiology “Rihard Burjan”, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; 7Institute of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; 8Department of Cardiology, Medical Center “Bežanijska kosa”, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia Background: Adverse drug reactions (ADRs have a significant impact on human health and health care costs. The aims of our study were to determine the profile of rheumatology patients willing to report ADRs and to identify bias in such a reporting system. Methods: Semi-intensive ADRs reporting system was used in our study. Patients willing to participate (N=261 completed the questionnaire designed for the purpose of the study at the hospital admission. They were subsequently classified into two groups according to their ability to identify whether they had experienced ADRs during the previous month. Group 1 included 214 out of 261 patients who were able to identify ADRs, and group 2 consisted of 43 out of 261 patients who were not able to identify ADRs in their recent medical history. Results: Group 1 patients were more significantly aware of their diagnosis than the patients from group 2. Marginal significance was found

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Effective Assessment: Probing Students' Understanding of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Luli

    2004-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection provides the conceptual framework upon which much of modern biology is based: therefore understanding core ideas about biological evolution is an essential part of scientific literacy. Nonetheless, research repeatedly shows that high school and college students have difficulties understanding the notion of natural…

  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. Viability selection prior to trait expression is an essential component of natural selection

    OpenAIRE

    Mojica, Julius P.; Kelly, John K.

    2010-01-01

    Natural selection operates throughout the life cycle of an organism. Correlative studies typically fail to consider the effects of viability selection prior to trait expression. A 3-year field experiment on the wildflower Mimulus guttatus demonstrates that this unmeasured component of selection can be very strong. As in previous studies, we find that fecundity is positively related to flower size. However, survival to flowering is much lower in large-flowered genotypes than in small-flowered ...

  10. Natural and economic selection: Lessons from the evo-devo and multilevel selection debate

    OpenAIRE

    Schwesinger, Georg

    2013-01-01

    This paper sheds new light on the concept of selection in evolutionary economics. The interpretation of natural evolution has experienced significant changes in the last decades, while these developments have been often ignored by economists. This is especially true for the concept of selection, a key concept in many evolutionary approaches. In economics as well as in biology, selection is seen as a central mechanism, which mediates for example the spread of information and innovation, the co...

  11. The effect of connectives on the selection of arguments: implicit consequentiality bias for the connective "but".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigalleau, François; Guerry, Michèle; Granjon, Lionel

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies about the implicit causality of inter-personal verbs showed a symmetric implicit consequentiality bias for psychological verbs. This symmetry is less clear for action verbs because the verbs assigning the implicit cause to the object argument (e.g. "Peter protected John because he was in danger.") tend to assign the implicit consequence to the same argument (e.g. "Peter protected John so he was not hurt."). We replicated this result by comparing continuations of inter-personal events followed by a causal connective "because" or a consequence connective "so". Moreover, we found similar results when the consequence connective was replaced by a contrastive connective "but". This result was confirmed in a second experiment where we measured the time required to imagine a consistent continuation for a fragment finishing with "but s/he ...". The results were consistent with a contrastive connective introducing a denial of a consequence of the previous event. The results were consistent with a model suggesting that thematic roles and connectives can predict preferred co-reference relations. PMID:23982891

  12. The Divergence and Natural Selection of Autocatalytic Primordial Metabolic Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marakushev, Sergey A.; Belonogova, Ol'ga V.

    2013-06-01

    The diversity of the central metabolism of modern organisms is caused by the existence of a few metabolic modules, combination of which produces multiple metabolic pathways. This paper analyzes biomimetically reconstructed coupled autocatalytic cycles as the basis of ancestral metabolic systems. The mechanism for natural selection and evolution in autocatalytic chemical systems may be affected by natural homeostatic parameters such as ambient chemical potentials, temperature, and pressure. Competition between separate parts of an autocatalytic network with positive-plus-negative feedback resulted in the formation of primordial autotrophic, mixotrophic, and heterotrophic metabolic systems. This work examined the last common ancestor of a set of coupled metabolic cycles in a population of protocells. Physical-chemical properties of these cycles determined the main principles of natural selection for the ancestral Bacteria and Archaea taxa.

  13. Biological fitness and the fundamental theorem of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafen, Alan

    2015-07-01

    Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection is proved satisfactorily for the first time, resolving confusions in the literature about the nature of reproductive value and fitness. Reproductive value is defined following Fisher, without reference to genetic variation, and fitness is the proportional rate of increase in an individual's contribution to the demographic population size. The mean value of fitness is the same in each age class, and it also equals the population's Malthusian parameter. The statement and derivation are regarded as settled here, and so the general biological significance of the fundamental theorem can be debated. The main purpose of the theorem is to find a quantitative measure of the effect of natural selection in a Mendelian system, thus founding Darwinism on Mendelism and identifying the design criterion for biological adaptation, embodied in Fisher's ingenious definition of fitness. The relevance of the newly understood theorem to five current research areas is discussed. PMID:26098334

  14. 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

  15. Form and nature of precopulatory sexual selection in both sexes of a moth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jin; Wang, Qiao

    2010-07-01

    Sexual selection is a process that operates through intrasexual competition and intersexual choice for reproduction in both sexes. Here, we report our work on a polygamous moth, Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), aiming to infer the form and nature of precopulatory sexual selection in males and females. We show that, although a number of traits measured in each sex are correlated with mating success, the primary selection trait in females appears to be abdominal thickness and that in males is aedeagus length. As the female’s abdominal thickness is a reliable signal about the number and developmental stage of eggs, males who select females with thicker abdomens for mating will gain reproductive benefit, i.e., fertilizing more mature eggs. For females, earlier maturation of their eggs makes the females more likely to achieve mating earlier in an uncertain world where there is no guarantee that they will find more males in the future. Sexual selection appears to be the important force behind the evolution of fast egg maturation in females. We show that, under a male-biased sex ratio, more than 20% of mating fails within a few minutes after the aedeagus has penetrated into the female’s genitalia, suggesting that females can assess the features of the male aedeagus before allowing insemination to occur. Dissection and examination of both sexes suggest that a longer aedeagus enhances mating and fertilization efficiency in this species, supporting the notion that sexual selection is a primary force in the evolution of genital variance.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25311212

  20. 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 composite production, it is crucial to identify the most appropriate applications, and determine the optimal fibre/matrix ratio. A methodology is proposed for early-stage decisions support on selection of bio-composite materials. Results help identify the application with the largest reduction...

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:23772093

  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. Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth

    OpenAIRE

    Galor, Oded; Moav, Omer

    2000-01-01

    This research develops an evolutionary growth theory that captures the interplay between the evolution of mankind and economic growth since the emergence of the human species. This uni…ed theory encompasses the observed evolution of population, technology and income per capita in the long transition from an epoch of Malthusian stagnation to sustained economic growth. The theory suggests that prolonged economic stagnation prior to the transition to sustained growth stimulated natural selection...

  5. Entropic Sampling and Natural Selection in Biological Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, M. Y.; Lee, H. Y.; Kim, D.; Park, S H

    1996-01-01

    With a view to connecting random mutation on the molecular level to punctuated equilibrium behavior on the phenotype level, we propose a new model for biological evolution, which incorporates random mutation and natural selection. In this scheme the system evolves continuously into new configurations, yielding non-stationary behavior of the total fitness. Further, both the waiting time distribution of species and the avalanche size distribution display power-law behaviors with exponents close...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Selection bias: neighbourhood controls and controls selected from those presenting to a Health Unit in a case control study of efficacy of BCG revaccination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Souza Wayner V

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In most case control studies the hardest decision is the choice of the control group, as in the ideal control group the proportion exposed is the same as in the population that produced the cases. Methods A comparison of two control groups in a case control study of the efficacy of BCG revaccination. One group was selected from subjects presenting to the heath unit the case attended for routine prevention and care; the second group was selected from the neighbourhood of cases. All Health Units from which controls were selected offered BCG revaccination. Efficacy estimated in a randomized control trial of BCG revaccination was used to establish that the neighbourhood control group was the one that gave unbiased results. Results The proportion of controls with scars indicating BCG revaccination was higher among the control group selected from Health Unit attenders than among neighbourhood controls. This excess was not removed after control for social variables and history of exposure to tuberculosis, and appears to have resulted from the fact that people attending the Health Unit were more likely to have been revaccinated than neighbourhood controls, although we can not exclude an effect of other unmeasured variables. Conclusion In this study, controls selected from people presenting to a Health Unit overrepresented exposure to BCG revaccination. Had the results from the HU attenders control group been accepted this would have resulted in overestimation of vaccine efficacy. When the exposure of interest is offered in a health facility, selection of controls from attenders at the facility may result in over representation of exposure in controls and selection bias.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Selective ion exchange onto Slovakian natural zeolites in aqueous solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ion exchange isotherms have been measured and plotted for the uptake of cesium, barium, cobalt, zinc, silver and ammonium onto clinoptilolite- and mordenite-rich tuffs of Slovakian origin selectively for both the natural and near homoionic Na form as well, using the radioanalytical determination. The higher quality clinoptilolite-rich tuff has been proven to be effective for a potential radionucleides removal in native form according to the following selectivity sequence: Ag+,Ba2,Cs+>NH4+>Co2+, while parent tuff in Na exchanged variety exhibited a little different sequence according to: Ag+ > NH4+ > Ba2+ > Cs+. The raw and Na exchanged mordenite-rich tuffs proved subsequently more or less similar selectivity: Ag+ > Zn2+ > Cs+, Ba2+ > Co2+ and Ag+ > Zn2+. (author)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26121089

  15. Using David Lack's Observations of Finch Beak Size to Teach Natural Selection & the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierema, Andrea M.-K.; Rudge, David W.

    2014-01-01

    One of the key aspects of natural selection is competition, yet the concept of competition is not necessarily emphasized in explanations of natural selection. Because of this, we developed an activity for our class that focuses on competition and provides an example of the effects of competition on natural selection. This hands-on activity models…

  16. 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.

  17. Sexual and natural selection in the evolution of extended phenotypes: the use of green nesting material in starlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubalcaba, J G; Polo, V; Maia, R; Rubenstein, D R; Veiga, J P

    2016-08-01

    Although sexual selection is typically considered the predominant force driving the evolution of ritualized sexual behaviours, natural selection may also play an important and often underappreciated role. The use of green aromatic plants among nesting birds has been interpreted as a component of extended phenotype that evolved either via natural selection due to potential sanitary functions or via sexual selection as a signal of male attractiveness. Here, we compared both hypotheses using comparative methods in starlings, a group where this behaviour is widespread. We found that the use of green plants was positively related to male-biased size dimorphism and that it was most likely to occur among cavity-nesting species. These results suggest that this behaviour is likely favoured by sexual selection, but also related to its sanitary use in response to higher parasite loads in cavities. We speculate that the use of green plants in starlings may be facilitated by cavity nesting and was subsequently co-opted as a sexual signal by males. Our results represent an example of how an extended phenotypic component of males becomes sexually selected by females. Thus, both natural selection and sexual selection are necessary to fully understand the evolution of ritualized behaviours involved in courtship. PMID:27168035

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27534726

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Complexity, Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life and Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Ekstig, Börje

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, I discuss the concept of complexity. I show that the principle of natural selection as acting on complexity gives a solution to the problem of reconciling the seemingly contradictory notion of generally increasing complexity and the observation that most species don’t follow such a trend. I suggest the process of evolution to be illustrated by means of a schematic diagram of complexity versus time, interpreted as a form of the Tree of Life. The suggested model implies that comp...

  3. Bias Properties of Extragalactic Distance Indicators.XI. Methods to Correct for Observational Selection Bias for RR Lyrae Absolute Magnitudes from Trigonometric Parallaxes Expected from the FAME Astrometric Satellite

    CERN Document Server

    Sandage, A; Sandage, Allan

    2002-01-01

    Please note that this abstract has been shortened from that found in the paper. A brief history is given of the development of the correction for observation selection bias inherent in the calibration of absolute magnitudes using trigonometric parallaxes. As a tutorial to gain an intuitive understanding of several complicated trigonometric bias problems, we study a toy bias model of a parallax catalog which incorporates assumed parallax measuring errors of various severities. The two effects of bias errors on the derived absolute magnitudes are (1) the Lutz-Kelker correction itself that depends on the fractional parallax error and the spatial distribution, and (2) a Malmquist-like `incompleteness' correction of opposite sign due to various apparent magnitude cut-offs as they are progressively imposed on the catalog. The simulations involve 3 million stars spread with varying density distributions in a volume bounded by a radius of 50,000 pc. A fixed absolute magnitude of M_V = +0.6 is used to imitate RR Lyrae...

  4. Gender Bias in Tax Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Janet Gale Stotsky

    1996-01-01

    This paper examines the nature of gender bias in tax systems. Gender bias takes both explicit and implicit forms. Explicit gender bias is found in many personal income tax systems. Several countries, especially those in Western Europe, have undertaken to eliminate explicit gender bias in recent years. It is more difficult to identify implicit gender bias, since this depends in large part on value judgments as to desirable social and economic behavior. Implicit gender bias has also been a targ...

  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

    2014-01-16

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Mosquito management in the face of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agusto, Folashade B; Bewick, Sharon; Parshad, Rana D

    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. PMID:22617381

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Tackling Publication Bias and Selective Reporting in Health Informatics Research: Register your eHealth Trials in the International eHealth Studies Registry

    OpenAIRE

    Eysenbach, Gunther

    2004-01-01

    Beginning in July 2005, several major medical journals, including the Journal of Medical Internet Research, will only consider trials for publication that have been registered in a trial registry before they started. This is to reduce publication bias and to prevent selective reporting of positive outcomes. As existing clinical trial registers seem to be unsuitable or suboptimal for eHealth studies, a free International eHealth Study Registry (IESR) has been set up, allowing registration of t...

  12. The role of selection bias in estimates of the deterrence effect of drug testing : evidence from the national longitudinal survey of youth

    OpenAIRE

    Ward, Robert Dean.

    1999-01-01

    Substance abuse in the military has serious and costly consequences. The aim of this research is to measure quantitatively the deterrence effect of the military's drug testing and "zero tolerance" policies. A second purpose is to statistically measure the degree to which selection bias may explain the deterrence effect associated with the military services' drug testing policy. Additionally, this thesis investigates the propensity of service members to substitute legal drugs or alcohol for il...

  13. 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.

  14. Antimicrobial evaluation of selected naturally occurring oxyprenylated secondary metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giulio, Mara; Genovese, Salvatore; Fiorito, Serena; Epifano, Francesco; Nostro, Antonia; Cellini, Luigina

    2016-08-01

    This study tested the antimicrobial activity of eight selected naturally occurring oxyprenylated secondary metabolites against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213, S. epidermidis ATCC 35984, Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. Results showed a moderate antimicrobial activity. The most active compounds were 3-(4-geranyloxyphenyl)-1-ethanol (4) and 3-(4-isopentenyloxyphenyl)-1-propanol (5) that were tested on mature and in-formation biofilms of all micro-organisms, moreover the cytotoxic activity was evaluated. Except for S. epidermidis, both compounds reduced significantly (p biofilm formation at 1/2 MIC and 1/4 MIC, in particular, compounds 4 and 5 at each concentration, inhibited E. coli biofilm formation to a greater extent, the biofilm formation was never more than 44% in respect to the control, moreover both compounds showed a low cytotoxic effect. Oxyprenylated derivatives may be of great interest for the development of novel antimicrobial therapeutic strategies and the synthesis of semi-synthetic analogues with anti-biofilm efficacy. PMID:27498831

  15. MÁS ALLÁ DE LA SELECCIÓN NATURAL Beyond Natural Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLOS E SARMIENTO M

    Full Text Available La explicación de la evolución de los organismos a través de selección natural es el núcleo del sistema conceptual de la biología gracias a su sencillez, a su poder explicativo así como a su coherencia con una cantidad impresionante de datos. No obstante, en algunos casos se ha transformado en un discurso por defecto que no permite penetrar y descubrir procesos mucho más complejos. Esta dificultad ha sido puntualizada por varios autores y el presente documento hace una síntesis de alternativas o delimitaciones al modelo de evolución por selección natural en varios niveles: se exploran las consecuencias del neutralismo genético. Se revisa cómo la complejidad de la relación genotipo y fenotipo puede dificultar la aplicación de un modelo genético simple de evolución por selección natural. Se discute la propuesta de extender la idea de neutralidad a los fenotipos mediante el modelo de equivalencia funcional. Se detallan algunos de los aspectos controversiales en la aplicación del concepto de adaptación y se discute cómo incluir la historia filogenética de los caracteres propuestos como adaptativos puede enriquecer la explicación de los mismos. Se revisan las consecuencias de estos análisis en cuatro áreas: adaptación, definición de especie, reconstrucción filogenética y conservación. Este documento en ningún momento niega el valor del modelo de evolución por selección natural, pero sí puntualiza la importancia de modelos distintos fuertemente afianzados en datos concretos rigurosamente analizados.The explanation of the evolution of organisms through natural selection is the nucleus of the system of concepts of the biology thanks to is simplicity, its explanatory power and its coherence with an impressive amount of data. However, in some cases this model has become a by default discourse that does not allow to penetrate and discover much more complex processes. This difficulty has been pointed out by several authors

  16. Six Classroom Exercises to Teach Natural Selection to Undergraduate Biology Students

    OpenAIRE

    Kalinowski, Steven T.; Leonard, Mary J.; Andrews, Tessa M.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2013-01-01

    Students in introductory biology courses frequently have misconceptions regarding natural selection. In this paper, we describe six activities that biology instructors can use to teach undergraduate students in introductory biology courses how natural selection causes evolution. These activities begin with a lesson introducing students to natural selection and also include discussions on sexual selection, molecular evolution, evolution of complex traits, and the evolution of behavior. The set...

  17. The Mind is Not (Just) a System of Modules Shaped (Just) by Natural Selection

    OpenAIRE

    Cowie, Fiona; Woodward, James

    2004-01-01

    [First paragraph]. 1. Did the Mind Evolve by Natural Selection? Of course our minds and brains evolved by natural selection! They aren’t the result of divine intervention or fabrication by space aliens. Nor are they solely products of drift or any other naturalistic alternative to selection. That natural selection profoundly "shaped" the mind and brain is accepted by both by evolutionary psychologists and virtually all of their most vigorous critics.

  18. 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

    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...... problems in the case families, and health-related lifestyle factors, such as non-smoking parents. The overall conclusion of this study is that there are selection biases involved in studies that need close cooperation with the families involved. One solution to this problem is stratification, i......Selection bias means a systematic difference between the characteristics of selected and non-selected individuals in epidemiological studies. Such bias may be introduced if participants select themselves for a study. The present study aims at identifying differences in family characteristics...

  19. 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.

  20. Charles Darwin meets Amoeba economicus: why natural selection cannot explain rationality

    OpenAIRE

    Elias L. Khalil

    2006-01-01

    Advocates of natural selection usually regard rationality as redundant, i.e., as a mere linguistic device to describe natural selection. But this “Redundancy Thesis” faces the anomaly that rationality differs from natural selection. One solution is to conceive rationality as a trait selected by the neo-Darwinian mechanism of natural selection as . But this “Rationality-qua-Trait Thesis” faces a problem as well: Following neo-Darwinism, one cannot classify one allele of, e.g., eyesight as bett...

  1. Darwin and His Pigeons. The Analogy Between Artificial and Natural Selection Revisited

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theunissen, L.T.G.

    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

  2. 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...

  3. Biases in Long-term NO2 Averages Inferred from Satellite Observations Due to Cloud Selection Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geddes, Jeffrey A.; Murphy, Jennifer G.; O'Brien, Jason M.; Celarier, Edward A.

    2012-01-01

    Retrievals of atmospheric trace gas column densities from space are compromised by the presence of clouds, requiring most studies to exclude observations with significant cloud fractions in the instrument's field of view. Using NO2 observations at three ground stations representing urban, suburban, and rural environments, and tropospheric vertical column densities measured by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) over each site, we show that the observations from space represent monthly averaged ground-level pollutant conditions well (R=0.86) under relatively cloud-free conditions. However, by analyzing the ground-level data and applying the OMI cloud fraction as a filter, we show there is a significant bias in long-term averaged NO2 as a result of removing the data during cloudy conditions. For the ground-based sites considered in this study, excluding observations on days when OMI-derived cloud fractions were greater than 0.2 causes 12:00-14:00 mean summer mixing ratios to be underestimated by 12%+/-6%, 20%+/-7%, and 40%+/-10% on average (+/-1 standard deviation) at the urban, suburban, and rural sites respectively. This bias was investigated in particular at the rural site, a region where pollutant transport is the main source of NO2, and where longterm observations of NOy were also available. Evidence of changing photochemical conditions and a correlation between clear skies and the transport of cleaner air masses play key roles in explaining the bias. The magnitude of a bias is expected to vary from site to site depending on meteorology and proximity to NOx sources, and decreases when longer averaging times of ground station data (e.g. 24-h) are used for the comparison.

  4. Bayesian natural selection and the evolution of perceptual systems.

    OpenAIRE

    Geisler, Wilson S.; Diehl, Randy L.

    2002-01-01

    In recent years, there has been much interest in characterizing statistical properties of natural stimuli in order to better understand the design of perceptual systems. A fruitful approach has been to compare the processing of natural stimuli in real perceptual systems with that of ideal observers derived within the framework of Bayesian statistical decision theory. While this form of optimization theory has provided a deeper understanding of the information contained in natural stimuli as w...

  5. PREVALENCE OF CHRONIC DISEASES IN INDIVIDUALS ASSISTED BY THE FAMILY HEALTH PROGRAM IN NITEROI, BRAZIL: EVALUATION OF SELECTION BIAS AND PROTOCOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Maria Luiza G, Mesquita Evandro T, Jorge Antonio José L, Correia Dayse MS, Lugon Josemir R, Kang HC, Yokoo EM, Wahrlich V

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The strategy of the Family Health Program has been used as an alternative scenario for prevalence studies. This study intended to present the protocol of the Digitalis Study (DS, prevalence study of chronic diseases, to assess sources of possible selection bias and estimate their impact on the prevalence of self-reported hypertension, diabetes, and myocardial infarction. Methods: Randomization was performed between 38 160 registered individuals with 45 to 99 years by the Family Health Program .Differences between the sources of selection bias (non-acceptance, non-attendance, substitutions were observed for gender and age. Results: Of the 1,190 residents contacted, 67.1% agreed to participate. There were 144 residents who were not randomly selected but whose participation was confirmed (substitutes. Women and individuals in the intermediate age groups and the prevalence of hypertension were higher among substitutes compared with the randomly selected individuals. Conclusion: The approach of the DS was adequate for the purposes of estimating prevalences, but there was a significant percentage of non-participation. The randomization strategy did not assume outdated records; alternative schedules for visits were not provided for; follow-up at the invitation stage was not sufficient to prevent substitutions and the inclusion of substitutes with a higher prevalence of hypertension.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Heterogeneous selection at specific loci in natural environments in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    OpenAIRE

    Weinig, Cynthia; Dorn, Lisa A; Kane, Nolan C.; German, Zachary M; Halldorsdottir, Solveig S; Ungerer, Mark C.; Toyonaga, Yuko; Mackay, Trudy F. C.; Purugganan, Michael D.; Schmitt, Johanna

    2003-01-01

    Genetic variation for quantitative traits is often greater than that expected to be maintained by mutation in the face of purifying natural selection. One possible explanation for this observed variation is the action of heterogeneous natural selection in the wild. Here we report that selection on quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fitness traits in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana differs among natural ecological settings and genetic backgrounds. At one QTL, the allele that enhanc...

  10. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Simulating publication bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paldam, Martin

    censoring: selection by the size of estimate; SR3 selects the optimal combination of fit and size; and SR4 selects the first satisficing result. The last four SRs are steered by priors and result in bias. The MST and the FAT-PET have been developed for detection and correction of such bias. The simulations...... are made by data variation, while the model is the same. It appears that SR0 generates narrow funnels much at odds with observed funnels, while the other four funnels look more realistic. SR1 to SR4 give the mean a substantial bias that confirms the prior causing the bias. The FAT-PET MRA works well...

  14. 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...... 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...

  15. Natural Selection in Virulence Genes of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunnell, Mark K; Robison, Richard A; Adams, Byron J

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental tenet of evolution is that alleles that are under negative selection are often deleterious and confer no evolutionary advantage. Negatively selected alleles are removed from the gene pool and are eventually extinguished from the population. Conversely, alleles under positive selection do confer an evolutionary advantage and lead to an increase in the overall fitness of the organism. These alleles increase in frequency until they eventually become fixed in the population. Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic pathogen and a potential biothreat agent. The most virulent type of F. tularensis, Type A, is distributed across North America with Type A.I occurring mainly in the east and Type A.II appearing mainly in the west. F. tularensis is thought to be a genome in decay (losing genes) because of the relatively large number of pseudogenes present in its genome. We hypothesized that the observed frequency of gene loss/pseudogenes may be an artifact of evolution in response to a changing environment, and that genes involved in virulence should be under strong positive selection. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced and compared whole genomes of Type A.I and A.II isolates. We analyzed a subset of virulence and housekeeping genes from several F. tularensis subspecies genomes to ascertain the presence and extent of positive selection. Eleven previously identified virulence genes were screened for positive selection along with 10 housekeeping genes. Analyses of selection yielded one housekeeping gene and 7 virulence genes which showed significant evidence of positive selection at loci implicated in cell surface structures and membrane proteins, metabolism and biosynthesis, transcription, translation and cell separation, and substrate binding and transport. Our results suggest that while the loss of functional genes through disuse could be accelerated by negative selection, the genome decay in Francisella could also be the byproduct of adaptive evolution

  16. Selected properties of GPS and Galileo-IOV receiver intersystem biases in multi-GNSS data processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two overlapping frequencies—L1/E1 and L5/E5a—in GPS and Galileo systems support the creation of mixed double-differences in a tightly combined relative positioning model. On the other hand, a tightly combined model makes it necessary to take into account receiver intersystem bias, which is the difference in receiver hardware delays. This bias is present in both carrier-phase and pseudorange observations. Earlier research showed that using a priori knowledge of earlier-calibrated ISB to correct GNSS observations has significant impact on ambiguity resolution and, therefore, precise positioning results. In previous research concerning ISB estimation conducted by the authors, small oscillations in phase ISB time series were detected. This paper investigates this effect present in the GPS–Galileo-IOV ISB time series. In particular, ISB short-term temporal stability and its dependence on the number of Galileo satellites used in the ISB estimation was examined. In this contribution we investigate the amplitude and frequency of the detected ISB time series oscillations as well as their potential source. The presented results are based on real observational data collected on a zero baseline with the use of different sets of GNSS receivers. (paper)

  17. Bias and precision of selected analytes reported by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network, 1984

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, M.H.; Schroder, L.J.; Willoughby, T.C.

    1987-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey operated a blind audit sample program during 1974 to test the effects of the sample handling and shipping procedures used by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network on the quality of wet deposition data produced by the combined networks. Blind audit samples, which were dilutions of standard reference water samples, were submitted by network site operators to the central analytical laboratory disguised as actual wet deposition samples. Results from the analyses of blind audit samples were used to calculate estimates of analyte bias associated with all network wet deposition samples analyzed in 1984 and to estimate analyte precision. Concentration differences between double blind samples that were submitted to the central analytical laboratory and separate analyses of aliquots of those blind audit samples that had not undergone network sample handling and shipping were used to calculate analyte masses that apparently were added to each blind audit sample by routine network handling and shipping procedures. These calculated masses indicated statistically significant biases for magnesium, sodium , potassium, chloride, and sulfate. Median calculated masses were 41.4 micrograms (ug) for calcium, 14.9 ug for magnesium, 23.3 ug for sodium, 0.7 ug for potassium, 16.5 ug for chloride and 55.3 ug for sulfate. Analyte precision was estimated using two different sets of replicate measures performed by the central analytical laboratory. Estimated standard deviations were similar to those previously reported. (Author 's abstract)

  18. 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...

  19. Modeling of gene frequencies dynamics in kilka populations under the influence of natural selection factors

    OpenAIRE

    V. G. Tereshchenko; Y. V. Slynko; D. V. Karabanov

    2009-01-01

    Modelling of gene frequencies dynamics in the Volga kilka populations under influence of the natural selection factors is carried out. It is established, that inversion of frequencies of two allelic loci, which is observed in a real situation, may occur only under the factors of natural selection. Theoretically, it can descend in an ecological time scale.

  20. 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…

  1. Six Classroom Exercises to Teach Natural Selection to Undergraduate Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinowski, Steven T.; Leonard, Mary J.; Andrews, Tessa M.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2013-01-01

    Students in introductory biology courses frequently have misconceptions regarding natural selection. In this paper, we describe six activities that biology instructors can use to teach undergraduate students in introductory biology courses how natural selection causes evolution. These activities begin with a lesson introducing students to natural…

  2. Evolution of Students' Ideas about Natural Selection through a Constructivist Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Erin; Duncan, Kanesa

    2009-01-01

    Educating students about the process of evolution through natural selection is vitally important because not only is it the unifying theory of biological science, it is also widely regarded as difficult for students to fully comprehend. Anderson and colleagues (2002) describe alternative ideas and misconceptions about natural selection as highly…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. On the origin of species by natural and sexual selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Doorn, G. Sander; Edelaar, Pim; Weissing, Franz J.

    2009-01-01

    Ecological speciation is considered an adaptive response to selection for local adaptation. However, besides suitable ecological conditions, the process requires assortative mating to protect the nascent species from homogenization by gene flow. By means of a simple model, we demonstrate that disrup

  6. 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

  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. PMID:17264704

  9. 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.

  10. On horns and halos: Confirmation bias and job rotation

    OpenAIRE

    Müller, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Confirmation bias, which refers to unintentional and unknowing selectivity in the use of evidence, belongs to the major problems faced by organizations. In this article, we discuss job rotation as a natural solution to this problem. In a nutshell, adopting job rotation provides an organization that is plagued by confirmation bias with a more reliable informational footing upon which to base its decisions. Job rotation, however, also comes with a cost, e.g. a loss of productivity or a disrupti...

  11. Natural selection of the critical period for language acquisition.

    OpenAIRE

    Komarova, N. L.; Nowak, M A

    2001-01-01

    The language acquisition period in humans lasts about 13 years. After puberty it becomes increasingly difficult to learn a language. We explain this phenomenon by using an evolutionary framework. We present a dynamical system describing competition between language acquisition devices, which differ in the length of the learning period. There are two selective forces that play a role in determining the critical learning period: (i) having a longer learning period increases the accuracy of lang...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The nature of X-ray selected EROs

    CERN Document Server

    Stevens, J A; Ivison, R J; Smail, I; Lehmann, I; Hasinger, G; Szokoly, G; Smail, Ian

    2003-01-01

    We report on the X-ray, optical, near-infrared, submillimetre and radio properties of five Extremely Red Objects (EROs) selected at X-ray wavelengths by XMM-Newton in the Lockman Hole field. They all have enough counts in the X-ray band to allow spectral fitting: four are most probably obscured, Compton-thin AGN with redshift dependent absorbing column densities of 10^22 - 10^24 cm-2, whilst the fifth is best fitted by a thermal spectrum and is likely to be a massive elliptical galaxy in a deep gravitational potential. Their optical/near-infrared colours and sizes suggest that X-ray selected EROs comprise a mixture of dusty 'starburst' galaxies and non-dusty galaxies that are dominated by either star-light or light from an active nucleus. The colour diagnostics are supported by the submillimetre and radio data: the two AGN with 'starburst' colours have submillimetre or radio flux densities that imply large star-formation rates, whilst those with 'elliptical' colours do not. The one source detected in the subm...

  16. Selective looking at natural scenes: Hedonic content and gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Margaret M; Costa, Vincent D; Lang, Peter J

    2015-10-01

    Choice viewing behavior when looking at affective scenes was assessed to examine differences due to hedonic content and gender by monitoring eye movements in a selective looking paradigm. On each trial, participants viewed a pair of pictures that included a neutral picture together with an affective scene depicting either contamination, mutilation, threat, food, nude males, or nude females. The duration of time that gaze was directed to each picture in the pair was determined from eye fixations. Results indicated that viewing choices varied with both hedonic content and gender. Initially, gaze duration for both men and women was heightened when viewing all affective contents, but was subsequently followed by significant avoidance of scenes depicting contamination or nude males. Gender differences were most pronounced when viewing pictures of nude females, with men continuing to devote longer gaze time to pictures of nude females throughout viewing, whereas women avoided scenes of nude people, whether male or female, later in the viewing interval. For women, reported disgust of sexual activity was also inversely related to gaze duration for nude scenes. Taken together, selective looking as indexed by eye movements reveals differential perceptual intake as a function of specific content, gender, and individual differences. PMID:26156939

  17. Natural selection of altruism in inelastic viscous homogeneous populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafen, Alan; Archetti, Marco

    2008-06-21

    Biological explanations are given of three main uninterpreted theoretical results on the selection of altruism in inelastic viscous homogeneous populations, namely that non-overlapping generations hinder the evolution of altruism, fecundity effects are more conducive to altruism than survival effects, and one demographic regime (so-called death-birth) permits altruism whereas another (so-called birth-death) does not. The central idea is 'circles of compensation', which measure how far the effects of density dependence extend from a focal individual. Relatednesses can then be calculated that compensate for density dependence. There is very generally a 'balancing circle of compensation', at which the viscosity of the population slows up selection of altruism, but does not affect its direction, and this holds for altruism towards any individual, not just immediate neighbours. These explanations are possible because of recent advances in the theory of inclusive fitness on graphs. The assumption of node bitransitivity in that recent theory is relaxed to node transitivity and symmetry of the dispersal matrix, and new formulae show how to calculate relatedness from dispersal and vice versa. PMID:18371985

  18. Zero-bias autoencoders and the benefits of co-adapting features

    OpenAIRE

    Konda, Kishore; Memisevic, Roland; Krueger, David

    2014-01-01

    Regularized training of an autoencoder typically results in hidden unit biases that take on large negative values. We show that negative biases are a natural result of using a hidden layer whose responsibility is to both represent the input data and act as a selection mechanism that ensures sparsity of the representation. We then show that negative biases impede the learning of data distributions whose intrinsic dimensionality is high. We also propose a new activation function that decouples ...

  19. 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...

  20. Natural selectivity of Nickel and Vanadium in crude oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Olienka Patricia De La O.

    Nickel and Vanadium have always been found in crude oil all around the world. The metal content is found mainly in porphyrin structures in the asphaltene fraction of the petroleum. In order to determine the reason for this natural preference, a set of experiments testing thermodynamics, kinetics, and other factors were performed. Candidate metalloporphyrins containing Vanadyl, Chromium, Iron, Nickel, Copper and Zinc were analyzed through chemical reactions characterized using Silica Column Chromatography, HPLC, MS and UV-Visible. Theoretical analysis of the stability of metalloporphyrins was conducted using DFT/NRLMOL for computational calculation. The analysis of all factors leads us to conclude that the presence of Nickel and Vanadium in petroleum depend on different factors, not only on the stability of the structures, but mainly on abundance in the medium rising from biological processes.

  1. Report on Productivity Trends in Selected Natural Resource Industries in Canada

    OpenAIRE

    Centre for the Study of Living Standards

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to shed light on the dynamics and determinants of productivity growth in nine selected natural resource industries and in the overall natural resource sector in Canada. This report provides a concise review of the findings of a detailed analysis undertaken by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards for Natural Resources Canada. The importance of productivity growth is reviewed, and observations are made on the contribution of natural resource industries to a...

  2. The relative nature of fertilization success: Implications for the study of post-copulatory sexual selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    García-González Francisco

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The determination of genetic variation in sperm competitive ability is fundamental to distinguish between post-copulatory sexual selection models based on good-genes vs compatible genes. The sexy-sperm and the good-sperm hypotheses for the evolution of polyandry require additive (intrinsic effects of genes influencing sperm competitiveness, whereas the genetic incompatibility hypothesis invokes non-additive genetic effects. A male's sperm competitive ability is typically estimated from his fertilization success, a measure that is dependent on the ability of rival sperm competitors to fertilize the ova. It is well known that fertilization success may be conditional to genotypic interactions among males as well as between males and females. However, the consequences of effects arising from the random sampling of sperm competitors upon the estimation of genetic variance in sperm competitiveness have been overlooked. Here I perform simulations of mating trials performed in the context of sibling analysis to investigate whether the ability to detect additive genetic variance underlying the sperm competitiveness phenotype is hindered by the relative nature of fertilization success measurements. Results Fertilization success values render biased sperm competitive ability values. Furthermore, asymmetries among males in the errors committed when estimating sperm competitive abilities are likely to exist as long as males exhibit variation in sperm competitiveness. Critically, random effects arising from the relative nature of fertilization success lead to an underestimation of underlying additive genetic variance in sperm competitive ability. Conclusion The results show that, regardless of the existence of genotypic interactions affecting the output of sperm competition, fertilization success is not a perfect predictor of sperm competitive ability because of the stochasticity of the background used to obtain fertilization success

  3. 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.

  4. Developments of the Price equation and natural selection under uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafen, A

    2000-06-22

    Many approaches to the study of adaptation, following Darwin, centre on the number of offspring of individuals. Population genetics theory makes clear that predicting gene frequency changes requires more detailed knowledge, for example of linkage and linkage disequilibrium and mating systems. Because gene frequency changes underlie adaptation, this can lead to a suspicion that approaches ignoring these sophistications are approximate or tentative or wrong. Stochastic environments and sexual selection are two topics in which there are widespread views that focusing on number of offspring of individuals is not enough, and that proper treatments require the introduction of further details, namely variability in offspring number and linkage disequilibrium, respectively. However, the bulk of empirical research on adaptation and a great deal of theoretical work continue to employ these approaches. Here, a new theoretical development arising from the Price equation provides a formal justification in very general circumstances for focusing on the arithmetic average of the relative number of offspring of individuals. PMID:10902688

  5. 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…

  6. Precision and bias of selected analytes reported by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network, 1983; and January 1980 through September 1984

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroder, L.J.; Bricker, A.W.; Willoughby, T.C.

    1985-01-01

    Blind-audit samples with known analyte concentrations have been prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey and distributed to the National Atmospheric Deposition Program 's Central Analytical Laboratory. The difference between the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network reported analyte concentrations and known analyte concentrations have been calculated, and the bias has been determined. Calcium, magnesium , sodium, and chloride were biased at the 99-percent confidence limit; potassium and sulfate were unbiased at the 99-percent confidence limit, for 1983 results. Relative-percent differences between the measured and known analyte concentration for calcium , magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfate have been calculated for 1983. The median relative percent difference for calcium was 17.0; magnesium was 6.4; sodium was 10.8; potassium was 6.4; chloride was 17.2; and sulfate was -5.3. These relative percent differences should be used to correct the 1983 data before user-analysis of the data. Variances have been calculated for calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfate determinations. These variances should be applicable to natural-sample analyte concentrations reported by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network for calendar year 1983. (USGS)

  7. 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...

  8. Selective toxicity of Catechin-a natural flavonoid towards bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathima, Aafreen; Rao, Jonnalagadda Raghava

    2016-07-01

    Catechin is a plant polyphenol composed of epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as diastereoisomers. Among the various classes of flavonoids, catechin was found to be the most powerful free radical scavenger, scavenging the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated due to oxidative damage with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity. The toxicity of catechin towards bacteria was studied using gram-positive bacteria (B. subtilis) and gram-negative bacteria (E. coli) as model organisms and was found to be more toxic towards gram-positive bacteria. From the results, catechin was found to be beneficial as well as toxic (inhibitory) to the bacteria at a selective concentration behaving as double-edged swords with an IC50 value of 9 ppm for both the bacteria. The inhibitory mechanism of catechin was by oxidative damage through membrane permeabilization which was confirmed by the formation and treatment of bacterial liposomes. SEM images of the control and treated bacteria reveals membrane damage with morphological changes. PMID:27052380

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nomaguchi, Kei M.; DeMaris, Alfred

    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...

  12. Optimization of an extraction protocol for organic matter from soils and sediments using high resolution mass spectrometry: selectivity and biases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, R. K.; Tfaily, M. M.; Tolic, N.; Kyle, J. E.; Robinson, E. R.; Hess, N. J.; Paša-Tolić, L.

    2015-12-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is a complex mixture of above and belowground plant litter and microbial residues, and is a key reservoir for carbon (C) and nutrient biogeochemical cycling in different ecosystems. A limited understanding of the molecular composition of SOM prohibits the ability to routinely decipher chemical processes within soil and predict how terrestrial C fluxes will response to changing climatic conditions. Here, we present that the choice of solvent can be used to selectively extract different compositional fractions from SOM to either target a specific class of compounds or gain a better understanding of the entire composition of the soil sample using 12T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. Specifically, we found that hexane and chloroform were selective for lipid-like compounds with very low O:C ratios; water was selective for carbohydrates with high O:C ratios; acetonitrile preferentially extracts lignin, condensed structures, and tannin polyphenolic compounds with O:C > 0.5; methanol has higher selectivity towards lignin and lipid compounds characterized with relatively low O:C compounds, using a suite of solvents with varying polarity for analysis results in more comprehensive representation of the diversity of organic molecules present in soil and a better representation of the whole spectrum of available substrates for microorganisms. Moreover, we have developed a sequential extraction protocol that permits sampling diverse classes of organic compounds while minimizing ionization competition during ESI while increasing sample throughput and decreasing sample volume. This allowed us to hypothesize about possible chemical reactions relating classes of organic molecules that reflect abiotic and biotic processes impacting SOM composition.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Interaction between natural and sexual selection during the evolution of mate recognition.

    OpenAIRE

    Blows, Mark W.

    2002-01-01

    The interaction between natural and sexual selection is central to many theories of how mate choice and reproductive isolation evolve, but their joint effect on the evolution of mate recognition has not, to my knowledge, been investigated in an evolutionary experiment. Natural and sexual selection were manipulated in interspecific hybrid populations of Drosophila to determine their effects on the evolution of a mate recognition system comprised of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). The effect of ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26911957

  18. 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.

  19. Decision and report to Congress on the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System. [Selection of Alcan project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-09-01

    The selection of the Alcan project was made after an exhaustive review required by the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act of 1976 determined that the Alcan Pipeline System will deliver more natural gas at less cost to a greater number of Americans than any other proposed transportation system.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Antagonistic natural and sexual selection on wing shape in a scrambling damselfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Outomuro, David; Söderquist, Linus; Nilsson-Örtman, Viktor; Cortázar-Chinarro, María; Lundgren, Cecilia; Johansson, Frank

    2016-07-01

    Wings are a key trait underlying the evolutionary success of birds, bats, and insects. For over a century, researchers have studied the form and function of wings to understand the determinants of flight performance. However, to understand the evolution of flight, we must comprehend not only how morphology affects performance, but also how morphology and performance affect fitness. Natural and sexual selection can either reinforce or oppose each other, but their role in flight evolution remains poorly understood. Here, we show that wing shape is under antagonistic selection with regard to sexual and natural selection in a scrambling damselfly. In a field setting, natural selection (survival) favored individuals with long and slender forewings and short and broad hindwings. In contrast, sexual selection (mating success) favored individuals with short and broad forewings and narrow-based hindwings. Both types of selection favored individuals of intermediate size. These results suggest that individuals face a trade-off between flight energetics and maneuverability and demonstrate how natural and sexual selection can operate in similar directions for some wing traits, that is, wing size, but antagonistically for others, that is, wing shape. Furthermore, they highlight the need to study flight evolution within the context of species' mating systems and mating behaviors. PMID:27173835

  4. Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Julie

    2006-01-01

    For education administrators, summer break is the time to regroup and prepare facilities for the next influx of students. Ensuring that facilities are equipped with proper furnishings is part of this preparation. Through careful research and planning, education administrators can choose furniture that will become a lasting investment. This article…

  5. Exchange bias identifies lamellar magnetism as the origin of the natural remanent magnetization in titanohematite with ilmenite exsolution from Modum, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, Karl; McEnroe, Suzanne A.; Robinson, Peter; Shcherbakov, Valera P.

    2008-04-01

    Large and stable negative magnetic anomalies in southwestern Sweden, southern Norway, the Adirondacks, USA, and Quebec, Canada, are related to rock units with a magnetic fraction consisting primarily of ilmeno-hematite or hemo-ilmenite. It has been suggested that the unusual magnetic stability of these rocks results from lamellar magnetism. This is a type of magnetic remanence, carried by uncompensated magnetic layers at interfaces between nanoscale exsolution structures of antiferromagnetic (AFM) hematite and paramagnetic ilmenite. Here we present the first direct proof that this lamellar magnetism indeed is responsible for the natural remanent magnetization (NRM) of a rock from Modum, Norway. Our argument expands a previous observation, that, in mineral grains from this rock, the cooling of a positive-induced remanence from room temperature to 5 K - which is well below the ordering temperature of ilmenite (57 K) - leads to a large negative shift of the low-temperature (LT) hysteresis loop. This can only be explained by exchange bias due to exchange coupling across the hematite-ilmenite interfaces. In a different experiment, we now have cooled the original NRM of untreated grains to 5 K, and then measured the hysteresis loop. Again, in several separate grains we observed large shifts of the hysteresis curves. This shows that exchange bias develops also from the untreated NRM. This observation proves that the moments, which carry the NRM, also participate in the exchange coupling at the hematite-ilmenite interfaces. Therefore, the NRM is not carried by defect moments or stress-induced moments, which occur in normal bulk hematite. A closer look at the NRM-induced LT loops shows that exchange bias acts in both field directions, though one direction is clearly predominant. This observation can be interpreted as a frozen equilibrium of different proportions of oppositely directed lamellar moments, a key feature of the original lamellar magnetism hypothesis. We discuss

  6. Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

    Recent findings from molecular genetics now make it possible to test directly for natural selection by analyzing whether genetic variants associated with various phenotypes have been under selection. I leverage these findings to construct polygenic scores that use individuals' genotypes to predict their body mass index, educational attainment (EA), glucose concentration, height, schizophrenia, total cholesterol, and (in females) age at menarche. I then examine associations between these scores and fitness to test whether natural selection has been occurring. My study sample includes individuals of European ancestry born between 1931 and 1953 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a representative study of the US population. My results imply that natural selection has been slowly favoring lower EA in both females and males, and are suggestive that natural selection may have favored a higher age at menarche in females. For EA, my estimates imply a rate of selection of about -1.5 mo of education per generation (which pales in comparison with the increases in EA observed in contemporary times). Although they cannot be projected over more than one generation, my results provide additional evidence that humans are still evolving-albeit slowly, especially compared with the rapid changes that have occurred over the past few generations due to cultural and environmental factors. PMID:27402742

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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......, we use a recently developed method for identifying IBD sharing among individuals from genome-wide data to scan populations from the new HapMap phase 3 project for regions with excess IBD sharing in order to identify regions in the human genome that have been under strong, very recent selection....... The HLA region is by far the region showing the most extreme signal, suggesting that much of the strong recent selection acting on the human genome has been immune related and acting on HLA loci. As equilibrium overdominance does not tend to increase IBD, we argue that this type of selection cannot...

  10. Imprints of Natural Selection Along Environmental Gradients in Phenology-Related Genes of Quercus petraea

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    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, clin...

  11. 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.

  12. Humans act against the natural process of breeder selection: A modern sickness for animal populations?

    OpenAIRE

    Balbontín, Javier; Penteriani, Vincenzo; Ferrer, Miguel, ed.imp.lib

    2005-01-01

    We present a new idea about the possible effects of human-induced mortality on different age cohorts (i.e., breeders vs. juveniles) in long-lived animals. Our hypothesis is based on Curio's idea on the effect of natural selective processes on cohorts to explain age-related increases in fecundity (selection hypothesis). We believe that negative human pressure may modify such contribution to reproduction of good versus low quality phenotypes, altering the genetic structure of the population. Ec...

  13. 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.

  14. Using a semi-natural stream to produce young sturgeons for conservation stocking: Maintaining natural selection during spawning and rearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kynard, B.; Pugh, D.; Parker, T.; Kieffer, M.

    2011-01-01

    Young sturgeons used for conservation stocking are presently produced using the same methods used for commercial culture. To determine if young sturgeons could be produced without relaxing natural selection factors, we developed a semi-natural stream where we annually studied mating of wild shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) observed movement of gametes released freely during spawning, and estimated the number of larvae produced by various densities of spawned eggs. The stream had a bottom area of 18.8m2, a rubble-gravel bottom, and a mean bottom current at 0.6 depth during spawning of 48cms-1 (range, 17-126cms-1). Wild adults successfully spawned in the stream each year for 7years (2002-2008). Some females and males were more successful during spawning than others, suggesting an unequal fitness during spawning among wild individuals, which is different than the controlled spawning fitness of individuals in hatcheries. Male and female gametes spawned naturally must connect quickly in the fast current or fail, a selection factor absent in hatcheries. The number of larvae produced was inversely related to spawned egg densitym-2 (R2=0.65) and the maximum number of larvae produced was 8000-16000 (425-851larvaem-2 of bottom). Artificial spawning streams have the potential to contribute to sturgeon restoration. ?? 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.

  15. The importance of selection at the level of the pair over 25 years in a natural population of birds

    OpenAIRE

    Björklund, Mats; Gustafsson, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of the pattern of selection in natural populations is fundamental for our understanding of the evolutionary process. Selection at higher levels has gained considerable theoretical support in recent years, and one possible level of selection is the breeding pair where fitness is a function of the pair and cannot be reduced to single individuals. We analyzed the importance of pair-level selection over 25 years in a natural population of the collared flycatcher. Pair-level selection wa...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Understanding decision-making deficits in neurological conditions: insights from models of natural action selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frank, M.J.; Scheres, A.P.J.; Sherman, S.J.

    2007-01-01

    Models of natural action selection implicate fronto-striatal circuits in both motor and cognitive 'actions'. Dysfunction of these circuits leads to decision-making deficits in various populations. We review how computational models provide insights into the mechanistic basis for these deficits in Pa

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. The Power of Natural Selection: A Guided Investigation of Three Case Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beachly, William

    2010-01-01

    I describe a quantitative approach to three case studies in evolution that can be used to challenge college freshmen to explore the power of natural selection and ask questions that foster a deeper understanding of its operation and relevance. Hemochromatosis, the peppered moth, and hominid cranial capacity are investigated with a common algebraic…

  3. Unweaving Misconceptions: Guided Learning, Simulations, and Misconceptions in Learning Principles of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Brian E.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  4. Using the FAR Guide to Teach Simulations: An Example with Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sickel, Aaron J.; Friedrichsen, Patricia J.

    2012-01-01

    Engaging students in a predator-prey simulation to teach natural selection is a common activity in secondary biology classrooms. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the authors have changed their approach to teaching this activity from a laboratory investigation to a class-constructed simulation. Specifically, the authors drew upon a…

  5. Developing Conceptual Understanding of Natural Selection: The Role of Interest, Efficacy, and Basic Prior Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa; Pugh, Kevin J.; Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Stewart, Victoria C.

    2012-01-01

    Changes in high school students' (n = 94) conceptions of natural selection were examined as a function of motivational beliefs (individual interest, academic self-efficacy), basic prior knowledge, and gender across three assessments (pre, post, follow-up). Results from variable-centered analyses suggested that these variables had relatively little…

  6. Reasoning about Natural Selection: Diagnosing Contextual Competency Using the ACORNS Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Beggrow, Elizabeth P.; Opfer, John E.; Ha, Minsu

    2012-01-01

    Studies of students' thinking about natural selection have revealed that the scenarios in which students reason evoke different types, magnitudes, and arrangements of knowledge elements and misconceptions. Diagnostic tests are needed that probe students' thinking across a representative array of evolutionary contexts. The ACORNS is a diagnostic…

  7. The Future of Natural Selection Knowledge Measurement: A Reply to Anderson et al. (2010)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Schonfeld, Irvin Sam

    2010-01-01

    The development of rich, reliable, and robust measures of the composition, structure, and stability of student thinking about core scientific ideas (such as natural selection) remains a complex challenge facing science educators. In their recent article (Nehm & Schonfeld 2008), the authors explored the strengths, weaknesses, and insights provided…

  8. Influences of Teleological and Lamarckian Thinking on Student Understanding of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stover, Shawn K.; Mabry, Michelle L.

    2007-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated creationist, Lamarckian, and teleological reasoning in high school and college students. These lines of thinking conflict with the Darwinian notion of natural selection, which serves as the primary catalyst for biological evolution. The current study assessed evolutionary conceptions in non-science majors,…

  9. Plant mortality and natural selection may increase biomass yield in switchgrass swards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an important candidate for bioenergy feedstock production, prompting significant efforts to increase the number of breeding programs and the output of those programs. The objective of this experiment was to determine the potential utility of natural selection for...

  10. Examining beginning biology teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and practice for teaching natural selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sickel, Aaron J.

    The teacher is the most important school-based factor in student learning. Thus, in order to improve student learning, we must examine how teachers learn to teach. My overarching research agenda centers upon K-16 science teacher learning and development. Within this agenda, I conduct studies focused on two strands of research: 1) How teachers learn to teach science using constructivist and inquiry-oriented teaching strategies; and 2) How teachers learn to teach biological evolution. This dissertation merges the two strands together, and consists of four related manuscripts that address how beginning biology teachers learn to teach natural selection using constructivist and inquiry-oriented teaching strategies. In the first manuscript, I reviewed the evolution education literature focused on K-12 teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practice for teaching evolution. Based upon findings across the studies, I articulated five goals for preparing teachers to teach evolution. The second and third manuscripts are longitudinal empirical studies focused on three beginning biology teachers learning to teach natural selection using the 5E instructional model and interactive classroom simulations. The fourth manuscript is a practitioner article that explains how to teach natural selection simulations using a constructivist, analogy-based teaching strategy. Findings that cut across the four manuscripts are organized into the following themes: (A) The participants developed some common types of knowledge for teaching natural selection, yet also developed in unique ways. All participants developed knowledge of the horizontal curriculum. Yet, participants also developed different types of knowledge. For example, participants who had taken an evolution course developed more integrated pedagogical content knowledge for teaching the core concepts of natural selection. The participant who integrated discipline-level knowledge for teaching science through inquiry with topic

  11. 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.

  12. 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...... polyphemus, which has the largest climatic differences between different populations. Local adaptation driven by sexual selection was expected in males but not females because horseshoe crab mating behaviour leads to competition between males, but not between females. Three hundred fifty-nine horseshoe crabs...... of geographically-based intraspecific variation. An admixture analysis showed regional intraspecific differentiation for males and females of L. polyphemus and males of the Asian horseshoe crab Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, but not for females of C. rotundicauda and another Asian horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas...

  13. Genetic polymorphism and natural selection of Duffy binding protein of Plasmodium vivax Myanmar isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ju Hye-Lim

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium vivax Duffy binding protein (PvDBP plays an essential role in erythrocyte invasion and a potential asexual blood stage vaccine candidate antigen against P. vivax. The polymorphic nature of PvDBP, particularly amino terminal cysteine-rich region (PvDBPII, represents a major impediment to the successful design of a protective vaccine against vivax malaria. In this study, the genetic polymorphism and natural selection at PvDBPII among Myanmar P. vivax isolates were analysed. Methods Fifty-four P. vivax infected blood samples collected from patients in Myanmar were used. The region flanking PvDBPII was amplified by PCR, cloned into Escherichia coli, and sequenced. The polymorphic characters and natural selection of the region were analysed using the DnaSP and MEGA4 programs. Results Thirty-two point mutations (28 non-synonymous and four synonymous mutations were identified in PvDBPII among the Myanmar P. vivax isolates. Sequence analyses revealed that 12 different PvDBPII haplotypes were identified in Myanmar P. vivax isolates and that the region has evolved under positive natural selection. High selective pressure preferentially acted on regions identified as B- and T-cell epitopes of PvDBPII. Recombination may also be played a role in the resulting genetic diversity of PvDBPII. Conclusions PvDBPII of Myanmar P. vivax isolates displays a high level of genetic polymorphism and is under selective pressure. Myanmar P. vivax isolates share distinct types of PvDBPII alleles that are different from those of other geographical areas. These results will be useful for understanding the nature of the P. vivax population in Myanmar and for development of PvDBPII-based vaccine.

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Statistical tests for natural selection on regulatory regions based on the strength of transcription factor binding sites

    OpenAIRE

    Moses Alan M

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Although cis-regulatory changes play an important role in evolution, it remains difficult to establish the contribution of natural selection to regulatory differences between species. For protein coding regions, powerful tests of natural selection have been developed based on comparisons of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions, and analogous tests for regulatory regions would be of great utility. Results Here, tests for natural selection on regulatory regions are pr...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    , showing an excess of deleterious variation within local populations 9, 10 . Here we contrast patterns of coding sequence polymorphism identified by direct sequencing of 39 humans for over 11,000 genes to divergence between humans and chimpanzees, and find strong evidence that natural selection has shaped......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 darwinian...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Malinowska

    2014-02-01

    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.

  3. Stochastic effects in adaptive reconstruction of body damage: implied the creativity of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Bo; Cui, Li-Qiang; Chen, Tian-Ming; Lian, Bin

    2015-11-01

    After an injury occurs, mechanical/biochemical loads on muscles influence the composition and structure of recovering muscles; this effect likely occurs in other tissues, cells and biological molecules as well owing to the similarity, interassociation and interaction among biochemical reactions and molecules. The 'damage and reconstruction' model provides an explanation for how an ideal cytoarchitecture is created by reducing components not suitable for bearing loads; in this model, adaptive changes are induced by promoting the stochasticity of biochemical reactions. Biochemical and mechanical loads can direct the stochasticity of biochemical reactions, which can in turn induce cellular changes. Thus, mechanical and biochemical loads, under natural selection pressure, modify the direction of cell- and tissue-level changes and guide the formation of new structures and traits, thereby influencing microevolution. In summary, the 'damage and reconstruction' model accounts for the role of natural selection in the formation of new organisms, helps explain punctuated equilibrium, and illustrates how macroevolution arises from microevolution. PMID:26153081

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Natural selection of memory-one strategies for the iterated prisoner's dilemma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraines, D P; Kraines, V Y

    2000-04-21

    In the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, mutually cooperative behavior can become established through Darwinian natural selection. In simulated interactions of stochastic memory-one strategies for the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, Nowak and Sigmund discovered that cooperative agents using a Pavlov (Win-Stay Lose-Switch) type strategy eventually dominate a random population. This emergence follows more directly from a deterministic dynamical system based on differential reproductive success or natural selection. When restricted to an environment of memory-one agents interacting in iterated Prisoner's Dilemma games with a 1% noise level, the Pavlov agent is the only cooperative strategy and one of very few others that cannot be invaded by a similar strategy. Pavlov agents are trusting but no suckers. They will exploit weakness but repent if punished for cheating. PMID:10736212

  6. Natural Selection Constrains Neutral Diversity across A Wide Range of Species

    OpenAIRE

    Corbett-Detig, Russell B.; Hartl, Daniel L.; Timothy B Sackton

    2015-01-01

    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...

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    K. S. Daljit Singh; A. Arifin; Radziah, O.; J. Shamshuddin; Hazandy, A. H.; N. M. Majid; J. Aiza-Shaliha; Rui, T. X.; S. R. Keeren

    2013-01-01

    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 ...

  9. Whole-genome sequence analyses of Western Central African Pygmy hunter-gatherers reveal a complex demographic history and identify candidate genes under positive natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, PingHsun; Veeramah, Krishna R; Lachance, Joseph; Tishkoff, Sarah A; Wall, Jeffrey D; Hammer, Michael F; Gutenkunst, Ryan N

    2016-03-01

    African Pygmies practicing a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle are phenotypically and genetically diverged from other anatomically modern humans, and they likely experienced strong selective pressures due to their unique lifestyle in the Central African rainforest. To identify genomic targets of adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of four Biaka Pygmies from the Central African Republic and jointly analyzed these data with the genome sequences of three Baka Pygmies from Cameroon and nine Yoruba famers. To account for the complex demographic history of these populations that includes both isolation and gene flow, we fit models using the joint allele frequency spectrum and validated them using independent approaches. Our two best-fit models both suggest ancient divergence between the ancestors of the farmers and Pygmies, 90,000 or 150,000 yr ago. We also find that bidirectional asymmetric gene flow is statistically better supported than a single pulse of unidirectional gene flow from farmers to Pygmies, as previously suggested. We then applied complementary statistics to scan the genome for evidence of selective sweeps and polygenic selection. We found that conventional statistical outlier approaches were biased toward identifying candidates in regions of high mutation or low recombination rate. To avoid this bias, we assigned P-values for candidates using whole-genome simulations incorporating demography and variation in both recombination and mutation rates. We found that genes and gene sets involved in muscle development, bone synthesis, immunity, reproduction, cell signaling and development, and energy metabolism are likely to be targets of positive natural selection in Western African Pygmies or their recent ancestors.

  10. 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. PMID:19501102

  11. 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.

  12. Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) NOx control for small natural gas-fired prime movers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The application of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to small natural gas-fired prime movers at cogeneration facilities and compressor stations could possibly increase due to regulatory forces to limit NOx from such sources. The natural gas industry is presently without a current database with which to evaluate the cost and operating characteristics of SCR under the conditions anticipated for small prime movers. This paper presents the results from a two-phase study undertaken to document SCR applications with emphasis on SCR system performance and costs. The database of small natural gas-fired prime mover SCR experience, focusing on prime mover characterization, SCR system performance, and SCR system costs will be described. Result from analysis of performance and cost data will be discussed, including analytical tools developed to project SCR system performance and costs

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Inference of Episodic Changes in Natural Selection Acting on Protein Coding Sequences via CODEML.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielawski, Joseph P; Baker, Jennifer L; Mingrone, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    This unit provides protocols for using the CODEML program from the PAML package to make inferences about episodic natural selection in protein-coding sequences. The protocols cover inference tasks such as maximum likelihood estimation of selection intensity, testing the hypothesis of episodic positive selection, and identifying sites with a history of episodic evolution. We provide protocols for using the rich set of models implemented in CODEML to assess robustness, and for using bootstrapping to assess if the requirements for reliable statistical inference have been met. An example dataset is used to illustrate how the protocols are used with real protein-coding sequences. The workflow of this design, through automation, is readily extendable to a larger-scale evolutionary survey. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27322407

  16. Selection of Mother Wavelet For Image Compression on Basis of Nature of Image

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gajanan K. Kharate

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Recently discrete wavelet transform and wavelet packet has emerged as popular techniques for image compression. The wavelet transform is one of the major processing components of image compression. The results of the compression change as per the basis and tap of the wavelet used. This paper compares compression performance of Daubechies, Biorthogonal, Coiflets and other wavelets along with results for different frequency images. Based on the result, it is proposed that proper selection of mother wavelet on the basis of nature of images, improve the quality as well as compression ratio remarkably. The prime objective is to select the proper mother wavelet during the transform phase to compress the color image. This paper includes the discussion on principles of image compression, image compression methodology, the basics of wavelet and orthogonal wavelet transforms, the selection of discrete wavelet transform with results and conclusion.

  17. 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

  18. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subtle inhomogeneities in the scanner's magnetic fields (B0 and B1) 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 B1 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 (E2D-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 challenging. Although

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Measuring Knowledge of Natural Selection: A Comparison of the CINS, an Open-Response Instrument, and an Oral Interview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Schonfeld, Irvin Sam

    2008-01-01

    Growing recognition of the central importance of fostering an in-depth understanding of natural selection has, surprisingly, failed to stimulate work on the development and rigorous evaluation of instruments that measure knowledge of it. We used three different methodological tools, the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS), a modified…

  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. 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....... literature that exists for Buchnera sp. APS and Borrelia burgdorferi....

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

    OpenAIRE

    Frank, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

    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 populati...

  8. The Utility of Impulsive Bias and Altered Decision Making as Predictors of Drug Efficacy and Target Selection: Rethinking Behavioral Screening for Antidepressant Drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marek, Gerard J; Day, Mark; Hudzik, Thomas J

    2016-03-01

    Cognitive dysfunction may be a core feature of major depressive disorder, including affective processing bias, abnormal response to negative feedback, changes in decision making, and increased impulsivity. Accordingly, a translational medicine paradigm predicts clinical action of novel antidepressants by examining drug-induced changes in affective processing bias. With some exceptions, these concepts have not been systematically applied to preclinical models to test new chemical entities. The purpose of this review is to examine whether an empirically derived behavioral screen for antidepressant drugs may screen for compounds, at least in part, by modulating an impulsive biasing of responding and altered decision making. The differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate (DRL) 72-second schedule is an operant schedule with a documented fidelity for discriminating antidepressant drugs from nonantidepressant drugs. However, a theoretical basis for this empirical relationship has been lacking. Therefore, this review will discuss whether response bias toward impulsive behavior may be a critical screening characteristic of DRL behavior requiring long inter-response times to obtain rewards. This review will compare and contrast DRL behavior with the five-choice serial reaction time task, a test specifically designed for assessing motoric impulsivity, with respect to psychopharmacological testing and the neural basis of distributed macrocircuits underlying these tasks. This comparison suggests that the existing empirical basis for the DRL 72-second schedule as a pharmacological screen for antidepressant drugs is complemented by a novel hypothesis that altering impulsive response bias for rodents trained on this operant schedule is a previously unrecognized theoretical cornerstone for this screening paradigm. PMID:26699144

  9. 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.

  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; 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.

  11. Warning signals are under positive frequency-dependent selection in nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chouteau, Mathieu; Arias, Mónica; Joron, Mathieu

    2016-02-23

    Positive frequency-dependent selection (FDS) is a selection regime where the fitness of a phenotype increases with its frequency, and it is thought to underlie important adaptive strategies resting on signaling and communication. However, whether and how positive FDS truly operates in nature remains unknown, which hampers our understanding of signal diversity. Here, we test for positive FDS operating on the warning color patterns of chemically defended butterflies forming multiple coexisting mimicry assemblages in the Amazon. Using malleable prey models placed in localities showing differences in the relative frequencies of warningly colored prey, we demonstrate that the efficiency of a warning signal increases steadily with its local frequency in the natural community, up to a threshold where protection stabilizes. The shape of this relationship is consistent with the direct effect of the local abundance of each warning signal on the corresponding avoidance knowledge of the local predator community. This relationship, which differs from purifying selection acting on each mimetic pattern, indicates that predator knowledge, integrated over the entire community, is saturated only for the most common warning signals. In contrast, among the well-established warning signals present in local prey assemblages, most are incompletely known to local predators and enjoy incomplete protection. This incomplete predator knowledge should generate strong benefits to life history traits that enhance warning efficiency by increasing the effective frequency of prey visible to predators. Strategies such as gregariousness or niche convergence between comimics may therefore readily evolve through their effects on predator knowledge and warning efficiency. PMID:26858416

  12. Natural selection drives patterns of lake-stream divergence in stickleback foraging morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berner, D; Adams, D C; Grandchamp, A-C; Hendry, A P

    2008-11-01

    To what extent are patterns of biological diversification determined by natural selection? We addressed this question by exploring divergence in foraging morphology of threespine stickleback fish inhabiting lake and stream habitats within eight independent watersheds. We found that lake fish generally displayed more developed gill structures and had more streamlined bodies than did stream fish. Diet analysis revealed that these morphological differences were associated with limnetic vs. benthic foraging modes, and that the extent of morphological divergence within watersheds reflected differences in prey resources utilized by lake and stream fish. We also found that patterns of divergence were unrelated to patterns of phenotypic trait (co)variance within populations (i.e. the 'line of least resistance'). Instead, phenotypic (co)variances were more likely to have been shaped by adaptation to lake vs. stream habitats. Our study thus implicates natural selection as a strong deterministic force driving morphological diversification in lake-stream stickleback. The strength of this inference was obtained by complementing a standard analysis of parallel divergence in means between discrete habitat categories (lake vs. stream) with quantitative estimates of selective forces and information on trait (co)variances. PMID:18691241

  13. Differential Evolutionary Selection and Natural Evolvability Observed in ALT Proteins of Human Filarial Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil C Devoe

    .01 deviations from a normal distribution for both W. bancrofti and L. loa. The relationship between evolvability and selection in L. loa followed a second order polynomial distribution (R2 = 0.89, indicating that the two factors relate to one another in accordance with an additional unknown factor. Taken together, these findings indicate discrete evolutionary drivers acting on ALT-2 of the four organisms examined, and the described variation has implications for design of novel vaccines and diagnostic reagents. Additionally, this represents the first mathematical description of evolvability in a naturally occurring setting.

  14. 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

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Animal genetic resources in Brazil: result of five centuries of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariante, A da S; Egito, A A

    2002-01-01

    Brazil has various species of domestic animals, which developed from breeds brought by the Portuguese settlers soon after their discovery. For five centuries, these breeds have been subjected to natural selection in specific environments. Today, they present characteristics adapted to the specific Brazilian environmental conditions. These breeds developed in Brazil are known as "Crioulo," "local," or naturalized. From the beginning of the 20th century, some exotic breeds, selected in temperate regions, have begun to be imported. Although more productive, these breeds do not have adaptive traits, such as resistance to disease and parasites found in breeds considered to be "native." Even so, little by little, they replaced the native breeds, to such an extent that the latter are in danger of extinction. In 1983, to avoid the loss of this important genetic material, the National Research Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (Cenargen) of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) decided to include conservation of animal genetic resources in its research program Conservation and Utilization of Genetic Resources. Until this time, they were only concerned with conservation of native plants. Conservation has been carried out by various research centers of Embrapa, universities, state research corporations, and private farmers, with a single coordinator at the national level, Cenargen. Specifically, conservation is being carried out by conservation nuclei, which are specific herds in which the animals are being conserved, situated in the habitats where the animals have been subjected to natural selection. This involves storage of semen and embryos from cattle, horses, buffaloes, donkeys, goats, sheep, and pigs. The Brazilian Animal Germplasm Bank is kept at Cenargen, which is responsible for the storage of semen and embryos of various breeds of domestic animals threatened with extinction, where almost 45,000 doses of semen and more than 200

  19. Incipient balancing selection through adaptive loss of aquaporins in natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L Will

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how adaptive evolution has influenced natural variation, but identifying loci subject to positive selection has been a challenge. Here we present the adaptive loss of a pair of paralogous genes in specific Saccharomyces cerevisiae subpopulations. We mapped natural variation in freeze-thaw tolerance to two water transporters, AQY1 and AQY2, previously implicated in freeze-thaw survival. However, whereas freeze-thaw-tolerant strains harbor functional aquaporin genes, the set of sensitive strains lost aquaporin function at least 6 independent times. Several genomic signatures at AQY1 and/or AQY2 reveal low variation surrounding these loci within strains of the same haplotype, but high variation between strain groups. This is consistent with recent adaptive loss of aquaporins in subgroups of strains, leading to incipient balancing selection. We show that, although aquaporins are critical for surviving freeze-thaw stress, loss of both genes provides a major fitness advantage on high-sugar substrates common to many strains' natural niche. Strikingly, strains with non-functional alleles have also lost the ancestral requirement for aquaporins during spore formation. Thus, the antagonistic effect of aquaporin function-providing an advantage in freeze-thaw tolerance but a fitness defect for growth in high-sugar environments-contributes to the maintenance of both functional and nonfunctional alleles in S. cerevisiae. This work also shows that gene loss through multiple missense and nonsense mutations, hallmarks of pseudogenization presumed to emerge after loss of constraint, can arise through positive selection.

  20. Automated ion-selective electrode method for determining fluoride in natural waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdmann, D.E.

    1975-01-01

    An automated fluoride method which uses AutoAnalyzer modules in conjunction with a fluoride ion-selective electrode was evaluated. The results obtained on 38 natural water samples are in excellent agreement with those determined by a similar manual method (average difference = 0.026 mg/l). An average fluoride concentration of 0.496 mg/l was found when several natural water samples were spiked with 0.50 mg/l fluoride. Aluminum is the only significant interfering substance, and it can be easily tolerated if its concentration does not exceed 2 mg/l. Thirty samples were analyzed per hour over a concentration range of 0-2 mg/l.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The catalytic selective reduction of NO over Cu-exchanged natural zeolites (mordenite (MP) and clinoptilolite (HC)) from Cuba using NH3 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 N2 at low temperatures, and exhibiting good water tolerance. The chemical state of the Cu(II) in exchanged zeolites was characterized by H2-TPR and XPS. Cu(II)-exchanged clinoptilolite underwent a severe deactivation in the presence of SO2. 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 SO2

  2. 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....

  3. Genomic signatures of geographic isolation and natural selection in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaither, Michelle R; Bernal, Moisés A; Coleman, Richard R; Bowen, Brian W; Jones, Shelley A; Simison, W Brian; Rocha, Luiz A

    2015-04-01

    The drivers of speciation remain among the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. Initially, Darwin emphasized natural selection as a primary mechanism of speciation, but the architects of the modern synthesis largely abandoned that view in favour of divergence by geographic isolation. The balance between selection and isolation is still at the forefront of the evolutionary debate, especially for the world's tropical oceans where biodiversity is high, but isolating barriers are few. Here, we identify the drivers of speciation in Pacific reef fishes of the genus Acanthurus by comparative genome scans of two peripheral populations that split from a large Central-West Pacific lineage at roughly the same time. Mitochondrial sequences indicate that populations in the Hawaiian Archipelago and the Marquesas Islands became isolated approximately 0.5 Ma. The Hawaiian lineage is morphologically indistinguishable from the widespread Pacific form, but the Marquesan form is recognized as a distinct species that occupies an unusual tropical ecosystem characterized by upwelling, turbidity, temperature fluctuations, algal blooms and little coral cover. An analysis of 3737 SNPs reveals a strong signal of selection at the Marquesas, with 59 loci under disruptive selection including an opsin Rh2 locus. While both the Hawaiian and Marquesan populations indicate signals of drift, the former shows a weak signal of selection that is comparable with populations in the Central-West Pacific. This contrast between closely related lineages reveals one population diverging due primarily to geographic isolation and genetic drift, and the other achieving taxonomic species status under the influence of selection. PMID:25753379

  4. 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

  5. Seasonal and diel habitat selection by bluegills in a shallow natural lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paukert, C.P.; Willis, D.W.

    2002-01-01

    Habitat use by bluegill Lepomis macrochirus may be dictated by the avoidance of predators and the availability of prey. Previous work suggests that bluegills large enough to avoid predators will select habitats based on foraging profitability. However, these studies focused on smaller fish (200 mm total length [TL]) bluegills in a shallow (mean depth = 1.2 m), 332-ha, natural lake (Pelican Lake, Nebraska) with both emergent and submergent vegetation distributed throughout. A total of 78 bluegills (200-273 mm TL) were implanted with radio transmitters and relocated daily for 6 d per month (April-September); up to 20 of the tagged fish were relocated every 2 h for a 24-h period once each month. Regardless of diel period, bluegills used open-water, emergent vegetation, submergent vegetation, and mixed emergent - submergent vegetation habitat types in similar proportions. During April, June, and July, male bluegills positively selected emergent vegetation, whereas female bluegills showed no vegetation selection preference during any month. Throughout the study period, bluegills never avoided open-water habitats, suggesting that larger individuals may continue to use open-water habitats in proportion to their availability. In addition, emergent vegetation appeared to be important, particularly for male bluegills. Although the mechanism for the positive selection of emergent vegetation by males was unclear, the protection or enhancement of such habitats may facilitate the preservation of quality bluegill populations in shallow lakes.

  6. Goal-side selection in soccer penalty kicking when viewing natural scenes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias eWeigelt

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigates the influence of goalkeeper displacement on goal-side selection in soccer penalty kicking. Facing a penalty situation, participants viewed photo-realistic images of a goalkeeper and a soccer goal. In the action selection task, they were asked to kick to the greater goal side, and in the perception task, they indicated the position of the goalkeeper on the goal line. To this end, the goalkeeper was depicted in a regular goalkeeping posture, standing either in the exact middle of the goal or being displaced at different distances to the left or right of the goal’s center. Results showed that the goalkeeper’s position on the goal line systematically affected goal-side selection, even when participants were not mindful of the displacement. These findings provide further support for the notion that the implicit processing of the stimulus layout in natural scenes can effect action selection in complex environments, such in soccer penalty shooting.

  7. Differential Evolutionary Selection and Natural Evolvability Observed in ALT Proteins of Human Filarial Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devoe, Neil C; Corbett, Ian J; Barker, Linsey; Chang, Robert; Gudis, Polyxeni; Mullen, Nathan; Perez, Kailey; Raposo, Hugo; Scholz, John; May, Meghan

    2016-01-01

    relationship between evolvability and selection in L. loa followed a second order polynomial distribution (R2 = 0.89), indicating that the two factors relate to one another in accordance with an additional unknown factor. Taken together, these findings indicate discrete evolutionary drivers acting on ALT-2 of the four organisms examined, and the described variation has implications for design of novel vaccines and diagnostic reagents. Additionally, this represents the first mathematical description of evolvability in a naturally occurring setting. PMID:26890364

  8. Complementary effect of natural and sexual selection against immigrants maintains differentiation between locally adapted fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plath, Martin; Riesch, Rüdiger; Oranth, Alexandra; Dzienko, Justina; Karau, Nora; Schießl, Angela; Stadler, Stefan; Wigh, Adriana; Zimmer, Claudia; Arias-Rodriguez, Lenin; Schlupp, Ingo; Tobler, Michael

    2010-08-01

    Adaptation to ecologically heterogeneous environments can drive speciation. But what mechanisms maintain reproductive isolation among locally adapted populations? Using poeciliid fishes in a system with naturally occurring toxic hydrogen sulfide, we show that (a) fish from non-sulfidic sites ( Poecilia mexicana) show high mortality (95 %) after 24 h when exposed to the toxicant, while locally adapted fish from sulfidic sites ( Poecilia sulphuraria) experience low mortality (13 %) when transferred to non-sulfidic water. (b) Mate choice tests revealed that P. mexicana females exhibit a preference for conspecific males in non-sulfidic water, but not in sulfidic water, whereas P. sulphuraria females never showed a preference. Increased costs of mate choice in sulfidic, hypoxic water, and the lack of selection for reinforcement due to the low survival of P. mexicana may explain the absence of a preference in P. sulphuraria females. Taken together, our study may be the first to demonstrate independent—but complementary—effects of natural and sexual selection against immigrants maintaining differentiation between locally adapted fish populations.

  9. 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.

  10. Genome-Wide Analysis of Codon Usage Bias in Epichloë festucae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiuzhang; Song, Hui; Kuang, Yu; Chen, Shuihong; Tian, Pei; Li, Chunjie; Nan, Zhibiao

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27428961

  11. 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.

  12. Evolution in action in the classroom: Engaging students in scientific practices to develop a conceptual understanding of natural selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Wendy Renae

    Public understanding and acceptance of the theory of evolution in the United States is not commensurate with its acceptance in the scientific community and its role as the central organizing principle of the biological sciences. There are a multitude of factors that affect student understanding of the theory of evolution documented in the literature including the proposition that understanding of evolution is intimately linked to understanding the nature of science. This study describes the development, implementation, and assessment of learning activities that address the process of natural selection and the scientific methodology that illuminates these mechanisms. While pre and post-test scores were higher for students in an Advanced Placement Biology course than students in a general biology course, similar learning gains were observed in both groups. Learning gains were documented in understanding the random nature of mutations and their importance to the process of natural selection, explaining selection as a competitive advantage of one variation over another type and specifically linking this to reproductive success, and in connecting inheritance, variation, and selection to explain the process of natural selection. Acceptance of the scientific validity of the theory of evolution as measured by the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) Instrument also increased significantly in both groups over the course of the school year. These findings suggest that the sequence of activities implemented in this study promote conceptual change about the nature of science and the process of evolution by natural selection in students.

  13. Winter habitat selection of mule deer before and during development of a natural gas field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, H.; Nielson, R.M.; Lindzey, F.; McDonald, L.L.

    2006-01-01

    Increased levels of natural gas exploration, development, and production across the Intermountain West have created a variety of concerns for mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations, including direct habitat loss to road and well-pad construction and indirect habitat losses that may occur if deer use declines near roads or well pads. We examined winter habitat selection patterns of adult female mule deer before and during the first 3 years of development in a natural gas field in western Wyoming. We used global positioning system (GPS) locations collected from a sample of adult female mule deer to model relative frequency or probability of use as a function of habitat variables. Model coefficients and predictive maps suggested mule deer were less likely to occupy areas in close proximity to well pads than those farther away. Changes in habitat selection appeared to be immediate (i.e., year 1 of development), and no evidence of well-pad acclimation occurred through the course of the study; rather, mule deer selected areas farther from well pads as development progressed. Lower predicted probabilities of use within 2.7 to 3.7 km of well pads suggested indirect habitat losses may be substantially larger than direct habitat losses. Additionally, some areas classified as high probability of use by mule deer before gas field development changed to areas of low use following development, and others originally classified as low probability of use were used more frequently as the field developed. If areas with high probability of use before development were those preferred by the deer, observed shifts in their distribution as development progressed were toward less-preferred and presumably less-suitable habitats.

  14. Natural zeolites and clays - promising media for selective radioisotope partition/immobilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natural zeolites, a naturally occurring crystalline alumino silicate material have immense potential for selective radioisotope partition/immobilization. Unlike activated carbons and silica gel, these zeolites have uniform pore sizes (3A to 10A) which are uniquely determined by the unit structure of the crystal. This paper will discuss the application of a few promising natural zeolites (e.g., erionite, chabazite, clinoptilolite, phillipsite, and large portmordenite) for effective partition/immobilization of Cs-137 and Sr-90 isotopes. It will also discuss the application of a few clay materials (e.g., conasauga shale, cattaraugus shale) for the same isotope immobilization. The paper will also discuss that the adsorption of the isotopes like Cs-137 and Sr-90 on the zeolite/clay surface is generally governed by Freundlich adsorption isotherms C/sub R/ = α C/sub W//sup β/ where C/sub R/ = Concentration of the isotope on the adsorbed phase (g/g) C/sub W/ = Concentration of the isotope in the aqueous phase (g/ml) α, β = constants for a particular isotope and adsorption media and generally obtained by the linear regression fit of the log-log plot. The overall partitioning/immobilization process is a complex physico chemical phenomenon depending upon the equilibrium contact time, zeolite/clay type, sorbent ratio, reversibility/irreversibility of the reaction, concentration of the radionuclides, presence of other competing ions in the transport phase and some physical parameters (e.g., temperature, pressure, etc.). 1 figure

  15. Removal of selected radionuclides and metal contaminants by natural zeolites from liquid effluents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Investigations have been conducted for potential applications of two natural zeolites (clinoptilolite and chabazite) obtained from ZEOX Corporation, for removal of key radionuclides (Cs, Co and Sr) and common metals contaminants (Cu, Zn) found in active liquid waste stream from nuclear operations. The low cost and easy availability makes these zeolites attractive for a wide range of industrial applications. Experiments have been conducted in shaker flask and a 4 inch diameter column using dilute solutions of the selected metal ions. The shaker flask experiments provided selectivity sequence for the two zeolites. Superior sorption capacity of chabazite particles has been attributed to combination of its higher pore volume and high alumina to silica ratio. The selectivity sequence is discussed based on hydrated radius and free energy of hydration of the ions. The sorbent dosage required to achieve desired removal of the contaminants is obtained from batch experiments and compared in the column tests. The measurements in column also included hydraulic behavior of the bed of zeolite particles and slurrying out of the spent bed. The spent zeolite generated from the treatment allows stabilization of the contaminants in modified cements or ceramic formulations for long-term management of the waste. (author)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Self-organization and natural selection in the evolution of complex despotic societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemelrijk, C K

    2002-06-01

    Differences between related species are usually explained as separate adaptations produced by individual selection. I discuss in this paper how related species, which differ in many respects, may evolve by a combination of individual selection, self-organization, and group-selection, requiring an evolutionary adaptation of only a single trait. In line with the supposed evolution of despotic species of macaques, we take as a starting point an ancestral species that is egalitarian and mildly aggressive. We suppose it to live in an environment with abundant food and we put the case that, if food becomes scarce and more clumped, natural selection at the level of the individual will favor individuals with a more intense aggression (implying, for instance, biting and fierce fighting). Using an individual-centered model, called DomWorld, I show what happens when the intensity of aggression increases. In DomWorld, group life is represented by artificial individuals that live in a homogeneous world. Individuals are extremely simple: all they do is flock together and, upon meeting one another, they may perform dominance interactions in which the effects of winning and losing are self-reinforcing. When the intensity of aggression in the model is increased, a complex feedback between the hierarchy and spatial structure results; via self-organization, this feedback causes the egalitarian society to change into a despotic one. The many differences between the two types of artificial society closely correspond to those between despotic and egalitarian macaques in the real world. Given that, in the model, the organization changes as a side effect of the change of one single trait proper to an egalitarian society, in the real world a despotic society may also have arisen as a side effect of the mutation of a single trait of an egalitarian species. If groups with different intensities of aggression evolve in this way, they will also have different gradients of hierarchy. When food

  2. Awareness Reduces Racial Bias

    OpenAIRE

    Pope, Devin G.; Price, Joseph; Wolfers, Justin

    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...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Genome-wide selective sweeps and gene-specific sweeps in natural bacterial populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    Multiple models describe the formation and evolution of distinct microbial phylogenetic groups. These evolutionary models make different predictions regarding how adaptive alleles spread through populations and how genetic diversity is maintained. Processes predicted by competing evolutionary models, for example, genome-wide selective sweeps vs gene-specific sweeps, could be captured in natural populations using time-series metagenomics if the approach were applied over a sufficiently long time frame. Direct observations of either process would help resolve how distinct microbial groups evolve. Here, from a 9-year metagenomic study of a freshwater lake (2005-2013), we explore changes in single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies and patterns of gene gain and loss in 30 bacterial populations. SNP analyses revealed substantial genetic heterogeneity within these populations, although the degree of heterogeneity varied by >1000-fold among populations. SNP allele frequencies also changed dramatically over time within some populations. Interestingly, nearly all SNP variants were slowly purged over several years from one population of green sulfur bacteria, while at the same time multiple genes either swept through or were lost from this population. These patterns were consistent with a genome-wide selective sweep in progress, a process predicted by the 'ecotype model' of speciation but not previously observed in nature. In contrast, other populations contained large, SNP-free genomic regions that appear to have swept independently through the populations prior to the study without purging diversity elsewhere in the genome. Evidence for both genome-wide and gene-specific sweeps suggests that different models of bacterial speciation may apply to different populations coexisting in the same environment. PMID:26744812

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. On the logical relationship between natural selection and self-organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoelzer, G A; Smith, E; Pepper, J W

    2006-11-01

    Most evolutionary biologists cherish Darwin's theory of natural selection (NS) as the process of adaptive evolution more than 140 years after publication of his first book on the subject. However, in the past few decades the study of self-organization (SO) in complex dynamical systems has suggested that adaptation may occur through intrinsic reorganization without NS. In this study, we attempt to describe the logical framework that relates the general process of SO to the specific process of NS. We describe NS as a mechanism that coordinates the coevolution of species in an ecosystem to effectively capture, process and dissipate solar energy into the earth's shadow. Finally, we conclude that NS is an emergent process founded on the same thermodynamic imperatives that are thought to underlie all SO. This perspective suggests that the theory of self-organizing systems offers a broader physical context in which to understand the process of NS, rather than contesting it. It even suggests the possibility that there may be a physical basis for understanding the origin of the process of NS. Rather than being merely a fluke of nature, the origin of NS that may be driven by energy flows across gradients. PMID:17040375

  12. Simulating natural selection as a culling mechanism on finite populations with the hawk-dove game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, Gary B; Fogel, David B

    2011-04-01

    The behaviors of individuals and species are often explained in terms of evolutionary stable strategies (ESSs). The analysis of ESSs determines which, if any, combinations of behaviors cannot be invaded by alternative strategies. Two assumptions required to generate an ESS (i.e., an infinite population and payoffs described only on the average) do not hold under natural conditions. Previous experiments indicated that under more realistic conditions of finite populations and stochastic payoffs, populations may evolve in trajectories that are unrelated to an ESS, even in very simple games. The simulations offered here extend earlier research by employing truncation selection with random parental selection in a hawk-dove game. Payoffs are determined in pairwise contests using either the expected outcome, or the result of a random variable. In each case, however, the mean fraction of hawks over many generations and across many independent trials does not conform to the expected ESS. Implications of these results and philosophical underpinnings of ESS theory are offered.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:23892170

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Natural selection among Eurasians at genomic regions associated with HIV-1 control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison David B

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV susceptibility and pathogenicity exhibit both interindividual and intergroup variability. The etiology of intergroup variability is still poorly understood, and could be partly linked to genetic differences among racial/ethnic groups. These genetic differences may be traceable to different regimes of natural selection in the 60,000 years since the human radiation out of Africa. Here, we examine population differentiation and haplotype patterns at several loci identified through genome-wide association studies on HIV-1 control, as determined by viral-load setpoint, in European and African-American populations. We use genome-wide data from the Human Genome Diversity Project, consisting of 53 world-wide populations, to compare measures of FST and relative extended haplotype homozygosity (REHH at these candidate loci to the rest of the respective chromosome. Results We find that the Europe-Middle East and Europe-South Asia pairwise FST in the most strongly associated region are elevated compared to most pairwise comparisons with the sub-Saharan African group, which exhibit very low FST. We also find genetic signatures of recent positive selection (higher REHH at these associated regions among all groups except for sub-Saharan Africans and Native Americans. This pattern is consistent with one in which genetic differentiation, possibly due to diversifying/positive selection, occurred at these loci among Eurasians. Conclusions These findings are concordant with those from earlier studies suggesting recent evolutionary change at immunity-related genomic regions among Europeans, and shed light on the potential genetic and evolutionary origin of population differences in HIV-1 control.

  20. Mutation-selection models of codon substitution and their use to estimate selective strengths on codon usage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Ziheng; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2008-01-01

    to examine the null hypothesis that codon usage is due to mutation bias alone, not influenced by natural selection. Application of the test to the mammalian data led to rejection of the null hypothesis in most genes, suggesting that natural selection may be a driving force in the evolution of synonymous......Current models of codon substitution are formulated at the levels of nucleotide substitution and do not explicitly consider the separate effects of mutation and selection. They are thus incapable of inferring whether mutation or selection is responsible for evolution at silent sites. Here we...... implement a few population genetics models of codon substitution that explicitly consider mutation bias and natural selection at the DNA level. Selection on codon usage is modeled by introducing codon-fitness parameters, which together with mutation-bias parameters, predict optimal codon frequencies...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. A specific attentional bias in suicide attempters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becker, E.S.; Strohbach, D.; Rinck, M.

    1999-01-01

    Selective attention in patients after an attempted suicide was investigated to find out whether a specific attentional bias for suicide-related materials exists and to clarify the possible role of emotions in the bias. Thirty-one patients who had previously attempted to commit suicide and 31 control

  5. 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.

  6. Minimum Bias Trigger in ATLAS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Since the restart of the LHC in November 2009, ATLAS has collected inelastic pp collisions to perform first measurements on charged particle densities. These measurements will help to constrain various models describing phenomenologically soft parton interactions. Understanding the trigger efficiencies for different event types are therefore crucial to minimize any possible bias in the event selection. ATLAS uses two main minimum bias triggers, featuring complementary detector components and trigger levels. While a hardware based first trigger level situated in the forward regions with 2.2 < |η| < 3.8 has been proven to select pp-collisions very efficiently, the Inner Detector based minimum bias trigger uses a random seed on filled bunches and central tracking detectors for the event selection. Both triggers were essential for the analysis of kinematic spectra of charged particles. Their performance and trigger efficiency measurements as well as studies on possible bias sources will be presented. We also highlight the advantage of these triggers for particle correlation analyses. (author)

  7. 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

  8. A Simulation Platform for Quantifying Survival Bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayeda, Elizabeth Rose; Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric J; Power, Melinda C;

    2016-01-01

    with the situation with no collider bias, the magnitude of bias was higher when exposure and an unmeasured determinant of cognitive decline interacted on the hazard ratio scale to influence mortality or when both exposure and rate of cognitive decline influenced mortality. Bias was, as expected, larger in high......-mortality situations. This simulation platform provides a flexible tool for evaluating biases in studies with high mortality, as is common in cognitive aging research.......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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Codon Deviation Coefficient: a novel measure for estimating codon usage bias and its statistical significance

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang Zhang; Li Jun; Cui Peng; Ding Feng; Li Ang; Townsend Jeffrey P; Yu Jun

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Genetic mutation, selective pressure for translational efficiency and accuracy, level of gene expression, and protein function through natural selection are all believed to lead to codon usage bias (CUB). Therefore, informative measurement of CUB is of fundamental importance to making inferences regarding gene function and genome evolution. However, extant measures of CUB have not fully accounted for the quantitative effect of background nucleotide composition and have not...

  12. SELECTIVE NOx RECIRCULATION FOR STATIONARY LEAN-BURN NATURAL GAS ENGINES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nigel Clark; Gregory Thompson; Richard Atkinson; Chamila Tissera; Matt Swartz; Emre Tatli; Ramprabhu Vellaisamy

    2005-01-01

    The research program conducted at the West Virginia University Engine and Emissions Research Laboratory (EERL) is working towards the verification and optimization of an approach to remove nitric oxides from the exhaust gas of lean burn natural gas engines. This project was sponsored by the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) under contract number: DE-FC26-02NT41608. Selective NOx Recirculation (SNR) involves three main steps. First, NOx is adsorbed from the exhaust stream, followed by periodic desorption from the aftertreatment medium. Finally the desorbed NOx is passed back into the intake air stream and fed into the engine, where a percentage of the NOx is decomposed. This reporting period focuses on the NOx decomposition capability in the combustion process. Although researchers have demonstrated NOx reduction with SNR in other contexts, the proposed program is needed to further understand the process as it applies to lean burn natural gas engines. SNR is in support of the Department of Energy goal of enabling future use of environmentally acceptable reciprocating natural gas engines through NOx reduction under 0.1 g/bhp-hr. The study of decomposition of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) during combustion in the cylinder was conducted on a 1993 Cummins L10G 240 hp lean burn natural gas engine. The engine was operated at different air/fuel ratios, and at a speed of 800 rpm to mimic a larger bore engine. A full scale dilution tunnel and analyzers capable of measuring NOx, CO{sub 2}, CO, HC concentrations were used to characterize the exhaust gas. Commercially available nitric oxide (NO) was used to mimic the NOx stream from the desorption process through a mass flow controller and an injection nozzle. The same quantity of NOx was injected into the intake and exhaust line of the engine for 20 seconds at various steady state engine operating points. NOx decomposition rates were obtained by averaging the peak values at each set point minus

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Harnessing natural selection to tackle the problem of prey naïveté.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moseby, Katherine E; Blumstein, Daniel T; Letnic, Mike

    2016-02-01

    Many populations are threatened or endangered because of excessive predation resulting from individuals' inability to recognize, avoid, or escape alien predators. Such prey naïveté is often attributed to the absence of prior experience and co-evolution between native prey and introduced predators. Many reintroduction programs focus on reducing predation rate by excluding introduced predators, a focus which ignores, and indeed exacerbates, the problem of prey naïveté. We argue for a new paradigm in reintroduction biology that expands the focus from predator control to kick-starting learning and evolutionary processes between alien predators and reintroduced prey. By exposing reintroduced prey to carefully controlled levels of alien predators, in situ predation could enhance reintroduction success by facilitating acquisition of learned antipredator responses and through natural selection for appropriate antipredator traits. This in situ predator exposure should be viewed as a long-term process but is likely to be the most efficient and expedient way to improve prey responses and assist in broadscale recovery of threatened species. PMID:26834826

  17. 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.

  18. Contribution to the theory of interpretation of gamma natural selective logging and global

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The gamma natural selective method allows the ''in situ'' measurement of the uranium content of ores independently of the value of the U/Ra equilibrium. The use of this methode meets two sorts of difficulties: - first, the gamma spectrum is distorted by some factors connected with the conditions of measurement: drilling mud, tubing, position of the probe in the borehole; - secondy, the interpretation of the anomaly I1 (low energy) requires the knowledge of μ1 (absorption coefficient for gamma ray) which is a function of the uranium content which is to be determined. The present work develops two original calculation methods which allow to overcome these difficulties. The principles used are mentionned hereafter. 1) It is shown that it is possible to calculate the numerical values of coefficients μ1 et μ2, without previous determination of the uranium grade, which eventually allows their calculation afterwards. 2) From the general formula of J.A. CZUBEK applying to infinite medium, a new formula applying to finite medium has been established. The formula thus obtained takes into account the measurement conditions. The last part contains an estimation of the errors allowing to specify the limits of validity of the method

  19. The young, the weak and the sick: evidence of natural selection by predation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meritxell Genovart

    Full Text Available It is assumed that predators mainly prey on substandard individuals, but even though some studies partially support this idea, evidence with large sample sizes, exhaustive analysis of prey and robust analysis is lacking. We gathered data from a culling program of yellow-legged gulls killed by two methods: by the use of raptors or by shooting at random. We compared both data sets to assess whether birds of prey killed randomly or by relying on specific individual features of the prey. We carried out a meticulous post-mortem examination of individuals, and analysing multiple prey characteristics simultaneously we show that raptors did not hunt randomly, but rather preferentially predate on juveniles, sick gulls, and individuals with poor muscle condition. Strikingly, gulls with an unusually good muscle condition were also predated more than expected, supporting the mass-dependent predation risk theory. This article provides a reliable example of how natural selection may operate in the wild and proves that predators mainly prey on substandard individuals.

  20. Calibration Variable Selection and Natural Zero Determination for Semispan and Canard Balances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulbrich, Norbert M.

    2013-01-01

    Independent calibration variables for the characterization of semispan and canard wind tunnel balances are discussed. It is shown that the variable selection for a semispan balance is determined by the location of the resultant normal and axial forces that act on the balance. These two forces are the first and second calibration variable. The pitching moment becomes the third calibration variable after the normal and axial forces are shifted to the pitch axis of the balance. Two geometric distances, i.e., the rolling and yawing moment arms, are the fourth and fifth calibration variable. They are traditionally substituted by corresponding moments to simplify the use of calibration data during a wind tunnel test. A canard balance is related to a semispan balance. It also only measures loads on one half of a lifting surface. However, the axial force and yawing moment are of no interest to users of a canard balance. Therefore, its calibration variable set is reduced to the normal force, pitching moment, and rolling moment. The combined load diagrams of the rolling and yawing moment for a semispan balance are discussed. They may be used to illustrate connections between the wind tunnel model geometry, the test section size, and the calibration load schedule. Then, methods are reviewed that may be used to obtain the natural zeros of a semispan or canard balance. In addition, characteristics of three semispan balance calibration rigs are discussed. Finally, basic requirements for a full characterization of a semispan balance are reviewed.

  1. Assessment of Natural Radioactivity Level in Groundwater from Selected Areas in Accra Metropolis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.J.M. Nguelem

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this present study was to assess natural radioactivity levels in selected groundwater (boreholes and wells used as domestic purposes in particular and drinking as well in some communities in Adentan and Abokobi areas in Greater Accra region of Ghana. This was achieved by first measuring the activity concentration of 222Rn, 40K and 232 232Th in groundwater samples using High-Purity Germanium (HPGe detector. These concentrations of 40K, 222Rn and 232Th were used with their ingested dose conversion factors to estimate annual effective dose for Adult members of public due to consumption of the groundwater. The estimated average annual effective dose due to consumption of 40K, 222Rn and 232Th in the water samples from Adentan and Abokobi were 113.007±3.940 and 76.568±2.321 μSv/y, respectively. These were compared with the estimated average annual dose due to ingestion of nuclides in water by the WHO (100 μSv/y and the estimated average dose due to ingestion of radionuclides in food and water (290 μSv/y by UNSCEAR (2000. They are found within the range even though Adentan value is slightly higher than the WHO average value. The results show that consumption of groundwater may not pose any radiological health hazard to the public.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Novel ferulic acid esterases from Bifidobacterium sp. produced on selected synthetic and natural carbon sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Szwajgier

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Background. Ferulic acid esterases (or feruloyl esterases, a common group of hydrolases are very well distributed in the plant kongdom. The fungal feruloyl esterases were very extensively studied whereas probiotic lactic acid bacteria as the source of this enzyme were generally omitted. Free phenolic acids – strong antioxidants can be released from the dietary fiber by the action of intestinal lactic acid bacteria. The aim of this study was to examine the three probiotic Bifidobacterium strains to produce extracellular FAE on different synthetic and natural carbon sources. Material and methods. Studies were carried out using Bifidibacteriumstrains (B. animalis Bi30, B. catenulatum KD 14 and B. longum KN 29. The strains were cultivated using minimal growth media containing selected natural and synthetic carbon sources: German wheat bran, rye bran, barley spent grain, isolated larchwood arabinogalactan, apple pectin, corn pectin, methyl esters of phenolic acids. The production of extracellular feruloyl esterase was estimated using the post cultivation supernatants and methyl ferulate. The concentration of ferulic acid released from the ester was determined using HPLC with DAD detection. Results. The most efficient bacterial strain for FAE production was B. animalis cultivated in the presence of methyl p-coumarate and methyl ferulate as the main carbon sources (14.95 nmol·ml-1·min-1 and 4.38 nmol·ml-1·min-1, respectively. In the case of each FAE, the highest activity was obtained at 37oC (pH 6.3 in Theorell/Steinhagen buffer (B. animalis Bi30 or in Tris/HCl buffer (B. catenulatum KD14 and B. longum KN29. Taking under consideration all results, it should be noticed that the highest feruloyl esterase activities were obtained using synthetic methyl esters of phenolic acids. Conclusions. The presented resultsbroaden the knowledgeabout the production of the feruloyl esterase by probiotic bacteria. Although the enzyme is only accessory during

  5. 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

  6. Influence of Selective Insecticides and Cropping System on Arthropod Natural Enemies in Soybean

    OpenAIRE

    Whalen, Rebecca Anne

    2016-01-01

    Arthropod natural enemies play a key role in controlling potentially damaging pest populations in agroecosystems. An abundant and diverse natural enemy community is associated with higher yields in a variety of crops. Certain aspects of soybean production can make a field more or less amenable to a robust natural enemy community. For instance, commonly used broad-spectrum insecticides which are highly toxic to most arthropods can decrease natural enemy densities and allow for secondary pest o...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Development of Heuristic Bias Detection in Elementary School

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Neys, Wim; Feremans, Vicky

    2013-01-01

    Although human reasoning is often biased by intuitive heuristics, recent studies have shown that adults and adolescents detect the biased nature of their judgments. The present study focused on the development of this critical bias sensitivity by examining the detection skills of young children in elementary school. Third and 6th graders were…

  10. Self-organization and natural selection in the evolution of complex despotic societies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemelrijk, C.K.

    2002-01-01

    Differences between related species are usually explained as separate adaptations produced by individual selection. I discuss in this paper how related species, which differ in many respects, may evolve by a combination of individual selection, self-organization, and group-selection, requiring an ev

  11. Use of a synthetic biosensor for neutralizing activity-biased selection of monoclonal antibodies against atroxlysin-I, an hemorrhagic metalloproteinase from Bothrops atrox snake venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Santos Schneider

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The snake Bothrops atrox is responsible for the majority of envenomings in the northern region of South America. Severe local effects, including hemorrhage, which are mainly caused by snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs, are not fully neutralized by conventional serum therapy. Little is known about the immunochemistry of the P-I SVMPs since few monoclonal antibodies (mAbs against these molecules have been obtained. In addition, producing toxin-neutralizing mAbs remains very challenging. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we report on the set-up of a functional screening based on a synthetic peptide used as a biosensor to select neutralizing mAbs against SVMPs and the successful production of neutralizing mAbs against Atroxlysin-I (Atr-I, a P-I SVMP from B. atrox. Hybridomas producing supernatants with inhibitory effect against the proteolytic activity of Atr-I towards the FRET peptide Abz-LVEALYQ-EDDnp were selected. Six IgG1 Mabs were obtained (named mAbatr1 to mAbatr6 and also two IgM. mAbatrs1, 2, 3 and 6 were purified. All showed a high specific reactivity, recognizing only Atr-I and B. atrox venom in ELISA and a high affinity, showing equilibrium constants in the nM range for Atr-I. These mAbatrs were not able to bind to Atr-I overlapping peptides, suggesting that they recognize conformational epitopes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: For the first time a functional screening based on a synthetic biosensor was successfully used for the selection of neutralizing mAbs against SVMPs.

  12. 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

  13. Notice of release of Fanny Germplasm, Carmel Germplasm, and Bonneville Germplasm Searls' prairie clover: Selected class of natural germplasm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Three natural-track selected germplasms of Searls' prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae [A. Gray] Barneby [Fabaceae]) have been released for use in revegetation/restoration of semi-arid rangelands in the western US. Searls' prairie clover is a perennial leguminous forb that is native to Utah, Nevada, Ar...

  14. High School Biology Students' Transfer of the Concept of Natural Selection: A Mixed-Methods Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugh, Kevin J.; Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    The concept of natural selection serves as a foundation for understanding diverse biological concepts and has broad applicability to other domains. However, we know little about students' abilities to transfer (i.e. apply to a new context or use generatively) this concept and the relation between students' conceptual understanding and…

  15. The Case Study: I'm Looking over a White-Striped Clover--A Case of Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krufka, Alison; Evarts, Susan; Wilson, Chester

    2007-01-01

    The case presented in this article is an exploration of the process of natural selection using white clover ("Trifolium repens") as an example. In general, two forms of white clover can be found around the world in various habitats. One type has plain green leaves and the other type produces cyanide as a defense against herbivores and signals the…

  16. 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. PMID:23948780

  17. 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.

  18. 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 strong...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. Application and investigation of a bound for outcome reporting bias

    OpenAIRE

    Gamble Carrol; Williamson Paula R

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background Direct empirical evidence for the existence of outcome reporting bias is accumulating and this source of bias is recognised as a potential threat to the validity of meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Methods A method for calculating the maximum bias in a meta-analysis due to publication bias is adapted for the setting where within-study selective non-reporting of outcomes is suspected, and compared to the alternative approach of missing data imputation. The prope...

  6. The role of natural selection in human evolution - insights from Latin America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzano, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    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:27494200

  7. 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

  8. Index of opportunity for natural selection among the Gowdas of Kodagahalli village, Karnataka, India

    OpenAIRE

    Bhaboklang Sohkhlet

    2013-01-01

    Background: In order to understand how selection is operating in the Gowda population, the index of opportunity for selection was calculated and the present findings were compared with some related findings from other South Indian (SI) populations. Materials and Methods: Crow (1958) and the modified method by Johnston and Kensinger (1971) were used for the present purpose. Results and Discussion: The index of total selection intensity (I) was found to be moderate taking into considerat...

  9. Nature

    OpenAIRE

    Ferretti, Federico; Schmidt Di Friedberg, Marcella

    2012-01-01

    International audience From the ancient times to the present debates on nature and environment, the idea of Nature has been one of the main concepts which interested Geographers. This paper deals with the representations of this idea in the works of thinkers who played a major role in shaping modern Geography, with a special focus on the Mediterranean world. It aims to clarify how Nature was important in defining heuristic strategies of the geographical sciences and their explications of r...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Risk assessment of natural disasters in the course of selection of nuclear waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natural disasters are calamities which bring about enormous damage to human beings and their accommodations and equipment. Based on the research of disaster risk and example study of volcanism, we tried to carry out the risk assessment of natural disasters which potentially occur in the candidate area of nuclear waste disposal by three steps of analyses, defining the most frequent occurring area of disasters, determining the parameters of risk assessment and dividing the most dangerous site and risk grades

  15. 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)

  16. Selection pressure transforms the nature of social dilemmas in adaptive networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Goal-Side Selection in Soccer Penalty Kicking When Viewing Natural Scenes

    OpenAIRE

    Matthias eWeigelt; Daniel eMemmert

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigates the influence of goalkeeper displacement on goal-side selection in soccer penalty kicking. Facing a penalty situation, participants viewed photo-realistic images of a goalkeeper and a soccer goal. In the action selection task, they were asked to kick to the greater goal-side, and in the perception task, they indicated the position of the goalkeeper on the goal line. To this end, the goalkeeper was depicted in a regular goalkeeping posture, standing either in the...

  19. Selected personality traits and achievement motivation in university students of physical culture, education and natural sciences

    OpenAIRE

    Martin Sigmund; Jana Kvintová; Iva Dostálová; Zdeněk Hamřík

    2013-01-01

    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 moti...

  20. Conflicting selection on the timing of germination in a natural population of Arabidopsis thaliana

    OpenAIRE

    AKIYAMA, REIKO; Ågren, Jon

    2014-01-01

    The timing of germination is a key life-history trait that may strongly influence plant fitness and that sets the stage for selection on traits expressed later in the life cycle. In seasonal environments, the period favourable for germination and the total length of the growing season are limited. The optimal timing of germination may therefore be governed by conflicting selection through survival and fecundity. We conducted a field experiment to examine the effects of timing of germination o...

  1. Whole-genome resequencing uncovers molecular signatures of natural and sexual selection in wild bighorn sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kardos, Marty; Luikart, Gordon; Bunch, Rowan; Dewey, Sarah; Edwards, William; McWilliam, Sean; Stephenson, John; Allendorf, Fred W; Hogg, John T; Kijas, James

    2015-11-01

    The identification of genes influencing fitness is central to our understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation and how it shapes phenotypic variation in wild populations. Here, we used whole-genome resequencing of wild Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) to >50-fold coverage to identify 2.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genomic regions bearing signatures of directional selection (i.e. selective sweeps). A comparison of SNP diversity between the X chromosome and the autosomes indicated that bighorn males had a dramatically reduced long-term effective population size compared to females. This probably reflects a long history of intense sexual selection mediated by male-male competition for mates. Selective sweep scans based on heterozygosity and nucleotide diversity revealed evidence for a selective sweep shared across multiple populations at RXFP2, a gene that strongly affects horn size in domestic ungulates. The massive horns carried by bighorn rams appear to have evolved in part via strong positive selection at RXFP2. We identified evidence for selection within individual populations at genes affecting early body growth and cellular response to hypoxia; however, these must be interpreted more cautiously as genetic drift is strong within local populations and may have caused false positives. These results represent a rare example of strong genomic signatures of selection identified at genes with known function in wild populations of a nonmodel species. Our results also showcase the value of reference genome assemblies from agricultural or model species for studies of the genomic basis of adaptation in closely related wild taxa. PMID:26454263

  2. Natural Selection and Genetic Drift: Neutral and adaptive genetic variability of hatchery versus wild populations in brown trout Salmo trutta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Schenekar

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Genetic drift and natural selection are two of the major forces shaping the genetic makeup of a population. Genetic drift reduces genetic variability due to the random loss of alleles during the transition from one generation to the next one. The smaller the population, the stronger genetic drift is. Natural selection favors the spread of specific alleles within a population over time, namely those alleles that are beneficial in the specific environment of this population. Individuals that carry alleles that are less advantageous have a lower probability to survive and reproduce. For establishing a captive population, very often, only a small number of individuals are taken and the number breeding individuals used to maintain the population is limited, thus increasing the amount of genetic drift. On the other hand, the drastically different environment in captivity (artificial diet, higher individual density, altered pathogen pressure, etc. may favor alleles that are maladaptive for individuals when they are released back in the wild, e.g. for stocking measures. We screened both, neutral and adaptive genetic markers, in order to assess the relative importance of genetic drift and selection pressure on wild and hatchery populations of Austrian brown trout. We confirm a strong positive selection pressure on an adaptive locus of the Major histocompatibility Complex (MHC, whereas the signal of this selection pressure was more pronounced in hatchery populations. This may either stem from stronger genetic drift in wild populations due to smaller effective population sizes or a stronger directional selection in these wild populations, whereby only particular genetic variants proved to be adaptive in each specific environment. Therefore, the alleles arising from the hatchery selection regime may be detrimental in the wild, which can lead to lower survival rates of stocked fish in wild environments.

  3. 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.

  4. [Natural selection associated with color vision defects in some population groups of Eurasia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evsiukov, A N

    2014-01-01

    Fitness coefficients and other quantitative parameters of selection associated with the generalized color blindness gene CB+ were obtained for three ethnogeographic population groups, including Belarusians from Belarus, ethnic populations of the Volga-Ural region, and ethnic populations of Siberia and the Far East of Russia. All abnormalities encoded by the OPN1LW and OPN1MW loci were treated as deviations from normal color perception. Coefficients were estimated from an approximation of the observed CB+ frequency distributions to the theoretical stationary distribution for the Wright island model. This model takes into account the pressure of migrations, selection, and random genetic drift, while the selection parameters are represented in the form of the distribution parameters. In the populations of Siberia and Far East, directional selection in favor of normal color vision and the corresponding allele CB- was observed. In the Belarusian and ethnic populations of the Volga-Ural region, stabilizing selection was observed. The selection intensity constituted 0.03 in the Belarusian; 0.22 in the ethnic populations of the Volga-Ural region; and 0.24 in ethnic populations of Siberia and Far East. PMID:25711015

  5. Implications of natural selection in shaping 99.4% nonsynonymous DNA identity between humans and chimpanzees: Enlarging genus Homo

    OpenAIRE

    Wildman, Derek E.; Uddin, Monica; Liu, Guozhen; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Goodman, Morris

    2003-01-01

    What do functionally important DNA sites, those scrutinized and shaped by natural selection, tell us about the place of humans in evolution? Here we compare ≈90 kb of coding DNA nucleotide sequence from 97 human genes to their sequenced chimpanzee counterparts and to available sequenced gorilla, orangutan, and Old World monkey counterparts, and, on a more limited basis, to mouse. The nonsynonymous changes (functionally important), like synonymous changes (functionally much less importan...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Natural Selection at the Brush-Border: Adaptations to Carbohydrate Diets in Humans and Other Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontremoli, Chiara; Mozzi, Alessandra; Forni, Diego; Cagliani, Rachele; Pozzoli, Uberto; Menozzi, Giorgia; Vertemara, Jacopo; Bresolin, Nereo; Clerici, Mario; Sironi, Manuela

    2015-01-01

    Dietary shifts can drive molecular evolution in mammals and a major transition in human history, the agricultural revolution, favored carbohydrate consumption. We investigated the evolutionary history of nine genes encoding brush-border proteins involved in carbohydrate digestion/absorption. Results indicated widespread adaptive evolution in mammals, with several branches experiencing episodic selection, particularly strong in bats. Many positively selected sites map to functional protein regions (e.g., within glucosidase catalytic crevices), with parallel evolution at SI (sucrase-isomaltase) and MGAM (maltase-glucoamylase). In human populations, five genes were targeted by positive selection acting on noncoding variants within regulatory elements. Analysis of ancient DNA samples indicated that most derived alleles were already present in the Paleolithic. Positively selected variants at SLC2A5 (fructose transporter) were an exception and possibly spread following the domestication of specific fruit crops. We conclude that agriculture determined no major selective event at carbohydrate metabolism genes in humans, with implications for susceptibility to metabolic disorders. PMID:26319403

  9. Detection Biases in Bluffing

    OpenAIRE

    Holm, Håkan J.

    2008-01-01

    Beliefs in signals that reveal lies or truths are widespread. These signals may lead to a truth or lie detection bias if the probability that such a signal is perceived by the receiver is contingent on the truth value of the sender’s message. Such detection biases are analyzed theoretically in a bluffing game. The detection bias shrinks the equilibrium set to a unique non-pooling equilibrium, in which the better a player is at detecting lies the more often the opponent player will lie. With p...

  10. Tail streamers and flight performance in barn swallows:natural or sexual selection?

    OpenAIRE

    Barbosa, Andrés

    1999-01-01

    [ES] La forma de la cola y la eficacia del vuelo en la Golondrina Común: ¿selección natural o selección sexual? En este trabajo se discuten algunos problemas metodológicos graves que afectan a las conclusiones presentadas en un artículo reciente, publicado por Evans (1998) en la revista Nature, sobre la evolución de la forma de la cola en los machos de Golondrina Común Hirundo rustica. Se concluye que la interpretación desarrollada en ese artículo debe ser considerada con mucha ca...

  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. 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

  13. Selectivity of natural, synthetic and environmental estrogens for zebrafish estrogen receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 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…

  15. Comparison of selective media for detection and enumeration of naturally occurring Campylobacter spp. on poultry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction: Campylobacter spp. are known to be among the most common bacteria to cause diarrheal illness, with poultry being linked as the primary source of contamination related to foodborne illness. Enumeration and detection of low numbers of naturally occurring Campylobacter spp. on poultry pro...

  16. The Nature of Spiritual Questioning among Select Undergraduates at a Midwestern University: Constructions, Conditions, and Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    This study explored the constructions of spiritual questions in the lives of undergraduates at a Midwestern University, with regard to the nature of the spiritual questions they construct during the college experience; the sources, motivating forces, and factors that trigger their materialization; circumstances and contexts that influence the…

  17. Selective expansion of human natural killer cells leads to enhanced alloreactivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eissens, D.N.; Michelo, C.M.; Preijers, F.W.M.B.; Cranenbroek, B. van; Houwelingen, K.P. van; Meer, A. van der; Joosten, I.

    2014-01-01

    In allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT), natural killer (NK) cells lacking their cognate inhibitory ligand can induce graft-versus-leukemia responses, without the induction of severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). This feature can be exploited for cellular immunotherapy. In this study, we e

  18. 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...

  19. Evolution in an Afternoon: Rapid Natural Selection and Adaptation of Bacterial Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delpech, Roger

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a simple, rapid and low-cost technique for growing bacteria (or other microbes) in an environmental gradient, in order to determine the tolerance of the microbial population to varying concentrations of sodium chloride ions, and suggests how the evolutionary response of a microbial population to the selection pressure of the…

  20. Environment-dependent selection on mate choice in a natural population of birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Robinson, Matthew R.; van Doorn, G. Sander; Gustafsson, Lars; Qvarnstrom, Anna

    2012-01-01

    Female mate choice acts as an important evolutionary force, yet the influence of the environment on both its expression and the selective pressures acting upon it remains unknown. We found consistent heritable differences between females in their choice of mate based on ornament size during a 25-yea