WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological evolution

  1. Consciousness and biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, B I

    1997-08-21

    It has been suggested that if the preservation and development of consciousness in the biological evolution is a result of natural selection, it is plausible that consciousness not only has been influenced by neural processes, but has had a survival value itself; and it could only have had this, if it had also been efficacious. This argument for mind-brain interaction is examined, both as the argument has been developed by William James and Karl Popper and as it has been discussed by C.D. Broad. The problem of identifying mental phenomena with certain neural phenomena is also addressed. The main conclusion of the analysis is that an explanation of the evolution of consciousness in Darwinian terms of natural selection does not rule out that consciousness may have evolved as a mere causally inert effect of the evolution of the nervous system, or that mental phenomena are identical with certain neural phenomena. However, the interactionistic theory still seems, more plausible and more fruitful for other reasons brought up in the discussion.

  2. Evolution, Entropy, & Biological Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    A logical question to be expected from students: "How could life develop, that is, change, evolve from simple, primitive organisms into the complex forms existing today, while at the same time there is a generally observed decline and disorganization--the second law of thermodynamics?" The explanations in biology textbooks relied upon by…

  3. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations

    OpenAIRE

    Salem, Mohammad Saad Zaghloul

    2014-01-01

    Background: The concept of biological evolution has long been accepted as a palatable theory aiming at explaining how life began and how creatures diverged so widely along the life span of the earth. Meticulous analysis and criticism of the different postulations of this concept, however, reveals that evolution is an illogic concept based on theoretical hypotheses that can never be tested. Creation, on the other hand, represents the other side of the coin, and up till now debates confronting ...

  4. A comparison of biological and cultural evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the intellectual and moral characters of man have emerged as results of biological ..... tural selection is at least partly based on conscious action. In cultural evolution .... Transfer of information in biological and cultural evolution. In biological.

  5. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Saad Zaghloul Salem

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: Natural selection might be observed in nature but not in life. The concept of biological evolution is an illogic and insensible hypothesis since it stands in direct contradiction with our current knowledge regarding the behavior as well as the structural and functional characteristics of the human genome and human proteome. Additionally, almost all basic postulations of this concept can neither be tested nor imitated for experimentation, which is a prerequisite for acceptance and validation of any scientific hypotheses.

  6. Student Teachers' Approaches to Teaching Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Klein, Vanessa A.; Ghosh, Rajlakshmi; Eibel, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is fundamental to biology and scientific literacy, but teaching high school evolution is often difficult. Evolution teachers face several challenges including limited content knowledge, personal conflicts with evolution, expectations of resistance, concerns about students' conflicts with religion, and curricular constraints. Evolution…

  7. A comparison of biological and cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portin, Petter

    2015-03-01

    This review begins with a definition of biological evolution and a description of its general principles. This is followed by a presentation of the biological basis of culture, specifically the concept of social selection. Further, conditions for cultural evolution are proposed, including a suggestion for language being the cultural replicator corresponding to the concept of the gene in biological evolution. Principles of cultural evolution are put forward and compared to the principles of biological evolution. Special emphasis is laid on the principle of selection in cultural evolution, including presentation of the concept of cultural fitness. The importance of language as a necessary condition for cultural evolution is stressed. Subsequently, prime differences between biological and cultural evolution are presented, followed by a discussion on interaction of our genome and our culture. The review aims at contributing to the present discussion concerning the modern development of the general theory of evolution, for example by giving a tentative formulation of the necessary and sufficient conditions for cultural evolution, and proposing that human creativity and mind reading or theory of mind are motors specific for it. The paper ends with the notion of the still ongoing coevolution of genes and culture.

  8. Towards physical principles of biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsnelson, Mikhail I.; Wolf, Yuri I.; Koonin, Eugene V.

    2018-03-01

    Biological systems reach organizational complexity that far exceeds the complexity of any known inanimate objects. Biological entities undoubtedly obey the laws of quantum physics and statistical mechanics. However, is modern physics sufficient to adequately describe, model and explain the evolution of biological complexity? Detailed parallels have been drawn between statistical thermodynamics and the population-genetic theory of biological evolution. Based on these parallels, we outline new perspectives on biological innovation and major transitions in evolution, and introduce a biological equivalent of thermodynamic potential that reflects the innovation propensity of an evolving population. Deep analogies have been suggested to also exist between the properties of biological entities and processes, and those of frustrated states in physics, such as glasses. Such systems are characterized by frustration whereby local state with minimal free energy conflict with the global minimum, resulting in ‘emergent phenomena’. We extend such analogies by examining frustration-type phenomena, such as conflicts between different levels of selection, in biological evolution. These frustration effects appear to drive the evolution of biological complexity. We further address evolution in multidimensional fitness landscapes from the point of view of percolation theory and suggest that percolation at level above the critical threshold dictates the tree-like evolution of complex organisms. Taken together, these multiple connections between fundamental processes in physics and biology imply that construction of a meaningful physical theory of biological evolution might not be a futile effort. However, it is unrealistic to expect that such a theory can be created in one scoop; if it ever comes to being, this can only happen through integration of multiple physical models of evolutionary processes. Furthermore, the existing framework of theoretical physics is unlikely to suffice

  9. Student Teachers' Approaches to Teaching Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Klein, Vanessa A.; Ghosh, Rajlakshmi; Eibel, Albert

    2015-06-01

    Evolution is fundamental to biology and scientific literacy, but teaching high school evolution is often difficult. Evolution teachers face several challenges including limited content knowledge, personal conflicts with evolution, expectations of resistance, concerns about students' conflicts with religion, and curricular constraints. Evolution teaching can be particularly challenging for student teachers who are just beginning to gain pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge related to evolution teaching and who seek approval from university supervisors and cooperating teachers. Science teacher educators need to know how to best support student teachers as they broach the sometimes daunting task of teaching evolution within student teaching placements. This multiple case study report documents how three student teachers approached evolution instruction and what influenced their approaches. Data sources included student teacher interviews, field note observations for 4-5 days of evolution instruction, and evolution instructional artifacts. Data were analyzed using grounded theory approaches to develop individual cases and a cross-case analysis. Seven influences (state exams and standards, cooperating teacher, ideas about teaching and learning, concerns about evolution controversy, personal commitment to evolution, knowledge and preparation for teaching evolution, and own evolution learning experiences) were identified and compared across cases. Implications for science teacher preparation and future research are provided.

  10. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mohammad Saad Zaghloul Salem

    2013-12-08

    Dec 8, 2013 ... cept of evolution, viz. genetic memory and evolutionary variations, genomic adaptations to stress .... or codons, along the transcript without giving attention to whether they are ... They do not affect the genome in a straightfor-.

  11. Cultural and biological evolution of phonemic speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, B.; Freitas, A.A.; Capcarrere, M.S.; Bentley, Peter J.; Johnson, Colin G.; Timmis, Jon

    2005-01-01

    This paper investigates the interaction between cultural evolution and biological evolution in the emergence of phonemic coding in speech. It is observed that our nearest relatives, the primates, use holistic utterances, whereas humans use phonemic utterances. It can therefore be argued that our

  12. Academic Preparation in Biology and Advocacy for Teaching Evolution: Biology versus Non-Biology Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Kim, Sun Young; Sheppard, Keith

    2009-01-01

    Despite considerable focus on evolution knowledge-belief relationships, little research has targeted populations with strong content backgrounds, such as undergraduate degrees in biology. This study (1) measured precertified biology and non-biology teachers' (n = 167) knowledge of evolution and the nature of science; (2) quantified teacher…

  13. Worldviews and evolution in the biology classroom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilders, M.; Sloep, P.; Peled, E.; Boersma, K.T.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined what worldviews are present among Dutch students and teachers and how the students cope with scientific knowledge acquired in the biology classroom. Furthermore, we investigated what learning and teaching strategies teachers adopt when they teach about evolution and worldviews.

  14. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations | Salem ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: Natural selection might be observed in nature but not in life. The concept of biological evolution is an illogic and insensible hypothesis since it stands in direct contradiction with our current knowledge regarding the behavior as well as the structural and functional characteristics of the human genome and human ...

  15. Quantum mechanics formalism for biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bianconi, Ginestra; Rahmede, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Biological evolution is an off-equilibrium process described by path integrals over phylogenies. ► The phylogenies are sums of linear lineages for asexual populations. ► For sexual populations, each lineage is a tree and the path integral is given by a sum over these trees. ► Quantum statistics describe the stationary state of biological populations in simple cases. - Abstract: We study the evolution of sexual and asexual populations in fitness landscapes compatible with epistatic interactions. We find intriguing relations between the mathematics of biological evolution and quantum mechanics formalism. We give the general structure of the evolution of sexual and asexual populations which is in general an off-equilibrium process that can be expressed by path integrals over phylogenies. These phylogenies are the sum of linear lineages for asexual populations. For sexual populations, instead, each lineage is a tree of branching ratio two and the path integral describing the evolving population is given by a sum over these trees. Finally we show that the Bose–Einstein and the Fermi–Dirac distributions describe the stationary state of biological populations in simple cases.

  16. [Around biological evolution. Reflections of a physicist].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Palencia, Evariste

    2016-01-01

    This text is the written version of a talk at the Société de Biologie on February 17, 2016. It contains reflections of a non-biologist scientist on general problems of biological evolution, including the kind of causality involved, the ideas emerging from it, in particular the constructive and structuring character of phenomena such as predation, the role of stability and attractors. This leads to a larger reflection on dialectics, the general framework of evolving processes, which overpasses formal logic and instantaneousness. © Société de Biologie, 2016.

  17. Biology Teachers' Professional Development Needs for Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrichsen, Patricia J.; Linke, Nicholas; Barnett, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    The social controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution puts pressure on secondary biology teachers to deemphasize or omit evolution from their curriculum. In this growing pressure, professional development can offer support to biology teachers. In this study, we surveyed secondary biology teachers in Missouri and report the data from…

  18. A comparison of biological and cultural evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    Aug 26, 2016 ... fitness; information; language; learning; teaching. ... Further, conditions for cultural evolution are proposed, including a suggestion for language being the cultural replicator corresponding to the concept of the gene in ... The importance of language as a necessary condition for cultural evolution is stressed.

  19. Evolution Acceptance and Epistemological Beliefs of College Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Deniz, Hasan; Anderson, Elizabeth Shevock

    2017-01-01

    Evolutionary theory is central to biology, and scientifically accurate evolution instruction is promoted within national and state standards documents. Previous literature has identified students' epistemological beliefs as potential predictors of evolution acceptance. The present work seeks to explore more directly how student views of evolution…

  20. On the transition period from chemical to biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chela-Flores, J.

    1991-06-01

    We discuss the consequences of the hypothesis that biological evolution was contemporary with an important event in chemical evolution, namely, the induction of a small chiral bias by the electroweak neutral interaction, amplified by the Salam enhancement factor, which we discuss in terms of familiar crystallographic terms. (author). 18 refs, 3 tabs

  1. Mass extinctions vs. uniformitarianism in biological evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bak, P.; Paczuski, M.

    1995-12-31

    It is usually believed that Darwin`s theory leads to a smooth gradual evolution, so that mass extinctions must be caused by external shocks. However, it has recently been argued that mass extinctions arise from the intrinsic dynamics of Darwinian evolution. Species become extinct when swept by intermittent avalanches propagating through the global ecology. These ideas are made concrete through studies of simple mathematical models of co-evolving species. The models exhibit self-organized criticality and describe some general features of the extinction pattern in the fossil record.

  2. Selection platforms for directed evolution in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tizei, Pedro A G; Csibra, Eszter; Torres, Leticia; Pinheiro, Vitor B

    2016-08-15

    Life on Earth is incredibly diverse. Yet, underneath that diversity, there are a number of constants and highly conserved processes: all life is based on DNA and RNA; the genetic code is universal; biology is limited to a small subset of potential chemistries. A vast amount of knowledge has been accrued through describing and characterizing enzymes, biological processes and organisms. Nevertheless, much remains to be understood about the natural world. One of the goals in Synthetic Biology is to recapitulate biological complexity from simple systems made from biological molecules-gaining a deeper understanding of life in the process. Directed evolution is a powerful tool in Synthetic Biology, able to bypass gaps in knowledge and capable of engineering even the most highly conserved biological processes. It encompasses a range of methodologies to create variation in a population and to select individual variants with the desired function-be it a ligand, enzyme, pathway or even whole organisms. Here, we present some of the basic frameworks that underpin all evolution platforms and review some of the recent contributions from directed evolution to synthetic biology, in particular methods that have been used to engineer the Central Dogma and the genetic code. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. Human evolution. Evolution of early Homo: an integrated biological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antón, Susan C; Potts, Richard; Aiello, Leslie C

    2014-07-04

    Integration of evidence over the past decade has revised understandings about the major adaptations underlying the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo. Many features associated with Homo sapiens, including our large linear bodies, elongated hind limbs, large energy-expensive brains, reduced sexual dimorphism, increased carnivory, and unique life history traits, were once thought to have evolved near the origin of the genus in response to heightened aridity and open habitats in Africa. However, recent analyses of fossil, archaeological, and environmental data indicate that such traits did not arise as a single package. Instead, some arose substantially earlier and some later than previously thought. From ~2.5 to 1.5 million years ago, three lineages of early Homo evolved in a context of habitat instability and fragmentation on seasonal, intergenerational, and evolutionary time scales. These contexts gave a selective advantage to traits, such as dietary flexibility and larger body size, that facilitated survival in shifting environments. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. Time rescaling and pattern formation in biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igamberdiev, Abir U

    2014-09-01

    Biological evolution is analyzed as a process of continuous measurement in which biosystems interpret themselves in the environment resulting in changes of both. This leads to rescaling of internal time (heterochrony) followed by spatial reconstructions of morphology (heterotopy). The logical precondition of evolution is the incompleteness of biosystem's internal description, while the physical precondition is the uncertainty of quantum measurement. The process of evolution is based on perpetual changes in interpretation of information in the changing world. In this interpretation the external biospheric gradients are used for establishment of new features of organization. It is concluded that biological evolution involves the anticipatory epigenetic changes in the interpretation of genetic symbolism which cannot generally be forecasted but can provide canalization of structural transformations defined by the existing organization and leading to predictable patterns of form generation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Quantum information and the problem of mechanisms of biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melkikh, Alexey V

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important conditions for replication in early evolution is the de facto elimination of the conformational degrees of freedom of the replicators, the mechanisms of which remain unclear. In addition, realistic evolutionary timescales can be established based only on partially directed evolution, further complicating this issue. A division of the various evolutionary theories into two classes has been proposed based on the presence or absence of a priori information about the evolving system. A priori information plays a key role in solving problems in evolution. Here, a model of partially directed evolution, based on the learning automata theory, which includes a priori information about the fitness space, is proposed. A potential repository of such prior information is the states of biologically important molecules. Thus, the need for extended evolutionary synthesis is discussed. Experiments to test the hypothesis of partially directed evolution are proposed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Harlow Shapley's Biological Universe: Cosmic Evolution and its Uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmeri, J.

    2002-12-01

    Harlow Shapley was an astronomer with a lifelong interest in biological questions. An early fascination with ants acquired at Mount Wilson became a continuing avocation. During his years in California, Shapley made frequent trips to La Jolla biological station and interacted with prominent biologists. At Harvard in the 1920s Shapley initiated a series of interdisciplinary seminars, one of which was on "The Origin of Life." At this time he also displayed an interest in the question of life in the universe. In response to an inquiry from Charles Abbot of the Smithsonian, Shapley identified "life in the universe" as one of the most important scientific questions of the day. Shapley's continuing interest in these questions found expression in his many popularizations - articles, books, lectures, and other media. (A decade before Sagan's memorable appearances on the Johnny Carson show, Shapley was engaging in his own dialogue with the American public on life in the universe, through Tonight Show host Jack Paar). Evolution was the idea that underlay Shapley's discussions of these biological themes and the vehicle through which he popularized science as well as his own vision of the wider significance of science for humanity. As an astronomer with a profound interest in biological subjects, Shapley was uniquely positioned to popularize cosmic evolution, and to use this theme to promote his belief that science could serve as a kind of "stellar theology." Shapley's case illustrates how cosmic evolution, like biological evolution, has served as more than a scientific account of nature; it has become an idea invested with moral and cultural significance. Shapley's promotion of cosmic evolution throughout the 1950s and 1960s can be understood against the backdrop of developments in the sciences as well as the historical and personal factors that shaped his career as a spokesman for science. This research was supported by grants from the American Institute of Physics and the

  7. Factors Potentially Influencing Student Acceptance of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiles, Jason R.

    This investigation explored scientific, religious, and otherwise nonscientific factors that may influence student acceptance of biological evolution and related concepts, how students perceived these factors to have influenced their levels of acceptance of evolution and changes therein, and what patterns arose among students' articulations of how their levels of acceptance of evolution may have changed. This exploration also measured the extent to which students' levels of acceptance changed following a treatment designed to address factors identified as potentially affecting student acceptance of evolution. Acceptance of evolution was measured using the MATE instrument (Rutledge and Warden, 1999; Rutledge and Sadler, 2007) among participants enrolled in a secondary-level academic program during the summer prior to their final year of high school and as they transitioned to the post-secondary level. Student acceptance of evolution was measured to be significantly higher than pre-treatment levels both immediately following and slightly over one year after treatment. Qualitative data from informal questionnaires, from formal course evaluations, and from semi-structured interviews of students engaged in secondary level education and former students at various stages of post-secondary education confirmed that the suspected factors were perceived by participants to have influenced their levels of acceptance of evolution. Furthermore, participant reports provided insight regarding the relative effects they perceived these factors to have had on their evolution acceptance levels. Additionally, many participants reported that their science teachers in public schools had avoided, omitted, or denigrated evolution during instruction, and several of these students expressed frustration regarding what they perceived to have been a lack of education of an important scientific principle. Finally, no students expressed feelings of being offended by having been taught about

  8. The Origin and Evolution of Complex Enough Systems in Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Brändas, Erkki

    2017-01-01

    Recent criticisms of Neo-Darwinism are considered and disputed within the setting of recent advances in chemical physics. A related query, viz., the ontological thesis, that everything is physical, confronts a crucial test on the validity of reductionism as a fundamental approach to science.  While traditional ‘physicalism’ interprets evolution as a sequence of physical accidents governed by the second law of thermodynamics, the concepts of biology concern processes that owe their goal-direct...

  9. Biological information systems: Evolution as cognition-based information management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, William B

    2018-05-01

    An alternative biological synthesis is presented that conceptualizes evolutionary biology as an epiphenomenon of integrated self-referential information management. Since all biological information has inherent ambiguity, the systematic assessment of information is required by living organisms to maintain self-identity and homeostatic equipoise in confrontation with environmental challenges. Through their self-referential attachment to information space, cells are the cornerstone of biological action. That individualized assessment of information space permits self-referential, self-organizing niche construction. That deployment of information and its subsequent selection enacted the dominant stable unicellular informational architectures whose biological expressions are the prokaryotic, archaeal, and eukaryotic unicellular forms. Multicellularity represents the collective appraisal of equivocal environmental information through a shared information space. This concerted action can be viewed as systematized information management to improve information quality for the maintenance of preferred homeostatic boundaries among the varied participants. When reiterated in successive scales, this same collaborative exchange of information yields macroscopic organisms as obligatory multicellular holobionts. Cognition-Based Evolution (CBE) upholds that assessment of information precedes biological action, and the deployment of information through integrative self-referential niche construction and natural cellular engineering antecedes selection. Therefore, evolutionary biology can be framed as a complex reciprocating interactome that consists of the assessment, communication, deployment and management of information by self-referential organisms at multiple scales in continuous confrontation with environmental stresses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. [Analysis on property of meridian supramolecules by biological evolution path].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Kaiwen; Tao, Yeqin; Tang, Wenhan; He, Fuyuan; Liu, Wenlong; Shi, Jilian; Yang, Yantao; Zhou, Yiqun; Chang, Xiaorong

    2017-03-12

    With human placed in the whole nature, by following the biologic evolution path, the property of channel structure for "imprinting template" in meridian and zang-fu was explored with supramolecular chemistry. In the history of biologic evolution, each molecule in "molecule society" gradually developed into various highly-ordered supramolecular bodies based on self-identification, self-assembly, self-organization, self-replicating of"imprinting template", and thereby the original biochemical system was established, and finally evolved into human. In the forming process of supramolecular bodies, the channel structure of"imprinting template" in guest supramolecular bodies would be kept by host supramolecular bodies, and communicate with the outside to exchange materials, energy, information, otherwise life phenomenon could not continue, for which it was the chemical nature of biolo-gical supramolecular bodies for body to develop meridian. Therefore, the human was a gigantic and complicated supramolecules body in biological nature, and possessed the supramolecules "imprinting template" at each stage of evolution, for which the meridians were formed. When meridians converged, acupoints appeared; when acupointsconverged, zang-fu appeared. With the promotion of the blood from heart, according to"imprinting template", the guest supramolecular bodies and host meridian produced qi -analysis, which was the qi -phenomenon of guest in meridian. It presented as zang-fu image of physiology and pathology as well as action regularities of medication and acupuncture tolerance, by which current various meridian viewpoints could be explained and propose the hypothesis of meridian supramolecular bodies. The meridian and its phenomenon was decide by its "imprinting template" of supramolecular bodies and self-reaction regularities, which abided through the living nature. This was the substance for meridian biology.

  11. Evolution of egg coats: linking molecular biology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Longfei; Suter, Marc J-F; Räsänen, Katja

    2015-08-01

    One central goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how biological diversity emerges and is maintained in nature. Given the complexity of the phenotype and the multifaceted nature of inheritance, modern evolutionary ecological studies rely heavily on the use of molecular tools. Here, we show how molecular tools help to gain insight into the role of egg coats (i.e. the extracellular structures surrounding eggs and embryos) in evolutionary diversification. Egg coats are maternally derived structures that have many biological functions from mediating fertilization to protecting the embryo from environmental hazards. They show great molecular, structural and functional diversity across species, but intraspecific variability and the role of ecology in egg coat evolution have largely been overlooked. Given that much of the variation that influences egg coat function is ultimately determined by their molecular phenotype, cutting-edge molecular tools (e.g. proteomics, glycomics and transcriptomics), combined with functional assays, are needed for rigorous inferences on their evolutionary ecology. Here, we identify key research areas and highlight emerging molecular techniques that can increase our understanding of the role of egg coats in the evolution of biological diversity, from adaptation to speciation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Quantum selfish gene (biological evolution in terms of quantum mechanics)

    OpenAIRE

    Ozhigov, Yuri I.

    2013-01-01

    I propose to treat the biological evolution of genoms by means of quantum mechanical tools. We start with the concept of meta- gene, which specifies the "selfish gene" of R.Dawkins. Meta- gene encodes the abstract living unity, which can live relatively independently of the others, and can contain a few real creatures. Each population of living creatures we treat as the wave function on meta- genes, which module squared is the total number of creatures with the given meta-gene, and the phase ...

  13. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E

    2015-03-19

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E.

    2015-01-01

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. PMID:25646511

  15. Biological evolution of replicator systems: towards a quantitative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Osmel; Horvath, J E

    2013-04-01

    The aim of this work is to study the features of a simple replicator chemical model of the relation between kinetic stability and entropy production under the action of external perturbations. We quantitatively explore the different paths leading to evolution in a toy model where two independent replicators compete for the same substrate. To do that, the same scenario described originally by Pross (J Phys Org Chem 17:312-316, 2004) is revised and new criteria to define the kinetic stability are proposed. Our results suggest that fast replicator populations are continually favored by the effects of strong stochastic environmental fluctuations capable to determine the global population, the former assumed to be the only acting evolution force. We demonstrate that the process is continually driven by strong perturbations only, and that population crashes may be useful proxies for these catastrophic environmental fluctuations. As expected, such behavior is particularly enhanced under very large scale perturbations, suggesting a likely dynamical footprint in the recovery patterns of new species after mass extinction events in the Earth's geological past. Furthermore, the hypothesis that natural selection always favors the faster processes may give theoretical support to different studies that claim the applicability of maximum principles like the Maximum Metabolic Flux (MMF) or Maximum Entropy Productions Principle (MEPP), seen as the main goal of biological evolution.

  16. Elastic Multi-scale Mechanisms: Computation and Biological Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz Ochoa, Juan G

    2018-01-01

    Explanations based on low-level interacting elements are valuable and powerful since they contribute to identify the key mechanisms of biological functions. However, many dynamic systems based on low-level interacting elements with unambiguous, finite, and complete information of initial states generate future states that cannot be predicted, implying an increase of complexity and open-ended evolution. Such systems are like Turing machines, that overlap with dynamical systems that cannot halt. We argue that organisms find halting conditions by distorting these mechanisms, creating conditions for a constant creativity that drives evolution. We introduce a modulus of elasticity to measure the changes in these mechanisms in response to changes in the computed environment. We test this concept in a population of predators and predated cells with chemotactic mechanisms and demonstrate how the selection of a given mechanism depends on the entire population. We finally explore this concept in different frameworks and postulate that the identification of predictive mechanisms is only successful with small elasticity modulus.

  17. Formation of dominant mode by evolution in biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furusawa, Chikara; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2018-04-01

    A reduction in high-dimensional phenotypic states to a few degrees of freedom is essential to understand biological systems. Here, we show evolutionary robustness causes such reduction which restricts possible phenotypic changes in response to a variety of environmental conditions. First, global protein expression changes in Escherichia coli after various environmental perturbations were shown to be proportional across components, across different types of environmental conditions. To examine if such dimension reduction is a result of evolution, we analyzed a cell model—with a huge number of components, that reproduces itself via a catalytic reaction network—and confirmed that common proportionality in the concentrations of all components is shaped through evolutionary processes. We found that the changes in concentration across all components in response to environmental and evolutionary changes are constrained to the changes along a one-dimensional major axis, within a huge-dimensional state space. On the basis of these observations, we propose a theory in which such constraints in phenotypic changes are achieved both by evolutionary robustness and plasticity and formulate this proposition in terms of dynamical systems. Accordingly, broad experimental and numerical results on phenotypic changes caused by evolution and adaptation are coherently explained.

  18. The evolution of fairness in a biological market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Jean-Baptiste; Baumard, Nicolas

    2011-05-01

    Human beings universally express a concern for the fairness of social interactions, and it remains an open question that which ultimate factors led to the evolution of this preference. Here, we present a model accounting for the evolution of fairness on the basis of individual selection alone. We consider a simple social interaction based on the Dictator Game. Two individuals, a "proposer" and a "responder," have an opportunity to split a resource. When they have no choice but to interact together, the most powerful (here the proposer) reaps all the profits and fairness cannot evolve. Partner choice is the key lever to overcome this difficulty. Rather than just two individuals, we consider a population composed of two classes of individuals (either proposers or responders), and we allow the responders to choose their partner. In such a "biological market," fairness evolves as an "equilibrium price," resulting from an ecological equivalent of the law of supply and demand. If a class is disadvantaged by the chosen resource partition (i.e., if it frequently receives less than half of the resource), it is outcompeted by the other one, and automatically becomes rarer. This rarity grants it an advantage on the market, which yields in turn to the evolution of a more favorable partition. Splitting the resource into two identical halves, or more generally in a way that equalizes the payoffs of the two classes, is then the only evolutionarily stable outcome. Beyond human fairness, this mechanism also opens up new ways of explaining the distribution of benefits in many mutualistic interactions. No Claim to original U.S. government works.

  19. Evolution of bow-tie architectures in biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Friedlander

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Bow-tie or hourglass structure is a common architectural feature found in many biological systems. A bow-tie in a multi-layered structure occurs when intermediate layers have much fewer components than the input and output layers. Examples include metabolism where a handful of building blocks mediate between multiple input nutrients and multiple output biomass components, and signaling networks where information from numerous receptor types passes through a small set of signaling pathways to regulate multiple output genes. Little is known, however, about how bow-tie architectures evolve. Here, we address the evolution of bow-tie architectures using simulations of multi-layered systems evolving to fulfill a given input-output goal. We find that bow-ties spontaneously evolve when the information in the evolutionary goal can be compressed. Mathematically speaking, bow-ties evolve when the rank of the input-output matrix describing the evolutionary goal is deficient. The maximal compression possible (the rank of the goal determines the size of the narrowest part of the network-that is the bow-tie. A further requirement is that a process is active to reduce the number of links in the network, such as product-rule mutations, otherwise a non-bow-tie solution is found in the evolutionary simulations. This offers a mechanism to understand a common architectural principle of biological systems, and a way to quantitate the effective rank of the goals under which they evolved.

  20. The emergence and early evolution of biological carbon-fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braakman, Rogier; Smith, Eric

    2012-01-01

    The fixation of CO₂ into living matter sustains all life on Earth, and embeds the biosphere within geochemistry. The six known chemical pathways used by extant organisms for this function are recognized to have overlaps, but their evolution is incompletely understood. Here we reconstruct the complete early evolutionary history of biological carbon-fixation, relating all modern pathways to a single ancestral form. We find that innovations in carbon-fixation were the foundation for most major early divergences in the tree of life. These findings are based on a novel method that fully integrates metabolic and phylogenetic constraints. Comparing gene-profiles across the metabolic cores of deep-branching organisms and requiring that they are capable of synthesizing all their biomass components leads to the surprising conclusion that the most common form for deep-branching autotrophic carbon-fixation combines two disconnected sub-networks, each supplying carbon to distinct biomass components. One of these is a linear folate-based pathway of CO₂ reduction previously only recognized as a fixation route in the complete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, but which more generally may exclude the final step of synthesizing acetyl-CoA. Using metabolic constraints we then reconstruct a "phylometabolic" tree with a high degree of parsimony that traces the evolution of complete carbon-fixation pathways, and has a clear structure down to the root. This tree requires few instances of lateral gene transfer or convergence, and instead suggests a simple evolutionary dynamic in which all divergences have primary environmental causes. Energy optimization and oxygen toxicity are the two strongest forces of selection. The root of this tree combines the reductive citric acid cycle and the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway into a single connected network. This linked network lacks the selective optimization of modern fixation pathways but its redundancy leads to a more robust topology, making it more

  1. The emergence and early evolution of biological carbon-fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier Braakman

    Full Text Available The fixation of CO₂ into living matter sustains all life on Earth, and embeds the biosphere within geochemistry. The six known chemical pathways used by extant organisms for this function are recognized to have overlaps, but their evolution is incompletely understood. Here we reconstruct the complete early evolutionary history of biological carbon-fixation, relating all modern pathways to a single ancestral form. We find that innovations in carbon-fixation were the foundation for most major early divergences in the tree of life. These findings are based on a novel method that fully integrates metabolic and phylogenetic constraints. Comparing gene-profiles across the metabolic cores of deep-branching organisms and requiring that they are capable of synthesizing all their biomass components leads to the surprising conclusion that the most common form for deep-branching autotrophic carbon-fixation combines two disconnected sub-networks, each supplying carbon to distinct biomass components. One of these is a linear folate-based pathway of CO₂ reduction previously only recognized as a fixation route in the complete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, but which more generally may exclude the final step of synthesizing acetyl-CoA. Using metabolic constraints we then reconstruct a "phylometabolic" tree with a high degree of parsimony that traces the evolution of complete carbon-fixation pathways, and has a clear structure down to the root. This tree requires few instances of lateral gene transfer or convergence, and instead suggests a simple evolutionary dynamic in which all divergences have primary environmental causes. Energy optimization and oxygen toxicity are the two strongest forces of selection. The root of this tree combines the reductive citric acid cycle and the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway into a single connected network. This linked network lacks the selective optimization of modern fixation pathways but its redundancy leads to a more robust topology

  2. Biology Students' and Teachers' Religious Beliefs and Attitudes towards Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozay Kose, Esra

    2010-01-01

    Evolution has not being well addressed in schools partly because it is a controversial topic in religious views. In the present study, it is explored to what extent Turkish secondary school biology teachers and students accommodate the theory of biological evolution with their religious beliefs. Two-hundred fifty secondary school students and…

  3. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Roffman

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The closest living relatives of humans are their chimpanzee/bonobo (Pan sister species, members of the same subfamily “Homininae”. This classification is supported by over 50 years of research in the fields of chimpanzee cultural diversity, language competency, genomics, anatomy, high cognition, psychology, society, self-consciousness and relation to others, tool use/production, as well as Homo level emotions, symbolic competency, memory recollection, complex multifaceted problem-solving capabilities, and interspecies communication. Language competence and symbolism can be continuously bridged from chimpanzee to man. Emotions, intercommunity aggression, body language, gestures, facial expressions, and vocalization of intonations seem to parallel between the sister taxa Homo and Pan. The shared suite of traits between Pan and Homo genus demonstrated in this article integrates old and new information on human–chimpanzee evolution, bilateral informational and cross-cultural exchange, promoting the urgent need for Pan cultures in the wild to be protected, as they are part of the cultural heritage of mankind. Also, we suggest that bonobos, Pan paniscus, based on shared traits with Australopithecus, need to be included in Australopithecine’s subgenus, and may even represent living-fossil Australopithecines. Unfolding bonobo and chimpanzee biology highlights our common genetic and cultural evolutionary origins.

  4. Evolution of approaches to viral safety issues for biological products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubiniecki, Anthony S

    2011-01-01

    CONFERENCE PROCEEDING Proceedings of the PDA/FDA Adventitious Viruses in Biologics: Detection and Mitigation Strategies Workshop in Bethesda, MD, USA; December 1-3, 2010 Guest Editors: Arifa Khan (Bethesda, MD), Patricia Hughes (Bethesda, MD) and Michael Wiebe (San Francisco, CA) Approaches to viral safety issues for biological products have evolved during the past 50+ years. The first cell culture products (viral vaccines) relied largely on the use of in vitro and in vivo virus screening assays that were based upon infectivity of adventitious viral agents. The use of Cohn fractionation and pasteurization by manufacturers of plasma derivatives introduced the concepts that purification and treatment with physical and chemical agents could greatly reduce the risk of viral contamination of human albumin and immunoglobulin products. But the limitations of such approaches became clear for thermolabile products that were removed early in fractionation such as antihemophilic factors, which transmitted hepatitis viruses and HIV-1 to some product recipients. These successes and limitations were taken into account by the early developers of recombinant DNA (rDNA)-derived cell culture products and by regulatory agencies, leading to the utilization of cloning technology to reduce/eliminate contamination due to human viruses and purification technologies to physically remove and inactivate adventitious and endogenous viruses, along with cell banking and cell bank characterization for adventitious and endogenous viruses, viral screening of biological raw materials, and testing of cell culture harvests, to ensure virus safety. Later development and incorporation of nanofiltration technology in the manufacturing process provided additional assurance of viral clearance for safety of biotechnology products. These measures have proven very effective at preventing iatrogenic infection of recipients of biotechnology products; however, viral contamination of production cell cultures has

  5. Taiwan High School Biology Teachers' Acceptance and Understanding of Evolution and the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is the cornerstone of biological sciences, but anti-evolution teaching has become a global controversy since the introduction of evolutionary ideas into the United States high school science curricula in 1914. It is suggested that teachers' attitude toward and acceptance of the theory of evolution will influence their effect of teaching…

  6. Learning bias, cultural evolution of language, and the biological evolution of the language faculty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kenny

    2011-04-01

    The biases of individual language learners act to determine the learnability and cultural stability of languages: learners come to the language learning task with biases which make certain linguistic systems easier to acquire than others. These biases are repeatedly applied during the process of language transmission, and consequently should effect the types of languages we see in human populations. Understanding the cultural evolutionary consequences of particular learning biases is therefore central to understanding the link between language learning in individuals and language universals, common structural properties shared by all the world’s languages. This paper reviews a range of models and experimental studies which show that weak biases in individual learners can have strong effects on the structure of socially learned systems such as language, suggesting that strong universal tendencies in language structure do not require us to postulate strong underlying biases or constraints on language learning. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between learner biases and language design has implications for theories of the evolution of those learning biases: models of gene-culture coevolution suggest that, in situations where a cultural dynamic mediates between properties of individual learners and properties of language in this way, biological evolution is unlikely to lead to the emergence of strong constraints on learning.

  7. Evolution and Personal Religious Belief: Christian University Biology-Related Majors' Search for Reconciliation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winslow, Mark W.; Staver, John R.; Scharmann, Lawrence C.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to explore Christian biology-related majors' perceptions of conflicts between evolution and their religious beliefs. This naturalistic study utilized a case study design of 15 undergraduate biology-related majors at or recent biology-related graduates from a mid-western Christian university. The broad sources of data…

  8. Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P Martin; Christian, Andreas; Clauss, Marcus; Fechner, Regina; Gee, Carole T; Griebeler, Eva-Maria; Gunga, Hanns-Christian; Hummel, Jürgen; Mallison, Heinrich; Perry, Steven F; Preuschoft, Holger; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Remes, Kristian; Tütken, Thomas; Wings, Oliver; Witzel, Ulrich

    2011-02-01

    extensive pneumatization of the axial skeleton resulted from the evolution of an avian-style respiratory system, presumably at the base of Saurischia. An avian-style respiratory system would also have lowered the cost of breathing, reduced specific gravity, and may have been important in removing excess body heat. Another crucial innovation inherited from basal dinosaurs was a high BMR. This is required for fueling the high growth rate necessary for a multi-tonne animal to survive to reproductive maturity. The retention of the plesiomorphic oviparous mode of reproduction appears to have been critical as well, allowing much faster population recovery than in megaherbivore mammals. Sauropods produced numerous but small offspring each season while land mammals show a negative correlation of reproductive output to body size. This permitted lower population densities in sauropods than in megaherbivore mammals but larger individuals. Our work on sauropod dinosaurs thus informs us about evolutionary limits to body size in other groups of herbivorous terrestrial tetrapods. Ectothermic reptiles are strongly limited by their low BMR, remaining small. Mammals are limited by their extensive mastication and their vivipary, while ornithsichian dinosaurs were only limited by their extensive mastication, having greater average body sizes than mammals. © 2010 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  9. Factors which influence Texas biology teachers' decisions to emphasize fundamental concepts of evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilica, Kimberly Lynn

    The teaching of biological evolution in public science classrooms has been mitigated by a lingering and historic climate of controversy (Skoog, 1984; Skoog, 1979). This controversy has successfully stalled attempts to bring authentic science literacy to the American public (Bybee, 1997). The first encouraging signs of the abatement of this controversy occurred during the early 1990s when several prominent science organizations promoted evolution to its appropriate status as a central and unifying concept in biology (National Science Teachers Association, 1992; National Research Council, 1996; American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990, 1993). The organizations acknowledged that not only should biological evolution be taught, evolution should stand as one of a select group of essential concepts upon which biology curricula should be built. Bandura's Social Learning theory (Bandura, 1997; Lumpe, Haney, & Czerniak, 2000) and Helms' Model of Identity (Helms, 1998) provide the theoretical basis for this study. Both Bandura and Helms explain the actions of teachers by examining the beliefs and values that influence their decisions. The models distinguish between two types of belief systems: capacity beliefs and context beliefs (Lumpe, et al, 2000; Helms, 1998). Both belief types influence and are influenced by individual actions. In this study, the action to be described is the decision that teachers make about the degree of emphasis on evolution in the classroom. The capacity beliefs that will be examined are teachers' beliefs about their capability to teach evolution. The contextual beliefs in this study are perceptions about students' capabilities to learn evolution, the status of evolution in science, the place of evolution in the biology classroom, the influence of textbooks, time, and community/school values. This study contributes to and extends the knowledge base established by studies of evolution education by exploring the relative amount of

  10. An analysis of factors influencing the teaching of biological evolution in Louisiana public secondary schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguillard, Donald Wayne

    Louisiana public school biology teachers were surveyed to investigate their attitudes toward biological evolution. A mixed method investigation was employed using a questionnaire and open-ended interviews. Results obtained from 64 percent of the sample receiving the questionnaire indicate that although teachers endorse the study of evolution as important, instructional time allocated to evolution is disproportionate with its status as a unifying concept of science. Two variables, number of college courses specifically devoted to evolution and number of semester credit hours in biology, produced a significant correlation with emphasis placed on evolution. The data suggest that teachers' knowledge base emerged as the most significant factor in determining degree of classroom emphasis on evolution. The data suggest a need for substantive changes in the training of biology teachers. Thirty-five percent of teachers reported pursuing fewer than 20 semester credit hours in biology and 68 percent reported fewer than three college courses in which evolution was specifically discussed. Fifty percent reported a willingness to undergo additional training about evolution. In spite of the fact that evolution has been identified as a major conceptual theme across all of the sciences, there is strong evidence that Louisiana biology teachers de-emphasize evolutionary theory. Even when biology teachers allocate instructional time to evolutionary theory, many avoid discussion of human evolution. The research data show that only ten percent of teachers reported allocating more than sixty minutes of instructional time to human evolution. Louisiana biology teachers were found to hold extreme views on the subject of creationism as a component of the biology curriculum. Twenty-nine percent indicated that creationism should be taught in high school biology and 25--35 percent allocated instructional time to discussions of creationism. Contributing to the de-emphasis of evolutionary theory

  11. Evolution Kills: A Web Resource for Instructors of Evolutionary Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vondrasek, Joanna R.; Antonovics, Janis; Taylor, Douglas R.

    2004-01-01

    We have developed a laboratory course that demonstrates how evolution can be taught as a participatory, investigative science at the undergraduate college or advanced secondary high school level. The course emphasizes the applied importance of evolution to areas such as medicine and agriculture. Because many instructors face budgetary or other…

  12. Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P Martin; Christian, Andreas; Clauss, Marcus; Fechner, Regina; Gee, Carole T; Griebeler, Eva-Maria; Gunga, Hanns-Christian; Hummel, Jürgen; Mallison, Heinrich; Perry, Steven F; Preuschoft, Holger; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Remes, Kristian; Tütken, Thomas; Wings, Oliver; Witzel, Ulrich

    2011-01-01

    The herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were the largest terrestrial animals ever, surpassing the largest herbivorous mammals by an order of magnitude in body mass. Several evolutionary lineages among Sauropoda produced giants with body masses in excess of 50 metric tonnes by conservative estimates. With body mass increase driven by the selective advantages of large body size, animal lineages will increase in body size until they reach the limit determined by the interplay of bauplan, biology, and resource availability. There is no evidence, however, that resource availability and global physicochemical parameters were different enough in the Mesozoic to have led to sauropod gigantism. We review the biology of sauropod dinosaurs in detail and posit that sauropod gigantism was made possible by a specific combination of plesiomorphic characters (phylogenetic heritage) and evolutionary innovations at different levels which triggered a remarkable evolutionary cascade. Of these key innovations, the most important probably was the very long neck, the most conspicuous feature of the sauropod bauplan. Compared to other herbivores, the long neck allowed more efficient food uptake than in other large herbivores by covering a much larger feeding envelope and making food accessible that was out of the reach of other herbivores. Sauropods thus must have been able to take up more energy from their environment than other herbivores. The long neck, in turn, could only evolve because of the small head and the extensive pneumatization of the sauropod axial skeleton, lightening the neck. The small head was possible because food was ingested without mastication. Both mastication and a gastric mill would have limited food uptake rate. Scaling relationships between gastrointestinal tract size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) suggest that sauropods compensated for the lack of particle reduction with long retention times, even at high uptake rates. The

  13. A Powerful Toolkit for Synthetic Biology: Over 3.8 Billion Years of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2010-01-01

    The combination of evolutionary with engineering principles will enhance synthetic biology. Conversely, synthetic biology has the potential to enrich evolutionary biology by explaining why some adaptive space is empty, on Earth or elsewhere. Synthetic biology, the design and construction of artificial biological systems, substitutes bio-engineering for evolution, which is seen as an obstacle. But because evolution has produced the complexity and diversity of life, it provides a proven toolkit of genetic materials and principles available to synthetic biology. Evolution operates on the population level, with the populations composed of unique individuals that are historical entities. The source of genetic novelty includes mutation, gene regulation, sex, symbiosis, and interspecies gene transfer. At a phenotypic level, variation derives from regulatory control, replication and diversification of components, compartmentalization, sexual selection and speciation, among others. Variation is limited by physical constraints such as diffusion, and chemical constraints such as reaction rates and membrane fluidity. While some of these tools of evolution are currently in use in synthetic biology, all ought to be examined for utility. A hybrid approach of synthetic biology coupled with fine-tuning through evolution is suggested

  14. Discovering local patterns of co - evolution: computational aspects and biological examples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuller Tamir

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Co-evolution is the process in which two (or more sets of orthologs exhibit a similar or correlative pattern of evolution. Co-evolution is a powerful way to learn about the functional interdependencies between sets of genes and cellular functions and to predict physical interactions. More generally, it can be used for answering fundamental questions about the evolution of biological systems. Orthologs that exhibit a strong signal of co-evolution in a certain part of the evolutionary tree may show a mild signal of co-evolution in other branches of the tree. The major reasons for this phenomenon are noise in the biological input, genes that gain or lose functions, and the fact that some measures of co-evolution relate to rare events such as positive selection. Previous publications in the field dealt with the problem of finding sets of genes that co-evolved along an entire underlying phylogenetic tree, without considering the fact that often co-evolution is local. Results In this work, we describe a new set of biological problems that are related to finding patterns of local co-evolution. We discuss their computational complexity and design algorithms for solving them. These algorithms outperform other bi-clustering methods as they are designed specifically for solving the set of problems mentioned above. We use our approach to trace the co-evolution of fungal, eukaryotic, and mammalian genes at high resolution across the different parts of the corresponding phylogenetic trees. Specifically, we discover regions in the fungi tree that are enriched with positive evolution. We show that metabolic genes exhibit a remarkable level of co-evolution and different patterns of co-evolution in various biological datasets. In addition, we find that protein complexes that are related to gene expression exhibit non-homogenous levels of co-evolution across different parts of the fungi evolutionary line. In the case of mammalian evolution

  15. Can Man Control His Biological Evolution? A Symposium on Genetic Engineering. Man's Responsibility to His Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoagland, Hudson

    1972-01-01

    Biological evolution can be carried out in the laboratory. With new knowledge available in genetics, possibilities are raised that genetic characters can be transferred in the future to embryos according to a predetermined plan. (PS)

  16. A critical analysis of the new biology and the biological revolution: their impact - from medicine to evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Sukhendu B

    2010-01-01

    In this article, I critically analyze the impact of the new biology and the biological revolution. I argue that indiscriminate use of the words such as 'interdisciplinary,' 'integrative,' and 'revolution' has caused only confusion when applied to biology. The recent debate, especially after the exploding field of systems biology, has brought back the controversy whether molecular biology is reductionist or holistic. I look at the issues involved critically. I discuss the problem of defining the word 'gene' and argue that recent attempts to redefine the central dogma of molecular biology about the information flow from DNA to RNA to protein are not justified. I support my view with comments from the scientist who discovered RNA splicing. Several aspects of evo-devo, a new branch of biology, are discussed. I give examples from this evolution-developmental biology to show how some of Darwin's inspired guesses have had resounding victory when it was found that specific genes during embryonic development of the Galapagos finches decided the size and shape of their beaks. I discuss the recent publications which show that the conditions in the island, such as wet to dry to wet season, can bring about evolutionary changes from year to year. Thus it is essential to monitor both short and long-term evolutionary changes to get the full picture of evolution.

  17. ''La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution'' of Paris: The only museum in the world entirely devoted to biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raulin Cerceau, F.

    1995-01-01

    The new building called ''Grande Galerie de l'Evolution'' of the national Museum of natural History, in Paris-France, is the first museum in the world exclusively devoted to biological evolution. The Museum is divided in 3 parts (named ''Acts''): The aim of Act 1 is to sensibilize the visitor to the results of 4 billions years of biological evolution. This act shows some examples of biological diversity through few terrestrial and marine environments (deserts, tropical forests, polar habitats, abyssal zones ...). Act 2 is the principal part of the Museum explaining the main processes of evolution. This part shows also the story of life from the first living cells to man. Act 3, the last part offers to visitors a vision of the interactions between man and nature, and of their consequences along millions of years. A special Gallery is entirely devoted to vanished and threatened species, as a nefast consequence of human interaction on biological diversity particularly since the beginning of this century. (Abstract only)

  18. Limits in the evolution of biological form: a theoretical morphologic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGhee, George R

    2015-12-06

    Limits in the evolution of biological form can be empirically demonstrated by using theoretical morphospace analyses, and actual analytic examples are given for univalved ammonoid shell form, bivalved brachiopod shell form and helical bryozoan colony form. Limits in the evolution of form in these animal groups can be shown to be due to functional and developmental constraints on possible evolutionary trajectories in morphospace. Future evolutionary-limit research is needed to analyse the possible existence of temporal constraint in the evolution of biological form on Earth, and in the search for the possible existence of functional alien life forms on Titan and Triton that are developmentally impossible for Earth life.

  19. Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Bergstrom, Carl T; Ellison, Peter T; Flier, Jeffrey S; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S; Perlman, Robert L; Schwartz, Mark D; Thomas, Mark G; Stearns, Stephen C; Valle, David

    2010-01-26

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease.

  20. Lack of Evolution Acceptance Inhibits Students' Negotiation of Biology-Based Socioscientific Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, S. R.; Zeidler, D. L.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore science content used during college students' negotiation of biology-based socioscientific issues (SSI) and examine how it related to students' conceptual understanding and acceptance of biological evolution. The Socioscientific Issues Questionnaire (SSI-Q) was developed to measure depth of evolutionary…

  1. Emotional and Spiritual Quotient Approach Improve Biology Education Students’ Acceptance of Evolution Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darussyamsu, R.; Fadilah, M.; Putri, D. H.

    2018-04-01

    Emotional and spiritual aspect is one of main factors that influence students’ acceptance of a theory. This study aim to measure university students’ acceptance of evolution by learns evolution using emotional and spiritual quotient (ESQ) approach. This is a quasi-experimental research using one shot case study design with the subject 36 biology educational students at Biology Department, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Universitas Negeri Padang. Data collected using the MATE instrument by Rutledge and Warden (2000) after the students learn evolution for eight meetings since January until March 2017. The result showed that by learning evolution theory combine with ESQ aspects increase students acceptance from very low become moderate acceptance. It concluded that ESQ aspects can improve students’ acceptance of evolution. Any criteria depend on it are discussed.

  2. Darwin's legacy: why biology is not physics, or why evolution has not become a common sense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Rama S

    2011-10-01

    Cosmology and evolution together have enabled us to look deep into the past and comprehend evolution-from the big bang to the cosmos, from molecules to humans. Here, I compare the nature of theories in biology and physics and ask why physical theories get accepted by the public without necessarily comprehending them but biological theories do not. Darwin's theory of natural selection, utterly simple in its premises but profound in its consequences, is not accepted widely. Organized religions, and creationists in particularly, have been the major critic of evolution, but not all opposition to evolution comes from organized religions. A great many people, between evolutionary biologists on one hand and creationists on the other, many academics included, who may not be logically opposed to evolution nevertheless do not accept it. This is because the process of and the evidence for evolution are invisible to a nonspecialist, or the theory may look too simple to explain complex traits to some, or because people compare evolution against God and find evolutionary explanations threatening to their beliefs. Considering how evolution affects our lives, including health and the environment to give just two examples, a basic course in evolution should become a required component of all our college and university educational systems.

  3. Biology, genome organization and evolution of parvoviruses in marine shrimp

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of parvoviruses are now know to infect marine shrimp, and these viruses alone or in combination with other viruses have the potential to cause major losses in shrimp aquaculture globally. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the biology, genome organization, gene expression, and...

  4. Without it no music: Cognition, biology, and evolution of musicality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Honing, H.; ten Cate, C.; Peretz, I.; Trehub, S.E.

    2015-01-01

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of

  5. The biology of human sexuality: evolution, ecology and physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PW Bateman

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Many evolutionary biologists argue that human sexual behaviour can be studied in exactly the same way as that of other species. Many sociologists argue that social influences effectively obscure, and are more important than, a reductionist biological approach to human sexual behaviour. Here,we authors attempt to provide a broad introduction to human sexual behaviour from a biological standpoint and to indicate where the ambiguous areas are. We outline the evolutionary selective pressures that are likely to have influenced human behaviour and mate choice in the past and in the present; ecological features that influence such things as degree of parental care and polygamy; and the associated physiology of human sexuality. Then they end with a discussion of �abnormal� sexuality.

  6. The Informatics (R) Evolution in Biology: The Case of Genomics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michan Aguirre, Layla; Alvarez, Eduardo; Montoya Perez, Laura Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    Biology has been revolutionized by the introduction of new disciplines, such is the case of genomics that introduced in the 80s has turned unlikely to modern science, the discipline refers to the study not only of genes but their roles, relations among themselves and with the environment. Arises, with the consolidation of the human genome project and introduces us to a period of transition in which specific genetic knowledge becomes critical. Differs from other approaches in the type of information provided, the prospects for technical and intellectual improvements in the collection and use of data from the whole genome, (Murray, 2000). This work aims to investigate the recent biology, in particular, to show the history of genomics, through literature search and bibliometric analysis.

  7. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    yield stability. Transgenic approach plays an important role in crop improvement. Currently, transgenes are randomly inserted into maize genome...Improve Microbial Biofuel Production - Mary Dunlop, University of Vermont 2:30-3:00 PM Targeted Integration of Genes into the Maize Genome Facilitated...highlights gaps in the present understanding of M13 biology. Understanding the subtleties of regulation will be important for maximally ex- ploiting the

  8. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voigt, Christopher [Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2014-07-01

    SEED2014 focused on advances in the science and technology emerging from the field of synthetic biology. We broadly define this as technologies that accelerate the process of genetic engineering. It highlighted new tool development, as well as the application of these tools to diverse problems in biotechnology, including therapeutics, industrial chemicals and fuels, natural products, and agriculture. Systems spanned from in vitro experiments and viruses, through diverse bacteria, to eukaryotes (yeast, mammalian cells, plants).

  9. Impact of constitutional copy number variants on biological pathway evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poptsova, Maria; Banerjee, Samprit; Gokcumen, Omer; Rubin, Mark A; Demichelis, Francesca

    2013-01-23

    Inherited Copy Number Variants (CNVs) can modulate the expression levels of individual genes. However, little is known about how CNVs alter biological pathways and how this varies across different populations. To trace potential evolutionary changes of well-described biological pathways, we jointly queried the genomes and the transcriptomes of a collection of individuals with Caucasian, Asian or Yoruban descent combining high-resolution array and sequencing data. We implemented an enrichment analysis of pathways accounting for CNVs and genes sizes and detected significant enrichment not only in signal transduction and extracellular biological processes, but also in metabolism pathways. Upon the estimation of CNV population differentiation (CNVs with different polymorphism frequencies across populations), we evaluated that 22% of the pathways contain at least one gene that is proximal to a CNV (CNV-gene pair) that shows significant population differentiation. The majority of these CNV-gene pairs belong to signal transduction pathways and 6% of the CNV-gene pairs show statistical association between the copy number states and the transcript levels. The analysis suggested possible examples of positive selection within individual populations including NF-kB, MAPK signaling pathways, and Alu/L1 retrotransposition factors. Altogether, our results suggest that constitutional CNVs may modulate subtle pathway changes through specific pathway enzymes, which may become fixed in some populations.

  10. The Biological Significance of Evolution in Autoimmune Phenomena

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A. Cañas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available It is an inherent part of living to be in constant modification, which are due to answers resulting from environmental changes. The different systems make adaptations based on natural selection. With respect to the immune system of mammals, these changes have a lot to do with the interactions that occur continuously with other living species, especially microorganisms. The immune system is primarily designed to defend from germs and this response triggers inflammatory reactions which must be regulated in order not to generate damage to healthy tissue. The regulatory processes were added over time to prevent such damage. Through evolution the species have stored “an immunological experience,” which provides information that is important for developing effective responses in the future. The human species, which is at a high level of evolutionary immunological accumulation, have multiple immune defense strategies which, in turn, are highly regulated. Imbalances in these can result in autoimmunity.

  11. PANTHER version 6: protein sequence and function evolution data with expanded representation of biological pathways

    OpenAIRE

    Mi, Huaiyu; Guo, Nan; Kejariwal, Anish; Thomas, Paul D.

    2006-01-01

    PANTHER is a freely available, comprehensive software system for relating protein sequence evolution to the evolution of specific protein functions and biological roles. Since 2005, there have been three main improvements to PANTHER. First, the sequences used to create evolutionary trees are carefully selected to provide coverage of phylogenetic as well as functional information. Second, PANTHER is now a member of the InterPro Consortium, and the PANTHER hidden markov Models (HMMs) are distri...

  12. Time-evolution of the entropy of fluctuations in some biological systems as investigated by NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenk, R.

    1979-01-01

    A simple expression for the entropy of fluctuations has been developed, using the tunnelling-effect model. This gives the possibility to estimate the changes and evolution of entropy in non-crystalline and biological samples by NMR investigations. On the other hand, the oscillatory character of the time-evolution of some properties, experimentally found in the investigated samples of plants, is interpreted in terms of the generalized master equation with an exponential memory function. (Auth.)

  13. EPISTEMOLOGY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MODERN BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONAL PARADIGM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    О. S. Tokovenko

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the work is finding the reasonability of using bio-evolutionary paradigm for researching ratio morphic cognitive activity. Methodology. Methodological grounds consist of the original principles and conceptual apparatus of evolutionary epistemology. Scientific novelty. The article identifies opportunities for using of biological and evolutionary paradigm to study the peculiarities of ratiomorphic cognitive backgrounds and their influence on the formation and development of human knowledge. Conclusions. The article concludes that together with the idea of hyper cycles (feedback loop with mutual transmission of information in cognitive process the concept of ratiomorphic cognitive backgrounds, as well as attempts to examine cognitive processes based on the scientific criteria (empirical verification, explanatory power and ability to predict should be certainly considered as a positive contribution to the development of evolutionary epistemology into modern epistemological research. However, it is also indicated the fact of narrowing the heuristic possibilities of this epistemological direction because of excessive metaphor of bio-evolutionary paradigm. Further development of evolutionary epistemological research is considered in shifting the emphasis from biological and evolutionary towards cultural and evolutionary paradigm.

  14. Biological Evolution and the History of the Earth Are Foundations of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    AGU affirms the central importance of including scientific theories of Earth history and biological evolution in science education. Within the scientific community, the theory of biological evolution is not controversial, nor have ``alternative explanations'' been found. This is why no competing theories are required by the U.S. National Science Education Standards. Explanations of natural phenomena that appeal to the supernatural or are based on religious doctrine-and therefore cannot be tested through scientific inquiry-are not scientific, and have no place in the science classroom.

  15. Art and brain: insights from neuropsychology, biology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, Dahlia W

    2010-02-01

    Art is a uniquely human activity associated fundamentally with symbolic and abstract cognition. Its practice in human societies throughout the world, coupled with seeming non-functionality, has led to three major brain theories of art. (1) The localized brain regions and pathways theory links art to multiple neural regions. (2) The display of art and its aesthetics theory is tied to the biological motivation of courtship signals and mate selection strategies in animals. (3) The evolutionary theory links the symbolic nature of art to critical pivotal brain changes in Homo sapiens supporting increased development of language and hierarchical social grouping. Collectively, these theories point to art as a multi-process cognition dependent on diverse brain regions and on redundancy in art-related functional representation.

  16. Three Southern high school biology teachers' perspectives on teaching evolution: Sociocultural influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzer, Peggy Mckewen

    Organizations in science and science education call for students to have a thorough understanding of the theory of evolution. Yet many high school biology teachers do not teach evolution and/or include creationism in their instruction (National Academy of Science, 1998). Historically, the controversy surrounding evolution has created tension for teachers. This case study explored the sociocultural influences related to teaching evolution in three Southern 10th-grade public high school biology classrooms. It also explored the socially and culturally embedded influences on teachers' instructional goals and personal perspectives toward evolution as well as modification of instruction when evolution is taught. Theoretically framed using symbolic interactionism and sociocultural theory, data were collected between October 2003 and April 2004 and included classroom observations two to three times per week, artifacts, and in-depth interviews of the participating teachers, their science department chairpersons, their students, and a Protestant minister. The classroom teachers were unaware of the focus of the study until after evolution was taught. The analysis used in this study was an inductive, interpretative approach that allowed exploration of the sociocultural influences that affect how teachers teach evolution. The sociocultural influences and the lived experiences of each teacher created a continuum for teaching evolution. One of the participating teachers who was heavily involved in the community and one of its fundamentalist churches elected to avoid teaching evolution. Another participating teacher at the same school integrated the theory of evolution in every unit. The third teacher who taught in another school elected to teach evolution in a superficial manner to avoid conflict. The data revealed that the participating teachers' sociocultural situatedness influenced their decisions and instruction on evolution. The influence of strong religious beliefs within

  17. Use of the "Tree" Analogy in Evolution Teaching by Biology Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcelos, Maria Fatima; Nagem, Ronaldo Luiz

    2012-01-01

    This work discusses the use of Darwin's "Tree of Life" as a didactic analogy and metaphor in teaching evolution. It investigates whether biology teachers of pupils from 17 to 18 years old know Darwin's text "Tree of Life". In addition, it examines whether those teachers systematically employ either the analogies present in that…

  18. The genome sequence of taurine cattle: A window to ruminant biology and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    To understand the biology and evolution of ruminants, the cattle genome was sequenced to about sevenfold coverage. The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs shared among seven mammalian species of which 1217 are absent or undetected in noneutherian (ma...

  19. A Course in Evolutionary Biology: Engaging Students in the "Practice" of Evolution. Research Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, James

    Recent education reform documents emphasize the need for students to develop a rich understanding of evolution's power to integrate knowledge of the natural world. This paper describes a nine-week high school course designed to help students understand evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using Charles Darwin's…

  20. Science for Survival: The Modern Synthesis of Evolution and The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Lisa Anne

    In this historical dissertation, I examined the process of curriculum development in the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) in the United States during the period 1959-1963. The presentation of evolution in the high school texts was based on a more robust form of Darwinian evolution which developed during the 1930s and 1940s called "the modern synthesis of evolution." Building primarily on the work of historians Vassiliki Smocovitis and John L. Rudolph, I used the archival papers and published writings of the four architects of the modern synthesis and the four most influential leaders of the BSCS in regards to evolution to investigate how the modern synthetic theory of evolution shaped the BSCS curriculum. The central question was "Why was evolution so important to the BSCS to make it the central theme of the texts?" Important answers to this question had already been offered in the historiography, but it was still not clear why every citizen in the world needed to understand evolution. I found that the emphasis on natural selection in the modern synthesis shifted the focus away from humans as passive participants to the recognition that humans are active agents in their own cultural and biological evolution. This required re-education of the world citizenry, which was accomplished in part by the BSCS textbooks. I also found that BSCS leaders Grobman, Glass, and Muller had serious concerns regarding the effects of nuclear radiation on the human gene pool, and were actively involved in informing th public. Lastly, I found that concerns of 1950s reform eugenicists were addressed in the BSCS textbooks, without mentioning eugenics by name. I suggest that the leaders of the BSCS, especially Bentley Glass and Hermann J. Muller, thought that students needed to understand genetics and evolution to be able to make some of the tough choices they might be called on to make as the dominant species on earth and the next reproductive generation in the nuclear age. This

  1. Teaching evolution (and all of biology) more effectively: Strategies for engagement, critical reasoning, and confronting misconceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Craig E

    2008-08-01

    The strength of the evidence supporting evolution has increased markedly since the discovery of DNA but, paradoxically, public resistance to accepting evolution seems to have become stronger. A key dilemma is that science faculty have often continued to teach evolution ineffectively, even as the evidence that traditional ways of teaching are inferior has become stronger and stronger. Three pedagogical strategies that together can make a large difference in students' understanding and acceptance of evolution are extensive use of interactive engagement, a focus on critical thinking in science (especially on comparisons and explicit criteria) and using both of these in helping the students actively compare their initial conceptions (and publicly popular misconceptions) with more fully scientific conceptions. The conclusion that students' misconceptions must be dealt with systematically can be difficult for faculty who are teaching evolution since much of the students' resistance is framed in religious terms and one might be reluctant to address religious ideas in class. Applications to teaching evolution are illustrated with examples that address criteria and critical thinking, standard geology versus flood geology, evolutionary developmental biology versus organs of extreme perfection, and the importance of using humans as a central example. It is also helpful to bridge the false dichotomy, seen by many students, between atheistic evolution versus religious creationism. These applications are developed in detail and are intended to be sufficient to allow others to use these approaches in their teaching. Students and other faculty were quite supportive of these approaches as implemented in my classes.

  2. Markov Chain-Like Quantum Biological Modeling of Mutations, Aging, and Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan B. Djordjevic

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that quantum mechanics is relevant in photosynthesis, magnetoreception, enzymatic catalytic reactions, olfactory reception, photoreception, genetics, electron-transfer in proteins, and evolution; to mention few. In our recent paper published in Life, we have derived the operator-sum representation of a biological channel based on codon basekets, and determined the quantum channel model suitable for study of the quantum biological channel capacity. However, this model is essentially memoryless and it is not able to properly model the propagation of mutation errors in time, the process of aging, and evolution of genetic information through generations. To solve for these problems, we propose novel quantum mechanical models to accurately describe the process of creation spontaneous, induced, and adaptive mutations and their propagation in time. Different biological channel models with memory, proposed in this paper, include: (i Markovian classical model, (ii Markovian-like quantum model, and (iii hybrid quantum-classical model. We then apply these models in a study of aging and evolution of quantum biological channel capacity through generations. We also discuss key differences of these models with respect to a multilevel symmetric channel-based Markovian model and a Kimura model-based Markovian process. These models are quite general and applicable to many open problems in biology, not only biological channel capacity, which is the main focus of the paper. We will show that the famous quantum Master equation approach, commonly used to describe different biological processes, is just the first-order approximation of the proposed quantum Markov chain-like model, when the observation interval tends to zero. One of the important implications of this model is that the aging phenotype becomes determined by different underlying transition probabilities in both programmed and random (damage Markov chain-like models of aging, which

  3. [Historic and functional biology: the inadequacy of a system theory of evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regelmann, J P

    1982-01-01

    In the first half of the 20th century neo-Kantianism in a broad sense proved itself the main conceptual and methodological background of the central European biology. As such it contributed much to the victory on the typological, idealistic-morphological and psycho-vitalistic interpretations of life. On the other hand it could not give tools to the biologists for working out a strictly darwinian evolution theory. Kant's theory of organism was conceived without evolution as a theory of the internal functionality of the organism. There was only some 'play' with the evolutionary differentiation of the species. Since then the disputes around the work of August Weismann, a synthetical evolution theory which is now behind time, arose. This theory developed from coinciding claims, elaborated by geneticists, mathematicians, and by biologists studying development, natural history and systematics. This was done under a strong influence of marxist ideas. Through the interweaving of such different approaches it was possible for this evolutionary synthesis to influence successfully the development of evolution research during more than 40 years. Philosophically speaking modern evolution theory means therefore an aversion, even a positive abolition of Kantian positions. A number of biologists however--as L. von Bertalanffy--refused to adhere to a misinterpreted Kantian methodology and oriented themselves to an approach via system theory, which obtained a place in evolution research. In fact this is a Kantian approach as well. They only repeated the Kantian dilemma of the evolution which can also be found in Lamarck and Hegel. The system theory of the functionality of the organism never reaches to the level of the evolving species, but remains always on the level of epigenetic thinking, because of its philosophical origin. This paper points out the consequences of this still current dilemma. At the same time an all-enclosing reflection on the methodological, epistemological and

  4. Human evolution, life history theory, and the end of biological reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Cadell

    2014-01-01

    Throughout primate history there have been three major life history transitions towards increasingly delayed sexual maturation and biological reproduction, as well as towards extended life expectancy. Monkeys reproduce later and live longer than do prosimians, apes reproduce later and live longer than do monkeys, and humans reproduce later and live longer than do apes. These life history transitions are connected to increased encephalization. During the last life history transition from apes to humans, increased encephalization co-evolved with increased dependence on cultural knowledge for energy acquisition. This led to a dramatic pressure for more energy investment in growth over current biological reproduction. Since the industrial revolution socioeconomic development has led to even more energy being devoted to growth over current biological reproduction. I propose that this is the beginning of an ongoing fourth major primate life history transition towards completely delayed biological reproduction and an extension of the evolved human life expectancy. I argue that the only fundamental difference between this primate life history transition and previous life history transitions is that this transition is being driven solely by cultural evolution, which may suggest some deeper evolutionary transition away from biological evolution is already in the process of occurring.

  5. The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koonin Eugene V

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Major transitions in biological evolution show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity. The relationships between major groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin's original proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution. The cases in point include the origin of complex RNA molecules and protein folds; major groups of viruses; archaea and bacteria, and the principal lineages within each of these prokaryotic domains; eukaryotic supergroups; and animal phyla. In each of these pivotal nexuses in life's history, the principal "types" seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate "grades" or intermediate forms between different types are detectable. Usually, this pattern is attributed to cladogenesis compressed in time, combined with the inevitable erosion of the phylogenetic signal. Hypothesis I propose that most or all major evolutionary transitions that show the "explosive" pattern of emergence of new types of biological entities correspond to a boundary between two qualitatively distinct evolutionary phases. The first, inflationary phase is characterized by extremely rapid evolution driven by various processes of genetic information exchange, such as horizontal gene transfer, recombination, fusion, fission, and spread of mobile elements. These processes give rise to a vast diversity of forms from which the main classes of entities at the new level of complexity emerge independently, through a sampling process. In the second phase, evolution dramatically slows down, the respective process of genetic information exchange tapers off, and multiple lineages of the new type of entities emerge, each of them evolving in a tree-like fashion from that point on. This biphasic model

  6. The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2007-08-20

    Major transitions in biological evolution show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity. The relationships between major groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin's original proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution. The cases in point include the origin of complex RNA molecules and protein folds; major groups of viruses; archaea and bacteria, and the principal lineages within each of these prokaryotic domains; eukaryotic supergroups; and animal phyla. In each of these pivotal nexuses in life's history, the principal "types" seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate "grades" or intermediate forms between different types are detectable. Usually, this pattern is attributed to cladogenesis compressed in time, combined with the inevitable erosion of the phylogenetic signal. I propose that most or all major evolutionary transitions that show the "explosive" pattern of emergence of new types of biological entities correspond to a boundary between two qualitatively distinct evolutionary phases. The first, inflationary phase is characterized by extremely rapid evolution driven by various processes of genetic information exchange, such as horizontal gene transfer, recombination, fusion, fission, and spread of mobile elements. These processes give rise to a vast diversity of forms from which the main classes of entities at the new level of complexity emerge independently, through a sampling process. In the second phase, evolution dramatically slows down, the respective process of genetic information exchange tapers off, and multiple lineages of the new type of entities emerge, each of them evolving in a tree-like fashion from that point on. This biphasic model of evolution incorporates the previously developed

  7. Directed evolution combined with synthetic biology strategies expedite semi-rational engineering of genes and genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Zhen; Zhang, Junli; Jin, Peng; Yang, Sen

    2015-01-01

    Owing to our limited understanding of the relationship between sequence and function and the interaction between intracellular pathways and regulatory systems, the rational design of enzyme-coding genes and de novo assembly of a brand-new artificial genome for a desired functionality or phenotype are difficult to achieve. As an alternative approach, directed evolution has been widely used to engineer genomes and enzyme-coding genes. In particular, significant developments toward DNA synthesis, DNA assembly (in vitro or in vivo), recombination-mediated genetic engineering, and high-throughput screening techniques in the field of synthetic biology have been matured and widely adopted, enabling rapid semi-rational genome engineering to generate variants with desired properties. In this commentary, these novel tools and their corresponding applications in the directed evolution of genomes and enzymes are discussed. Moreover, the strategies for genome engineering and rapid in vitro enzyme evolution are also proposed.

  8. The Genome Sequence of Taurine Cattle: A Window to Ruminant Biology and Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Elsik, Christine G.; Tellam, Ross L.; Worley, Kim C.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Abatepaulo, Antonio R. R.; Abbey, Colette A.; Adelson, David L.; Aerts, Jan; Ahola, Virpi; Alexander, Lee; Alioto, Tyler; Almeida, Iassudara G.; Amadio, Ariel F.; Anatriello, Elen; Antonarakis, Stylianos E.

    2009-01-01

    To understand the biology and evolution of ruminants, the cattle genome was sequenced to about sevenfold coverage. The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs shared among seven mammalian species of which 1217 are absent or undetected in noneutherian (marsupial or monotreme) genomes. Cattle-specific evolutionary breakpoint regions in chromosomes have a higher density of segmental duplications, enrichment of repetitive elements, and species-specifi...

  9. Evolution of microbes and viruses: A paradigm shift in evolutionary biology?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V. Koonin

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain ‘ribosomal Tree of Life’ that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: i pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT, in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment of the Tree of Life concept, ii Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and iii evolution of evolvability, i.e. dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary

  10. MBEToolbox: a Matlab toolbox for sequence data analysis in molecular biology and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Xuhua

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MATLAB is a high-performance language for technical computing, integrating computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment. It has been widely used in many areas, such as mathematics and computation, algorithm development, data acquisition, modeling, simulation, and scientific and engineering graphics. However, few functions are freely available in MATLAB to perform the sequence data analyses specifically required for molecular biology and evolution. Results We have developed a MATLAB toolbox, called MBEToolbox, aimed at filling this gap by offering efficient implementations of the most needed functions in molecular biology and evolution. It can be used to manipulate aligned sequences, calculate evolutionary distances, estimate synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates, and infer phylogenetic trees. Moreover, it provides an extensible, functional framework for users with more specialized requirements to explore and analyze aligned nucleotide or protein sequences from an evolutionary perspective. The full functions in the toolbox are accessible through the command-line for seasoned MATLAB users. A graphical user interface, that may be especially useful for non-specialist end users, is also provided. Conclusion MBEToolbox is a useful tool that can aid in the exploration, interpretation and visualization of data in molecular biology and evolution. The software is publicly available at http://web.hku.hk/~jamescai/mbetoolbox/ and http://bioinformatics.org/project/?group_id=454.

  11. Breeding biology and the evolution of dynamic sexual dichromatism in frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R C; Webster, G N; Whiting, M J

    2017-12-01

    Dynamic sexual dichromatism is a temporary colour change between the sexes and has evolved independently in a wide range of anurans, many of which are explosive breeders wherein males physically compete for access to females. Behavioural studies in a few species indicate that dynamic dichromatism functions as a visual signal in large breeding aggregations; however, the prevalence of this trait and the social and environmental factors underlying its expression are poorly understood. We compiled a database of 178 anurans with dynamic dichromatism that include representatives from 15 families and subfamilies. Dynamic dichromatism is common in two of the three subfamilies of hylid treefrogs. Phylogenetic comparative analyses of 355 hylid species (of which 95 display dynamic dichromatism) reveal high transition rates between dynamic dichromatism, ontogenetic (permanent) dichromatism and monochromatism reflecting the high evolutionary lability of this trait. Correlated evolution in hylids between dynamic dichromatism and forming large breeding aggregations indicates that the evolution of large breeding aggregations precedes the evolution of dynamic dichromatism. Multivariate phylogenetic logistic regression recovers the interaction between biogeographic distribution and forming breeding aggregations as a significant predictor of dynamic dichromatism in hylids. Accounting for macroecological differences between temperate and tropical regions, such as seasonality and the availability of breeding sites, may improve our understanding of ecological contexts in which dynamic dichromatism is likely to arise in tropical lineages and why it is retained in some temperate species and lost in others. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Reconstructing Anaximander's biological model unveils a theory of evolution akin to Darwin's, though centuries before the birth of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2016-08-01

    Anaximander's fragments on biology report a theory of evolution, which, unlike the development of other biological systems in the ancient Aegean, is naturalistic and is not based on metaphysics. According to Anaximander, evolution affected all living beings, including humans. The first biological systems formed in an aquatic environment, and were encased in a rugged and robust envelope. Evolution progressed with modifications that enabled the formation of more dynamic biological systems. For instance, after reaching land, the robust armors around aquatic beings dried up, and became brittle, This led to the loss of the armor and the development of more mobile life forms. Anaximander's theory combines observations of animals with speculations, and as such mirrors the more famous theory of evolution by Charles Darwin expressed 24 centuries later. The poor reception received by Anaximander's model in his time, illustrates a zeitgeist that would explain the contemporary lag phase in the development of biology and, as a result, medicine, in the ancient western world.

  13. Does the nature of science influence college students' learning of biological evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Wilbert, Jr.

    This quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study assessed the influence of the nature of science (NOS) instruction on college students' learning of biological evolution. In this research, conducted in two introductory biology courses, in each course the same instruction was employed, with one important exception: in the experimental section students were involved in an explicit, reflective treatment of the nature of science (Explicit, reflective NOS), in the traditional treatment section, NOS was implicitly addressed (traditional treatment). In both sections, NOS aspects of science addressed included is tentative, empirically based, subjective, inferential, and based on relationship between scientific theories and laws. Students understanding of evolution, acceptance of evolution, and understanding of the nature of science were assessed before, during and after instruction. Data collection entailed qualitative and quantitative methods including Concept Inventory for Natural Selection (CINS), Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) survey, Views of nature of Science (VNOS-B survey), as well as interviews, classroom observations, and journal writing to address understand students' views of science and understanding and acceptance of evolution. The quantitative data were analyzed via inferential statistics and the qualitative data were analyzed using grounded theory. The data analysis allowed for the construction and support for four assertions: Assertion 1: Students engaged in explicit and reflective NOS specific instruction significantly improved their understanding of the nature of science concepts. Alternatively, students engaged in instruction using an implicit approach to the nature of science did not improve their understanding of the nature of science to the same degree. The VNOS-B results indicated that students in the explicit, reflective NOS class showed the better understanding of the NOS after the course than students in the implicit NOS class

  14. Developing biology teachers' pedagogical content knowledge through learning study: the case of teaching human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Paulina; Cofré, Hernán

    2016-11-01

    This work explores how pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) on evolution was modified by two biology teachers who participated in a professional development programme (PDP) that included a subsequent follow-up in the classroom. The PDP spanned a semester and included activities such as content updates, collaborative lesson planning, and the presentation of planned lessons. In the follow-up part, the lessons were videotaped and analysed, identifying strategies, activities, and conditions based on student learning about the theory of evolution. Data were collected in the first round with an interview before the training process, identifying these teachers' initial content representation (CoRe) for evolution. Then, a group interview was conducted after the lessons, and, finally, an interview of stimulated recall with each teacher was conducted regarding the subject taught to allow teachers to reflect on their practice (final CoRe). This information was analysed by the teachers and the researchers, reflecting on the components of the PCK, possible changes, and the rationale behind their actions. The results show that teachers changed their beliefs and knowledge about the best methods and strategies to teach evolution, and about students' learning obstacles and misconceptions on evolution. They realised how a review of their own practices promotes this transformation.

  15. Student world view as a framework for learning genetics and evolution in high school biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Roger Wesley

    Statement of the problem. Few studies in biology education have examined the underlying presuppositions which guide thinking and concept learning in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the biological world views of a variety of high school students before they take biology courses. Specifically, the study examined student world views in the domains of Classification, Relationship and Causation related to the concepts of heredity, evolution and biotechnology. The following served as guiding questions: (1) What are the personal world views of high school students entering biology classes, related to the domain of Classification, Relationship and Causality? (2) How do these student world views confound or enhance the learning of basic concepts in genetics and evolution? Methods. An interpretive method was chosen for this study. The six student participants were ninth graders and represented a wide range of world view backgrounds. A series of three interviews was conducted with each participant, with a focus group used for triangulation of data. The constant comparative method was used to categorize the data and facilitate the search for meaningful patterns. The analysis included a thick description of each student's personal views of classification, evolution and the appropriate use of biotechnology. Results. The study demonstrates that world view is the basis upon which students build knowledge in biology. The logic of their everyday thinking may not match that of scientists. The words they use are sometimes inconsistent with scientific terminology. This study provides evidence that students voice different opinions depending on the social situation, since they are strongly influenced by peers. Students classify animals based on behaviors. They largely believe that the natural world is unpredictable, and that humans are not really part of that world. Half are unlikely to accept the evolution of humans, but may accept it in other

  16. Biomimicry, Biofabrication, and Biohybrid Systems: The Emergence and Evolution of Biological Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Ritu; Bashir, Rashid

    2017-10-01

    The discipline of biological design has a relatively short history, but has undergone very rapid expansion and development over that time. This Progress Report outlines the evolution of this field from biomimicry to biofabrication to biohybrid systems' design, showcasing how each subfield incorporates bioinspired dynamic adaptation into engineered systems. Ethical implications of biological design are discussed, with an emphasis on establishing responsible practices for engineering non-natural or hypernatural functional behaviors in biohybrid systems. This report concludes with recommendations for implementing biological design into educational curricula, ensuring effective and responsible practices for the next generation of engineers and scientists. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. A Novel Application of Synthetic Biology and Directed Evolution to Engineer Phage-based Antibiotics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Meiye [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    The emergence of multiple drug resistant bacteria poses threats to human health, agriculture and food safety. Annually over 100,000 deaths and up to $20 billion loss to the U.S. economy are attributed to multiple drug resistant bacteria. With only four new chemical antibiotics in the drug development pipeline, we are in dire need of new solutions to address the emerging threat of multiple drug resistance. We propose a paradigm-changing approach to address the multi-drug resistant bacteria problem by utilizing Synthetic Biology (SynBio) methodologies to create and evolve “designer” bacteriophages or phages – viruses that specifically infect bacteria – to infect and kill newly emerging pathogenic bacterial strains WITHOUT the need for chemical antibiotics. A major advantage of using phage to combat pathogenic bacteria is that phages can co-evolve with their bacterial host, and Sandia can be the first in the world to establish an industrial scale Synthetic Biology pipeline for phage directed evolution for safe, targeted, customizable solution to bacterial drug resistance. Since there is no existing phage directed evolution effort within or outside of Sandia, this proposal is suitable as a high-risk LDRD effort to create the first pipeline for such an endeavor. The high potential reward nature of this proposal will be the immediate impact in decontamination and restoration of surfaces and infrastructure, with longer term impact in human or animal therapeutics. The synthetic biology and screening approaches will lead to fundamental knowledge of phage/bacteria co-evolution, making Sandia a world leader in directed evolution of bacteriophages.

  18. Trace elements at the intersection of marine biological and geochemical evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Leslie J.; Lalonde, Stefan V.; Planavsky, Noah J.; Partin, Camille A.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Kendall, Brian; Scott, Clinton T.; Hardisty, Dalton S.; Gill, Benjamin C.; Alessi, Daniel S.; Dupont, Christopher L.; Saito, Mak A.; Crowe, Sean A.; Poulton, Simon W.; Bekker, Andrey; Lyons, Timothy W.; Konhauser, Kurt O.

    2016-01-01

    Life requires a wide variety of bioessential trace elements to act as structural components and reactive centers in metalloenzymes. These requirements differ between organisms and have evolved over geological time, likely guided in some part by environmental conditions. Until recently, most of what was understood regarding trace element concentrations in the Precambrian oceans was inferred by extrapolation, geochemical modeling, and/or genomic studies. However, in the past decade, the increasing availability of trace element and isotopic data for sedimentary rocks of all ages has yielded new, and potentially more direct, insights into secular changes in seawater composition – and ultimately the evolution of the marine biosphere. Compiled records of many bioessential trace elements (including Ni, Mo, P, Zn, Co, Cr, Se, and I) provide new insight into how trace element abundance in Earth's ancient oceans may have been linked to biological evolution. Several of these trace elements display redox-sensitive behavior, while others are redox-sensitive but not bioessential (e.g., Cr, U). Their temporal trends in sedimentary archives provide useful constraints on changes in atmosphere-ocean redox conditions that are linked to biological evolution, for example, the activity of oxygen-producing, photosynthetic cyanobacteria. In this review, we summarize available Precambrian trace element proxy data, and discuss how temporal trends in the seawater concentrations of specific trace elements may be linked to the evolution of both simple and complex life. We also examine several biologically relevant and/or redox-sensitive trace elements that have yet to be fully examined in the sedimentary rock record (e.g., Cu, Cd, W) and suggest several directions for future studies.

  19. Towards a Universal Biology: Is the Origin and Evolution of Life Predictable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    The origin and evolution of life seems an unpredictable oddity, based on the quirks of contingency. Celebrated by the late Stephen Jay Gould in several books, "evolution by contingency" has all the adventure of a thriller, but lacks the predictive power of the physical sciences. Not necessarily so, replied Simon Conway Morris, for convergence reassures us that certain evolutionary responses are replicable. The outcome of this debate is critical to Astrobiology. How can we understand where we came from on Earth without prophesy? Further, we cannot design a rational strategy for the search for life elsewhere - or to understand what the future will hold for life on Earth and beyond - without extrapolating from pre-biotic chemistry and evolution. There are several indirect approaches to understanding, and thus describing, what life must be. These include philosophical approaches to defining life (is there even a satisfactory definition of life?), using what we know of physics, chemistry and life to imagine alternate scenarios, using different approaches that life takes as pseudoreplicates (e.g., ribosomal vs non-ribosomal protein synthesis), and experimental approaches to understand the art of the possible. Given that: (1) Life is a process based on physical components rather than simply an object; (2). Life is likely based on organic carbon and needs a solvent for chemistry, most likely water, and (3) Looking for convergence in terrestrial evolution we can predict certain tendencies, if not quite "laws", that provide predictive power. Biological history must obey the laws of physics and chemistry, the principles of natural selection, the constraints of an evolutionary past, genetics, and developmental biology. This amalgam creates a surprising amount of predictive power in the broad outline. Critical is the apparent prevalence of organic chemistry, and uniformity in the universe of the laws of chemistry and physics. Instructive is the widespread occurrence of

  20. A mechano-biological model of multi-tissue evolution in bone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frame, Jamie; Rohan, Pierre-Yves; Corté, Laurent; Allena, Rachele

    2017-12-01

    Successfully simulating tissue evolution in bone is of significant importance in predicting various biological processes such as bone remodeling, fracture healing and osseointegration of implants. Each of these processes involves in different ways the permanent or transient formation of different tissue types, namely bone, cartilage and fibrous tissues. The tissue evolution in specific circumstances such as bone remodeling and fracturing healing is currently able to be modeled. Nevertheless, it remains challenging to predict which tissue types and organization can develop without any a priori assumptions. In particular, the role of mechano-biological coupling in this selective tissue evolution has not been clearly elucidated. In this work, a multi-tissue model has been created which simultaneously describes the evolution of bone, cartilage and fibrous tissues. The coupling of the biological and mechanical factors involved in tissue formation has been modeled by defining two different tissue states: an immature state corresponding to the early stages of tissue growth and representing cell clusters in a weakly neo-formed Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM), and a mature state corresponding to well-formed connective tissues. This has allowed for the cellular processes of migration, proliferation and apoptosis to be described simultaneously with the changing ECM properties through strain driven diffusion, growth, maturation and resorption terms. A series of finite element simulations were carried out on idealized cantilever bending geometries. Starting from a tissue composition replicating a mid-diaphysis section of a long bone, a steady-state tissue formation was reached over a statically loaded period of 10,000 h (60 weeks). The results demonstrated that bone formation occurred in regions which are optimally physiologically strained. In two additional 1000 h bending simulations both cartilaginous and fibrous tissues were shown to form under specific geometrical and loading

  1. Biological adaptations for functional features of language in the face of cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Morten H; Reali, Florencia; Chater, Nick

    2011-04-01

    Although there may be no true language universals, it is nonetheless possible to discern several family resemblance patterns across the languages of the world. Recent work on the cultural evolution of language indicates the source of these patterns is unlikely to be an innate universal grammar evolved through biological adaptations for arbitrary linguistic features. Instead, it has been suggested that the patterns of resemblance emerge because language has been shaped by the brain, with individual languages representing different but partially overlapping solutions to the same set of nonlinguistic constraints. Here, we use computational simulations to investigate whether biological adaptation for functional features of language, deriving from cognitive and communicative constraints, may nonetheless be possible alongside rapid cultural evolution. Specifically, we focus on the Baldwin effect as an evolutionary mechanism by which previously learned linguistic features might become innate through natural selection across many generations of language users. The results indicate that cultural evolution of language does not necessarily prevent functional features of language from becoming genetically fixed, thus potentially providing a particularly informative source of constraints on cross-linguistic resemblance patterns.

  2. Use of the "Tree" Analogy in Evolution Teaching by Biology Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcelos, Maria Fátima; Nagem, Ronaldo Luiz

    2012-04-01

    This work discusses the use of Darwin's `Tree of Life' as a didactic analogy and metaphor in teaching evolution. It investigates whether biology teachers of pupils from 17 to 18 years old know Darwin's text `Tree of Life'. In addition, it examines whether those teachers systematically employ either the analogies present in that text or other analogies between the tree and evolution, and whether they adopt a specific methodology for teaching with analogies and metaphors (A&M). The academic training of teachers regarding use of A&M is review briefly. A diagnostic study was carried out with biology teachers in a public school in the town of Contagem in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The data were obtained through direct observation, questionnaires and a focus group. The teachers pointed out in the questionnaires that some details of Darwin's analogy are utilized as a resource. However, analysis of the data indicates that the `Tree of Life' text is not known or utilized in class. At the same time, the teachers state that they use aspects of the tree as a didactic resource to teach evolution and that its use facilitates the learning of content. The teachers have little knowledge of specific methodologies of teaching with analogies and metaphors, revealing that their training is incomplete in this area.

  3. Synthetic biology for the directed evolution of protein biocatalysts: navigating sequence space intelligently

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currin, Andrew; Swainston, Neil; Day, Philip J.

    2015-01-01

    The amino acid sequence of a protein affects both its structure and its function. Thus, the ability to modify the sequence, and hence the structure and activity, of individual proteins in a systematic way, opens up many opportunities, both scientifically and (as we focus on here) for exploitation in biocatalysis. Modern methods of synthetic biology, whereby increasingly large sequences of DNA can be synthesised de novo, allow an unprecedented ability to engineer proteins with novel functions. However, the number of possible proteins is far too large to test individually, so we need means for navigating the ‘search space’ of possible protein sequences efficiently and reliably in order to find desirable activities and other properties. Enzymologists distinguish binding (K d) and catalytic (k cat) steps. In a similar way, judicious strategies have blended design (for binding, specificity and active site modelling) with the more empirical methods of classical directed evolution (DE) for improving k cat (where natural evolution rarely seeks the highest values), especially with regard to residues distant from the active site and where the functional linkages underpinning enzyme dynamics are both unknown and hard to predict. Epistasis (where the ‘best’ amino acid at one site depends on that or those at others) is a notable feature of directed evolution. The aim of this review is to highlight some of the approaches that are being developed to allow us to use directed evolution to improve enzyme properties, often dramatically. We note that directed evolution differs in a number of ways from natural evolution, including in particular the available mechanisms and the likely selection pressures. Thus, we stress the opportunities afforded by techniques that enable one to map sequence to (structure and) activity in silico, as an effective means of modelling and exploring protein landscapes. Because known landscapes may be assessed and reasoned about as a whole

  4. The evolution of the Faculty of Language from a Chomskyan perspective: bridging linguistics and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longa, Victor Manuel

    2013-01-01

    While language was traditionally considered a purely cultural trait, the advent of Noam Chomsky's Generative Grammar in the second half of the twentieth century dramatically challenged that view. According to that theory, language is an innate feature, part of the human biological endowment. If language is indeed innate, it had to biologically evolve. This review has two main objectives: firstly, it characterizes from a Chomskyan perspective the evolutionary processes by which language could have come into being. Secondly, it proposes a new method for interpreting the archaeological record that radically differs from the usual types of evidence Paleoanthropology has concentrated on when dealing with language evolution: while archaeological remains have usually been regarded from the view of the behavior they could be associated with, the paper will consider archaeological remains from the view of the computational processes and capabilities at work for their production. This computational approach, illustrated with a computational analysis of prehistoric geometric engravings, will be used to challenge the usual generative thinking on language evolution, based on the high specificity of language. The paper argues that the biological machinery of language is neither specifically linguistic nor specifically human, although language itself can still be considered a species-specific innate trait. From such a view, language would be one of the consequences of a slight modification operated on an ancestral architecture shared with vertebrates.

  5. THE EVOLUTION OF THE KREBS CYCLE: A PROMISING THEME FOR MEANINGFUL BIOCHEMISTRY LEARNING IN BIOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Costa

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Evolution has been recognized as a key concept for biologists. In order to motivate biology undergraduates for contents of central energetic metabolism, we addressed the Krebs cycle structure and functions to an evolutionary view. To this end, we created a study guide which contextualizes the emergence of the cyclic pathway, in light of the prokaryotic influence since early Earth anaerobic condition to oxygen rise in atmosphere. OBJECTIVES: The main goal is to highlight the educational potential of the material whose subject is scarcely covered in biochemistry textbooks. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study guide is composed by three interrelated sections, the problem (Section 1, designed to arouse curiosity, inform and motivate students; an introductory text (Section 2 about life evolution, including early micro-organisms and Krebs cycle emergence, and questions (Section 3 for debate. The activity consisted on a peer discussion session, with instructors tutoring. The questions were designed to foster exchange of ideas in an ever-increasing level of complexity, and cover subjects from early atmospheric conditions to organization of the metabolism along the subsequent geological ages. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We noticed that students were engaged and motivated by the task, especially during group discussion. Based on students’ feedbacks and class observations, we learned that the material raised curiosity and stimulated discussion among peers. It brought a historical and purposeful way of dealing with difficult biochemical concepts. CONCLUSIONS: The whole experience suggests that the study guide was a stimulus for broadening comprehension of the Krebs cycle, reinforcing the evolutionary stance as an important theme for biology and biochemistry understanding. On the other hand, we do not underestimate the fact that approaching Krebs cycle from an evolutionary standpoint is a quite complex discussion for the majority of students

  6. Proceedings of Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silver, Pamela [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); SEED 2015 Conference Chair; Flach, Evan [American Institute of Chemical Engineers; SEED 2015 Conference Organizer

    2016-10-27

    Synthetic Biology is an emerging discipline that seeks to accelerate the process of engineering biology. As such, the tools are broadly applicable to application areas, including chemicals and biofuels, materials, medicine and agriculture. A characteristic of the field is to look holistically at cellular design, from sensing and genetic circuitry to the manipulation of cellular processes and actuators, to controlling metabolism, to programming multicellular behaviors. Further, the types of cells that are manipulated are broad, from in vitro systems to microbes and fungi to mammalian and plant cells and living animals. Many of the projects in synthetic biology seek to move biochemical functions across organisms. The field is highly interdisciplinary with faculty and students spread across departments that focus on engineering (biological, chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil, computer science) and basic science (biology and systems biology, chemistry, physics). While there have been many one-off workshops and meeting on synthetic biology, the 2014 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) was the first of an annual conference series that serves as a reliable place to pull together the involved disciplines in order to organize and exchange advances in the science and technology in the field. Further, the SEED conferences have a strong focus on industry, with many companies represented and actively participating. A number of these companies have started major efforts in synthetic biology including large companies (e.g., Pfizer, Novartis, Dow, Dupont, BP, Total), smaller companies have recently gone public (e.g., Amyris, Gevo, Intrexon), and many start-ups (e.g., Teslagen, Refactored Materials, Pivot, Genomatica). There are a number of loosely affiliated Synthetic Biology Centers, including ones at MIT, Boston University, UCSD, UCSF, UC-Berkeley, Imperial College, Oxford, and ETH. SEED 2015 will serve as the primary meeting at which international

  7. The role of biology in planetary evolution: cyanobacterial primary production in low?oxygen Proterozoic oceans

    OpenAIRE

    Hamilton, Trinity L.; Bryant, Donald A.; Macalady, Jennifer L.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well?preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5?Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5?Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and m...

  8. Controversy in Biology Classrooms—Citizen Science Approaches to Evolution and Applications to Climate Change Discussions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A. Yoho

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The biological sciences encompass topics considered controversial by the American public, such as evolution and climate change. We believe that the development of climate change education in the biology classroom is better informed by an understanding of the history of the teaching of evolution. A common goal for science educators should be to engender a greater respect for and appreciation of science among students while teaching specific content knowledge. Citizen science has emerged as a viable yet underdeveloped method for engaging students of all ages in key scientific issues that impact society through authentic data-driven scientific research. Where successful, citizen science may open avenues of communication and engagement with the scientific process that would otherwise be more difficult to achieve. Citizen science projects demonstrate versatility in education and the ability to test hypotheses by collecting large amounts of often publishable data. We find a great possibility for science education research in the incorporation of citizen science projects in curriculum, especially with respect to “hot topics” of socioscientific debate based on our review of the findings of other authors.

  9. Mutation rules and the evolution of sparseness and modularity in biological systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Friedlander

    Full Text Available Biological systems exhibit two structural features on many levels of organization: sparseness, in which only a small fraction of possible interactions between components actually occur; and modularity--the near decomposability of the system into modules with distinct functionality. Recent work suggests that modularity can evolve in a variety of circumstances, including goals that vary in time such that they share the same subgoals (modularly varying goals, or when connections are costly. Here, we studied the origin of modularity and sparseness focusing on the nature of the mutation process, rather than on connection cost or variations in the goal. We use simulations of evolution with different mutation rules. We found that commonly used sum-rule mutations, in which interactions are mutated by adding random numbers, do not lead to modularity or sparseness except for in special situations. In contrast, product-rule mutations in which interactions are mutated by multiplying by random numbers--a better model for the effects of biological mutations--led to sparseness naturally. When the goals of evolution are modular, in the sense that specific groups of inputs affect specific groups of outputs, product-rule mutations also lead to modular structure; sum-rule mutations do not. Product-rule mutations generate sparseness and modularity because they tend to reduce interactions, and to keep small interaction terms small.

  10. Life’s a Gas: A Thermodynamic Theory of Biological Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith R. Skene

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines a thermodynamic theory of biological evolution. Beginning with a brief summary of the parallel histories of the modern evolutionary synthesis and thermodynamics, we use four physical laws and processes (the first and second laws of thermodynamics, diffusion and the maximum entropy production principle to frame the theory. Given that open systems such as ecosystems will move towards maximizing dispersal of energy, we expect biological diversity to increase towards a level, Dmax, representing maximum entropic production (Smax. Based on this theory, we develop a mathematical model to predict diversity over the last 500 million years. This model combines diversification, post-extinction recovery and likelihood of discovery of the fossil record. We compare the output of this model with that of the observed fossil record. The model predicts that life diffuses into available energetic space (ecospace towards a dynamic equilibrium, driven by increasing entropy within the genetic material. This dynamic equilibrium is punctured by extinction events, which are followed by restoration of Dmax through diffusion into available ecospace. Finally we compare and contrast our thermodynamic theory with the MES in relation to a number of important characteristics of evolution (progress, evolutionary tempo, form versus function, biosphere architecture, competition and fitness.

  11. The relative importance of physical and biological energy in landscape evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turowski, J. M.; Schwanghart, W.

    2017-12-01

    Landscapes are formed by the interplay of uplift and geomorphic processes, including interacting and competing physical and biological processes. For example, roots re-inforce soil and thereby stabilize hillslopes and the canopy cover of the forest may mediate the impact of precipitation. Furthermore, plants and animals act as geomorphic agents, directly altering landscape response and dynamics by their actions: tree roots may crack rocks, thus changing subsurface water flows and exposing fresh material for denudation; fungi excrete acids that accelerate rates of chemical weathering, and burrowing animals displace soil and rocks while digging holes for shelter or in search of food. Energetically, landscapes can be viewed as open systems in which topography stores potential energy above a base level. Tectonic processes add energy to the system by uplift and mechanically altering rock properties. Especially in unvegetated regions, erosion and transport by wind can be an important geomorphic process. Advection of atmospheric moisture in high altitudes provides potential energy that is converted by water fluxes through catchments. At the same time, the conversion of solar energy through atmospheric and biological processes drives primary production of living organisms. If we accept that biota influence geomorphic processes, then what is their energetic contribution to landscape evolution relative to physical processes? Using two case studies, we demonstrate that all components of energy input are negligible apart from biological production, quantified by net primary productivity (NPP) and potential energy conversion by water that is placed high up in the landscape as rainfall and leaves it as runoff. Assuming that the former is representative for biological energy and the latter for physical energy, we propose that the ratio of these two values can be used as a proxy for the relative importance of biological and physical processes in landscape evolution. All necessary

  12. A hypothesis on the biological origins and social evolution of music and dance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyan eWang

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The origins of music and musical emotions is still an enigma, here I propose a comprehensive hypothesis on the origins and evolution of music, dance and speech from a biological and sociological perspective. I suggest that every pitch interval between neighboring notes in music represents corresponding movement pattern through interpreting the Doppler effect of sound, which not only provides a possible explanation to the transposition invariance of music, but also integrates music and dance into a common form—rhythmic movements. Accordingly, investigating the origins of music poses the question: why do humans appreciate rhythmic movements? I suggest that human appreciation of rhythmic movements and rhythmic events developed from the natural selection of organisms adapting to the internal and external rhythmic environments. The perception and production of, as well as synchronization with external and internal rhythms are so vital for an organism’s survival and reproduction, that animals have a rhythm-related reward and emotion (RRRE system. The RRRE system enables the appreciation of rhythmic movements and events, and is integral to the origination of music, dance and speech. The first type of rewards and emotions (rhythm-related rewards and emotions, RRREs are evoked by music and dance, and have biological and social functions, which in turn, promote the evolution of music, dance and speech. These functions also evoke a second type of rewards and emotions, which I name society-related rewards and emotions (SRREs. The neural circuits of RRREs and SRREs develop in species formation and personal growth, with congenital and acquired characteristics, respectively, namely music is the combination of nature and culture. This hypothesis provides probable selection pressures and outlines the evolution of music, dance and speech. The links between the Doppler effect and the RRREs and SRREs can be empirically tested, making the current hypothesis

  13. A hypothesis on the biological origins and social evolution of music and dance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tianyan

    2015-01-01

    The origins of music and musical emotions is still an enigma, here I propose a comprehensive hypothesis on the origins and evolution of music, dance, and speech from a biological and sociological perspective. I suggest that every pitch interval between neighboring notes in music represents corresponding movement pattern through interpreting the Doppler effect of sound, which not only provides a possible explanation for the transposition invariance of music, but also integrates music and dance into a common form-rhythmic movements. Accordingly, investigating the origins of music poses the question: why do humans appreciate rhythmic movements? I suggest that human appreciation of rhythmic movements and rhythmic events developed from the natural selection of organisms adapting to the internal and external rhythmic environments. The perception and production of, as well as synchronization with external and internal rhythms are so vital for an organism's survival and reproduction, that animals have a rhythm-related reward and emotion (RRRE) system. The RRRE system enables the appreciation of rhythmic movements and events, and is integral to the origination of music, dance and speech. The first type of rewards and emotions (rhythm-related rewards and emotions, RRREs) are evoked by music and dance, and have biological and social functions, which in turn, promote the evolution of music, dance and speech. These functions also evoke a second type of rewards and emotions, which I name society-related rewards and emotions (SRREs). The neural circuits of RRREs and SRREs develop in species formation and personal growth, with congenital and acquired characteristics, respectively, namely music is the combination of nature and culture. This hypothesis provides probable selection pressures and outlines the evolution of music, dance, and speech. The links between the Doppler effect and the RRREs and SRREs can be empirically tested, making the current hypothesis scientifically

  14. The role of biology in planetary evolution: cyanobacterial primary production in low‐oxygen Proterozoic oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Donald A.; Macalady, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well‐preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5 Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5 Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and membrane‐derived hydrocarbon molecules that are still challenging to interpret. However, it is clear from the sulfur isotope record and other geochemical proxies that the production of oxygen or oxidizing power radically changed Earth's surface and atmosphere during the Proterozoic Eon, pushing it away from the more reducing conditions prevalent during the Archean. In addition to ancient rocks, our reconstruction of Earth's redox evolution is informed by our knowledge of biogeochemical cycles catalysed by extant biota. The emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis in ancient cyanobacteria represents one of the most impressive microbial innovations in Earth's history, and oxygenic photosynthesis is the largest source of O 2 in the atmosphere today. Thus the study of microbial metabolisms and evolution provides an important link between extant biota and the clues from the geologic record. Here, we consider the physiology of cyanobacteria (the only microorganisms capable of oxygenic photosynthesis), their co‐occurrence with anoxygenic phototrophs in a variety of environments and their persistence in low‐oxygen environments, including in water columns as well as mats, throughout much of Earth's history. We examine insights gained from both the rock record and cyanobacteria presently living in early Earth analogue ecosystems and synthesize current knowledge of these ancient microbial mediators in planetary redox evolution. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that anoxygenic

  15. Design in nature how the constructal law governs evolution in biology, physics, technology, and social organization

    CERN Document Server

    Bejan, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the constructal law, accounts for the evolution of these and many other designs in our world. Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical “flowcharts” or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies. All are governed by the same principle, known as the constructal law, and configure and reconfigure themselves...

  16. Colloquium paper: uniquely human evolution of sialic acid genetics and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2010-05-11

    Darwinian evolution of humans from our common ancestors with nonhuman primates involved many gene-environment interactions at the population level, and the resulting human-specific genetic changes must contribute to the "Human Condition." Recent data indicate that the biology of sialic acids (which directly involves less than 60 genes) shows more than 10 uniquely human genetic changes in comparison with our closest evolutionary relatives. Known outcomes are tissue-specific changes in abundant cell-surface glycans, changes in specificity and/or expression of multiple proteins that recognize these glycans, and novel pathogen regimes. Specific events include Alu-mediated inactivation of the CMAH gene, resulting in loss of synthesis of the Sia N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) and increase in expression of the precursor N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac); increased expression of alpha2-6-linked Sias (likely because of changed expression of ST6GALI); and multiple changes in SIGLEC genes encoding Sia-recognizing Ig-like lectins (Siglecs). The last includes binding specificity changes (in Siglecs -5, -7, -9, -11, and -12); expression pattern changes (in Siglecs -1, -5, -6, and -11); gene conversion (SIGLEC11); and deletion or pseudogenization (SIGLEC13, SIGLEC14, and SIGLEC16). A nongenetic outcome of the CMAH mutation is human metabolic incorporation of foreign dietary Neu5Gc, in the face of circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, generating a novel "xeno-auto-antigen" situation. Taken together, these data suggest that both the genes associated with Sia biology and the related impacts of the environment comprise a relative "hot spot" of genetic and physiological changes in human evolution, with implications for uniquely human features both in health and disease.

  17. Geomagnetic polarity reversals as a mechanism for the punctuated equilibrium model of biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welsh, J.S.; Welsh, A.L.; Welsh, W.F.

    2003-01-01

    In contrast to what is predicted by classical Darwinian theory (phyletic gradualism), the fossil record typically displays a pattern of relatively sudden, dramatic changes as detailed by Eldregde and Gould's model of punctuated equilibrium. Evolutionary biologists have been at a loss to explain the ultimate source of the new mutations that drive evolution. One hypothesis holds that the abrupt speciation seen in the punctuated equilibrium model is secondary to an increased mutation rate resulting from periodically increased levels of ionizing radiation on the Earth's surface. Sporadic geomagnetic pole reversals, occurring every few million years on the average, are accompanied by alterations in the strength of the Earth's magnetic field and magnetosphere. This diminution may allow charged cosmic radiation to bombard Earth with less attenuation, thereby resulting in increased mutation rates. This episodic fluctuation in the magnetosphere is an attractive mechanism for the observed fossil record. Selected periods and epochs of geologic history for which data was available were reviewed for both geomagnetic pole reversal history and fossil record. Anomalies in either were scrutinized in greater depth and correlations were made. A 35 million year span (118-83 Ma) was identified during the Early/Middle Cretaceous period that was devoid of geomagnetic polarity reversals(the Cretaceous normal superchron). Examination of the fossil record (including several invertebrate and vertebrate taxons) during the Cretaceous normal superchron does not reveal any significant gap or slowing of speciation. Although increased terrestrial radiation exposure due to a diminution of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a reversal of geomagnetic polarity is an attractive explanation for the mechanism of punctuated equilibrium, our investigation suggests that such polarity reversals cannot fully provide the driving force behind biological evolution. Further research is required to determine if

  18. Characteristics and evolution of the ecosystem of software tools supporting research in molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pazos, Florencio; Chagoyen, Monica

    2018-01-16

    Daily work in molecular biology presently depends on a large number of computational tools. An in-depth, large-scale study of that 'ecosystem' of Web tools, its characteristics, interconnectivity, patterns of usage/citation, temporal evolution and rate of decay is crucial for understanding the forces that shape it and for informing initiatives aimed at its funding, long-term maintenance and improvement. In particular, the long-term maintenance of these tools is compromised because of their specific development model. Hundreds of published studies become irreproducible de facto, as the software tools used to conduct them become unavailable. In this study, we present a large-scale survey of >5400 publications describing Web servers within the two main bibliographic resources for disseminating new software developments in molecular biology. For all these servers, we studied their citation patterns, the subjects they address, their citation networks and the temporal evolution of these factors. We also analysed how these factors affect the availability of these servers (whether they are alive). Our results show that this ecosystem of tools is highly interconnected and adapts to the 'trendy' subjects in every moment. The servers present characteristic temporal patterns of citation/usage, and there is a worrying rate of server 'death', which is influenced by factors such as the server popularity and the institutions that hosts it. These results can inform initiatives aimed at the long-term maintenance of these resources. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Hydrogen, metals, bifurcating electrons, and proton gradients: the early evolution of biological energy conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, William F

    2012-03-09

    Life is a persistent, self-specified set of far from equilibrium chemical reactions. In modern microbes, core carbon and energy metabolism are what keep cells alive. In very early chemical evolution, the forerunners of carbon and energy metabolism were the processes of generating reduced carbon compounds from CO(2) and the mechanisms of harnessing energy as compounds capable of doing some chemical work. The process of serpentinization at alkaline hydrothermal vents holds promise as a model for the origin of early reducing power, because Fe(2+) in the Earth's crust reduces water to H(2) and inorganic carbon to methane. The overall geochemical process of serpentinization is similar to the biochemical process of methanogenesis, and methanogenesis is similar to acetogenesis in that both physiologies allow energy conservation from the reduction of CO(2) with electrons from H(2). Electron bifurcation is a newly recognized cytosolic process that anaerobes use generate low potential electrons, it plays an important role in some forms of methanogenesis and, via speculation, possibly in acetogenesis. Electron bifurcation likely figures into the early evolution of biological energy conservation. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. The common extremalities in biology and physics maximum energy dissipation principle in chemistry, biology, physics and evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Moroz, Adam

    2011-01-01

    This book is the first unified systemic description of dissipative phenomena, taking place in biology, and non-dissipative (conservative) phenomena, which is more relevant to physics. Fully updated and revised, this new edition extends our understanding of nonlinear phenomena in biology and physics from the extreme / optimal perspective. The first book to provide understanding of physical phenomena from a biological perspective and biological phenomena from a physical perspective Discusses emerging fields and analysis Provides examples.

  1. The role of biology in planetary evolution: cyanobacterial primary production in low-oxygen Proterozoic oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Trinity L; Bryant, Donald A; Macalady, Jennifer L

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5 Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5 Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and membrane-derived hydrocarbon molecules that are still challenging to interpret. However, it is clear from the sulfur isotope record and other geochemical proxies that the production of oxygen or oxidizing power radically changed Earth's surface and atmosphere during the Proterozoic Eon, pushing it away from the more reducing conditions prevalent during the Archean. In addition to ancient rocks, our reconstruction of Earth's redox evolution is informed by our knowledge of biogeochemical cycles catalysed by extant biota. The emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis in ancient cyanobacteria represents one of the most impressive microbial innovations in Earth's history, and oxygenic photosynthesis is the largest source of O2 in the atmosphere today. Thus the study of microbial metabolisms and evolution provides an important link between extant biota and the clues from the geologic record. Here, we consider the physiology of cyanobacteria (the only microorganisms capable of oxygenic photosynthesis), their co-occurrence with anoxygenic phototrophs in a variety of environments and their persistence in low-oxygen environments, including in water columns as well as mats, throughout much of Earth's history. We examine insights gained from both the rock record and cyanobacteria presently living in early Earth analogue ecosystems and synthesize current knowledge of these ancient microbial mediators in planetary redox evolution. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that anoxygenic photosynthesis

  2. Stability-based sorting: The forgotten process behind (not only) biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toman, Jan; Flegr, Jaroslav

    2017-12-21

    Natural selection is considered to be the main process that drives biological evolution. It requires selected entities to originate dependent upon one another by the means of reproduction or copying, and for the progeny to inherit the qualities of their ancestors. However, natural selection is a manifestation of a more general persistence principle, whose temporal consequences we propose to name "stability-based sorting" (SBS). Sorting based on static stability, i.e., SBS in its strict sense and usual conception, favours characters that increase the persistence of their holders and act on all material and immaterial entities. Sorted entities could originate independently from each other, are not required to propagate and need not exhibit heredity. Natural selection is a specific form of SBS-sorting based on dynamic stability. It requires some form of heredity and is based on competition for the largest difference between the speed of generating its own copies and their expiration. SBS in its strict sense and selection thus have markedly different evolutionary consequences that are stressed in this paper. In contrast to selection, which is opportunistic, SBS is able to accumulate even momentarily detrimental characters that are advantageous for the long-term persistence of sorted entities. However, it lacks the amplification effect based on the preferential propagation of holders of advantageous characters. Thus, it works slower than selection and normally is unable to create complex adaptations. From a long-term perspective, SBS is a decisive force in evolution-especially macroevolution. SBS offers a new explanation for numerous evolutionary phenomena, including broad distribution and persistence of sexuality, altruistic behaviour, horizontal gene transfer, patterns of evolutionary stasis, planetary homeostasis, increasing ecosystem resistance to disturbances, and the universal decline of disparity in the evolution of metazoan lineages. SBS acts on all levels in

  3. The virtue of innovation: innovation through the lenses of biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas B.; Lurie-Luke, Elena

    2015-01-01

    We rehearse the processes of innovation and discovery in general terms, using as our main metaphor the biological concept of an evolutionary fitness landscape. Incremental and disruptive innovations are seen, respectively, as successful searches carried out locally or more widely. They may also be understood as reflecting evolution by mutation (incremental) versus recombination (disruptive). We also bring a platonic view, focusing on virtue and memory. We use ‘virtue’ as a measure of efforts, including the knowledge required to come up with disruptive and incremental innovations, and ‘memory’ as a measure of their lifespan, i.e. how long they are remembered. Fostering innovation, in the evolutionary metaphor, means providing the wherewithal to promote novelty, good objective functions that one is trying to optimize, and means to improve one's knowledge of, and ability to navigate, the landscape one is searching. Recombination necessarily implies multi- or inter-disciplinarity. These principles are generic to all kinds of creativity, novel ideas formation and the development of new products and technologies. PMID:25505138

  4. Superhydrophobic hierarchically structured surfaces in biology: evolution, structural principles and biomimetic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barthlott, W; Mail, M; Neinhuis, C

    2016-08-06

    A comprehensive survey of the construction principles and occurrences of superhydrophobic surfaces in plants, animals and other organisms is provided and is based on our own scanning electron microscopic examinations of almost 20 000 different species and the existing literature. Properties such as self-cleaning (lotus effect), fluid drag reduction (Salvinia effect) and the introduction of new functions (air layers as sensory systems) are described and biomimetic applications are discussed: self-cleaning is established, drag reduction becomes increasingly important, and novel air-retaining grid technology is introduced. Surprisingly, no evidence for lasting superhydrophobicity in non-biological surfaces exists (except technical materials). Phylogenetic trees indicate that superhydrophobicity evolved as a consequence of the conquest of land about 450 million years ago and may be a key innovation in the evolution of terrestrial life. The approximate 10 million extant species exhibit a stunning diversity of materials and structures, many of which are formed by self-assembly, and are solely based on a limited number of molecules. A short historical survey shows that bionics (today often called biomimetics) dates back more than 100 years. Statistical data illustrate that the interest in biomimetic surfaces is much younger still. Superhydrophobicity caught the attention of scientists only after the extreme superhydrophobicity of lotus leaves was published in 1997. Regrettably, parabionic products play an increasing role in marketing.This article is part of the themed issue 'Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. The biological evolution of guilt, shame and anxiety: A new theory of negative legacy emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breggin, Peter R

    2015-07-01

    Human beings are the most social and the most violent creatures on Earth. The combination of cooperation and aggression enabled us to dominate our ecosystem. However, the existence of violent impulses would have made it difficult or impossible for humans to live in close-knit families and clans without destroying each other. Nature's answer was the development of guilt, shame and anxiety-internal emotional inhibitions or restraints specifically against aggressive self-assertion within the family and other close relationships. The theory of negative legacy emotions proposes the first unitary concept for the biopsychosocial function of guilt, shame and anxiety, and seeks their origin in biological evolution and natural selection. Natural selection favored individuals with built-in emotional restraints that reduced conflicts within their family and tribal unit, optimizing their capacity to survive and reproduce within the protection of their small, intimate societies, while maintaining their capacity for violence against outsiders. Unfortunately, these negative legacy emotions are rudimentary and often ineffective in their psychosocial and developmental function. As a result, they produce many unintended untoward effects, including the frequent breakdown of restraints in the family and the uninhibited unleashing of violence against outsiders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Superhydrophobic hierarchically structured surfaces in biology: evolution, structural principles and biomimetic applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mail, M.; Neinhuis, C.

    2016-01-01

    A comprehensive survey of the construction principles and occurrences of superhydrophobic surfaces in plants, animals and other organisms is provided and is based on our own scanning electron microscopic examinations of almost 20 000 different species and the existing literature. Properties such as self-cleaning (lotus effect), fluid drag reduction (Salvinia effect) and the introduction of new functions (air layers as sensory systems) are described and biomimetic applications are discussed: self-cleaning is established, drag reduction becomes increasingly important, and novel air-retaining grid technology is introduced. Surprisingly, no evidence for lasting superhydrophobicity in non-biological surfaces exists (except technical materials). Phylogenetic trees indicate that superhydrophobicity evolved as a consequence of the conquest of land about 450 million years ago and may be a key innovation in the evolution of terrestrial life. The approximate 10 million extant species exhibit a stunning diversity of materials and structures, many of which are formed by self-assembly, and are solely based on a limited number of molecules. A short historical survey shows that bionics (today often called biomimetics) dates back more than 100 years. Statistical data illustrate that the interest in biomimetic surfaces is much younger still. Superhydrophobicity caught the attention of scientists only after the extreme superhydrophobicity of lotus leaves was published in 1997. Regrettably, parabionic products play an increasing role in marketing. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science’. PMID:27354736

  7. Neutral Evolution in a Biological Population as Diffusion in Phenotype Space: Reproduction with Local Mutation but without Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Daniel John; Jensen, Henrik Jeldtoft

    2007-03-01

    The process of “evolutionary diffusion,” i.e., reproduction with local mutation but without selection in a biological population, resembles standard diffusion in many ways. However, evolutionary diffusion allows the formation of localized peaks that undergo drift, even in the infinite population limit. We relate a microscopic evolution model to a stochastic model which we solve fully. This allows us to understand the large population limit, relates evolution to diffusion, and shows that independent local mutations act as a diffusion of interacting particles taking larger steps.

  8. Nothing in Evolution Makes Sense Except in the Light of Genomics: Read–Write Genome Evolution as an Active Biological Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A. Shapiro

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The 21st century genomics-based analysis of evolutionary variation reveals a number of novel features impossible to predict when Dobzhansky and other evolutionary biologists formulated the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis in the middle of the last century. These include three distinct realms of cell evolution; symbiogenetic fusions forming eukaryotic cells with multiple genome compartments; horizontal organelle, virus and DNA transfers; functional organization of proteins as systems of interacting domains subject to rapid evolution by exon shuffling and exonization; distributed genome networks integrated by mobile repetitive regulatory signals; and regulation of multicellular development by non-coding lncRNAs containing repetitive sequence components. Rather than single gene traits, all phenotypes involve coordinated activity by multiple interacting cell molecules. Genomes contain abundant and functional repetitive components in addition to the unique coding sequences envisaged in the early days of molecular biology. Combinatorial coding, plus the biochemical abilities cells possess to rearrange DNA molecules, constitute a powerful toolbox for adaptive genome rewriting. That is, cells possess “Read–Write Genomes” they alter by numerous biochemical processes capable of rapidly restructuring cellular DNA molecules. Rather than viewing genome evolution as a series of accidental modifications, we can now study it as a complex biological process of active self-modification.

  9. Merging metagenomics and geochemistry reveals environmental controls on biological diversity and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsop, Eric B; Boyd, Eric S; Raymond, Jason

    2014-05-28

    The metabolic strategies employed by microbes inhabiting natural systems are, in large part, dictated by the physical and geochemical properties of the environment. This study sheds light onto the complex relationship between biology and environmental geochemistry using forty-three metagenomes collected from geochemically diverse and globally distributed natural systems. It is widely hypothesized that many uncommonly measured geochemical parameters affect community dynamics and this study leverages the development and application of multidimensional biogeochemical metrics to study correlations between geochemistry and microbial ecology. Analysis techniques such as a Markov cluster-based measure of the evolutionary distance between whole communities and a principal component analysis (PCA) of the geochemical gradients between environments allows for the determination of correlations between microbial community dynamics and environmental geochemistry and provides insight into which geochemical parameters most strongly influence microbial biodiversity. By progressively building from samples taken along well defined geochemical gradients to samples widely dispersed in geochemical space this study reveals strong links between the extent of taxonomic and functional diversification of resident communities and environmental geochemistry and reveals temperature and pH as the primary factors that have shaped the evolution of these communities. Moreover, the inclusion of extensive geochemical data into analyses reveals new links between geochemical parameters (e.g. oxygen and trace element availability) and the distribution and taxonomic diversification of communities at the functional level. Further, an overall geochemical gradient (from multivariate analyses) between natural systems provides one of the most complete predictions of microbial taxonomic and functional composition. Clustering based on the frequency in which orthologous proteins occur among metagenomes

  10. Rates of molecular evolution in tree ferns are associated with body size, environmental temperature, and biological productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrera-Redondo, Josué; Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2018-05-01

    Variation in rates of molecular evolution (heterotachy) is a common phenomenon among plants. Although multiple theoretical models have been proposed, fundamental questions remain regarding the combined effects of ecological and morphological traits on rate heterogeneity. Here, we used tree ferns to explore the correlation between rates of molecular evolution in chloroplast DNA sequences and several morphological and environmental factors within a Bayesian framework. We revealed direct and indirect effects of body size, biological productivity, and temperature on substitution rates, where smaller tree ferns living in warmer and less productive environments tend to have faster rates of molecular evolution. In addition, we found that variation in the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates (dN/dS) in the chloroplast rbcL gene was significantly correlated with ecological and morphological variables. Heterotachy in tree ferns may be influenced by effective population size associated with variation in body size and productivity. Macroevolutionary hypotheses should go beyond explaining heterotachy in terms of mutation rates and instead, should integrate population-level factors to better understand the processes affecting the tempo of evolution at the molecular level. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. Stochastic many-body problems in ecology, evolution, neuroscience, and systems biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Thomas C.

    Using the tools of many-body theory, I analyze problems in four different areas of biology dominated by strong fluctuations: The evolutionary history of the genetic code, spatiotemporal pattern formation in ecology, spatiotemporal pattern formation in neuroscience and the robustness of a model circadian rhythm circuit in systems biology. In the first two research chapters, I demonstrate that the genetic code is extremely optimal (in the sense that it manages the effects of point mutations or mistranslations efficiently), more than an order of magnitude beyond what was previously thought. I further show that the structure of the genetic code implies that early proteins were probably only loosely defined. Both the nature of early proteins and the extreme optimality of the genetic code are interpreted in light of recent theory [1] as evidence that the evolution of the genetic code was driven by evolutionary dynamics that were dominated by horizontal gene transfer. I then explore the optimality of a proposed precursor to the genetic code. The results show that the precursor code has only limited optimality, which is interpreted as evidence that the precursor emerged prior to translation, or else never existed. In the next part of the dissertation, I introduce a many-body formalism for reaction-diffusion systems described at the mesoscopic scale with master equations. I first apply this formalism to spatially-extended predator-prey ecosystems, resulting in the prediction that many-body correlations and fluctuations drive population cycles in time, called quasicycles. Most of these results were previously known, but were derived using the system size expansion [2, 3]. I next apply the analytical techniques developed in the study of quasi-cycles to a simple model of Turing patterns in a predator-prey ecosystem. This analysis shows that fluctuations drive the formation of a new kind of spatiotemporal pattern formation that I name "quasi-patterns." These quasi

  12. 50 Years of JBE: The Evolution of Biology as a School Subject

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Edgar

    2016-01-01

    When the "Journal of Biological Education" was first published in 1967, biology was still very much the Cinderella of the three school sciences in many countries. Most selective secondary school biology courses readily betrayed their origins as an unconvincing coalition of botany and zoology. In the non-selective secondary modern…

  13. High School Biology Teachers' Knowledge Structure, Acceptance and Teaching of Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutledge, Michael L.; Mitchell, Melissa A.

    2002-01-01

    Determines teachers' conceptions of evolutionary theory using the technique of concept mapping. Discusses the methodology, the survey items, and concept map features. Makes specific recommendations for the teaching of evolution. (Contains 32 references.) (DDR)

  14. Should We Add History of Science to Provide Nature of Science into Vietnamese Biology Textbook: A Case of Evolution and Genetics Teaching?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diem, Huynh Thi Thuy; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    History of science (HOS) plays a substantial role in the enhancement of rooted understanding in science teaching and learning. HOS of evolution and genetics has not been included in Vietnamese biology textbooks. This study aims to investigate the necessity of introducing evolution and genetics HOS into Vietnamese textbooks. A case study approach…

  15. The Relationship between Biology Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science and the Understanding and Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofré, Hernán; Cuevas, Emilia; Becerra, Beatriz

    2017-01-01

    Despite the importance of the theory of evolution (TE) to scientific knowledge, a number of misconceptions continue to be found among biology teachers. In this context, the first objective of this study was to identify the impact of professional development programme (PDP) on teachers' understanding of nature of science (NOS) and evolution and on…

  16. Analyzing Change in Students' Gene-to-Evolution Models in College-Level Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauer, Joseph T.; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Speth, Elena Bray; Makohon-Moore, Sasha C.; Long, Tammy M.

    2013-01-01

    Research in contemporary biology has become increasingly complex and organized around understanding biological processes in the context of systems. To better reflect the ways of thinking required for learning about systems, we developed and implemented a pedagogical approach using box-and-arrow models (similar to concept maps) as a foundational…

  17. Microbial production of natural and non-natural flavonoids: Pathway engineering, directed evolution and systems/synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ramesh Prasad; Parajuli, Prakash; Koffas, Mattheos A G; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances made in pathway engineering, directed evolution, and systems/synthetic biology approaches employed in the production and modification of flavonoids from microbial cells. The review is divided into two major parts. In the first, various metabolic engineering and system/synthetic biology approaches used for production of flavonoids and derivatives are discussed broadly. All the manipulations/engineering accomplished on the microorganisms since 2000 are described in detail along with the biosynthetic pathway enzymes, their sources, structures of the compounds, and yield of each product. In the second part of the review, post-modifications of flavonoids by four major reactions, namely glycosylations, methylations, hydroxylations and prenylations using recombinant strains are described. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Toward the Language-Ready Brain: Biological Evolution and Primate Comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2017-02-01

    The approach to language evolution suggested here focuses on three questions: How did the human brain evolve so that humans can develop, use, and acquire languages? How can the evolutionary quest be informed by studying brain, behavior, and social interaction in monkeys, apes, and humans? How can computational modeling advance these studies? I hypothesize that the brain is language ready in that the earliest humans had protolanguages but not languages (i.e., communication systems endowed with rich and open-ended lexicons and grammars supporting a compositional semantics), and that it took cultural evolution to yield societies (a cultural constructed niche) in which language-ready brains could become language-using brains. The mirror system hypothesis is a well-developed example of this approach, but I offer it here not as a closed theory but as an evolving framework for the development and analysis of conflicting subhypotheses in the hope of their eventual integration. I also stress that computational modeling helps us understand the evolving role of mirror neurons, not in and of themselves, but only in their interaction with systems "beyond the mirror." Because a theory of evolution needs a clear characterization of what it is that evolved, I also outline ideas for research in neurolinguistics to complement studies of the evolution of the language-ready brain. A clear challenge is to go beyond models of speech comprehension to include sign language and models of production, and to link language to visuomotor interaction with the physical and social world.

  19. Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913): the forgotten co-founder of the Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Hossfeld, Uwe

    2013-12-01

    The British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), who had to leave school aged 14 and never attended university, did extensive fieldwork, first in the Amazon River basin (1848-1852) and then in Southeast Asia (1854-1862). Based on this experience, and after reading the corresponding scientific literature, Wallace postulated that species were not created, but are modified descendants of pre-existing varieties (Sarawak Law paper, 1855). Evolution is brought about by a struggle for existence via natural selection, which results in the adaptation of those individuals in variable populations who survive and reproduce (Ternate essay, 1858). In his monograph Darwinism (1889), and in subsequent publications, Wallace extended the contents of Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) into the Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution, with reference to the work of August Weismann (1834-1914). Wallace also became the (co)-founder of biogeography, biodiversity research, astrobiology and evolutionary anthropology. Moreover, he envisioned what was later called the anthropocene (i.e., the age of human environmental destructiveness). However, since Wallace believed in atheistic spiritualism and mixed up scientific facts and supernatural speculations in some of his writings, he remains a controversial figure in the history of biology.

  20. Evolution of meanings of the concept of gen in students of higher education in the teaching of biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia Diez de Tancredi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to identify initial meanings of the concept of the gene among 50 students from the career training of teachers of biology at the University Pedagogical Experimental Libertador (UPEL, Pedagogical Institute of Caracas, who enrolled in Cell Biology (BC and General Genetics (GG, as well as those built from a didactic intervention that formed part of Participatory Action Research (PAR. The work is based on the Theory of Meaningful Learning of Ausubel, on the principles of critical meaningful learning facilitators of Moreira, and on elements of the educational act of Novak. To investigate the evolution of meaning of this concept were used: questionnaires, interviews, maps and graphic representations of concepts developed by students. The data analysis provides a differentiated evolution of the meaning of the gene in the students, which corresponds to the didactic intervention and teachers, actions in both courses. It shows the importance of organizing the teaching in a potentially meaningful way to reflect on the content and learning, so that abstract concepts such as gene, must be presented with a critical and reflexive epistemology.

  1. The inception and evolution of a unique masters program in cancer biology, prevention and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousin, Carolyn; Blancato, Jan

    2010-09-01

    The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), Georgetown University Medical Center established a Masters Degree Program in Cancer Biology, Prevention and Control at UDC that is jointly administered and taught by UDC and LCCC faculty. The goal of the Masters Degree Program is to educate students as master-level cancer professionals capable of conducting research and service in cancer biology, prevention, and control or to further advance the education of students to pursue doctoral studies. The Program's unique nature is reflected in its philosophy "the best cancer prevention and control researchers are those with a sound understanding of cancer biology". This program is a full-time, 2-year, 36-credit degree in which students take half of their coursework at UDC and half of their coursework at LCCC. During the second year, students are required to conduct research either at LCCC or UDC. Unlike most cancer biology programs, this unique Program emphasizes both cancer biology and cancer outreach training.

  2. Validation of an Instrument for Assessing Conceptual Change with Respect to the Theory of Evolution by Secondary Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goff, Kevin David

    This pilot study evaluated the validity of a new quantitative, closed-response instrument for assessing student conceptual change regarding the theory of evolution. The instrument has two distinguishing design features. First, it is designed not only to gauge student mastery of the scientific model of evolution, but also to elicit a trio of deeply intuitive tendencies that are known to compromise many students' understanding: the projection of intentional agency, teleological directionality, and immutable essences onto biological phenomena. Second, in addition to a section of conventional multiple choice questions, the instrument contains a series of items where students may simultaneously endorse both scientifically normative propositions and intuitively appealing yet unscientific propositions, without having to choose between them. These features allow for the hypothesized possibility that the three intuitions are partly innate, themselves products of cognitive evolution in our hominin ancestors, and thus may continue to inform students' thinking even after instruction and conceptual change. The test was piloted with 340 high school students from diverse schools and communities. Confirmatory factor analysis and other statistical methods provided evidence that the instrument already has strong potential for validly distinguishing students who hold a correct scientific understanding from those who do not, but that revision and retesting are needed to render it valid for gauging students' adherence to intuitive misconceptions. Ultimately the instrument holds promise as a tool for classroom intervention studies by conceptual change researchers, for diagnostic testing and data gathering by instructional leaders, and for provoking classroom dialogue and debate by science teachers.

  3. Biological and genetic evolution of HIV type 1 in two siblings with different patterns of disease progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripamonti, Chiara; Leitner, Thomas; Laurén, Anna; Karlsson, Ingrid; Pastore, Angela; Cavarelli, Mariangela; Antonsson, Liselotte; Plebani, Anna; Fenyö, Eva Maria; Scarlatti, Gabriella

    2007-12-01

    To investigate the immunological and virological factors that may lead to different patterns of disease progression characteristic of HIV-1-infected children, two HIV-1-infected siblings, a slow and a fast progressor, were followed prospectively before the onset of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Viral coreceptor usage, including the use of CCR5/CXCR4 chimeric receptors, macrophage tropism, and sensitivity to the CC-chemokine RANTES, has been studied. An autologous and heterologous neutralizing antibody response has been documented using peripheral blood mononuclear cells- and GHOST(3) cell line-based assays. Viral evolution was investigated by env C2-V3 region sequence analysis. Although both siblings were infected with HIV-1 of the R5 phenotype, their viruses showed important biological differences. In the fast progressor there was a higher RANTES sensitivity of the early virus, an increased trend to change the mode of CCR5 receptor use, and a larger genetic evolution. Both children developed an autologous neutralizing antibody response starting from the second year with evidence of the continuous emergence of resistant variants. A marked viral genetic and phenotypic evolution was documented in the fast progressor sibling, which is accompanied by a high viral RANTES sensitivity and persistent neutralizing antibodies.

  4. Degrading organic micropollutants: The next challenge in the evolution of biological wastewater treatment processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naresh eSinghal

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Global water scarcity is driving the need for identifying new water source. Wastewater could be a potential water resource if appropriate treatment technologies could be developed. One of the barriers to obtaining high quality water from wastewater arises from the presence of organic micropollutants, which are biologically active at trace levels. Removal of these compounds from wastewater by current physico-chemical technologies is prohibitively expensive. While biological treatment processes are comparatively cheap, current systems are not capable of degrading the wide range of organic micropollutants present in wastewater. As current wastewater treatment processes were developed for treating conventional pollutants present at mg/L levels, degrading the ng/L levels of micropollutants will require a different approach to system design and operation. In this paper we discuss strategies that could be employed to develop biological wastewater treatment systems capable of degrading organic micropollutants.

  5. Systems Biology Investigations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Evolution in Association with Human Airway Infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Søren Damkiær

    Most knowledge about evolutionary adaptation has been gained from experimental evolution studies, in which organisms have been allowed to evolve under simple, well-defined conditions in the laboratory. While these studies have provided novel insight into the fundamental processes of evolutionary....... aeruginosa DK2 clone lineage during 200,000 generations of evolution in the CF airways from its entrance in the clinic in the 1970’ies until the end of 2010. Genetic analysis showed that the DK2 lineage between 1973 and 2007 accumulated mutations in a near-linear manner with an overall genomic signature...... included fixation of mutations in the rpoD gene encoding the principle sigma factor σ70. The findings presented in this thesis provide insight into the genetic mechanisms and evolutionary processes that shape the adaptation of bacteria colonizing complex natural environments. Increased knowledge...

  6. The sociobiology of genes: the gene's eye view as a unifying behavioural-ecological framework for biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Tiège, Alexis; Van de Peer, Yves; Braeckman, Johan; Tanghe, Koen B

    2017-11-22

    Although classical evolutionary theory, i.e., population genetics and the Modern Synthesis, was already implicitly 'gene-centred', the organism was, in practice, still generally regarded as the individual unit of which a population is composed. The gene-centred approach to evolution only reached a logical conclusion with the advent of the gene-selectionist or gene's eye view in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas classical evolutionary theory can only work with (genotypically represented) fitness differences between individual organisms, gene-selectionism is capable of working with fitness differences among genes within the same organism and genome. Here, we explore the explanatory potential of 'intra-organismic' and 'intra-genomic' gene-selectionism, i.e., of a behavioural-ecological 'gene's eye view' on genetic, genomic and organismal evolution. First, we give a general outline of the framework and how it complements the-to some extent-still 'organism-centred' approach of classical evolutionary theory. Secondly, we give a more in-depth assessment of its explanatory potential for biological evolution, i.e., for Darwin's 'common descent with modification' or, more specifically, for 'historical continuity or homology with modular evolutionary change' as it has been studied by evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) during the last few decades. In contrast with classical evolutionary theory, evo-devo focuses on 'within-organism' developmental processes. Given the capacity of gene-selectionism to adopt an intra-organismal gene's eye view, we outline the relevance of the latter model for evo-devo. Overall, we aim for the conceptual integration between the gene's eye view on the one hand, and more organism-centred evolutionary models (both classical evolutionary theory and evo-devo) on the other.

  7. Chromosomal Aberrations Associated with Clonal Evolution and Leukemic Transformation in Fanconi Anemia: Clinical and Biological Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Meyer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fanconi anaemia (FA is an inherited disease with congenital and developmental abnormalities, bone marrow failure, and extreme risk of leukemic transformation. Bone marrow surveillance is an important part of the clinical management of FA and often reveals cytogenetic aberrations. Here, we review bone marrow findings in FA and discuss the clinical and biological implications of chromosomal aberrations associated with leukemic transformation.

  8. Biology, ecology and evolution of the family Gigasporaceae, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, Francisco Adriano de

    2005-01-01

    Research described in this thesis focused on biological, ecological and evolutionary aspects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF), and in particular of the family Gigasporaceae (Gigaspora and Scutellospora, genera). This study had two major objectives. The first objective was to obtain better

  9. The Origin and Evolution of Life in Pakistani High School Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asghar, Anila; Wiles, Jason R.; Alters, Brian

    2010-01-01

    This study seeks to inform science education practitioners and researchers in the West about apparent attempts to reconcile science and religion in Pakistan's public school curriculum. We analysed the national high school science curriculum and biology textbooks (English) used in the Government schools in Pakistan, where Islamic faith is the…

  10. Integrated omics in systems biology: The new frontier for environmental biotechnology, ecology, and evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hazen, Terry C.

    2006-01-01

    Environmental biotechnology encompasses a wide range of characterization, monitoring and control or remediation technologies that are based on biological processes. Recent breakthroughs in our understanding of biogeochemical processes and genomics are leading to exciting new and cost effective ways to monitor and manipulate the environment. Indeed, our ability to sequence an entire microbial genome in just a few hours is leading to similar breakthroughs in characterizing proteomes, metabolome...

  11. The cosmological model of eternal inflation and the transition from chance to biological evolution in the history of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koonin Eugene V

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent developments in cosmology radically change the conception of the universe as well as the very notions of "probable" and "possible". The model of eternal inflation implies that all macroscopic histories permitted by laws of physics are repeated an infinite number of times in the infinite multiverse. In contrast to the traditional cosmological models of a single, finite universe, this worldview provides for the origin of an infinite number of complex systems by chance, even as the probability of complexity emerging in any given region of the multiverse is extremely low. This change in perspective has profound implications for the history of any phenomenon, and life on earth cannot be an exception. Hypothesis Origin of life is a chicken and egg problem: for biological evolution that is governed, primarily, by natural selection, to take off, efficient systems for replication and translation are required, but even barebones cores of these systems appear to be products of extensive selection. The currently favored (partial solution is an RNA world without proteins in which replication is catalyzed by ribozymes and which serves as the cradle for the translation system. However, the RNA world faces its own hard problems as ribozyme-catalyzed RNA replication remains a hypothesis and the selective pressures behind the origin of translation remain mysterious. Eternal inflation offers a viable alternative that is untenable in a finite universe, i.e., that a coupled system of translation and replication emerged by chance, and became the breakthrough stage from which biological evolution, centered around Darwinian selection, took off. A corollary of this hypothesis is that an RNA world, as a diverse population of replicating RNA molecules, might have never existed. In this model, the stage for Darwinian selection is set by anthropic selection of complex systems that rarely but inevitably emerge by chance in the infinite universe

  12. The cosmological model of eternal inflation and the transition from chance to biological evolution in the history of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2007-05-31

    Recent developments in cosmology radically change the conception of the universe as well as the very notions of "probable" and "possible". The model of eternal inflation implies that all macroscopic histories permitted by laws of physics are repeated an infinite number of times in the infinite multiverse. In contrast to the traditional cosmological models of a single, finite universe, this worldview provides for the origin of an infinite number of complex systems by chance, even as the probability of complexity emerging in any given region of the multiverse is extremely low. This change in perspective has profound implications for the history of any phenomenon, and life on earth cannot be an exception. Origin of life is a chicken and egg problem: for biological evolution that is governed, primarily, by natural selection, to take off, efficient systems for replication and translation are required, but even barebones cores of these systems appear to be products of extensive selection. The currently favored (partial) solution is an RNA world without proteins in which replication is catalyzed by ribozymes and which serves as the cradle for the translation system. However, the RNA world faces its own hard problems as ribozyme-catalyzed RNA replication remains a hypothesis and the selective pressures behind the origin of translation remain mysterious. Eternal inflation offers a viable alternative that is untenable in a finite universe, i.e., that a coupled system of translation and replication emerged by chance, and became the breakthrough stage from which biological evolution, centered around Darwinian selection, took off. A corollary of this hypothesis is that an RNA world, as a diverse population of replicating RNA molecules, might have never existed. In this model, the stage for Darwinian selection is set by anthropic selection of complex systems that rarely but inevitably emerge by chance in the infinite universe (multiverse). The plausibility of different models

  13. The molecular biology and evolution of feline immunodeficiency viruses of cougars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poss, Mary; Ross, Howard; Rodrigo, Allen; Terwee, Julie; VandeWoude, Sue; Biek, Roman

    2008-01-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that has been identified in many members of the family Felidae but domestic cats are the only FIV host in which infection results in disease. We studied FIVpco infection of cougars (Puma concolor) as a model for asymptomatic lentivirus infections to understand the mechanisms of host-virus coexistence. Several natural cougar populations were evaluated to determine if there are any consequences of FIVpco infection on cougar fecundity, survival, or susceptibility to other infections. We have sequenced full length viral genomes and conducted a detailed analysis of viral molecular evolution on these sequences and on genome fragments of serially sampled animals to determine the evolutionary forces experienced by this virus in cougars. In addition, we have evaluated the molecular genetics of FIVpco in a new host, domestic cats, to determine the evolutionary consequences to a host-adapted virus associated with cross-species infection. Our results indicate that there are no significant differences in survival, fecundity or susceptibility to other infections between FIVpco-infected and uninfected cougars. The molecular evolution of FIVpco is characterized by a slower evolutionary rate and an absence of positive selection, but also by proviral and plasma viral loads comparable to those of epidemic lentiviruses such as HIV-1 or FIVfca. Evolutionary and recombination rates and selection profiles change significantly when FIVpco replicates in a new host. PMID:18295904

  14. United theory of biological evolution: Disaster-forced evolution through Supernova, radioactive ash fall-outs, genome instability, and mass extinctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshikazu Ebisuzaki

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present the disaster-forced biological evolution model as a general framework that includes Darwinian “phylogenic gradualism”, Eldredge-Gould's “punctuated equilibrium”, mass extinctions, and allopatric, parapatric, and sympatric speciation. It describes how reproductive isolation of organisms is established through global disasters due to supernova encounters and local disasters due to radioactive volcanic ash fall-outs by continental alkaline volcanism. Our new evolution model uniquely highlights three major factors of disaster-forced speciation: enhanced mutation rate by higher natural radiation level, smaller population size, and shrunken habitat size (i.e., isolation among the individual populations. We developed a mathematical model describing speciation of a half-isolated group from a parental group, taking into account the population size (Ne, immigration rate (m, and mutation rate (μ. The model gives a quantitative estimate of the speciation, which is consistent with the observations of speciation speed. For example, the speciation takes at least 105 generations, if mutation rate is less than 10−3 per generation per individual. This result is consistent with the previous studies, in which μ is assumed to be 10−3–10−5. On the other hand, the speciation is much faster (less than 105 generations for the case that μ is as large as 0.1 in parapatric conditions (m < μ. Even a sympatric (m ~ 1 speciation can occur within 103 generations, if mutation rate is very high (μ ~ 1 mutation per individual per generation, and if Ne < 20–30. Such a high mutation rate is possible during global disasters due to supernova encounters and local disasters due to radioactive ash fall-outs. They raise natural radiation level by a factor of 100–1000. Such rapid speciation events can also contribute to macro-evolution during mass extinction events, such as observed during the Cambrian explosion of biodiversity. A

  15. Creativity as a biological evolution enhancer and its relationship to language and consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Lumbreras Sancho

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The appearance of creativity in animal behavior and, as its peak expression, human inventiveness, presented a major breakthrough in the evolution of life. It enabled for much faster adaptation and enhanced survival potential in changing environments. In addition, it also brought improvements based on a society rather than an individual. More complex solutions based on teamwork could emerge and advances could be passed on to the whole population in the same generation. For this creative activity to be possible the ability to make new associations and hypothesis was needed, which seems to require some degree of conscious processing as detailed below. In addition, collaborative efforts depend upon a sufficiently sophisticated communication system, which could also require some conscious activity. Therefore, it seems plausible that creativity was a remarkable advantage that was selected for, taking with it language and consciousness

  16. Biological signatures of dynamic river networks from a coupled landscape evolution and neutral community model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, M.; Perron, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    Freshwater systems host exceptionally species-rich communities whose spatial structure is dictated by the topology of the river networks they inhabit. Over geologic time, river networks are dynamic; drainage basins shrink and grow, and river capture establishes new connections between previously separated regions. It has been hypothesized that these changes in river network structure influence the evolution of life by exchanging and isolating species, perhaps boosting biodiversity in the process. However, no general model exists to predict the evolutionary consequences of landscape change. We couple a neutral community model of freshwater organisms to a landscape evolution model in which the river network undergoes drainage divide migration and repeated river capture. Neutral community models are macro-ecological models that include stochastic speciation and dispersal to produce realistic patterns of biodiversity. We explore the consequences of three modes of speciation - point mutation, time-protracted, and vicariant (geographic) speciation - by tracking patterns of diversity in time and comparing the final result to an equilibrium solution of the neutral model on the final landscape. Under point mutation, a simple model of stochastic and instantaneous speciation, the results are identical to the equilibrium solution and indicate the dominance of the species-area relationship in forming patterns of diversity. The number of species in a basin is proportional to its area, and regional species richness reaches its maximum when drainage area is evenly distributed among sub-basins. Time-protracted speciation is also modeled as a stochastic process, but in order to produce more realistic rates of diversification, speciation is not assumed to be instantaneous. Rather, each new species must persist for a certain amount of time before it is considered to be established. When vicariance (geographic speciation) is included, there is a transient signature of increased

  17. The chemical and biological evolution of mature fine tailings in oil sands end-pit lakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, M.; Weisener, C.; Ciborowski, J.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation described an innovative bench-scale technique to characterize oil sand tailings and their impact on sediment oxygen demand (SOD) for future end-pit lake model behaviour. SOD is a dominant contributor to oxygen depletion in wetlands. The function and sustainability of a wetland ecosystem depends on the biochemical processes occurring at the sediment-water interface. The biochemical reactions associated with natural sediment can change with the addition of oil sands processed material (OSPM), which can affect SOD and ecosystem viability. It is important to establishing the biotic and abiotic controls of SOD. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of current wetland reclamation designs, it is important to establish the biotic and abiotic controls of SOD. The REDOX chemistry of fresh tailings sediment (MFT) was measured in this laboratory microcosm to determine the chemical and biological influences, and to study the role of developing microbial communities as new mature fine tailings (MFT) age. The study evaluated the changes in the main chemical, physical and biological populations of the MFT in both aerobic and anaerobic microcosms. A combination of microelectrode arrays and DNA profiling at the tailings water interface was used in the study.

  18. Evolution in the deep sea: biological traits, ecology and phylogenetics of pelagic copepods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laakmann, Silke; Auel, Holger; Kochzius, Marc

    2012-11-01

    Deep-sea biodiversity has received increasing interest in the last decade, mainly focusing on benthic communities. In contrast, studies of zooplankton in the meso- to bathypelagic zones are relatively scarce. In order to explore evolutionary processes in the pelagic deep sea, the present study focuses on copepods of two clausocalanoid families, Euchaetidae and Aetideidae, which are abundant and species-rich in the deep-sea pelagic realm. Molecular phylogenies based on concatenated-portioned data on 18S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), as well as mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), were examined on 13 species, mainly from Arctic and Antarctic regions, together with species-specific biological traits (i.e. vertical occurrence, feeding behaviour, dietary preferences, energy storage, and reproductive strategy). Relationships were resolved on genus, species and even sub-species levels, the latter two established by COI with maximum average genetic distances ranging from ≤5.3% at the intra-specific, and 20.6% at the inter-specific level. There is no resolution at a family level, emphasising the state of Euchaetidae and Aetideidae as sister families and suggesting a fast radiation of these lineages, a hypothesis which is further supported by biological parameters. Euchaetidae were similar in lipid-specific energy storage, reproductive strategy, as well as feeding behaviour and dietary preference. In contrast, Aetideidae were more diverse, comprising a variety of characteristics ranging from similar adaptations within Paraeuchaeta, to genera consisting of species with completely different reproductive and feeding ecologies. Reproductive strategies were generally similar within each aetideid genus, but differed between genera. Closely related species (congeners), which were similar in the aforementioned biological and ecological traits, generally occurred in different depth layers, suggesting that vertical partitioning of the water column

  19. Art and brain: the relationship of biology and evolution to art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, Dahlia W

    2013-01-01

    Visual art, as with all other arts, is spontaneously created only by humans and is ubiquitously present to various extents in all societies today. Exploring the deep roots of art from cognitive, neurological, genetic, evolutionary, archaeological, and biological perspectives is essential for the full understanding of why we have art, and what art is about. The cognitive basis of art is symbolic, abstract, and referential thinking. However, archaeological markers of symbolic activity by early humans are not associated with art production. There is an enormously large time gap between the activity and the appearance of sporadic art by early Homo sapiens, and another large time delay before appearance of enduring practice of art. The aesthetic aspect of art is not considered to be the initial impetus for creating it. Instead, archaeological markers suggest that the early beginnings of art are associated with development of stratified societies where external visual identifiers by way of body ornaments and decorations were used. The major contributing forces for the consistency in art-making are presumed to be the formation of socioculture, intragroup cooperation, increased group size, survival of skillful artisans, and favorable demographic conditions. The biological roots of art are hypothesized to parallel aspects of our ancestry, specifically animal courtship displays, where signals of health and genetic quality are exhibited for inspection by potential mates. Viewers assess displayed art for talent, skill, communicative, and aesthetic-related qualities. Interdisciplinary discussions of art reflect the current approach to full understanding of the nature of art. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. How and why kinetics, thermodynamics, and chemistry induce the logic of biological evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Addy Pross

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Thermodynamic stability, as expressed by the Second Law, generally constitutes the driving force for chemical assembly processes. Yet, somehow, within the living world most self-organisation processes appear to challenge this fundamental rule. Even though the Second Law remains an inescapable constraint, under energy-fuelled, far-from-equilibrium conditions, populations of chemical systems capable of exponential growth can manifest another kind of stability, dynamic kinetic stability (DKS. It is this stability kind based on time/persistence, rather than on free energy, that offers a basis for understanding the evolutionary process. Furthermore, a threshold distance from equilibrium, leading to irreversibility in the reproduction cycle, is needed to switch the directive for evolution from thermodynamic to DKS. The present report develops these lines of thought and argues against the validity of a thermodynamic approach in which the maximisation of the rate of energy dissipation/entropy production is considered to direct the evolutionary process. More generally, our analysis reaffirms the predominant role of kinetics in the self-organisation of life, which, in turn, allows an assessment of semi-quantitative constraints on systems and environments from which life could evolve.

  1. The Effect of Using Evolution Textbook Based on ICT and Metacognitive on Cognitive Competence of Biology Students at State University of Padang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helendra, H.; Fadilah, M.; Arsih, F.

    2018-04-01

    Implementation of evolution lectures at Biology Department Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences State University of Padang has been considered not optimal. The reasons are the limited availability of textbooks and students' learning attitudes. Because currently the students are very familiar with the internet and even has become a necessity, it has developed textbooks of evolution based on ICT and metacognitive. Selection of ICT based is in order to optimize the utilization of multimedia, and this is very compatible with the development of learning technology. While metacognitive based is in order to train students' learning attitudes to be able to think analysis, creative and evaluative. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of the use of evolution textbooks based on ICT and metacognitive to the cognitive competence of students of Biology Department State University of Padang. The data of this research is students' cognitive competence obtained from the implementation of effectiveness test of evolution textbook in the form of student learning outcomes. The research instrument is a learning result test designed to determine students’ cognitive competence. The subject of the study is a group of students in evolution course consisting of 33 students. Lectures are conducted through face-to-face and online lectures on Edmodo’s platform. The result of data analysis shows that there is an increase of cognitive competence of biology students after learning using ICT and metacognitive based evolution textbook, where average achievement is 77.72 with Percentage of achievement of criteria mastery is 81.25%. Therefore, it can be concluded that the evolution textbook based on ICT and metacognitive is effective in improving cognitive competence of students of Biology Department, Universitas Negeri Padang.

  2. Evolution of physical and biological characteristics of mesoscale eddy in north-central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Zarokanellos, Nikolaos

    2015-04-01

    Eddies appear to be important to both the physical and biogeochemical dynamics of the Red Sea. Numerical simulations of physical dynamics and remote sensing studies of chlorophyll concentration and sea surface height in the Red Sea indicate their importance to the upper portions of the sea (Raitsos et al., 2013; Yao et al., 2014; Zhan et al., 2014). Despite their apparent importance, process studies of these eddies have been lacking. In March 2013 we began an extended observational study of the north-central Red Sea (NCRS) where anticyclonic eddies have been observed. The study began with a ship-based characterization of the eddy and was followed by a three-month observational time series using an autonomous glider equipped with a CTD, oxygen sensor, and optical sensors for chlorophyll, CDOM and optical backscatter. The ship-based study captured an initial snapshot of an anticyclonic eddy and it\\'s associated biological and bio-optical distributions. Initially, chlorophyll distributions tended to mirror the density distribution, with deeper isopycnals and chlorophyll maximum depth in the anticyclonic eddy center. The anticyclone eddy in March had an along basin diameter of 150 km, penetrated vertically less than 150 m and elevated near surface chlorophyll concentrations appeared along its outer boundary. The shallowing of the pycnocline of the outer boundaries of the anticyclone eddy on March may elevate nutrients into the lower euphotic zone, contributing to phytoplankton productivity and biomass within the eddy. This eddy contains most of the kinetic energy of the region with the maximum velocities up to 30 - 35 cm/s. The eddy appeared to interact with the coastal reefs where exchange particulate and dissolved matter may occur. The autonomous glider provided the spring-to-summer progression of the system with increasing stratification, shallowing of the subsurface chlorophyll maximum, and fluctuations in the position and intensity of the eddy. Our glider effort

  3. The Genome Biology of Effector Gene Evolution in Filamentous Plant Pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Vallet, Andrea; Fouché, Simone; Fudal, Isabelle; Hartmann, Fanny E; Soyer, Jessica L; Tellier, Aurélien; Croll, Daniel

    2018-05-16

    Filamentous pathogens, including fungi and oomycetes, pose major threats to global food security. Crop pathogens cause damage by secreting effectors that manipulate the host to the pathogen's advantage. Genes encoding such effectors are among the most rapidly evolving genes in pathogen genomes. Here, we review how the major characteristics of the emergence, function, and regulation of effector genes are tightly linked to the genomic compartments where these genes are located in pathogen genomes. The presence of repetitive elements in these compartments is associated with elevated rates of point mutations and sequence rearrangements with a major impact on effector diversification. The expression of many effectors converges on an epigenetic control mediated by the presence of repetitive elements. Population genomics analyses showed that rapidly evolving pathogens show high rates of turnover at effector loci and display a mosaic in effector presence-absence polymorphism among strains. We conclude that effective pathogen containment strategies require a thorough understanding of the effector genome biology and the pathogen's potential for rapid adaptation. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Phytopathology Volume 56 is August 25, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  4. Life at extreme conditions: neutron scattering studies of biological molecules suggest that evolution selected dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaccai, Joseph Giuseppe

    2008-01-01

    The short review concentrates on recent work performed at the neutrons in biology laboratories of the Institut Laue Langevin and Institut de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble. Extremophile organisms have been discovered that require extreme conditions of temperature, pressure or solvent environment for survival. The existence of such organisms poses a significant challenge in understanding the physical chemistry of their proteins, in view of the great sensitivity of protein structure and stability to the aqueous environment and to external conditions in general. Results of neutron scattering measurements on the dynamics of proteins from extremophile organisms, in vitro as well as in vivo, indicated remarkably how adaptation to extreme conditions involves forces and fluctuation amplitudes that have been selected specifically, suggesting that evolutionary macromolecular selection proceeded via dynamics. The experiments were performed on a halophilic protein, and membrane adapted to high salt, a thermophilic enzyme adapted to high temperature and its mesophilic (adapted to 37 degC) homologue; and in vivo for psychrophilic, mesophilic, thermophilic and hyperthermophilic bacteria, adapted respectively to temperatures of 4 degC, 37 degC, 75 degC and 85 degC. Further work demonstrated the existence of a water component of exceptionally low mobility in an extreme halophile from the Dead Sea, which is not present in mesophile bacterial cells. (author)

  5. Evolution of the rate of biological aging using a phenotype based computational model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittas, Aristotelis

    2010-10-07

    In this work I introduce a simple model to study how natural selection acts upon aging, which focuses on the viability of each individual. It is able to reproduce the Gompertz law of mortality and can make predictions about the relation between the level of mutation rates (beneficial/deleterious/neutral), age at reproductive maturity and the degree of biological aging. With no mutations, a population with low age at reproductive maturity R stabilizes at higher density values, while with mutations it reaches its maximum density, because even for large pre-reproductive periods each individual evolves to survive to maturity. Species with very short pre-reproductive periods can only tolerate a small number of detrimental mutations. The probabilities of detrimental (P(d)) or beneficial (P(b)) mutations are demonstrated to greatly affect the process. High absolute values produce peaks in the viability of the population over time. Mutations combined with low selection pressure move the system towards weaker phenotypes. For low values in the ratio P(d)/P(b), the speed at which aging occurs is almost independent of R, while higher values favor significantly species with high R. The value of R is critical to whether the population survives or dies out. The aging rate is controlled by P(d) and P(b) and the amount of the viability of each individual is modified, with neutral mutations allowing the system more "room" to evolve. The process of aging in this simple model is revealed to be fairly complex, yielding a rich variety of results. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Evolution of biological sequences implies an extreme value distribution of type I for both global and local pairwise alignment scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastien, Olivier; Maréchal, Eric

    2008-08-07

    Confidence in pairwise alignments of biological sequences, obtained by various methods such as Blast or Smith-Waterman, is critical for automatic analyses of genomic data. Two statistical models have been proposed. In the asymptotic limit of long sequences, the Karlin-Altschul model is based on the computation of a P-value, assuming that the number of high scoring matching regions above a threshold is Poisson distributed. Alternatively, the Lipman-Pearson model is based on the computation of a Z-value from a random score distribution obtained by a Monte-Carlo simulation. Z-values allow the deduction of an upper bound of the P-value (1/Z-value2) following the TULIP theorem. Simulations of Z-value distribution is known to fit with a Gumbel law. This remarkable property was not demonstrated and had no obvious biological support. We built a model of evolution of sequences based on aging, as meant in Reliability Theory, using the fact that the amount of information shared between an initial sequence and the sequences in its lineage (i.e., mutual information in Information Theory) is a decreasing function of time. This quantity is simply measured by a sequence alignment score. In systems aging, the failure rate is related to the systems longevity. The system can be a machine with structured components, or a living entity or population. "Reliability" refers to the ability to operate properly according to a standard. Here, the "reliability" of a sequence refers to the ability to conserve a sufficient functional level at the folded and maturated protein level (positive selection pressure). Homologous sequences were considered as systems 1) having a high redundancy of information reflected by the magnitude of their alignment scores, 2) which components are the amino acids that can independently be damaged by random DNA mutations. From these assumptions, we deduced that information shared at each amino acid position evolved with a constant rate, corresponding to the

  7. Evolution of biological sequences implies an extreme value distribution of type I for both global and local pairwise alignment scores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maréchal Eric

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Confidence in pairwise alignments of biological sequences, obtained by various methods such as Blast or Smith-Waterman, is critical for automatic analyses of genomic data. Two statistical models have been proposed. In the asymptotic limit of long sequences, the Karlin-Altschul model is based on the computation of a P-value, assuming that the number of high scoring matching regions above a threshold is Poisson distributed. Alternatively, the Lipman-Pearson model is based on the computation of a Z-value from a random score distribution obtained by a Monte-Carlo simulation. Z-values allow the deduction of an upper bound of the P-value (1/Z-value2 following the TULIP theorem. Simulations of Z-value distribution is known to fit with a Gumbel law. This remarkable property was not demonstrated and had no obvious biological support. Results We built a model of evolution of sequences based on aging, as meant in Reliability Theory, using the fact that the amount of information shared between an initial sequence and the sequences in its lineage (i.e., mutual information in Information Theory is a decreasing function of time. This quantity is simply measured by a sequence alignment score. In systems aging, the failure rate is related to the systems longevity. The system can be a machine with structured components, or a living entity or population. "Reliability" refers to the ability to operate properly according to a standard. Here, the "reliability" of a sequence refers to the ability to conserve a sufficient functional level at the folded and maturated protein level (positive selection pressure. Homologous sequences were considered as systems 1 having a high redundancy of information reflected by the magnitude of their alignment scores, 2 which components are the amino acids that can independently be damaged by random DNA mutations. From these assumptions, we deduced that information shared at each amino acid position evolved with a

  8. Biological research in the evolution of cancer surgery: a personal perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Bernard

    2008-12-15

    is apt to be a systemic disease, however, clinical trials are necessary to determine the effect of these modalities on patient outcome. Although technological developments will continue to play a role in cancer therapy, research in molecular biology and genetics will dictate the future status of cancer treatment and, ultimately, the future of surgery.

  9. The quantitative study of marked individuals in ecology, evolution and conservation biology: a foreword to the EURING 2003 Conference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senar, J. C.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Few fields in modern ecology have developed as fast as the analysis of marked individuals in the study of wild animal populations (Seber & Schwarz, 2002. This is the topic of EURING Conferences, which from 1986 have been the premier forum for advances in capture-recapture methodology. In this sense, EURING Conferences still maintain the flavour that originally inspired scientific meetings: to disseminate the very last findings, ideas and results on the field. Traditionally, EURING Conferences have been published in the form of Proceedings, which because of their relevant content, become a required reading to anyone interested in the capture-recapture methodology. EURING 2003 was held in Radolfzell (Germany, hosted by the Max Planck Research Centre for Ornithology, and the Proceedings appear as a special issue of Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. The full title of the 2003 meeting was “The quantitative study of marked individuals in ecology, evolution and conservation biology”, which stands for one of the main aims of the meeting: to establish the capture-recapture approach as one of the standard methodologies in studies within these fields. One of the shared views is that capture-recapture methodologies have reached a considerable maturity, but the need still exists to spread their use as a “standard” methodology. The nice review paper by Lebreton et al. (1993 in Trends in Ecology and Evolution is still applicable, in that general ecologists and evolutionary biologists still resist their general use. The same applies to conservation biology, where the analysis of marked individuals may also be a key tool in its development. We hope, with the spread of 2003 Proceedings, to help to fill this gap. The Proceedings follow the same general structure as the Conference. We organised the EURING meeting in 10 technical sessions, covering what we considered as fastest growing areas in the field. We appointed for each session, two chairs, which

  10. Etiology of lumbar lordosis and its pathophysiology: a review of the evolution of lumbar lordosis, and the mechanics and biology of lumbar degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrey, Carolyn J; Bailey, Jeannie F; Safaee, Michael; Clark, Aaron J; Lafage, Virginie; Schwab, Frank; Smith, Justin S; Ames, Christopher P

    2014-05-01

    The goal of this review is to discuss the mechanisms of postural degeneration, particularly the loss of lumbar lordosis commonly observed in the elderly in the context of evolution, mechanical, and biological studies of the human spine and to synthesize recent research findings to clinical management of postural malalignment. Lumbar lordosis is unique to the human spine and is necessary to facilitate our upright posture. However, decreased lumbar lordosis and increased thoracic kyphosis are hallmarks of an aging human spinal column. The unique upright posture and lordotic lumbar curvature of the human spine suggest that an understanding of the evolution of the human spinal column, and the unique anatomical features that support lumbar lordosis may provide insight into spine health and degeneration. Considering evolution of the skeleton in isolation from other scientific studies provides a limited picture for clinicians. The evolution and development of human lumbar lordosis highlight the interdependence of pelvic structure and lumbar lordosis. Studies of fossils of human lineage demonstrate a convergence on the degree of lumbar lordosis and the number of lumbar vertebrae in modern Homo sapiens. Evolution and spine mechanics research show that lumbar lordosis is dictated by pelvic incidence, spinal musculature, vertebral wedging, and disc health. The evolution, mechanics, and biology research all point to the importance of spinal posture and flexibility in supporting optimal health. However, surgical management of postural deformity has focused on restoring posture at the expense of flexibility. It is possible that the need for complex and costly spinal fixation can be eliminated by developing tools for early identification of patients at risk for postural deformities through patient history (genetics, mechanics, and environmental exposure) and tracking postural changes over time.

  11. Perceptions of High School Biology Teachers in Christian Schools on Relationships between Religious Beliefs and Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangahas, Ana Marie E.

    2017-01-01

    This mixed method study explored Christian teachers' beliefs in religious schools on evolution, their attitudes toward evolution, and their perceptions on the effect of those beliefs on the teaching of evolutionary content. Teachers (N = 52) from Association for Christian Schools International (ACSI) accredited schools in California and Hawaii…

  12. The relationship between biology teachers' understanding of the nature of science and the understanding and acceptance of the theory of evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofré, Hernán; Cuevas, Emilia; Becerra, Beatriz

    2017-11-01

    Despite the importance of the theory of evolution (TE) to scientific knowledge, a number of misconceptions continue to be found among biology teachers. In this context, the first objective of this study was to identify the impact of professional development programme (PDP) on teachers' understanding of nature of science (NOS) and evolution and on the acceptance of this theory. Its second objective was to study the relationship among these variables. Three instruments were used to quantify these variables: the Views of the Nature of Science Version D (VNOS D+), the Assessing Contextual Reasoning about Natural Selection (ACORN), and the Measure of Acceptance of Theory of Evolution (MATE). The results indicate that the PDP had a positive impact on teachers, significantly improving their understanding of the NOS and natural selection, as well as their acceptance of the TE. Furthermore, a positive correlation between the understanding of the NOS obtained by teachers in the first part of the PDP and the understanding and acceptance of evolution that these teachers showed at the end of the programme was determined. However, no relationship between an understanding of the NOS and gains in the understanding and acceptance of evolution was found.

  13. Darwinian evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jagers op Akkerhuis, Gerard A.J.M.; Spijkerboer, Hendrik Pieter; Koelewijn, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Darwinian evolution is a central tenet in biology. Conventionally, the defi nition of Darwinian evolution is linked to a population-based process that can be measured by focusing on changes in DNA/allele frequencies. However, in some publications it has been suggested that selection represents a

  14. Evolution of activities in international biological standardization since the early days of the Health Organisation of the League of Nations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sizaret, P

    1988-01-01

    The main activities in international biological standardization during the 18 years that followed the first international biological standardization meeting in London in 1921 were concerned with expressing the potencies of test preparations in comparison with reference materials. After the Second World War, however, it became clear that the testing of biological substances against international reference materials was only one among several measures for obtaining safe and potent products. The activities in international biological standardization were therefore widened so that, by the strict observance of specific manufacturing and control requirements, it was possible to gain further in safety and efficacy. At the end of 1987, 42 international requirements for biological substances were available and were being used as national requirements, sometimes after minor modification, by the majority of WHO's Member States. This is of utmost importance for the worldwide use of safe and potent biological products, including vaccines.

  15. A logic-based dynamic modeling approach to explicate the evolution of the central dogma of molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafari, Mohieddin; Ansari-Pour, Naser; Azimzadeh, Sadegh; Mirzaie, Mehdi

    It is nearly half a century past the age of the introduction of the Central Dogma (CD) of molecular biology. This biological axiom has been developed and currently appears to be all the more complex. In this study, we modified CD by adding further species to the CD information flow and mathematically expressed CD within a dynamic framework by using Boolean network based on its present-day and 1965 editions. We show that the enhancement of the Dogma not only now entails a higher level of complexity, but it also shows a higher level of robustness, thus far more consistent with the nature of biological systems. Using this mathematical modeling approach, we put forward a logic-based expression of our conceptual view of molecular biology. Finally, we show that such biological concepts can be converted into dynamic mathematical models using a logic-based approach and thus may be useful as a framework for improving static conceptual models in biology.

  16. Does constructive neutral evolution play an important role in the origin of cellular complexity? Making sense of the origins and uses of biological complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speijer, Dave

    2011-05-01

    Recently, constructive neutral evolution has been touted as an important concept for the understanding of the emergence of cellular complexity. It has been invoked to help explain the development and retention of, amongst others, RNA splicing, RNA editing and ribosomal and mitochondrial respiratory chain complexity. The theory originated as a welcome explanation of isolated small scale cellular idiosyncrasies and as a reaction to 'overselectionism'. Here I contend, that in its extended form, it has major conceptual problems, can not explain observed patterns of complex processes, is too easily dismissive of alternative selectionist models, underestimates the creative force of complexity as such, and--if seen as a major evolutionary mechanism for all organisms--could stifle further thought regarding the evolution of highly complex biological processes. Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  17. A logic-based dynamic modeling approach to explicate the evolution of the central dogma of molecular biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohieddin Jafari

    Full Text Available It is nearly half a century past the age of the introduction of the Central Dogma (CD of molecular biology. This biological axiom has been developed and currently appears to be all the more complex. In this study, we modified CD by adding further species to the CD information flow and mathematically expressed CD within a dynamic framework by using Boolean network based on its present-day and 1965 editions. We show that the enhancement of the Dogma not only now entails a higher level of complexity, but it also shows a higher level of robustness, thus far more consistent with the nature of biological systems. Using this mathematical modeling approach, we put forward a logic-based expression of our conceptual view of molecular biology. Finally, we show that such biological concepts can be converted into dynamic mathematical models using a logic-based approach and thus may be useful as a framework for improving static conceptual models in biology.

  18. Teaching Evolution at A-Level: Is "Intelligent Design" a Scientific Theory That Merits Inclusion in the Biology Syllabus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeland, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Charles Darwin supposed that evolution involved a process of gradual change, generated randomly, with the selection and retention over many generations of survival-promoting features. Some theists have never accepted this idea. "Intelligent design" is a relatively recent theory, supposedly based on scientific evidence, which attempts to…

  19. Derivation of the extrinsic values of biological diversity from its intrinsic value and of both from the first principles of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Peter S

    2013-12-01

    Conservation ethics have been based on 2 philosophical value systems: extrinsic value (defined broadly to include all values that derive from something external to the thing valued) and intrinsic value. Valuing biological diversity on the basis of an extrinsic value system is problematic because measurement is often difficult; extrinsic value changes as spatial or temporal scales change; extrinsic value differs on the basis of external factors; some species have trivial or negative extrinsic values; and extrinsic value varies across human cultures and societies and with such factors as socioeconomic conditions, individual experiences, and educational backgrounds. Valuing biological diversity on the basis of an intrinsic value system also poses challenges because intrinsic value can be seen as a disguised form of human extrinsic value; intrinsic value is initially ambiguous as to which objects or characteristics of biological diversity are to being valued; all aspects of biological diversity (e.g., species and ecosystems) are transitory; species and ecosystems are not static concrete entities; and intrinsic value of one species is often in conflict with the intrinsic value of other species. Extrinsic and intrinsic value systems share a common origin, such that extrinsic values are always derived from intrinsic value and life mutely expresses both intrinsic and extrinsic values-these are derived from and are products of biological evolution. Probing the values that underlie conservation helps the community clearly articulate its aims. Derivación de los Valores Extrínsecos de la Biodiversidad a Partir de sus Valores Intrínsecos y de Ambos a Partir de los Primeros Principios de la Evolución. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. The Cotesia sesamiae story: insight into host-range evolution in a Hymenoptera parasitoid and implication for its use in biological control programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, L; Dupas, S; Branca, A; Herniou, E A; Clarke, C W; Capdevielle Dulac, C; Obonyo, J; Benoist, R; Gauthier, J; Calatayud, P A; Silvain, J F; Le Ru, B P

    2017-12-01

    This review covers nearly 20 years of studies on the ecology, physiology and genetics of the Hymenoptera Cotesia sesamiae, an African parasitoid of Lepidoptera that reduces populations of common maize borers in East and South Africa. The first part of the review presents studies based on sampling of C. sesamiae from maize crops in Kenya. From this agrosystem including one host plant and three main host borer species, studies revealed two genetically differentiated populations of C. sesamiae species adapted to their local host community, and showed that their differentiation involved the joint evolution of virulence genes and sensory mechanisms of host acceptance, reinforced by reproductive incompatibility due to Wolbachia infection status and natural inbreeding. In the second part, we consider the larger ecosystem of wild Poales plant species hosting many Lepidoptera stem borer species that are potential hosts for C. sesamiae. The hypothesis of other host-adapted C. sesamiae populations was investigated based on a large sampling of stem borer larvae on various Poales across sub-Saharan Africa. The sampling provided information on the respective contribution of local hosts, biogeography and Wolbachia in the genetic structure of C. sesamiae populations. Molecular evolution analyses highlighted that several bracovirus genes were under positive selection, some of them being under different selection pressure in C. sesamiae populations adapted to different hosts. This suggests that C. sesamiae host races result from co-evolution acting at the local scale on different bracovirus genes. The third part considers the mechanisms driving specialization. C. sesamiae host races are more or less host-specialized. This character is crucial for efficient and environmentally-safe use of natural enemies for biological control of pests. One method to get an insight in the evolutionary stability of host-parasite associations is to characterize the phylogenetic relationships between

  1. Testing Biological Hypotheses with Embodied Robots: Adaptations, Accidents, and By-Products in the Evolution of Vertebrates

    OpenAIRE

    Roberts, Sonia F.; Hirokawa, Jonathan; Rosenblum, Hannah G.; Sakhtah, Hassan; Gutierrez, Andres A.; Porter, Marianne E.; Long, John H.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary robotics allows biologists to test hypotheses about extinct animals. In our case, we modeled some of the first vertebrates, jawless fishes, in order to study the evolution of the trait after which vertebrates are named: vertebrae. We tested the hypothesis that vertebrae are an adaptation for enhanced feeding and fleeing performance. We created a population of autonomous embodied robots, Preyro, in which the number of vertebrae, N, were free to evolve. In addition, two other trait...

  2. Evolution of natural history information in the 21st century – developing an integrated framework for biological and geographical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reusser, Deborah A.; Lee, Henry

    2011-01-01

    Threats to marine and estuarine species operate over many spatial scales, from nutrient enrichment at the watershed/estuarine scale to invasive species and climate change at regional and global scales. To help address research questions across these scales, we provide here a standardized framework for a biogeographical information system containing queriable biological data that allows extraction of information on multiple species, across a variety of spatial scales based on species distributions, natural history attributes and habitat requirements. As scientists shift from research on localized impacts on individual species to regional and global scale threats, macroecological approaches of studying multiple species over broad geographical areas are becoming increasingly important. The standardized framework described here for capturing and integrating biological and geographical data is a critical first step towards addressing these macroecological questions and we urge organizations capturing biogeoinformatics data to consider adopting this framework.

  3. How does a high school biology teacher interact with his 10th grade students?: Examining science talk in evolution and human genetics instruction from a sociolinguistics perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avsar Erumit, Banu

    This qualitative study employed a case study design (Creswell, 2014) with a high school biology teacher to examine a) the types of discourse patterns that a high school teacher was using in evolution and human genetics units, b) the purposes and cognitive features of the teacher's questions, their impact on students' subsequent responses, and the types of teacher follow ups occurred in these two units, and c) the factors that I thought might be somehow influencing the teaching and learning of these two topics in this classroom. The findings showed that lecture and recitation were the two most frequently used discourse types in the two units. Guided discussion and guided small group work in which students' ideas and questions were more welcomed than in lecture and recitation, were used only in the evolution unit, which was also unit in which the teacher used hands-on activities. In the human genetics unit, he only used worksheet-based activities, which he called paper and pencil labs. Teacher questions were posed mainly to assess the correctness of students' factual knowledge, remind them of previously covered information, and check with students to clarify the meaning of their utterances or their progress on a task. The two primary types of cognitive processes associated with students' responses were recall information and evaluate teacher's questions, mostly with a short response. The most frequently heard voice in the classroom was teacher's. Whole class interactions did not feature equal participation as some much more engaged students dominated. The results of the teacher questionnaires. teacher interviews, teacher debriefings, and lesson observations showed that Evan had an informed understanding of NOS, a high level of acceptance of evolution, and adequate understanding of evolution. The factors that seemed to negatively influence his teaching and students' engagement in that classroom included but not limited to the teacher's lack of experience in teaching

  4. Fundamental Issues Related to the Origin of Melatonin and Melatonin Isomers during Evolution: Relation to Their Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dun-Xian Tan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin and melatonin isomers exist and/or coexist in living organisms including yeasts, bacteria and plants. The levels of melatonin isomers are significantly higher than that of melatonin in some plants and in several fermented products such as in wine and bread. Currently, there are no reports documenting the presence of melatonin isomers in vertebrates. From an evolutionary point of view, it is unlikely that melatonin isomers do not exist in vertebrates. On the other hand, large quantities of the microbial flora exist in the gut of the vertebrates. These microorganisms frequently exchange materials with the host. Melatonin isomers, which are produced by these organisms inevitably enter the host’s system. The origins of melatonin and its isomers can be traced back to photosynthetic bacteria and other primitive unicellular organisms. Since some of these bacteria are believed to be the precursors of mitochondria and chloroplasts these cellular organelles may be the primary sites of melatonin production in animals or in plants, respectively. Phylogenic analysis based on its rate-limiting synthetic enzyme, serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT, indicates its multiple origins during evolution. Therefore, it is likely that melatonin and its isomer are also present in the domain of archaea, which perhaps require these molecules to protect them against hostile environments including extremely high or low temperature. Evidence indicates that the initial and primary function of melatonin and its isomers was to serve as the first-line of defence against oxidative stress and all other functions were acquired during evolution either by the process of adoption or by the extension of its antioxidative capacity.

  5. Biological feedbacks as cause and demise of the Neoproterozoic icehouse: astrobiological prospects for faster evolution and importance of cold conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janhunen, Pekka; Kaartokallio, Hermanni; Oksanen, Ilona; Lehto, Kirsi; Lehto, Harry

    2007-02-14

    Several severe glaciations occurred during the Neoproterozoic eon, and especially near its end in the Cryogenian period (630-850 Ma). While the glacial periods themselves were probably related to the continental positions being appropriate for glaciation, the general coldness of the Neoproterozoic and Cryogenian as a whole lacks specific explanation. The Cryogenian was immediately followed by the Ediacaran biota and Cambrian Metazoan, thus understanding the climate-biosphere interactions around the Cryogenian period is central to understanding the development of complex multicellular life in general. Here we present a feedback mechanism between growth of eukaryotic algal phytoplankton and climate which explains how the Earth system gradually entered the Cryogenian icehouse from the warm Mesoproterozoic greenhouse. The more abrupt termination of the Cryogenian is explained by the increase in gaseous carbon release caused by the more complex planktonic and benthic foodwebs and enhanced by a diversification of metazoan zooplankton and benthic animals. The increased ecosystem complexity caused a decrease in organic carbon burial rate, breaking the algal-climatic feedback loop of the earlier Neoproterozoic eon. Prior to the Neoproterozoic eon, eukaryotic evolution took place in a slow timescale regulated by interior cooling of the Earth and solar brightening. Evolution could have proceeded faster had these geophysical processes been faster. Thus, complex life could theoretically also be found around stars that are more massive than the Sun and have main sequence life shorter than 10 Ga. We also suggest that snow and glaciers are, in a statistical sense, important markers for conditions that may possibly promote the development of complex life on extrasolar planets.

  6. Biological feedbacks as cause and demise of the Neoproterozoic icehouse: astrobiological prospects for faster evolution and importance of cold conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pekka Janhunen

    Full Text Available Several severe glaciations occurred during the Neoproterozoic eon, and especially near its end in the Cryogenian period (630-850 Ma. While the glacial periods themselves were probably related to the continental positions being appropriate for glaciation, the general coldness of the Neoproterozoic and Cryogenian as a whole lacks specific explanation. The Cryogenian was immediately followed by the Ediacaran biota and Cambrian Metazoan, thus understanding the climate-biosphere interactions around the Cryogenian period is central to understanding the development of complex multicellular life in general. Here we present a feedback mechanism between growth of eukaryotic algal phytoplankton and climate which explains how the Earth system gradually entered the Cryogenian icehouse from the warm Mesoproterozoic greenhouse. The more abrupt termination of the Cryogenian is explained by the increase in gaseous carbon release caused by the more complex planktonic and benthic foodwebs and enhanced by a diversification of metazoan zooplankton and benthic animals. The increased ecosystem complexity caused a decrease in organic carbon burial rate, breaking the algal-climatic feedback loop of the earlier Neoproterozoic eon. Prior to the Neoproterozoic eon, eukaryotic evolution took place in a slow timescale regulated by interior cooling of the Earth and solar brightening. Evolution could have proceeded faster had these geophysical processes been faster. Thus, complex life could theoretically also be found around stars that are more massive than the Sun and have main sequence life shorter than 10 Ga. We also suggest that snow and glaciers are, in a statistical sense, important markers for conditions that may possibly promote the development of complex life on extrasolar planets.

  7. Carbon dioxide evolution rate as a method to monitor and control an aerobic biological waste treatment system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S. S.; Shuler, M. L.

    1986-01-01

    An experimental system was developed to study the microbial growth kinetic of an undefined mixed culture in an erobic biological waste treatment process. The experimental results were used to develop a mathematical model that can predict the performance of a bioreactor. The bioreactor will be used to regeneratively treat waste material which is expected to be generated during a long term manned space mission. Since the presence of insoluble particles in the chemically undefined complex media made estimating biomass very difficult in the real system, a clean system was devised to study the microbial growth from the soluble substrate.

  8. Evolution of critical day length for diapause induction enables range expansion of Diorhabda carinulata, a biological control agent against tamarisk (Tamarix spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Dan W; Dalin, Peter; Dudley, Tom L

    2012-07-01

    In classical weed biological control, small collections of arthropods are made from one or a few sites in the native range of the target plant and are introduced to suppress the plant where it has become invasive, often across a wide geographic range. Ecological mismatches in the new range are likely, and success using the biocontrol agent may depend on postrelease evolution of beneficial life history traits. In this study, we measure the evolution of critical day length for diapause induction (day length at which 50% of the population enters dormancy), in a beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) introduced into North America from China to control an exotic shrub, Tamarix spp. Beetle populations were sampled from four sites in North America 7 years after introduction, and critical day length was shown to have declined, forming a cline over a latitudinal gradient At one field site, decreased critical day length was correlated with 16 additional days of reproductive activity, resulting in a closer match between beetle life history and the phenology of Tamarix. These findings indicate an enhanced efficacy and an increasingly wider range for D. carinulata in Tamarix control.

  9. Ancestral state reconstructions require biological evidence to test evolutionary hypotheses: A case study examining the evolution of reproductive mode in squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Oliver W; Blackburn, Daniel G; Brandley, Matthew C; Van Dyke, James U; Whittington, Camilla M; Thompson, Michael B

    2015-09-01

    To understand evolutionary transformations it is necessary to identify the character states of extinct ancestors. Ancestral character state reconstruction is inherently difficult because it requires an accurate phylogeny, character state data, and a statistical model of transition rates and is fundamentally constrained by missing data such as extinct taxa. We argue that model based ancestral character state reconstruction should be used to generate hypotheses but should not be considered an analytical endpoint. Using the evolution of viviparity and reversals to oviparity in squamates as a case study, we show how anatomical, physiological, and ecological data can be used to evaluate hypotheses about evolutionary transitions. The evolution of squamate viviparity requires changes to the timing of reproductive events and the successive loss of features responsible for building an eggshell. A reversal to oviparity requires that those lost traits re-evolve. We argue that the re-evolution of oviparity is inherently more difficult than the reverse. We outline how the inviability of intermediate phenotypes might present physiological barriers to reversals from viviparity to oviparity. Finally, we show that ecological data supports an oviparous ancestral state for squamates and multiple transitions to viviparity. In summary, we conclude that the first squamates were oviparous, that frequent transitions to viviparity have occurred, and that reversals to oviparity in viviparous lineages either have not occurred or are exceedingly rare. As this evidence supports conclusions that differ from previous ancestral state reconstructions, our paper highlights the importance of incorporating biological evidence to evaluate model-generated hypotheses. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. [Social institutions and tempering of affects as "contraints" of social change. Norbert Elias' theory on the civilization theory in light of the biologic system theory of evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinich, Detlef

    2005-01-01

    This study is to be regarded as a contribution to interdisciplinary research and represents an attempt to clarify the question of whether and to what extent concepts that have been developed in the field of theoretical biology and which have a high degree of importance here can also be applied to sociological phenomena. In particular it is intended to examine the question of whether the civilizing process can be adequately treated using the evolutionary concept of "Constraints". This term, which has only recently been introduced into the discussion by PERE ALBERCH as an evolutionary factor, comprises all of the internal factors which influence the further course of the evolution of a system by ruling out certain possibilities, thus showing a limiting effect. Although "Constraints" go beyond the scope of Darwinian teachings about selection by the environment, they are increasingly accepted today as evolution factors by well-known exponents of Darwinian theory (cf. MAYNARD-SMITH 1985). The increase in popularity of "constraints" is also an expression of the rediscovery of a phenomenon which was originally expressed by RUPERT RIEDL and was introduced by him into German literature in the seventies. In the clarification of this question, special reference is made to the "theory of the civilizing process" by NORBERT ELIAS, since here a highly respected scholar has presented an important sociological theory. Moreover, there is such good scientific access to ELIAS because this author exemplifies his theses in historical terms and thus to a certain extent makes his explanations verifiable in scientific terms. In the treatment of this topic, the central terms and theses of ELIAS will be presented from the considerable scope of his work, and then illustrated with the help of several selected historical case studies. Furthermore, reference will be made at the relevant points to parallels and analogies which the works of ELIAS have to other, predominantly system

  11. Mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Murray, James D

    1993-01-01

    The book is a textbook (with many exercises) giving an in-depth account of the practical use of mathematical modelling in the biomedical sciences. The mathematical level required is generally not high and the emphasis is on what is required to solve the real biological problem. The subject matter is drawn, e.g. from population biology, reaction kinetics, biological oscillators and switches, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction, reaction-diffusion theory, biological wave phenomena, central pattern generators, neural models, spread of epidemics, mechanochemical theory of biological pattern formation and importance in evolution. Most of the models are based on real biological problems and the predictions and explanations offered as a direct result of mathematical analysis of the models are important aspects of the book. The aim is to provide a thorough training in practical mathematical biology and to show how exciting and novel mathematical challenges arise from a genuine interdisciplinary involvement with the biosci...

  12. Temporal variations in the gene expression levels of cyanobacterial anti-oxidant enzymes through geological history: implications for biological evolution during the Great Oxidation Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, M.; Furukawa, R.; Yokobori, S. I.; Tajika, E.; Yamagishi, A.

    2016-12-01

    expression levels of Fe-SOD occurred in response to the GOE. We propose that this is the first direct evidence of the evolution of cyanobacteria related to the rise of O2, and that the methodologies of ancestral promoter analysis used in this study can be a novel tools to reveal the biological adaptation to such a significant geologic event.

  13. Testing biological hypotheses with embodied robots: adaptations, accidents, and by-products in the evolution of vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia F Roberts

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary robotics allows biologists to test hypotheses about extinct animals. We modeled some of the first vertebrates, jawless fishes, in order to study the evolution of the trait after which vertebrates are named: vertebrae. We tested the hypothesis that vertebrae are an adaptation for enhanced feeding and fleeing performance. We created a population of autonomous embodied robots, Preyro, in which the number of vertebrae, N, were free to evolve. In addition, two other traits, the span of the caudal fin, b, and the predator detection threshold, ζ, a proxy for the lateral line sensory system, were also allowed to evolve. These three traits were chosen because they evolved early in vertebrates, are all potentially important in feeding and fleeing, and vary in form among species. Preyro took on individual identities in a given generation as defined by the population’s six diploid genotypes, Gi. Each Gi was a 3-tuple, with each element an integer specifying N, b, and, ζ. The small size of the population allowed for genetic drift to operate in concert with random mutation and mating; the presence of these mechanisms of chance provided an opportunity for N to evolve by accident. The presence of three evolvable traits provided an opportunity for direct selection on b and/or ζ to evolve N as a by-product linked trait correlation. In selection trials, different Gi embodied in Preyro attempted to feed at a light source and then flee to avoid a predator robot in pursuit. The fitness of each Gi was calculated from five different types of performance: speed, acceleration, distance to the light, distance to the predator, and the number of predator escapes initiated. In each generation, we measured the selection differential, the selection gradient, the strength of chance, and the indirect correlation selection gradient. These metrics allowed us to understand the relative contributions of the three mechanisms: direct selection, chance, and indirect

  14. Assessment of temporal and spatial evolution of bacterial communities in a biological sand filter mesocosm treating winery wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramond, J-B; Welz, P J; Tuffin, M I; Burton, S G; Cowan, D A

    2013-07-01

    To assess the impact of winery wastewater (WW) on biological sand filter (BSF) bacterial community structures, and to evaluate whether BSFs can constitute alternative and valuable treatment- processes to remediate WW. During 112 days, WW was used to contaminate a BSF mesocosm (length 173 cm/width 106 cm/depth 30 cm). The effect of WW on bacterial communities of four BSF microenvironments (surface/deep, inlet/outlet) was investigated using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). BSF achieved high Na (95·1%), complete Cl and almost complete chemical oxygen demand (COD) (98·0%) and phenolic (99·2%) removals. T-RFLP analysis combined with anosim revealed that WW significantly modified the surface and deep BSF bacterial communities. BSF provided high COD, phenolic and salt removals throughout the experiment. WW-selected bacterial communities were thus able to tolerate and/or degrade WW, suggesting that community composition does not alter BSF performances. However, biomass increased significantly in the WW-impacted surface sediments, which could later lead to system clogging and should thus be monitored. BSFs constitute alternatives to constructed wetlands to treat agri effluents such as WW. To our knowledge, this study is the first unravelling the responses of BSF bacterial communities to contamination and suggests that WW-selected BSF communities maintained high removal performances. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Evolution in the design of a low sheath-flow interface for CE-MS and application to biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Ruiz, Víctor; Codesido, Santiago; Rudaz, Serge; Schappler, Julie

    2018-03-01

    Although several interfaces for CE-MS hyphenation are commercially available, the development of new versatile, simple and yet efficient and sensitive alternatives remains an important field of research. In a previous work, a simple low sheath-flow interface was developed from inexpensive parts. This interface features a design easy to build, maintain, and adapt to particular needs. The present work introduces an improved design of the previous interface. By reducing the diameter of the separation capillary and the emitter, a smaller Taylor cone is spontaneously formed, minimizing the zone dispersion while the analytes go through the interface and leading to less peak broadening associated to the ESI process. Numerical modeling allowed studying the mixing and diffusion processes taking place in the Taylor cone. The analytical performance of this new interface was tested with pharmaceutically relevant molecules and endogenous metabolites. The interface was eventually applied to the analysis of neural cell culture samples, allowing the identification of a panel of neurotransmission-related molecules. An excellent migration time repeatability was obtained (intra-day RSD 10 with an injected volume of 6.7 nL of biological extract. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. HEK293 in cell biology and cancer research: phenotype, karyotype, tumorigenicity, and stress-induced genome-phenotype evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepanenko, A A; Dmitrenko, V V

    2015-09-15

    293 cell line (widely known as the Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells) and its derivatives were the most used cells after HeLa in cell biology studies and after CHO in biotechnology as a vehicle for the production of adenoviral vaccines and recombinant proteins, for analysis of the neuronal synapse formation, in electrophysiology and neuropharmacology. Despite the historically long-term productive exploitation, the origin, phenotype, karyotype, and tumorigenicity of 293 cells are still debated. 293 cells were considered the kidney epithelial cells or even fibroblasts. However, 293 cells demonstrate no evident tissue-specific gene expression signature and express the markers of renal progenitor cells, neuronal cells and adrenal gland. This complicates efforts to reveal the authentic cell type/tissue of origin. On the other hand, the potential to propagate the highly neurotropic viruses, inducible synaptogenesis, functionality of the endogenous neuron-specific voltage-gated channels, and response to the diverse agonists implicated in neuronal signaling give credibility to consider 293 cells of neuronal lineage phenotype. The compound phenotype of 293 cells can be due to heterogeneous, unstable karyotype. The mean chromosome number and chromosome aberrations differ between 293 cells and derivatives as well as between 293 cells from the different cell banks/labs. 293 cells are tumorigenic, whereas acute changes of expression of the cancer-associated genes aggravate tumorigenicity by promoting chromosome instability. Importantly, the procedure of a stable empty vector transfection can also impact karyotype and phenotype. The discussed issues caution against misinterpretations and pitfalls during the different experimental manipulations with 293 cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Research trends in radiobiology since 40 years. a new approach: the enzymatic repair function of DNA, internal factor in evolution of biological systems under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mouton, R.

    1968-01-01

    In the first part of the report, the author attempts to draw an historical scheme of successive research working hypotheses in radiobiology since 1924. Less than a generation ago the effect of radiation exposure were viewed as being direct, immediate, irreparable and unmodifiable. Now it is generally accepted that radiation lesion can also be indirect, delayed, reparable and often modified with appropriate chemical or biochemical treatment. It was however in 1962-1964 that came the decisive breakthrough in radiobiology with the discovery that the cell possesses a natural active self-defense mechanism against whatever stress would affect the integrity of the genetic message contained in the DNA structure itself. The existence of what could be considered as a fourth DNA function i.e. self-repair by enzymatic action under genetic control-brings at least to radiobiology the missing molecular biology basis it needed to get out of its 'phenomenological night' after abandon of the generalization of Lea's theory through lack of experimental evidence. In the second part, which is a prospective one, the author tries to set an enlarged synthesis considering the possible role of DNA repair system not only in cell survival - in presence or absence of dose modifiers or mutagens - but also in the artificial and natural evolution of biological system exposed to sub-lethal doses of radiation. Most recent data from the literature fit well with what must be still considered as a general working hypothesis. Studies dealing with phenotypic and genotypic characters linked with the acquisition of gamma and UV radiation resistance in 'Escherichia coli K12' has been started by the author, in collaboration with O. Tremeau, in order to bring a new experimental contribution in this respect. (author) [fr

  18. Adaptability and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Patrick

    2017-10-06

    The capacity of organisms to respond in their own lifetimes to new challenges in their environments probably appeared early in biological evolution. At present few studies have shown how such adaptability could influence the inherited characteristics of an organism's descendants. In part, this has been because organisms have been treated as passive in evolution. Nevertheless, their effects on biological evolution are likely to have been important and, when they occurred, accelerated the pace of evolution. Ways in which this might have happened have been suggested many times since the 1870s. I review these proposals and discuss their relevance to modern thought.

  19. Fusion of biological membranes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Pramana – Journal of Physics; Volume 64; Issue 6. Fusion of biological membranes. K Katsov M Müller M Schick. Invited Talks:- Topic 11. Biologically motivated problems (protein-folding models, dynamics at the scale of the cell; biological networks, evolution models, etc.) Volume 64 Issue 6 June 2005 pp ...

  20. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Explanations for biological evolution in terms of changes in gene frequencies refer to outcomes rather than process. Integrating epigenetic studies with older evolutionary theories has drawn attention to the ways in which evolution occurs. Adaptation at the level of the gene is givingway to adaptation at the level of the ...

  1. The Biology of Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broom, D. M.

    1981-01-01

    Discusses topics to aid in understanding animal behavior, including the value of the biological approach to psychology, functional systems, optimality and fitness, universality of environmental effects on behavior, and evolution of social behavior. (DS)

  2. Evolution across the Curriculum: Microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burmeister, Alita R.; Smith, James J.

    2016-01-01

    An integrated understanding of microbiology and evolutionary biology is essential for students pursuing careers in microbiology and healthcare fields. In this Perspective, we discuss the usefulness of evolutionary concepts and an overall evolutionary framework for students enrolled in microbiology courses. Further, we propose a set of learning goals for students studying microbial evolution concepts. We then describe some barriers to microbial evolution teaching and learning and encourage the continued incorporation of evidence-based teaching practices into microbiology courses at all levels. Next, we review the current status of microbial evolution assessment tools and describe some education resources available for teaching microbial evolution. Successful microbial evolution education will require that evolution be taught across the undergraduate biology curriculum, with a continued focus on applications and applied careers, while aligning with national biology education reform initiatives. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education PMID:27158306

  3. Space biology research development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonting, Sjoerd L.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute is to conduct and promote research related activities regarding the search for extraterrestrial life, particularly intelligent life. Such research encompasses the broad discipline of 'Life in the Universe', including all scientific and technological aspects of astronomy and the planetary sciences, chemical evolution, the origin of life, biological evolution, and cultural evolution. The primary purpose was to provide funding for the Principal Investigator to collaborate with the personnel of the SETI Institute and the NASA-Ames Research center in order to plan and develop space biology research on and in connection with Space Station Freedom; to promote cooperation with the international partners in the space station; to conduct a study on the use of biosensors in space biology research and life support system operation; and to promote space biology research through the initiation of an annual publication 'Advances in Space Biology and Medicine'.

  4. The evolution of myiasis in humans and other animals in the Old and New Worlds (part II): biological and life-history studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jamie R; Wallman, James F; Otranto, Domenico; Wall, Richard; Pape, Thomas

    2006-04-01

    Myiasis, which is the dipteran parasitism of living vertebrates, occurs in several forms - ranging from benign to fatal, opportunistic to obligate - and seems to have evolved through two distinct routes: saprophagous and sanguinivorous. However, the convergent evolution of morphological and life-history traits seems to have had a major role in confusing the overall picture of how myiasis evolved and this simplistic division is further complicated by the existence of both ectoparasitic and endoparasitic species of myiasis-causing Diptera, the evolutionary affinities of which remain to be resolved. As discussed in part I of this review, if we are to elucidate how the different forms of parasitism arose, it is essential to separate the evolution of the various groups of myiasis-causing flies from the evolution of the myiasis habit per se. Accordingly, whereas we focused on recent landmark phylogenetics studies in part I, we use this framework to analyse relevant biochemical, immunological, behavioural, biogeographical and fossil evidence to elucidate the evolution of myiasis in part II.

  5. Does constructive neutral evolution play an important role in the origin of cellular complexity? Making sense of the origins and uses of biological complexity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Speijer, Dave

    2011-01-01

    Recently, constructive neutral evolution has been touted as an important concept for the understanding of the emergence of cellular complexity. It has been invoked to help explain the development and retention of, amongst others, RNA splicing, RNA editing and ribosomal and mitochondrial respiratory

  6. Evolution across the Curriculum: Microbiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alita R. Burmeister

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available An integrated understanding of microbiology and evolutionary biology is essential for students pursuing careers in microbiology and healthcare fields. In this Perspective, we discuss the usefulness of evolutionary concepts and an overall evolutionary framework for students enrolled in microbiology courses. Further, we propose a set of learning goals for students studying microbial evolution concepts. We then describe some barriers to microbial evolution teaching and learning and encourage the continued incorporation of evidence-based teaching practices into microbiology courses at all levels. Next, we review the current status of microbial evolution assessment tools and describe some education resources available for teaching microbial evolution. Successful microbial evolution education will require that evolution be taught across the undergraduate biology curriculum, with a continued focus on applications and applied careers, while aligning with national biology education reform initiatives.

  7. Has Human Evolution Stopped?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan R. Templeton

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that human evolution has stopped because humans now adapt to their environment via cultural evolution and not biological evolution. However, all organisms adapt to their environment, and humans are no exception. Culture defines much of the human environment, so cultural evolution has actually led to adaptive evolution in humans. Examples are given to illustrate the rapid pace of adaptive evolution in response to cultural innovations. These adaptive responses have important implications for infectious diseases, Mendelian genetic diseases, and systemic diseases in current human populations. Moreover, evolution proceeds by mechanisms other than natural selection. The recent growth in human population size has greatly increased the reservoir of mutational variants in the human gene pool, thereby enhancing the potential for human evolution. The increase in human population size coupled with our increased capacity to move across the globe has induced a rapid and ongoing evolutionary shift in how genetic variation is distributed within and among local human populations. In particular, genetic differences between human populations are rapidly diminishing and individual heterozygosity is increasing, with beneficial health effects. Finally, even when cultural evolution eliminates selection on a trait, the trait can still evolve due to natural selection on other traits. Our traits are not isolated, independent units, but rather are integrated into a functional whole, so selection on one trait can cause evolution to occur on another trait, sometimes with mildly maladaptive consequences.

  8. A review of the evolution of viviparity in squamate reptiles: the past, present and future role of molecular biology and genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Bridget F; Thompson, Michael B

    2011-07-01

    Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) offer a unique model system for testing hypotheses about the evolutionary transition from oviparity (egg-laying) to viviparity (live-bearing) in amniote vertebrates. The evolution of squamate viviparity has occurred remarkably frequently (>108 times) and has resulted in major changes in reproductive physiology. Such frequent changes in reproductive strategy pose two questions: (1) what are the molecular mechanisms responsible for the evolution of squamate viviparity? (2) Are these molecular mechanisms the same for separate origins of viviparity? Molecular approaches, such as RT-PCR, in situ hybridisation, Western blotting and immunofluorescence, have been invaluable for identifying genes and proteins that are involved in squamate placental development, materno-foetal immunotolerance, placental transport, placental angiogenesis, hormone synthesis and hormone receptor expression. However, the candidate-gene or -protein approach that has been used until now does not allow for de novo gene/protein discovery; results to date suggest that the reproductive physiologies of mammals and squamate reptiles are very similar, but this conclusion may simply be due to a limited capacity to study the subset of genes and proteins that are unique to reptiles. Progress has also been slowed by the lack of appropriate molecular and genomic resources for squamate reptiles. The advent of next-generation sequencing provides a relatively inexpensive way to conduct rapid high-throughput sequencing of genomes and transcriptomes. We discuss the potential use of next-generation sequencing technologies to analyse differences in gene expression between oviparous and viviparous squamates, provide important sequence information for reptiles, and generate testable hypotheses for the evolution of viviparity.

  9. Divergent Cumulative Cultural Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Marriott, Chris; Chebib, Jobran

    2016-01-01

    Divergent cumulative cultural evolution occurs when the cultural evolutionary trajectory diverges from the biological evolutionary trajectory. We consider the conditions under which divergent cumulative cultural evolution can occur. We hypothesize that two conditions are necessary. First that genetic and cultural information are stored separately in the agent. Second cultural information must be transferred horizontally between agents of different generations. We implement a model with these ...

  10. 99mTc(CO)3-Garenoxacin dithiocarbamate synthesis and biological evolution in rats infected with multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus and penicillin-resistant Streptococci

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Syed Qaiser Shah; Aakif Ullah Khan; Muhammad Rafiullah Khan

    2011-01-01

    99m Tc(CO) 3 -Garenoxacin dithiocarbamate ( 99m Tc(CO) 3 -GXND) complex was synthesized and biologically characterized in rats artificially infected with multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MDRSA) and penicillin-resistant Streptococci (PRSC). The characteristics of the 99m Tc(CO) 3 -GXND complex was assessed in terms of radiochemical stability in saline, serum, in vitro binding with live and heat killed MDRSA and PRSC and biodistribution in rats artificially infected with MDRSA and PRSC. The complex showed maximum radiochemical stability at 30 min and remained more than 90% stable up to 240 min in normal saline after reconstitution. The complex was found stable in serum at 37 deg C up to 16 h. The complex showed in vitro saturated binding with living MDRSA and PRSC. In rats infected with living MDRSA and PRSC the complex showed five higher up take in the infected muscle as compared to the inflamed and normal muscle. No significant difference in uptake of the complex in rats infected with heat killed MDRSA and PRSC was observed. The disappearance of the complex from the blood and appearance in the urinary system confirm the normal biological route of biodistribution and excretion. The high values of the radiochemical stability in normal saline, serum, saturated in vitro binding with living MDRSA and PRSC and significant infected to normal muscles ratios, the 99m Tc(CO) 3 -GXND complex is recommended for the localization of soft tissue infection caused by living MDRSA and PRSC. (author)

  11. Quantum biological information theory

    CERN Document Server

    Djordjevic, Ivan B

    2016-01-01

    This book is a self-contained, tutorial-based introduction to quantum information theory and quantum biology. It serves as a single-source reference to the topic for researchers in bioengineering, communications engineering, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, biology, computer science, and physics. The book provides all the essential principles of the quantum biological information theory required to describe the quantum information transfer from DNA to proteins, the sources of genetic noise and genetic errors as well as their effects. Integrates quantum information and quantum biology concepts; Assumes only knowledge of basic concepts of vector algebra at undergraduate level; Provides a thorough introduction to basic concepts of quantum information processing, quantum information theory, and quantum biology; Includes in-depth discussion of the quantum biological channel modelling, quantum biological channel capacity calculation, quantum models of aging, quantum models of evolution, quantum models o...

  12. A timeless biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozzi, Arturo; Peters, James F; Chafin, Clifford; De Falco, Domenico; Torday, John S

    2018-05-01

    Contrary to claims that physics is timeless while biology is time-dependent, we take the opposite standpoint: physical systems' dynamics are constrained by the arrow of time, while living assemblies are time-independent. Indeed, the concepts of "constraints" and "displacements" shed new light on the role of continuous time flow in life evolution, allowing us to sketch a physical gauge theory for biological systems in long timescales. In the very short timescales of biological systems' individual lives, time looks like "frozen" and "fixed", so that the second law of thermodynamics is momentarily wrecked. The global symmetries (standing for biological constrained trajectories, i.e. the energetic gradient flows dictated by the second law of thermodynamics in long timescales) are broken by local "displacements" where time is held constant, i.e., modifications occurring in living systems. Such displacements stand for brief local forces, able to temporarily "break" the cosmic increase in entropy. The force able to restore the symmetries (called "gauge field") stands for the very long timescales of biological evolution. Therefore, at the very low speeds of life evolution, time is no longer one of the four phase space coordinates of a spacetime Universe: it becomes just a gauge field superimposed to three-dimensional biological systems. We discuss the implications in biology: when assessing living beings, the underrated role of isolated "spatial" modifications needs to be emphasized, living apart the evolutionary role of time. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Evolution, Fruit Flies and Gerontology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 1; Issue 11. Evolution, Fruit Flies and Gerontology Evolutionary Biology Helps Unravel the Mysteries of Ageing. Amitabh Joshi. General Article Volume 1 Issue 11 November 1996 pp 51-63 ...

  14. Evolution of ageing since Darwin

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2008-12-23

    Dec 23, 2008 ... causes of senescence in terms of evolution by natural selec- tion. He rejected the historical ... ism's longevity was somehow determined by its physiolog- ..... Gavrilov L. A. and Gavrilova N. S. 1991 The biology of life span: a.

  15. We Recognize Ourselves as Being Similar to Others: Implications of the “Social Brain Hypothesis” for the Biological Evolution of the Intuition of Freedom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eckart Voland

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Consistent with and in extension of the “social brain hypothesis,” I discuss the idea that the intuition of free will emerged during the course of primate social evolution. If, as the “social brain hypothesis” alleges, the main selective pressure among primates is on generating social knowledge about one's cooperators and competitors, then it is the knowledge about others and not the knowledge about oneself that is the scarce cognitive resource. It is beneficial to make the others predictable and to form hypotheses about their probable behavioral tendencies. This is done by behavior reading and mind reading and by classifying the recurring stochastic patterns in everyday language as the “will.” Thus, the idea of free will emerged first as a social attribution and not as an introspectively gained insight. The fact that ego applies the idea of freedom also to itself and considers itself to be as free as it considers the social partners to be free, i.e. unpredictable, is in this view a non-selected by-product of social intelligence.

  16. Exploring the kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of four-electron electrochemical reactions: electrocatalysis of oxygen evolution by metal oxides and biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Vincent C-C

    2016-08-10

    Finding fundamental and general mechanisms for electrochemical reactions, such as the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) from water and reduction of CO2, plays vital roles in developing the desired electrocatalysts for facilitating solar fuel production. Recently, density functional theory (DFT) calculations have shown that there is a universal scaling relation of adsorption energy between key intermediate species, HO(ad) and HOO(ad), on the surface of metal oxides as OER electrocatalysts. In this paper, a kinetic and thermodynamic model for the four-electron electrochemical reaction based on previous OER mechanisms proposed by DFT calculations is developed to further investigate the electrocatalytic properties over a wide range of metal oxides and photosystem II. The OER activity of metal oxides (i.e. electrocatalytic current) calculated from the DFT-calculated equilibrium potentials with kinetic properties, such as the rate constants for interfacial electron transfer and catalytic turnover, can lead to a volcano-shaped trend that agrees with the results observed in experiments. In addition, the kinetic aspects of the impact on the electrocatalysts are evaluated. Finally, comparing the results of metal oxides and photosystem II, and fitting experimental voltammograms give further insights into kinetic and thermodynamic roles. Here, the general guidelines for designing OER electrocatalysts with unified kinetic and thermodynamic properties are presented.

  17. Introductory Biology Labs... They Just Aren't Sexy Enough!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Gallup, Gordon G., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    The typical introductory biology curriculum includes the nature of science, evolution and genetics. Laboratory activities are designed to engage students in typical subject areas ranging from cell biology and physiology, to ecology and evolution. There are few, if any, laboratory classes exploring the biology and evolution of human sexual…

  18. The Evolution of Darwinism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stebbins, G. Ledyard; Ayala, Francisco J.

    1985-01-01

    Recent developments in molecular biology and new interpretations of the fossil record are gradually altering and adding to Charles Darwin's theory, which has been the standard view of the process of evolution for 40 years. Several of these developments and interpretations are identified and discussed. (JN)

  19. Branching processes in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kimmel, Marek

    2015-01-01

    This book provides a theoretical background of branching processes and discusses their biological applications. Branching processes are a well-developed and powerful set of tools in the field of applied probability. The range of applications considered includes molecular biology, cellular biology, human evolution and medicine. The branching processes discussed include Galton-Watson, Markov, Bellman-Harris, Multitype, and General Processes. As an aid to understanding specific examples, two introductory chapters, and two glossaries are included that provide background material in mathematics and in biology. The book will be of interest to scientists who work in quantitative modeling of biological systems, particularly probabilists, mathematical biologists, biostatisticians, cell biologists, molecular biologists, and bioinformaticians. The authors are a mathematician and cell biologist who have collaborated for more than a decade in the field of branching processes in biology for this new edition. This second ex...

  20. Kamikazes and cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen-Hermanson, Sean

    2017-02-01

    Is cultural evolution needed to explain altruistic selfsacrifice? Some contend that cultural traits (e.g. beliefs, behaviors, and for some "memes") replicate according to selection processes that have "floated free" from biology. One test case is the example of suicide kamikaze attacks in wartime Japan. Standard biological mechanisms-such as reciprocal altruism and kin selection-might not seem to apply here: The suicide pilots did not act on the expectation that others would reciprocate, and they were supposedly sacrificing themselves for country and emperor, not close relatives. Yet an examination of both the historical record and the demands of evolutionary theory suggest the kamikaze phenomenon does not cry out for explanation in terms of a special non-biological selection process. This weakens the case for cultural evolution, and has interesting implications for our understanding of altruistic self-sacrifice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Patrick

    2014-04-01

    Explanations for biological evolution in terms of changes in gene frequencies refer to outcomes rather than process. Integrating epigenetic studies with older evolutionary theories has drawn attention to the ways in which evolution occurs. Adaptation at the level of the gene is givingway to adaptation at the level of the organism and higher-order assemblages of organisms. These ideas impact on the theories of how cooperation might have evolved. Two of the theories, i.e. that cooperating individuals are genetically related or that they cooperate for self-interested reasons, have been accepted for a long time. The idea that adaptation takes place at the level of groups is much more controversial. However, bringing together studies of development with those of evolution is taking away much of the heat in the debate about the evolution of group behaviour.

  2. Experimental evolution in budding yeast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Andrew

    2012-02-01

    I will discuss our progress in analyzing evolution in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We take two basic approaches. The first is to try and examine quantitative aspects of evolution, for example by determining how the rate of evolution depends on the mutation rate and the population size or asking whether the rate of mutation is uniform throughout the genome. The second is to try to evolve qualitatively novel, cell biologically interesting phenotypes and track the mutations that are responsible for the phenotype. Our efforts include trying to alter cell morphology, evolve multicellularity, and produce a biological oscillator.

  3. Practices and Perspectives of College Instructors on Addressing Religious Beliefs When Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, M. Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E.

    2016-01-01

    Evolution is a core concept of biology, and yet many college biology students do not accept evolution because of their religious beliefs. However, we do not currently know how instructors perceive their role in helping students accept evolution or how they address the perceived conflict between religion and evolution when they teach evolution.…

  4. The theory of evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg Bazaluk

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The book The Theory of Evolution: from the Space Vacuum to Neural Ensembles and Moving Forward, an edition of 100 copies, was published in Russian language, in December 2014 in Kiev. Its Russian version is here: http://en.bazaluk.com/journals.html. Introduction, Chapter 10 and Conclusion published in English for the first time. Since 2004 author have been researching in the field of theory of Evolution, Big History. The book was written on the base of analysis of more than 2000 primary sources of this research topic. The volume is 90,000 words (with Reference. The book is for a wide range of professionals, from students to professors and researchers working in the fields of: philosophical anthropology, philosophy, Big History, cosmology, biology, neuroscience and etc. In the book, the author defines the evolution as continuous and nonlinear complication of the structure of matter, the types of interaction and environments; analyzes existing in modern science and philosophy approaches to the research of the process of evolution, degree of development of the factors and causes of evolution. Unifying interdisciplinary researches of evolution in cosmology, biology, neuroscience and philosophy, the author presents his vision of the model of «Evolving Matter», which allows us to consider not only the laws of transition of space vacuum in neural ensembles but also to see our Universe as a complication, heterogeneous organization. Interdisciplinary amount of information on the theory of evolution is systematized and a new method of world perception is proposed in the book.

  5. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-07-01

    Nowhere are the shortcomings of conventional descriptive biology more evident than in the literature on Quantum Biology. In the on-going effort to apply Quantum Mechanics to evolutionary biology, merging Quantum Mechanics with the fundamentals of evolution as the First Principles of Physiology-namely negentropy, chemiosmosis and homeostasis-offers an authentic opportunity to understand how and why physics constitutes the basic principles of biology. Negentropy and chemiosmosis confer determinism on the unicell, whereas homeostasis constitutes Free Will because it offers a probabilistic range of physiologic set points. Similarly, on this basis several principles of Quantum Mechanics also apply directly to biology. The Pauli Exclusion Principle is both deterministic and probabilistic, whereas non-localization and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are both probabilistic, providing the long-sought after ontologic and causal continuum from physics to biology and evolution as the holistic integration recognized as consciousness for the first time. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Modeling Protein Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Richard; Pollock, David

    The study of biology is fundamentally different from many other scientific pursuits, such as geology or astrophysics. This difference stems from the ubiquitous questions that arise about function and purpose. These are questions concerning why biological objects operate the way they do: what is the function of a polymerase? What is the role of the immune system? No one, aside from the most dedicated anthropist or interventionist theist, would attempt to determine the purpose of the earth's mantle or the function of a binary star. Among the sciences, it is only biology in which the details of what an object does can be said to be part of the reason for its existence. This is because the process of evolution is capable of improving an object to better carry out a function; that is, it adapts an object within the constraints of mechanics and history (i.e., what has come before). Thus, the ultimate basis of these biological questions is the process of evolution; generally, the function of an enzyme, cell type, organ, system, or trait is the thing that it does that contributes to the fitness (i.e., reproductive success) of the organism of which it is a part or characteristic. Our investigations cannot escape the simple fact that all things in biology (including ourselves) are, ultimately, the result of an evolutionary process.

  7. Biological Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... E-Tools Safety and Health Topics / Biological Agents Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... 202) 693-2300 if additional assistance is required. Biological Agents Menu Overview In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. ...

  8. Archaea: evolution, physiology, and molecular biology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Garrett, Roger A; Klenk, Hans-Peter

    2007-01-01

    ...: mechanisms of rearrangement and change Kim Brügger, Xu Peng and Roger A. Garrett vii xi 1 17 29 39 51 59 75 95 9 Specialist Article Plasmids Georg Lipps 10 Specialist Article Integration mech...

  9. Cell Division and Evolution of Biological Tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivier, Nicolas; Arcenegui-Siemens, Xavier; Schliecker, Gudrun

    A tissue is a geometrical, space-filling, random cellular network; it remains in this steady state while individual cells divide. Cell division (fragmentation) is a local, elementary topological transformation which establishes statistical equilibrium of the structure. Statistical equilibrium is characterized by observable relations (Lewis, Aboav) between cell shapes, sizes and those of their neighbours, obtained through maximum entropy and topological correlation extending to nearest neighbours only, i.e. maximal randomness. For a two-dimensional tissue (epithelium), the distribution of cell shapes and that of mother and daughter cells can be obtained from elementary geometrical and physical arguments, except for an exponential factor favouring division of larger cells, and exponential and combinatorial factors encouraging a most symmetric division. The resulting distributions are very narrow, and stationarity severely restricts the range of an adjustable structural parameter

  10. Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    field, including an account by Carl Woese of his original discovery of the Archaea (until 1990 termed archaebacteria) and the initially mixed reactions of the scientific community. The review chapters and specialized articles address the emerging significance of the Archaea within a broader scientific......Introduced by Crafoord Prize winner Carl Woese, this volume combines reviews of the major developments in archaeal research over the past 10-15 years with more specialized articles dealing with important recent breakthroughs. Drawing on major themes presented at the June 2005 meeting held in Munich...

  11. The apoptotic machinery as a biological complex system: analysis of its omics and evolution, identification of candidate genes for fourteen major types of cancer, and experimental validation in CML and neuroblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Destri Giovanni

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Apoptosis is a critical biological phenomenon, executed under the guidance of the Apoptotic Machinery (AM, which allows the physiologic elimination of terminally differentiated, senescent or diseased cells. Because of its relevance to BioMedicine, we have sought to obtain a detailed characterization of AM Omics in Homo sapiens, namely its Genomics and Evolution, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Interactomics, Oncogenomics, and Pharmacogenomics. Methods This project exploited the methodology commonly used in Computational Biology (i.e., mining of many omics databases of the web as well as the High Throughput biomolecular analytical techniques. Results In Homo sapiens AM is comprised of 342 protein-encoding genes (possessing either anti- or pro-apoptotic activity, or a regulatory function and 110 MIR-encoding genes targeting them: some have a critical role within the system (core AM nodes, others perform tissue-, pathway-, or disease-specific functions (peripheral AM nodes. By overlapping the cancer type-specific AM mutation map in the fourteen most frequent cancers in western societies (breast, colon, kidney, leukaemia, liver, lung, neuroblastoma, ovary, pancreas, prostate, skin, stomach, thyroid, and uterus to their transcriptome, proteome and interactome in the same tumour type, we have identified the most prominent AM molecular alterations within each class. The comparison of the fourteen mutated AM networks (both protein- as MIR-based has allowed us to pinpoint the hubs with a general and critical role in tumour development and, conversely, in cell physiology: in particular, we found that some of these had already been used as targets for pharmacological anticancer therapy. For a better understanding of the relationship between AM molecular alterations and pharmacological induction of apoptosis in cancer, we examined the expression of AM genes in K562 and SH-SY5Y after anticancer treatment. Conclusion We believe that our data

  12. Second Symposium on Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devincenzi, D.L.; Dufour, P.A.

    1986-05-01

    Recent findings by NASA Exobiology investigators are reported. Scientific papers are presented in the following areas: cosmic evolution of biogenic compounds, prebiotic evolution (planetary and molecular), early evolution of life (biological and geochemical), evolution of advanced life, solar system exploration, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

  13. Schumpeter's Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Esben Sloth

    reworking of his basic theory of economic evolution in Development from 1934, and this reworking was continued in Cycles from 1939. Here Schumpeter also tried to handle the statistical and historical evidence on the waveform evolution of the capitalist economy. Capitalism from 1942 modified the model...

  14. Galactic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pagel, B.

    1979-01-01

    Ideas are considered concerning the evolution of galaxies which are closely related to those of stellar evolution and the origin of elements. Using information obtained from stellar spectra, astronomers are now able to consider an underlying process to explain the distribution of various elements in the stars, gas and dust clouds of the galaxies. (U.K.)

  15. Cultural commons and cultural evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Bravo, Giangiacomo

    2010-01-01

    Culture evolves following a process that is akin to biological evolution, although with some significant differences. At the same time culture has often a collective good value for human groups. This paper studies culture in an evolutionary perspective, with a focus on the implications of group definition for the coexistence of different cultures. A model of cultural evolution is presented where agents interacts in an artificial environment. The belonging to a specific memetic group is a majo...

  16. Biological radiolesions and repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laskowski, W.

    1981-01-01

    In 7 chapters, the book answers the following questions: 1) What reactions are induced in biological matter by absorption of radiation energy. 2) In what parts of the cell do the radiation-induced reactions with detectable biological effects occur. 3) In which way are these cell components changed by different qualities of radiation. 4) What are the cell mechanisms by which radiation-induced changes can be repaired. 5) What is the importance of these repair processes for man, his life and evolution. At the end of each chapter, there is a bibliography of relevant publications in this field. (orig./MG) [de

  17. Stellar evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Meadows, A J

    2013-01-01

    Stellar Evolution, Second Edition covers the significant advances in the understanding of birth, life, and death of stars.This book is divided into nine chapters and begins with a description of the characteristics of stars according to their brightness, distance, size, mass, age, and chemical composition. The next chapters deal with the families, structure, and birth of stars. These topics are followed by discussions of the chemical composition and the evolution of main-sequence stars. A chapter focuses on the unique features of the sun as a star, including its evolution, magnetic fields, act

  18. Extended genomes: symbiosis and evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hurst, Gregory D. D.

    2017-01-01

    Many aspects of an individual's biology derive from its interaction with symbiotic microbes, which further define many aspects of the ecology and evolution of the host species. The centrality of microbes in the function of individual organisms has given rise to the concept of the holobiont?that an individual's biology is best understood as a composite of the ?host organism? and symbionts within. This concept has been further elaborated to posit the holobiont as a unit of selection. In this re...

  19. Anthropic principle in biology and radiation biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akif'ev, A. P.; Degtyarev, S.V.

    1999-01-01

    It was suggested to add the anthropic principle of the Universe according to which the physical constants of fundamental particles of matter and the laws of their counteraction are those that an appearance of man and mind becomes possible and necessary, with some biological constants to the set of fundamental constants. With reparation of DNA as an example it was shown how a cell ran some parameters of Watson-Crick double helix. It was pointed that the concept of the anthropic principle of the Universe in its full body including biological constants was a key to developing of a unified theory of evolution of the Universe within the limits of scientific creationism [ru

  20. Research trends in radiobiology since 40 years. a new approach: the enzymatic repair function of DNA, internal factor in evolution of biological systems under irradiation; Etude des tendances des recherches en radiologie depuis 40 ans. Une nouvelle voie de recherche: la fonction de reparation enzymatique de l'ADN, facteur interne d'evolution des systemes biologiques sous rayonnement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mouton, R [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1968-07-01

    In the first part of the report, the author attempts to draw an historical scheme of successive research working hypotheses in radiobiology since 1924. Less than a generation ago the effect of radiation exposure were viewed as being direct, immediate, irreparable and unmodifiable. Now it is generally accepted that radiation lesion can also be indirect, delayed, reparable and often modified with appropriate chemical or biochemical treatment. It was however in 1962-1964 that came the decisive breakthrough in radiobiology with the discovery that the cell possesses a natural active self-defense mechanism against whatever stress would affect the integrity of the genetic message contained in the DNA structure itself. The existence of what could be considered as a fourth DNA function i.e. self-repair by enzymatic action under genetic control-brings at least to radiobiology the missing molecular biology basis it needed to get out of its 'phenomenological night' after abandon of the generalization of Lea's theory through lack of experimental evidence. In the second part, which is a prospective one, the author tries to set an enlarged synthesis considering the possible role of DNA repair system not only in cell survival - in presence or absence of dose modifiers or mutagens - but also in the artificial and natural evolution of biological system exposed to sub-lethal doses of radiation. Most recent data from the literature fit well with what must be still considered as a general working hypothesis. Studies dealing with phenotypic and genotypic characters linked with the acquisition of gamma and UV radiation resistance in 'Escherichia coli K12' has been started by the author, in collaboration with O. Tremeau, in order to bring a new experimental contribution in this respect. (author) [French] Dans la premiere partie, l'auteur tente de retracer l'historique des hypotheses successives qui ont jalonne les avances de la radiobiologie depuis 1924. Il y a moins d'une generation, l

  1. Physical Complexity and Cognitive Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlicka, Peter

    Our intuition tells us that there is a general trend in the evolution of nature, a trend towards greater complexity. However, there are several definitions of complexity and hence it is difficult to argue for or against the validity of this intuition. Christoph Adami has recently introduced a novel measure called physical complexity that assigns low complexity to both ordered and random systems and high complexity to those in between. Physical complexity measures the amount of information that an organism stores in its genome about the environment in which it evolves. The theory of physical complexity predicts that evolution increases the amount of `knowledge' an organism accumulates about its niche. It might be fruitful to generalize Adami's concept of complexity to the entire evolution (including the evolution of man). Physical complexity fits nicely into the philosophical framework of cognitive biology which considers biological evolution as a progressing process of accumulation of knowledge (as a gradual increase of epistemic complexity). According to this paradigm, evolution is a cognitive `ratchet' that pushes the organisms unidirectionally towards higher complexity. Dynamic environment continually creates problems to be solved. To survive in the environment means to solve the problem, and the solution is an embodied knowledge. Cognitive biology (as well as the theory of physical complexity) uses the concepts of information and entropy and views the evolution from both the information-theoretical and thermodynamical perspective. Concerning humans as conscious beings, it seems necessary to postulate an emergence of a new kind of knowledge - a self-aware and self-referential knowledge. Appearence of selfreflection in evolution indicates that the human brain reached a new qualitative level in the epistemic complexity.

  2. Modern Biology

    OpenAIRE

    ALEKSIC, Branko

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this course is to learn the philosophy, principles, and techniques of modern biology. The course is particularly designed for those who have not learned biology previously or whose major is other than biology, and who may think that they do not need to know any biology at all. The topics are covered in a rather general, overview manner, but certain level of diligence in grasping concepts and memorizing the terminology is expected.

  3. Evolution of Karyotypes in Chameleons

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rovatsos, M.; Altmanová, M.; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Velenský, P.; Baca, A. S.; Kratochvíl, L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 12 (2017), č. článku 382. ISSN 2073-4425 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : karyotype evolution * ITS * rDNA Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Genetics and heredity (medical genetics to be 3) Impact factor: 3.600, year: 2016

  4. Niche construction and the evolution of leadership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spisak, B.R.; O'Brien, M.; Nicholson, N.; van Vugt, M.

    2015-01-01

    We use the concept of niche construction - the process whereby individuals, through their activities, interactions, and choices, modify their own and each other's environments - as an example of how biological evolution and cultural evolution interacted to form an integrative foundation of modern

  5. Evolution to Autonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horace Lockwood Fairlamb

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Since both modern moral theory and evolutionary theory arose in the shadow of Newtonian and Humean conceptions of nature, debates about evolutionary ethics have typically been vexed by deeper problems with the nature of evolution itself as well as meta-ethical questions about the link between facts and values. Humean skepticism and mechanistic selectionism have recently coincided in postmodern attacks on essentialism,on meta-narratives of progress, on models of human nature, and on moral collectivism. Against this most recent wave of skepticism, however, contemporary reconstructions of evolution in light of complex systems science suggest useful ways of reinterpreting both evolutionary causation, the biology of human nature, and their implications for ethics.

  6. The metaphysics of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupré, John

    2017-10-06

    This paper briefly describes process metaphysics, and argues that it is better suited for describing life than the more standard thing, or substance, metaphysics. It then explores the implications of process metaphysics for conceptualizing evolution. After explaining what it is for an organism to be a process, the paper takes up the Hull/Ghiselin thesis of species as individuals and explores the conditions under which a species or lineage could constitute an individual process. It is argued that only sexual species satisfy these conditions, and that within sexual species the degree of organization varies. This, in turn, has important implications for species' evolvability. One important moral is that evolution will work differently in different biological domains.

  7. Animal evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Claus

    This book provides a comprehensive analysis of evolution in the animal kingdom. It reviews the classical, morphological information from structure and embryology, as well as the new data gained from studies using immune stainings of nerves and muscles and blastomere markings, which makes it possi......This book provides a comprehensive analysis of evolution in the animal kingdom. It reviews the classical, morphological information from structure and embryology, as well as the new data gained from studies using immune stainings of nerves and muscles and blastomere markings, which makes...

  8. Towards an alternative evolution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Waesberghe, H

    1982-01-01

    Lamarck and Darwin agreed on the inconstancy of species and on the exclusive gradualism of evolution (nature does not jump). Darwinism, revived as neo-Darwinism, was almost generally accepted from about 1930 till 1960. In the sixties the evolutionary importance of selection has been called in question by the neutralists. The traditional conception of the gene is disarranged by recent molecular-biological findings. Owing to the increasing confusion about the concept of genotype, this concept is reconsidered. The idea of the genotype as a cluster of genes is replaced by a cybernetical interpretation of the genotype. As nature does jump, exclusive gradualism is dismissed. Saltatory evolution is a natural phenomenon, provided by a sudden collapse of the thresholds which resist against evolution. The fossil record and the taxonomic system call for a macromutational interpretation. As Lamarck and Darwin overlooked the resistance of evolutionary thresholds, an alternative evolution model is needed, the first to be constructed on a palaeontological and taxonomic basis.

  9. Biological therapeutics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Greenstein, Ben; Brook, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

    This introductory textbook covers all the main categories of biological medicines, including vaccines, hormonal preparations, drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue diseases, drugs...

  10. Representing Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hedin, Gry

    2012-01-01

    . This article discusses Willumsen's etching in the context of evolutionary theory, arguing that Willumsen is a rare example of an artist who not only let the theory of evolution fuel his artistic imagination, but also concerned himself with a core issue of the theory, namely to what extent it could be applied...

  11. Security Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Patta, Joe

    2003-01-01

    Examines how to evaluate school security, begin making schools safe, secure schools without turning them into fortresses, and secure schools easily and affordably; the evolution of security systems into information technology systems; using schools' high-speed network lines; how one specific security system was developed; pros and cons of the…

  12. Cepheid evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, S.A.

    1984-05-01

    A review of the phases of stellar evolution relevant to Cepheid variables of both Types I and II is presented. Type I Cepheids arise as a result of normal post-main sequence evolutionary behavior of many stars in the intermediate to massive range of stellar masses. In contrast, Type II Cepheids generally originate from low-mass stars of low metalicity which are undergoing post core helium-burning evolution. Despite great progress in the past two decades, uncertainties still remain in such areas as how to best model convective overshoot, semiconvection, stellar atmospheres, rotation, and binary evolution as well as uncertainties in important physical parameters such as the nuclear reaction rates, opacity, and mass loss rates. The potential effect of these uncertainties on stellar evolution models is discussed. Finally, comparisons between theoretical predictions and observations of Cepheid variables are presented for a number of cases. The results of these comparisons show both areas of agreement and disagreement with the latter result providing incentive for further research

  13. Venom Evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Therefore, the platypus sequence was studied to quantify the role of gene duplication in the evolution of venom. ... Platypus venom is present only in males and is used for asserting dominance over com- petitors during the ... Certain toxin gene families are known to re- peatedly evolve through gene duplications. The rapidly ...

  14. Biological trade and markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerstein, Peter; Noë, Ronald

    2016-02-05

    Cooperation between organisms can often be understood, like trade between merchants, as a mutually beneficial exchange of services, resources or other 'commodities'. Mutual benefits alone, however, are not sufficient to explain the evolution of trade-based cooperation. First, organisms may reject a particular trade if another partner offers a better deal. Second, while human trade often entails binding contracts, non-human trade requires unwritten 'terms of contract' that 'self-stabilize' trade and prevent cheating even if all traders strive to maximize fitness. Whenever trading partners can be chosen, market-like situations arise in nature that biologists studying cooperation need to account for. The mere possibility of exerting partner choice stabilizes many forms of otherwise cheatable trade, induces competition, facilitates the evolution of specialization and often leads to intricate forms of cooperation. We discuss selected examples to illustrate these general points and review basic conceptual approaches that are important in the theory of biological trade and markets. Comparing these approaches with theory in economics, it turns out that conventional models-often called 'Walrasian' markets-are of limited relevance to biology. In contrast, early approaches to trade and markets, as found in the works of Ricardo and Cournot, contain elements of thought that have inspired useful models in biology. For example, the concept of comparative advantage has biological applications in trade, signalling and ecological competition. We also see convergence between post-Walrasian economics and biological markets. For example, both economists and biologists are studying 'principal-agent' problems with principals offering jobs to agents without being sure that the agents will do a proper job. Finally, we show that mating markets have many peculiarities not shared with conventional economic markets. Ideas from economics are useful for biologists studying cooperation but need

  15. Teaching Molecular Biology with Microcomputers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Rebecca; Jameson, David

    1984-01-01

    Describes a series of computer programs that use simulation and gaming techniques to present the basic principles of the central dogma of molecular genetics, mutation, and the genetic code. A history of discoveries in molecular biology is presented and the evolution of these computer assisted instructional programs is described. (MBR)

  16. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    These discussions included, among others, the possible consequences of nonDNA-based inheritance—epigenetics and cultural evolution, niche construction, and developmental mechanisms on our understanding of the evolutionary process, speciation, complexity in biology, and constructing a formal evolutionary theory.

  17. Sociodemographic aspect of society evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raisa Viktorovna Nifanova

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In the article, the authors have classified theories of human aging, having emphasized the theory of «cellular death» on the basis of generalization of an extensive theoretical and empirical material of domestic and foreign researchers. The main theories of specific duration of human life, the biological and social and economic criteria and health factors of causes of death and longevity are briefly presented. The achievements of the genetics of a human body aging are discussed. In the article, the author stopped on a problem of the human genofond stability and obvious delay of its biological evolution in the historical development. Despite a deep socialization of humanity, people remains in captivity of biological life, obey all the laws of the biological organization including those that keep it and provide it to following generations. The biological factors influencing reproduction of the population, unlike social factors, are more stable in time. Various socioeconomic and physiographic conditions interacted for a long time with biological factors, determine a certain life expectancy. In the modern conditions for forward development of society, the special value gets a question of the human potential realization — gold fund of of manufacture, science, culture. With a «century of biology» which starts with the development of molecular biology, genetics, biological cybernetics, the science has new opportunities for effective adaptation of human to new conditions

  18. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  19. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartmann, Lars Røeboe; Jones, Neil; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2011-01-01

    Computation via biological devices has been the subject of close scrutiny since von Neumann’s early work some 60 years ago. In spite of the many relevant works in this field, the notion of programming biological devices seems to be, at best, ill-defined. While many devices are claimed or proved t...

  20. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in biological ...

  1. Research trends in radiobiology since 40 years. a new approach: the enzymatic repair function of DNA, internal factor in evolution of biological systems under irradiation; Etude des tendances des recherches en radiologie depuis 40 ans. Une nouvelle voie de recherche: la fonction de reparation enzymatique de l'ADN, facteur interne d'evolution des systemes biologiques sous rayonnement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mouton, R. [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1968-07-01

    In the first part of the report, the author attempts to draw an historical scheme of successive research working hypotheses in radiobiology since 1924. Less than a generation ago the effect of radiation exposure were viewed as being direct, immediate, irreparable and unmodifiable. Now it is generally accepted that radiation lesion can also be indirect, delayed, reparable and often modified with appropriate chemical or biochemical treatment. It was however in 1962-1964 that came the decisive breakthrough in radiobiology with the discovery that the cell possesses a natural active self-defense mechanism against whatever stress would affect the integrity of the genetic message contained in the DNA structure itself. The existence of what could be considered as a fourth DNA function i.e. self-repair by enzymatic action under genetic control-brings at least to radiobiology the missing molecular biology basis it needed to get out of its 'phenomenological night' after abandon of the generalization of Lea's theory through lack of experimental evidence. In the second part, which is a prospective one, the author tries to set an enlarged synthesis considering the possible role of DNA repair system not only in cell survival - in presence or absence of dose modifiers or mutagens - but also in the artificial and natural evolution of biological system exposed to sub-lethal doses of radiation. Most recent data from the literature fit well with what must be still considered as a general working hypothesis. Studies dealing with phenotypic and genotypic characters linked with the acquisition of gamma and UV radiation resistance in 'Escherichia coli K12' has been started by the author, in collaboration with O. Tremeau, in order to bring a new experimental contribution in this respect. (author) [French] Dans la premiere partie, l'auteur tente de retracer l'historique des hypotheses successives qui ont jalonne les avances de la radiobiologie depuis 1924

  2. Continuous "in vitro" Evolution of a Ribozyme Ligase: A Model Experiment for the Evolution of a Biomolecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledbetter, Michael P.; Hwang, Tony W.; Stovall, Gwendolyn M.; Ellington, Andrew D.

    2013-01-01

    Evolution is a defining criterion of life and is central to understanding biological systems. However, the timescale of evolutionary shifts in phenotype limits most classroom evolution experiments to simple probability simulations. "In vitro" directed evolution (IVDE) frequently serves as a model system for the study of Darwinian…

  3. Nudging Evolution?

    OpenAIRE

    Katharine N. Farrell; Andreas Thiel

    2013-01-01

    This Special Feature, "Nudging Evolution? Critical Exploration of the Potential and Limitations of the Concept of Institutional Fit for the Study and Adaptive Management of Social-Ecological Systems," aims to contribute toward the development of social theory and social research methods for the study of social-ecological system dynamics. Our objective is to help strengthen the academic discourse concerning if, and if so, how, to what extent, and in what concrete ways the concept of institut...

  4. Community Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Saganowski, Stanisław; Bródka, Piotr; Kazienko, Przemysław

    2016-01-01

    The continuous interest in the social network area contributes to the fast development of this field. The new possibilities of obtaining and storing data facilitate deeper analysis of the entire social network, extracted social groups and single individuals as well. One of the most interesting research topic is the network dynamics and dynamics of social groups in particular, it means analysis of group evolution over time. It is the natural step forward after social community extraction. Havi...

  5. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A critical assessment of the recent developmentsof molecular biology is presented.The thesis that they do not lead to a conceptualunderstanding of life and biological systems is defended.Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis is briefly sketchedand its logical circularity avoided by postulatingthe existence of underlying living processes,entailing amplification from the microscopic to the macroscopic scale,with increasing complexity in the passage from one scale to the other.Following such a line of thought, the currently accepted model of condensed matter, which is based on electrostatics and short-ranged forces,is criticized. It is suggested that the correct interpretationof quantum dispersion forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and so onas quantum coherence effects hints at the necessity of includinglong-ranged forces (or mechanisms for them incondensed matter theories of biological processes.Some quantum effects in biology are reviewedand quantum mechanics is acknowledged as conceptually important to biology since withoutit most (if not all of the biological structuresand signalling processes would not even exist. Moreover, it is suggested that long-rangequantum coherent dynamics, including electron polarization,may be invoked to explain signal amplificationprocess in biological systems in general.

  6. Teaching Evolution: A Heuristic Study of Personal and Cultural Dissonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimes, Larry G.

    Darwinian evolution is a robustly supported scientific theory. Yet creationists continue to challenge its teaching in American public schools. Biology teachers in all 50 states are responsible for teaching science content standards that include evolution. As products of their backgrounds and affiliations teachers bring personal attitudes and beliefs to their teaching. The purpose of this study was to explore how biology teachers perceive, describe, and value their teaching of evolution. This research question was explored through a heuristic qualitative methodology. Eight veteran California high school biology teachers were queried as to their beliefs, perceptions, experiences and practices of teaching evolution. Both personal and professional documents were collected. Data was presented in the form of biographical essays that highlight teachers' backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and practices of teaching evolution. Of special interest was how they describe pressure over teaching evolution during a decade of standards and No Child Left Behind high-stakes testing mandates. Five common themes emerged. Standards have increased the overall amount of evolution that is taught. High-stakes testing has decreased the depth at which evolution is taught. Teacher belief systems strongly influence how evolution is taught. Fear of creationist challenges effect evolution teaching strategies. And lastly, concern over the potential effects of teaching evolution on student worldviews was mixed. Three categories of teacher concern over the potential impact of evolution on student worldviews were identified: Concerned, Strategist, and Carefree. In the final analysis teacher beliefs and attitudes still appeared to he the most important factor influencing how evolution is taught.

  7. [Is there a "biology of violence"?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karli, Pierre

    2004-01-01

    Human violence does not stem from any specific biological substrate. As affective processes play a pre-eminent role in the elaboration and evolution of social interactions, a "biology of violence" draws essentially upon the concepts, methods and techniques of "affective neuroscience".

  8. Biological desulfurisation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arena, B.J. [UOP LLC (United States); Benschop, A.; Janssen, A. [Paques Natural Solutions (Netherlands); Kijlstra, S. [Shell Global Solutions (Netherlands)

    2001-03-01

    This article focuses on the biological THIOPAQ process for removing hydrogen sulphide from refinery gases and recovering elemental sulphur. Details are given of the process which absorbs hydrogen sulphide-containing gas in alkaline solution prior to oxidation of the dissolved sulphur to elemental sulphur in a THIOPAQ aerobic biological reactor, with regeneration of the caustic solution. Sulphur handling options including sulphur wash, the drying of the sulphur cake, and sulphur smelting by pressure liquefaction are described. Agricultural applications of the biologically recovered sulphur, and application of the THIOPAQ process to sulphur recovery are discussed.

  9. Experiences and Practices of Evolution Instructors at Christian Universities That Can Inform Culturally Competent Evolution Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, M. Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E.

    2018-01-01

    Students' religious beliefs and religious cultures have been shown to be the main factors predicting whether they will accept evolution, yet college biology instructors teaching evolution at public institutions often have religious beliefs and cultures that are different from their religious students. This difference in religious beliefs and…

  10. Ludwig von Bertalanffy's organismic view on the theory of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drack, Manfred

    2015-03-01

    Ludwig von Bertalanffy was a key figure in the advancement of theoretical biology. His early considerations already led him to recognize the necessity of considering the organism as a system, as an organization of parts and processes. He termed the resulting research program organismic biology, which he extended to all basic questions of biology and almost all areas of biology, hence also to the theory of evolution. This article begins by outlining the rather unknown (because often written in German) research of Bertalanffy in the field of theoretical biology. The basics of the organismic approach are then described. This is followed by Bertalanffy's considerations on the theory of evolution, in which he used methods from theoretical biology and then introduced his own, organismic, view on evolution, leading to the demand for finding laws of evolution. Finally, his view on the concept of homology is presented. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Human evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Llamas, Bastien; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    The field of human ancient DNA (aDNA) has moved from mitochondrial sequencing that suffered from contamination and provided limited biological insights, to become a fully genomic discipline that is changing our conception of human history. Recent successes include the sequencing of extinct homini...

  12. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    study and understand the function of biological systems, particu- larly, the response of such .... understand the organisation and behaviour of prokaryotic sys- tems. ... relationship of the structure of a target molecule to its ability to bind a certain ...

  13. Chemical Evolution and the Evolutionary Definition of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Paul G

    2017-06-01

    Darwinian evolution requires a mechanism for generation of diversity in a population, and selective differences between individuals that influence reproduction. In biology, diversity is generated by mutations and selective differences arise because of the encoded functions of the sequences (e.g., ribozymes or proteins). Here, I draw attention to a process that I will call chemical evolution, in which the diversity is generated by random chemical synthesis instead of (or in addition to) mutation, and selection acts on physicochemical properties, such as hydrolysis, photolysis, solubility, or surface binding. Chemical evolution applies to short oligonucleotides that can be generated by random polymerization, as well as by template-directed replication, and which may be too short to encode a specific function. Chemical evolution is an important stage on the pathway to life, between the stage of "just chemistry" and the stage of full biological evolution. A mathematical model is presented here that illustrates the differences between these three stages. Chemical evolution leads to much larger differences in molecular concentrations than can be achieved by selection without replication. However, chemical evolution is not open-ended, unlike biological evolution. The ability to undergo Darwinian evolution is often considered to be a defining feature of life. Here, I argue that chemical evolution, although Darwinian, does not quite constitute life, and that a good place to put the conceptual boundary between non-life and life is between chemical and biological evolution.

  14. Collective Landmarks for Deep Time: A New Tool for Evolution Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Cesar

    2014-01-01

    Evolution is a fundamental, organising concept in biology, yet there is widespread resistance to evolution among US students and there are rising creationist challenges in Europe. Resistance to evolution is linked to lack of understanding of the age of the Earth. An understanding of deep time is thus essential for effective biology education.…

  15. Phylogenomic Insights into Animal Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telford, Maximilian J; Budd, Graham E; Philippe, Hervé

    2015-10-05

    Animals make up only a small fraction of the eukaryotic tree of life, yet, from our vantage point as members of the animal kingdom, the evolution of the bewildering diversity of animal forms is endlessly fascinating. In the century following the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, hypotheses regarding the evolution of the major branches of the animal kingdom - their relationships to each other and the evolution of their body plans - was based on a consideration of the morphological and developmental characteristics of the different animal groups. This morphology-based approach had many successes but important aspects of the evolutionary tree remained disputed. In the past three decades, molecular data, most obviously primary sequences of DNA and proteins, have provided an estimate of animal phylogeny largely independent of the morphological evolution we would ultimately like to understand. The molecular tree that has evolved over the past three decades has drastically altered our view of animal phylogeny and many aspects of the tree are no longer contentious. The focus of molecular studies on relationships between animal groups means, however, that the discipline has become somewhat divorced from the underlying biology and from the morphological characteristics whose evolution we aim to understand. Here, we consider what we currently know of animal phylogeny; what aspects we are still uncertain about and what our improved understanding of animal phylogeny can tell us about the evolution of the great diversity of animal life. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Cluster evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaeffer, R.

    1987-01-01

    The galaxy and cluster luminosity functions are constructed from a model of the mass distribution based on hierarchical clustering at an epoch where the matter distribution is non-linear. These luminosity functions are seen to reproduce the present distribution of objects as can be inferred from the observations. They can be used to deduce the redshift dependence of the cluster distribution and to extrapolate the observations towards the past. The predicted evolution of the cluster distribution is quite strong, although somewhat less rapid than predicted by the linear theory

  17. Evolution algebras generated by Gibbs measures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozikov, Utkir A.; Tian, Jianjun Paul

    2009-03-01

    In this article we study algebraic structures of function spaces defined by graphs and state spaces equipped with Gibbs measures by associating evolution algebras. We give a constructive description of associating evolution algebras to the function spaces (cell spaces) defined by graphs and state spaces and Gibbs measure μ. For finite graphs we find some evolution subalgebras and other useful properties of the algebras. We obtain a structure theorem for evolution algebras when graphs are finite and connected. We prove that for a fixed finite graph, the function spaces have a unique algebraic structure since all evolution algebras are isomorphic to each other for whichever Gibbs measures are assigned. When graphs are infinite graphs then our construction allows a natural introduction of thermodynamics in studying of several systems of biology, physics and mathematics by theory of evolution algebras. (author)

  18. Cognitive Evolution and Religion: Cognition and Religious Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harvey Whitehouse

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents contemporary cognitive approaches to the evolution of religious beliefs. Arguments are put forward that different types of beliefs, or ‘modes of religiosity’, occur as a result of a number of evolutionary factors (biological, cultural, socio-political etc. At the same time, religions across the world retain a significant level of common and shared elements, also explained in evolutionary terms.

  19. CHEMICAL EVOLUTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calvin, Melvin

    1965-06-01

    How did life come to be on the surface of the earth? Darwin himself recognized that his basic idea of evolution by variation and natural selection must be a continuous process extending backward in time through that period in which the first living things arose and into the period of 'Chemical Evolution' which preceded it. We are approaching the examination of these events by two routes. One is to seek for evidence in the ancient rocks of the earth which were laid down prior to that time in which organisms capable of leaving their skeletons in the rocks to be fossilized were in existence. This period is sometime prior to approximately 600 million years ago. The earth is believed to have taken its present form approximately 4700 million years ago. We have found in rocks whose age is about 1000 million years certain organic molecules which are closely related to the green pigment of plants, chlorophyll. This seems to establish that green plants were already fluorishing prior to that time. We have now found in rocks of still greater age, namely, 2500 million years, the same kinds of molecules mentioned above which can be attributed to the presence of living organisms. If these molecules are as old as the rocks, we have thus shortened the time available for the generation of the complex biosynthetic sequences which give rise to these specific hydrocarbons (polyisoprenoids) to less than 2000 million years.

  20. The Theory of Evolution in contemporary culture. Biological evolution and cultural evolution [with english version

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio Forti

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available La teoria dell’Evoluzione biologica alla luce delle conoscenze acquisite dalla biologia molecolare, dall’immunologia e  dall’embriologia: la “mutazione adattativa”, sua scoperta nei batteri e sua realtà negli organismi superiori. Statistica degli eventi rari e “piano intelligente”. Eredità dei caratteri acquisiti durante l’epigenesi: Darwin e Lamarck. Struttura del cervello e mente umana: il ruolo dell’eredità biologica e quello di ambiente, apprendimento ed esperienze nella formazione ed evoluzione della mente personale. Arbitrarietà e ridondanza nell’evoluzione biologica e nell’evoluzione del linguaggio umano.

  1. Extinction Events Can Accelerate Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehman, Joel; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    Extinction events impact the trajectory of biological evolution significantly. They are often viewed as upheavals to the evolutionary process. In contrast, this paper supports the hypothesis that although they are unpredictably destructive, extinction events may in the long term accelerate...... evolution by increasing evolvability. In particular, if extinction events extinguish indiscriminately many ways of life, indirectly they may select for the ability to expand rapidly through vacated niches. Lineages with such an ability are more likely to persist through multiple extinctions. Lending...... computational support for this hypothesis, this paper shows how increased evolvability will result from simulated extinction events in two computational models of evolved behavior. The conclusion is that although they are destructive in the short term, extinction events may make evolution more prolific...

  2. [Biological agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Koichi

    2009-03-01

    There are two types of biological agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins. Among the latter, etanercept, a recombinant fusion protein of soluble TNF receptor and IgG was approved in 2005 in Japan. The post-marketing surveillance of 13,894 RA patients revealed the efficacy and safety profiles of etanercept in the Japanese population, as well as overseas studies. Abatacept, a recombinant fusion protein of CTLA4 and IgG, is another biological agent for RA. Two clinical trials disclosed the efficacy of abatacept for difficult-to-treat patients: the AIM for MTX-resistant cases and the ATTAIN for patients who are resistant to anti-TNF. The ATTEST trial suggested abatacept might have more acceptable safety profile than infliximab. These biologics are also promising for the treatment of RA for not only relieving clinical symptoms and signs but retarding structural damage.

  3. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manginell, Ronald P [Albuquerque, NM; Bunker, Bruce C [Albuquerque, NM; Huber, Dale L [Albuquerque, NM

    2008-09-09

    A biological preconcentrator comprises a stimulus-responsive active film on a stimulus-producing microfabricated platform. The active film can comprise a thermally switchable polymer film that can be used to selectively absorb and desorb proteins from a protein mixture. The biological microfabricated platform can comprise a thin membrane suspended on a substrate with an integral resistive heater and/or thermoelectric cooler for thermal switching of the active polymer film disposed on the membrane. The active polymer film can comprise hydrogel-like polymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide) or poly(n-isopropylacrylamide), that are tethered to the membrane. The biological preconcentrator can be fabricated with semiconductor materials and technologies.

  4. Adaptive evolution in ecological communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M Turcotte

    Full Text Available Understanding how natural selection drives evolution is a key challenge in evolutionary biology. Most studies of adaptation focus on how a single environmental factor, such as increased temperature, affects evolution within a single species. The biological relevance of these experiments is limited because nature is infinitely more complex. Most species are embedded within communities containing many species that interact with one another and the physical environment. To understand the evolutionary significance of such ecological complexity, experiments must test the evolutionary impact of interactions among multiple species during adaptation. Here we highlight an experiment that manipulates species composition and tracks evolutionary responses within each species, while testing for the mechanisms by which species interact and adapt to their environment. We also discuss limitations of previous studies of adaptive evolution and emphasize how an experimental evolution approach can circumvent such shortcomings. Understanding how community composition acts as a selective force will improve our ability to predict how species adapt to natural and human-induced environmental change.

  5. Biological design in science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Eugenie C.; Matzke, Nicholas J.

    2007-01-01

    Although evolutionary biology is replete with explanations for complex biological structures, scientists concerned about evolution education have been forced to confront “intelligent design” (ID), which rejects a natural origin for biological complexity. The content of ID is a subset of the claims made by the older “creation science” movement. Both creationist views contend that highly complex biological adaptations and even organisms categorically cannot result from natural causes but require a supernatural creative agent. Historically, ID arose from efforts to produce a form of creationism that would be less vulnerable to legal challenges and that would not overtly rely upon biblical literalism. Scientists do not use ID to explain nature, but because it has support from outside the scientific community, ID is nonetheless contributing substantially to a long-standing assault on the integrity of science education. PMID:17494747

  6. Human evolution: humanistic selection and looking to the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krsiak, Miloslav

    2006-10-01

    Cultural evolution has predominated over biological evolution in modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens). Cultural evolution differs from biological evolution not only by inheritance of acquired characteristics but also, as is proposed in the present essay, by another kind of selection mechanism. Whereas selection in biological evolution is executed according to a criterion of reproductive success (the natural selection), selection in cultural evolution appears to be carried out according to human and humanistic criteria (success or fitness in meeting human needs, interests and humanistic values--"humanistic selection"). Many humanistic needs or values do not seem to be prerequisite for reproductive success, yet some of them (e.g. a need for freedom) seem to be inborn. Innateness, humanistic selection (decisive at a community level) and hierarchy of some human needs, interests and values appear to give cultural evolution a generally upward trend although long periods of stagnation or even regression may occur. Modern humans appear to be still at the early stage of their cultural evolution. A further cultural evolution of man appears to be, in contrast to biological evolution, predictable (with an optimistic outlook) and testable. The problem is that the hopeful result of this test will probably be known only in the fairly remote future provided that this species will not become extinct before that.

  7. Plant biology in the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazzaz, F A

    2001-05-08

    In the beginning of modern plant biology, plant biologists followed a simple model for their science. This model included important branches of plant biology known then. Of course, plants had to be identified and classified first. Thus, there was much work on taxonomy, genetics, and physiology. Ecology and evolution were approached implicitly, rather than explicitly, through paleobotany, taxonomy, morphology, and historical geography. However, the burgeoning explosion of knowledge and great advances in molecular biology, e.g., to the extent that genes for specific traits can be added (or deleted) at will, have created a revolution in the study of plants. Genomics in agriculture has made it possible to address many important issues in crop production by the identification and manipulation of genes in crop plants. The current model of plant study differs from the previous one in that it places greater emphasis on developmental controls and on evolution by differential fitness. In a rapidly changing environment, the current model also explicitly considers the phenotypic variation among individuals on which selection operates. These are calls for the unity of science. In fact, the proponents of "Complexity Theory" think there are common algorithms describing all levels of organization, from atoms all the way to the structure of the universe, and that when these are discovered, the issue of scaling will be greatly simplified! Plant biology must seriously contribute to, among other things, meeting the nutritional needs of the human population. This challenge constitutes a key part of the backdrop against which future evolution will occur. Genetic engineering technologies are and will continue to be an important component of agriculture; however, we must consider the evolutionary implications of these new technologies. Meeting these demands requires drastic changes in the undergraduate curriculum. Students of biology should be trained in molecular, cellular, organismal

  8. Language architecture and its import for evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomsky, Noam

    2017-10-01

    Inquiry into the evolution of some biological system evidently can proceed only as far as its nature is understood. Lacking such understanding, its manifestations are likely to appear to be chaotic, highly variable, and lacking significant general properties; and, accordingly, study of its evolution cannot be seriously undertaken. These truisms hold of the study of the human faculty of language FL just as for other biological systems. As discussed below, FL appears to be a shared human capacity in essentials, with options of variation of a kind to which we return. After a long lapse, the problem of evolution of language arose in mid-twentieth century when the first efforts were made to construct accounts of FL as a biological object, internal to an individual, with particular internal languages - I-languages in current terminology - as manifestations of FL. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Environmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tschumi, P.A.

    1981-01-01

    Environmental biology illustrates the functioning of ecosystems and the dynamics of populations with many examples from limnology and terrestrial ecology. On this basis, present environmental problems are analyzed. The present environmental crisis is seen as a result of the failure to observe ecological laws. (orig.) [de

  10. Biological timekeeping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lloyd, David

    2016-01-01

    , the networks that connect differenttime domains and the oscillations, rhythms and biological clocks that coordinate andsynchronise the complexity of the living state.“It is the pattern maintained by this homeostasis, which is the touchstone ofour personal identity. Our tissues change as we live: the food we...

  11. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  12. Biological digestion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosevear, A.

    1988-01-01

    This paper discusses the biological degradation of non-radioactive organic material occurring in radioactive wastes. The biochemical steps are often performed using microbes or isolated enzymes in combination with chemical steps and the aim is to oxidise the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur to their respective oxides. (U.K.)

  13. Marine Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  14. Structural biological composites: An overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Marc A.; Lin, Albert Y. M.; Seki, Yasuaki; Chen, Po-Yu; Kad, Bimal K.; Bodde, Sara

    2006-07-01

    Biological materials are complex composites that are hierarchically structured and multifunctional. Their mechanical properties are often outstanding, considering the weak constituents from which they are assembled. They are for the most part composed of brittle (often, mineral) and ductile (organic) components. These complex structures, which have risen from millions of years of evolution, are inspiring materials scientists in the design of novel materials. This paper discusses the overall design principles in biological structural composites and illustrates them for five examples; sea spicules, the abalone shell, the conch shell, the toucan and hornbill beaks, and the sheep crab exoskeleton.

  15. Art as A Playground for Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beloff, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Art works which engage with the topic of human enhancement and evolution have begun appearing parallel to increased awareness about anthropogenic changes to our environment and acceleration of the speed of technological developments that impact us and our biological environment. The article...... and related topics is proposed as play activity for adults, which simultaneously experiments directly with ideas concerning evolution and human development. The author proposes that these kinds of experimental art projects support our mental adaptation to evolutionary changes....

  16. Physics of biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.

    The biological membrane is a complex system consisting of an aqueous biomolecular planar aggregate of predominantly lipid and protein molecules. At physiological temperatures, the membrane may be considered a thin (˜50Å) slab of anisotropic fluid characterized by a high lateral mobility of the various molecular components. A substantial fraction of biological activity takes place in association with membranes. As a very lively piece of condensed matter, the biological membrane is a challenging research topic for both the experimental and theoretical physicists who are facing a number of fundamental physical problems including molecular self-organization, macromolecular structure and dynamics, inter-macromolecular interactions, structure-function relationships, transport of energy and matter, and interfacial forces. This paper will present a brief review of recent theoretical and experimental progress on such problems, with special emphasis on lipid bilayer structure and dynamics, lipid phase transitions, lipid-protein and lipid-cholesterol interactions, intermembrane forces, and the physical constraints imposed on biomembrane function and evolution. The paper advocates the dual point of view that there are a number of interesting physics problems in membranology and, at the same time, that the physical properties of biomembranes are important regulators of membrane function.

  17. Ultrastructure, macromolecules, and evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Dillon, Lawrence S

    1981-01-01

    Thus far in the history of biology, two, and only two, fundamental principles have come to light that pervade and unify the entire science-the cell theory and the concept of evolution. While it is true that recently opened fields of inves­ tigation have given rise to several generalizations of wide impact, such as the universality of DNA and the energetic dynamics of ecology, closer inspection reveals them to be part and parcel of either of the first two mentioned. Because in the final analysis energy can act upon an organism solely at the cellular level, its effects may be perceived basically to represent one facet of cell me­ tabolism. Similarly, because the DNA theory centers upon the means by which cells build proteins and reproduce themselves, it too proves to be only one more, even though an exciting, aspect of the cell theory. In fact, if the matter is given closer scrutiny, evolution itself can be viewed as being a fundamental portion of the cell concept, for its effects arise only as a consequence ...

  18. Om religion og evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geertz, Armin W.

    2011-01-01

    for kulturens kausale virkning på den menneskelige kognition og ikke mindst den hominine evolution. Ud fra, hvad vi ved om den menneskelige evolution, ses det, at den hominine evolution har en dybde, som sjældent medtænkes i teorier og hypoteser om den menneskelige evolution. Den menneskelige evolution er...

  19. Cyanobacterial evolution during the Precambrian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirrmeister, Bettina E.; Sanchez-Baracaldo, Patricia; Wacey, David

    2016-07-01

    Life on Earth has existed for at least 3.5 billion years. Yet, relatively little is known of its evolution during the first two billion years, due to the scarceness and generally poor preservation of fossilized biological material. Cyanobacteria, formerly known as blue green algae were among the first crown Eubacteria to evolve and for more than 2.5 billion years they have strongly influenced Earth's biosphere. Being the only organism where oxygenic photosynthesis has originated, they have oxygenated Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere, triggered the evolution of plants -being ancestral to chloroplasts- and enabled the evolution of complex life based on aerobic respiration. Having such a strong impact on early life, one might expect that the evolutionary success of this group may also have triggered further biosphere changes during early Earth history. However, very little is known about the early evolution of this phylum and ongoing debates about cyanobacterial fossils, biomarkers and molecular clock analyses highlight the difficulties in this field of research. Although phylogenomic analyses have provided promising glimpses into the early evolution of cyanobacteria, estimated divergence ages are often very uncertain, because of vague and insufficient tree-calibrations. Results of molecular clock analyses are intrinsically tied to these prior calibration points, hence improving calibrations will enable more precise divergence time estimations. Here we provide a review of previously described Precambrian microfossils, biomarkers and geochemical markers that inform upon the early evolution of cyanobacteria. Future research in micropalaeontology will require novel analyses and imaging techniques to improve taxonomic affiliation of many Precambrian microfossils. Consequently, a better understanding of early cyanobacterial evolution will not only allow for a more specific calibration of cyanobacterial and eubacterial phylogenies, but also provide new dates for the tree

  20. New Frontiers in Language Evolution and Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oller, D Kimbrough; Dale, Rick; Griebel, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    This article introduces the Special Issue and its focus on research in language evolution with emphasis on theory as well as computational and robotic modeling. A key theme is based on the growth of evolutionary developmental biology or evo-devo. The Special Issue consists of 13 articles organized in two sections: A) Theoretical foundations and B) Modeling and simulation studies. All the papers are interdisciplinary in nature, encompassing work in biological and linguistic foundations for the study of language evolution as well as a variety of computational and robotic modeling efforts shedding light on how language may be developed and may have evolved. Copyright © 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  1. Thoughts on the cultural evolution of man. Developmental imprinting and transgenerational effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csaba, György

    2007-01-01

    The biological evolution of man stopped since it has been conveyed to the objects, created by man. This paper introduces the concept of "conveyed evolution". Being part of the cultural evolution, the conveyed evolution is a continuation of the biological one. There are several similarities between the laws of biological and conveyed evolution, albeit the differences are important as well. Some laws of the conveyed evolution are described here. The conveyed evolution has man-made repair mechanisms (medicine, protection of environment) which defend man from harm. Man's fragility limits the progress of conveyed evolution. However, artificial compounds or environmental pollutants which are provoked by the conveyed evolution induce chemical (hormonal) imprinting in the developmental critical periods, which is transmitted to the progeny generations (transgenerational effect). This could cause evolutionary alterations without mutation.

  2. Quasars and galactic evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Woltjer, L

    1978-01-01

    The evolution of quasars is discussed. It is noted that substantial clustering may be present at faint magnitudes. The relationship between quasar evolution and galactic evolution is considered. (4 refs).

  3. Biological radioprotector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stefanescu, Ioan; Titescu, Gheorghe; Tamaian, Radu; Haulica, Ion; Bild, Walther

    2002-01-01

    According to the patent description, the biological radioprotector is deuterium depleted water, DDW, produced by vacuum distillation with an isotopic content lower than natural value. It appears as such or in a mixture with natural water and carbon dioxide. It can be used for preventing and reducing the ionizing radiation effects upon humans or animal organisms, exposed therapeutically, professionally or accidentally to radiation. The most significant advantage of using DDW as biological radioprotector results from its way of administration. Indeed no one of the radioprotectors currently used today can be orally administrated, what reduces the patients' compliance to prophylactic administrations. The biological radioprotector is an unnoxious product obtained from natural water, which can be administrated as food additive instead of drinking water. Dose modification factor is according to initial estimates around 1.9, what is a remarkable feature when one takes into account that the product is toxicity-free and side effect-free and can be administrated prophylactically as a food additive. A net radioprotective action of the deuterium depletion was evidenced experimentally in laboratory animals (rats) hydrated with DDW of 30 ppm D/(D+H) concentration as compared with normally hydrated control animals. Knowing the effects of irradiation and mechanisms of the acute radiation disease as well as the effects of administration of radiomimetic chemicals upon cellular lines of fast cell division, it appears that the effects of administrating DDW result from stimulation of the immunity system. In conclusion, the biological radioprotector DDW presents the following advantages: - it is obtained from natural products without toxicity; - it is easy to be administrated as a food additive, replacing the drinking water; - besides radioprotective effects, the product has also immunostimulative and antitumoral effects

  4. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index

  5. Using the biological literature a practical guide

    CERN Document Server

    Schmidt, Diane

    2014-01-01

    IntroductionSearching the Biological LiteratureGeneral SourcesAssociationsBibliographiesClassification, Nomenclature, and SystematicsDictionaries and EncyclopediasDirectoriesField GuidesSeriesFull-Text SourcesGeneral WorksGuides for young ScientistsGuides to the LiteratureHandbooksHistoriesMathematics and StatisticsMethods and TechniquesTextbooks and TreatisesWriting GuidesPeriodicalsReviews of the LiteratureAbstracts and IndexesBiochemistry and BiophysicsMolecular and Cellular BiologyGenetics, Biotechnology, and Developmental BiologyMicrobiology and ImmunologyEcology, Evolution, and Animal BehaviorPlant BiologyAnatomy and PhysiologyEntomologyZoologyIndex.

  6. Monod and the spirit of molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2015-06-01

    The founders of molecular biology shared views on the place of biology within science, as well as on the relations of molecular biology to Darwinism. Jacques Monod was no exception, but the study of his writings is particularly interesting because he expressed his point of view very clearly and pushed the implications of some of his choices further than most of his contemporaries. The spirit of molecular biology is no longer the same as in the 1960s but, interestingly, Monod anticipated some recent evolutions of this discipline. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Darwinism and the cultural evolution of sports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Block, Andreas; Dewitte, Siegfried

    2009-01-01

    This article outlines a Darwinian approach to sports that takes into account its profoundly cultural character and thereby overcomes the traditional nature-culture dichotomies in the sociology of sport. We argue that there are good reasons to view sports as culturally evolved signaling systems that serve a function similar to (biological) courtship rituals in other animals. Our approach combines the insights of evolutionary psychology, which states that biological adaptations determine the boundaries for the types of sport that are possible, and pure cultural theories, which describe the mechanism of cultural evolution without referring to sport's biological bases. Several biological and cultural factors may moderate the direct effect that signaling value has on a sport's viability or popularity. Social learning underlies many aspects of the cultural control of sports, and sports have evolved new cultural functions more-or-less unrelated to mate choice as cultural evolution itself became important in humans.

  8. Some nonlinear challenges in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosconi, Francesco; Julou, Thomas; Desprat, Nicolas; Sinha, Deepak Kumar; Allemand, Jean-François; Croquette, Vincent; Bensimon, David

    2008-01-01

    Driven by a deluge of data, biology is undergoing a transition to a more quantitative science. Making sense of the data, building new models, asking the right questions and designing smart experiments to answer them are becoming ever more relevant. In this endeavour, nonlinear approaches can play a fundamental role. The biochemical reactions that underlie life are very often nonlinear. The functional features exhibited by biological systems at all levels (from the activity of an enzyme to the organization of a colony of ants, via the development of an organism or a functional module like the one responsible for chemotaxis in bacteria) are dynamically robust. They are often unaffected by order of magnitude variations in the dynamical parameters, in the number or concentrations of actors (molecules, cells, organisms) or external inputs (food, temperature, pH, etc). This type of structural robustness is also a common feature of nonlinear systems, exemplified by the fundamental role played by dynamical fixed points and attractors and by the use of generic equations (logistic map, Fisher–Kolmogorov equation, the Stefan problem, etc.) in the study of a plethora of nonlinear phenomena. However, biological systems differ from these examples in two important ways: the intrinsic stochasticity arising from the often very small number of actors and the role played by evolution. On an evolutionary time scale, nothing in biology is frozen. The systems observed today have evolved from solutions adopted in the past and they will have to adapt in response to future conditions. The evolvability of biological system uniquely characterizes them and is central to biology. As the great biologist T Dobzhansky once wrote: 'nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution'. (open problem)

  9. Structural Biology Fact Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... NIGMS NIGMS Home > Science Education > Structural Biology Structural Biology Tagline (Optional) Middle/Main Content Area PDF Version (688 KB) Other Fact Sheets What is structural biology? Structural biology is the study of how biological ...

  10. Nudging Evolution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine N. Farrell

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This Special Feature, "Nudging Evolution? Critical Exploration of the Potential and Limitations of the Concept of Institutional Fit for the Study and Adaptive Management of Social-Ecological Systems," aims to contribute toward the development of social theory and social research methods for the study of social-ecological system dynamics. Our objective is to help strengthen the academic discourse concerning if, and if so, how, to what extent, and in what concrete ways the concept of institutional "fit" might play a role in helping to develop better understanding of the social components of interlinkages between the socioeconomic-cultural and ecological dynamics of social-ecological systems. Two clearly discernible patterns provide a map of this Special Feature: (1 One pattern is the authors' positions regarding the place and role of normativity within their studies and assessment of institutional fit. Some place this at the center of their studies, exploring phenomena endogenous to the process of defining what constitutes institutional fit, whereas others take the formation of norms as a phenomenon exogenous to their study. (2 Another pattern is the type of studies presented: critiques and elaborations of the theory, methods for judging qualities of fit, and/or applied case studies using the concept. As a body of work, these contributions highlight that self-understanding of social-ecological place, whether explicit or implicit, constitutes an important part of the study object, i.e., the role of institutions in social-ecological systems, and that this is, at the same time, a crucial point of reference for the scholar wishing to evaluate what constitutes institutional fit and how it might be brought into being.

  11. Networks in Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Mark; Caldarelli, Guido; De Los Rios, Paolo; Rao, Francesco; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2010-05-01

    Introduction; 1. Network views of the cell Paolo De Los Rios and Michele Vendruscolo; 2. Transcriptional regulatory networks Sarath Chandra Janga and M. Madan Babu; 3. Transcription factors and gene regulatory networks Matteo Brilli, Elissa Calistri and Pietro Lió; 4. Experimental methods for protein interaction identification Peter Uetz, Björn Titz, Seesandra V. Rajagopala and Gerard Cagney; 5. Modeling protein interaction networks Francesco Rao; 6. Dynamics and evolution of metabolic networks Daniel Segré; 7. Hierarchical modularity in biological networks: the case of metabolic networks Erzsébet Ravasz Regan; 8. Signalling networks Gian Paolo Rossini; Appendix 1. Complex networks: from local to global properties D. Garlaschelli and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 2. Modelling the local structure of networks D. Garlaschelli and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 3. Higher-order topological properties S. Ahnert, T. Fink and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 4. Elementary mathematical concepts A. Gabrielli and G. Caldarelli; References.

  12. Biology Branch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldwin, W F

    1974-12-31

    Progress is reported on the following studies in biochemistry and molecular biology: study of long pyrimidine polynucleotides in DNA; isolation of thymine dimers from Schizosaccharomyces pombe; thermal stability of high molecular weight RNA; nucleases of Micrococcus radiodurans; effect of ionizing radiation on M. radiodurans cell walls and cell membranes; chemical modification of nucleotides; exonucleases of M. radiodurans; and enzymatic basis of repair of radioinduced damage in M. radiodurans. Genetics, development, and population studies include repair pathways and mutation induction in yeast; induction of pure mutant clones in yeast; radiosensitivity of bacteriophage T4; polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of bacteriophage T4; radiation genetics of Dahibominus; and radiation studies on bitting flies. (HLW)

  13. On the thermodynamics of multilevel evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessera, Marc; Hoelzer, Guy A

    2013-09-01

    Biodiversity is hierarchically structured both phylogenetically and functionally. Phylogenetic hierarchy is understood as a product of branching organic evolution as described by Darwin. Ecosystem biologists understand some aspects of functional hierarchy, such as food web architecture, as a product of evolutionary ecology; but functional hierarchy extends to much lower scales of organization than those studied by ecologists. We argue that the more general use of the term "evolution" employed by physicists and applied to non-living systems connects directly to the narrow biological meaning. Physical evolution is best understood as a thermodynamic phenomenon, and this perspective comfortably includes all of biological evolution. We suggest four dynamical factors that build on each other in a hierarchical fashion and set the stage for the Darwinian evolution of biological systems: (1) the entropic erosion of structure; (2) the construction of dissipative systems; (3) the reproduction of growing systems and (4) the historical memory accrued to populations of reproductive agents by the acquisition of hereditary mechanisms. A particular level of evolution can underpin the emergence of higher levels, but evolutionary processes persist at each level in the hierarchy. We also argue that particular evolutionary processes can occur at any level of the hierarchy where they are not obstructed by material constraints. This theoretical framework provides an extensive basis for understanding natural selection as a multilevel process. The extensive literature on thermodynamics in turn provides an important advantage to this perspective on the evolution of higher levels of organization, such as the evolution of altruism that can accompany the emergence of social organization. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Evolution of specialization and ecological character displacement: metabolic plasticity matters.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Egas, C.J.M.; Reydon, Th.A.C.; Hemerik, L.

    2005-01-01

    An important question in evolutionary biology, especially with respect to herbivorous arthropods, is the evolution of specialization. In a previous paper, the combined evolutionary dynamics of specialization and ecological character displacement was studied, focusing on the role of herbivore

  15. Biological biomaterials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jorge-Herrero, E. [Servicio de Cirugia Experimental. Clinica Puerta de Hierro, Madrid (Spain)

    1997-05-01

    There are a number of situations in which substances of biological origin are employed as biomaterials. Most of them are macromolecules derived from isolated connective tissue or the connective tissue itself in membrane form, in both cases, the tissue can be used in its natural form or be chemically treated. In other cases, certain blood vessels can be chemically pretreated and used as vascular prostheses. Proteins such as albumin, collagen and fibrinogen are employed to coat vascular prostheses. Certain polysaccharides have also been tested for use in controlled drug release systems. Likewise, a number of tissues, such as dura mater, bovine pericardium, procine valves and human valves, are used in the preparation of cardiac prostheses. We also use veins from animals or humans in arterial replacement. In none of these cases are the tissues employed dissimilar to the native tissues as they have been chemically modified, becoming a new bio material with different physical and biochemical properties. In short, we find that natural products are being utilized as biomaterials and must be considered as such; thus, it is necessary to study both their chemicobiological and physicomechanical properties. In the present report, we review the current applications, problems and future prospects of some of these biological biomaterials. (Author) 84 refs.

  16. Amphioxus photoreceptors insights into the evolution of vertebrate opsins, vision and circadian rhythmicity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pergner, Jiří; Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 10-12 (2017), s. 665-681 ISSN 0214-6282 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-15374S; GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015062; GA MŠk LO1419 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : chordate * opsin evolution * photoreceptor * eye evolution * phototransduction Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 1.981, year: 2016

  17. Breathing air in air: in what ways might extant amphibious fish biology relate to prevailing concepts about early tetrapods, the evolution of vertebrate air breathing, and the vertebrate land transition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jeffrey B; Lee, Heather J

    2004-01-01

    The air-breathing fishes have heuristic importance as possible models for the Paleozoic evolution of vertebrate air breathing and the transition to land. A recent hypothesis about this transition suggests that the diverse assemblage of marine amphibious fishes occurring primarily in tropical, high intertidal zone habitats are analogs of early tetrapods and that the intertidal zone, not tropical freshwater lowlands, was the springboard habitat for the Devonian land transition by vertebrates. Here we argue that selection pressures imposed by life in the intertidal zone are insufficient to have resulted in the requisite aerial respiratory capacity or the degree of separation from water required for the vertebrate land transition. The extant marine amphibious fishes, which occur mainly on rocky shores or mudflats, have reached the limit of their niche expansion onto land and remain tied to water by respiratory structures that are less efficient in air and more vulnerable to desiccation than lungs. We further argue that evolutionary contingencies actuated by the Devonian origin of the tetrapods marked a critical point of divergence for a way of life in which selection pressures would operate on the physiology, morphology, and natural history of the different vertebrate groups. While chronically hypoxic and shallow water conditions in the habitats of some primitive bony fishes and some amphibians appear similar to the conditions that prevailed in the Devonian, markedly different selection pressures have operated on other amphibians and bony fishes over the 300 million years since the vertebrate land transition. For example, both egg development and larval metamorphosis in extant amphibians are geared mainly toward compensating for the uncertainty of habitat water quality or even the absence of water by minimizing the time required to develop there. In contrast, reproduction by most intertidal (and amphibious) fishes, all of which are teleosts, remains dependent on a

  18. Radiation and the evolution of life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gentner, N.E.; Myers, D.K.

    1980-08-01

    A general review is presented of the nature of various forms of radiation; radiant energy which reaches the earth from the sun; the role of this energy in prebiotic chemical evolution; current ideas on the origin of life; the dependence of living organisms upon radiant energy; the mechanisms responsible for the evolution of life, from the viewpoint of modern genetics and molecular biology; the biological consequences of alterations in the genetic material; and the role of ionizing radiation in production of genetic changes and in evolution. In the final analysis, the biosynthetic processes of life are driven by radiant energy from the sun. This overview is necessarily focussed on the infrared, visible and ultraviolet regions of the solar output spectrum since these particular radiations are responsible for most of the radiant energy that reaches the earth's surface. Ionizing radiation appears to have played at best a minor role in biological evolution. Small increments in the amounts of ionizing radiation are therefore unlikely to have a significant effect on life or its evolution. (auth)

  19. Genome Evolution in the Genus Sorghum (Poaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    PRICE, H. JAMES; DILLON, SALLY L.; HODNETT, GEORGE; ROONEY, WILLIAM L.; ROSS, LARRY; JOHNSTON, J. SPENCER

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims The roles of variation in DNA content in plant evolution and adaptation remain a major biological enigma. Chromosome number and 2C DNA content were determined for 21 of the 25 species of the genus Sorghum and analysed from a phylogenetic perspective.

  20. Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corballis, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    The mirror system provided a natural platform for the subsequent evolution of language. In nonhuman primates, the system provides for the understanding of biological action, and possibly for imitation, both prerequisites for language. I argue that language evolved from manual gestures, initially as a system of pantomime, but with gestures…

  1. Evolution of parasitism in kinetoplastid flagellates

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lukeš, Julius; Skalický, Tomáš; Týč, Jiří; Votýpka, Jan; Yurchenko, Vyacheslav

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 195, č. 2 (2014), s. 115-122 ISSN 0166-6851 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Evolution * Phylogeny * Vectors * Diversity * Parasitism * Trypanosome Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.787, year: 2014

  2. Evolution: Don't Debate, Educate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bybee, Rodger W.

    2000-01-01

    Discusses controversy over the teaching of biological evolution and other scientific ideas such as Big Bang theory. Recommends that teachers avoid debating creationists, help students develop a greater understanding and appreciation for science as a way of explaining the natural world, and emphasize inquiry and the nature of science. (Contains 19…

  3. Heme pathway evolution in kinetoplastid protists

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cenci, U.; Moog, D.; Curtis, B.A.; Tanifuji, G.; Eme, L.; Lukeš, Julius; Archibald, J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 16, MAY 18 (2016), č. článku 109. ISSN 1471-2148 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : heme * kinetoplastea * Paramoeba pemaquidensis * Perkinsela * evolution * endosymbiosis * Prokinetoplastina * lateral gene transfer Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.221, year: 2016

  4. The evolution of lethal intergroup violence

    OpenAIRE

    Kelly, Raymond C.

    2005-01-01

    Recent findings and analyses in evolutionary biology, archaeology, and ethnology provide a favorable conjuncture for examining the evolution of lethal intergroup violence among hominids during the 2.9-million-year Paleolithic time span. Here, I seek to identify and investigate the main turning points in this evolutionary trajectory and to delineate the periodization that follows from this inquiry.

  5. The evolution of lethal intergroup violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Raymond C

    2005-10-25

    Recent findings and analyses in evolutionary biology, archaeology, and ethnology provide a favorable conjuncture for examining the evolution of lethal intergroup violence among hominids during the 2.9-million-year Paleolithic time span. Here, I seek to identify and investigate the main turning points in this evolutionary trajectory and to delineate the periodization that follows from this inquiry.

  6. Evolution and non-equilibrium physics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Becker, Nikolaj; Sibani, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    We argue that the stochastic dynamics of interacting agents which replicate, mutate and die constitutes a non-equilibrium physical process akin to aging in complex materials. Specifically, our study uses extensive computer simulations of the Tangled Nature Model (TNM) of biological evolution...

  7. A Call to Use Cultural Competence When Teaching Evolution to Religious College Students: Introducing Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education (ReCCEE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, M. Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E.

    2017-01-01

    Low acceptance of evolution among undergraduate students is common and is best predicted by religious beliefs. Decreasing students' perceived conflict between religion and evolution could increase their acceptance of evolution. However, college biology instructors may struggle with trying to decrease students' perceived conflict between religion…

  8. Evolution of floral symmetry Peter K Endress, Current Opinion in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    First page Back Continue Last page Graphics. Evolution of floral symmetry Peter K Endress, Current Opinion in Plant Biology 2001, 4:86–91. Polysymmetric (more than one plane of symmetry) to monosymmetric in angiosperm (flowering plants) evolution; the other way in Antirrhinaceae. Left and right handed helicity. Bees ...

  9. Teaching Evolution: A Heuristic Study of Personal and Cultural Dissonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimes, Larry G.

    2012-01-01

    Darwinian evolution is a robustly supported scientific theory. Yet creationists continue to challenge its teaching in American public schools. Biology teachers in all 50 states are responsible for teaching science content standards that include evolution. As products of their backgrounds and affiliations teachers bring personal attitudes and…

  10. Teaching Evolution: From SMART Objectives to Threshold Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Alexander; Akkaraju, Shylaja

    2014-01-01

    Despite the centrality of evolution to the study of biology, the pedagogical methods employed to teach the subject are often instructor-centered and rarely embedded in every topic throughout the curriculum. In addition, students' prior beliefs about evolution are often dismissed rather than incorporated into the classroom. In this article we…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Biological effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trott, K.R.

    1973-01-01

    Following an introduction into the field of cellular radiation effect considering the most important experimental results, the biological significance of the colony formation ability is brought out. The inactivation concept of stem cells does not only prove to be good, according to the present results, in the interpretation of the pathogenesis of acute radiation effects on moult tissue, it also enables chronicle radiation injuries to be interpreted through changes in the fibrous part of the organs. Radiation therapy of tumours can also be explained to a large extent by the radiation effect on the unlimited reproductiveness of tumour cells. The more or less similar dose effect curves for healthy and tumour tissue in practice lead to intermittent irradiation. The dependence of the intermittent doses and intervals on factors such as Elkind recovery, synchronisation, redistribution, reoxygenation, repopulation and regeneration are reviewed. (ORU/LH) [de

  13. New genes as drivers of phenotypic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Sidi; Krinsky, Benjamin H.; Long, Manyuan

    2014-01-01

    During the course of evolution, genomes acquire novel genetic elements as sources of functional and phenotypic diversity, including new genes that originated in recent evolution. In the past few years, substantial progress has been made in understanding the evolution and phenotypic effects of new genes. In particular, an emerging picture is that new genes, despite being present in the genomes of only a subset of species, can rapidly evolve indispensable roles in fundamental biological processes, including development, reproduction, brain function and behaviour. The molecular underpinnings of how new genes can develop these roles are starting to be characterized. These recent discoveries yield fresh insights into our broad understanding of biological diversity at refined resolution. PMID:23949544

  14. Between a Pod and a Hard Test: The Deep Evolution of Amoebae

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kang, S.; Tice, A. K.; Spiegel, F. W.; Silberman, J. D.; Pánek, T.; Čepička, I.; Kostka, Martin; Kosakyan, A.; Alcantara, D. M. C.; Roger, A. J.; Shadwick, L.; Smirnov, A.; Kudryavtsev, A.; Lahr, D. J. G.; Brown, M. W.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 34, č. 9 (2017), s. 2258-2270 ISSN 0737-4038 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : phylogenomics * transcriptomes * Amoebozoa * reductive evolution * phylotranscriptomics Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 6.202, year: 2016

  15. Systems biology and the origins of life? part II. Are biochemical networks possible ancestors of living systems? networks of catalysed chemical reactions: non-equilibrium, self-organization and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricard, Jacques

    2010-01-01

    The present article discusses the possibility that catalysed chemical networks can evolve. Even simple enzyme-catalysed chemical reactions can display this property. The example studied is that of a two-substrate proteinoid, or enzyme, reaction displaying random binding of its substrates A and B. The fundamental property of such a system is to display either emergence or integration depending on the respective values of the probabilities that the enzyme has bound one of its substrate regardless it has bound the other substrate, or, specifically, after it has bound the other substrate. There is emergence of information if p(A)>p(AB) and p(B)>p(BA). Conversely, if p(A)equilibrium. Moreover, in such systems, emergence results in an increase of the energy level of the ternary EAB complex that becomes closer to the transition state of the reaction, thus leading to the enhancement of catalysis. Hence a drift from quasi-equilibrium is, to a large extent, responsible for the production of information and enhancement of catalysis. Non-equilibrium of these simple systems must be an important aspect that leads to both self-organization and evolutionary processes. These conclusions can be extended to networks of catalysed chemical reactions. Such networks are, in fact, networks of networks, viz. meta-networks. In this formal representation, nodes are chemical reactions catalysed by poorly specific proteinoids, and links can be identified to the transport of metabolites from proteinoid to proteinoid. The concepts of integration and emergence can be applied to such situations and can be used to define the identity of these networks and therefore their evolution. Defined as open non-equilibrium structures, such biochemical networks possess two remarkable properties: (1) the probability of occurrence of their nodes is dependant upon the input and output of matter in, and from, the system and (2) the probability of occurrence of the nodes is strictly linked to their degree of

  16. Culture, Urbanism and Changing Human Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, L M

    2014-04-03

    Anthropologists have long known that human activity driven by culture changes the environment. This is apparent in the archaeological record and through the study of the modern environment. Perhaps the largest change since the paleolithic era is the organization of human populations in cities. New environments can reshape human biology through evolution as shown by the evolution of the hominid lineage. Evolution is not the only process capable of reshaping our biology. Some changes in our human biology are adaptive and evolutionary while others are pathological. What changes in human biology may be wrought by the modern urban environment? One significant new change in the environment is the introduction of pollutants largely through urbanization. Pollutants can affect human biology in myriad ways. Evidence shows that human growth, reproduction, and cognitive functioning can be altered by some pollutants, and altered in different ways depending on the pollutant. Thus, pollutants have significance for human biologists and anthropologists generally. Further, they illustrate the bio-cultural interaction characterizing human change. Humans adapt by changing the environment, a cultural process, and then change biologically to adjust to that new environment. This ongoing, interactive process is a fundamental characteristic of human change over the millennia.

  17. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems. (review)

  18. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  19. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications.

  20. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications. PMID:25022769

  1. The Criticism of Atheistic Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farah Ramin

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available With regard to close relation between evolution theory and religious knowledge, and its prodigious influence on arising new schools in philosophy this paper firstly considers the outcome of Darwin’s theologian theory in brief secondly it talks about recent controversies such as: ambiguity of Fitness concept, tautology and the usage of probability calculation in this theory,opposition of the second law of thermodynamics (Entropy, biological information in DNA, irreducible complexity, Fine-tuning of decisive nature constant and Anthropic Principle .

  2. The navigation of biological hyperspace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway Morris, Simon

    2003-04-01

    A recurrent argument against the reality of biological evolution is the claim that there is insufficient time for the emergence of biological complexity. Such a view is a staple of creation "scientists", but even cosmologists and biochemists have been overheard murmuring similar sentiments. Certainly the stock response, that the scientific evidence for evolution is overwhelming, must be made. However, it is also the case that whilst the efficacity of natural selection is not in dispute, it is context-free and fails to explain the specificities of life. This observation is usually greeted with a Gallic shrug: "Yes, the biosphere is very rich, but so what?" Indeed, the standard scientific response is that evolution is dogged by contingent happenstance, with the implication that a given complexity, say intelligence, is an evolutionary fluke. This, however, is inconsistent with the ubiquity of evolutionary convergence. Here I outline the argument for such convergence providing a "road-map" of possibilities that arguably has universal applications and as importantly points to a much deeper structure to life.

  3. Historical Contingency in Controlled Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Peter

    2014-12-01

    A basic question in evolution is dealing with the nature of an evolutionary memory. At thermodynamic equilibrium, at stable stationary states or other stable attractors the memory on the path leading to the long-time solution is erased, at least in part. Similar arguments hold for unique optima. Optimality in biology is discussed on the basis of microbial metabolism. Biology, on the other hand, is characterized by historical contingency, which has recently become accessible to experimental test in bacterial populations evolving under controlled conditions. Computer simulations give additional insight into the nature of the evolutionary memory, which is ultimately caused by the enormous space of possibilities that is so large that it escapes all attempts of visualization. In essence, this contribution is dealing with two questions of current evolutionary theory: (i) Are organisms operating at optimal performance? and (ii) How is the evolutionary memory built up in populations?

  4. A Brief Introduction to Chinese Biological Biological

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Chinese Biological Abstracts sponsored by the Library, the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the Biological Documentation and Information Network, all of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, commenced publication in 1987 and was initiated to provide access to the Chinese information in the field of biology.

  5. Earth's earliest biosphere: Its origin and evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schopf, J.W.

    1983-01-01

    Some of the subjects discussed are related to the early biogeologic history, the nature of the earth prior to the oldest known rock record, the early earth and the Archean rock record, the prebiotic organic syntheses and the origin of life, Precambrian organic geochemistry, the biochemical evolution of anaerobic energy conversion, the isotopic inferences of ancient biochemistries, Archean stromatolites providing evidence of the earth's earliest benthos, Archean microfossils, the geologic evolution of the Archean-Early Proterozoic earth, and the environmental evolution of the Archean-Early Proterozoic earth. Other topics examined are concerned with geochemical evidence bearing on the origin of aerobiosis, biological and biochemical effects of the development of an aerobic environment, Early Proterozoic microfossils, the evolution of earth's earliest ecosystems, and geographic and geologic data for processed rock samples. Attention is given to a processing procedure for abiotic samples and calculation of model atmospheric compositions, and procedures of organic geochemical analysis

  6. New Gene Evolution: Little Did We Know

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Manyuan; VanKuren, Nicholas W.; Chen, Sidi; Vibranovski, Maria D.

    2014-01-01

    Genes are perpetually added to and deleted from genomes during evolution. Thus, it is important to understand how new genes are formed and evolve as critical components of the genetic systems determining the biological diversity of life. Two decades of effort have shed light on the process of new gene origination, and have contributed to an emerging comprehensive picture of how new genes are added to genomes, ranging from the mechanisms that generate new gene structures to the presence of new genes in different organisms to the rates and patterns of new gene origination and the roles of new genes in phenotypic evolution. We review each of these aspects of new gene evolution, summarizing the main evidence for the origination and importance of new genes in evolution. We highlight findings showing that new genes rapidly change existing genetic systems that govern various molecular, cellular and phenotypic functions. PMID:24050177

  7. The Biology of Intron Gain and Loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeffares, Daniel C; Mourier, Tobias; Penny, David

    2006-01-01

    Intron density in eukaryote genomes varies by more than three orders of magnitude, so there must have been extensive intron gain and/or intron loss during evolution. A favored and partial explanation for this range of intron densities has been that introns have accumulated stochastically in large...... on introns depending on the biology of the organism and the gene involved....

  8. Chemistry and biology by new multiple choice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seo, Hyeong Seok; Kim, Seong Hwan

    2003-02-01

    This book is divided into two parts, the first part is about chemistry, which deals with science of material, atom structure and periodic law, chemical combination and power between molecule, state of material and solution, chemical reaction and an organic compound. The second part give description of biology with molecule and cell, energy in cells and chemical synthesis, molecular biology and heredity, function on animal, function on plant and evolution and ecology. This book has explanation of chemistry and biology with new multiple choice.

  9. Freud and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharbert, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    The essay analyzes the influence of evolutionary thought in the work of Sigmund Freud. Based on Freud's initial occupation as a neuro-anatomist and physiologist certain aspects stemming from the history of nature and developmental biological reasoning that played a role in his endeavours to find a new basis for medical psychology will be pointed out. These considerations are to be regarded as prolegomena of the task to reread Freud once again, and in doing so avoiding the verdict that holds his neuro-anatomic and comparative-morphological works as simply "pre-analytic." In fact, the time seems ripe to reconsider in a new context particularly those evolutionary, medical, and cultural-scientific elements in Freud's work that appear inconsistent at first sight. The substantial thesis is that Freud, given the fact that he was trained in comparative anatomy and physiology in the tradition of Johannes Müller, had the capability of synthesizing elements of this new point of view with the findings and interrogations concerning developmental history and the theory of evolution. More over, this was perceived not merely metaphoric, as he himself stressed it (Freud 1999, XIII, 99), but in the sense of Ubertragung, that inscribed terms and methods deriving from the given field into the realm of psychology. The moving force behind this particular Ubertragung came from a dynamically-neurological perception of the soul that emerged in France since 1800, which Freud came to know trough the late work of Charcot.

  10. The Physics of Open Ended Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Alyssa M.

    What makes living systems different than non-living ones? Unfortunately this question is impossible to answer, at least currently. Instead, we must face computationally tangible questions based on our current understanding of physics, computation, information, and biology. Yet we have few insights into how living systems might quantifiably differ from their non-living counterparts, as in a mathematical foundation to explain away our observations of biological evolution, emergence, innovation, and organization. The development of a theory of living systems, if at all possible, demands a mathematical understanding of how data generated by complex biological systems changes over time. In addition, this theory ought to be broad enough as to not be constrained to an Earth-based biochemistry. In this dissertation, the philosophy of studying living systems from the perspective of traditional physics is first explored as a motivating discussion for subsequent research. Traditionally, we have often thought of the physical world from a bottom-up approach: things happening on a smaller scale aggregate into things happening on a larger scale. In addition, the laws of physics are generally considered static over time. Research suggests that biological evolution may follow dynamic laws that (at least in part) change as a function of the state of the system. Of the three featured research projects, cellular automata (CA) are used as a model to study certain aspects of living systems in two of them. These aspects include self-reference, open-ended evolution, local physical universality, subjectivity, and information processing. Open-ended evolution and local physical universality are attributed to the vast amount of innovation observed throughout biological evolution. Biological systems may distinguish themselves in terms of information processing and storage, not outside the theory of computation. The final research project concretely explores real-world phenomenon by means of

  11. Tuition vs. Intuition: Effects of Instruction on Naive Theories of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtulman, Andrew; Calabi, Prassede

    2013-01-01

    Recent research suggests that a major obstacle to evolution understanding is an essentialist view of the biological world. The present study investigated the effects of formal biology instruction on such misconceptions. Participants (N = 291) completed an assessment of their understanding of six aspects of evolution (variation, inheritance,…

  12. Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education across the Life Sciences--Summary of a Convocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Steve

    2012-01-01

    Evolution is the central unifying theme of biology. Yet today, more than a century and a half after Charles Darwin proposed the idea of evolution through natural selection, the topic is often relegated to a handful of chapters in textbooks and a few class sessions in introductory biology courses, if covered at all. In recent years, a movement has…

  13. [Molecular biology, darwinism and nomogenesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vol'kenshteĭn, M V

    1987-01-01

    The theory of nomogenesis put forward by L. S. Berg in 1922 is discussed. It is shown that side by side with some erroneous anti-darwinian ideas the theory contains a series of important suggestions which anticipate the further development of the synthetic theory of evolution. Berg has foreseen the development of molecular biology. Thus he was the fore-teller of our branch of science. The theory of nomogenesis emphasized the limitations of natural selection which determine the directionality of evolution. Berg treated the speciation as a kind of phase transition. Even the most conscientious critics of Berg have misrepresented the real sense of his works. It is totally groundless to treat nomogenesis as an idealistic of Lamarkian theory. Berg was superior to his critics. However the enthusiasm about nomogenesis in our time shows the inability to separate "the grains from weeds".

  14. Teaching and Learning Evolution: Testing the Principles of a Constructivist Approach through Action Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Mary

    2011-01-01

    A tenth grade class in an international school studied evolution for four weeks as part of the study of Biology. A diagnostic test was used to determine the main misconceptions students have as they come to the study of evolution. This was followed by a series of explorations of different conceptual models to account for evolution, structured…

  15. Conceptual Ecology of the Evolution Acceptance among Greek Education Students: Knowledge, Religious Practices and Social Influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasiou, Kyriacos; Papadopoulou, Penelope

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we explored some of the factors related to the acceptance of evolution theory among Greek university students training to be teachers in early childhood education, using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical framework. We examined the acceptance of evolution theory and we also looked into the relationship…

  16. Tracking Alu evolution in New World primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Batzer Mark A

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alu elements are Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs in primate genomes that have proven useful as markers for studying genome evolution, population biology and phylogenetics. Most of these applications, however, have been limited to humans and their nearest relatives, chimpanzees. In an effort to expand our understanding of Alu sequence evolution and to increase the applicability of these markers to non-human primate biology, we have analyzed available Alu sequences for loci specific to platyrrhine (New World primates. Results Branching patterns along an Alu sequence phylogeny indicate three major classes of platyrrhine-specific Alu sequences. Sequence comparisons further reveal at least three New World monkey-specific subfamilies; AluTa7, AluTa10, and AluTa15. Two of these subfamilies appear to be derived from a gene conversion event that has produced a recently active fusion of AluSc- and AluSp-type elements. This is a novel mode of origin for new Alu subfamilies. Conclusion The use of Alu elements as genetic markers in studies of genome evolution, phylogenetics, and population biology has been very productive when applied to humans. The characterization of these three new Alu subfamilies not only increases our understanding of Alu sequence evolution in primates, but also opens the door to the application of these genetic markers outside the hominid lineage.

  17. First International Conference on the Evolution and Development of the Universe

    CERN Document Server

    EDU2008

    2009-01-01

    This document is the Special Issue of the First International Conference on the Evolution and Development (EDU 2008). Please refer to the preface and introduction for more details on the contributions. Keywords: acceleration, artificial cosmogenesis, artificial life, Big Bang, Big History, biological evolution, biological universe, biology, causality, classical vacuum energy, complex systems, complexity, computational universe, conscious evolution, cosmological artificial selection, cosmological natural selection, cosmology, critique, cultural evolution, dark energy, dark matter, development of the universe, development, emergence, evolution of the universe evolution, exobiology, extinction, fine-tuning, fractal space-time, fractal, information, initial conditions, intentional evolution, linear expansion of the universe, log-periodic laws, macroevolution, materialism, meduso-anthropic principle, multiple worlds, natural sciences, Nature, ontology, order, origin of the universe, particle hierarchy, philosophy,...

  18. [Classification of organisms and structuralism in biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'eva, L I

    2001-01-01

    Structuralism in biology is the oldest trend oriented to the search for natural "laws of forms" comparable with laws of growth of crystal, was revived at the end of 20th century on the basis of structuralist thought in socio-humanitarian sciences. The development of principal ideas of the linguistic structuralism in some aspects is similar to that of biological systematics, especially concerning the relationships between "system" and "evolution". However, apart from this general similarity, biological structuralism is strongly focused on familiar problems of the origin of diversity in nature. In their striving for the renovation of existing views, biological structuralists oppose the neo-darwinism emphasizing the existence of "law of forms", that are independent on heredity and genetic "determinism". The trend to develop so-called "rational taxonomy" is also characteristic of biological structuralism but this attempt failed being connected neither with Darwin's historicism nor with Plato's typology.

  19. Molecular biology: Self-sustaining chemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wrede Paul

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Molecular biology is an established interdisciplinary field within biology that deals fundamentally with the function of any nucleic acid in the cellular context. The molecular biology section in Chemistry Central Journal focusses on the genetically determined chemistry and biochemistry occuring in the cell. How can thousands of chemical reactions interact smoothly to maintain the life of cells, even in a variable environment? How is this self-sustaining system achieved? These are questions that should be answered in the light of molecular biology and evolution, but with the application of biophysical, physico-chemical, analytical and preparative technologies. As the Section Editor for the molecular biology section in Chemistry Central Journal, I hope to receive manuscripts that present new approaches aimed at better answering and shedding light upon these fascinating questions related to the chemistry of livings cells.

  20. Inlet Geomorphology Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-01

    APR 2015 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2015 to 00-00-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Inlet Geomorphology Evolution 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b...Std Z39-18 Coastal Inlets Research Program Inlet Geomorphology Evolution The Inlet Geomorphology Evolution work unit of the CIRP evaluates

  1. Cosmic evolution, life and man

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oro, J.

    1995-01-01

    Among the most basic problems confronting science are those regarding the origin of the universe, the origin of life and the origin of man. This general overview starts (1) with a brief introduction addressed primarily to the Cyril Ponnamperuma Memorial. Then, the thesis is presented that the appearance of life and intelligence on our planet can be understood as the result of a number of cosmic and biological evolutionary processes, including (2) the stellar thermonuclear synthesis of the biogenic elements other than hydrogen (C, N, O, P and S), their dispersal into space, and their combination into circumstellar and interstellar molecules. (3) The formation of the Solar System and the Earth-Moon System. (4) The role of comets and carbonaceous chondrites in contributing organic matter to the primitive Earth. (5) The prebiotics synthesis of amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, fatty acids, and other biochemical monomers. (6) The prebiotic condensation reactions leading to the synthesis of oligomers such as oligonucleotides and oligopeptides, with replicative and catalytic activities. (7) The synthesis of amphiphilic lipids, and their self-assembly into liposomes with bi-layered membranes. (8) The formation of protocellular structures. (9) The activation of protocells into a functioning Darwin's ancestral cell. (10) Early evolution of life. (11) The K-T boundary event and the disappearance of dinosaurs. (12) Evolution of hominids leading to Homo sapiens. (13) The rapid development of civilization. (14) The exploration of the Solar System. (15) Life beyond our planetary system. (16) Epilogue. Peace from cosmic evolution? (Abstract only)

  2. Cosmic evolution, life and man

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oro, J [Houston Univ., Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences

    1995-08-01

    Among the most basic problems confronting science are those regarding the origin of the universe, the origin of life and the origin of man. This general overview starts (1) with a brief introduction addressed primarily to the Cyril Ponnamperuma Memorial. Then, the thesis is presented that the appearance of life and intelligence on our planet can be understood as the result of a number of cosmic and biological evolutionary processes, including (2) the stellar thermonuclear synthesis of the biogenic elements other than hydrogen (C, N, O, P and S), their dispersal into space, and their combination into circumstellar and interstellar molecules. (3) The formation of the Solar System and the Earth-Moon System. (4) The role of comets and carbonaceous chondrites in contributing organic matter to the primitive Earth. (5) The prebiotics synthesis of amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, fatty acids, and other biochemical monomers. (6) The prebiotic condensation reactions leading to the synthesis of oligomers such as oligonucleotides and oligopeptides, with replicative and catalytic activities. (7) The synthesis of amphiphilic lipids, and their self-assembly into liposomes with bi-layered membranes. (8) The formation of protocellular structures. (9) The activation of protocells into a functioning Darwin`s ancestral cell. (10) Early evolution of life. (11) The K-T boundary event and the disappearance of dinosaurs. (12) Evolution of hominids leading to Homo sapiens. (13) The rapid development of civilization. (14) The exploration of the Solar System. (15) Life beyond our planetary system. (16) Epilogue. Peace from cosmic evolution? (Abstract only).

  3. The essential tension competition, cooperation and multilevel selection in evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Bahar, Sonya

    2018-01-01

    'The Essential Tension' explores how agents that naturally compete come to act together as a group. The author argues that the controversial concept of multilevel selection is essential to biological evolution, a proposition set to stimulate new debate. The idea of one collective unit emerging from the cooperative interactions of its constituent (and mutually competitive) parts has its roots in the ancient world. More recently, it has illuminated studies of animal behavior, and played a controversial role in evolutionary biology. In Part I, the author explores the historical development of the idea of a collectivity in biological systems, from early speculations on the sociology of human crowd behavior, through the mid-twentieth century debates over the role of group selection in evolution, to the notion of the selfish gene. Part II investigates the balance between competition and cooperation in a range of contemporary biological problems, from flocking and swarming to experimental evolution and the evolutio...

  4. Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Ellison, Peter T.; Flier, Jeffrey S.; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R.; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Perlman, Robert L.; Schwartz, Mark D.; Thomas, Mark G.; Stearns, Stephen C.; Valle, David

    2010-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease. PMID:19918069

  5. Stable States of Biological Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yukalov, V. I.; Sornette, D.; Yukalova, E. P.; Henry, J.-Y.; Cobb, J. P.

    2009-04-01

    A novel model of biological organisms is advanced, treating an organism as a self-consistent system subject to a pathogen flux. The principal novelty of the model is that it describes not some parts, but a biological organism as a whole. The organism is modeled by a five-dimensional dynamical system. The organism homeostasis is described by the evolution equations for five interacting components: healthy cells, ill cells, innate immune cells, specific immune cells, and pathogens. The stability analysis demonstrates that, in a wide domain of the parameter space, the system exhibits robust structural stability. There always exist four stable stationary solutions characterizing four qualitatively differing states of the organism: alive state, boundary state, critical state, and dead state.

  6. Biological Extinction in Earth History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, David M.

    1986-03-01

    Virtually all plant and animal species that have ever lived on the earth are extinct. For this reason alone, extinction must play an important role in the evolution of life. The five largest mass extinctions of the past 600 million years are of greatest interest, but there is also a spectrum of smaller events, many of which indicate biological systems in profound stress. Extinction may be episodic at all scales, with relatively long periods of stability alternating with short-lived extinction events. Most extinction episodes are biologically selective, and further analysis of the victims and survivors offers the greatest chance of deducing the proximal causes of extinction. A drop in sea level and climatic change are most frequently invoked to explain mass extinctions, but new theories of collisions with extraterrestrial bodies are gaining favor. Extinction may be constructive in a Darwinian sense or it may only perturb the system by eliminating those organisms that happen to be susceptible to geologically rare stresses.

  7. Biological extinction in earth history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, D. M.

    1986-01-01

    Virtually all plant and animal species that have ever lived on the earth are extinct. For this reason alone, extinction must play an important role in the evolution of life. The five largest mass extinctions of the past 600 million years are of greatest interest, but there is also a spectrum of smaller events, many of which indicate biological systems in profound stress. Extinction may be episodic at all scales, with relatively long periods of stability alternating with short-lived extinction events. Most extinction episodes are biologically selective, and further analysis of the victims and survivors offers the greatest chance of deducing the proximal causes of extinction. A drop in sea level and climatic change are most frequently invoked to explain mass extinctions, but new theories of collisions with extraterrestrial bodies are gaining favor. Extinction may be constructive in a Darwinian sense or it may only perturb the system by eliminating those organisms that happen to be susceptible to geologically rare stresses.

  8. Formal Definitions of Unbounded Evolution and Innovation Reveal Universal Mechanisms for Open-Ended Evolution in Dynamical Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Alyssa; Zenil, Hector; Davies, Paul C W; Walker, Sara Imari

    2017-04-20

    Open-ended evolution (OEE) is relevant to a variety of biological, artificial and technological systems, but has been challenging to reproduce in silico. Most theoretical efforts focus on key aspects of open-ended evolution as it appears in biology. We recast the problem as a more general one in dynamical systems theory, providing simple criteria for open-ended evolution based on two hallmark features: unbounded evolution and innovation. We define unbounded evolution as patterns that are non-repeating within the expected Poincare recurrence time of an isolated system, and innovation as trajectories not observed in isolated systems. As a case study, we implement novel variants of cellular automata (CA) where the update rules are allowed to vary with time in three alternative ways. Each is capable of generating conditions for open-ended evolution, but vary in their ability to do so. We find that state-dependent dynamics, regarded as a hallmark of life, statistically out-performs other candidate mechanisms, and is the only mechanism to produce open-ended evolution in a scalable manner, essential to the notion of ongoing evolution. This analysis suggests a new framework for unifying mechanisms for generating OEE with features distinctive to life and its artifacts, with broad applicability to biological and artificial systems.

  9. "Reinventing Life": Introductory Biology for a Rapidly Evolving World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Jeffrey Scott

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary concepts are essential for a scientific understanding of most issues surrounding modern medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, and the environment. If the mantra for biology education in the 20th century was, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," the mantra for the 21st century must be, "Nothing in biology…

  10. Adaptation hypothesis of biological efficiency of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kudritskij, Yu.K.; Georgievskij, A.B.; Karpov, V.I.

    1992-01-01

    Adaptation hypothesis of biological efficiency of ionizing radiation is based on acknowledgement of invariance of fundamental laws and principles of biology related to unity of biota and media, evolution and adaptation for radiobiology. The basic arguments for adaptation hypothesis validity, its correspondence to the requirements imposed on scientific hypothes are presented

  11. Science Ideals and Science Careers in a University Biology Department

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, David E.

    2014-01-01

    In an ethnographic study set within a biology department of a public university in the United States, incongruity between the ideals and practice of science education are investigated. Against the background of religious conservative students' complaints about evolution in the curriculum, biology faculty describe their political intents for…

  12. Teaching Evolution to Students with Compromised Backgrounds & Lack of Confidence about Evolution--Is It Possible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schauer, Alexandria; Cotner, Sehoya; Moore, Randy

    2014-01-01

    Students regard evolutionary theory differently than science in general. Students' reported confidence in their ability to understand science in general (e.g., posing scientific questions, interpreting tables and graphs, and understanding the content of their biology course) significantly outweighed their confidence in understanding evolution. We…

  13. Cultural evolution as a nonstationary stochastic process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nicholson, Arwen; Sibani, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    We present an individual based model of cultural evolution, where interacting agents are coded by binary strings standing for strategies for action, blueprints for products or attitudes and beliefs. The model is patterned on an established model of biological evolution, the Tangled Nature Model...... (TNM), where a “tangle” of interactions between agents determines their reproductive success. In addition, our agents also have the ability to copy part of each other's strategy, a feature inspired by the Axelrod model of cultural diversity. Unlike the latter, but similarly to the TNM, the model...

  14. The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) provides a community standard for communicating designs in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdzicki, Michal; Clancy, Kevin P; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Quinn, Jacqueline Y; Rodriguez, Cesar A; Roehner, Nicholas; Wilson, Mandy L; Adam, Laura; Anderson, J Christopher; Bartley, Bryan A; Beal, Jacob; Chandran, Deepak; Chen, Joanna; Densmore, Douglas; Endy, Drew; Grünberg, Raik; Hallinan, Jennifer; Hillson, Nathan J; Johnson, Jeffrey D; Kuchinsky, Allan; Lux, Matthew; Misirli, Goksel; Peccoud, Jean; Plahar, Hector A; Sirin, Evren; Stan, Guy-Bart; Villalobos, Alan; Wipat, Anil; Gennari, John H; Myers, Chris J; Sauro, Herbert M

    2014-06-01

    The re-use of previously validated designs is critical to the evolution of synthetic biology from a research discipline to an engineering practice. Here we describe the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), a proposed data standard for exchanging designs within the synthetic biology community. SBOL represents synthetic biology designs in a community-driven, formalized format for exchange between software tools, research groups and commercial service providers. The SBOL Developers Group has implemented SBOL as an XML/RDF serialization and provides software libraries and specification documentation to help developers implement SBOL in their own software. We describe early successes, including a demonstration of the utility of SBOL for information exchange between several different software tools and repositories from both academic and industrial partners. As a community-driven standard, SBOL will be updated as synthetic biology evolves to provide specific capabilities for different aspects of the synthetic biology workflow.

  15. Molecular biology of Homo sapiens: Abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Spring Harbor symposium on quantitative biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, J.D.; Siniscalco, M.

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Springs Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology. The topic for this meeting was the ''Molecular Biology of Homo sapiens.'' Sessions were entitled Human Gene Map, Human Cancer Genes, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, Drugs Made Off Human Genes, Receptors, and Gene Therapy. (DT)

  16. Molecular biology of Homo sapiens: Abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Spring Harbor symposium on quantitative biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watson, J.D.; Siniscalco, M.

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Springs Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology. The topic for this meeting was the ''Molecular Biology of Homo sapiens.'' Sessions were entitled Human Gene Map, Human Cancer Genes, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, Drugs Made Off Human Genes, Receptors, and Gene Therapy. (DT)

  17. Biological effects of radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-01-01

    This fourth chapter presents: cell structure and metabolism; radiation interaction with biological tissues; steps of the production of biological effect of radiation; radiosensitivity of tissues; classification of biological effects; reversibility, transmissivity and influence factors; pre-natal biological effects; biological effects in therapy and syndrome of acute irradiation

  18. Molecular biology of potyviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revers, Frédéric; García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Potyvirus is the largest genus of plant viruses causing significant losses in a wide range of crops. Potyviruses are aphid transmitted in a nonpersistent manner and some of them are also seed transmitted. As important pathogens, potyviruses are much more studied than other plant viruses belonging to other genera and their study covers many aspects of plant virology, such as functional characterization of viral proteins, molecular interaction with hosts and vectors, structure, taxonomy, evolution, epidemiology, and diagnosis. Biotechnological applications of potyviruses are also being explored. During this last decade, substantial advances have been made in the understanding of the molecular biology of these viruses and the functions of their various proteins. After a general presentation on the family Potyviridae and the potyviral proteins, we present an update of the knowledge on potyvirus multiplication, movement, and transmission and on potyvirus/plant compatible interactions including pathogenicity and symptom determinants. We end the review providing information on biotechnological applications of potyviruses. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Positioning genomics in biology education: content mapping of undergraduate biology textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernick, Naomi L B; Ndung'u, Eric; Haughton, Dominique; Ledley, Fred D

    2014-12-01

    Biological thought increasingly recognizes the centrality of the genome in constituting and regulating processes ranging from cellular systems to ecology and evolution. In this paper, we ask whether genomics is similarly positioned as a core concept in the instructional sequence for undergraduate biology. Using quantitative methods, we analyzed the order in which core biological concepts were introduced in textbooks for first-year general and human biology. Statistical analysis was performed using self-organizing map algorithms and conventional methods to identify clusters of terms and their relative position in the books. General biology textbooks for both majors and nonmajors introduced genome-related content after text related to cell biology and biological chemistry, but before content describing higher-order biological processes. However, human biology textbooks most often introduced genomic content near the end of the books. These results suggest that genomics is not yet positioned as a core concept in commonly used textbooks for first-year biology and raises questions about whether such textbooks, or courses based on the outline of these textbooks, provide an appropriate foundation for understanding contemporary biological science.

  20. Hominid evolution: genetics versus memetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Brandon

    2012-01-01

    The last few million years on planet Earth have witnessed two remarkable phases of hominid development, starting with a phase of biological evolution characterized by rather rapid increase of the size of the brain. This has been followed by a phase of even more rapid technological evolution and concomitant expansion of the size of the population that began when our own particular ‘sapiens’ species emerged, just a few hundred thousand years ago. The present investigation exploits the analogy between the neo-Darwinian genetic evolution mechanism governing the first phase, and the memetic evolution mechanism governing the second phase. From the outset of the latter until very recently - about the year 2000 - the growth of the global population N was roughly governed by an equation of the form dN/Ndt=N/T*, in which T* is a coefficient introduced (in 1960) by von Foerster, who evaluated it empirically as about 200 000 million years. It is shown here how the value of this hitherto mysterious timescale governing the memetic phase is explicable in terms of what happened in the preceding genetic phase. The outcome is that the order of magnitude of the Foerster timescale can be accounted for as the product of the relevant (human) generation timescale, about 20 years, with the number of bits of information in the genome, of the order of 10 000 million. Whereas the origin of our ‘homo’ genus may well have involved an evolutionary hard step, it transpires that the emergence of our particular ‘sapiens’ species was rather an automatic process.

  1. Computational Modeling of Biological Systems From Molecules to Pathways

    CERN Document Server

    2012-01-01

    Computational modeling is emerging as a powerful new approach for studying and manipulating biological systems. Many diverse methods have been developed to model, visualize, and rationally alter these systems at various length scales, from atomic resolution to the level of cellular pathways. Processes taking place at larger time and length scales, such as molecular evolution, have also greatly benefited from new breeds of computational approaches. Computational Modeling of Biological Systems: From Molecules to Pathways provides an overview of established computational methods for the modeling of biologically and medically relevant systems. It is suitable for researchers and professionals working in the fields of biophysics, computational biology, systems biology, and molecular medicine.

  2. Belief versus acceptance: why do people not believe in evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, James D

    2009-11-01

    Despite being an established and accepted scientific theory for 150 years, repeated public polls show that evolution is not believed by large numbers of people. This essay examines why people do not accept evolution and argues that its poor representation in some science textbooks allows misconceptions, established and reinforced in early childhood, to take hold. There is also a lack of up-to-date examples of evidence for evolution in school textbooks. Poor understanding by science graduates and teachers of the nature of science and incorrect definitions by them of key terminology, serve only to undermine efforts to improve public understanding of evolution. This paper has several recommendations, including the introduction of evolution to primary age children and a call to bring evolution back as the central tenet of biology.

  3. Since evolution forms the core of modern biology, teaching about ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 18; Issue 5. Grappling with 'Natural Selection' – Experiences of a Teacher. Abdul Jamil Urfi. Classroom Volume 18 Issue 5 May 2013 pp 468-474. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  4. Mathematical modeling of the evolution of a simple biological system

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Gonsalves, M.J.B.D.; Neetu, S.; Krishnan, K.P.; Attri, K.; LokaBharathi, P.A.

    be constructed to simulate the observed movement. The comparison between the observed data and the predictions based on the model then tell us how satisfactory the model is. In physical systems the model is usually based on fundamental principles of physics...

  5. Pre-Biological Evolution of Organic Matter in the Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, D. Z.

    2017-05-01

    Discovery of interstellar molecules has become one of the most prominent findings of 20th century. Initially (since late 1930-ies) only simple two-atom compounds have been known. However, the rapid development of radioastronomy during post-war years has allowed expanding this list significantly. Now, the number of known interstellar and circumstellar molecules approaches two hundred (not counting isomers and isotopologues). Among them we see both simple and quite complex molecules. The largest molecules with solid identification consist of 12 atoms (CH3OC2H5, C3H7CN). Nearly all molecules with more than five atoms represent are organic. More than once even discovery of the simplest amino acid (glycine) in the interstellar medium had been reported. While later all these reports has been refuted, there is no doubt that this is a purely technical problem, and there are no fundamental obstacles on a pathway to interstellar synthesis of simplest amino acids. Definitely, even more complex organic structures are present in the interstellar medium, like fullerenes and some kind of aromatic particles. Recently, this diversity quite often became an incentive to suggest that organic species might have arrived to Earth (and other forming planets) in a "ready-to-use" form. However, one has to remember that numerous factors causing effective molecule destruction are in action in the interstellar medium, in the vicinity of young stars, and in protoplanetary disks.

  6. Inferring biological evolution from fracture patterns in teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawn, Brian R; Bush, Mark B; Barani, Amir; Constantino, Paul J; Wroe, Stephen

    2013-12-07

    It is hypothesised that specific tooth forms are adapted to resist fracture, in order to accommodate the high bite forces needed to secure, break down and consume food. Three distinct modes of tooth fracture are identified: longitudinal fracture, where cracks run vertically between the occlusal contact and the crown margin (or vice versa) within the enamel side wall; chipping fracture, where cracks run from near the edge of the occlusal surface to form a spall in the enamel at the side wall; and transverse fracture, where a crack runs horizontally through the entire section of the tooth to break off a fragment and expose the inner pulp. Explicit equations are presented expressing critical bite force for each fracture mode in terms of characteristic tooth dimensions. Distinctive transitions between modes occur depending on tooth form and size, and loading location and direction. Attention is focussed on the relatively flat, low-crowned molars of omnivorous mammals, including humans and other hominins and the elongate canines of living carnivores. At the same time, allusion to other tooth forms - the canines of the extinct sabre-tooth (Smilodon fatalis), the conical dentition of reptiles, and the columnar teeth of herbivores - is made to highlight the generality of the methodology. How these considerations impact on dietary behaviour in fossil and living taxa is discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Biology and evolution of the endogenous koala retrovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarlinton, R; Meers, J; Young, P

    2008-11-01

    Although endogenous retroviruses are ubiquitous features of all mammalian genomes, the process of initial germ line invasion and subsequent inactivation from a pathogenic element has not yet been observed in a wild species. Koala retrovirus (KoRV) provides a unique opportunity to study this process of endogenisation in action as it still appears to be spreading through the koala population. Ongoing expression of the endogenous sequence and consequent high levels of viraemia have been linked to neoplasia and immunosuppression in koalas. This apparently recent invader of the koala genome shares a remarkably close sequence relationship with the pathogenic exogenous Gibbon ape leukaemia virus (GALV), and comparative analyses of KoRV and GALVare helping to shed light on how retroviruses in general adapt to a relatively benign or at least less pathogenic existence within a new host genome. (Part of a multi-author review).

  8. On the interplay between mathematics and biology: hallmarks toward a new systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellomo, Nicola; Elaiw, Ahmed; Althiabi, Abdullah M; Alghamdi, Mohammed Ali

    2015-03-01

    This paper proposes a critical analysis of the existing literature on mathematical tools developed toward systems biology approaches and, out of this overview, develops a new approach whose main features can be briefly summarized as follows: derivation of mathematical structures suitable to capture the complexity of biological, hence living, systems, modeling, by appropriate mathematical tools, Darwinian type dynamics, namely mutations followed by selection and evolution. Moreover, multiscale methods to move from genes to cells, and from cells to tissue are analyzed in view of a new systems biology approach. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Robert Lynn

    1997-04-01

    This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.

  10. [Mobile genetic elements in plant sex evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerashchenkov, G A; Rozhnova, N A

    2010-11-01

    The most significant theories of the appearance and maintenance of sex are presented. However, in the overwhelming majority of existing theories, the problem of sex, which is the central problem of evolutionary biology, is considered primarily through the prism of reproductive features of living organisms, whereas the issue of molecular driving forces of sexual reproduction id restricted to the possible role of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in the appearance of sexual reproduction. The structural and functional significance of MGEs in the genomic organization of plants is illustrated. It is shown that MGEs could act as important molecular drivers of sex evolution in plants. The involvement of MGEs in the formation of sex chromosomes and possible participation in seeds-without-sex reproduction (apomixis) is discussed. Thus, the hypothesis on the active MGE participation in sex evolution is in good agreement with the modern views on pathways and directions of sex evolution in plants.

  11. Multicolour Observations, Inhomogeneity & Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hellaby, Charles

    2000-01-01

    We propose a method of testing source evolution theories that is independent of the effects of inhomogeneity, and thus complementary to other studies of evolution. It is suitable for large scale sky surveys, and the new generation of large telescopes. In an earlier paper it was shown that basic cosmological observations - luminosity versus redshift, area distance versus redshift and number counts versus redshift - cannot separate the effects of cosmic inhomogeneity, cosmic evolution and sourc...

  12. Oxygen evolution reaction catalysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haber, Joel A.; Jin, Jian; Xiang, Chengxiang; Gregoire, John M.; Jones, Ryan J.; Guevarra, Dan W.; Shinde, Aniketa A.

    2016-09-06

    An Oxygen Evolution Reaction (OER) catalyst includes a metal oxide that includes oxygen, cerium, and one or more second metals. In some instances, the cerium is 10 to 80 molar % of the metals in the metal oxide and/or the catalyst includes two or more second metals. The OER catalyst can be included in or on an electrode. The electrode can be arranged in an oxygen evolution system such that the Oxygen Evolution Reaction occurs at the electrode.

  13. Stellar structure and evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kippernhahn, R.; Weigert, A.

    1990-01-01

    This book introduces the theory of the internal structure of stars and their evolution in time. It presents the basic physics of stellar interiors, methods for solving the underlying equations, and the most important results necessary for understanding the wide variety of stellar types and phenomena. The evolution of stars is discussed from their birth through normal evolution to possibly spectacular final stages. Chapters on stellar oscillations and rotation are included

  14. Inequity aversion and the evolution of cooperation

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Asrar; Karlapalem, Kamalakar

    2014-01-01

    Evolution of cooperation is a widely studied problem in biology, social science, economics, and artificial intelligence. Most of the existing approaches that explain cooperation rely on some notion of direct or indirect reciprocity. These reciprocity based models assume agents recognize their partner and know their previous interactions, which requires advanced cognitive abilities. In this paper we are interested in developing a model that produces cooperation without requiring any explicit m...

  15. Pax genes in eye development and evolution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 4 (2005), s. 430-438 ISSN 0959-437X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 1M0520; GA ČR(CZ) GA204/04/1358 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5052915 Keywords : paxpax * eye development * evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 9.361, year: 2005

  16. Synthetic biology platform technologies for antimicrobial applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braff, Dana; Shis, David; Collins, James J

    2016-10-01

    The growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance calls for new approaches in the development of antimicrobial therapeutics. Likewise, improved diagnostic measures are essential in guiding the application of targeted therapies and preventing the evolution of therapeutic resistance. Discovery platforms are also needed to form new treatment strategies and identify novel antimicrobial agents. By applying engineering principles to molecular biology, synthetic biologists have developed platforms that improve upon, supplement, and will perhaps supplant traditional broad-spectrum antibiotics. Efforts in engineering bacteriophages and synthetic probiotics demonstrate targeted antimicrobial approaches that can be fine-tuned using synthetic biology-derived principles. Further, the development of paper-based, cell-free expression systems holds promise in promoting the clinical translation of molecular biology tools for diagnostic purposes. In this review, we highlight emerging synthetic biology platform technologies that are geared toward the generation of new antimicrobial therapies, diagnostics, and discovery channels. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Are there laws of genome evolution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V Koonin

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Research in quantitative evolutionary genomics and systems biology led to the discovery of several universal regularities connecting genomic and molecular phenomic variables. These universals include the log-normal distribution of the evolutionary rates of orthologous genes; the power law-like distributions of paralogous family size and node degree in various biological networks; the negative correlation between a gene's sequence evolution rate and expression level; and differential scaling of functional classes of genes with genome size. The universals of genome evolution can be accounted for by simple mathematical models similar to those used in statistical physics, such as the birth-death-innovation model. These models do not explicitly incorporate selection; therefore, the observed universal regularities do not appear to be shaped by selection but rather are emergent properties of gene ensembles. Although a complete physical theory of evolutionary biology is inconceivable, the universals of genome evolution might qualify as "laws of evolutionary genomics" in the same sense "law" is understood in modern physics.

  18. Early Microbial Evolution: The Age of Anaerobes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, William F; Sousa, Filipa L

    2015-12-18

    In this article, the term "early microbial evolution" refers to the phase of biological history from the emergence of life to the diversification of the first microbial lineages. In the modern era (since we knew about archaea), three debates have emerged on the subject that deserve discussion: (1) thermophilic origins versus mesophilic origins, (2) autotrophic origins versus heterotrophic origins, and (3) how do eukaryotes figure into early evolution. Here, we revisit those debates from the standpoint of newer data. We also consider the perhaps more pressing issue that molecular phylogenies need to recover anaerobic lineages at the base of prokaryotic trees, because O2 is a product of biological evolution; hence, the first microbes had to be anaerobes. If molecular phylogenies do not recover anaerobes basal, something is wrong. Among the anaerobes, hydrogen-dependent autotrophs--acetogens and methanogens--look like good candidates for the ancestral state of physiology in the bacteria and archaea, respectively. New trees tend to indicate that eukaryote cytosolic ribosomes branch within their archaeal homologs, not as sisters to them and, furthermore tend to root archaea within the methanogens. These are major changes in the tree of life, and open up new avenues of thought. Geochemical methane synthesis occurs as a spontaneous, abiotic exergonic reaction at hydrothermal vents. The overall similarity between that reaction and biological methanogenesis fits well with the concept of a methanogenic root for archaea and an autotrophic origin of microbial physiology. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  19. Uniparental Inheritance Promotes Adaptive Evolution in Cytoplasmic Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, Joshua R; Beekman, Madeleine

    2017-03-01

    Eukaryotes carry numerous asexual cytoplasmic genomes (mitochondria and plastids). Lacking recombination, asexual genomes should theoretically suffer from impaired adaptive evolution. Yet, empirical evidence indicates that cytoplasmic genomes experience higher levels of adaptive evolution than predicted by theory. In this study, we use a computational model to show that the unique biology of cytoplasmic genomes-specifically their organization into host cells and their uniparental (maternal) inheritance-enable them to undergo effective adaptive evolution. Uniparental inheritance of cytoplasmic genomes decreases competition between different beneficial substitutions (clonal interference), promoting the accumulation of beneficial substitutions. Uniparental inheritance also facilitates selection against deleterious cytoplasmic substitutions, slowing Muller's ratchet. In addition, uniparental inheritance generally reduces genetic hitchhiking of deleterious substitutions during selective sweeps. Overall, uniparental inheritance promotes adaptive evolution by increasing the level of beneficial substitutions relative to deleterious substitutions. When we assume that cytoplasmic genome inheritance is biparental, decreasing the number of genomes transmitted during gametogenesis (bottleneck) aids adaptive evolution. Nevertheless, adaptive evolution is always more efficient when inheritance is uniparental. Our findings explain empirical observations that cytoplasmic genomes-despite their asexual mode of reproduction-can readily undergo adaptive evolution. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  20. The evolution of individuality revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radzvilavicius, Arunas L; Blackstone, Neil W

    2018-03-25

    Evolutionary theory is formulated in terms of individuals that carry heritable information and are subject to selective pressures. However, individuality itself is a trait that had to evolve - an individual is not an indivisible entity, but a result of evolutionary processes that necessarily begin at the lower level of hierarchical organisation. Traditional approaches to biological individuality focus on cooperation and relatedness within a group, division of labour, policing mechanisms and strong selection at the higher level. Nevertheless, despite considerable theoretical progress in these areas, a full dynamical first-principles account of how new types of individuals arise is missing. To the extent that individuality is an emergent trait, the problem can be approached by recognising the importance of individuating mechanisms that are present from the very beginning of the transition, when only lower-level selection is acting. Here we review some of the most influential theoretical work on the role of individuating mechanisms in these transitions, and demonstrate how a lower-level, bottom-up evolutionary framework can be used to understand biological complexity involved in the origin of cellular life, early eukaryotic evolution, sexual life cycles and multicellular development. Some of these mechanisms inevitably stem from environmental constraints, population structure and ancestral life cycles. Others are unique to specific transitions - features of the natural history and biochemistry that are co-opted into conflict mediation. Identifying mechanisms of individuation that provide a coarse-grained description of the system's evolutionary dynamics is an important step towards understanding how biological complexity and hierarchical organisation evolves. In this way, individuality can be reconceptualised as an approximate model that with varying degrees of precision applies to a wide range of biological systems. © 2018 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  1. A first attempt to bring computational biology into advanced high school biology classrooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Suzanne Renick; Coon, William; Donley, Kristin; Scott, Abby; Goldberg, Debra S

    2011-10-01

    Computer science has become ubiquitous in many areas of biological research, yet most high school and even college students are unaware of this. As a result, many college biology majors graduate without adequate computational skills for contemporary fields of biology. The absence of a computational element in secondary school biology classrooms is of growing concern to the computational biology community and biology teachers who would like to acquaint their students with updated approaches in the discipline. We present a first attempt to correct this absence by introducing a computational biology element to teach genetic evolution into advanced biology classes in two local high schools. Our primary goal was to show students how computation is used in biology and why a basic understanding of computation is necessary for research in many fields of biology. This curriculum is intended to be taught by a computational biologist who has worked with a high school advanced biology teacher to adapt the unit for his/her classroom, but a motivated high school teacher comfortable with mathematics and computing may be able to teach this alone. In this paper, we present our curriculum, which takes into consideration the constraints of the required curriculum, and discuss our experiences teaching it. We describe the successes and challenges we encountered while bringing this unit to high school students, discuss how we addressed these challenges, and make suggestions for future versions of this curriculum.We believe that our curriculum can be a valuable seed for further development of computational activities aimed at high school biology students. Further, our experiences may be of value to others teaching computational biology at this level. Our curriculum can be obtained at http://ecsite.cs.colorado.edu/?page_id=149#biology or by contacting the authors.

  2. Dyneins: structure, biology and disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Stephen M

    2012-01-01

    .... From bench to bedside, Dynein: Structure, Biology and Disease offers research on fundamental cellular processes to researchers and clinicians across developmental biology, cell biology, molecular biology, biophysics, biomedicine...

  3. Biological conversion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, C.D.

    A system for bioconversion of organic material comprises a primary bioreactor column wherein a biological active agent (zymomonas mobilis) converts the organic material (sugar) to a product (alcohol), a rejuvenator column wherein the biological activity of said biological active agent is enhanced, and means for circulating said biological active agent between said primary bioreactor column and said rejuvenator column.

  4. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2014-05-01

    Typically, findings from cell biology have been beneficial for preventing human disease. However, translational applications from cell biology can also be applied to conservation efforts, such as protecting coral reefs. Recent efforts to understand the cell biological mechanisms maintaining coral health such as innate immunity and acclimatization have prompted new developments in conservation. Similar to biomedicine, we urge that future efforts should focus on better frameworks for biomarker development to protect coral reefs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Raman spectroscopy as a tool for ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germond, Arno; Kumar, Vipin; Ichimura, Taro; Moreau, Jerome; Furusawa, Chikara; Fujita, Hideaki; Watanabe, Tomonobu M

    2017-06-01

    Scientists are always on the lookout for new modalities of information which could reveal new biological features that are useful for deciphering the complexity of biological systems. Here, we introduce Raman spectroscopy as a prime candidate for ecology and evolution. To encourage the integration of this microscopy technique in the field of ecology and evolution, it is crucial to discuss first how Raman spectroscopy fits within the conceptual, technical and pragmatic considerations of ecology and evolution. In this paper, we show that the spectral information holds reliable indicators of intra- and interspecies variations, which can be related to the environment, selective pressures and fitness. Moreover, we show how the technical and pragmatic aspects of this modality (non-destructive, non-labelling, speed, relative low cost, etc.) enable it to be combined with more conventional methodologies. With this paper, we hope to open new avenues of research and extend the scope of available methodologies used in ecology and evolution. © 2017 The Authors.

  6. Structural Approaches to Sequence Evolution Molecules, Networks, Populations

    CERN Document Server

    Bastolla, Ugo; Roman, H. Eduardo; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2007-01-01

    Structural requirements constrain the evolution of biological entities at all levels, from macromolecules to their networks, right up to populations of biological organisms. Classical models of molecular evolution, however, are focused at the level of the symbols - the biological sequence - rather than that of their resulting structure. Now recent advances in understanding the thermodynamics of macromolecules, the topological properties of gene networks, the organization and mutation capabilities of genomes, and the structure of populations make it possible to incorporate these key elements into a broader and deeply interdisciplinary view of molecular evolution. This book gives an account of such a new approach, through clear tutorial contributions by leading scientists specializing in the different fields involved.

  7. Measurement Frontiers in Molecular Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laderman, Stephen

    2009-03-01

    Developments of molecular measurements and manipulations have long enabled forefront research in evolution, genetics, biological development and its dysfunction, and the impact of external factors on the behavior of cells. Measurement remains at the heart of exciting and challenging basic and applied problems in molecular and cell biology. Methods to precisely determine the identity and abundance of particular molecules amongst a complex mixture of similar and dissimilar types require the successful design and integration of multiple steps involving biochemical manipulations, separations, physical probing, and data processing. Accordingly, today's most powerful methods for characterizing life at the molecular level depend on coordinated advances in applied physics, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, and engineering. This is well illustrated by recent approaches to the measurement of DNA, RNA, proteins, and intact cells. Such successes underlie well founded visions of how molecular biology can further assist in answering compelling scientific questions and in enabling the development of remarkable advances in human health. These visions, in turn, are motivating the interdisciplinary creation of even more comprehensive measurements. As a further and closely related consequence, they are motivating innovations in the conceptual and practical approaches to organizing and visualizing large, complex sets of interrelated experimental results and distilling from those data compelling, informative conclusions.

  8. Computational Systems Chemical Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Oprea, Tudor I.; May, Elebeoba E.; Leitão, Andrei; Tropsha, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology, SCB (Oprea et al., 2007).

  9. Evolution of Constructivism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chu Chih; Chen, I Ju

    2010-01-01

    The contrast between social constructivism and cognitive constructivism are depicted in different ways in many studies. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the evolution of constructivism and put a focus on social constructivism from the perception of Vygotsky. This study provides a general idea of the evolution of constructivism for people…

  10. Evolution: Theory or Dogma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, William V.

    In this paper the author examines the question of whether evolution is a theory or a dogma. He refutes the contention that there is a monolithic scientific conspiracy to present evolution as dogma and suggests that his own presentation might be more appropriately entitled "Creationism: Theory or Dogma." (PEB)

  11. Kognition, evolution og Bibel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Hans Jørgen Lundager

    2012-01-01

    En opfordring til, at Bibelvidneskaberne oprienterer sig i retning af aktuelle teorier om bio-kulturel evolution (Merlin Donald, aksetids-teori hos fx Robert Bellah)......En opfordring til, at Bibelvidneskaberne oprienterer sig i retning af aktuelle teorier om bio-kulturel evolution (Merlin Donald, aksetids-teori hos fx Robert Bellah)...

  12. Evolution for Young Victorians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lightman, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    Evolution was a difficult topic to tackle when writing books for the young in the wake of the controversies over Darwin's "Origin of Species." Authors who wrote about evolution for the young experimented with different ways of making the complex concepts of evolutionary theory accessible and less controversial. Many authors depicted presented…

  13. Hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subbaraman, Ram; Stamenkovic, Vojislav; Markovic, Nenad; Tripkovic, Dusan

    2016-02-09

    Systems and methods for a hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst are provided. Electrode material includes a plurality of clusters. The electrode exhibits bifunctionality with respect to the hydrogen evolution reaction. The electrode with clusters exhibits improved performance with respect to the intrinsic material of the electrode absent the clusters.

  14. 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…

  15. Distinctively human motivation and another view on human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Prudkov, Pavel N.

    2006-01-01

    Human evolution is a multidisciplinary problem, one of its aspects is the origin and development of distinctively human psychological features. Cognitive properties (language, symbolic thinking) are considered as such features and numerous authors hypothesize its evolution. We suggest that the most important human characteristic is connected with motivation rather than cognition; this is the ability to construct and maintain long-term goal-directed processes having no biological basis. Once...

  16. A view of evolution by a Christian biologist

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth Jordaan; G. C. Loots

    1984-01-01

    This paper, which originated as an address to a gathering of Dutch Reformed Ministers in Potchefstroom, deals with the response of a Christian to concepts of evolution. The paper looks at the concept of “the beginning”, the origin of life , genetics, mutation and natural selection, the origin of diversity or speciation, man as a biological species, the missing link (in which attention is given to various theories), and finally theories of human evolution. These include the neoteny theory, the...

  17. The mystery of language evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc D Hauser

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved. We show that, to date, 1 studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity; 2 the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved; 3 our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon; 4 all modeling attempts have made unfounded assumptions, and have provided no empirical tests, thus leaving any insights into language’s origins unverifiable. Based on the current state of evidence, we submit that the most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever, with considerable uncertainty about the discovery of either relevant or conclusive evidence that can adjudicate among the many open hypotheses. We conclude by presenting some suggestions about possible paths forward.

  18. The mystery of language evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Marc D.; Yang, Charles; Berwick, Robert C.; Tattersall, Ian; Ryan, Michael J.; Watumull, Jeffrey; Chomsky, Noam; Lewontin, Richard C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved. We show that, to date, (1) studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity; (2) the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved; (3) our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon; (4) all modeling attempts have made unfounded assumptions, and have provided no empirical tests, thus leaving any insights into language's origins unverifiable. Based on the current state of evidence, we submit that the most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever, with considerable uncertainty about the discovery of either relevant or conclusive evidence that can adjudicate among the many open hypotheses. We conclude by presenting some suggestions about possible paths forward. PMID:24847300

  19. The mystery of language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Marc D; Yang, Charles; Berwick, Robert C; Tattersall, Ian; Ryan, Michael J; Watumull, Jeffrey; Chomsky, Noam; Lewontin, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved. We show that, to date, (1) studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity; (2) the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved; (3) our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon; (4) all modeling attempts have made unfounded assumptions, and have provided no empirical tests, thus leaving any insights into language's origins unverifiable. Based on the current state of evidence, we submit that the most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever, with considerable uncertainty about the discovery of either relevant or conclusive evidence that can adjudicate among the many open hypotheses. We conclude by presenting some suggestions about possible paths forward.

  20. Evolution of complex dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilds, Roy; Kauffman, Stuart A.; Glass, Leon

    2008-09-01

    We study the evolution of complex dynamics in a model of a genetic regulatory network. The fitness is associated with the topological entropy in a class of piecewise linear equations, and the mutations are associated with changes in the logical structure of the network. We compare hill climbing evolution, in which only mutations that increase the fitness are allowed, with neutral evolution, in which mutations that leave the fitness unchanged are allowed. The simple structure of the fitness landscape enables us to estimate analytically the rates of hill climbing and neutral evolution. In this model, allowing neutral mutations accelerates the rate of evolutionary advancement for low mutation frequencies. These results are applicable to evolution in natural and technological systems.

  1. Chemical evolution of galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Matteucci, Francesca

    2012-01-01

    The term “chemical evolution of galaxies” refers to the evolution of abundances of chemical species in galaxies, which is due to nuclear processes occurring in stars and to gas flows into and out of galaxies. This book deals with the chemical evolution of galaxies of all morphological types (ellipticals, spirals and irregulars) and stresses the importance of the star formation histories in determining the properties of stellar populations in different galaxies. The topic is approached in a didactical and logical manner via galaxy evolution models which are compared with observational results obtained in the last two decades: The reader is given an introduction to the concept of chemical abundances and learns about the main stellar populations in our Galaxy as well as about the classification of galaxy types and their main observables. In the core of the book, the construction and solution of chemical evolution models are discussed in detail, followed by descriptions and interpretations of observations of ...

  2. A Topical Trajectory on Survival: An Analysis of Link-Making in a Sequence of Lessons on Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocksén, Miranda; Olander, Clas

    2017-01-01

    This study explores the concept of link-making in relation to communicative strategies applied in the teaching and studying of biological evolution. The analysis focused on video recordings of 11 lessons on biological evolution conducted in a Swedish 9th grade class of students aged 15 years. It reveals how the teacher and students connected…

  3. Culture shapes the evolution of cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Bill; Kirby, Simon; Smith, Kenny

    2016-04-19

    A central debate in cognitive science concerns the nativist hypothesis, the proposal that universal features of behavior reflect a biologically determined cognitive substrate: For example, linguistic nativism proposes a domain-specific faculty of language that strongly constrains which languages can be learned. An evolutionary stance appears to provide support for linguistic nativism, because coordinated constraints on variation may facilitate communication and therefore be adaptive. However, language, like many other human behaviors, is underpinned by social learning and cultural transmission alongside biological evolution. We set out two models of these interactions, which show how culture can facilitate rapid biological adaptation yet rule out strong nativization. The amplifying effects of culture can allow weak cognitive biases to have significant population-level consequences, radically increasing the evolvability of weak, defeasible inductive biases; however, the emergence of a strong cultural universal does not imply, nor lead to, nor require, strong innate constraints. From this we must conclude, on evolutionary grounds, that the strong nativist hypothesis for language is false. More generally, because such reciprocal interactions between cultural and biological evolution are not limited to language, nativist explanations for many behaviors should be reconsidered: Evolutionary reasoning shows how we can have cognitively driven behavioral universals and yet extreme plasticity at the level of the individual-if, and only if, we account for the human capacity to transmit knowledge culturally. Wherever culture is involved, weak cognitive biases rather than strong innate constraints should be the default assumption.

  4. Evolution viewed from physics, physiology and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Denis

    2017-10-06

    Stochasticity is harnessed by organisms to generate functionality. Randomness does not, therefore, necessarily imply lack of function or 'blind chance' at higher levels. In this respect, biology must resemble physics in generating order from disorder. This fact is contrary to Schrödinger's idea of biology generating phenotypic order from molecular- level order, which inspired the central dogma of molecular biology. The order originates at higher levels, which constrain the components at lower levels. We now know that this includes the genome, which is controlled by patterns of transcription factors and various epigenetic and reorganization mechanisms. These processes can occur in response to environmental stress, so that the genome becomes 'a highly sensitive organ of the cell' (McClintock). Organisms have evolved to be able to cope with many variations at the molecular level. Organisms also make use of physical processes in evolution and development when it is possible to arrive at functional development without the necessity to store all information in DNA sequences. This view of development and evolution differs radically from that of neo-Darwinism with its emphasis on blind chance as the origin of variation. Blind chance is necessary, but the origin of functional variation is not at the molecular level. These observations derive from and reinforce the principle of biological relativity, which holds that there is no privileged level of causation. They also have important implications for medical science.

  5. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-08-05

    Humans are animals that specialize in thinking and knowing, and our extraordinary cognitive abilities have transformed every aspect of our lives. In contrast to our chimpanzee cousins and Stone Age ancestors, we are complex political, economic, scientific and artistic creatures, living in a vast range of habitats, many of which are our own creation. Research on the evolution of human cognition asks what types of thinking make us such peculiar animals, and how they have been generated by evolutionary processes. New research in this field looks deeper into the evolutionary history of human cognition, and adopts a more multi-disciplinary approach than earlier 'Evolutionary Psychology'. It is informed by comparisons between humans and a range of primate and non-primate species, and integrates findings from anthropology, archaeology, economics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology. Using these methods, recent research reveals profound commonalities, as well striking differences, between human and non-human minds, and suggests that the evolution of human cognition has been much more gradual and incremental than previously assumed. It accords crucial roles to cultural evolution, techno-social co-evolution and gene-culture co-evolution. These have produced domain-general developmental processes with extraordinary power-power that makes human cognition, and human lives, unique.

  6. Quantum evolution life in the multiverse

    CERN Document Server

    McFadden, Johnjoe

    2000-01-01

    Quantum Evolution presents a revolutionary new scientific theory by asking: is there a force of will behind evolution? In his astonishing first book, Johnjoe McFadden shows that there is. 'McFadden's bold hypothesis that quantum physics plays a key role in the origin and evolution of life looks increasingly plausible. The weird behaviour of matter and information at the quantum level could be just what is needed to explain life's astonishing properties. If these ideas are right, they will transform our understanding of the relationship between physics and biology.' PAUL DAVIES In this brilliant debut, Johnjoe McFadden puts forward a theory of quantum evolution. He shows how living organisms have the ability to will themselves into action. Indeed, such an ability may be life's most fundamental attribute. This has radical implications. Evolution may not be random at all, as recent evolutionary theories have taught: rather, cells may, in certain circumstances, be able to choose to mutate particular genes that pr...

  7. Rotating biological contactors: the Canadian experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cuenca, Manuel A. [Ryerson Polytechnical Univ., Toronto, ON (Canada). Chemical Engineering Dept.; Smith, Tom [CMS Rotordisk Inc., Concord, ON (Canada); Vianna, Arlinda C. [Servico Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI), Salvador, BA (Brazil)

    1993-12-31

    In fifteen years, Rotating Biological Contactors (RBC) have become one of the most attractive technologies for secondary wastewater treatment. The present work is a review of the evolution of RBC technology in the last twenty years. In addition, the status of the technology in Canada is described, emphasizing industrial facilities and landfill leachate treatment. An enumeration of the most relevant development areas is included. (author). 34 refs., 3 figs., 7 tabs.

  8. Rotating biological contactors: the Canadian experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cuenca, Manuel A [Ryerson Polytechnical Univ., Toronto, ON (Canada). Chemical Engineering Dept.; Smith, Tom [CMS Rotordisk Inc., Concord, ON (Canada); Vianna, Arlinda C [Servico Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI), Salvador, BA (Brazil)

    1994-12-31

    In fifteen years, Rotating Biological Contactors (RBC) have become one of the most attractive technologies for secondary wastewater treatment. The present work is a review of the evolution of RBC technology in the last twenty years. In addition, the status of the technology in Canada is described, emphasizing industrial facilities and landfill leachate treatment. An enumeration of the most relevant development areas is included. (author). 34 refs., 3 figs., 7 tabs.

  9. Models for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N

    2007-11-06

    Synthetic biological engineering is emerging from biology as a distinct discipline based on quantification. The technologies propelling synthetic biology are not new, nor is the concept of designing novel biological molecules. What is new is the emphasis on system behavior. The objective is the design and construction of new biological devices and systems to deliver useful applications. Numerous synthetic gene circuits have been created in the past decade, including bistable switches, oscillators, and logic gates, and possible applications abound, including biofuels, detectors for biochemical and chemical weapons, disease diagnosis, and gene therapies. More than fifty years after the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, molecular biology is mature enough for real quantification that is useful for biological engineering applications, similar to the revolution in modeling in chemistry in the 1950s. With the excitement that synthetic biology is generating, the engineering and biological science communities appear remarkably willing to cross disciplinary boundaries toward a common goal.

  10. Evolution and Engineering in Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wendel, Sofie

    Synthetic biology (synbio) is a chance for our societies to advance from oil-­‐‑dependent to bio-­‐‑based production, with the help of microbes. The two pillars of synbio are fundamental biological knowledge and applied engineering. In the present thesis, these two aspects of synbio are explored......, and their connections described. First,the different definitions and features of synbio are covered, after which two individual research projects are reported.Evolution is the basis for all life on Earth, and we are constantly learning more about its mechanisms. This thesis describes important elements of evolutionary...... projects presented also illustrate how every synbio venture contains features of fundamental as well as applied science. With fundamental studies inspiring new engineering efforts, and application development enabling further study of basic biology, it is clear how synbio is created in the overlap between...

  11. A Mixed Exam Format Closes the Gap for Students with a Conflict between Their Religious Belief & the Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F.; Wenner, Julianne A.

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the performance of students with a self-reported conflict between their religious belief and the theory of evolution in two sections of a large introductory biology course (N = 373 students). Student performance was measured through pretest and posttest evolution essays and multiple- choice (MC) questions (evolution-related and…

  12. Evolution of density-dependent movement during experimental range expansions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fronhofer, E A; Gut, S; Altermatt, F

    2017-12-01

    Range expansions and biological invasions are prime examples of transient processes that are likely impacted by rapid evolutionary changes. As a spatial process, range expansions are driven by dispersal and movement behaviour. Although it is widely accepted that dispersal and movement may be context-dependent, for instance density-dependent, and best represented by reaction norms, the evolution of density-dependent movement during range expansions has received little experimental attention. We therefore tested current theory predicting the evolution of increased movement at low densities at range margins using highly replicated and controlled range expansion experiments across multiple genotypes of the protist model system Tetrahymena thermophila. Although rare, we found evolutionary changes during range expansions even in the absence of initial standing genetic variation. Range expansions led to the evolution of negatively density-dependent movement at range margins. In addition, we report the evolution of increased intrastrain competitive ability and concurrently decreased population growth rates in range cores. Our findings highlight the importance of understanding movement and dispersal as evolving reaction norms and plastic life-history traits of central relevance for range expansions, biological invasions and the dynamics of spatially structured systems in general. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  13. The Effect of Contextual Material on Evolution in the Jordanian Secondary-School Curriculum on Students' Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Baz, Theodora; El-Weher, Mahmoud

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to detect the extent to which contextual material of a unit on "The origin and evolution of living organisms" included in the high-school biology curriculum in Jordan affected students' acceptance of the theory of evolution. The participants of this study consisted of 107 tenth-grade students randomly drawn…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-06-01

    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 derive from the intuitiveness of alternative theories. The main emotional obstacles to accepting evolution are its apparent conflict with valued beliefs about God, souls, and morality. We draw on the philosophy of science and on a psychological theory of cognitive and emotional belief revision to make suggestions about what can be done to improve acceptance of Darwinian ideas.

  15. 2007 Microbial Population Biology (July 22-26, 2007)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anthony M. Dean

    2008-04-01

    Microbial Population Biology covers a diverse range of cutting edge issues in the microbial sciences and beyond. Firmly founded in evolutionary biology and with a strongly integrative approach, past meetings have covered topics ranging from the dynamics and genetics of adaptation to the evolution of mutation rate, community ecology, evolutionary genomics, altruism, and epidemiology. This meeting is never dull: some of the most significant and contentious issues in biology have been thrashed out here. We anticipate the 2007 meeting being no exception. The final form of the 2007 meeting is yet to be decided, but the following topics are likely to be included: evolutionary emergence of infectious disease and antibiotic resistance, genetic architecture and implications for the evolution of microbial populations, ageing in bacteria, biogeography, evolution of symbioses, the role of microbes in ecosystem function, and ecological genomics.

  16. Chromosomal Evolution in Chiroptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotero-Caio, Cibele G; Baker, Robert J; Volleth, Marianne

    2017-10-13

    Chiroptera is the second largest order among mammals, with over 1300 species in 21 extant families. The group is extremely diverse in several aspects of its natural history, including dietary strategies, ecology, behavior and morphology. Bat genomes show ample chromosome diversity (from 2n = 14 to 62). As with other mammalian orders, Chiroptera is characterized by clades with low, moderate and extreme chromosomal change. In this article, we will discuss trends of karyotypic evolution within distinct bat lineages (especially Phyllostomidae, Hipposideridae and Rhinolophidae), focusing on two perspectives: evolution of genome architecture, modes of chromosomal evolution, and the use of chromosome data to resolve taxonomic problems.

  17. Chromosomal Evolution in Chiroptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cibele G. Sotero-Caio

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Chiroptera is the second largest order among mammals, with over 1300 species in 21 extant families. The group is extremely diverse in several aspects of its natural history, including dietary strategies, ecology, behavior and morphology. Bat genomes show ample chromosome diversity (from 2n = 14 to 62. As with other mammalian orders, Chiroptera is characterized by clades with low, moderate and extreme chromosomal change. In this article, we will discuss trends of karyotypic evolution within distinct bat lineages (especially Phyllostomidae, Hipposideridae and Rhinolophidae, focusing on two perspectives: evolution of genome architecture, modes of chromosomal evolution, and the use of chromosome data to resolve taxonomic problems.

  18. Contemporary evolution strategies

    CERN Document Server

    Bäck, Thomas; Krause, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Evolution strategies have more than 50 years of history in the field of evolutionary computation. Since the early 1990s, many algorithmic variations of evolution strategies have been developed, characterized by the fact that they use the so-called derandomization concept for strategy parameter adaptation. Most importantly, the covariance matrix adaptation strategy (CMA-ES) and its successors are the key representatives of this group of contemporary evolution strategies. This book provides an overview of the key algorithm developments between 1990 and 2012, including brief descriptions of the a

  19. Weathering and landscape evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turkington, Alice V.; Phillips, Jonathan D.; Campbell, Sean W.

    2005-04-01

    In recognition of the fundamental control exerted by weathering on landscape evolution and topographic development, the 35th Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium was convened under the theme of Weathering and Landscape Evolution. The papers and posters presented at the conference imparted the state-of-the-art in weathering geomorphology, tackled the issue of scale linkage in geomorphic studies and offered a vehicle for interdisciplinary communication on research into weathering and landscape evolution. The papers included in this special issue are encapsulated here under the general themes of weathering mantles, weathering and relative dating, weathering and denudation, weathering processes and controls and the 'big picture'.

  20. Dual phase evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Green, David G; Abbass, Hussein A

    2014-01-01

    This book explains how dual phase evolution operates in all these settings and provides a detailed treatment of the subject. The authors discuss the theoretical foundations for the theory, how it relates to other phase transition phenomena and its advantages in evolutionary computation and complex adaptive systems. The book provides methods and techniques to use this concept for problem solving. Dual phase evolution concerns systems that evolve via repeated phase shifts in the connectivity of their elements. It occurs in vast range of settings, including natural systems (species evolution, landscape ecology, geomorphology), socio-economic systems (social networks) and in artificial systems (annealing, evolutionary computing).

  1. Synthetic biology: a challenge to mechanical explanations in biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2012-01-01

    In their plans to modify organisms, synthetic biologists have contrasted engineering and tinkering. By drawing this contrast between their endeavors and what has happened during the evolution of organisms by natural selection, they underline the novelty of their projects and justify their ambitions. Synthetic biologists are at odds with a long tradition that has considered organisms as "perfect machines." This tradition had already been questioned by Stephen Jay Gould in the 1970s and received a major blow with the comparison made by François Jacob between organisms and the results of "bricolage" (tinkering). These contrasts between engineering and tinkering, synthetic biology and evolution, have no raison d'être. Machines built by humans are increasingly inspired by observations made on organisms. This is not a simple reversal of the previous trend-the mechanical conception of organisms-in which the characteristics of the latter were explained by comparison with human-built machines. Relations between organisms and machines have always been complex and ambiguous.

  2. Biology of Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... switch to the Professional version Home Blood Disorders Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Resources In This ... Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Components of Blood ...

  3. Biological basis of detoxication

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caldwell, John; Jakoby, William B

    1983-01-01

    This volume considers that premise that most of the major patterns of biological conversion of foreign compounds are known and may have predictive value in assessing the biological course for novel compounds...

  4. Science, evolution, and creationism

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Revising Science and Creationism

    ... are more comfortable. In the book Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a group of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine explain the fundamental methods of science, document...

  5. Co-Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGhee, Robert

    2002-01-01

    Discusses the role of techniques of DNA analysis in assessing the genetic relationships between various species. Focuses on wolf-dog evolution using DNA evidence and historical data about human/wolf-dog relationships. (DDR)

  6. Evolution of dosimetric phantoms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reddy, A.R.

    2010-01-01

    In this oration evolution of the dosimetric phantoms for radiation protection and for medical use is briefly reviewed. Some details of the development of Indian Reference Phantom for internal dose estimation are also presented

  7. Evolution of microbial pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    DiRita, Victor J; Seifert, H. Steven

    2006-01-01

    ... A. Hogan vvi ■ CONTENTS 8. Evolution of Pathogens in Soil Rachel Muir and Man-Wah Tan / 131 9. Experimental Models of Symbiotic Host-Microbial Relationships: Understanding the Underpinnings of ...

  8. Chemical evolution and life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malaterre Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In research on the origins of life, the concept of “chemical evolution” aims at explaining the transition from non-living matter to living matter. There is however strong disagreement when it comes to defining this concept more precisely, and in particular with reference to a chemical form of Darwinian evolution: for some, chemical evolution is nothing but Darwinian evolution applied to chemical systems before life appeared; yet, for others, it is the type of evolution that happened before natural selection took place, the latter being the birthmark of living systems. In this contribution, I review the arguments defended by each side and show how both views presuppose a dichotomous definition of “life”.

  9. Evolutionary perspectives into placental biology and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward B. Chuong

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In all mammals including humans, development takes place within the protective environment of the maternal womb. Throughout gestation, nutrients and waste products are continuously exchanged between mother and fetus through the placenta. Despite the clear importance of the placenta to successful pregnancy and the health of both mother and offspring, relatively little is understood about the biology of the placenta and its role in pregnancy-related diseases. Given that pre- and peri-natal diseases involving the placenta affect millions of women and their newborns worldwide, there is an urgent need to understand placenta biology and development. Here, we suggest that the placenta is an organ under unique selective pressures that have driven its rapid diversification throughout mammalian evolution. The high divergence of the placenta complicates the use of non-human animal models and necessitates an evolutionary perspective when studying its biology and role in disease. We suggest that diversifying evolution of the placenta is primarily driven by intraspecies evolutionary conflict between mother and fetus, and that many pregnancy diseases are a consequence of this evolutionary force. Understanding how maternal–fetal conflict shapes both basic placental and reproductive biology – in all species – will provide key insights into diseases of pregnancy.

  10. Biology Myth-Killers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, Evan

    2014-01-01

    "Biology Myth-Killers" is an activity designed to identify and correct common misconceptions for high school and college introductory biology courses. Students identify common myths, which double as biology misconceptions, and use appropriate sources to share the "truth" about the myths. This learner-centered activity is a fun…

  11. Designing synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agapakis, Christina M

    2014-03-21

    Synthetic biology is frequently defined as the application of engineering design principles to biology. Such principles are intended to streamline the practice of biological engineering, to shorten the time required to design, build, and test synthetic gene networks. This streamlining of iterative design cycles can facilitate the future construction of biological systems for a range of applications in the production of fuels, foods, materials, and medicines. The promise of these potential applications as well as the emphasis on design has prompted critical reflection on synthetic biology from design theorists and practicing designers from many fields, who can bring valuable perspectives to the discipline. While interdisciplinary connections between biologists and engineers have built synthetic biology via the science and the technology of biology, interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, and social theorists can provide insight on the connections between technology and society. Such collaborations can open up new avenues and new principles for research and design, as well as shed new light on the challenging context-dependence-both biological and social-that face living technologies at many scales. This review is inspired by the session titled "Design and Synthetic Biology: Connecting People and Technology" at Synthetic Biology 6.0 and covers a range of literature on design practice in synthetic biology and beyond. Critical engagement with how design is used to shape the discipline opens up new possibilities for how we might design the future of synthetic biology.

  12. Radiation biology. Chapter 20

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wondergem, J. [International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)

    2014-09-15

    Radiation biology (radiobiology) is the study of the action of ionizing radiations on living matter. This chapter gives an overview of the biological effects of ionizing radiation and discusses the physical, chemical and biological variables that affect dose response at the cellular, tissue and whole body levels at doses and dose rates relevant to diagnostic radiology.

  13. General Biology Syllabus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Scott; Watthews, Thomas

    This syllabus has been developed as an alternative to Regents biology and is intended for the average student who could benefit from an introductory biology course. It is divided into seven major units dealing with, respectively: (1) similarities among living things; (2) human biology (focusing on nutrition, transport, respiration, excretion, and…

  14. Upgrading Undergraduate Biology Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musante, Susan

    2011-01-01

    On many campuses throughout the country, undergraduate biology education is in serious need of an upgrade. During the past few decades, the body of biological knowledge has grown exponentially, and as a research endeavor, the practice of biology has evolved. Education research has also made great strides, revealing many new insights into how…

  15. Chemistry and Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigston, David L.

    1970-01-01

    Discusses the relationship between chemisty and biology in the science curriculum. Points out the differences in perception of the disciplines, which the physical scientists favoring reductionism. Suggests that biology departments offer a special course for chemistry students, just as the chemistry departments have done for biology students.…

  16. Evolution of interstellar grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenberg, J.M.

    1984-01-01

    The principal aim of this chapter is to derive the properties of interstellar grains as a probe of local physical conditions and as a basis for predicting such properties as related to infrared emissivity and radiative transfer which can affect the evolution of dense clouds. The first sections will develop the criteria for grain models based directly on observations of gas and dust. A summary of the chemical evolution of grains and gas in diffuse and dense clouds follows. (author)

  17. Evolution of Things

    OpenAIRE

    Eiben, A. E.; Ferreira, N.; Schut, M.; Kernbach, S.

    2011-01-01

    Evolution is one of the major omnipresent powers in the universe that has been studied for about two centuries. Recent scientific and technical developments make it possible to make the transition from passively understanding to actively mastering evolution. As of today, the only area where human experimenters can design and manipulate evolutionary processes in full is that of Evolutionary Computing, where evolutionary processes are carried out in a digital space, inside computers, in simulat...

  18. Manipulation of quantum evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabera, David Jose Fernandez; Mielnik, Bogdan

    1994-01-01

    The free evolution of a non-relativistic charged particle is manipulated using time-dependent magnetic fields. It is shown that the application of a programmed sequence of magnetic pulses can invert the free evolution process, forcing an arbitrary wave packet to 'go back in time' to recover its past shape. The possibility of more general operations upon the Schrodinger wave packet is discussed.

  19. Chemical evolution of galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matteucci, F.; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Frascati

    1989-01-01

    In principle, a good model of galactic chemical evolution should fulfil the majority of well established observational constraints. The goal of this paper is to review the observational data together with the existing chemical evolution models for the Milky Way (the disk), Blue Compact and Elliptical galaxies and to show how well the models can account for the observations. Some open problems and future prospects are also discussed. (author)

  20. Developing theology for evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Wiltsher

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This speculative paper explores one idea for approaching some of the problems which arise when the doctrines of Christian theology meet the current scientific understanding of evolution through natural selection. The main suggestion is that Christian theology should relax the requirement that God controls everything. Some implications of this move are explored, with a brief look at how similar ideas might be of use for non-Christian religions entering into dialogue with the theory of evolution

  1. Software evolution with XVCL

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Weishan; Jarzabek, Stan; Zhang, Hongyu

    2004-01-01

    This chapter introduces software evolution with XVCL (XML-based Variant Configuration Language), which is an XML-based metaprogramming technique. As the software evolves, a large number of variants may arise, especially whtn such kinds of evolutions are related to multiple platforms as shown in our...... case study. Handling variants and tracing the impact of variants across the development lifecycle is a challenge. This chapter shows how we can maintain different versions of software in a reuse-based way....

  2. Evolution of massive stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loore, C. de

    1984-01-01

    The evolution of stars with masses larger than 15 sun masses is reviewed. These stars have large convective cores and lose a substantial fraction of their matter by stellar wind. The treatment of convection and the parameterisation of the stellar wind mass loss are analysed within the context of existing disagreements between theory and observation. The evolution of massive close binaries and the origin of Wolf-Rayet Stars and X-ray binaries is also sketched. (author)

  3. Synthetic Biology: Putting Synthesis into Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jing; Luo, Yunzi; Zhao, Huimin

    2010-01-01

    The ability to manipulate living organisms is at the heart of a range of emerging technologies that serve to address important and current problems in environment, energy, and health. However, with all its complexity and interconnectivity, biology has for many years been recalcitrant to engineering manipulations. The recent advances in synthesis, analysis, and modeling methods have finally provided the tools necessary to manipulate living systems in meaningful ways, and have led to the coining of a field named synthetic biology. The scope of synthetic biology is as complicated as life itself – encompassing many branches of science, and across many scales of application. New DNA synthesis and assembly techniques have made routine the customization of very large DNA molecules. This in turn has allowed the incorporation of multiple genes and pathways. By coupling these with techniques that allow for the modeling and design of protein functions, scientists have now gained the tools to create completely novel biological machineries. Even the ultimate biological machinery – a self-replicating organism – is being pursued at this moment. It is the purpose of this review to dissect and organize these various components of synthetic biology into a coherent picture. PMID:21064036

  4. [Applications of synthetic biology in materials science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Tianxin; Zhong, Chao

    2017-03-25

    Materials are the basis for human being survival and social development. To keep abreast with the increasing needs from all aspects of human society, there are huge needs in the development of advanced materials as well as high-efficiency but low-cost manufacturing strategies that are both sustainable and tunable. Synthetic biology, a new engineering principle taking gene regulation and engineering design as the core, greatly promotes the development of life sciences. This discipline has also contributed to the development of material sciences and will continuously bring new ideas to future new material design. In this paper, we review recent advances in applications of synthetic biology in material sciences, with the focus on how synthetic biology could enable synthesis of new polymeric biomaterials and inorganic materials, phage display and directed evolution of proteins relevant to materials development, living functional materials, engineered bacteria-regulated artificial photosynthesis system as well as applications of gene circuits for material sciences.

  5. Systems biology solutions for biochemical production challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Anne Sofie Lærke; Lennen, Rebecca M; Sonnenschein, Nikolaus

    2017-01-01

    There is an urgent need to significantly accelerate the development of microbial cell factories to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks in order to facilitate the transition to a biobased society. Methods commonly used within the field of systems biology including omics...... characterization, genome-scale metabolic modeling, and adaptive laboratory evolution can be readily deployed in metabolic engineering projects. However, high performance strains usually carry tens of genetic modifications and need to operate in challenging environmental conditions. This additional complexity...... compared to basic science research requires pushing systems biology strategies to their limits and often spurs innovative developments that benefit fields outside metabolic engineering. Here we survey recent advanced applications of systems biology methods in engineering microbial production strains...

  6. Systems biology solutions for biochemical production challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Anne Sofie Lærke; Lennen, Rebecca M; Sonnenschein, Nikolaus; Herrgård, Markus J

    2017-06-01

    There is an urgent need to significantly accelerate the development of microbial cell factories to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks in order to facilitate the transition to a biobased society. Methods commonly used within the field of systems biology including omics characterization, genome-scale metabolic modeling, and adaptive laboratory evolution can be readily deployed in metabolic engineering projects. However, high performance strains usually carry tens of genetic modifications and need to operate in challenging environmental conditions. This additional complexity compared to basic science research requires pushing systems biology strategies to their limits and often spurs innovative developments that benefit fields outside metabolic engineering. Here we survey recent advanced applications of systems biology methods in engineering microbial production strains for biofuels and -chemicals. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Two bridges between biology and learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorun Nyléhn

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Human biology, in terms of organization of our brains and our evolutionary past, constrains and enables learning. Two examples where neurobiology and evolution influences learning are given and discussed in relation to education: mirror neurons and adaptive memory. Mirror neurons serves imitation and understanding of other peoples intentions. Adaptive memory implies that our memory is an adaptation influenced by our evolutionary past, enabling us to solve problems in the present and in the future. Additionally, the aim is to contribute to bridges between natural and social sciences in an attempt to achieve an improved understanding of learning. The relevance of perspectives on learning founded in biology are discussed, and the article argues for including biological perspectives in discussions of education and learning processes.

  8. Biologically Inspired Technology Using Electroactive Polymers (EAP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph

    2006-01-01

    Evolution allowed nature to introduce highly effective biological mechanisms that are incredible inspiration for innovation. Humans have always made efforts to imitate nature's inventions and we are increasingly making advances that it becomes significantly easier to imitate, copy, and adapt biological methods, processes and systems. This brought us to the ability to create technology that is far beyond the simple mimicking of nature. Having better tools to understand and to implement nature's principles we are now equipped like never before to be inspired by nature and to employ our tools in far superior ways. Effectively, by bio-inspiration we can have a better view and value of nature capability while studying its models to learn what can be extracted, copied or adapted. Using electroactive polymers (EAP) as artificial muscles is adding an important element to the development of biologically inspired technologies.

  9. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W; Kendal, Jeremy

    2009-08-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, "niche construction". This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.

  10. Return of the mitochondrial DNA : Case study of mitochondrial genome evolution in the genus Fusarium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brankovics, Balázs

    2018-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA played a prominent role in the fields of population genetics, systematics and evolutionary biology, due to its favorable characteristics, such as, uniparental inheritance, fast evolution and easy accessibility. However, the mitochondrial sequences have been mostly neglected in

  11. Role of radon and its progeny in the origin and evolution of life on earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subba Ramu, M.C.; Vohra, K.G.

    1980-01-01

    The role of natural ionising radiations from radon and its progeny in catalysing certain chemical reactions and aiding certain biological phenomena leading to the formation and evolution of life on earth is explained with illustrations. (M.G.B.)

  12. New insights about enzyme evolution from large scale studies of sequence and structure relationships

    OpenAIRE

    Babbitt, Patricia; Brown, SD; Babbitt, PC

    2014-01-01

    © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfami

  13. Synthetic biological networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Archer, Eric; Süel, Gürol M

    2013-01-01

    Despite their obvious relationship and overlap, the field of physics is blessed with many insightful laws, while such laws are sadly absent in biology. Here we aim to discuss how the rise of a more recent field known as synthetic biology may allow us to more directly test hypotheses regarding the possible design principles of natural biological networks and systems. In particular, this review focuses on synthetic gene regulatory networks engineered to perform specific functions or exhibit particular dynamic behaviors. Advances in synthetic biology may set the stage to uncover the relationship of potential biological principles to those developed in physics. (review article)

  14. Biological modulation of tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleep, N. H.; Bird, D. K.

    2008-12-01

    Photosynthesis has had geologic consequences over the Earth's history. In addition to modifying Earth's atmosphere and ocean chemistry, it has also modulated tectonic processes through enhanced weathering and modification of the nature and composition of sedimentary rocks within fold mountain belts and convergent margins. Molecular biological studies indicate that bacterial photosynthesis evolved just once and that most bacterial clades descend from this photosynthetic common ancestor. Iron-based photosynthesis (ideally 4FeO + CO2 + H2O = 2Fe2O3 + CH2O) was the most bountiful anoxygenic niche on land. The back reaction provided energy to heterotrophic microbes and returned FeO to the photosynthetic microbes. Bacterial land colonists evolved into ecosystems that effectively weathered FeO-bearing minerals and volcanic glass. Clays, sands, and dissolved cations from the weathering process entered the ocean and formed our familiar classes sedimentary rocks: shales, sandstones, and carbonates. Marine photosynthesis caused organic carbon to accumulate in black shales. In contrast, non-photosynthetic ecosystems do not cause organic carbon to accumulate in shale. These evolutionary events occurred before 3.8 Ga as black shales are among the oldest rock types (Rosing and Frei, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 217, 237-244, 2004). Thick sedimentary sequences deformed into fold mountain belts. They remelted at depth to form granitic rocks (Rosing et al., Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 232, 99-11, 2006). Regions of outcropping low-FeO rocks including granites, quartzites, and some shales were a direct result. This dearth of FeO favored the evolution of oxic photosynthesis of cyanobacteria from photosynthetic soil bacteria. Black shales have an additional modulation effect on tectonics as they concentrate radioactive elements, particularly uranium (e.g. so that the surface heat flow varies by a factor of ca. 2). Thick sequences of black shales at continental rises of passive margins are

  15. Protein sequence comparison and protein evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearson, W.R. [Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry

    1995-12-31

    This tutorial was one of eight tutorials selected to be presented at the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology which was held in the United Kingdom from July 16 to 19, 1995. This tutorial examines how the information conserved during the evolution of a protein molecule can be used to infer reliably homology, and thus a shared proteinfold and possibly a shared active site or function. The authors start by reviewing a geological/evolutionary time scale. Next they look at the evolution of several protein families. During the tutorial, these families will be used to demonstrate that homologous protein ancestry can be inferred with confidence. They also examine different modes of protein evolution and consider some hypotheses that have been presented to explain the very earliest events in protein evolution. The next part of the tutorial will examine the technical aspects of protein sequence comparison. Both optimal and heuristic algorithms and their associated parameters that are used to characterize protein sequence similarities are discussed. Perhaps more importantly, they survey the statistics of local similarity scores, and how these statistics can both be used to improve the selectivity of a search and to evaluate the significance of a match. They them examine distantly related members of three protein families, the serine proteases, the glutathione transferases, and the G-protein-coupled receptors (GCRs). Finally, the discuss how sequence similarity can be used to examine internal repeated or mosaic structures in proteins.

  16. Directed evolution of enzymes using microfluidic chips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilát, Zdeněk.; Ježek, Jan; Šmatlo, Filip; Kaůka, Jan; Zemánek, Pavel

    2016-12-01

    Enzymes are highly versatile and ubiquitous biological catalysts. They can greatly accelerate large variety of reactions, while ensuring appropriate catalytic activity and high selectivity. These properties make enzymes attractive biocatalysts for a wide range of industrial and biomedical applications. Over the last two decades, directed evolution of enzymes has transformed the field of protein engineering. We have devised microfluidic systems for directed evolution of haloalkane dehalogenases in emulsion droplets. In such a device, individual bacterial cells producing mutated variants of the same enzyme are encapsulated in microdroplets and supplied with a substrate. The conversion of a substrate by the enzyme produced by a single bacterium changes the pH in the droplet which is signalized by pH dependent fluorescence probe. The droplets with the highest enzymatic activity can be separated directly on the chip by dielectrophoresis and the resultant cell lineage can be used for enzyme production or for further rounds of directed evolution. This platform is applicable for fast screening of large libraries in directed evolution experiments requiring mutagenesis at multiple sites of a protein structure.

  17. Evolution: from cosmogenesis to biogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lukacs, B.; Berczi, Sz.; Molnar, I.; Paal, G.

    1990-11-01

    The volume contains the material of an interdisciplinary evolution symposium. The purpose was to shed some light on possible connections between steps of evolution of matter on different levels of organisation. The topics involved are as follow: cosmogenesis; galactic and stellar evolution; formation and evolution of the solar system; global atmospheric and tectonic changes of Earth; viral evolution; phylogeny and evolution of terrestrial life; evolution of neural system; hominization. The material also includes some discussions of the underlying phenomena and laws of nature. (author)

  18. Power Laws, Scale-Free Networks and Genome Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Koonin, Eugene V; Karev, Georgy P

    2006-01-01

    Power Laws, Scale-free Networks and Genome Biology deals with crucial aspects of the theoretical foundations of systems biology, namely power law distributions and scale-free networks which have emerged as the hallmarks of biological organization in the post-genomic era. The chapters in the book not only describe the interesting mathematical properties of biological networks but moves beyond phenomenology, toward models of evolution capable of explaining the emergence of these features. The collection of chapters, contributed by both physicists and biologists, strives to address the problems in this field in a rigorous but not excessively mathematical manner and to represent different viewpoints, which is crucial in this emerging discipline. Each chapter includes, in addition to technical descriptions of properties of biological networks and evolutionary models, a more general and accessible introduction to the respective problems. Most chapters emphasize the potential of theoretical systems biology for disco...

  19. Synthetic biology analysed tools for discussion and evaluation

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a dynamic, young, ambitious, attractive, and heterogeneous scientific discipline. It is constantly developing and changing, which makes societal evaluation of this emerging new science a challenging task, prone to misunderstandings. Synthetic biology is difficult to capture, and confusion arises not only regarding which part of synthetic biology the discussion is about, but also with respect to the underlying concepts in use. This book offers a useful toolbox to approach this complex and fragmented field. It provides a biological access to the discussion using a 'layer' model that describes the connectivity of synthetic or semisynthetic organisms and cells to the realm of natural organisms derived by evolution. Instead of directly reviewing the field as a whole, firstly our book addresses the characteristic features of synthetic biology that are relevant to the societal discussion. Some of these features apply only to parts of synthetic biology, whereas others are relevant to synthetic bi...

  20. Evolution in a Test Tube: Rise of the Wrinkly Spreaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jennifer H.; Koza, Anna; Moshynets, Olena; Pajor, Radoslaw; Ritchie, Margaret R.; Spiers, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding evolutionary mechanisms is fundamental to a balanced biological education, yet practical demonstrations are rarely considered. In this paper we describe a bacterial liquid microcosm which can be used to demonstrate aspects of evolution, namely adaptive radiation, niche colonisation and competitive fitness. In microcosms inoculated…

  1. Male-limited evolution suggests no extant intralocus sexual conflict ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Male-limited evolution suggests no extant intralocus sexual conflict over the sexually dimorphic cuticular hydrocarbons of Drosophila melanogaster ... Spain; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, Knowledge City, Sector 81, SAS Nagar, Manauli PO 140 306, India; Department of Biology and Centre for ...

  2. Karyotype evolution in harvestmen of the suborder Cyphophthalmi (Opiliones)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Svojanovská, H.; Nguyen, Petr; Hiřman, M.; Tuf, I. H.; Wahab, R. A.; Haddad, C. R.; Šťáhlavský, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 148, 2-3 (2016), s. 227-236 ISSN 1424-8581 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-35819P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : 18S rDNA * FISH * karyotype evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.354, year: 2016

  3. The Jukes-Cantor Model of Molecular Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Keith

    2010-01-01

    The material in this module introduces students to some of the mathematical tools used to examine molecular evolution. This topic is standard fare in many mathematical biology or bioinformatics classes, but could also be suitable for classes in linear algebra or probability. While coursework in matrix algebra, Markov processes, Monte Carlo…

  4. SEAS: A simulated evolution approach for analog circuit synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ning, Zhen-Qiu; Ning, Zhen-Qiu; Mouthaan, A.J.; Wallinga, Hans

    1991-01-01

    The authors present a simulated evolution approach for analog circuit synthesis based on an analogy with the natural selection process in biological environments and on the iterative improvements in solving engineering problems. A prototype framework based on this idea, called SEAS, has been

  5. The effect of parity on morphological evolution among phrynosomatid lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oufiero, C E; Gartner, G E A

    2014-11-01

    The shift from egg laying to live-bearing is one of the most well-studied transitions in evolutionary biology. Few studies, however, have assessed the effect of this transition on morphological evolution. Here, we evaluated the effect of reproductive mode on the morphological evolution of 10 traits, among 108 species of phrynosomatid lizards. We assess whether the requirement for passing shelled eggs through the pelvic girdle has led to morphological constraints in oviparous species and whether long gestation times in viviparous species have led to constraints in locomotor morphology. We fit models to the data that vary both in their tempo (strength and rate of selection) and mode of evolution (Brownian or Ornstein-Uhlenbeck) and estimates of trait optima. We found that most traits are best fit by a generalized multipeak OU model, suggesting differing trait optima for viviparous vs. oviparous species. Additionally, rates (σ(2) ) of both pelvic girdle and forelimb trait evolution varied with parity; viviparous species had higher rates. Hindlimb traits, however, exhibited no difference in σ(2) between parity modes. In a functional context, our results suggest that the passage of shelled eggs constrains the morphology of the pelvic girdle, but we found no evidence of morphological constraint of the locomotor apparatus in viviparous species. Our results are consistent with recent lineage diversification analyses, leading to the conclusion that transitions to viviparity increase both lineage and morphological diversification. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. New travelling wave solutions for nonlinear stochastic evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The nonlinear stochastic evolution equations have a wide range of applications in physics, chemistry, biology, economics and finance from various points of view. In this paper, the (′/)-expansion method is implemented for obtaining new travelling wave solutions of the nonlinear (2 + 1)-dimensional stochastic ...

  7. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of mosquito parasitic Microsporidia (Microsporidia: Amblyosporidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vossbrinck, C. R.; Andreadis, T.; Vávra, Jiří; Becnel, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 1 (2004), s. 88-95 ISSN 1066-5234 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6022909 Keywords : Microsporidia * molecular phylogeny * evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.403, year: 2004

  8. Developing of the future: scaffolded Darwinism in societal evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Claes; Törnberg, Anton; Törnberg, Petter

    2014-08-01

    We sympathize with the project of a synthetic approach for devising a "theory of intentional change" and agree that Darwinism should be central in such a theory. But Darwinism is not the only process of evolution that needs to be included. Evolutionary biology itself has taken such a turn recently, with the emergence of developmental evolutionary approaches.

  9. Directed evolution: selecting today's biocatalysts : selecting today's biocatalysts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Otten, Linda; Quax, Wim

    2005-01-01

    Directed evolution has become a full-grown tool in molecular biology nowadays. The methods that are involved in creating a mutant library are extensive and can be divided into several categories according to their basic ideas. Furthermore, both screening and selection can be used to target the

  10. The plant vascular system: Evolution, development and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Lucas; Andrew Groover; Raffael Lichtenberger; Kaori Furuta; Shri-Ram Yadav; Yka Helariutta; Xin-Qiang He; Hiroo Fukuda; Julie Kang; Siobhan M. Brady; John W. Patrick; John Sperry; Akiko Yoshida; Ana-Flor Lopez-Millan; Michael A. Grusak; Pradeep Kachroo

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of the tracheophyte-based vascular system of land plants had major impacts on the evolution of terrestrial biology, in general, through its role in facilitating the development of plants with increased stature, photosynthetic output, and ability to colonize a greatly expanded range of environmental habitats. Recently, considerable progress has been made...

  11. Gene fragmentation: a key to mitochondrial genome evolution in Euglenozoa?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Flegontov, Pavel; Gray, M.W.; Burger, G.; Lukeš, Julius

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 4 (2011), 225-232 ISSN 0172-8083 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Euglena * Diplonema * Mitochondrial genome * RNA editing * Constructive neutral evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.556, year: 2011

  12. The role of Pax genes in eye evolution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 75, 2-4 (2008), s. 335-339 ISSN 0361-9230 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA500520604; GA MŠk(CZ) 1M0520 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : eye * Pax * evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.281, year: 2008

  13. Cognitive dissonance as an explanation of the genesis, evolution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The steady erosion of support for this flagrant HIV denialism, together with the rise of neoliberal thinking in the ANC, would lead to the evolution of this biological denialism into a form of treatment denialism. This ideology argued against the widespread provision and use of antiretroviral treatment. Empirical evidence is ...

  14. Cubozoan genome illuminates functional diversification of opsins and photoreceptor evolution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Liegertová, Michaela; Pergner, Jiří; Kozmiková, Iryna; Fabian, Peter; Pombinho, António R.; Strnad, Hynek; Pačes, Jan; Vlček, Čestmír; Bartůněk, Petr; Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 5, Jul 8 (2015) ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP305/10/2141; GA MŠk LO1220 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Cubozoan genome * opsins * photoreceptor * evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 5.228, year: 2015

  15. Programmed Evolution for Optimization of Orthogonal Metabolic Output in Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckdahl, Todd T.; Campbell, A. Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J.; Poet, Jeffrey L.; Blauch, David N.; Snyder, Nicole L.; Atchley, Dustin T.; Baker, Erich J.; Brown, Micah; Brunner, Elizabeth C.; Callen, Sean A.; Campbell, Jesse S.; Carr, Caleb J.; Carr, David R.; Chadinha, Spencer A.; Chester, Grace I.; Chester, Josh; Clarkson, Ben R.; Cochran, Kelly E.; Doherty, Shannon E.; Doyle, Catherine; Dwyer, Sarah; Edlin, Linnea M.; Evans, Rebecca A.; Fluharty, Taylor; Frederick, Janna; Galeota-Sprung, Jonah; Gammon, Betsy L.; Grieshaber, Brandon; Gronniger, Jessica; Gutteridge, Katelyn; Henningsen, Joel; Isom, Bradley; Itell, Hannah L.; Keffeler, Erica C.; Lantz, Andrew J.; Lim, Jonathan N.; McGuire, Erin P.; Moore, Alexander K.; Morton, Jerrad; Nakano, Meredith; Pearson, Sara A.; Perkins, Virginia; Parrish, Phoebe; Pierson, Claire E.; Polpityaarachchige, Sachith; Quaney, Michael J.; Slattery, Abagael; Smith, Kathryn E.; Spell, Jackson; Spencer, Morgan; Taye, Telavive; Trueblood, Kamay; Vrana, Caroline J.; Whitesides, E. Tucker

    2015-01-01

    Current use of microbes for metabolic engineering suffers from loss of metabolic output due to natural selection. Rather than combat the evolution of bacterial populations, we chose to embrace what makes biological engineering unique among engineering fields – evolving materials. We harnessed bacteria to compute solutions to the biological problem of metabolic pathway optimization. Our approach is called Programmed Evolution to capture two concepts. First, a population of cells is programmed with DNA code to enable it to compute solutions to a chosen optimization problem. As analog computers, bacteria process known and unknown inputs and direct the output of their biochemical hardware. Second, the system employs the evolution of bacteria toward an optimal metabolic solution by imposing fitness defined by metabolic output. The current study is a proof-of-concept for Programmed Evolution applied to the optimization of a metabolic pathway for the conversion of caffeine to theophylline in E. coli. Introduced genotype variations included strength of the promoter and ribosome binding site, plasmid copy number, and chaperone proteins. We constructed 24 strains using all combinations of the genetic variables. We used a theophylline riboswitch and a tetracycline resistance gene to link theophylline production to fitness. After subjecting the mixed population to selection, we measured a change in the distribution of genotypes in the population and an increased conversion of caffeine to theophylline among the most fit strains, demonstrating Programmed Evolution. Programmed Evolution inverts the standard paradigm in metabolic engineering by harnessing evolution instead of fighting it. Our modular system enables researchers to program bacteria and use evolution to determine the combination of genetic control elements that optimizes catabolic or anabolic output and to maintain it in a population of cells. Programmed Evolution could be used for applications in energy

  16. Programmed evolution for optimization of orthogonal metabolic output in bacteria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd T Eckdahl

    Full Text Available Current use of microbes for metabolic engineering suffers from loss of metabolic output due to natural selection. Rather than combat the evolution of bacterial populations, we chose to embrace what makes biological engineering unique among engineering fields - evolving materials. We harnessed bacteria to compute solutions to the biological problem of metabolic pathway optimization. Our approach is called Programmed Evolution to capture two concepts. First, a population of cells is programmed with DNA code to enable it to compute solutions to a chosen optimization problem. As analog computers, bacteria process known and unknown inputs and direct the output of their biochemical hardware. Second, the system employs the evolution of bacteria toward an optimal metabolic solution by imposing fitness defined by metabolic output. The current study is a proof-of-concept for Programmed Evolution applied to the optimization of a metabolic pathway for the conversion of caffeine to theophylline in E. coli. Introduced genotype variations included strength of the promoter and ribosome binding site, plasmid copy number, and chaperone proteins. We constructed 24 strains using all combinations of the genetic variables. We used a theophylline riboswitch and a tetracycline resistance gene to link theophylline production to fitness. After subjecting the mixed population to selection, we measured a change in the distribution of genotypes in the population and an increased conversion of caffeine to theophylline among the most fit strains, demonstrating Programmed Evolution. Programmed Evolution inverts the standard paradigm in metabolic engineering by harnessing evolution instead of fighting it. Our modular system enables researchers to program bacteria and use evolution to determine the combination of genetic control elements that optimizes catabolic or anabolic output and to maintain it in a population of cells. Programmed Evolution could be used for applications in

  17. Boosting Students' Attitudes & Knowledge about Evolution Sets Them up for College Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, B. Elijah; Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R.

    2015-01-01

    Students who enter college with a solid grounding in, and positive attitudes toward, evolutionary science are better prepared for and achieve at higher levels in university-level biology courses. We found highly significant, positive relationships between student knowledge of evolution and attitudes toward evolution, as well as between…

  18. The Experimental Detection of an Emotional Response to the Idea of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, Mark W.; Morrison, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is widely regarded as biology's unifying theme, yet rates of rejection of evolutionary science remain high. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cognitive dissonance leading to an emotional response is a barrier to learning about and accepting evolution. We explored the hypothesis that students whose worldviews may be inconsistent with the…

  19. Darwinism Extended - A survey of how the idea of cultural evolution evolved

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buskes, C.J.J.

    2013-01-01

    In the past 150 years there have been many attempts to draw parallels between cultural and biological evolution. Most of these attempts were flawed due to lack of knowledge and false ideas about evolution. In recent decades these shortcomings have been cleared away, thus triggering a renewed

  20. Darwinism Extended - A Survey of How the Idea of Cultural Evolution Evolved

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buskes, C.J.J.

    2013-01-01

    In the past 150 years there have been many attempts to draw parallels between cultural and biological evolution. Most of these attempts were flawed due to lack of knowledge and false ideas about evolution. In recent decades these shortcomings have been cleared away, thus triggering a renewed