WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological evolution

  1. Evolution of biological information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, T D

    2000-07-15

    How do genetic systems gain information by evolutionary processes? Answering this question precisely requires a robust, quantitative measure of information. Fortunately, 50 years ago Claude Shannon defined information as a decrease in the uncertainty of a receiver. For molecular systems, uncertainty is closely related to entropy and hence has clear connections to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. These aspects of information theory have allowed the development of a straightforward and practical method of measuring information in genetic control systems. Here this method is used to observe information gain in the binding sites for an artificial 'protein' in a computer simulation of evolution. The simulation begins with zero information and, as in naturally occurring genetic systems, the information measured in the fully evolved binding sites is close to that needed to locate the sites in the genome. The transition is rapid, demonstrating that information gain can occur by punctuated equilibrium. PMID:10908337

  2. 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…

  3. Africa and Precambrian biological evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. Knoll

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available African sedimentary rocks and their contained fossils have played a fundamental role in the unravelling of Precambrian biological history. Various lines of evidence including stromatolites, filamentous and coccoidal microfossils, stable isotope ratios, organic carbon distribution, and oxide facies iron formation suggest that a complex prokaryotic ecosystem fueled by photosynthesis, and perhaps including aerobic photoautotrophs, existed as early as 3 500 m.y. ago. The primary sources of data on early Archean life are rock sequences in southern Africa and Australia. The diversity of later Archean (ca. 2 700 m.y. communities is attested to by abundant and varied stromatolites found in Zimbabwe. The extensive growth and consolidation of continents that heralded the Proterozoic Eon had profound effects on the earth’s biota. Primary productivity must have increased substantially, resulting in the establishment of an 02-rich atmosphere, and, subsequently, the radiation of aerobic respirers. Southern African sequences provide critical evidence bearing on this crust/atmosphere/biota interaction; however, the best known microfossils of this age come from North America. Upper Proterozoic sedimentary rocks abound in Africa. Stromatolites from northwestern Africa have been well studied; however, microfossil occurrences remain but sketchily described. Contemporaneous sequences from Scandinavia and Australia document the initial radiation of eukaryotes in the planktonic realm, as well as a terminal Precambrian episode of extinction among plankters. Early heterotrophic protists are known from several continents. The Nama Group of South West Africa/Namibia contains important evidence of early invertebrates. In general, Precambrian evolution can be viewed as a series of increasingly elevated biological plateaus connected by steps marking relatively short periods of evolutionary innovation and radiation. With each step, communities have increased in complexity

  4. A comparison of biological and cultural evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Petter Portin

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. ATTITUDES OF BIOLOGY TEACHERS ON TEACHING EVOLUTION OF BIOLOGICAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. R. Almeida

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This research aimed to determine the attitudes of teachers and high school biology in public schools in Cuiabá about the theory of biological evolution, characterizing its proximity to biological evolution and its opposite perspective to the presence of this theory in science curriculum. Data collection was conducted through a questionnaire-type Likert scale of 4 points, descriptive analyzes were made, represented by absolute data, with the aid of Excel 2010. The results show that the theory of biological evolution is highly accepted by the teachers, even considering religious people or people of faith. Furthermore, they indicate that they do not feel prepared to teach and know how few strategies to encourage dialogue between these beliefs and concepts of biological evolution bases.

  7. ATTITUDES OF BIOLOGY TEACHERS ON TEACHING EVOLUTION OF BIOLOGICAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. R. Almeida

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This research aimed to determine the attitudes of teachers and high school biology in public schools in Cuiabá about the theory of biological evolution, characterizing its proximity to biological evolution and its opposite perspective to the presence of this theory in science curriculum. Data collection was conducted through a questionnaire-type Likert scale of 4 points, descriptive analyzes were made, represented by absolute data, with the aid of Excel 2010. The results show that the theory of biological evolution is highly accepted by the teachers, even considering religious people or people of faith. Furthermore, they indicate that they do not feel prepared to teach and know how few strategies to encourage dialogue between these beliefs and concepts of biological evolution bases.

  8. Africa and Precambrian biological evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Knoll, A.H

    1983-01-01

    African sedimentary rocks and their contained fossils have played a fundamental role in the unravelling of Precambrian biological history. Various lines of evidence including stromatolites, filamentous and coccoidal microfossils, stable isotope ratios, organic carbon distribution, and oxide facies iron formation suggest that a complex prokaryotic ecosystem fueled by photosynthesis, and perhaps including aerobic photoautotrophs, existed as early as 3 500 m.y. ago. The primary sources of data o...

  9. Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    to honor the archaea pioneers Wolfram Zillig and Karl O. Stetter, the book provides a thorough survey of the field from its controversial beginnings to its ongoing expansion to include aspects of eukaryotic biology. The editors have assembled articles from the premier researchers in this rapidly burgeoning...... and technological context, and include accounts of cutting-edge research developments. The book spans archaeal evolution, physiology, and molecular and cellular biology and will be an essential reference for both graduate students and researchers....

  10. 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. F

  11. Biological evolution in a multidimensional fitness landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saakian, David B; Kirakosyan, Zara; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2012-09-01

    We considered a multiblock molecular model of biological evolution, in which fitness is a function of the mean types of alleles located at different parts (blocks) of the genome. We formulated an infinite population model with selection and mutation, and calculated the mean fitness. For the case of recombination, we formulated a model with a multidimensional fitness landscape (the dimension of the space is equal to the number of blocks) and derived a theorem about the dynamics of initially narrow distribution. We also considered the case of lethal mutations. We also formulated the finite population version of the model in the case of lethal mutations. Our models, derived for the virus evolution, are interesting also for the statistical mechanics and the Hamilton-Jacobi equation as well. PMID:23030957

  12. [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.

  13. How does evolution tune biological noise ?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magali eRichard

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Part of molecular and phenotypic differences between individual cells, between body parts, or between individuals can result from biological noise. This source of variation is becoming more and more apparent thanks to the recent advances in dynamic imaging and single-cell analysis. Some of these studies showed that the link between genotype and phenotype is not strictly deterministic. Mutations can change various statistical properties of a biochemical reaction, and thereby the probability of a trait outcome. The fact that they can modulate phenotypic noise brings up an intriguing question: how may selection act on these mutations? In this review, we approach this question by first covering the evidence that biological noise is under genetic control and therefore a substrate for evolution. We then sequentially inspect the possibilities of negative, neutral and positive selection for mutations increasing biological noise. Finally, we hypothesize on the specific case of H2A.Z, which was shown to both buffer phenotypic noise and modulate transcriptional efficiency.

  14. Modeling Co-evolution of Speech and Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Bart

    2016-04-01

    Two computer simulations are investigated that model interaction of cultural evolution of language and biological evolution of adaptations to language. Both are agent-based models in which a population of agents imitates each other using realistic vowels. The agents evolve under selective pressure for good imitation. In one model, the evolution of the vocal tract is modeled; in the other, a cognitive mechanism for perceiving speech accurately is modeled. In both cases, biological adaptations to using and learning speech evolve, even though the system of speech sounds itself changes at a more rapid time scale than biological evolution. However, the fact that the available acoustic space is used maximally (a self-organized result of cultural evolution) is constant, and therefore biological evolution does have a stable target. This work shows that when cultural and biological traits are continuous, their co-evolution may lead to cognitive adaptations that are strong enough to detect empirically.

  15. On the biology and evolution of fungi from soda soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grum-Grzhimaylo, A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary to the thesis “On the biology and evolution of fungi from soda soils” Alexey Grum-Grzhimaylo The presented thesis addresses aspects of biology and evolution of fungi that were recovered from saline soda soils. The work highlights the fact that saline soda soils are populated by a

  16. Biology teachers' attitudes toward and use of Indiana's evolution standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Lisa A.; Boone, William J.

    2007-02-01

    This study examines the relationship between biology teachers' evolution teaching practices and their regard and use of Indiana state evolution standards. A survey developed by the authors contained five subscales: use of standards; attitude toward standards; attitude toward evolution standards; evolution teaching practices; and demographic information. This survey was administered to 229 Indiana biology teachers. Data were analyzed using the Rasch model to convert Likert rating scale data into ratio data used for parametric analyses. Correlation analysis revealed significant relationships between use of standards and attitude toward standards, attitude toward standards and evolution teaching practices, and attitude toward evolution standards and days teaching evolution. These findings suggest practical relationships between standards use, teachers' regard of standards, and evolution teaching practices.

  17. Directed Evolution: An Evolving and Enabling Synthetic Biology Tool

    OpenAIRE

    Cobb, Ryan E.; Si, Tong; Zhao, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology, with its goal of designing biological entities for wide-ranging purposes, remains a field of intensive research interest. However, the vast complexity of biological systems has heretofore rendered rational design prohibitively difficult. As a result, directed evolution remains a valuable tool for synthetic biology, enabling the identification of desired functionalities from large libraries of variants. This review highlights the most recent advances in the use of directed e...

  18. Entropy, biological evolution and the psychological arrow of time

    CERN Document Server

    Heinrich, Torsten; Päs, Heinrich

    2014-01-01

    We argue that in Universes where future and past differ only by the entropy content a psychological arrow of time pointing in the direction of entropy increase can arise from natural selection in biological evolution. We show that this effect can be demonstrated in very simple toy computer simulations of evolution in an entropy increasing or decreasing environment.

  19. On the transition period from chemical to biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. The Biology and Evolution of Music: A Comparative Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    2006-01-01

    Studies of the biology of music (as of language) are highly interdisciplinary and demand the integration of diverse strands of evidence. In this paper, I present a comparative perspective on the biology and evolution of music, stressing the value of comparisons both with human language, and with those animal communication systems traditionally…

  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. Directed evolution and synthetic biology applications to microbial systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassalo, Marcelo C; Liu, Rongming; Gill, Ryan T

    2016-06-01

    Biotechnology applications require engineering complex multi-genic traits. The lack of knowledge on the genetic basis of complex phenotypes restricts our ability to rationally engineer them. However, complex phenotypes can be engineered at the systems level, utilizing directed evolution strategies that drive whole biological systems toward desired phenotypes without requiring prior knowledge of the genetic basis of the targeted trait. Recent developments in the synthetic biology field accelerates the directed evolution cycle, facilitating engineering of increasingly complex traits in biological systems. In this review, we summarize some of the most recent advances in directed evolution and synthetic biology that allows engineering of complex traits in microbial systems. Then, we discuss applications that can be achieved through engineering at the systems level. PMID:27054950

  3. 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. PMID:27528765

  4. Self-organized Critical Model Of Biological Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Chau, H. F.; Mak, L; Kwok, P. K.

    1994-01-01

    A punctuated equilibrium model of biological evolution with relative fitness between different species being the fundamental driving force of evolution is introduced. Mutation is modeled as a fitness updating cellular automaton process where the change in fitness after mutation follows a Gaussian distribution with mean $x>0$ and standard deviation $\\sigma$. Scaling behaviors are observed in our numerical simulation, indicating that the model is self-organized critical. Besides, the numerical ...

  5. Evolution in invasive plants: implications for biological control

    OpenAIRE

    Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Schaffner, Urs; Steinger, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    Evidence is increasing that invasive plants can undergo rapid adaptive evolution during the process of range expansion. Here, we argue that evolutionary change during invasions will also affect plant–antagonist inter-actions and, thus, will have important implications for biological control programmes targeted at invasive plants. We explore how altered selection in the new range might influence the evolution of plant defence (resistance and tolerance) and life history. The degree to which suc...

  6. In search of biology. Reflections on evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandín, Máximo

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available After 150 years conceiving and dealing with Nature in terms of competence, costs-benefits, exploitation of resources, strategies…, we have managed to make it enter into a «recession». This estrangement from reality and from natural phenomena, has seriously jeopardized the future of mankind on our planet and makes it necessary, even urgent, the search for a conception of biology based on scientific concepts and vocabulary that re-connects us with Nature before it is too late.

    Después de 150 años de concebir y tratar a la Naturaleza en términos de competencia, costebeneficio, explotación de recursos, estrategias…, hemos conseguido que ésta entre en «recesión». Este alejamiento de la realidad, de los fenómenos naturales, ha puesto en grave peligro el futuro de la Humanidad sobre nuestro planeta y hace necesaria, incluso urgente, la búsqueda de una concepción de la Biología basada en conceptos y vocabulario científicos que nos vuelva a conectar con la Naturaleza antes de que sea demasiado tarde.

  7. Review, Intelligence and Development of Rare Earths during Biological Evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qiu Guanming; Li Wei; Zhang Ming; Li Zhe; Yan Changhao; Li Yourong; Ding Guohui

    2004-01-01

    The relationship between organism and rare earth elements (REE) viewed from evolution was discussed.Some metal ions play key roles in biological functions, however, as the illustration in this article shows, with powerful affinities for oxygen and similar radius, REE can display equally or even more important functions in terms of its biological functions. These attractive characteristics have called more public attention and lead to many applications in agriculture, medicine fields, etc. Furthermore, the article employed the concept of entropy to discuss the dosage effect of REE on organism and the possibility whether REE can become a portion of organism during the evolution.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Honing, H.; Cate, ten, J.M.; 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 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 characteriza...

  9. 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.

  10. The modern theory of biological evolution: an expanded synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Niklas, Karl J

    2004-06-01

    In 1858, two naturalists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, independently proposed natural selection as the basic mechanism responsible for the origin of new phenotypic variants and, ultimately, new species. A large body of evidence for this hypothesis was published in Darwin's Origin of Species one year later, the appearance of which provoked other leading scientists like August Weismann to adopt and amplify Darwin's perspective. Weismann's neo-Darwinian theory of evolution was further elaborated, most notably in a series of books by Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ernst Mayr, Julian Huxley and others. In this article we first summarize the history of life on Earth and provide recent evidence demonstrating that Darwin's dilemma (the apparent missing Precambrian record of life) has been resolved. Next, the historical development and structure of the "modern synthesis" is described within the context of the following topics: paleobiology and rates of evolution, mass extinctions and species selection, macroevolution and punctuated equilibrium, sexual reproduction and recombination, sexual selection and altruism, endosymbiosis and eukaryotic cell evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance and molecular evolution, experimental bacterial evolution, and computer simulations (in silico evolution of digital organisms). In addition, we discuss the expansion of the modern synthesis, embracing all branches of scientific disciplines. It is concluded that the basic tenets of the synthetic theory have survived, but in modified form. These sub-theories require continued elaboration, particularly in light of molecular biology, to answer open-ended questions concerning the mechanisms of evolution in all five kingdoms of life. PMID:15241603

  11. The modern theory of biological evolution: an expanded synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Niklas, Karl J

    2004-06-01

    In 1858, two naturalists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, independently proposed natural selection as the basic mechanism responsible for the origin of new phenotypic variants and, ultimately, new species. A large body of evidence for this hypothesis was published in Darwin's Origin of Species one year later, the appearance of which provoked other leading scientists like August Weismann to adopt and amplify Darwin's perspective. Weismann's neo-Darwinian theory of evolution was further elaborated, most notably in a series of books by Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ernst Mayr, Julian Huxley and others. In this article we first summarize the history of life on Earth and provide recent evidence demonstrating that Darwin's dilemma (the apparent missing Precambrian record of life) has been resolved. Next, the historical development and structure of the "modern synthesis" is described within the context of the following topics: paleobiology and rates of evolution, mass extinctions and species selection, macroevolution and punctuated equilibrium, sexual reproduction and recombination, sexual selection and altruism, endosymbiosis and eukaryotic cell evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance and molecular evolution, experimental bacterial evolution, and computer simulations (in silico evolution of digital organisms). In addition, we discuss the expansion of the modern synthesis, embracing all branches of scientific disciplines. It is concluded that the basic tenets of the synthetic theory have survived, but in modified form. These sub-theories require continued elaboration, particularly in light of molecular biology, to answer open-ended questions concerning the mechanisms of evolution in all five kingdoms of life.

  12. The modern theory of biological evolution: an expanded synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Niklas, Karl J.

    In 1858, two naturalists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, independently proposed natural selection as the basic mechanism responsible for the origin of new phenotypic variants and, ultimately, new species. A large body of evidence for this hypothesis was published in Darwin's Origin of Species one year later, the appearance of which provoked other leading scientists like August Weismann to adopt and amplify Darwin's perspective. Weismann's neo-Darwinian theory of evolution was further elaborated, most notably in a series of books by Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ernst Mayr, Julian Huxley and others. In this article we first summarize the history of life on Earth and provide recent evidence demonstrating that Darwin's dilemma (the apparent missing Precambrian record of life) has been resolved. Next, the historical development and structure of the ``modern synthesis'' is described within the context of the following topics: paleobiology and rates of evolution, mass extinctions and species selection, macroevolution and punctuated equilibrium, sexual reproduction and recombination, sexual selection and altruism, endosymbiosis and eukaryotic cell evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance and molecular evolution, experimental bacterial evolution, and computer simulations (in silico evolution of digital organisms). In addition, we discuss the expansion of the modern synthesis, embracing all branches of scientific disciplines. It is concluded that the basic tenets of the synthetic theory have survived, but in modified form. These sub-theories require continued elaboration, particularly in light of molecular biology, to answer open-ended questions concerning the mechanisms of evolution in all five kingdoms of life.

  13. Muslim Egyptian and Lebanese Students' Conceptions of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

    In this study, we investigated distinctions among the diversity of religious traditions represented by Lebanese and Egyptian Muslim high school students regarding their understanding and acceptance of biological evolution and how they relate the science to their religious beliefs. We explored secondary students' conceptions of evolution among members of three Muslim sects—Sunni, Shiite, and Druze—in two cultural contexts; one in which the overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim (Egypt) and another in which there is a sizable Christian community (Lebanon). Data were collected via surveys that examined students' scientific and religious understandings of evolution among 162 Egyptian students (all Sunni Muslims; 63% females and 37% males) and 629 Lebanese students (38.5% Sunni, 38% Shiite, and 23.5% Druze; 49% females and 51% males). Additional data were collected via semi-structured interviews with 30 Lebanese students to allow triangulation of data for accuracy and authenticity. Results indicate that many Egyptian and Lebanese Muslim students have misconceptions about evolution and the nature of science which often lead to rejection of evolution. Also, Lebanese Sunni and Shiite students and Egyptian Sunni students tend to exhibit high levels of religiosity, and these students report that their religious beliefs influence their positions regarding evolution. Finally, Sunni and Shiite Lebanese students have religious beliefs, conceptions of evolution, and positions regarding evolution similar to those of Sunni Egyptian students. These conceptions and positions, however, are substantially different from those of Druze Lebanese students.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Rapid biological speciation driven by tectonic evolution in New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craw, Dave; Upton, Phaedra; Burridge, Christopher P.; Wallis, Graham P.; Waters, Jonathan M.

    2016-02-01

    Collisions between tectonic plates lead to the rise of new mountain ranges that can separate biological populations and ultimately result in new species. However, the identification of links between tectonic mountain-building and biological speciation is confounded by environmental and ecological factors. Thus, there are surprisingly few well-documented examples of direct tectonic controls on terrestrial biological speciation. Here we present examples from New Zealand, where the rapid evolution of 18 species of freshwater fishes has resulted from parallel tectonic landscape evolution. We use numerical models to reconstruct changes in the deep crustal structure and surface drainage catchments of the southern island of New Zealand over the past 25 million years. We show that the island and mountain topography evolved in six principal tectonic zones, which have distinct drainage catchments that separated fish populations. We use new and existing phylogenetic analyses of freshwater fish populations, based on over 1,000 specimens from more than 400 localities, to show that fish genomes can retain evidence of this tectonic landscape development, with a clear correlation between geologic age and extent of DNA sequence divergence. We conclude that landscape evolution has controlled on-going biological diversification over the past 25 million years.

  17. Ohio High School Biology Teachers' Views of State Standard for Evolution: Impacts on Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.

    2012-01-01

    High school biology teachers face many challenges as they teach evolution. State standards for evolution may provide support for sound evolution instruction. This study attempts to build upon previous work by investigating teachers' views of evolution standards and their evolution practices in a state where evolution standards have been…

  18. Simple model of self-organized biological evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    de Boer, J.; Derrida, B.; Flyvbjerg, H.; Jackson, A.D.; Wettig, T. (Department of Physics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794-3800 (United States) The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, 20 Clarkson Road, Cambridge, CB4 0EH (United Kingdom) Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Ecole Normale Superieure, 24 rue Lhomond, F-75005 Paris (France) Service de Physique Theorique, Centre de Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay, F-91191, Gif-Sur-Yvette (France) CONNECT, The Niels Bohr Institute, Blegdamsvej 17, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark))

    1994-08-08

    We give an exact solution of a recently proposed self-organized critical model of biological evolution. We show that the model has a power law distribution of durations of coevolutionary avalanches'' with a mean field exponent 3/2. We also calculate analytically the finite size effects which cut off this power law at times of the order of the system size.

  19. Entropic Sampling and Natural Selection in Biological Evolution

    OpenAIRE

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

    1996-01-01

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

  20. Sensitivity to Initial Conditions and Nonextensivity in Biological Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Tamarit, Francisco A.; Cannas, Sergio A.; Tsallis, Constantino

    1996-01-01

    We consider biological evolution as described within the Bak and Sneppen 1993 model. We exhibit, at the self-organized critical state, a power-law sensitivity to the initial conditions, calculate the associated exponent, and relate it to the recently introduced nonextensive thermostatistics. The scenario which here emerges without tuning strongly reminds that of the tuned onset of chaos in say logistic-like onedimensional maps. We also calculate the dynamical exponent z.

  1. Exact Conservation Laws and Exclusion Principle of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azbel', Mark Ya.

    2003-03-01

    Biological evolution is dynamics of diversity and complexity of living beings from cells to humans. Metabolism, which allows for entropy decrease, and mortality, which allows for natural selection, are its biological must. Their characteristics are known to yield approximate (and rather noisy) universal relations. I conjecture they are accurate for certain ("canonic") fractions of these characteristics. (The conjecture is verified with experimental tests of its counterintuitive predictions). A relation, which is conserved under (invariant to) transformations from one species in its living conditions to another, is a conservation law of biological evolution. Of course, all parameters of such transformations can hardly be comprehensively specified. However, when canonic fractions are additive, the very invariance of the law to an extraordinary wide class of transformations, with no other experimental data, in any given interval of canonic fraction values accurately predicts [1]: either their conservation law is linear, or the population is homogeneous with respect to their values (an "exclusion principle" of their heterogeneity in an otherwise heterogeneous population). To be specific. Metabolism conservation laws (e.g., the dependence of oxygen consumption at rest per heartbeat on the animal mass) are linear. They imply [2] the existence of fundamental biological constants, which are similar to those crucial in physics. Survivability conservation law (the relation between the probabilities to survive to any two given ages) is piecewise linear (with four linear intervals). At the intersections mortality is homogeneous, and its susceptibility to living conditions vanishes. The law predicts that a dominant canonic fraction of mortality in protected populations is reversible for species as different as humans and flies, and may be eliminated. All these predictions agree with experimental data. (For instance, mortality of Swedish females, born in 1916, at 48 years

  2. Teaching biological evolution - internal and external evaluation of learning outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clas Olander

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports from a study where teachers and researchers collaborate on designing and validatingtopic-oriented teaching-learning sequences. In an iterative process, data about learning andteaching biological evolution are generated through continuous cycles of design, teaching, evaluation,and redesign. The study involved 180 Swedish students aged 11 – 16, and the overall learning aim was that the students should be able to use the theory of evolution as a tool when explaining the development of life on earth. The aim of this paper is to validate the students’ learning outcome, estimated as appropriation of scientific ways of reasoning in written answers. The students’ answers of questions are analysed before and after interventions (internal evaluation, and compared with the answers from a national sample (external evaluation. The students in the experimental group did develop their reasoning, and they attained the aim, to a greater extent than a national sample.

  3. Biological evolution and Brazilian students: knowledge and acceptance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciela da Silva Oliveira

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to verify topics of the biological evolution theory Brazilian students affirm to know and their relation with variables such as sex, age, geographical localization, socioeconomical aspects, religion and science. 2.404 high school students (55.1% girls enrolled in 78 Brazilian schools took part of the research. The data was generated through a questionnaire and analyzed using the software Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS version 18.0. The results point out that the knowledge of topics about evolution is low among students and influenced by the variables tested, the associations identified happened in a diversified way, and in lower or higher intensity according to the context studied.

  4. 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 ...

  5. The Evolution of Biological Complexity in Digital Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofria, Charles

    2013-03-01

    When Darwin first proposed his theory of evolution by natural selection, he realized that it had a problem explaining the origins of traits of ``extreme perfection and complication'' such as the vertebrate eye. Critics of Darwin's theory have latched onto this perceived flaw as a proof that Darwinian evolution is impossible. In anticipation of this issue, Darwin described the perfect data needed to understand this process, but lamented that such data are ``scarcely ever possible'' to obtain. In this talk, I will discuss research where we use populations of digital organisms (self-replicating and evolving computer programs) to elucidate the genetic and evolutionary processes by which new, highly-complex traits arise, drawing inspiration directly from Darwin's wistful thinking and hypotheses. During the process of evolution in these fully-transparent computational environments we can measure the incorporation of new information into the genome, a process akin to a natural Maxwell's Demon, and identify the original source of any such information. We show that, as Darwin predicted, much of the information used to encode a complex trait was already in the genome as part of simpler evolved traits, and that many routes must be possible for a new complex trait to have a high probability of successfully evolving. In even more extreme examples of the evolution of complexity, we are now using these same principles to examine the evolutionary dynamics the drive major transitions in evolution; that is transitions to higher-levels of organization, which are some of the most complex evolutionary events to occur in nature. Finally, I will explore some of the implications of this research to other aspects of evolutionary biology and as well as ways that these evolutionary principles can be applied toward solving computational and engineering problems.

  6. 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. PMID:25646511

  7. 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.

  8. An examination of conceptual change in undergraduate biology majors while learning science concepts including biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuaide, Glenn G.

    2006-12-01

    Without adequate understanding of science, we cannot make responsible personal, regional, national, or global decisions about any aspect of life dealing with science. Better understanding how we learn about science can contribute to improving the quality of our educational experiences. Promoting pathways leading to life-long learning and deep understanding in our world should be a goal for all educators. This dissertation project was a phenomenological investigation into undergraduate understanding and acceptance of scientific theories, including biological evolution. Specifically, student descriptions of conceptual change while learning science theory were recorded and analyzed. These qualitative investigations were preceded by a survey that provided a means of selecting students who had a firmer understanding of science theory. Background information and survey data were collected in an undergraduate biology class at a small, Southern Baptist-affiliated liberal arts school located in south central Kentucky. Responses to questions on the MATE (Rutledge and Warden, 1999) instrument were used to screen students for interviews, which investigated the way by which students came to understand and accept scientific theories. This study identifies some ways by which individuals learn complex science theories, including biological evolution. Initial understanding and acceptance often occurs by the conceptual change method described by Posner et al. (1982). Three principle ways by which an individual may reach a level of understanding and acceptance of science theory were documented in this study. They were conceptual change through application of logic and reasoning; conceptual change through modification of religious views; and conceptual change through acceptance of authoritative knowledge. Development of a deeper, richer understanding and acceptance of complex, multi-faceted concepts such as biological evolution occurs in some individuals by means of conceptual

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

    CERN Document Server

    Ozhigov, Yuri I

    2014-01-01

    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 is the sum of "aspirations" to change the classical states of meta- genes. Each individual life thus becomes one of possible outcomes of the virtual quantum measurement of this function. The evolution of genomes is described by the unitary operator in the space of psi-functions or by Kossovsky-Lindblad equation in the case of open biosystems. This operator contains all the information about specific conditions under which individuals are, and how "aspirations" of their meta- genes may be implemented at the biochemical lev...

  10. 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.

  11. Evolution of bow-tie architectures in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlander, Tamar; Mayo, Avraham E; Tlusty, Tsvi; Alon, Uri

    2015-03-01

    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. PMID:25798588

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Can chimpanzee biology highlight human origin and evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roffman, Itai; Nevo, Eviatar

    2010-07-01

    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. PMID:23908781

  15. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roffman, Itai; Nevo, Eviatar

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:23908781

  16. 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.

  17. [Thermodynamic theory of biological evolution and aging. Experimental verification of the theory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladyshev, G P

    2000-01-01

    Experimental data confirming original thermodynamic theory of biological evolution and aging are presented. Biological evolution (phylogenesis) and ontogenesis can be easily described within the frames of equilibrium hierarchical thermodynamics on the basis of temporal hierarchies law and the second principle of thermodynamics. The theory explains many facts and suggests new practical proposals in medical and biological science, particularly, in dietology, gerontology, and geriatrics. Application of the temporal hierarchies model to studying living nature offers horizonless possibilities for its understanding.

  18. Thermodynamic Theory of Biological Evolution and Aging. Experimental Confirmation of Theory

    OpenAIRE

    Gladyshev, Georgi P.

    1999-01-01

    Abstract: The work presents experimental confirmation of the author's thermodynamic theory of the biological evolution and aging of living beings. It shows that using the law of temporal hierarchies and the second law of thermodynamics, it is easy to describe biological evolution (phylogeny) and ontogeny in terms of equilibrium hierarchical thermodynamics. This theory explains many known facts and makes it possible to formulate new practical recommendations in the sphere of medical and biolog...

  19. 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. PMID:21615289

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhar, Arun K; Robles-Sikisaka, Refugio; Saksmerprome, Vanvimon; Lakshman, Dilip K

    2014-01-01

    As shrimp aquaculture has evolved from a subsistent farming activity to an economically important global industry, viral diseases have also become a serious threat to the sustainable growth and productivity of this industry. Parvoviruses represent an economically important group of viruses that has greatly affected shrimp aquaculture. In the early 1980s, an outbreak of a shrimp parvovirus, infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV), led to the collapse of penaeid shrimp farming in the Americas. Since then, considerable progress has been made in characterizing the parvoviruses of shrimp and developing diagnostic methods aimed to preventing the spread of diseases caused by these viruses. To date, four parvoviruses are known that infect shrimp; these include IHHNV, hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV), spawner-isolated mortality virus (SMV), and lymphoid organ parvo-like virus. Due to the economic repercussions that IHHNV and HPV outbreaks have caused to shrimp farming over the years, studies have been focused mostly on these two pathogens, while information on SMV and LPV remains limited. IHHNV was the first shrimp virus to be sequenced and the first for which highly sensitive diagnostic methods were developed. IHHNV-resistant lines of shrimp were also developed to mitigate the losses caused by this virus. While the losses due to IHHNV have been largely contained in recent years, reports of HPV-induced mortalities in larval stages in hatchery and losses due to reduced growth have increased. This review presents a comprehensive account of the history and current knowledge on the biology, diagnostics methods, genomic features, mechanisms of evolution, and management strategies of shrimp parvoviruses. We also highlighted areas where research efforts should be focused in order to gain further insight on the mechanisms of parvoviral pathogenicity in shrimp that will help to prevent future losses caused by these viruses.

  3. Systems Medicine: Evolution of Systems Biology From Bench To Bedside

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Rui-Sheng; Maron, Bradley A.; Loscalzo, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput experimental techniques for generating genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes, and interactomes have provided unprecedented opportunities to interrogate biological systems and human diseases on a global level. Systems biology integrates the mass of heterogeneous high-throughput data and predictive computational modeling to understand biological functions as system-level properties. Most human diseases are biological states caused by multiple components of perturbed pa...

  4. Beyond directed evolution: Darwinian selection as a tool for synthetic biology

    OpenAIRE

    Porcar, Manuel

    2009-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an engineering approach that seeks to design and construct new biological parts, devices and systems, as well as to re-design existing components. However, rationally designed synthetic circuits may not work as expected due to the context-dependence of biological parts. Darwinian selection, the main mechanism through which evolution works, is a major force in creating biodiversity and may be a powerful tool for synthetic biology. This article reviews selection-based techn...

  5. 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…

  6. 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

    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

  7. 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

  8. Autocatalysis as the Natural Philosophy Underlying Complexity and Biological Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güngör Gündüz

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The importance and different aspects of autocatalysis in evolution was analyzed. The behaviour of autocatalytic reactions mainly the Lotka-Volterra and the Schlögl equations were discussed in terms of phase change, entropy, and their oscillation frequency. The increase of complexity as the general direction of evolution was examined on some patterns in terms of both their entropy and information content. In addition, the relation between stability and functionality, stability and cohesion were discussed. It was concluded that evolution drifts in the direction of increasing complexity as a kind of natural philosophy to counteract the increase of entropy in the universe.

  9. 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

  10. Diploid biological evolution models with general smooth fitness landscapes and recombination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saakian, David B; Kirakosyan, Zara; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2008-06-01

    Using a Hamilton-Jacobi equation approach, we obtain analytic equations for steady-state population distributions and mean fitness functions for Crow-Kimura and Eigen-type diploid biological evolution models with general smooth hypergeometric fitness landscapes. Our numerical solutions of diploid biological evolution models confirm the analytic equations obtained. We also study the parallel diploid model for the simple case of recombination and calculate the variance of distribution, which is consistent with numerical results. PMID:18643300

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Lisa Anne

    2012-01-01

    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…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  13. 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.

    physical system, where a model usually can be developed from well established fundamental principles, in case of biological systems such principles are not always available offering an opportunity for innovation. The success of the innovation, of course...

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

    OpenAIRE

    PW Bateman; NC Bennett

    2006-01-01

    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...

  15. Thermodynamic Theory of Biological Evolution and Aging. Experimental Confirmation of Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladyshev, Georgi P.

    1999-12-01

    The work presents experimental confirmation of the author's thermodynamic theory of the biological evolution and aging of living beings. It shows that using the law of temporal hierarchies and the second law of thermodynamics, it is easy to describe biological evolution (phylogeny) and ontogeny in terms of equilibrium hierarchical thermodynamics. This theory explains many known facts and makes it possible to formulate new practical recommendations in the sphere of medical and biological disciplines, for instance, dietology, gerontology, and geriatrics. Using the models of temporal hierarchies when studying living nature, researchers can go a long way towards understanding it.

  16. Contributions of stochastic events to biological evolution and cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anderson KM

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Stochastic genetic and epigenetic events have been fundamental in contributing to the development of manifold life-forms, past and present. The development of malignant cell clones and the role of stochasticity as a driving force in cancer cell evolution complements, in a perverse way evidence for the role of chance in normal cellular development and evolution. Stochastic events at multiple levels of cellular control and implementation represent a primary driving force and an ultimate filter through which evolutionary innovation occurs. Stochasticity provides the opportunity for a random assortment of disparate genetic and epigenetic events, in some instances resulting in altered metabolic and developmental capabilities of sufficient stability and uniqueness to contribute to deterministic sequelae that promote the viability and procreation of cells under stress. Cellular evolution has so far resulted in a “survival of a (sic fittest”, often dependent mechanistically on and determined by stochastic events. The implications of this are mirrored in the evolution of malignant change, to some extent as a variant of “reverse engineering” of dedifferentiation. Efforts to reduce the incidence of malignant change will have to take in to account its random nature and further the understanding of this feature.

  17. WWW.cell Biology Education: Evolution Web Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dennis

    2005-01-01

    The debate over teaching evolution has once again reached a fever pitch in the United States. Earnest nineteenth-century clashes between scientific and religious worldviews have given way to the politically charged arguments of creation science and now intelligent design. The Web site of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE;…

  18. The Effectiveness of an Online Curriculum on High School Students' Understanding of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsteller, Robert B.; Bodzin, Alec M.

    2015-12-01

    An online curriculum about biological evolution was designed to promote increased student content knowledge and evidentiary reasoning. A feasibility study was conducted with 77 rural high school biology students who learned with the online biological evolution unit. Data sources included the Biological Evolution Assessment Measure (BEAM), an analysis of discussion forum posts, and a post-implementation perceptions and attitudes questionnaire. BEAM posttest scores were significantly higher than the pretest scores. However, the findings revealed that the students required additional support to develop evidentiary reasoning. Many students perceived that the Web-based curriculum would have been enhanced by increased immediate interaction and feedback. Students required greater scaffolding to support complex, process-oriented tasks. Implications for designing Web-based science instruction with curriculum materials to support students' acquisition of content knowledge and science process skills in a Web-based setting are discussed.

  19. A comparison of Massachusetts and Texas high school biology teachers' attitudes towards the teaching of evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howarth, Richard T.

    Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is considered to be the unifying theory for all life sciences (American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS, 1990; National Academy of Sciences, 1998; National Research Council, NRC, 1996; National Science Teachers Association, NSTA, 2010a) and as such, the biology topic has been established as a central learning standard by the National Science Education Science Standards (NSES, 2005). The purpose of this study was to compare how Massachusetts and Texas high school biology teachers' attitudes toward the teaching of evolution differ as compared to other biology topics. Texas and Massachusetts are two states that exemplify standards based education yet differ dramatically in their histories surrounding the topic of evolution. A survey was conducted among 217 Massachusetts and 139 Texas in-service high school biology teachers to help provide a sense of the phenomena surrounding biology teachers in respect to how their attitudes towards the teaching of evolution are shaped. Additionally, an open-ended question was asked to help contextualize the results of the survey between teachers of these two states. The findings in this study suggest that community appears to be a powerful persuasive message and socialization experience that shapes the development of attitudes towards evolution for some educators, especially when it is highly intertwined with religion. For biology teachers in the state of Texas, the synergistic result of this relationship has resulted in statistically significant differences in regards to attitudes towards evolution as compared to teachers in Massachusetts. These findings yield implications regarding scientific literacy, student learning, assessment, the quality of science instruction, curriculum, undergraduate biology programs, and the needs of biology teachers in terms of professional development.

  20. Women in evolution - highlighting the changing face of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Otto, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The face of science has changed. Women now feature alongside men at the forefront of many fields, and this is particularly true in evolutionary biology. This special issue celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of women in evolutionary biology, by highlighting a sample of their research and accomplishments. In addition to original research contributions, this collection of articles contains personal reflections to provide perspective and advice on succeeding as a woman in science. By showcasing the diversity and research excellence of women and drawing on their experiences, we wish to enhance the visibility of female scientists and provide inspiration as well as role models. These are exciting times for evolutionary biology, and the field is richer and stronger for the diversity of voices contributing to the field. PMID:27087836

  1. Women in evolution - highlighting the changing face of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Otto, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The face of science has changed. Women now feature alongside men at the forefront of many fields, and this is particularly true in evolutionary biology. This special issue celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of women in evolutionary biology, by highlighting a sample of their research and accomplishments. In addition to original research contributions, this collection of articles contains personal reflections to provide perspective and advice on succeeding as a woman in science. By showcasing the diversity and research excellence of women and drawing on their experiences, we wish to enhance the visibility of female scientists and provide inspiration as well as role models. These are exciting times for evolutionary biology, and the field is richer and stronger for the diversity of voices contributing to the field.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  4. 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...

  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. 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).

  7. Evolution of bow-tie architectures in biology.

    OpenAIRE

    Tamar Friedlander; Mayo, Avraham E.; Tsvi Tlusty; Uri Alon

    2015-01-01

    Bow-tie or hourglass structure is a common architectural feature found in biological and technological networks. 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 signalin...

  8. Simple model of self-organized biological evolution as completely integrable dissipative system

    OpenAIRE

    Pis'mak, Yu. M.

    1998-01-01

    The Bak-Sneppen model of self-organized biological evolution of an infinite ecosystem of randomly interacting species is represented in terms of an infinite set of variables which can be considered as an analog to the set of integrals of motion of completely integrable system. Each of this variables remains to be constant but its influence on the evolution process is restricted in time and after definite moment its value is excluded from description of the system dynamics.

  9. Mechanical evolution of the rotating biological contactor into the 21st century.

    OpenAIRE

    Mba, David

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a review on the evolution of the mechanical design of rotating biological contactors (RBCs) within the UK. The findings documented have been taken from the biggest mechanical survey on RBCs ever undertaken worldwide and focuses on 300 operational units. The paper looks at the main components of the RBC and discusses the evolution of each member. Mechanical deficiencies associated with each design are briefly presented, giving an insight into reasons for i...

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Contingency, convergence and hyper-astronomical numbers in biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Ard A

    2016-08-01

    Counterfactual questions such as "what would happen if you re-run the tape of life?" turn on the nature of the landscape of biological possibilities. Since the number of potential sequences that store genetic information grows exponentially with length, genetic possibility spaces can be so unimaginably vast that commentators frequently reach of hyper-astronomical metaphors that compare their size to that of the universe. Re-run the tape of life and the likelihood of encountering the same sequences in such hyper-astronomically large spaces is infinitesimally small, suggesting that evolutionary outcomes are highly contingent. On the other hand, the wide-spread occurrence of evolutionary convergence implies that similar phenotypes can be found again with relative ease. How can this be? Part of the solution to this conundrum must lie in the manner that genotypes map to phenotypes. By studying simple genotype-phenotype maps, where the counterfactual space of all possible phenotypes can be enumerated, it is shown that strong bias in the arrival of variation may explain why certain phenotypes are (repeatedly) observed in nature, while others never appear. This biased variation provides a non-selective cause for certain types of convergence. It illustrates how the role of randomness and contingency may differ significantly between genetic and phenotype spaces.

  14. Melanins and their possible roles through biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Césarini, J. P.

    Melanins are biopolymers which structures can be very simple or very complex. From a single essential amino acid, phenylalanine, to fully mature melanosomes, a series of events takes place: melanogenesis. A part of haemoglobin, melanins are the only pigment endogenously synthesised in humans. Their synthesis takes place in the melanocyte, a cell from neurectodermal origin (neural crest, neural tube, melanoblasts). Two important functions have been attributed to melanin: optical efficiency of the eye and colour pattern, but their role might have been much larger in lower vertebrates and several micro-organisms. By their structure, melanins have very original biophysical bioproperties. They could act as intrinsic semiconductors and may de-excite certain biological molecules by converting electronic energy into heat. Being themselves free radicals, they certainly play a major role in the quenching of free radicals produced by ultraviolet radiation. In their granular or particular form, they absorb or reflect the non-ionising radiations. Furthermore, like weak cation exchange polymers, eumelanins have the capacity to bind substantial amount of metal ions or drugs. Phaeomelanins, sulphur containing low molecular weight, may have controlled the redox state of the early steps of life on earth. In human, the skin protection role attributed to melanins is controversial. If melanins have played a major role in the establishment of a North South gradient of skin colour, it is by no mean, an adaptation phenomenon for the darker population living under strong sun exposures.

  15. gcodeml: A Grid-enabled Tool for Detecting Positive Selection in Biological Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Moretti, Sébastien; Maffioletti, Sergio; Kuzniar, Arnold; Castella, Briséïs; Salamin, Nicolas; Robinson-Rechavi, Marc; Stockinger, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    One of the important questions in biological evolution is to know if certain changes along protein coding genes have contributed to the adaptation of species. This problem is known to be biologically complex and computationally very expensive. It, therefore, requires efficient Grid or cluster solutions to overcome the computational challenge. We have developed a Grid-enabled tool (gcodeml) that relies on the PAML (codeml) package to help analyse large phylogenetic datasets on both Grids and computational clusters. Although we report on results for gcodeml, our approach is applicable and customisable to related problems in biology or other scientific domains.

  16. The search for life's origins: Progress and future directions in planetary biology and chemical evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    The current state is reviewed of the study of chemical evolution and planetary biology and the probable future is discussed of the field, at least for the near term. To this end, the report lists the goals and objectives of future research and makes detailed, comprehensive recommendations for accomplishing them, emphasizing those issues that were inadequately discussed in earlier Space Studies Board reports.

  17. Solution of the Master Equation for Bak-Sneppen Model of Biological Evolution in Finite Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Pis'mak, Yu. M.

    1996-01-01

    The master equations describing processes of biological evolution in the framework of the random neighbor Bak-Sneppen model are studied. For the eqosystem of $N$ species they are solved exactly and asymptotical behavior of this solution for large $N$ is analyzed.

  18. Asymptotic Fitness Distribution in the Bak-Sneppen Model of Biological Evolution with Four Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlemm, Eckhard

    2012-08-01

    We suggest a new method to compute the asymptotic fitness distribution in the Bak-Sneppen model of biological evolution. As applications we derive the full asymptotic distribution in the four-species model, and give an explicit linear recurrence relation for a set of coefficients determining the asymptotic distribution in the five-species model.

  19. Asymptotic fitness distribution in the Bak-Sneppen model of biological evolution with four species

    OpenAIRE

    Schlemm, Eckhard

    2012-01-01

    We suggest a new method to compute the asymptotic fitness distribution in the Bak-Sneppen model of biological evolution. As applications we derive the full asymptotic distribution in the four-species model, and give an explicit linear recurrence relation for a set of coefficients determining the asymptotic distribution in the five-species model.

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    As a major step toward understanding the biology and evolution of ruminants, the cattle genome was sequenced to ~7x coverage using a combined whole genome shotgun and BAC skim approach. The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs found in seven mammalian...

  2. Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobzhansky, Theodosius

    1973-01-01

    Theory of evolution is not fact but is a scientific theory based on numerous pieces of concrete evidence. The only way to disprove this theory is to show evidence against it. The creationist view cannot be accepted in the light of new knowledge in molecular biology and other fields. (PS)

  3. 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 text or other…

  4. Evolution in the Caribbean Classroom: A critical analysis of the role of biology teachers and science standards in shaping evolution instruction in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Elvis Enrique; Pringle, Rose M.; Showalter, Kevin Tyler

    2012-10-01

    A survey of the literature on evolution instruction provides evidence that teachers' personal views and understandings can shape instructional approaches and content delivered in science classrooms regardless of established science standards. This study is the first to quantify evolutionary worldviews of in-service teachers in the Caribbean, specifically in Belize, an English-speaking nation with a high school system guided by a regional biology syllabus and strict standardized tests. Using the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument and knowledge test, we investigated (1) the current level of acceptance and understanding of evolution as given by 97% of high school biology teachers in Belize; (2) the factors associated with acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory. With an average MATE score of 64.4 and a mean knowledge score of 47.9%, Belizean teachers were classified as having both 'Low Acceptance' and 'Low Understanding' of evolutionary theory. A positive correlation was found between teacher acceptance and understanding of evolution. A review of the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate biology syllabus suggests that evolution plays a minimal role in the high school biology classroom. We believe that Belize presents a unique opening for future training on evolution instruction since 57% of the biology teachers self-proclaim to be unprepared to teach evolution. The results of this study have implications for policy, practice and research with teachers' acceptance, understanding and confidence in teaching evolution serving as important predictors for instructional approaches used in the biology classroom.

  5. Punctuated equilibrium and shock waves in molecular models of biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saakian, David B.; Ghazaryan, Makar H.; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2014-08-01

    We consider the dynamics in infinite population evolution models with a general symmetric fitness landscape. We find shock waves, i.e., discontinuous transitions in the mean fitness, in evolution dynamics even with smooth fitness landscapes, which means that the search for the optimal evolution trajectory is more complicated. These shock waves appear in the case of positive epistasis and can be used to represent punctuated equilibria in biological evolution during long geological time scales. We find exact analytical solutions for discontinuous dynamics at the large-genome-length limit and derive optimal mutation rates for a fixed fitness landscape to send the population from the initial configuration to some final configuration in the fastest way.

  6. 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

  7. Unbounded growth patterns of reproducing, competing polymers—similarities to biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregor Worst, Emanuel; Zimmer, Philipp; Wollrab, Eva; Kruse, Karsten; Ott, Albrecht

    2016-10-01

    Since the origin of life the interplay between reproduction, variation, and selection has been driving the emergence of new species. The evolution of the Earth’s biosphere appears to innovate unceasingly instead of coming to a stall. Here, we introduce a model system of linear molecules where new polymers appear by spontaneous ligation. The polymers proliferate following a template-based mechanism. Our combined experimental and theoretical study shows that for sufficiently rapid autocatalysis the reproduction process selects particular lengths—while ever longer polymers emerge. We suggest similarities to biological evolution.

  8. [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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2007-01-01

    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 of evolution incorporates the

  11. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  13. Why flavins are not competitors of chlorophyll in the evolution of biological converters of solar energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kritsky, Mikhail S; Telegina, Taisiya A; Vechtomova, Yulia L; Buglak, Andrey A

    2012-12-27

    Excited flavin molecules can photocatalyze reactions, leading to the accumulation of free energy in the products, and the data accumulated through biochemical experiments and by modeling prebiological processes suggest that flavins were available in the earliest stages of evolution. Furthermore, model experiments have shown that abiogenic flavin conjugated with a polyamino acid matrix, a pigment that photocatalyzes the phosphorylation of ADP to form ATP, could have been present in the prebiotic environment. Indeed, excited flavin molecules play key roles in many photoenzymes and regulatory photoreceptors, and the substantial structural differences between photoreceptor families indicate that evolution has repeatedly used flavins as chromophores for photoreceptor proteins. Some of these photoreceptors are equipped with a light-harvesting antenna, which transfers excitation energy to chemically reactive flavins in the reaction center. The sum of the available data suggests that evolution could have led to the formation of a flavin-based biological converter to convert light energy into energy in the form of ATP.

  14. 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.

  15. The evolution of early cellular systems viewed through the lens of biological interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony M Poole

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The minimal cell concept represents a pragmatic approach to the question of how few genes are required to run a cell. This is a helpful way to build a parts-list, and has been more successful than attempts to deduce a minimal gene set for life by inferring the gene repertoire of the Last Universal Common Ancestor, as few genes trace back to this hypothetical ancestral state. However, the study of minimal cellular systems is the study of biological outliers where, by practical necessity, coevolutionary interactions are minimised or ignored. In this paper, we consider the biological context from which minimal genomes have been removed. For instance, some of the most reduced genomes are from endosymbionts and are the result of coevolutionary interactions with a host; few such organisms are ‘free-living’. As few, if any, biological systems exist in complete isolation, we expect that, as with modern life, early biological systems were part of an ecosystem, replete with organismal interactions. We favour refocusing discussions of the evolution of cellular systems on processes rather than gene counts. We therefore draw a distinction between a pragmatic minimal cell (an interesting engineering problem, a distributed genome (a system resulting from an evolutionary transition involving more than one cell and the looser coevolutionary interactions that are ubiquitous in ecosystems. Finally, we consider the distributed genome and coevolutionary interactions between genomic entities in the context of early evolution.

  16. 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

  17. Evolution of Marine Organisms under Climate Change at Different Levels of Biological Organisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben P. Harvey

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Research to date has suggested that both individual marine species and ecological processes are expected to exhibit diverse responses to the environmental effects of climate change. Evolutionary responses can occur on rapid (ecological timescales, and yet studies typically do not consider the role that adaptive evolution will play in modulating biological responses to climate change. Investigations into such responses have typically been focused at particular biological levels (e.g., cellular, population, community, often lacking interactions among levels. Since all levels of biological organisation are sensitive to global climate change, there is a need to elucidate how different processes and hierarchical interactions will influence species fitness. Therefore, predicting the responses of communities and populations to global change will require multidisciplinary efforts across multiple levels of hierarchy, from the genetic and cellular to communities and ecosystems. Eventually, this may allow us to establish the role that acclimatisation and adaptation will play in determining marine community structures in future scenarios.

  18. Mechanical biological treatment of organic fraction of MSW affected dissolved organic matter evolution in simulated landfill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salati, Silvia; Scaglia, Barbara; di Gregorio, Alessandra; Carrera, Alberto; Adani, Fabrizio

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this paper was to study the evolution of DOM during 1 year of observation in simulated landfill, of aerobically treated vs. untreated organic fraction of MSW. Results obtained indicated that aerobic treatment of organic fraction of MSW permitted getting good biological stability so that, successive incubation under anaerobic condition in landfill allowed biological process to continue getting a strong reduction of soluble organic matter (DOM) that showed, also, an aromatic character. Incubation of untreated waste gave similar trend, but in this case DOM decreasing was only apparent as inhibition of biological process in landfill did not allow replacing degraded/leached DOM with new material coming from hydrolysis of fresh OM. PMID:23743423

  19. Mapping biological ideas: Concept maps as knowledge integration tools for evolution education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwendimann, Beat Adrian

    Many students leave school with a fragmented understanding of biology that does not allow them to connect their ideas to their everyday lives (Wandersee, 1989; Mintzes, Wandersee, & Novak, 1998; Mintzes, Wandersee, & Novak, 2000a). Understanding evolution ideas is seen as central to building an integrated knowledge of biology (Blackwell, Powell, & Dukes, 2003; Thagard & Findlay, 2010). However, the theory of evolution has been found difficult to understand as it incorporates a wide range of ideas from different areas (Bahar et al., 1999; Tsui & Treagust, 2003) and multiple interacting levels (Wilensky & Resnick, 1999; Duncan & Reiser, 2007; Hmelo-Silver et al., 2007). Research suggests that learners can hold a rich repertoire of co-existing alternative ideas of evolution (for example, Bishop & Anderson, 1990; Demastes, Good, & Peebles, 1996; Evans, 2008), especially of human evolution (for example, Nelson, 1986; Sinatra et al., 2003; Poling & Evans, 2004). Evolution ideas are difficult to understand because they often contradict existing alternative ideas (Mayr, 1982; Wolpert, 1994; Evans, 2008). Research suggests that understanding human evolution is a key to evolution education (for example, Blackwell et al., 2003; Besterman & Baggott la Velle, 2007). This dissertation research investigates how different concept mapping forms embedded in a collaborative technology-enhanced learning environment can support students' integration of evolution ideas using case studies of human evolution. Knowledge Integration (KI) (Linn et al., 2000; Linn et al., 2004) is used as the operational framework to explore concept maps as knowledge integration tools to elicit, add, critically distinguish, group, connect, and sort out alternative evolution ideas. Concept maps are a form of node-link diagram for organizing and representing connections between ideas as a semantic network (Novak & Gowin, 1984). This dissertation research describes the iterative development of a novel biology

  20. 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

  1. Biological stoichiometry: a theoretical framework connecting ecosystem ecology, evolution, and biochemistry for application in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elser, James J.

    2003-07-01

    Astrobiology is an extremely wide-ranging field and thus is in special need of conceptual and theoretical frameworks that can integrate its various arenas of study. In this paper I review recent work associated with a conceptual framework known as "ecological stoichiometry" and even more recent extensions in the development of "biological stoichiometry". Ecological stoichiometry is the study of the balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in ecological interactions and has developed rapidly in the study of nutrient cycling and energy flow in aquatic food webs. It identifies the elemental composition of interacting biota as central in understanding the nature of their interactions and dynamics, including key feedbacks via nutrient recycling. Biological stoichiometry extends this mode of thinking to all types of biological systems. It especially seeks to better understand, at the biochemical and genetic levels, the factors influencing the elemental composition of living things and the evolutionary forces that drive and constrain that elemental composition. By connecting key concepts of ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology and biochemistry, stoichiometric theory integrates biological information into a more coherent whole that holds considerable promise for application in astrobiology. Several examples of potential astrobiological applications of stoichiometric analysis are offered, including ones related to pre-biotic evolution, the Cambrian explosion, biosignatures and biological feedbacks on planetary carbon cycling.

  2. Insects as test systems for assessing the potential role of microgravity in biological development and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernós, I.; Carratalá, M.; González-Jurado, J.; Valverde, J. R.; Calleja, M.; Domingo, A.; Vinós, J.; Cervera, M.; Marco, R.

    Gravity and radiation are undoubtedly the two major environmental factors altered in space. Gravity is a weak force, which creates a permanent potential field acting on the mass of biological systems and their cellular components, strongly reduced in space flights. Developmental systems, particularly at very early stages, provide the larger cellular compartments known, where the effects of alterations in the size of the gravity vector on living organisms can be more effectively tested. The insects, one of the more highly evolved classes of animals in which early development occurs in a syncytial embryo, are systems particularly well suited to test these effects and the specific developmental mechanisms affected. Furthermore, they share some basic features such as small size, short life cycles, relatively high radio-resistance, etc. and show a diversity of developmental strategies and tempos advantageous in experiments of this type in space. Drosophila melanogaster, the current biological paradigm to study development, with so much genetic and evolutionary background available, is clearly the reference organism for these studies. The current evidence on the effects of the physical parameters altered in space flights on insect development indicate a surprising correlation between effects seen on the fast developing and relatively small Drosophila embryo and the more slowly developing and large Carausius morosus system. In relation to the issue of the importance of developmental and environmental constraints in biological evolution, still the missing link in current evolutionary thinking, insects and space facilities for long-term experiments could provide useful experimental settings where to critically assess how development and evolution may be interconnected. Finally, it has to be pointed out that since there are experimental data indicating a possible synergism between microgravity and space radiation, possible effects of space radiation should be taken into

  3. 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.

  4. Mobility as an emergent property of biological organization: Insights from experimental evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Ian J; Garland, Theodore

    2016-05-01

    Anthropologists accept that mobility is a critical dimension of human culture, one that links economy, technology, and social relations. Less often acknowledged is that mobility depends on complex and dynamic interactions between multiple levels of our biological organization, including anatomy, physiology, neurobiology, and genetics. Here, we describe a novel experimental approach to examining the biological foundations of mobility, using mice from a long-term artificial selection experiment for high levels of voluntary exercise on wheels. In this experiment, mice from selectively bred lines have evolved to run roughly three times as far per day as those from nonselected control lines. We consider three insights gleaned from this experiment as foundational principles for the study of mobility from the perspective of biological evolution. First, an evolutionary change in mobility will necessarily be associated with alterations in biological traits both directly and indirectly connected to mobility. Second, changing mobility will result in trade-offs and constraints among some of the affected traits. Third, multiple solutions exist to altering mobility, so that various combinations of adjustments to traits linked with mobility can achieve the same overall behavioral outcome. We suggest that anthropological knowledge of variation in human mobility might be improved by greater research attention to its biological dimensions. PMID:27312181

  5. 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.

  6. Controversy in Biology Classrooms-Citizen Science Approaches to Evolution and Applications to Climate Change Discussions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoho, Rachel A; Vanmali, Binaben H

    2016-03-01

    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. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. PMID:27047604

  7. Controversy in Biology Classrooms-Citizen Science Approaches to Evolution and Applications to Climate Change Discussions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoho, Rachel A; Vanmali, Binaben H

    2016-03-01

    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. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education.

  8. Self-Organized Criticality in the Model of Biological Evolution Describing Interaction of "Coenophilous" and " Coenophobous" Species

    OpenAIRE

    O. V. Kovalev; Pis'mak, Yu. M.; Vechernin, V. V.

    1995-01-01

    The modification of the model of P.Bak and K.Sneppen of the self-organized biological evolution is proposed on the basis of a formalization of the scheme of the biosphere evolution suggested by O.V.Kovalev. This scheme is regarded as one approximating the realistic model of the ecosystem evolution. The fundamental difference between "coenophilous" species and "coenophobous" ones in respect to their reaction on the external environment is represented. The dynamics of the modified model as well...

  9. 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

  10. From the ultrasonic to the infrared: molecular evolution and the sensory biology of bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Gareth; Teeling, Emma C; Rossiter, Stephen J

    2013-01-01

    Great advances have been made recently in understanding the genetic basis of the sensory biology of bats. Research has focused on the molecular evolution of candidate sensory genes, genes with known functions [e.g., olfactory receptor (OR) genes] and genes identified from mutations associated with sensory deficits (e.g., blindness and deafness). For example, the FoxP2 gene, underpinning vocal behavior and sensorimotor coordination, has undergone diversification in bats, while several genes associated with audition show parallel amino acid substitutions in unrelated lineages of echolocating bats and, in some cases, in echolocating dolphins, representing a classic case of convergent molecular evolution. Vision genes encoding the photopigments rhodopsin and the long-wave sensitive opsin are functional in bats, while that encoding the short-wave sensitive opsin has lost functionality in rhinolophoid bats using high-duty cycle laryngeal echolocation, suggesting a sensory trade-off between investment in vision and echolocation. In terms of olfaction, bats appear to have a distinctive OR repertoire compared with other mammals, and a gene involved in signal transduction in the vomeronasal system has become non-functional in most bat species. Bitter taste receptors appear to have undergone a "birth-and death" evolution involving extensive gene duplication and loss, unlike genes coding for sweet and umami tastes that show conservation across most lineages but loss in vampire bats. Common vampire bats have also undergone adaptations for thermoperception, via alternative splicing resulting in the evolution of a novel heat-sensitive channel. The future for understanding the molecular basis of sensory biology is promising, with great potential for comparative genomic analyses, studies on gene regulation and expression, exploration of the role of alternative splicing in the generation of proteomic diversity, and linking genetic mechanisms to behavioral consequences.

  11. From the ultrasonic to the infrared: molecular evolution and the sensory biology of bats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth eJones

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Great advances have been made recently in understanding the genetic basis of the sensory biology of bats. Research has focused on the molecular evolution of candidate sensory genes, genes with known functions (e.g. olfactory receptor genes and genes identified from mutations associated with sensory deficits (e.g. blindness and deafness. For example, the FoxP2 gene, underpinning vocal behaviour and sensorimotor coordination, has undergone diversification in bats, while several genes associated with audition show parallel amino acid substitutions in unrelated lineages of echolocating bats and, in some cases, in echolocating dolphins, representing a classic case of convergent molecular evolution. Vision genes encoding the photopigments rhodopsin and the long-wave sensitive opsin are functional in bats, while that encoding the short-wave sensitive opsin has lost functionality in rhinolophoid bats using high-duty cycle laryngeal echolocation, suggesting a sensory trade-off between investment in vision and echolocation. In terms of olfaction, bats appear to have a distinctive olfactory receptor repertoire compared with other mammals, and a gene involved in signal transduction in the vomeronasal system has become non-functional in most bat species. Bitter taste receptors appear to have undergone a ‘birth-and death’ evolution involving extensive gene duplication and loss, unlike genes coding for sweet and umami tastes that show conservation across most lineages but loss in vampire bats. Common vampire bats have also undergone adaptations for thermoperception, via alternative splicing resulting in the evolution of a novel heat-sensitive channel. The future for understanding the molecular basis of sensory biology is promising, with great potential for comparative genomic analyses, studies on gene regulation and expression, exploration of the role of alternative splicing in the generation of proteomic diversity, and linking genetic mechanisms to

  12. From the ultrasonic to the infrared: molecular evolution and the sensory biology of bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Gareth; Teeling, Emma C; Rossiter, Stephen J

    2013-01-01

    Great advances have been made recently in understanding the genetic basis of the sensory biology of bats. Research has focused on the molecular evolution of candidate sensory genes, genes with known functions [e.g., olfactory receptor (OR) genes] and genes identified from mutations associated with sensory deficits (e.g., blindness and deafness). For example, the FoxP2 gene, underpinning vocal behavior and sensorimotor coordination, has undergone diversification in bats, while several genes associated with audition show parallel amino acid substitutions in unrelated lineages of echolocating bats and, in some cases, in echolocating dolphins, representing a classic case of convergent molecular evolution. Vision genes encoding the photopigments rhodopsin and the long-wave sensitive opsin are functional in bats, while that encoding the short-wave sensitive opsin has lost functionality in rhinolophoid bats using high-duty cycle laryngeal echolocation, suggesting a sensory trade-off between investment in vision and echolocation. In terms of olfaction, bats appear to have a distinctive OR repertoire compared with other mammals, and a gene involved in signal transduction in the vomeronasal system has become non-functional in most bat species. Bitter taste receptors appear to have undergone a "birth-and death" evolution involving extensive gene duplication and loss, unlike genes coding for sweet and umami tastes that show conservation across most lineages but loss in vampire bats. Common vampire bats have also undergone adaptations for thermoperception, via alternative splicing resulting in the evolution of a novel heat-sensitive channel. The future for understanding the molecular basis of sensory biology is promising, with great potential for comparative genomic analyses, studies on gene regulation and expression, exploration of the role of alternative splicing in the generation of proteomic diversity, and linking genetic mechanisms to behavioral consequences. PMID:23755015

  13. Symbiosis in the Bak Sneppen model for biological evolution with economic applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolozzi, M.; Leinweber, D. B.; Thomas, A. W.

    2006-06-01

    In the present work we extend the Bak-Sneppen model for biological evolution by introducing local interactions between species. This “environmental” perturbation modifies the intrinsic fitness of each element of the ecology, leading to higher survival probability, even for the less fit. While the system still self-organizes toward a critical state, the distribution of fitness broadens, losing the classical step-function shape. A possible application in economics is discussed, where firms are represented as evolving species linked by mutual interests.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Why Flavins Are not Competitors of Chlorophyll in the Evolution of Biological Converters of Solar Energy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail S. Kritsky

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Excited flavin molecules can photocatalyze reactions, leading to the accumulation of free energy in the products, and the data accumulated through biochemical experiments and by modeling prebiological processes suggest that flavins were available in the earliest stages of evolution. Furthermore, model experiments have shown that abiogenic flavin conjugated with a polyamino acid matrix, a pigment that photocatalyzes the phosphorylation of ADP to form ATP, could have been present in the prebiotic environment. Indeed, excited flavin molecules play key roles in many photoenzymes and regulatory photoreceptors, and the substantial structural differences between photoreceptor families indicate that evolution has repeatedly used flavins as chromophores for photoreceptor proteins. Some of these photoreceptors are equipped with a light-harvesting antenna, which transfers excitation energy to chemically reactive flavins in the reaction center. The sum of the available data suggests that evolution could have led to the formation of a flavin-based biological converter to convert light energy into energy in the form of ATP.

  17. A new model for biological effects of radiation and the driven force of molecular evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Takahiro; Manabe, Yuichiro; Nakajima, Hiroo; Tsunoyama, Yuichi; Bando, Masako

    We proposed a new mathematical model to estimate biological effects of radiation, which we call Whack-A-Mole (WAM) model. A special feature of WAM model is that it involves the dose rate of radiation as a key ingredient. We succeeded to reproduce the experimental data of various species concerning the radiation induced mutation frequencies. From the analysis of the mega-mouse experiments, we obtained the mutation rate per base-pair per year for mice which is consistent with the so-called molecular clock in evolution genetics, 10-9 mutation/base-pair/year. Another important quantity is the equivalent dose rate for the whole spontaneous mutation, deff. The value of deff for mice is 1.1*10-3 Gy/hour which is much larger than the dose rate of natural radiation (10- (6 - 7) Gy/hour) by several orders of magnitude. We also analyzed Drosophila data and obtained essentially the same numbers. This clearly indicates that the natural radiation is not the dominant driving force of the molecular evolution, but we should look for other factors, such as miscopy of DNA in duplication process. We believe this is the first quantitative proof of the small contribution of the natural radiation in the molecular evolution.

  18. Why flavins are not competitors of chlorophyll in the evolution of biological converters of solar energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kritsky, Mikhail S; Telegina, Taisiya A; Vechtomova, Yulia L; Buglak, Andrey A

    2012-01-01

    Excited flavin molecules can photocatalyze reactions, leading to the accumulation of free energy in the products, and the data accumulated through biochemical experiments and by modeling prebiological processes suggest that flavins were available in the earliest stages of evolution. Furthermore, model experiments have shown that abiogenic flavin conjugated with a polyamino acid matrix, a pigment that photocatalyzes the phosphorylation of ADP to form ATP, could have been present in the prebiotic environment. Indeed, excited flavin molecules play key roles in many photoenzymes and regulatory photoreceptors, and the substantial structural differences between photoreceptor families indicate that evolution has repeatedly used flavins as chromophores for photoreceptor proteins. Some of these photoreceptors are equipped with a light-harvesting antenna, which transfers excitation energy to chemically reactive flavins in the reaction center. The sum of the available data suggests that evolution could have led to the formation of a flavin-based biological converter to convert light energy into energy in the form of ATP. PMID:23271372

  19. The biological evolution of conscience – from parent-offspring conflict to morality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voland Eckart

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, two theories regarding the biological evolution of morality with conscience as its central regulatory agency are compared and contrasted. One theory (“navigator theory” interprets conscience as a strategically operating agency for the optimum balance between selfish and altruistic behavioral tendencies to maximize gains in cooperation in view of social complexity. From this standpoint, conscience serves the evolved self-interest of the person having a conscience. In contrast hereto, the second theory (“helper theory” locates the evolutionary origins of conscience on the battlefield of the parent- offspring conflict through intrafamilial demands for altruism. Functions of conscience, and thus human morality in a narrower sense, evolved during the transition of hominines to cooperative breeding and the novel helper conflict emerging through this evolution. The “helper theory” of the evolution of conscience can resolve some of the theoretical and empirical inconsistencies of the conventional “navigator theory”, in particular, the contradiction between the consequentialistic regulation of altruistic behavior and the non-consequentialistic nature of the judgment of conscience. And in contrast to the “navigator theory”, it is compatible with the observation that behavior guided by a conscience is not infrequently disastrous for one’s own fitness outcome.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Evolution and personal religious belief: Christian biology-related majors' search for reconciliation at a Christian university

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winslow, Mark William

    The goal of this study was to explore how Christian biology-related majors at a Christian university perceive the apparent conflicts between their understanding of evolution and their religious beliefs, and how their faith, as a structural-developmental system for ordering and making meaning of the world, plays a role in the mediating process. This naturalistic study utilized a case study design of 15 participants specified as undergraduate biology-related majors or recent biology-related graduates from a midwestern Christian university who had completed an upper-level course on evolution. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews that investigated participants' faith and their views on creationism and evolution. Fowler's theory of faith development and Parks' model of college students' faith was extensively used. Additional data were collected through an Evolution Attitudes Survey and a position paper on evolution as an assignment in the evolution course. Data analysis revealed patterns that were organized into themes and sub-themes that were the major outcomes of the study. Most participants were raised to believe in creationism, but came to accept evolution through an extended process of evaluating the scientific evidence in support of evolution, negotiating the literalness of Genesis, recognizing evolution as a non-salvation issue, and observing professors as role models of Christians who accept evolution. Participants remained committed to their personal religious beliefs despite apprehension that accompanied the reconciliation process in accepting evolution. Most participants operated from the perspective that science and religion are separate and interacting domains. Faith played an important role in how participants reconciled their understanding of evolution and their personal religious beliefs. Participants who operated in conventional faith dismissed contentious issues or collapsed dichotomies in an effort to avoid ambiguity and perceived

  3. Archival Collections are Important in the Study of the Biology, Diversity, and Evolution of Arboviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, Alyssa T; Warrilow, David

    2016-01-01

    Historically, classifications of arboviruses were based on serological techniques. Hence, collections of arbovirus isolates have been central to this process by providing the antigenic reagents for these methods. However, with increasing concern about biosafety and security, the introduction of molecular biology techniques has led to greater emphasis on the storage of nucleic acid sequence data over the maintenance of archival material. In this commentary, we provide examples of where archival collections provide an important source of genetic material to assist in confirming the authenticity of reference strains and vaccine stocks, to clarify taxonomic relationships particularly when isolates of the same virus species have been collected across a wide expanse of time and space, for future phenotypic analysis, to determine the historical diversity of strains, and to understand the mechanisms leading to changes in genome structure and virus evolution.

  4. 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...

  5. Neocortex expansion in development and evolution - from cell biology to single genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Florio, Marta; Huttner, Wieland B

    2016-08-01

    Neocortex expansion in development and evolution reflects an increased and prolonged activity of neural progenitor cells. Insight into key aspects of the underlying cell biology has recently been obtained. First, the restriction of apical progenitors to undergo mitosis at the ventricular surface is overcome by generation of basal progenitors, which are free to undergo mitosis at abventricular location, typically the subventricular zone. This process involves basolateral ciliogenesis, delamination from the apical adherens junction belt, and loss of apical cell polarity. Second, proliferative capacity of basal progenitors is supported by self-produced extracellular matrix constituents, which in turn promote growth factor signalling. Humans amplify these processes by characteristic alterations in expression of key regulatory genes (PAX6), and via human-specific genes (ARHGAP11B).

  6. A non-linear irreversible thermodynamic perspective on organic pigment proliferation and biological evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Michaelian, Karo

    2013-01-01

    The most important thermodynamic work performed by life today is the dissipation of the solar photon flux into heat through organic pigments in water. From this thermodynamic perspective, biological evolution is thus just the dispersal of organic pigments and water throughout Earth's surface, while adjusting the gases of Earth's atmosphere to allow the most intense part of the solar spectrum to penetrate the atmosphere and reach the surface to be intercepted by these pigments. The covalent bonding of atoms in organic pigments provides excited levels compatible with the energies of these photons. Internal conversion through vibrational relaxation to the ground state of these excited molecules when in water leads to rapid dissipation of the solar photons into heat, and this is the major source of entropy production on Earth. A non-linear irreversible thermodynamic analysis shows that the proliferation of organic pigments on Earth is a direct consequence of the pigments catalytic properties in dissipating the so...

  7. Archival Collections are Important in the Study of the Biology, Diversity, and Evolution of Arboviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, Alyssa T; Warrilow, David

    2016-01-01

    Historically, classifications of arboviruses were based on serological techniques. Hence, collections of arbovirus isolates have been central to this process by providing the antigenic reagents for these methods. However, with increasing concern about biosafety and security, the introduction of molecular biology techniques has led to greater emphasis on the storage of nucleic acid sequence data over the maintenance of archival material. In this commentary, we provide examples of where archival collections provide an important source of genetic material to assist in confirming the authenticity of reference strains and vaccine stocks, to clarify taxonomic relationships particularly when isolates of the same virus species have been collected across a wide expanse of time and space, for future phenotypic analysis, to determine the historical diversity of strains, and to understand the mechanisms leading to changes in genome structure and virus evolution. PMID:27688704

  8. Archival Collections are Important in the Study of the Biology, Diversity, and Evolution of Arboviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, Alyssa T.; Warrilow, David

    2016-01-01

    Historically, classifications of arboviruses were based on serological techniques. Hence, collections of arbovirus isolates have been central to this process by providing the antigenic reagents for these methods. However, with increasing concern about biosafety and security, the introduction of molecular biology techniques has led to greater emphasis on the storage of nucleic acid sequence data over the maintenance of archival material. In this commentary, we provide examples of where archival collections provide an important source of genetic material to assist in confirming the authenticity of reference strains and vaccine stocks, to clarify taxonomic relationships particularly when isolates of the same virus species have been collected across a wide expanse of time and space, for future phenotypic analysis, to determine the historical diversity of strains, and to understand the mechanisms leading to changes in genome structure and virus evolution. PMID:27688704

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  10. The role of external pressure and support on teacher choices related to evolution curriculum in the secondary biology classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oschman, Scot

    The scientific community strongly and virtually universally supports the teaching of biological evolution in our public schools. However, there are many in the general public who object to the teaching of biological evolution in our nation's science classrooms. Groups such as Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute, along with parents, students, school boards, and school administrators are alleged by many in the scientific and science education communities to be pressuring teachers in a variety of ways regarding the teaching of evolution. The purpose of this study was to examine the sources of, extent of, and ways in which science teachers deal with external influences that attempt to alter their science curriculum related to the teaching of the theory of biological evolution in order to support it, deemphasize it or remove it from their classrooms. It also attempted to determine the impact these outside influences have on evolution education in the classroom. Internal influences were examined in order to ascertain other possible reasons why teachers might or might not de-emphasize, omit, or teach evidence contrary to evolution. Two thousand cover letters were sent out to high school biology teachers selected at random from three states in the U.S. Registry of Teachers, directing them to a web site where they could complete the questionnaire online. One hundred seventy eight teachers responded to the survey. The statistical analyses used in this study to examine the results included analysis of variance (ANOVA), independent samples t tests for means comparisons, as well as a variety of descriptive statistics. This study found that 59% of the teachers who responded had experienced some form of pressure related to their evolution curriculum, and that the majority of this pressure came from students, groups or individuals not affiliated with their school district, and parents. The most common manifestations of pressure were to teach that evolution was "only" a

  11. The Towuti Drilling Project: paleoenvironments, biological evolution, and geomicrobiology of a tropical Pacific lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, James M.; Bijaksana, Satria; Vogel, Hendrik; Melles, Martin; Kallmeyer, Jens; Ariztegui, Daniel; Crowe, Sean; Fajar, Silvia; Hafidz, Abdul; Haffner, Doug; Hasberg, Ascelina; Ivory, Sarah; Kelly, Christopher; King, John; Kirana, Kartika; Morlock, Marina; Noren, Anders; O'Grady, Ryan; Ordonez, Luis; Stevenson, Janelle; von Rintelen, Thomas; Vuillemin, Aurele; Watkinson, Ian; Wattrus, Nigel; Wicaksono, Satrio; Wonik, Thomas; Bauer, Kohen; Deino, Alan; Friese, André; Henny, Cynthia; Imran; Marwoto, Ristiyanti; Ode Ngkoimani, La; Nomosatryo, Sulung; Ode Safiuddin, La; Simister, Rachel; Tamuntuan, Gerald

    2016-07-01

    The Towuti Drilling Project (TDP) is an international research program, whose goal is to understand long-term environmental and climatic change in the tropical western Pacific, the impacts of geological and environmental changes on the biological evolution of aquatic taxa, and the geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of metal-rich, ultramafic-hosted lake sediments through the scientific drilling of Lake Towuti, southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lake Towuti is a large tectonic lake at the downstream end of the Malili lake system, a chain of five highly biodiverse lakes that are among the oldest lakes in Southeast Asia. In 2015 we carried out a scientific drilling program on Lake Towuti using the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) Deep Lakes Drilling System (DLDS). We recovered a total of ˜ 1018 m of core from 11 drilling sites with water depths ranging from 156 to 200 m. Recovery averaged 91.7 %, and the maximum drilling depth was 175 m below the lake floor, penetrating the entire sedimentary infill of the basin. Initial data from core and borehole logging indicate that these cores record the evolution of a highly dynamic tectonic and limnological system, with clear indications of orbital-scale climate variability during the mid- to late Pleistocene.

  12. 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 perspectiveDiscusses emerging fields and analysisProvides examples

  13. 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. PMID:27598953

  14. Anticipatory dynamics of biological systems: from molecular quantum states to evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igamberdiev, Abir U.

    2015-08-01

    Living systems possess anticipatory behaviour that is based on the flexibility of internal models generated by the system's embedded description. The idea was suggested by Aristotle and is explicitly introduced to theoretical biology by Rosen. The possibility of holding the embedded internal model is grounded in the principle of stable non-equilibrium (Bauer). From the quantum mechanical view, this principle aims to minimize energy dissipation in expense of long relaxation times. The ideas of stable non-equilibrium were developed by Liberman who viewed living systems as subdivided into the quantum regulator and the molecular computer supporting coherence of the regulator's internal quantum state. The computational power of the cell molecular computer is based on the possibility of molecular rearrangements according to molecular addresses. In evolution, the anticipatory strategies are realized both as a precession of phylogenesis by ontogenesis (Berg) and as the anticipatory search of genetic fixation of adaptive changes that incorporates them into the internal model of genetic system. We discuss how the fundamental ideas of anticipation can be introduced into the basic foundations of theoretical biology.

  15. [Evolution of biologicals in inflammation medicine--biosimilars in gastroenterology, rheumatology and dermatology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, S; Luger, T; Mittendorf, T; Mrowietz, U; Müller-Ladner, U; Schröder, J; Stallmach, A; Bokemeyer, B

    2014-11-01

    Biologicals revolutionized the therapy of chronic inflammatory diseases in gastroenterology, rheumatology and dermatology in the last decade. The first generation biologicals mainly targeted against the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. The evolution of these therapies in the last years led to the development of new antibodies and to the admission of first generation "generic" biologics - the biosimilars. Biosimilars are not a fundamental new pharmacological development for existing substances, however they have the potential to lead to enormous cost savings in healthcare without reducing the level of care for patients. Biosimilars are not identical with the originator, but in an extensive biosimilarity exercise including analytical, preclinical and comparative clinical studies it was shown that the biosimilars could demonstrate comparability in all relevant aspects with the originator.In September 2013, the Infliximab biosimilars (Inflectra(®), Remsina(®)) were the first biosimilars for monoclonal antibodies to be authorized by the EMA for use in the European Union. By demonstrating the therapeutic similarity only in one indication (rheumatoid arthritis) the EMA agreed with an extrapolation also to all approved indications of the originator. This could be a relevant problem in clinical practice. Therefore, comparative studies with the originator are required in all approved indications.After expiration of the national patent protection in beginning of 2015, the infliximab biosimilars will be launched on the market in Germany and will be part of the therapeutic arsenal in gastroenterology, rheumatology and dermatology. Interchangeability (Switching) of biosimilars with the originator will be subject of an important discussion with the health care providers. Regardless of the biosimilars EMA-approval, several potential problems (efficacy, extrapolation, switching, long-term safety) should be the topic of intensive long-term registries in the future. PMID:25390629

  16. Three Decades of Anti-Evolution Campaign and Its Results: Turkish Undergraduates' Acceptance and Understanding of the Biological Evolution Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peker, Deniz; Comert, Gulsum Gul; Kence, Aykut

    2010-01-01

    Even though in the early years of the Republic of Turkey Darwin's theory of evolution was treated as a scientific theory and taught fairly in schools, despite all the substantial evidence accumulated supporting the theory of evolution since then, Darwin and his ideas today have been scorned by curriculum and education policy makers. Furthermore,…

  17. A Comparison of Massachusetts and Texas High School Biology Teachers' Attitudes towards the Teaching of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howarth, Richard T.

    2012-01-01

    Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is considered to be the unifying theory for all life sciences (American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS, 1990; National Academy of Sciences, 1998; National Research Council, NRC, 1996; National Science Teachers Association, NSTA, 2010a) and as such, the biology topic has been…

  18. Once upon Multivariate Analyses: When They Tell Several Stories about Biological Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renaud, Sabrina; Dufour, Anne-Béatrice; Hardouin, Emilie A; Ledevin, Ronan; Auffray, Jean-Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Geometric morphometrics aims to characterize of the geometry of complex traits. It is therefore by essence multivariate. The most popular methods to investigate patterns of differentiation in this context are (1) the Principal Component Analysis (PCA), which is an eigenvalue decomposition of the total variance-covariance matrix among all specimens; (2) the Canonical Variate Analysis (CVA, a.k.a. linear discriminant analysis (LDA) for more than two groups), which aims at separating the groups by maximizing the between-group to within-group variance ratio; (3) the between-group PCA (bgPCA) which investigates patterns of between-group variation, without standardizing by the within-group variance. Standardizing within-group variance, as performed in the CVA, distorts the relationships among groups, an effect that is particularly strong if the variance is similarly oriented in a comparable way in all groups. Such shared direction of main morphological variance may occur and have a biological meaning, for instance corresponding to the most frequent standing genetic variation in a population. Here we undertake a case study of the evolution of house mouse molar shape across various islands, based on the real dataset and simulations. We investigated how patterns of main variance influence the depiction of among-group differentiation according to the interpretation of the PCA, bgPCA and CVA. Without arguing about a method performing 'better' than another, it rather emerges that working on the total or between-group variance (PCA and bgPCA) will tend to put the focus on the role of direction of main variance as line of least resistance to evolution. Standardizing by the within-group variance (CVA), by dampening the expression of this line of least resistance, has the potential to reveal other relevant patterns of differentiation that may otherwise be blurred. PMID:26192946

  19. Once upon Multivariate Analyses: When They Tell Several Stories about Biological Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Renaud

    Full Text Available Geometric morphometrics aims to characterize of the geometry of complex traits. It is therefore by essence multivariate. The most popular methods to investigate patterns of differentiation in this context are (1 the Principal Component Analysis (PCA, which is an eigenvalue decomposition of the total variance-covariance matrix among all specimens; (2 the Canonical Variate Analysis (CVA, a.k.a. linear discriminant analysis (LDA for more than two groups, which aims at separating the groups by maximizing the between-group to within-group variance ratio; (3 the between-group PCA (bgPCA which investigates patterns of between-group variation, without standardizing by the within-group variance. Standardizing within-group variance, as performed in the CVA, distorts the relationships among groups, an effect that is particularly strong if the variance is similarly oriented in a comparable way in all groups. Such shared direction of main morphological variance may occur and have a biological meaning, for instance corresponding to the most frequent standing genetic variation in a population. Here we undertake a case study of the evolution of house mouse molar shape across various islands, based on the real dataset and simulations. We investigated how patterns of main variance influence the depiction of among-group differentiation according to the interpretation of the PCA, bgPCA and CVA. Without arguing about a method performing 'better' than another, it rather emerges that working on the total or between-group variance (PCA and bgPCA will tend to put the focus on the role of direction of main variance as line of least resistance to evolution. Standardizing by the within-group variance (CVA, by dampening the expression of this line of least resistance, has the potential to reveal other relevant patterns of differentiation that may otherwise be blurred.

  20. Recent advances in alveolar biology: evolution and function of alveolar proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgeig, Sandra; Hiemstra, Pieter S; Veldhuizen, Edwin J A; Casals, Cristina; Clark, Howard W; Haczku, Angela; Knudsen, Lars; Possmayer, Fred

    2010-08-31

    This review is focused on the evolution and function of alveolar proteins. The lung faces physical and environmental challenges, due to changing pressures/volumes and foreign pathogens, respectively. The pulmonary surfactant system is integral in protecting the lung from these challenges via two groups of surfactant proteins - the small molecular weight hydrophobic SPs, SP-B and -C, that regulate interfacial adsorption of the lipids, and the large hydrophilic SPs, SP-A and -D, which are surfactant collectins capable of inhibiting foreign pathogens. Further aiding pulmonary host defence are non-surfactant collectins and antimicrobial peptides that are expressed across the biological kingdoms. Linking to the first symposium session, which emphasised molecular structure and biophysical function of surfactant lipids and proteins, this review begins with a discussion of the role of temperature and hydrostatic pressure in shaping the evolution of SP-C in mammals. Transitioning to the role of the alveolus in innate host defence we discuss the structure, function and regulation of antimicrobial peptides, the defensins and cathelicidins. We describe the recent discovery of novel avian collectins and provide evidence for their role in preventing influenza infection. This is followed by discussions of the roles of SP-A and SP-D in mediating host defence at the alveolar surface and in mediating inflammation and the allergic response of the airways. Finally we discuss the use of animal models of lung disease including knockouts to develop an understanding of the role of these proteins in initiating and/or perpetuating disease with the aim of developing new therapeutic strategies. PMID:20433956

  1. An Aristotelian Account of Evolution and the Contemporary Philosophy of Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariusz Tabaczek

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The anti-reductionist character of the recent philosophy of biology and the dynamic development of the science of emergent properties prove that the time is ripe to reintroduce the thought of Aristotle, the first advocate of a “top-down” approach in life-sciences, back into the science/philosophy debate. His philosophy of nature provides profound insights particularly in the context of the contemporary science of evolution, which is still struggling with the questions of form (species, teleology, and the role of chance in evolutionary processes. However, although Aristotle is referenced in the evolutionary debate, a thorough analysis of his theory of hylomorphism and the classical principle of causality which he proposes is still needed in this exchange. Such is the main concern of the first part of the present article which shows Aristotle’s metaphysics of substance as an open system, ready to incorporate new hypothesis of modern and contemporary science. The second part begins with the historical exploration of the trajectory from Darwin to Darwinism regarded as a metaphysical position. This exploration leads to an inquiry into the central topics of the present debate in the philosophy of evolutionary biology. It shows that Aristotle’s understanding of species, teleology, and chance – in the context of his fourfold notion of causality – has a considerable explanatory power which may enhance our understanding of the nature of evolutionary processes. This fact may inspire, in turn, a retrieval of the classical theology of divine action, based on Aristotelian metaphysics, in the science/theology dialogue. The aim of the present article is to prepare a philosophical ground for such project.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barthlott, W; Mail, M; Neinhuis, C

    2016-08-01

    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

  4. Evolution of epithelial morphogenesis: phenotypic integration across multiple levels of biological organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten eHorn

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Morphogenesis involves the dynamic reorganization of cell and tissue shapes to create the three-dimensional body. Intriguingly, different species have evolved different morphogenetic processes to achieve the same general outcomes during embryonic development. How are meaningful comparisons between species made, and where do the differences lie? In this Perspective, we argue that examining the evolution of embryonic morphogenesis requires the simultaneous consideration of different levels of biological organization: (1 genes, (2 cells, (3 tissues, and (4 the entire egg. To illustrate the importance of integrating these levels, we use the extraembryonic epithelia of insects – a lineage-specific innovation and evolutionary hotspot – as an exemplary case study. We discuss how recent functional data, primarily from RNAi experiments targeting the Hox3/ Zen and U-shaped group transcription factors, provide insights into developmental processes at all four levels. Comparisons of these data from several species both challenge and inform our understanding of homology, in assessing how the process of epithelial morphogenesis has itself evolved.

  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. PMID:25890689

  6. Providing vertical coherence in explanations and promoting reasoning across levels of biological organization when teaching evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jördens, Janina; Asshoff, Roman; Kullmann, Harald; Hammann, Marcus

    2016-04-01

    Students' explanations of biological phenomena are frequently characterized by disconnects between levels and confusion of levels. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of a hands-on lab activity that aims at fostering the ability to reason across levels. A total of 197 students (18 years of age) participated in a randomized, pre-post-test design study. Students in the experimental group engaged in a lab activity focused on artificial selection and designed to demonstrate how selection affects both phenotypes and genotypes. In contrast, the lab activity in the comparison group focused on phenotype alone. Data sources for the study included pre-tests of basic concepts in genetics and evolution and two post-test items requiring the students to reproduce and apply their knowledge about artificial selection. The findings indicated that the lab activity which allowed students to explore the interplay between different levels, provided vertical coherence and enhanced students' ability to explain evolutionary change in both reproduction and transfer items. In contrast, the lab activity in the comparison group failed to do so, and most students did not improve their ability to explain evolutionary change. Implications for instruction and recommendations for further research are discussed in light of these findings.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, James A

    2016-06-08

    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. Evolution of a physical and biological front from upwelling to relaxation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanwu; Bellingham, James G.; Ryan, John P.; Godin, Michael A.

    2015-10-01

    Fronts influence the structure and function of coastal marine ecosystems. Due to the complexity and dynamic nature of coastal environments and the small scales of frontal gradient zones, frontal research is difficult. To advance this challenging research we developed a method enabling an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to detect and track fronts, thereby providing high-resolution observations in the moving reference frame of the front itself. This novel method was applied to studying the evolution of a frontal zone in the coastal upwelling environment of Monterey Bay, California, through a period of variability in upwelling intensity. Through 23 frontal crossings in four days, the AUV detected the front using real-time analysis of vertical thermal stratification to identify water types and the front between them, and the vehicle tracked the front as it moved more than 10 km offshore. The physical front coincided with a biological front between strongly stratified phytoplankton-enriched water inshore of the front, and weakly stratified phytoplankton-poor water offshore of the front. While stratification remained a consistent identifier, conditions on both sides of the front changed rapidly as regional circulation responded to relaxation of upwelling winds. The offshore water type transitioned from relatively cold and saline upwelled water to relatively warm and fresh coastal transition zone water. The inshore water type exhibited an order of magnitude increase in chlorophyll concentrations and an associated increase in oxygen and decrease in nitrate. It also warmed and freshened near the front, consistent with the cross-frontal exchange that was detected in the high-resolution AUV data. AUV-observed cross-frontal exchanges beneath the surface manifestation of the front emphasize the importance of AUV synoptic water column surveys in the frontal zone.

  10. [Early cirrhosis, an early modality of the evolution of acute hepatitis. The clinico-biological, immunological and morphological aspects].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banciu, T; Tudose, N; Arcan, P

    1990-01-01

    A group of 12 patients with recent acute hepatitis (8/86 with HVB and 4/22 with alcoholic hepatitis) had a rapid evolution (under 2 years) towards hepatic cirrhosis (early H.C.). The clinical-biological, immunological and morphological study made evident several characteristics, which became predictive markers of the early cirrhotic evolution of acute hepatitis. Clinically, a persistence of dyspeptic disorders and appearance of several systemic manifestations is noticed. Biologically, the maintenance of some increased transmainases, variable bilirubinemia and decrease of serinemia. Immunologically, the transfer of IgM towards increased IgM, the decrease of the total T lymphocyte and of T1 substrate, the increase of the active B and T lymphocyte. The morphologic exploration is decisive for specification of the diagnosis in the early hepatic cirrhosis. PMID:1982190

  11. An analysis of factors influencing the teaching of evolution and creation by Arizona high school biology teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorstad, Susan

    2002-09-01

    This study examined the amount of emphasis given by Arizona high school biology teachers to the topics of evolutionary theory and special creation, as explanations for the origin and diversity of life on earth. A questionnaire was mailed to all Arizona public high school biology teachers in March of 2000, to gather data on teachers' classroom practices and attitudes towards evolution and creation, information on teachers' educational and professional backgrounds, their religious preferences, and any perceptions of pressure regarding the teaching of evolution or creation from outside sources. Sixty-five percent (final n = 419) of the questionnaires were returned. Analysis confirmed that, while a strong majority (96%) of Arizona teachers gave some coverage to evolutionary theory, a significant proportion (33%) reported fewer than three class periods per semester in which evolution was a major topic; 10% left it out entirely. Fourteen percent of the teachers reported that they gave moderate-to-strong emphasis to religious explanations of the origins and diversity of life. It was unclear whether this was presented as an alternative scientific theory, or as religion or philosophy. Between ten and thirty percent also rejected the scientific validity of evolutionary theory, rejected the evolution of humans from ape-like ancestors, thought that religious explanations should be taught as part of high school biology classes, or agreed that creationism has a valid scientific foundation. The amount of emphasis given evolution by a teacher correlated positively with teaching experience, number of college classes in evolutionary biology taken by the teacher, the amount of in-service training a teacher had had on teaching evolutionary theory, and age. It correlated negatively with membership in Conservative Christian religious denominations and with degree of religious fervor. Interestingly, the possession of a degree in biological sciences (e.g., versus a degree in education

  12. 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

  13. Structural calibration of the rates of amino acid evolution in a search for Darwin in drifting biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toft, Christina; Fares, Mario A

    2010-10-01

    In the last two decades, many reports of proteins under positive selection have brought the neutral theory into question. However, the methods used to detect selection have ignored the evolvability of amino acids within proteins, which is fundamental to distinguishing positive selection from the relaxed constraints caused by genetic drift. Disentangling these two counterbalancing forces is essential to test the neutral theory. Here, we calibrate rates of amino acid divergence by using structural information from the full set of crystallized proteins in bacteria. In agreement with previous reports, we show that rates of amino acid evolution correlate negatively with the number of per-amino acid atomic interactions. Calibration of the rates of evolution allows identifying signatures of selection in biological systems that evolve under strong genetic drift, such as endosymbiotic bacteria. Application of this method identifies different rates and dynamics of evolution for highly connected amino acids in the structure compared with sparsely connected ones. We also unearth patterns of Darwinian selection in fundamental cellular proteins in endosymbiotic bacteria including the cochaperonin GroES, ribosomal proteins, proteins involved in cell cycle control, DNA-binding proteins, and proteins involved in DNA replication and repair. This is, to our knowledge, the first attempt to distinguish adaptive evolution from relaxed constraints in biological systems under genetic drift.

  14. Nature of science conceptions, attitudes towards evolution and global climate change, and course achievement in an introductory biology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Benjamin Elijah

    which variables accounted for the most variation, and those variables were analyzed using correlation tests, ANOVA, and ANCOVA to test for significant correlations and interaction effects. Changes in students' attitudes towards evolution and global climate change were both positively correlated with shifts in conceptions about the nature of science. Attitudes towards evolution were negatively correlated with religiosity. Knowledge of evolutionary science was positively correlated with attitudes towards evolution, but knowledge about GCC was not significantly correlated with attitudes towards GCC. The strongest correlates of GCC attitudes were political leanings. Findings support the hypothesis that a better understanding of NOS may lead to changes in attitudes towards politically contentious ideas that are not scientifically contentious. Though attitudes towards evolution correlated strongly and significantly with a number of other factors including knowledge of evolutionary science and religiosity, expected non-political correlates with attitudes towards GCC were absent. Giving students a good conception of the modern nature of science may lead to views that are closer to those of the scientific community. This study provides novel evidence of a linkage between student acceptance of evolution and attitudes towards GCC, i.e., NOS conceptions. We also found highly significant, positive relationships between student knowledge of evolution and attitudes toward evolution as well as between introductory biology course achievement and both pre- course acceptance of evolution and pre-course knowledge of evolution among students at Syracuse University, and assert that teachers who scant the teaching of evolution or who do not foster good attitudes toward evolution are not helping their students to prepare for success in science at the college level.

  15. 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…

  16. The Biological “Invariant of Motion” vs. “Struggle for Life”? On the Possible Quantum Mechanical Origin and Evolution of Semiotic Controls in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    András Balázs

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A novel, alternative and deeper view to the “selfish gene” paradigm is presented, describable as the “selfish code” frame. Introducing it, we put forth a quantum mechanical algorithm as a new description of the intracellular protein synthetizing machinery. The successive steps of the algorithm are, tentatively, semiotic constraints of the well-known quantum mechanical molecular “internal measurement” type. It is proposed that this molecular algorithm mediates a quantum mechanical time reversed dynamics with a primordial special version of this latter molecular measurement type (“mixed measurement” as its origin. It is furthermore suggested that this intracellular regressive algorithmical dynamics is a component of biological “motion”, the other, strongly coupled component being the macroscopic phenotypic motion. The biological “invariant of motion” of this hierarchically coupled overall generalized dynamics is suggested to be the evolutionally converged invariant genetic code vocabulary. It forms, possibly, the underlying internal “driving force” of evolution, as being “struggle for life”.

  17. The Coverage of Human Evolution in High School Biology Textbooks in the 20th Century and in Current State Science Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoog, Gerald

    2005-01-01

    Efforts to eliminate or neutralize the coverage of evolution in high school biology textbooks in the United States have persisted with varying degrees of intensity and success since the 1920s. In particular, the coverage of human evolution has been impacted by these efforts. Evidence of the success of these efforts can be chronicled by the…

  18. Evolution of conformational changes in the dynamics of small biological molecules: a hybrid MD/RRK approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segev, Elad; Grumbach, Mikael; Gerber, Robert Benny

    2006-11-14

    The dynamics of long timescale evolution of conformational changes in small biological molecules is described by a hybrid molecular dynamics/RRK algorithm. The approach employs classical trajectories for transitions between adjacent structures separated by a low barrier, and the classical statistical RRK approximation when the barrier involved is high. In determining the long-time dynamics from an initial structure to a final structure of interest, an algorithm is introduced for determining the most efficient pathways (sequence of the intermediate conformers). This method uses the Dijkstra algorithm for finding optimal paths on networks. Three applications of the method using an AMBER force field are presented: a detailed study of conformational transitions in a blocked valine dipeptide; a multiple reaction path study of the blocked valine tripeptide; and the evolution in time from the beta hairpin to alpha helix structure of a blocked alanine hexapeptide. Advantages and limitations of the method are discussed in light of the results. PMID:17066182

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

    OpenAIRE

    Naresh eSinghal; Octavio ePerez-Garcia

    2016-01-01

    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...

  20. Underlying Principles of Natural Selection in Network Evolution: Systems Biology Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Bor-Sen Chen; Wei-Sheng Wu

    2007-01-01

    Systems biology is a rapidly expanding field that integrates diverse areas of science such as physics, engineering, computer science, mathematics, and biology toward the goal of elucidating the underlying principles of hierarchical metabolic and regulatory systems in the cell, and ultimately leading to predictive understanding of cellular response to perturbations. Because post-genomics research is taking place throughout the tree of life, comparative approaches offer a way for combining data...

  1. 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.

  2. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we explore the boundary between biology and the study of formal systems (logic). In the end, we arrive at a summary formalism, a chapter in "boundary mathematics" where there are not only containers but also extainers ><, entities open to interaction and distinguishing the space that they are not. The boundary algebra of containers and extainers is to biologic what boolean algebra is to classical logic. We show how this formalism encompasses significant parts of the logic of DNA replication, the Dirac formalism for quantum mechanics, formalisms for protein folding and the basic structure of the Temperley Lieb algebra at the foundations of topological invariants of knots and links.

  3. 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.

  4. The development and validation of a scientific attitudes and attitudes toward evolution and creation instrument for Christian college biology students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenneson, Michael Gunnar

    2002-01-01

    This study reports on the development of a valid and reliable survey instrument to be used by college biology teachers at Christian colleges to evaluate the scientific attitudes and the attitudes about evolution and attitudes about creationism of their students. Survey questions were largely derived from student responses to open ended interview questions. Content validity was strong as indicated by agreement among content experts through the use of a content validity rating form. Construct validity was examined through the use of principal components analysis of 165 survey responses. Four factors were identified as a result of this analysis: "evolution support," "views of how scientists think/operate," "scientific attitudes," and "hypotheses and theories." These factors were found to be consistent with the three theoretical constructs of scientific attitudes, attitudes about evolution, and attitudes about creationism. Overall instrument reliability, Cronbach's reliability coefficient, alpha, was determined to be 0.64 (N = 165). Readability was found to be at the 7 th grade level. The instrument should be comprehensible by college students.

  5. Brain intersections of aesthetics and morals: perspectives from biology, neuroscience, and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, D W; Nadal, M

    2011-01-01

    For centuries, only philosophers debated the relationship between aesthetics and morality. Recently, with advances in neuroscience, the debate has moved to include the brain and an evolved neural underpinning linking aesthetic reactions and moral judgment. Biological survival emphasizes mate selection strategies, and the ritual displays have been linked to human aesthetics in the arts, in faces, and in various daily decision making. In parallel, cultural human practices have evolved to emphasize altruism and morality. This article explores the biological background and discusses the neuroscientific evidence for shared brain pathways for aesthetics and morals.

  6. 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...... adaptation, it is less clear to which extent the observations can be generalized to natural systems, in which organisms evolve in complex heterogeneous environments. The focus of this thesis has been to explore different aspects of evolutionary adaptation of bacterial populations evolving in natural....... 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...

  7. The Evolution of Epigenetics: From Prokaryotes to Humans and Its Biological Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willbanks, Amber; Leary, Meghan; Greenshields, Molly; Tyminski, Camila; Heerboth, Sarah; Lapinska, Karolina; Haskins, Kathryn; Sarkar, Sibaji

    2016-01-01

    The evolution process includes genetic alterations that started with prokaryotes and now continues in humans. A distinct difference between prokaryotic chromosomes and eukaryotic chromosomes involves histones. As evolution progressed, genetic alterations accumulated and a mechanism for gene selection developed. It was as if nature was experimenting to optimally utilize the gene pool without changing individual gene sequences. This mechanism is called epigenetics, as it is above the genome. Curiously, the mechanism of epigenetic regulation in prokaryotes is strikingly different from that in eukaryotes, mainly higher eukaryotes, like mammals. In fact, epigenetics plays a significant role in the conserved process of embryogenesis and human development. Malfunction of epigenetic regulation results in many types of undesirable effects, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. This review provides a comparative analysis and new insights into these aspects. PMID:27512339

  8. Recent advances in alveolar biology: Evolution and function of alveolar proteins☆

    OpenAIRE

    Orgeig, Sandra; Hiemstra, Pieter S.; Edwin J A Veldhuizen; Casals, Cristina; Clark, Howard W.; Haczku, Angela; Knudsen, Lars; Possmayer, Fred

    2010-01-01

    This review is focused on the evolution and function of alveolar proteins. The lung faces physical and environmental challenges, due to changing pressures/volumes and foreign pathogens, respectively. The pulmonary surfactant system is integral in protecting the lung from these challenges via two groups of surfactant proteins – the small molecular weight hydrophobic SPs, SP-B and -C, that regulate interfacial adsorption of the lipids, and the large hydrophilic SPs, SP-A and -D, which are surfa...

  9. Why Flavins Are not Competitors of Chlorophyll in the Evolution of Biological Converters of Solar Energy

    OpenAIRE

    Kritsky, Mikhail S.; Taisiya A. Telegina; Vechtomova, Yulia L.; Buglak, Andrey A.

    2012-01-01

    Excited flavin molecules can photocatalyze reactions, leading to the accumulation of free energy in the products, and the data accumulated through biochemical experiments and by modeling prebiological processes suggest that flavins were available in the earliest stages of evolution. Furthermore, model experiments have shown that abiogenic flavin conjugated with a polyamino acid matrix, a pigment that photocatalyzes the phosphorylation of ADP to form ATP, could have been present in the prebiot...

  10. 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…

  11. Genetic control of chromosome behaviour: Implications in evolution, crop improvement, and human biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chromosomes and chromosome pairing are pivotal to all biological sciences. The study of chromosomes helps unravel several aspects of an organism. Although the foundation of genetics occurred with the formulation of the laws of heredity in 1865, long before the discovery of chromosomes, their subsequ...

  12. 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 knowl

  13. Systems biology of cancer: entropy, disorder, and selection-driven evolution to independence, invasion and "swarm intelligence".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarabichi, M; Antoniou, A; Saiselet, M; Pita, J M; Andry, G; Dumont, J E; Detours, V; Maenhaut, C

    2013-12-01

    Our knowledge of the biology of solid cancer has greatly progressed during the last few years, and many excellent reviews dealing with the various aspects of this biology have appeared. In the present review, we attempt to bring together these subjects in a general systems biology narrative. It starts from the roles of what we term entropy of signaling and noise in the initial oncogenic events, to the first major transition of tumorigenesis: the independence of the tumor cell and the switch in its physiology, i.e., from subservience to the organism to its own independent Darwinian evolution. The development after independence involves a constant dynamic reprogramming of the cells and the emergence of a sort of collective intelligence leading to invasion and metastasis and seldom to the ultimate acquisition of immortality through inter-individual infection. At each step, the probability of success is minimal to infinitesimal, but the number of cells possibly involved and the time scale account for the relatively high occurrence of tumorigenesis and metastasis in multicellular organisms.

  14. Sensory processing sensitivity: a review in the light of the evolution of biological responsivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aron, Elaine N; Aron, Arthur; Jagiellowicz, Jadzia

    2012-08-01

    This article reviews the literature on sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) in light of growing evidence from evolutionary biology that many personality differences in nonhuman species involve being more or less responsive, reactive, flexible, or sensitive to the environment. After briefly defining SPS, it first discusses how biologists studying animal personality have conceptualized this general environmental sensitivity. Second, it reviews relevant previous human personality/temperament work, focusing on crossover interactions (where a trait generates positive or negative outcomes depending on the environment), and traits relevant to specific hypothesized aspects of SPS: inhibition of behavior, sensitivity to stimuli, depth of processing, and emotional/physiological reactivity. Third, it reviews support for the overall SPS model, focusing on development of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Scale as a measure of SPS then on neuroimaging and genetic studies using the scale, all of which bears on the extent to which SPS in humans corresponds to biological responsivity.

  15. Modeling marrow damage from response data: evolution from radiation biology to benzene toxicity.

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, D T; Morris, M D; Hasan, J S

    1996-01-01

    Consensus principles from radiation biology were used to describe a generic set of nonlinear, first-order differential equations for modeling toxicity-induced compensatory cell kinetics in terms of sublethal injury, repair, direct killing, killing of cells with unrepaired sublethal injury, and repopulation. This cellular model was linked to a probit model of hematopoietic mortality that describes death from infection and/or hemorrhage between 5 and 30 days. Mortality data from 27 experiments ...

  16. 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

  17. Evolution through mutation and selection of biological and morphological features in the intertidal zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Lio, C.; D'Alpaos, A.; Marani, M.

    2011-12-01

    The presence and continued existence of tidal morphologies, and in particular of salt marshes, is intimately connected with the presence/absence of halophytic vegetation. In fact, observations and models coupling morphodynamic and biological processes indicate that vegetation crucially affects the marsh equilibrium configurations in relation to the dissipation of wind waves and to the production of organic soil associated with the presence of plants. Often, different vegetation species live within very narrow elevation intervals, associated with similarly narrow ranges of environmental pressures (chiefly hypersalinity and hypoxia). Here we develop and use a 1D model of coupled biological-morphological mutation and selection to study how observed ecosystem properties emerge and how feedbacks between biological and morphological properties concur to select observed bio-morphic 'traits'. We see that the ability to transform their own environment, through increased inorganic deposition and organic soil production, allows vegetation species to more quickly develop adaptations to a changing forcing (e.g. sea level rise). Furthermore, we observe the emergence of zonation and succession and characterize the emerging biodiversity and ecosystem properties as a function of forcing characteristics (e.g. tidal range, rate of sea level rise, and inorganic sediment availability).

  18. Computing the origin and evolution of the ribosome from its structure — Uncovering processes of macromolecular accretion benefiting synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Caetano-Anollés

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Accretion occurs pervasively in nature at widely different timeframes. The process also manifests in the evolution of macromolecules. Here we review recent computational and structural biology studies of evolutionary accretion that make use of the ideographic (historical, retrodictive and nomothetic (universal, predictive scientific frameworks. Computational studies uncover explicit timelines of accretion of structural parts in molecular repertoires and molecules. Phylogenetic trees of protein structural domains and proteomes and their molecular functions were built from a genomic census of millions of encoded proteins and associated terminal Gene Ontology terms. Trees reveal a ‘metabolic-first’ origin of proteins, the late development of translation, and a patchwork distribution of proteins in biological networks mediated by molecular recruitment. Similarly, the natural history of ancient RNA molecules inferred from trees of molecular substructures built from a census of molecular features shows patchwork-like accretion patterns. Ideographic analyses of ribosomal history uncover the early appearance of structures supporting mRNA decoding and tRNA translocation, the coevolution of ribosomal proteins and RNA, and a first evolutionary transition that brings ribosomal subunits together into a processive protein biosynthetic complex. Nomothetic structural biology studies of tertiary interactions and ancient insertions in rRNA complement these findings, once concentric layering assumptions are removed. Patterns of coaxial helical stacking reveal a frustrated dynamics of outward and inward ribosomal growth possibly mediated by structural grafting. The early rise of the ribosomal ‘turnstile’ suggests an evolutionary transition in natural biological computation. Results make explicit the need to understand processes of molecular growth and information transfer of macromolecules.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Toshikazu Ebisuzaki; Shigenori Maruyama

    2015-01-01

    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 pop-ulations). 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 (m). 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 m is assumed to be 10?3e10?5. On the other hand, the speciation is much faster (less than 105 generations) for the case that m is as large as 0.1 in parapatric conditions (mevolution during mass extinction events, such as observed during the Cambrian explosion of biodiversity. A similar rapid speciation (though in a much smaller

  20. Gene flow and biological conflict systems in the origin and evolution of eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aravind, L; Anantharaman, Vivek; Zhang, Dapeng; de Souza, Robson F; Iyer, Lakshminarayan M

    2012-01-01

    The endosymbiotic origin of eukaryotes brought together two disparate genomes in the cell. Additionally, eukaryotic natural history has included other endosymbiotic events, phagotrophic consumption of organisms, and intimate interactions with viruses and endoparasites. These phenomena facilitated large-scale lateral gene transfer and biological conflicts. We synthesize information from nearly two decades of genomics to illustrate how the interplay between lateral gene transfer and biological conflicts has impacted the emergence of new adaptations in eukaryotes. Using apicomplexans as example, we illustrate how lateral transfer from animals has contributed to unique parasite-host interfaces comprised of adhesion- and O-linked glycosylation-related domains. Adaptations, emerging due to intense selection for diversity in the molecular participants in organismal and genomic conflicts, being dispersed by lateral transfer, were subsequently exapted for eukaryote-specific innovations. We illustrate this using examples relating to eukaryotic chromatin, RNAi and RNA-processing systems, signaling pathways, apoptosis and immunity. We highlight the major contributions from catalytic domains of bacterial toxin systems to the origin of signaling enzymes (e.g., ADP-ribosylation and small molecule messenger synthesis), mutagenic enzymes for immune receptor diversification and RNA-processing. Similarly, we discuss contributions of bacterial antibiotic/siderophore synthesis systems and intra-genomic and intra-cellular selfish elements (e.g., restriction-modification, mobile elements and lysogenic phages) in the emergence of chromatin remodeling/modifying enzymes and RNA-based regulation. We develop the concept that biological conflict systems served as evolutionary "nurseries" for innovations in the protein world, which were delivered to eukaryotes via lateral gene flow to spur key evolutionary innovations all the way from nucleogenesis to lineage-specific adaptations. PMID:22919680

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  2. The evolution of ERMIONE in mitochondrial biogenesis and lipid homeostasis: An evolutionary view from comparative cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wideman, Jeremy G; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A

    2016-08-01

    The ER-mitochondria organizing network (ERMIONE) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is involved in maintaining mitochondrial morphology and lipid homeostasis. ERMES and MICOS are two scaffolding complexes of ERMIONE that contribute to these processes. ERMES is ancient but has been lost in several lineages including animals, plants, and SAR (stramenopiles, alveolates and rhizaria). On the other hand, MICOS is ancient and has remained present in all organisms bearing mitochondrial cristae. The ERMIONE precursor evolved in the α-proteobacterial ancestor of mitochondria which had the central subunit of MICOS, Mic60. The subsequent evolution of ERMIONE and its interactors in eukaryotes reflects the integrative co-evolution of mitochondria and their hosts and the adaptive paths that some lineages have followed in their specialization to certain environments. By approaching the ERMIONE from a perspective of comparative evolutionary cell biology, we hope to shed light on not only its evolutionary history, but also how ERMIONE components may function in organisms other than S. cerevisiae. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The cellular lipid landscape edited by Tim P. Levine and Anant K. Menon.

  3. The evolution of ERMIONE in mitochondrial biogenesis and lipid homeostasis: An evolutionary view from comparative cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wideman, Jeremy G; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A

    2016-08-01

    The ER-mitochondria organizing network (ERMIONE) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is involved in maintaining mitochondrial morphology and lipid homeostasis. ERMES and MICOS are two scaffolding complexes of ERMIONE that contribute to these processes. ERMES is ancient but has been lost in several lineages including animals, plants, and SAR (stramenopiles, alveolates and rhizaria). On the other hand, MICOS is ancient and has remained present in all organisms bearing mitochondrial cristae. The ERMIONE precursor evolved in the α-proteobacterial ancestor of mitochondria which had the central subunit of MICOS, Mic60. The subsequent evolution of ERMIONE and its interactors in eukaryotes reflects the integrative co-evolution of mitochondria and their hosts and the adaptive paths that some lineages have followed in their specialization to certain environments. By approaching the ERMIONE from a perspective of comparative evolutionary cell biology, we hope to shed light on not only its evolutionary history, but also how ERMIONE components may function in organisms other than S. cerevisiae. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The cellular lipid landscape edited by Tim P. Levine and Anant K. Menon. PMID:26825688

  4. Evolution as represented through argumentation: A qualitative study on reasoning and argumentation in high school biology teaching practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yalcinoglu, Pelin

    This study aimed to explore high school biology teachers' epistemological criteria and their attention to reasoning and argumentation within their instructional practices. This study investigated: (1) what epistemological criteria do high school biology teachers use when justifying the validity of conclusions, (2) what is the frequency of the explicit use of reasoning and argumentation, if any, in high school biology teachers' instructional practices, and to what extend are reasoning and argumentation skills reflected, if at all, in high school biology teachers' modes of assessment. Three different data collection methods were employed in this study; face-to-face interviews, classroom observations, and document collections. Teachers' epistemological criteria were investigated to provide insight about their reasoning structures. This investigation was made possible by having teachers provide an argument about the validity of hypothetical conclusions drawn by the students based on two different scenarios related to evolution. Toulmin's Argument Pattern used to create rubric to analyze high school biology teachers' levels of reasoning through argumentation. Results of the data analysis suggested following findings. First, high school biology teachers participated in this study presented variety of epistemological criteria which were presented as high, moderate and low levels of reasoning through the argumentations. Second, elements of Toulmin's Argument Pattern were visible in the participants teaching practices, however students were not explicitly introduced to a well structured argument in those classrooms. High level of reasoning was not evident in the instructional practices of the observed teachers. High school biology classrooms which were observed in this study do not provide opportunities for students to practice high level of reasoning or improve their argumentation skills. Third, Interview Protocols designed for this study were found useful to identify the

  5. Production and packaging of a biological arsenal: evolution of centipede venoms under morphological constraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Hamilton, Brett R; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Bowlay, Greg; Cribb, Bronwen W; Merritt, David J; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F; Venter, Deon J

    2015-03-31

    Venom represents one of the most extreme manifestations of a chemical arms race. Venoms are complex biochemical arsenals, often containing hundreds to thousands of unique protein toxins. Despite their utility for prey capture, venoms are energetically expensive commodities, and consequently it is hypothesized that venom complexity is inversely related to the capacity of a venomous animal to physically subdue prey. Centipedes, one of the oldest yet least-studied venomous lineages, appear to defy this rule. Although scutigeromorph centipedes produce less complex venom than those secreted by scolopendrid centipedes, they appear to rely heavily on venom for prey capture. We show that the venom glands are large and well developed in both scutigerid and scolopendrid species, but that scutigerid forcipules lack the adaptations that allow scolopendrids to inflict physical damage on prey and predators. Moreover, we reveal that scolopendrid venom glands have evolved to accommodate a much larger number of secretory cells and, by using imaging mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that toxin production is heterogeneous across these secretory units. We propose that the differences in venom complexity between centipede orders are largely a result of morphological restrictions of the venom gland, and consequently there is a strong correlation between the morphological and biochemical complexity of this unique venom system. The current data add to the growing body of evidence that toxins are not expressed in a spatially homogenous manner within venom glands, and they suggest that the link between ecology and toxin evolution is more complex than previously thought. PMID:25775536

  6. 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

  7. Sinapate esters in brassicaceous plants: biochemistry, molecular biology, evolution and metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milkowski, Carsten; Strack, Dieter

    2010-06-01

    Brassicaceous plants are characterized by a pronounced metabolic flux toward sinapate, produced by the shikimate/phenylpropanoid pathway, which is converted into a broad spectrum of O-ester conjugates. The abundant sinapate esters in Brassica napus and Arabidopsis thaliana reflect a well-known metabolic network, including UDP-glucose:sinapate glucosyltransferase (SGT), sinapoylglucose:choline sinapoyltransferase (SCT), sinapoylglucose:L-malate sinapoyltransferase (SMT) and sinapoylcholine (sinapine) esterase (SCE). 1-O-Sinapoylglucose, produced by SGT during seed development, is converted to sinapine by SCT and hydrolyzed by SCE in germinating seeds. The released sinapate feeds via sinapoylglucose into the biosynthesis of sinapoylmalate in the seedlings catalyzed by SMT. Sinapoylmalate is involved in protecting the leaves against the deleterious effects of UV-B radiation. Sinapine might function as storage vehicle for ready supply of choline for phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in young seedlings. The antinutritive character of sinapine and related sinapate esters hamper the use of the valuable seed protein of the oilseed crop B. napus for animal feed and human nutrition. Due to limited variation in seed sinapine content within the assortment of B. napus cultivars, low sinapine lines cannot be generated by conventional breeding giving rise to genetic engineering of sinapate ester metabolism as a promising means. In this article we review the progress made throughout the last decade in identification of genes involved in sinapate ester metabolism and characterization of the encoded enzymes. Based on gene structures and enzyme recruitment, evolution of sinapate ester metabolism is discussed. Strategies of targeted metabolic engineering, designed to generate low-sinapate ester lines of B. napus, are evaluated.

  8. REDOX CHEMISTRY OF MOLYBDENUM IN NATURAL WATERS AND ITS INVOLVEMENT IN BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deli eWang

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The transition element molybdenum (Mo possesses diverse valances (+II to +VI, and is involved in forming cofactors in more than 60 enzymes in biology. Redox switching of the element in these enzymes catalyzes a series of metabolic reactions in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and the element therefore plays a fundamental role in the global carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycling. In the present oxygenated waters, oxidized Mo(VI predominates thermodynamically, whilst reduced Mo species are mainly confined within specific niches including cytoplasm. Only recently has the reduced Mo(V been separated from Mo(VI in sulfidic mats and even in some reducing waters. Given the presence of reduced Mo(V in contemporary anaerobic habitats, it seems that reduced Mo species were present in the ancient reducing ocean (probably under both ferrigenous and sulfidic conditions, prompting the involvement of Mo in enzymes including nitrogenase and nitrate reductase. During the global transition to oxic conditions, reduced Mo species were constrained to specific anaerobic habitats, and efficient uptake systems of oxidized Mo(VI became a selective advantage both for prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Some prokaryotes are still able to directly utilize reduced Mo if any exists in ambient environments. In total, this mini-review describes the redox chemistry and biogeochemistry of Mo over the Earth’s history.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Joseph (Giuseppe) Zaccai

    2008-10-01

    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°C) homologue; and in vivo for psychrophilic, mesophilic, thermophilic and hyperthermophilic bacteria, adapted respectively to temperatures of 4°C, 37°C, 75°C and 85°C. 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.

  10. Teach Softly and Debunk with a Big Stick: A Response to "Evolution, Biology, and Society--A Conversation for the 21st-Century Sociology Classroom"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Chad

    2010-01-01

    This article presents the author's response to "Evolution, Biology, and Society: A Conversation for the 21st-Century Sociology Classroom" by Richard Machalek and Michael Martin. Their work serves as a reminder that the discipline is diverse and dynamic. The author appreciates the effort to urge sociology teachers to include genetic concepts in…

  11. Using Fossil Shark Teeth to Illustrate Evolution and Introduce Basic Geologic Concepts in a High School Biology Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnew, J. G.; Nunn, J. A.

    2007-12-01

    Shell Foundation sponsors a program at Louisiana State University called Shell Undergraduate Recruitment and Geoscience Education (SURGE). The purpose of SURGE is to help local high school science teachers incorporate geology into their classrooms by providing resources and training. As part of this program, a workshop for high school biology teachers was held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on June 3-5, 2007. We had the teachers do a series of activities on fossil shark teeth to illustrate evolution and introduce basic earth science concepts such as geologic time, superposition, and faunal succession and provided the teachers with lesson plans and materials. As an example, one of our exercises explores the evolution of the megatoothed shark lineage leading to Carcharocles megalodon, the largest predatory shark in history with teeth up to 17 cm long. Megatoothed shark teeth make excellent evolutionary subjects because they have a good fossil record and show continuous transitions in morphology from the Eocene to Pliocene. Our activity follows the learning cycle model. We take advantage of the curiosity of sharks shared by most people, and allow students to explore the variations among different shark teeth and explain the causes of those variations. The objectives of this exercise are to have the students: 1) sort fossil shark teeth into biologically reasonable species; 2) form hypotheses about evolutionary relationships among fossil shark teeth; and 3) describe and interpret evolutionary trends in the fossil Megatoothed lineage. To do the activity, students are divided into groups of 2-3 and given a shuffled set of 72 shark tooth cards with different images of megatoothed shark teeth. They are instructed to group the shark tooth cards into separate species of sharks. After sorting the cards, students are asked to consider the evolutionary relationships among their species and arrange their species chronologically according to the species first

  12. Animal lectins as self/non-self recognition molecules. Biochemical and genetic approaches to understanding their biological roles and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasta, G R; Ahmed, H; Fink, N E; Elola, M T; Marsh, A G; Snowden, A; Odom, E W

    1994-04-15

    In recent years, the significant contributions from molecular research studies on animal lectins have elucidated structural aspects and provided clues not only to their evolution but also to their multiple biological functions. The experimental evidence has suggested that distinct, and probably unrelated, groups of molecules are included under the term "lectin." Within the invertebrate taxa, major groups of lectins can be identified: One group would include lectins that show significant homology to membrane-integrated or soluble vertebrate C-type lectins. The second would include those beta-galactosyl-specific lectins homologous to the S-type vertebrate lectins. The third group would be constituted by lectins that show homology to vertebrate pentraxins that exhibit lectin-like properties, such as C-reactive protein and serum amyloid P. Finally, there are examples that do not exhibit similarities to any of the aforementioned categories. Moreover, the vast majority of invertebrate lectins described so far cannot yet be placed in one or another group because of the lack of information regarding their primary structure. (See Table 1.) Animal lectins do not express a recombinatorial diversity like that of antibodies, but a limited diversity in recognition capabilities would be accomplished by the occurrence of multiple lectins with distinct specificities, the presence of more than one binding site, specific for different carbohydrates in a single molecule, and by certain "flexibility" of the binding sites that would allow the recognition of a range of structurally related carbohydrates. In order to identify the lectins' "natural" ligands, we have investigated the interactions between those proteins and the putative endogenous or exogenous glycosylated substances or cells that may be relevant to their biological function. Results from these studies, together with information on the biochemical properties of invertebrate and vertebrate lectins, including their structural

  13. Atmospheric, Climatic, and Biological Evolution at Both Ends of the Proterozoic Eon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, A. J.; Farquhar, J.; Wing, B.; Corsetti, F. A.; Bekker, A.

    2006-05-01

    Both ends of the Proterozoic Eon (2.5 to 0.542 Ga) are characterized by inter-related environmental, climatic, and biological events that are likely associated with fluctuations in atmospheric concentrations of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and methane. In each interval there is abundant evidence for widespread glaciation and the alternation of redox sensitive lithologies. Isotopic studies across the Proterozoic Eon reveal the effects of major orogenic and hydrothermal events on ocean chemistry, as well as profound reorganizations of the carbon and sulfur cycles. Detailed stratigraphic studies indicate a close association of the biogeochemical and climatic events with the rise and fall of atmospheric oxygen. In the terminal Proterozoic, carbonates within the Johnnie Formation of Death Valley, CA record a remarkable negative carbon isotope anomaly that accompanies a dramatic rise in trace sulfate abundance and fall of carbonate associated sulfate δ34S values. The 13C-rich alkalinity delivered to the seawater pool was likely associated with a dramatic rise in atmospheric O2, which resulted in 1) the oxidation of exposed continental shelf sediments rich in fossil organic matter and sulfides, and 2) the ventilation of the oceans. The carbon isotope anomaly is recorded in broadly equivalent successions that post-date known Marinoan glacial deposits and pre-date the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary in Oman, India, China, Australia, and Namibia, supporting the view that the oxygenation event was global. Large metazoan fossils (Ediacaran animals) first appear directly above this anomaly, suggesting that a critical threshold with respect to atmospheric O2 had been crossed at this time. In the early Proterozoic, the rise of atmospheric oxygen appears to coincide with Earth's earliest glacial record, and is linked to strong variations in carbon and sulfur isotope compositions of seawater proxies. The glacial interval is notable for the occurrence of widespread diamictite in at least

  14. 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

  15. Evolution of biological information

    OpenAIRE

    Schneider, Thomas D.

    2000-01-01

    How do genetic systems gain information by evolutionary processes? Answering this question precisely requires a robust, quantitative measure of information. Fortunately, 50 years ago Claude Shannon defined information as a decrease in the uncertainty of a receiver. For molecular systems, uncertainty is closely related to entropy and hence has clear connections to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. These aspects of information theory have allowed the development of a straightforward and practic...

  16. 进化论与进化生物学的发展%Theory of Evolution and Development of Evolutionary Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    钟扬

    2009-01-01

    @@ 自达尔文1859年发表(The Origin ofSpecies)一书以来,"进化"(evolution)已逐渐成为生物学文献中出现频率最高的词汇之一,进化生物学(evo-lutionary biology)则成为当今生命科学中一个重要的前沿领域.

  17. Investigating Greek Biology Teachers' Attitudes towards Evolution Teaching with Respect to Their Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Suggestions for Their Professional Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stasinakis, Panagiotis K.; Athanasiou, Kyriacos

    2016-01-01

    Evolution Teaching (ET) among in-service teachers in Greece was examined in an attempt to evaluate their Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Evolution teaching is a problematic issue. For this purpose, we constructed a questionnaire that was distributed to the target population and to which 181 teachers responded. We used quantitative method to…

  18. Evolution in the Caribbean Classroom: A Critical Analysis of the Role of Biology Teachers and Science Standards in Shaping Evolution Instruction in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Elvis Enrique; Pringle, Rose M.; Showalter, Kevin Tyler

    2012-01-01

    A survey of the literature on evolution instruction provides evidence that teachers' personal views and understandings can shape instructional approaches and content delivered in science classrooms regardless of established science standards. This study is the first to quantify evolutionary worldviews of in-service teachers in the Caribbean,…

  19. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud

    2011-01-01

    Introduction and Biological BackgroundBiological ComputationThe Influence of Biology on Mathematics-Historical ExamplesBiological IntroductionModels and Simulations Cellular Automata Biological BackgroundThe Game of Life General Definition of Cellular Automata One-Dimensional AutomataExamples of Cellular AutomataComparison with a Continuous Mathematical Model Computational UniversalitySelf-Replication Pseudo Code Evolutionary ComputationEvolutionary Biology and Evolutionary ComputationGenetic AlgorithmsExample ApplicationsAnalysis of the Behavior of Genetic AlgorithmsLamarckian Evolution Genet

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Geochemistry of U and Th and its Influence on the Origin and Evolution of the Crust of Earth and the Biological Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Bao, Xuezhao

    1998-01-01

    We have investigated the migration behaviors of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) in the Earth and other terrestrial planets. Theoretical models of U and Th migration have been proposed. These models suggest that the unique features of the Earth are closely connected with its unique U and Th migration models and distribution patterns. In the Earth, U and Th can combine with oxidative volatile components and water, migrate up to the asthenosphere position to form an enrichment zone (EZ) of U and Th first, and then migrate up further to the crusts through magmatism and metamorphism. We emphasize that the formation of an EZ of U, Th and other heat-producing elements is a prerequisite for the formation of a plate tectonic system. The heat-producing elements, currently mainly U and Th, in the EZ are also the energy sources that drive the formation and evolution of the crust of Earth and create special granitic continental crusts. In other terrestrial planets, including Mercury, Venus, and Mars, an EZ can not be formed ...

  3. Evolution in Secondary School Biology Textbooks of the PRC, the USA, and the Latter Stages of the USSR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swarts, Frederick A.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    The presentations of evolutionary theory of 13 prominent secondary school biology textbooks (3 Chinese, 8 American, and 2 Soviet) were examined using the methods of content analysis. Pronounced differences in topic emphasis among the 13 textbooks and systematic trends between countries are discussed. (Author/ZWH)

  4. 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.

  5. Has Human Evolution Stopped?

    OpenAIRE

    Templeton, Alan R.

    2010-01-01

    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 ...

  6. On the biological and cultural evolution of shame: Using internet search tools to weight values in many cultures

    OpenAIRE

    Jaffe, Klaus; Florez, Astrid; Gomes, Cristina M.; Rodriguez, Daniel; Achury, Carla

    2014-01-01

    Shame has clear biological roots and its precise form of expression affects social cohesion and cultural characteristics. Here we explore the relative importance between shame and guilt by using Google Translate to produce translation for the words shame, guilt, pain, embarrassment and fear to the 64 languages covered. We also explore the meanings of these concepts among the Yanomami, a horticulturist hunter-gatherer tribe in the Orinoquia. Results show that societies previously described as ...

  7. Toward a mathematical theory of living systems focusing on developmental biology and evolution: A review and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellomo, N.; Carbonaro, B.

    2011-03-01

    This review paper is devoted to present a personal perspective, based on a critical analysis of the existing literature, about the conceptual difficulties that mathematics meets when attempting to describe the complexity of living matter focusing on the challenging goal of developing a mathematical theory for living systems. The authors propose a personal path, starting from the identification of a number of common features of living systems that can be viewed as sources of complexity, firstly in general, and subsequently focusing specifically on evolution problems. Further, three key questions are posed addressing to a mathematical theory. Finally, the tools of the kinetic theory of active particles are critically analyzed to understand how far this approach still is from the achievement of the afore said ambitious objective.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Lagrangian evolution of DMS during the Southern Ocean gas exchange experiment: The effects of vertical mixing and biological community shift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, M.; Archer, S. D.; Blomquist, B. W.; Ho, D. T.; Lance, V. P.; Torres, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    Concentrations of dimethylsulfide (DMS) and its precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) are highly variable in time and space. What is driving the variability in DMS(P), and can those variability be explained by physical processes and changes in the biological community? During the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment (SO GasEx) in the austral fall of 2008, two 3He/SF6 labeled patches were created in the surface water. SF6 and DMS were surveyed continuously in a Lagrangian framework, while direct measurements of air-sea exchange further constrained the gas budgets. Turbulent diffusivity at the base of the mixed layer was estimated from SF6 profiles and used to calculate the vertical fluxes of DMS and nutrients. Increasing mixed layer nutrient concentrations due to mixing were associated with a shift in the phytoplankton community structure, which in turned likely affected the sulfur dynamics on timescales of days. DMS concentration as well as air-sea DMS flux appeared to be decoupled from the DMSP concentration, possibly due to grazing and bacterial DMS production. Contrary to expectations, in an environment with high winds and modest productivity, physical processes (air-sea exchange, photochemistry, vertical mixing) only accounted for a small fraction of DMS loss from the surface water. Among the DMS sinks, inferred biological consumption most likely dominated during SO GasEx.

  11. Nitrogen Substituted Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon As Capable Interstellar Infrared Spectrum Source Considering Astronomical Chemical Evolution Step To Biological Organic Purine And Adenine

    CERN Document Server

    Ota, Norio

    2016-01-01

    In order to find out capable chemical evolution step from astronomically created organic in interstellar space to biological organic on the earth, infrared spectrum of nitrogen substituted carbon pentagon-hexagon coupled polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon was analyzed by the density functional theory. Ionization was modeled from neutral to tri-cation. Among one nitrogen and two nitrogen substituted NPAH, we could find good examples showing similar IR behavior with astronomically well observed one as like C8H6N1, C7H5N2, and C7H5N2. We can imagine that such ionized NPAH may be created in interstellar space by attacks of high energy nitrogen and photon. Whereas, in case of three and four nitrogen substituted cases as like C6H4N3 and C5H3N4, there were no candidate showing similar behavior with observed one. Also, IR of typical biological organic with four and five nitrogen substituted one as like purine and adenine resulted no good similarity with observed one. By such theoretical comparison, one capable story of ...

  12. 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

  13. Evolution of unusual morphologies in Lentibulariaceae (bladderworts and allies) and Podostemaceae (river-weeds): a pictorial report at the interface of developmental biology and morphological diversification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutishauser, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Background Various groups of flowering plants reveal profound (‘saltational’) changes of their bauplans (architectural rules) as compared with related taxa. These plants are known as morphological misfits that appear as rather large morphological deviations from the norm. Some of them emerged as morphological key innovations (perhaps ‘hopeful monsters’) that gave rise to new evolutionary lines of organisms, based on (major) genetic changes. Scope This pictorial report places emphasis on released bauplans as typical for bladderworts (Utricularia, approx. 230 secies, Lentibulariaceae) and river-weeds (Podostemaceae, three subfamilies, approx. 54 genera, approx. 310 species). Bladderworts (Utricularia) are carnivorous, possessing sucking traps. They live as submerged aquatics (except for their flowers), as humid terrestrials or as epiphytes. Most Podostemaceae are restricted to rocks in tropical river-rapids and waterfalls. They survive as submerged haptophytes in these extreme habitats during the rainy season, emerging with their flowers afterwards. The recent scientific progress in developmental biology and evolutionary history of both Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is summarized. Conclusions Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae follow structural rules that are different from but related to those of more typical flowering plants. The roots, stems and leaves – as still distinguishable in related flowering plants – are blurred (‘fuzzy’). However, both families have stable floral bauplans. The developmental switches to unusual vegetative morphologies facilitated rather than prevented the evolution of species diversity in both families. The lack of one-to-one correspondence between structural categories and gene expression may have arisen from the re-use of existing genetic resources in novel contexts. Understanding what developmental patterns are followed in Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is a necessary prerequisite to discover the genetic

  14. 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)

    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)

  15. Applying x-ray tomography in the field of vertebrate biology: form, function, and evolution of the skull of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Herzen, Julia; Summers, Adam P.; Haas, Alexander

    2008-08-01

    Evolutionary research in biology relies on the comparison of different individuals of different species in order to explore the history of today's biodiversity. Synchrotron radiation based high resolution X-ray tomography (SRμCT) rapidly generates detailed three dimensional datasets. At the beamlines W2 and BW2 of the storage ring DORIS at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, we used SRμCT to study the cranial anatomy of different species and different developmental stages of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). Here we describe a work-flow for analysis of the SRμCT data that covers segmentation of tissues in Amira® (Mercury Computer Systems), photorealistic rendering and animation in MayaTM, rapid prototyping, and morphometrics. The integration of different analyses of SRμCT data in our study resulted in a comprehensive understanding of form, function, and evolution of caecilian skulls. SRμCT imaging has the potential to become a standard technique for life sciences applications in the near future.

  16. THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

    OpenAIRE

    Kurtz, Donald

    2011-01-01

    This paper asserts that while culture does change, it does not evolve. In anthropology the explanation for the evolution of the non-biological aspects of the human condition has relied on the paradigm of cultural evolution. This paper argues that non-biological evolution is better explained in terms of the evolution of social organization. It also rejects the materialist bias that dominates the explanations for why and how evolution takes place. Instead it argues that human agents play a larg...

  17. Evolution of Direct Costs in the First Years of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Impact of Early versus Late Biologic Initiation - An Economic Analysis Based on the ESPOIR Cohort.

    OpenAIRE

    Karine Chevreul; Georges Haour; Sandy Lucier; Stephanie Harvard; Marie-Laure Laroche; Xavier Mariette; Alain Saraux; Isabelle Durand-Zaleski; Francis Guillemin; Bruno Fautrel

    2014-01-01

    International audience OBJECTIVES: To estimate annual direct costs of early RA by resource component in an inception cohort, with reference to four distinct treatment strategies: no disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), synthetic DMARDs only, biologic DMARDs in the first year ('first-year biologic', FYB), and biologic DMARDs from the second year after inclusion ('later-year biologic', LYB); to determine predictors of total and non-DMARD related costs. METHODS: The ESPOIR cohort i...

  18. Investigating Human Evolution Using Digital Imaging & Craniometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, John C.

    2007-01-01

    Human evolution is an important and intriguing area of biology. The significance of evolution as a component of biology curricula, at all levels, can not be overstated; the need to make the most of opportunities to effectively educate students in evolution as a central and unifying realm of biology is paramount. Developing engaging laboratory or…

  19. The Evolution and Development of the Universe

    OpenAIRE

    Vidal, Clement; Auffray, Charles; Blin, Alex H.; Chaline, Jean; Crane, Louis; Durt, Thomas; Ekstig, Borje; Fairlamb, Horace; Greben, Jan; Hengeveld, Rob; Heylighen, Francis; Akkerhuis, Gerard Jagers op; Longo, Giuseppe; Lori, Nicolas F.; Noble, Denis

    2009-01-01

    This document is the Special Issue of the First International Conference on the Evolution and Development of the Universe (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 sele...

  20. 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)

  1. Framing Evolution Discussion Intellectually

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Alandeom W.; Cook, Kristin; Buck, Gayle A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examines how a first-year biology teacher facilitates a series of whole-class discussions about evolution during the implementation of a problem-based unit. A communicative theoretical perspective is adopted wherein evolution discussions are viewed as social events that the teacher can frame intellectually (i.e., present or organize as…

  2. Evolution & the Cesarean Section Rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Joseph A.

    2008-01-01

    "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." This was the title of an essay by geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky writing in 1973. Many causes have been given for the increased Cesarean section rate in developed countries, but biologic evolution has not been one of them. The C-section rate will continue to rise, because the…

  3. NATURAL TRANSFORMATIONS OF MULTI-LEVEL ORGANISMAL STRUCTURES REPRESENTED AS ORGANISMIC SUPERCATEGORIES: I. Generation of Categorical Limits and Colimits during Biological Development and Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Baianu, Dr. Ion

    1983-01-01

    A current update of our original 1980 publication entitled "Natural Transformations of Organismic Structures" is here presented, along with the original (1980) article. A unifying approach to the realization of Relational Biology models and Complex System Biology was reported in 1980 for the first time in terms of Natural Transformations between Functors of Organismic Supercategories and their generating categorical diagrams. The representation of organismal structures in terms of Organismic-...

  4. 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)

    D. Speijer

    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

  5. Evolution and Christian Faith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roughgarden, J. E.

    2006-12-01

    My recent book, Evolution and Christian Faith explores how evolutionary biology can be portrayed from the religious perspective of Christianity. The principal metaphors for evolutionary biology---differential success at breeding and random mutation, probably originate with the dawn of agriculture and clearly occur in the Bible. The central narrative of evolutionary biology can be presented using Biblical passages, providing an account of evolution that is inherently friendly to a Christian perspective. Still, evolutionary biology is far from complete, and problematic areas pertain to species in which the concept of an individual is poorly defined, and to species in which the expression of gender and sexuality depart from Darwin's sexual-selection templates. The present- day controversy in the US about teaching evolution in the schools provides an opportunity to engage the public about science education.

  6. Evolutionary biology of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard; Summers, Kyle

    2005-10-01

    Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages that have escaped controls on replication and by the population-level evolution of genes that influence cancer risk. We describe here how recent evolutionary ecological studies have elucidated the roles of predation by the immune system and competition among normal and cancerous cells in the somatic evolution of cancer. Recent analyses of the evolution of cancer at the population level show how rapid changes in human environments have augmented cancer risk, how strong selection has frequently led to increased cancer risk as a byproduct, and how anticancer selection has led to tumor-suppression systems, tissue designs that slow somatic evolution, constraints on morphological evolution and even senescence itself. We discuss how applications of the tools of ecology and evolutionary biology are poised to revolutionize our understanding and treatment of this disease.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Multistage treatment system for raw leachate from sanitary landfill combining biological nitrification-denitrification/solar photo-Fenton/biological processes, at a scale close to industrial--biodegradability enhancement and evolution profile of trace pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Tânia F C V; Silva, M Elisabete F; Cunha-Queda, A Cristina; Fonseca, Amélia; Saraiva, Isabel; Sousa, M A; Gonçalves, C; Alpendurada, M F; Boaventura, Rui A R; Vilar, Vítor J P

    2013-10-15

    A multistage treatment system, at a scale close to the industrial, was designed for the treatment of a mature raw landfill leachate, including: a) an activated sludge biological oxidation (ASBO), under aerobic and anoxic conditions; b) a solar photo-Fenton process, enhancing the bio-treated leachate biodegradability, with and without sludge removal after acidification; and c) a final polishing step, with further ASBO. The raw leachate was characterized by a high concentration of humic substances (HS) (1211 mg CHS/L), representing 39% of the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content, and a high nitrogen content, mainly in the form of ammonium nitrogen (>3.8 g NH4(+)-N/L). In the first biological oxidation step, a 95% removal of total nitrogen and a 39% mineralization in terms of DOC were achieved, remaining only the recalcitrant fraction, mainly attributed to HS (57% of DOC). Under aerobic conditions, the highest nitrification rate obtained was 8.2 mg NH4(+)-N/h/g of volatile suspended solids (VSS), and under anoxic conditions, the maximum denitrification rate obtained was 5.8 mg (NO2(-)-N + NO3(-)-N)/h/g VSS, with a C/N consumption ratio of 2.4 mg CH3OH/mg (NO2(-)-N + NO3(-)-N). The precipitation of humic acids (37% of HS) after acidification of the bio-treated leachate corresponds to a 96% DOC abatement. The amount of UV energy and H2O2 consumption during the photo-Fenton reaction was 30% higher in the experiment without sludge removal and, consequently, the reaction velocity was 30% lower. The phototreatment process led to the depletion of HS >80%, of low-molecular-weight carboxylate anions >70% and other organic micropollutants, thus resulting in a total biodegradability increase of >70%. The second biological oxidation allowed to obtain a final treated leachate in compliance with legal discharge limits regarding water bodies (with the exception of sulfate ions), considering the experiment without sludge. Finally, the high efficiency of the overall treatment

  10. Hydrogen Evolution from Napiergrass by the Combination of Biological Treatment and a Pt-Loaded TiO2-Photocatalytic Reaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahide Yasuda

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Ethanol and pentose were produced from lignocellulosic napiergrass by the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation process (SSF using hydrolytic enzyme and S. Cerevisiae. After the ethanol was removed, the pentose solution was subjected to photocatalytic hydrogen evolution with Pt-loaded TiO2 under UV-irradiation. This process converted 100 g of napiergrass into 12.3 g of ethanol and 1.76 g of hydrogen whose total combustion energy of (∆H was 615 kJ. This was close to the ∆H (639 kJ of the pentose (13.6 g and hexose (27.4 g obtained by the cellulose-saccharification of 100 g of napiergrass.

  11. Enzymological study of the evolution of the technogenic soil submitted to biological recultivation in Bozanta Mare (Maramures county, north-western Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Felix BLIDAR

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper summarizes our research work regarding the dynamics of vegetation growth of miscellaneous species of trees planted and monitored in the particular environment of the tailing pond in Bozanta Mare (Maramures County. The structure of soil bearing high content of heavy metals and cyanides considerably impacts the ecologic conditions of tailing ponds. Aspects related to soil characteristics (such as structure, size of particles, porosity, texture, chemical composition are included. In the framework of our experiment we have planted seedlings belonging to four species of trees: Quercus petraea, Populus tremula, Betula verrucosa, Salix caprea. Our aim was to study the evolution of enzyme activities. Our contribution, based on the outcomes of our research, consists in the formulation of functional correlations spotted between cormophites and enzyme activities, between the species of trees and their environmental underlying conditions, with the overarching goal to optimize the activities undertaken in order to alleviate the tailing ponds inherent to mining activities.

  12. 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…

  13. [Systems biology of cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barillot, Emmanuel; Calzone, Laurence; Zinovyev, Andrei

    2009-01-01

    Cancer Systems Biology is now accepted and recognized as a promising field both in biological and clinical research. It relies on a rigorous formalization of regulation networks into precise and unambiguous languages. It provides both detailed and modular views of the complex biological system of interest (which in cancer research is typically an interaction network governing essential cellular events such as proliferation, differentiation, cell death...) in order to facilitate the interpretation of molecular profiles of tumors. The translation of these networks into mathematical models allows prediction of the evolution of the system in time and under certain perturbations. As a result, it can not only propose specific target points for pharmaceutical purposes, but also anticipate the evolution of tumors as well as their classifications. These characteristics emphasize the important role of Systems Biology of Cancer in the future of biomedical research.

  14. Evolution and social epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishi, Akihiro

    2015-11-01

    Evolutionary biology, which aims to explain the dynamic process of shaping the diversity of life, has not yet significantly affected thinking in social epidemiology. Current challenges in social epidemiology include understanding how social exposures can affect our biology, explaining the dynamics of society and health, and designing better interventions that are mindful of the impact of exposures during critical periods. I review how evolutionary concepts and tools, such as fitness gradient in cultural evolution, evolutionary game theory, and contemporary evolution in cancer, can provide helpful insights regarding social epidemiology.

  15. Evolution of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayhoff, M. O.

    1971-01-01

    The amino acid sequences of proteins from living organisms are dealt with. The structure of proteins is first discussed; the variation in this structure from one biological group to another is illustrated by the first halves of the sequences of cytochrome c, and a phylogenetic tree is derived from the cytochrome c data. The relative geological times associated with the events of this tree are discussed. Errors which occur in the duplication of cells during the evolutionary process are examined. Particular attention is given to evolution of mutant proteins, globins, ferredoxin, and transfer ribonucleic acids (tRNA's). Finally, a general outline of biological evolution is presented.

  16. 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...

  17. Evolution and Ageing

    OpenAIRE

    de Oliveira, S. Moss; Alves, Domingos; Martins, J. S. Sa

    2000-01-01

    The idea of this review is to connect the different models of evolution to those of biological ageing through Darwin's theory. We start with the Eigen model of quasispecies for microevolution, then introduce the Bak-Sneppen model for macroevolution and, finally, present the Penna model for biological ageing and some of its most important results. We also explore the concept of coevolution using this model.

  18. Biological Threats

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Workplace Plans School Emergency Plans Main Content Biological Threats Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can ... for Disease Control and Prevention . Before a Biological Threat Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or ...

  19. 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. PMID:27460039

  20. 进化生物学视角下的创意企业 R & D 能力演化%Evolution of R & D Ability in Creative Enterprises from Perspective of Evolutionary Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘冰峰; 闫宁宁

    2015-01-01

    针对不同的创意企业R&D活动在规模、技术、文化及生存环境等方面存在的显著差别,从达尔文进化论到中性突变论、超循环论等进化生物学的理论视角出发,探讨了创意企业R&D能力演化的超循环机制,分析了创意企业R&D能力的自我进化博弈。研究表明,市场机会的开拓和挖掘、产品的研制和生产及R&D人才的引进和培养三者构成了创意企业R&D能力的超循环;R&D参与者初始实力的高低对R&D能力的演化没有太大影响,需要企业主动推动R&D能力的有效进化。%Significant difference of different creative enterprises ’ R&D activity in scale, technology, culture, and existing environment was discussed .From the research perspective of Darwin's evolution theory , neutral mutation theory , super cycle the-ory and many other evolutionary biology theories , the super cycle mechanism of R&D ability evolution in creative enterprises was investigated .The self-evolutionary game of R&D ability in creative enterprises was analyzed .Research result shows that the su-per cycle of creative enterprises ’ R&D ability includes the market opportunities open up and mining , product development and production, introduction and cultivation of R&D talent;the initial strength level of R&D participants has not significant effect on R&D ability evolution;it requires enterprises actively promote the effective evolution of R&D ability .

  1. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

    A complete understanding of life involves how organisms are able to function in their environment and how they arise. Understanding how organisms arise involves both their evolution and development. Thus to completely comprehend living things, biology must study their function, development and evolution. Previous proposals for standardized…

  2. Language from a biological perspective

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mohinish Shukla

    2005-02-01

    The faculty of language is unique to the human species. This implies that there are human-specific biological changes that lie at the basis of human language. However, it is not clear what the nature of such changes are, and how they could be shaped by evolution. In this paper, emphasis is laid on describing language in a Chomskyan manner, as a mental object. This serves as a standpoint to speculate about the biological basis of the emergence and evolution of language.

  3. Openers for Biology Classes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gridley, C. Robert R.

    This teaching guide contains 200 activities that are suitable for openers and demonstrations in biology classes. Details are provided regarding the use of these activities. Some of the broad topics under which the activities are organized include algae, amphibians, bacteria, biologists, crustaceans, dinosaurs, ecology, evolution, flowering plants,…

  4. On Multiobjective Evolution Model

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, E; Elettreby, M. F.

    2004-01-01

    Self-Organized Criticality (SOC) phenomena could have a significant effect on the dynamics of ecosystems. The Bak-Sneppen (BS) model is a simple and robust model of biological evolution that exhibits punctuated equilibrium behavior. Here we will introduce random version of BS model. Also we generalize the single objective BS model to a multiobjective one.

  5. On Multiobjective Evolution Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, E.; Elettreby, M. F.

    Self-Organized Criticality (SOC) phenomena could have a significant effect on the dynamics of ecosystems. The Bak-Sneppen (BS) model is a simple and robust model of biological evolution that exhibits punctuated equilibrium behavior. Here, we will introduce random version of BS model. We also generalize the single objective BS model to a multiobjective one.

  6. Early cellular evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L.

    1972-01-01

    Study of the evolutionary developments that occurred subsequent to the origin of ancestral cells. Microbial physiology and ecology are potential sharp tools for shaping concepts of microbial evolution. Some popular unjustified assumptions are discussed. It is considered that certain principles derived mainly from the advances of molecular biology can be used to order the natural groups (genera) of extant prokaryotes and their patterns phylogenetically.

  7. Evolution and the Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, William V.

    1973-01-01

    Some court cases and legislative bills have been filed in states to legalize the use of the creationist view (of life forms on earth) in biology textbooks superseding the organic theory of evolution. The law has not yet accepted the religious viewpoint. (PS)

  8. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider. PMID:22639577

  9. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Jorgensen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920's and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.

  10. 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.…

  11. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Patrick Bateson

    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.

  12. Culture, Urbanism and Changing Human Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Schell, L M

    2014-01-01

    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 hum...

  13. Darwin and Mendel: Evolution and Genetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizzo, Nelio; El-Hani, Charbel N.

    2009-01-01

    Many studies have shown that students' understanding of evolution is low and some sort of historical approach would be necessary in order to allow students to understand the theory of evolution. It is common to present Mendelian genetics to high school students prior to Biological Evolution, having in mind historical and epistemological…

  14. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D

    2014-03-01

    Experimental evolution provides a powerful manipulative tool for probing evolutionary process and mechanism. As this approach to hypothesis testing has taken purchase in biology, so too has the number of experimental systems that use it, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The depth of biological knowledge about Caenorhabditis nematodes, combined with their laboratory tractability, positions them well for exploiting experimental evolution in animal systems to understand deep questions in evolution and ecology, as well as in molecular genetics and systems biology. To date, Caenorhabditis elegans and related species have proved themselves in experimental evolution studies of the process of mutation, host-pathogen coevolution, mating system evolution and life-history theory. Yet these organisms are not broadly recognized for their utility for evolution experiments and remain underexploited. Here, we outline this experimental evolution work undertaken so far in Caenorhabditis, detail simple methodological tricks that can be exploited and identify research areas that are ripe for future discovery.

  15. The Evolution and Development of the Universe

    CERN Document Server

    Vidal, Clément; Blin, Alex H; Chaline, Jean; Crane, Louis; Durt, Thomas; Ekstig, Borje; Fairlamb, Horace; Greben, Jan; Hengeveld, Rob; Heylighen, Francis; Akkerhuis, Gerard Jagers op; Longo, Giuseppe; Lori, Nicolas F; Noble, Denis; Nottale, Laurent; Salthe, Stanley; Stewart, John; Vaas, Ruediger; Van de Vijver, Gertrudis; van Straalen, Nico M

    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,...

  16. Evolution of lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, David

    2014-10-01

    Present-day evolutionary theory, modern synthesis and evo-devo, appear to explain evolution. There remain however several points of contention. These include: biological time, direction, macroevolution verses microevolution, ageing and the extent of internal as opposed to external mediation. A new theoretical model for the control of biological time in vertebrates/bilaterians is introduced. Rather than biological time being controlled solely by a molecular cascade domino effect, it is suggested there is also an intracellular oscillatory clock. This clock (life's timekeeper) is synchronised across all cells in an organism and runs at a constant frequency throughout life. Slower frequencies extend lifespan, increase body/brain size and advance behaviour. They also create a time void which could aid additional evolutionary change. Faster frequencies shorten lifespan, reduce body/brain size and diminish behaviour. They are therefore less likely to mediate evolution in vertebrates/mammals. It is concluded that in vertebrates, especially mammals, there is a direction in evolution towards longer lifespan/advanced behaviour. Lifespan extension could equate with macroevolution and subsequent modifications with microevolution. As life's timekeeper controls the rate of ageing it constitutes a new genetic theory of ageing. Finally, as lifespan extension is internally mediated, this suggests a major role for internal mediation in evolution. PMID:24992233

  17. Initiatives in biological research in Indian psychiatry

    OpenAIRE

    Shrivatava, Amresh

    2010-01-01

    Biological psychiatry is an exploratory science for mental health. These biological changes provide some explicit insight into the complex area of ‘brain-mind and behavior’. One major achievement of research in biological field is the finding to explain how biological factors cause changes in behavior. In India, we have a clear history of initiatives in research from a biological perspective, which goes back to 1958. In the last 61 years, this field has seen significant evolution, precision a...

  18. Prolegomenon to patterns in evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, Stuart A

    2014-09-01

    Despite Darwin, we remain children of Newton and dream of a grand theory that is epistemologically complete and would allow prediction of the evolution of the biosphere. The main purpose of this article is to show that this dream is false, and bears on studying patterns of evolution. To do so, I must justify the use of the word "function" in biology, when physics has only happenings. The concept of "function" lifts biology irreducibly above physics, for as we shall see, we cannot prestate the ever new biological functions that arise and constitute the very phase space of evolution. Hence, we cannot mathematize the detailed becoming of the biosphere, nor write differential equations for functional variables we do not know ahead of time, nor integrate those equations, so no laws "entail" evolution. The dream of a grand theory fails. In place of entailing laws, I propose a post-entailing law explanatory framework in which Actuals arise in evolution that constitute new boundary conditions that are enabling constraints that create new, typically unprestatable, adjacent possible opportunities for further evolution, in which new Actuals arise, in a persistent becoming. Evolution flows into a typically unprestatable succession of adjacent possibles. Given the concept of function, the concept of functional closure of an organism making a living in its world becomes central. Implications for patterns in evolution include historical reconstruction, and statistical laws such as the distribution of extinction events, or species per genus, and the use of formal cause, not efficient cause, laws.

  19. Biological races in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Alan R

    2013-09-01

    Races may exist in humans in a cultural sense, but biological concepts of race are needed to access their reality in a non-species-specific manner and to see if cultural categories correspond to biological categories within humans. Modern biological concepts of race can be implemented objectively with molecular genetic data through hypothesis-testing. Genetic data sets are used to see if biological races exist in humans and in our closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee. Using the two most commonly used biological concepts of race, chimpanzees are indeed subdivided into races but humans are not. Adaptive traits, such as skin color, have frequently been used to define races in humans, but such adaptive traits reflect the underlying environmental factor to which they are adaptive and not overall genetic differentiation, and different adaptive traits define discordant groups. There are no objective criteria for choosing one adaptive trait over another to define race. As a consequence, adaptive traits do not define races in humans. Much of the recent scientific literature on human evolution portrays human populations as separate branches on an evolutionary tree. A tree-like structure among humans has been falsified whenever tested, so this practice is scientifically indefensible. It is also socially irresponsible as these pictorial representations of human evolution have more impact on the general public than nuanced phrases in the text of a scientific paper. Humans have much genetic diversity, but the vast majority of this diversity reflects individual uniqueness and not race. PMID:23684745

  20. 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.

  1. Biology-Derived Algorithms in Engineering Optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Yang, Xin-She

    2010-01-01

    Biology-derived algorithms are an important part of computational sciences, which are essential to many scientific disciplines and engineering applications. Many computational methods are derived from or based on the analogy to natural evolution and biological activities, and these biologically inspired computations include genetic algorithms, neural networks, cellular automata, and other algorithms.

  2. How evolution guides complexity

    OpenAIRE

    LARRY S. YAEGER

    2009-01-01

    Long-standing debates about the role of natural selection in the growth of biological complexity over geological time scales are difficult to resolve from the paleobiological record. Using an evolutionary model—a computational ecosystem subjected to natural selection—we investigate evolutionary trends in an information-theoretic measure of the complexity of the neural dynamics of artificial agents inhabiting the model. Our results suggest that evolution always guides complexity change, just n...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devincenzi, D. L. (Editor); model. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    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).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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).

  5. A review on biological adaptation: with applications in engineering science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LiMin Luo

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Biological adaptation refers to that organisms change themselves at morphological, physiological, behavioral and molecular level to better survive in a changing environment. It includes phenotype adaptation and molecular adaptation. Biological adaptation is a driving force of evolution. Biological adaptation was described from Darwinian theory of evolution to the theory of molecular evolution in present paper. Adaptive control and adaptive filtering were briefly described also.

  6. Evolution Strategies in Optimization Problems

    CERN Document Server

    Cruz, Pedro A F

    2007-01-01

    Evolution Strategies are inspired in biology and part of a larger research field known as Evolutionary Algorithms. Those strategies perform a random search in the space of admissible functions, aiming to optimize some given objective function. We show that simple evolution strategies are a useful tool in optimal control, permitting to obtain, in an efficient way, good approximations to the solutions of some recent and challenging optimal control problems.

  7. A Review of Research Instruments Assessing Levels of Student Acceptance of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasri, Pratchayapong

    2014-01-01

    Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection, called evolution for short, is perceived as a unifying theme in biology, forming a major part of all biology syllabuses. It is reported that student acceptance of evolution associates with conceptual understandings of biological contents, nature of science, as well as motivations to…

  8. The pace of cultural evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Perreault

    Full Text Available Today, humans inhabit most of the world's terrestrial habitats. This observation has been explained by the fact that we possess a secondary inheritance mechanism, culture, in addition to a genetic system. Because it is assumed that cultural evolution occurs faster than biological evolution, humans can adapt to new ecosystems more rapidly than other animals. This assumption, however, has never been tested empirically. Here, I compare rates of change in human technologies to rates of change in animal morphologies. I find that rates of cultural evolution are inversely correlated with the time interval over which they are measured, which is similar to what is known for biological rates. This correlation explains why the pace of cultural evolution appears faster when measured over recent time periods, where time intervals are often shorter. Controlling for the correlation between rates and time intervals, I show that (1 cultural evolution is faster than biological evolution; (2 this effect holds true even when the generation time of species is controlled for; and (3 culture allows us to evolve over short time scales, which are normally accessible only to short-lived species, while at the same time allowing for us to enjoy the benefits of having a long life history.

  9. Fourth Symposium on Chemical Evolution and the Origin and Evolution of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharton, Robert A., Jr. (Editor); Andersen, Dale T. (Editor); Bzik, Sara E. (Editor); Rummel, John D. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    This symposium was held at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, July 24-27, 1990. The NASA exobiology investigators reported their recent research findings. Scientific papers were 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).

  10. Statistical limitations on molecular evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlovsky, Leonid I

    2002-06-01

    Complexity of functions evolving in an evolution process are expected to be limited by the time length of an evolution process among other factors. This paper outlines a general method of deriving function-complexity limitations based on mathematical statistics and independent from details of a biological or genetic mechanism of the evolution of the function. Limitations on the emergence of life are derived, these limitations indicate a possibility of a very fast evolution and are consistent with "RNA world" hypothesis. The discussed method is general and can be used to characterize evolution of more specific biological organism functions and relate functions to genetic structures. The derived general limitations indicate that a co-evolution of multiple functions and species could be a slow process, whereas an evolution of a specific function might proceed very fast, so that no trace of intermediate forms (species) is preserved in fossil records of phenotype or DNA structure; this is consistent with a picture of "punctuated equilibrium". PMID:12023805

  11. Autopoiesis and natural drift: genetic information, reproduction, and evolution revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etxeberria, Arantza

    2004-01-01

    The contribution of the theory of autopoiesis to the definition of life and biological theory affirms biological autonomy as a central notion of scientific and philosophical inquiry, and opposes other biological approaches, based on the notion of genetic information, that consider reproduction and evolution to be the central aspects of life and living phenomenology. This article reviews the autopoietic criticisms of genetic information, reproduction, and evolution in the light of a biology that can solve the problem of living organization. PMID:15245632

  12. Evolution--A Topic for Interdisciplinary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stall, Pat; Keating, Joe

    1990-01-01

    Outlines an award-winning interdisciplinary unit of study (used in biology and English classrooms) that combines literature, mythology, religious history relating to origins, and Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. (RS)

  13. Biological trade and markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerstein, Peter; Noë, Ronald

    2016-02-01

    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

  14. Biological trade and markets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. Biological trade and markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerstein, Peter; Noë, Ronald

    2016-02-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1982

    1982-01-01

    Presents procedures, exercises, demonstrations, and information on a variety of biology topics including labeling systems, biological indicators of stream pollution, growth of lichens, reproductive capacity of bulbous buttercups, a straw balance to measure transpiration, interaction of fungi, osmosis, and nitrogen fixation and crop production. (DC)

  19. Language as a biological entity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张舒音

    2010-01-01

    @@ Nowadays, the metaphor of "languageas abiological entity"claimed by some linguists being used widely has become a hot issue. Language and biological entity indeed share a lot of similarities,specifically,the life cycle of languages and the process of the language evolution and the spread of languages.

  20. 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...... originally developed his evolutionary research programme in Wesen from 1908 by studying the inherent limitations of Neoclassical Economics. He presented core results on economic evolution and sketched an extension evolutionary analysis to all social sciences in Entwicklung from 1912. He made a partial...... of economic evolution and added evolutionary contributions to other social sciences. History, which was published by his widow, was based on his evolutionary theory of the history of economic analysis. This sequential analysis of Schumpeter's six books demonstrates the progress he within his research...

  1. Evolution of Oxygenic Photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Woodward W.; Hemp, James; Johnson, Jena E.

    2016-06-01

    The origin of oxygenic photosynthesis was the most important metabolic innovation in Earth history. It allowed life to generate energy and reducing power directly from sunlight and water, freeing it from the limited resources of geochemically derived reductants. This greatly increased global primary productivity and restructured ecosystems. The release of O2 as an end product of water oxidation led to the rise of oxygen, which dramatically altered the redox state of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and permanently changed all major biogeochemical cycles. Furthermore, the biological availability of O2 allowed for the evolution of aerobic respiration and novel biosynthetic pathways, facilitating much of the richness we associate with modern biology, including complex multicellularity. Here we critically review and synthesize information from the geological and biological records for the origin and evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. Data from both of these archives illustrate that this metabolism first appeared in early Paleoproterozoic time and, despite its biogeochemical prominence, is a relatively late invention in the context of our planet's history.

  2. Investigating Evolution with Living Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlessman, Mark A.

    1997-01-01

    Describes two investigative labs that use live plants to illustrate important biological principles, include quantitative analysis, and require very little equipment. Each lab is adaptable to a variety of class sizes, course contents, and student backgrounds. Topics include the evolution of flower size in Mimulus and pollination of Brassicas. (DDR)

  3. Bacterial Evolution and Bak-Sneppen Model

    OpenAIRE

    Bose, Indrani; Chaudhuri, Indranath

    2002-01-01

    Recently, Lenski et al [Elena,Lenski,Travisano] have carried out several experiments on bacterial evolution. Their findings support the theory of punctuated equilibrium in biological evolution. They have further quantified the relative contributions of adaptation, chance and history to bacterial evolution. In this paper, we show that a modified $M$-trait Bak-Sneppen model can explain many of the experimental results in a qualitative manner.

  4. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Quantum Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Sergi, Alessandro

    2009-01-01

    A critical assessment of the recent developments of molecular biology is presented. The thesis that they do not lead to a conceptual understanding of life and biological systems is defended. Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis is briefly sketched and its logical circularity avoided by postulating the existence of underlying {\\it 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 interpretation of quantum dispersion forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and so on) as quantum coherence effects hints at the necessity of including long-ranged forces (or mechanisms for them) in condensed matter theories of biological processes. Some quantum effects in biology are reviewed and quantum mechanics is acknowledge...

  7. Evolution and the End of a World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, David Edward

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation examines college student understanding and attitudes toward biological evolution. In ethnographic work, I followed a cohort of 31 students through their required introductory biology class. In interviews, students discuss their life history with the concept--in school, at home, at church, and in their communities. For some…

  8. 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

  9. 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. This study explores instructor practices and beliefs related to mitigating students' perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Interviews with 32 instructors revealed that many instructors do not believe it is their goal to help students accept evolution and that most instructors do not address the perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Instructors cited many barriers to discussing religion in the context of evolution in their classes, most notably the instructors' own personal beliefs that religion and evolution may be incompatible. These data are exploratory and are intended to stimulate a series of questions about how we as college biology instructors teach evolution. PMID:27193289

  10. 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. This study explores instructor practices and beliefs related to mitigating students’ perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Interviews with 32 instructors revealed that many instructors do not believe it is their goal to help students accept evolution and that most instructors do not address the perceived conflict between religion and evolution. Instructors cited many barriers to discussing religion in the context of evolution in their classes, most notably the instructors’ own personal beliefs that religion and evolution may be incompatible. These data are exploratory and are intended to stimulate a series of questions about how we as college biology instructors teach evolution. PMID:27193289

  11. 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...

  12. Cepheid evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. The early history of chance in evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pence, Charles H

    2015-04-01

    Work throughout the history and philosophy of biology frequently employs 'chance', 'unpredictability', 'probability', and many similar terms. One common way of understanding how these concepts were introduced in evolution focuses on two central issues: the first use of statistical methods in evolution (Galton), and the first use of the concept of "objective chance" in evolution (Wright). I argue that while this approach has merit, it fails to fully capture interesting philosophical reflections on the role of chance expounded by two of Galton's students, Karl Pearson and W.F.R. Weldon. Considering a question more familiar from contemporary philosophy of biology--the relationship between our statistical theories of evolution and the processes in the world those theories describe--is, I claim, a more fruitful way to approach both these two historical actors and the broader development of chance in evolution. PMID:26466463

  14. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Within the framework of global biogeochemical cycles and ocean productivity, there are two areas that will be of particular interest to biological oceanography in the 1990s. The first is the mapping in space time of the biomass and productivity of phytoplankton in the world ocean. The second area is the coupling of biological and physical processes as it affects the distribution and growth rate of phytoplankton biomass. Certainly other areas will be of interest to biological oceanographers, but these two areas are amenable to observations from satellites. Temporal and spatial variability is a regular feature of marine ecosystems. The temporal and spatial variability of phytoplankton biomass and productivity which is ubiquitous at all time and space scales in the ocean must be characterized. Remote sensing from satellites addresses these problems with global observations of mesocale (2 to 20 days, 10 to 200 km) features over a long period of time.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Path of the Blind Watchmaker: A Model of Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Poggio, Andrew Anthony

    2011-01-01

    Evolution has been described by Richard Dawkins as a blind watchmaker due to its being unconscious and random but selective and able to produce complex forms. Evolution from an early, primitive organism (the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all life, LUCA) to Homo sapiens is the most dramatic biological process that has taken place on Earth and knowledge of it is important to understanding many aspects of biology including disease prevention and treatment.We claim that computational biology ...

  19. The middle way of evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hunt, Tam

    2012-01-01

    This essay provides a critical review of two recent books on evolution: Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth, and Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True, as well as a critique of mainstream evolutionary theory and of natural selection. I also suggest a generalization of sexual selection theory that acknowledges mind as pervasive in nature. Natural selection, as the primary theory of how biological change occurs, must be carefully framed to avoid the long-standing “tautology problem” and m...

  20. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Outlines a variety of laboratory procedures, techniques, and materials including construction of a survey frame for field biology, a simple tidal system, isolation and applications of plant protoplasts, tropisms, teaching lung structure, and a key to statistical methods for biologists. (DS)

  1. (Biological dosimetry)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preston, R.J.

    1990-12-17

    The traveler attended the 1st International Conference on Biological Dosimetry in Madrid, Spain. This conference was organized to provide information to a general audience of biologists, physicists, radiotherapists, industrial hygiene personnel and individuals from related fields on the current ability of cytogenetic analysis to provide estimates of radiation dose in cases of occupational or environmental exposure. There is a growing interest in Spain in biological dosimetry because of the increased use of radiation sources for medical and occupational uses, and with this the anticipated and actual increase in numbers of overexposure. The traveler delivered the introductory lecture on Biological Dosimetry: Mechanistic Concepts'' that was intended to provide a framework by which the more applied lectures could be interpreted in a mechanistic way. A second component of the trip was to provide advice with regard to several recent cases of overexposure that had been or were being assessed by the Radiopathology and Radiotherapy Department of the Hospital General Gregorio Maranon'' in Madrid. The traveler had provided information on several of these, and had analyzed cells from some exposed or purportedly exposed individuals. The members of the biological dosimetry group were referred to individuals at REACTS at Oak Ridge Associated Universities for advice on follow-up treatment.

  2. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on the teaching of nutrition (including new information relating to many current O-level syllabi) and part 16 of a reading list for A- and S-level biology. Also includes a note on using earthworms as a source of material for teaching meiosis. (JN)

  3. 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.…

  4. Which Beak Fits the Bill? An Activity Examining Adaptation, Natural Selection and Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darling, Randi

    2014-01-01

    Evolution is a unifying concept within biology. In fact, Dobzhansky, a noted evolutionary biologist, argued, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" (Dobzhansky, 1973). However, often students have misconceptions about evolution. There are a number of available activities where students use tools (representing…

  5. Evolution and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlman, Robert L

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary medicine is a new field whose goal is to incorporate an evolutionary perspective into medical education, research, and practice. Evolutionary biologists and physicians have traditionally been concerned with different problems and have developed different ways of approaching and understanding biological phenomena. Evolutionary biologists analyze the properties of populations and the ways in which populations change over time, while physicians focus on the care of their individual patients. Evolutionists are concerned with the ultimate causes of biological phenomena, causes that operated during the phylogenetic history of a species, while physicians and biomedical scientists have been more interested in proximate causes, causes that operate during the ontogeny and life of an individual. Evolutionary medicine is based on the belief that an integration of these complementary views of biological phenomena will improve our understanding of health and disease. This essay reviews the theory of evolution by natural selection, as it was developed by Darwin and as it is now understood by evolutionary biologists. It emphasizes the importance of variation and selection, points out the differences between evolutionary fitness and health, and discusses some of the reasons why our evolutionary heritage has left us vulnerable to disease.

  6. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    G V Shivashankar

    2002-02-01

    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 systems. In recent years advances in technology have led to the study of some of the design principles of these machines; in particular at the level of an individual molecule. For example, the forces that operate in molecular interactions, the stochasticity involved in these interactions and their spatio-temporal dynamics are beginning to be explored. Understanding such design principles is opening new possibilities in mesoscopic physics with potential applications.

  7. Crusts: biological

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  8. Biological programming

    OpenAIRE

    Ramsden, Jeremy J.; Bándi, Gergely

    2010-01-01

    Biology offers a tremendous set of concepts that are potentially very powerfully usable for the software engineer, but they have been barely exploited hitherto. In this position paper we propose a fresh attempt to create the building blocks of a programming technology that could be as successful as life. A key guiding principle is to develop and make use of unambiguous definitions of the essential features of life.

  9. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  10. Marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  11. Life and evolution as physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejan, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    What is evolution and why does it exist in the biological, geophysical and technological realms - in short, everywhere? Why is there a time direction - a time arrow - in the changes we know are happening every moment and everywhere? Why is the present different than the past? These are questions of physics, about everything, not just biology. The answer is that nothing lives, flows and moves unless it is driven by power. Physics sheds light on the natural engines that produce the power destroyed by the flows, and on the free morphing that leads to flow architectures naturally and universally. There is a unifying tendency across all domains to evolve into flow configurations that provide greater access for movement. This tendency is expressed as the constructal law of evolutionary flow organization everywhere. Here I illustrate how this law of physics accounts for and unites the life and evolution phenomena throughout nature, animate and inanimate. PMID:27489579

  12. Emerging principles of regulatory evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Prud'homme, Benjamin; Gompel, Nicolas; Carroll, Sean B.

    2007-01-01

    Understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms governing the evolution of morphology is a major challenge in biology. Because most animals share a conserved repertoire of body-building and -patterning genes, morphological diversity appears to evolve primarily through changes in the deployment of these genes during development. The complex expression patterns of developmentally regulated genes are typically controlled by numerous independent cis-regulatory elements (CREs). It has been prop...

  13. 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...

  14. 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. PMID:17159825

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Biological Databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaviena Baskaran

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Biology has entered a new era in distributing information based on database and this collection of database become primary in publishing information. This data publishing is done through Internet Gopher where information resources easy and affordable offered by powerful research tools. The more important thing now is the development of high quality and professionally operated electronic data publishing sites. To enhance the service and appropriate editorial and policies for electronic data publishing has been established and editors of article shoulder the responsibility.

  18. LA (R EVOLUCIÓN INFORMÁTICA EN BIOLOGÍA:: EL CASO DE LA GENÓMICA The Informatics (R Evolution in Biology:: The Case of Genomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LAYLA MICHÁN AGUIRRE

    Full Text Available La biología ha evolucionado rápidamente en las últimas décadas; uno de los indicadores de este fenómeno ha sido la introducción de nuevas disciplinas, tal es el caso de la genómica que se originó en la década de los años 80 y ha dado un giro inverosímil a la ciencia moderna, dicha disciplina hace referencia al estudio no solo de los genes, sino de sus funciones, relaciones entre sí y con el medio ambiente. Surgió con la consolidación del proyecto genoma humano en un periodo de transición donde el conocimiento genético específico se tornó crítico. Se diferencia de otros enfoques (por ejemplo: la ecología, la biología evolutiva en el tipo de información que ofrece, las perspectivas de mejoras técnicas e intelectuales en la obtención y explotación de datos de todo el ge-noma (Murray, 2000. Presentamos un breve análisis bibliométrico en el que se muestra el desarrollo y las principales tendencias de esta disciplina biológica en boga.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. A brief bibliometric analysis which shows the development and the main trends of this biological discipline in vogue.

  19. 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.

  20. Simple models of evolution and extinction

    CERN Document Server

    Newman, M E J

    1999-01-01

    This article gives a brief introduction to the mathematical modeling of large-scale biological evolution and extinction. We give three examples of simple models in this field: the coevolutionary avalanche model of Bak and Sneppen, the environmental stress model of Newman, and the increasing fitness model of Sibani, Schmidt, and Alstrom. We describe the features of real evolution which these models are intended to explain and compare the results of simulations against data drawn from the fossil record.

  1. Simple models of evolution and extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Newman, M. E. J.

    1999-01-01

    This article gives a brief introduction to the mathematical modeling of large-scale biological evolution and extinction. We give three examples of simple models in this field: the coevolutionary avalanche model of Bak and Sneppen, the environmental stress model of Newman, and the increasing fitness model of Sibani, Schmidt, and Alstrom. We describe the features of real evolution which these models are intended to explain and compare the results of simulations against data drawn from the fossi...

  2. Entrepreneurship, evolution and the human mind

    OpenAIRE

    Brian J. Loasby

    2005-01-01

    Schumpeterian 'development from within' requires imagination, skill and motivation; so does Cattaneo's 'psychology of wealth'. Neither can be encompassed by models that rely on deductive rationality, but are twin products of Knightian uncertainty, where the absence of demonstrably correct procedures allows individuals to create domain-limited mental structures. The human mind (as studied by Smith, Marshall and Hayek), is a product of biological evolution which supports the evolution of knowle...

  3. The Evolution of Reduced Microbial Killing

    OpenAIRE

    Vriezen, Jan A. C.; Valliere, Michael; Riley, Margaret A.

    2009-01-01

    Bacteria engage in a never-ending arms race in which they compete for limited resources and niche space. The outcome of this intense interaction is the evolution of a powerful arsenal of biological weapons. Perhaps the most studied of these are colicins, plasmid-based toxins produced by and active against Escherichia coli. The present study was designed to explore the molecular responses of a colicin-producing strain during serial transfer evolution. What evolutionary changes occur when colic...

  4. Community Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    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. Having communities extracted, appropriate knowledge and methods for dynamic analysis may be applied in order to identify changes as well as to predict the future of all or some selected groups. Furthermore, knowing the most probably change of a given group some additional steps may be performed in order to change this predicted future according to specific needs. Such ability would be a powerful tool in the hands of human resource managers, personnel recruitment, marketing, telecommunication companies, etc.

  5. Thought Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shadrikov V.D.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The thought evolution is studied by historical reconstruction method that is based on the propositions of the theory of culturalhistorical determination of the psyche development, and the data of the morphological analysis and child development, and the conception of the psyche neuroontogenesis. The grounds for advisability of protothinking are presented. The protothinking is understood as the use of objective thought in cases of awareness absence. It is shown that protothinking is a form of transition from animal thinking to human speech. The particular attention is paid to the process of the word producing and thought generation in that process. The conditions of word producing as cooccurring acoustic pattern served for though expression are discussed. It is emphasized that a word is produced by a particular person. The historical development of the language and the specificity of this development are pointed out

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:27120154

  8. 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 ...

  9. Teaching evolution: challenging religious preconceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovely, Eric C; Kondrick, Linda C

    2008-08-01

    Teaching college students about the nature of science should not be a controversial exercise. College students are expected to distinguish between astronomy and astrology, chemistry and alchemy, evolution and creationism. In practice, however, the conflict between creationism and the nature of science may create controversy in the classroom, even walkouts, when the subject of evolution is raised. The authors have grappled with the meaning of such behaviors. They surveyed 538 students in a public, liberal arts college. Pre/post course surveys were analyzed to track changes in student responses to questions that were either consistent or inconsistent with the Theory of Evolution after a semester of instruction in a college biology or zoology course in which evolution was taught. Many students who were initially undecided about issues regarding evolution had shifted in their viewpoints by the end of the course. It was found that more education about the evidence for and the mechanics of evolutionary processes did not necessarily move students toward a scientific viewpoint. The authors also discovered a "wedge" effect among students who were undecided about questions pertaining to human ancestry at the beginning of the course. About half of these students shifted to a scientific viewpoint at the end of the course; the other half shifted toward agreement with statements consistent with creationism. PMID:21669781

  10. Energy utilization in fluctuating biological energy converters

    OpenAIRE

    Szőke, Abraham; Hajdu, Janos

    2016-01-01

    We have argued previously [Szoke et al., FEBS Lett. 553, 18–20 (2003); Curr. Chem. Biol. 1, 53–57 (2007)] that energy utilization and evolution are emergent properties based on a small number of established laws of physics and chemistry. The relevant laws constitute a framework for biology on a level intermediate between quantum chemistry and cell biology. There are legitimate questions whether these concepts are valid at the mesoscopic level. Such systems fluctuate appreciably, so it is not ...

  11. 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

  12. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  13. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MaryJoe K Rice

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Synthetic Evolution of Metabolic Productivity Using Biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Thomas C; Pretorius, Isak S; Paulsen, Ian T

    2016-05-01

    Synthetic biology has progressed to the point where genes that encode whole metabolic pathways and even genomes can be manufactured and brought to life. This impressive ability to synthesise and assemble DNA is not yet matched by an ability to predictively engineer biology. These difficulties exist because biological systems are often overwhelmingly complex, having evolved to facilitate growth and survival rather than specific engineering objectives such as the optimisation of biochemical production. A promising and revolutionary solution to this problem is to harness the process of evolution to create microbial strains with desired properties. The tools of systems biology can then be applied to understand the principles of biological design, bringing synthetic biology closer to becoming a predictive engineering discipline. PMID:26948437

  16. Darwin and the popularization of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lightman, Bernard

    2010-03-20

    Evolution was popularized from 1860 to 1900 in the USA and Britain in a wide variety of media. Here I investigate traditional texts associated with the intellectual elite, including philosophical or scientific monographs, sermons, and published lectures. Evolution was rarely popularized in ways that reflected Darwin's major contribution to biology, his theory of natural selection. This meant that the reading audience more often encountered an alternative to Darwin's naturalistic, non-directional and non-progressive evolutionary perspective. There were at least four different versions of evolution circulating in the period from 1860 to 1900, and only one conformed to Darwin's vision.

  17. Ecology, Evolution, and Animal Behavior (EBB)

    OpenAIRE

    Bradley, Gordon

    2008-01-01

    As discussed in Chapter 2 of Kendall’s thesis, there is a subfield of biology called Ecology, Evolution, and Animal Behavior that is sometimes called Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior with both abbreviated as EEB. Some universities have Departments with this name and it is a well establish field of research. “Ecology is ‘the study of the interrelationships between organisms and their natural environment, both living and nonliving.’ .... Evolution is ‘the gradual process by which th...

  18. Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Bunn, Emory F

    2009-01-01

    Skeptics of biological evolution often claim that evolution requires a decrease in entropy, giving rise to a conflict with the second law of thermodynamics. This argument is fallacious because it neglects the large increase in entropy provided by sunlight striking the Earth. A recent article provided a quantitative assessment of the entropies involved and showed explicitly that there is no conflict. That article rests on an unjustified assumption about the amount of entropy reduction involved in evolution. I present a refinement of the argument that does not rely on this assumption.

  19. Ascovirus and its Evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Wen Cheng; Xiu-Feng Wan; Jianli Xue; Richard C. Moore

    2007-01-01

    Ascoviruses, iridoviruses, asfarviruses and poxviruses are all cytoplasmic DNA viruses. The evolutionary origins of cytoplasmic DNA viruses have never been fully addressed. Morphological, genetic and molecular data were used to test if all four cytoplasmic virus families (Ascoviridae, Iridoviridae, Asfarviridae, and Poxvirirdae) evolved from nuclear replicating baculoviruses and how the four virus groups are related. Molecular phylogenetic analyses using DNA polymerase predicted that cytoplasmic DNA viruses might have evolved from nuclear replicating baculoviruses, and that poxviruses and asfarviruses share a common ancestor with iridoviruses. These three cytoplasmic viruses again shared a common ancestor with ascoviruses. Morphological and genetic data predicted the same evolutionary trend as molecular data predicted. A genome sequence comparison showed that ascoviruses have more baculovirus protein homologues than do iridoviruses, which suggested that ascoviruses have evolved from baculoviruses and iridoviruses evolved from ascoviruses. Poxviruses showed genetic and morphological similarity to other cytoplamic viruses, such as ascoviruses, suggesting it has undergone reticulate evolution via hybridization, recombination and lateral gene transfer with other viruses. Within the ascovirus family, we tested if molecular phylogenetic analyses agree with biological inference; that is, ascovirus had an evolutionary trend of increasing genome size, expanding host range and widening tissue tropism for these viruses. Both molecular and biological data predicted this evolutionary trend. The phylogenetic relationship among the four species of ascovirus was predicted to be that TnAV-2 and HvAV-3 shared a common ancestor with SfAV-1 and the three virus species again shared a common ancestor with DpAV-4.

  20. Are there laws of genome evolution?

    OpenAIRE

    Koonin, Eugene V.

    2011-01-01

    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 o...

  1. Are There Laws of Genome Evolution?

    OpenAIRE

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2011-01-01

    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 o...

  2. Culture, Urbanism and Changing Human Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, L.M.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25598655

  3. The Evolution Model of Intelligent Matter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bazaluk Oleg

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the evolution model of reasonable matter (noogenesis, discovering the planetary and cosmic scale of the mind development. The author considers a historiography of this problem field, a contribution of scientific community to the development of basic provisions - noogenesis. According to the author, the evolution model of reasonable matter consists of three interdependent and mutually complementary models: 1. Models of continuous and nonlinear complication of structures of reasonable matter (neuro-evolution; 2. Models of continuous and nonlinear complication of types of interacting (or shown functions structures of the system of reasonable matter. 3. Models of continuous and nonlinear complication of the surroundings of reasonable matter (socio-cultural evolution. All these models include the author's understanding and corresponding arguments. In conclusion the author compares models of living and reasonable matter (biological evolution and noogenesis

  4. Experimental evolution in fungi: An untapped resource.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Kaitlin J; Lang, Gregory I

    2016-09-01

    Historically, evolutionary biology has been considered an observational science. Examining populations and inferring evolutionary histories mold evolutionary theories. In contrast, laboratory evolution experiments make use of the amenability of traditional model organisms to study fundamental processes underlying evolution in real time in simple, but well-controlled, environments. With advances in high-throughput biology and next generation sequencing, it is now possible to propagate hundreds of parallel populations over thousands of generations and to quantify precisely the frequencies of various mutations over time. Experimental evolution combines the ability to simultaneously monitor replicate populations with the power to vary individual parameters to test specific evolutionary hypotheses, something that is impractical or infeasible in natural populations. Many labs are now conducting laboratory evolution experiments in nearly all model systems including viruses, bacteria, yeast, nematodes, and fruit flies. Among these systems, fungi occupy a unique niche: with a short generation time, small compact genomes, and sexual cycles, fungi are a particularly valuable and largely untapped resource for propelling future growth in the field of experimental evolution. Here, we describe the current state of fungal experimental evolution and why fungi are uniquely positioned to answer many of the outstanding questions in the field. We also review which fungal species are most well suited for experimental evolution. PMID:27375178

  5. Structural Biology Fact Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home > Science Education > Structural Biology Fact Sheet Structural Biology Fact Sheet Tagline (Optional) Middle/Main Content Area What is structural biology? Structural biology is a field of science focused ...

  6. Motilin and ghrelin gene experienced episodic evolution during primitive placental mammal evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    IRWIN; M.; David

    2010-01-01

    Motilin and ghrelin,members of a structure-function-related hormone family,play important roles in gastrointestinal function,regulation of energy homeostasis and growth hormone secretion.We observed episodic evolution in both of their prehormone gene sequences during primitive placental mammal evolution,during which most of the nonsynonymous changes result in radical substitution.Of note,a functional obestatin hormone might have only originated after this episodic evolution event.Early in placental mammal evolution,a series of biology complexities evolved.At the same time the motilin and ghrelin prehormone genes,which play important roles in several of these processes,experienced episodic evolution with dramatic changes in their coding sequences.These observations suggest that some of the lineage-specific physiological adaptations are due to episodic evolution of the motilin and ghrelin genes.

  7. Simulating Biological and Non-Biological Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruzzo, Angela; Gesierich, Benno; Wohlschlager, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the brain processes biological and non-biological movements in distinct neural circuits. Biological motion, in contrast to non-biological motion, refers to active movements of living beings. Aim of our experiment was to investigate the mechanisms underlying mental simulation of these two movement types. Subjects had to…

  8. Biological Literacy in a College Biology Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demastes, Sherry; Wandersee, James H.

    1992-01-01

    Examines the proposed definition of biological literacy as the understanding of a small number of pervasive biological principles appropriate to making informed personal and societal decisions. Utilizes the content of a major daily newspaper to adjust biology instruction to focus on this notion of biological literacy. Discusses benefits and…

  9. 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.

  10. Professor Attitudes and Beliefs about Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Maryann Elizabeth

    Teaching evolution has been shown to be a challenge for faculty, in both K-12 and postsecondary education. Many of these challenges stem from perceived conflicts not only between religion and evolution, but also faculty beliefs about religion, it's compatibility with evolutionary theory, and it's proper role in classroom curriculum. Studies suggest that if educators engage with students' religious beliefs and identity, this may help students have positive attitudes towards evolution. The aim of this study was to reveal attitudes and beliefs professors have about addressing religion and providing religious scientist role models to students when teaching evolution. 15 semi-structured interviews of tenured biology professors were conducted at a large Midwestern universiy regarding their beliefs, experiences, and strategies teaching evolution and particularly, their willingness to address religion in a class section on evolution. Following a qualitative analysis of transcripts, professors did not agree on whether or not it is their job to help students accept evolution (although the majority said it is not), nor did they agree on a definition of "acceptance of evolution". Professors are willing to engage in students' religious beliefs, if this would help their students accept evolution. Finally, professors perceived many challenges to engaging students' religious beliefs in a science classroom such as the appropriateness of the material for a science class, large class sizes, and time constraints. Given the results of this study, the author concludes that instructors must come to a consensus about their goals as biology educators as well as what "acceptance of evolution" means, before they can realistically apply the engagement of student's religious beliefs and identity as an educational strategy.

  11. Groupware requirements evolution patterns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pumareja, Dulce Trinidad

    2013-01-01

    Requirements evolution is a generally known problem in software development. Requirements are known to change all throughout a system's lifecycle. Nevertheless, requirements evolution is a poorly understood phenomenon. Most studies on requirements evolution focus on changes to written specifications

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    C.J.M. Egas

    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 foragin

  13. The balanced minimum evolution problem under uncertain data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Catanzaro, Daniele; Labbe, Martine; Pesenti, Raffaele

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the Robust Deviation Balanced Minimum Evolution Problem (RDBMEP), a combinatorial optimization problem that arises in computational biology when the evolutionary distances from taxa are uncertain and varying inside intervals. By exploiting some fundamental properties of the objective

  14. Astrobiology and the Biological Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, S. J.

    2002-12-01

    Four hundred years ago two astronomical world views hung in the balance: the geocentric and the heliocentric. Today astronomy faces a similar choice between two grand world views: a purely physical universe, in which cosmic evolution commonly ends in planets, stars and galaxies, and a biological universe, in which cosmic evolution routinely results in life, mind and intelligence. Astrobiology is the science providing the data to make this critical choice. This 20th century overview shows how we have arrived at the view that cosmic evolution may have resulted in life and intelligence in the universe. It examines how our astronomical world view has changed over the last century, recalls the opinions of astronomical pioneers like Russell, Shapley, and Struve on life in the universe, and shows how planetary science, planetary systems science, origins of life studies and SETI have combined to form a new discipline. Astrobiology now commands \\$50 million in direct funding from NASA, funds 15 Astrobiology Institute members around the country and four affiliates around the world, and seeks to answer one of astronomy's oldest questions. Whether we live in a mostly physical universe, as exemplified in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, or in a biological universe, as portrayed in Arthur C. Clarke's works, this reality will have profound consequences, no less than the Copernican theory. Astrobiology also looks to the future of life; taking a long-term ``Stapledonian" view, it is possible we may live in a postbiological universe.

  15. Teaching Tree-Thinking to Undergraduate Biology Students

    OpenAIRE

    Meisel, Richard P.

    2010-01-01

    Evolution is the unifying principle of all biology, and understanding how evolutionary relationships are represented is critical for a complete understanding of evolution. Phylogenetic trees are the most conventional tool for displaying evolutionary relationships, and “tree-thinking” has been coined as a term to describe the ability to conceptualize evolutionary relationships. Students often lack tree-thinking skills, and developing those skills should be a priority of biology curricula. Many...

  16. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    OpenAIRE

    MaryJoe K Rice; 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 bi...

  17. Thermodynamical journey in plant biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelin eBarbacci

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Nonequilibrium irreversible thermodynamics constitute a meaningful point of view suitable to explore life with a rich paradigm. This analytical framework can be used to span the gap from molecular processes to plant function and shows great promise to create a holistic description of life. Since living organisms dissipate energy, exchange entropy and matter with their environment, they can be assimilated to dissipative structures. This concept inherited from nonequilibrium thermodynamics has four properties which defines a scale independent framework suitable to provide a simpler and more comprehensive view of the highly complex plant biology. According to this approach, a biological process is modeled as an avalanche of dissipative structures. Each dissipative structure, corresponds to an unitary biological process, which is initiated by the amplification of a fluctuation. Evolution of the process leads to the breakage of the system symmetry and to the export of entropy. Exporting entropy to the surrounding environment corresponds to collecting information about it. Biological actors which break the symmetry of the system and which store information are by consequence, key actors on which experiments and data analysis focus most. This paper aims at illustrating properties of dissipative structure through familiar examples and thus initiating the dialogue between nonequilibrium thermodynamics and plant biology.

  18. College biology students' conceptions related to the nature of biological knowledge: Implications for conceptual change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ameny, Gloria Millie Apio

    Adequate understanding of the nature of science is a major goal of science education. Understanding of the evolutionary nature of biological knowledge is a means of reinforcing biology students' understanding of the nature of science. It provides students with the philosophical basis, explanatory ideals, and subject matter-specific views of what counts as a scientifically-acceptable biological explanation. This study examined 121 college introductory biology and advanced zoology students for their conceptions related to the nature of biological knowledge. A 60-item Likert-scale questionnaire called the Nature of Biological Knowledge Scale and student interviews were used as complementary research instruments. Firstly, the study showed that 80--100% of college biology students have an adequate understanding of scientific methods, and that a similar percentage of students had learned the theory of evolution by natural selection in their biology courses. Secondly, the study showed that at least 60--80% of the students do not understand the importance of evolution in biological knowledge. Yet the study revealed that a statistically significant positive correlation exist among students' understanding of natural selection, divergent, and convergent evolutionary models. Thirdly, the study showed that about 20--58% of college students hold prescientific conceptions which, in part, are responsible for students' lack of understanding of the nature of biological knowledge. A statistically significant negative correlation was found among students' prescientific conceptions about basis of biological knowledge and nature of change in biological processes, and their understanding of natural selection and evolutionary models. However, the study showed that students' characteristics such as gender, age, major, or years in college have no statistically significant influence on students' conceptions related to the nature of biological knowledge. Only students' depth of biological

  19. 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.

  20. 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....

  1. Methods in molecular biology: plant cytogenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cytogenetic studies have contributed greatly to our understanding of genetics, biology, reproduction, and evolution. From early studies in basic chromosome behavior the field has expanded enabling whole genome analysis to the manipulation of chromosomes and their organization. This book covers a ran...

  2. Radiation and the evolution of life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  3. Molecular evolution of mammalian ribonucleases 1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dubois, J.Y; Ursing, B.M.; Kolkman, J.A.; Beintema, J.J

    2003-01-01

    There have been many studies on the chemistry of mammalian pancreatic ribonucleases (ribonucleases 1), but the functional biology of this family of homologous proteins is still largely unknown. Many studies have been performed on the molecular evolution and properties of this enzyme from species bel

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. The Theory of Evolution: An Educational Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, William L.; Johnson, Annabel M.

    The article's thesis is that evolution's intellectual foundations have been steadily eroding, and that few new findings in embryology, taxonomy, fossil remains, and molecular biology are bringing us very near to a formal, logical disproof of Darwinian claims. The paper begins by discussing the evidence of a prehistoric world, then they discuss…

  7. 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...

  8. The evolution of innate lymphoid cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivier, Eric; van de Pavert, Serge A; Cooper, Max D; Belz, Gabrielle T

    2016-06-21

    Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are the most recently discovered group of immune cells. Understanding their biology poses many challenges. We discuss here the current knowledge on the appearance of ILC subsets during evolution and propose how the connection between ILCs and T cells contributes to the robustness of immunity and hence to the fitness of the hosts. PMID:27328009

  9. Statistical Analysis of Hominoid Molecular Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Barry, Daniel; Hartigan, J. A.

    1987-01-01

    The core data of molecular biology consists of DNA sequences. We will show how DNA sequences may be used to infer the evolution of the primates, human, chimpanzee, ape, orangutan and gibbon. The underlying probability models are taken to be Markov processes on trees. Some dependencies along the sequence due to the genetic code are also considered.

  10. 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…

  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. Qualitative Differences between Naive and Scientific Theories of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtulman, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    Philosophers of biology have long argued that Darwin's theory of evolution was qualitatively different from all earlier theories of evolution. Whereas Darwin's predecessors and contemporaries explained adaptation as the transformation of a species' ''essence,'' Darwin explained adaptation as the selective propagation of randomly occurring…

  13. 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…

  14. The Imperatives of Cosmic Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, Carl H

    2010-01-01

    The transformation of organic molecules into the simplest self-replicating living system,a microorganism, is accomplished from a unique event or rare events that occurred early in the Universe. The subsequent dispersal on cosmic scales and evolution of life is guaranteed, being determined by well-understood processes of physics and biology. Entire galaxies and clusters of galaxies can be considered as connected biospheres, with lateral gene transfers, as initially theorized by Joseph (2000), providing for genetic mixing and Darwinian evolution on a cosmic scale. Big bang cosmology modified by modern fluid mechanics suggests the beginning and wide intergalactic dispersal of life occurred immediately after the end of the plasma epoch when the gas of protogalaxies in clusters fragmented into clumps of planets. Stars are born from binary mergers of such planets within such clumps. When stars devour their surrounding planets to excess they explode, distributing necessary fertilizing chemicals created only in stars...

  15. Adaptive molecular convergence: Molecular evolution versus molecular phylogenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Castoe, Todd A.; de Koning, A. P. Jason; Pollock, David D.

    2010-01-01

    Definitive identification of convergent evolution, the acquisition of the same biological trait in unrelated lineages, provides one of the most compelling sources of evidence for natural selection. Although numerous examples of convergent morphological evolution are well known (such as the independent development of wings in birds and mammals), cases of convergent evolution at the molecular-genetic level appear to be quite rare. We recently discovered a remarkable case of convergent molecular...

  16. Bacterial Evolution and the Bak-Sneppen Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, Indrani; Chaudhuri, Indranath

    Recently, Lenski et al.1-3 have carried out several experiments on bacterial evolution. Their findings support the theory of punctuated equilibrium in biological evolution. They have further quantified the relative contributions of adaptation, chance and history to bacterial evolution. In this paper, we show that a modified M-trait Bak-Sneppen model can explain many of the experimental results in a qualitative manner.

  17. Bacterial evolution and the Bak-Sneppen model

    OpenAIRE

    Bose, Indrani; Chaudhuri, Indranath

    2001-01-01

    Recently, Lenski et al \\cite{Elena,Lenski,Travisano} have carried out several experiments on bacterial evolution. Their findings support the theory of punctuated equilibrium in biological evolution. They have further quantified the relative contributions of adaptation, chance and history to bacterial evolution. In this Brief Report, we show that a modified M-trait Bak-Sneppen model can explain many of the experimental results in a qualitative manner.

  18. Cell biology perspectives in phage biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansaldi, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Cellular biology has long been restricted to large cellular organisms. However, as the resolution of microscopic methods increased, it became possible to study smaller cells, in particular bacterial cells. Bacteriophage biology is one aspect of bacterial cell biology that has recently gained insight from cell biology. Despite their small size, bacteriophages could be successfully labeled and their cycle studied in the host cells. This review aims to put together, although non-extensively, several cell biology studies that recently pushed the elucidation of key mechanisms in phage biology, such as the lysis-lysogeny decision in temperate phages or genome replication and transcription, one step further.

  19. The middle way of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2012-09-01

    THIS ESSAY PROVIDES A CRITICAL REVIEW OF TWO RECENT BOOKS ON EVOLUTION: Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth, and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True, as well as a critique of mainstream evolutionary theory and of natural selection. I also suggest a generalization of sexual selection theory that acknowledges mind as pervasive in nature. Natural selection, as the primary theory of how biological change occurs, must be carefully framed to avoid the long-standing "tautology problem" and must also be modified to more explicitly include the role of mind in evolution. A propensity approach to natural selection, in which "expected fitness" is utilized rather than "fitness," can save natural selection from tautology. But to be a productive theory, natural selection theory should be placed alongside sexual selection - which is explicitly agentic/intentional - as a twin force, but also placed alongside purely endogenous factors such as genetic drift. This framing is contrary to the normal convention that often groups all of these factors under the rubric of "natural selection." I suggest some approaches for improving modern evolutionary theory, including a "generalized sexual selection," a panpsychist extension of Darwin's theory of sexual selection that explicitly recognizes the role of mind at all levels of nature and which may play the part of a general theory of evolution better than natural selection theory. PMID:23181154

  20. The middle way of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2012-09-01

    THIS ESSAY PROVIDES A CRITICAL REVIEW OF TWO RECENT BOOKS ON EVOLUTION: Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth, and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True, as well as a critique of mainstream evolutionary theory and of natural selection. I also suggest a generalization of sexual selection theory that acknowledges mind as pervasive in nature. Natural selection, as the primary theory of how biological change occurs, must be carefully framed to avoid the long-standing "tautology problem" and must also be modified to more explicitly include the role of mind in evolution. A propensity approach to natural selection, in which "expected fitness" is utilized rather than "fitness," can save natural selection from tautology. But to be a productive theory, natural selection theory should be placed alongside sexual selection - which is explicitly agentic/intentional - as a twin force, but also placed alongside purely endogenous factors such as genetic drift. This framing is contrary to the normal convention that often groups all of these factors under the rubric of "natural selection." I suggest some approaches for improving modern evolutionary theory, including a "generalized sexual selection," a panpsychist extension of Darwin's theory of sexual selection that explicitly recognizes the role of mind at all levels of nature and which may play the part of a general theory of evolution better than natural selection theory.

  1. [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. PMID:11605547

  2. 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.

  3. Evolution in Stage-Structured Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barfield, Michael; Holt, Robert D.; Gomulkiewicz, Richard

    2016-01-01

    For many organisms, stage is a better predictor of demographic rates than age. Yet no general theoretical framework exists for understanding or predicting evolution in stage-structured populations. Here, we provide a general modeling approach that can be used to predict evolution and demography of stage-structured populations. This advances our ability to understand evolution in stage-structured populations to a level previously available only for populations structured by age. We use this framework to provide the first rigorous proof that Lande’s theorem, which relates adaptive evolution to population growth, applies to stage-classified populations, assuming only normality and that evolution is slow relative to population dynamics. We extend this theorem to allow for different means or variances among stages. Our next major result is the formulation of Price’s theorem, a fundamental law of evolution, for stage-structured populations. In addition, we use data from Trillium grandiflorum to demonstrate how our models can be applied to a real-world population and thereby show their practical potential to generate accurate projections of evolutionary and population dynamics. Finally, we use our framework to compare rates of evolution in age- versus stage-structured populations, which shows how our methods can yield biological insights about evolution in stage-structured populations. PMID:21460563

  4. Phylogeny and evolution of RNA structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gesell, Tanja; Schuster, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Darwin's conviction that all living beings on Earth are related and the graph of relatedness is tree-shaped has been essentially confirmed by phylogenetic reconstruction first from morphology and later from data obtained by molecular sequencing. Limitations of the phylogenetic tree concept were recognized as more and more sequence information became available. The other path-breaking idea of Darwin, natural selection of fitter variants in populations, is cast into simple mathematical form and extended to mutation-selection dynamics. In this form the theory is directly applicable to RNA evolution in vitro and to virus evolution. Phylogeny and population dynamics of RNA provide complementary insights into evolution and the interplay between the two concepts will be pursued throughout this chapter. The two strategies for understanding evolution are ultimately related through the central paradigm of structural biology: sequence ⇒ structure ⇒ function. We elaborate on the state of the art in modeling both phylogeny and evolution of RNA driven by reproduction and mutation. Thereby the focus will be laid on models for phylogenetic sequence evolution as well as evolution and design of RNA structures with selected examples and notes on simulation methods. In the perspectives an attempt is made to combine molecular structure, population dynamics, and phylogeny in modeling evolution.

  5. 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.

  6. Biological effects of radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Research on Bacteria in the Mainstream of Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magasanik, Boris

    1988-01-01

    Stresses the importance of investigating bacterial mechanisms to discover clues for a greater understanding of cells. Cites examples of study areas of biological significance which may reveal information about the evolution of prokaryotes and eukaryotes and lead to a comprehensive theory of cell biology. (RT)

  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. Foundational issues in evolution education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Mike U.; Siegel, Harvey; McInerney, Joseph D.

    1995-01-01

    There is a great need for effective evolution education. This paper reviews some of the evidence that demonstrates that need and analyzes some of the foundational semantic, epistemological, and philosophical issues involved. This analysis is used to provide a functional understanding of the distinction between science and non-science. Special emphasis is placed the scientific meaning of the terms theory, hypothesis, fact, proof, evidence, and truth, focusing on the difference between religious belief and acceptance of a scientific theory. Science is viewed as theologically neutral and as not mutually exclusive from religion. Finally, a number of practical recommendations to the classroom biology teacher are presented.

  11. Maternal effects in molecular evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Wilke, C O

    2002-01-01

    We introduce a model of molecular evolution in which the fitness of an individual depends both on its own and on the parent's genotype. The model can be solved by means of a nonlinear mapping onto the standard quasispecies model. The dependency on the parental genotypes cancels from the mean fitness, but not from the individual sequence concentrations. For finite populations, the position of the error threshold is very sensitive to the influence from parent genotypes. In addition to biological applications, our model is important for understanding the dynamics of self-replicating computer programs.

  12. The Criticism of Atheistic Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr Farah Ramin

    2010-01-01

    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.

  13. The Criticism of Atheistic Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farah Ramin

    2010-04-01

    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 .

  14. The evolution of nitrogen cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1988-01-01

    The energetics of nitrogen transformation reactions and the evolution of nitrogen cycling are examined. It is suggested that meteor impact-produced fixed nitrogen could have caused the entire reservoir of the earth's N2 to convert into fixed nitrogen at the end of accretion. The abiotic fixation rate on the early earth by lightning is estimated at about 1-3 X 10 to the 16th molecules of NO/J. It is found that biological nitrogen fixation may have evolved after the development of an aerobic atmosphere. It is shown that HNO could eventually become NO2(-) and NO3(-) after reaching the earth's surface. It is concluded that the evolutionary sequence for the biological transformation of nitrogen compounds is ammonification - denitrification - nitrification - nitrogen fixation.

  15. Positioning Genomics in Biology Education: Content Mapping of Undergraduate Biology Textbooks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi L. B. Wernick

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. 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,…

  17. 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…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. Evolution from Cellular to Social Scales

    CERN Document Server

    Skjeltorp, Arne T

    2008-01-01

    Evolution is a critical challenge for many areas of science, technology and development of society. The book reviews general evolutionary facts such as origin of life and evolution of the genome and clues to evolution through simple systems. Emerging areas of science such as "systems biology" and "bio-complexity" are founded on the idea that phenomena need to be understood in the context of highly interactive processes operating at different levels and on different scales. This is where physics meets complexity in nature, and where we must begin to learn about complexity if we are to understand it. Similarly, there is an increasingly urgent need to understand and predict the evolutionary behavior of highly interacting man-made systems, in areas such as communications and transport, which permeate the modern world. The same applies to the evolution of human networks such as social, political and financial systems, where technology has tended to vastly increase both the complexity and speed of interaction, whic...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. Evolution of theological views on evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hałaczek, Bernard

    1997-01-01

    Biology-oriented theology and philosophy-oriented biology have been a matter of controversy in the studies of human origins. This controversy terminates at the point when they both recognise their peculiarity: biology is concerned with the “how” man came into existence and theology with “what” of the existence o f man.

  4. 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.

  5. Mother Knows Best: Epigenetic Inheritance, Maternal Effects, and the Evolution of Human Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorklund, David F.

    2006-01-01

    Contemporary evolution biology has recognized the role of development in evolution. Evolutionarily oriented psychologists have similarly recognized the role that behavioral plasticity, particularly early in development, may have had on the evolution of species, harking back to the ideas of Baldwin (the Baldwin effect). Epigenetic theories of…

  6. 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…

  7. Contributions of experimental protobiogenesis to the theory of evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, S. W.

    1976-01-01

    Inferences from experiments in protobiogenesis are examined as a forward extension of the theory of evolutionary biology. A nondiscontinuous, intraconsistent theory of general evolution embracing both protobiology and biology is outlined. This overview emphasizes Darwinian selection in the later stages of evolution, and stereochemical molecular selection in some of its earlier stages. It incorporates the concept of limitation of the scope of evolution by internal constraints on variation, based on the argument that internally limiting constraints observed in experiments with molecules are operative in organisms, if chemical processes occur within biological processes and biological processes are assumed to be exponentializations of chemical processes. Major evolutionary events might have occurred by rapid self-assembly processes analogous to those observed in the formation of phase-separated microspheres from amorphous powder or supersaturated solutions.

  8. The fine details of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laskowski, Roman A; Thornton, Janet M; Sternberg, Michael J E

    2009-08-01

    Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was based on studies of biology at the species level. In the time since his death, studies at the molecular level have confirmed his ideas about the kinship of all life on Earth and have provided a wealth of detail about the evolutionary relationships between different species and a deeper understanding of the finer workings of natural selection. We now have a wealth of data, including the genome sequences of a wide range of organisms, an even larger number of protein sequences, a significant knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of proteins, DNA and other biological molecules, and a huge body of information about the operation of these molecules as systems in the molecular machinery of all living things. This issue of Biochemical Society Transactions contains papers from oral presentations given at a Biochemical Society Focused Meeting to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, held on 26-27 January 2009 at the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, Cambridge. The talks reported on some of the insights into evolution which have been obtained from the study of protein sequences, structures and systems. PMID:19614583

  9. Evolution of species from Darwin theory: A simple model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moret, M. A.; Pereira, H. B. B.; Monteiro, S. L.; Galeão, A. C.

    2012-04-01

    Evolution of species is a complex phenomenon. Some theoretical models take into account evolution of species, like the Bak-Sneppen model that obtain punctuated equilibrium from self-organized criticality and the Penna model for biological aging that consists in a bit-string model subjected to aging, reproduction and death. In this work we propose a simple model to study different scenarios used to simulate the evolution of species. This model is based on Darwin's ideas of evolution. The present findings show that punctuated equilibria and stasis seem to be obtained directly from the mutation, selection of parents and the genetic crossover, and are very close to the fossil data analysis.

  10. Directed evolution of aldolases for exploitation in synthetic organic chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolt, Amanda; Berry, Alan; Nelson, Adam

    2008-01-01

    This review focuses on the directed evolution of aldolases with synthetically useful properties. Directed evolution has been used to address a number of limitations associated with the use of wild-type aldolases as catalysts in synthetic organic chemistry. The generation of aldolase enzymes with a modified or expanded substrate repertoire is described. Particular emphasis is placed on the directed evolution of aldolases with modified stereochemical properties: such enzymes can be useful catalysts in the stereoselective synthesis of biologically active small molecules. The review also describes some of the fundamental insights into mechanistic enzymology that directed evolution can provide. PMID:18230325

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne Renick Gallagher

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. The 1st Symposium on Chemical Evolution and the Origin and Evolution of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devincenzi, D. L. (Editor); Pleasant, L. G. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    This symposium provided an opportunity for all NASA Exobiology principal investigators to present their most recent research in a scientific meeting forum. Papers were presented in the following exobiology areas: extraterrestrial chemistry primitive earth, information transfer, solar system exploration, planetary protection, geological record, and early biological evolution.

  13. Developmental systems biology flourishing on new technologies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Organism development is a systems level process. It has benefited greatly from the recent technological advances in the field of systems biology. DNA microarray, phenome, interactome and transcriptome mapping, the new generation of deep sequencing technologies,and faster and better computational and modeling approaches have opened new frontiers for both systems biologists and developmental biologists to reexamine the old developmental biology questions, such as pattern formation, and to tackle new problems, such as stem cell reprogramming. As showcased in the International Developmental Systems Biology Symposium organized by Chinese Academy of Sciences, developmental systems biology is flourishing in many perspectives, from the evolution of developmental systems, to the underlying genetic and molecular pathways and networks, to the genomic, epigenomic and noncoding levels, to the computational analysis and modeling. We believe that the field will continue to reap rewards into the future with these new approaches.

  14. Developmental systems biology flourishing on new technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jing-Dong J; Liu, Yi; Xue, Huiling; Xia, Kai; Yu, Hong; Zhu, Shanshan; Chen, Zhang; Zhang, Wei; Huang, Zheng; Jin, Chunyu; Xian, Bo; Li, Jing; Hou, Lei; Han, Yixing; Niu, Chaoqun; Alcon, Timothy C

    2008-10-01

    Organism development is a systems level process. It has benefited greatly from the recent technological advances in the field of systems biology. DNA microarray, phenome, interactome and transcriptome mapping, the new generation of deep sequencing technologies, and faster and better computational and modeling approaches have opened new frontiers for both systems biologists and developmental biologists to reexamine the old developmental biology questions, such as pattern formation, and to tackle new problems, such as stem cell reprogramming. As showcased in the International Developmental Systems Biology Symposium organized by Chinese Academy of Sciences, developmental systems biology is flourishing in many perspectives, from the evolution of developmental systems, to the underlying genetic and molecular pathways and networks, to the genomic, epigenomic and noncoding levels, to the computational analysis and modeling. We believe that the field will continue to reap rewards into the future with these new approaches. PMID:18937914

  15. [Biological mutualism, concepts and models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perru, Olivier

    2011-01-01

    Mutualism is a biological association for a mutual benefit between two different species. In this paper, firstly, we examine the history and signification of mutualism in relation to symbiosis. Then, we consider the link between concepts and models of mutualism. Models of mutualism depend on different concepts we use: If mutualism is situated at populations' level, it will be expressed by Lotka-Volterra models, concerning exclusively populations' size. If mutualism is considered as a resources' exchange or a biological market increasing the fitness of these organisms, it will be described at an individual level by a cost-benefit model. Our analysis will be limited to the history and epistemology of Lotka-Volterra models and we hypothesize that these models are adapted at first to translate dynamic evolutions of mutualism. They render stability or variations of size and assume that there are clear distinctions and a state of equilibrium between populations of different species. Italian mathematician Vito Volterra demonstrated that biological associations consist in a constant relation between some species. In 1931 and 1935, Volterra described the general form of antagonistic or mutualistic biological associations by the same differential equations. We recognize that these equations have been more used to model competition or prey-predator interactions, but a simple sign change allows describing mutualism. The epistemological problem is the following: Volterra's equations help us to conceptualize a global phenomenon. However, mutualistic interactions may have stronger effects away from equilibrium and these effects may be better understood at individual level. We conclude that, between 1985 and 2000, some researchers carried on working and converting Lotka-Volterra models but this description appeared as insufficient. So, other researchers adopted an economical viewpoint, considering mutualism as a biological market. PMID:22288336

  16. [Biological mutualism, concepts and models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perru, Olivier

    2011-01-01

    Mutualism is a biological association for a mutual benefit between two different species. In this paper, firstly, we examine the history and signification of mutualism in relation to symbiosis. Then, we consider the link between concepts and models of mutualism. Models of mutualism depend on different concepts we use: If mutualism is situated at populations' level, it will be expressed by Lotka-Volterra models, concerning exclusively populations' size. If mutualism is considered as a resources' exchange or a biological market increasing the fitness of these organisms, it will be described at an individual level by a cost-benefit model. Our analysis will be limited to the history and epistemology of Lotka-Volterra models and we hypothesize that these models are adapted at first to translate dynamic evolutions of mutualism. They render stability or variations of size and assume that there are clear distinctions and a state of equilibrium between populations of different species. Italian mathematician Vito Volterra demonstrated that biological associations consist in a constant relation between some species. In 1931 and 1935, Volterra described the general form of antagonistic or mutualistic biological associations by the same differential equations. We recognize that these equations have been more used to model competition or prey-predator interactions, but a simple sign change allows describing mutualism. The epistemological problem is the following: Volterra's equations help us to conceptualize a global phenomenon. However, mutualistic interactions may have stronger effects away from equilibrium and these effects may be better understood at individual level. We conclude that, between 1985 and 2000, some researchers carried on working and converting Lotka-Volterra models but this description appeared as insufficient. So, other researchers adopted an economical viewpoint, considering mutualism as a biological market.

  17. Cosmic evolution, life and man

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  18. Synthetic biology: insights into biological computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoni, Romilde; Urrios, Arturo; Velazquez-Garcia, Silvia; de Nadal, Eulàlia; Posas, Francesc

    2016-04-18

    Organisms have evolved a broad array of complex signaling mechanisms that allow them to survive in a wide range of environmental conditions. They are able to sense external inputs and produce an output response by computing the information. Synthetic biology attempts to rationally engineer biological systems in order to perform desired functions. Our increasing understanding of biological systems guides this rational design, while the huge background in electronics for building circuits defines the methodology. In this context, biocomputation is the branch of synthetic biology aimed at implementing artificial computational devices using engineered biological motifs as building blocks. Biocomputational devices are defined as biological systems that are able to integrate inputs and return outputs following pre-determined rules. Over the last decade the number of available synthetic engineered devices has increased exponentially; simple and complex circuits have been built in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. These devices can manage and store information, take decisions based on past and present inputs, and even convert a transient signal into a sustained response. The field is experiencing a fast growth and every day it is easier to implement more complex biological functions. This is mainly due to advances in in vitro DNA synthesis, new genome editing tools, novel molecular cloning techniques, continuously growing part libraries as well as other technological advances. This allows that digital computation can now be engineered and implemented in biological systems. Simple logic gates can be implemented and connected to perform novel desired functions or to better understand and redesign biological processes. Synthetic biological digital circuits could lead to new therapeutic approaches, as well as new and efficient ways to produce complex molecules such as antibiotics, bioplastics or biofuels. Biological computation not only provides possible biomedical and

  19. Synthetic biology: insights into biological computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoni, Romilde; Urrios, Arturo; Velazquez-Garcia, Silvia; de Nadal, Eulàlia; Posas, Francesc

    2016-04-18

    Organisms have evolved a broad array of complex signaling mechanisms that allow them to survive in a wide range of environmental conditions. They are able to sense external inputs and produce an output response by computing the information. Synthetic biology attempts to rationally engineer biological systems in order to perform desired functions. Our increasing understanding of biological systems guides this rational design, while the huge background in electronics for building circuits defines the methodology. In this context, biocomputation is the branch of synthetic biology aimed at implementing artificial computational devices using engineered biological motifs as building blocks. Biocomputational devices are defined as biological systems that are able to integrate inputs and return outputs following pre-determined rules. Over the last decade the number of available synthetic engineered devices has increased exponentially; simple and complex circuits have been built in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. These devices can manage and store information, take decisions based on past and present inputs, and even convert a transient signal into a sustained response. The field is experiencing a fast growth and every day it is easier to implement more complex biological functions. This is mainly due to advances in in vitro DNA synthesis, new genome editing tools, novel molecular cloning techniques, continuously growing part libraries as well as other technological advances. This allows that digital computation can now be engineered and implemented in biological systems. Simple logic gates can be implemented and connected to perform novel desired functions or to better understand and redesign biological processes. Synthetic biological digital circuits could lead to new therapeutic approaches, as well as new and efficient ways to produce complex molecules such as antibiotics, bioplastics or biofuels. Biological computation not only provides possible biomedical and

  20. 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.

  1. Evolution & Diversity in Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Lorentz C.

    1988-01-01

    Summarizes recent findings that help in understanding how evolution has brought about the diversity of plant life that presently exists. Discusses basic concepts of evolution, diversity and classification, the three-line hypothesis of plant evolution, the origin of fungi, and the geologic time table. Included are 31 references. (CW)

  2. Pictures of Synthetic Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Cserer, Amelie; Seiringer, Alexandra

    2009-01-01

    This article is concerned with the representation of Synthetic Biology in the media and by biotechnology experts. An analysis was made of German-language media articles published between 2004 and 2008, and interviews with biotechnology-experts at the Synthetic Biology conference SB 3.0 in Zurich 2007. The results have been reflected in terms of the definition of Synthetic Biology, applications of Synthetic Biology and the perspectives of opportunities and risks. In the media, Synthetic Biolog...

  3. 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).

  4. Accepting, understanding, teaching, and learning (human) evolution: Obstacles and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pobiner, Briana

    2016-01-01

    Questions about our origin as a species are universal and compelling. Evolution-and in particular human evolution-is a subject that generates intense interest across the world, evidenced by the fact that fossil and DNA discoveries grace the covers of major science journals and magazines as well as other popular print and online media. However, virtually all national polls indicate that the majority of Americans strongly reject biological evolution as a fact-based, well-tested, and robust understanding of the history of life. In the popular mind, no topic in all of science is more contentious or polarizing than evolution and media sources often only serve to magnify this polarization by covering challenges to the teaching of evolution. In the realm of teaching, debates about evolution have shaped textbooks, curricula, standards, and policy. Challenges to accepting and understanding evolution include mistrust and denial of science, cognitive obstacles and misconceptions, language and terminology, and a religious worldview, among others. Teachers, who are on the front lines of these challenges, must be armed with the tools and techniques to teach evolution in formal education settings across grades K-16 in a straightforward, thorough, and sensitive way. Despite the potentially controversial topic of human evolution, growing research is demonstrating that a pedagogical focus on human examples is an effective and engaging way to teach core concepts of evolutionary biology.

  5. 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.

  6. Complexity, Information and Biological Organisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Attila Grandpierre

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Regarding the widespread confusion about the concept and nature of complexity, information and biological organization, we look for some coordinated conceptual considerations corresponding to quantitative measures suitable to grasp the main characteristics of biological complexity. Quantitative measures of algorithmic complexity of supercomputers like Blue Gene/L are compared with the complexity of the brain. We show that both the computer and the brain have a more fundamental, dynamic complexity measure corresponding to the number of operations per second. Recent insights suggest that the origin of complexity may go back to simplicity at a deeper level, corresponding to algorithmic complexity. We point out that for physical systems Ashby’s Law, Kahre’s Law and causal closure of the physical exclude the generation of information, and since genetic information corresponds to instructions, we are faced with a controversy telling that the algorithmic complexity of physics is much lower than the instructions’ complexity of the human DNA: I_algorithmic(physics ~ 10^3 bit << I_instructions(DNA ~ 10^9 bit. Analyzing the genetic complexity we obtain that actually the genetic information corresponds to a deeper than algorithmic level of complexity, putting an even greater emphasis to the information paradox. We show that the resolution of the fundamental information paradox may lie either in the chemical evolution of inheritance in abiogenesis, or in the existence of an autonomous biological principle allowing the production of information beyond physics.

  7. Optimizing Nutrient Uptake in Biological Transport Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Katifori, Eleni

    2013-03-01

    Many biological systems employ complex networks of vascular tubes to facilitate transport of solute nutrients, examples include the vascular system of plants (phloem), some fungi, and the slime-mold Physarum. It is believed that such networks are optimized through evolution for carrying out their designated task. We propose a set of hydrodynamic governing equations for solute transport in a complex network, and obtain the optimal network architecture for various classes of optimizing functionals. We finally discuss the topological properties and statistical mechanics of the resulting complex networks, and examine correspondence of the obtained networks to those found in actual biological systems.

  8. [History and biology: possible dialogues, necessary distances].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Regina Horta

    2009-01-01

    Evolution has often been rejected as a theory incompatible with proper historical reflection. While there are undoubtedly insurmountable barriers between biology and the study of man and society, a rigorous analysis of Darwinist theory demonstrates epistemological areas of contact between history and evolutionary biology. The amazing temporal perspective shared by both areas of knowledge points to some bridges of communication, like the importance of the event and of creation processes, the rejection of teleology and the idea of progress, the complexity of events between chance and necessity, and the impossibility of making predictions. This affords an opportunity for a transdisciplinary approach at a moment of various contemporary challenges. PMID:21461513

  9. Genome evolution and systems biology in bacterial endosymbionts of insects

    OpenAIRE

    Belda Cuesta, Eugeni

    2010-01-01

    Gene loss is the most important event in the process of genome reduction that appears associated with bacterial endosymbionts of insects. These small genomes were derived features evolved from ancestral prokaryotes with larger genome sizes, consequence of a massive process of genome reduction due to drastic changes in the ecological conditions and evolutionary pressures acting on these prokaryotic lineages during their ecological transition to host-dependent lifestyle. In the present thesis, ...

  10. Comparative Cell Biology and Evolution of Annexins in Diplomonads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einarsson, Elin; Ástvaldsson, Ásgeir; Hultenby, Kjell; Andersson, Jan O.; Svärd, Staffan G.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Annexins are multifunctional, calcium-binding proteins found in organisms across all kingdoms. Most studies of annexins from single-celled eukaryotes have focused on the alpha-giardins, proteins assigned to the group E annexins, expressed by the diplomonad Giardia intestinalis. We have characterized the annexin gene family in another diplomonad parasite, Spironucleus salmonicida, by phylogenetic and experimental approaches. We constructed a comprehensive phylogeny of the diplomonad group E annexins and found that they are abundant across the group with frequent gene duplications and losses. The annexins of S. salmonicida were found to be related to alpha-giardins but with better-preserved type II Ca2+ coordination sites. Two annexins were confirmed to bind phospholipids in a Ca2+-dependent fashion but with different specificities. Superresolution and confocal microscopy of epitope-tagged S. salmonicida annexins revealed localization to distinct parts of the cytoskeleton and membrane. The ultrastructural details of the localization of several annexins were determined by proximity labeling and transmission electron microscopy. Two annexins localize to a novel cytoskeletal structure in the anterior of the cell. Our results show that the annexin gene family is expanded in diplomonads and that these group E annexins are associated mostly with cytoskeletal and membrane structures. IMPORTANCE Annexins are proteins that associate with phospholipids in a Ca2+-dependent fashion. These proteins have been intensely studied in animals and plants because of their importance in diverse cellular processes, yet very little is known about annexins in single-celled eukaryotes, which represent the largest diversity of organisms. The human intestinal parasite Giardia intestinalis is known to have more annexins than humans, and they contribute to its pathogenic potential. In this study, we investigated the annexin complement in the salmon pathogen Spironucleus salmonicida, a relative of G. intestinalis. We found that S. salmonicida has a large repertoire of annexins and that the gene family has expanded separately across diplomonads, with members showing sequence diversity similar to that seen across kingdom-level groups such as plants and animals. S. salmonicida annexins are prominent components of the cytoskeleton and membrane. Two annexins are associated with a previously unrecognized structure in the anterior of the cell. PMID:27303715

  11. 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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  12. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

    OpenAIRE

    Itai Roffman; Eviatar Nevo

    2010-01-01

    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 cap...

  13. Evolution, communication, observation from biology to membrane computing and back

    OpenAIRE

    Cavaliere, Matteo

    2005-01-01

    La Computación Natural es una disciplina cuyo objetivo fundamental es la simulación e implementación de procesos dinámicos que se dan en la Naturaleza y que son susceptibles de ser interpretados como procedimientos de cálculo. ... height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif'; font-size: 12pt">La simulación que aborda la Computación Natural puede tener diversas interpretaciones a la hora de describir los nuevos modelos: que se utilice para el diseño de nuevos esquemas algorítmicos usan...

  14. A pivot mutation impedes reverse evolution across an adaptive landscape for drug resistance in Plasmodium vivax

    OpenAIRE

    Ogbunugafor, C. Brandon; Hartl, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Background: The study of reverse evolution from resistant to susceptible phenotypes can reveal constraints on biological evolution, a topic for which evolutionary theory has relatively few general principles. The public health catastrophe of antimicrobial resistance in malaria has brought these constraints on evolution into a practical realm, with one proposed solution: withdrawing anti-malarial medication use in high resistance settings, built on the assumption that reverse evolution occurs ...

  15. 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…

  16. Differential evolution in electromagnetics

    CERN Document Server

    Qing, Anyong

    2010-01-01

    Differential evolution has proven itself a very simple while very powerful stochastic global optimizer. It has been applied to solve problems in many scientific and engineering fields. This book focuses on applications of differential evolution in electromagnetics to showcase its achievement and capability in solving synthesis and design problems in electromagnetics.Topics covered in this book include:*A comprehensive up-to-date literature survey on differential evolution*A systematic description of differential evolution*A topical review on applications of differential evolution in electromag

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Bionics: Biological insight into mechanical design

    OpenAIRE

    Dickinson, Michael H

    1999-01-01

    When pressed with an engineering problem, humans often draw guidance and inspiration from the natural world (1). Through the process of evolution, organisms have experimented with form and function for at least 3 billion years before the first human manipulations of stone, bone, and antler. Although we cannot know for sure the extent to which biological models inspired our early ancestors, more recent examples of biomimetic designs are well documented. For example, birds and bats played a cen...

  20. Cloning humans? Biological, ethical, and social considerations

    OpenAIRE

    Ayala, FJ

    2015-01-01

    © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. There are, in mankind, two kinds of heredity: biological and cultural. Cultural inheritance makes possible for humans what no other organism can accomplish: the cumulative transmission of experience from generation to generation. In turn, cultural inheritance leads to cultural evolution, the prevailing mode of human adaptation. For the last few millennia, humans have been adapting the environments to their genes more often than their ...

  1. Stochastic Physics, Complex Systems and Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Qian, Hong

    2012-01-01

    In complex systems, the interplay between nonlinear and stochastic dynamics gives rise to an evolution process in Darwinian sense with punctuated equilibrium, random "mutations" and "adaptations". The emergent discrete states in such a system, i.e., attractors, have natural robustness against both internal and external perturbations. Epigenetic states of a biological cell, a mesoscopic nonlinear stochastic open biochemical system, could be understood through such a framework.

  2. OPEN PROBLEM: Some nonlinear challenges in biology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

    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'.

  3. The Nonequilibrium Nature of Culinary Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Kinouchi, Osame; Diez-Garcia, Rosa W.; Holanda, Adriano J.; Zambianchi, Pedro; Antonio C. Roque

    2008-01-01

    Food is an essential part of civilization, with a scope that ranges from the biological to the economic and cultural levels. Here we study the statistics of ingredients and recipes taken from Brazilian, British, French, and Medieval cookbooks. We find universal distributions with scale invariant behavior. We propose a copy-mutate process to model culinary evolution that fits very well our empirical data. We find a cultural founder effect produced by the nonequilibrium dynamics of the model. B...

  4. Unraveling the mysteries of dog evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honeycutt Rodney L

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The increased battery of molecular markers, derived from comparative genomics, is aiding our understanding of the genetics of domestication. The recent BMC Biology article pertaining to the evolution of small size in dogs is an example of how such methods can be used to study the origin and diversification of the domestic dog. We are still challenged, however, to appreciate the genetic mechanisms responsible for the phenotypic diversity seen in 'our best friend'.

  5. Physics of Evolution: Selection without Fitness

    OpenAIRE

    Hanel, Rudolf; Thurner, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    Traditionally evolution is seen as a process where from a pool of possible variations of a population (e.g. biological species or industrial goods) a few variations get selected which survive and proliferate, whereas the others vanish. Survival probability is typically associated with the 'fitness' of a particular variation. In this paper we argue that the notion of fitness is an a posteriori concept, in the sense that one can assign higher fitness to species that survive but one can generall...

  6. The Evolution of Self-Control

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Julie

    2014-01-01

    Although scientists have identified surprising cognitive flexibility in animals and potentially unique features of human psychology, we know less about the selective forces that favor cognitive evolution, or the proximate biological mechanisms underlying this process. We tested 36 species in two problem-solving tasks measuring self-control and evaluated the leading hypotheses regarding how and why cognition evolves. Across species, differences in absolute (not relative) brain volume best pred...

  7. Brain evolution by brain pathway duplication

    OpenAIRE

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Jarvis, Erich D

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of evolution of brain pathways for complex behaviours is still in its infancy. Making further advances requires a deeper understanding of brain homologies, novelties and analogies. It also requires an understanding of how adaptive genetic modifications lead to restructuring of the brain. Recent advances in genomic and molecular biology techniques applied to brain research have provided exciting insights into how complex behaviours are shaped by selection of novel ...

  8. On the importance of evolution to developmental psychobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, W L

    1995-03-01

    The term developmental psychobiology implies an integration between psychology and biology. But what segment of biology does the discipline embrace? The present commentary asserts that developmental psychobiology devotes too much attention to structural biology, with its emphasis on proximate mechanisms, and fails to give enough prominence to evolutionary biology and ultimate perspectives. I have attempted to portray the significance of evolution to developmental psychobiology and to elaborate on how developmental psychobiology might contribute to refinements in evolutionary theory, especially recent modifications that advocate a greater role for developmental processes. Methodological suggestions are offered, which would broaden developmental psychobiology's perspective so that a more comprehensive analysis of behavioral development results.

  9. Teaching evolutionary biology: Pressures, stress, and coping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Joyce A.; Brem, Sarah K.

    2004-10-01

    Understanding what teachers need to be more comfortable and confident in their profession is crucial to the future of effective teachers and scientific literacy in public schools. This study focuses on the experiences of Arizona biology teachers in teaching evolution, using a clinical model of stress to identify sources of pressure, the resulting stresses, and coping strategies they employ to alleviate these stresses. We conducted focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and written surveys with 15 biology teachers from the Phoenix area. On the basis of their responses, teachers were clustered into three categories: Conflicted, who struggle with their own beliefs and the possible impact of their teaching, Selective, who carefully avoid difficult topics and situations, and Scientists, who see no place for controversial social issues in their science classroom. Teachers from each group felt that they could be more effective in teaching evolution if they possessed the most up-to-date information about evolution and genomics, a safe space in which to reflect on the possible social and personal implications with their peers, and access to richer lesson plans for teaching evolution that include not only science but personal stories regarding how the lessons arose, and what problems and opportunities they created.

  10. 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.

  11. Biology of Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Mail Facebook TwitterTitle Google+ LinkedIn Home Blood Disorders Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Medical Dictionary Also ... Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Components of Blood ...

  12. Advances in Biological Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppenheimer, Steven B.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Reviews major developments in areas that are at the cutting edge of biological research. Areas include: human anti-cancer gene, recombinant DNA techniques for the detection of Huntington disease carriers, and marine biology. (CW)

  13. Biology is simple.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Tim

    2015-12-30

    This paper explores the potential for simplicity to reveal new biological understanding. Borrowing selectively from physics thinking, and contrasting with Crick's reductionist philosophy, the author argues that greater emphasis on simplicity is necessary to advance biology and its applications.

  14. Early Microbial Evolution: The Age of Anaerobes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, William F; Sousa, Filipa L

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26684184

  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. Fifty years of co-evolution and beyond: integrating co-evolution from molecules to species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmona, Diego; Fitzpatrick, Connor R; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-11-01

    Fifty years after Ehrlich and Raven's seminal paper, the idea of co-evolution continues to grow as a key concept in our understanding of organic evolution. This concept has not only provided a compelling synthesis between evolutionary biology and community ecology, but has also inspired research that extends beyond its original scope. In this article, we identify unresolved questions about the co-evolutionary process and advocate for the integration of co-evolutionary research from molecular to interspecific interactions. We address two basic questions: (i) What is co-evolution and how common is it? (ii) What is the unit of co-evolution? Both questions aim to explore the heart of the co-evolutionary process. Despite the claim that co-evolution is ubiquitous, we argue that there is in fact little evidence to support the view that reciprocal natural selection and coadaptation are common in nature. We also challenge the traditional view that co-evolution only occurs between traits of interacting species. Co-evolution has the potential to explain evolutionary processes and patterns that result from intra- and intermolecular biochemical interactions within cells, intergenomic interactions (e.g. nuclear-cytoplasmic) within species, as well as intergenomic interactions mediated by phenotypic traits between species. Research that bridges across these levels of organization will help to advance our understanding of the importance of the co-evolutionary processes in shaping the diversity of life on Earth.

  17. Engineering scalable biological systems

    OpenAIRE

    Lu, Timothy K.

    2010-01-01

    Synthetic biology is focused on engineering biological organisms to study natural systems and to provide new solutions for pressing medical, industrial, and environmental problems. At the core of engineered organisms are synthetic biological circuits that execute the tasks of sensing inputs, processing logic, and performing output functions. In the last decade, significant progress has been made in developing basic designs for a wide range of biological circuits in bacteria, yeast, and mammal...

  18. Systems interface biology

    OpenAIRE

    Francis J Doyle; Stelling, Jörg

    2006-01-01

    The field of systems biology has attracted the attention of biologists, engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and others in an endeavour to create systems-level understanding of complex biological networks. In particular, systems engineering methods are finding unique opportunities in characterizing the rich behaviour exhibited by biological systems. In the same manner, these new classes of biological problems are motivating novel developments in theoretical systems approaches. Henc...

  19. Biological Races in Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Templeton, Alan R.

    2013-01-01

    Races may exist in humans in a cultural sense, but biological concepts of race are needed to access their reality in a non-species-specific manner and to see if cultural categories correspond to biological categories within humans. Modern biological concepts of race can be implemented objectively with molecular genetic data through hypothesis-testing. Genetic data sets are used to see if biological races exist in humans and in our closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee. Using the two m...

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Cosmic evolution: the context for astrobiology and its cultural implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J.

    2012-10-01

    Astrobiology must be seen in the context of cosmic evolution, the 13.7 billion-year master narrative of the universe. The idea of an evolving universe dates back only to the 19th century, and became a guiding principle for astronomical research only in the second half of the 20th century. The modern synthesis in evolutionary biology hastened the acceptance of the idea in its cosmic setting, as did the confirmation of the Big Bang theory for the origin of the universe. NASA programmes such as Origins incorporated it as a guiding principle. Cosmic evolution encompasses physical, biological and cultural evolution, and may result in a physical, biological or postbiological universe, each with its own implications for long-term human destiny, and each imbuing the meaning of life with different values. It has the status of an increasingly accepted worldview that is beginning to have a profound effect not only in science but also in religion and philosophy.

  4. Groupware requirements evolution patterns

    OpenAIRE

    Pumareja, Dulce Trinidad

    2013-01-01

    Requirements evolution is a generally known problem in software development. Requirements are known to change all throughout a system's lifecycle. Nevertheless, requirements evolution is a poorly understood phenomenon. Most studies on requirements evolution focus on changes to written specifications and on software architecture and design. Usually, the focus is when the software is under development. Little is known about how requirements evolve when software is put into use. Groupware is an ...

  5. Creationism and evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Quintelier, Katinka; Blancke, Stefaan

    2009-01-01

    In Tower of Babel, Robert Pennock wrote that “defenders of evolution would help their case immeasurably if they would reassure their audience that morality, purpose, and meaning are not lost by accepting the truth of evolution.” We first consider the thesis that the creationists’ movement exploits moral concerns to spread its ideas against the theory of evolution. We analyze their arguments and possible reasons why they are easily accepted. Creationists usually empl...

  6. Software architecture evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barais, Olivier; Le Meur, Anne-Francoise; Duchien, Laurence;

    2008-01-01

    Software architectures must frequently evolve to cope with changing requirements, and this evolution often implies integrating new concerns. Unfortunately, when the new concerns are crosscutting, existing architecture description languages provide little or no support for this kind of evolution...... one particular framework named Tran SAT, which addresses the above problems of software architecture evolution. Tran SAT provides a new element in the software architecture descriptions language, called an architectural aspect, for describing new concerns and their integration into an existing...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The emphasis given to evolution in state science standards: A lever for change in evolution education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoog, Gerald; Bilica, Kimberly

    2002-07-01

    This study analyzed the science frameworks of 49 states and the District of Colombia to determine the emphasis given to evolution in these documents at the middle and secondary levels. These concepts were species evolve over time, speciation, diversity of life, descent with modification from common ancestry, evidence of evolution, natural selection, pace and direction of evolution, and human evolution. Collectively, the 50 science frameworks emphasized evolution in a manner that suggests that if the public's support for standards-based curricula is a reality, the study of evolution will be emphasized in an unprecedented manner in the nation's schools in the near future. However, all concepts were not emphasized equally in these documents. For example, human evolution was included in only seven documents. The word evolution is absent from some standards. Despite these negatives, recent actions to improve existing standards or to adopt new standards that emphasize evolution have occurred. The metaphor lever of change is often used in the context of school reform. This metaphor suggests a simple system where one change can result in a desired outcome. However, in classrooms where curriculum decisions evolve constantly, multiple factors interact and reinforce one another in response to both internal and external contingencies that emerge. Educational change can not be reduced to a simple linear cause/effect situation. The change process involved is nonlinear where what goes in is not proportional to what comes out because of feedback loops and other factors that complicate results. This nonlinearity is reflected in the varied responses of teachers to specific contingencies. Yet, systems can be changed and nudged towards a structure where desired outcomes will emerge. Judicial rulings indicating that the teaching of evolution cannot be prohibited or equal time for creationism mandated, improved coverage of evolution in secondary school biology textbooks, the negative

  10. Museums teach evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Judy; Evans, E Margaret

    2007-06-01

    Natural history museums play a significant role in educating the general public about evolution. This article describes Explore Evolution, one of the largest evolution education projects funded by the National Science Foundation. A group of regional museums from the Midwestern United States worked with leading evolutionary scientists to create multiple permanent exhibit galleries and a curriculum book for youth. This program invites the public to experience current evolutionary research on organisms that range in size from HIV to whales. Learning research is being conducted on museum visitors to understand how they reason about evolution and to determine what influences the process of conceptual change.

  11. Clonal Evolution in Multiple Myeloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhri, Bita; Vij, Ravi

    2016-08-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematologic malignancy encountered among patients in the United States. The last decade has seen incremental improvements in the survival of patients with MM. These advances are, to a large extent, attributable to the addition of proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs to the armamentarium of treatment options. The adoption of these drug classes was the result of an empiric research paradigm. However, with the application of next generation sequencing technologies, we are now starting to unravel the genomic landscape of MM. It is hoped that this will allow us to better disentangle the biology of the disease and allow for identification of new therapeutic targets. In this article, we review what we have learned to date about the mutational profile, clonal architecture, and evolution of the disease, and discuss the potential clinical implications of these findings. PMID:27521309

  12. Shaping Robust System through Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2008-01-01

    Biological functions are generated as a result of developmental dynamics that form phenotypes governed by genotypes. The dynamical system for development is shaped through genetic evolution following natural selection based on the fitness of the phenotype. Here we study how this dynamical system is robust to noise during development and to genetic change by mutation. We adopt a simplified transcription regulation network model to govern gene expression, which gives a fitness function. Through simulations of the network that undergoes mutation and selection, we show that a certain level of noise in gene expression is required for the network to acquire both types of robustness. The results reveal how the noise that cells encounter during development shapes any network's robustness, not only to noise but also to mutations. We also establish a relationship between developmental and mutational robustness through phenotypic variances caused by genetic variation and epigenetic noise. A universal relationship betwee...

  13. Synthetic biological networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. BAK-SNEPPEN MODELS FOR THE EVOLUTION OF STRUCTURED KNOWLEDGE

    OpenAIRE

    Piccinini, Livio Clemente; Chang, Ting Fa Margherita; Lepellere, Maria Antonietta; Taverna, Mario; Tubaro, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Scientific knowledge is subject to a twin evolution, since its development towards novelty creates disconnections and inconsistencies, while the need of structure requires order and method so that transmission and comprehension can be ensured. Models of biological evolution can help to understand many social and economical phenomena where the search for optimality is hindered by voluntary or random competition. Bak-Sneppen is one of the most significant models because it balances at best expl...

  15. 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...

  16. Determinants of the rate of protein sequence evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Jianzhi; Yang, Jian-Rong

    2015-01-01

    The rate and mechanism of protein sequence evolution have been central questions in evolutionary biology since the 1960s. Although the rate of protein sequence evolution depends primarily on the level of functional constraint, exactly what constitutes functional constraint has remained unclear. The increasing availability of genomic data has allowed for much needed empirical examinations on the nature of functional constraint. These studies found that the evolutionary rate of a protein is pre...

  17. Evolution of Sex-Ratio in Structured Population Dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Ripoll i Missé, Jordi

    2005-01-01

    In this Thesis we address the study of some non-linear evolution equations (e.g. pde's) modelling the dynamics of sexually-reproducing structured populations, with special emphasis on biological evolution driven by natural selection. The latter is incorporated into the models through the adaptive dynamics, which is a way of describing how the hereditary characteristics of the population evolve. The sex-ratio, defined as the proportion between females and males, is analyzed from the evolutiona...

  18. Grammatical evolution to design fractal curves with a given dimension

    OpenAIRE

    Ortega, Alfonso; Abu Dalhoum, Abdel Latif; Alfonseca, Manuel

    2003-01-01

    Lindenmayer grammars have frequently been applied to represent fractal curves. In this work, the ideas behind grammar evolution are used to automatically generate and evolve Lindenmayer grammars which represent fractal curves with a fractal dimension that approximates a predefined required value. For many dimensions, this is a nontrivial task to be performed manually. The procedure we propose closely parallels biological evolution because it acts through three different levels: a genotype (a ...

  19. A Central Theory of Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S.

    2015-01-01

    The history of physiologic cellular–molecular interrelationships can be traced all the way back to the unicellular state by following the pathway formed by lipids ubiquitously accommodating calcium homeostasis, and its consequent adaptive effects on oxygen uptake by cells, tissues and organs. As a result, a cohesive, mechanistically integrated view of physiology can be formulated by recognizing the continuum comprising conception, development, physiologic homeostasis and death mediated by soluble growth factor signaling. Seeing such seemingly disparate processes as embryogenesis, chronic disease and dying as the gain and subsequent loss of cell–cell signaling provides a novel perspective for physiology and medicine. It is emblematic of the self-organizing, self-referential nature of life, starting from its origins. Such organizing principles obviate the pitfalls of teleologic evolution, conversely providing a way of resolving such seeming dichotomies as holism and reductionism, genotype and phenotype, emergence and contingence, proximate and ultimate causation in evolution, cells and organisms. The proposed approach is scale-free and predictive, offering a Central Theory of Biology. PMID:25911556

  20. The concept of mechanism in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel J

    2012-03-01

    The concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology ('mechanicism'), to the internal workings of a machine-like structure ('machine mechanism'), or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon ('causal mechanism'). In this paper I trace the conceptual evolution of 'mechanism' in the history of biology, and I examine how the three meanings of this term have come to be featured in the philosophy of biology, situating the new 'mechanismic program' in this context. I argue that the leading advocates of the mechanismic program (i.e., Craver, Darden, Bechtel, etc.) inadvertently conflate the different senses of 'mechanism'. Specifically, they all inappropriately endow causal mechanisms with the ontic status of machine mechanisms, and this invariably results in problematic accounts of the role played by mechanism-talk in scientific practice. I suggest that for effective analyses of the concept of mechanism, causal mechanisms need to be distinguished from machine mechanisms, and the new mechanismic program in the philosophy of biology needs to be demarcated from the traditional concerns of mechanistic biology.