WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological evolutionary processes

  1. Improving the reviewing process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grossman, G. D.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available I discuss current issues in reviewing and editorial practices in ecology and evolutionary biology and suggest possible solutions for current problems. The reviewing crisis is unlikely to change unless steps are taken by journals to provide greater inclusiveness and incentives to reviewers. In addition, both journals and institutions should reduce their emphasis on publication numbers (least publishable units and impact factors and focus instead on article synthesis and quality which will require longer publications. Academic and research institutions should consider reviewing manuscripts and editorial positions an important part of a researcher’s professional activities and reward them accordingly. Rewarding reviewers either monetarily or via other incentives such as free journal subscriptions may encourage participation in the reviewing process for both profit and non–profit journals. Reviewer performance will likely be improved by measures that increase inclusiveness, such as sending reviews and decision letters to reviewers. Journals may be able to evaluate the efficacy of their reviewing process by comparing citations of rejected but subsequently published papers with those published within the journal at similar times. Finally, constructive reviews: 1 identify important shortcomings and suggest solutions when possible, 2 distinguish trivial from non–trivial problems, and 3 include editor’s evaluations of the reviews including identification of trivial versus substantive comments (i.e., those that must be addressed.

  2. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Evolutionary Biology Today - The Domain of Evolutionary Biology ... Keywords. Evolution; natural selection; biodiversity; fitness; adaptation. Author Affiliations. Amitabh Joshi1. Evolutionary and Organismal Biology Unit Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research P.Box 6436, Jakkur Bangalore 560 065, India.

  3. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 8; Issue 2. Evolutionary Biology Today - What do Evolutionary Biologists do? Amitabh Joshi. Series Article Volume 8 Issue 2 February 2003 pp 6-18. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  4. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Amitabh Joshi studies and teaches evolutionary genetics and population ecology at the Jawaharlal. Nehru Centre for Advanced. Scientific Research,. Bangalore. His current research interests are in life- history evolution, the evolutionary genetics of biological clocks, and small population and meta population dynamics.

  5. Puzzles in modern biology. II. Language, cancer and the recursive processes of evolutionary innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Steven A

    2016-01-01

    Human language emerged abruptly. Diverse body forms evolved suddenly. Seed-bearing plants spread rapidly. How do complex evolutionary innovations arise so quickly? Resolving alternative claims remains difficult. The great events of the past happened a long time ago. Cancer provides a model to study evolutionary innovation. A tumor must evolve many novel traits to become an aggressive cancer. I use what we know or could study about cancer to describe the key processes of innovation. In general, evolutionary systems form a hierarchy of recursive processes. Those recursive processes determine the rates at which innovations are generated, spread and transmitted. I relate the recursive processes to abrupt evolutionary innovation.

  6. Pseudorandom numbers: evolutionary models in image processing, biology, and nonlinear dynamic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaroslavsky, Leonid P.

    1996-11-01

    We show that one can treat pseudo-random generators, evolutionary models of texture images, iterative local adaptive filters for image restoration and enhancement and growth models in biology and material sciences in a unified way as special cases of dynamic systems with a nonlinear feedback.

  7. Evolutionary developmental biology its roots and characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2011-09-01

    The rise of evolutionary developmental biology was not the progressive isolation and characterization of developmental genes and gene networks. Many obstacles had to be overcome: the idea that all genes were more or less involved in development; the evidence that developmental processes in insects had nothing in common with those of vertebrates. Different lines of research converged toward the creation of evolutionary developmental biology, giving this field of research its present heterogeneity. This does not prevent all those working in the field from sharing the conviction that a precise characterization of evolutionary variations is required to fully understand the evolutionary process. Some evolutionary developmental biologists directly challenge the Modern Synthesis. I propose some ways to reconcile these apparently opposed visions of evolution. The turbulence seen in evolutionary developmental biology reflects the present entry of history into biology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Cancer research meets evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepper, John W; Scott Findlay, C; Kassen, Rees; Spencer, Sabrina L; Maley, Carlo C

    2009-02-01

    There is increasing evidence that Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection provides insights into the etiology and treatment of cancer. On a microscopic scale, neoplastic cells meet the conditions for evolution by Darwinian selection: cell reproduction with heritable variability that affects cell survival and replication. This suggests that, like other areas of biological and biomedical research, Darwinian theory can provide a general framework for understanding many aspects of cancer, including problems of great clinical importance. With the availability of raw molecular data increasing rapidly, this theory may provide guidance in translating data into understanding and progress. Several conceptual and analytical tools from evolutionary biology can be applied to cancer biology. Two clinical problems may benefit most from the application of Darwinian theory: neoplastic progression and acquired therapeutic resistance. The Darwinian theory of cancer has especially profound implications for drug development, both in terms of explaining past difficulties, and pointing the way toward new approaches. Because cancer involves complex evolutionary processes, research should incorporate both tractable (simplified) experimental systems, and also longitudinal observational studies of the evolutionary dynamics of cancer in laboratory animals and in human patients. Cancer biology will require new tools to control the evolution of neoplastic cells.

  9. Methodological problems in evolutionary biology. XII. Against evolutionary ethics.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    vd Steen, W.J.

    1999-01-01

    Evolutionary ethics has recently become popular again. Some of its representatives elaborate new attempts to derive ethics from evolutionary biology. The attempts, like previous ones, fail because they commit the naturalistic fallacy. Premises from evolutionary biology together with normative

  10. What's wrong with evolutionary biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, John J

    2017-01-01

    There have been periodic claims that evolutionary biology needs urgent reform, and this article tries to account for the volume and persistence of this discontent. It is argued that a few inescapable properties of the field make it prone to criticisms of predictable kinds, whether or not the criticisms have any merit. For example, the variety of living things and the complexity of evolution make it easy to generate data that seem revolutionary (e.g. exceptions to well-established generalizations, or neglected factors in evolution), and lead to disappointment with existing explanatory frameworks (with their high levels of abstraction, and limited predictive power). It is then argued that special discontent stems from misunderstandings and dislike of one well-known but atypical research programme: the study of adaptive function, in the tradition of behavioural ecology. To achieve its goals, this research needs distinct tools, often including imaginary agency, and a partial description of the evolutionary process. This invites mistaken charges of narrowness and oversimplification (which come, not least, from researchers in other subfields), and these chime with anxieties about human agency and overall purpose. The article ends by discussing several ways in which calls to reform evolutionary biology actively hinder progress in the field.

  11. Evolutionary cell biology: two origins, one objective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C; Goodson, Holly V; Malik, Harmit S; Pereira-Leal, José B; Roos, David S; Turkewitz, Aaron P; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-12-02

    All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology.

  12. Unity and disunity in evolutionary sciences: process-based analogies open common research avenues for biology and linguistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    List, Johann-Mattis; Pathmanathan, Jananan Sylvestre; Lopez, Philippe; Bapteste, Eric

    2016-08-20

    For a long time biologists and linguists have been noticing surprising similarities between the evolution of life forms and languages. Most of the proposed analogies have been rejected. Some, however, have persisted, and some even turned out to be fruitful, inspiring the transfer of methods and models between biology and linguistics up to today. Most proposed analogies were based on a comparison of the research objects rather than the processes that shaped their evolution. Focusing on process-based analogies, however, has the advantage of minimizing the risk of overstating similarities, while at the same time reflecting the common strategy to use processes to explain the evolution of complexity in both fields. We compared important evolutionary processes in biology and linguistics and identified processes specific to only one of the two disciplines as well as processes which seem to be analogous, potentially reflecting core evolutionary processes. These new process-based analogies support novel methodological transfer, expanding the application range of biological methods to the field of historical linguistics. We illustrate this by showing (i) how methods dealing with incomplete lineage sorting offer an introgression-free framework to analyze highly mosaic word distributions across languages; (ii) how sequence similarity networks can be used to identify composite and borrowed words across different languages; (iii) how research on partial homology can inspire new methods and models in both fields; and (iv) how constructive neutral evolution provides an original framework for analyzing convergent evolution in languages resulting from common descent (Sapir's drift). Apart from new analogies between evolutionary processes, we also identified processes which are specific to either biology or linguistics. This shows that general evolution cannot be studied from within one discipline alone. In order to get a full picture of evolution, biologists and linguists need to

  13. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We are delighted to bring to the readers, a set of peer-reviewed papers on evolutionary biology, published as a special issue of the Journal of Genetics. These papers emanated from ruminations upon and discussions at the Foundations of. Evolutionary Theory: the Ongoing Synthesis meeting at Coorg, India, in February ...

  14. Evolutionary Biology Research in India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India. Information and Announcements Volume 5 Issue 10 October 2000 pp 102-104. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/10/0102-0104 ...

  15. Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 10; Issue 7. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology. Renee M Borges. General Article Volume 10 Issue 7 July 2005 pp 21-33. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  16. Evolutionary Biology Research in India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India. Information and Announcements Volume 5 Issue 10 October 2000 pp 102-104. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/10/0102-0104 ...

  17. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-01-11

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

  18. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology are transforming our understanding of cancer. The articles in this special issue provide many specific examples, such as microorganisms inducing cancers, the significance of within-tumor heterogeneity, and the possibility that lower dose chemotherapy may sometimes promote longer survival. Underlying these specific advances is a large-scale transformation, as cancer research incorporates evolutionary methods into its toolkit, and asks new evolutionary questions about why we are vulnerable to cancer. Evolution explains why cancer exists at all, how neoplasms grow, why cancer is remarkably rare, and why it occurs despite powerful cancer suppression mechanisms. Cancer exists because of somatic selection; mutations in somatic cells result in some dividing faster than others, in some cases generating neoplasms. Neoplasms grow, or do not, in complex cellular ecosystems. Cancer is relatively rare because of natural selection; our genomes were derived disproportionally from individuals with effective mechanisms for suppressing cancer. Cancer occurs nonetheless for the same six evolutionary reasons that explain why we remain vulnerable to other diseases. These four principles-cancers evolve by somatic selection, neoplasms grow in complex ecosystems, natural selection has shaped powerful cancer defenses, and the limitations of those defenses have evolutionary explanations-provide a foundation for understanding, preventing, and treating cancer.

  19. Toward an integration of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Blake; Narwani, Anita; Hausch, Stephen; Nonaka, Etsuko; Peter, Hannes; Yamamichi, Masato; Sullam, Karen E; Bird, Kali C; Thomas, Mridul K; Hanley, Torrance C; Turner, Caroline B

    2011-07-01

    At present, the disciplines of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science are weakly integrated. As a result, we have a poor understanding of how the ecological and evolutionary processes that create, maintain, and change biological diversity affect the flux of energy and materials in global biogeochemical cycles. The goal of this article was to review several research fields at the interfaces between ecosystem science, community ecology and evolutionary biology, and suggest new ways to integrate evolutionary biology and ecosystem science. In particular, we focus on how phenotypic evolution by natural selection can influence ecosystem functions by affecting processes at the environmental, population and community scale of ecosystem organization. We develop an eco-evolutionary model to illustrate linkages between evolutionary change (e.g. phenotypic evolution of producer), ecological interactions (e.g. consumer grazing) and ecosystem processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). We conclude by proposing experiments to test the ecosystem consequences of evolutionary changes. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Evolutionary biology and life histories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown, C. R.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The demographic processes that drive the spread of populations through environments and in turn determine the abundance of organisms are the same demographic processes that drive the spread of genes through populations and in turn determine gene frequencies and fitness. Conceptually, marked similarities exist in the dynamic processes underlying population ecology and those underlying evolutionary biology. Central to an understanding of both disciplines is life history and its component demographic rates, such as survival, fecundity, and age of first breeding, and biologists from both fields have a vested interest in good analytical machinery for the estimation and analysis of these demographic rates. In the EURING conferences, we have been striving since the mid 1980s to promote a quantitative understanding of demographic rates through interdisciplinary collaboration between ecologists and statisticians. From the ecological side, the principal impetus has come from population biology, and in particular from wildlife biology, but the importance of good quantitative insights into demographic processes has long been recognized by a number of evolutionary biologists (e.g., Nichols & Kendall, 1995; Clobert, 1995; Cooch et al., 2002. In organizing this session, we have aimed to create a forum for those committed to gaining the best possible understanding of evolutionary processes through the application of modern quantitative methods for the collection and interpretation of data on marked animal populations. Here we present a short overview of the material presented in the session on evolutionary biology and life histories. In a plenary talk, Brown & Brown (2004 explored how mark–recapture methods have allowed a better understanding of the evolution of group–living and alternative reproductive tactics in colonial cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota. By estimating the number of transient birds passing through colonies of different sizes, they

  1. Evolutionary Biology Needs Wild Microbiomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hird, Sarah M

    2017-01-01

    The microbiome is a vital component to the evolution of a host and much of what we know about the microbiome derives from studies on humans and captive animals. But captivity alters the microbiome and mammals have unique biological adaptations that affect their microbiomes (e.g., milk). Birds represent over 30% of known tetrapod diversity and possess their own suite of adaptations relevant to the microbiome. In a previous study, we showed that 59 species of birds displayed immense variation in their microbiomes and host (bird) taxonomy and ecology were most correlated with the gut microbiome. In this Frontiers Focused Review, I put those results in a broader context by discussing how collecting and analyzing wild microbiomes contributes to the main goals of evolutionary biology and the specific ways that birds are unique microbial hosts. Finally, I outline some of the methodological considerations for adding microbiome sampling to the research of wild animals and urge researchers to do so. To truly understand the evolution of a host, we need to understand the millions of microorganisms that inhabit it as well: evolutionary biology needs wild microbiomes.

  2. Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Auctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Krishnendu; Reiter, Johannes G.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2011-01-01

    Many scenarios in the living world, where individual organisms compete for winning positions (or resources), have properties of auctions. Here we study the evolution of bids in biological auctions. For each auction n individuals are drawn at random from a population of size N. Each individual makes a bid which entails a cost. The winner obtains a benefit of a certain value. Costs and benefits are translated into reproductive success (fitness). Therefore, successful bidding strategies spread in the population. We compare two types of auctions. In “biological all-pay auctions” the costs are the bid for every participating individual. In “biological second price all-pay auctions” the cost for everyone other than the winner is the bid, but the cost for the winner is the second highest bid. Second price all-pay auctions are generalizations of the “war of attrition” introduced by Maynard Smith. We study evolutionary dynamics in both types of auctions. We calculate pairwise invasion plots and evolutionarily stable distributions over the continuous strategy space. We find that the average bid in second price all-pay auctions is higher than in all-pay auctions, but the average cost for the winner is similar in both auctions. In both cases the average bid is a declining function of the number of participants, n. The more individuals participate in an auction the smaller is the chance of winning, and thus expensive bids must be avoided. PMID:22120126

  4. Evolutionary Biology in the Medical School Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neese, Randolph M.; Schiffman, Joshua D.

    2003-01-01

    Presents a study in which a questionnaire was given to deans at North American medical schools to determine which aspects of evolutionary biology are included in the curricula and the factors that influence this. Suggests that most future physicians should learn evolutionary biology as undergraduates if they are to learn it at all. (Author/NB)

  5. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W; Kendal, Jeremy

    2009-08-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, "niche construction". This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.

  6. A Philosophical Perspective on Evolutionary Systems Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A; Soyer, Orkun S; Siegal, Mark L

    2015-03-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is an emerging hybrid approach that integrates methods, models, and data from evolutionary and systems biology. Drawing on themes that arose at a cross-disciplinary meeting on ESB in 2013, we discuss in detail some of the explanatory friction that arises in the interaction between evolutionary and systems biology. These tensions appear because of different modeling approaches, diverse explanatory aims and strategies, and divergent views about the scope of the evolutionary synthesis. We locate these discussions in the context of long-running philosophical deliberations on explanation, modeling, and theoretical synthesis. We show how many of the issues central to ESB's progress can be understood as general philosophical problems. The benefits of addressing these philosophical issues feed back into philosophy too, because ESB provides excellent examples of scientific practice for the development of philosophy of science and philosophy of biology.

  7. Evolutionary Processes and Mental Deficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitz, Herman H.

    1973-01-01

    The author hypothesizes that central nervous system damage of deficiency associated with mental retardation affects primarily those cortical processes which developed at a late stage in man's evolutionary history. (Author)

  8. Democratizing evolutionary biology, lessons from insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dunn, Robert Roberdeau; Beasley, DeAnna E.

    2016-01-01

    The engagement of the public in the scientific process is an old practice. Yet with recent advances in technology, the role of the citizen scientist in studying evolutionary processes has increased. Insects provide ideal models for understanding these evolutionary processes at large scales...

  9. Evolutionary patterns and processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leonardi, Michela; Sanz, Pablo Librado; Der Sarkissian, Clio

    2017-01-01

    Ever since its emergence in 1984, the field of ancient DNA has struggled to overcome the challenges related to the decay of DNA molecules in the fossil record. With the recent development of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies and molecular techniques tailored to ultra-damaged templates......, it has now come of age, merging together approaches in phylogenomics, population genomics, epigenomics, and metagenomics. Leveraging on complete temporal sample series, ancient DNA provides direct access to the most important dimension in evolution-time, allowing a wealth of fundamental evolutionary...

  10. Genomes, Phylogeny, and Evolutionary Systems Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medina, Monica

    2005-03-25

    With the completion of the human genome and the growing number of diverse genomes being sequenced, a new age of evolutionary research is currently taking shape. The myriad of technological breakthroughs in biology that are leading to the unification of broad scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science are now known as systems biology. Here I present an overview, with an emphasis on eukaryotes, of how the postgenomics era is adopting comparative approaches that go beyond comparisons among model organisms to shape the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology.

  11. A framework for evolutionary systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewe, Laurence

    2009-02-24

    Many difficult problems in evolutionary genomics are related to mutations that have weak effects on fitness, as the consequences of mutations with large effects are often simple to predict. Current systems biology has accumulated much data on mutations with large effects and can predict the properties of knockout mutants in some systems. However experimental methods are too insensitive to observe small effects. Here I propose a novel framework that brings together evolutionary theory and current systems biology approaches in order to quantify small effects of mutations and their epistatic interactions in silico. Central to this approach is the definition of fitness correlates that can be computed in some current systems biology models employing the rigorous algorithms that are at the core of much work in computational systems biology. The framework exploits synergies between the realism of such models and the need to understand real systems in evolutionary theory. This framework can address many longstanding topics in evolutionary biology by defining various 'levels' of the adaptive landscape. Addressed topics include the distribution of mutational effects on fitness, as well as the nature of advantageous mutations, epistasis and robustness. Combining corresponding parameter estimates with population genetics models raises the possibility of testing evolutionary hypotheses at a new level of realism. EvoSysBio is expected to lead to a more detailed understanding of the fundamental principles of life by combining knowledge about well-known biological systems from several disciplines. This will benefit both evolutionary theory and current systems biology. Understanding robustness by analysing distributions of mutational effects and epistasis is pivotal for drug design, cancer research, responsible genetic engineering in synthetic biology and many other practical applications.

  12. Evolutionary Biology Instruction: What Students Gain from Learning through Inquiry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dremock, Fae, Ed.

    2002-01-01

    This bulletin features articles on real world evolutionary biology, revolutionary classroom science, a review of new curricula in evolutionary biology, and the use of case studies to illustrate points in evolutionary biology. The articles are: (1) "'Real World' Evolutionary Biology: A Pragmatic Quest. Interview with BioQUEST's John Jungck" (Harvey…

  13. Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giribet, Gonzalo; Sharma, Prashant P

    2015-01-07

    Opiliones are one of the largest arachnid orders, with more than 6,500 species in 50 families. Many of these families have been erected or reorganized in the last few years since the publication of The Biology of Opiliones. Recent years have also seen an explosion in phylogenetic work on Opiliones, as well as in studies using Opiliones as test cases to address biogeographic and evolutionary questions more broadly. Accelerated activity in the study of Opiliones evolution has been facilitated by the discovery of several key fossils, including the oldest known Opiliones fossil, which represents a new, extinct suborder. Study of the group's biology has also benefited from rapid accrual of genomic resources, particularly with respect to transcriptomes and functional genetic tools. The rapid emergence and utility of Phalangium opilio as a model for evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods serve as demonstrative evidence of a new area of study in Opiliones biology, made possible through transcriptomic data.

  14. Evolutionary Biology: Its Value to Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, Hampton L.

    1972-01-01

    Cites examples of the contribution of basic research in evolutionary biology to the solution of problems facing society (1) by dispelling myths about human origins, the nature of the individual, and the nature of race (2) by providing basic data concerning the effects of overpopulation, the production of improved sources of food, resistance of…

  15. Evolutionary problems in centrosome and centriole biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, L; Normark, B B

    2015-05-01

    Centrosomes have been an enigma to evolutionary biologists. Either they have been the subject of ill-founded speculation or they have been ignored. Here, we highlight evolutionary paradoxes and problems of centrosome and centriole evolution and seek to understand them in the light of recent advances in centrosome biology. Most evolutionary accounts of centrosome evolution have been based on the hypothesis that centrosomes are replicators, independent of the nucleus and cytoplasm. It is now clear, however, that this hypothesis is not tenable. Instead, centrosomes are formed de novo each cell division, with the presence of an old centrosome regulating, but not essential for, the assembly of a new one. Centrosomes are the microtubule-organizing centres of cells. They can potentially affect sensory and motor characters (as the basal body of cilia), as well as the movements of chromosomes during cell division. This latter role does not seem essential, however, except in male meiosis, and the reasons for this remain unclear. Although the centrosome is absent in some taxa, when it is present, its structure is extraordinarily conserved: in most taxa across eukaryotes, it does not appear to evolve at all. And yet a few insect groups display spectacular hypertrophy of the centrioles. We discuss how this might relate to the unusual reproductive system found in these insects. Finally, we discuss why the fate of centrosomes in sperm and early embryos might differ between different groups of animals. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  16. Democratizing evolutionary biology, lessons from insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Robert R; Beasley, DeAnna E

    2016-12-01

    The engagement of the public in the scientific process is an old practice. Yet with recent advances in technology, the role of the citizen scientist in studying evolutionary processes has increased. Insects provide ideal models for understanding these evolutionary processes at large scales. This review highlights how insect-based citizen science has led to the expansion of specimen collections and reframed research questions in light of new observations and unexpected discoveries. Given the rapid expansion of human-modified (and inhabited) environments, the degree to which the public can participate in insect-based citizen science will allow us to track and monitor evolutionary trends at a global scale. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Accelerating Bayesian inference for evolutionary biology models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Xavier; Chopard, Bastien; Salamin, Nicolas

    2017-03-01

    Bayesian inference is widely used nowadays and relies largely on Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. Evolutionary biology has greatly benefited from the developments of MCMC methods, but the design of more complex and realistic models and the ever growing availability of novel data is pushing the limits of the current use of these methods. We present a parallel Metropolis-Hastings (M-H) framework built with a novel combination of enhancements aimed towards parameter-rich and complex models. We show on a parameter-rich macroevolutionary model increases of the sampling speed up to 35 times with 32 processors when compared to a sequential M-H process. More importantly, our framework achieves up to a twentyfold faster convergence to estimate the posterior probability of phylogenetic trees using 32 processors when compared to the well-known software MrBayes for Bayesian inference of phylogenetic trees. https://bitbucket.org/XavMeyer/hogan. nicolas.salamin@unil.ch. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  18. Social traits, social networks and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, D N; McAdam, A G

    2017-12-01

    effects) provides the potential to understand how entire networks of social interactions in populations influence phenotypes and predict how these traits may evolve. By theoretical integration of social network analysis and quantitative genetics, we hope to identify areas of compatibility and incompatibility and to direct research efforts towards the most promising areas. Continuing this synthesis could provide important insights into the evolution of traits expressed in a social context and the evolutionary consequences of complex and nuanced social phenotypes. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Scott P.; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Denison, R. Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Tabashnik, Bruce E.

    2014-01-01

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens and pests that evolve too quickly, and the second from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution, or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. PMID:25213376

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-26

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

  1. Indoor Thermal Comfort, an Evolutionary Biology Perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stoops, John L.

    2006-04-15

    As is becoming increasingly clear, the human species evolvedin the East African savannah. Details of the precise evolutionary chainremain unresolved however it appears that the process lasted severalmillion years, culminating with the emergence of modern Homo sapiensroughly 200,000 years ago. Following that final evolutionary developmentmodern Homo sapiens relatively quickly populated the entire world.Clearly modern Homo sapiens is a successful, resourceful and adaptablespecies. In the developed societies, modern humans live an existence farremoved from our evolutionary ancestors. As we have learned over the lastcentury, this "new" lifestyle can often result in unintendedconsequences. Clearly, our modern access to food, shelter, transportationand healthcare has resulted in greatly expanded expected lifespan butthis new lifestyle can also result in the emergence of different kinds ofdiseases and health problems. The environment in modern buildings haslittle resemblance to the environment of the savannah. We strive tocreate environments with little temperature, air movement and lightvariation. Building occupants often express great dissatisfaction withthese modern created environments and a significant fraction even developsomething akin to allergies to specific buildings (sick buildingsyndrome). Are the indoor environments we are creating fundamentallyunhealthy -- when examined from an evolutionary perspective?

  2. An extended synthesis for evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2009-06-01

    Evolutionary theory is undergoing an intense period of discussion and reevaluation. This, contrary to the misleading claims of creationists and other pseudoscientists, is no harbinger of a crisis but rather the opposite: the field is expanding dramatically in terms of both empirical discoveries and new ideas. In this essay I briefly trace the conceptual history of evolutionary theory from Darwinism to neo-Darwinism, and from the Modern Synthesis to what I refer to as the Extended Synthesis, a more inclusive conceptual framework containing among others evo-devo, an expanded theory of heredity, elements of complexity theory, ideas about evolvability, and a reevaluation of levels of selection. I argue that evolutionary biology has never seen a paradigm shift, in the philosophical sense of the term, except when it moved from natural theology to empirical science in the middle of the 19th century. The Extended Synthesis, accordingly, is an expansion of the Modern Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, and one that--like its predecessor--will probably take decades to complete.

  3. Evolutionary biology through the lens of budding yeast comparative genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsit, Souhir; Leducq, Jean-Baptiste; Durand, Éléonore; Marchant, Axelle; Filteau, Marie; Landry, Christian R

    2017-10-01

    The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a highly advanced model system for studying genetics, cell biology and systems biology. Over the past decade, the application of high-throughput sequencing technologies to this species has contributed to this yeast also becoming an important model for evolutionary genomics. Indeed, comparative genomic analyses of laboratory, wild and domesticated yeast populations are providing unprecedented detail about many of the processes that govern evolution, including long-term processes, such as reproductive isolation and speciation, and short-term processes, such as adaptation to natural and domestication-related environments.

  4. Entrepreneurs and Evolutionary Biology: The Relationship between Testosterone and New Venture Creation

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Roderick E.; Thornhill, Stewart; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2006-01-01

    Biological evolutionary processes select for heritable behaviors providing a survival and reproductive advantage. Accordingly, how we behave is, at least in part, affected by the evolutionary history of our species. This research uses evolutionary psychology as the theoretical perspective for exploring the relationship between a heritable…

  5. Colour spaces in ecology and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renoult, Julien P; Kelber, Almut; Schaefer, H Martin

    2017-02-01

    The recognition that animals sense the world in a different way than we do has unlocked important lines of research in ecology and evolutionary biology. In practice, the subjective study of natural stimuli has been permitted by perceptual spaces, which are graphical models of how stimuli are perceived by a given animal. Because colour vision is arguably the best-known sensory modality in most animals, a diversity of colour spaces are now available to visual ecologists, ranging from generalist and basic models allowing rough but robust predictions on colour perception, to species-specific, more complex models giving accurate but context-dependent predictions. Selecting among these models is most often influenced by historical contingencies that have associated models to specific questions and organisms; however, these associations are not always optimal. The aim of this review is to provide visual ecologists with a critical perspective on how models of colour space are built, how well they perform and where their main limitations are with regard to their most frequent uses in ecology and evolutionary biology. We propose a classification of models based on their complexity, defined as whether and how they model the mechanisms of chromatic adaptation and receptor opponency, the nonlinear association between the stimulus and its perception, and whether or not models have been fitted to experimental data. Then, we review the effect of modelling these mechanisms on predictions of colour detection and discrimination, colour conspicuousness, colour diversity and diversification, and for comparing the perception of colour traits between distinct perceivers. While a few rules emerge (e.g. opponent log-linear models should be preferred when analysing very distinct colours), in general model parameters still have poorly known effects. Colour spaces have nonetheless permitted significant advances in ecology and evolutionary biology, and more progress is expected if ecologists

  6. Evolutionary explanations for natural language: criteria from evolutionary biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuidema, W.; de Boer, B.

    2008-01-01

    Theories of the evolutionary origins of language must be informed by empirical and theoretical results from a variety of different fields. Complementing recent surveys of relevant work from linguistics, animal behaviour and genetics, this paper surveys the requirements on evolutionary scenarios that

  7. Can An Evolutionary Process Create English Text?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, David H.

    2008-10-29

    Critics of the conventional theory of biological evolution have asserted that while natural processes might result in some limited diversity, nothing fundamentally new can arise from 'random' evolution. In response, biologists such as Richard Dawkins have demonstrated that a computer program can generate a specific short phrase via evolution-like iterations starting with random gibberish. While such demonstrations are intriguing, they are flawed in that they have a fixed, pre-specified future target, whereas in real biological evolution there is no fixed future target, but only a complicated 'fitness landscape'. In this study, a significantly more sophisticated evolutionary scheme is employed to produce text segments reminiscent of a Charles Dickens novel. The aggregate size of these segments is larger than the computer program and the input Dickens text, even when comparing compressed data (as a measure of information content).

  8. The Best and the Worst of Times for Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avise, John C.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses opportunities and challenges for the field of evolutionary biology, particularly in areas related to molecular genetic technologies, the environment, biodiversity, and public education. (Author/KHR)

  9. The State of Software for Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darriba, Diego; Flouri, Tomáš; Stamatakis, Alexandros

    2018-05-01

    With Next Generation Sequencing data being routinely used, evolutionary biology is transforming into a computational science. Thus, researchers have to rely on a growing number of increasingly complex software. All widely used core tools in the field have grown considerably, in terms of the number of features as well as lines of code and consequently, also with respect to software complexity. A topic that has received little attention is the software engineering quality of widely used core analysis tools. Software developers appear to rarely assess the quality of their code, and this can have potential negative consequences for end-users. To this end, we assessed the code quality of 16 highly cited and compute-intensive tools mainly written in C/C++ (e.g., MrBayes, MAFFT, SweepFinder, etc.) and JAVA (BEAST) from the broader area of evolutionary biology that are being routinely used in current data analysis pipelines. Because, the software engineering quality of the tools we analyzed is rather unsatisfying, we provide a list of best practices for improving the quality of existing tools and list techniques that can be deployed for developing reliable, high quality scientific software from scratch. Finally, we also discuss journal as well as science policy and, more importantly, funding issues that need to be addressed for improving software engineering quality as well as ensuring support for developing new and maintaining existing software. Our intention is to raise the awareness of the community regarding software engineering quality issues and to emphasize the substantial lack of funding for scientific software development.

  10. [Evolutionary medicine: an introduction. Evolutionary biology, a missing element in medical teaching].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swynghedauw, Bernard

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this brief review article is to help to reconcile medicine with evolutionary biology, a subject that should be taught in medical school. Evolutionary medicine takes the view that contemporary ills are related to an incompatibility between the environment in which humans currently live and their genomes, which have been shaped by diferent environmental conditions during biological evolution. Human activity has recently induced acute environmental modifications that have profoundly changed the medical landscape. Evolutionary biology is an irreversible, ongoing and discontinuous process characterized by periods of stasis followed by accelerations. Evolutionary biology is determined by genetic mutations, which are selected either by Darwinian selective pressure or randomly by genetic drift. Most medical events result from a genome/environment conflict. Some may be purely genetic, as in monogenic diseases, and others purely environmental, such as traffic accidents. Nevertheless, in most common diseases the clinical landscape is determined by the conflict between these two factors, the genetic elements of which are gradually being unraveled Three examples are examined in depth:--The medical consequences of the greenhouse effect. The absence of excess mortality during recent heat waves suggests that the main determinant of mortality in the 2003 heatwave was heatstroke and old age. The projected long-term effects of global warming call for research on thermolysis, a forgotten branch of physiology.--The hygiene hypothesis postulates that the exponential rise in autoimmune and allergic diseases is linked to lesser exposure to infectious agents, possibly involving counter-regulatory factors such as IL-10.--The recent rise in the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in rich countries can be considered to result from a conflict between a calorie-rich environment and gene variants that control appetite. These variants are currently being identified by genome

  11. The Experimental Study of Bacterial Evolution and Its Implications for the Modern Synthesis of Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A

    2017-10-04

    Since the 1940s, microbiologists, biochemists and population geneticists have experimented with the genetic mechanisms of microorganisms in order to investigate evolutionary processes. These evolutionary studies of bacteria and other microorganisms gained some recognition from the standard-bearers of the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology, especially Theodosius Dobzhansky and Ledyard Stebbins. A further period of post-synthesis bacterial evolutionary research occurred between the 1950s and 1980s. These experimental analyses focused on the evolution of population and genetic structure, the adaptive gain of new functions, and the evolutionary consequences of competition dynamics. This large body of research aimed to make evolutionary theory testable and predictive, by giving it mechanistic underpinnings. Although evolutionary microbiologists promoted bacterial experiments as methodologically advantageous and a source of general insight into evolution, they also acknowledged the biological differences of bacteria. My historical overview concludes with reflections on what bacterial evolutionary research achieved in this period, and its implications for the still-developing modern synthesis.

  12. Evolutionary optimization of production materials workflow processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herbert, Luke Thomas; Hansen, Zaza Nadja Lee; Jacobsen, Peter

    2014-01-01

    We present an evolutionary optimisation technique for stochastic production processes, which is able to find improved production materials workflow processes with respect to arbitrary combinations of numerical quantities associated with the production process. Working from a core fragment...

  13. Evolutionary biology of bacterial and fungal pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cassell, Gail H; Gutierrez-Fuentes, Jose A; Barquero, Fernando; Nombela, Cesar

    2008-01-01

    ... and Evolutionary Dynamics of Pathogens * 21 Keith A. Crandall and Marcos Pérez-Losada II. Evolutionary Genetics of Microbial Pathogens 4. Environmental and Social Influences on Infectious Disea...

  14. Evolutionary biology today and the call for an extended synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futuyma, Douglas J

    2017-10-06

    Evolutionary theory has been extended almost continually since the evolutionary synthesis (ES), but except for the much greater importance afforded genetic drift, the principal tenets of the ES have been strongly supported. Adaptations are attributable to the sorting of genetic variation by natural selection, which remains the only known cause of increase in fitness. Mutations are not adaptively directed, but as principal authors of the ES recognized, the material (structural) bases of biochemistry and development affect the variety of phenotypic variations that arise by mutation and recombination. Against this historical background, I analyse major propositions in the movement for an 'extended evolutionary synthesis'. 'Niche construction' is a new label for a wide variety of well-known phenomena, many of which have been extensively studied, but (as with every topic in evolutionary biology) some aspects may have been understudied. There is no reason to consider it a neglected 'process' of evolution. The proposition that phenotypic plasticity may engender new adaptive phenotypes that are later genetically assimilated or accommodated is theoretically plausible; it may be most likely when the new phenotype is not truly novel, but is instead a slight extension of a reaction norm already shaped by natural selection in similar environments. However, evolution in new environments often compensates for maladaptive plastic phenotypic responses. The union of population genetic theory with mechanistic understanding of developmental processes enables more complete understanding by joining ultimate and proximate causation; but the latter does not replace or invalidate the former. Newly discovered molecular phenomena have been easily accommodated in the past by elaborating orthodox evolutionary theory, and it appears that the same holds today for phenomena such as epigenetic inheritance. In several of these areas, empirical evidence is needed to evaluate enthusiastic speculation

  15. A Modeling Approach to Teaching Evolutionary Biology in High Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, Jim

    2002-01-01

    Describes the commitments and research that went into the design of a 9-week high school course in evolutionary biology designed to bring students to an understanding of the practice of evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using one of the discipline's most important explanatory models. (Contains 39 references.)…

  16. Evolutionary Ideas Held by Experienced South African Biology Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyriacou, Xenia; de Beer, Josef; Ramnarain, Umesh

    2015-01-01

    With evolutionary biology relatively recently introduced into the South African school curriculum, the need arose to explore practising teachers' knowledge of the subject. A number of anticipated as well as unanticipated cognitive and affective barriers to the understanding of evolutionary biology were identified from a questionnaire with…

  17. What have humans done for evolutionary biology? Contributions from genes to populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briga, Michael; Griffin, Robert M; Berger, Vérane; Pettay, Jenni E; Lummaa, Virpi

    2017-11-15

    Many fundamental concepts in evolutionary biology were discovered using non-human study systems. Humans are poorly suited to key study designs used to advance this field, and are subject to cultural, technological, and medical influences often considered to restrict the pertinence of human studies to other species and general contexts. Whether studies using current and recent human populations provide insights that have broader biological relevance in evolutionary biology is, therefore, frequently questioned. We first surveyed researchers in evolutionary biology and related fields on their opinions regarding whether studies on contemporary humans can advance evolutionary biology. Almost all 442 participants agreed that humans still evolve, but fewer agreed that this occurs through natural selection. Most agreed that human studies made valuable contributions to evolutionary biology, although those less exposed to human studies expressed more negative views. With a series of examples, we discuss strengths and limitations of evolutionary studies on contemporary humans. These show that human studies provide fundamental insights into evolutionary processes, improve understanding of the biology of many other species, and will make valuable contributions to evolutionary biology in the future. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Toward a unifying framework for evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paixão, Tiago; Badkobeh, Golnaz; Barton, Nick; Çörüş, Doğan; Dang, Duc-Cuong; Friedrich, Tobias; Lehre, Per Kristian; Sudholt, Dirk; Sutton, Andrew M; Trubenová, Barbora

    2015-10-21

    The theory of population genetics and evolutionary computation have been evolving separately for nearly 30 years. Many results have been independently obtained in both fields and many others are unique to its respective field. We aim to bridge this gap by developing a unifying framework for evolutionary processes that allows both evolutionary algorithms and population genetics models to be cast in the same formal framework. The framework we present here decomposes the evolutionary process into its several components in order to facilitate the identification of similarities between different models. In particular, we propose a classification of evolutionary operators based on the defining properties of the different components. We cast several commonly used operators from both fields into this common framework. Using this, we map different evolutionary and genetic algorithms to different evolutionary regimes and identify candidates with the most potential for the translation of results between the fields. This provides a unified description of evolutionary processes and represents a stepping stone towards new tools and results to both fields. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Michael Akam and the rise of evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, David L; Dawes-Hoang, Rachel E

    2010-01-01

    Michael Akam has been awarded the 2007 Kowalevsky medal for his many research accomplishments in the area of evolutionary developmental biology. We highlight three tributaries of Michaels contribution to evolutionary developmental biology. First, he has made major contributions to our understanding of development of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Second, he has maintained a consistent focus on several key problems in evolutionary developmental biology, including the evolving role of Hox genes in arthropods and, more recently, the evolution of segmentation mechanisms. Third, Michael has written a series of influential reviews that have integrated progress in developmental biology into an evolutionary perspective. Michael has also made a large impact on the field through his effective mentorship style, his selfless promotion of younger colleagues, and his leadership of the University Museum of Zoology at Cambridge and the European community of evolutionary developmental biologists.

  20. The use of information theory in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adami, Christoph

    2012-05-01

    Information is a key concept in evolutionary biology. Information stored in a biological organism's genome is used to generate the organism and to maintain and control it. Information is also that which evolves. When a population adapts to a local environment, information about this environment is fixed in a representative genome. However, when an environment changes, information can be lost. At the same time, information is processed by animal brains to survive in complex environments, and the capacity for information processing also evolves. Here, I review applications of information theory to the evolution of proteins and to the evolution of information processing in simulated agents that adapt to perform a complex task. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  1. Driving developmental and evolutionary change: A systems biology view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bard, Jonathan

    2013-04-01

    Embryonic development is underpinned by ∼50 core processes that drive morphogenesis, growth, patterning and differentiation, and each is the functional output of a complex molecular network. Processes are thus the natural and parsimonious link between genotype and phenotype and the obvious focus for any discussion of biological change. Here, the implications of this approach are explored. One is that many features of developmental change can be modeled as mathematical graphs, or sets of connected triplets of the general form . In these, the verbs (edges) are the outputs of the processes that drive change and the nouns (nodes) are the time-dependent states of biological entities (from molecules to tissues). Such graphs help unpick the multi-level complexity of developmental phenomena and may help suggest new experiments. Another comes from analyzing the effect of mutation that lead to tinkering with the dynamic properties of these processes and to congenital abnormalities; if these changes are both inherited and advantageous, they become evolutionary modifications. In this context, protein networks often represents what classical evolutionary genetics sees as genes, and the realization that traits reflect the output processes of complex networks, particularly for growth, patterning and pigmentation, rather than anything simpler clarifies some problems that the evolutionary synthesis of the 1950s has found hard to solve. In the wider context, most processes are used many times in development and cooperate to produce tissue modules (bones, branching duct systems, muscles etc.). Their underlying generative networks can thus be thought of as genomic modules or subroutines. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Evolutionary biology in biodiversity science, conservation, and policy: a call to action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Lohmann, Lúcia G; Conti, Elena; Cracraft, Joel; Crandall, Keith A; Faith, Daniel P; Häuser, Christoph; Joly, Carlos A; Kogure, Kazuhiro; Larigauderie, Anne; Magallón, Susana; Moritz, Craig; Tillier, Simon; Zardoya, Rafael; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Walther, Bruno A; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Donoghue, Michael J

    2010-05-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long endeavored to document how many species exist on Earth, to understand the processes by which biodiversity waxes and wanes, to document and interpret spatial patterns of biodiversity, and to infer evolutionary relationships. Despite the great potential of this knowledge to improve biodiversity science, conservation, and policy, evolutionary biologists have generally devoted limited attention to these broader implications. Likewise, many workers in biodiversity science have underappreciated the fundamental relevance of evolutionary biology. The aim of this article is to summarize and illustrate some ways in which evolutionary biology is directly relevant. We do so in the context of four broad areas: (1) discovering and documenting biodiversity, (2) understanding the causes of diversification, (3) evaluating evolutionary responses to human disturbances, and (4) implications for ecological communities, ecosystems, and humans. We also introduce bioGENESIS, a new project within DIVERSITAS launched to explore the potential practical contributions of evolutionary biology. In addition to fostering the integration of evolutionary thinking into biodiversity science, bioGENESIS provides practical recommendations to policy makers for incorporating evolutionary perspectives into biodiversity agendas and conservation. We solicit your involvement in developing innovative ways of using evolutionary biology to better comprehend and stem the loss of biodiversity.

  3. Biological causal links on physiological and evolutionary time scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2016-04-26

    Correlation does not imply causation. If two variables, say A and B, are correlated, it could be because A causes B, or that B causes A, or because a third factor affects them both. We suggest that in many cases in biology, the causal link might be bi-directional: A causes B through a fast-acting physiological process, while B causes A through a slowly accumulating evolutionary process. Furthermore, many trained biologists tend to consistently focus at first on the fast-acting direction, and overlook the slower process in the opposite direction. We analyse several examples from modern biology that demonstrate this bias (codon usage optimality and gene expression, gene duplication and genetic dispensability, stem cell division and cancer risk, and the microbiome and host metabolism) and also discuss an example from linguistics. These examples demonstrate mutual effects between the fast physiological processes and the slow evolutionary ones. We believe that building awareness of inference biases among biologists who tend to prefer one causal direction over another could improve scientific reasoning.

  4. Evolutionary Connectionism: Algorithmic Principles Underlying the Evolution of Biological Organisation in Evo-Devo, Evo-Eco and Evolutionary Transitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Richard A; Mills, Rob; Buckley, C L; Kouvaris, Kostas; Jackson, Adam; Powers, Simon T; Cox, Chris; Tudge, Simon; Davies, Adam; Kounios, Loizos; Power, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms of variation, selection and inheritance, on which evolution by natural selection depends, are not fixed over evolutionary time. Current evolutionary biology is increasingly focussed on understanding how the evolution of developmental organisations modifies the distribution of phenotypic variation, the evolution of ecological relationships modifies the selective environment, and the evolution of reproductive relationships modifies the heritability of the evolutionary unit. The major transitions in evolution, in particular, involve radical changes in developmental, ecological and reproductive organisations that instantiate variation, selection and inheritance at a higher level of biological organisation. However, current evolutionary theory is poorly equipped to describe how these organisations change over evolutionary time and especially how that results in adaptive complexes at successive scales of organisation (the key problem is that evolution is self-referential, i.e. the products of evolution change the parameters of the evolutionary process). Here we first reinterpret the central open questions in these domains from a perspective that emphasises the common underlying themes. We then synthesise the findings from a developing body of work that is building a new theoretical approach to these questions by converting well-understood theory and results from models of cognitive learning. Specifically, connectionist models of memory and learning demonstrate how simple incremental mechanisms, adjusting the relationships between individually-simple components, can produce organisations that exhibit complex system-level behaviours and improve the adaptive capabilities of the system. We use the term "evolutionary connectionism" to recognise that, by functionally equivalent processes, natural selection acting on the relationships within and between evolutionary entities can result in organisations that produce complex system-level behaviours in evolutionary

  5. Using Nonlinear Stochastic Evolutionary Game Strategy to Model an Evolutionary Biological Network of Organ Carcinogenesis Under a Natural Selection Scheme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Tsai, Kun-Wei; Li, Cheng-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Molecular biologists have long recognized carcinogenesis as an evolutionary process that involves natural selection. Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages. In this study, the evolution of somatic cancer cell lineages during carcinogenesis was modeled as an equilibrium point (ie, phenotype of attractor) shifting, the process of a nonlinear stochastic evolutionary biological network. This process is subject to intrinsic random fluctuations because of somatic genetic and epigenetic variations, as well as extrinsic disturbances because of carcinogens and stressors. In order to maintain the normal function (ie, phenotype) of an evolutionary biological network subjected to random intrinsic fluctuations and extrinsic disturbances, a network robustness scheme that incorporates natural selection needs to be developed. This can be accomplished by selecting certain genetic and epigenetic variations to modify the network structure to attenuate intrinsic fluctuations efficiently and to resist extrinsic disturbances in order to maintain the phenotype of the evolutionary biological network at an equilibrium point (attractor). However, during carcinogenesis, the remaining (or neutral) genetic and epigenetic variations accumulate, and the extrinsic disturbances become too large to maintain the normal phenotype at the desired equilibrium point for the nonlinear evolutionary biological network. Thus, the network is shifted to a cancer phenotype at a new equilibrium point that begins a new evolutionary process. In this study, the natural selection scheme of an evolutionary biological network of carcinogenesis was derived from a robust negative feedback scheme based on the nonlinear stochastic Nash game strategy. The evolvability and phenotypic robustness criteria of the evolutionary cancer network were also estimated by solving a Hamilton-Jacobi inequality - constrained optimization problem. The simulation revealed that the phenotypic shift of the lung cancer

  6. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannidis, Stavros

    2013-01-01

    The "cis"-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for "cis"-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current…

  7. Inherit the policy: A sociocultural approach to understanding evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural and historical influences at all levels of the policy process. Lipsky (1980/2010) and others have identified teachers as de facto policy makers, exercising broad discretion in the execution of their work. This study looks to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior as an initial framework to inform how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at different levels of the policy process. The results of this study indicate that actors in the state's evolutionary biology policy process draw upon a myriad of Discourses (Gee, 1999/2005). These Discourses shape cultural dynamics and the agency of the policy actors as they navigate conflicting messages between testing mandates and evolutionary biology policy. There indeed exist gaps between how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at the different levels of the policy process. Evidence from this study suggests that appropriation-level policy actors must be brought into the Discourse related to the critical analysis of evolutionary biology and academic freedom legislation must be enacted if South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 is to realize practical significance in educational policy.

  8. Zebrafish Xenograft: An Evolutionary Experiment in Tumour Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Rachael A; Trieu, Nhu P V; Crawford, Bryan D

    2017-09-05

    Though the cancer research community has used mouse xenografts for decades more than zebrafish xenografts, zebrafish have much to offer: they are cheap, easy to work with, and the embryonic model is relatively easy to use in high-throughput assays. Zebrafish can be imaged live, allowing us to observe cellular and molecular processes in vivo in real time. Opponents dismiss the zebrafish model due to the evolutionary distance between zebrafish and humans, as compared to mice, but proponents argue for the zebrafish xenograft's superiority to cell culture systems and its advantages in imaging. This review places the zebrafish xenograft in the context of current views on cancer and gives an overview of how several aspects of this evolutionary disease can be addressed in the zebrafish model. Zebrafish are missing homologs of some human proteins and (of particular interest) several members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family of proteases, which are known for their importance in tumour biology. This review draws attention to the implicit evolutionary experiment taking place when the molecular ecology of the xenograft host is significantly different than that of the donor.

  9. Food processing optimization using evolutionary algorithms | Enitan ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evolutionary algorithms are widely used in single and multi-objective optimization. They are easy to use and provide solution(s) in one simulation run. They are used in food processing industries for decision making. Food processing presents constrained and unconstrained optimization problems. This paper reviews the ...

  10. The Evolutionary Processes of Canine Coronaviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annamaria Pratelli

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the first identification of the virus in 1971, the disease caused by canine coronavirus (CCoV has not been adequately investigated, and the role that the virus plays in canine enteric illness has not been well established. Only after the emergence in 2002 of SARS in human has new attention been focused on coronaviruses. As a consequence of the relatively high mutation frequency of RNA-positive stranded viruses, CCoV has evolved and, with the biomolecular techniques developed over the last two decades, new virus strains, serotypes, and subtypes have been identified in infected dogs. Considering the widespread nature of CCoV infections among dog populations, several studies have been carried out, focusing upon the epidemiological relevance of these viruses and underlining the need for further investigation into the biology of CCoVs and into the pathogenetic role of the infections. This paper reports the evolutionary processes of CCoVs with a note onto recent diagnostic methods.

  11. On Reciprocal Causation in the Evolutionary Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Erik I

    2018-01-01

    might have been underestimated by critics of contemporary evolutionary biology.

  12. Evolutionary Biology and the Determinants of Morality | Odozor ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Darwinian approach to Ethics, which views morality as an innate biological trait, and views Ethics as the evolutionary explanation(s) of the biological mechanisms underlying moral behaviour, is grossly inadequate for dealing with the fundamental concerns of traditional Ethics, such as the analysis of morality and what it ...

  13. Function Follows Performance in Evolutionary Computational Processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pasold, Anke; Foged, Isak Worre

    2011-01-01

    As the title ‘Function Follows Performance in Evolutionary Computational Processing’ suggests, this paper explores the potentials of employing multiple design and evaluation criteria within one processing model in order to account for a number of performative parameters desired within varied...

  14. Engineering reduced evolutionary potential for synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renda, Brian A.; Hammerling, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences after these devices are constructed and deployed. Thus, biological engineering efforts can be confounded by undesired evolution that rapidly breaks the functions of parts and systems, particularly when they are costly to the host cell to maintain. Here, we explain the fundamental properties that determine the evolvability of biological systems. Then, we use this framework to review current efforts to engineer the DNA sequences that encode synthetic biology devices and the genomes of their microbial hosts to reduce their ability to evolve and therefore increase their genetic reliability so that they maintain their intended functions over longer timescales. PMID:24556867

  15. Evolutionary change - patterns and processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco M. Salzano

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The present review considered: (a the factors that conditioned the early transition from non-life to life; (b genome structure and complexity in prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and organelles; (c comparative human chromosome genomics; and (d the Brazilian contribution to some of these studies. Understanding the dialectical conflict between freedom and organization is fundamental to give meaning to the patterns and processes of organic evolution.A presente revisão considerou: (a os fatores que condicionaram a transição inicial entre não-vida e vida; (b a estrutura e complexidade genômica em procariotos, eucariotos e organelas; (c a genômica comparada dos cromossomos humanos; (d a contribuição brasileira a alguns desses estudos. A compreensão do conflito dialético entre liberdade e organização é fundamental para dar significado aos padrões e processos da evolução orgânica.

  16. 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.

  17. Measuring the evolutionary rewiring of biological networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chong Shou

    Full Text Available We have accumulated a large amount of biological network data and expect even more to come. Soon, we anticipate being able to compare many different biological networks as we commonly do for molecular sequences. It has long been believed that many of these networks change, or "rewire", at different rates. It is therefore important to develop a framework to quantify the differences between networks in a unified fashion. We developed such a formalism based on analogy to simple models of sequence evolution, and used it to conduct a systematic study of network rewiring on all the currently available biological networks. We found that, similar to sequences, biological networks show a decreased rate of change at large time divergences, because of saturation in potential substitutions. However, different types of biological networks consistently rewire at different rates. Using comparative genomics and proteomics data, we found a consistent ordering of the rewiring rates: transcription regulatory, phosphorylation regulatory, genetic interaction, miRNA regulatory, protein interaction, and metabolic pathway network, from fast to slow. This ordering was found in all comparisons we did of matched networks between organisms. To gain further intuition on network rewiring, we compared our observed rewirings with those obtained from simulation. We also investigated how readily our formalism could be mapped to other network contexts; in particular, we showed how it could be applied to analyze changes in a range of "commonplace" networks such as family trees, co-authorships and linux-kernel function dependencies.

  18. Stochastic noncooperative and cooperative evolutionary game strategies of a population of biological networks under natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Yeh, Chin-Hsun

    2017-12-01

    We review current static and dynamic evolutionary game strategies of biological networks and discuss the lack of random genetic variations and stochastic environmental disturbances in these models. To include these factors, a population of evolving biological networks is modeled as a nonlinear stochastic biological system with Poisson-driven genetic variations and random environmental fluctuations (stimuli). To gain insight into the evolutionary game theory of stochastic biological networks under natural selection, the phenotypic robustness and network evolvability of noncooperative and cooperative evolutionary game strategies are discussed from a stochastic Nash game perspective. The noncooperative strategy can be transformed into an equivalent multi-objective optimization problem and is shown to display significantly improved network robustness to tolerate genetic variations and buffer environmental disturbances, maintaining phenotypic traits for longer than the cooperative strategy. However, the noncooperative case requires greater effort and more compromises between partly conflicting players. Global linearization is used to simplify the problem of solving nonlinear stochastic evolutionary games. Finally, a simple stochastic evolutionary model of a metabolic pathway is simulated to illustrate the procedure of solving for two evolutionary game strategies and to confirm and compare their respective characteristics in the evolutionary process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Branching processes in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kimmel, Marek

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Digging through model complexity: using hierarchical models to uncover evolutionary processes in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buoro, M; Prévost, E; Gimenez, O

    2012-10-01

    The growing interest for studying questions in the wild requires acknowledging that eco-evolutionary processes are complex, hierarchically structured and often partially observed or with measurement error. These issues have long been ignored in evolutionary biology, which might have led to flawed inference when addressing evolutionary questions. Hierarchical modelling (HM) has been proposed as a generic statistical framework to deal with complexity in ecological data and account for uncertainty. However, to date, HM has seldom been used to investigate evolutionary mechanisms possibly underlying observed patterns. Here, we contend the HM approach offers a relevant approach for the study of eco-evolutionary processes in the wild by confronting formal theories to empirical data through proper statistical inference. Studying eco-evolutionary processes requires considering the complete and often complex life histories of organisms. We show how this can be achieved by combining sequentially all life-history components and all available sources of information through HM. We demonstrate how eco-evolutionary processes may be poorly inferred or even missed without using the full potential of HM. As a case study, we use the Atlantic salmon and data on wild marked juveniles. We assess a reaction norm for migration and two potential trade-offs for survival. Overall, HM has a great potential to address evolutionary questions and investigate important processes that could not previously be assessed in laboratory or short time-scale studies. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 10; Issue 7. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology. Renee M Borges. General Article Volume 10 Issue 7 July 2005 pp 21-33. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  2. Biochemistry and evolutionary biology: Two disciplines that need ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Biochemical information has been crucial for the development of evolutionary biology. On the one hand, the sequence information now appearing is producing a huge increase in the amount of data available for phylogenetic analysis; on the other hand, and perhaps more fundamentally, it allows understanding of the ...

  3. Psychology and evolutionary biology; Causal analysis, evidence, and nomothetic laws

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Hezewijk, René

    2008-01-01

    Published as a chapter in Van Hezewijk, R. (2003). Psychology and evolutionary biology; Causal analysis, evidence, and nomothetic laws. In N. Stephenson, L. Radtke, R. Jorna & H. J. Stam (Eds.), Theoretical psychology; Critical contributions (pp. 405-415). Concord, Ontario: Captus Press.

  4. Biology Students' Beliefs about Evolutionary Theory and Religion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, Anne; Baldwin, Beatrice

    1995-01-01

    Data from 212 high school biology students in two schools in Louisiana show that students bring increased religious bias to the classroom due to a resurgence of religious conservatism and that these beliefs interfere with their abilities to view scientific evidence about evolution objectively. Those who did not believe evolutionary theory cited…

  5. Interpreting Evolutionary Diagrams: When Topology and Process Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catley, Kefyn M.; Novick, Laura R.; Shade, Courtney K.

    2010-01-01

    The authors argue that some diagrams in biology textbooks and the popular press presented as depicting evolutionary relationships suggest an inappropriate (anagenic) conception of evolutionary history. The goal of this research was to provide baseline data that begin to document how college students conceptualize the evolutionary relationships…

  6. The Stochastic Evolutionary Game for a Population of Biological Networks Under Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Ho, Shih-Ju

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a population of evolutionary biological networks is described by a stochastic dynamic system with intrinsic random parameter fluctuations due to genetic variations and external disturbances caused by environmental changes in the evolutionary process. Since information on environmental changes is unavailable and their occurrence is unpredictable, they can be considered as a game player with the potential to destroy phenotypic stability. The biological network needs to develop an evolutionary strategy to improve phenotypic stability as much as possible, so it can be considered as another game player in the evolutionary process, ie, a stochastic Nash game of minimizing the maximum network evolution level caused by the worst environmental disturbances. Based on the nonlinear stochastic evolutionary game strategy, we find that some genetic variations can be used in natural selection to construct negative feedback loops, efficiently improving network robustness. This provides larger genetic robustness as a buffer against neutral genetic variations, as well as larger environmental robustness to resist environmental disturbances and maintain a network phenotypic traits in the evolutionary process. In this situation, the robust phenotypic traits of stochastic biological networks can be more frequently selected by natural selection in evolution. However, if the harbored neutral genetic variations are accumulated to a sufficiently large degree, and environmental disturbances are strong enough that the network robustness can no longer confer enough genetic robustness and environmental robustness, then the phenotype robustness might break down. In this case, a network phenotypic trait may be pushed from one equilibrium point to another, changing the phenotypic trait and starting a new phase of network evolution through the hidden neutral genetic variations harbored in network robustness by adaptive evolution. Further, the proposed evolutionary game is extended to

  7. Optimal immunity meets natural variation: the evolutionary biology of host defence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, A L

    2013-11-01

    This editorial introduces the seven articles that comprise the Parasite Immunology special issue on the Evolutionary Biology of Host Defence. The rationale for an evolutionary approach to immunoparasitology is briefly outlined, and then the articles are placed in that broader context. A central aim of each article is to explain the generation and maintenance of immunological heterogeneity among hosts in nature. The authors describe new tools and approaches that enable unprecedented insight into evolutionary and immunological processes in both the laboratory and the wild. The examples discussed include insects, birds and mammals (as hosts) and trypanosomes, apicomplexans and nematodes (as parasites). © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. New insights into the evolutionary history of biological nitrogen fixation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric eBoyd

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogenase, which catalyzes the ATP-dependent reduction of dinitrogen (N2 to ammonia (NH3, accounts for roughly half of the bioavailable nitrogen supporting extant life. The fundamental requirement for fixed forms of nitrogen for life on Earth, both at present and in the past, has led to broad and significant interest in the origin and evolution of this fundamental biological process. One key question is whether the limited availability of fixed nitrogen was a factor in life’s origin or whether there were ample sources of fixed nitrogen produced by abiotic processes or delivered through the weathering of bolide impact materials to support this early life. If the latter, the key questions become what were the characteristics of the environment that precipitated the evolution of this oxygen sensitive process, when did this occur, and how was its subsequent evolutionary history impacted by the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis and the rise of oxygen in the Earth’s biosphere. Since the availability of fixed sources of nitrogen capable of supporting early life is difficult to glean from the geologic record, there are limited means to get direct insights into these questions. Indirect insights, however, can be gained by deep phylogenetic studies of nitrogenase structural gene products and additional gene products involved in the biosynthesis of the complex metal-containing prosthetic groups associated with this enzyme complex. Insights gained from such studies, as reviewed herein, challenge traditional models for the evolution of biological nitrogen fixation and provide the basis for the development of new conceptual models that explain the stepwise evolution of this highly complex and life sustaining process.

  9. Darwin’s legacy in South African evolutionary biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. D. Johnson

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In the two decades after publication of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin facilitated the publication of numerous scientific papers by settler naturalists in South Africa. This helped to establish the strong tradition of natural history which has characterised evolutionary research in South African museums, herbaria and universities. Significant developments in the early 20th century included the hominid fossil discoveries of Raymond Dart, Robert Broom, and others, but there was otherwise very little South African involvement in the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s. Evolutionary biology developed into a distinct discipline in South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s when it was dominated by mammalian palaeontology and a vigorous debate around species concepts. In the post-apartheid era, the main focus of evolutionary biology has been the construction of phylogenies for African plants and animals using molecular data, and the use of these phylogenies to answer questions about taxonomic classification and trait evolution. South African biologists have also recently contributed important evidence for some of Darwin’s ideas about plant–animal coevolution, sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in speciation. A bibliographic analysis shows that South African authors produce 2–3% of the world’s publications in the field of evolutionary biology, which is much higher than the value of about 0.5% for publications in all sciences. With its extraordinary biodiversity and well-developed research infrastructure, South Africa is an ideal laboratory from which to advance evolutionary research.

  10. From experimental systems to evolutionary biology: an impossible journey?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2013-01-01

    The historical approach to the sciences has undergone a sea change during recent decades. Maybe the major contribution of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger to this movement was his demonstration of the importance of experimental systems, and of their transformations, in the development of the sciences. To describe these transformations, Hans-Jörg borrows metaphors from evolutionary biology. I want to argue that evolutionary biologists can find in these recent historical studies plenty of models and concepts to address unresolved issues in their discipline. At a time when transdisciplinarity is highly praised, it is useful to provide a precise description of the obstacles that have so far prevented this exchange.

  11. Evolutionary systems biology: what it is and why it matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soyer, Orkun S; O'Malley, Maureen A

    2013-08-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is a rapidly growing integrative approach that has the core aim of generating mechanistic and evolutionary understanding of genotype-phenotype relationships at multiple levels. ESB's more specific objectives include extending knowledge gained from model organisms to non-model organisms, predicting the effects of mutations, and defining the core network structures and dynamics that have evolved to cause particular intracellular and intercellular responses. By combining mathematical, molecular, and cellular approaches to evolution, ESB adds new insights and methods to the modern evolutionary synthesis, and offers ways in which to enhance its explanatory and predictive capacities. This combination of prediction and explanation marks ESB out as a research manifesto that goes further than its two contributing fields. Here, we summarize ESB via an analysis of characteristic research examples and exploratory questions, while also making a case for why these integrative efforts are worth pursuing. © 2013 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  12. phyloXML: XML for evolutionary biology and comparative genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Mira V; Zmasek, Christian M

    2009-10-27

    Evolutionary trees are central to a wide range of biological studies. In many of these studies, tree nodes and branches need to be associated (or annotated) with various attributes. For example, in studies concerned with organismal relationships, tree nodes are associated with taxonomic names, whereas tree branches have lengths and oftentimes support values. Gene trees used in comparative genomics or phylogenomics are usually annotated with taxonomic information, genome-related data, such as gene names and functional annotations, as well as events such as gene duplications, speciations, or exon shufflings, combined with information related to the evolutionary tree itself. The data standards currently used for evolutionary trees have limited capacities to incorporate such annotations of different data types. We developed a XML language, named phyloXML, for describing evolutionary trees, as well as various associated data items. PhyloXML provides elements for commonly used items, such as branch lengths, support values, taxonomic names, and gene names and identifiers. By using "property" elements, phyloXML can be adapted to novel and unforeseen use cases. We also developed various software tools for reading, writing, conversion, and visualization of phyloXML formatted data. PhyloXML is an XML language defined by a complete schema in XSD that allows storing and exchanging the structures of evolutionary trees as well as associated data. More information about phyloXML itself, the XSD schema, as well as tools implementing and supporting phyloXML, is available at http://www.phyloxml.org.

  13. Evolution, Science and Society: Evolutionary Biology and the National Research Agenda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futuyma, Douglas J.; Meagher, Thomas R.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses ways of advancing understanding of evolutionary biology which seeks to explain all the characteristics of organisms. Describes the goals of evolutionary biology, why it is important, and how it contributes to society and basic science. (ASK)

  14. Biological process linkage networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dikla Dotan-Cohen

    Full Text Available The traditional approach to studying complex biological networks is based on the identification of interactions between internal components of signaling or metabolic pathways. By comparison, little is known about interactions between higher order biological systems, such as biological pathways and processes. We propose a methodology for gleaning patterns of interactions between biological processes by analyzing protein-protein interactions, transcriptional co-expression and genetic interactions. At the heart of the methodology are the concept of Linked Processes and the resultant network of biological processes, the Process Linkage Network (PLN.We construct, catalogue, and analyze different types of PLNs derived from different data sources and different species. When applied to the Gene Ontology, many of the resulting links connect processes that are distant from each other in the hierarchy, even though the connection makes eminent sense biologically. Some others, however, carry an element of surprise and may reflect mechanisms that are unique to the organism under investigation. In this aspect our method complements the link structure between processes inherent in the Gene Ontology, which by its very nature is species-independent. As a practical application of the linkage of processes we demonstrate that it can be effectively used in protein function prediction, having the power to increase both the coverage and the accuracy of predictions, when carefully integrated into prediction methods.Our approach constitutes a promising new direction towards understanding the higher levels of organization of the cell as a system which should help current efforts to re-engineer ontologies and improve our ability to predict which proteins are involved in specific biological processes.

  15. 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…

  16. Reframing developmental biology and building evolutionary theory's new synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tauber, Alfred I

    2010-01-01

    Gilbert and Epel present a new approach to developmental biology: embryogenesis must be understood within the full context of the organism's environment. Instead of an insular embryo following a genetic blueprint, this revised program maintains that embryogenesis is subject to inputs from the environment that generate novel genetic variation with dynamic consequences for development. Beyond allelic variation of structural genes and of regulatory loci, plasticity-derived epigenetic variation completes the triad of the major types of variation required for evolution. Developmental biology and ecology, disciplines that have previously been regarded as distinct, are presented here as fully integrated under the rubric of "eco-devo," and from this perspective, which highlights how the environment not only selects variation, it helps construct it, another synthesis with evolutionary biology must also be made, "eco-evo-devo." This second integration has enormous implications for expanding evolution theory, inasmuch as the Modern Synthesis (Provine 1971), which combined classical genetics and Darwinism in the mid-20th century, did not account for the role of development in evolution. The eco-evo-devo synthesis thus portends a major theoretical inflection in evolutionary biology. Following a description of these scientific developments, comment is offered as to how this new integrated approach might be understood within the larger shifts in contemporary biology.

  17. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V.

    2011-01-01

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework—natural selection and inheritance—the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification. PMID:21490021

  18. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework-natural selection and inheritance-the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification.

  19. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A hundred years is but an instant in evolutionary time; however during his life that spanned a century, Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the pat- tern and process of evolution. An ornithologist and systematist by training, Mayr embraced Darwinism and championed the cause of.

  20. The application of statistical physics to evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sella, Guy; Hirsh, Aaron E

    2005-07-05

    A number of fundamental mathematical models of the evolutionary process exhibit dynamics that can be difficult to understand analytically. Here we show that a precise mathematical analogy can be drawn between certain evolutionary and thermodynamic systems, allowing application of the powerful machinery of statistical physics to analysis of a family of evolutionary models. Analytical results that follow directly from this approach include the steady-state distribution of fixed genotypes and the load in finite populations. The analogy with statistical physics also reveals that, contrary to a basic tenet of the nearly neutral theory of molecular evolution, the frequencies of adaptive and deleterious substitutions at steady state are equal. Finally, just as the free energy function quantitatively characterizes the balance between energy and entropy, a free fitness function provides an analytical expression for the balance between natural selection and stochastic drift.

  1. The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moczek, Armin P; Sears, Karen E; Stollewerk, Angelika; Wittkopp, Patricia J; Diggle, Pamela; Dworkin, Ian; Ledon-Rettig, Cristina; Matus, David Q; Roth, Siegfried; Abouheif, Ehab; Brown, Federico D; Chiu, Chi-Hua; Cohen, C Sarah; Tomaso, Anthony W De; Gilbert, Scott F; Hall, Brian; Love, Alan C; Lyons, Deirdre C; Sanger, Thomas J; Smith, Joel; Specht, Chelsea; Vallejo-Marin, Mario; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has undergone dramatic transformations since its emergence as a distinct discipline. This paper aims to highlight the scope, power, and future promise of evo-devo to transform and unify diverse aspects of biology. We articulate key questions at the core of eleven biological disciplines-from Evolution, Development, Paleontology, and Neurobiology to Cellular and Molecular Biology, Quantitative Genetics, Human Diseases, Ecology, Agriculture and Science Education, and lastly, Evolutionary Developmental Biology itself-and discuss why evo-devo is uniquely situated to substantially improve our ability to find meaningful answers to these fundamental questions. We posit that the tools, concepts, and ways of thinking developed by evo-devo have profound potential to advance, integrate, and unify biological sciences as well as inform policy decisions and illuminate science education. We look to the next generation of evolutionary developmental biologists to help shape this process as we confront the scientific challenges of the 21st century. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Demography is the quantitative study of population processes, while evolution is a population process that influences all aspects of biological organisms, including their demography. Demographic traits common to all human populations are the products of biological evolution or the interaction...... of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness...

  3. Biological Processes Associated with Impact Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles; Koeberl, Christian; Gilmour, Iain

    The diversity of papers presented in this volume attest to the fact that impact cratering is very much a biological process. This volume is the tenth in a series of books resulting from the activities of the scientific programme, "Response of the Earth System to Impact Processes" (IMPACT), by the European Science Foundation. The papers were presented at an international meeting at King's College, Cambridge in 2003. These papers investigate the effects of asteroid and comet impacts on a diversity of biological and evolutionary processes including the survival of organics and microbial ecosystems to the extinction of organisms.

  4. Evolutionary systems biology: historical and philosophical perspectives on an emerging synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A

    2012-01-01

    Systems biology (SB) is at least a decade old now and maturing rapidly. A more recent field, evolutionary systems biology (ESB), is in the process of further developing system-level approaches through the expansion of their explanatory and potentially predictive scope. This chapter will outline the varieties of ESB existing today by tracing the diverse roots and fusions that make up this integrative project. My approach is philosophical and historical. As well as examining the recent origins of ESB, I will reflect on its central features and the different clusters of research it comprises. In its broadest interpretation, ESB consists of five overlapping approaches: comparative and correlational ESB; network architecture ESB; network property ESB; population genetics ESB; and finally, standard evolutionary questions answered with SB methods. After outlining each approach with examples, I will examine some strong general claims about ESB, particularly that it can be viewed as the next step toward a fuller modern synthesis of evolutionary biology (EB), and that it is also the way forward for evolutionary and systems medicine. I will conclude with a discussion of whether the emerging field of ESB has the capacity to combine an even broader scope of research aims and efforts than it presently does.

  5. Applications of evolutionary computation in image processing and pattern recognition

    CERN Document Server

    Cuevas, Erik; Perez-Cisneros, Marco

    2016-01-01

    This book presents the use of efficient Evolutionary Computation (EC) algorithms for solving diverse real-world image processing and pattern recognition problems. It provides an overview of the different aspects of evolutionary methods in order to enable the reader in reaching a global understanding of the field and, in conducting studies on specific evolutionary techniques that are related to applications in image processing and pattern recognition. It explains the basic ideas of the proposed applications in a way that can also be understood by readers outside of the field. Image processing and pattern recognition practitioners who are not evolutionary computation researchers will appreciate the discussed techniques beyond simple theoretical tools since they have been adapted to solve significant problems that commonly arise on such areas. On the other hand, members of the evolutionary computation community can learn the way in which image processing and pattern recognition problems can be translated into an...

  6. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrendra Kumar

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Type I natural killer T (NKT cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo perspective.

  7. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M.; Bezbradica, Jelena S.; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective. PMID:29312339

  8. Bone Adaptation as an Evolutionary Process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bagge, Mette

    1998-01-01

    The internal bone adaptation of the proximal femur is considered. A three-dimensional finite element model of the proximal femur is used. The bone remodeling in this work is numerically described byan evolutionary remodeling scheme with anisotropic material parameters andtime-dependent loading...

  9. Can systems biology help to separate evolutionary analogies (convergent homoplasies) from homologies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Malcolm S; Notar, Julia C

    2015-01-01

    Convergent evolutionary analogies (homoplasies) of many kinds occur in diverse phylogenetic clades/lineages on both the animal and plant branches of the Tree of Life. Living organisms whose last common ancestors lived millions to hundreds of millions of years ago have later converged morphologically, behaviorally or at other levels of functionality (from molecular genetics through biochemistry, physiology and other organismic processes) as a result of long term strong natural selection that has constrained and channeled evolutionary processes. This happens most often when organisms belonging to different clades occupy ecological niches, habitats or environments sharing major characteristics that select for a relatively narrow range of organismic properties. Systems biology, broadly defined, provides theoretical and methodological approaches that are beginning to make it possible to answer a perennial evolutionary biological question relating to convergent homoplasies: Are at least some of the apparent analogies actually unrecognized homologies? This review provides an overview of the current state of knowledge of important aspects of this topic area. It also provides a resource describing many homoplasies that may be fruitful subjects for systems biological research. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The Globalisation of Firms as a Social Evolutionary Process

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas Borghoff

    2011-01-01

    From a social systems theory perspective, globalisation can be conceptualised as an evolutionary social process. By fusing systems theories, evolutionary theories, and organisation theories, globalisation becomes apparent as a historical social process, which encompasses the emergence and reproduction of social systems such as firms or other organisations within the wider process of the globalisation of society. The conceptualisation of firms as social systems also opens new perspectives on m...

  11. Evolutionary epistemology: Reviewing and reviving with new data the research programme for distributed biological intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slijepcevic, Predrag

    2018-01-01

    Numerous studies in microbiology, eukaryotic cell biology, plant biology, biomimetics, synthetic biology, and philosophy of science appear to support the principles of the epistemological theory inspired by evolution, also known as "Evolutionary Epistemology", or EE. However, that none of the studies acknowledged EE suggests that its principles have not been formulated with sufficient clarity and depth to resonate with the interests of the empirical research community. In this paper I review evidence in favor of EE, and also reformulate EE principles to better inform future research. The revamped programme may be tentatively called Research Programme for Distributed Biological Intelligence. Intelligence I define as the capacity of organisms to gain information about their environment, process that information internally, and translate it into phenotypic forms. This multistage progression may be expressed through the acronym IGPT (information-gain-process-translate). The key principles of the programme may be summarized as follows. (i) Intelligence, a universal biological phenomenon promoting individual fitness, is required for effective organism-environment interactions. Given that animals represent less than 0.01% of the planetary biomass, neural intelligence is not the evolutionary norm. (ii) The basic unit of intelligence is a single cell prokaryote. All other forms of intelligence are derived. (iii) Intelligence is hierarchical. It ranges from bacteria to the biosphere or Gaia. (iv) The concept of "information" acquires a new meaning because information processing is at the heart of biological intelligence. All biological systems, from bacteria to Gaia, are intelligent, open thermodynamic systems that exchange information, matter and energy with the environment. (v) The organism-environment interaction is cybernetic. As much as the organism changes due to the influence of the environment, the organism's responses to induced changes affect the environment and

  12. Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo) Research in Latin America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcellini, Sylvain; González, Favio; Sarrazin, Andres F; Pabón-Mora, Natalia; Benítez, Mariana; Piñeyro-Nelson, Alma; Rezende, Gustavo L; Maldonado, Ernesto; Schneider, Patricia Neiva; Grizante, Mariana B; Da Fonseca, Rodrigo Nunes; Vergara-Silva, Francisco; Suaza-Gaviria, Vanessa; Zumajo-Cardona, Cecilia; Zattara, Eduardo E; Casasa, Sofia; Suárez-Baron, Harold; Brown, Federico D

    2017-01-01

    Famous for its blind cavefish and Darwin's finches, Latin America is home to some of the richest biodiversity hotspots of our planet. The Latin American fauna and flora inspired and captivated naturalists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including such notable pioneers such as Fritz Müller, Florentino Ameghino, and Léon Croizat who made a significant contribution to the study of embryology and evolutionary thinking. But, what are the historical and present contributions of the Latin American scientific community to Evo-Devo? Here, we provide the first comprehensive overview of the Evo-Devo laboratories based in Latin America and describe current lines of research based on endemic species, focusing on body plans and patterning, systematics, physiology, computational modeling approaches, ecology, and domestication. Literature searches reveal that Evo-Devo in Latin America is still in its early days; while showing encouraging indicators of productivity, it has not stabilized yet, because it relies on few and sparsely distributed laboratories. Coping with the rapid changes in national scientific policies and contributing to solve social and health issues specific to each region are among the main challenges faced by Latin American researchers. The 2015 inaugural meeting of the Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology played a pivotal role in bringing together Latin American researchers eager to initiate and consolidate regional and worldwide collaborative networks. Such networks will undoubtedly advance research on the extremely high genetic and phenotypic biodiversity of Latin America, bound to be an almost infinite source of amazement and fascinating findings for the Evo-Devo community. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungck, John R; Weisstein, Anton E

    2013-09-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes-the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software-the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a 'two-culture' problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses.

  14. Use of genome-scale metabolic models in evolutionary systems biology.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papp, B.; Szappanos, B.; Notebaart, R.A.

    2011-01-01

    One of the major aims of the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology is to test evolutionary hypotheses that are not only realistic from a population genetic point of view but also detailed in terms of molecular biology mechanisms. By providing a mapping between genotype and phenotype for

  15. Evolution in Mind: Evolutionary Dynamics, Cognitive Processes, and Bayesian Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchow, Jordan W; Bourgin, David D; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2017-07-01

    Evolutionary theory describes the dynamics of population change in settings affected by reproduction, selection, mutation, and drift. In the context of human cognition, evolutionary theory is most often invoked to explain the origins of capacities such as language, metacognition, and spatial reasoning, framing them as functional adaptations to an ancestral environment. However, evolutionary theory is useful for understanding the mind in a second way: as a mathematical framework for describing evolving populations of thoughts, ideas, and memories within a single mind. In fact, deep correspondences exist between the mathematics of evolution and of learning, with perhaps the deepest being an equivalence between certain evolutionary dynamics and Bayesian inference. This equivalence permits reinterpretation of evolutionary processes as algorithms for Bayesian inference and has relevance for understanding diverse cognitive capacities, including memory and creativity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Technological design as an evolutionary process

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brey, Philip A.E.; Kroes, Peter; Vermaas, Pieter E.; Light, Andrew; Moore, Steven A.

    2008-01-01

    The evolution of technical artifacts is often seen as radically different from the evolution of biological species. Technical artifacts are normally understood to result from the purposive intelligence of designers whereas biological species and organisms are held to have resulted from evolution by

  17. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from "endless forms most beautiful".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B

    2015-12-15

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. © 2015 Richardson et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  18. Investigating Climate Change and Reproduction: Experimental Tools from Evolutionary Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Y. Martin

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available It is now generally acknowledged that climate change has wide-ranging biological consequences, potentially leading to impacts on biodiversity. Environmental factors can have diverse and often strong effects on reproduction, with obvious ramifications for population fitness. Nevertheless, reproductive traits are often neglected in conservation considerations. Focusing on animals, recent progress in sexual selection and sexual conflict research suggests that reproductive costs may pose an underestimated hurdle during rapid climate change, potentially lowering adaptive potential and increasing extinction risk of certain populations. Nevertheless, regime shifts may have both negative and positive effects on reproduction, so it is important to acquire detailed experimental data. We hence present an overview of the literature reporting short-term reproductive consequences of exposure to different environmental factors. From the enormous diversity of findings, we conclude that climate change research could benefit greatly from more coordinated efforts incorporating evolutionary approaches in order to obtain cross-comparable data on how individual and population reproductive fitness respond in the long term. Therefore, we propose ideas and methods concerning future efforts dealing with reproductive consequences of climate change, in particular by highlighting the advantages of multi-generational experimental evolution experiments.

  19. A soul of truth in things erroneous: Popper's "amateurish" evolutionary philosophy in light of contemporary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchi, Davide; Baravalle, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    This paper will critically assess Popper's evolutionary philosophy. There exists a rich literature on the topic with which we have many reservations. We believe that Popper's evolutionary philosophy should be assessed in light of the intriguing theoretical insights offered, during the last 10 years or so, by the philosophy of biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology. We will argue that, when analysed in this manner, Popper's ideas concerning the nature of selection, Lamarckism and the theoretical limits of neo-Darwinism can be appreciated in their full biological and philosophical value.

  20. Bridging Evolutionary Biology and Developmental Psychology: Toward An Enduring Theoretical Infrastructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankenhuis, Willem E; Tiokhin, Leonid

    2018-01-16

    Bjorklund synthesizes promising research directions in developmental psychology using an evolutionary framework. In general terms, we agree with Bjorklund: Evolutionary theory has the potential to serve as a metatheory for developmental psychology. However, as currently used in psychology, evolutionary theory is far from reaching this potential. In evolutionary biology, formal mathematical models are the norm. In developmental psychology, verbal models are the norm. In order to reach its potential, evolutionary developmental psychology needs to embrace formal modeling. © 2018 The Authors. Child Development © 2018 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  1. Use of genome-scale metabolic models in evolutionary systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papp, Balázs; Szappanos, Balázs; Notebaart, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    One of the major aims of the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology is to test evolutionary hypotheses that are not only realistic from a population genetic point of view but also detailed in terms of molecular biology mechanisms. By providing a mapping between genotype and phenotype for hundreds of genes, genome-scale systems biology models of metabolic networks have already provided valuable insights into the evolution of metabolic gene contents and phenotypes of yeast and other microbial species. Here we review the recent use of these computational models to predict the fitness effect of mutations, genetic interactions, evolutionary outcomes, and to decipher the mechanisms of mutational robustness. While these studies have demonstrated that even simplified models of biochemical reaction networks can be highly informative for evolutionary analyses, they have also revealed the weakness of this modeling framework to quantitatively predict mutational effects, a challenge that needs to be addressed for future progress in evolutionary systems biology.

  2. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential-equation and difference-equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis for IBMs by describing five major types of individual variation in IBMs: spatial, ontogenetic, phenotypic, cognitive, and genetic. IBMs are now used in almost all subfields of ecology and evolutionary biology. We map those subfields and look more closely at selected key papers on fish recruitment, forest dynamics, sympatric speciation, metapopulation dynamics, maintenance of diversity, and species conservation. Theorists are currently divided on whether IBMs represent only a practical tool for extending classical theory to more complex situations, or whether individual-based theory represents a radically new research program. We feel that the tension between these two poles of thinking can be a source of creativity in ecology and evolutionary theory.

  3. The Design and Transformation of Biofundamentals: A Nonsurvey Introductory Evolutionary and Molecular Biology Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klymkowsky, Michael W; Rentsch, Jeremy D; Begovic, Emina; Cooper, Melanie M

    2016-01-01

    Many introductory biology courses amount to superficial surveys of disconnected topics. Often, foundational observations and the concepts derived from them and students' ability to use these ideas appropriately are overlooked, leading to unrealistic expectations and unrecognized learning obstacles. The result can be a focus on memorization at the expense of the development of a meaningful framework within which to consider biological phenomena. About a decade ago, we began a reconsideration of what an introductory course should present to students and the skills they need to master. The original Web-based course's design presaged many of the recommendations of the Vision and Change report; in particular, a focus on social evolutionary mechanisms, stochastic (evolutionary and molecular) processes, and core ideas (cellular continuity, evolutionary homology, molecular interactions, coupled chemical reactions, and molecular machines). Inspired by insights from the Chemistry, Life, the Universe & Everything general chemistry project, we transformed the original Web version into a (freely available) book with a more unified narrative flow and a set of formative assessments delivered through the beSocratic system. We outline how student responses to course materials are guiding future course modifications, in particular a more concerted effort at helping students to construct logical, empirically based arguments, explanations, and models. © 2016 M. W. Klymkowsky et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  4. Making evolutionary history count: biodiversity planning for coral reef fishes and the conservation of evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic activities are having devastating impacts on marine systems with numerous knock-on effects on trophic functioning, species interactions and an accelerated loss of biodiversity. Establishing conservation areas can not only protect biodiversity, but also confer resilience against changes to coral reefs and their inhabitants. Planning for protection and conservation in marine systems is complex, but usually focuses on maintaining levels of biodiversity and protecting special and unique landscape features while avoiding negative impacts to socio-economic benefits. Conversely, the integration of evolutionary processes that have shaped extant species assemblages is rarely taken into account. However, it is as important to protect processes as it is to protect patterns for maintaining the evolutionary trajectories of populations and species. This review focuses on different approaches for integrating genetic analyses, such as phylogenetic diversity, phylogeography and the delineation of management units, temporal and spatial monitoring of genetic diversity and quantification of adaptive variation for protecting evolutionary resilience, into marine spatial planning, specifically for coral reef fishes. Many of these concepts are not yet readily applied to coral reef fish studies, but this synthesis highlights their potential and the importance of including historical processes into systematic biodiversity planning for conserving not only extant, but also future, biodiversity and its evolutionary potential.

  5. Meta-transcriptomics and the evolutionary biology of RNA viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Mang; Zhang, Yong-Zhen; Holmes, Edward C

    2018-01-02

    Metagenomics is transforming the study of virus evolution, allowing the full assemblage of virus genomes within a host sample to be determined rapidly and cheaply. The genomic analysis of complete transcriptomes, so-called meta-transcriptomics, is providing a particularly rich source of data on the global diversity of RNA viruses and their evolutionary history. Herein we review some of the insights that meta-transcriptomics has provided on the fundamental patterns and processes of virus evolution, with a focus on the recent discovery of a multitude of novel invertebrate viruses. In particular, meta-transcriptomics shows that the RNA virus world is more fluid than previously realized, with relatively frequent changes in genome length and structure. As well as having a transformative impact on studies of virus evolution, meta-transcriptomics presents major new challenges for virus classification, with the greater sampling of host taxa now filling many of the gaps on virus phylogenies that were previously used to define taxonomic groups. Given that most viruses in the future will likely be characterized using metagenomics approaches, and that we have evidently only sampled a tiny fraction of the total virosphere, we suggest that proposals for virus classification pay careful attention to the wonders unearthed in this new age of virus discovery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A semiotic framework for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Eugenio

    2007-01-01

    This work aims at constructing a semiotic framework for an expanded evolutionary synthesis grounded on Peirce's universal categories and the six space/time/function relations [Taborsky, E., 2004. The nature of the sign as a WFF--a well-formed formula, SEED J. (Semiosis Evol. Energy Dev.) 4 (4), 5-14] that integrate the Lamarckian (internal/external) and Darwinian (individual/population) cuts. According to these guide lines, it is proposed an attempt to formalize developmental systems theory by using the notion of evolving developing agents (EDA) that provides an internalist model of a general transformative tendency driven by organism's need to cope with environmental uncertainty. Development and evolution are conceived as non-programmed open-ended processes of information increase where EDA reach a functional compromise between: (a) increments of phenotype's uniqueness (stability and specificity) and (b) anticipation to environmental changes. Accordingly, changes in mutual information content between the phenotype/environment drag subsequent changes in mutual information content between genotype/phenotype and genotype/environment at two interwoven scales: individual life cycle (ontogeny) and species time (phylogeny), respectively. Developmental terminal additions along with increment minimization of developmental steps must be positively selected.

  7. Mathematical modeling of biological processes

    CERN Document Server

    Friedman, Avner

    2014-01-01

    This book on mathematical modeling of biological processes includes a wide selection of biological topics that demonstrate the power of mathematics and computational codes in setting up biological processes with a rigorous and predictive framework. Topics include: enzyme dynamics, spread of disease, harvesting bacteria, competition among live species, neuronal oscillations, transport of neurofilaments in axon, cancer and cancer therapy, and granulomas. Complete with a description of the biological background and biological question that requires the use of mathematics, this book is developed for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students with only basic knowledge of ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations; background in biology is not required. Students will gain knowledge on how to program with MATLAB without previous programming experience and how to use codes in order to test biological hypothesis.

  8. Expansion of biological pathways based on evolutionary inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Calvo, Sarah E; Gutman, Roee; Liu, Jun S; Mootha, Vamsi K

    2014-07-03

    The availability of diverse genomes makes it possible to predict gene function based on shared evolutionary history. This approach can be challenging, however, for pathways whose components do not exhibit a shared history but rather consist of distinct "evolutionary modules." We introduce a computational algorithm, clustering by inferred models of evolution (CLIME), which inputs a eukaryotic species tree, homology matrix, and pathway (gene set) of interest. CLIME partitions the gene set into disjoint evolutionary modules, simultaneously learning the number of modules and a tree-based evolutionary history that defines each module. CLIME then expands each module by scanning the genome for new components that likely arose under the inferred evolutionary model. Application of CLIME to ∼1,000 annotated human pathways and to the proteomes of yeast, red algae, and malaria reveals unanticipated evolutionary modularity and coevolving components. CLIME is freely available and should become increasingly powerful with the growing wealth of eukaryotic genomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Proposal for Teaching Evolutionary Biology: A Bridge between Research and Educational Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez Pérez, Eréndira; Ruiz Gutiérrez, Rosaura

    2016-01-01

    We present quantitative results for the doctoral thesis of the first-named author of this article. The objective was to recommend and test a teaching proposal for core knowledge of evolutionary biology in secondary education. The focus of the study is "Problem cores in teaching". The "Weaving evolutionary thinking" teaching…

  10. The Comparative Organismal Approach in Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Insights from Ascidians and Cavefish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, William R

    2016-01-01

    Important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology have been made using the comparative organismal approach. As examples, I describe insights obtained from studies of Molgula ascidians and Astyanax cavefish. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Using Ancient DNA to Understand Evolutionary and Ecological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre; Cooper, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Ancient DNA provides a unique means to record genetic change through time and directly observe evolutionary and ecological processes. Although mostly based on mitochondrial DNA, the increasing availability of genomic sequences is leading to unprecedented levels of resolution. Temporal studies of ...

  12. Back to basics: using colour polymorphisms to study evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Erik I

    2017-04-01

    Here, I suggest that colour polymorphic study systems have been underutilized to answer general questions about evolutionary processes, such as morph frequency dynamics between generations and population divergence in morph frequencies. Colour polymorphisms can be used to study fundamental evolutionary processes like frequency-dependent selection, gene flow, recombination and correlational selection for adaptive character combinations. However, many previous studies of colour polymorphism often suffer from weak connections to population genetic theory. I argue that too much focus has been directed towards noticeable visual traits (colour) at the expense of understanding the evolutionary processes shaping genetic variation and covariation associated with polymorphisms in general. There is thus no need for a specific evolutionary theory for colour polymorphisms beyond the general theory of the maintenance of polymorphisms in spatially or temporally variable environments or through positive or negative frequency-dependent selection. I outline an integrative research programme incorporating these processes and suggest some fruitful avenues in future investigations of colour polymorphisms. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Revisiting the evolutionary origin of allometric metabolic scaling in biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Apol, M. Emile F.; Etienne, Rampal S.; Olff, Han; Clarke, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    In 1997 West, Brown & Enquist published a theoretical explanation for the long-known empirical observation of 3/4-power scaling of organismal metabolic rates with body mass, using an attractive combination of general physical and physiological principles with evolutionary optimization. This model

  14. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

    Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as "maladaptive." In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic) adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ~40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons), evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (that provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff), and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension). Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), developmental programming and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  15. The role of evolutionary biology in research and control of liver flukes in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echaubard, Pierre; Sripa, Banchob; Mallory, Frank F; Wilcox, Bruce A

    2016-09-01

    Stimulated largely by the availability of new technology, biomedical research at the molecular-level and chemical-based control approaches arguably dominate the field of infectious diseases. Along with this, the proximate view of disease etiology predominates to the exclusion of the ultimate, evolutionary biology-based, causation perspective. Yet, historically and up to today, research in evolutionary biology has provided much of the foundation for understanding the mechanisms underlying disease transmission dynamics, virulence, and the design of effective integrated control strategies. Here we review the state of knowledge regarding the biology of Asian liver Fluke-host relationship, parasitology, phylodynamics, drug-based interventions and liver Fluke-related cancer etiology from an evolutionary biology perspective. We consider how evolutionary principles, mechanisms and research methods could help refine our understanding of clinical disease associated with infection by Liver Flukes as well as their transmission dynamics. We identify a series of questions for an evolutionary biology research agenda for the liver Fluke that should contribute to an increased understanding of liver Fluke-associated diseases. Finally, we describe an integrative evolutionary medicine approach to liver Fluke prevention and control highlighting the need to better contextualize interventions within a broader human health and sustainable development framework. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Evolutionary interrogation of human biology in well-annotated genomic framework of rhesus macaque.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shi-Jian; Liu, Chu-Jun; Yu, Peng; Zhong, Xiaoming; Chen, Jia-Yu; Yang, Xinzhuang; Peng, Jiguang; Yan, Shouyu; Wang, Chenqu; Zhu, Xiaotong; Xiong, Jingwei; Zhang, Yong E; Tan, Bertrand Chin-Ming; Li, Chuan-Yun

    2014-05-01

    With genome sequence and composition highly analogous to human, rhesus macaque represents a unique reference for evolutionary studies of human biology. Here, we developed a comprehensive genomic framework of rhesus macaque, the RhesusBase2, for evolutionary interrogation of human genes and the associated regulations. A total of 1,667 next-generation sequencing (NGS) data sets were processed, integrated, and evaluated, generating 51.2 million new functional annotation records. With extensive NGS annotations, RhesusBase2 refined the fine-scale structures in 30% of the macaque Ensembl transcripts, reporting an accurate, up-to-date set of macaque gene models. On the basis of these annotations and accurate macaque gene models, we further developed an NGS-oriented Molecular Evolution Gateway to access and visualize macaque annotations in reference to human orthologous genes and associated regulations (www.rhesusbase.org/molEvo). We highlighted the application of this well-annotated genomic framework in generating hypothetical link of human-biased regulations to human-specific traits, by using mechanistic characterization of the DIEXF gene as an example that provides novel clues to the understanding of digestive system reduction in human evolution. On a global scale, we also identified a catalog of 9,295 human-biased regulatory events, which may represent novel elements that have a substantial impact on shaping human transcriptome and possibly underpin recent human phenotypic evolution. Taken together, we provide an NGS data-driven, information-rich framework that will broadly benefit genomics research in general and serves as an important resource for in-depth evolutionary studies of human biology.

  17. Evolutionary biology and the determinants of morality 2 | Odozor ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... biological mechanisms of moral behaviour as Ethics. This model basically emphasizes these mechanisms at the expense of the extra-biological factors, such as education, family integration and upbringing, religion, socialisation and culture, which even go beyond biology to determine the very contents of human morality.

  18. Charles Darwin and the Origins of Plant Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, William E.; Diggle, Pamela K.

    2011-01-01

    Much has been written of the early history of comparative embryology and its influence on the emergence of an evolutionary developmental perspective. However, this literature, which dates back nearly a century, has been focused on metazoans, without acknowledgment of the contributions of comparative plant morphologists to the creation of a developmental view of biodiversity. We trace the origin of comparative plant developmental morphology from its inception in the eighteenth century works of Wolff and Goethe, through the mid nineteenth century discoveries of the general principles of leaf and floral organ morphogenesis. Much like the stimulus that von Baer provided as a nonevolutionary comparative embryologist to the creation of an evolutionary developmental view of animals, the comparative developmental studies of plant morphologists were the basis for the first articulation of the concept that plant (namely floral) evolution results from successive modifications of ontogeny. Perhaps most surprisingly, we show that the first person to carefully read and internalize the remarkable advances in the understanding of plant morphogenesis in the 1840s and 1850s is none other than Charles Darwin, whose notebooks, correspondence, and (then) unpublished manuscripts clearly demonstrate that he had discovered the developmental basis for the evolutionary transformation of plant form. PMID:21515816

  19. Charles Darwin and the origins of plant evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, William E; Diggle, Pamela K

    2011-04-01

    Much has been written of the early history of comparative embryology and its influence on the emergence of an evolutionary developmental perspective. However, this literature, which dates back nearly a century, has been focused on metazoans, without acknowledgment of the contributions of comparative plant morphologists to the creation of a developmental view of biodiversity. We trace the origin of comparative plant developmental morphology from its inception in the eighteenth century works of Wolff and Goethe, through the mid nineteenth century discoveries of the general principles of leaf and floral organ morphogenesis. Much like the stimulus that von Baer provided as a nonevolutionary comparative embryologist to the creation of an evolutionary developmental view of animals, the comparative developmental studies of plant morphologists were the basis for the first articulation of the concept that plant (namely floral) evolution results from successive modifications of ontogeny. Perhaps most surprisingly, we show that the first person to carefully read and internalize the remarkable advances in the understanding of plant morphogenesis in the 1840s and 1850s is none other than Charles Darwin, whose notebooks, correspondence, and (then) unpublished manuscripts clearly demonstrate that he had discovered the developmental basis for the evolutionary transformation of plant form.

  20. Not just a theory--the utility of mathematical models in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servedio, Maria R; Brandvain, Yaniv; Dhole, Sumit; Fitzpatrick, Courtney L; Goldberg, Emma E; Stern, Caitlin A; Van Cleve, Jeremy; Yeh, D Justin

    2014-12-01

    Progress in science often begins with verbal hypotheses meant to explain why certain biological phenomena exist. An important purpose of mathematical models in evolutionary research, as in many other fields, is to act as “proof-of-concept” tests of the logic in verbal explanations, paralleling the way in which empirical data are used to test hypotheses. Because not all subfields of biology use mathematics for this purpose, misunderstandings of the function of proof-of-concept modeling are common. In the hope of facilitating communication, we discuss the role of proof-of-concept modeling in evolutionary biology.

  1. Not just a theory--the utility of mathematical models in evolutionary biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria R Servedio

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Progress in science often begins with verbal hypotheses meant to explain why certain biological phenomena exist. An important purpose of mathematical models in evolutionary research, as in many other fields, is to act as “proof-of-concept” tests of the logic in verbal explanations, paralleling the way in which empirical data are used to test hypotheses. Because not all subfields of biology use mathematics for this purpose, misunderstandings of the function of proof-of-concept modeling are common. In the hope of facilitating communication, we discuss the role of proof-of-concept modeling in evolutionary biology.

  2. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  3. Evolutionary Theory in Undergraduate Biology Programs at Lebanese Universities: A Comparative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlaardingerbroek, Barend; Hachem-El-Masri, Yasmine

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to gauge the profile of evolutionary theory in Lebanese undergraduate biology programs. The research focused mainly on the views of university biology department heads, given that they are the people who exercise the most direct influence over their departments' ethos. An Australasian sample was chosen as a reference…

  4. Stochastic processes in cell biology

    CERN Document Server

    Bressloff, Paul C

    2014-01-01

    This book develops the theory of continuous and discrete stochastic processes within the context of cell biology.  A wide range of biological topics are covered including normal and anomalous diffusion in complex cellular environments, stochastic ion channels and excitable systems, stochastic calcium signaling, molecular motors, intracellular transport, signal transduction, bacterial chemotaxis, robustness in gene networks, genetic switches and oscillators, cell polarization, polymerization, cellular length control, and branching processes. The book also provides a pedagogical introduction to the theory of stochastic process – Fokker Planck equations, stochastic differential equations, master equations and jump Markov processes, diffusion approximations and the system size expansion, first passage time problems, stochastic hybrid systems, reaction-diffusion equations, exclusion processes, WKB methods, martingales and branching processes, stochastic calculus, and numerical methods.   This text is primarily...

  5. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    intellectual legitimacy". Statements such as "all biology is molecular" made by the Nobel laureate and biochemist George. Wald, seemed to reinforce the view that organismal biology was being perceived as not keeping up with the Watsons. Mayr,. Dobzhansky and Simpson began a counterattack on molecular. Mayrplayed.

  6. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisstein, Anton E.

    2013-01-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes—the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software—the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a ‘two-culture’ problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses. PMID:23821621

  7. Children's Ability to Learn Evolutionary Explanations for Biological Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtulman, Andrew; Neal, Cara; Lindquist, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Evolution by natural selection is often relegated to the high school curriculum on the assumption that younger students cannot grasp its complexity. We sought to test that assumption by teaching children ages 4-12 (n = 96) a selection-based explanation for biological adaptation and comparing their success to that of adults…

  8. Culture extends the scope of evolutionary biology in the great apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiten, Andrew

    2017-07-24

    Discoveries about the cultures and cultural capacities of the great apes have played a leading role in the recognition emerging in recent decades that cultural inheritance can be a significant factor in the lives not only of humans but also of nonhuman animals. This prominence derives in part from these primates being those with whom we share the most recent common ancestry, thus offering clues to the origins of our own thoroughgoing reliance on cumulative cultural achievements. In addition, the intense research focus on these species has spawned an unprecedented diversity of complementary methodological approaches, the results of which suggest that cultural phenomena pervade the lives of these apes, with potentially major implications for their broader evolutionary biology. Here I review what this extremely broad array of observational and experimental methodologies has taught us about the cultural lives of chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans and consider the ways in which this knowledge extends our wider understanding of primate biology and the processes of adaptation and evolution that shape it. I address these issues first by evaluating the extent to which the results of cultural inheritance echo a suite of core principles that underlie organic Darwinian evolution but also extend them in new ways and then by assessing the principal causal interactions between the primary, genetically based organic processes of evolution and the secondary system of cultural inheritance that is based on social learning from others.

  9. Epigenetic Regulation of Biological Rhythms: An Evolutionary Ancient Molecular Timer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Tyler J

    2017-12-05

    Biological rhythms are pervasive in nature, yet our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern timing is far from complete. The rapidly emerging research focus on epigenetic plasticity has revealed a system that is highly dynamic and reversible. In this Opinion, I propose an epigenetic clock model that outlines how molecular modifications, such as DNA methylation, are integral components for timing endogenous biological rhythms. The hypothesis proposed is that an epigenetic clock serves to maintain the period of molecular rhythms via control over the phase of gene transcription and this timing mechanism resides in all cells, from unicellular to complex organisms. The model also provides a novel framework for the timing of epigenetic modifications during the lifespan and transgenerational inheritance of an organism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Latitudinal clines: an evolutionary view on biological rhythms†,‡

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hut, Roelof A.; Paolucci, Silvia; Dor, Roi; Kyriacou, Charalambos P.; Daan, Serge

    2013-01-01

    Properties of the circadian and annual timing systems are expected to vary systematically with latitude on the basis of different annual light and temperature patterns at higher latitudes, creating specific selection pressures. We review literature with respect to latitudinal clines in circadian phenotypes as well as in polymorphisms of circadian clock genes and their possible association with annual timing. The use of latitudinal (and altitudinal) clines in identifying selective forces acting on biological rhythms is discussed, and we evaluate how these studies can reveal novel molecular and physiological components of these rhythms. PMID:23825204

  12. Latitudinal clines: an evolutionary view on biological rhythms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hut, Roelof A; Paolucci, Silvia; Dor, Roi; Kyriacou, Charalambos P; Daan, Serge

    2013-08-22

    Properties of the circadian and annual timing systems are expected to vary systematically with latitude on the basis of different annual light and temperature patterns at higher latitudes, creating specific selection pressures. We review literature with respect to latitudinal clines in circadian phenotypes as well as in polymorphisms of circadian clock genes and their possible association with annual timing. The use of latitudinal (and altitudinal) clines in identifying selective forces acting on biological rhythms is discussed, and we evaluate how these studies can reveal novel molecular and physiological components of these rhythms.

  13. Evolution of microbes and viruses: a paradigm shift in evolutionary biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V; Wolf, Yuri I

    2012-01-01

    When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain "ribosomal Tree of Life" that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: (1) pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT), in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment) of the Tree of Life concept, (2) Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and (3) evolution of evolvability, i.e., dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V. Koonin

    2012-09-01

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

  15. Highly Adaptable but Not Invulnerable: Necessary and Facilitating Conditions for Research in Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laudel, Grit; Benninghoff, Martin; Lettkemann, Eric; Håkansson, Elias; Whitley, Richard; Gläser, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology is a highly variable scientific innovation because researchers can adapt their involvement in the innovation to the opportunities provided by their environment. On the basis of comparative case studies in four countries, we link epistemic properties of research

  16. Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural…

  17. Remembering the Forest While Viewing the Trees: Evolutionary Thinking in the Teaching of Molecular Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to the study of biology, we present a strategy for reinforcing its importance by appropriately recontextualizing classic and well-known experiments that are not explicitly linked with evolution in conventional texts. This exercise gives students an appreciation of the applicability of the theory of…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, James

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

  19. Remembering the forest while viewing the trees: evolutionary thinking in the teaching of molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to the study of biology, we present a strategy for reinforcing its importance by appropriately recontextualizing classic and well-known experiments that are not explicitly linked with evolution in conventional texts. This exercise gives students an appreciation of the applicability of the theory of evolution in diverse contexts, including those where it is not explicitly mentioned. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  20. Evolutionary formalism from random Leslie matrices in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caceres, M.O.; Caceres-Saez, I.

    2008-07-01

    We present a perturbative formalism to deal with linear random matrix difference equations. We generalize the concept of the population growth rate when a Leslie matrix has random elements (i.e., characterizing the disorder in the vital parameters). The dominant eigenvalue of which defines the asymptotic dynamics of the mean value population vector state, is presented as the effective growth rate of a random Leslie model. This eigenvalue is calculated from the largest positive root of a secular polynomial. Analytical (exact and perturbative calculations) results are presented for several models of disorder. A 3 x 3 numerical example is applied to study the effective growth rate characterizing the long-time dynamics of a population biological case: the Tursiops sp. (author)

  1. Evolutionary systems biology of amino acid biosynthetic cost in yeast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Barton

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Every protein has a biosynthetic cost to the cell based on the synthesis of its constituent amino acids. In order to optimise growth and reproduction, natural selection is expected, where possible, to favour the use of proteins whose constituents are cheaper to produce, as reduced biosynthetic cost may confer a fitness advantage to the organism. Quantifying the cost of amino acid biosynthesis presents challenges, since energetic requirements may change across different cellular and environmental conditions. We developed a systems biology approach to estimate the cost of amino acid synthesis based on genome-scale metabolic models and investigated the effects of the cost of amino acid synthesis on Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene expression and protein evolution. First, we used our two new and six previously reported measures of amino acid cost in conjunction with codon usage bias, tRNA gene number and atomic composition to identify which of these factors best predict transcript and protein levels. Second, we compared amino acid cost with rates of amino acid substitution across four species in the genus Saccharomyces. Regardless of which cost measure is used, amino acid biosynthetic cost is weakly associated with transcript and protein levels. In contrast, we find that biosynthetic cost and amino acid substitution rates show a negative correlation, but for only a subset of cost measures. In the economy of the yeast cell, we find that the cost of amino acid synthesis plays a limited role in shaping transcript and protein expression levels compared to that of translational optimisation. Biosynthetic cost does, however, appear to affect rates of amino acid evolution in Saccharomyces, suggesting that expensive amino acids may only be used when they have specific structural or functional roles in protein sequences. However, as there appears to be no single currency to compute the cost of amino acid synthesis across all cellular and environmental

  2. Biomimetic design processes in architecture: morphogenetic and evolutionary computational design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menges, Achim

    2012-01-01

    Design computation has profound impact on architectural design methods. This paper explains how computational design enables the development of biomimetic design processes specific to architecture, and how they need to be significantly different from established biomimetic processes in engineering disciplines. The paper first explains the fundamental difference between computer-aided and computational design in architecture, as the understanding of this distinction is of critical importance for the research presented. Thereafter, the conceptual relation and possible transfer of principles from natural morphogenesis to design computation are introduced and the related developments of generative, feature-based, constraint-based, process-based and feedback-based computational design methods are presented. This morphogenetic design research is then related to exploratory evolutionary computation, followed by the presentation of two case studies focusing on the exemplary development of spatial envelope morphologies and urban block morphologies. (paper)

  3. Biomimetic design processes in architecture: morphogenetic and evolutionary computational design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menges, Achim

    2012-03-01

    Design computation has profound impact on architectural design methods. This paper explains how computational design enables the development of biomimetic design processes specific to architecture, and how they need to be significantly different from established biomimetic processes in engineering disciplines. The paper first explains the fundamental difference between computer-aided and computational design in architecture, as the understanding of this distinction is of critical importance for the research presented. Thereafter, the conceptual relation and possible transfer of principles from natural morphogenesis to design computation are introduced and the related developments of generative, feature-based, constraint-based, process-based and feedback-based computational design methods are presented. This morphogenetic design research is then related to exploratory evolutionary computation, followed by the presentation of two case studies focusing on the exemplary development of spatial envelope morphologies and urban block morphologies.

  4. Incorporating tree-thinking and evolutionary time scale into developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Feiner, Nathalie; Keeley, Sean D; Hara, Yuichiro

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic approaches are indispensable in any comparative molecular study involving multiple species. These approaches are in increasing demand as the amount and availability of DNA sequence information continues to increase exponentially, even for organisms that were previously not extensively studied. Without the sound application of phylogenetic concepts and knowledge, one can be misled when attempting to infer ancestral character states as well as the timing and order of evolutionary events, both of which are frequently exerted in evolutionary developmental biology. The ignorance of phylogenetic approaches can also impact non-evolutionary studies and cause misidentification of the target gene or protein to be examined in functional characterization. This review aims to promote tree-thinking in evolutionary conjecture and stress the importance of a sense of time scale in cross-species comparisons, in order to enhance the understanding of phylogenetics in all biological fields including developmental biology. To this end, molecular phylogenies of several developmental regulatory genes, including those denoted as "cryptic pan-vertebrate genes", are introduced as examples. © 2016 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  5. The reconstructed evolutionary process with the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didier, Gilles; Royer-Carenzi, Manuela; Laurin, Michel

    2012-12-21

    Using the fossil record yields more detailed reconstructions of the evolutionary process than what is obtained from contemporary lineages only. In this work, we present a stochastic process modeling not only speciation and extinction, but also fossil finds. Next, we derive an explicit formula for the likelihood of a reconstructed phylogeny with fossils, which can be used to estimate the speciation and extinction rates. Finally, we provide a comparative simulation-based evaluation of the accuracy of estimations of these rates from complete phylogenies (including extinct lineages), from reconstructions with contemporary lineages only and from reconstructions with contemporary lineages and the fossil record. Results show that taking the fossil record into account yields more accurate estimates of speciation and extinction rates than considering only contemporary lineages. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Analysis of Evolutionary Processes of Species Jump in Waterfowl Parvovirus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Wentao; Sun, Zhaoyu; Shen, Tongtong; Xu, Danning; Huang, Kehe; Zhou, Jiyong; Song, Suquan; Yan, Liping

    2017-01-01

    Waterfowl parvoviruses are classified into goose parvovirus (GPV) and Muscovy duck parvovirus (MDPV) according to their antigenic features and host preferences. A novel duck parvovirus (NDPV), identified as a new variant of GPV, is currently infecting ducks, thus causing considerable economic loss. This study analyzed the molecular evolution and population dynamics of the emerging parvovirus capsid gene to investigate the evolutionary processes concerning the host shift of NDPV. Two important amino acids changes (Asn-489 and Asn-650) were identified in NDPV, which may be responsible for host shift of NDPV. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the currently circulating NDPV originated from the GPV lineage. The Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo tree indicated that the NDPV diverged from GPV approximately 20 years ago. Evolutionary rate analyses demonstrated that GPV evolved with 7.674 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year, and the data for MDPV was 5.237 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year, whereas the substitution rate in NDPV branch was 2.25 × 10-3 substitutions/site/year. Meanwhile, viral population dynamics analysis revealed that the GPV major clade, including NDPV, grew exponentially at a rate of 1.717 year-1. Selection pressure analysis showed that most sites are subject to strong purifying selection and no positively selected sites were found in NDPV. The unique immune-epitopes in waterfowl parvovirus were also estimated, which may be helpful for the prediction of antibody binding sites against NDPV in ducks. PMID:28352261

  7. Structural Equation Modeling: Applications in ecological and evolutionary biology research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugesek, Bruce H.; von Eye, Alexander; Tomer, Adrian

    2003-01-01

    This book presents an introduction to the methodology of structural equation modeling, illustrates its use, and goes on to argue that it has revolutionary implications for the study of natural systems. A major theme of this book is that we have, up to this point, attempted to study systems primarily using methods (such as the univariate model) that were designed only for considering individual processes. Understanding systems requires the capacity to examine simultaneous influences and responses. Structural equation modeling (SEM) has such capabilities. It also possesses many other traits that add strength to its utility as a means of making scientific progress. In light of the capabilities of SEM, it can be argued that much of ecological theory is currently locked in an immature state that impairs its relevance. It is further argued that the principles of SEM are capable of leading to the development and evaluation of multivariate theories of the sort vitally needed for the conservation of natural systems. Supplementary information can be found at the authors website, http://www.jamesbgrace.com/. • Details why multivariate analyses should be used to study ecological systems • Exposes unappreciated weakness in many current popular analyses • Emphasizes the future methodological developments needed to advance our understanding of ecological systems.

  8. The cell biology of the endocytic system from an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wideman, Jeremy G; Leung, Ka Fai; Field, Mark C; Dacks, Joel B

    2014-04-01

    Evolutionary cell biology can afford an interdisciplinary comparative view that gives insights into both the functioning of modern cells and the origins of cellular systems, including the endocytic organelles. Here, we explore several recent evolutionary cell biology studies, highlighting investigations into the origin and diversity of endocytic systems in eukaryotes. Beginning with a brief overview of the eukaryote tree of life, we show how understanding the endocytic machinery in a select, but diverse, array of organisms provides insights into endocytic system origins and predicts the likely configuration in the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Next, we consider three examples in which a comparative approach yielded insight into the function of modern cellular systems. First, using ESCRT-0 as an example, we show how comparative cell biology can discover both lineage-specific novelties (ESCRT-0) as well as previously ignored ancient proteins (Tom1), likely of both evolutionary and functional importance. Second, we highlight the power of comparative cell biology for discovery of previously ignored but potentially ancient complexes (AP5). Finally, using examples from ciliates and trypanosomes, we show that not all organisms possess canonical endocytic pathways, but instead likely evolved lineage-specific mechanisms. Drawing from these case studies, we conclude that a comparative approach is a powerful strategy for advancing knowledge about the general mechanisms and functions of endocytic systems.

  9. Evolutionary learning processes as the foundation for behaviour change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutzen, Rik; Peters, Gjalt-Jorn Ygram

    2018-03-01

    We argue that the active ingredients of behaviour change interventions, often called behaviour change methods (BCMs) or techniques (BCTs), can usefully be placed on a dimension of psychological aggregation. We introduce evolutionary learning processes (ELPs) as fundamental building blocks that are on a lower level of psychological aggregation than BCMs/BCTs. A better understanding of ELPs is useful to select the appropriate BCMs/BCTs to target determinants of behaviour, or vice versa, to identify potential determinants targeted by a given BCM/BCT, and to optimally translate them into practical applications. Using these insights during intervention development may increase the likelihood of developing effective interventions - both in terms of behaviour change as well as maintenance of behaviour change.

  10. Evolutionary processes shaping diversity across the Homo lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Lauren; Ackermann, Rebecca Rogers

    2017-10-01

    Recent fossil finds have highlighted extensive morphological diversity within our genus, Homo, and the co-existence of a number of species. However, little is known about the evolutionary processes responsible for producing this diversity. Understanding the action of these processes can provide insight into how and why our lineage evolved and diversified. Here, we examine cranial and mandibular variation and diversification from the earliest emergence of our genus at 2.8 Ma until the Late Pleistocene (0.126-0.0117 Ma), using statistical tests developed from quantitative genetics theory to evaluate whether stochastic (genetic drift) versus non-stochastic (selection) processes were responsible for the observed variation. Results show that random processes can account for species diversification for most traits, including neurocranial diversification, and across all time periods. Where selection was found to shape diversification, we show that: 1) adaptation was important in the earliest migration of Homo out of Africa; 2) selection played a role in shaping mandibular and maxillary diversity among Homo groups, possibly due to dietary differences; and 3) Homo rudolfensis is adaptively different from other early Homo taxa, including the earliest known Homo specimen. These results show that genetic drift, and, likely, small population sizes were important factors shaping the evolution of Homo and many of its novel traits, but that selection played an essential role in driving adaptation to new contexts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Evolutionary developmental biology: its concepts and history with a focus on Russian and German contributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Lennart; Levit, Georgy S; Hossfeld, Uwe

    2010-11-01

    Evolutionary theory has been likened to a "universal acid" (Dennett 1995) that eats its way into more and more areas of science. Recently, developmental biology has been infused by evolutionary concepts and perspectives, and a new field of research--evolutionary developmental biology--has been created and is often called EvoDevo for short. However, this is not the first attempt to make a synthesis between these two areas of biology. In contrast, beginning right after the publication of Darwin's Origin in 1859, Ernst Haeckel formulated his biogenetic law in 1872, famously stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Haeckel was in his turn influenced by pre-Darwinian thinkers such as Karl Ernst von Baer, who had noted that earlier developmental stages show similarities not seen in the adults. In this review, written for an audience of non-specialists, we first give an overview of the history of EvoDevo, especially the tradition emanating from Haeckel and other comparative embryologists and morphologists, which has often been neglected in discussions about the history of EvoDevo and evolutionary biology. Here we emphasize contributions from Russian and German scientists to compensate for the Anglo-American bias in the literature. In Germany, the direct influence of Ernst Haeckel was felt particularly in Jena, where he spent his entire career as a professor, and we give an overview of the "Jena school" of evolutionary morphology, with protagonists such as Oscar Hertwig, Ludwig Plate, and Victor Franz, who all developed ideas that we would nowadays think of as belonging to EvoDevo. Franz ideas about "biometabolic modi" are similar to those of a Russian comparative morphologist that visited Jena repeatedly, A. N. Sewertzoff, who made important contributions to what we now call heterochrony research--heterochrony meaning changes in the relative timing of developmental events. His student I. I. Schmalhausen became an important contributor to the synthetic theory of

  12. Evolutionary cell biology of division mode in the bacterial Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Rivas-Marín

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria from the Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia and Chlamydiae (PVC superphylum are exceptions to the otherwise dominant mode of division by binary fission, which is based on the interaction between the FtsZ protein and the peptidoglycan (PG biosynthesis machinery. Some PVC bacteria are deprived of the FtsZ protein and were also thought to lack PG. How these bacteria divide is still one of the major mysteries of microbiology. The presence of PG has recently been revealed in Planctomycetes and Chlamydiae, and proteins related to PG synthesis have been shown to be implicated in the division process in Chlamydiae, providing important insights into PVC mechanisms of division. Here, we review the historical lack of observation of PG in PVC bacteria, its recent detection in two phyla and its involvement in chlamydial cell division. Based on the detection of PG-related proteins in PVC proteomes, we consider the possible evolution of the diverse division mechanisms in these bacteria. We conclude by summarizing what is known and what remains to be understood about the evolutionary cell biology of PVC division modes.

  13. SOME CONCEPTUAL AND METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES ON HAPPINESS: LESSONS FROM EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

    OpenAIRE

    YEW-KWANG NG

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent intense interest, happiness studies have been impeded by some conceptual and methodological problems, including viewing happiness (well-being/welfare) as different over different persons, as relative, multi-dimensional, non-cardinally measurable, interpersonally non-comparable and using non-cardinal and interpersonally non-comparable methods of happiness measurement. Using the evolutionary biology of happiness, this paper argues that happiness is absolute, universal, and uni-di...

  14. Ancestor of the new archetypal biology: Goethe's dynamic typology as a model for contemporary evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegner, Mark F

    2013-12-01

    As understood historically, typological thinking has no place in evolutionary biology since its conceptual framework is viewed as incompatible with population thinking. In this article, I propose that what I describe as dynamic typological thinking has been confused with, and has been overshadowed by, a static form of typological thinking. This conflation results from an inability to grasp dynamic typological thinking due to the overlooked requirement to engage our cognitive activity in an unfamiliar way. Thus, analytical thinking alone is unsuited to comprehend the nature of dynamic typological thinking. Over 200 years ago, J. W. von Goethe, in his Metamorphosis of Plants (1790) and other writings, introduced a dynamic form of typological thinking that has been traditionally misunderstood and misrepresented. I describe in detail Goethe's phenomenological methodology and its contemporary value in understanding morphological patterns in living organisms. Furthermore, contrary to the implications of static typological thinking, dynamic typological thinking is perfectly compatible with evolutionary dynamics and, if rightly understood, can contribute significantly to the still emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Evolutionary Spectra Estimation of Field Measurement Typhoon Processes Using Wavelets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guang-Dong Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a wavelet-based method for estimating evolutionary power spectral density (EPSD of nonstationary stochastic oscillatory processes and its application to field measured typhoon processes. The EPSD, which is deduced in a closed form based on the definition of the EPSD and the algorithm of the continuous wavelet transform, can be formulated as a sum of squared moduli of the wavelet functions in time domain modulated by frequency-dependent coefficients that relate to the squared values of wavelet coefficients and two wavelet functions with different time shifts. A parametric study is conducted to examine the efficacy of the wavelet-based estimation method and the accuracy of different wavelets. The results indicate that all of the estimated EPSDs have acceptable accuracy in engineering application and the Morlet transform can provide desirable estimations in both time and frequency domains. Finally, the proposed method is adopted to investigate the time-frequency characteristics of the Typhoon Matsa measured in bridge site. The nonstationary energy distribution and stationary frequency component during the whole process are found. The work in this paper may promote an improved understanding of the nonstationary features of typhoon winds.

  16. Explanations for adaptations, just-so stories, and limitations on evidence in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Richard J

    2016-11-01

    Explanations of the historical origin of specific individual traits are a key part of the research program in paleontology and evolutionary biology. Why did bipedalism evolve in the human lineage? Why did some dinosaurs and related species have head crests? Why did viviparity evolve in some reptiles? Why did the common ancestor of primates evolve stereoscopic vision, grasping hands and feet, nails instead of claws, and large brains? These are difficult questions. To varying degrees, an explanation must grapple with (1) judgments about changes in fitness that might follow from a change in morphology - without actually observing behavior or measuring reproductive success, (2) the relationship between genes and traits, (3) limitations on doing relevant experiments, (4) the interpretation of causes that are almost certainly contingent, multifactorial, interactive, hierarchical, nonlinear, emergent, and probabilistic rather than deterministic, (5) limited information about variation and ontogeny, (6) a dataset based on the random fortunes of the historical record, including only partial hard-tissue morphology and no soft-tissue morphology, (7) an equally partial and problematic (for example, time-averaged) record of the environment, (8) the compression of all data into a geological time scale that is likely to miss biologically important events or fluctuations, (9) dependence on a process that can only be inferred ("form and even behavior may leave fossil traces, but forces like natural selection do not", 1:130 ) and finally, (10) the assumption of the "adaptationist programme" 2 that the trait in question is in fact an adaptation rather than a consequence of genetic drift, correlated evolution, pleiotropy, exaptation, or other mechanisms. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Evolutionary developmental biology: its concepts and history with a focus on Russian and German contributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Lennart; Levit, Georgy S.; Hoßfeld, Uwe

    2010-11-01

    Evolutionary theory has been likened to a “universal acid” (Dennett 1995) that eats its way into more and more areas of science. Recently, developmental biology has been infused by evolutionary concepts and perspectives, and a new field of research—evolutionary developmental biology—has been created and is often called EvoDevo for short. However, this is not the first attempt to make a synthesis between these two areas of biology. In contrast, beginning right after the publication of Darwin’s Origin in 1859, Ernst Haeckel formulated his biogenetic law in 1872, famously stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Haeckel was in his turn influenced by pre-Darwinian thinkers such as Karl Ernst von Baer, who had noted that earlier developmental stages show similarities not seen in the adults. In this review, written for an audience of non-specialists, we first give an overview of the history of EvoDevo, especially the tradition emanating from Haeckel and other comparative embryologists and morphologists, which has often been neglected in discussions about the history of EvoDevo and evolutionary biology. Here we emphasize contributions from Russian and German scientists to compensate for the Anglo-American bias in the literature. In Germany, the direct influence of Ernst Haeckel was felt particularly in Jena, where he spent his entire career as a professor, and we give an overview of the “Jena school” of evolutionary morphology, with protagonists such as Oscar Hertwig, Ludwig Plate, and Victor Franz, who all developed ideas that we would nowadays think of as belonging to EvoDevo. Franz ideas about “biometabolic modi” are similar to those of a Russian comparative morphologist that visited Jena repeatedly, A. N. Sewertzoff, who made important contributions to what we now call heterochrony research—heterochrony meaning changes in the relative timing of developmental events. His student I. I. Schmalhausen became an important contributor to the

  18. An Untold Story in Biology: The Historical Continuity of Evolutionary Ideas of Muslim Scholars from the 8th Century to Darwin's Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Aamina H.; Ziermann, Janine M.; Diogo, Rui

    2018-01-01

    Textbooks on the history of biology and evolutionary thought do not mention the evolutionary ideas of Muslim scholars before Darwin's time. This is part of a trend in the West to minimise the contributions of non-Western scientists to biology, human anatomy and evolutionary biology. Therefore, this paper focuses on the contributions of…

  19. Bridging the physical scales in evolutionary biology: from protein sequence space to fitness of organisms and populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bershtein, Shimon; Serohijos, Adrian Wr; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2017-02-01

    Bridging the gap between the molecular properties of proteins and organismal/population fitness is essential for understanding evolutionary processes. This task requires the integration of the several physical scales of biological organization, each defined by a distinct set of mechanisms and constraints, into a single unifying model. The molecular scale is dominated by the constraints imposed by the physico-chemical properties of proteins and their substrates, which give rise to trade-offs and epistatic (non-additive) effects of mutations. At the systems scale, biological networks modulate protein expression and can either buffer or enhance the fitness effects of mutations. The population scale is influenced by the mutational input, selection regimes, and stochastic changes affecting the size and structure of populations, which eventually determine the evolutionary fate of mutations. Here, we summarize the recent advances in theory, computer simulations, and experiments that advance our understanding of the links between various physical scales in biology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. How can we estimate natural selection on endocrine traits? Lessons from evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonier, Frances; Martin, Paul R

    2016-11-30

    An evolutionary perspective can enrich almost any endeavour in biology, providing a deeper understanding of the variation we see in nature. To this end, evolutionary endocrinologists seek to describe the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits. Much of the recent work in our field, however, follows a flawed approach to the study of how selection shapes endocrine traits. Briefly, this approach relies on among-individual correlations between endocrine phenotypes (often circulating hormone levels) and fitness metrics to estimate selection on those endocrine traits. Adaptive plasticity in both endocrine and fitness-related traits can drive these correlations, generating patterns that do not accurately reflect natural selection. We illustrate why this approach to studying selection on endocrine traits is problematic, referring to work from evolutionary biologists who, decades ago, described this problem as it relates to a variety of other plastic traits. We extend these arguments to evolutionary endocrinology, where the likelihood that this flaw generates bias in estimates of selection is unusually high due to the exceptional responsiveness of hormones to environmental conditions, and their function to induce adaptive life-history responses to environmental variation. We end with a review of productive approaches for investigating the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits that we expect will generate exciting advances in our understanding of endocrine system evolution. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. What will result from the interaction between functional and evolutionary biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2011-03-01

    The modern synthesis has been considered to be wrongly called a "synthesis", since it had completely excluded embryology, and many other disciplines. The recent developments of Evo-Devo have been seen as a step in the right direction, as complementing the modern synthesis, and probably leading to a "new synthesis". My argument is that the absence of embryology from the modern synthesis was the visible sign of a more profound lack: the absence of functional biology in the evolutionary synthesis. I will consider the reasons for this absence, as well as the recent transformations which favoured a closer interaction between these two branches of biology. Then I will describe two examples of recent work in which functional and evolutionary questioning were tightly linked. The most significant part of the paper will be devoted to the transformation of evolutionary theory that can be expected from this encounter: a deep transformation, or simply an experimental confirmation of this theory? I will not choose between these two different possibilities, but will discuss some of the difficulties which make the choice problematic. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Biochemistry and physiology within the framework of the extended synthesis of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vianello, Angelo; Passamonti, Sabina

    2016-02-09

    Functional biologists, like Claude Bernard, ask "How?", meaning that they investigate the mechanisms underlying the emergence of biological functions (proximal causes), while evolutionary biologists, like Charles Darwin, asks "Why?", meaning that they search the causes of adaptation, survival and evolution (remote causes). Are these divergent views on what is life? The epistemological role of functional biology (molecular biology, but also biochemistry, physiology, cell biology and so forth) appears essential, for its capacity to identify several mechanisms of natural selection of new characters, individuals and populations. Nevertheless, several issues remain unsolved, such as orphan metabolic activities, i.e., adaptive functions still missing the identification of the underlying genes and proteins, and orphan genes, i.e., genes that bear no signature of evolutionary history, yet provide an organism with improved adaptation to environmental changes. In the framework of the Extended Synthesis, we suggest that the adaptive roles of any known function/structure are reappraised in terms of their capacity to warrant constancy of the internal environment (homeostasis), a concept that encompasses both proximal and remote causes.

  3. Phylogenetic footprint of the plant clock system in angiosperms: evolutionary processes of Pseudo-Response Regulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saito Shigeru

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant circadian clocks regulate many photoperiodic and diurnal responses that are conserved among plant species. The plant circadian clock system has been uncovered in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, using genetics and systems biology approaches. However, it is still not clear how the clock system had been organized in the evolutionary history of plants. We recently revealed the molecular phylogeny of LHY/CCA1 genes, one of the essential components of the clock system. The aims of this study are to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of angiosperm clock-associated PRR genes, the partner of the LHY/CCA1 genes, and to clarify the evolutionary history of the plant clock system in angiosperm lineages. Results In the present study, to investigate the molecular phylogeny of PRR genes, we performed two approaches: reconstruction of phylogenetic trees and examination of syntenic relationships. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that PRR genes had diverged into three clades prior to the speciation of monocots and eudicots. Furthermore, copy numbers of PRR genes have been independently increased in monocots and eudicots as a result of ancient chromosomal duplication events. Conclusions Based on the molecular phylogenies of both PRR genes and LHY/CCA1 genes, we inferred the evolutionary process of the plant clock system in angiosperms. This scenario provides evolutionary information that a common ancestor of monocots and eudicots had retained the basic components required for reconstructing a clock system and that the plant circadian clock may have become a more elaborate mechanism after the speciation of monocots and eudicots because of the gene expansion that resulted from polyploidy events.

  4. Controversies in modern evolutionary biology: the imperative for error detection and quality control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosdocimi, Francisco; Linard, Benjamin; Pontarotti, Pierre; Poch, Olivier; Thompson, Julie D

    2012-01-04

    The data from high throughput genomics technologies provide unique opportunities for studies of complex biological systems, but also pose many new challenges. The shift to the genome scale in evolutionary biology, for example, has led to many interesting, but often controversial studies. It has been suggested that part of the conflict may be due to errors in the initial sequences. Most gene sequences are predicted by bioinformatics programs and a number of quality issues have been raised, concerning DNA sequencing errors or badly predicted coding regions, particularly in eukaryotes. We investigated the impact of these errors on evolutionary studies and specifically on the identification of important genetic events. We focused on the detection of asymmetric evolution after duplication, which has been the subject of controversy recently. Using the human genome as a reference, we established a reliable set of 688 duplicated genes in 13 complete vertebrate genomes, where significantly different evolutionary rates are observed. We estimated the rates at which protein sequence errors occur and are accumulated in the higher-level analyses. We showed that the majority of the detected events (57%) are in fact artifacts due to the putative erroneous sequences and that these artifacts are sufficient to mask the true functional significance of the events. Initial errors are accumulated throughout the evolutionary analysis, generating artificially high rates of event predictions and leading to substantial uncertainty in the conclusions. This study emphasizes the urgent need for error detection and quality control strategies in order to efficiently extract knowledge from the new genome data. © 2012 Prosdocimi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  5. Decentralized control of ecological and biological networks through Evolutionary Network Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ferrarini

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary Network Control (ENC has been recently introduced to allow the control of any kind of ecological and biological networks, with an arbitrary number of nodes and links, acting from inside and/or outside. To date, ENC has been applied using a centralized approach where an arbitrary number of network nodes and links could be tamed. This approach has shown to be effective in the control of ecological and biological networks. However a decentralized control, where only one node and the correspondent input/output links are controlled, could be more economic from a computational viewpoint, in particular when the network is very large (i.e. big data. In this view, ENC is upgraded here to realize the decentralized control of ecological and biological nets.

  6. The Schistosoma mansoni phylome: using evolutionary genomics to gain insight into a parasite's biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Larissa Lopes; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Nahum, Laila Alves; Zerlotini, Adhemar; Gabaldón, Toni; Oliveira, Guilherme

    2012-11-13

    Schistosoma mansoni is one of the causative agents of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects about 237 million people worldwide. Despite recent efforts, we still lack a general understanding of the relevant host-parasite interactions, and the possible treatments are limited by the emergence of resistant strains and the absence of a vaccine. The S. mansoni genome was completely sequenced and still under continuous annotation. Nevertheless, more than 45% of the encoded proteins remain without experimental characterization or even functional prediction. To improve our knowledge regarding the biology of this parasite, we conducted a proteome-wide evolutionary analysis to provide a broad view of the S. mansoni's proteome evolution and to improve its functional annotation. Using a phylogenomic approach, we reconstructed the S. mansoni phylome, which comprises the evolutionary histories of all parasite proteins and their homologs across 12 other organisms. The analysis of a total of 7,964 phylogenies allowed a deeper understanding of genomic complexity and evolutionary adaptations to a parasitic lifestyle. In particular, the identification of lineage-specific gene duplications pointed to the diversification of several protein families that are relevant for host-parasite interaction, including proteases, tetraspanins, fucosyltransferases, venom allergen-like proteins, and tegumental-allergen-like proteins. In addition to the evolutionary knowledge, the phylome data enabled us to automatically re-annotate 3,451 proteins through a phylogenetic-based approach rather than solely sequence similarity searches. To allow further exploitation of this valuable data, all information has been made available at PhylomeDB (http://www.phylomedb.org). In this study, we used an evolutionary approach to assess S. mansoni parasite biology, improve genome/proteome functional annotation, and provide insights into host-parasite interactions. Taking advantage of a proteome

  7. The Schistosoma mansoni phylome: using evolutionary genomics to gain insight into a parasite’s biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silva Larissa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schistosoma mansoni is one of the causative agents of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects about 237 million people worldwide. Despite recent efforts, we still lack a general understanding of the relevant host-parasite interactions, and the possible treatments are limited by the emergence of resistant strains and the absence of a vaccine. The S. mansoni genome was completely sequenced and still under continuous annotation. Nevertheless, more than 45% of the encoded proteins remain without experimental characterization or even functional prediction. To improve our knowledge regarding the biology of this parasite, we conducted a proteome-wide evolutionary analysis to provide a broad view of the S. mansoni’s proteome evolution and to improve its functional annotation. Results Using a phylogenomic approach, we reconstructed the S. mansoni phylome, which comprises the evolutionary histories of all parasite proteins and their homologs across 12 other organisms. The analysis of a total of 7,964 phylogenies allowed a deeper understanding of genomic complexity and evolutionary adaptations to a parasitic lifestyle. In particular, the identification of lineage-specific gene duplications pointed to the diversification of several protein families that are relevant for host-parasite interaction, including proteases, tetraspanins, fucosyltransferases, venom allergen-like proteins, and tegumental-allergen-like proteins. In addition to the evolutionary knowledge, the phylome data enabled us to automatically re-annotate 3,451 proteins through a phylogenetic-based approach rather than solely sequence similarity searches. To allow further exploitation of this valuable data, all information has been made available at PhylomeDB (http://www.phylomedb.org. Conclusions In this study, we used an evolutionary approach to assess S. mansoni parasite biology, improve genome/proteome functional annotation, and provide insights into

  8. The Riddle of a Human Being: A Human Singularity of Co-evolutionary Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena N. Knyazeva

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: #39;Times New Roman#39;"The theory of self-organization of complex systems studies laws of sustainable co-evolutionary development of structures having different speeds of development as well as laws of assembling of a complex evolutionary whole from parts when some elements of ldquo;memoryrdquo; (the biological memory, i.e. DNA, the memory of culture, i.e. the cultural and historical traditions, etc. must be included. The theory reveals general rules of nonlinear synthesis of complex evolutionary structures. The most important and paradoxical consequences of the holistic view, including an approach to solving the riddle of human personality, are as follows: 1 the explanation why and under what conditions a part (a human can be more complex than a whole (society; 2 in order to reconstruct society it is necessary to change an individual but not by cutting off the supposed undesirable past, since a human being as a microcosm is the synthesis of all previous stages of evolution, and as a result of repression of, it would seem, the wild past one can extinguish a ldquo;divine sparkrdquo; in his soul; 3 in the physical sense, singularity denotes a moment of instability, phase transition; one can talk about the human singularity of co-evolutionary processes, since in such a moment of instability individual actions of a human can play a key role in determining a channel of further development as well as in appearance of a new pattern of collective behavior in society; 4 as the models of nonlinear dynamics, elaborated at the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, show, there is a possibility of a direct influence of the future and even a touch of an infinitely remote future in certain evolutionary regimes and under rigorously definite conditions, more over, it turns out that such a possibility exists only for a human (admittedly, through a specific state of being

  9. Piecewise deterministic processes in biological models

    CERN Document Server

    Rudnicki, Ryszard

    2017-01-01

    This book presents a concise introduction to piecewise deterministic Markov processes (PDMPs), with particular emphasis on their applications to biological models. Further, it presents examples of biological phenomena, such as gene activity and population growth, where different types of PDMPs appear: continuous time Markov chains, deterministic processes with jumps, processes with switching dynamics, and point processes. Subsequent chapters present the necessary tools from the theory of stochastic processes and semigroups of linear operators, as well as theoretical results concerning the long-time behaviour of stochastic semigroups induced by PDMPs and their applications to biological models. As such, the book offers a valuable resource for mathematicians and biologists alike. The first group will find new biological models that lead to interesting and often new mathematical questions, while the second can observe how to include seemingly disparate biological processes into a unified mathematical theory, and...

  10. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DeAngelis, D.L.; Mooij, W.M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential and difference equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis

  11. Evolutionary process of a tetranucleotide microsatellite locus in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2011-08-19

    Aug 19, 2011 ... Abstract. The evolutionary dynamics of the tetra-nucleotide microsatellite locus Spl-106 were investigated at the repeat and flanking sequences in 137 individuals of 15 Acipenseriform species, giving 93 homologous sequences, which were detected in 11 out of 15 species. Twenty-three haplotypes of ...

  12. [Evolutionary process unveiled by the maximum genetic diversity hypothesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yi-Min; Xia, Meng-Ying; Huang, Shi

    2013-05-01

    As two major popular theories to explain evolutionary facts, the neutral theory and Neo-Darwinism, despite their proven virtues in certain areas, still fail to offer comprehensive explanations to such fundamental evolutionary phenomena as the genetic equidistance result, abundant overlap sites, increase in complexity over time, incomplete understanding of genetic diversity, and inconsistencies with fossil and archaeological records. Maximum genetic diversity hypothesis (MGD), however, constructs a more complete evolutionary genetics theory that incorporates all of the proven virtues of existing theories and adds to them the novel concept of a maximum or optimum limit on genetic distance or diversity. It has yet to meet a contradiction and explained for the first time the half-century old Genetic Equidistance phenomenon as well as most other major evolutionary facts. It provides practical and quantitative ways of studying complexity. Molecular interpretation using MGD-based methods reveal novel insights on the origins of humans and other primates that are consistent with fossil evidence and common sense, and reestablished the important role of China in the evolution of humans. MGD theory has also uncovered an important genetic mechanism in the construction of complex traits and the pathogenesis of complex diseases. We here made a series of sequence comparisons among yeasts, fishes and primates to illustrate the concept of limit on genetic distance. The idea of limit or optimum is in line with the yin-yang paradigm in the traditional Chinese view of the universal creative law in nature.

  13. Biological invasions in agricultural settings: insights from evolutionary biology and population genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillemaud, Thomas; Ciosi, Marc; Lombaert, Eric; Estoup, Arnaud

    2011-03-01

    Invasion biology and agriculture are intimately related for several reasons and in particular because many agricultural pest species are recent invaders. In this article we suggest that the reconstruction of invasion routes with population genetics-based methods can address fundamental questions in ecology and practical aspects of the management of biological invasions in agricultural settings. We provide a brief description of the methods used to reconstruct invasion routes and describe their main characteristics. In particular, we focus on a scenario--the bridgehead invasion scenario --which had been overlooked until recently. We show that this scenario, in which an invasive population is the source of other invasive populations, is evolutionarily parsimonious and may have played a crucial role in shaping the distribution of many recent agricultural pests. Copyright © 2011 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Getting to evo-devo: concepts and challenges for students learning evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P; Price, Rebecca M; Perez, Kathryn E

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we find that instruction often addresses development cursorily, with most of the treatment embedded within instruction on evolution. Based on results of surveys and interviews with students, we suggest that teaching core concepts (CCs) within a framework that integrates supporting concepts (SCs) from both evolutionary and developmental biology can improve evo-devo instruction. We articulate CCs, SCs, and foundational concepts (FCs) that provide an integrative framework to help students master evo-devo concepts and to help educators address specific conceptual difficulties their students have with evo-devo. We then identify the difficulties that undergraduates have with these concepts. Most of these difficulties are of two types: those that are ubiquitous among students in all areas of biology and those that stem from an inadequate understanding of FCs from developmental, cell, and molecular biology.

  15. Evolutionary process of deep-sea bathymodiolus mussels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Ichi Miyazaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Since the discovery of deep-sea chemosynthesis-based communities, much work has been done to clarify their organismal and environmental aspects. However, major topics remain to be resolved, including when and how organisms invade and adapt to deep-sea environments; whether strategies for invasion and adaptation are shared by different taxa or unique to each taxon; how organisms extend their distribution and diversity; and how they become isolated to speciate in continuous waters. Deep-sea mussels are one of the dominant organisms in chemosynthesis-based communities, thus investigations of their origin and evolution contribute to resolving questions about life in those communities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We investigated worldwide phylogenetic relationships of deep-sea Bathymodiolus mussels and their mytilid relatives by analyzing nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4 genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated sequence data showed that mussels of the subfamily Bathymodiolinae from vents and seeps were divided into four groups, and that mussels of the subfamily Modiolinae from sunken wood and whale carcasses assumed the outgroup position and shallow-water modioline mussels were positioned more distantly to the bathymodioline mussels. We provisionally hypothesized the evolutionary history of Bathymodilolus mussels by estimating evolutionary time under a relaxed molecular clock model. Diversification of bathymodioline mussels was initiated in the early Miocene, and subsequently diversification of the groups occurred in the early to middle Miocene. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The phylogenetic relationships support the "Evolutionary stepping stone hypothesis," in which mytilid ancestors exploited sunken wood and whale carcasses in their progressive adaptation to deep-sea environments. This hypothesis is also supported by the evolutionary transition of

  16. Gene bionetworks involved in the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of altered mate preference: environmental epigenetics and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K; Savenkova, Marina I; Zhang, Bin; Gore, Andrea C; Crews, David

    2014-05-16

    Mate preference behavior is an essential first step in sexual selection and is a critical determinant in evolutionary biology. Previously an environmental compound (the fungicide vinclozolin) was found to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of an altered sperm epigenome and modified mate preference characteristics for three generations after exposure of a gestating female. The current study investigated gene networks involved in various regions of the brain that correlated with the altered mate preference behavior in the male and female. Statistically significant correlations of gene clusters and modules were identified to associate with specific mate preference behaviors. This novel systems biology approach identified gene networks (bionetworks) involved in sex-specific mate preference behavior. Observations demonstrate the ability of environmental factors to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of this altered evolutionary biology determinant. Combined observations elucidate the potential molecular control of mate preference behavior and suggests environmental epigenetics can have a role in evolutionary biology.

  17. In the Beginning Was the Familiar Voice Personally Familiar Voices in the Evolutionary and Contemporary Biology of Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidtis, Diana; Kreiman, Jody

    2011-01-01

    The human voice is described in dialogic linguistics as an embodiment of self in a social context, contributing to expression, perception and mutual exchange of self, consciousness, inner life, and personhood. While these approaches are subjective and arise from phenomenological perspectives, scientific facts about personal vocal identity, and its role in biological development, support these views. It is our purpose to review studies of the biology of personal vocal identity -- the familiar voice pattern-- as providing an empirical foundation for the view that the human voice is an embodiment of self in the social context. Recent developments in the biology and evolution of communication are concordant with these notions, revealing that familiar voice recognition (also known as vocal identity recognition or individual vocal recognition) or contributed to survival in the earliest vocalizing species. Contemporary ethology documents the crucial role of familiar voices across animal species in signaling and perceiving internal states and personal identities. Neuropsychological studies of voice reveal multimodal cerebral associations arising across brain structures involved in memory, emotion, attention, and arousal in vocal perception and production, such that the voice represents the whole person. Although its roots are in evolutionary biology, human competence for processing layered social and personal meanings in the voice, as well as personal identity in a large repertory of familiar voice patterns, has achieved an immense sophistication. PMID:21710374

  18. In the beginning was the familiar voice: personally familiar voices in the evolutionary and contemporary biology of communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidtis, Diana; Kreiman, Jody

    2012-06-01

    The human voice is described in dialogic linguistics as an embodiment of self in a social context, contributing to expression, perception and mutual exchange of self, consciousness, inner life, and personhood. While these approaches are subjective and arise from phenomenological perspectives, scientific facts about personal vocal identity, and its role in biological development, support these views. It is our purpose to review studies of the biology of personal vocal identity-the familiar voice pattern-as providing an empirical foundation for the view that the human voice is an embodiment of self in the social context. Recent developments in the biology and evolution of communication are concordant with these notions, revealing that familiar voice recognition (also known as vocal identity recognition or individual vocal recognition) has contributed to survival in the earliest vocalizing species. Contemporary ethology documents the crucial role of familiar voices across animal species in signaling and perceiving internal states and personal identities. Neuropsychological studies of voice reveal multimodal cerebral associations arising across brain structures involved in memory, emotion, attention, and arousal in vocal perception and production, such that the voice represents the whole person. Although its roots are in evolutionary biology, human competence for processing layered social and personal meanings in the voice, as well as personal identity in a large repertory of familiar voice patterns, has achieved an immense sophistication.

  19. Exploring the Factors Related to Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory among Turkish Preservice Biology Teachers: Toward a More Informative Conceptual Ecology for Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deniz, Hasan; Donnelly, Lisa A.; Yilmaz, Irfan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary…

  20. Strategies for Reliable Exploitation of Evolutionary Concepts in High Throughput Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie D. Thompson

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent availability of the complete genome sequences of a large number of model organisms, together with the immense amount of data being produced by the new high-throughput technologies, means that we can now begin comparative analyses to understand the mechanisms involved in the evolution of the genome and their consequences in the study of biological systems. Phylogenetic approaches provide a unique conceptual framework for performing comparative analyses of all this data, for propagating information between different systems and for predicting or inferring new knowledge. As a result, phylogeny-based inference systems are now playing an increasingly important role in most areas of high throughput genomics, including studies of promoters (phylogenetic footprinting, interactomes (based on the presence and degree of conservation of interacting proteins, and in comparisons of transcriptomes or proteomes (phylogenetic proximity and co-regulation/co-expression. Here we review the recent developments aimed at making automatic, reliable phylogeny-based inference feasible in large-scale projects. We also discuss how evolutionary concepts and phylogeny-based inference strategies are now being exploited in order to understand the evolution and function of biological systems. Such advances will be fundamental for the success of the emerging disciplines of systems biology and synthetic biology, and will have wide-reaching effects in applied fields such as biotechnology, medicine and pharmacology.

  1. The evolutionary characteristics and structural biology of Gallus toll-like receptor 21.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hongping; Wang, Hai; Jiang, Wuqi; Lian, Zhengxing

    2017-12-27

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are an important part of the innate immune system, acting as a first line of defense against many invading pathogens. The ligand known to bind Gallus toll-like receptor 21 (gTLR21) is the unmethylated cytosine phosphate guanine dideoxy nucleotide motif; however, the evolutionary characteristics and structural biology of gTLR21 are poorly elaborated. Our results suggest that gTLR21 is phylogenetically and evolutionarily related to the TLR11 family and is perhaps a close ortholog of the Mus TLR13. Structural biology of homology modeling of the gTLR21 ectodomain structure suggests that it has no Z-loop like that seen in Mus TLR9. The cytosolic toll-IL-1 receptor region of gTLR21 contains a central 4-stranded parallel β-sheet (βA-βD) surrounded by 5 α-helices (αA-αE) on both sides, a highly conserved structure also seen in other TLRs. Molecular docking analysis reveals that the gTLR21 ectodomain has the potential to distinguish between different ligands. Homodimer analysis results also suggest that Phe842 and Pro844 of the BB loop and Cys876 of the αC helix in gTLR21 are conserved in other cytosolic toll-IL-1 receptor domains of other TLRs and may contribute to the docking of homodimers. Our study on the evolutionary characteristics and structural biology of gTLR21 reveals that the molecule may have a broader role to play in innate immune system; however, further experimental validation is required to confirm our findings. © 2017 The Authors Journal of Molecular Recognition Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Where is, in 2017, the evo in evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, Rui

    2018-01-01

    After the inaugural Pan-American-Evo-Devo meeting (2015, Berkeley), I showed how major concerns about evo-devo (Evolutionary Developmental Biology) research were demonstrated by a simple, non-biased quantitative analysis of the titles/abstracts of that meeting's talks. Here, I apply the same methodology to the titles/abstracts of the recent Pan-American-Evo-Devo meeting (2017, Calgary). The aim is to evaluate if the concerns raised by me in that paper and by other authors have been addressed and/or if there are other types of differences between the two meetings that may reflect trends within the field of evo-devo. This analysis shows that the proportion of presentations referring to "morphology", "organism", "selection", "adaptive", "phylogeny", and their derivatives was higher in the 2017 meeting, which therefore had a more "organismal" feel. However, there was a decrease in the use of "evolution"/its derivatives and of macroevolutionary terms related to the tempo and mode of evolution in the 2017 meeting. Moreover, the disproportionately high use of genetic/genomic terms clearly shows that evo-devo continues to be mainly focused on devo, and particularly on "Geno", that is, on molecular/genetic studies. Furthermore, the vast majority of animal evo-devo studies are focused only on hard tissues, which are just a small fraction of the whole organism-for example, only 15% of the tissue mass of the human body. The lack of an integrative approach is also evidenced by the lack of studies addressing conceptual/long-standing broader questions, including the links between ecology and particularly behavior and developmental/evolutionary variability and between evo-devo and evolutionary medicine. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Toward a synthesis of developmental biology with evolutionary theory and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Ralf J; Mayer, Melanie G

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary conservation of developmental mechanisms is a truism in biology, but few attempts have been made to integrate development with evolutionary theory and ecology. To work toward such a synthesis, we summarize studies in the nematode model Pristionchus pacificus, focusing on the development of the dauer, a stress-resistant, alternative larval stage. Integrative approaches combining molecular and genetic principles of development with natural variation and ecological studies in wild populations have identified a key role for a developmental switch mechanism in dauer development and evolution, one that involves the nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12. DAF-12 is a crucial regulator and convergence point for different signaling inputs, and its function is conserved among free-living and parasitic nematodes. Furthermore, DAF-12 is the target of regulatory loops that rely on novel or fast-evolving components to control the intraspecific competition of dauer larvae. We propose developmental switches as paradigms for understanding the integration of development, evolution, and ecology at the molecular level.

  5. Evolutionary origins and early development of number processing

    CERN Document Server

    Geary, David C; Mann Koepke, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    The first volume in this ground-breaking series focuses on the origins and early development of numerical cognition in non-human primates, lower vertebrates, human infants, and preschool children. The text will help readers understand the nature and complexity of these foundational quantitative concepts and skills along with evolutionary precursors and early developmental trajectories. Brings together and focuses the efforts and research of multiple disciplines working in math cognition.The contributors bring vast knowledge and experience to bear on resolving extant

  6. Is metabolic rate a universal 'pacemaker' for biological processes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glazier, Douglas S

    2015-05-01

    A common, long-held belief is that metabolic rate drives the rates of various biological, ecological and evolutionary processes. Although this metabolic pacemaker view (as assumed by the recent, influential 'metabolic theory of ecology') may be true in at least some situations (e.g. those involving moderate temperature effects or physiological processes closely linked to metabolism, such as heartbeat and breathing rate), it suffers from several major limitations, including: (i) it is supported chiefly by indirect, correlational evidence (e.g. similarities between the body-size and temperature scaling of metabolic rate and that of other biological processes, which are not always observed) - direct, mechanistic or experimental support is scarce and much needed; (ii) it is contradicted by abundant evidence showing that various intrinsic and extrinsic factors (e.g. hormonal action and temperature changes) can dissociate the rates of metabolism, growth, development and other biological processes; (iii) there are many examples where metabolic rate appears to respond to, rather than drive the rates of various other biological processes (e.g. ontogenetic growth, food intake and locomotor activity); (iv) there are additional examples where metabolic rate appears to be unrelated to the rate of a biological process (e.g. ageing, circadian rhythms, and molecular evolution); and (v) the theoretical foundation for the metabolic pacemaker view focuses only on the energetic control of biological processes, while ignoring the importance of informational control, as mediated by various genetic, cellular, and neuroendocrine regulatory systems. I argue that a comprehensive understanding of the pace of life must include how biological activities depend on both energy and information and their environmentally sensitive interaction. This conclusion is supported by extensive evidence showing that hormones and other regulatory factors and signalling systems coordinate the processes of

  7. Collaboration Networks in the Brazilian Scientific Output in Evolutionary Biology: 2000-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santin, Dirce M; Vanz, Samile A S; Stumpf, Ida R C

    2016-03-01

    This article analyzes the existing collaboration networks in the Brazilian scientific output in Evolutionary Biology, considering articles published during the period from 2000 to 2012 in journals indexed by Web of Science. The methodology integrates bibliometric techniques and Social Network Analysis resources to describe the growth of Brazilian scientific output and understand the levels, dynamics and structure of collaboration between authors, institutions and countries. The results unveil an enhancement and consolidation of collaborative relationships over time and suggest the existence of key institutions and authors, whose influence on research is expressed by the variety and intensity of the relationships established in the co-authorship of articles. International collaboration, present in more than half of the publications, is highly significant and unusual in Brazilian science. The situation indicates the internationalization of scientific output and the ability of the field to take part in the science produced by the international scientific community.

  8. Predictive Modeling of Influenza Shows the Promise of Applied Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Dylan H; Gostic, Katelyn M; Pompei, Simone; Bedford, Trevor; Łuksza, Marta; Neher, Richard A; Grenfell, Bryan T; Lässig, Michael; McCauley, John W

    2018-02-01

    Seasonal influenza is controlled through vaccination campaigns. Evolution of influenza virus antigens means that vaccines must be updated to match novel strains, and vaccine effectiveness depends on the ability of scientists to predict nearly a year in advance which influenza variants will dominate in upcoming seasons. In this review, we highlight a promising new surveillance tool: predictive models. Based on data-sharing and close collaboration between the World Health Organization and academic scientists, these models use surveillance data to make quantitative predictions regarding influenza evolution. Predictive models demonstrate the potential of applied evolutionary biology to improve public health and disease control. We review the state of influenza predictive modeling and discuss next steps and recommendations to ensure that these models deliver upon their considerable biomedical promise. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Evolutionary game theory for physical and biological scientists. I. Training and validating population dynamics equations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D

    2014-08-06

    Failure to understand evolutionary dynamics has been hypothesized as limiting our ability to control biological systems. An increasing awareness of similarities between macroscopic ecosystems and cellular tissues has inspired optimism that game theory will provide insights into the progression and control of cancer. To realize this potential, the ability to compare game theoretic models and experimental measurements of population dynamics should be broadly disseminated. In this tutorial, we present an analysis method that can be used to train parameters in game theoretic dynamics equations, used to validate the resulting equations, and used to make predictions to challenge these equations and to design treatment strategies. The data analysis techniques in this tutorial are adapted from the analysis of reaction kinetics using the method of initial rates taught in undergraduate general chemistry courses. Reliance on computer programming is avoided to encourage the adoption of these methods as routine bench activities.

  10. Collaboration Networks in the Brazilian Scientific Output in Evolutionary Biology: 2000-2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dirce M. Santin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This article analyzes the existing collaboration networks in the Brazilian scientific output in Evolutionary Biology, considering articles published during the period from 2000 to 2012 in journals indexed by Web of Science. The methodology integrates bibliometric techniques and Social Network Analysis resources to describe the growth of Brazilian scientific output and understand the levels, dynamics and structure of collaboration between authors, institutions and countries. The results unveil an enhancement and consolidation of collaborative relationships over time and suggest the existence of key institutions and authors, whose influence on research is expressed by the variety and intensity of the relationships established in the co-authorship of articles. International collaboration, present in more than half of the publications, is highly significant and unusual in Brazilian science. The situation indicates the internationalization of scientific output and the ability of the field to take part in the science produced by the international scientific community.

  11. Effects of demographic stochasticity on biological community assembly on evolutionary time scales

    KAUST Repository

    Murase, Yohsuke

    2010-04-13

    We study the effects of demographic stochasticity on the long-term dynamics of biological coevolution models of community assembly. The noise is induced in order to check the validity of deterministic population dynamics. While mutualistic communities show little dependence on the stochastic population fluctuations, predator-prey models show strong dependence on the stochasticity, indicating the relevance of the finiteness of the populations. For a predator-prey model, the noise causes drastic decreases in diversity and total population size. The communities that emerge under influence of the noise consist of species strongly coupled with each other and have stronger linear stability around the fixed-point populations than the corresponding noiseless model. The dynamics on evolutionary time scales for the predator-prey model are also altered by the noise. Approximate 1/f fluctuations are observed with noise, while 1/ f2 fluctuations are found for the model without demographic noise. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

  12. Symbioses: a key driver of insect physiological processes, ecological interactions, evolutionary diversification, and impacts on humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; A.S. Adams; J. Handelsman; K.F. Raffa

    2009-01-01

    Symbiosis is receiving increased attention among all aspects of biology because of the unifying themes it helps construct across ecological,evolutionary, developmental, semiochemical, and pest management theory. Insects show a vast array of symbiotic relationships with a wide diversity of microorganisms. These relationships may confer a variety of benefits to the host...

  13. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness...

  14. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from “endless forms most beautiful”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2015-01-01

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. PMID:26668171

  15. Graphics processing units in bioinformatics, computational biology and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobile, Marco S; Cazzaniga, Paolo; Tangherloni, Andrea; Besozzi, Daniela

    2017-09-01

    Several studies in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Systems Biology rely on the definition of physico-chemical or mathematical models of biological systems at different scales and levels of complexity, ranging from the interaction of atoms in single molecules up to genome-wide interaction networks. Traditional computational methods and software tools developed in these research fields share a common trait: they can be computationally demanding on Central Processing Units (CPUs), therefore limiting their applicability in many circumstances. To overcome this issue, general-purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are gaining an increasing attention by the scientific community, as they can considerably reduce the running time required by standard CPU-based software, and allow more intensive investigations of biological systems. In this review, we present a collection of GPU tools recently developed to perform computational analyses in life science disciplines, emphasizing the advantages and the drawbacks in the use of these parallel architectures. The complete list of GPU-powered tools here reviewed is available at http://bit.ly/gputools. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  16. Integrative Assessment of Evolutionary Theory Acceptance and Knowledge Levels of Biology Undergraduate Students from a Brazilian University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Gustavo Medina; Bobrowski, Vera Lucia

    2018-01-01

    The integrative role that Evolutionary theory plays within Biology is recognised by most scientific authors, as well as in governmental education policies, including Brazilian policies. However, teaching and learning evolution seems problematic in many countries, and Brazil is among those. Many factors may affect teachers' and students'…

  17. Evolutionary Cell Biology of Proteins from Protists to Humans and Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plattner, Helmut

    2018-03-01

    During evolution, the cell as a fine-tuned machine had to undergo permanent adjustments to match changes in its environment, while "closed for repair work" was not possible. Evolution from protists (protozoa and unicellular algae) to multicellular organisms may have occurred in basically two lineages, Unikonta and Bikonta, culminating in mammals and angiosperms (flowering plants), respectively. Unicellular models for unikont evolution are myxamoebae (Dictyostelium) and increasingly also choanoflagellates, whereas for bikonts, ciliates are preferred models. Information accumulating from combined molecular database search and experimental verification allows new insights into evolutionary diversification and maintenance of genes/proteins from protozoa on, eventually with orthologs in bacteria. However, proteins have rarely been followed up systematically for maintenance or change of function or intracellular localization, acquirement of new domains, partial deletion (e.g. of subunits), and refunctionalization, etc. These aspects are discussed in this review, envisaging "evolutionary cell biology." Protozoan heritage is found for most important cellular structures and functions up to humans and flowering plants. Examples discussed include refunctionalization of voltage-dependent Ca 2+ channels in cilia and replacement by other types during evolution. Altogether components serving Ca 2+ signaling are very flexible throughout evolution, calmodulin being a most conservative example, in contrast to calcineurin whose catalytic subunit is lost in plants, whereas both subunits are maintained up to mammals for complex functions (immune defense and learning). Domain structure of R-type SNAREs differs in mono- and bikonta, as do Ca 2+ -dependent protein kinases. Unprecedented selective expansion of the subunit a which connects multimeric base piece and head parts (V0, V1) of H + -ATPase/pump may well reflect the intriguing vesicle trafficking system in ciliates, specifically in

  18. Patterns and processes in the evolutionary history of parrotfishes (Family Labridae)

    KAUST Repository

    Choat, John. H.

    2012-09-05

    Phylogenetic reconstruction of the evolutionary relationships among 61 of the 70 species of the parrotfish genera Chlorurus and Scarus (Family Labridae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences retrieved 15 well-supported clades with mid Pliocene/Pleistocene diversification. Twenty-two reciprocally monophyletic sister-species pairs were identified: 64% were allopatric, and the remainder were sympatric. Age of divergence was similar for allopatric and sympatric species pairs. Sympatric sister pairs displayed greater divergence in morphology, ecology, and sexually dimorphic colour patterns than did allopatric pairs, suggesting that both genetic drift in allopatric species pairs and ecologically adaptive divergence between members of sympatric pairs have played a role in diversification. Basal species typically have small geographical ranges and are restricted to geographically and ecologically peripheral reef habitats. We found little evidence that a single dominant process has driven diversification, nor did we detect a pattern of discrete, sequential stages of diversification in relation to habitat, ecology, and reproductive biology. The evolution of Chlorurus and Scarus has been complex, involving a number of speciation processes. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.

  19. Evolutionary theories of aging. 1. The need to understand the process of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, L; Genoud, M

    1999-01-01

    In a Forum article Le Bourg (1998) criticized recent tests of evolutionary theories of aging and suggested alternative explanations for the long lifespan of ant queens and the positive relationship between body size and lifespan in mammals. Moreover, he attempts to criticize evolutionary theories of aging by showing that explanations other than evolutionary theories of aging probably account for the variation in human lifespan across countries. Here we show that the arguments of Le Bourg suffer several problems. First, many of the arguments reveal a misunderstanding of the process of natural selection. Second, some of the arguments reflect a lack of knowledge of evolutionary theories of aging (e.g. pre-reproductive mortality is not predicted to influence lifespan of organisms contrary to what is claimed). Finally, his final example on lifespan in humans simply is a straw-man because serious evolutionary biologists are well aware of the importance of confounding variables and would certainly not make the type of conclusion suggested by Le Bourg. Although a critical discussion of evolutionary theories of aging is welcome, we believe that the alternative explanations proposed by Le Bourg are implausible and reflect a misunderstanding of the process of natural selection. Copyright 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

  20. Biological processes influencing contaminant release from sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reible, D.D.

    1996-01-01

    The influence of biological processes, including bioturbation, on the mobility of contaminants in freshwater sediments is described. Effective mass coefficients are estimated for tubificid oligochaetes as a function of worm behavior and biomass density. The mass transfer coefficients were observed to be inversely proportional to water oxygen content and proportional to the square root of biomass density. The sediment reworking and contaminant release are contrasted with those of freshwater amphipods. The implications of these and other biological processes for contaminant release and i n-situ remediation of soils and sediments are summarized. 4 figs., 1 tab

  1. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics transport and rate processes in physical, chemical and biological systems

    CERN Document Server

    Demirel, Yasar

    2014-01-01

    Natural phenomena consist of simultaneously occurring transport processes and chemical reactions. These processes may interact with each other and may lead to self-organized structures, fluctuations, instabilities, and evolutionary systems. Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics, 3rd edition emphasizes the unifying role of thermodynamics in analyzing the natural phenomena. This third edition updates and expands on the first and second editions by focusing on the general balance equations for coupled processes of physical, chemical, and biological systems. The new edition contains a new chapte

  2. The Evolutionary Process of Secondary Innovation in the Context of Globalization: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaobo; Xu, Guannan; Ma, Rufei; Du, Jian

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the evolutionary process of secondary innovation in a typical Chinese equipment manufacturing firm in the context of globalization and elaborates how to achieve latecomer's advantage from imitation to innovation. Four stages are identified in the process of international manufacturing: the equipment import stage, the production…

  3. Evolutionary transition from biological to social systems via generation of reflexive models of externality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igamberdiev, Abir U

    2017-12-01

    Evolutionary transition from biological to social systems corresponds to the emergence of the structure of subject that incorporates the internal image of the external world. This structure, established on the basis of referral of the subject (self) to its symbolic image, acquires a potential to rationally describe the external world through the semiotic structure of human language. It has been modelled in reflexive psychology using the algebra of simple relations (Lefebvre, V.A., J. Soc. Biol. Struct. 10, 129-175, 1987). The model introduces a substantial opposition of the two basic complementary types of reflexion defined as Western (W) and Eastern (E). These types generate opposite models of behavior and opposite organizations of societies. Development of human societies involves the interactions of W and E types not only between the societies but also within one society underlying its homeostasis and dynamics. Invention of new ideas and implementation of new technologies shift the probability pattern of reflexive choices, appearing as internal assessments of the individual agents within a society, and direct changes in the preference of reflexive types. The dynamics of societies and of interactions between societies is based on the interference of opposite reflexive structures and on the establishment of different patterns during such interference. At different times in the history of human civilization these changing patterns resulted in the formation and splitting of large empires, the development and spreading of new technologies, the consecutive periods of wellness and decline. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Useful parasites: the evolutionary biology and biotechnology applications of transposable elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonchev, Georgi N

    2016-12-01

    Transposable elements usually comprise the most abundant nongenic fraction of eukaryotic genomes. Because of their capacity to selfreplicate and to induce a wide range of mutations, transposable elements have long been considered as 'parasitic' or 'selfish'. Today, we recognize that the findings about genomic changes affected by transposable elements have considerably altered our view of the ways in which genomes evolve and work. Numerous studies have provided evidences that mobile elements have the potential to act as agents of evolution by increasing, rearranging and diversifying the genetic repertoire of their hosts. With large-scale sequencing becoming increasingly available, more and more scientists come across transposable element sequences in their data. I will provide examples that transposable elements, although having signatures of 'selfish' DNA, play a significant biological role in the maintainance of genome integrity and providing novel regulatoty networks. These features, along with the transpositional and mutagenic capacity to produce a raw genetic diversity, make the genome mobile fraction, a key player in species adaptation and microevolution. The last but not least, transposable elements stand as informative DNA markers that may complement other conventional DNA markers. Altogether, transposable elements represent a promising, but still largely unexplored research niche and deserve to be included into the agenda of molecular ecologists, evolutionary geneticists, conservation biologists and plant breeders.

  5. Implied Movement in Static Images Reveals Biological Timing Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Carlos Nather

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Visual perception is adapted toward a better understanding of our own movements than those of non-conspecifics. The present study determined whether time perception is affected by pictures of different species by considering the evolutionary scale. Static (“S” and implied movement (“M” images of a dog, cheetah, chimpanzee, and man were presented to undergraduate students. S and M images of the same species were presented in random order or one after the other (S-M or M-S for two groups of participants. Movement, Velocity, and Arousal semantic scales were used to characterize some properties of the images. Implied movement affected time perception, in which M images were overestimated. The results are discussed in terms of visual motion perception related to biological timing processing that could be established early in terms of the adaptation of humankind to the environment.

  6. Towards distributed multiscale simulation of biological processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bernsdorf, J.; Berti, G.; Chopard, B.; Hegewald, J.; Krafczyk, M.; Wang, D.; Lorenz, E.; Hoekstra, A.

    2011-01-01

    The understanding of biological processes, e.g. related to cardio-vascular disease and treatment, can significantly be improved by numerical simulation. In this paper, we present an approach for a multiscale simulation environment, applied for the prediction of in-stent re-stenos is. Our focus is on

  7. Influence of different natural physical fields on biological processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashinsky, A. L.

    2001-01-01

    In space flight conditions gravity, magnetic, and electrical fields as well as ionizing radiation change both in size, and in direction. This causes disruptions in the conduct of some physical processes, chemical reactions, and metabolism in living organisms. In these conditions organisms of different phylogenetic level change their metabolic reactions undergo changes such as disturbances in ionic exchange both in lower and in higher plants, changes in cell morphology for example, gyrosity in Proteus ( Proteus vulgaris), spatial disorientation in coleoptiles of Wheat ( Triticum aestivum) and Pea ( Pisum sativum) seedlings, mutational changes in Crepis ( Crepis capillaris) and Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana) seedling. It has been found that even in the absence of gravity, gravireceptors determining spatial orientation in higher plants under terrestrial conditions are formed in the course of ontogenesis. Under weightlessness this system does not function and spatial orientation is determined by the light flux gradient or by the action of some other factors. Peculiarities of the formation of the gravireceptor apparatus in higher plants, amphibians, fish, and birds under space flight conditions have been observed. It has been found that the system in which responses were accompanied by phase transition have proven to be gravity-sensitive under microgravity conditions. Such reactions include also the process of photosynthesis which is the main energy production process in plants. In view of the established effects of microgravity and different natural physical fields on biological processes, it has been shown that these processes change due to the absence of initially rigid determination. The established biological effect of physical fields influence on biological processes in organisms is the starting point for elucidating the role of gravity and evolutionary development of various organisms on Earth.

  8. Evolutionary process development towards next generation crystalline silicon solar cells : a semiconductor process toolbox application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tous L.

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Bulk crystalline Silicon solar cells are covering more than 85% of the world’s roof top module installation in 2010. With a growth rate of over 30% in the last 10 years this technology remains the working horse of solar cell industry. The full Aluminum back-side field (Al BSF technology has been developed in the 90’s and provides a production learning curve on module price of constant 20% in average. The main reason for the decrease of module prices with increasing production capacity is due to the effect of up scaling industrial production. For further decreasing of the price per wattpeak silicon consumption has to be reduced and efficiency has to be improved. In this paper we describe a successive efficiency improving process development starting from the existing full Al BSF cell concept. We propose an evolutionary development includes all parts of the solar cell process: optical enhancement (texturing, polishing, anti-reflection coating, junction formation and contacting. Novel processes are benchmarked on industrial like baseline flows using high-efficiency cell concepts like i-PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell. While the full Al BSF crystalline silicon solar cell technology provides efficiencies of up to 18% (on cz-Si in production, we are achieving up to 19.4% conversion efficiency for industrial fabricated, large area solar cells with copper based front side metallization and local Al BSF applying the semiconductor toolbox.

  9. Species diversity vs. morphological disparity in the light of evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    Two indicators of a clade's success are its diversity (number of included species) and its disparity (extent of morphospace occupied by its members). Many large genera show high diversity with low disparity, while others such as Euphorbia and Drosophila are highly diverse but also exhibit high disparity. The largest genera are often characterized by key innovations that often, but not necessarily, coincide with their diagnostic apomorphies. In terms of their contribution to speciation, apomorphies are either permissive (e.g. flightlessness) or generative (e.g. nectariferous spurs). Except for Drosophila, virtually no genus among those with the highest diversity or disparity includes species currently studied as model species in developmental genetics or evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). An evo-devo approach is, however, potentially important to understand how diversity and disparity could rapidly increase in the largest genera currently accepted by taxonomists. The most promising directions for future research and a set of key questions to be addressed are presented in this review. From an evo-devo perspective, the evolution of clades with high diversity and/or disparity can be addressed from three main perspectives: (1) evolvability, in terms of release from previous constraints and of the presence of genetic or developmental conditions favouring multiple parallel occurrences of a given evolutionary transition and its reversal; (2) phenotypic plasticity as a facilitator of speciation; and (3) modularity, heterochrony and a coupling between the complexity of the life cycle and the evolution of diversity and disparity in a clade. This simple preliminary analysis suggests a set of topics that deserve priority for scrutiny, including the possible role of saltational evolution in the origination of high diversity and/or disparity, the predictability of morphological evolution following release from a former constraint, and the extent and the possible

  10. Transforming Biology Assessment with Machine Learning: Automated Scoring of Written Evolutionary Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Ha, Minsu; Mayfield, Elijah

    2012-01-01

    This study explored the use of machine learning to automatically evaluate the accuracy of students' written explanations of evolutionary change. Performance of the Summarization Integrated Development Environment (SIDE) program was compared to human expert scoring using a corpus of 2,260 evolutionary explanations written by 565 undergraduate…

  11. Evolutionary Explanations for Antibiotic Resistance in Daily Press, Online Websites and Biology Textbooks in Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohlin, Gustav; Höst, Gunnar E.

    2015-01-01

    The present study explores the extent and precision of evolutionary explanations for antibiotic resistance in communication directed toward the Swedish public. Bacterial resistance develops through evolutionary mechanisms and knowledge of these helps to explain causes underlying the growing prevalence of resistant strains, as well as important…

  12. Genes are information, so information theory is coming to the aid of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwin, William B

    2015-11-01

    Speciation is central to evolutionary biology, and to elucidate it, we need to catch the early genetic changes that set nascent taxa on their path to species status (Via 2009). That challenge is difficult, of course, for two chief reasons: (i) serendipity is required to catch speciation in the act; and (ii) after a short time span with lingering gene flow, differentiation may be low and/or embodied only in rare alleles that are difficult to sample. In this issue of Molecular Ecology Resources, Smouse et al. (2015) have noted that optimal assessment of differentiation within and between nascent species should be robust to these challenges, and they identified a measure based on Shannon's information theory that has many advantages for this and numerous other tasks. The Shannon measure exhibits complete additivity of information at different levels of subdivision. Of all the family of diversity measures ('0' or allele counts, '1' or Shannon, '2' or heterozygosity, F(ST) and related metrics) Shannon's measure comes closest to weighting alleles by their frequencies. For the Shannon measure, rare alleles that represent early signals of nascent speciation are neither down-weighted to the point of irrelevance, as for level 2 measures, nor up-weighted to overpowering importance, as for level 0 measures (Chao et al. 2010, )2015. Shannon measures have a long history in population genetics, dating back to Shannon's PhD thesis in 1940 (Crow 2001), but have received only sporadic attention, until a resurgence of interest in the last ten years, as reviewed briefly by Smouse et al. (2015). © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Synergistic Coherence of Bifurcation Evolutionary Processes of Mergers and Acquisitions of Enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivanchenko Hennadii F.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the article is developing information tools for the economic and mathematical modeling of the dynamics of evolutionary processes concerning trophic relationships of populations of enterprises, which allowed to conduct the phase and bifurcation analysis of possible dynamic regimes of the populations’ evolution, determine the mechanisms of influence of the external environment and the internal structure of the system, identify patterns and limits of stability of M&A processes. In the work the main provisions of the evolutionary concept concerning development of the population of enterprises as an economic system are analyzed, the provisions of the evolutionary concept of population systems’ development are considered, the basis of evolutionary modeling methods allowing to analyze the functioning of populations of enterprises in terms of individual strategies of each enterprise’s behavior is studied. The basic principles of synergy of the life cycle evolution for populations of enterprises are determined. An evolutionary approach to the evaluation of a synergistic effect of M & A is proposed. The evolutionary modeling of the scenario for self-organization of populations of dairy industry enterprises through a combination of statistical and expert data is applied. There also created a model of the population of firms reflecting behavioral and resource and technological characteristics of the studied in the work real population of industrial enterprises, which form the input flows of matter, energy and information to the dairy industry, which allows to combine the reflection of main possible options in terms of the external conditions of the population functioning and its internal structure.

  14. Developmental evolutionary biology of the vertebrate ear: conserving mechanoelectric transduction and developmental pathways in diverging morphologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.; Bermingham, N. A.

    2000-01-01

    This brief overview shows that a start has been made to molecularly dissect vertebrate ear development and its evolutionary conservation to the development of the insect hearing organ. However, neither the patterning process of the ear nor the patterning process of insect sensory organs is sufficiently known at the moment to provide more than a first glimpse. Moreover, hardly anything is known about otocyst development of the cephalopod molluscs, another triploblast lineage that evolved complex 'ears'. We hope that the apparent conserved functional and cellular components present in the ciliated sensory neurons/hair cells will also be found in the genes required for vertebrate ear and insect sensory organ morphogenesis (Fig. 3). Likewise, we expect that homologous pre-patterning genes will soon be identified for the non-sensory cell development, which is more than a blocking of neuronal development through the Delta/Notch signaling system. Generation of the apparently unique ear could thus represent a multiplication of non-sensory cells by asymmetric and symmetric divisions as well as modification of existing patterning process by implementing novel developmental modules. In the final analysis, the vertebrate ear may come about by increasing the level of gene interactions in an already existing and highly conserved interactive cascade of bHLH genes. Since this was apparently achieved in all three lineages of triploblasts independently (Fig. 3), we now need to understand how much of the morphogenetic cascades are equally conserved across phyla to generate complex ears. The existing mutations in humans and mice may be able to point the direction of future research to understand the development of specific cell types and morphologies in the formation of complex arthropod, cephalopod, and vertebrate 'ears'.

  15. A Semiotic Analysis of the Interface between Evolutionary and Developmental Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenio Andrade

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available This work proposes the notion of organisms as Evolving Developing Agents (EDA in order to ground an internalist model in which evolution and development are conceived as aspects of a general transformative tendency driven by organism's need to cope with environmental uncertainty. It is shown how the integration Evo/Devo contributes to an expanded evolutionary synthesis that accounts for divergent evolution in terms of development, without disregarding the role of genes and natural selection. However this integration has to be seen as a specific case that contributes to the contextualization of C.S.Peirce's evolutionary ontology founded on three universal categories and six space/time/function relations, as described by Taborsky. The role played by the EDA is characterized by the Secondness as firstness relation for it merges the internal/ external, and individual/population and present/past/ progressive cuts that permeate the discourse of biology.

  16. Evolutionary Game Dynamics in a Fitness-Dependent Wright-Fisher Process with Noise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quan Ji; Wang Xianjia

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary game dynamics in finite size populations can be described by a fitness-dependent Wright-Fisher process. We consider symmetric 2x2 games in a well-mixed population. In our model, two parameters to describe the level of player's rationality and noise intensity in environment are introduced. In contrast with the fixation probability method that used in a noiseless case, the introducing of the noise intensity parameter makes the process an ergodic Markov process and based on the limit distribution of the process, we can analysis the evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) of the games. We illustrate the effects of the two parameters on the ESS of games using the Prisoner's dilemma games (PDG) and the snowdrift games (SG). We also compare the ESS of our model with that of the replicator dynamics in infinite size populations. The results are determined by simulation experiments. (general)

  17. Stochastic transport processes in discrete biological systems

    CERN Document Server

    Frehland, Eckart

    1982-01-01

    These notes are in part based on a course for advanced students in the applications of stochastic processes held in 1978 at the University of Konstanz. These notes contain the results of re­ cent studies on the stochastic description of ion transport through biological membranes. In particular, they serve as an introduction to an unified theory of fluctuations in complex biological transport systems. We emphasize that the subject of this volume is not to introduce the mathematics of stochastic processes but to present a field of theoretical biophysics in which stochastic methods are important. In the last years the study of membrane noise has become an important method in biophysics. Valuable information on the ion transport mechanisms in membranes can be obtained from noise analysis. A number of different processes such as the opening and closing of ion channels have been shown to be sources of the measured current or voltage fluctuations. Bio­ logical 'transport systems can be complex. For example, the tr...

  18. Diffusion processes and related topics in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Ricciardi, Luigi M

    1977-01-01

    These notes are based on a one-quarter course given at the Department of Biophysics and Theoretical Biology of the University of Chicago in 1916. The course was directed to graduate students in the Division of Biological Sciences with interests in population biology and neurobiology. Only a slight acquaintance with probability and differential equations is required of the reader. Exercises are interwoven with the text to encourage the reader to play a more active role and thus facilitate his digestion of the material. One aim of these notes is to provide a heuristic approach, using as little mathematics as possible, to certain aspects of the theory of stochastic processes that are being increasingly employed in some of the population biol­ ogy and neurobiology literature. While the subject may be classical, the nov­ elty here lies in the approach and point of view, particularly in the applica­ tions such as the approach to the neuronal firing problem and its related dif­ fusion approximations. It is a ple...

  19. Graphing evolutionary pattern and process: a history of techniques in archaeology and paleobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyman, R Lee

    2009-02-01

    Graphs displaying evolutionary patterns are common in paleontology and in United States archaeology. Both disciplines subscribed to a transformational theory of evolution and graphed evolution as a sequence of archetypes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. U.S. archaeologists in the second decade of the twentieth century, and paleontologists shortly thereafter, developed distinct graphic styles that reflected the Darwinian variational model of evolution. Paleobiologists adopted the view of a species as a set of phenotypically variant individuals and graphed those variations either as central tendencies or as histograms of frequencies of variants. Archaeologists presumed their artifact types reflected cultural norms of prehistoric artisans and the frequency of specimens in each type reflected human choice and type popularity. They graphed cultural evolution as shifts in frequencies of specimens representing each of several artifact types. Confusion of pattern and process is exemplified by a paleobiologist misinterpreting the process illustrated by an archaeological graph, and an archaeologist misinterpreting the process illustrated by a paleobiological graph. Each style of graph displays particular evolutionary patterns and implies particular evolutionary processes. Graphs of a multistratum collection of prehistoric mammal remains and a multistratum collection of artifacts demonstrate that many graph styles can be used for both kinds of collections.

  20. Image processing and recognition for biological images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, Seiichi

    2013-05-01

    This paper reviews image processing and pattern recognition techniques, which will be useful to analyze bioimages. Although this paper does not provide their technical details, it will be possible to grasp their main tasks and typical tools to handle the tasks. Image processing is a large research area to improve the visibility of an input image and acquire some valuable information from it. As the main tasks of image processing, this paper introduces gray-level transformation, binarization, image filtering, image segmentation, visual object tracking, optical flow and image registration. Image pattern recognition is the technique to classify an input image into one of the predefined classes and also has a large research area. This paper overviews its two main modules, that is, feature extraction module and classification module. Throughout the paper, it will be emphasized that bioimage is a very difficult target for even state-of-the-art image processing and pattern recognition techniques due to noises, deformations, etc. This paper is expected to be one tutorial guide to bridge biology and image processing researchers for their further collaboration to tackle such a difficult target. © 2013 The Author Development, Growth & Differentiation © 2013 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  1. Processing laboratory of radio sterilized biological tissues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aguirre H, Paulina; Zarate S, Herman; Silva R, Samy; Hitschfeld, Mario

    2005-01-01

    The nuclear development applications have also reached those areas related to health. The risk of getting contagious illnesses through applying biological tissues has been one of the paramount worries to be solved since infectious illnesses might be provoked by virus, fungis or bacterias coming from donors or whether they have been introduced by means of intermediate stages before the use of these tissues. Therefore it has been concluded that the tissue allografts must be sterilized. The sterilization of medical products has been one of the main applications of the ionizing radiations and that it is why the International Organization of Atomic Energy began in the 70s promoting works related to the biological tissue sterilization and pharmaceutical products. The development of different tissue preservation methods has made possible the creation of tissue banks in different countries, to deal with long-term preservation. In our country, a project was launched in 1998, 'Establishment of a Tissue Bank in Latino america', this project was supported by the OIEA through the project INT/ 6/ 049, and was the starting of the actual Processing Laboratory of Radioesterilized Biological Tissues (LPTR), leaded by the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN). This first organization is part of a number of entities compounding the Tissue Bank in Chile, organizations such as the Transplantation Promotion Corporation hospitals and the LPTR. The working system is carried out by means of the interaction between the hospitals and the laboratory. The medical professionals perform the procuring of tissues in the hospitals, then send them to the LPTR where they are processed and sterilized with ionizing radiation. The cycle ends up with the tissues return released to the hospitals, where they are used, and then the result information is sent to the LPTR as a form of feedback. Up to now, human skin has been processed (64 donors), amniotic membranes (35 donors) and pig skin (175 portions

  2. The structure of microbial evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapp, J

    2007-12-01

    The study of microbial phylogeny and evolution has emerged as an interdisciplinary synthesis, divergent in both methods and concepts from the classical evolutionary biology. The deployment of macromolecular sequencing in microbial classification has provided a deep evolutionary taxonomy hitherto deemed impossible. Microbial phylogenetics has greatly transformed the landscape of evolutionary biology, not only in revitalizing the field in the pursuit of life's history over billions of years, but also in transcending the structure of thought that has shaped evolutionary theory since the time of Darwin. A trio of primary phylogenetic lineages, along with the recognition of symbiosis and lateral gene transfer as fundamental processes of evolutionary innovation, are core principles of microbial evolutionary biology today. Their scope and significance remain contentious among evolutionists.

  3. EvoBuild: A Quickstart Toolkit for Programming Agent-Based Models of Evolutionary Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagh, Aditi; Wilensky, Uri

    2017-10-01

    Extensive research has shown that one of the benefits of programming to learn about scientific phenomena is that it facilitates learning about mechanisms underlying the phenomenon. However, using programming activities in classrooms is associated with costs such as requiring additional time to learn to program or students needing prior experience with programming. This paper presents a class of programming environments that we call quickstart: Environments with a negligible threshold for entry into programming and a modest ceiling. We posit that such environments can provide benefits of programming for learning without incurring associated costs for novice programmers. To make this claim, we present a design-based research study conducted to compare programming models of evolutionary processes with a quickstart toolkit with exploring pre-built models of the same processes. The study was conducted in six seventh grade science classes in two schools. Students in the programming condition used EvoBuild, a quickstart toolkit for programming agent-based models of evolutionary processes, to build their NetLogo models. Students in the exploration condition used pre-built NetLogo models. We demonstrate that although students came from a range of academic backgrounds without prior programming experience, and all students spent the same number of class periods on the activities including the time students took to learn programming in this environment, EvoBuild students showed greater learning about evolutionary mechanisms. We discuss the implications of this work for design research on programming environments in K-12 science education.

  4. EvoBuild: A Quickstart Toolkit for Programming Agent-Based Models of Evolutionary Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagh, Aditi; Wilensky, Uri

    2018-04-01

    Extensive research has shown that one of the benefits of programming to learn about scientific phenomena is that it facilitates learning about mechanisms underlying the phenomenon. However, using programming activities in classrooms is associated with costs such as requiring additional time to learn to program or students needing prior experience with programming. This paper presents a class of programming environments that we call quickstart: Environments with a negligible threshold for entry into programming and a modest ceiling. We posit that such environments can provide benefits of programming for learning without incurring associated costs for novice programmers. To make this claim, we present a design-based research study conducted to compare programming models of evolutionary processes with a quickstart toolkit with exploring pre-built models of the same processes. The study was conducted in six seventh grade science classes in two schools. Students in the programming condition used EvoBuild, a quickstart toolkit for programming agent-based models of evolutionary processes, to build their NetLogo models. Students in the exploration condition used pre-built NetLogo models. We demonstrate that although students came from a range of academic backgrounds without prior programming experience, and all students spent the same number of class periods on the activities including the time students took to learn programming in this environment, EvoBuild students showed greater learning about evolutionary mechanisms. We discuss the implications of this work for design research on programming environments in K-12 science education.

  5. The Reactive Species Interactome: Evolutionary Emergence, Biological Significance, and Opportunities for Redox Metabolomics and Personalized Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortese-Krott, Miriam M; Koning, Anne; Kuhnle, Gunter G C; Nagy, Peter; Bianco, Christopher L; Pasch, Andreas; Wink, David A; Fukuto, Jon M; Jackson, Alan A; van Goor, Harry; Olson, Kenneth R; Feelisch, Martin

    2017-10-01

    Oxidative stress is thought to account for aberrant redox homeostasis and contribute to aging and disease. However, more often than not, administration of antioxidants is ineffective, suggesting that our current understanding of the underlying regulatory processes is incomplete. Recent Advances: Similar to reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species, reactive sulfur species are now emerging as important signaling molecules, targeting regulatory cysteine redox switches in proteins, affecting gene regulation, ion transport, intermediary metabolism, and mitochondrial function. To rationalize the complexity of chemical interactions of reactive species with themselves and their targets and help define their role in systemic metabolic control, we here introduce a novel integrative concept defined as the reactive species interactome (RSI). The RSI is a primeval multilevel redox regulatory system whose architecture, together with the physicochemical characteristics of its constituents, allows efficient sensing and rapid adaptation to environmental changes and various other stressors to enhance fitness and resilience at the local and whole-organism level. To better characterize the RSI-related processes that determine fluxes through specific pathways and enable integration, it is necessary to disentangle the chemical biology and activity of reactive species (including precursors and reaction products), their targets, communication systems, and effects on cellular, organ, and whole-organism bioenergetics using system-level/network analyses. Understanding the mechanisms through which the RSI operates will enable a better appreciation of the possibilities to modulate the entire biological system; moreover, unveiling molecular signatures that characterize specific environmental challenges or other forms of stress will provide new prevention/intervention opportunities for personalized medicine. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.

  6. Stochastic Simulation of Process Calculi for Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Phillips

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological systems typically involve large numbers of components with complex, highly parallel interactions and intrinsic stochasticity. To model this complexity, numerous programming languages based on process calculi have been developed, many of which are expressive enough to generate unbounded numbers of molecular species and reactions. As a result of this expressiveness, such calculi cannot rely on standard reaction-based simulation methods, which require fixed numbers of species and reactions. Rather than implementing custom stochastic simulation algorithms for each process calculus, we propose to use a generic abstract machine that can be instantiated to a range of process calculi and a range of reaction-based simulation algorithms. The abstract machine functions as a just-in-time compiler, which dynamically updates the set of possible reactions and chooses the next reaction in an iterative cycle. In this short paper we give a brief summary of the generic abstract machine, and show how it can be instantiated with the stochastic simulation algorithm known as Gillespie's Direct Method. We also discuss the wider implications of such an abstract machine, and outline how it can be used to simulate multiple calculi simultaneously within a common framework.

  7. Positive feedback and alternative stable states in inbreeding, cooperation, sex roles and other evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtonen, Jussi; Kokko, Hanna

    2012-01-01

    A large proportion of studies in systems science focus on processes involving a mixture of positive and negative feedbacks, which are also common themes in evolutionary ecology. Examples of negative feedback are density dependence (population regulation) and frequency-dependent selection (polymorphisms). Positive feedback, in turn, plays a role in Fisherian ‘runaway’ sexual selection, the evolution of cooperation, selfing and inbreeding tolerance under purging of deleterious alleles, and the evolution of sex differences in parental care. All these examples feature self-reinforcing processes where the increase in the value of a trait selects for further increases, sometimes via a coevolutionary feedback loop with another trait. Positive feedback often leads to alternative stable states (evolutionary endpoints), making the interpretation of evolutionary predictions challenging. Here, we discuss conceptual issues such as the relationship between self-reinforcing selection and disruptive selection. We also present an extension of a previous model on parental care, focusing on the relationship between the operational sex ratio and sexual selection, and the influence of this relationship on the evolution of biparental or uniparental care. PMID:22144384

  8. Positive feedback and alternative stable states in inbreeding, cooperation, sex roles and other evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtonen, Jussi; Kokko, Hanna

    2012-01-19

    A large proportion of studies in systems science focus on processes involving a mixture of positive and negative feedbacks, which are also common themes in evolutionary ecology. Examples of negative feedback are density dependence (population regulation) and frequency-dependent selection (polymorphisms). Positive feedback, in turn, plays a role in Fisherian 'runaway' sexual selection, the evolution of cooperation, selfing and inbreeding tolerance under purging of deleterious alleles, and the evolution of sex differences in parental care. All these examples feature self-reinforcing processes where the increase in the value of a trait selects for further increases, sometimes via a coevolutionary feedback loop with another trait. Positive feedback often leads to alternative stable states (evolutionary endpoints), making the interpretation of evolutionary predictions challenging. Here, we discuss conceptual issues such as the relationship between self-reinforcing selection and disruptive selection. We also present an extension of a previous model on parental care, focusing on the relationship between the operational sex ratio and sexual selection, and the influence of this relationship on the evolution of biparental or uniparental care.

  9. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students' Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary…

  10. Landscape community genomics: understanding eco-evolutionary processes in complex environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hand, Brian K.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Kovach, Ryan P.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Luikart, Gordon

    2015-01-01

    Extrinsic factors influencing evolutionary processes are often categorically lumped into interactions that are environmentally (e.g., climate, landscape) or community-driven, with little consideration of the overlap or influence of one on the other. However, genomic variation is strongly influenced by complex and dynamic interactions between environmental and community effects. Failure to consider both effects on evolutionary dynamics simultaneously can lead to incomplete, spurious, or erroneous conclusions about the mechanisms driving genomic variation. We highlight the need for a landscape community genomics (LCG) framework to help to motivate and challenge scientists in diverse fields to consider a more holistic, interdisciplinary perspective on the genomic evolution of multi-species communities in complex environments.

  11. The echinoderm larval skeleton as a possible model system for experimental evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koga, Hiroyuki; Morino, Yoshiaki; Wada, Hiroshi

    2014-03-01

    The evolution of various body plans results from the acquisition of novel structures as well as the loss of existing structures. Some novel structures necessitate multiple evolutionary steps, requiring organisms to overcome the intermediate steps, which might be less adaptive or neutral. To examine this issue, echinoderms might provide an ideal experimental system. A larval skeleton is acquired in some echinoderm lineages, such as sea urchins, probably via the co-option of the skeletogenic machinery that was already established to produce the adult skeleton. The acquisition of a larval skeleton was found to require multiple steps and so provides a model experimental system for reproducing intermediate evolutionary stages. The fact that echinoderm embryology has been studied with various natural populations also presents an advantage. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Fighting microbial drug resistance: a primer on the role of evolutionary biology in public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Gabriel G; Inglis, R Fredrik; Pennings, Pleuni S; Cobey, Sarah

    2015-03-01

    Although microbes have been evolving resistance to antimicrobials for millennia, the spread of resistance in pathogen populations calls for the development of new drugs and treatment strategies. We propose that successful, long-term resistance management requires a better understanding of how resistance evolves in the first place. This is an opportunity for evolutionary biologists to engage in public health, a collaboration that has substantial precedent. Resistance evolution has been an important tool for developing and testing evolutionary theory, especially theory related to the genetic basis of new traits and constraints on adaptation. The present era is no exception. The articles in this issue highlight the breadth of current research on resistance evolution and also its challenges. In this introduction, we review the conceptual advances that have been achieved from studying resistance evolution and describe a path forward.

  13. How Single-Cell Genomics Is Changing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marioni, John C; Arendt, Detlev

    2017-10-06

    The recent flood of single-cell data not only boosts our knowledge of cells and cell types, but also provides new insight into development and evolution from a cellular perspective. For example, assaying the genomes of multiple cells during development reveals developmental lineage trees-the kinship lineage-whereas cellular transcriptomes inform us about the regulatory state of cells and their gradual restriction in potency-the Waddington lineage. Beyond that, the comparison of single-cell data across species allows evolutionary changes to be tracked at all stages of development from the zygote, via different kinds of stem cells, to the differentiating cells. We discuss recent insights into the evolution of stem cells and initial attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary cell type tree of the mammalian forebrain, for example, by the comparative analysis of neuron types in the mesencephalic floor. These studies illustrate the immense potential of single-cell genomics to open up a new era in developmental and evolutionary research.

  14. Ikhwan al-Safa, Ibn Miskawayh, Biruni and Biological Evolutionary Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Miandari

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary theory contains two major ideas: common descent and natural selection. This theory goes back to mid-nineteenth century and Darwin. Some scholars have claimed that this theory had been given by Muslims such as Ikhwan al-Safa, Ibn Miskawayh, and Biruni. Among contemporary scholars who agree with this claim are Ebrahimzadeh, Motahari, and Azkaei. But there are scholars who disagree with this claim, among them are Nasr and Falatouri. Nasr says that those Muslims believed in "the great chain of being." And Falatouri says especifically about Biruni that he believed in some kind of gradual evolution, not a Darwinian one. In this paper we first explain these opinions. Then to clarify what is at stake, evolutionary theory and the great chain of being will be described. Criticisms and suggestions come next. We argue that because evolutinary theory was the result of gradual changes of the great chain of being, there is some truth in the ideas of the first camp. And because the great chain that those Muslims hold was of the type of that of Ibn Sina, there is also some truth in the ideas of the second camp. At last we claim that the great chain of the type that Mulla Sadra maintained is consistent with evolutionary theory.

  15. Prediction of strong earthquake motions on rock surface using evolutionary process models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kameda, H.; Sugito, M.

    1984-01-01

    Stochastic process models are developed for prediction of strong earthquake motions for engineering design purposes. Earthquake motions with nonstationary frequency content are modeled by using the concept of evolutionary processes. Discussion is focused on the earthquake motions on bed rocks which are important for construction of nuclear power plants in seismic regions. On this basis, two earthquake motion prediction models are developed, one (EMP-IB Model) for prediction with given magnitude and epicentral distance, and the other (EMP-IIB Model) to account for the successive fault ruptures and the site location relative to the fault of great earthquakes. (Author) [pt

  16. Artificial Neural Networks, and Evolutionary Algorithms as a systems biology approach to a data-base on fetal growth restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Maria E; Buscema, Massimo; Smerieri, Arianna; Montanini, Luisa; Grossi, Enzo

    2013-12-01

    One of the specific aims of systems biology is to model and discover properties of cells, tissues and organisms functioning. A systems biology approach was undertaken to investigate possibly the entire system of intra-uterine growth we had available, to assess the variables of interest, discriminate those which were effectively related with appropriate or restricted intrauterine growth, and achieve an understanding of the systems in these two conditions. The Artificial Adaptive Systems, which include Artificial Neural Networks and Evolutionary Algorithms lead us to the first analyses. These analyses identified the importance of the biochemical variables IL-6, IGF-II and IGFBP-2 protein concentrations in placental lysates, and offered a new insight into placental markers of fetal growth within the IGF and cytokine systems, confirmed they had relationships and offered a critical assessment of studies previously performed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Predictive Power of Evolutionary Biology and the Discovery of Eusociality in the Naked Mole-Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braude, Stanton

    1997-01-01

    Discusses how biologists use evolutionary theory and provides examples of how evolutionary biologists test hypotheses on specific modes of selection and evolution. Presents an example of the successful predictive power of one evolutionary hypothesis. Contains 38 references. (DDR)

  18. Building v/s Exploring Models: Comparing Learning of Evolutionary Processes through Agent-based Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagh, Aditi

    Two strands of work motivate the three studies in this dissertation. Evolutionary change can be viewed as a computational complex system in which a small set of rules operating at the individual level result in different population level outcomes under different conditions. Extensive research has documented students' difficulties with learning about evolutionary change (Rosengren et al., 2012), particularly in terms of levels slippage (Wilensky & Resnick, 1999). Second, though building and using computational models is becoming increasingly common in K-12 science education, we know little about how these two modalities compare. This dissertation adopts agent-based modeling as a representational system to compare these modalities in the conceptual context of micro-evolutionary processes. Drawing on interviews, Study 1 examines middle-school students' productive ways of reasoning about micro-evolutionary processes to find that the specific framing of traits plays a key role in whether slippage explanations are cued. Study 2, which was conducted in 2 schools with about 150 students, forms the crux of the dissertation. It compares learning processes and outcomes when students build their own models or explore a pre-built model. Analysis of Camtasia videos of student pairs reveals that builders' and explorers' ways of accessing rules, and sense-making of observed trends are of a different character. Builders notice rules through available blocks-based primitives, often bypassing their enactment while explorers attend to rules primarily through the enactment. Moreover, builders' sense-making of observed trends is more rule-driven while explorers' is more enactment-driven. Pre and posttests reveal that builders manifest a greater facility with accessing rules, providing explanations manifesting targeted assembly. Explorers use rules to construct explanations manifesting non-targeted assembly. Interviews reveal varying degrees of shifts away from slippage in both

  19. The Biosphere as a Living System. On Peculiarities of the Evolutionary Process on the Biosphere Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexej Yablokov

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this second essay the “biospherology” is to streamline and formalize the existing knowledge about the biosphere, to develop the theoretical basis of the theory of evolution of the biosphere. Despite the vast amount of research on ways of origin and development of life, yet there is no generally accepted theory of evolution of life on Earth, which would not only contain the phenomenology of this process, but also an understanding of the mechanism of functioning of the biosphere as a self-regulating living organism. In the first essay, the necessity of such an understanding to preserve life-supporting functions of the biosphere under increasing anthropogenic pressure. As solution it has been proposed in the form of transition to the managed (controlled evolution of the biosphere – to process of maintenance of life-supporting ability of the biosphere by management of Humankind activity. This essay is an attempt to create a consistent picture of the structure and functioning of the Earth life, the main achievements of the evolution of life, led to the almost completely closed (to the Anthropocene self-sustaining biosphere cycling of substance and energy, the growth of "sum of life" and evolve the social form of matter from biological one. The proposed view of the multidimensional picture of life on Earth consists of the determination of necessary and sufficient properties of a life matter, formulate functioning principles of the life, and determind of the different levels of organization of life. Among the main features of living: discreetness, integritiness, self-reproducibility, dissymmetriness, cooperativeness, mortality, orderness, energy saturation, informational content. Among the main principles of the functioning of the life: the unity of the biological structure (phenotype and the program for its construction (genotype, transmitted in generations; matrix way of transmission of the programs of development

  20. The future of Evo-Devo: the inaugural meeting of the Pan American Society for evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesoway, Maryna P

    2016-01-01

    What is the future of evolutionary developmental biology? This question and more were discussed at the inaugural meeting for the Pan American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology, held August 5-9, 2015, in Berkeley, California, USA. More than 300 participants attended the first meeting of the new society, representing the current diversity of Evo-Devo. Speakers came from throughout the Americas, presenting work using an impressive range of study systems, techniques, and approaches. Current research draws from themes including the role of gene regulatory networks, plasticity and the role of the environment, novelty, population genetics, and regeneration, using new and emerging techniques as well as traditional tools. Multiple workshops and a discussion session covered subjects both practical and theoretical, providing an opportunity for members to discuss the current challenges and future directions for Evo-Devo. The excitement and discussion generated over the course of the meeting demonstrates the current dynamism of the field, suggesting that the future of Evo-Devo is bright indeed. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Application study of evolutionary operation methods in optimization of process parameters for mosquito coils industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginting, E.; Tambunanand, M. M.; Syahputri, K.

    2018-02-01

    Evolutionary Operation Methods (EVOP) is a method that is designed used in the process of running or operating routinely in the company to enables high productivity. Quality is one of the critical factors for a company to win the competition. Because of these conditions, the research for products quality has been done by gathering the production data of the company and make a direct observation to the factory floor especially the drying department to identify the problem which is the high water content in the mosquito incense coil. PT.X which is producing mosquito coils attempted to reduce product defects caused by the inaccuracy of operating conditions. One of the parameters of good quality insect repellent that is water content, that if the moisture content is too high then the product easy to mold and broken, and vice versa if it is too low the products are easily broken and burn shorter hours. Three factors that affect the value of the optimal water content, the stirring time, drying temperature and drying time. To obtain the required conditions Evolutionary Operation (EVOP) methods is used. Evolutionary Operation (EVOP) is used as an efficient technique for optimization of two or three variable experimental parameters using two-level factorial designs with center point. Optimal operating conditions in the experiment are stirring time performed for 20 minutes, drying temperature at 65°C, and drying time for 130 minutes. The results of the analysis based on the method of Evolutionary Operation (EVOP) value is the optimum water content of 6.90%, which indicates the value has approached the optimal in a production plant that is 7%.

  2. Datamonkey 2.0: a modern web application for characterizing selective and other evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Steven; Shank, Stephen D; Spielman, Stephanie J; Li, Michael; Muse, Spencer V; Kosakovsky Pond, Sergei L

    2018-01-02

    Inference of how evolutionary forces have shaped extant genetic diversity is a cornerstone of modern comparative sequence analysis. Advances in sequence generation and increased statistical sophistication of relevant methods now allow researchers to extract ever more evolutionary signal from the data, albeit at an increased computational cost. Here, we announce the release of Datamonkey 2.0, a completely re-engineered version of the Datamonkey web-server for analyzing evolutionary signatures in sequence data. For this endeavor, we leveraged recent developments in open-source libraries that facilitate interactive, robust, and scalable web application development. Datamonkey 2.0 provides a carefully curated collection of methods for interrogating coding-sequence alignments for imprints of natural selection, packaged as a responsive (i.e. can be viewed on tablet and mobile devices), fully interactive, and API-enabled web application. To complement Datamonkey 2.0, we additionally release HyPhy Vision, an accompanying JavaScript application for visualizing analysis results. HyPhy Vision can also be used separately from Datamonkey 2.0 to visualize locally-executed HyPhy analyses. Together, Datamonkey 2.0 and HyPhy Vision showcase how scientific software development can benefit from general-purpose open-source frameworks. Datamonkey 2.0 is freely and publicly available at http://www.datamonkey. org, and the underlying codebase is available from https://github.com/veg/datamonkey-js. © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. "Evo in the News:" Understanding Evolution and Students' Attitudes toward the Relevance of Evolutionary Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R.

    2014-01-01

    This investigation evaluated the effects of exposure to the "Evo in the News" section of the "Understanding Evolution" website on students' attitudes toward biological evolution in undergraduates in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at Syracuse University. Students' attitudes toward evolution and changes therein were…

  4. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and Challenges for Students Learning Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P.; Price, Rebecca M.; Perez, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we…

  5. Elevational diversity gradients of Tibetan loaches: The relative roles of ecological and evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Chenguang; Wu, Yongjie; Tian, Fei; Tong, Chao; Tang, Yongtao; Zhang, Renyi; Li, Guogang; Zhao, Kai

    2017-12-01

    It is widely believed that species richness patterns (SRPs) are shaped by both ecological and evolutionary processes. However, the relative roles of these processes remain unclear, especially for aquatic organisms. In this study, we integrated ecological and evolutionary measures to tease apart the relative influences of these factors on the SRP of Tibetan loaches along an extensive elevational gradient. We found that the Tibetan loaches displayed a richness pattern that peaked at midelevations. The mean annual temperature (MAT), mid-domain effect (MDE), and summed age of colonization (SAC, complex of colonization age and colonization frequency) were the main drivers, accounting for 85%, 51%, and 88% of the variations in the SRP, respectively. The three predictors had very high combined effects (MAT-MDE-SAC, MAT-SAC, and MDE-SAC were 44%, 38%, and 6%, respectively). Our analyses suggested that energy input, time-for-speciation, and species dispersal may directly guide the SRP or mediate it by geometric constraints. Conclusively, the SRP of the Tibetan loaches with elevation is the outcome of interactions between biogeographical processes and regional ecological conditions.

  6. Influence of different positive emotions on persuasion processing: a functional evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griskevicius, Vladas; Shiota, Michelle N; Neufeld, Samantha L

    2010-04-01

    Much research has found that positive affect facilitates increased reliance on heuristics in cognition. However, theories proposing distinct evolutionary fitness-enhancing functions for specific positive emotions also predict important differences among the consequences of different positive emotion states. Two experiments investigated how six positive emotions influenced the processing of persuasive messages. Using different methods to induce emotions and assess processing, we showed that the positive emotions of anticipatory enthusiasm, amusement, and attachment love tended to facilitate greater acceptance of weak persuasive messages (consistent with previous research), whereas the positive emotions of awe and nurturant love reduced persuasion by weak messages. In addition, a series of mediation analyses suggested that the effects distinguishing different positive emotions from a neutral control condition were best accounted for by different mediators rather than by one common mediator. These findings build upon approaches that link affective valence to certain types of processing, documenting emotion-specific effects on cognition that are consistent with functional evolutionary accounts of discrete positive emotions. Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  7. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution—both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place—has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps’ book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps. PMID:26478766

  8. Efficient hybrid evolutionary algorithm for optimization of a strip coiling process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pholdee, Nantiwat; Park, Won-Woong; Kim, Dong-Kyu; Im, Yong-Taek; Bureerat, Sujin; Kwon, Hyuck-Cheol; Chun, Myung-Sik

    2015-04-01

    This article proposes an efficient metaheuristic based on hybridization of teaching-learning-based optimization and differential evolution for optimization to improve the flatness of a strip during a strip coiling process. Differential evolution operators were integrated into the teaching-learning-based optimization with a Latin hypercube sampling technique for generation of an initial population. The objective function was introduced to reduce axial inhomogeneity of the stress distribution and the maximum compressive stress calculated by Love's elastic solution within the thin strip, which may cause an irregular surface profile of the strip during the strip coiling process. The hybrid optimizer and several well-established evolutionary algorithms (EAs) were used to solve the optimization problem. The comparative studies show that the proposed hybrid algorithm outperformed other EAs in terms of convergence rate and consistency. It was found that the proposed hybrid approach was powerful for process optimization, especially with a large-scale design problem.

  9. Optimum design of pultrusion process via evolutionary multi-objective optimization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tutum, Cem Celal; Baran, Ismet; Deb, Kalyanmoy

    2014-01-01

    , power, and dimensions of the heating platens, length and width of the heating die, design of the resin injection chamber, etc., to provide better understanding of the process, consequently to improve the efficiency of the process as well as the product quality. Using validated computer simulations...... is “cheap” and therefore is an attractive and efficient tool for autonomous (numerical) optimization. Optimization problems in engineering in general comprise multiple objectives often having conflict with each other. Evolutionary multi-objective optimization (EMO) algorithms provide an ideal way of solving...... this type of problems without any biased treatment of objectives such as weighting constants serving as pre-assumed user preferences. In this paper, first, a thermochemical simulation of the pultrusion process has been presented considering the steady-state conditions. Following that, it is integrated...

  10. Using Process Mining to Learn from Process Changes in Evolutionary Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Günther, Christian W.; Rinderle, S.B.; Reichert, M.U.; van der Aalst, Wil M.P.; Recker, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Traditional information systems struggle with the requirement to provide flexibility and process support while still enforcing some degree of control. Accordingly, adaptive process management systems (PMSs) have emerged that provide some flexibility by enabling dynamic process changes during

  11. Wavelet-Based Methodology for Evolutionary Spectra Estimation of Nonstationary Typhoon Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guang-Dong Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Closed-form expressions are proposed to estimate the evolutionary power spectral density (EPSD of nonstationary typhoon processes by employing the wavelet transform. Relying on the definition of the EPSD and the concept of the wavelet transform, wavelet coefficients of a nonstationary typhoon process at a certain time instant are interpreted as the Fourier transform of a new nonstationary oscillatory process, whose modulating function is equal to the modulating function of the nonstationary typhoon process multiplied by the wavelet function in time domain. Then, the EPSD of nonstationary typhoon processes is deduced in a closed form and is formulated as a weighted sum of the squared moduli of time-dependent wavelet functions. The weighted coefficients are frequency-dependent functions defined by the wavelet coefficients of the nonstationary typhoon process and the overlapping area of two shifted wavelets. Compared with the EPSD, defined by a sum of the squared moduli of the wavelets in frequency domain in literature, this paper provides an EPSD estimation method in time domain. The theoretical results are verified by uniformly modulated nonstationary typhoon processes and non-uniformly modulated nonstationary typhoon processes.

  12. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  13. The Design and Transformation of Biofundamentals: A Nonsurvey Introductory Evolutionary and Molecular Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klymkowsky, Michael W.; Rentsch, Jeremy D.; Begovic, Emina; Cooper, Melanie M.

    2016-01-01

    Many introductory biology courses amount to superficial surveys of disconnected topics. Often, foundational observations and the concepts derived from them and students' ability to use these ideas appropriately are overlooked, leading to unrealistic expectations and unrecognized learning obstacles. The result can be a focus on memorization at the…

  14. Using the Principles of SoTL to Redesign an Advanced Evolutionary Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    deBraga, Michael; Boyd, Cleo; Abdulnour, Shahad

    2015-01-01

    A primary goal of university instruction is the students' demonstration of improved, highly developed critical thinking (CT) skills. However, how do faculty encourage CT and its potential concomitant increase in student workload without negatively impacting student perceptions of the course? In this investigation, an advanced biology course is…

  15. Mistaking geography for biology: inferring processes from species distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Dan L; Cardillo, Marcel; Rosauer, Dan F; Bolnick, Daniel I

    2014-10-01

    Over the past few decades, there has been a rapid proliferation of statistical methods that infer evolutionary and ecological processes from data on species distributions. These methods have led to considerable new insights, but they often fail to account for the effects of historical biogeography on present-day species distributions. Because the geography of speciation can lead to patterns of spatial and temporal autocorrelation in the distributions of species within a clade, this can result in misleading inferences about the importance of deterministic processes in generating spatial patterns of biodiversity. In this opinion article, we discuss ways in which patterns of species distributions driven by historical biogeography are often interpreted as evidence of particular evolutionary or ecological processes. We focus on three areas that are especially prone to such misinterpretations: community phylogenetics, environmental niche modelling, and analyses of beta diversity (compositional turnover of biodiversity). Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Haldane's The causes of evolution and the Modern Synthesis in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Sahotra

    2017-11-01

    This paper argues that Haldane's The causes of evolution was the most important founding document in the emergence of the received view of evolutionary theory which is typically referred to as the Modern Synthesis. Whether or not this historical development is characterized as a synthesis (which remains controversial), this paper argues the most important component of the emergence of the received view consisted of showing how the formal rules of Mendelian inheritance are based on (or emerge from) the material basis of heredity established by classical genetics primarily through the experimental work on Drosophila genetics of the Morgan school in the 1910s and 1920s. This is one of the most important achievements of Haldane's book. Thus this paper rejects both (i) the view that the synthesis was a unification of biometry and Mendelism and (ii) the claim that it arose from work primarily done in the late 1930s and 1940s by naturalists rather than theoretical population and classical experimental geneticists.

  17. L'etat, c'est moi. Fifty years of history and philosophy of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruse, Michael

    2016-01-01

    I reflect on my fifty-year history as a philosopher of biology, showing how it has taken me from rather narrow analytic studies, through the history of ideas, and now on to issues to do with science and religion. I argue that moral concerns were and still are a major motivation behind what I do and write. Copyright: © 2016 by Fabrizio Serra editore, Pisa · Roma.

  18. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H; Pearl, Dennis K

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology. © 2016 M. R. Federer et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  19. Beyond fossil calibrations: Realities of molecular clock practices in evolutionary biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christy Anna Hipsley

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each. Vertebrate taxa were subjects of nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each. Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of phenotypic

  20. Beyond fossil calibrations: realities of molecular clock practices in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hipsley, Christy A; Müller, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each). Vertebrate taxa were subjects in nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each). Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected in methodological evaluations. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of

  1. Fixation of strategies with the Moran and Fermi processes in evolutionary games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuesong; He, Mingfeng; Kang, Yibin; Pan, Qiuhui

    2017-10-01

    A model of stochastic evolutionary game dynamics with finite population was built. It combines the standard Moran and Fermi rules with two strategies cooperation and defection. We obtain the expressions of fixation probabilities and fixation times. The one-third rule which has been found in the frequency dependent Moran process also holds for our model. We obtain the conditions of strategy being an evolutionarily stable strategy in our model, and then make a comparison with the standard Moran process. Besides, the analytical results show that compared with the standard Moran process, fixation occurs with higher probabilities under a prisoner's dilemma game and coordination game, but with lower probabilities under a coexistence game. The simulation result shows that the fixation time in our mixed process is lower than that in the standard Fermi process. In comparison with the standard Moran process, fixation always takes more time on average in spatial populations, regardless of the game. In addition, the fixation time decreases with the growth of the number of neighbors.

  2. Molecular Clock of Neutral Mutations in a Fitness-Increasing Evolutionary Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iijima, Leo; Suzuki, Shingo; Hashimoto, Tomomi; Oyake, Ayana; Kobayashi, Hisaka; Someya, Yuki; Narisawa, Dai; Yomo, Tetsuya

    2015-01-01

    The molecular clock of neutral mutations, which represents linear mutation fixation over generations, is theoretically explained by genetic drift in fitness-steady evolution or hitchhiking in adaptive evolution. The present study is the first experimental demonstration for the molecular clock of neutral mutations in a fitness-increasing evolutionary process. The dynamics of genome mutation fixation in the thermal adaptive evolution of Escherichia coli were evaluated in a prolonged evolution experiment in duplicated lineages. The cells from the continuously fitness-increasing evolutionary process were subjected to genome sequencing and analyzed at both the population and single-colony levels. Although the dynamics of genome mutation fixation were complicated by the combination of the stochastic appearance of adaptive mutations and clonal interference, the mutation fixation in the population was simply linear over generations. Each genome in the population accumulated 1.6 synonymous and 3.1 non-synonymous neutral mutations, on average, by the spontaneous mutation accumulation rate, while only a single genome in the population occasionally acquired an adaptive mutation. The neutral mutations that preexisted on the single genome hitchhiked on the domination of the adaptive mutation. The successive fixation processes of the 128 mutations demonstrated that hitchhiking and not genetic drift were responsible for the coincidence of the spontaneous mutation accumulation rate in the genome with the fixation rate of neutral mutations in the population. The molecular clock of neutral mutations to the fitness-increasing evolution suggests that the numerous neutral mutations observed in molecular phylogenetic trees may not always have been fixed in fitness-steady evolution but in adaptive evolution. PMID:26177190

  3. Cancer systems biology in the genome sequencing era: part 2, evolutionary dynamics of tumor clonal networks and drug resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Edwin; Zou, Jinfeng; Zaman, Naif; Beitel, Lenore K; Trifiro, Mark; Paliouras, Miltiadis

    2013-08-01

    A tumor often consists of multiple cell subpopulations (clones). Current chemo-treatments often target one clone of a tumor. Although the drug kills that clone, other clones overtake it and the tumor recurs. Genome sequencing and computational analysis allows to computational dissection of clones from tumors, while singe-cell genome sequencing including RNA-Seq allows profiling of these clones. This opens a new window for treating a tumor as a system in which clones are evolving. Future cancer systems biology studies should consider a tumor as an evolving system with multiple clones. Therefore, topics discussed in Part 2 of this review include evolutionary dynamics of clonal networks, early-warning signals (e.g., genome duplication events) for formation of fast-growing clones, dissecting tumor heterogeneity, and modeling of clone-clone-stroma interactions for drug resistance. The ultimate goal of the future systems biology analysis is to obtain a 'whole-system' understanding of a tumor and therefore provides a more efficient and personalized management strategies for cancer patients. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. DEMONSTRATION BULLETIN: BIOLOGICAL DENITRIFICATION PROCESS, ECOMAT, INC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    EcoMat, Inc. of Hayward, CA has developed a two-stage ex situ anoxic biofilter biodenitrification process. The process is a fixed film bioremediation, using biocarriers and specific bacteria to treat nitrate-contaminated water. Unique to EcoMat's process is a patented mixed bed r...

  5. Fostering 21st-Century Evolutionary Reasoning: Teaching Tree Thinking to Introductory Biology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R; Catley, Kefyn M

    2016-01-01

    The ability to interpret and reason from Tree of Life (ToL) diagrams has become a vital component of science literacy in the 21st century. This article reports on the effectiveness of a research-based curriculum, including an instructional booklet, laboratory, and lectures, to teach the fundamentals of such tree thinking in an introductory biology class for science majors. We present the results of a study involving 117 undergraduates who received either our new research-based tree-thinking curriculum or business-as-usual instruction. We found greater gains in tree-thinking abilities for the experimental instruction group than for the business-as-usual group, as measured by performance on our novel assessment instrument. This was a medium size effect. These gains were observed on an unannounced test that was administered ∼5-6 weeks after the primary instruction in tree thinking. The nature of students' postinstruction difficulties with tree thinking suggests that the critical underlying concept for acquiring expert-level competence in this area is understanding that any specific phylogenetic tree is a subset of the complete, unimaginably large ToL. © 2016 L. R. Novick and K. M. Catley. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  6. Fostering 21st-Century Evolutionary Reasoning: Teaching Tree Thinking to Introductory Biology Students

    OpenAIRE

    Novick, Laura R.; Catley, Kefyn M.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to interpret and reason from Tree of Life (ToL) diagrams has become a vital component of science literacy in the 21st century. This article reports on the effectiveness of a research-based curriculum, including an instructional booklet, laboratory, and lectures, to teach the fundamentals of such tree thinking in an introductory biology class for science majors. We present the results of a study involving 117 undergraduates who received either our new research-based tree-thinking c...

  7. Where Did You Come From? Where Will You Go? Human Evolutionary Biology Education and American Students' Academic Interests and Achievements, Professional Goals, and Socioscientific Decision-Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrein, Caitlin M.

    2014-01-01

    In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class…

  8. Extended inclusive fitness theory: synergy and assortment drives the evolutionary dynamics in biology and economics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffe, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    W.D. Hamilton's Inclusive Fitness Theory explains the conditions that favor the emergence and maintenance of social cooperation. Today we know that these include direct and indirect benefits an agent obtains by its actions, and through interactions with kin and with genetically unrelated individuals. That is, in addition to kin-selection, assortation or homophily, and social synergies drive the evolution of cooperation. An Extended Inclusive Fitness Theory (EIFT) synthesizes the natural selection forces acting on biological evolution and on human economic interactions by assuming that natural selection driven by inclusive fitness produces agents with utility functions that exploit assortation and synergistic opportunities. This formulation allows to estimate sustainable cost/benefit threshold ratios of cooperation among organisms and/or economic agents, using existent analytical tools, illuminating our understanding of the dynamic nature of society, the evolution of cooperation among kin and non-kin, inter-specific cooperation, co-evolution, symbioses, division of labor and social synergies. EIFT helps to promote an interdisciplinary cross fertilization of the understanding of synergy by, for example, allowing to describe the role for division of labor in the emergence of social synergies, providing an integrated framework for the study of both, biological evolution of social behavior and economic market dynamics. Another example is a bio-economic understanding of the motivations of terrorists, which identifies different forms of terrorism.

  9. 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.

  10. The Reactive Species Interactome : Evolutionary Emergence, Biological Significance, and Opportunities for Redox Metabolomics and Personalized Medicine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cortese-Krott, Miriam M.; Koning, Anne; Kuhnle, Gunter G. C.; Nagy, Peter; Bianco, Christopher L.; Pasch, Andreas; Wink, David A.; Fukuto, Jon M.; Jackson, Alan A.; van Goor, Harry; Olson, Kenneth R.; Feelisch, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Significance: Oxidative stress is thought to account for aberrant redox homeostasis and contribute to aging and disease. However, more often than not, administration of antioxidants is ineffective, suggesting that our current understanding of the underlying regulatory processes is incomplete. Recent

  11. ECOMAT INC. BIOLOGICAL DENITRIFICATION PROCESS, ITER

    Science.gov (United States)

    EcoMat, Inc. of Hayward, California (EcoMat) has developed an ex situ anoxic biofilter biodenitrification (BDN) process. The process uses specific biocarriers and bacteria to treat nitrate-contaminated water and employs a patented reactor that retains biocarrier within the syste...

  12. Why an extended evolutionary synthesis is necessary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Gerd B

    2017-10-06

    Since the last major theoretical integration in evolutionary biology-the modern synthesis (MS) of the 1940s-the biosciences have made significant advances. The rise of molecular biology and evolutionary developmental biology, the recognition of ecological development, niche construction and multiple inheritance systems, the '-omics' revolution and the science of systems biology, among other developments, have provided a wealth of new knowledge about the factors responsible for evolutionary change. Some of these results are in agreement with the standard theory and others reveal different properties of the evolutionary process. A renewed and extended theoretical synthesis, advocated by several authors in this issue, aims to unite pertinent concepts that emerge from the novel fields with elements of the standard theory. The resulting theoretical framework differs from the latter in its core logic and predictive capacities. Whereas the MS theory and its various amendments concentrate on genetic and adaptive variation in populations, the extended framework emphasizes the role of constructive processes, ecological interactions and systems dynamics in the evolution of organismal complexity as well as its social and cultural conditions. Single-level and unilinear causation is replaced by multilevel and reciprocal causation. Among other consequences, the extended framework overcomes many of the limitations of traditional gene-centric explanation and entails a revised understanding of the role of natural selection in the evolutionary process. All these features stimulate research into new areas of evolutionary biology.

  13. Biological species is the only possible form of existence for higher organisms: the evolutionary meaning of sexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakov, Victor P

    2010-03-22

    Consistent holistic view of sexual species as the highest form of biological existence is presented. The Weismann's idea that sex and recombination provide the variation for the natural selection to act upon is dominated in most discussions of the biological meaning of the sexual reproduction. Here, the idea is substantiated that the main advantage of sex is the opposite: the ability to counteract not only extinction but further evolution as well. Living systems live long owing to their ability to reproduce themselves with a high fidelity. Simple organisms (like bacteria) reach the continued existence due to the high fidelity of individual genome replication. In organisms with a large genome and complex development, the achievable fidelity of DNA replication is not enough for the precise reproduction of the genome. Such species must be capable of surviving and must remain unchanged in spite of the continuous changes of their genes. This problem has no solution in the frame of asexual ("homeogenomic") lineages. They would rapidly degrade and become extinct or blurred out in the course of the reckless evolution. The core outcome of the transition to sexual reproduction was the creation of multiorganismic entity - biological species. Individual organisms forfeited their ability to reproduce autonomously. It implies that individual organisms forfeited their ability to substantive evolution. They evolve as a part of the biological species. In case of obligatory sexuality, there is no such a thing as synchronic multi-level selection. Natural selection cannot select anything that is not a unit of reproduction. Hierarchy in biology implies the functional predestination of the parts for the sake of the whole. A crucial feature of the sexual reproduction is the formation of genomes of individual organisms by random picking them over from the continuously shuffled gene pool instead of the direct replication of the ancestor's genome. A clear anti-evolutionary consequence of

  14. Biological species is the only possible form of existence for higher organisms: the evolutionary meaning of sexual reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shcherbakov Victor P

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Consistent holistic view of sexual species as the highest form of biological existence is presented. The Weismann's idea that sex and recombination provide the variation for the natural selection to act upon is dominated in most discussions of the biological meaning of the sexual reproduction. Here, the idea is substantiated that the main advantage of sex is the opposite: the ability to counteract not only extinction but further evolution as well. Living systems live long owing to their ability to reproduce themselves with a high fidelity. Simple organisms (like bacteria reach the continued existence due to the high fidelity of individual genome replication. In organisms with a large genome and complex development, the achievable fidelity of DNA replication is not enough for the precise reproduction of the genome. Such species must be capable of surviving and must remain unchanged in spite of the continuous changes of their genes. This problem has no solution in the frame of asexual ("homeogenomic" lineages. They would rapidly degrade and become extinct or blurred out in the course of the reckless evolution. The core outcome of the transition to sexual reproduction was the creation of multiorganismic entity - biological species. Individual organisms forfeited their ability to reproduce autonomously. It implies that individual organisms forfeited their ability to substantive evolution. They evolve as a part of the biological species. In case of obligatory sexuality, there is no such a thing as synchronic multi-level selection. Natural selection cannot select anything that is not a unit of reproduction. Hierarchy in biology implies the functional predestination of the parts for the sake of the whole. A crucial feature of the sexual reproduction is the formation of genomes of individual organisms by random picking them over from the continuously shuffled gene pool instead of the direct replication of the ancestor's genome. A clear anti-evolutionary

  15. The Evolving Theory of Evolutionary Radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, M; Breitkreuz, L; Alvarado, M; Baca, S; Cooper, J C; Heins, L; Herzog, K; Lieberman, B S

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary radiations have intrigued biologists for more than 100 years, and our understanding of the patterns and processes associated with these radiations continues to grow and evolve. Recently it has been recognized that there are many different types of evolutionary radiation beyond the well-studied adaptive radiations. We focus here on multifarious types of evolutionary radiations, paying special attention to the abiotic factors that might trigger diversification in clades. We integrate concepts such as exaptation, species selection, coevolution, and the turnover-pulse hypothesis (TPH) into the theoretical framework of evolutionary radiations. We also discuss other phenomena that are related to, but distinct from, evolutionary radiations that have relevance for evolutionary biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Uncovering the evolutionary origin of plant molecular processes: comparison of Coleochaete (Coleochaetales and Spirogyra (Zygnematales transcriptomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delwiche Charles F

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The large and diverse land plant lineage is nested within a clade of fresh water green algae, the charophytes. Collection of genome-scale data for land plants and other organisms over the past decade has invigorated the field of evolutionary biology. One of the core questions in the field asks: how did a colonization event by a green algae over 450 mya lead to one of the most successful lineages on the tree of life? This question can best be answered using the comparative method, the first step of which is to gather genome-scale data across closely related lineages to land plants. Before sequencing an entire genome it is useful to first gather transcriptome data: it is less expensive, it targets the protein coding regions of the genome, and provides support for gene models for future genome sequencing. We built Expressed Sequence Tag (EST libraries for two charophyte species, Coleochaete orbicularis (Coleochaetales and Spirogyra pratensis (Zygnematales. We used both Sanger sequencing and next generation 454 sequencing to cover as much of the transcriptome as possible. Results Our sequencing effort for Spirogyra pratensis yielded 9,984 5' Sanger reads plus 598,460 GS FLX Standard 454 sequences; Coleochaete orbicularis yielded 4,992 5' Sanger reads plus 673,811 GS FLX Titanium 454 sequences. After clustering S. pratensis yielded 12,000 unique transcripts, or unigenes, and C. orbicularis yielded 19,000. Both transcriptomes were very plant-like, i.e. most of the transcripts were more similar to streptophytes (land plants + charophyte green algae than to other green algae in the sister group chlorophytes. BLAST results of several land plant genes hypothesized to be important in early land plant evolution resulted in high quality hits in both transcriptomes revealing putative orthologs ripe for follow-up studies. Conclusions Two main conclusions were drawn from this study. One illustrates the utility of next generation sequencing

  17. Advanced Functional Nanomaterials for Biological Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    regeneration based on HA, gold nanoparticles, and graphene. We devised a one- step method in which Au and hydroxyapatite were used as a catalytic system in a...detection of cancer cells/nanomaterials in circulation.  We showed that graphitic materials can increase the osteogenesis of bone cells.  We finished...GCNFs) were produced by a single- step reduction process and used for the growth and differentiation of human adult stem cells. The nanomaterials were

  18. NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Power Processing Unit (PPU) Capacitor Failure Root Cause Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeder, James F.; Pinero, Luis; Schneidegger, Robert; Dunning, John; Birchenough, Art

    2012-01-01

    The NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project is developing an advanced ion propulsion system for future NASA missions for solar system exploration. A critical element of the propulsion system is the Power Processing Unit (PPU) which supplies regulated power to the key components of the thruster. The PPU contains six different power supplies including the beam, discharge, discharge heater, neutralizer, neutralizer heater, and accelerator supplies. The beam supply is the largest and processes up to 93+% of the power. The NEXT PPU had been operated for approximately 200+ hours and has experienced a series of three capacitor failures in the beam supply. The capacitors are in the same, nominally non-critical location the input filter capacitor to a full wave switching inverter. The three failures occurred after about 20, 30, and 135 hours of operation. This paper provides background on the NEXT PPU and the capacitor failures. It discusses the failure investigation approach, the beam supply power switching topology and its operating modes, capacitor characteristics and circuit testing. Finally, it identifies root cause of the failures to be the unusual confluence of circuit switching frequency, the physical layout of the power circuits, and the characteristics of the capacitor.

  19. Firms' Decision Making Process in an Evolutionary Model of Industrial Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwasnicki, Witold

    Evolutionary model of industrial dynamics, presented in this paper, can be classified as Schumpeterian one. The model describes the behaviour of a number of competing firms producing functionally equivalent products. Each firm tries to improve its position in the industry and in the market by introducing innovations in order to minimize the unit costs of production, maximize the productivity of capital, and maximize the competitiveness of its products on the market. The problem how decisions are made seems to be crucial for relevant modelling of socio-economic processes. The main aim of the simulations presented in the second part of the paper is to show how fluctuations and discontinuities occurs in economic processes due to boundedly rational decisions of competing firms. It is shown how fluctuation of 3-6 years and of 10 years periodicity can occur in an industry development because of firms' bounded rationality. Long waves of development of 50-60 years period (Kondratieff cycles) occur in the model because of radical innovation emergence at the maturity phase of an `old' technology.

  20. The Drosophila surface glia transcriptome: evolutionary conserved blood-brain barrier processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSalvo, Michael K; Hindle, Samantha J; Rusan, Zeid M; Orng, Souvinh; Eddison, Mark; Halliwill, Kyle; Bainton, Roland J

    2014-01-01

    Central nervous system (CNS) function is dependent on the stringent regulation of metabolites, drugs, cells, and pathogens exposed to the CNS space. Cellular blood-brain barrier (BBB) structures are highly specific checkpoints governing entry and exit of all small molecules to and from the brain interstitial space, but the precise mechanisms that regulate the BBB are not well understood. In addition, the BBB has long been a challenging obstacle to the pharmacologic treatment of CNS diseases; thus model systems that can parse the functions of the BBB are highly desirable. In this study, we sought to define the transcriptome of the adult Drosophila melanogaster BBB by isolating the BBB surface glia with fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and profiling their gene expression with microarrays. By comparing the transcriptome of these surface glia to that of all brain glia, brain neurons, and whole brains, we present a catalog of transcripts that are selectively enriched at the Drosophila BBB. We found that the fly surface glia show high expression of many ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and solute carrier (SLC) transporters, cell adhesion molecules, metabolic enzymes, signaling molecules, and components of xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Using gene sequence-based alignments, we compare the Drosophila and Murine BBB transcriptomes and discover many shared chemoprotective and small molecule control pathways, thus affirming the relevance of invertebrate models for studying evolutionary conserved BBB properties. The Drosophila BBB transcriptome is valuable to vertebrate and insect biologists alike as a resource for studying proteins underlying diffusion barrier development and maintenance, glial biology, and regulation of drug transport at tissue barriers.

  1. The Drosophila surface glia transcriptome: evolutionary conserved blood-brain barrier processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael K DeSalvo

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available AbstractCentral nervous system (CNS function is dependent on the stringent regulation of metabolites, drugs, cells, and pathogens exposed to the CNS space. Cellular blood-brain barrier (BBB structures are highly specific checkpoints governing entry and exit of all small molecules to and from the brain interstitial space, but the precise mechanisms that regulate the BBB are not well understood. In addition, the BBB has long been a challenging obstacle to the pharmacologic treatment of CNS diseases; thus model systems that can parse the functions of the BBB are highly desirable. In this study, we sought to define the transcriptome of the adult Drosophila melanogaster BBB by isolating the BBB surface glia with FACS and profiling their gene expression with microarrays. By comparing the transcriptome of these surface glia to that of all brain glia, brain neurons, and whole brains, we present a catalog of transcripts that are selectively enriched at the Drosophila BBB. We found that the fly surface glia show high expression of many ABC and SLC transporters, cell adhesion molecules, metabolic enzymes, signaling molecules, and components of xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Using gene sequence-based alignments, we compare the Drosophila and Murine BBB transcriptomes and discover many shared chemoprotective and small molecule control pathways, thus affirming the relevance of invertebrate models for studying evolutionary conserved BBB properties. The Drosophila BBB transcriptome is valuable to vertebrate and insect biologists alike as a resource for studying proteins underlying diffusion barrier development and maintenance, glial biology, and regulation of drug transport at tissue barriers.

  2. From shavenbaby to the naked valley: trichome formation as a model for evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arif, Saad; Kittelmann, Sebastian; McGregor, Alistair P

    2015-01-01

    Microtrichia or trichomes are non-sensory actin protrusions produced by the epidermal cells of many insects. Studies of trichome formation in Drosophila have over the last 30 years provided key insights towards our understanding of gene regulation, gene regulatory networks (GRNs), development, the genotype to phenotype map, and the evolution of these processes. Here we review classic studies that have used trichome formation as a model to shed light on Drosophila development as well as recent research on the architecture of the GRN underlying trichome formation. This includes the findings that both small peptides and microRNAs play important roles in the regulation and evolution of this network. In addition, we review research on the evolution of trichome patterns that has provided novel insights into the function and architecture of cis-regulatory modules, and into the genetic basis of morphological change. We conclude that further research on these apparently simple and often functionally enigmatic structures will continue to provide new and important knowledge about development and evolution. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Biological process of soil improvement in civil engineering: A review

    OpenAIRE

    Murtala Umar; Khairul Anuar Kassim; Kenny Tiong Ping Chiet

    2016-01-01

    The concept of using biological process in soil improvement which is known as bio-mediated soil improvement technique has shown greater potential in geotechnical engineering applications in terms of performance and environmental sustainability. This paper presents a review on the soil microorganisms responsible for this process, and factors that affect their metabolic activities and geometric compatibility with the soil particle sizes. Two mechanisms of biomineralization, i.e. biologically co...

  4. A literature-based similarity metric for biological processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chagoyen Monica

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent analyses in systems biology pursue the discovery of functional modules within the cell. Recognition of such modules requires the integrative analysis of genome-wide experimental data together with available functional schemes. In this line, methods to bridge the gap between the abstract definitions of cellular processes in current schemes and the interlinked nature of biological networks are required. Results This work explores the use of the scientific literature to establish potential relationships among cellular processes. To this end we haveused a document based similarity method to compute pair-wise similarities of the biological processes described in the Gene Ontology (GO. The method has been applied to the biological processes annotated for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. We compared our results with similarities obtained with two ontology-based metrics, as well as with gene product annotation relationships. We show that the literature-based metric conserves most direct ontological relationships, while reveals biologically sounded similarities that are not obtained using ontology-based metrics and/or genome annotation. Conclusion The scientific literature is a valuable source of information from which to compute similarities among biological processes. The associations discovered by literature analysis are a valuable complement to those encoded in existing functional schemes, and those that arise by genome annotation. These similarities can be used to conveniently map the interlinked structure of cellular processes in a particular organism.

  5. Bergmann's Rule, Adaptation, and Thermoregulation in Arctic Animals: Conflicting Perspectives from Physiology, Evolutionary Biology, and Physical Anthropology After World War II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Joel B

    2017-05-01

    Bergmann's rule and Allen's rule played important roles in mid-twentieth century discussions of adaptation, variation, and geographical distribution. Although inherited from the nineteenth-century natural history tradition these rules gained significance during the consolidation of the modern synthesis as evolutionary theorists focused attention on populations as units of evolution. For systematists, the rules provided a compelling rationale for identifying geographical races or subspecies, a function that was also picked up by some physical anthropologists. More generally, the rules provided strong evidence for adaptation by natural selection. Supporters of the rules tacitly, or often explicitly, assumed that the clines described by the rules reflected adaptations for thermoregulation. This assumption was challenged by the physiologists Laurence Irving and Per Scholander based on their arctic research conducted after World War II. Their critique spurred a controversy played out in a series of articles in Evolution, in Ernst Mayr's Animal Species and Evolution, and in the writings of other prominent evolutionary biologists and physical anthropologists. Considering this episode highlights the complexity and ambiguity of important biological concepts such as adaptation, homeostasis, and self-regulation. It also demonstrates how different disciplinary orientations and styles of scientific research influenced evolutionary explanations, and the consequent difficulties of constructing a truly synthetic evolutionary biology in the decades immediately following World War II.

  6. Multiple evolutionary processes drive the patterns of genetic differentiation in a forest tree species complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Rebecca C; Steane, Dorothy A; Lavery, Martyn; Vaillancourt, René E; Potts, Brad M

    2013-01-01

    Forest trees frequently form species complexes, complicating taxonomic classification and gene pool management. This is certainly the case in Eucalyptus, and well exemplified by the Eucalyptus globulus complex. This ecologically and economically significant complex comprises four taxa (sspp. bicostata, globulus, maidenii, pseudoglobulus) that are geographically and morphologically distinct, but linked by extensive “intergrade” populations. To resolve their genetic affinities, nine microsatellites were used to genotype 1200 trees from throughout the natural range of the complex in Australia, representing 33 morphological core and intergrade populations. There was significant spatial genetic structure (FST = 0.10), but variation was continuous. High genetic diversity in southern ssp. maidenii indicates that this region is the center of origin. Genetic diversity decreases and population differentiation increases with distance from this area, suggesting that drift is a major evolutionary process. Many of the intergrade populations, along with other populations morphologically classified as ssp. pseudoglobulus or ssp. globulus, belong to a “cryptic genetic entity” that is genetically and geographically intermediate between core ssp. bicostata, ssp. maidenii, and ssp. globulus. Geography, rather than morphology, therefore, is the best predictor of overall genetic affinities within the complex and should be used to classify germplasm into management units for conservation and breeding purposes. PMID:23403692

  7. Biological process of soil improvement in civil engineering: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murtala Umar

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The concept of using biological process in soil improvement which is known as bio-mediated soil improvement technique has shown greater potential in geotechnical engineering applications in terms of performance and environmental sustainability. This paper presents a review on the soil microorganisms responsible for this process, and factors that affect their metabolic activities and geometric compatibility with the soil particle sizes. Two mechanisms of biomineralization, i.e. biologically controlled and biologically induced mineralization, were also discussed. Environmental and other factors that may be encountered in situ during microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP and their influences on the process were identified and presented. Improvements in the engineering properties of soil such as strength/stiffness and permeability as evaluated in some studies were explored. Potential applications of the process in geotechnical engineering and the challenges of field application of the process were identified.

  8. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    There were not even many serious attempts among biologists to discern some general principles or laws shaping the patterns of diversity seen in the living ... conveys the impression of a violent physical struggle among organisms with the more powerful ones killing off those weaker than themselves. The point is that survival ...

  9. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    fore, the phenotypic composition of the population, resulting in adaptive evolution (Figure 2). Phylogeny and Systematics. Since earliest times, humans have tried to classify living things and, especially in ancient civilizations, the detailed classifica- tion of plants and animals was often based on their significance to humans.

  10. Quantitative genetics approaches to study evolutionary processes in ecotoxicology; a perspective from research on the evolution of resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klerks, Paul L; Xie, Lingtian; Levinton, Jeffrey S

    2011-05-01

    Quantitative genetic approaches are often used to study evolutionary processes in ecotoxicology. This paper focuses on the evolution of resistance to environmental contaminants-an important evolutionary process in ecotoxicology. Three approaches are commonly employed to study the evolution of resistance: (1) Assessing whether a contaminant-exposed population has an increased resistance relative to a control population, using either spatial or temporal comparisons. (2) Estimating a population's heritability of resistance. (3) Investigating responses in a laboratory selection experiment. All three approaches provide valuable information on the potential for contaminants to affect a population's evolutionary trajectory via natural selection. However, all three approaches have inherent limitations, including difficulty in separating the various genetic and environmental variance components, responses being dependent on specific population and testing conditions, and inability to fully capture natural conditions in the laboratory. In order to maximize insights into the long-term consequences of adaptation, it is important to not just look at resistance itself, but also at the fitness consequences and at correlated responses in characteristics other than resistance. The rapid development of molecular genetics has yielded alternatives to the "black box" approach of quantitative genetics, but the presence of different limitations and strengths in the two fields means that they should be viewed as complementary rather than exchangeable. Quantitative genetics is benefiting from the incorporation of molecular tools and remains an important field for studying evolutionary toxicology. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

  11. Evolutionary macroecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Macroecology focuses on ecological questions at broad spatial and temporal scales, providing a statistical description of patterns in species abundance, distribution and diversity. More recently, historical components of these patterns have begun to be investigated more deeply. We tentatively refer to the practice of explicitly taking species history into account, both analytically and conceptually, as ‘evolutionary macroecology’. We discuss how the evolutionary dimension can be incorporated into macroecology through two orthogonal and complementary data types: fossils and phylogenies. Research traditions dealing with these data have developed more‐or‐less independently over the last 20–30 years, but merging them will help elucidate the historical components of diversity gradients and the evolutionary dynamics of species’ traits. Here we highlight conceptual and methodological advances in merging these two research traditions and review the viewpoints and toolboxes that can, in combination, help address patterns and unveil processes at temporal and spatial macro‐scales.

  12. Synthetic Biology: Tools to Design, Build, and Optimize Cellular Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Young

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The general central dogma frames the emergent properties of life, which make biology both necessary and difficult to engineer. In a process engineering paradigm, each biological process stream and process unit is heavily influenced by regulatory interactions and interactions with the surrounding environment. Synthetic biology is developing the tools and methods that will increase control over these interactions, eventually resulting in an integrative synthetic biology that will allow ground-up cellular optimization. In this review, we attempt to contextualize the areas of synthetic biology into three tiers: (1 the process units and associated streams of the central dogma, (2 the intrinsic regulatory mechanisms, and (3 the extrinsic physical and chemical environment. Efforts at each of these three tiers attempt to control cellular systems and take advantage of emerging tools and approaches. Ultimately, it will be possible to integrate these approaches and realize the vision of integrative synthetic biology when cells are completely rewired for biotechnological goals. This review will highlight progress towards this goal as well as areas requiring further research.

  13. Synthetic biology: tools to design, build, and optimize cellular processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Eric; Alper, Hal

    2010-01-01

    The general central dogma frames the emergent properties of life, which make biology both necessary and difficult to engineer. In a process engineering paradigm, each biological process stream and process unit is heavily influenced by regulatory interactions and interactions with the surrounding environment. Synthetic biology is developing the tools and methods that will increase control over these interactions, eventually resulting in an integrative synthetic biology that will allow ground-up cellular optimization. In this review, we attempt to contextualize the areas of synthetic biology into three tiers: (1) the process units and associated streams of the central dogma, (2) the intrinsic regulatory mechanisms, and (3) the extrinsic physical and chemical environment. Efforts at each of these three tiers attempt to control cellular systems and take advantage of emerging tools and approaches. Ultimately, it will be possible to integrate these approaches and realize the vision of integrative synthetic biology when cells are completely rewired for biotechnological goals. This review will highlight progress towards this goal as well as areas requiring further research.

  14. A Unifying Mathematical Framework for Genetic Robustness, Environmental Robustness, Network Robustness and their Trade-off on Phenotype Robustness in Biological Networks Part I: Gene Regulatory Networks in Systems and Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2013-01-01

    Robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are ubiquitous systematic properties observed in biological systems at different levels. The underlying principles for robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are universal to both complex biological systems and sophisticated engineering systems. In many biological networks, network robustness should be enough to confer intrinsic robustness in order to tolerate intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic robustness for buffering genetic variations, and environmental robustness for resisting environmental disturbances. With this, the phenotypic stability of biological network can be maintained, thus guaranteeing phenotype robustness. This paper presents a survey on biological systems and then develops a unifying mathematical framework for investigating the principles of both robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation in systems and evolutionary biology. Further, from the unifying mathematical framework, it was discovered that the phenotype robustness criterion for biological networks at different levels relies upon intrinsic robustness + genetic robustness + environmental robustness ≦ network robustness. When this is true, the phenotype robustness can be maintained in spite of intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic variations, and environmental disturbances. Therefore, the trade-offs between intrinsic robustness, genetic robustness, environmental robustness, and network robustness in systems and evolutionary biology can also be investigated through their corresponding phenotype robustness criterion from the systematic point of view.

  15. An introduction to stochastic processes with applications to biology

    CERN Document Server

    Allen, Linda J S

    2010-01-01

    An Introduction to Stochastic Processes with Applications to Biology, Second Edition presents the basic theory of stochastic processes necessary in understanding and applying stochastic methods to biological problems in areas such as population growth and extinction, drug kinetics, two-species competition and predation, the spread of epidemics, and the genetics of inbreeding. Because of their rich structure, the text focuses on discrete and continuous time Markov chains and continuous time and state Markov processes.New to the Second EditionA new chapter on stochastic differential equations th

  16. Students' Learning Activities While Studying Biological Process Diagrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Process diagrams describe how a system functions (e.g. photosynthesis) and are an important type of representation in Biology education. In the present study, we examined students' learning activities while studying process diagrams, related to their resulting comprehension of these diagrams. Each student completed three learning tasks. Verbal…

  17. Hidden Markov processes theory and applications to biology

    CERN Document Server

    Vidyasagar, M

    2014-01-01

    This book explores important aspects of Markov and hidden Markov processes and the applications of these ideas to various problems in computational biology. The book starts from first principles, so that no previous knowledge of probability is necessary. However, the work is rigorous and mathematical, making it useful to engineers and mathematicians, even those not interested in biological applications. A range of exercises is provided, including drills to familiarize the reader with concepts and more advanced problems that require deep thinking about the theory. Biological applications are t

  18. Evolutionary perspectives on human personality. Comment on "Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective" by Y. Neuman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Ashton C.; Zeigler-Hill, Virgil; Shackelford, Todd K.

    2014-12-01

    Yair Neuman [6] presents many provocative ideas in his interdisciplinary approach to human personality. In this commentary, we focus on his ideas regarding (1) the evolutionary basis of personality and (2) human sperm competition.

  19. Treatment of slaughter wastewater by coagulation sedimentation-anaerobic biological filter and biological contact oxidation process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, M.; Yu, P. F.; Fu, J. X.; Ji, X. Q.; Jiang, T.

    2017-08-01

    The optimal process parameters and conditions for the treatment of slaughterhouse wastewater by coagulation sedimentation-AF - biological contact oxidation process were studied to solve the problem of high concentration organic wastewater treatment in the production of small and medium sized slaughter plants. The suitable water temperature and the optimum reaction time are determined by the experiment of precipitation to study the effect of filtration rate and reflux ratio on COD and SS in anaerobic biological filter and the effect of biofilm thickness and gas water ratio on NH3-N and COD in biological contact oxidation tank, and results show that the optimum temperature is 16-24°C, reaction time is 20 min in coagulating sedimentation, the optimum filtration rate is 0.6 m/h, and the optimum reflux ratio is 300% in anaerobic biological filter reactor. The most suitable biological film thickness range of 1.8-2.2 mm and the most suitable gas water ratio is 12:1-14:1 in biological contact oxidation pool. In the coupling process of continuous operation for 80 days, the average effluent’s mass concentrations of COD, TP and TN were 15.57 mg/L, 40 mg/L and 0.63 mg/L, the average removal rates were 98.93%, 86.10%, 88.95%, respectively. The coupling process has stable operation effect and good effluent quality, and is suitable for the industrial application.

  20. State of the art of biological hydrogen production processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loubette, N.; Junker, M.

    2006-01-01

    Our report gives an overview of hydrogen production processes with bacteria or algae. 4 main processes are described: water biophotolysis, photo- fermentation biological CO conversion and dark fermentation. Chemical phenomena which lead to hydrogen generation are exp/aired. Performances, limits and outlook are given for each process. Main projects, programs and key players involved in this field of research have been listed. This paper resumes few results of this report. (authors)

  1. State of the art of biological hydrogen production processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicolas Loubette; Michel Junker

    2006-01-01

    Our report gives an overview of hydrogen production processes with bacteria or algae. 4 main processes are described: water bio-photolysis, photo-fermentation biological CO conversion and dark fermentation. Chemical phenomena which lead to hydrogen generation are explained. Performances, limits and outlook are given for each process. Main projects, programs and key players involved in this field of research have been listed. This paper resumes few results of this report. (authors)

  2. Incorporating evolutionary principles into environmental management and policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lankau, Richard; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Harris, David J.

    2011-01-01

    As policymakers and managers work to mitigate the effects of rapid anthropogenic environmental changes, they need to consider organisms’ responses. In light of recent evidence that evolution can be quite rapid, this now includes evolutionary responses. Evolutionary principles have a long history...... in conservation biology, and the necessary next step for the field is to consider ways in which conservation policy makers and managers can proactively manipulate evolutionary processes to achieve their goals. In this review, we aim to illustrate the potential conservation benefits of an increased understanding...... of evolutionary history and prescriptive manipulation of three basic evolutionary factors: selection, variation, and gene flow. For each, we review and propose ways that policy makers and managers can use evolutionary thinking to preserve threatened species, combat pest species, or reduce undesirable evolutionary...

  3. Boolean Models of Biological Processes Explain Cascade-Like Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Wang, Guanyu; Simha, Rahul; Du, Chenghang; Zeng, Chen

    2016-01-01

    Biological networks play a key role in determining biological function and therefore, an understanding of their structure and dynamics is of central interest in systems biology. In Boolean models of such networks, the status of each molecule is either “on” or “off” and along with the molecules interact with each other, their individual status changes from “on” to “off” or vice-versa and the system of molecules in the network collectively go through a sequence of changes in state. This sequence of changes is termed a biological process. In this paper, we examine the common perception that events in biomolecular networks occur sequentially, in a cascade-like manner, and ask whether this is likely to be an inherent property. In further investigations of the budding and fission yeast cell-cycle, we identify two generic dynamical rules. A Boolean system that complies with these rules will automatically have a certain robustness. By considering the biological requirements in robustness and designability, we show that those Boolean dynamical systems, compared to an arbitrary dynamical system, statistically present the characteristics of cascadeness and sequentiality, as observed in the budding and fission yeast cell- cycle. These results suggest that cascade-like behavior might be an intrinsic property of biological processes. PMID:26821940

  4. The Role of Affordances in the Evolutionary Process Reconsidered A Niche Construction Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, Rob; van Wermeskerken, Margot

    Gibson asserted that affordances are the primary objects of perception. Although this assertion is especially attractive when considered in the context of evolutionary theory, the role that affordances play in the evolution of animals' perceptual and action systems is still unclear. Trying to

  5. Multi-issue negotiation processes by evolutionary simulation : validation and social extensions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.H. Gerding (Enrico); D.D.B. van Bragt; J.A. La Poutré (Han)

    2000-01-01

    textabstractWe describe a system for automated bilateral negotiations in which artificial agents are evolved by an evolutionary algorithm. The negotiations are governed by a finite-horizon version of the alternating-offers protocol. Several issues are negotiated simultaneously and negotiations can

  6. Advanced biologically plausible algorithms for low-level image processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusakova, Valentina I.; Podladchikova, Lubov N.; Shaposhnikov, Dmitry G.; Markin, Sergey N.; Golovan, Alexander V.; Lee, Seong-Whan

    1999-08-01

    At present, in computer vision, the approach based on modeling the biological vision mechanisms is extensively developed. However, up to now, real world image processing has no effective solution in frameworks of both biologically inspired and conventional approaches. Evidently, new algorithms and system architectures based on advanced biological motivation should be developed for solution of computational problems related to this visual task. Basic problems that should be solved for creation of effective artificial visual system to process real world imags are a search for new algorithms of low-level image processing that, in a great extent, determine system performance. In the present paper, the result of psychophysical experiments and several advanced biologically motivated algorithms for low-level processing are presented. These algorithms are based on local space-variant filter, context encoding visual information presented in the center of input window, and automatic detection of perceptually important image fragments. The core of latter algorithm are using local feature conjunctions such as noncolinear oriented segment and composite feature map formation. Developed algorithms were integrated into foveal active vision model, the MARR. It is supposed that proposed algorithms may significantly improve model performance while real world image processing during memorizing, search, and recognition.

  7. 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.

  8. Using large-scale public health data to explore the evolutionary biology of human pregnancy and child bearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollegaard, Birgitte

    lead to a series of conflicts. Here, I take an evolutionary perspective to investigate why these conflicts exist, and how they are maintained despite the potentially detrimental effect they can have on the health of the mother and child. The pregnancy induced disease preeclampsia is caused......-term positive health benefits, but if the condition progressed to preeclampsia the health benefits disappeared; this is consistent with evolutionary hypotheses about parental conflicts over resources. Building upon these results, I further investigated the health of offspring up to 30 years after being exposed...... a higher risk of morbidity and mortality, compared to women who have only daughters, or children of both genders. This effect has previously been shown in historical data and in this thesis I confirm the results for a contemporary population; then, taking an evolutionary perspective, I discuss possible...

  9. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

    Institutions are hard to define and hard to study. Long prominent in political science have been two theories: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI) and Historical Institutionalism (HI). Arising from the life sciences is now a third: Evolutionary Institutionalism (EI). Comparative strengths and weaknesses of these three theories warrant review, and the value-to-be-added by expanding the third beyond Darwinian evolutionary theory deserves consideration. Should evolutionary institutionalism expand to accommodate new understanding in ecology, such as might apply to the emergence of stability, and in genetics, such as might apply to political behavior? Core arguments are reviewed for each theory with more detailed exposition of the third, EI. Particular attention is paid to EI's gene-institution analogy; to variation, selection, and retention of institutional traits; to endogeneity and exogeneity; to agency and structure; and to ecosystem effects, institutional stability, and empirical limitations in behavioral genetics. RCI, HI, and EI are distinct but complementary. Institutional change, while amenable to rational-choice analysis and, retrospectively, to criticaljuncture and path-dependency analysis, is also, and importantly, ecological. Stability, like change, is an emergent property of institutions, which tend to stabilize after change in a manner analogous to allopatric speciation. EI is more than metaphorically biological in that institutional behaviors are driven by human behaviors whose evolution long preceded the appearance of institutions themselves.

  10. Cancer systems biology: signal processing for cancer research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yli-Harja, Olli; Ylipää, Antti; Nykter, Matti; Zhang, Wei

    2011-01-01

    In this editorial we introduce the research paradigms of signal processing in the era of systems biology. Signal processing is a field of science traditionally focused on modeling electronic and communications systems, but recently it has turned to biological applications with astounding results. The essence of signal processing is to describe the natural world by mathematical models and then, based on these models, develop efficient computational tools for solving engineering problems. Here, we underline, with examples, the endless possibilities which arise when the battle-hardened tools of engineering are applied to solve the problems that have tormented cancer researchers. Based on this approach, a new field has emerged, called cancer systems biology. Despite its short history, cancer systems biology has already produced several success stories tackling previously impracticable problems. Perhaps most importantly, it has been accepted as an integral part of the major endeavors of cancer research, such as analyzing the genomic and epigenomic data produced by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. Finally, we show that signal processing and cancer research, two fields that are seemingly distant from each other, have merged into a field that is indeed more than the sum of its parts. PMID:21439242

  11. DEMONSTRATION OF AN INTEGRATED, PASSIVE BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT PROCESS FOR AMD

    Science.gov (United States)

    An innovative, cost-effective, biological treatment process has been designed by MSE Technology Applications, Inc. to treat acid mine drainage (AMD). A pilot-scale demonstration is being conducted under the Mine Waste Technology Program using water flowing from an abandoned mine ...

  12. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    Aug 26, 2016 ... Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 21; Issue 9. Evolutionary Stable Strategy: Application of Nash Equilibrium in Biology. General ... Using some examples of classical games, we show how evolutionary game theory can help understand behavioural decisions of animals.

  13. Evolutionary Theories in Environmental and Resource Economics: Approaches and Applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.; Gowdy, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    Recent advances in evolutionary theory have important implications for environmental economics. A short overview is offered of evolutionary thinking in economics. Subsequently, major concepts and approaches in evolutionary biology and evolutionary economics are presented and compared. Attention is

  14. Introductory Biology Textbooks Under-Represent Scientific Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara B. Duncan

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Attrition of undergraduates from Biology majors is a long-standing problem. Introductory courses that fail to engage students or spark their curiosity by emphasizing the open-ended and creative nature of biological investigation and discovery could contribute to student detachment from the field. Our hypothesis was that introductory biology books devote relatively few figures to illustration of the design and interpretation of experiments or field studies, thereby de-emphasizing the scientific process.To investigate this possibility, we examined figures in six Introductory Biology textbooks published in 2008. On average, multistep scientific investigations were presented in fewer than 5% of the hundreds of figures in each book. Devoting such a small percentage of figures to the processes by which discoveries are made discourages an emphasis on scientific thinking. We suggest that by increasing significantly the illustration of scientific investigations, textbooks could support undergraduates’ early interest in biology, stimulate the development of design and analytical skills, and inspire some students to participate in investigations of their own.

  15. A Friendly-Biological Reactor SIMulator (BioReSIM for studying biological processes in wastewater treatment processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raul Molina

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Biological processes for wastewater treatments are inherently dynamic systems because of the large variations in the influent wastewater flow rate, concentration composition and the adaptive behavior of the involved microorganisms. Moreover, the sludge retention time (SRT is a critical factor to understand the bioreactor performances when changes in the influent or in the operation conditions take place. Since SRT are usually in the range of 10-30 days, the performance of biological reactors needs a long time to be monitored in a regular laboratory demonstration, limiting the knowledge that can be obtained in the experimental lab practice. In order to overcome this lack, mathematical models and computer simulations are useful tools to describe biochemical processes and predict the overall performance of bioreactors under different working operation conditions and variations of the inlet wastewater composition. The mathematical solution of the model could be difficult as numerous biochemical processes can be considered. Additionally, biological reactors description (mass balance, etc. needs models represented by partial or/and ordinary differential equations associated to algebraic expressions, that require complex computational codes to obtain the numerical solutions. Different kind of software for mathematical modeling can be used, from large degree of freedom simulators capable of free models definition (as AQUASIM, to closed predefined model structure programs (as BIOWIN. The first ones usually require long learning curves, whereas the second ones could be excessively rigid for specific wastewater treatment systems. As alternative, we present Biological Reactor SIMulator (BioReSIM, a MATLAB code for the simulation of sequencing batch reactors (SBR and rotating biological contactors (RBC as biological systems of suspended and attached biomass for wastewater treatment, respectively. This BioReSIM allows the evaluation of simple and complex

  16. Evolutionary games under incompetence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleshnina, Maria; Filar, Jerzy A; Ejov, Vladimir; McKerral, Jody C

    2018-02-26

    The adaptation process of a species to a new environment is a significant area of study in biology. As part of natural selection, adaptation is a mutation process which improves survival skills and reproductive functions of species. Here, we investigate this process by combining the idea of incompetence with evolutionary game theory. In the sense of evolution, incompetence and training can be interpreted as a special learning process. With focus on the social side of the problem, we analyze the influence of incompetence on behavior of species. We introduce an incompetence parameter into a learning function in a single-population game and analyze its effect on the outcome of the replicator dynamics. Incompetence can change the outcome of the game and its dynamics, indicating its significance within what are inherently imperfect natural systems.

  17. Is nanotechnology the key to unravel and engineer biological processes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Melba; Planell, Josep A

    2012-01-01

    Regenerative medicine is an emerging field aiming to the development of new reparative strategies to treat degenerative diseases, injury, and trauma through developmental pathways in order to rebuild the architecture of the original injured organ and take over its functionality. Most of the processes and interactions involved in the regenerative process take place at subcellular scale. Nanotechnology provides the tools and technology not only to detect, to measure, or to image the interactions between the different biomolecules and biological entities, but also to control and guide the regenerative process. The relevance of nanotechnology for the development of regenerative medicine as well as an overview of the different tools that contribute to unravel and engineer biological systems are presented in this chapter. In addition, general data about the social impact and global investment in nanotechnology are provided.

  18. Classical and spatial stochastic processes with applications to biology

    CERN Document Server

    Schinazi, Rinaldo B

    2014-01-01

    The revised and expanded edition of this textbook presents the concepts and applications of random processes with the same illuminating simplicity as its first edition, but with the notable addition of substantial modern material on biological modeling. While still treating many important problems in fields such as engineering and mathematical physics, the book also focuses on the highly relevant topics of cancerous mutations, influenza evolution, drug resistance, and immune response. The models used elegantly apply various classical stochastic models presented earlier in the text, and exercises are included throughout to reinforce essential concepts. The second edition of Classical and Spatial Stochastic Processes is suitable as a textbook for courses in stochastic processes at the advanced-undergraduate and graduate levels, or as a self-study resource for researchers and practitioners in mathematics, engineering, physics, and mathematical biology. Reviews of the first edition: An appetizing textbook for a f...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toman, Jan; Flegr, Jaroslav

    2017-12-21

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

  20. Evolutionary approaches for the reverse-engineering of gene regulatory networks: A study on a biologically realistic dataset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gidrol Xavier

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inferring gene regulatory networks from data requires the development of algorithms devoted to structure extraction. When only static data are available, gene interactions may be modelled by a Bayesian Network (BN that represents the presence of direct interactions from regulators to regulees by conditional probability distributions. We used enhanced evolutionary algorithms to stochastically evolve a set of candidate BN structures and found the model that best fits data without prior knowledge. Results We proposed various evolutionary strategies suitable for the task and tested our choices using simulated data drawn from a given bio-realistic network of 35 nodes, the so-called insulin network, which has been used in the literature for benchmarking. We assessed the inferred models against this reference to obtain statistical performance results. We then compared performances of evolutionary algorithms using two kinds of recombination operators that operate at different scales in the graphs. We introduced a niching strategy that reinforces diversity through the population and avoided trapping of the algorithm in one local minimum in the early steps of learning. We show the limited effect of the mutation operator when niching is applied. Finally, we compared our best evolutionary approach with various well known learning algorithms (MCMC, K2, greedy search, TPDA, MMHC devoted to BN structure learning. Conclusion We studied the behaviour of an evolutionary approach enhanced by niching for the learning of gene regulatory networks with BN. We show that this approach outperforms classical structure learning methods in elucidating the original model. These results were obtained for the learning of a bio-realistic network and, more importantly, on various small datasets. This is a suitable approach for learning transcriptional regulatory networks from real datasets without prior knowledge.

  1. iBiology: communicating the process of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Sarah S

    2014-08-01

    The Internet hosts an abundance of science video resources aimed at communicating scientific knowledge, including webinars, massive open online courses, and TED talks. Although these videos are efficient at disseminating information for diverse types of users, they often do not demonstrate the process of doing science, the excitement of scientific discovery, or how new scientific knowledge is developed. iBiology (www.ibiology.org), a project that creates open-access science videos about biology research and science-related topics, seeks to fill this need by producing videos by science leaders that make their ideas, stories, and experiences available to anyone with an Internet connection. © 2014 Goodwin. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  2. Natural Selection in Cancer Biology: From Molecular Snowflakes to Trait Hallmarks

    OpenAIRE

    Fortunato, Angelo; Boddy, Amy; Mallo, Diego; Aktipis, Athena; Maley, Carlo C.; Pepper, John W.

    2017-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection is the conceptual foundation for nearly every branch of biology and increasingly also for biomedicine and medical research. In cancer biology, evolution explains how populations of cells in tumors change over time. It is a fundamental question whether this evolutionary process is driven primarily by natural selection and adaptation or by other evolutionary processes such as founder effects and drift. In cancer biology, as in organismal evolutionary biology, ther...

  3. Biological signal processing with a genetic toggle switch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Hillenbrand

    Full Text Available Complex gene regulation requires responses that depend not only on the current levels of input signals but also on signals received in the past. In digital electronics, logic circuits with this property are referred to as sequential logic, in contrast to the simpler combinatorial logic without such internal memory. In molecular biology, memory is implemented in various forms such as biochemical modification of proteins or multistable gene circuits, but the design of the regulatory interface, which processes the input signals and the memory content, is often not well understood. Here, we explore design constraints for such regulatory interfaces using coarse-grained nonlinear models and stochastic simulations of detailed biochemical reaction networks. We test different designs for biological analogs of the most versatile memory element in digital electronics, the JK-latch. Our analysis shows that simple protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA binding are sufficient, in principle, to implement genetic circuits with the capabilities of a JK-latch. However, it also exposes fundamental limitations to its reliability, due to the fact that biological signal processing is asynchronous, in contrast to most digital electronics systems that feature a central clock to orchestrate the timing of all operations. We describe a seemingly natural way to improve the reliability by invoking the master-slave concept from digital electronics design. This concept could be useful to interpret the design of natural regulatory circuits, and for the design of synthetic biological systems.

  4. Biological signal processing with a genetic toggle switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, Patrick; Fritz, Georg; Gerland, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Complex gene regulation requires responses that depend not only on the current levels of input signals but also on signals received in the past. In digital electronics, logic circuits with this property are referred to as sequential logic, in contrast to the simpler combinatorial logic without such internal memory. In molecular biology, memory is implemented in various forms such as biochemical modification of proteins or multistable gene circuits, but the design of the regulatory interface, which processes the input signals and the memory content, is often not well understood. Here, we explore design constraints for such regulatory interfaces using coarse-grained nonlinear models and stochastic simulations of detailed biochemical reaction networks. We test different designs for biological analogs of the most versatile memory element in digital electronics, the JK-latch. Our analysis shows that simple protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA binding are sufficient, in principle, to implement genetic circuits with the capabilities of a JK-latch. However, it also exposes fundamental limitations to its reliability, due to the fact that biological signal processing is asynchronous, in contrast to most digital electronics systems that feature a central clock to orchestrate the timing of all operations. We describe a seemingly natural way to improve the reliability by invoking the master-slave concept from digital electronics design. This concept could be useful to interpret the design of natural regulatory circuits, and for the design of synthetic biological systems.

  5. Is evolutionary biology becoming too politically correct? A reflection on the scala naturae, phylogenetically basal clades, anatomically plesiomorphic taxa, and 'lower' animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, Rui; Ziermann, Janine M; Linde-Medina, Marta

    2015-05-01

    , or the strepsirrhines and lemurs within the Primates, for instance. This review will contribute to improving our understanding of these broad evolutionary issues and of the evolution of the vertebrate Bauplans, and hopefully will stimulate future phylogenetic, evolutionary and developmental studies of these clades. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  6. 100 years after Smoluchowski: stochastic processes in cell biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holcman, D; Schuss, Z

    2017-01-01

    100 years after Smoluchowski introduced his approach to stochastic processes, they are now at the basis of mathematical and physical modeling in cellular biology: they are used for example to analyse and to extract features from a large number (tens of thousands) of single molecular trajectories or to study the diffusive motion of molecules, proteins or receptors. Stochastic modeling is a new step in large data analysis that serves extracting cell biology concepts. We review here Smoluchowski’s approach to stochastic processes and provide several applications for coarse-graining diffusion, studying polymer models for understanding nuclear organization and finally, we discuss the stochastic jump dynamics of telomeres across cell division and stochastic gene regulation. (topical review)

  7. Evolutionary genetics: the Drosophila model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    In Evolutionary genetics: from molecules to morphology (ed. R. S. Singh and C. B. Krimbas), pp. 609–627. Cambridge Uni- versity Press, Cambridge. Houle D. 2001 Characters as the units of evolutionary change. In The character concept in evolutionary biology. (ed. G. P. Wagner), pp. 109–140. Academic Press, San Diego.

  8. Introducing Flexibility to Complex, Resilient Socio-Ecological Systems: A Comparative Analysis of Economics, Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Evolutionary Biology, and Supply Chain Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Anand Asokan

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a framework incorporating flexibility as a characteristic is proposed for designing complex, resilient socio-ecological systems. In an interconnected complex system, flexibility allows prompt deployment of resources where they are needed and is crucial for both innovation and robustness. A comparative analysis of flexible manufacturing systems, economics, evolutionary biology, and supply chain management is conducted to identify the most important characteristics of flexibility. Evolutionary biology emphasises overlapping functions and multi-functionality, which allow a system with structurally different elements to perform the same function, enhancing resilience. In economics, marginal cost and marginal expected profit are factors that are considered to be important in incorporating flexibility while making changes to the system. In flexible manufacturing systems, the size of choice sets is important in creating flexibility, as initial actions preserve more options for future actions that will enhance resilience. Given the dynamic nature of flexibility, identifying the characteristics that can lead to flexibility will introduce a crucial dimension to designing resilient and sustainable socio-ecological systems with a long-term perspective in mind.

  9. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause ‘evolutionary suicide’. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called ‘evolutionary trapping’. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps. PMID:23209163

  10. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-19

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause 'evolutionary suicide'. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called 'evolutionary trapping'. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps.

  11. Soft tissue freezing process. Identification of the dual-phase lag model parameters using the evolutionary algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochnacki, Bohdan; Majchrzak, Ewa; Paruch, Marek

    2018-01-01

    In the paper the soft tissue freezing process is considered. The tissue sub-domain is subjected to the action of cylindrical cryoprobe. Thermal processes proceeding in the domain considered are described using the dual-phase lag equation (DPLE) supplemented by the appropriate boundary and initial conditions. DPLE results from the generalization of the Fourier law in which two lag times are introduced (relaxation and thermalization times). The aim of research is the identification of these parameters on the basis of measured cooling curves at the set of points selected from the tissue domain. To solve the problem the evolutionary algorithms are used. The paper contains the mathematical model of the tissue freezing process, the very short information concerning the numerical solution of the basic problem, the description of the inverse problem solution and the results of computations.

  12. Review on Physicochemical, Chemical, and Biological Processes for Pharmaceutical Wastewater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhenchen; Yang, Ping

    2018-02-01

    Due to the needs of human life and health, pharmaceutical industry has made great progress in recent years, but it has also brought about severe environmental problems. The presence of pharmaceuticals in natural waters which might pose potential harm to the ecosystems and humans raised increasing concern worldwide. Pharmaceuticals cannot be effectively removed by conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) owing to the complex composition, high concentration of organic contaminants, high salinity and biological toxicity of pharmaceutical wastewater. Therefore, the development of efficient methods is needed to improve the removal effect of pharmaceuticals. This review provides an overview on three types of treatment technologies including physicochemical, chemical and biological processes and their advantages and disadvantages respectively. In addition, the future perspectives of pharmaceutical wastewater treatment are given.

  13. Radiation processing of biological tissues for nuclear disaster management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, Rita

    2012-01-01

    A number of surgical procedures require tissue substitutes to repair or replace damaged or diseased tissues. Biological tissues from human donor like bone, skin, amniotic membrane and other soft tissues can be used for repair or reconstruction of the injured part of the body. Tissues from human donor can be processed and banked for orthopaedic, spinal, trauma and other surgical procedures. Allograft tissues provide an excellent alternative to autografts. The use of allograft tissue avoids the donor site morbidity and reduces the operating time, expense and trauma associated with the acquisition of autografts. Further, allografts have the added advantage of being available in large quantities. This has led to a global increase in allogeneic transplantation and development of tissue banking. However, the risk of infectious disease transmission via tissue allografts is a major concern. Therefore, tissue allografts should be sterilized to make them safe for clinical use. Radiation processing has well appreciated technological advantages and is the most suitable method for sterilization of biological tissues. Radiation processed biological tissues can be provided by the tissue banks for the management of injuries due to a nuclear disaster. A nuclear detonation will result in a large number of casualties due to the heat, blast and radiation effects of the weapon. Skin dressings or skin substitutes like allograft skin, xenograft skin and amniotic membrane can be used for the treatment of thermal burns and radiation induced skin injuries. Bone grafts can be employed for repairing fracture defects, filling in destroyed regions of bone, management of open fractures and joint injuries. Radiation processed tissues have the potential to repair or reconstruct damaged tissues and can be of great assistance in the treatment of injuries due to the nuclear weapon. (author)

  14. The Use of Microwave Incineration to Process Biological Wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Sidney C.; Srinivasan, Venkatesh; Covington, Alan (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The handling and disposal of solid waste matter that has biological or biohazardous components is a difficult issue for hospitals, research laboratories, and industry. NASA faces the same challenge as it is developing regenerative systems that will process waste materials into materials that can be used to sustain humans living in space for extended durations. Plants provide critical functions in such a regenerative life support scheme in that they photosynthesize carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. The edible portions of the plant provide a food source for the crew. Inedible portions can be processed into materials that are more recyclable. The Advanced Life Support Division at NASA Ames Research Center has been evaluating a microwave incinerator that will oxidize inedible plant matter into carbon dioxide and water. The commercially available microwave incinerator is produced by Matsushita Electronic Instruments Corporation of Japan. Microwave incineration is a technology that is simple, safe, and compact enough for home use. It also has potential applications for institutions that produce biological or biohazardous waste. The incinerator produces a sterile ash that has only 13% of the mass of the original waste. The authors have run several sets of tests with the incinerator to establish its viability in processing biological material. One goal of the tests is to show that the incinerator does not generate toxic compounds as a byproduct of the combustion process. This paper will describe the results of the tests, including analyses of the resulting ash and exhaust gases. The significance of the results and their implications on commercial applications of the technology will also be discussed.

  15. Stochasticity in processes fundamentals and applications to chemistry and biology

    CERN Document Server

    Schuster, Peter

    2016-01-01

    This book has developed over the past fifteen years from a modern course on stochastic chemical kinetics for graduate students in physics, chemistry and biology. The first part presents a systematic collection of the mathematical background material needed to understand probability, statistics, and stochastic processes as a prerequisite for the increasingly challenging practical applications in chemistry and the life sciences examined in the second part. Recent advances in the development of new techniques and in the resolution of conventional experiments at nano-scales have been tremendous: today molecular spectroscopy can provide insights into processes down to scales at which current theories at the interface of physics, chemistry and the life sciences cannot be successful without a firm grasp of randomness and its sources. Routinely measured data is now sufficiently accurate to allow the direct recording of fluctuations. As a result, the sampling of data and the modeling of relevant processes are doomed t...

  16. Process for the biological purification of waste water

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    1992-01-01

    Process for the biological purification of waste water by the activated sludge method, the waste water being mixed with recirculated sludge and being subjected to an anaerobic treatment, before the waste water thus treated is alternately subjected to anoxic and aerobic treatments and the waste...... water thus treated is led into a clarification zone for settling sludge, which sludge is recirculated in order to be mixed with the crude waste water. As a result, a simultaneous reduction of the content both of nitrogen and phosphorus of the waste water is achieved....

  17. Evidence for Karyotype Polymorphism in the Free-Living Flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, a Model Organism for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zadesenets, Kira S; Vizoso, Dita B; Schlatter, Aline; Konopatskaia, Irina D; Berezikov, Eugene; Schärer, Lukas; Rubtsov, Nikolay B

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano has been successfully used in many areas of biology, including embryology, stem cells, sexual selection, bioadhesion and aging. The increased use of this powerful laboratory model, including the establishment of genomic resources and tools, makes it essential to have a detailed description of the chromosome organization of this species, previously suggested to have a karyotype with 2n = 8 and one pair of large and three pairs of small metacentric chromosomes. We performed cytogenetic analyses for chromosomes of one commonly used inbred line of M. lignano (called DV1) and uncovered unexpected chromosome number variation in the form of aneuploidies of the largest chromosomes. These results prompted us to perform karyotypic studies in individual specimens of this and other lines of M. lignano reared under laboratory conditions, as well as in freshly field-collected specimens from different natural populations. Our analyses revealed a high frequency of aneuploids and in some cases other numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities in laboratory-reared lines of M. lignano, and some cases of aneuploidy were also found in freshly field-collected specimens. Moreover, karyological analyses were performed in specimens of three further species: Macrostomum sp. 8 (a close relative of M. lignano), M. spirale and M. hystrix. Macrostomum sp. 8 showed a karyotype that was similar to that of M. lignano, with tetrasomy for its largest chromosome being the most common karyotype, while the other two species showed a simpler karyotype that is more typical of the genus Macrostomum. These findings suggest that M. lignano and Macrostomum sp. 8 can be used as new models for studying processes of partial genome duplication in genome evolution.

  18. Evidence for Karyotype Polymorphism in the Free-Living Flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, a Model Organism for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kira S Zadesenets

    Full Text Available Over the past decade, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano has been successfully used in many areas of biology, including embryology, stem cells, sexual selection, bioadhesion and aging. The increased use of this powerful laboratory model, including the establishment of genomic resources and tools, makes it essential to have a detailed description of the chromosome organization of this species, previously suggested to have a karyotype with 2n = 8 and one pair of large and three pairs of small metacentric chromosomes. We performed cytogenetic analyses for chromosomes of one commonly used inbred line of M. lignano (called DV1 and uncovered unexpected chromosome number variation in the form of aneuploidies of the largest chromosomes. These results prompted us to perform karyotypic studies in individual specimens of this and other lines of M. lignano reared under laboratory conditions, as well as in freshly field-collected specimens from different natural populations. Our analyses revealed a high frequency of aneuploids and in some cases other numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities in laboratory-reared lines of M. lignano, and some cases of aneuploidy were also found in freshly field-collected specimens. Moreover, karyological analyses were performed in specimens of three further species: Macrostomum sp. 8 (a close relative of M. lignano, M. spirale and M. hystrix. Macrostomum sp. 8 showed a karyotype that was similar to that of M. lignano, with tetrasomy for its largest chromosome being the most common karyotype, while the other two species showed a simpler karyotype that is more typical of the genus Macrostomum. These findings suggest that M. lignano and Macrostomum sp. 8 can be used as new models for studying processes of partial genome duplication in genome evolution.

  19. Magnetic Nanotweezers for Interrogating Biological Processes in Space and Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ji-Wook; Jeong, Hee-Kyung; Southard, Kaden M; Jun, Young-Wook; Cheon, Jinwoo

    2018-04-17

    The ability to sense and manipulate the state of biological systems has been extensively advanced during the past decade with the help of recent developments in physical tools. Unlike standard genetic and pharmacological perturbation techniques-knockdown, overexpression, small molecule inhibition-that provide a basic on/off switching capability, these physical tools provide the capacity to control the spatial, temporal, and mechanical properties of the biological targets. Among the various physical cues, magnetism offers distinct advantages over light or electricity. Magnetic fields freely penetrate biological tissues and are already used for clinical applications. As one of the unique features, magnetic fields can be transformed into mechanical stimuli which can serve as a cue in regulating biological processes. However, their biological applications have been limited due to a lack of high-performance magnetism-to-mechanical force transducers with advanced spatiotemporal capabilities. In this Account, we present recent developments in magnetic nanotweezers (MNTs) as a useful tool for interrogating the spatiotemporal control of cells in living tissue. MNTs are composed of force-generating magnetic nanoparticles and field generators. Through proper design and the integration of individual components, MNTs deliver controlled mechanical stimulation to targeted biomolecules at any desired space and time. We first discuss about MNT configuration with different force-stimulation modes. By modulating geometry of the magnetic field generator, MNTs exert pulling, dipole-dipole attraction, and rotational forces to the target specifically and quantitatively. We discuss the key physical parameters determining force magnitude, which include magnetic field strength, magnetic field gradient, magnetic moment of the magnetic particle, as well as distance between the field generator and the particle. MNTs also can be used over a wide range of biological time scales. By simply

  20. Ecological opportunity and predator-prey interactions: linking eco-evolutionary processes and diversification in adaptive radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontarp, Mikael; Petchey, Owen L

    2018-03-14

    Much of life's diversity has arisen through ecological opportunity and adaptive radiations, but the mechanistic underpinning of such diversification is not fully understood. Competition and predation can affect adaptive radiations, but contrasting theoretical and empirical results show that they can both promote and interrupt diversification. A mechanistic understanding of the link between microevolutionary processes and macroevolutionary patterns is thus needed, especially in trophic communities. Here, we use a trait-based eco-evolutionary model to investigate the mechanisms linking competition, predation and adaptive radiations. By combining available micro-evolutionary theory and simulations of adaptive radiations we show that intraspecific competition is crucial for diversification as it induces disruptive selection, in particular in early phases of radiation. The diversification rate is however decreased in later phases owing to interspecific competition as niche availability, and population sizes are decreased. We provide new insight into how predation tends to have a negative effect on prey diversification through decreased population sizes, decreased disruptive selection and through the exclusion of prey from parts of niche space. The seemingly disparate effects of competition and predation on adaptive radiations, listed in the literature, may thus be acting and interacting in the same adaptive radiation at different relative strength as the radiation progresses. © 2018 The Authors.

  1. Biological shielding design calculation for agricultural radiation processing facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petwal, V.C.; Sandha, R.S.; Soni, H.C.; Subbaiah, K.V.

    2005-01-01

    An electron beam radiation processing facility for agricultural products is being set-up at Centre for Advanced Technology Indore. The facility will be based on a pulsed linear accelerator and will be used in electron and photon modes to process various products e.g. onion, potato, home-pack items and medical products. When electron beam interact with structural components of accelerator or high Z-target used in photon mode, it generates intense Bremsstrahlung radiation field, which poses radiation protection problem. Biological shielding has been designed to provide protection against the generated radiation. Different conveying schemes and hence design of irradiation cell have been studied and results are presented for two promising designs. (author)

  2. Adoption: biological and social processes linked to adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotevant, Harold D; McDermott, Jennifer M

    2014-01-01

    Children join adoptive families through domestic adoption from the public child welfare system, infant adoption through private agencies, and international adoption. Each pathway presents distinctive developmental opportunities and challenges. Adopted children are at higher risk than the general population for problems with adaptation, especially externalizing, internalizing, and attention problems. This review moves beyond the field's emphasis on adoptee-nonadoptee differences to highlight biological and social processes that affect adaptation of adoptees across time. The experience of stress, whether prenatal, postnatal/preadoption, or during the adoption transition, can have significant impacts on the developing neuroendocrine system. These effects can contribute to problems with physical growth, brain development, and sleep, activating cascading effects on social, emotional, and cognitive development. Family processes involving contact between adoptive and birth family members, co-parenting in gay and lesbian adoptive families, and racial socialization in transracially adoptive families affect social development of adopted children into adulthood.

  3. Functional annotation of chemical libraries across diverse biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piotrowski, Jeff S; Li, Sheena C; Deshpande, Raamesh; Simpkins, Scott W; Nelson, Justin; Yashiroda, Yoko; Barber, Jacqueline M; Safizadeh, Hamid; Wilson, Erin; Okada, Hiroki; Gebre, Abraham A; Kubo, Karen; Torres, Nikko P; LeBlanc, Marissa A; Andrusiak, Kerry; Okamoto, Reika; Yoshimura, Mami; DeRango-Adem, Eva; van Leeuwen, Jolanda; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Baryshnikova, Anastasia; Brown, Grant W; Hirano, Hiroyuki; Costanzo, Michael; Andrews, Brenda; Ohya, Yoshikazu; Osada, Hiroyuki; Yoshida, Minoru; Myers, Chad L; Boone, Charles

    2017-09-01

    Chemical-genetic approaches offer the potential for unbiased functional annotation of chemical libraries. Mutations can alter the response of cells in the presence of a compound, revealing chemical-genetic interactions that can elucidate a compound's mode of action. We developed a highly parallel, unbiased yeast chemical-genetic screening system involving three key components. First, in a drug-sensitive genetic background, we constructed an optimized diagnostic mutant collection that is predictive for all major yeast biological processes. Second, we implemented a multiplexed (768-plex) barcode-sequencing protocol, enabling the assembly of thousands of chemical-genetic profiles. Finally, based on comparison of the chemical-genetic profiles with a compendium of genome-wide genetic interaction profiles, we predicted compound functionality. Applying this high-throughput approach, we screened seven different compound libraries and annotated their functional diversity. We further validated biological process predictions, prioritized a diverse set of compounds, and identified compounds that appear to have dual modes of action.

  4. Quantum Processes and Dynamic Networks in Physical and Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudziak, Martin Joseph

    Quantum theory since its earliest formulations in the Copenhagen Interpretation has been difficult to integrate with general relativity and with classical Newtonian physics. There has been traditionally a regard for quantum phenomena as being a limiting case for a natural order that is fundamentally classical except for microscopic extrema where quantum mechanics must be applied, more as a mathematical reconciliation rather than as a description and explanation. Macroscopic sciences including the study of biological neural networks, cellular energy transports and the broad field of non-linear and chaotic systems point to a quantum dimension extending across all scales of measurement and encompassing all of Nature as a fundamentally quantum universe. Theory and observation lead to a number of hypotheses all of which point to dynamic, evolving networks of fundamental or elementary processes as the underlying logico-physical structure (manifestation) in Nature and a strongly quantized dimension to macroscalar processes such as are found in biological, ecological and social systems. The fundamental thesis advanced and presented herein is that quantum phenomena may be the direct consequence of a universe built not from objects and substance but from interacting, interdependent processes collectively operating as sets and networks, giving rise to systems that on microcosmic or macroscopic scales function wholistically and organically, exhibiting non-locality and other non -classical phenomena. The argument is made that such effects as non-locality are not aberrations or departures from the norm but ordinary consequences of the process-network dynamics of Nature. Quantum processes are taken to be the fundamental action-events within Nature; rather than being the exception quantum theory is the rule. The argument is also presented that the study of quantum physics could benefit from the study of selective higher-scale complex systems, such as neural processes in the brain

  5. Inference of the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes from comparative gene mapping.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshinobu Uno

    Full Text Available Comparative genome analysis of non-avian reptiles and amphibians provides important clues about the process of genome evolution in tetrapods. However, there is still only limited information available on the genome structures of these organisms. Consequently, the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes in tetrapods remain poorly understood. We constructed chromosome maps of functional genes for the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis, the Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis, and the Western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis and compared them with genome and/or chromosome maps of other tetrapod species (salamander, lizard, snake, chicken, and human. This is the first report on the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes inferred from comparative genomic analysis of vertebrates, which cover all major non-avian reptilian taxa (Squamata, Crocodilia, Testudines. The eight largest macrochromosomes of the turtle and chicken were equivalent, and 11 linkage groups had also remained intact in the crocodile. Linkage groups of the chicken macrochromosomes were also highly conserved in X. tropicalis, two squamates, and the salamander, but not in human. Chicken microchromosomal linkages were conserved in the squamates, which have fewer microchromosomes than chicken, and also in Xenopus and the salamander, which both lack microchromosomes; in the latter, the chicken microchromosomal segments have been integrated into macrochromosomes. Our present findings open up the possibility that the ancestral amniotes and tetrapods had at least 10 large genetic linkage groups and many microchromosomes, which corresponded to the chicken macro- and microchromosomes, respectively. The turtle and chicken might retain the microchromosomes of the amniote protokaryotype almost intact. The decrease in number and/or disappearance of microchromosomes by repeated

  6. Identifying human disease genes through cross-species gene mapping of evolutionary conserved processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding complex networks that modulate development in humans is hampered by genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity within and between populations. Here we present a method that exploits natural variation in highly diverse mouse genetic reference panels in which genetic and environmental factors can be tightly controlled. The aim of our study is to test a cross-species genetic mapping strategy, which compares data of gene mapping in human patients with functional data obtained by QTL mapping in recombinant inbred mouse strains in order to prioritize human disease candidate genes.We exploit evolutionary conservation of developmental phenotypes to discover gene variants that influence brain development in humans. We studied corpus callosum volume in a recombinant inbred mouse panel (C57BL/6J×DBA/2J, BXD strains using high-field strength MRI technology. We aligned mouse mapping results for this neuro-anatomical phenotype with genetic data from patients with abnormal corpus callosum (ACC development.From the 61 syndromes which involve an ACC, 51 human candidate genes have been identified. Through interval mapping, we identified a single significant QTL on mouse chromosome 7 for corpus callosum volume with a QTL peak located between 25.5 and 26.7 Mb. Comparing the genes in this mouse QTL region with those associated with human syndromes (involving ACC and those covered by copy number variations (CNV yielded a single overlap, namely HNRPU in humans and Hnrpul1 in mice. Further analysis of corpus callosum volume in BXD strains revealed that the corpus callosum was significantly larger in BXD mice with a B genotype at the Hnrpul1 locus than in BXD mice with a D genotype at Hnrpul1 (F = 22.48, p<9.87*10(-5.This approach that exploits highly diverse mouse strains provides an efficient and effective translational bridge to study the etiology of human developmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia.

  7. Automated force volume image processing for biological samples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Polyakov

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Atomic force microscopy (AFM has now become a powerful technique for investigating on a molecular level, surface forces, nanomechanical properties of deformable particles, biomolecular interactions, kinetics, and dynamic processes. This paper specifically focuses on the analysis of AFM force curves collected on biological systems, in particular, bacteria. The goal is to provide fully automated tools to achieve theoretical interpretation of force curves on the basis of adequate, available physical models. In this respect, we propose two algorithms, one for the processing of approach force curves and another for the quantitative analysis of retraction force curves. In the former, electrostatic interactions prior to contact between AFM probe and bacterium are accounted for and mechanical interactions operating after contact are described in terms of Hertz-Hooke formalism. Retraction force curves are analyzed on the basis of the Freely Jointed Chain model. For both algorithms, the quantitative reconstruction of force curves is based on the robust detection of critical points (jumps, changes of slope or changes of curvature which mark the transitions between the various relevant interactions taking place between the AFM tip and the studied sample during approach and retraction. Once the key regions of separation distance and indentation are detected, the physical parameters describing the relevant interactions operating in these regions are extracted making use of regression procedure for fitting experiments to theory. The flexibility, accuracy and strength of the algorithms are illustrated with the processing of two force-volume images, which collect a large set of approach and retraction curves measured on a single biological surface. For each force-volume image, several maps are generated, representing the spatial distribution of the searched physical parameters as estimated for each pixel of the force-volume image.

  8. Euryhalinity in an evolutionary context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Eric T.; McCormick, Stephen D.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Farrell, Anthony Peter; Brauner, Colin J.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the evolutionary importance and taxonomic distribution of euryhalinity. Euryhalinity refers to broad halotolerance and broad halohabitat distribution. Salinity exposure experiments have demonstrated that species vary tenfold in their range of tolerable salinity levels, primarily because of differences in upper limits. Halotolerance breadth varies with the species’ evolutionary history, as represented by its ordinal classification, and with the species’ halohabitat. Freshwater and seawater species tolerate brackish water; their empirically-determined fundamental haloniche is broader than their realized haloniche, as revealed by the halohabitats they occupy. With respect to halohabitat distribution, a minority of species (basal actinopterygian fishes, is largely absent from orders arising from intermediate nodes, and reappears in the most derived taxa. There is pronounced family-level variability in the tendency to be halohabitat-euryhaline, which may have arisen during a burst of diversification following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction. Low prevalence notwithstanding, euryhaline species are potent sources of evolutionary diversity. Euryhalinity is regarded as a key innovation trait whose evolution enables exploitation of new adaptive zone, triggering cladogenesis. We review phylogenetically-informed studies that demonstrate freshwater species diversifying from euryhaline ancestors through processes such as landlocking. These studies indicate that some euryhaline taxa are particularly susceptible to changes in halohabitat and subsequent diversification, and some geographic regions have been hotspots for transitions to freshwater. Comparative studies on mechanisms among multiple taxa and at multiple levels of biological integration are needed to clarify evolutionary pathways to, and from, euryhalinity.

  9. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.

    2010-10-01

    The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.

  10. Contemporary and historical evolutionary processes interact to shape patterns of within-lake phenotypic divergences in polyphenic pumpkinseed sunfish, Lepomis gibbosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weese, Dylan J; Ferguson, Moira M; Robinson, Beren W

    2012-03-01

    Historical and contemporary evolutionary processes can both contribute to patterns of phenotypic variation among populations of a species. Recent studies are revealing how interactions between historical and contemporary processes better explain observed patterns of phenotypic divergence than either process alone. Here, we investigate the roles of evolutionary history and adaptation to current environmental conditions in structuring phenotypic variation among polyphenic populations of sunfish inhabiting 12 postglacial lakes in eastern North America. The pumpkinseed sunfish polyphenism includes sympatric ecomorphs specialized for littoral or pelagic lake habitats. First, we use population genetic methods to test the evolutionary independence of within-lake phenotypic divergences of ecomorphs and to describe patterns of genetic structure among lake populations that clustered into three geographical groupings. We then used multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) to partition body shape variation (quantified with geometric morphometrics) among the effects of evolutionary history (reflecting phenotypic variation among genetic clusters), the shared phenotypic response of all populations to alternate habitats within lakes (reflecting adaptation to contemporary conditions), and unique phenotypic responses to habitats within lakes nested within genetic clusters. All effects had a significant influence on body form, but the effects of history and the interaction between history and contemporary habitat were larger than contemporary processes in structuring phenotypic variation. This highlights how divergence can be better understood against a known backdrop of evolutionary history.

  11. Evidence for Karyotype Polymorphism in the Free-Living Flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, a Model Organism for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zadesenets, Kira S.; Vizoso, Dita B.; Schlatter, Aline; Konopatskaia, Irina D.; Berezikov, Eugene; Scharer, Lukas; Rubtsov, Nikolay B.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano has been successfully used in many areas of biology, including embryology, stem cells, sexual selection, bioadhesion and aging. The increased use of this powerful laboratory model, including the establishment of genomic resources and

  12. Brief Communication: Quantitative- and molecular-genetic differentiation in humans and chimpanzees: implications for the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Estimates of the amount of genetic differentiation in humans among major geographic regions (e.g., Eastern Asia vs. Europe) from quantitative-genetic analyses of cranial measurements closely match those from classical- and molecular-genetic markers. Typically, among-region differences account for ∼10% of the total variation. This correspondence is generally interpreted as evidence for the importance of neutral evolutionary processes (e.g., genetic drift) in generating among-region differences in human cranial form, but it was initially surprising because human cranial diversity was frequently assumed to show a strong signature of natural selection. Is the human degree of similarity of cranial and DNA-sequence estimates of among-region genetic differentiation unusual? How do comparisons with other taxa illuminate the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification? Chimpanzees provide a useful starting point for placing the human results in a broader comparative context, because common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) are the extant species most closely related to humans. To address these questions, I used 27 cranial measurements collected on a sample of 861 humans and 263 chimpanzees to estimate the amount of genetic differentiation between pairs of groups (between regions for humans and between species or subspecies for chimpanzees). Consistent with previous results, the human cranial estimates are quite similar to published DNA-sequence estimates. In contrast, the chimpanzee cranial estimates are much smaller than published DNA-sequence estimates. It appears that cranial differentiation has been limited in chimpanzees relative to humans. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Evolutionary dynamics of a cycad obligate pollination mutualism - Pattern and process in extant Macrozamia cycads and their specialist thrips pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookes, D R; Hereward, J P; Terry, L I; Walter, G H

    2015-12-01

    Obligate pollination mutualisms are rare and few have been investigated deeply. This paper focuses on one such mutualism involving thrips in the genus Cycadothrips that pollinate cycads in the genus Macrozamia. Both represent old lineages relative to insects and plants generally, are endemic to Australia, and are mutually co-dependent. The phylogenetic analyses presented here demonstrate that the pollinator is much more diverse than previously considered, with each pollinator lineage being extremely specific to between one and three host species where these latter share part of their distribution. The new species diversity we demonstrate in Cycadothrips all presently falls under the species name C. chadwicki, and these different lineages diversified during two periods. An older divergence, beginning 7.3Mya (4.4-11.1, 95% HPD), resulted in three major lineages, and then further diversification within each of these three lineages took place at most 1.1Mya (0.6-1.8, 95% HPD). These divergence estimates correspond to times when aridification was increasing in Australia, suggesting that population fragmentation following climatic change has played a significant role in the evolutionary history of Cycadothrips and Macrozamia. This means that co-diversification of the host and pollinator in allopatry appears to be the dominant process affecting species diversity. Host switching is also clearly evident in the discrepancy between the divergence times of the C. chadwicki lineage and C. albrechti, about 10.8Mya (6.0-17.1, 95% HPD), and their hosts, at about 1.1Mya (0.2-3.4Mya, 95% HPD), in that the pollinator split pre-dates the origin of the associated host species of each. These results add to the body of evidence that the evolutionary processes important in obligate pollinator mutualisms are more varied than previously assumed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. EPR imaging of diffusional processes in biologically relevant polymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berliner, Lawrence J.; Fujii, Hirotada

    Diffusion processes in biological tissue are important problems for noninvasive investigation. As a model study, this work addresses the diffusion of an electrolyte buffer (Krebs) solution containing a nitroxide spin probe into a cylindrical polyacrylamide gel rod. The nitroxide spin density distribution was imaged at 1.6 GHz in gel cross sections at various time intervals for both homogeneous radial diffusion and inhomogeneous diffusion. A one-dimensional radial diffusion constant was calculated for the nitroxide spin probe, TEMPOL, of 3.7 ± 0.7 × 10 -6 cm 2/s at ambient temperature. The EPR spectrometer, using low-field flat-loop surface coils (H. Nishikawa, H. Fujii, and L. J. Berliner, J. Magn. Reson.62, 79 (1985)), showed minimal dielectric or magnetic losses in sensitity for electrolyte vs nondielectric samples.

  15. Embryo fossilization is a biological process mediated by microbial biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raff, Elizabeth C; Schollaert, Kaila L; Nelson, David E; Donoghue, Philip C J; Thomas, Ceri-Wyn; Turner, F Rudolf; Stein, Barry D; Dong, Xiping; Bengtson, Stefan; Huldtgren, Therese; Stampanoni, Marco; Chongyu, Yin; Raff, Rudolf A

    2008-12-09

    Fossilized embryos with extraordinary cellular preservation appear in the Late Neoproterozoic and Cambrian, coincident with the appearance of animal body fossils. It has been hypothesized that microbial processes are responsible for preservation and mineralization of organic tissues. However, the actions of microbes in preservation of embryos have not been demonstrated experimentally. Here, we show that bacterial biofilms assemble rapidly in dead marine embryos and form remarkable pseudomorphs in which the bacterial biofilm replaces and exquisitely models details of cellular organization and structure. The experimental model was the decay of cleavage stage embryos similar in size and morphology to fossil embryos. The data show that embryo preservation takes place in 3 distinct steps: (i) blockage of autolysis by reducing or anaerobic conditions, (ii) rapid formation of microbial biofilms that consume the embryo but form a replica that retains cell organization and morphology, and (iii) bacterially catalyzed mineralization. Major bacterial taxa in embryo decay biofilms were identified by using 16S rDNA sequencing. Decay processes were similar in different taphonomic conditions, but the composition of bacterial populations depended on specific conditions. Experimental taphonomy generates preservation states similar to those in fossil embryos. The data show how fossilization of soft tissues in sediments can be mediated by bacterial replacement and mineralization, providing a foundation for experimentally creating biofilms from defined microbial species to model fossilization as a biological process.

  16. Advancing Microwave Technology for Dehydration Processing of Biologics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cellemme, Stephanie L.; Van Vorst, Matthew; Paramore, Elisha

    2013-01-01

    Our prior work has shown that microwave processing can be effective as a method for dehydrating cell-based suspensions in preparation for anhydrous storage, yielding homogenous samples with predictable and reproducible drying times. In the current work an optimized microwave-based drying process was developed that expands upon this previous proof-of-concept. Utilization of a commercial microwave (CEM SAM 255, Matthews, NC) enabled continuous drying at variable low power settings. A new turntable was manufactured from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE; Grainger, Lake Forest, IL) to provide for drying of up to 12 samples at a time. The new process enabled rapid and simultaneous drying of multiple samples in containment devices suitable for long-term storage and aseptic rehydration of the sample. To determine sample repeatability and consistency of drying within the microwave cavity, a concentration series of aqueous trehalose solutions were dried for specific intervals and water content assessed using Karl Fischer Titration at the end of each processing period. Samples were dried on Whatman S-14 conjugate release filters (Whatman, Maidestone, UK), a glass fiber membrane used currently in clinical laboratories. The filters were cut to size for use in a 13 mm Swinnex® syringe filter holder (Millipore™, Billerica, MA). Samples of 40 μL volume could be dehydrated to the equilibrium moisture content by continuous processing at 20% with excellent sample-to-sample repeatability. The microwave-assisted procedure enabled high throughput, repeatable drying of multiple samples, in a manner easily adaptable for drying a wide array of biological samples. Depending on the tolerance for sample heating, the drying time can be altered by changing the power level of the microwave unit. PMID:24835259

  17. THE USE OF TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AS DIRECTED TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF EVOLUTIONARY PROCESSES AND DECISION MAKING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liane Mahlmann Kipper

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In the current scenario of organizations Process Management aims to perform process in an organized, prioritizing actions through techniques and methods that are linked to the improvement of the organization in the market segment it operates. As a determinant for achieving goals successfully, organizational memory is all important in the management of processes, allowing all areas meet in a systemic way, crediting their information to the various organizational sectors and thus using knowledge to direct an action with a focus planning to achieve strategic organizational goal. The organizational memory can be registered through the development of a knowledge base. The work in question aims to provide a better understanding of the importance of the knowledge base in an organization, to perform appropriate actions, planning, simulating and reaching a decision through meaningful data. Soon after the development of a bibliographic research, a bibliometric study on the proposed topic was accomplished with the main events of the Brazilian scientific areas of production engineering, analyzing how the topic has been addressed by authors in the areas of Process Management and Base Knowledge. The main results so far observed the need for the implementation of knowledge-based models in systems that seek to improve the execution of processes and thus reduce failures and decision-making processes more appropriate.

  18. Evidence for Karyotype Polymorphism in the Free-Living Flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, a Model Organism for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Zadesenets, Kira S.; Vizoso, Dita B.; Schlatter, Aline; Konopatskaia, Irina D.; Berezikov, Eugene; Scharer, Lukas; Rubtsov, Nikolay B.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano has been successfully used in many areas of biology, including embryology, stem cells, sexual selection, bioadhesion and aging. The increased use of this powerful laboratory model, including the establishment of genomic resources and tools, makes it essential to have a detailed description of the chromosome organization of this species, previously suggested to have a karyotype with 2n = 8 and one pair of large and three pairs ...

  19. Soft-Bodied Fossils Are Not Simply Rotten Carcasses – Toward a Holistic Understanding of Exceptional Fossil Preservation:Exceptional Fossil Preservation Is Complex and Involves the Interplay of Numerous Biological and Geological Processes

    OpenAIRE

    Parry, Luke A.; Smithwick, Fiann; Nordén, Klara K.; Saitta, Evan T.; Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Tanner, Alastair R.; Caron, Jean Bernard; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Briggs, Derek E.G.; Vinther, Jakob

    2018-01-01

    Exceptionally preserved fossils are the product of complex interplays of biological and geological processes including burial, autolysis and microbial decay, authigenic mineralization, diagenesis, metamorphism, and finally weathering and exhumation. Determining which tissues are preserved and how biases affect their preservation pathways is important for interpreting fossils in phylogenetic, ecological, and evolutionary frameworks. Although laboratory decay experiments reveal important aspect...

  20. Ontology of physics for biology: representing physical dependencies as a basis for biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Daniel L; Neal, Maxwell L; Bookstein, Fred L; Gennari, John H

    2013-12-02

    In prior work, we presented the Ontology of Physics for Biology (OPB) as a computational ontology for use in the annotation and representations of biophysical knowledge encoded in repositories of physics-based biosimulation models. We introduced OPB:Physical entity and OPB:Physical property classes that extend available spatiotemporal representations of physical entities and processes to explicitly represent the thermodynamics and dynamics of physiological processes. Our utilitarian, long-term aim is to develop computational tools for creating and querying formalized physiological knowledge for use by multiscale "physiome" projects such as the EU's Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) and NIH's Virtual Physiological Rat (VPR). Here we describe the OPB:Physical dependency taxonomy of classes that represent of the laws of classical physics that are the "rules" by which physical properties of physical entities change during occurrences of physical processes. For example, the fluid analog of Ohm's law (as for electric currents) is used to describe how a blood flow rate depends on a blood pressure gradient. Hooke's law (as in elastic deformations of springs) is used to describe how an increase in vascular volume increases blood pressure. We classify such dependencies according to the flow, transformation, and storage of thermodynamic energy that occurs during processes governed by the dependencies. We have developed the OPB and annotation methods to represent the meaning-the biophysical semantics-of the mathematical statements of physiological analysis and the biophysical content of models and datasets. Here we describe and discuss our approach to an ontological representation of physical laws (as dependencies) and properties as encoded for the mathematical analysis of biophysical processes.

  1. Exploiting graphics processing units for computational biology and bioinformatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Joshua L; Sinnott-Armstrong, Nicholas A; Moore, Jason H

    2010-09-01

    Advances in the video gaming industry have led to the production of low-cost, high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs) that possess more memory bandwidth and computational capability than central processing units (CPUs), the standard workhorses of scientific computing. With the recent release of generalpurpose GPUs and NVIDIA's GPU programming language, CUDA, graphics engines are being adopted widely in scientific computing applications, particularly in the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. The goal of this article is to concisely present an introduction to GPU hardware and programming, aimed at the computational biologist or bioinformaticist. To this end, we discuss the primary differences between GPU and CPU architecture, introduce the basics of the CUDA programming language, and discuss important CUDA programming practices, such as the proper use of coalesced reads, data types, and memory hierarchies. We highlight each of these topics in the context of computing the all-pairs distance between instances in a dataset, a common procedure in numerous disciplines of scientific computing. We conclude with a runtime analysis of the GPU and CPU implementations of the all-pairs distance calculation. We show our final GPU implementation to outperform the CPU implementation by a factor of 1700.

  2. An Evolutionary Algorithm and discrete event simulation for optimizing inspection strategies for multi-stage processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Volsem, Sofie; Dullaert, Wout; Van Landeghem, Hendrik

    2007-01-01

    The problem of determining the optimal inspection strategy for a given multi-stage production process, i.e. the inspection strategy that results in the lowest total inspection cost, while still assuring a required output quality, is modelled as a joint optimization of inspection location, type and

  3. The method validation step of biological dosimetry accreditation process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roy, L.; Voisin, P.A.; Guillou, A.C.; Busset, A.; Gregoire, E.; Buard, V.; Delbos, M.; Voisin, Ph.

    2006-01-01

    One of the missions of the Laboratory of Biological Dosimetry (L.D.B.) of the Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (I.R.S.N.) is to assess the radiological dose after an accidental overexposure suspicion to ionising radiation, by using radio-induced changes of some biological parameters. The 'gold standard' is the yield of dicentrics observed in patients lymphocytes, and this yield is converted in dose using dose effect relationships. This method is complementary to clinical and physical dosimetry, for medical team in charge of the patients. To obtain a formal recognition of its operational activity, the laboratory decided three years ago, to require an accreditation, by following the recommendations of both 17025 General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories and 19238 Performance criteria for service laboratories performing biological dosimetry by cyto-genetics. Diagnostics, risks analysis were realized to control the whole analysis process leading to documents writing. Purchases, personnel department, vocational training were also included in the quality system. Audits were very helpful to improve the quality system. One specificity of this technique is that it is not normalized therefore apart from quality management aspects, several technical points needed some validations. An inventory of potentially influent factors was carried out. To estimate their real effect on the yield of dicentrics, a Placket-Burman experimental design was conducted. The effect of seven parameters was tested: the BUdr (bromodeoxyuridine), PHA (phytohemagglutinin) and colcemid concentration, the culture duration, the incubator temperature, the blood volume and the medium volume. The chosen values were calculated according to the uncertainties on the way they were measured i.e. pipettes, thermometers, test tubes. None of the factors has a significant impact on the yield of dicentrics. Therefore the uncertainty linked to their use was considered as

  4. Performance of IFAS wastewater treatment processes for biological phosphorus removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriwiriyarat, T; Randall, C W

    2005-10-01

    Integrated fixed film activated sludge (IFAS) is a promising process for the enhancement of nitrification and denitrification in conventional activated sludge systems that need to be upgraded for biological nutrient removal (BNR), particularly when they have space limitations or need modifications that will require large monetary expenses. Several studies have reported successful implementations of IFAS at temperate zone wastewater treatment facilities, typically by placement of fixed film media into aerobic zones. However, nearly all of the implementations have not included enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) in the upgraded systems. This is possibly because the treatment plants have been operated at low mixed liquor mean cell residence times (MCRTs), and EBPR would wash out of the systems at the low temperatures encountered, making it difficult to maintain EBPR. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the incorporation of EBPR into IFAS systems, and study the interactions between the fixed biomass and the mixed liquor suspended solids with respect to substrate competition and nutrient removal efficiencies. Three pilot-scale UCT/VIP configuration systems were used, one as a control and the other two with Bioweb media integrated into some of the anoxic and aerobic reactors. The systems were operated at different MCRTs, and influent COD/TP ratios, and with split influent flows. The experimental results confirmed that EBPR could be incorporated successfully into IFAS systems, but the redistribution of biomass resulting from the integration of fixed film media, and the competition of organic substrate between EBPR and denitrification would affect performances. Also, the integration of fixed film media into the anoxic reactors affected performances differently from media in aerobic reactors.

  5. Remotely Sensed Predictions and In Situ Observations of Lower Congo River Dynamics in Support of Fish Evolutionary Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, N.; Bjerklie, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    Ongoing research into the evolution of fishes in the lower Congo River suggests a close tie between diversity and hydraulic complexity of flow in the channel. For example, fish populations on each side of the rapids at the head of the lower Congo are within 1.5 km of one another, a distance normally allowing for interbreeding in river systems of comparable size, yet these fish populations show about 5% divergence in their mitochondrial DNA signatures. The proximal reason for this divergence is hydraulic complexity: the speed and turbulence of water moving through the thalweg is a barrier to dispersal for these fishes. Further examination of fish diversity suggests additional correlations of evolutionary divergence of fish clades in association with geomorphic and hydraulic features such as deep pools, extensive systems of rapids, alternating sections of fast and slow current, and recurring whirlpools. Due to prohibitive travel costs, limited field time, and the large geographic domain (approximately 400 river km) of the study area, we undertook a nested set of remote sensing analyses to extract habitat features, geomorphic descriptors, and hydraulic parameters including channel forming velocity, depth, channel roughness, slope, and shear stress. Each of these estimated parameters is mapped for each 1 km segment of the river from the rapids described above to below Inga Falls, a massive cataract where several endemic fish species have been identified. To validate remote sensing estimates, we collected depth and velocity data within the river using gps-enabled sonar measurements from a kayak and Doppler profiling from a motor-driven dugout canoe. Observations corroborate remote sensing estimates of geomorphic parameters. Remote sensing-based estimates of channel-forming velocity and depth were less than the observed maximum channel depth but correlated well with channel properties within 1 km reach segments. This correspondence is notable. The empirical models used

  6. Beyond traditional scientific training: The importance of community and empowerment for women in ecology and evolutionary biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Claire Horner-Devine

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available While the biological sciences have achieved gender parity in the undergraduate and graduate career stages, this is not the case at the faculty level. The WEBS (Women Evolving the Biological Sciences symposia go beyond traditional scientific training and professional development to address factors critical to women’s persistence in faculty careers: community and empowerment. Through a series of panel discussions, personal reflections and skills workshops, WEBS creates a community-based professional development experience and a space for participants to grapple with central issues affecting their scientific careers. Longitudinal qualitative survey data suggest that WEBS bolsters the participants’ confidence and empowerment, in addition to providing concrete skills for addressing a range of issues necessary to navigating scientific careers, leading to increased career satisfaction and career self-efficacy (i.e., the belief in one’s capacity to pursue their chosen career. These results highlight the importance and need for programs and opportunities for women in STEM that go beyond training in scientific skills and traditional professional development to include those that create a sense of community and empowerment.

  7. How the Thatcher illusion reveals evolutionary differences in the face processing of primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldon, Kimberly B; Taubert, Jessica; Smith, Carolynn L; Parr, Lisa A

    2013-09-01

    Face recognition in humans is a complex cognitive skill that requires sensitivity to unique configurations of eyes, mouth, and other facial features. The Thatcher illusion has been used to demonstrate the importance of orientation when processing configural information within faces. Transforming an upright face so that the eyes and mouth are inverted renders the face grotesque; however, when this "Thatcherized" face is inverted, the effect disappears. Due to the use of primate models in social cognition research, it is important to determine the extent to which specialized cognitive functions like face processing occur across species. To date, the Thatcher illusion has been explored in only a few species with mixed results. Here, we used computerized tasks to examine whether nonhuman primates perceive the Thatcher illusion. Chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys were required to discriminate between Thatcherized and unaltered faces presented upright and inverted. Our results confirm that chimpanzees perceived the Thatcher illusion, but rhesus monkeys did not, suggesting species differences in the importance of configural information in face processing. Three further experiments were conducted to understand why our results differed from previously published accounts of the Thatcher illusion in rhesus monkeys.

  8. Is the Evolutionary Programmed/ Non-programmed Aging Argument Moot?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsmith, Theodore C

    2015-04-21

    There are two modern evolutionary theories of mammal senescence: Programmed theories contend that mammals purposely limit their lifespans because doing so creates an evolutionary advantage. Non-programmed theories contend that each mammal specie only needs a particular lifespan and therefore only evolved and retained the capability for attaining that lifespan. Arguments over the evolutionary nature of aging have now existed for more than 150 years and for reasons described here may never be definitively resolved. The programmed/ non-programmed question is critical to medical research because the theories have grossly different predictions regarding the biological mechanisms associated with the aging process and therefore, the nature of age-related diseases and conditions. This article describes and compares two approaches for avoiding the need to obtain resolution on the evolutionary basis of senescence in order to identify and characterize the biological mechanisms responsible for aging and therefore the nature of highly age-related diseases.

  9. 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

  10. Application of evolutionary algorithms to optimize the model parameters of casting cooling process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kluska-Nawarecka

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available One of the most commonly used methods of numerical simulation is the finite element method (FEM. Its popularity is reflected in thenumber of tools supporting the preparation of simulation models. However, despite its usefulness, FEM is often very troublesome in use;the problem is the selection of the finite element mesh or shape function. In addition, MES assumes a complete knowledge of thesimulated process and of the parameters describing the investigated phenomena, including model geometry, boundary conditions, physicalparameters, and mathematical model describing these phenomena. A comparison of the data obtained from physical experiments andsimulations indicates an inaccuracy, which may result from the incorrectly chosen shape of element or geometry of the grid. Theapplication of computational intelligence methods, combined with knowledge of the manufacturing technology of metal products, shouldallow an efficient selection of parameters of the mathematical models and, as a consequence, more precise control of the process of thecasting solidification and cooling to ensure the required quality. The designed system has been integrated with the existing simulationenvironment, which will significantly facilitate the preparation and implementation of calculations of this type. Moreover, the use of adistributed model will significantly reduce the time complexity of calculations, requiring multiple repetition of complex simulations toestimate the quality of the different sets of parameters.

  11. Evolutionary recruitment of flexible Esrp-dependent splicing programs into diverse embryonic morphogenetic processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burguera, Demian; Marquez, Yamile; Racioppi, Claudia; Permanyer, Jon; Torres-Méndez, Antonio; Esposito, Rosaria; Albuixech-Crespo, Beatriz; Fanlo, Lucía; D'Agostino, Ylenia; Gohr, Andre; Navas-Perez, Enrique; Riesgo, Ana; Cuomo, Claudia; Benvenuto, Giovanna; Christiaen, Lionel A; Martí, Elisa; D'Aniello, Salvatore; Spagnuolo, Antonietta; Ristoratore, Filomena; Arnone, Maria Ina; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi; Irimia, Manuel

    2017-11-27

    Epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are crucial for the development of numerous animal structures. Thus, unraveling how molecular tools are recruited in different lineages to control interplays between these tissues is key to understanding morphogenetic evolution. Here, we study Esrp genes, which regulate extensive splicing programs and are essential for mammalian organogenesis. We find that Esrp homologs have been independently recruited for the development of multiple structures across deuterostomes. Although Esrp is involved in a wide variety of ontogenetic processes, our results suggest ancient roles in non-neural ectoderm and regulating specific mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions in deuterostome ancestors. However, consistent with the extensive rewiring of Esrp-dependent splicing programs between phyla, most developmental defects observed in vertebrate mutants are related to other types of morphogenetic processes. This is likely connected to the origin of an event in Fgfr, which was recruited as an Esrp target in stem chordates and subsequently co-opted into the development of many novel traits in vertebrates.

  12. Functional genomics to assess biological responses to marine pollution at physiological and evolutionary timescales: toward a vision of predictive ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Noah M; Whitehead, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Marine pollution is ubiquitous, and is one of the key factors influencing contemporary marine biodiversity worldwide. To protect marine biodiversity, how do we surveil, document and predict the short- and long-term impacts of pollutants on at-risk species? Modern genomics tools offer high-throughput, information-rich and increasingly cost-effective approaches for characterizing biological responses to environmental stress, and are important tools within an increasing sophisticated kit for surveiling and assessing impacts of pollutants on marine species. Through the lens of recent research in marine killifish, we illustrate how genomics tools may be useful for screening chemicals and pollutants for biological activity and to reveal specific mechanisms of action. The high dimensionality of transcriptomic responses enables their usage as highly specific fingerprints of exposure, and these fingerprints can be used to diagnose environmental problems. We also emphasize that molecular pathways recruited to respond at physiological timescales are the same pathways that may be targets for natural selection during chronic exposure to pollutants. Gene complement and sequence variation in those pathways can be related to variation in sensitivity to environmental pollutants within and among species. Furthermore, allelic variation associated with evolved tolerance in those pathways could be tracked to estimate the pace of environmental health decline and recovery. We finish by integrating these paradigms into a vision of how genomics approaches could anchor a modernized framework for advancing the predictive capacity of environmental and ecotoxicological science. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Integrating geochemical investigations and geospatial assessment to understand the evolutionary process of hydrochemistry and groundwater quality in arid areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Alfy, Mohamed; Alharbi, Talal; Mansour, Basma

    2018-04-12

    Groundwater is the key for life in arid areas. Aquifer overexploitation and climatic conditions can significantly deteriorate groundwater quality. The Al-Qassim area in central Saudi Arabia is characterized by dense agricultural use and is irrigated mainly by fossil groundwater from the Saq Aquifer. Understanding the area's hydrochemistry, major factors governing groundwater quality, and alternative uses of the groundwater are the main goals of this study. Groundwater samples were collected and examined for major, minor, and trace elements. Ionic relationships, hydrochemical facies, geospatial distributions, and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the hydrochemical processes at play. The salinity and nitrate concentrations of the Saq Aquifer's groundwater were found to increase in the outcrop areas more than the confined areas. The spatial distributions were fragmented by three main factors: (i) modern recharge by relatively brackish water, (ii) irrigation return flow in intensive farming areas, and (iii) overexploitation and draining of deep and relatively saline zones of the aquifer. Seven water types were found representing the alkaline water with a predominance of sulfate-chloride ions and earth alkaline water with a predominance of sulfate and chloride. Mixing between fresh and brackish water, dissolution of mineral phases, silicate weathering, and reverse ion exchange were recognized as the evolutionary processes, while evaporation played a minor role. Cluster analyses characterized the fresh groundwater zone, modern groundwater recharge zone, and anthropogenic influence zone. In the confined areas, nearly all the groundwater was appropriate for domestic use and irrigation. In the outcrop areas, some limitations were found due to unsuitable conditions.

  14. Microbiology and atmospheric processes: chemical interactions of primary biological aerosols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Deguillaume

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the influence of primary biological aerosols (PBA on atmospheric chemistry and vice versa through microbiological and chemical properties and processes. Several studies have shown that PBA represent a significant fraction of air particulate matter and hence affect the microstructure and water uptake of aerosol particles. Moreover, airborne micro-organisms, namely fungal spores and bacteria, can transform chemical constituents of the atmosphere by metabolic activity. Recent studies have emphasized the viability of bacteria and metabolic degradation of organic substances in cloud water. On the other hand, the viability and metabolic activity of airborne micro-organisms depend strongly on physical and chemical atmospheric parameters such as temperature, pressure, radiation, pH value and nutrient concentrations. In spite of recent advances, however, our knowledge of the microbiological and chemical interactions of PBA in the atmosphere is rather limited. Further targeted investigations combining laboratory experiments, field measurements, and modelling studies will be required to characterize the chemical feedbacks, microbiological activities at the air/snow/water interface supplied to the atmosphere.

  15. Exploring Biological Motion Processing in Parkinson's Disease Using Temporal Dilation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruihua Cao

    Full Text Available Biological motion (BM perception is the compelling ability of the visual system to perceive complex animated movements effortlessly and promptly. A recent study has shown that BM can automatically lengthen perceived temporal duration independent of global configuration. The present study aimed mainly to investigate this temporal dilation effect of BM signals in Parkinson's disease (PD patients. We used the temporal dilation effect as an implicit measure of visual processing of BM. In all, 32 PD patients (under off-therapy conditions and 32 healthy controls (HCs participated in our study. In each trial, an upright BM sequence and an inverted BM sequence were presented within an interval in the center of the screen. We tested both canonical and scrambled BM sequences; the scrambled ones were generated by disturbing the global configuration of the canonical ones but preserving exactly the same local motion components. Observers were required to make a verbal two-alternative forced choice response to indicate which interval (the first or the second appeared longer. Statistical analyses were conducted on the points of subjective equality (PSEs. We found that the temporal dilation effect was significantly reduced for PD patients compared with HCs in both canonical and scrambled BM conditions. Moreover, no temporal dilation effects of scrambled BM were shown in both early- and late-stage PD patients, while the temporal dilation effect of canonical BM was relatively preserved in the early stages.

  16. Crowdsourcing and curation: perspectives from biology and natural language processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschman, Lynette; Fort, Karën; Boué, Stéphanie; Kyrpides, Nikos; Islamaj Doğan, Rezarta; Cohen, Kevin Bretonnel

    2016-01-01

    Crowdsourcing is increasingly utilized for performing tasks in both natural language processing and biocuration. Although there have been many applications of crowdsourcing in these fields, there have been fewer high-level discussions of the methodology and its applicability to biocuration. This paper explores crowdsourcing for biocuration through several case studies that highlight different ways of leveraging 'the crowd'; these raise issues about the kind(s) of expertise needed, the motivations of participants, and questions related to feasibility, cost and quality. The paper is an outgrowth of a panel session held at BioCreative V (Seville, September 9-11, 2015). The session consisted of four short talks, followed by a discussion. In their talks, the panelists explored the role of expertise and the potential to improve crowd performance by training; the challenge of decomposing tasks to make them amenable to crowdsourcing; and the capture of biological data and metadata through community editing.Database URL: http://www.mitre.org/publications/technical-papers/crowdsourcing-and-curation-perspectives. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  17. Fixation Time for Evolutionary Graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Pu-Yan; Zhang, Pei-Ai

    Evolutionary graph theory (EGT) is recently proposed by Lieberman et al. in 2005. EGT is successful for explaining biological evolution and some social phenomena. It is extremely important to consider the time of fixation for EGT in many practical problems, including evolutionary theory and the evolution of cooperation. This study characterizes the time to asymptotically reach fixation.

  18. Patterns of plastid and nuclear variation among apomictic polyploids of Hieracium: evolutionary processes and taxonomic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, Torbjörn; Jönsson, Jane

    2013-04-01

    clustered together and some smaller groups of species congruent with morphology and/or current taxonomy were recovered but, except for H. sect. Oreadea, most larger groups were not correlated with morphology. Although the plastid DNA sequences show too little variation and the nuclear microsatellites are too variable to resolve relationships successfully among species or to fully understand processes of evolution, it is concluded that both species and sections as defined by morphology are largely congruent with the molecular data, that gene flow between the sections is rare or non-existent and that the tetraploid species may constitute the key to understanding evolution and speciation in this genus.

  19. Editorial overview: Evolutionary psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gangestad, S.W.; Tybur, J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Functional approaches in psychology - which ask what behavior is good for - are almost as old as scientific psychology itself. Yet sophisticated, generative functional theories were not possible until developments in evolutionary biology in the mid-20th century. Arising in the last three decades,

  20. Cladistical study and assessment of evolutionary process based on morphological data in genus of Ferula L. in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Reza Kanani

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The genus Ferula L. belongs to Apiaceae family and tribe Scandiceae with Persian name Koma, Barijeh and Anghouzeh consisting of about 170-187 species worldwide. This genus is the largest member of Apiaceae in Asia and ranks third place in the world. In this study, for the first time, phylogenetical position of the genus of Iranian Ferula s. l. were investigated through cladistics analyses of morphological data based on maximum parsimony method by Win-PAUP* 4.0b10 software. In addition, evolutionary process of the 33 morphological characters of this genus was examined by MacClade 3.01 Macintosh OS program. Most of the investigated species were collected and determined from wild habitats. Comparison and evaluation of consensus tree of molecular and morphological data showed that 2 species of Iranian Leutea Genus must be transferred to Ferula genus. Although Dorema genus was placed in Ferula clade, verified transfer to Ferula needs more investigations. Also, according to this two comb nova. Ferula nematoloba (Rech. f. Kanani and Ferula avicennia (Mozaff. Kanani were added to Iranian Ferula.

  1. USING ECO-EVOLUTIONARY INDIVIDUAL-BASED MODELS TO INVESTIGATE SPATIALLY-DEPENDENT PROCESSES IN CONSERVATION GENETICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eco-evolutionary population simulation models are powerful new forecasting tools for exploring management strategies for climate change and other dynamic disturbance regimes. Additionally, eco-evo individual-based models (IBMs) are useful for investigating theoretical feedbacks ...

  2. Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa; Briones, Carlos; de la Escosura, Andrés

    2017-04-01

    In recent years, an extension of the Darwinian framework is being considered for the study of prebiotic chemical evolution, shifting the attention from homogeneous populations of naked molecular species to populations of heterogeneous, compartmentalized and functionally integrated assemblies of molecules. Several implications of this shift of perspective are analysed in this critical review, both in terms of the individual units, which require an adequate characterization as self-maintaining systems with an internal organization, and also in relation to their collective and long-term evolutionary dynamics, based on competition, collaboration and selection processes among those complex individuals. On these lines, a concrete proposal for the set of molecular control mechanisms that must be coupled to bring about autonomous functional systems, at the interface between chemistry and biology, is provided. © 2017 The Authors.

  3. Adaptive radiation of Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 in experimental microcosms provides an understanding of the evolutionary ecology and molecular biology of A-L interface biofilm formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koza, Anna; Kusmierska, Anna; McLaughlin, Kimberley; Moshynets, Olena; Spiers, Andrew J

    2017-07-03

    Combined experimental evolutionary and molecular biology approaches have been used to investigate the adaptive radiation of Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 in static microcosms leading to the colonisation of the air-liquid interface by biofilm-forming mutants such as the Wrinkly Spreader (WS). In these microcosms, the ecosystem engineering of the early wild-type colonists establishes the niche space for subsequent WS evolution and colonisation. Random WS mutations occurring in the developing population that deregulate diguanylate cyclases and c-di-GMP homeostasis result in cellulose-based biofilms at the air-liquid interface. These structures allow Wrinkly Spreaders to intercept O2 diffusing into the liquid column and limit the growth of competitors lower down. As the biofilm matures, competition increasingly occurs between WS lineages, and niche divergence within the biofilm may support further diversification before system failure when the structure finally sinks. A combination of pleiotropic and epistasis effects, as well as secondary mutations, may explain variations in WS phenotype and fitness. Understanding how mutations subvert regulatory networks to express intrinsic genome potential and key innovations providing a selective advantage in novel environments is key to understanding the versatility of bacteria, and how selection and ecological opportunity can rapidly lead to substantive changes in phenotype and in community structure and function. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Production of hydrogen using an anaerobic biological process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Robert; Pelter, Libbie S.; Patterson, John A.

    2016-11-29

    Various embodiments of the present invention pertain to methods for biological production of hydrogen. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention pertain to a modular energy system and related methods for producing hydrogen using organic waste as a feed stock.

  5. Evolutionary analyses of non-genealogical bonds produced by introgressive descent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bapteste, Eric; Lopez, Philippe; Bouchard, Frédéric; Baquero, Fernando; McInerney, James O; Burian, Richard M

    2012-11-06

    All evolutionary biologists are familiar with evolutionary units that evolve by vertical descent in a tree-like fashion in single lineages. However, many other kinds of processes contribute to evolutionary diversity. In vertical descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit is propagated by replication inside its own lineage. In what we call introgressive descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit propagates into different host structures and is replicated within these host structures. Thus, introgressive descent generates a variety of evolutionary units and leaves recognizable patterns in resemblance networks. We characterize six kinds of evolutionary units, of which five involve mosaic lineages generated by introgressive descent. To facilitate detection of these units in resemblance networks, we introduce terminology based on two notions, P3s (subgraphs of three nodes: A, B, and C) and mosaic P3s, and suggest an apparatus for systematic detection of introgressive descent. Mosaic P3s correspond to a distinct type of evolutionary bond that is orthogonal to the bonds of kinship and genealogy usually examined by evolutionary biologists. We argue that recognition of these evolutionary bonds stimulates radical rethinking of key questions in evolutionary biology (e.g., the relations among evolutionary players in very early phases of evolutionary history, the origin and emergence of novelties, and the production of new lineages). This line of research will expand the study of biological complexity beyond the usual genealogical bonds, revealing additional sources of biodiversity. It provides an important step to a more realistic pluralist treatment of evolutionary complexity.

  6. A parametric interpretation of Bayesian Nonparametric Inference from Gene Genealogies: Linking ecological, population genetics and evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponciano, José Miguel

    2017-11-22

    Using a nonparametric Bayesian approach Palacios and Minin (2013) dramatically improved the accuracy, precision of Bayesian inference of population size trajectories from gene genealogies. These authors proposed an extension of a Gaussian Process (GP) nonparametric inferential method for the intensity function of non-homogeneous Poisson processes. They found that not only the statistical properties of the estimators were improved with their method, but also, that key aspects of the demographic histories were recovered. The authors' work represents the first Bayesian nonparametric solution to this inferential problem because they specify a convenient prior belief without a particular functional form on the population trajectory. Their approach works so well and provides such a profound understanding of the biological process, that the question arises as to how truly "biology-free" their approach really is. Using well-known concepts of stochastic population dynamics, here I demonstrate that in fact, Palacios and Minin's GP model can be cast as a parametric population growth model with density dependence and environmental stochasticity. Making this link between population genetics and stochastic population dynamics modeling provides novel insights into eliciting biologically meaningful priors for the trajectory of the effective population size. The results presented here also bring novel understanding of GP as models for the evolution of a trait. Thus, the ecological principles foundation of Palacios and Minin (2013)'s prior adds to the conceptual and scientific value of these authors' inferential approach. I conclude this note by listing a series of insights brought about by this connection with Ecology. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The extended evolutionary synthesis: its structure, assumptions and predictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N; Uller, Tobias; Feldman, Marcus W; Sterelny, Kim; Müller, Gerd B; Moczek, Armin; Jablonka, Eva; Odling-Smee, John

    2015-08-22

    Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways—one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the 'extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism-environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. The extended evolutionary synthesis: its structure, assumptions and predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N.; Uller, Tobias; Feldman, Marcus W.; Sterelny, Kim; Müller, Gerd B.; Moczek, Armin; Jablonka, Eva; Odling-Smee, John

    2015-01-01

    Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways—one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the ‘extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism–environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology. PMID:26246559

  9. Students' Ability to Solve Process-Diagram Problems in Secondary Biology Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kragten, Marco; Admiraal, Wilfried; Rijlaarsdam, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Process diagrams are important tools in biology for explaining processes such as protein synthesis, compound cycles and the like. The aim of the present study was to measure the ability to solve process-diagram problems in biology and its relationship with prior knowledge, spatial ability and working memory. For this purpose, we developed a test…

  10. Students’ Ability to Solve Process-diagram Problems in Secondary Biology Education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kragten, M.; Admiraal, W.; Rijlaarsdam, G.

    2015-01-01

    Process diagrams are important tools in biology for explaining processes such as protein synthesis, compound cycles and the like. The aim of the present study was to measure the ability to solve process-diagram problems in biology and its relationship with prior knowledge, spatial ability and

  11. Biological processing of dinuclear ruthenium complexes in eukaryotic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Heimann, Kirsten; Dinh, Xuyen Thi; Keene, F Richard; Collins, J Grant

    2016-10-20

    The biological processing - mechanism of cellular uptake, effects on the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial membranes, intracellular sites of localisation and induction of reactive oxygen species - of two dinuclear polypyridylruthenium(ii) complexes has been examined in three eukaryotic cells lines. Flow cytometry was used to determine the uptake of [{Ru(phen)2}2{μ-bb12}](4+) (Rubb12) and [Ru(phen)2(μ-bb7)Ru(tpy)Cl](3+) {Rubb7-Cl, where phen = 1,10-phenanthroline, tpy = 2,2':6',2''-terpyridine and bbn = bis[4(4'-methyl-2,2'-bipyridyl)]-1,n-alkane} in baby hamster kidney (BHK), human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) and liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines. The results demonstrated that the major uptake mechanism for Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl was active transport, although with a significant contribution from carrier-assisted diffusion for Rubb12 and passive diffusion for Rubb7-Cl. Flow cytometry coupled with Annexin V/TO-PRO-3 double-staining was used to compare cell death by membrane damage or apoptosis. Rubb12 induced significant direct membrane damage, particularly with HepG2 cells, while Rubb7-Cl caused considerably less membrane damage but induced greater levels of apoptosis. Confocal microscopy, coupled with JC-1 assays, demonstrated that Rubb12 depolarises the mitochondrial membrane, whereas Rubb7-Cl had a much smaller affect. Cellular localisation experiments indicated that Rubb12 did not accumulate in the mitochondria, whereas significant mitochondrial accumulation was observed for Rubb7-Cl. The effect of Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl on intracellular superoxide dismutase activity showed that the ruthenium complexes could induce cell death via a reactive oxygen species-mediated pathway. The results of this study demonstrate that Rubb12 predominantly kills eukaryotic cells by damaging the cytoplasmic membrane. As this dinuclear ruthenium complex has been previously shown to exhibit greater toxicity towards bacteria than eukaryotic cells, the results of the present study suggest that

  12. Simulating biological processes: stochastic physics from whole cells to colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnest, Tyler M.; Cole, John A.; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida

    2018-05-01

    The last few decades have revealed the living cell to be a crowded spatially heterogeneous space teeming with biomolecules whose concentrations and activities are governed by intrinsically random forces. It is from this randomness, however, that a vast array of precisely timed and intricately coordinated biological functions emerge that give rise to the complex forms and behaviors we see in the biosphere around us. This seemingly paradoxical nature of life has drawn the interest of an increasing number of physicists, and recent years have seen stochastic modeling grow into a major subdiscipline within biological physics. Here we review some of the major advances that have shaped our understanding of stochasticity in biology. We begin with some historical context, outlining a string of important experimental results that motivated the development of stochastic modeling. We then embark upon a fairly rigorous treatment of the simulation methods that are currently available for the treatment of stochastic biological models, with an eye toward comparing and contrasting their realms of applicability, and the care that must be taken when parameterizing them. Following that, we describe how stochasticity impacts several key biological functions, including transcription, translation, ribosome biogenesis, chromosome replication, and metabolism, before considering how the functions may be coupled into a comprehensive model of a ‘minimal cell’. Finally, we close with our expectation for the future of the field, focusing on how mesoscopic stochastic methods may be augmented with atomic-scale molecular modeling approaches in order to understand life across a range of length and time scales.

  13. Evolutionary change and phylogenetic relationships in light of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-20

    Apr 20, 2015 ... from bacteria to animals, have acquired and conserved genes derived from other organisms, which has placed horizontal gene transfer, or HGT (the process of incorporation of new genetic material to host genomes, also known as lateral gene transfer, or LTG), in the realm of evolutionary biology.

  14. Niche construction in evolutionary theory: the construction of an ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    MANAN GUPTA

    2017-07-06

    Jul 6, 2017 ... Keywords. niche construction; standard evolutionary theory; coevolution; natural selection; philosophy of biology; post-truth. In recent years, fairly ... process in its own right, almost at par with natural selec- tion. Claims have .... depletion of available resources by an increasing popu- lation eventually has a ...

  15. A Novel Pattern of Yolk Processing in Developing Snake Eggs (Colubridae: Lampropeltini) and its Functional and Evolutionary Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Kathryn G; Blackburn, Daniel G

    2017-07-01

    Early amniotic vertebrates evolved large-yolked eggs that permitted production of well-developed, terrestrial hatchlings. This reproductive pattern required new mechanisms for cellularizing the yolk and mobilizing it for embryonic use. In birds, cells that line the yolk sac cavity phagocytose and digest the yolk material, a pattern that is commonly assumed to be universal among oviparous amniotes. However, recent evidence challenges the assumption that all squamate reptiles conform to the avian developmental pattern. In this paper, scanning electron microscopy and histology were used to study mechanisms of yolk processing in two colubrid snakes, the kingsnake Lampropeltis getula and the milksnake L. triangulum. Endodermal cells from the yolk sac splanchnopleure proliferate massively as they invade the yolk sac cavity, forming elaborate chains of interlinked cells. These cells grow in size as they phagocytose yolk material. Subsequently, vitelline capillaries invade the masses of yolk-laden cells and become coated with the endodermal cells, forming an elaborate meshwork of cell-coated strands. The close association of cells, yolk, and blood vessels allows yolk material to be cellularized, digested, and transported for embryonic use. The overall pattern is like that of the corn snake Pantherophis guttatus, but contrasts markedly with that of birds. Given recent evidence that this developmental pattern may also occur in certain lizards, we postulate that it is ancestral for squamates. Studies of lizards, crocodilians, and turtles are needed to clarify the evolutionary history of this pattern and its implications for the evolution of the amniotic (terrestrial) vertebrate egg. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Core principles of evolutionary medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background and objectives Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. Methodology The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Results Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. Conclusions and implications This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further. PMID:29493660

  17. Applying ecological and evolutionary theory to cancer: a long and winding road.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Frédéric; Fisher, Daniel; Fort, Philippe; Marie, Jean-Pierre; Daoust, Simon; Roche, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Cosseau, Céline; Mitta, Guillaume; Baghdiguian, Stephen; Rousset, François; Lassus, Patrice; Assenat, Eric; Grégoire, Damien; Missé, Dorothée; Lorz, Alexander; Billy, Frédérique; Vainchenker, William; Delhommeau, François; Koscielny, Serge; Itzykson, Raphael; Tang, Ruoping; Fava, Fanny; Ballesta, Annabelle; Lepoutre, Thomas; Krasinska, Liliana; Dulic, Vjekoslav; Raynaud, Peggy; Blache, Philippe; Quittau-Prevostel, Corinne; Vignal, Emmanuel; Trauchessec, Hélène; Perthame, Benoit; Clairambault, Jean; Volpert, Vitali; Solary, Eric; Hibner, Urszula; Hochberg, Michael E

    2013-01-01

    Since the mid 1970s, cancer has been described as a process of Darwinian evolution, with somatic cellular selection and evolution being the fundamental processes leading to malignancy and its many manifestations (neoangiogenesis, evasion of the immune system, metastasis, and resistance to therapies). Historically, little attention has been placed on applications of evolutionary biology to understanding and controlling neoplastic progression and to prevent therapeutic failures. This is now beginning to change, and there is a growing international interest in the interface between cancer and evolutionary biology. The objective of this introduction is first to describe the basic ideas and concepts linking evolutionary biology to cancer. We then present four major fronts where the evolutionary perspective is most developed, namely laboratory and clinical models, mathematical models, databases, and techniques and assays. Finally, we discuss several of the most promising challenges and future prospects in this interdisciplinary research direction in the war against cancer.

  18. Advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater by a novel integration of heterogeneous catalytic ozonation and biological process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Haifeng; Han, Hongjun; Jia, Shengyong; Hou, Baolin; Zhao, Qian

    2014-08-01

    Advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater (CGW) was investigated employing heterogeneous catalytic ozonation integrated with anoxic moving bed biofilm reactor (ANMBBR) and biological aerated filter (BAF) process. The results indicated that catalytic ozonation with the prepared catalyst (i.e. MnOx/SBAC, sewage sludge was converted into sludge based activated carbon (SBAC) which loaded manganese oxides) significantly enhanced performance of pollutants removal by generated hydroxyl radicals. The effluent of catalytic ozonation process was more biodegradable and less toxic than that in ozonation alone. Meanwhile, ANMBBR-BAF showed efficient capacity of pollutants removal in treatment of the effluent of catalytic ozonation at a shorter reaction time, allowing the discharge limits to be met. Therefore, the integrated process with efficient, economical and sustainable advantages was suitable for advanced treatment of real biologically pretreated CGW. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Indirect evolutionary rescue: prey adapts, predator avoids extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have increasingly recognized evolutionary rescue (adaptive evolution that prevents extinction following environmental change) as an important process in evolutionary biology and conservation science. Researchers have concentrated on single species living in isolation, but populations in nature exist within communities of interacting species, so evolutionary rescue should also be investigated in a multispecies context. We argue that the persistence or extinction of a focal species can be determined solely by evolutionary change in an interacting species. We demonstrate that prey adaptive evolution can prevent predator extinction in two-species predator–prey models, and we derive the conditions under which this indirect evolutionary interaction is essential to prevent extinction following environmental change. A nonevolving predator can be rescued from extinction by adaptive evolution of its prey due to a trade-off for the prey between defense against predation and population growth rate. As prey typically have larger populations and shorter generations than their predators, prey evolution can be rapid and have profound effects on predator population dynamics. We suggest that this process, which we term ‘indirect evolutionary rescue’, has the potential to be critically important to the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and communities to dramatic environmental change. PMID:26366196

  20. BIOLOGICALLY ENHANCED OXYGEN TRANSFER IN THE ACTIVATED SLUDGE PROCESS (JOURNAL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biologically enhanced oxgyen transfer has been a hypothesis to explain observed oxygen transfer rates in activated sludge systems that were well above that predicted from aerator clean-water testing. The enhanced oxygen transfer rates were based on tests using BOD bottle oxygen ...

  1. Activated Sludge. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boe, Owen K.; Klopping, Paul H.

    This student manual contains the textual material for a seven-lesson unit on activated sludge. Topic areas addressed in the lessons include: (1) activated sludge concepts and components (including aeration tanks, aeration systems, clarifiers, and sludge pumping systems); (2) activated sludge variations and modes; (3) biological nature of activated…

  2. Long distance dispersal of zooplankton endemic to isolated mountaintops--an example of an ecological process operating on an evolutionary time scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bram Vanschoenwinkel

    Full Text Available Recent findings suggest a convergence of time scales between ecological and evolutionary processes which is usually explained in terms of rapid micro evolution resulting in evolution on ecological time scales. A similar convergence, however, can also emerge when slow ecological processes take place on evolutionary time scales. A good example of such a slow ecological process is the colonization of remote aquatic habitats by passively dispersed zooplankton. Using variation at the protein coding mitochondrial COI gene, we investigated the balance between mutation and migration as drivers of genetic diversity in two Branchipodopsis fairy shrimp species (Crustacea, Anostraca endemic to remote temporary rock pool clusters at the summit of isolated mountaintops in central South Africa. We showed that both species colonized the region almost simultaneously c. 0.8 My ago, but exhibit contrasting patterns of regional genetic diversity and demographic history. The haplotype network of the common B. cf. wolfi showed clear evidence of 11 long distance dispersal events (up to 140 km with five haplotypes that are shared among distant inselbergs, as well as some more spatially isolated derivates. Similar patterns were not observed for B. drakensbergensis presumably since this rarer species experienced a genetic bottleneck. We conclude that the observed genetic patterns reflect rare historic colonization events rather than frequent ongoing gene flow. Moreover, the high regional haplotype diversity combined with a high degree of haplotype endemicity indicates that evolutionary- (mutation and ecological (migration processes in this system operate on similar time scales.

  3. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    focussing on prions as mediators of TEI. In the light of environment-specific generation/loss and survival advan- tages conferred by some prions, he suggests that TEI through prions may be adaptive. TEI may also occur through the placenta in placental mammals, and Sailasree et al. review this phenomenon. Apart from the ...

  4. Building the process-drug–side effect network to discover the relationship between biological Processes and side effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Side effects are unwanted responses to drug treatment and are important resources for human phenotype information. The recent development of a database on side effects, the side effect resource (SIDER), is a first step in documenting the relationship between drugs and their side effects. It is, however, insufficient to simply find the association of drugs with biological processes; that relationship is crucial because drugs that influence biological processes can have an impact on phenotype. Therefore, knowing which processes respond to drugs that influence the phenotype will enable more effective and systematic study of the effect of drugs on phenotype. To the best of our knowledge, the relationship between biological processes and side effects of drugs has not yet been systematically researched. Methods We propose 3 steps for systematically searching relationships between drugs and biological processes: enrichment scores (ES) calculations, t-score calculation, and threshold-based filtering. Subsequently, the side effect-related biological processes are found by merging the drug-biological process network and the drug-side effect network. Evaluation is conducted in 2 ways: first, by discerning the number of biological processes discovered by our method that co-occur with Gene Ontology (GO) terms in relation to effects extracted from PubMed records using a text-mining technique and second, determining whether there is improvement in performance by limiting response processes by drugs sharing the same side effect to frequent ones alone. Results The multi-level network (the process-drug-side effect network) was built by merging the drug-biological process network and the drug-side effect network. We generated a network of 74 drugs-168 side effects-2209 biological process relation resources. The preliminary results showed that the process-drug-side effect network was able to find meaningful relationships between biological processes and side effects in an

  5. Where Did You Come From? Where Will You Go? Human Evolutionary Biology Education and American Students' Academic Interests and Achievements, Professional Goals, and Socioscientific Decision-making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrein, Caitlin M.

    In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class enrollment, academic achievement, interest in a STEM degree program, motivation to pursue a STEM career, and socioscientific decision-making for a sample of students enrolled full-time at Arizona State University. Given a lack of a priori knowledge of these relationships, the Grounded Theory Method was used and was the foundation for a mixed-methods analysis involving qualitative and quantitative data from one-on-one interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and an online survey. Theory development and hypothesis generation were based on data from 44 students. The survey instrument, developed to test the hypotheses, was completed by 486 undergraduates, age 18--22, who graduated from U.S. public high schools. The results showed that higher exposure to HEB was correlated with greater high school science class enrollment, particularly for advanced biological science classes, and that, for some students, HEB exposure may have influenced their enrollment, because the students found the content interesting and relevant. The results also suggested that students with higher K--12 HEB exposure felt more prepared for undergraduate science coursework. There was a positive correlation between HEB exposure and interest in a STEM degree and an indirect relationship between higher HEB exposure and motivation to pursue a STEM career. Regarding a number of socioscientific issues, including but not limited to climate change, homosexuality, and stem cell research, students' behaviors and decision-making more closely reflected a scientific viewpoint---or less-closely aligned to a religion-based perspective---when students had greater HEB exposure

  6. A gradual process of recombination restriction in the evolutionary history of the sex chromosomes in dioecious plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nicolas, M.; Marais, G.; Hykelová, Vladimíra; Janoušek, Bohuslav; Laporte, V.; Vyskot, Boris; Mouchiroud, D.; Negrutiu, I.; Charlesworth, D.; Moneger, F.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 3, - (2005), s. 47-56 ISSN 1544-9173 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507 Keywords : sex chromosomes * evolutionary history * X and Y chromosomes Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 14.672, year: 2005

  7. Paleoanthropology and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Paleoanthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century were little concerned either with evolutionary theory or with the technicalities and broader implications of zoological nomenclature. In consequence, the paleoanthropological literature of the period consisted largely of a series of descriptions accompanied by authoritative pronouncements, together with a huge excess of hominid genera and species. Given the intellectual flimsiness of the resulting paleoanthropological framework, it is hardly surprising that in 1950 the ornithologist Ernst Mayr met little resistance when he urged the new postwar generation of paleoanthropologists to accept not only the elegant reductionism of the Evolutionary Synthesis but a vast oversimplification of hominid phylogenetic history and nomenclature. Indeed, the impact of Mayr's onslaught was so great that even when developments in evolutionary biology during the last quarter of the century brought other paleontologists to the realization that much more has been involved in evolutionary histories than the simple action of natural selection within gradually transforming lineages, paleoanthropologists proved highly reluctant to follow. Even today, paleoanthropologists are struggling to reconcile an intuitive realization that the burgeoning hominid fossil record harbors a substantial diversity of species (bringing hominid evolutionary patterns into line with that of other successful mammalian families), with the desire to cram a huge variety of morphologies into an unrealistically minimalist systematic framework. As long as this theoretical ambivalence persists, our perception of events in hominid phylogeny will continue to be distorted.

  8. Active Interaction Mapping as a tool to elucidate hierarchical functions of biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farré, Jean-Claude; Kramer, Michael; Ideker, Trey; Subramani, Suresh

    2017-07-03

    Increasingly, various 'omics data are contributing significantly to our understanding of novel biological processes, but it has not been possible to iteratively elucidate hierarchical functions in complex phenomena. We describe a general systems biology approach called Active Interaction Mapping (AI-MAP), which elucidates the hierarchy of functions for any biological process. Existing and new 'omics data sets can be iteratively added to create and improve hierarchical models which enhance our understanding of particular biological processes. The best datatypes to further improve an AI-MAP model are predicted computationally. We applied this approach to our understanding of general and selective autophagy, which are conserved in most eukaryotes, setting the stage for the broader application to other cellular processes of interest. In the particular application to autophagy-related processes, we uncovered and validated new autophagy and autophagy-related processes, expanded known autophagy processes with new components, integrated known non-autophagic processes with autophagy and predict other unexplored connections.

  9. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    An `evolutionary transition in individuality' or `major transition' is a transformation in the hierarchical level at which natural selection operates on a population. In this article I give an abstract (i.e. level-neutral and substrate-neutral) articulation of the transition process in order to precisely understand how such processes can ...

  10. Evolutionary Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Gorelik

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we advance the concept of “evolutionary awareness,” a metacognitive framework that examines human thought and emotion from a naturalistic, evolutionary perspective. We begin by discussing the evolution and current functioning of the moral foundations on which our framework rests. Next, we discuss the possible applications of such an evolutionarily-informed ethical framework to several domains of human behavior, namely: sexual maturation, mate attraction, intrasexual competition, culture, and the separation between various academic disciplines. Finally, we discuss ways in which an evolutionary awareness can inform our cross-generational activities—which we refer to as “intergenerational extended phenotypes”—by helping us to construct a better future for ourselves, for other sentient beings, and for our environment.

  11. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    , they are correlated among people who share environments because these individuals satisfice within their cognitive bounds by using cues in order of validity, as opposed to using cues arbitrarily. Any difference in expectations thereby arise from differences in cognitive ability, because two individuals with identical......The concept of evolutionary expectations descends from cue learning psychology, synthesizing ideas on rational expectations with ideas on bounded rationality, to provide support for these ideas simultaneously. Evolutionary expectations are rational, but within cognitive bounds. Moreover...... cognitive bounds will perceive business opportunities identically. In addition, because cues provide information about latent causal structures of the environment, changes in causality must be accompanied by changes in cognitive representations if adaptation is to be maintained. The concept of evolutionary...

  12. Coevolution in the Galapagos: An Example for the Biology Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggs, Alton L.

    1990-01-01

    Several examples of coevolution which can be used in biology classes are presented. Discussed are evolutionary processes in general, giant cacti, and reptile and cacti association. The effects of human interference are briefly described. (CW)

  13. Microclimate effects of crop residues on biological processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, J. L.; Prueger, J. H.

    1996-03-01

    Residues from crops left on the soil surface have an impact on the microclimate, primarily temperature, within the soil and the atmosphere; but, the impact on the biological system is largely unknown. Residue is assumed to have a positive impact on the biological system in the soil and a negative impact on crop growth. This report investigates the effect of standing residue on the microclimate surrounding a cotton ( Gossypium hirsutum L.) crop in a semi-arid environment and the effect of flat residue on the seasonal soil temperature and soil water regimes in a humid climate with a corn ( Zea mays L.) and soybean [ Glycine max (L.) Merr.] production system. A study was conducted during 1987 and 1988 in a semi-arid climate at Lubbock, Texas using standing wheat stubble to shelter cotton from wind. In this study soil water, microclimatic variables, and plant growth were measured within standing stubble and bare soil during the early vegetative growth period. Air temperatures were warmer at night within the standing residue and the air more humid throughout the day. This led to a reduction in the soil water evaporation rate and an increase in the water use efficiency of the cotton plant within the stubble. Studies on corn residue with continuous corn and corn-soybean rotations with no-till, chiselplow, and moldboard plow tillage practices in central Iowa showed that the average soil temperatures in the upper soil profile were not affected by the presence of flat residue after tillage. Diurnal temperature ranges were most affected by the residue throughout the year. The largest effect of the residue on soil temperature was in the fall after harvest when no-till fields cooled more slowly than tilled fields. In the spring, surface residue decreased the soil water evaporation rate and increased the soil water storage within the soil profile covered with residue. In years with below normal rainfall, the additional stored soil water due to the surface residue was used by the

  14. Pulsed electrical discharges for medicine and biology techniques, processes, applications

    CERN Document Server

    Kolikov, Victor

    2015-01-01

    This book presents the application of pulsed electrical discharges in water and water dispersions of metal nanoparticles in medicine (surgery, dentistry, and oncology), biology, and ecology. The intensive electrical and shock waves represent a novel technique to destroy viruses and this way to  prepare anti-virus vaccines. The method of pulsed electrical discharges in water allows to decontaminate water from almost all known bacteria and spores of fungi being present in human beings. The nanoparticles used are not genotoxic and mutagenic. This book is useful for researchers and graduate students.

  15. Vanadium in Biosphere and Its Role in Biological Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Deepika; Mani, Veena; Pal, Ravi Prakash

    2018-03-09

    Ultra-trace elements or occasionally beneficial elements (OBE) are the new categories of minerals including vanadium (V). The importance of V is attributed due to its multifaceted biological roles, i.e., glucose and lipid metabolism as an insulin-mimetic, antilipemic and a potent stress alleviating agent in diabetes when vanadium is administered at lower doses. It competes with iron for transferrin (binding site for transportation) and with lactoferrin as it is secreted in milk also. The intracellular enzyme protein tyrosine phosphatase, causing the dephosphorylation at beta subunit of the insulin receptor, is inhibited by vanadium, thus facilitating the uptake of glucose inside the cell but only in the presence of insulin. Vanadium could be useful as a potential immune-stimulating agent and also as an antiinflammatory therapeutic metallodrug targeting various diseases. Physiological state and dose of vanadium compounds hold importance in causing toxicity also. Research has been carried out mostly on laboratory animals but evidence for vanadium importance as a therapeutic agent are available in humans and large animals also. This review examines the potential biochemical and molecular role, possible kinetics and distribution, essentiality, immunity, and toxicity-related study of vanadium in a biological system.

  16. Lignocellulose Biomass: Constitutive Polymers. Biological Processes of Lignin Degradation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, C.; Manzanares, P.

    1994-01-01

    The structure of the lignocellulosic materials and the chemical composition of their main constitutive polymers, cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin are described. The most promising transformation processes according to the type of biomass considered: hardwood, softwood an herbaceous and the perspectives of biotechnological processes for bio pulping, bio bleaching and effluents decolorisation in the paper pulp industry are also discussed. (Author) 7 refs

  17. Pretreatment of lignocellulose with biological acid recycling (the Biosulfurol process)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groenestijn, van J.; Hazewinkel, O.; Bakker, R.R.C.

    2006-01-01

    A biomass pretreatment process is being developed based on contacting lignocellulosic biomass with 70% sulfuric acid and subsequent hydrolysis by adding water. In this process, the hydrolysate can be fermented yielding ethanol, while the sulfuric acid is partly recovered by anion-selective membranes

  18. Aerobic Digestion. Biological Treatment Process Control. Instructor's Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klopping, Paul H.

    This unit on aerobic sludge digestion covers the theory of the process, system components, factors that affect the process performance, standard operational concerns, indicators of steady-state operations, and operational problems. The instructor's guide includes: (1) an overview of the unit; (2) lesson plan; (3) lecture outline (keyed to a set of…

  19. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks in community and ecosystem ecology: interactions between the ecological theatre and the evolutionary play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, David M.; Palkovacs, Eric P.

    2009-01-01

    Interactions between natural selection and environmental change are well recognized and sit at the core of ecology and evolutionary biology. Reciprocal interactions between ecology and evolution, eco-evolutionary feedbacks, are less well studied, even though they may be critical for understanding the evolution of biological diversity, the structure of communities and the function of ecosystems. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks require that populations alter their environment (niche construction) and that those changes in the environment feed back to influence the subsequent evolution of the population. There is strong evidence that organisms influence their environment through predation, nutrient excretion and habitat modification, and that populations evolve in response to changes in their environment at time-scales congruent with ecological change (contemporary evolution). Here, we outline how the niche construction and contemporary evolution interact to alter the direction of evolution and the structure and function of communities and ecosystems. We then present five empirical systems that highlight important characteristics of eco-evolutionary feedbacks: rotifer–algae chemostats; alewife–zooplankton interactions in lakes; guppy life-history evolution and nutrient cycling in streams; avian seed predators and plants; and tree leaf chemistry and soil processes. The alewife–zooplankton system provides the most complete evidence for eco-evolutionary feedbacks, but other systems highlight the potential for eco-evolutionary feedbacks in a wide variety of natural systems. PMID:19414476

  20. Darwin in Mind: New Opportunities for Evolutionary Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolhuis, Johan J.; Brown, Gillian R.; Richardson, Robert C.; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary Psychology (EP) views the human mind as organized into many modules, each underpinned by psychological adaptations designed to solve problems faced by our Pleistocene ancestors. We argue that the key tenets of the established EP paradigm require modification in the light of recent findings from a number of disciplines, including human genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and paleoecology. For instance, many human genes have been subject to recent selective sweeps; humans play an active, constructive role in co-directing their own development and evolution; and experimental evidence often favours a general process, rather than a modular account, of cognition. A redefined EP could use the theoretical insights of modern evolutionary biology as a rich source of hypotheses concerning the human mind, and could exploit novel methods from a variety of adjacent research fields. PMID:21811401

  1. Darwin in mind: new opportunities for evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolhuis, Johan J; Brown, Gillian R; Richardson, Robert C; Laland, Kevin N

    2011-07-01

    Evolutionary Psychology (EP) views the human mind as organized into many modules, each underpinned by psychological adaptations designed to solve problems faced by our Pleistocene ancestors. We argue that the key tenets of the established EP paradigm require modification in the light of recent findings from a number of disciplines, including human genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and paleoecology. For instance, many human genes have been subject to recent selective sweeps; humans play an active, constructive role in co-directing their own development and evolution; and experimental evidence often favours a general process, rather than a modular account, of cognition. A redefined EP could use the theoretical insights of modern evolutionary biology as a rich source of hypotheses concerning the human mind, and could exploit novel methods from a variety of adjacent research fields.

  2. Behaviour of radionuclides in biological and non-biological processes at very low concentrations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinnaeve, J.; Frissel, M.J.; Klugt, N. van der; Geijn, S.C. van de.

    1980-01-01

    Four experiments using a 'biological exchange column', i.e. a cut papyrus stem were carried out. Prior to the passage of the labelled solution containing 250 μCi 137 Cs.l -1 , and 1 μCi 134 Cs.l -1 , the exchange sites of the stem were protonated. Two treatments were carried out, the first with 10 -4 M stable caesium in the labelled solution and the second with 10 -4 M potassium. After detection of the front of activity half way up the stem, 5 cm segments of the stem were cut and counted. (Auth.)

  3. Test of Science Process Skills of Biology Students towards Developing of Learning Exercises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith S. Rabacal

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available This is a descriptive study aimed to determine the academic achievement on science process skills of the BS Biology Students of Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, Philippines with the end view of developing learning exercises which will enhance their academic achievement on basic and integrated science process skills. The data in this study were obtained using a validated questionnaire. Mean was the statistical tool used to determine the academic achievement on the above mentioned science process skills; t-test for independent means was used to determine significant difference on the academic achievement of science process skills of BS Biology students while Pearson Product Moment of Correlation Coefficient was used to determine the significant relationship between basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students. A 0.05 level of significance was used to determine whether the hypothesis set in the study will be rejected or accepted. Findings revealed that the academic achievement on basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students was average. Findings revealed that there are no significant differences on the academic performance of the BS Biology students when grouped according to year level and gender. Findings also revealed that there is a significant difference on the academic achievement between basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students. Findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between academic achievement on the basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students.

  4. The search for evolutionary developmental origins of aging in zebrafish: a novel intersection of developmental and senescence biology in the zebrafish model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishi, Shuji

    2011-09-01

    Senescence may be considered the antithesis of early development, but yet there may be factors and mechanisms in common between these two phenomena during the process of aging. We investigated whether any relationship exists between the regulatory mechanisms that function in early development and in senescence using the zebrafish (Danio rerio), a small freshwater fish and a useful model animal for genetic studies. We conducted experiments to isolate zebrafish mutants expressing an apparent senescence phenotype during embryogenesis (embryonic senescence). Some of the genes we thereby identified had already been associated with cellular senescence and chronological aging in other organisms, but many had not yet been linked to these processes. Complete loss-of-function of developmentally essential genes induce embryonic (or larval) lethality, whereas it seems like their partial loss-of-function (i.e., decrease-of-function by heterozygote or hypomorphic mutations) still remains sufficient to go through the early developmental process because of its adaptive plasticity or rather heterozygote advantage. However, in some cases, such partial loss-of-function of genes compromise normal homeostasis due to haploinsufficiency later in adult life having many environmental stress challenges. By contrast, any heterozygote-advantageous genes might gain a certain benefit(s) (much more fitness) by such partial loss-of-function later in life. Physiological senescence may evolutionarily arise from both genetic and epigenetic drifts as well as from losing adaptive developmental plasticity in face of stress signals from the external environment that interacts with functions of multiple genes rather than effects of only a single gene mutation or defect. Previously uncharacterized developmental genes may thus mediate the aging process and play a pivotal role in senescence. Moreover, unexpected senescence-related genes might also be involved in the early developmental process and

  5. Two-way feedback between biology and deep Earth processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sleep, Norman; Bird, Dennis K.; Pope, Emily Catherine

    ’s surface and interior cooled following the moon-forming impact. The oceans passed through conditions favored by thermophile organisms before becoming clement. Ocean pH was ~6 and bars of CO2 existed in the atmosphere. Subduction removed the CO2 into the mantle before the time of rock record. Serpentinite......The presence of the metamorphic products of banded iron formation and black shale indicate that the Earth teemed with life by the time of the earliest preserved rocks, ca. 3.85 Ga. Iron and sulfur-based anoxygenic photosynthesis with full carbon cycles was present by this time. The pH of the ocean...... was ~8. The lack of older rock record cloaks pre-biotic evolution and the origin of life. Nascent and early life obtained energy from chemical disequilibria in rocks rather than sunlight. Appraising putative rock pre-biological environments is difficult in that life has modified the composition...

  6. Evolutionary robotics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In evolutionary robotics, a suitable robot control system is developed automatically through evolution due to the interactions between the robot and its environment. It is a complicated task, as the robot and the environment constitute a highly dynamical system. Several methods have been tried by various investigators to ...

  7. Systems Biology Graphical Notation: Process Description language Level 1 Version 1.3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moodie, Stuart; Le Novère, Nicolas; Demir, Emek; Mi, Huaiyu; Villéger, Alice

    2015-09-04

    The Systems Biological Graphical Notation (SBGN) is an international community effort for standardized graphical representations of biological pathways and networks. The goal of SBGN is to provide unambiguous pathway and network maps for readers with different scientific backgrounds as well as to support efficient and accurate exchange of biological knowledge between different research communities, industry, and other players in systems biology. Three SBGN languages, Process Description (PD), Entity Relationship (ER) and Activity Flow (AF), allow for the representation of different aspects of biological and biochemical systems at different levels of detail. The SBGN Process Description language represents biological entities and processes between these entities within a network. SBGN PD focuses on the mechanistic description and temporal dependencies of biological interactions and transformations. The nodes (elements) are split into entity nodes describing, e.g., metabolites, proteins, genes and complexes, and process nodes describing, e.g., reactions and associations. The edges (connections) provide descriptions of relationships (or influences) between the nodes, such as consumption, production, stimulation and inhibition. Among all three languages of SBGN, PD is the closest to metabolic and regulatory pathways in biological literature and textbooks, but its well-defined semantics offer a superior precision in expressing biological knowledge.

  8. Towards a mechanistic foundation of evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doebeli, Michael; Ispolatov, Yaroslav; Simon, Burt

    2017-02-15

    Most evolutionary thinking is based on the notion of fitness and related ideas such as fitness landscapes and evolutionary optima. Nevertheless, it is often unclear what fitness actually is, and its meaning often depends on the context. Here we argue that fitness should not be a basal ingredient in verbal or mathematical descriptions of evolution. Instead, we propose that evolutionary birth-death processes, in which individuals give birth and die at ever-changing rates, should be the basis of evolutionary theory, because such processes capture the fundamental events that generate evolutionary dynamics. In evolutionary birth-death processes, fitness is at best a derived quantity, and owing to the potential complexity of such processes, there is no guarantee that there is a simple scalar, such as fitness, that would describe long-term evolutionary outcomes. We discuss how evolutionary birth-death processes can provide useful perspectives on a number of central issues in evolution.

  9. Integrated chemical/physical and biological processes modeling Part 2

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The approach of characterising sewage sludge into carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, as is done in the International Water Association (IWA) AD model No 1 ... found to be 64 to 68% biodegradable (depending on the kinetic formulation selected for the hydrolysis process) and to have a C,sub>3.5H7O2N0.196 composition.

  10. Benchmarking Combined Biological Phosphorus and Nitrogen Removal Wastewater Treatment Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gernaey, Krist; Jørgensen, Sten Bay

    2004-01-01

    conditions respectively, the definition of performance indexes that include the phosphorus removal processes, and the selection of a suitable operating point for the plant. Two control loops were implemented: one for dissolved oxygen control using the oxygen transfer coefficient K(L)a as manipulated variable...

  11. Biological processes for the production of aryl sulfates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2016-01-01

    The present invention generally relates to the field of biotechnology as it applies to the production of aryl sulfates using polypeptides or recombinant cells comprising said polypeptides. More particularly, the present invention pertains to polypeptides having aryl sulfotransferase activity......, recombinant host cells expressing same and processes for the production of aryl sulfates employing these polypeptides or recombinant host cells....

  12. Anaerobic Digestion. Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnegie, John W., Ed.

    This student manual contains the textual material for a four-lesson unit on anaerobic digestion control. Areas addressed include: (1) anaerobic sludge digestion (considering the nature of raw sludge, purposes of anaerobic digestion, the results of digestion, types of equipment, and other topics); (2) digester process control (considering feeding…

  13. Understanding why we age and how: Evolutionary biology meets different model organisms and multi-level omics: Meeting report on "Comparative Biology of Aging," Roscoff, October 12-16, 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilson, Eric; Bosch, Thomas C G

    2016-06-01

    The conference explored an extraordinary diversity of aging strategies in organisms ranging from short-lived species to "immortal" animals and plants. Research on the biological processes of aging is at the brink of a revolution with respect to our understanding of its underlying mechanisms as well as our ability to prevent and cure a wide variety of age-related pathologies. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Domestication as a model system for the extended evolutionary synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeder, Melinda A

    2017-10-06

    One of the challenges in evaluating arguments for extending the conceptual framework of evolutionary biology involves the identification of a tractable model system that allows for an assessment of the core assumptions of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES). The domestication of plants and animals by humans provides one such case study opportunity. Here, I consider domestication as a model system for exploring major tenets of the EES. First I discuss the novel insights that niche construction theory (NCT, one of the pillars of the EES) provides into the domestication processes, particularly as they relate to five key areas: coevolution, evolvability, ecological inheritance, cooperation and the pace of evolutionary change. This discussion is next used to frame testable predictions about initial domestication of plants and animals that contrast with those grounded in standard evolutionary theory, demonstrating how these predictions might be tested in multiple regions where initial domestication took place. I then turn to a broader consideration of how domestication provides a model case study consideration of the different ways in which the core assumptions of the EES strengthen and expand our understanding of evolution, including reciprocal causation, developmental processes as drivers of evolutionary change, inclusive inheritance, and the tempo and rate of evolutionary change.

  15. Biological Treatment of tannery wastewater using activated sludge process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haydar, S.; Aziz, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of Activated Sludge Process (ASP) for the treatment of tannery wastewater and to develop a simple design criteria under local conditions. A bench scale model comprising of an aeration tank and final clarifier was used for this purpose. The model was operated continuously for 267 days. Settled tannery wastewater was used as influent to the aeration tank. Five days Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of the influent and effluent were measured to find process efficiency at various mixed liquor volatile suspended solids (MLVSS) and hydraulic detention time. The results of the study demonstrated that an efficiency of above 90% and 80% for BOD5 and COD, respectively could be obtained if the ASP is operated at an MLVSS concentration of 3500 mg/L keeping an aeration time of 12 hours. (author)

  16. Biological removal of metal ions from aqueous process streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shumate, S.E. II; Strandberg, G.W.; Parrott, J.R. Jr.

    1978-01-01

    Aqueous waste streams from nuclear fuel processing operations may contain trace quantities of heavy metals such as uranium. Conventional chemical and physical treatment may be ineffective or very expensive when uranium concentrations in the range of 10 to 100 g/m 3 must be reduced to 1 g/m 3 or less. The ability of some microorganisms to adsorb or complex dissolved heavy metals offers an alternative treatment method. Uranium uptake by Saccharomyces cerevisiae NRRL Y-2574 and a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was examined to identify factors which might affect a process for the removal of uranium from wastewater streams. At uranium concentrations in the range of 10 to 500 g/m 3 , where the binding capacity of the biomass was not exceeded, temperature, pH, and initial uranium concentration were found to influence the rate of uranium uptake, but not the soluble uranium concentration at equilibrium. 6 figs

  17. Low cost materials of construction for biological processes: Proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-05-13

    The workshop was held, May 1993 in conjunction with the 15th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. The purpose of this workshop was to present information on the biomass to ethanol process in the context of materials selection and through presentation and discussion, identify promising avenues for future research. Six technical presentations were grouped into two sessions: process assessment and technology assessment. In the process assessment session, the group felt that the pretreatment area would require the most extensive materials research due the complex chemical, physical and thermal environment. Discussion centered around the possibility of metals being leached into the process stream and their effect on the fermentation mechanics. Linings were a strong option for pretreatment assuming the economics were favorable. Fermentation was considered an important area for research also, due to the unique complex of compounds and dual phases present. Erosion in feedstock handling equipment was identified as a minor concern. In the technology assessment session, methodologies in corrosion analysis were presented in addition to an overview of current coatings/linings technology. Widely practiced testing strategies, including ASTM methods, as well as novel procedures for micro-analysis of corrosion were discussed. Various coatings and linings, including polymers and ceramics, were introduced. The prevailing recommendations for testing included keeping the testing simple until the problem warranted a more detailed approach and developing standardized testing procedures to ensure the data was reproducible and applicable. The need to evaluate currently available materials such as coatings/linings, carbon/stainless steels, or fiberglass reinforced plastic was emphasized. It was agreed that economic evaluation of each material candidate must be an integral part of any research plan.

  18. Telomere biology in healthy aging and disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oeseburg, Hisko; de Boer, Rudolf A.; van Gilst, Wiek H.; van der Harst, Pim

    Aging is a biological process that affects most cells, organisms and species. Telomeres have been postulated as a universal biological clock that shortens in parallel with aging in cells. Telomeres are located at the end of the chromosomes and consist of an evolutionary conserved repetitive

  19. Development of biological coal gasification (MicGAS Process)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walia, D.S.; Srivastava, K.C.

    1994-10-01

    The overall goal of the project is to develop an advanced, clean coal biogasification (MicGAS) Process. The objectives of the research during FY 1993--94 were to: (1) enhance kinetics of methane production (biogasification, biomethanation) from Texas lignite (TxL) by the Mic-1 consortium isolated and developed at ARCTECH, (2) increase coal solids loading, (3) optimize medium composition, and (4) reduce retention time. A closer analysis of the results described here indicate that biomethanation of TxL at >5% solids loading is feasible through appropriate development of nutrient medium and further adaptation of the microorganisms involved in this process. Further understanding of the inhibitory factors and some biochemical manipulations to overcome those inhibitions will hasten the process considerably. Results are discussed on the following: products of biomethanation and enhance of methane production including: bacterial adaptation; effect of nutrient amendment substitutes; effects of solids loading; effect of initial pH of the culture medium; effect of hydrogen donors and carbon balance.

  20. Advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater by a novel integration of heterogeneous Fenton oxidation and biological process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Peng; Han, Hongjun; Zhuang, Haifeng; Hou, Baolin; Jia, Shengyong; Xu, Chunyan; Wang, Dexin

    2015-04-01

    Laboratorial scale experiments were conducted in order to investigate a novel system integrating heterogeneous Fenton oxidation (HFO) with anoxic moving bed biofilm reactor (ANMBBR) and biological aerated filter (BAF) process on advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater (CGW). The results indicated that HFO with the prepared catalyst (FeOx/SBAC, sewage sludge based activated carbon (SBAC) which loaded Fe oxides) played a key role in eliminating COD and COLOR as well as in improving the biodegradability of raw wastewater. The surface reaction and hydroxyl radicals (OH) oxidation were the mechanisms for FeOx/SBAC catalytic reaction. Compared with ANMBBR-BAF process, the integrated system was more effective in abating COD, BOD5, total phenols (TPs), total nitrogen (TN) and COLOR and could shorten the retention time. Therefore, the integrated system was a promising technology for engineering applications. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Conserving forest biological diversity: How the Montreal Process helps achieve sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Nelson; Guy Robertson; Kurt. Riitters

    2015-01-01

    Forests support a variety of ecosystems, species and genes — collectively referred to as biological diversity — along with important processes that tie these all together. With the growing recognition that biological diversity contributes to human welfare in a number of important ways such as providing food, medicine and fiber (provisioning services...

  2. Biologically-based signal processing system applied to noise removal for signal extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Chi Yung; Petrich, Loren I.

    2004-07-13

    The method and system described herein use a biologically-based signal processing system for noise removal for signal extraction. A wavelet transform may be used in conjunction with a neural network to imitate a biological system. The neural network may be trained using ideal data derived from physical principles or noiseless signals to determine to remove noise from the signal.

  3. Improved biological processes for the production of aryl sulfates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2017-01-01

    The present invention generally relates to the field of biotechnology as it applies to the production of aryl sulfates using recombinant host cells. More particularly, the present invention pertains to recombinant host cells comprising (e.g., expressing) a polypeptide having aryl sulfotransferase...... activity, wherein said recombinant host cells have been modified to have an increased uptake of sulfate compared to identical host cells that does not carry said modification. Further provided are processes for the production of aryl sulfates, such as zosteric acid, employing such recombinant host cells....

  4. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

    Describes evolutionary developmental psychology as the study of the genetic and ecological mechanisms that govern the development of social and cognitive competencies common to all human beings and the epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. Outlines basic assumptions and domains of…

  5. PhyloNet: a software package for analyzing and reconstructing reticulate evolutionary relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakhleh Luay

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenies, i.e., the evolutionary histories of groups of taxa, play a major role in representing the interrelationships among biological entities. Many software tools for reconstructing and evaluating such phylogenies have been proposed, almost all of which assume the underlying evolutionary history to be a tree. While trees give a satisfactory first-order approximation for many families of organisms, other families exhibit evolutionary mechanisms that cannot be represented by trees. Processes such as horizontal gene transfer (HGT, hybrid speciation, and interspecific recombination, collectively referred to as reticulate evolutionary events, result in networks, rather than trees, of relationships. Various software tools have been recently developed to analyze reticulate evolutionary relationships, which include SplitsTree4, LatTrans, EEEP, HorizStory, and T-REX. Results In this paper, we report on the PhyloNet software package, which is a suite of tools for analyzing reticulate evolutionary relationships, or evolutionary networks, which are rooted, directed, acyclic graphs, leaf-labeled by a set of taxa. These tools can be classified into four categories: (1 evolutionary network representation: reading/writing evolutionary networks in a newly devised compact form; (2 evolutionary network characterization: analyzing evolutionary networks in terms of three basic building blocks – trees, clusters, and tripartitions; (3 evolutionary network comparison: comparing two evolutionary networks in terms of topological dissimilarities, as well as fitness to sequence evolution under a maximum parsimony criterion; and (4 evolutionary network reconstruction: reconstructing an evolutionary network from a species tree and a set of gene trees. Conclusion The software package, PhyloNet, offers an array of utilities to allow for efficient and accurate analysis of evolutionary networks. The software package will help significantly in

  6. PhyloNet: a software package for analyzing and reconstructing reticulate evolutionary relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Than, Cuong; Ruths, Derek; Nakhleh, Luay

    2008-07-28

    Phylogenies, i.e., the evolutionary histories of groups of taxa, play a major role in representing the interrelationships among biological entities. Many software tools for reconstructing and evaluating such phylogenies have been proposed, almost all of which assume the underlying evolutionary history to be a tree. While trees give a satisfactory first-order approximation for many families of organisms, other families exhibit evolutionary mechanisms that cannot be represented by trees. Processes such as horizontal gene transfer (HGT), hybrid speciation, and interspecific recombination, collectively referred to as reticulate evolutionary events, result in networks, rather than trees, of relationships. Various software tools have been recently developed to analyze reticulate evolutionary relationships, which include SplitsTree4, LatTrans, EEEP, HorizStory, and T-REX. In this paper, we report on the PhyloNet software package, which is a suite of tools for analyzing reticulate evolutionary relationships, or evolutionary networks, which are rooted, directed, acyclic graphs, leaf-labeled by a set of taxa. These tools can be classified into four categories: (1) evolutionary network representation: reading/writing evolutionary networks in a newly devised compact form; (2) evolutionary network characterization: analyzing evolutionary networks in terms of three basic building blocks - trees, clusters, and tripartitions; (3) evolutionary network comparison: comparing two evolutionary networks in terms of topological dissimilarities, as well as fitness to sequence evolution under a maximum parsimony criterion; and (4) evolutionary network reconstruction: reconstructing an evolutionary network from a species tree and a set of gene trees. The software package, PhyloNet, offers an array of utilities to allow for efficient and accurate analysis of evolutionary networks. The software package will help significantly in analyzing large data sets, as well as in studying the

  7. Evolutionary Finance

    OpenAIRE

    Igor V. Evstigneev; Thorsten Hens; Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary finance studies the dynamic interaction of investment strategies in financial markets. This market interaction generates a stochastic wealth dynamics on a heterogenous population of traders through the fluctuation of asset prices and their random payoffs. Asset prices are endogenously determined through short-term market clearing. Investors' portfolio choices are characterized by investment strategies which provide a descriptive model of decision behavior. The mathematical framew...

  8. Process for rapidly determining biological toxicity of wastewater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDowell, C.S.

    1986-11-04

    This patent describes a process for determining the quality of a wastewater solution or a solution of a specific chemical. The process comprises mixing microrganisms with a test solution, measuring the dissolved oxygen content in the test solution, and correlating dissolved oxygen content of the mixture with a standard solution. The improvement described here is for enhancing the sensitivity of the test while reducing the amount of time necessary to conduct a test which comprises: a. utilizing a bacterial culture in the form of a dried powder, the bacterial culture being capable of aerobic biodegradation of organic wastes; b. placing a preselected amount of the bacterial culture into a test vessel containing a preselected amount of aqueous waste which has been saturated with oxygen; c. measuring the dissolved oxygen content in the test sample as a function of time; d. determining the rate of dissolved oxygen decline at a preselected time, and; e. determining the ratio between the rate of dissolved oxygen decline at the preselected time and the rate of decline for a preselected baseline standard solution, and thereby determining the degree of inhibition of bacterial respiration or growth.

  9. How to Identify and Interpret Evolutionary Tree Diagrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Yi; Anderson, Trevor; Pelaez, Nancy

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary trees are key tools for modern biology and are commonly portrayed in textbooks to promote learning about biological evolution. However, many people have difficulty in understanding what evolutionary trees are meant to portray. In fact, some ideas that current professional biologists depict with evolutionary trees are neither clearly…

  10. The bacterial interlocked process ONtology (BiPON): a systemic multi-scale unified representation of biological processes in prokaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Vincent J; Goelzer, Anne; Ferré, Arnaud; Fischer, Stephan; Dinh, Marc; Loux, Valentin; Froidevaux, Christine; Fromion, Vincent

    2017-11-23

    High-throughput technologies produce huge amounts of heterogeneous biological data at all cellular levels. Structuring these data together with biological knowledge is a critical issue in biology and requires integrative tools and methods such as bio-ontologies to extract and share valuable information. In parallel, the development of recent whole-cell models using a systemic cell description opened alternatives for data integration. Integrating a systemic cell description within a bio-ontology would help to progress in whole-cell data integration and modeling synergistically. We present BiPON, an ontology integrating a multi-scale systemic representation of bacterial cellular processes. BiPON consists in of two sub-ontologies, bioBiPON and modelBiPON. bioBiPON organizes the systemic description of biological information while modelBiPON describes the mathematical models (including parameters) associated with biological processes. bioBiPON and modelBiPON are related using bridge rules on classes during automatic reasoning. Biological processes are thus automatically related to mathematical models. 37% of BiPON classes stem from different well-established bio-ontologies, while the others have been manually defined and curated. Currently, BiPON integrates the main processes involved in bacterial gene expression processes. BiPON is a proof of concept of the way to combine formally systems biology and bio-ontology. The knowledge formalization is highly flexible and generic. Most of the known cellular processes, new participants or new mathematical models could be inserted in BiPON. Altogether, BiPON opens up promising perspectives for knowledge integration and sharing and can be used by biologists, systems and computational biologists, and the emerging community of whole-cell modeling.

  11. Kinetics of quasi-isoenergetic transition processes in biological macromolecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrov, E.G.; Teslenko, V.I.

    2010-01-01

    A master equation describing the evolution of averaged molecular state occupancies in molecular systems where alternation of molecular energy levels is caused by discrete dichotomous and trichotomous stochastic fields, is derived. This study is focused on the kinetics of quasi-isoenergetic transition processes in the presence of moderately high frequency stochastic field. A novel physical mechanism for temperature-independent transitions in flexible molecular systems is proposed. This mechanism becomes effective when the conformation transitions between quasi-isoenergetic molecular states take place. At room temperatures, stochastic broadening of molecular energy levels predominates the energy of low-frequency vibrations accompanying the transition. This leads to a cancellation of the temperature dependence in the stochastically averaged rate constants. As examples, physical interpretations of the temperature-independent onset of P2X 3 receptor desensitization in neuronal membranes, as well as degradation of PER2 protein in embrionic fibroblasts, are provided.

  12. Reduced larval feeding rate is a strong evolutionary correlate of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    New Delhi 110 054, India; Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore 560 064, India; Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada; Department of Environmental Biology, ...

  13. Heat transfer and fluid flow in biological processes advances and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Becker, Sid

    2015-01-01

    Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow in Biological Processes covers emerging areas in fluid flow and heat transfer relevant to biosystems and medical technology. This book uses an interdisciplinary approach to provide a comprehensive prospective on biofluid mechanics and heat transfer advances and includes reviews of the most recent methods in modeling of flows in biological media, such as CFD. Written by internationally recognized researchers in the field, each chapter provides a strong introductory section that is useful to both readers currently in the field and readers interested in learning more about these areas. Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow in Biological Processes is an indispensable reference for professors, graduate students, professionals, and clinical researchers in the fields of biology, biomedical engineering, chemistry and medicine working on applications of fluid flow, heat transfer, and transport phenomena in biomedical technology. Provides a wide range of biological and clinical applications of fluid...

  14. Life's origin: the cosmic, planetary and biological processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scattergood, T.; Des Marais, D.; Jahnke, L.

    1987-01-01

    From elements formed in interstellar furnaces to humans peering back at the stars, the evolution of life has been a long, intricate and perhaps inevitable process. Life as we know it requires a planet orbiting a star at just the right distance so that water can exist in liquid form. It needs a rich supply of chemicals and energy sources. On Earth, the combination of chemistry and energy generated molecules that evolved ways of replicating themselves and of passing information from one generation to the next. Thus, the thread of life began. This chart traces the thread, maintained by DNA molecules for much of its history, as it weaves its way through the primitive oceans, gaining strength and diversity along the way. Organisms eventually moved onto the land, where advanced forms, including humans, ultimately arose. Finally, assisted by a technology of its own making, life has reached back out into space to understand its own origins, to expand into new realms, and to seek other living threads in the cosmos.

  15. Acute toxicity and chemical evaluation of coking wastewater under biological and advanced physicochemical treatment processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehua, Ma; Cong, Liu; Xiaobiao, Zhu; Rui, Liu; Lujun, Chen

    2016-09-01

    This study investigated the changes of toxic compounds in coking wastewater with biological treatment (anaerobic reactor, anoxic reactor and aerobic-membrane bioreactor, A1/A2/O-MBR) and advanced physicochemical treatment (Fenton oxidation and activated carbon adsorption) stages. As the biological treatment stages preceding, the inhibition effect of coking wastewater on the luminescence of Vibrio qinghaiensis sp. Nov. Q67 decreased. Toxic units (TU) of coking wastewater were removed by A1/A2/O-MBR treatment process, however approximately 30 % TU remained in the biologically treated effluent. There is a tendency that fewer and fewer residual organic compounds could exert equal acute toxicity during the biological treatment stages. Activated carbon adsorption further removed toxic pollutants of biologically treated effluent but the Fenton effluent increased acute toxicity. The composition of coking wastewater during the treatment was evaluated using the three-dimensional fluorescence spectra, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The organic compounds with high polarity were the main cause of acute toxicity in the coking wastewater. Aromatic protein-like matters in the coking wastewater with low biodegradability and high toxicity contributed mostly to the remaining acute toxicity of the biologically treated effluents. Chlorine generated from the oxidation process was responsible for the acute toxicity increase after Fenton oxidation. Therefore, the incorporation of appropriate advanced physicochemical treatment process, e.g., activated carbon adsorption, should be implemented following biological treatment processes to meet the stricter discharge standards and be safer to the environment.

  16. A Simple General Model of Evolutionary Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurner, Stefan

    Evolution is a process in which some variations that emerge within a population (of, e.g., biological species or industrial goods) get selected, survive, and proliferate, whereas others vanish. Survival probability, proliferation, or production rates are associated with the "fitness" of a particular variation. We argue that the notion of fitness is an a posteriori concept in the sense that one can assign higher fitness to species or goods that survive but one can generally not derive or predict fitness per se. Whereas proliferation rates can be measured, fitness landscapes, that is, the inter-dependence of proliferation rates, cannot. For this reason we think that in a physical theory of evolution such notions should be avoided. Here we review a recent quantitative formulation of evolutionary dynamics that provides a framework for the co-evolution of species and their fitness landscapes (Thurner et al., 2010, Physica A 389, 747; Thurner et al., 2010, New J. Phys. 12, 075029; Klimek et al., 2009, Phys. Rev. E 82, 011901 (2010). The corresponding model leads to a generic evolutionary dynamics characterized by phases of relative stability in terms of diversity, followed by phases of massive restructuring. These dynamical modes can be interpreted as punctuated equilibria in biology, or Schumpeterian business cycles (Schumpeter, 1939, Business Cycles, McGraw-Hill, London) in economics. We show that phase transitions that separate phases of high and low diversity can be approximated surprisingly well by mean-field methods. We demonstrate that the mathematical framework is suited to understand systemic properties of evolutionary systems, such as their proneness to collapse, or their potential for diversification. The framework suggests that evolutionary processes are naturally linked to self-organized criticality and to properties of production matrices, such as their eigenvalue spectra. Even though the model is phrased in general terms it is also practical in the sense

  17. An evolutionary ecology of individual differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall, Sasha R. X.; Bell, Alison M.; Bolnick, Daniel I.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals often differ in what they do. This has been recognised since antiquity. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary significance of such variation is attracting widespread interest, which is burgeoning to an extent that is fragmenting the literature. As a first attempt at synthesis, we focus on individual differences in behaviour within populations that exceed the day-to-day variation in individual behaviour (i.e. behavioural specialisation). Indeed, the factors promoting ecologically relevant behavioural specialisation within natural populations are likely to have far-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences. We discuss such individual differences from three distinct perspectives: individual niche specialisations, the division of labour within insect societies and animal personality variation. In the process, while recognising that each area has its own unique motivations, we identify a number of opportunities for productive ‘crossfertilisation’ among the (largely independent) bodies of work. We conclude that a complete understanding of evolutionarily and ecologically relevant individual differences must specify how ecological interactions impact the basic biological process (e.g. Darwinian selection, development and information processing) that underpin the organismal features determining behavioural specialisations. Moreover, there is likely to be covariation amongst behavioural specialisations. Thus, we sketch the key elements of a general framework for studying the evolutionary ecology of individual differences. PMID:22897772

  18. Patterns of genetic variability and habitat occupancy in Crepis triasii (Asteraceae) at different spatial scales: insights on evolutionary processes leading to diversification in continental islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayol, Maria; Palau, Carles; Rosselló, Josep A; González-Martínez, Santiago C; Molins, Arántzazu; Riba, Miquel

    2012-02-01

    Archipelagos are unique systems for studying evolutionary processes promoting diversification and speciation. The islands of the Mediterranean basin are major areas of plant richness, including a high proportion of narrow endemics. Many endemic plants are currently found in rocky habitats, showing varying patterns of habitat occupancy at different spatial scales throughout their range. The aim of the present study was to understand the impact of varying patterns of population distribution on genetic diversity and structure to shed light on demographic and evolutionary processes leading to population diversification in Crepis triasii, an endemic plant from the eastern Balearic Islands. Using allozyme and chloroplast markers, we related patterns of genetic structure and diversity to those of habitat occupancy at a regional (between islands and among populations within islands) and landscape (population size and connectivity) scale. Genetic diversity was highly structured both at the regional and at the landscape level, and was positively correlated with population connectivity in the landscape. Populations located in small isolated mountains and coastal areas, with restricted patterns of regional occupancy, were genetically less diverse and much more differentiated. In addition, more isolated populations had stronger fine-scale genetic structure than well-connected ones. Changes in habitat availability and quality arising from marine transgressions during the Quaternary, as well as progressive fragmentation associated with the aridification of the climate since the last glaciation, are the most plausible factors leading to the observed patterns of genetic diversity and structure. Our results emphasize the importance of gene flow in preventing genetic erosion and maintaining the evolutionary potential of populations. They also agree with recent studies highlighting the importance of restricted gene flow and genetic drift as drivers of plant evolution in Mediterranean

  19. Stochastic processes, multiscale modeling, and numerical methods for computational cellular biology

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

    This book focuses on the modeling and mathematical analysis of stochastic dynamical systems along with their simulations. The collected chapters will review fundamental and current topics and approaches to dynamical systems in cellular biology. This text aims to develop improved mathematical and computational methods with which to study biological processes. At the scale of a single cell, stochasticity becomes important due to low copy numbers of biological molecules, such as mRNA and proteins that take part in biochemical reactions driving cellular processes. When trying to describe such biological processes, the traditional deterministic models are often inadequate, precisely because of these low copy numbers. This book presents stochastic models, which are necessary to account for small particle numbers and extrinsic noise sources. The complexity of these models depend upon whether the biochemical reactions are diffusion-limited or reaction-limited. In the former case, one needs to adopt the framework of s...

  20. Theoretical Approaches in Evolutionary Ecology: Environmental Feedback as a Unifying Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, Sébastien

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary biology and ecology have a strong theoretical underpinning, and this has fostered a variety of modeling approaches. A major challenge of this theoretical work has been to unravel the tangled feedback loop between ecology and evolution. This has prompted the development of two main classes of models. While quantitative genetics models jointly consider the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a focal population, a separation of timescales between ecology and evolution is assumed by evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, and inclusive fitness theory. As a result, theoretical evolutionary ecology tends to be divided among different schools of thought, with different toolboxes and motivations. My aim in this synthesis is to highlight the connections between these different approaches and clarify the current state of theory in evolutionary ecology. Central to this approach is to make explicit the dependence on environmental dynamics of the population and evolutionary dynamics, thereby materializing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. This perspective sheds light on the interplay between environmental feedback and the timescales of ecological and evolutionary processes. I conclude by discussing some potential extensions and challenges to our current theoretical understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  1. Modern application of evolutionary theory to psychology: key concepts and clarifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, Aaron T; Shackelford, Todd K

    2006-01-01

    Darwinian selection has become the centerpiece of biology, and in the past few decades many psychologists and anthropologists have recognized the value of using an evolutionary perspective to guide their work. With a focus on evolved psychological mechanisms and associated information processing features, evolutionary psychology has risen as a compelling and fruitful approach to the study of human psychology and behavior. In this article we review the instrument of evolution: natural selection, the products of evolution, and the impact of evolutionary thinking on modern psychological science. We conclude that as prejudicial barriers are overcome, as more evolutionary psychological work is conducted, and as hypothesized psychological mechanisms are substantiated in other disciplines, evolutionary psychology will emerge as the metatheory for psychology.

  2. The concept of ageing in evolutionary algorithms: Discussion and inspirations for human ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimopoulos, Christos; Papageorgis, Panagiotis; Boustras, George; Efstathiades, Christodoulos

    2017-04-01

    This paper discusses the concept of ageing as this applies to the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms, and examines its relationship to the concept of ageing as this is understood for human beings. Evolutionary Algorithms constitute a family of search algorithms which base their operation on an analogy from the evolution of species in nature. The paper initially provides the necessary knowledge on the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms, focusing on the use of ageing strategies during the implementation of the evolutionary process. Background knowledge on the concept of ageing, as this is defined scientifically for biological systems, is subsequently presented. Based on this information, the paper provides a comparison between the two ageing concepts, and discusses the philosophical inspirations which can be drawn for human ageing based on the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Evolutionary algorithms and synthetic biology for directed evolution: commentary on "on the mapping of genotype to phenotype in evolutionary algorithms" by Peter A. Whigham, Grant Dick, and James Maclaurin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas B

    2017-01-01

    I rehearse two issues around the commentary of Whigham and colleagues. (1) There really are many more reasons than those given as to why natural evolution cannot reasonably find or select the 'optimal' individual. (2) A series of experimental molecular biology programmes, known generically as directed evolution, can use operators and selection schemes that natural evolution cannot. When developed further using the methods of synthetic biology, there are no operators or schemes for in silico evolution that cannot be applied precisely to directed evolution. The issues raised apply only to natural evolution but not to directed evolution.

  4. Removal of reactive blue 19 from wastewaters by physicochemical and biological processes - a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siddique, M.; Farooq, R.; Shaheen, A.

    2011-01-01

    The developments for the removal of reactive blue 19 dye (RB 19) by various physicochemical methods such as sonolysis, photo catalysis, electrochemical, ozonolysis, adsorption, hydrolysis and biological methods like microbial degradation, bio sorption, chemical and biological reductive decolorisation has been presented. It was found that none of the individual physical and chemical technique can be used in wastewater treatment with good economics and high energy efficiency. For example, the application of adsorption method is restricted as adsorbent materials requires frequent regenerations; ozonolysis and photo catalysis processes can efficiently decolorize and degrade the dye but these face operational difficulties are not cost effective. Similarly the performance of biological treatment processes is required to enhance by developing efficient strains of bacteria, fungi. The comparison of physiochemical and biological treatment of RB 19 dye suggested that biological treatment of RB 19 dye is comparatively cost-effective process. However, the integrated approach can be used to decolorize and degrade the dye by combining both physicochemical and biological processes. (author)

  5. Evolutionary computation for reinforcement learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whiteson, S.; Wiering, M.; van Otterlo, M.

    2012-01-01

    Algorithms for evolutionary computation, which simulate the process of natural selection to solve optimization problems, are an effective tool for discovering high-performing reinforcement-learning policies. Because they can automatically find good representations, handle continuous action spaces,

  6. Simulation and Analysis of Complex Biological Processes: an Organisation Modelling Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Jonker, C.M.; Treur, J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores how the dynamics of complex biological processes can be modelled and simulated as an organisation of multiple agents. This modelling perspective identifies organisational structure occurring in complex decentralised processes and handles complexity of the analysis of the dynamics

  7. WE-DE-202-03: Modeling of Biological Processes - What Happens After Early Molecular Damage?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McMahon, S.

    2016-01-01

    Radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer has been established as a highly precise and effective way to eradicate a localized region of diseased tissue. To achieve further significant gains in the therapeutic ratio, we need to move towards biologically optimized treatment planning. To achieve this goal, we need to understand how the radiation-type dependent patterns of induced energy depositions within the cell (physics) connect via molecular, cellular and tissue reactions to treatment outcome such as tumor control and undesirable effects on normal tissue. Several computational biology approaches have been developed connecting physics to biology. Monte Carlo simulations are the most accurate method to calculate physical dose distributions at the nanometer scale, however simulations at the DNA scale are slow and repair processes are generally not simulated. Alternative models that rely on the random formation of individual DNA lesions within one or two turns of the DNA have been shown to reproduce the clusters of DNA lesions, including single strand breaks (SSBs), double strand breaks (DSBs) without the need for detailed track structure simulations. Efficient computational simulations of initial DNA damage induction facilitate computational modeling of DNA repair and other molecular and cellular processes. Mechanistic, multiscale models provide a useful conceptual framework to test biological hypotheses and help connect fundamental information about track structure and dosimetry at the sub-cellular level to dose-response effects on larger scales. In this symposium we will learn about the current state of the art of computational approaches estimating radiation damage at the cellular and sub-cellular scale. How can understanding the physics interactions at the DNA level be used to predict biological outcome? We will discuss if and how such calculations are relevant to advance our understanding of radiation damage and its repair, or, if the underlying biological

  8. Moving beyond a descriptive aquatic toxicology: the value of biological process and trait information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segner, Helmut

    2011-10-01

    In order to improve the ability to link chemical exposure to toxicological and ecological effects, aquatic toxicology will have to move from observing what chemical concentrations induce adverse effects to more explanatory approaches, that are concepts which build on knowledge of biological processes and pathways leading from exposure to adverse effects, as well as on knowledge on stressor vulnerability as given by the genetic, physiological and ecological (e.g., life history) traits of biota. Developing aquatic toxicology in this direction faces a number of challenges, including (i) taking into account species differences in toxicant responses on the basis of the evolutionarily developed diversity of phenotypic vulnerability to environmental stressors, (ii) utilizing diversified biological response profiles to serve as biological read across for prioritizing chemicals, categorizing them according to modes of action, and for guiding targeted toxicity evaluation; (iii) prediction of ecological consequences of toxic exposure from knowledge of how biological processes and phenotypic traits lead to effect propagation across the levels of biological hierarchy; and (iv) the search for concepts to assess the cumulative impact of multiple stressors. An underlying theme in these challenges is that, in addition to the question of what the chemical does to the biological receptor, we should give increasing emphasis to the question how the biological receptor handles the chemicals, i.e., through which pathways the initial chemical-biological interaction extends to the adverse effects, how this extension is modulated by adaptive or compensatory processes as well as by phenotypic traits of the biological receptor. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. On the analysis of complex biological supply chains: From Process Systems Engineering to Quantitative Systems Pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Rohit T; Scherholz, Megerle L; Hartmanshenn, Clara; Bae, Seul-A; Androulakis, Ioannis P

    2017-12-05

    The use of models in biology has become particularly relevant as it enables investigators to develop a mechanistic framework for understanding the operating principles of living systems as well as in quantitatively predicting their response to both pathological perturbations and pharmacological interventions. This application has resulted in a synergistic convergence of systems biology and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling techniques that has led to the emergence of quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP). In this review, we discuss how the foundational principles of chemical process systems engineering inform the progressive development of more physiologically-based systems biology models.

  10. Operation and control of SBR processes for enhanced biological nutrient removal from wastewater

    OpenAIRE

    Puig Broch, Sebastià

    2008-01-01

    In the last decades, the awareness of environmental issues has increased in society considerably. There is an increasing need to improve the effluent quality of domestic wastewater treatment processes. This thesis describes the application of the Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) technology for Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) from the wastewater. In particular, the work presented evolves from the nitrogen removal to the biological nutrient removal (i.e. nitrogen plus phosphorous removal) with ...

  11. Evolutionary dynamics in structured populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Tarnita, Corina E.; Antal, Tibor

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary dynamics shape the living world around us. At the centre of every evolutionary process is a population of reproducing individuals. The structure of that population affects evolutionary dynamics. The individuals can be molecules, cells, viruses, multicellular organisms or humans. Whenever the fitness of individuals depends on the relative abundance of phenotypes in the population, we are in the realm of evolutionary game theory. Evolutionary game theory is a general approach that can describe the competition of species in an ecosystem, the interaction between hosts and parasites, between viruses and cells, and also the spread of ideas and behaviours in the human population. In this perspective, we review the recent advances in evolutionary game dynamics with a particular emphasis on stochastic approaches in finite sized and structured populations. We give simple, fundamental laws that determine how natural selection chooses between competing strategies. We study the well-mixed population, evolutionary graph theory, games in phenotype space and evolutionary set theory. We apply these results to the evolution of cooperation. The mechanism that leads to the evolution of cooperation in these settings could be called ‘spatial selection’: cooperators prevail against defectors by clustering in physical or other spaces. PMID:20008382

  12. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    I am particularly happy that the Academy is bringing out this document by Professor M S. Valiathan on Ayurvedic Biology. It is an effort to place before the scientific community, especially that of India, the unique scientific opportunities that arise out of viewing Ayurveda from the perspective of contemporary science, its tools ...

  13. Landauer in the Age of Synthetic Biology: Energy Consumption and Information Processing in Biochemical Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj; Lang, Alex H.; Schwab, David J.

    2016-03-01

    A central goal of synthetic biology is to design sophisticated synthetic cellular circuits that can perform complex computations and information processing tasks in response to specific inputs. The tremendous advances in our ability to understand and manipulate cellular information processing networks raises several fundamental physics questions: How do the molecular components of cellular circuits exploit energy consumption to improve information processing? Can one utilize ideas from thermodynamics to improve the design of synthetic cellular circuits and modules? Here, we summarize recent theoretical work addressing these questions. Energy consumption in cellular circuits serves five basic purposes: (1) increasing specificity, (2) manipulating dynamics, (3) reducing variability, (4) amplifying signal, and (5) erasing memory. We demonstrate these ideas using several simple examples and discuss the implications of these theoretical ideas for the emerging field of synthetic biology. We conclude by discussing how it may be possible to overcome these limitations using "post-translational" synthetic biology that exploits reversible protein modification.

  14. Effect of Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning on Non-majors Biology Students' Understanding of Biological Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Breann M.

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) on non-majors college biology students' understanding of biological classification. This study addressed an area of science instruction, POGIL in the non-majors college biology laboratory, which has yet to be qualitatively and quantitatively researched. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods approach was used. Students' understanding of biological classification was measured in two areas: scores on pre and posttests (consisting of 11 multiple choice questions), and conceptions of classification as elicited in pre and post interviews and instructor reflections. Participants were Minnesota State University, Mankato students enrolled in BIOL 100 Summer Session. One section was taught with the traditional curriculum (n = 6) and the other section in the POGIL curriculum (n = 10) developed by the researcher. Three students from each section were selected to take part in pre and post interviews. There were no significant differences within each teaching method (p group may have scored higher on the posttest (M = 8.830 +/- .477 vs. M = 7.330 +/- .330; z =-1.729, p = .084) and the traditional group may have scored higher on the pretest than the posttest (M = 8.333 +/- .333 vs M = 7.333 +/- .333; z = -1.650 , p = .099). Two themes emerged after the interviews and instructor reflections: 1) After instruction students had a more extensive understanding of classification in three areas: vocabulary terms, physical characteristics, and types of evidence used to classify. Both groups extended their understanding, but only POGIL students could explain how molecular evidence is used in classification. 2) The challenges preventing students from understanding classification were: familiar animal categories and aquatic habitats, unfamiliar organisms, combining and subdividing initial groupings, and the hierarchical nature of classification. The POGIL students were the only group to

  15. An overview of biological processes and their potential for CO2 capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goli, Amin; Shamiri, Ahmad; Talaiekhozani, Amirreza; Eshtiaghi, Nicky; Aghamohammadi, Nasrin; Aroua, Mohamed Kheireddine

    2016-12-01

    The extensive amount of available information on global warming suggests that this issue has become prevalent worldwide. Majority of countries have issued laws and policies in response to this concern by requiring their industrial sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2. Thus, introducing new and more effective treatment methods, such as biological techniques, is crucial to control the emission of greenhouse gases. Many studies have demonstrated CO2 fixation using photo-bioreactors and raceway ponds, but a comprehensive review is yet to be published on biological CO2 fixation. A comprehensive review of CO2 fixation through biological process is presented in this paper as biological processes are ideal to control both organic and inorganic pollutants. This process can also cover the classification of methods, functional mechanisms, designs, and their operational parameters, which are crucial for efficient CO2 fixation. This review also suggests the bio-trickling filter process as an appropriate approach in CO2 fixation to assist in creating a pollution-free environment. Finally, this paper introduces optimum designs, growth rate models, and CO2 fixation of microalgae, functions, and operations in biological CO2 fixation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Scalable Computing for Evolutionary Genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prins, J.C.P.; Belhachemi, D.; Möller, S.; Smant, G.

    2012-01-01

    Genomic data analysis in evolutionary biology is becoming so computationally intensive that analysis of multiple hypotheses and scenarios takes too long on a single desktop computer. In this chapter, we discuss techniques for scaling computations through parallelization of calculations, after giving

  17. Evolutionary Computing Methods for Spectral Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrile, Richard; Fink, Wolfgang; Huntsberger, Terrance; Lee, Seugwon; Tisdale, Edwin; VonAllmen, Paul; Tinetti, Geivanna

    2009-01-01

    A methodology for processing spectral images to retrieve information on underlying physical, chemical, and/or biological phenomena is based on evolutionary and related computational methods implemented in software. In a typical case, the solution (the information that one seeks to retrieve) consists of parameters of a mathematical model that represents one or more of the phenomena of interest. The methodology was developed for the initial purpose of retrieving the desired information from spectral image data acquired by remote-sensing instruments aimed at planets (including the Earth). Examples of information desired in such applications include trace gas concentrations, temperature profiles, surface types, day/night fractions, cloud/aerosol fractions, seasons, and viewing angles. The methodology is also potentially useful for retrieving information on chemical and/or biological hazards in terrestrial settings. In this methodology, one utilizes an iterative process that minimizes a fitness function indicative of the degree of dissimilarity between observed and synthetic spectral and angular data. The evolutionary computing methods that lie at the heart of this process yield a population of solutions (sets of the desired parameters) within an accuracy represented by a fitness-function value specified by the user. The evolutionary computing methods (ECM) used in this methodology are Genetic Algorithms and Simulated Annealing, both of which are well-established optimization techniques and have also been described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. These are embedded in a conceptual framework, represented in the architecture of the implementing software, that enables automatic retrieval of spectral and angular data and analysis of the retrieved solutions for uniqueness.

  18. Genomic regression of claw keratin, taste receptor and light-associated genes provides insights into biology and evolutionary origins of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerling, Christopher A

    2017-10-01

    Regressive evolution of anatomical traits often corresponds with the regression of genomic loci underlying such characters. As such, studying patterns of gene loss can be instrumental in addressing questions of gene function, resolving conflicting results from anatomical studies, and understanding the evolutionary history of clades. The evolutionary origins of snakes involved the regression of a number of anatomical traits, including limbs, taste buds and the visual system, and by analyzing serpent genomes, I was able to test three hypotheses associated with the regression of these features. The first concerns two keratins that are putatively specific to claws. Both genes that encode these keratins are pseudogenized/deleted in snake genomes, providing additional evidence of claw-specificity. The second hypothesis is that snakes lack taste buds, an issue complicated by conflicting results in the literature. I found evidence that different snakes have lost one or more taste receptors, but all snakes examined retained at least one gustatory channel. The final hypothesis addressed is that the earliest snakes were adapted to a dim light niche. I found evidence of deleted and pseudogenized genes with light-associated functions in snakes, demonstrating a pattern of gene loss similar to other dim light-adapted clades. Molecular dating estimates suggest that dim light adaptation preceded the loss of limbs, providing some bearing on interpretations of the ecological origins of snakes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Impaired global, and compensatory local, biological motion processing in people with high levels of autistic traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeroen J A Van Boxtel

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD are hypothesized to have poor high-level processing but superior low-level processing, causing impaired social recognition, and a focus on non-social stimulus contingencies. Biological motion perception provides an ideal domain to investigate exactly how ASD modulates the interaction between low and high-level processing, because it involves multiple processing stages, and carries many important social cues. We investigated individual differences among typically developing observers in biological motion processing, and whether such individual differences associate with the number of autistic traits. In Experiment 1, we found that individuals with fewer autistic traits were automatically and involuntarily attracted to global biological motion information, whereas individuals with more autistic traits did not show this pre-attentional distraction. We employed an action adaptation paradigm in the second study to show that individuals with more autistic traits were able to compensate for deficits in global processing with an increased involvement in local processing. Our findings can be interpreted within a predictive coding framework, which characterizes the functional relationship between local and global processing stages, and explains how these stages contribute to the perceptual difficulties associated with ASD.

  20. Brushing Your Spacecrafts Teeth: A Review of Biological Reduction Processes for Planetary Protection Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugel, D.E. (Betsy); Rummel, J. D.; Conley, C. A.

    2017-01-01

    Much like keeping your teeth clean, where you brush away biofilms that your dentist calls plaque, there are various methods to clean spaceflight hardware of biological contamination, known as biological reduction processes. Different approaches clean your hardwares teeth in different ways and with different levels of effectiveness. We know that brushing at home with a simple toothbrush is convenient and has a different level of impact vs. getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist. In the same way, there are some approaches to biological reduction that may require simple tools or more complex implementation approaches (think about sonicating or just soaking your dentures, vs. brushing them). There are also some that are more effective for different degrees of cleanliness and still some that have materials compatibility concerns. In this article, we review known and NASA-certified approaches for biological reduction, pointing out materials compatibility concerns and areas where additional research is needed.