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Sample records for evolutionary biology electronic

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. Biochemistry and evolutionary biology

    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 ...

  8. [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

  9. 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:

  10. Evolutionary perspectives into placental biology and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward B. Chuong

    2013-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ...

  14. Biology Needs Evolutionary Software Tools: Let’s Build Them Right

    Science.gov (United States)

    Team, Galaxy; Goecks, Jeremy; Taylor, James

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Research in population genetics and evolutionary biology has always provided a computational backbone for life sciences as a whole. Today evolutionary and population biology reasoning are essential for interpretation of large complex datasets that are characteristic of all domains of today’s life sciences ranging from cancer biology to microbial ecology. This situation makes algorithms and software tools developed by our community more important than ever before. This means that we, developers of software tool for molecular evolutionary analyses, now have a shared responsibility to make these tools accessible using modern technological developments as well as provide adequate documentation and training. PMID:29688462

  15. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-07-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This second essay continues the reflection on this problem through an exploration of the extra-biological factors and how they effect human moral development—a facet which is only too obvious, but which the evolutionary approach sidelines in its desperate effort to put up purely biological accounts of morality and ethics.

  1. Evolutionary biology: a basic science for medicine in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlman, Robert L

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary biology was a poorly developed discipline at the time of the Flexner Report and was not included in Flexner's recommendations for premedical or medical education. Since that time, however, the value of an evolutionary approach to medicine has become increasingly recognized. There are several ways in which an evolutionary perspective can enrich medical education and improve medical practice. Evolutionary considerations rationalize our continued susceptibility or vulnerability to disease; they call attention to the idea that the signs and symptoms of disease may be adaptations that prevent or limit the severity of disease; they help us understand the ways in which our interventions may affect the evolution of microbial pathogens and of cancer cells; and they provide a framework for thinking about population variation and risk factors for disease. Evolutionary biology should become a foundational science for the medical education of the future.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Nanoscopical dissection of ancestral nucleoli in Archaea: a case of study in Evolutionary Cell Biology

    KAUST Repository

    Islas Morales, Parsifal

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary cell biology (ECB) has raised increasing attention in the last decades. Is this a new discipline and an historical opportunity to combine functional and evolutionary biology towards the insight that cell

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. On the Interplay between the Evolvability and Network Robustness in an Evolutionary Biological Network: A Systems Biology Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2011-01-01

    In the evolutionary process, the random transmission and mutation of genes provide biological diversities for natural selection. In order to preserve functional phenotypes between generations, gene networks need to evolve robustly under the influence of random perturbations. Therefore, the robustness of the phenotype, in the evolutionary process, exerts a selection force on gene networks to keep network functions. However, gene networks need to adjust, by variations in genetic content, to generate phenotypes for new challenges in the network’s evolution, ie, the evolvability. Hence, there should be some interplay between the evolvability and network robustness in evolutionary gene networks. In this study, the interplay between the evolvability and network robustness of a gene network and a biochemical network is discussed from a nonlinear stochastic system point of view. It was found that if the genetic robustness plus environmental robustness is less than the network robustness, the phenotype of the biological network is robust in evolution. The tradeoff between the genetic robustness and environmental robustness in evolution is discussed from the stochastic stability robustness and sensitivity of the nonlinear stochastic biological network, which may be relevant to the statistical tradeoff between bias and variance, the so-called bias/variance dilemma. Further, the tradeoff could be considered as an antagonistic pleiotropic action of a gene network and discussed from the systems biology perspective. PMID:22084563

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Thermodynamics, ecology and evolutionary biology: A bridge over troubled water or common ground?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skene, Keith R.

    2017-11-01

    This paper addresses a key issue confronting ecological and evolutionary biology, namely the challenge of a cohesive approach to these fields given significant differences in the concepts and foundations of their study. Yet these two areas of scientific research are paramount in terms addressing the spatial and temporal dynamics and distribution of diversity, an understanding of which is needed if we are to resolve the current crisis facing the biosphere. The importance of understanding how nature responds to change is now of essential rather than of metaphysical interest as our planet struggles with increasing anthropogenic damage. Ecology and evolutionary biology can no longer remain disjointed. While some progress has been made in terms of synthetic thinking across these areas, this has often been in terms of bridge building, where thinking in one aspect is extended over to the other side. We review these bridges and the success or otherwise of such efforts. This paper then suggests that in order to move from a descriptive to a mechanistic understanding of the biosphere, we may need to re-evaluate our approach to the studies of ecology and evolutionary biology, finding a common denominator that will enable us to address the critical issues facing us, particularly in terms of understanding what drives change, what determines tempo and how communities function. Common ground, we argue, is essential if we are to comprehend how resilience operates in the natural world and how diversification can counter increasing extinction rates. This paper suggests that thermodynamics may provide a bridge between ecology and evolutionary biology, and that this will enable us to move forward with otherwise intractable problems.

  17. Comparative Ecophysiology and Evolutionary Biology of Island and Mainland Chaparral Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Ramirez, Aaron Robert

    2015-01-01

    The unique nature of island ecosystems have fascinated generations of naturalists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists. Studying island systems led to the development of keystone biological theories including: Darwin and Wallace's theories of natural selection, Carlquist's insights into the biology of adaptive radiations, MacArthur and Wilson's theory of island biogeography, and many others. Utilizing islands as natural laboratories allows us to discover the underlying fabric of ecology a...

  18. 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.

  19. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 21; Issue 9. Evolutionary Stable Strategy: Application of Nash Equilibrium in Biology. General Article Volume 21 Issue 9 September 2016 pp 803- ... Keywords. Evolutionary game theory, evolutionary stable state, conflict, cooperation, biological games.

  20. An evolutionary firefly algorithm for the estimation of nonlinear biological model parameters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afnizanfaizal Abdullah

    Full Text Available The development of accurate computational models of biological processes is fundamental to computational systems biology. These models are usually represented by mathematical expressions that rely heavily on the system parameters. The measurement of these parameters is often difficult. Therefore, they are commonly estimated by fitting the predicted model to the experimental data using optimization methods. The complexity and nonlinearity of the biological processes pose a significant challenge, however, to the development of accurate and fast optimization methods. We introduce a new hybrid optimization method incorporating the Firefly Algorithm and the evolutionary operation of the Differential Evolution method. The proposed method improves solutions by neighbourhood search using evolutionary procedures. Testing our method on models for the arginine catabolism and the negative feedback loop of the p53 signalling pathway, we found that it estimated the parameters with high accuracy and within a reasonable computation time compared to well-known approaches, including Particle Swarm Optimization, Nelder-Mead, and Firefly Algorithm. We have also verified the reliability of the parameters estimated by the method using an a posteriori practical identifiability test.

  1. An evolutionary firefly algorithm for the estimation of nonlinear biological model parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Afnizanfaizal; Deris, Safaai; Anwar, Sohail; Arjunan, Satya N V

    2013-01-01

    The development of accurate computational models of biological processes is fundamental to computational systems biology. These models are usually represented by mathematical expressions that rely heavily on the system parameters. The measurement of these parameters is often difficult. Therefore, they are commonly estimated by fitting the predicted model to the experimental data using optimization methods. The complexity and nonlinearity of the biological processes pose a significant challenge, however, to the development of accurate and fast optimization methods. We introduce a new hybrid optimization method incorporating the Firefly Algorithm and the evolutionary operation of the Differential Evolution method. The proposed method improves solutions by neighbourhood search using evolutionary procedures. Testing our method on models for the arginine catabolism and the negative feedback loop of the p53 signalling pathway, we found that it estimated the parameters with high accuracy and within a reasonable computation time compared to well-known approaches, including Particle Swarm Optimization, Nelder-Mead, and Firefly Algorithm. We have also verified the reliability of the parameters estimated by the method using an a posteriori practical identifiability test.

  2. 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

    2018-03-01

    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' perceptions towards evolution, and studies can help to reveal those factors. We used a conceptual questionnaire, the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument, and a Knowledge test to assess (1) the level of acceptance and understanding of 23 undergraduate Biology students nearing the end of their course, (2) other factors that could affect these levels, including course structure, and (3) the most difficult topics regarding evolutionary biology. The results of this study showed that the students, on average, had a 'Very High Acceptance' (89.91) and a 'Very Low Knowledge' (59.42%) of Evolutionary theory, and also indicated a moderate positive correlation between the two (r = 0.66, p = .001). The most difficult topics were related to the definition of evolution and dating techniques. We believe that the present study provides evidence for policymakers to reformulate current school and university curricula in order to improve the teachers' acceptance and understanding of evolution and other biological concepts, consequently, helping students reduce their misconceptions related to evolutionary biology.

  3. 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......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...

  4. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Ganten, Detlev; Gregory, T Ryan; Omenn, Gilbert S

    2012-05-01

    Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but some major advances in evolutionary biology from the twentieth century that provide foundations for evolutionary medicine are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the need for both proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, competition between alleles, co-evolution, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are transforming evolutionary biology in ways that create even more opportunities for progress at its interfaces with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and related principles to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine.

  5. 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…

  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 Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hindi and English. Port 1. Resonance, Vo1.7 ... they use. Of course, many evolutionary biologists do work with fossils or DNA, or both, but there are also large numbers of ... The first major division that I like to make is between studies focussed ...

  8. Nanoscopical dissection of ancestral nucleoli in Archaea: a case of study in Evolutionary Cell Biology

    KAUST Repository

    Islas Morales, Parsifal

    2018-04-01

    Is the nucleolus a sine qua non condition of eukaryotes? The present project starts from this central question to contribute to our knowledge about the origin and the evolution of the cells. The nucleolus is a cryptic organelle that plays a central role in cell function. It is responsible for the orchestration of ribosomal RNA expression, maturation and modification in the regulatory context of cellular homeostasis. Ribosomal expression is undoubtedly the greatest transcriptional and regulatory activity of any cell. The nucleolus is not just a conventional organelle –membrane-limited-, but a magnificent transcriptional puff: a dichotomy between structure and process, form and function. What is the minimum nucleolus? Evolution should bring some light into these questions. Evolutionary cell biology (ECB) has raised increasing attention in the last decades. Is this a new discipline and an historical opportunity to combine functional and evolutionary biology towards the insight that cell evolution underlies organismic complexity? In the post-genomic era, we have developed the potential of combining high throughput acquisition of data with functional in situ and in sillico approaches: integration understood as omics approaches. Can this provide a real consilience between evolutionary and functional approaches? The reduced number of model organisms and cultivation techniques still excludes the majority of the extant diversity of cells from the scope of experimental inquiry. Furthermore, at the conceptual level, the simplification of evolutionary processes in biosciences still limits the conformation of a successful disciplinary link between functional and evolutionary biology. This limits the formulation of questions and experiments that properly address the mechanistic nature of cellular events that underlie microbial and organismic diversity and evolution. Here we provide a critical and comparative review to the historical background of ECB. This project takes the

  9. e-Biologics: Fabrication of Sustainable Electronics with "Green" Biological Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovley, Derek R

    2017-06-27

    The growing ubiquity of electronic devices is increasingly consuming substantial energy and rare resources for materials fabrication, as well as creating expansive volumes of toxic waste. This is not sustainable. Electronic biological materials (e-biologics) that are produced with microbes, or designed with microbial components as the guide for synthesis, are a potential green solution. Some e-biologics can be fabricated from renewable feedstocks with relatively low energy inputs, often while avoiding the harsh chemicals used for synthesizing more traditional electronic materials. Several are completely free of toxic components, can be readily recycled, and offer unique features not found in traditional electronic materials in terms of size, performance, and opportunities for diverse functionalization. An appropriate investment in the concerted multidisciplinary collaborative research required to identify and characterize e-biologics and to engineer materials and devices based on e-biologics could be rewarded with a new "green age" of sustainable electronic materials and devices. Copyright © 2017 Lovley.

  10. EvoluCode: Evolutionary Barcodes as a Unifying Framework for Multilevel Evolutionary Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linard, Benjamin; Nguyen, Ngoc Hoan; Prosdocimi, Francisco; Poch, Olivier; Thompson, Julie D

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary systems biology aims to uncover the general trends and principles governing the evolution of biological networks. An essential part of this process is the reconstruction and analysis of the evolutionary histories of these complex, dynamic networks. Unfortunately, the methodologies for representing and exploiting such complex evolutionary histories in large scale studies are currently limited. Here, we propose a new formalism, called EvoluCode (Evolutionary barCode), which allows the integration of different evolutionary parameters (eg, sequence conservation, orthology, synteny …) in a unifying format and facilitates the multilevel analysis and visualization of complex evolutionary histories at the genome scale. The advantages of the approach are demonstrated by constructing barcodes representing the evolution of the complete human proteome. Two large-scale studies are then described: (i) the mapping and visualization of the barcodes on the human chromosomes and (ii) automatic clustering of the barcodes to highlight protein subsets sharing similar evolutionary histories and their functional analysis. The methodologies developed here open the way to the efficient application of other data mining and knowledge extraction techniques in evolutionary systems biology studies. A database containing all EvoluCode data is available at: http://lbgi.igbmc.fr/barcodes.

  11. 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…

  12. Wireless Biological Electronic Sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yue

    2017-10-09

    The development of wireless biological electronic sensors could open up significant advances for both fundamental studies and practical applications in a variety of areas, including medical diagnosis, environmental monitoring, and defense applications. One of the major challenges in the development of wireless bioelectronic sensors is the successful integration of biosensing units and wireless signal transducers. In recent years, there are a few types of wireless communication systems that have been integrated with biosensing systems to construct wireless bioelectronic sensors. To successfully construct wireless biological electronic sensors, there are several interesting questions: What types of biosensing transducers can be used in wireless bioelectronic sensors? What types of wireless systems can be integrated with biosensing transducers to construct wireless bioelectronic sensors? How are the electrical sensing signals generated and transmitted? This review will highlight the early attempts to address these questions in the development of wireless biological electronic sensors.

  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 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).

  14. 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. This ...

  15. Burney J. Le Boeuf, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: Recollections of UCSC, 1966-1994

    OpenAIRE

    Reti, Irene H.; Burney, Le Boeuf J; Jarrell, Randall

    2014-01-01

    Burney Le Boeuf was born in southern Louisiana. He attended UC Berkeley, earning his PhD in experimental psychology in 1966. While at Berkeley, he also studied zoology and experimental biology. He arrived at UCSC in 1967 as a member of the psychology board and of Crown College. He already had a strong interest in evolutionary biology and participated in the biology board’s meetings as an outside member. He also began working with biology professor Richard Peterson on seal and sea lion researc...

  16. Peptide π-Electron Conjugates: Organic Electronics for Biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardoña, Herdeline Ann M; Tovar, John D

    2015-12-16

    Highly ordered arrays of π-conjugated molecules are often viewed as a prerequisite for effective charge-transporting materials. Studies involving these materials have traditionally focused on organic electronic devices, with more recent emphasis on biological systems. In order to facilitate the transition to biological environments, biomolecules that can promote hierarchical ordering and water solubility are often covalently appended to the π-electron unit. This review highlights recent work on π-conjugated systems bound to peptide moieties that exhibit self-assembly and aims to provide an overview on the development and emerging applications of peptide-based supramolecular π-electron systems.

  17. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

    Evolutionary medicine allows new insights into long standing medical problems. Are we "really stoneagers on the fast lane"? This insight might have enormous consequences and will allow new answers that could never been provided by traditional anthropology. Only now this is made possible using data from molecular medicine and systems biology. Thereby evolutionary medicine takes a leap from a merely theoretical discipline to practical fields - reproductive, nutritional and preventive medicine, as well as microbiology, immunology and psychiatry. Evolutionary medicine is not another "just so story" but a serious candidate for the medical curriculum providing a universal understanding of health and disease based on our biological origin. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  18. Electron holography of biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, P; Lichte, H; Formanek, P; Lehmann, M; Huhle, R; Carrillo-Cabrera, W; Harscher, A; Ehrlich, H

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we summarise the development of off-axis electron holography on biological samples starting in 1986 with the first results on ferritin from the group of Tonomura. In the middle of the 1990s strong interest was evoked, but then stagnation took place because the results obtained at that stage did not reach the contrast and the resolution achieved by conventional electron microscopy. To date, there exist only a few ( approximately 12) publications on electron holography of biological objects, thus this topic is quite small and concise. The reason for this could be that holography is mostly established in materials science by physicists. Therefore, applications for off-axis holography were powerfully pushed forward in the area of imaging, e.g. electric or magnetic micro- and nanofields. Unstained biological systems investigated by means of off-axis electron holography up to now are ferritin, tobacco mosaic virus, a bacterial flagellum, T5 bacteriophage virus, hexagonal packed intermediate layer of bacteria and the Semliki Forest virus. New results of the authors on collagen fibres and surface layer of bacteria, the so-called S-layer 2D crystal lattice are presented in this review. For the sake of completeness, we will shortly discuss in-line holography of biological samples and off-axis holography of materials related to biological systems, such as biomaterial composites or magnetotactic bacteria.

  19. Evolutionary biology of bacterial and fungal pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Baquero, F

    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...

  20. EVOLUTIONARY FOUNDATIONS FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M.; Ganten, Detlev; Gregory, T. Ryan; Omenn, Gilbert S.

    2015-01-01

    Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but many major advances in evolutionary biology from the 20th century are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the distinction between proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are further transforming evolutionary biology and creating yet more opportunities for progress at the interface of evolution with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and others to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine. PMID:22544168

  1. 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.

  2. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 from 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 (which 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 the 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.

  3. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollegaard, Birgitte

    . Consequently, research has increasingly focused on the underlying causes of disease, shaped by human evolution. Evolutionary medicine is a relatively new field, specifically bridging the gap between conventional medicine and evolutionary biology: Instead of asking how we get sick, we can apply evolutionary...... explanations for this phenomenon. This thesis demonstrates how taking an evolutionary perspective can help us to better understand important aspects of health and medicine that remain opaque, using the specific example of pregnancy-related conditions.......Medicine has made a giant leap forward over the last century when it comes to the treatment of human disease, but even the most cutting edge 21st century medicine cannot prevent new diseases arising, nor those thought to be extinct developing resistance to pharmaceuticals and returning...

  5. 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.

  6. Reconstructing nursing altruism using a biological evolutionary framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Carol A

    2010-06-01

    This paper presents a discussion of the role of altruism in development of the discipline of nursing and an exploration of how nursing altruism compares with current thinking in biological evolutionary theory. There is an assumption that the role of the nurse has its foundations in altruistic behaviours; however, the source of this altruism is never analysed or debated. A search of the biological altruism, altruism and health-related literature encompassing the years 1975-2007 was performed using Google Scholar. The first element of the study is a brief overview of nursing altruism as a way of establishing the conceptual boundaries. Additionally, the major tenets of biological evolution are explored to clarify the theoretical underpinnings of the hypotheses presented. A key premise of this study is that nursing altruism is not solely a manifestation of disinterested sacrifice for the benefit of others, but is more concerned with ensuring the survival of a clearly defined social group. A re-evaluation of altruism as a motivating factor in nursing and as an element of the therapeutic relationship is long overdue. It is time that the nursing profession examined professional driving forces using more than traditional philosophical frameworks. Nursing altruism is programmed to ensure the survival of the meme rather than to act in the best interest of patients. Certainly patients reap the benefits of this selfish altruism, but that can be argued to be a side effect rather than a result.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. From the "Modern Synthesis" to cybernetics: Ivan Ivanovich Schmalhausen (1884-1963) and his research program for a synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-03-15

    Ivan I. Schmalhausen was one of the central figures in the Russian development of the "Modern Synthesis" in evolutionary biology. He is widely cited internationally even today. Schmalhausen developed the main principles of his theory facing the danger of death in the totalitarian Soviet Union. His great services to evolutionary and theoretical biology are indisputable. However, the received view of Schmalhausen's contributions to evolutionary biology makes an unbiased reading of his texts difficult. Here we show that taking all of his works into consideration (including those only available in Russian) paints a much more dynamic and exciting picture of what he tried to achieve. Schmalhausen pioneered the integration of a developmental perspective into evolutionary thinking. A main tool for achieving this was his approach to living objects as complex multi-level self-regulating systems. Schmalhausen put enormous effort into bringing this idea into fruition during the final stages of his career by combining evolutionary theory with cybernetics. His results and ideas remain thought-provoking, and his texts are of more than just historical interest. Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Denis

    2013-08-01

    The 'Modern Synthesis' (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection. Any role of physiological function in influencing genetic inheritance was excluded. The organism became a mere carrier of the real objects of selection, its genes. We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual. Molecular genetics and genome sequencing have deconstructed this unnecessarily restrictive view of evolution in a way that reintroduces physiological function and interactions with the environment as factors influencing the speed and nature of inherited change. Acquired characteristics can be inherited, and in a few but growing number of cases that inheritance has now been shown to be robust for many generations. The 21st century can look forward to a new synthesis that will reintegrate physiology with evolutionary biology.

  13. Biological applications of ultraviolet free-electron lasers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutherland, J.C.

    1997-10-01

    This review examines the possibilities for biological research using the three ultraviolet free-electron lasers that are nearing operational status in the US. The projected operating characteristics of major interest in biological research of the free-electron lasers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, and Duke University are presented. Experimental applications in the areas of far- and vacuum ultraviolet photophysics and photochemistry, structural biology, environmental photobiology, and medical research are discussed and the prospects for advances in these areas, based upon the characteristics of the new ultraviolet free-electron lasers, are evaluated

  14. 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

  15. 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?

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Where Evolutionary Psychology Meets Cognitive Neuroscience: A Précis to Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Austen L. Krill

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive neuroscience, the study of brain-behavior relationships, has long attempted to map the brain. The discipline is flourishing, with an increasing number of functional neuroimaging studies appearing in the scientific literature daily. Unlike biology and even psychology, the cognitive neurosciences have only recently begun to apply evolutionary meta-theory and methodological guidance. Approaching cognitive neuroscience from an evolutionary perspective allows scientists to apply biologically based theoretical guidance to their investigations and can be conducted in both humans and nonhuman animals. In fact, several investigations of this sort are underway in laboratories around the world. This paper and two new volumes (Platek, Keenan, and Shackelford [Eds.], 2007; Platek and Shackelford [Eds.], under contract represent the first formal attempts to document the burgeoning field of evolutionary cognitive neuroscience. Here, we briefly review the current state of the science of evolutionary cognitive neuroscience, the methods available to the evolutionary cognitive neuroscientist, and what we foresee as the future directions of the discipline.

  20. Towards a Population Dynamics Theory for Evolutionary Computing: Learning from Biological Population Dynamics in Nature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Zhanshan (Sam)

    In evolutionary computing (EC), population size is one of the critical parameters that a researcher has to deal with. Hence, it was no surprise that the pioneers of EC, such as De Jong (1975) and Holland (1975), had already studied the population sizing from the very beginning of EC. What is perhaps surprising is that more than three decades later, we still largely depend on the experience or ad-hoc trial-and-error approach to set the population size. For example, in a recent monograph, Eiben and Smith (2003) indicated: "In almost all EC applications, the population size is constant and does not change during the evolutionary search." Despite enormous research on this issue in recent years, we still lack a well accepted theory for population sizing. In this paper, I propose to develop a population dynamics theory forEC with the inspiration from the population dynamics theory of biological populations in nature. Essentially, the EC population is considered as a dynamic system over time (generations) and space (search space or fitness landscape), similar to the spatial and temporal dynamics of biological populations in nature. With this conceptual mapping, I propose to 'transplant' the biological population dynamics theory to EC via three steps: (i) experimentally test the feasibility—whether or not emulating natural population dynamics improves the EC performance; (ii) comparatively study the underlying mechanisms—why there are improvements, primarily via statistical modeling analysis; (iii) conduct theoretical analysis with theoretical models such as percolation theory and extended evolutionary game theory that are generally applicable to both EC and natural populations. This article is a summary of a series of studies we have performed to achieve the general goal [27][30]-[32]. In the following, I start with an extremely brief introduction on the theory and models of natural population dynamics (Sections 1 & 2). In Sections 4 to 6, I briefly discuss three

  1. Evolutionary principles and their practical application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Heino, Mikko; Day, Troy; Smith, Thomas B; Fitt, Gary; Bergstrom, Carl T; Oakeshott, John; Jørgensen, Peter S; Zalucki, Myron P; Gilchrist, George; Southerton, Simon; Sih, Andrew; Strauss, Sharon; Denison, Robert F; Carroll, Scott P

    2011-03-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently in these different fields, even though the underlying fundamental concepts are the same. We explore these fundamental concepts under four main themes: variation, selection, connectivity, and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Within each theme, we present several key evolutionary principles and illustrate their use in addressing applied problems. We hope that the resulting primer of evolutionary concepts and their practical utility helps to advance a unified multidisciplinary field of applied evolutionary biology.

  2. 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'…

  3. Developmental biology, the stem cell of biological disciplines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Scott F

    2017-12-01

    Developmental biology (including embryology) is proposed as "the stem cell of biological disciplines." Genetics, cell biology, oncology, immunology, evolutionary mechanisms, neurobiology, and systems biology each has its ancestry in developmental biology. Moreover, developmental biology continues to roll on, budding off more disciplines, while retaining its own identity. While its descendant disciplines differentiate into sciences with a restricted set of paradigms, examples, and techniques, developmental biology remains vigorous, pluripotent, and relatively undifferentiated. In many disciplines, especially in evolutionary biology and oncology, the developmental perspective is being reasserted as an important research program.

  4. Connecting Biology to Electronics: Molecular Communication via Redox Modality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi; Li, Jinyang; Tschirhart, Tanya; Terrell, Jessica L; Kim, Eunkyoung; Tsao, Chen-Yu; Kelly, Deanna L; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2017-12-01

    Biology and electronics are both expert at for accessing, analyzing, and responding to information. Biology uses ions, small molecules, and macromolecules to receive, analyze, store, and transmit information, whereas electronic devices receive input in the form of electromagnetic radiation, process the information using electrons, and then transmit output as electromagnetic waves. Generating the capabilities to connect biology-electronic modalities offers exciting opportunities to shape the future of biosensors, point-of-care medicine, and wearable/implantable devices. Redox reactions offer unique opportunities for bio-device communication that spans the molecular modalities of biology and electrical modality of devices. Here, an approach to search for redox information through an interactive electrochemical probing that is analogous to sonar is adopted. The capabilities of this approach to access global chemical information as well as information of specific redox-active chemical entities are illustrated using recent examples. An example of the use of synthetic biology to recognize external molecular information, process this information through intracellular signal transduction pathways, and generate output responses that can be detected by electrical modalities is also provided. Finally, exciting results in the use of redox reactions to actuate biology are provided to illustrate that synthetic biology offers the potential to guide biological response through electrical cues. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Flexible Organic Electronics in Biology: Materials and Devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Caizhi; Zhang, Meng; Yao, Mei Yu; Hua, Tao; Li, Li; Yan, Feng

    2015-12-09

    At the convergence of organic electronics and biology, organic bioelectronics attracts great scientific interest. The potential applications of organic semiconductors to reversibly transmit biological signals or stimulate biological tissues inspires many research groups to explore the use of organic electronics in biological systems. Considering the surfaces of movable living tissues being arbitrarily curved at physiological environments, the flexibility of organic bioelectronic devices is of paramount importance in enabling stable and reliable performances by improving the contact and interaction of the devices with biological systems. Significant advances in flexible organic bio-electronics have been achieved in the areas of flexible organic thin film transistors (OTFTs), polymer electrodes, smart textiles, organic electrochemical ion pumps (OEIPs), ion bipolar junction transistors (IBJTs) and chemiresistors. This review will firstly discuss the materials used in flexible organic bioelectronics, which is followed by an overview on various types of flexible organic bioelectronic devices. The versatility of flexible organic bioelectronics promises a bright future for this emerging area. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Evolutionary convergence and biologically embodied cognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keijzer, Franciscus

    2017-01-01

    The study of evolutionary patterns of cognitive convergence would be greatly helped by a clear demarcation of cognition. Cognition is often used as an equivalent of mind, making it difficult to pin down empirically or to apply it confidently beyond the human condition. Recent developments in

  7. Is evolutionary psychology a metatheory for psychology? A discussion of four major issues in psychology from an evolutionary developmental perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, A.; van der Maas, H.L.J.; Raijmakers, M.E.J.

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary psychology has been proposed as a metatheoretical framework for psychology. We argue that evolutionary psychology should be expanded if it is to offer new insights regarding the major issues in psychology. Evolutionary developmental biology can provide valuable new insights into issues

  8. The great opportunity: Evolutionary applications to medicine and public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Stearns, Stephen C

    2008-02-01

    Evolutionary biology is an essential basic science for medicine, but few doctors and medical researchers are familiar with its most relevant principles. Most medical schools have geneticists who understand evolution, but few have even one evolutionary biologist to suggest other possible applications. The canyon between evolutionary biology and medicine is wide. The question is whether they offer each other enough to make bridge building worthwhile. What benefits could be expected if evolution were brought fully to bear on the problems of medicine? How would studying medical problems advance evolutionary research? Do doctors need to learn evolution, or is it valuable mainly for researchers? What practical steps will promote the application of evolutionary biology in the areas of medicine where it offers the most? To address these questions, we review current and potential applications of evolutionary biology to medicine and public health. Some evolutionary technologies, such as population genetics, serial transfer production of live vaccines, and phylogenetic analysis, have been widely applied. Other areas, such as infectious disease and aging research, illustrate the dramatic recent progress made possible by evolutionary insights. In still other areas, such as epidemiology, psychiatry, and understanding the regulation of bodily defenses, applying evolutionary principles remains an open opportunity. In addition to the utility of specific applications, an evolutionary perspective fundamentally challenges the prevalent but fundamentally incorrect metaphor of the body as a machine designed by an engineer. Bodies are vulnerable to disease - and remarkably resilient - precisely because they are not machines built from a plan. They are, instead, bundles of compromises shaped by natural selection in small increments to maximize reproduction, not health. Understanding the body as a product of natural selection, not design, offers new research questions and a framework for

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Evolutionary Multiplayer Games

    OpenAIRE

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S.; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory has become one of the most diverse and far reaching theories in biology. Applications of this theory range from cell dynamics to social evolution. However, many applications make it clear that inherent non-linearities of natural systems need to be taken into account. One way of introducing such non-linearities into evolutionary games is by the inclusion of multiple players. An example is of social dilemmas, where group benefits could e.g.\\ increase less than linear wi...

  14. The causal pie model: an epidemiological method applied to evolutionary biology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette

    2014-05-01

    A general concept for thinking about causality facilitates swift comprehension of results, and the vocabulary that belongs to the concept is instrumental in cross-disciplinary communication. The causal pie model has fulfilled this role in epidemiology and could be of similar value in evolutionary biology and ecology. In the causal pie model, outcomes result from sufficient causes. Each sufficient cause is made up of a "causal pie" of "component causes". Several different causal pies may exist for the same outcome. If and only if all component causes of a sufficient cause are present, that is, a causal pie is complete, does the outcome occur. The effect of a component cause hence depends on the presence of the other component causes that constitute some causal pie. Because all component causes are equally and fully causative for the outcome, the sum of causes for some outcome exceeds 100%. The causal pie model provides a way of thinking that maps into a number of recurrent themes in evolutionary biology and ecology: It charts when component causes have an effect and are subject to natural selection, and how component causes affect selection on other component causes; which partitions of outcomes with respect to causes are feasible and useful; and how to view the composition of a(n apparently homogeneous) population. The diversity of specific results that is directly understood from the causal pie model is a test for both the validity and the applicability of the model. The causal pie model provides a common language in which results across disciplines can be communicated and serves as a template along which future causal analyses can be made.

  15. 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…

  16. Evolutionary game theory: cells as players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummert, Sabine; Bohl, Katrin; Basanta, David; Deutsch, Andreas; Werner, Sarah; Theissen, Günter; Schroeter, Anja; Schuster, Stefan

    2014-12-01

    In two papers we review game theory applications in biology below the level of cognitive living beings. It can be seen that evolution and natural selection replace the rationality of the actors appropriately. Even in these micro worlds, competing situations and cooperative relationships can be found and modeled by evolutionary game theory. Also those units of the lowest levels of life show different strategies for different environmental situations or different partners. We give a wide overview of evolutionary game theory applications to microscopic units. In this first review situations on the cellular level are tackled. In particular metabolic problems are discussed, such as ATP-producing pathways, secretion of public goods and cross-feeding. Further topics are cyclic competition among more than two partners, intra- and inter-cellular signalling, the struggle between pathogens and the immune system, and the interactions of cancer cells. Moreover, we introduce the theoretical basics to encourage scientists to investigate problems in cell biology and molecular biology by evolutionary game theory.

  17. Evolutionary engineering of industrial microorganisms-strategies and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zhengming; Zhang, Juan; Ji, Xiaomei; Fang, Zhen; Wu, Zhimeng; Chen, Jian; Du, Guocheng

    2018-06-01

    Microbial cells have been widely used in the industry to obtain various biochemical products, and evolutionary engineering is a common method in biological research to improve their traits, such as high environmental tolerance and improvement of product yield. To obtain better integrate functions of microbial cells, evolutionary engineering combined with other biotechnologies have attracted more attention in recent years. Classical laboratory evolution has been proven effective to letting more beneficial mutations occur in different genes but also has some inherent limitations such as a long evolutionary period and uncontrolled mutation frequencies. However, recent studies showed that some new strategies may gradually overcome these limitations. In this review, we summarize the evolutionary strategies commonly used in industrial microorganisms and discuss the combination of evolutionary engineering with other biotechnologies such as systems biology and inverse metabolic engineering. Finally, we prospect the importance and application prospect of evolutionary engineering as a powerful tool especially in optimization of industrial microbial cell factories.

  18. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S

    2011-03-01

    An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies.

  19. 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.

  20. Core principles of evolutionary medicine: A Delphi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E

    2018-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  1. Molecular ferroelectrics: where electronics meet biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiangyu; Liu, Yuanming; Zhang, Yanhang; Cai, Hong-Ling; Xiong, Ren-Gen

    2013-12-28

    In the last several years, we have witnessed significant advances in molecular ferroelectrics, with the ferroelectric properties of molecular crystals approaching those of barium titanate. In addition, ferroelectricity has been observed in biological systems, filling an important missing link in bioelectric phenomena. In this perspective, we will present short historical notes on ferroelectrics, followed by an overview of the fundamentals of ferroelectricity. The latest developments in molecular ferroelectrics and biological ferroelectricity will then be highlighted, and their implications and potential applications will be discussed. We close by noting molecular ferroelectric as an exciting frontier between electronics and biology, and a number of challenges ahead are also described.

  2. Biomaterials-based electronics: polymers and interfaces for biology and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muskovich, Meredith; Bettinger, Christopher J

    2012-05-01

    Advanced polymeric biomaterials continue to serve as a cornerstone for new medical technologies and therapies. The vast majority of these materials, both natural and synthetic, interact with biological matter in the absence of direct electronic communication. However, biological systems have evolved to synthesize and utilize naturally-derived materials for the generation and modulation of electrical potentials, voltage gradients, and ion flows. Bioelectric phenomena can be translated into potent signaling cues for intra- and inter-cellular communication. These cues can serve as a gateway to link synthetic devices with biological systems. This progress report will provide an update on advances in the application of electronically active biomaterials for use in organic electronics and bio-interfaces. Specific focus will be granted to covering technologies where natural and synthetic biological materials serve as integral components such as thin film electronics, in vitro cell culture models, and implantable medical devices. Future perspectives and emerging challenges will also be highlighted. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Processing scarce biological samples for light and transmission electron microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Taupin

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Light microscopy (LM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM aim at understanding the relationship structure-function. With advances in biology, isolation and purification of scarce populations of cells or subcellular structures may not lead to enough biological material, for processing for LM and TEM. A protocol for preparation of scarce biological samples is presented. It is based on pre-embedding the biological samples, suspensions or pellets, in bovine serum albumin (BSA and bis-acrylamide (BA, cross-linked and polymerized. This preparation provides a simple and reproducible technique to process biological materials, present in limited quantities that can not be amplified, for light and transmission electron microscopy.

  4. Evolutionary thinking: "A conversation with Carter Phipps about the role of evolutionary thinking in modern culture".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-12-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Integrating genomics into evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Juan Antonio; Marigorta, Urko M; Navarro, Arcadi

    2014-12-01

    The application of the principles of evolutionary biology into medicine was suggested long ago and is already providing insight into the ultimate causes of disease. However, a full systematic integration of medical genomics and evolutionary medicine is still missing. Here, we briefly review some cases where the combination of the two fields has proven profitable and highlight two of the main issues hindering the development of evolutionary genomic medicine as a mature field, namely the dissociation between fitness and health and the still considerable difficulties in predicting phenotypes from genotypes. We use publicly available data to illustrate both problems and conclude that new approaches are needed for evolutionary genomic medicine to overcome these obstacles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolutionary Robotics: What, Why, and Where to

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephane eDoncieux

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary robotics applies the selection, variation, and heredity principles of natural evolution to the design of robots with embodied intelligence. It can be considered as a subfield of robotics that aims to create more robust and adaptive robots. A pivotal feature of the evolutionary approach is that it considers the whole robot at once, and enables the exploitation of robot features in a holistic manner. Evolutionary robotics can also be seen as an innovative approach to the study of evolution based on a new kind of experimentalism. The use of robots as a substrate can help address questions that are difficult, if not impossible, to investigate through computer simulations or biological studies. In this paper we consider the main achievements of evolutionary robotics, focusing particularly on its contributions to both engineering and biology. We briefly elaborate on methodological issues, review some of the most interesting findings, and discuss important open issues and promising avenues for future work.

  8. Where Synthetic Biology Meets ET

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. And what about the limits for life? Can we create organisms that expand the envelope for life? In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  9. Advances in cryo-electron tomography for biology and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koning, Roman I; Koster, Abraham J; Sharp, Thomas H

    2018-05-01

    Cryo-electron tomography (CET) utilizes a combination of specimen cryo-fixation and multi-angle electron microscopy imaging to produce three-dimensional (3D) volume reconstructions of native-state macromolecular and subcellular biological structures with nanometer-scale resolution. In recent years, cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) has experienced a dramatic increase in the attainable resolution of 3D reconstructions, resulting from technical improvements of electron microscopes, improved detector sensitivity, the implementation of phase plates, automated data acquisition schemes, and improved image reconstruction software and hardware. These developments also greatly increased the usability and applicability of CET as a diagnostic and research tool, which is now enabling structural biologists to determine the structure of proteins in their native cellular environment to sub-nanometer resolution. These recent technical developments have stimulated us to update on our previous review (Koning, R.I., Koster, A.J., 2009. Cryo-electron tomography in biology and medicine. Ann Anat 191, 427-445) in which we described the fundamentals of CET. In this follow-up, we extend this basic description in order to explain the aforementioned recent advances, and describe related 3D techniques that can be applied to the anatomy of biological systems that are relevant for medicine. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Electron Transfer in Chemistry and Biology - The Primary Events in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    transfers, occurs in a cascade in many biological processes, including photosynthesis. ... the model reactions of photosynthetic ... biological relevance. GENERAL I ARTICLE of electrons, respectively. This has entirely changed the earlier framework of interpreting reactions in chemistry and biology. This shift in emphasis ...

  11. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendry, A. P.; Kinnison, M. T.; Heino, M.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles...... are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design...... of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently...

  12. Ultrafast electron microscopy in materials science, biology, and chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    King, Wayne E.; Campbell, Geoffrey H.; Frank, Alan; Reed, Bryan; Schmerge, John F.; Siwick, Bradley J.; Stuart, Brent C.; Weber, Peter M.

    2005-01-01

    The use of pump-probe experiments to study complex transient events has been an area of significant interest in materials science, biology, and chemistry. While the emphasis has been on laser pump with laser probe and laser pump with x-ray probe experiments, there is a significant and growing interest in using electrons as probes. Early experiments used electrons for gas-phase diffraction of photostimulated chemical reactions. More recently, scientists are beginning to explore phenomena in the solid state such as phase transformations, twinning, solid-state chemical reactions, radiation damage, and shock propagation. This review focuses on the emerging area of ultrafast electron microscopy (UEM), which comprises ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) and dynamic transmission electron microscopy (DTEM). The topics that are treated include the following: (1) The physics of electrons as an ultrafast probe. This encompasses the propagation dynamics of the electrons (space-charge effect, Child's law, Boersch effect) and extends to relativistic effects. (2) The anatomy of UED and DTEM instruments. This includes discussions of the photoactivated electron gun (also known as photogun or photoelectron gun) at conventional energies (60-200 keV) and extends to MeV beams generated by rf guns. Another critical aspect of the systems is the electron detector. Charge-coupled device cameras and microchannel-plate-based cameras are compared and contrasted. The effect of various physical phenomena on detective quantum efficiency is discussed. (3) Practical aspects of operation. This includes determination of time zero, measurement of pulse-length, and strategies for pulse compression. (4) Current and potential applications in materials science, biology, and chemistry. UEM has the potential to make a significant impact in future science and technology. Understanding of reaction pathways of complex transient phenomena in materials science, biology, and chemistry will provide fundamental

  13. Advancing Small Satellite Electronics Heritage for Microfluidic Biological Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Bruce; Mazmanian, Edward; Tapio, Eric

    2016-01-01

    DLR's Eu:CROPIS (Euglena and Combined Regenerative Organic-Food Production in Space) mission, launching in 2017, will carry multiple biological payloads into a sun-synchronous orbit, including NASA Ames' PowerCell experiment. PowerCell will attempt to characterize the viability of synthetic biology at micro-g, Lunar, and Martian gravity levels. PowerCell experiment requirements demand an electronic system similar to previous microfluidic biology payloads, but with an expanded feature set. As such, the system was based on PharmaSat (Diaz-Aguado et al. 2009), a previous successful biology payload from NASA Ames, and improved upon. Newer, more miniaturized electronics allow for greater capability with a lower part count and smaller size. Two identical PowerCell enclosures will fly. Each enclosure contains two separate and identical experiments with a 48-segment optical density measurement system, grow light system, microfluidic system for nutrient delivery and waste flushing, plus thermal control and environmental sensing/housekeeping including temperature, pressure, humidity, and acceleration. Electronics consist of a single Master PCB that interfaces to the spacecraft bus and regulates power and communication, plus LED, Detector, and Valve Manifold PCBs for each experiment. To facilitate ease of reuse on future missions, experiment electronics were designed to be compatible with a standard 3U small sat form factor and power bus, or to interface with a Master power/comm PCB for use in a larger satellite as in the case of PowerCell's flight on Eu:CROPIS.

  14. Electron Bifurcation: Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Two-Electron Brokering in Biological Redox Chemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Peng; Yuly, Jonathon L.; Lubner, Carolyn E. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado 80401, United States; Mulder, David W. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado 80401, United States; King, Paul W. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado 80401, United States; Peters, John W. [Institute; Beratan, David N. [Department

    2017-08-23

    How can proteins drive two electrons from a redox active donor onto two acceptors at very different potentials and distances? And how can this transaction be conducted without dissipating very much energy or violating the laws of thermodynamics? Nature appears to have addressed these challenges by coupling thermodynamically uphill and downhill electron transfer reactions, using two-electron donor cofactors that have very different potentials for the removal of the first and second electron. Although electron bifurcation is carried out with near perfection from the standpoint of energy conservation and electron delivery yields, it is a biological energy transduction paradigm that has only come into focus recently. This Account provides an exegesis of the biophysical principles that underpin electron bifurcation.

  15. Methanol as electron donor for thermophilic biological sulfate and sulfite reduction

    OpenAIRE

    Weijma, J.

    2000-01-01

    Sulfur oxyanions (e.g. sulfate, sulfite) can be removed from aqueous waste- and process streams by biological reduction with a suitable electron donor to sulfide, followed by partial chemical or biological oxidation of sulfide to elemental sulfur. The aim of the research described in this thesis was to make this biological process more broadly applicable for desulfurization of flue-gases and ground- and wastewaters by using the cheap chemical methanol as electron donor for the reduct...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Eco-Evo-Devo: developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity as evolutionary agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Scott F; Bosch, Thomas C G; Ledón-Rettig, Cristina

    2015-10-01

    The integration of research from developmental biology and ecology into evolutionary theory has given rise to a relatively new field, ecological evolutionary developmental biology (Eco-Evo-Devo). This field integrates and organizes concepts such as developmental symbiosis, developmental plasticity, genetic accommodation, extragenic inheritance and niche construction. This Review highlights the roles that developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity have in evolution. Developmental symbiosis can generate particular organs, can produce selectable genetic variation for the entire animal, can provide mechanisms for reproductive isolation, and may have facilitated evolutionary transitions. Developmental plasticity is crucial for generating novel phenotypes, facilitating evolutionary transitions and altered ecosystem dynamics, and promoting adaptive variation through genetic accommodation and niche construction. In emphasizing such non-genomic mechanisms of selectable and heritable variation, Eco-Evo-Devo presents a new layer of evolutionary synthesis.

  20. Towards native-state imaging in biological context in the electron microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, Anne E.; Armer, Hannah E. J.

    2009-01-01

    Modern cell biology is reliant on light and fluorescence microscopy for analysis of cells, tissues and protein localisation. However, these powerful techniques are ultimately limited in resolution by the wavelength of light. Electron microscopes offer much greater resolution due to the shorter effective wavelength of electrons, allowing direct imaging of sub-cellular architecture. The harsh environment of the electron microscope chamber and the properties of the electron beam have led to complex chemical and mechanical preparation techniques, which distance biological samples from their native state and complicate data interpretation. Here we describe recent advances in sample preparation and instrumentation, which push the boundaries of high-resolution imaging. Cryopreparation, cryoelectron microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy strive to image samples in near native state. Advances in correlative microscopy and markers enable high-resolution localisation of proteins. Innovation in microscope design has pushed the boundaries of resolution to atomic scale, whilst automatic acquisition of high-resolution electron microscopy data through large volumes is finally able to place ultrastructure in biological context. PMID:19916039

  1. 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.

  2. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-04-02

    As part of BioMed Central's open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage a more widespread adoption of open data sharing in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology by facilitating this process for our authors. We also take this opportunity to discuss some of the wider issues that may concern researchers when making their data openly available. Although we offer a number of positive examples from different fields of biology, we also recognise that reticence to data sharing still exists, and that change must be driven from within research communities in order to create future science that is fit for purpose in the digital age. This editorial was published jointly in both BMC Ecology and BMC Evolutionary Biology.

  3. The Microfoundations of Macroeconomics: An Evolutionary Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

    We consider the microfoundations controversy from the perspective ofeconomic evolution and show that the debate can benefit from lessons learned in evolutionary biology. Although the analogy between biology and economics has been noted before, it has rarely focused on clarifying the micro-macro

  4. Evolution and development: some insights from evolutionary theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DAVID JEAN R.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Developmental biology and evolutionary biology are both mature integrative disciplines which started in the 19th century and then followed parallel and independent scientific pathways. Recently, a genetical component has stepped into both disciplines (developmental genetics and evolutionary genetics pointing out the need for future convergent maturation. Indeed, the Evo-Devo approach is becoming popular among developmental biologists, based on the facts that distant groups share a common ancestry, that precise phylogenies can be worked out and that homologous genes often play similar roles during the development of very different organisms. In this essay, I try to show that the real future of Evo-Devo thinking is still broader. The evolutionary theory is a set of diverse concepts which can and should be used in any biological field. Evolutionary thinking trains to ask « why » questions and to provide logical and plausible answers. It can shed some light on a diversity of general problems such as how to distinguish homologies from analogies, the costs and benefits of multicellularity, the origin of novel structures (e.g. the head, or the evolution of sexual reproduction. In the next decade, we may expect a progressive convergence between developmental genetics and quantitative genetics.

  5. 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,

  6. 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.

  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

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. What Is Sexual Orientation All About? Explaining an Evolutionary Paradox

    OpenAIRE

    Brad Bowins

    2015-01-01

    Numerous psychological, biological, and evolutionary theories have been proposed to explain sexual orientation. For a theory to be valid it must account for the evolutionary or Darwinian paradox of how homosexual behavior seemingly blocking evolutionary fitness could have evolved. Typically it is only evolutionary based theories that attempt to address this issue. All theories proposed to date have limitations, a major one being that they tend to be specific for male or female sexual orientat...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Murase, Yohsuke; Shimada, Takashi; Ito, Nobuyasu; Rikvold, Per Arne

    2010-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Sex in an Evolutionary Perspective: Just Another Reaction Norm

    OpenAIRE

    Ah-King, Malin; Nylin, S?ren

    2010-01-01

    It is common to refer to all sorts of clear-cut differences between the sexes as something that is biologically almost inevitable. Although this does not reflect the status of evolutionary theory on sex determination and sexual dimorphism, it is probably a common view among evolutionary biologists as well, because of the impact of sexual selection theory. To get away from thinking about biological sex and traits associated with a particular sex as something static, it should be recognized tha...

  12. 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.

  13. Computing the Quartet Distance Between Evolutionary Trees in Time O(n log n)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Sølfting; Fagerberg, Rolf; Pedersen, Christian Nørgaard Storm

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary trees describing the relationship for a set of species are central in evolutionary biology, and quantifying differences between evolutionary trees is therefore an important task. The quartet distance is a distance measure between trees previously proposed by Estabrook, McMorris, and ...... unrooted evolutionary trees of n species, where all internal nodes have degree three, in time O(n log n. The previous best algorithm for the problem uses time O(n 2).......Evolutionary trees describing the relationship for a set of species are central in evolutionary biology, and quantifying differences between evolutionary trees is therefore an important task. The quartet distance is a distance measure between trees previously proposed by Estabrook, Mc......Morris, and Meacham. The quartet distance between two unrooted evolutionary trees is the number of quartet topology differences between the two trees, where a quartet topology is the topological subtree induced by four species. In this paper we present an algorithm for computing the quartet distance between two...

  14. Developmental biology, the stem cell of biological disciplines

    OpenAIRE

    Gilbert, Scott F.

    2017-01-01

    Developmental biology (including embryology) is proposed as "the stem cell of biological disciplines.” Genetics, cell biology, oncology, immunology, evolutionary mechanisms, neurobiology, and systems biology each has its ancestry in developmental biology. Moreover, developmental biology continues to roll on, budding off more disciplines, while retaining its own identity. While its descendant disciplines differentiate into sciences with a restricted set of paradigms, examples, and techniques, ...

  15. 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

  16. Organisms as natural purposes: the contemporary evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, D M

    2006-12-01

    Kant's conception of organisms as natural purposes raises a challenge to the adequacy of mechanistic explanation in biology. Certain features of organisms appear to be inexplicable by appeal to mechanical law alone. Some biological phenomena, it seems, can only be accounted for teleologically. Contemporary evolutionary biology has by and large ignored this challenge. It is widely held that Darwin's theory of natural selection gives us an adequate, wholly mechanical account of the nature of organisms. In contemporary biology, the category of the organism plays virtually no explanatory role. Contemporary evolutionary biology is a science of sub-organismal entities-replicators. I argue that recent advances in developmental biology demonstrate the inadequacy of sub-organismal mechanism. The category of the organism, construed as a 'natural purpose' should play an ineliminable role in explaining ontogenetic development and adaptive evolution. According to Kant the natural purposiveness of organisms cannot be demonstrated to be an objective principle in nature, nor can purposiveness figure in genuine explain. I attempt to argue, by appeal to recent work on self-organization, that the purposiveness of organisms is a natural phenomenon, and, by appeal to the apparatus of invariance explanation, that biological purposiveness provides genuine, ineliminable biological explanations.

  17. Damage-free vibrational spectroscopy of biological materials in the electron microscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rez, Peter; Aoki, Toshihiro; March, Katia; Gur, Dvir; Krivanek, Ondrej L; Dellby, Niklas; Lovejoy, Tracy C; Wolf, Sharon G; Cohen, Hagai

    2016-03-10

    Vibrational spectroscopy in the electron microscope would be transformative in the study of biological samples, provided that radiation damage could be prevented. However, electron beams typically create high-energy excitations that severely accelerate sample degradation. Here this major difficulty is overcome using an 'aloof' electron beam, positioned tens of nanometres away from the sample: high-energy excitations are suppressed, while vibrational modes of energies electron energy loss spectra from biogenic guanine crystals in their native state, resolving their characteristic C-H, N-H and C=O vibrational signatures with no observable radiation damage. The technique opens up the possibility of non-damaging compositional analyses of organic functional groups, including non-crystalline biological materials, at a spatial resolution of ∼10 nm, simultaneously combined with imaging in the electron microscope.

  18. A national facility for biological cryo-electron microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saibil, Helen R.; Grünewald, Kay; Stuart, David I.

    2015-01-01

    This review provides a brief update on the use of cryo-electron microscopy for integrated structural biology, along with an overview of the plans for the UK national facility for electron microscopy being built at the Diamond synchrotron. Three-dimensional electron microscopy is an enormously powerful tool for structural biologists. It is now able to provide an understanding of the molecular machinery of cells, disease processes and the actions of pathogenic organisms from atomic detail through to the cellular context. However, cutting-edge research in this field requires very substantial resources for equipment, infrastructure and expertise. Here, a brief overview is provided of the plans for a UK national three-dimensional electron-microscopy facility for integrated structural biology to enable internationally leading research on the machinery of life. State-of-the-art equipment operated with expert support will be provided, optimized for both atomic-level single-particle analysis of purified macromolecules and complexes and for tomography of cell sections. The access to and organization of the facility will be modelled on the highly successful macromolecular crystallography (MX) synchrotron beamlines, and will be embedded at the Diamond Light Source, facilitating the development of user-friendly workflows providing near-real-time experimental feedback

  19. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

    Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Dual Causality and the Autonomy of Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Walter J

    2017-03-01

    Ernst Mayr's concept of dual causality in biology with the two forms of causes (proximate and ultimate) continues to provide an essential foundation for the philosophy of biology. They are equivalent to functional (=proximate) and evolutionary (=ultimate) causes with both required for full biological explanations. The natural sciences can be classified into nomological, historical nomological and historical dual causality, the last including only biology. Because evolutionary causality is unique to biology and must be included for all complete biological explanations, biology is autonomous from the physical sciences.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Evolutionary games on graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Fáth, Gábor

    2007-07-01

    Game theory is one of the key paradigms behind many scientific disciplines from biology to behavioral sciences to economics. In its evolutionary form and especially when the interacting agents are linked in a specific social network the underlying solution concepts and methods are very similar to those applied in non-equilibrium statistical physics. This review gives a tutorial-type overview of the field for physicists. The first four sections introduce the necessary background in classical and evolutionary game theory from the basic definitions to the most important results. The fifth section surveys the topological complications implied by non-mean-field-type social network structures in general. The next three sections discuss in detail the dynamic behavior of three prominent classes of models: the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Rock-Scissors-Paper game, and Competing Associations. The major theme of the review is in what sense and how the graph structure of interactions can modify and enrich the picture of long term behavioral patterns emerging in evolutionary games.

  6. Biological applications of phase-contrast electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagayama, Kuniaki

    2014-01-01

    Here, I review the principles and applications of phase-contrast electron microscopy using phase plates. First, I develop the principle of phase contrast based on a minimal model of microscopy, introducing a double Fourier-transform process to mathematically formulate the image formation. Next, I explain four phase-contrast (PC) schemes, defocus PC, Zernike PC, Hilbert differential contrast, and schlieren optics, as image-filtering processes in the context of the minimal model, with particular emphases on the Zernike PC and corresponding Zernike phase plates. Finally, I review applications of Zernike PC cryo-electron microscopy to biological systems such as protein molecules, virus particles, and cells, including single-particle analysis to delineate three-dimensional (3D) structures of protein and virus particles and cryo-electron tomography to reconstruct 3D images of complex protein systems and cells.

  7. Evolutionary Science as a Method to Facilitate Higher Level Thinking and Reasoning in Medical Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Joseph L; Reiber, Chris; Thanukos, Anna; Hurtado, Magdalena; Wolpaw, Terry

    2016-10-15

    Evolutionary science is indispensable for understanding biological processes. Effective medical treatment must be anchored in sound biology. However, currently the insights available from evolutionary science are not adequately incorporated in either pre-medical or medical school curricula. To illuminate how evolution may be helpful in these areas, examples in which the insights of evolutionary science are already improving medical treatment and ways in which evolutionary reasoning can be practiced in the context of medicine are provided. In order to facilitate the learning of evolutionary principles, concepts derived from evolutionary science that medical students and professionals should understand are outlined. These concepts are designed to be authoritative and at the same time easily accessible for anyone with the general biological knowledge of a first-year medical student. Thus we conclude that medical practice informed by evolutionary principles will be more effective and lead to better patient outcomes.Furthermore, it is argued that evolutionary medicine complements general medical training because it provides an additional means by which medical students can practice the critical thinking skills that will be important in their future practice. We argue that core concepts from evolutionary science have the potential to improve critical thinking and facilitate more effective learning in medical training. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

  8. Applications of Free Electron Lasers in Biology and Medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pelka, J.B.; Tybor, K.R.; Nietubyc, R.; Wrochna, G.

    2010-01-01

    The advent of free electron lasers opens up new opportunities to probe the dynamics of ultrafast processes and the structure of matter with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. New methods inaccessible with other known types of radiation sources can be developed, resulting in a breakthrough in deep understanding the fundamentals of life as well as in numerous medical and biological applications. In the present work the properties of free electron laser radiation that make the sources excellent for probing biological matter at an arbitrary wavelength, in a wide range of intensities and pulse durations are briefly discussed. A number of biophysical and biomedical applications of the new sources, currently considered among the most promising in the field, are presented. (author)

  9. Research traditions and evolutionary explanations in medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méthot, Pierre-Olivier

    2011-02-01

    In this article, I argue that distinguishing 'evolutionary' from 'Darwinian' medicine will help us assess the variety of roles that evolutionary explanations can play in a number of medical contexts. Because the boundaries of evolutionary and Darwinian medicine overlap to some extent, however, they are best described as distinct 'research traditions' rather than as competing paradigms. But while evolutionary medicine does not stand out as a new scientific field of its own, Darwinian medicine is united by a number of distinctive theoretical and methodological claims. For example, evolutionary medicine and Darwinian medicine can be distinguished with respect to the styles of evolutionary explanations they employ. While the former primarily involves 'forward looking' explanations, the latter depends mostly on 'backward looking' explanations. A forward looking explanation tries to predict the effects of ongoing evolutionary processes on human health and disease in contemporary environments (e.g., hospitals). In contrast, a backward looking explanation typically applies evolutionary principles from the vantage point of humans' distant biological past in order to assess present states of health and disease. Both approaches, however, are concerned with the prevention and control of human diseases. In conclusion, I raise some concerns about the claim that 'nothing in medicine makes sense except in the light of evolution'.

  10. Modalities of gene action predicted by the classical evolutionary biological theory of aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, George M

    2007-04-01

    What might now be referred to as the "classical" evolutionary biological theory of why we age has had a number of serious challenges in recent years. While the theory might therefore have to be modified under certain circumstances, in the author's opinion, it still provides the soundest theoretical basis for thinking about how we age. Nine modalities of gene action that have the potential to modulate processes of aging are reviewed, including the two most widely reviewed and accepted concepts ("antagonistic pleiotropy" and "mutation accumulation"). While several of these nine mechanisms can be regarded as derivatives of the antagonistic pleiotropic concept, they frame more specific questions for future research. Such research should pursue what appears to be the dominant factor in the determination of intraspecific variations in longevity-stochastic mechanisms, most likely based upon epigenetics. This contrasts with the dominant factor in the determination of interspecific variations in longevity-the constitutional genome, most likely based upon variations in regulatory loci.

  11. 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.

  12. The Current Status of the Philosophy of Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takacs, Peter; Ruse, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The philosophy of biology today is one of the most exciting areas of philosophy. It looks critically across the life sciences, teasing out conceptual issues and difficulties bringing to bear the tools of philosophical analysis to achieve clarification and understanding. This essay surveys work in all of the major directions of research: evolutionary theory and the units/levels of selection; evolutionary developmental biology; reductionism; ecology; the species problem; teleology; evolutionary epistemology; evolutionary ethics; and progress. There is a comprehensive bibliography.

  13. Transmission electron microscopy in molecular structural biology: A historical survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J Robin

    2015-09-01

    In this personal, historic account of macromolecular transmission electron microscopy (TEM), published data from the 1940s through to recent times is surveyed, within the context of the remarkable progress that has been achieved during this time period. The evolution of present day molecular structural biology is described in relation to the associated biological disciplines. The contribution of numerous electron microscope pioneers to the development of the subject is discussed. The principal techniques for TEM specimen preparation, thin sectioning, metal shadowing, negative staining and plunge-freezing (vitrification) of thin aqueous samples are described, with a selection of published images to emphasise the virtues of each method. The development of digital image analysis and 3D reconstruction is described in detail as applied to electron crystallography and reconstructions from helical structures, 2D membrane crystals as well as single particle 3D reconstruction of icosahedral viruses and macromolecules. The on-going development of new software, algorithms and approaches is highlighted before specific examples of the historical progress of the structural biology of proteins and viruses are presented. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Electron Bifurcation: Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Two-Electron Brokering in Biological Redox Chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng; Yuly, Jonathon L; Lubner, Carolyn E; Mulder, David W; King, Paul W; Peters, John W; Beratan, David N

    2017-09-19

    How can proteins drive two electrons from a redox active donor onto two acceptors at very different potentials and distances? And how can this transaction be conducted without dissipating very much energy or violating the laws of thermodynamics? Nature appears to have addressed these challenges by coupling thermodynamically uphill and downhill electron transfer reactions, using two-electron donor cofactors that have very different potentials for the removal of the first and second electron. Although electron bifurcation is carried out with near perfection from the standpoint of energy conservation and electron delivery yields, it is a biological energy transduction paradigm that has only come into focus recently. This Account provides an exegesis of the biophysical principles that underpin electron bifurcation. Remarkably, bifurcating electron transfer (ET) proteins typically send one electron uphill and one electron downhill by similar energies, such that the overall reaction is spontaneous, but not profligate. Electron bifurcation in the NADH-dependent reduced ferredoxin: NADP + oxidoreductase I (Nfn) is explored in detail here. Recent experimental progress in understanding the structure and function of Nfn allows us to dissect its workings in the framework of modern ET theory. The first electron that leaves the two-electron donor flavin (L-FAD) executes a positive free energy "uphill" reaction, and the departure of this electron switches on a second thermodynamically spontaneous ET reaction from the flavin along a second pathway that moves electrons in the opposite direction and at a very different potential. The singly reduced ET products formed from the bifurcating flavin are more than two nanometers distant from each other. In Nfn, the second electron to leave the flavin is much more reducing than the first: the potentials are said to be "crossed." The eventually reduced cofactors, NADH and ferredoxin in the case of Nfn, perform crucial downstream redox

  15. [Charles Darwin and the problem of evolutionary progress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iordanskiĭ, N N

    2010-01-01

    According to Ch. Darwin's evolutionary theory, evolutionary progress (interpreted as morpho-physiological progress or arogenesis in recent terminology) is one of logical results of natural selection. At the same time, natural selection does not hold any factors especially promoting evolutionary progress. Darwin emphasized that the pattern of evolutionary changes depends on organism nature more than on the pattern of environment changes. Arogenesis specificity is determined by organization of rigorous biological systems - integral organisms. Onward progressive development is determined by fundamental features of living organisms: metabolism and homeostasis. The concept of social Darwinism differs fundamentally from Darwin's ideas about the most important role of social instincts in progress of mankind. Competition and selection play secondary role in socio-cultural progress of human society.

  16. Evolutionary medicine: its scope, interest and potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stearns, Stephen C

    2012-11-07

    This review is aimed at readers seeking an introductory overview, teaching courses and interested in visionary ideas. It first describes the range of topics covered by evolutionary medicine, which include human genetic variation, mismatches to modernity, reproductive medicine, degenerative disease, host-pathogen interactions and insights from comparisons with other species. It then discusses priorities for translational research, basic research and health management. Its conclusions are that evolutionary thinking should not displace other approaches to medical science, such as molecular medicine and cell and developmental biology, but that evolutionary insights can combine with and complement established approaches to reduce suffering and save lives. Because we are on the cusp of so much new research and innovative insights, it is hard to estimate how much impact evolutionary thinking will have on medicine, but it is already clear that its potential is enormous.

  17. Testing evolutionary hypotheses for phenotypic divergence using landscape genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

    Understanding the evolutionary causes of phenotypic variation among populations has long been a central theme in evolutionary biology. Several factors can influence phenotypic divergence, including geographic isolation, genetic drift, divergent natural or sexual selection, and phenotypic plasticity. But the relative importance of these factors in generating phenotypic divergence in nature is still a tantalizing and unresolved problem in evolutionary biology. The origin and maintenance of phenotypic divergence is also at the root of many ongoing debates in evolutionary biology, such as the extent to which gene flow constrains adaptive divergence (Garant et al. 2007) and the relative importance of genetic drift, natural selection, and sexual selection in initiating reproductive isolation and speciation (Coyne & Orr 2004). In this issue, Wang & Summers (2010) test the causes of one of the most fantastic examples of phenotypic divergence in nature: colour pattern divergence among populations of the strawberry poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) in Panama and Costa Rica (Fig. 1). This study provides a beautiful example of the use of the emerging field of landscape genetics to differentiate among hypotheses for phenotypic divergence. Using landscape genetic analyses, Wang & Summers were able to reject the hypotheses that colour pattern divergence is due to isolation-by-distance (IBD) or landscape resistance. Instead, the hypothesis left standing is that colour divergence is due to divergent selection, in turn driving reproductive isolation among populations with different colour morphs. More generally, this study provides a wonderful example of how the emerging field of landscape genetics, which has primarily been applied to questions in conservation and ecology, now plays an essential role in evolutionary research.

  18. Testing the cranial evolutionary allometric 'rule' in Galliformes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde-Medina, M

    2016-09-01

    Recent comparative studies have indicated the existence of a common cranial evolutionary allometric (CREA) pattern in mammals and birds, in which smaller species have relatively smaller faces and bigger braincases than larger species. In these studies, cranial allometry was tested using a multivariate regression between shape (described using landmarks coordinates) and size (i.e. centroid size), after accounting for phylogenetic relatedness. Alternatively, cranial allometry can be determined by comparing the sizes of two anatomical parts using a bivariate regression analysis. In this analysis, a slope higher or lower than one indicates the existence of positive or negative allometry, respectively. Thus, in those species that support the CREA 'rule', positive allometry is expected for the association between face size and braincase size, which would indicate that larger species have disproportionally larger faces. In this study, I applied these two approaches to explore cranial allometry in 83 Galliformes (Aves, Galloanserae), ranging in mean body weight from 30 g to 2.5 kg. The multivariate regression between shape and centroid size revealed the existence of a significant allometric pattern resembling CREA, whereas the second analysis revealed a negative allometry for beak size and braincase size (i.e. contrary to the CREA 'rule', larger galliform species have disproportionally shorter beaks than smaller galliform species). This study suggests that the presence of CREA may be overestimated when using cranium size as the standard measurement. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. 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.

  20. The uncertain foundation of neo-Darwinism: metaphysical and epistemological pluralism in the evolutionary synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delisle, Richard G

    2009-06-01

    The Evolutionary Synthesis is often seen as a unification process in evolutionary biology, one which provided this research area with a solid common theoretical foundation. As such, neo-Darwinism is believed to constitute from this time onward a single, coherent, and unified movement offering research guidelines for investigations. While this may be true if evolutionary biology is solely understood as centred around evolutionary mechanisms, an entirely different picture emerges once other aspects of the founding neo-Darwinists' views are taken into consideration, aspects potentially relevant to the elaboration of an evolutionary worldview: the tree of life, the ontological distinctions of the main cosmic entities (inert matter, biological organisms, mind), the inherent properties of self-organizing matter, evolutionary ethics, and so on. Profound tensions and inconsistencies are immediately revealed in the neo-Darwinian movement once this broader perspective is adopted. This pluralism is such that it is possible to identify at least three distinct and quasi-incommensurable epistemological/metaphysical frameworks as providing a proper foundation for neo-Darwinism. The analysis of the views of Theodosius Dobzhansky, Bernhard Rensch, and Ernst Mayr will illustrate this untenable pluralism, one which requires us to conceive of the neo-Darwinian research agenda as being conducted in more than one research programme or research tradition at the same time.

  1. Methanol as electron donor for thermophilic biological sulfate and sulfite reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijma, J.

    2000-01-01

    Sulfur oxyanions (e.g. sulfate, sulfite) can be removed from aqueous waste- and process streams by biological reduction with a suitable electron donor to sulfide, followed by partial chemical or biological oxidation of sulfide to elemental sulfur. The aim of the research described in this

  2. 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

  3. Literary study and evolutionary theory : A review essay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, J

    1998-09-01

    Several recent books have claimed to integrate literary study with evolutionary biology. All of the books here considered, except Robert Storey's, adopt conceptions of evolutionary theory that are in some way marginal to the Darwinian adaptationist program. All the works attempt to connect evolutionary study with various other disciplines or methodologies: for example, with cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, the psychology of emotion, neurobiology, chaos theory, or structuralist linguistics. No empirical paradigm has yet been established for this field, but important steps have been taken, especially by Storey, in formulating basic principles, identifying appropriate disciplinary connections, and marking out lines of inquiry. Reciprocal efforts are needed from biologists and social scientists.

  4. Structure versus time in the evolutionary diversification of avian carotenoid metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Erin S; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2018-05-01

    Historical associations of genes and proteins are thought to delineate pathways available to subsequent evolution; however, the effects of past functional involvements on contemporary evolution are rarely quantified. Here, we examined the extent to which the structure of a carotenoid enzymatic network persists in avian evolution. Specifically, we tested whether the evolution of carotenoid networks was most concordant with phylogenetically structured expansion from core reactions of common ancestors or with subsampling of biochemical pathway modules from an ancestral network. We compared structural and historical associations in 467 carotenoid networks of extant and ancestral species and uncovered the overwhelming effect of pre-existing metabolic network structure on carotenoid diversification over the last 50 million years of avian evolution. Over evolutionary time, birds repeatedly subsampled and recombined conserved biochemical modules, which likely maintained the overall structure of the carotenoid metabolic network during avian evolution. These findings explain the recurrent convergence of evolutionary distant species in carotenoid metabolism and weak phylogenetic signal in avian carotenoid evolution. Remarkable retention of an ancient metabolic structure throughout extensive and prolonged ecological diversification in avian carotenoid metabolism illustrates a fundamental requirement of organismal evolution - historical continuity of a deterministic network that links past and present functional associations of its components. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  5. Evolutionary theory of ageing and the problem of correlated Gompertz parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Oskar; Missov, Trifon I

    2016-11-07

    The Gompertz mortality model is often used to evaluate evolutionary theories of ageing, such as the Medawar-Williams' hypothesis that high extrinsic mortality leads to faster ageing. However, fits of the Gompertz mortality model to data often find the opposite result that mortality is negatively correlated with the rate of ageing. This negative correlation has been independently discovered in several taxa and is known in actuarial studies of ageing as the Strehler-Mildvan correlation. We examine the role of mortality selection in determining late-life variation in susceptibility to death, which has been suggested to be the cause of this negative correlation. We demonstrate that fixed-frailty models that account for heterogeneity in frailty do not remove the correlation and that the correlation is an inherent statistical property of the Gompertz distribution. Linking actuarial and biological rates of ageing will continue to be a pressing challenge, but the Strehler-Mildvan correlation itself should not be used to diagnose any biological, physiological, or evolutionary process. These findings resolve some key tensions between theory and data that affect evolutionary and biological studies of ageing and mortality. Tests of evolutionary theories of ageing should include direct measures of physiological performance or condition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Evolutionary Models for Simple Biosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagnoli, Franco

    The concept of evolutionary development of structures constituted a real revolution in biology: it was possible to understand how the very complex structures of life can arise in an out-of-equilibrium system. The investigation of such systems has shown that indeed, systems under a flux of energy or matter can self-organize into complex patterns, think for instance to Rayleigh-Bernard convection, Liesegang rings, patterns formed by granular systems under shear. Following this line, one could characterize life as a state of matter, characterized by the slow, continuous process that we call evolution. In this paper we try to identify the organizational level of life, that spans several orders of magnitude from the elementary constituents to whole ecosystems. Although similar structures can be found in other contexts like ideas (memes) in neural systems and self-replicating elements (computer viruses, worms, etc.) in computer systems, we shall concentrate on biological evolutionary structure, and try to put into evidence the role and the emergence of network structure in such systems.

  7. MEGA5: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Using Maximum Likelihood, Evolutionary Distance, and Maximum Parsimony Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Koichiro; Peterson, Daniel; Peterson, Nicholas; Stecher, Glen; Nei, Masatoshi; Kumar, Sudhir

    2011-01-01

    Comparative analysis of molecular sequence data is essential for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of species and inferring the nature and extent of selective forces shaping the evolution of genes and species. Here, we announce the release of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 5 (MEGA5), which is a user-friendly software for mining online databases, building sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and using methods of evolutionary bioinformatics in basic biology, biomedicine, and evolution. The newest addition in MEGA5 is a collection of maximum likelihood (ML) analyses for inferring evolutionary trees, selecting best-fit substitution models (nucleotide or amino acid), inferring ancestral states and sequences (along with probabilities), and estimating evolutionary rates site-by-site. In computer simulation analyses, ML tree inference algorithms in MEGA5 compared favorably with other software packages in terms of computational efficiency and the accuracy of the estimates of phylogenetic trees, substitution parameters, and rate variation among sites. The MEGA user interface has now been enhanced to be activity driven to make it easier for the use of both beginners and experienced scientists. This version of MEGA is intended for the Windows platform, and it has been configured for effective use on Mac OS X and Linux desktops. It is available free of charge from http://www.megasoftware.net. PMID:21546353

  8. The evolutionary implications of epigenetic inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonka, Eva

    2017-10-06

    The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (MS) forged in the mid-twentieth century was built on a notion of heredity that excluded soft inheritance, the inheritance of the effects of developmental modifications. However, the discovery of molecular mechanisms that generate random and developmentally induced epigenetic variations is leading to a broadening of the notion of biological heredity that has consequences for ideas about evolution. After presenting some old challenges to the MS that were raised, among others, by Karl Popper, I discuss recent research on epigenetic inheritance, which provides experimental and theoretical support for these challenges. There is now good evidence that epigenetic inheritance is ubiquitous and is involved in adaptive evolution and macroevolution. I argue that the many evolutionary consequences of epigenetic inheritance open up new research areas and require the extension of the evolutionary synthesis beyond the current neo-Darwinian model.

  9. Evolutionary Aesthetics and Print Advertising

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Luczaj

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The article analyzes the extent to which predictions based on the theory of evolutionary aesthetics are utilized by the advertising industry. The purpose of a comprehensive content analysis of print advertising is to determine whether the items indicated by evolutionists such as animals, flowers, certain types of landscapes, beautiful humans, and some colors are part of real advertising strategies. This article has shown that many evolutionary hypotheses (although not all of them are supported by empirical data. Along with these hypotheses, some inferences from Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory were tested. It turned out that advertising uses both biological schemata and cultural patterns to make an image more likable.

  10. MultiSeq: unifying sequence and structure data for evolutionary analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wright Dan

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since the publication of the first draft of the human genome in 2000, bioinformatic data have been accumulating at an overwhelming pace. Currently, more than 3 million sequences and 35 thousand structures of proteins and nucleic acids are available in public databases. Finding correlations in and between these data to answer critical research questions is extremely challenging. This problem needs to be approached from several directions: information science to organize and search the data; information visualization to assist in recognizing correlations; mathematics to formulate statistical inferences; and biology to analyze chemical and physical properties in terms of sequence and structure changes. Results Here we present MultiSeq, a unified bioinformatics analysis environment that allows one to organize, display, align and analyze both sequence and structure data for proteins and nucleic acids. While special emphasis is placed on analyzing the data within the framework of evolutionary biology, the environment is also flexible enough to accommodate other usage patterns. The evolutionary approach is supported by the use of predefined metadata, adherence to standard ontological mappings, and the ability for the user to adjust these classifications using an electronic notebook. MultiSeq contains a new algorithm to generate complete evolutionary profiles that represent the topology of the molecular phylogenetic tree of a homologous group of distantly related proteins. The method, based on the multidimensional QR factorization of multiple sequence and structure alignments, removes redundancy from the alignments and orders the protein sequences by increasing linear dependence, resulting in the identification of a minimal basis set of sequences that spans the evolutionary space of the homologous group of proteins. Conclusion MultiSeq is a major extension of the Multiple Alignment tool that is provided as part of VMD, a structural

  11. 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)

  12. A teleofunctional account of evolutionary mismatch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofnas, Nathan

    When the environment in which an organism lives deviates in some essential way from that to which it is adapted, this is described as "evolutionary mismatch," or "evolutionary novelty." The notion of mismatch plays an important role, explicitly or implicitly, in evolution-informed cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and medicine. The evolutionary novelty of our contemporary environment is thought to have significant implications for our health and well-being. However, scientists have generally been working without a clear definition of mismatch. This paper defines mismatch as deviations in the environment that render biological traits unable, or impaired in their ability, to produce their selected effects (i.e., to perform their proper functions in Neander's sense). The machinery developed by Millikan in connection with her account of proper function, and with her related teleosemantic account of representation, is used to identify four major types, and several subtypes, of evolutionary mismatch. While the taxonomy offered here does not in itself resolve any scientific debates, the hope is that it can be used to better formulate empirical hypotheses concerning the effects of mismatch. To illustrate, it is used to show that the controversial hypothesis that general intelligence evolved as an adaptation to handle evolutionary novelty can, contra some critics, be formulated in a conceptually coherent way.

  13. Comparative systems biology across an evolutionary gradient within the Shewanella genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T; Serres, Margrethe H; Romine, Margaret F; Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Auchtung, Jennifer; McCue, Lee-Ann; Lipton, Mary S; Obraztsova, Anna; Giometti, Carol S; Nealson, Kenneth H; Fredrickson, James K; Tiedje, James M

    2009-09-15

    To what extent genotypic differences translate to phenotypic variation remains a poorly understood issue of paramount importance for several cornerstone concepts of microbiology including the species definition. Here, we take advantage of the completed genomic sequences, expressed proteomic profiles, and physiological studies of 10 closely related Shewanella strains and species to provide quantitative insights into this issue. Our analyses revealed that, despite extensive horizontal gene transfer within these genomes, the genotypic and phenotypic similarities among the organisms were generally predictable from their evolutionary relatedness. The power of the predictions depended on the degree of ecological specialization of the organisms evaluated. Using the gradient of evolutionary relatedness formed by these genomes, we were able to partly isolate the effect of ecology from that of evolutionary divergence and to rank the different cellular functions in terms of their rates of evolution. Our ranking also revealed that whole-cell protein expression differences among these organisms, when the organisms were grown under identical conditions, were relatively larger than differences at the genome level, suggesting that similarity in gene regulation and expression should constitute another important parameter for (new) species description. Collectively, our results provide important new information toward beginning a systems-level understanding of bacterial species and genera.

  14. Women, behavior, and evolution: understanding the debate between feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liesen, Laurette T

    2007-03-01

    Often since the early 1990s, feminist evolutionists have criticized evolutionary psychologists, finding fault in their analyses of human male and female reproductive behavior. Feminist evolutionists have criticized various evolutionary psychologists for perpetuating gender stereotypes, using questionable methodology, and exhibiting a chill toward feminism. Though these criticisms have been raised many times, the conflict itself has not been fully analyzed. Therefore, I reconsider this conflict, both in its origins and its implications. I find that the approaches and perspectives of feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists are distinctly different, leading many of the former to work in behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology. Invitingly to feminist evolutionists, these three fields emphasize social behavior and the influences of environmental variables; in contrast, evolutionary psychology has come to rely on assumptions deemphasizing the pliability of psychological mechanisms and the flexibility of human behavior. In behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, feminist evolutionists have found old biases easy to correct and new hypotheses practical to test, offering new insights into male and female behavior, explaining the emergence and persistence of patriarchy, and potentially bringing closer a prime feminist goal, sexual equality.

  15. Strengths and Weaknesses of McNamara's Evolutionary Psychological Model of Dreaming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Olliges

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This article includes a brief overview of McNamara's (2004 evolutionary model of dreaming. The strengths and weaknesses of this model are then evaluated in terms of its consonance with measurable neurological and biological properties of dreaming, its fit within the tenets of evolutionary theories of dreams, and its alignment with evolutionary concepts of cooperation and spirituality. McNamara's model focuses primarily on dreaming that occurs during rapid eye movement (REM sleep; therefore this article also focuses on REM dreaming.

  16. Experimental evolution reveals differences between phenotypic and evolutionary responses to population density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, K B; Simmons, L W

    2017-09-01

    Group living can select for increased immunity, given the heightened risk of parasite transmission. Yet, it also may select for increased male reproductive investment, given the elevated risk of female multiple mating. Trade-offs between immunity and reproduction are well documented. Phenotypically, population density mediates both reproductive investment and immune function in the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella. However, the evolutionary response of populations to these traits is unknown. We created two replicated populations of P. interpunctella, reared and mated for 14 generations under high or low population densities. These population densities cause plastic responses in immunity and reproduction: at higher numbers, both sexes invest more in one index of immunity [phenoloxidase (PO) activity] and males invest more in sperm. Interestingly, our data revealed divergence in PO and reproduction in a different direction to previously reported phenotypic responses. Males evolving at low population densities transferred more sperm, and both males and females displayed higher PO than individuals at high population densities. These positively correlated responses to selection suggest no apparent evolutionary trade-off between immunity and reproduction. We speculate that the reduced PO activity and sperm investment when evolving under high population density may be due to the reduced population fitness predicted under increased sexual conflict and/or to trade-offs between pre- and post-copulatory traits. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. 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.

  18. Cultural and climatic changes shape the evolutionary history of the Uralic languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honkola, T; Vesakoski, O; Korhonen, K; Lehtinen, J; Syrjänen, K; Wahlberg, N

    2013-06-01

    Quantitative phylogenetic methods have been used to study the evolutionary relationships and divergence times of biological species, and recently, these have also been applied to linguistic data to elucidate the evolutionary history of language families. In biology, the factors driving macroevolutionary processes are assumed to be either mainly biotic (the Red Queen model) or mainly abiotic (the Court Jester model) or a combination of both. The applicability of these models is assumed to depend on the temporal and spatial scale observed as biotic factors act on species divergence faster and in smaller spatial scale than the abiotic factors. Here, we used the Uralic language family to investigate whether both 'biotic' interactions (i.e. cultural interactions) and abiotic changes (i.e. climatic fluctuations) are also connected to language diversification. We estimated the times of divergence using Bayesian phylogenetics with a relaxed-clock method and related our results to climatic, historical and archaeological information. Our timing results paralleled the previous linguistic studies but suggested a later divergence of Finno-Ugric, Finnic and Saami languages. Some of the divergences co-occurred with climatic fluctuation and some with cultural interaction and migrations of populations. Thus, we suggest that both 'biotic' and abiotic factors contribute either directly or indirectly to the diversification of languages and that both models can be applied when studying language evolution. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Draft genome of the medaka fish: a comprehensive resource for medaka developmental genetics and vertebrate evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Hiroyuki

    2008-06-01

    The medaka Oryzias latipes is a small egg-laying freshwater teleost, and has become an excellent model system for developmental genetics and evolutionary biology. The medaka genome is relatively small in size, approximately 800 Mb, and the genome sequencing project was recently completed by Japanese research groups, providing a high-quality draft genome sequence of the inbred Hd-rR strain of medaka. In this review, I present an overview of the medaka genome project including genome resources, followed by specific findings obtained with the medaka draft genome. In particular, I focus on the analysis that was done by taking advantage of the medaka system, such as the sex chromosome differentiation and the regional history of medaka species using single nucleotide polymorphisms as genomic markers.

  20. Mass determination based on electron scattering in electron probe X-ray microanalysis of thin biological specimens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linders, P.W.J.

    1984-01-01

    This thesis describes the development of a method for mass determination of thin biological objects by quantitative electron microscopy. The practical realization of the mass determination consists of photographical recording with subsequent densitometry. (Auth.)

  1. 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.

  2. Evidence Combination From an Evolutionary Game Theory Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Xinyang; Han, Deqiang; Dezert, Jean; Deng, Yong; Shyr, Yu

    2016-09-01

    Dempster-Shafer evidence theory is a primary methodology for multisource information fusion because it is good at dealing with uncertain information. This theory provides a Dempster's rule of combination to synthesize multiple evidences from various information sources. However, in some cases, counter-intuitive results may be obtained based on that combination rule. Numerous new or improved methods have been proposed to suppress these counter-intuitive results based on perspectives, such as minimizing the information loss or deviation. Inspired by evolutionary game theory, this paper considers a biological and evolutionary perspective to study the combination of evidences. An evolutionary combination rule (ECR) is proposed to help find the most biologically supported proposition in a multievidence system. Within the proposed ECR, we develop a Jaccard matrix game to formalize the interaction between propositions in evidences, and utilize the replicator dynamics to mimick the evolution of propositions. Experimental results show that the proposed ECR can effectively suppress the counter-intuitive behaviors appeared in typical paradoxes of evidence theory, compared with many existing methods. Properties of the ECR, such as solution's stability and convergence, have been mathematically proved as well.

  3. Bridging developmental systems theory and evolutionary psychology using dynamic optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankenhuis, Willem E; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H

    2013-07-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic optimization integrates developmental systems theorists' focus on dynamics and contingency with the 'design stance' of evolutionary psychology. It provides a theoretical framework as well as a set of tools for exploring the properties of developmental systems that natural selection might favor, given particular evolutionary ecologies. We also discuss limitations of the approach. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Selfish genetic elements, genetic conflict, and evolutionary innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werren, John H

    2011-06-28

    Genomes are vulnerable to selfish genetic elements (SGEs), which enhance their own transmission relative to the rest of an individual's genome but are neutral or harmful to the individual as a whole. As a result, genetic conflict occurs between SGEs and other genetic elements in the genome. There is growing evidence that SGEs, and the resulting genetic conflict, are an important motor for evolutionary change and innovation. In this review, the kinds of SGEs and their evolutionary consequences are described, including how these elements shape basic biological features, such as genome structure and gene regulation, evolution of new genes, origin of new species, and mechanisms of sex determination and development. The dynamics of SGEs are also considered, including possible "evolutionary functions" of SGEs.

  5. The social production of health: critical contributions from evolutionary, biological, and cultural anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Betty Wolder; Browner, C H

    2005-08-01

    In 1946, the newly formed World Health Organization boldly sought to conceptualize "health" as wellbeing in the positive sense, "not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Yet nearly six decades later, researchers are still principally concerned with pathology and its characteristics and consequences. This special issue is the result of an effort to broaden the focus. Anthropologists working from evolutionary, biological and sociocultural perspectives and in diverse geographic regions were asked to examine meanings associated with health and/or to identify social conditions and practices that have contributed to positive physiological and psychological states in particular cultures, times, or across time. Most notable, perhaps, was discovering how difficult it is for Western social scientists to move beyond pathology-based thinking; most authors represented here regard health primarily as the absence of disease. Still, these papers articulate and address questions key to understanding health in and of itself, including: How is health conceptualized? What kinds of social conditions lead to health? And, how do social inequalities affect health? This introduction critically discusses previous work on the subject to contextualize the original research papers offered here.

  6. Human compulsivity: A perspective from evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Dan J; Hermesh, Haggai; Eilam, David; Segalas, Cosi; Zohar, Joseph; Menchon, Jose; Nesse, Randolph M

    2016-05-01

    Biological explanations address not only proximal mechanisms (for example, the underlying neurobiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder), but also distal mechanisms (that is, a consideration of how particular neurobiological mechanisms evolved). Evolutionary medicine has emphasized a series of explanations for vulnerability to disease, including constraints, mismatch, and tradeoffs. The current paper will consider compulsive symptoms in obsessive-compulsive and related disorders and behavioral addictions from this evolutionary perspective. It will argue that while obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is typically best conceptualized as a dysfunction, it is theoretically and clinically valuable to understand some symptoms of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders in terms of useful defenses. The symptoms of behavioral addictions can also be conceptualized in evolutionary terms (for example, mismatch), which in turn provides a sound foundation for approaching assessment and intervention. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Altruism, egoism, or neither: A cognitive-efficiency-based evolutionary biological perspective on helping behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Armin W

    2016-04-01

    I argue for differences in the cognitive efficiency of different psychologies underlying helping behavior, and present an account of the adaptive pressures that result from these differences. Specifically, I argue that organisms often face pressure to move away from only being egoistically motivated to help: non-egoistic organisms are often able to determine how to help other organisms more quickly and with less recourse to costly cognitive resources like concentration and attention. Furthermore, I also argue that, while these pressures away from pure egoism can lead to the evolution of altruists, they can also lead to the evolution of reciprocation-focused behaviorist helpers or even of reflex-driven helpers (who are neither altruists nor egoists). In this way, I seek to broaden the set of considerations typically taken into account when assessing the evolution of the psychology of helping behavior-which tend to be restricted to matters of reliability-and also try to make clearer the role of evolutionary biological considerations in the discussion of this apparently straightforwardly psychological phenomenon. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Evolutionary ethics from Darwin to Moore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, Fritz

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary ethics has a long history, dating all the way back to Charles Darwin. Almost immediately after the publication of the Origin, an immense interest arose in the moral implications of Darwinism and whether the truth of Darwinism would undermine traditional ethics. Though the biological thesis was certainly exciting, nobody suspected that the impact of the Origin would be confined to the scientific arena. As one historian wrote, 'whether or not ancient populations of armadillos were transformed into the species that currently inhabit the new world was certainly a topic about which zoologists could disagree. But it was in discussing the broader implications of the theory...that tempers flared and statements were made which could transform what otherwise would have been a quiet scholarly meeting into a social scandal' (Farber 1994, 22). Some resistance to the biological thesis of Darwinism sprung from the thought that it was incompatible with traditional morality and, since one of them had to go, many thought that Darwinism should be rejected. However, some people did realize that a secular ethics was possible so, even if Darwinism did undermine traditional religious beliefs, it need not have any effects on moral thought. Before I begin my discussion of evolutionary ethics from Darwin to Moore, I would like to make some more general remarks about its development. There are three key events during this history of evolutionary ethics. First, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species (Darwin 1859). Since one did not have a fully developed theory of evolution until 1859, there exists little work on evolutionary ethics until then. Shortly thereafter, Herbert Spencer (1898) penned the first systematic theory of evolutionary ethics, which was promptly attacked by T.H. Huxley (Huxley 1894). Second, at about the turn of the century, moral philosophers entered the fray and attempted to demonstrate logical errors in Spencer's work; such errors were alluded

  9. 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.

  10. Misrepresentations of evolutionary psychology in sex and gender textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winegard, Benjamin M; Winegard, Bo M; Deaner, Robert O

    2014-05-20

    Evolutionary psychology has provoked controversy, especially when applied to human sex differences. We hypothesize that this is partly due to misunderstandings of evolutionary psychology that are perpetuated by undergraduate sex and gender textbooks. As an initial test of this hypothesis, we develop a catalog of eight types of errors and document their occurrence in 15 widely used sex and gender textbooks. Consistent with our hypothesis, of the 12 textbooks that discussed evolutionary psychology, all contained at least one error, and the median number of errors was five. The most common types of errors were "Straw Man," "Biological Determinism," and "Species Selection." We conclude by suggesting improvements to undergraduate sex and gender textbooks.

  11. The curiously long absence of cooking in evolutionary thought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrangham, R

    2016-06-01

    Beran et al. (2015, p. 1) characterized the idea that "cooked food was integral in human evolution" as a "long-held hypothesis" favored by Darwin and Engels. In fact, however, although Darwin and Engels considered the use of cooked food to be an important influence on behavior and society, neither of them suggested that its effects were evolutionary in the sense of affecting biology. Explicit discussion of the possible evolutionary impacts of cooking did not begin until the twentieth century.

  12. Correlation between biological activity and electron transferring of bovine liver catalase: Osmolytes effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tehrani, H. Sepasi; Moosavi-Movahedi, A.A.; Ghourchian, H.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Proline increases ET in Bovine Liver Catalase (BLC) whereas histidine decreases it. • Proline also increased the biological activity, whereas histidine decreased it. • Electron transferring and biological activity for BLC are directly correlated. • Proline causes favorable ET for BLC shown by positive E 1/2 (E°′) and negative ΔG. • Histidine makes ET unfavorable for BLC, manifested by E 1/2 (E°′) 0. -- Abstract: Catalase is a crucial antioxidant enzyme that protects life against detrimental effects of H 2 O 2 by disproportionating it into water and molecular oxygen. Effect of proline as a compatible and histidine as a non compatible osmolyte on the electron transferring and midpoint potential of catalase has been investigated. Proline increases the midpoint potential (ΔE m > 0), therefore causing the ΔG ET to be less positive and making the electron transfer reaction more facile whereas histidine decreases the E m (ΔE m ET , thereby rendering the electron transfer reaction less efficient. These results indicate the inhibitory effect of histidine evident by a −37% decrease in the cathodic peak current compared to 16% increase in the case of proline indicative of activation. The insight paves the tedious way towards our ultimate goal of elucidating a correlation between biological activity and electron transferring

  13. The evolutionary landscape of antifolate resistance in Plasmodium ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jgen/090/02/0187-0190. Keywords. malaria; drug resistance; dihydrofolate reductase; pyrimethamine; chlorcycloguanil; antifolates. Author Affiliations. Marna S. Costanzo1 Daniel L. Hartl1. Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, ...

  14. 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.

  15. Cognition and Culture in Evolutionary Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmenares, Fernando; Hernández-Lloreda, María Victoria

    2017-01-09

    In humans and other animals, the individuals' ability to adapt efficiently and effectively to the niches they have actively contributed to construct relies heavily on an evolved psychology which has been shaped by biological, social, and cultural processes over evolutionary time. As expected, although many of the behavioral and cognitive components of this evolved psychology are widely shared across species, many others are species-unique. Although many animal species are known to acquire group-specific traditions (or cultures) via social learning, human culture is unique in terms of its contents and characteristics (observable and unobservable products, cumulative effects, norm conformity, and norm enforcement) and of its cognitive underpinnings (imitation, instructed teaching, and language). Here we provide a brief overview of some of the issues that are currently tackled in the field. We also highlight some of the strengths of a biological, comparative, non-anthropocentric and evolutionarily grounded approach to the study of culture. The main contributions of this approach to the science of culture are its emphasis (a) on the integration of information on mechanisms, function, and evolution, and on mechanistic factors located at different levels of the biological hierarchy, and (b) on the search for general principles that account for commonalities and differences between species, both in the cultural products and in the processes of innovation, dissemination, and accumulation involved that operate during developmental and evolutionary timespans.

  16. Evolution and the American social sciences: An evolutionary social scientist's view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thayer, Bradley A

    2004-03-01

    American social scientists rarely ever use evolutionary concepts to explain behavior, despite the potential of such concepts to elucidate major social problems. I argue that this observation can be understood as the product of three influences: an ideologically narrowed political liberalism; a fear of ''Social Darwinism'' as a scientific idea, rather than a scientific apostasy; and a widely believed criticism of evolutionary thinking as deterministic, reductionistic, and Panglossian. I ask what is to be done to encourage social scientists to learn and to apply evolutionary lessons. I answer with four solutions. First, evolutionary social scientists should more effectively educate their non-evolutionary students and colleagues. Second, they should publicize, even popularize, accessible refutations of perennially misleading criticisms. Third, they should more credibly assure skeptics that evolutionary theory not only keeps the ''social'' in social science but better explains social behavior than can any individual-level theory, such as rational-choice theory. Fourth, they should recall that biology took generations to become Darwinian, and they must understand that the social sciences may take as long to become evolutionary.

  17. 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…

  18. Metal-like transport in proteins: A new paradigm for biological electron transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malvankar, Nikhil; Vargas, Madeline; Tuominen, Mark; Lovley, Derek

    2012-02-01

    Electron flow in biologically proteins generally occurs via tunneling or hopping and the possibility of electron delocalization has long been discounted. Here we report metal-like transport in protein nanofilaments, pili, of bacteria Geobacter sulfurreducens that challenges this long-standing belief [1]. Pili exhibit conductivities comparable to synthetic organic metallic nanostructures. The temperature, magnetic field and gate-voltage dependence of pili conductivity is akin to that of quasi-1D disordered metals, suggesting a metal-insulator transition. Magnetoresistance (MR) data provide evidence for quantum interference and weak localization at room temperature, as well as a temperature and field-induced crossover from negative to positive MR. Furthermore, pili can be doped with protons. Structural studies suggest the possibility of molecular pi stacking in pili, causing electron delocalization. Reducing the disorder increases the metallic nature of pili. These electronically functional proteins are a new class of electrically conductive biological proteins that can be used to generate future generation of inexpensive and environmentally-sustainable nanomaterials and nanolectronic devices such as transistors and supercapacitors. [1] Malvankar et al. Nature Nanotechnology, 6, 573-579 (2011)

  19. Testing the ecological consequences of evolutionary change using elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeyasingh, Punidan D; Cothran, Rickey D; Tobler, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the ecological consequences of evolutionary change is a central challenge in contemporary biology. We propose a framework based on the ˜25 elements represented in biology, which can serve as a conduit for a general exploration of poorly understood evolution-to-ecology links. In this framework, known as ecological stoichiometry, the quantity of elements in the inorganic realm is a fundamental environment, while the flow of elements from the abiotic to the biotic realm is due to the action of genomes, with the unused elements excreted back into the inorganic realm affecting ecological processes at higher levels of organization. Ecological stoichiometry purposefully assumes distinct elemental composition of species, enabling powerful predictions about the ecological functions of species. However, this assumption results in a simplified view of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying diversification in the elemental composition of species. Recent research indicates substantial intraspecific variation in elemental composition and associated ecological functions such as nutrient excretion. We posit that attention to intraspecific variation in elemental composition will facilitate a synthesis of stoichiometric information in light of population genetics theory for a rigorous exploration of the ecological consequences of evolutionary change.

  20. Electron Transfer in Chemistry and Biology – The Primary Events

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 2; Issue 12. Electron Transfer in Chemistry and Biology – The Primary Events in Photosynthesis. V Krishnan. General Article Volume 2 Issue 12 December 1997 pp 77-86. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  1. Some examples of utilization of electron paramagnetic resonance in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bemski, G.

    1982-10-01

    A short outline of the fundamentals of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) is presented and is followed by examples of the application of EPR to biology. These include use of spin labels, as well as of ENDOR principally to problems of heme proteins, photosynthesis and lipids. (Author) [pt

  2. Testing evolutionary convergence on Europa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chela-Flores, Julian [Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Caracas (Venezuela); [Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (Italy)

    2002-11-01

    A major objective in solar system exploration is the insertion of appropriate biology-oriented experiments in future missions. We discuss various reasons for suggesting that this type of research be considered a high priority for feasibility studies and, subsequently, for technological development of appropriate melters and submersibles. Based on numerous examples, we argue in favour of the assumption that Darwin's theory is valid for the evolution of life anywhere in the universe. We have suggested how to obtain preliminary insights into the question of the distribution of life in the universe. Universal evolution of intelligent behaviour is at the end of an evolutionary pathway, in which evolution of ion channels in the membrane of microorganisms occurs in its early stages. Further, we have argued that a preliminary test of this conjecture is feasible with experiments on the Europan surface or ocean, involving evolutionary biosignatures (ion channels). This aspect of the exploration for life in the solar system should be viewed as a complement to the astronomical approach for the search of evidence of the later stages of the evolutionary pathways towards intelligent behaviour. (author)

  3. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

    Melt polymerization and novel monomers enabled the synthesis of polyesters for electronic and biological applications. Inspiration from nature and a passion for environmental preservation instigated an emphasis on the incorporation of renewable resources into polymeric materials. Critical analysis of current research surrounding bisphenol-A replacements and ioncontaining segmented polyurethanes aided in identifying benchmark polymers, including limitations, challenges, and future needs. Struc...

  4. Radiation damage relative to transmission electron microscopy of biological specimens at low temperature: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glaeser, R.M.; Taylor, K.A.

    1978-01-01

    When biological specimens are irradiated by the electron beam in the electron microscope, the specimen structure is damaged as a result of molecular excitation, ionization, and subsequent chemical reactions. The radiation damage that occurs in the normal process of electron microscopy is known to present severe limitations for imaging high resolution detail in biological specimens. The question of radiation damage at low temperatures has therefore been investigated with the view in mind of reducing somewhat the rate at which damage occurs. The radiation damage protection found for small molecule (anhydrous) organic compounds is generally rather limited or even non-existent. However, large molecule, hydrated materials show as much as a 10-fold reduction at low temperature in the rate at which radiation damage occurs, relative to the damage rate at room temperature. In the case of hydrated specimens, therefore, low temperature electron microscopy offers an important advantage as part of the overall effort required in obtaining high resolution images of complex biological structures. (author)

  5. [Evolutionary medicine: A new look on health and disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauduer, F

    2017-03-01

    Evolutionary medicine represents an innovative approach deriving from evolutionary biology. It includes the initial Darwin's view, its actualization in the light of progresses in genetics and also dissident theories (i.e. non gene-based) particularly epigenetics. This approach enables us to reconsider the pathophysiology of numerous diseases, as for instance, infection, and our so-called diseases of civilization especially obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergy or cancer. Evolutionary medicine may also improve our knowledge regarding inter-individual variation in susceptibility to disease or drugs. Furthermore, it points out the impact of our behaviors and environment on the genesis of a series of diseases. Copyright © 2016 Société Nationale Française de Médecine Interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Do we need an extended evolutionary synthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2007-12-01

    The Modern Synthesis (MS) is the current paradigm in evolutionary biology. It was actually built by expanding on the conceptual foundations laid out by its predecessors, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. For sometime now there has been talk of a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and this article begins to outline why we may need such an extension, and how it may come about. As philosopher Karl Popper has noticed, the current evolutionary theory is a theory of genes, and we still lack a theory of forms. The field began, in fact, as a theory of forms in Darwin's days, and the major goal that an EES will aim for is a unification of our theories of genes and of forms. This may be achieved through an organic grafting of novel concepts onto the foundational structure of the MS, particularly evolvability, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance, complexity theory, and the theory of evolution in highly dimensional adaptive landscapes.

  8. Teaching Tree-Thinking to Undergraduate Biology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisel, Richard P

    2010-07-27

    Evolution is the unifying principle of all biology, and understanding how evolutionary relationships are represented is critical for a complete understanding of evolution. Phylogenetic trees are the most conventional tool for displaying evolutionary relationships, and "tree-thinking" has been coined as a term to describe the ability to conceptualize evolutionary relationships. Students often lack tree-thinking skills, and developing those skills should be a priority of biology curricula. Many common student misconceptions have been described, and a successful instructor needs a suite of tools for correcting those misconceptions. I review the literature on teaching tree-thinking to undergraduate students and suggest how this material can be presented within an inquiry-based framework.

  9. Ecological and evolutionary impacts of changing climatic variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez, Diego P; Gianoli, Ernesto; Morris, William F; Bozinovic, Francisco

    2017-02-01

    While average temperature is likely to increase in most locations on Earth, many places will simultaneously experience higher variability in temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables. Although ecologists and evolutionary biologists widely recognize the potential impacts of changes in average climatic conditions, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential impacts of changes in climatic variability and extremes. We review the evidence on the impacts of increased climatic variability and extremes on physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes at multiple levels of biological organization, from individuals to populations and communities. Our review indicates that climatic variability can have profound influences on biological processes at multiple scales of organization. Responses to increased climatic variability and extremes are likely to be complex and cannot always be generalized, although our conceptual and methodological toolboxes allow us to make informed predictions about the likely consequences of such climatic changes. We conclude that climatic variability represents an important component of climate that deserves further attention. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  10. Racial classification in the evolutionary sciences: a comparative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billinger, Michael S

    2007-01-01

    Human racial classification has long been a problem for the discipline of anthropology, but much of the criticism of the race concept has focused on its social and political connotations. The central argument of this paper is that race is not a specifically human problem, but one that exists in evolutionary thought in general. This paper looks at various disciplinary approaches to racial or subspecies classification, extending its focus beyond the anthropological race concept by providing a comparative analysis of the use of racial classification in evolutionary biology, genetics, and anthropology.

  11. Characterization and evolutionary analysis of tributyltin-binding protein and pufferfish saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin-binding protein genes in toxic and nontoxic pufferfishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashiguchi, Y; Lee, J M; Shiraishi, M; Komatsu, S; Miki, S; Shimasaki, Y; Mochioka, N; Kusakabe, T; Oshima, Y

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the evolutionary mechanisms of toxin accumulation in pufferfishes has been long-standing problem in toxicology and evolutionary biology. Pufferfish saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin-binding protein (PSTBP) is involved in the transport and accumulation of tetrodotoxin and is one of the most intriguing proteins related to the toxicity of pufferfishes. PSTBPs are fusion proteins consisting of two tandem repeated tributyltin-binding protein type 2 (TBT-bp2) domains. In this study, we examined the evolutionary dynamics of TBT-bp2 and PSTBP genes to understand the evolution of toxin accumulation in pufferfishes. Database searches and/or PCR-based cDNA cloning in nine pufferfish species (6 toxic and 3 nontoxic) revealed that all species possessed one or more TBT-bp2 genes, but PSTBP genes were found only in 5 toxic species belonging to genus Takifugu. These toxic Takifugu species possessed two or three copies of PSTBP genes. Phylogenetic analysis of TBT-bp2 and PSTBP genes suggested that PSTBPs evolved in the common ancestor of Takifugu species by repeated duplications and fusions of TBT-bp2 genes. In addition, a detailed comparison of Takifugu TBT-bp2 and PSTBP gene sequences detected a signature of positive selection under the pressure of gene conversion. The complicated evolutionary dynamics of TBT-bp2 and PSTBP genes may reflect the diversity of toxicity in pufferfishes. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKey, Doyle; Elias, Marianne; Pujol, Benoît; Duputié, Anne

    2010-04-01

    While seed-propagated crops have contributed many evolutionary insights, evolutionary biologists have often neglected clonally propagated crops. We argue that widespread notions about their evolution under domestication are oversimplified, and that they offer rich material for evolutionary studies. The diversity of their wild ancestors, the diverse ecologies of the crop populations themselves, and the intricate mix of selection pressures, acting not only on the parts harvested but also on the parts used by humans to make clonal propagules, result in complex and diverse evolutionary trajectories under domestication. We examine why farmers propagate some plants clonally, and discuss the evolutionary dynamics of sexual reproduction in clonal crops. We explore how their mixed clonal/sexual reproductive systems function, based on the sole example studied in detail, cassava (Manihot esculenta). Biotechnology is now expanding the number of clonal crops, continuing the 10 000-yr-old trend to increase crop yields by propagating elite genotypes. In an era of rapid global change, it is more important than ever to understand how the adaptive potential of clonal crops can be maintained. A key component of strategies for preserving this adaptive potential is the maintenance of mixed clonal/sexual systems, which can be achieved by encouraging and valuing farmer knowledge about the sexual reproductive biology of their clonal crops.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. The four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickham, John W

    2011-05-01

    Evolutionary Toxicology is the study of the effects of chemical pollutants on the genetics of natural populations. Research in Evolutionary Toxicology uses experimental designs familiar to the ecotoxicologist with matched reference and contaminated sites and the selection of sentinel species. It uses the methods of molecular genetics and population genetics, and is based on the theories and concepts of evolutionary biology and conservation genetics. Although it is a relatively young field, interest is rapidly growing among ecotoxicologists and more and more field studies and even controlled laboratory experiments are appearing in the literature. A number of population genetic impacts have been observed in organisms exposed to pollutants which I refer to here as the four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology. These include (1) genome-wide changes in genetic diversity, (2) changes in allelic or genotypic frequencies caused by contaminant-induced selection acting at survivorship loci, (3) changes in dispersal patterns or gene flow which alter the genetic relationships among populations, and (4) changes in allelic or genotypic frequencies caused by increased mutation rates. It is concluded that population genetic impacts of pollution exposure are emergent effects that are not necessarily predictable from the mode of toxicity of the pollutant. Thus, to attribute an effect to a particular contaminant requires a careful experimental design which includes selection of appropriate reference sites, detailed chemistry analyses of environmental samples and tissues, and the use of appropriate biomarkers to establish exposure and effect. This paper describes the field of Evolutionary Toxicology and discusses relevant field studies and their findings. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anthony M. Dean

    2008-04-01

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

  16. Squamate hatchling size and the evolutionary causes of negative offspring size allometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiri, S; Feldman, A; Kratochvíl, L

    2015-02-01

    Although fecundity selection is ubiquitous, in an overwhelming majority of animal lineages, small species produce smaller number of offspring per clutch. In this context, egg, hatchling and neonate sizes are absolutely larger, but smaller relative to adult body size in larger species. The evolutionary causes of this widespread phenomenon are not fully explored. The negative offspring size allometry can result from processes limiting maximal egg/offspring size forcing larger species to produce relatively smaller offspring ('upper limit'), or from a limit on minimal egg/offspring size forcing smaller species to produce relatively larger offspring ('lower limit'). Several reptile lineages have invariant clutch sizes, where females always lay either one or two eggs per clutch. These lineages offer an interesting perspective on the general evolutionary forces driving negative offspring size allometry, because an important selective factor, fecundity selection in a single clutch, is eliminated here. Under the upper limit hypotheses, large offspring should be selected against in lineages with invariant clutch sizes as well, and these lineages should therefore exhibit the same, or shallower, offspring size allometry as lineages with variable clutch size. On the other hand, the lower limit hypotheses would allow lineages with invariant clutch sizes to have steeper offspring size allometries. Using an extensive data set on the hatchling and female sizes of > 1800 species of squamates, we document that negative offspring size allometry is widespread in lizards and snakes with variable clutch sizes and that some lineages with invariant clutch sizes have unusually steep offspring size allometries. These findings suggest that the negative offspring size allometry is driven by a constraint on minimal offspring size, which scales with a negative allometry. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary

  17. Holistic Darwinism: the new evolutionary paradigm and some implications for political science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corning, Peter A

    2008-03-01

    Holistic Darwinism is a candidate name for a major paradigm shift that is currently underway in evolutionary biology and related disciplines. Important developments include (1) a growing appreciation for the fact that evolution is a multilevel process, from genes to ecosystems, and that interdependent coevolution is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature; (2) a revitalization of group selection theory, which was banned (prematurely) from evolutionary biology over 30 years ago (groups may in fact be important evolutionary units); (3) a growing respect for the fact that the genome is not a "bean bag" (in biologist Ernst Mayr's caricature), much less a gladiatorial arena for competing selfish genes, but a complex, interdependent, cooperating system; (4) an increased recognition that symbiosis is an important phenomenon in nature and that symbiogenesis is a major source of innovation in evolution; (5) an array of new, more advanced game theory models, which support the growing evidence that cooperation is commonplace in nature and not a rare exception; (6) new research and theoretical work that stresses the role of nurture in evolution, including developmental processes, phenotypic plasticity, social information transfer (culture), and especially the role of behavioral innovations as pacemakers of evolutionary change (e.g., niche construction theory, which is concerned with the active role of organisms in shaping the evolutionary process, and gene-culture coevolution theory, which relates especially to the dynamics of human evolution); (7) and, not least, a broad effort to account for the evolution of biological complexity--from major transition theory to the "Synergism Hypothesis." Here I will briefly review these developments and will present a case for the proposition that this paradigm shift has profound implications for the social sciences, including specifically political theory, economic theory, and political science as a discipline. Interdependent superorganisms, it

  18. Evolutionary medicine: update on the relevance to family practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naugler, Christopher T

    2008-09-01

    To review the relevance of evolutionary medicine to family practice and family physician training. Articles were located through a MEDLINE search, using the key words evolution, Darwin, and adaptation. Most references presented level III evidence (expert opinion), while a minority provided level II evidence (epidemiologic studies). Evolutionary medicine deals with the interplay of biology and the environment in the understanding of human disease. Yet medical schools have virtually ignored the need for family physicians to have more than a cursory knowledge of this topic. A review of the main trends in this field most relevant to family practice revealed that a basic knowledge of evolutionary medicine might help in explaining the causation of diseases to patients. Evolutionary medicine has also proven key to explaining the reasons for the development of antibiotic resistance and has the potential to explain cancer pathogenesis. As an organizing principle, this field also has potential in the teaching of family medicine. Evolutionary medicine should be studied further and incorporated into medical training and practice. Its practical utility will be proven through the generation of testable hypotheses and their application in relation to disease causation and possible prevention.

  19. A short comparison of electron and proton transfer processes in biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertrand, Patrick

    2005-01-01

    The main differences between electron and proton transfers that take place in biological systems are examined. The relation between the distance dependence of the rate constant and the mass of the transferred particle is analyzed in detail. Differences between the two processes have important consequences at the experimental level, which are discussed. The various mechanisms that ensure the coupling between electron and proton transfers are briefly described

  20. Connecting proximate mechanisms and evolutionary patterns: pituitary gland size and mammalian life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamilar, J M; Tecot, S R

    2015-11-01

    At the proximate level, hormones are known to play a critical role in influencing the life history of mammals, including humans. The pituitary gland is directly responsible for producing several hormones, including those related to growth and reproduction. Although we have a basic understanding of how hormones affect life history characteristics, we still have little knowledge of this relationship in an evolutionary context. We used data from 129 mammal species representing 14 orders to investigate the relationship between pituitary gland size and life history variation. Because pituitary gland size should be related to hormone production and action, we predicted that species with relatively large pituitaries should be associated with fast life histories, especially increased foetal and post-natal growth rates. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that total pituitary size and the size of the anterior lobe of the pituitary significantly predicted a life history axis that was correlated with several traits including body mass, and foetal and post-natal growth rates. Additional models directly examining the association between relative pituitary size and growth rates produced concordant results. We also found that relative pituitary size variation across mammals was best explained by an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of evolution, suggesting an important role of stabilizing selection. Our results support the idea that the size of the pituitary is linked to life history variation through evolutionary time. This pattern is likely due to mediating hormone levels but additional work is needed. We suggest that future investigations incorporating endocrine gland size may be critical for understanding life history evolution. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. From bricolage to BioBricks™: Synthetic biology and rational design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewens, Tim

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic biology is often described as a project that applies rational design methods to the organic world. Although humans have influenced organic lineages in many ways, it is nonetheless reasonable to place synthetic biology towards one end of a continuum between purely 'blind' processes of organic modification at one extreme, and wholly rational, design-led processes at the other. An example from evolutionary electronics illustrates some of the constraints imposed by the rational design methodology itself. These constraints reinforce the limitations of the synthetic biology ideal, limitations that are often freely acknowledged by synthetic biology's own practitioners. The synthetic biology methodology reflects a series of constraints imposed on finite human designers who wish, as far as is practicable, to communicate with each other and to intervene in nature in reasonably targeted and well-understood ways. This is better understood as indicative of an underlying awareness of human limitations, rather than as expressive of an objectionable impulse to mastery over nature. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Moglichkeiten und Grenzen eines evolutionaren Paradigmas in der Erziehungswissenschaft (Possibilities and Limits of an Evolutionary Paradigm in Educational Science).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nipkow, Karl Ernst

    2002-01-01

    Describes a sectoral and paradigmatic approach to evolutionary research. Argues that an evolutionary paradigm does not exist. Examines the socio-biological approach and that of a system-theoretical oriented general evolutionary theory. Utilizes the topics of cooperation, delimitation, and indoctrination to explain more promising ways of adoption.…

  3. Quantitative biological measurement in Transmission Electron Tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mantell, Judith M; Verkade, Paul; Arkill, Kenton P

    2012-01-01

    It has been known for some time that biological sections shrink in the transmission electron microscope from exposure to the electron beam. This phenomenon is especially important in Electron Tomography (ET). The effect on shrinkage of parameters such as embedding medium or sample type is less well understood. In addition anisotropic area shrinkage has largely been ignored. The intention of this study is to explore the shrinkage on a number of samples ranging in thickness from 200 nm to 500 nm. A protocol was developed to determine the shrinkage in area and thickness using the gold fiducials used in electron tomography. In brief: Using low dose philosophy on the section, a focus area was used prior to a separate virgin study area for a series of known exposures on a tilted sample. The shrinkage was determined by measurements on the gold beads from both sides of the section as determined by a confirmatory tomogram. It was found that the shrinkage in area (approximately to 90-95% of the original) and the thickness (approximately 65% of the original at most) agreed with pervious authors, but that a lmost all the shrinkage was in the first minute and that although the direction of the in-plane shrinkage (in x and y) was sometimes uneven the end result was consistent. It was observed, in general, that thinner samples showed more percentage shrinkage than thicker ones. In conclusion, if direct quantitative measurements are required then the protocol described should be used for all areas studied.

  4. Quantitative biological measurement in Transmission Electron Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantell, Judith M.; Verkade, Paul; Arkill, Kenton P.

    2012-07-01

    It has been known for some time that biological sections shrink in the transmission electron microscope from exposure to the electron beam. This phenomenon is especially important in Electron Tomography (ET). The effect on shrinkage of parameters such as embedding medium or sample type is less well understood. In addition anisotropic area shrinkage has largely been ignored. The intention of this study is to explore the shrinkage on a number of samples ranging in thickness from 200 nm to 500 nm. A protocol was developed to determine the shrinkage in area and thickness using the gold fiducials used in electron tomography. In brief: Using low dose philosophy on the section, a focus area was used prior to a separate virgin study area for a series of known exposures on a tilted sample. The shrinkage was determined by measurements on the gold beads from both sides of the section as determined by a confirmatory tomogram. It was found that the shrinkage in area (approximately to 90-95% of the original) and the thickness (approximately 65% of the original at most) agreed with pervious authors, but that a lmost all the shrinkage was in the first minute and that although the direction of the in-plane shrinkage (in x and y) was sometimes uneven the end result was consistent. It was observed, in general, that thinner samples showed more percentage shrinkage than thicker ones. In conclusion, if direct quantitative measurements are required then the protocol described should be used for all areas studied.

  5. Designing synthetic networks in silico: a generalised evolutionary algorithm approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Robert W; van Sluijs, Bob; Fleck, Christian

    2017-12-02

    Evolution has led to the development of biological networks that are shaped by environmental signals. Elucidating, understanding and then reconstructing important network motifs is one of the principal aims of Systems & Synthetic Biology. Consequently, previous research has focused on finding optimal network structures and reaction rates that respond to pulses or produce stable oscillations. In this work we present a generalised in silico evolutionary algorithm that simultaneously finds network structures and reaction rates (genotypes) that can satisfy multiple defined objectives (phenotypes). The key step to our approach is to translate a schema/binary-based description of biological networks into systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The ODEs can then be solved numerically to provide dynamic information about an evolved networks functionality. Initially we benchmark algorithm performance by finding optimal networks that can recapitulate concentration time-series data and perform parameter optimisation on oscillatory dynamics of the Repressilator. We go on to show the utility of our algorithm by finding new designs for robust synthetic oscillators, and by performing multi-objective optimisation to find a set of oscillators and feed-forward loops that are optimal at balancing different system properties. In sum, our results not only confirm and build on previous observations but we also provide new designs of synthetic oscillators for experimental construction. In this work we have presented and tested an evolutionary algorithm that can design a biological network to produce desired output. Given that previous designs of synthetic networks have been limited to subregions of network- and parameter-space, the use of our evolutionary optimisation algorithm will enable Synthetic Biologists to construct new systems with the potential to display a wider range of complex responses.

  6. Evolutionary history of the thicket rats (genus Grammomys) mirrors the evolution of African forests since late Miocene

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bryja, J.; Šumbera, R.; Kerbis Peterhans, J. C.; Aghová, T.; Bryjová, A.; Mikula, Ondřej; Nicolas, V.; Denys, C.; Verheyen, E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 1 (2017), s. 182-194 ISSN 0305-0270 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : Arvicanthini * coastal forests * late Miocene Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 4.248, year: 2016

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    О. S. Tokovenko

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Two bridges between biology and learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorun Nyléhn

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Human biology, in terms of organization of our brains and our evolutionary past, constrains and enables learning. Two examples where neurobiology and evolution influences learning are given and discussed in relation to education: mirror neurons and adaptive memory. Mirror neurons serves imitation and understanding of other peoples intentions. Adaptive memory implies that our memory is an adaptation influenced by our evolutionary past, enabling us to solve problems in the present and in the future. Additionally, the aim is to contribute to bridges between natural and social sciences in an attempt to achieve an improved understanding of learning. The relevance of perspectives on learning founded in biology are discussed, and the article argues for including biological perspectives in discussions of education and learning processes.

  9. Evolutionary Games with Randomly Changing Payoff Matrices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakushkina, Tatiana; Saakian, David B.; Bratus, Alexander; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2015-06-01

    Evolutionary games are used in various fields stretching from economics to biology. In most of these games a constant payoff matrix is assumed, although some works also consider dynamic payoff matrices. In this article we assume a possibility of switching the system between two regimes with different sets of payoff matrices. Potentially such a model can qualitatively describe the development of bacterial or cancer cells with a mutator gene present. A finite population evolutionary game is studied. The model describes the simplest version of annealed disorder in the payoff matrix and is exactly solvable at the large population limit. We analyze the dynamics of the model, and derive the equations for both the maximum and the variance of the distribution using the Hamilton-Jacobi equation formalism.

  10. Modelling low energy electron and positron tracks in biologically relevant media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanco, F.; Munoz, A.; Almeida, D.; Ferreira da Silva, F.; Limao-Vieira, P.; Fuss, M.C.; Sanz, A.G.; Garcia, G.

    2013-01-01

    This colloquium describes an approach to incorporate into radiation damage models the effect of low and intermediate energy (0-100 eV) electrons and positrons, slowing down in biologically relevant materials (water and representative biomolecules). The core of the modelling procedure is a C++ computing programme named 'Low Energy Particle Track Simulation (LEPTS)', which is compatible with available general purpose Monte Carlo packages. Input parameters are carefully selected from theoretical and experimental cross section data and energy loss distribution functions. Data sources used for this purpose are reviewed showing examples of electron and positron cross section and energy loss data for interactions with different media of increasing complexity: atoms, molecules, clusters and condense matter. Finally, we show how such a model can be used to develop an effective dosimetric tool at the molecular level (i.e. nanodosimetry). Recent experimental developments to study the fragmentation induced in biologically material by charge transfer from neutrals and negative ions are also included. (authors)

  11. Biology and Economics: Metaphors that Economists usually take from Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny García Callejas

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, Stanley Jevons, Karl Marx, Francois Quesnay and Joseph Schumpeter all have at least one thing in common: they used biological metaphors when speaking about economics. Nonetheless, today, this relation subsists and biology and economics are viewed as complementary sciences that have a lot to gain from joint research in fields like: evolutionary economics, economic growth, cognitive economics and environmental and ecological economics, among others. This paper, divided in four sections, will show this conclusion and explain that biology and economics are more sisters than strangers

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Wolbachia: Evolutionary novelty in a rickettsial bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anderson Cort L

    2001-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although closely related, the alpha-proteobacteria Wolbachia and the Rickettsiacae (Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, employ different evolutionary life history strategies. Wolbachia are obligate endocellular symbionts that infect an extraordinary host range and, in contrast to the infectious and pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, profoundly influence host reproductive biology. Results Phylogenies of the Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Wolbachia were independently inferred from 16S rDNA sequences and GroEL amino acid sequences. Topologies inferred from both sets of sequence data were consistent with one another, and both indicate the genus Wolbachia shared a common ancestor most recently with Ehrlichia. These two genera are a sister group to the genus Rickettsia. Mapping biological properties onto this phylogeny reveals that manipulation of host reproduction, characteristic of Wolbachia strains, is a derived characteristic. This evolutionary novelty is accompanied by the loss of the ability to infect vertebrate hosts. Conclusions Because of the contrasting transmission strategies employed by each, Wolbachia is expected to maximize efficiency of vertical transmission, while Ehrlichia and Rickettsia will optimize horizontal transfer of infection. Wolbachia manipulation of host reproduction could thus be viewed as strategy employed by this bacterium to foster its own propagation via vertical transmission.

  15. Electron spin interactions in chemistry and biology fundamentals, methods, reactions mechanisms, magnetic phenomena, structure investigation

    CERN Document Server

    Likhtenshtein, Gertz

    2016-01-01

    This book presents the versatile and pivotal role of electron spin interactions in nature. It provides the background, methodologies and tools for basic areas related to spin interactions, such as spin chemistry and biology, electron transfer, light energy conversion, photochemistry, radical reactions, magneto-chemistry and magneto-biology. The book also includes an overview of designing advanced magnetic materials, optical and spintronic devices and photo catalysts. This monograph appeals to scientists and graduate students working in the areas related to spin interactions physics, biophysics, chemistry and chemical engineering.

  16. Fundamental Technical Elements of Freeze-fracture/Freeze-etch in Biological Electron Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeze-fracture/freeze-etch describes a process whereby specimens, typically biological or nanomaterial in nature, are frozen, fractured, and replicated to generate a carbon/platinum "cast" intended for examination by transmission electron microscopy. Specimens are subjected to u...

  17. Kant and Hegel's Responses to Hume's Skepticism Concerning Causality: An Evolutionary Epistemological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Christian Scarfe

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available According to Hume, determinations of necessary causal connection are without empirical warrant, but, as he maintains, the concept of causality qua necessary connection is indispensable to human beings, having survival value for them, a claim which points to the biological significance of this concept. In contrast to Hume, Kant argues that the causal principle qua necessary connection belongs to the a priori conceptual framework by which rational beings constitute their experience and render the world intelligible. In “Kant’s Doctrine of the A Priori in Light of Contemporary Biology” (1941 / 1962 evolutionary epistemologist Konrad Lorenz sought to adapt Kant’s philosophy to contemporary biology by arguing that the a priori concepts of the understanding can be interpreted as comprising a biologically inherited framework, yet one that is provisional and in flux. Such an evolutionary interpretation of both Hume and Kant’s perspectives of the lacuna concerning causality brings the ideas of these thinkers closer together. Kant himself used suggestive analogies between the major epistemological positions concerning the origin of the a priori concepts of the understanding and the major biological theories of his time concerning the generation and development of organisms. Nevertheless, Kant would probably be reluctant to embrace such an evolutionarily-oriented conception of the categories, given his descriptions of them as self-thought, a priori first principles having a purely intellectual origin, belonging as a very condition for the possibility of the experience of rational beings in general, and as neither the product of a process of development, nor subject to one. This paper shows how Hegel’s emphasis on the dialectical progression of the logical Concept (Begriff can help to ground Lorenz’s evolutionary neo-Kantianism. Toward the end of the paper, I discuss the evolutionary relevance of skepticism and critical thinking in this

  18. Evolutionary Medicine and Future of Humanity: Will Evolution Have the Final Word?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Henneberg

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary medicine in its classical form assumes that since cultural evolution is faster than biological evolution, ailments of modern people are a result of mismatch between adaptations to the past environments and current situations. A core principle is that we, humans, having evolved for millions of years in a specific natural environment (environment of evolutionary adaptation EEA are biologically adapted to this past environment and the ancient lifestyle. This adaptation to the past produces major mismatch of our bodies with the present, highly anthropic and thus “artificial” living conditions. This article provides two areas of possible future evolution, diet and physical activity levels which have been dramatically altered in industrialised societies. Consequently, micro-evolution is an on-going process.

  19. A national facility for biological cryo-electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saibil, Helen R; Grünewald, Kay; Stuart, David I

    2015-01-01

    Three-dimensional electron microscopy is an enormously powerful tool for structural biologists. It is now able to provide an understanding of the molecular machinery of cells, disease processes and the actions of pathogenic organisms from atomic detail through to the cellular context. However, cutting-edge research in this field requires very substantial resources for equipment, infrastructure and expertise. Here, a brief overview is provided of the plans for a UK national three-dimensional electron-microscopy facility for integrated structural biology to enable internationally leading research on the machinery of life. State-of-the-art equipment operated with expert support will be provided, optimized for both atomic-level single-particle analysis of purified macromolecules and complexes and for tomography of cell sections. The access to and organization of the facility will be modelled on the highly successful macromolecular crystallography (MX) synchrotron beamlines, and will be embedded at the Diamond Light Source, facilitating the development of user-friendly workflows providing near-real-time experimental feedback.

  20. Imaging and elemental mapping of biological specimens with a dual-EDS dedicated scanning transmission electron microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, J.S.; Kim, A. M.; Bleher, R.; Myers, B.D.; Marvin, R. G.; Inada, H.; Nakamura, K.; Zhang, X.F.; Roth, E.; Li, S.Y.; Woodruff, T. K.; O'Halloran, T. V.; Dravid, Vinayak P.

    2013-01-01

    A dedicated analytical scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with dual energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) detectors has been designed for complementary high performance imaging as well as high sensitivity elemental analysis and mapping of biological structures. The performance of this new design, based on a Hitachi HD-2300A model, was evaluated using a variety of biological specimens. With three imaging detectors, both the surface and internal structure of cells can be examined simultaneously. The whole-cell elemental mapping, especially of heavier metal species that have low cross-section for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), can be faithfully obtained. Optimization of STEM imaging conditions is applied to thick sections as well as thin sections of biological cells under low-dose conditions at room- and cryogenic temperatures. Such multimodal capabilities applied to soft/biological structures usher a new era for analytical studies in biological systems. PMID:23500508

  1. 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.

  2. Electron probe analysis of biological fluids: Possibilities and limitations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roinel, N.

    1984-01-01

    Physical methods of investigation have become essential to investigations at the cellular or subcellular level. Nuclear magnetic resonance is the most recent and striking example, since it is not only a tool for fundamental physicists and organic chemists, but also an extraordinary powerful imaging tool for physicians. The absorption properties of X rays were used immediately after their discovery to image the bones of skeletons. Later, X rays were also found to be extremely efficient in the measurement of the elemental content of microvolumes irradiated by electron probes. The electron probe analyzer (EPA) was immediately adopted by numerous laboratories of metallurgy, geology, and mineral sciences. In the last fifteen years, since the use of this instrument was suggested for liquid analysis, and a preparative technique was developed, the EPA has been used by an increasing number of biological laboratories for measuring the concentrations of the elements contained in subnanoliter volumes of biological fluids. The so-called microdroplet technique has become a routine laboratory method, the only one able to measure the concentrations of an unlimited number of elements in a single 0.1-nl sample. This explains its use in fields as various as renal, reproductive, digestive, and plant physiology, zoology, etc. Several review papers discuss these applications. The possibilities and limitations of the technique are discussed below

  3. Dynamical "in situ" observation of biological samples using variable pressure scanning electron microscope

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Neděla, Vilém

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 126, - (2008), 012046:1-4 ISSN 1742-6588. [Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group Conference 2007 (EMAG 2007). Glasgow, 03.09.2007-07.09.2007] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA102/05/0886; GA AV ČR KJB200650602 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z20650511 Keywords : biological sample * VP-SEM * dynamical experiments Subject RIV: JA - Electronics ; Optoelectronics, Electrical Engineering

  4. Introduced species as evolutionary traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Sherman, P.W.; Blossey, B.; Runge, M.C.

    2005-01-01

    Invasive species can alter environments in such a way that normal behavioural decision-making rules of native species are no longer adaptive. The evolutionary trap concept provides a useful framework for predicting and managing the impact of harmful invasive species. We discuss how native species can respond to changes in their selective regime via evolution or learning. We also propose novel management strategies to promote the long-term co-existence of native and introduced species in cases where the eradication of the latter is either economically or biologically unrealistic.

  5. 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

  6. Modeling of biological intelligence for SCM system optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shengyong; Zheng, Yujun; Cattani, Carlo; Wang, Wanliang

    2012-01-01

    This article summarizes some methods from biological intelligence for modeling and optimization of supply chain management (SCM) systems, including genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, differential evolution, swarm intelligence, artificial immune, and other biological intelligence related methods. An SCM system is adaptive, dynamic, open self-organizing, which is maintained by flows of information, materials, goods, funds, and energy. Traditional methods for modeling and optimizing complex SCM systems require huge amounts of computing resources, and biological intelligence-based solutions can often provide valuable alternatives for efficiently solving problems. The paper summarizes the recent related methods for the design and optimization of SCM systems, which covers the most widely used genetic algorithms and other evolutionary algorithms.

  7. Modeling of Biological Intelligence for SCM System Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengyong Chen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This article summarizes some methods from biological intelligence for modeling and optimization of supply chain management (SCM systems, including genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, differential evolution, swarm intelligence, artificial immune, and other biological intelligence related methods. An SCM system is adaptive, dynamic, open self-organizing, which is maintained by flows of information, materials, goods, funds, and energy. Traditional methods for modeling and optimizing complex SCM systems require huge amounts of computing resources, and biological intelligence-based solutions can often provide valuable alternatives for efficiently solving problems. The paper summarizes the recent related methods for the design and optimization of SCM systems, which covers the most widely used genetic algorithms and other evolutionary algorithms.

  8. Modeling of Biological Intelligence for SCM System Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shengyong; Zheng, Yujun; Cattani, Carlo; Wang, Wanliang

    2012-01-01

    This article summarizes some methods from biological intelligence for modeling and optimization of supply chain management (SCM) systems, including genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, differential evolution, swarm intelligence, artificial immune, and other biological intelligence related methods. An SCM system is adaptive, dynamic, open self-organizing, which is maintained by flows of information, materials, goods, funds, and energy. Traditional methods for modeling and optimizing complex SCM systems require huge amounts of computing resources, and biological intelligence-based solutions can often provide valuable alternatives for efficiently solving problems. The paper summarizes the recent related methods for the design and optimization of SCM systems, which covers the most widely used genetic algorithms and other evolutionary algorithms. PMID:22162724

  9. A Survey on Evolutionary Algorithm Based Hybrid Intelligence in Bioinformatics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available With the rapid advance in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and other types of omics technologies during the past decades, a tremendous amount of data related to molecular biology has been produced. It is becoming a big challenge for the bioinformatists to analyze and interpret these data with conventional intelligent techniques, for example, support vector machines. Recently, the hybrid intelligent methods, which integrate several standard intelligent approaches, are becoming more and more popular due to their robustness and efficiency. Specifically, the hybrid intelligent approaches based on evolutionary algorithms (EAs are widely used in various fields due to the efficiency and robustness of EAs. In this review, we give an introduction about the applications of hybrid intelligent methods, in particular those based on evolutionary algorithm, in bioinformatics. In particular, we focus on their applications to three common problems that arise in bioinformatics, that is, feature selection, parameter estimation, and reconstruction of biological networks.

  10. RGB color coded images in scanning electron microscopy of biological surfaces

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kofroňová, Olga; Benada, Oldřich

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 3 (2017), s. 349-352 ISSN 0001-723X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1509; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-20229S Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : Biological surfaces * Color image s * Scanning electron microscopy Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 0.673, year: 2016

  11. Submolecular Gates Self-Assemble for Hot-Electron Transfer in Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filip-Granit, Neta; Goldberg, Eran; Samish, Ilan; Ashur, Idan; van der Boom, Milko E; Cohen, Hagai; Scherz, Avigdor

    2017-07-27

    Redox reactions play key roles in fundamental biological processes. The related spatial organization of donors and acceptors is assumed to undergo evolutionary optimization facilitating charge mobilization within the relevant biological context. Experimental information from submolecular functional sites is needed to understand the organization strategies and driving forces involved in the self-development of structure-function relationships. Here we exploit chemically resolved electrical measurements (CREM) to probe the atom-specific electrostatic potentials (ESPs) in artificial arrays of bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) derivatives that provide model systems for photoexcited (hot) electron donation and withdrawal. On the basis of computations we show that native BChl's in the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) self-assemble at their ground-state as aligned gates for functional charge transfer. The combined computational and experimental results further reveal how site-specific polarizability perpendicular to the molecular plane enhances the hot-electron transport. Maximal transport efficiency is predicted for a specific, ∼5 Å, distance above the center of the metalized BChl, which is in remarkably close agreement with the distance and mutual orientation of corresponding native cofactors. These findings provide new metrics and guidelines for analysis of biological redox centers and for designing charge mobilizing machines such as artificial photosynthesis.

  12. Student Interpretations of Phylogenetic Trees in an Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees are widely used visual representations in the biological sciences and the most important visual representations in evolutionary biology. Therefore, phylogenetic trees have also become an important component of biology education. We sought to characterize reasoning used by introductory biology students in interpreting taxa…

  13. The effects of stress and sex on selection, genetic covariance, and the evolutionary response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, L; Jacomb, F

    2017-10-01

    The capacity of a population to adapt to selection (evolvability) depends on whether the structure of genetic variation permits the evolution of fitter trait combinations. Selection, genetic variance and genetic covariance can change under environmental stress, and males and females are not genetically independent, yet the combined effects of stress and dioecy on evolvability are not well understood. Here, we estimate selection, genetic (co)variance and evolvability in both sexes of Tribolium castaneum flour beetles under stressful and benign conditions, using a half-sib breeding design. Although stress uncovered substantial latent heritability, stress also affected genetic covariance, such that evolvability remained low under stress. Sexual selection on males and natural selection on females favoured a similar phenotype, and there was positive intersex genetic covariance. Consequently, sexual selection on males augmented adaptation in females, and intralocus sexual conflict was weak or absent. This study highlights that increased heritability does not necessarily increase evolvability, suggests that selection can deplete genetic variance for multivariate trait combinations with strong effects on fitness, and tests the recent hypothesis that sexual conflict is weaker in stressful or novel environments. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. Evolutionary bottlenecks in brackish water habitats drive the colonization of fresh water by stingrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchhoff, K N; Hauffe, T; Stelbrink, B; Albrecht, C; Wilke, T

    2017-08-01

    Species richness in freshwater bony fishes depends on two main processes: the transition into and the diversification within freshwater habitats. In contrast to bony fishes, only few cartilaginous fishes, mostly stingrays (Myliobatoidei), were able to colonize fresh water. Respective transition processes have been mainly assessed from a physiological and morphological perspective, indicating that the freshwater lifestyle is strongly limited by the ability to perform osmoregulatory adaptations. However, the transition history and the effect of physiological constraints on the diversification in stingrays remain poorly understood. Herein, we estimated the geographic pathways of freshwater colonization and inferred the mode of habitat transitions. Further, we assessed habitat-related speciation rates in a time-calibrated phylogenetic framework to understand factors driving the transition of stingrays into and the diversification within fresh water. Using South American and Southeast Asian freshwater taxa as model organisms, we found one independent freshwater colonization event by stingrays in South America and at least three in Southeast Asia. We revealed that vicariant processes most likely caused freshwater transition during the time of major marine incursions. The habitat transition rates indicate that brackish water species switch preferably back into marine than forth into freshwater habitats. Moreover, our results showed significantly lower diversification rates in brackish water lineages, whereas freshwater and marine lineages exhibit similar rates. Thus, brackish water habitats may have functioned as evolutionary bottlenecks for the colonization of fresh water by stingrays, probably because of the higher variability of environmental conditions in brackish water. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. 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

  16. Imaging and elemental mapping of biological specimens with a dual-EDS dedicated scanning transmission electron microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, J.S., E-mail: jinsong-wu@northwestern.edu [Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental (NUANCE) Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Kim, A.M. [Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611 (United States); Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Bleher, R. [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Myers, B.D. [Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental (NUANCE) Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Marvin, R.G. [Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Inada, H.; Nakamura, K. [Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, Ibaraki 312-8504 (Japan); Zhang, X.F. [Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., 5960 Inglewood Drive, Pleasanton, California 94588 (United States); Roth, E. [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Li, S.Y. [Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental (NUANCE) Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); and others

    2013-05-15

    A dedicated analytical scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with dual energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) detectors has been designed for complementary high performance imaging as well as high sensitivity elemental analysis and mapping of biological structures. The performance of this new design, based on a Hitachi HD-2300A model, was evaluated using a variety of biological specimens. With three imaging detectors, both the surface and internal structure of cells can be examined simultaneously. The whole-cell elemental mapping, especially of heavier metal species that have low cross-section for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), can be faithfully obtained. Optimization of STEM imaging conditions is applied to thick sections as well as thin sections of biological cells under low-dose conditions at room and cryogenic temperatures. Such multimodal capabilities applied to soft/biological structures usher a new era for analytical studies in biological systems. - Highlights: ► Applications of STEM in characterization of biological samples are demonstrated. ► Elemental analyses are performed by dual EDS and EELS. ► Both the surface and internal structure of cells can be studied simultaneously. ► The imaging contrast in low-dose cryo-STEM has been analyzed.

  17. Imaging and elemental mapping of biological specimens with a dual-EDS dedicated scanning transmission electron microscope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, J.S.; Kim, A.M.; Bleher, R.; Myers, B.D.; Marvin, R.G.; Inada, H.; Nakamura, K.; Zhang, X.F.; Roth, E.; Li, S.Y.

    2013-01-01

    A dedicated analytical scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with dual energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) detectors has been designed for complementary high performance imaging as well as high sensitivity elemental analysis and mapping of biological structures. The performance of this new design, based on a Hitachi HD-2300A model, was evaluated using a variety of biological specimens. With three imaging detectors, both the surface and internal structure of cells can be examined simultaneously. The whole-cell elemental mapping, especially of heavier metal species that have low cross-section for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), can be faithfully obtained. Optimization of STEM imaging conditions is applied to thick sections as well as thin sections of biological cells under low-dose conditions at room and cryogenic temperatures. Such multimodal capabilities applied to soft/biological structures usher a new era for analytical studies in biological systems. - Highlights: ► Applications of STEM in characterization of biological samples are demonstrated. ► Elemental analyses are performed by dual EDS and EELS. ► Both the surface and internal structure of cells can be studied simultaneously. ► The imaging contrast in low-dose cryo-STEM has been analyzed

  18. ERC analysis: web-based inference of gene function via evolutionary rate covariation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Nicholas W; Clark, Nathan L

    2015-12-01

    The recent explosion of comparative genomics data presents an unprecedented opportunity to construct gene networks via the evolutionary rate covariation (ERC) signature. ERC is used to identify genes that experienced similar evolutionary histories, and thereby draws functional associations between them. The ERC Analysis website allows researchers to exploit genome-wide datasets to infer novel genes in any biological function and to explore deep evolutionary connections between distinct pathways and complexes. The website provides five analytical methods, graphical output, statistical support and access to an increasing number of taxonomic groups. Analyses and data at http://csb.pitt.edu/erc_analysis/ nclark@pitt.edu. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Evolving cell models for systems and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Hongqing; Romero-Campero, Francisco J; Heeb, Stephan; Cámara, Miguel; Krasnogor, Natalio

    2010-03-01

    This paper proposes a new methodology for the automated design of cell models for systems and synthetic biology. Our modelling framework is based on P systems, a discrete, stochastic and modular formal modelling language. The automated design of biological models comprising the optimization of the model structure and its stochastic kinetic constants is performed using an evolutionary algorithm. The evolutionary algorithm evolves model structures by combining different modules taken from a predefined module library and then it fine-tunes the associated stochastic kinetic constants. We investigate four alternative objective functions for the fitness calculation within the evolutionary algorithm: (1) equally weighted sum method, (2) normalization method, (3) randomly weighted sum method, and (4) equally weighted product method. The effectiveness of the methodology is tested on four case studies of increasing complexity including negative and positive autoregulation as well as two gene networks implementing a pulse generator and a bandwidth detector. We provide a systematic analysis of the evolutionary algorithm's results as well as of the resulting evolved cell models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

    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 students in response to two different evolution instruments (the EGALT-F and EGALT-P) that contained prompts that differed in various surface features (such as species and traits). We tested human-SIDE scoring correspondence under a series of different training and testing conditions, using Kappa inter-rater agreement values of greater than 0.80 as a performance benchmark. In addition, we examined the effects of response length on scoring success; that is, whether SIDE scoring models functioned with comparable success on short and long responses. We found that SIDE performance was most effective when scoring models were built and tested at the individual item level and that performance degraded when suites of items or entire instruments were used to build and test scoring models. Overall, SIDE was found to be a powerful and cost-effective tool for assessing student knowledge and performance in a complex science domain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Sukhendu B

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Frontiers in mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    1994-01-01

    Volume 100, which is the final volume of the LNBM series serves to commemorate the acievements in two decades of this influential collection of books in mathematical biology. The contributions, by the leading mathematical biologists, survey the state of the art in the subject, and offer speculative, philosophical and critical analyses of the key issues confronting the field. The papers address fundamental issues in cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, evolutionary biology, population ecology, community and ecosystem ecology, and applied biology, plus the explicit and implicit mathematical challenges. Cross-cuttting issues involve the problem of variation among units in nonlinear systems, and the related problems of the interactions among phenomena across scales of space, time and organizational complexity.

  3. Small-scale laser based electron accelerators for biology and medicine: a comparative study of the biological effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labate, Luca; Andreassi, Maria Grazia; Baffigi, Federica; Basta, Giuseppina; Bizzarri, Ranieri; Borghini, Andrea; Candiano, Giuliana C.; Casarino, Carlo; Cresci, Monica; Di Martino, Fabio; Fulgentini, Lorenzo; Ghetti, Francesco; Gilardi, Maria Carla; Giulietti, Antonio; Köster, Petra; Lenci, Francesco; Levato, Tadzio; Oishi, Yuji; Russo, Giorgio; Sgarbossa, Antonella; Traino, Claudio; Gizzi, Leonida A.

    2013-05-01

    Laser-driven electron accelerators based on the Laser Wakefield Acceleration process has entered a mature phase to be considered as alternative devices to conventional radiofrequency linear accelerators used in medical applications. Before entering the medical practice, however, deep studies of the radiobiological effects of such short bunches as the ones produced by laser-driven accelerators have to be performed. Here we report on the setup, characterization and first test of a small-scale laser accelerator for radiobiology experiments. A brief description of the experimental setup will be given at first, followed by an overview of the electron bunch characterization, in particular in terms of dose delivered to the samples. Finally, the first results from the irradiation of biological samples will be briefly discussed.

  4. Electron energy loss spectroscopy microanalysis and imaging in the transmission electron microscope: example of biological applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diociaiuti, Marco

    2005-01-01

    This paper reports original results obtained in our laboratory over the past few years in the application of both electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and electron spectroscopy imaging (ESI) to biological samples, performed in two transmission electron microscopes (TEM) equipped with high-resolution electron filters and spectrometers: a Gatan model 607 single magnetic sector double focusing EEL serial spectrometer attached to a Philips 430 TEM and a Zeiss EM902 Energy Filtering TEM. The primary interest was on the possibility offered by the combined application of these spectroscopic techniques with those offered by the TEM. In particular, the electron beam focusing available in a TEM allowed us to perform EELS and ESI on very small sample volumes, where high-resolution imaging and electron diffraction techniques can provide important structural information. I show that ESI was able to improve TEM performance, due to the reduced chromatic aberration and the possibility of avoiding the sample staining procedure. Finally, the analysis of the oscillating extended energy loss fine structure (EXELFS) beyond the ionization edges characterizing the EELS spectra allowed me, in a manner very similar to the extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) analysis of the X-ray absorption spectra, to obtain short-range structural information for such light elements of biological interest as O or Fe. The Philips EM430 (250-300 keV) TEM was used to perform EELS microanalysis on Ca, P, O, Fe, Al and Si. The assessment of the detection limits of this method was obtained working with well-characterized samples containing Ca and P, and mimicking the actual cellular matrix. I applied EELS microanalysis to Ca detection in bone tissue during the mineralization process and to P detection in the cellular membrane of erythrocytes treated with an anti-tumoral drug, demonstrating that the cellular membrane is a drug target. I applied EELS microanalysis and selected area electron

  5. Multiscale structure in eco-evolutionary dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacey, Blake C.

    In a complex system, the individual components are neither so tightly coupled or correlated that they can all be treated as a single unit, nor so uncorrelated that they can be approximated as independent entities. Instead, patterns of interdependency lead to structure at multiple scales of organization. Evolution excels at producing such complex structures. In turn, the existence of these complex interrelationships within a biological system affects the evolutionary dynamics of that system. I present a mathematical formalism for multiscale structure, grounded in information theory, which makes these intuitions quantitative, and I show how dynamics defined in terms of population genetics or evolutionary game theory can lead to multiscale organization. For complex systems, "more is different," and I address this from several perspectives. Spatial host--consumer models demonstrate the importance of the structures which can arise due to dynamical pattern formation. Evolutionary game theory reveals the novel effects which can result from multiplayer games, nonlinear payoffs and ecological stochasticity. Replicator dynamics in an environment with mesoscale structure relates to generalized conditionalization rules in probability theory. The idea of natural selection "acting at multiple levels" has been mathematized in a variety of ways, not all of which are equivalent. We will face down the confusion, using the experience developed over the course of this thesis to clarify the situation.

  6. Evolutionary explanations in medical and health profession courses: are you answering your students' "why" questions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malyango Avelin A

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Medical and pre-professional health students ask questions about human health that can be answered in two ways, by giving proximate and evolutionary explanations. Proximate explanations, most common in textbooks and classes, describe the immediate scientifically known biological mechanisms of anatomical characteristics or physiological processes. These explanations are necessary but insufficient. They can be complemented with evolutionary explanations that describe the evolutionary processes and principles that have resulted in human biology we study today. The main goal of the science of Darwinian Medicine is to investigate human disease, disorders, and medical complications from an evolutionary perspective. Discussion This paper contrasts the differences between these two types of explanations by describing principles of natural selection that underlie medical questions. Thus, why is human birth complicated? Why does sickle cell anemia exist? Why do we show symptoms like fever, diarrhea, and coughing when we have infection? Why do we suffer from ubiquitous age-related diseases like arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer's and others? Why are chronic diseases like type II diabetes and obesity so prevalent in modern society? Why hasn't natural selection eliminated the genes that cause common genetic diseases like hemochromatosis, cystic fibrosis, Tay sachs, PKU and others? Summary In giving students evolutionary explanations professors should underscore principles of natural selection, since these can be generalized for the analysis of many medical questions. From a research perspective, natural selection seems central to leading hypotheses of obesity and type II diabetes and might very well explain the occurrence of certain common genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis, Tay sachs, Fragile X syndrome, G6PD and others because of their compensating advantages. Furthermore, armed with evolutionary explanations, health care

  7. Indirect genetics effects and evolutionary constraint: an analysis of social dominance in red deer, Cervus elaphus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A J; Morrissey, M B; Adams, M J; Walling, C A; Guinness, F E; Pemberton, J M; Clutton-Brock, T H; Kruuk, L E B

    2011-04-01

    By determining access to limited resources, social dominance is often an important determinant of fitness. Thus, if heritable, standard theory predicts mean dominance should evolve. However, dominance is usually inferred from the tendency to win contests, and given one winner and one loser in any dyadic contest, the mean proportion won will always equal 0.5. Here, we argue that the apparent conflict between quantitative genetic theory and common sense is resolved by recognition of indirect genetic effects (IGEs). We estimate selection on, and genetic (co)variance structures for, social dominance, in a wild population of red deer Cervus elaphus, on the Scottish island of Rum. While dominance is heritable and positively correlated with lifetime fitness, contest outcomes depend as much on the genes carried by an opponent as on the genotype of a focal individual. We show how this dependency imposes an absolute evolutionary constraint on the phenotypic mean, thus reconciling theoretical predictions with common sense. More generally, we argue that IGEs likely provide a widespread but poorly recognized source of evolutionary constraint for traits influenced by competition. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. The evolutionary origin and significance of Menopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollycove, Ricki; Naftolin, Frederick; Simon, James A.

    2010-01-01

    Contemporary human females have long life expectancy (81y US), especially relative to age at menopause (51y US). Menopause is a consequence of reproductive aging and follicular depletion (ovarian failure), yielding very low circulating estrogen* serum concentrations and biologically disadvantageous metabolic alterations. Stated in terms of antagonistic pleiotropy, the ongoing hypoestrogenic endocrine environment, beneficial during lactation, results in acceleration of several age-related health conditions following menopause (i.e. late postmenopausal osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline). In contrast, the complex hypoestrogenic hormonal milieu present during postpartum lactation provides biologic advantages to both mother and newborn. The lactational hormonal milieu causes symptoms similar to those of the late perimenopause and early postmenopause, prompting theories for their biologic selective advantage. The precepts of evolutionary medicine encourage a reassessment of hormone therapy. Based on data presented, the authors propose additional opportunities for disease prevention and morbidity reduction in postmenopausal women. PMID:21252729

  9. Key innovations and island colonization as engines of evolutionary diversification: a comparative test with the Australasian diplodactyloid geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Porta, J; Ord, T J

    2013-12-01

    The acquisition of key innovations and the invasion of new areas constitute two major processes that facilitate ecological opportunity and subsequent evolutionary diversification. Using a major lizard radiation as a model, the Australasian diplodactyloid geckos, we explored the effects of two key innovations (adhesive toepads and a snake-like phenotype) and the invasion of new environments (island colonization) in promoting the evolution of phenotypic and species diversity. We found no evidence that toepads had significantly increased evolutionary diversification, which challenges the common assumption that the evolution of toepads has been responsible for the extensive radiation of geckos. In contrast, a snakelike phenotype was associated with increased rates of body size evolution and, to a lesser extent, species diversification. However, the clearest impact on evolutionary diversification has been the colonization of New Zealand and New Caledonia, which were associated with increased rates of both body size evolution and species diversification. This highlights that colonizing new environments can drive adaptive diversification in conjunction or independently of the evolution of a key innovation. Studies wishing to confirm the putative link between a key innovation and subsequent evolutionary diversification must therefore show that it has been the acquisition of an innovation specifically, not the colonization of new areas more generally, that has prompted diversification. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. The stability concept of evolutionary game theory a dynamic approach

    CERN Document Server

    1992-01-01

    These Notes grew from my research in evolutionary biology, specifically on the theory of evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS theory), over the past ten years. Personally, evolutionary game theory has given me the opportunity to transfer my enthusiasm for abstract mathematics to more practical pursuits. I was fortunate to have entered this field in its infancy when many biologists recognized its potential but were not prepared to grant it general acceptance. This is no longer the case. ESS theory is now a rapidly expanding (in both applied and theoretical directions) force that no evolutionary biologist can afford to ignore. Perhaps, to continue the life-cycle metaphor, ESS theory is now in its late adolescence and displays much of the optimism and exuberance of this exciting age. There are dangers in writing a text about a theory at this stage of development. A comprehensive treatment would involve too many loose ends for the reader to appreciate the central message. On the other hand, the current central m...

  11. Evolutionary rates at codon sites may be used to align sequences and infer protein domain function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazelhurst Scott

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sequence alignments form part of many investigations in molecular biology, including the determination of phylogenetic relationships, the prediction of protein structure and function, and the measurement of evolutionary rates. However, to obtain meaningful results, a significant degree of sequence similarity is required to ensure that the alignments are accurate and the inferences correct. Limitations arise when sequence similarity is low, which is particularly problematic when working with fast-evolving genes, evolutionary distant taxa, genomes with nucleotide biases, and cases of convergent evolution. Results A novel approach was conceptualized to address the "low sequence similarity" alignment problem. We developed an alignment algorithm termed FIRE (Functional Inference using the Rates of Evolution, which aligns sequences using the evolutionary rate at codon sites, as measured by the dN/dS ratio, rather than nucleotide or amino acid residues. FIRE was used to test the hypotheses that evolutionary rates can be used to align sequences and that the alignments may be used to infer protein domain function. Using a range of test data, we found that aligning domains based on evolutionary rates was possible even when sequence similarity was very low (for example, antibody variable regions. Furthermore, the alignment has the potential to infer protein domain function, indicating that domains with similar functions are subject to similar evolutionary constraints. These data suggest that an evolutionary rate-based approach to sequence analysis (particularly when combined with structural data may be used to study cases of convergent evolution or when sequences have very low similarity. However, when aligning homologous gene sets with sequence similarity, FIRE did not perform as well as the best traditional alignment algorithms indicating that the conventional approach of aligning residues as opposed to evolutionary rates remains the

  12. Three-Dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy of biological specimens

    KAUST Repository

    De Jonge, Niels

    2010-01-18

    A three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of the cytoskeleton and a clathrin-coated pit in mammalian cells has been achieved from a focal-series of images recorded in an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). The specimen was a metallic replica of the biological structure comprising Pt nanoparticles 2-3 nm in diameter, with a high stability under electron beam radiation. The 3D dataset was processed by an automated deconvolution procedure. The lateral resolution was 1.1 nm, set by pixel size. Particles differing by only 10 nm in vertical position were identified as separate objects with greater than 20% dip in contrast between them. We refer to this value as the axial resolution of the deconvolution or reconstruction, the ability to recognize two objects, which were unresolved in the original dataset. The resolution of the reconstruction is comparable to that achieved by tilt-series transmission electron microscopy. However, the focal-series method does not require mechanical tilting and is therefore much faster. 3D STEM images were also recorded of the Golgi ribbon in conventional thin sections containing 3T3 cells with a comparable axial resolution in the deconvolved dataset. © 2010 Microscopy Society of America.

  13. An evolutionary perspective on drug discovery in the plant genus Euphorbia L. (Euphorbiaceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ernst, Madeleine

    herbivory and physical stresses or to attract pollinators. Consequently, specializedmetabolites, as well as plants used in traditional medicine, are not randomly distributed across phylogenetictrees. Evolutionary approaches to plant-based drug discovery suggest that this informationcan be used to guide...... healthcarethreats, urge for systematic and time-efficient approaches in finding new drug candidates. Manydrugs are derived from plant specialized metabolites, chemical compounds, which are synthesizedby the plants in response to evolutionary adaptation to environmental and ecological factors, for example,to combat...... evolution and diversification. Also, Euphorbia species producean often chemically highly diverse latex exhibiting an exceptional number of biological activities withpharmaceutical interest. In this PhD project, the genus Euphorbia was chosen as a model group forstudying evolutionary approaches to plant...

  14. The evolutionary value of recombination is constrained by genome modularity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren P Martin

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Genetic recombination is a fundamental evolutionary mechanism promoting biological adaptation. Using engineered recombinants of the small single-stranded DNA plant virus, Maize streak virus (MSV, we experimentally demonstrate that fragments of genetic material only function optimally if they reside within genomes similar to those in which they evolved. The degree of similarity necessary for optimal functionality is correlated with the complexity of intragenomic interaction networks within which genome fragments must function. There is a striking correlation between our experimental results and the types of MSV recombinants that are detectable in nature, indicating that obligatory maintenance of intragenome interaction networks strongly constrains the evolutionary value of recombination for this virus and probably for genomes in general.

  15. Evolutionary considerations in the development of chronic pelvic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrell, John; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars

    2016-08-01

    Chronic pelvic pain is common among women of reproductive age and is associated with significant morbidity and comorbidities. In this Viewpoint, we explore the evolutionary cause of pelvic pain and summarize evidence that supports a menstruation-related evolutionary cause of chronic visceral pelvic pain: (1) lifetime menstruation has increased; (2) severe dysmenorrhea is common in the chronic pelvic pain population, particularly among those with pain sensitization; and (3) a potential biological mechanism can be identified. Thus, chronic pelvic pain may arise from the mismatch between the slow pace of biological evolution in our bodies and the relatively rapid pace of cultural changes that have resulted in increased menstrual frequency due to earlier menarche, later mortality, and lower fecundity. One possible mechanism that explains the development of persistent pain from repeated episodes of intermittent pain is hyperalgesic priming, a physiological process defined as a long-lasting latent hyperresponsiveness of nociceptors to inflammatory mediators after an inflammatory or neuropathic insult. The repetitive severely painful menstrual episodes may play such a role. From an evolutionary perspective the relatively rapid increase in lifetime menstruation experience in contemporary society may contribute to a mismatch between lifetime menstruation and the physiological pain processes, leading to a maladaptive state of chronic visceral pelvic pain. Our current physiology does not conform to current human needs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The origins of pedagogy: developmental and evolutionary perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skerry, Amy E; Lambert, Enoch; Powell, Lindsey J; McAuliffe, Katherine

    2013-07-18

    The question of whether and how information is actively transferred from knowledgeable to ignorant individuals has received much attention in psychology and evolutionary biology. Research in these fields has proceeded largely independently, with studies of nonhuman animals focusing on knowledgeable individuals and whether or not they meet a functional definition of teaching, while studies of children focus on the learner's assumptions and inferences. We argue that a comprehensive theory of teaching will benefit from integrating perspectives and empirical phenomena from evolutionary and developmental disciplines. In this review, we identify cases of seemingly purposeful information transfer (i.e. teaching) in human and nonhuman animals, discuss what is known about the cognitive processes that support teaching in different species, and highlight ways in which each discipline might be informed by extant theories and empirical tools from the other.

  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. 2. Brazilian Congress on Cell Biology and 7. Brazilian Colloquium on Electron Microscopy - Abstracts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1980-01-01

    Immunology, virology, bacteriology, genetics and protozoology are some of the subjects treated in the 2. Brazilian Congress on Cell Biology. Studies using radioisotopic techniques and ultrastructural cytological studies are presented. Use of optical - and electron microscopy in some of these studies is discussed. In the 7. Brazilian Colloquium on Electron Microscopy, the application of this technique to materials science is discussed (failure analysis in metallurgy, energy dispersion X-ray analysis, etc). (I.C.R.) [pt

  19. Do arms races punctuate evolutionary stasis? Unified insights from phylogeny, phylogeography and microevolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2009-09-01

    One of the major controversies in evolutionary biology concerns the processes underlying macroevolutionary patterns in which prolonged stasis is disrupted by rapid, short-term evolution that leads species to new adaptive zones. Recent advances in the understanding of contemporary evolution have suggested that such rapid evolution can occur in the wild as a result of environmental changes. Here, we examined a novel hypothesis that evolutionary stasis is punctuated by co-evolutionary arms races, which continuously alter adaptive peaks and landscapes. Based on the phylogeny of long-mouthed weevils in the genus Curculio, likelihood ratio tests showed that the macroevolutionary pattern of the weevils coincides with the punctuational evolution model. A coalescent analysis of a species, Curculio camelliae, the mouthpart of which has diverged considerably among populations because of an arms race with its host plant, further suggested that major evolutionary shifts had occurred within 7000 generations. Through a microevolutionary analysis of the species, we also found that natural selection acting through co-evolutionary interactions is potentially strong enough to drive rapid evolutionary shifts between adaptive zones. Overall, we posit that co-evolution is an important factor driving the history of organismal evolution.

  20. Estimating true evolutionary distances under the DCJ model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu; Moret, Bernard M E

    2008-07-01

    Modern techniques can yield the ordering and strandedness of genes on each chromosome of a genome; such data already exists for hundreds of organisms. The evolutionary mechanisms through which the set of the genes of an organism is altered and reordered are of great interest to systematists, evolutionary biologists, comparative genomicists and biomedical researchers. Perhaps the most basic concept in this area is that of evolutionary distance between two genomes: under a given model of genomic evolution, how many events most likely took place to account for the difference between the two genomes? We present a method to estimate the true evolutionary distance between two genomes under the 'double-cut-and-join' (DCJ) model of genome rearrangement, a model under which a single multichromosomal operation accounts for all genomic rearrangement events: inversion, transposition, translocation, block interchange and chromosomal fusion and fission. Our method relies on a simple structural characterization of a genome pair and is both analytically and computationally tractable. We provide analytical results to describe the asymptotic behavior of genomes under the DCJ model, as well as experimental results on a wide variety of genome structures to exemplify the very high accuracy (and low variance) of our estimator. Our results provide a tool for accurate phylogenetic reconstruction from multichromosomal gene rearrangement data as well as a theoretical basis for refinements of the DCJ model to account for biological constraints. All of our software is available in source form under GPL at http://lcbb.epfl.ch.

  1. 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

  2. The effects of different styles of interaction on the learning of evolutionary theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugimoto, Akiko

    This study investigated the effects of different styles of social interaction on the learning of advanced biological knowledge. Recent research has increasingly acknowledged the importance of social interaction for promoting learning and cognitive development. However, there has been a controversy about the optimal style of interaction. Some studies have showed the beneficial effects of symmetrical interactions such as an argument between peers, whereas other studies have found the superiority of asymmetrical interactions in which a novice learn with the guidance of an expert. The reason for the contradictory results may be that different styles of interaction enhance different kinds of learning. The present study focused on the three styles of interaction; (1) Conflicting style, in which two novice students with scientifically wrong but conflicting views argue with one another, (2) Guiding style, in which a novice student is led by a more expert student to an understanding of scientifically appropriate knowledge, (3) Mutual Constructive style, in which an expert student and a novice student jointly solve a scientific problem on an equal footing. Sixty college students with non-biology-majors and 30 students with a biology major participated in this experiment to discuss an evolutionary problem in these three styles of interaction, with the former serving as novices and the latter as experts. Analyses of the Pre- and the Posttest performance and discussion processes in the Interaction session revealed the following. First, the Guiding style and the Mutual Constructive style enhanced the acquisition of the scientific evolutionary conceptual framework more effectively than the Conflicting style. However, some students in the Conflicting style also grasped the scientific evolutionary framework, and many students reconstructed their theories of evolution through discussion, even if the frameworks remained scientifically inappropriate. Second, the students who discussed

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguillard, Donald Wayne

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

  5. Treatment of textiles industrial wastewater by electron beam and biological treatment (sbr)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khomsaton Abu Bakar; Khairul Zaman Mohd Dahlan; Zulkafli Ghazali; Ting Teo Ming

    2008-08-01

    Study of treating textiles industrial wastewater with combined of electron beam and Tower Style Biological Treatment (TSB) was investigated in Korea. In this project, textiles wastewater was also treated with electron beam, but hybrid with Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR). The purpose of this research is to develop combined electron beam treatment with existing biological treatment facility (SBR), of textile industries in Malaysia. The objectives of this project are to determine the effective irradiation parameter for treatment and to identify effective total retention time in SBR system. To achieve the objective, samples fill in polypropyle tray were irradiated at 1 MeV, 20 mA and 1 MeV ,5 mA at doses 11, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kGy respectively. Raw effluent and two series of irradiated effluent at 1 MeV 20 mA (11, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kGy) and 1 MeV 5 mA (11, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kGy) were then treated in SBR system. Samples were analysed at 6, 14 and 20 hrs after aeration in the SBR. The results show that, average reduction in BOD was about 2-11% after irradiated at 5 mA, and the percentage increased to 21-73% after treatment in SBR system. At 20 mA, BOD reduced to 7-29% during irradiation and the value increased to 57-87% after treatment in SBR system. (Author)

  6. Evolutionary equations with applications in natural sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Mokhtar-Kharroubi, Mustapha

    2015-01-01

    With the unifying theme of abstract evolutionary equations, both linear and nonlinear, in a complex environment, the book presents a multidisciplinary blend of topics, spanning the fields of theoretical and applied functional analysis, partial differential equations, probability theory and numerical analysis applied to various models coming from theoretical physics, biology, engineering and complexity theory. The unique features of the book are: the first simultaneous presentation of two complementary approaches to fragmentation and coagulation problems, by weak compactness methods and by using semigroup techniques, comprehensive exposition of probabilistic methods of analysis of long term dynamics of dynamical systems, semigroup analysis of biological problems and cutting edge pattern formation theory. The book will appeal to postgraduate students and researchers specializing in applications of mathematics to problems arising in natural sciences and engineering.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, there is controversy about this question and also about the use of adaptation through natural selection as a guiding framework for research. In this review, we discuss the differences and similarities between evolution among somatic cells versus evolution among organisms. We review what is known about the parameters and rate of evolution in neoplasms, as well as evidence for adaptation. We conclude that adaptation is a useful framework that accurately explains the defining characteristics of cancer. Further, convergent evolution through natural selection provides the only satisfying explanation both for how a group of diverse pathologies have enough in common to usefully share the descriptive label of “cancer” and for why this convergent condition becomes life-threatening. PMID:28148564

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

    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, there is controversy about this question and also about the use of adaptation through natural selection as a guiding framework for research. In this review, we discuss the differences and similarities between evolution among somatic cells versus evolution among organisms. We review what is known about the parameters and rate of evolution in neoplasms, as well as evidence for adaptation. We conclude that adaptation is a useful framework that accurately explains the defining characteristics of cancer. Further, convergent evolution through natural selection provides the only satisfying explanation both for how a group of diverse pathologies have enough in common to usefully share the descriptive label of "cancer" and for why this convergent condition becomes life-threatening. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  9. Radiation, ecology and the invalid LNT model: the evolutionary imperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Peter A

    2006-09-27

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-no threshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substantially beyond common background levels, can be explained by metabolic interactions among multiple abiotic stresses. Demographic and experimental data are mainly in accord with this expectation. Therefore, non-linearity becomes the primary model for assessing risks from low-dose ionizing radiation. This is the evolutionary imperative upon which risk assessment for radiation should be based.

  10. "Messing with the Mind: Evolutionary Challenges to Human Brain Augmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ARTHUR eSANIOTIS

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The issue of brain augmentation has received considerable scientific attention over the last two decades. A key factor to brain augmentation that has been widely overlooked are the complex evolutionary processes which have taken place in evolving the human brain to its current state of functioning. Like other bodily organs, the human brain has been subject to the forces of biological adaptation. The structure and function of the brain, is very complex and only now we are beginning to understand some of the basic concepts of cognition. Therefore, this article proposes that brain-machine interfacing and nootropics are not going to produce augmented brains because we do not understand enough about how evolutionary pressures have informed the neural networks which support human cognitive faculties.

  11. Approaching an experimental electron density model of the biologically active trans -epoxysuccinyl amide group-Substituent effects vs. crystal packing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, Ming W.; Stewart, Scott G.; Sobolev, Alexandre N.; Dittrich, Birger; Schirmeister, Tanja; Luger, Peter; Hesse, Malte; Chen, Yu-Sheng; Spackman, Peter R.; Spackman, Mark A.; Grabowsky, Simon (Heinrich-Heine); (Freie); (UC); (Bremen); (JG-UM); (UWA)

    2017-01-24

    The trans-epoxysuccinyl amide group as a biologically active moiety in cysteine protease inhibitors such as loxistatin acid E64c has been used as a benchmark system for theoretical studies of environmental effects on the electron density of small active ingredients in relation to their biological activity. Here, the synthesis and the electronic properties of the smallest possible active site model compound are reported to close the gap between the unknown experimental electron density of trans-epoxysuccinyl amides and the well-known function of related drugs. Intramolecular substituent effects are separated from intermolecular crystal packing effects on the electron density, which allows us to predict the conditions under which an experimental electron density investigation on trans-epoxysuccinyl amides will be possible. In this context, the special importance of the carboxylic acid function in the model compound for both crystal packing and biological activity is revealed through the novel tool of model energy analysis.

  12. Genomics of Actinobacteria: Tracing the Evolutionary History of an Ancient Phylum†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Marco; Canchaya, Carlos; Tauch, Andreas; Chandra, Govind; Fitzgerald, Gerald F.; Chater, Keith F.; van Sinderen, Douwe

    2007-01-01

    Summary: Actinobacteria constitute one of the largest phyla among Bacteria and represent gram-positive bacteria with a high G+C content in their DNA. This bacterial group includes microorganisms exhibiting a wide spectrum of morphologies, from coccoid to fragmenting hyphal forms, as well as possessing highly variable physiological and metabolic properties. Furthermore, Actinobacteria members have adopted different lifestyles, and can be pathogens (e.g., Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Tropheryma, and Propionibacterium), soil inhabitants (Streptomyces), plant commensals (Leifsonia), or gastrointestinal commensals (Bifidobacterium). The divergence of Actinobacteria from other bacteria is ancient, making it impossible to identify the phylogenetically closest bacterial group to Actinobacteria. Genome sequence analysis has revolutionized every aspect of bacterial biology by enhancing the understanding of the genetics, physiology, and evolutionary development of bacteria. Various actinobacterial genomes have been sequenced, revealing a wide genomic heterogeneity probably as a reflection of their biodiversity. This review provides an account of the recent explosion of actinobacterial genomics data and an attempt to place this in a biological and evolutionary context. PMID:17804669

  13. Evolutionary relationships among pollinators and repeated pollinator sharing in sexually deceptive orchids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, R D; Brown, G R; Dixon, K W; Hayes, C; Linde, C C; Peakall, R

    2017-09-01

    The mechanism of pollinator attraction is predicted to strongly influence both plant diversification and the extent of pollinator sharing between species. Sexually deceptive orchids rely on mimicry of species-specific sex pheromones to attract their insect pollinators. Given that sex pheromones tend to be conserved among related species, we predicted that in sexually deceptive orchids, (i) pollinator sharing is rare, (ii) closely related orchids use closely related pollinators and (iii) there is strong bias in the wasp lineages exploited by orchids. We focused on species that are pollinated by sexual deception of thynnine wasps in the distantly related genera Caladenia and Drakaea, including new field observations for 45 species of Caladenia. Specialization was extreme with most orchids using a single pollinator species. Unexpectedly, seven cases of pollinator sharing were found, including two between Caladenia and Drakaea, which exhibit strikingly different floral morphology. Phylogenetic analysis of pollinators using four nuclear sequence loci demonstrated that although orchids within major clades primarily use closely related pollinator species, up to 17% of orchids within these clades are pollinated by a member of a phylogenetically distant wasp genus. Further, compared to the total diversity of thynnine wasps within the study region, orchids show a strong bias towards exploiting certain genera. Although these patterns may arise through conservatism in the chemical classes used in sex pheromones, apparent switches between wasp clades suggest unexpected flexibility in floral semiochemical production. Alternatively, wasp sex pheromones within lineages may exhibit greater chemical diversity than currently appreciated. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. Evolutionary biology and anthropology suggest biome reconstitution as a necessary approach toward dealing with immune disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, William; Ollerton, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Industrialized society currently faces a wide range of non-infectious, immune-related pandemics. These pandemics include a variety of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases that are often associated with common environmental triggers and with genetic predisposition, but that do not occur in developing societies. In this review, we briefly present the idea that these pandemics are due to a limited number of evolutionary mismatches, the most damaging being 'biome depletion'. This particular mismatch involves the loss of species from the ecosystem of the human body, the human biome, many of which have traditionally been classified as parasites, although some may actually be commensal or even mutualistic. This view, evolved from the 'hygiene hypothesis', encompasses a broad ecological and evolutionary perspective that considers host-symbiont relations as plastic, changing through ecological space and evolutionary time. Fortunately, this perspective provides a blueprint, termed 'biome reconstitution', for disease treatment and especially for disease prevention. Biome reconstitution includes the controlled and population-wide reintroduction (i.e. domestication) of selected species that have been all but eradicated from the human biome in industrialized society and holds great promise for the elimination of pandemics of allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

  15. Biological Applications and Transmission Electron Microscopy Investigations of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trewyn, Brian G. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2006-01-01

    The research presented and discussed within involves the development of novel biological applications of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) and an investigation of mesoporous material by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Mesoporous silica nanoparticles organically functionalized shown to undergo endocytosis in cancer cells and drug release from the pores was controlled intracellularly and intercellularly. Transmission electron microscopy investigations demonstrated the variety of morphologies produced in this field of mesoporous silica nanomaterial synthesis. A series of room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) containing mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) materials with various particle morphologies, including spheres, ellipsoids, rods, and tubes, were synthesized. By changing the RTIL template, the pore morphology was tuned from the MCM-41 type of hexagonal mesopores to rotational moire type of helical channels, and to wormhole-like porous structures. These materials were used as controlled release delivery nanodevices to deliver antibacterial ionic liquids against Escherichia coli K12. The involvement of a specific organosiloxane function group, covalently attached to the exterior of fluorescein doped mesoporous silica nanoparticles (FITC-MSN), on the degree and kinetics of endocytosis in cancer and plant cells was investigated. The kinetics of endocystosis of TEG coated FITC-MSN is significantly quicker than FITC-MSN as determined by flow cytometry experiments. The fluorescence confocal microscopy investigation showed the endocytosis of TEG coated-FITC MSN triethylene glycol grafted fluorescein doped MSN (TEG coated-FITC MSN) into both KeLa cells and Tobacco root protoplasts. Once the synthesis of a controlled-release delivery system based on MCM-41-type mesoporous silica nanorods capped by disulfide bonds with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles was completed. The material was characterized by general methods and the dosage and kinetics of the

  16. Insights from life history theory for an explicit treatment of trade-offs in conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Anne

    2015-06-01

    As economic and social contexts become more embedded within biodiversity conservation, it becomes obvious that resources are a limiting factor in conservation. This recognition is leading conservation scientists and practitioners to increasingly frame conservation decisions as trade-offs between conflicting societal objectives. However, this framing is all too often done in an intuitive way, rather than by addressing trade-offs explicitly. In contrast, the concept of trade-off is a keystone in evolutionary biology, where it has been investigated extensively. I argue that insights from evolutionary theory can provide methodological and theoretical support to evaluating and quantifying trade-offs in biodiversity conservation. I reviewed the diverse ways in which trade-offs have emerged within the context of conservation and how advances from evolutionary theory can help avoid the main pitfalls of an implicit approach. When studying both evolutionary trade-offs (e.g., reproduction vs. survival) and conservation trade-offs (e.g., biodiversity conservation vs. agriculture), it is crucial to correctly identify the limiting resource, hold constant the amount of this resource when comparing different scenarios, and choose appropriate metrics to quantify the extent to which the objectives have been achieved. Insights from studies in evolutionary theory also reveal how an inadequate selection of conservation solutions may result from considering suboptimal rather than optional solutions when examining whether a trade-off exits between 2 objectives. Furthermore, the shape of a trade-off curve (i.e., whether the relationship between 2 objectives follows a concave, convex, or linear form) is known to affect crucially the definition of optimal solutions in evolutionary biology and very likely affects decisions in biodiversity conservation planning too. This interface between evolutionary biology and biodiversity conservation can therefore provide methodological guidance to

  17. New pillars of evolutionary theory in the light of genomics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez Carrascal, Camilo Ernesto

    2011-01-01

    The evolutionist theory proposed by Darwin is one of the fundamental pillars in biology. Darwin's theory was solidified with the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology thanks to the rediscovery of Mendel's work, which laid the genetic basis of heredity. In recent years, great progress has been acquired in the sequencing and analyses of complete genomes, which have provided several elements to discuss some Darwinists tenets of evolution. The evidence of gene duplication and whole-genome duplication, the horizontal gene transfer and the endosymbiosis process question the idea that evolution proceeds through the gradual accumulation of infinitesimally small random changes. The new evidence of neutral selection on the genomics context reveals other mechanisms of evolution not necessarily related with the idea of progress or with an adaptationist program as was originally stated by the Darwin's theory. in this paper, I present these and other concepts such as gene regulation, molecular mechanisms of development and some environmental aspects (epigenesis and phenotypic plasticity) as starting points to think in the necessity to update the evolutionary theory which in my opinion should be more inclusive, pluralistic and consistent with our current knowledge.

  18. Comparison of evolutionary algorithms in gene regulatory network model inference.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The evolution of high throughput technologies that measure gene expression levels has created a data base for inferring GRNs (a process also known as reverse engineering of GRNs). However, the nature of these data has made this process very difficult. At the moment, several methods of discovering qualitative causal relationships between genes with high accuracy from microarray data exist, but large scale quantitative analysis on real biological datasets cannot be performed, to date, as existing approaches are not suitable for real microarray data which are noisy and insufficient. RESULTS: This paper performs an analysis of several existing evolutionary algorithms for quantitative gene regulatory network modelling. The aim is to present the techniques used and offer a comprehensive comparison of approaches, under a common framework. Algorithms are applied to both synthetic and real gene expression data from DNA microarrays, and ability to reproduce biological behaviour, scalability and robustness to noise are assessed and compared. CONCLUSIONS: Presented is a comparison framework for assessment of evolutionary algorithms, used to infer gene regulatory networks. Promising methods are identified and a platform for development of appropriate model formalisms is established.

  19. Woodpeckers and Diamonds: Some Aspects of Evolutionary Convergence in Astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ćirković, Milan M

    2018-05-01

    Jared Diamond's argument against extraterrestrial intelligence from evolutionary contingency is subjected to critical scrutiny. As with the earlier arguments of George Gaylord Simpson, it contains critical loopholes that lead to its unraveling. From the point of view of the contemporary debates about biological evolution, perhaps the most contentious aspect of such arguments is their atemporal and gradualist usage of the space of all possible biological forms (morphospace). Such usage enables the translation of the adaptive value of a trait into the probability of its evolving. This procedure, it is argued, is dangerously misleading. Contra Diamond, there are reasons to believe that convergence not only plays an important role in the history of life, but also profoundly improves the prospects for search for extraterrestrial intelligence success. Some further considerations about the role of observation selection effects and our scaling of complexity in the great debate about contingency and convergence are given. Taken together, these considerations militate against the pessimism of Diamond's conclusion, and suggest that the search for traces and manifestations of extraterrestrial intelligences is far from forlorn. Key Words: Astrobiology-Evolution-Contingency-Convergence-Complex life-SETI-Major evolutionary transitions-Selection effects-Jared Diamond. Astrobiology 18, 491-502.

  20. Expanding the eco-evolutionary context of herbicide resistance research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neve, Paul; Busi, Roberto; Renton, Michael; Vila-Aiub, Martin M

    2014-09-01

    The potential for human-driven evolution in economically and environmentally important organisms in medicine, agriculture and conservation management is now widely recognised. The evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds is a classic example of rapid adaptation in the face of human-mediated selection. Management strategies that aim to slow or prevent the evolution of herbicide resistance must be informed by an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive selection in weed populations. Here, we argue for a greater focus on the ultimate causes of selection for resistance in herbicide resistance studies. The emerging fields of eco-evolutionary dynamics and applied evolutionary biology offer a means to achieve this goal and to consider herbicide resistance in a broader and sometimes novel context. Four relevant research questions are presented, which examine (i) the impact of herbicide dose on selection for resistance, (ii) plant fitness in herbicide resistance studies, (iii) the efficacy of herbicide rotations and mixtures and (iv) the impacts of gene flow on resistance evolution and spread. In all cases, fundamental ecology and evolution have the potential to offer new insights into herbicide resistance evolution and management. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. An intertwined evolutionary history of methanogenic archaea and sulfate reduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwi Susanti

    Full Text Available Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis and dissimilatory sulfate reduction, two of the oldest energy conserving respiratory systems on Earth, apparently could not have evolved in the same host, as sulfite, an intermediate of sulfate reduction, inhibits methanogenesis. However, certain methanogenic archaea metabolize sulfite employing a deazaflavin cofactor (F(420-dependent sulfite reductase (Fsr where N- and C-terminal halves (Fsr-N and Fsr-C are homologs of F(420H(2 dehydrogenase and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (Dsr, respectively. From genome analysis we found that Fsr was likely assembled from freestanding Fsr-N homologs and Dsr-like proteins (Dsr-LP, both being abundant in methanogens. Dsr-LPs fell into two groups defined by following sequence features: Group I (simplest, carrying a coupled siroheme-[Fe(4-S(4] cluster and sulfite-binding Arg/Lys residues; Group III (most complex, with group I features, a Dsr-type peripheral [Fe(4-S(4] cluster and an additional [Fe(4-S(4] cluster. Group II Dsr-LPs with group I features and a Dsr-type peripheral [Fe(4-S(4] cluster were proposed as evolutionary intermediates. Group III is the precursor of Fsr-C. The freestanding Fsr-N homologs serve as F(420H(2 dehydrogenase unit of a putative novel glutamate synthase, previously described membrane-bound electron transport system in methanogens and of assimilatory type sulfite reductases in certain haloarchaea. Among archaea, only methanogens carried Dsr-LPs. They also possessed homologs of sulfate activation and reduction enzymes. This suggested a shared evolutionary history for methanogenesis and sulfate reduction, and Dsr-LPs could have been the source of the oldest (3.47-Gyr ago biologically produced sulfide deposit.

  2. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

    In this paper, I present an analytical framework for polymorphic evolutionary games suitable for explicitly modeling evolutionary processes in diploid populations with sexual reproduction. The principal aspect of the proposed approach is adding diploid genetics cum sexual recombination to a traditional evolutionary game, and switching from phenotypes to haplotypes as the new game׳s pure strategies. Here, the relevant pure strategy׳s payoffs derived by summing the payoffs of all the phenotypes capable of producing gametes containing that particular haplotype weighted by the pertinent probabilities. The resulting game is structurally identical to the familiar Evolutionary Games with non-linear pure strategy payoffs (Hofbauer and Sigmund, 1998. Cambridge University Press), and can be analyzed in terms of an established analytical framework for such games. And these results can be translated into the terms of genotypic, and whence, phenotypic evolutionary stability pertinent to the original game. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Remembering the evolutionary Freud.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Allan

    2006-03-01

    Throughout his career as a writer, Sigmund Freud maintained an interest in the evolutionary origins of the human mind and its neurotic and psychotic disorders. In common with many writers then and now, he believed that the evolutionary past is conserved in the mind and the brain. Today the "evolutionary Freud" is nearly forgotten. Even among Freudians, he is regarded to be a red herring, relevant only to the extent that he diverts attention from the enduring achievements of the authentic Freud. There are three ways to explain these attitudes. First, the evolutionary Freud's key work is the "Overview of the Transference Neurosis" (1915). But it was published at an inopportune moment, forty years after the author's death, during the so-called "Freud wars." Second, Freud eventually lost interest in the "Overview" and the prospect of a comprehensive evolutionary theory of psychopathology. The publication of The Ego and the Id (1923), introducing Freud's structural theory of the psyche, marked the point of no return. Finally, Freud's evolutionary theory is simply not credible. It is based on just-so stories and a thoroughly discredited evolutionary mechanism, Lamarckian use-inheritance. Explanations one and two are probably correct but also uninteresting. Explanation number three assumes that there is a fundamental difference between Freud's evolutionary narratives (not credible) and the evolutionary accounts of psychopathology that currently circulate in psychiatry and mainstream journals (credible). The assumption is mistaken but worth investigating.

  4. A geometric initial guess for localized electronic orbitals in modular biological systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beckman, P. G. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States); Fattebert, J. L. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lau, E. Y. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Osei-Kuffuor, D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-09-11

    Recent first-principles molecular dynamics algorithms using localized electronic orbitals have achieved O(N) complexity and controlled accuracy in simulating systems with finite band gaps. However, accurately deter- mining the centers of these localized orbitals during simulation setup may require O(N3) operations, which is computationally infeasible for many biological systems. We present an O(N) approach for approximating orbital centers in proteins, DNA, and RNA which uses non-localized solutions for a set of fixed-size subproblems to create a set of geometric maps applicable to larger systems. This scalable approach, used as an initial guess in the O(N) first-principles molecular dynamics code MGmol, facilitates first-principles simulations in biological systems of sizes which were previously impossible.

  5. Steps Towards Operationalising an Evolutionary Archaeological Definition of Culture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riede, Felix

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the definition of archaeological cultures/techno-complexes from an evolutionary perspective, in which culture is defined as a system of social information transmission. A formal methodology is presented through which the concept of a culture can be operationalised, at least...... within this approach. It has already been argued that in order to study material culture evolution in a manner similar to how palaeontologists study biological change over time, we need explicitly constructed archaeological taxonomic units . In palaeontology, the definition of such taxonomic units ? most...... are constructed, it is possible to define an archaeological culture at any given point in this hierarchy, depending on the scale of analysis. A brief example from the Late Glacial in Southern Scandinavia is presented, and it is shown that this approach can be used to operationalise an evolutionary definition...

  6. The novel cytochrome c6 of chloroplasts: a case of evolutionary bricolage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Christopher J; Schlarb-Ridley, Beatrix G; Wastl, Juergen; Purton, Saul; Bendall, Derek S

    2006-01-01

    Cytochrome c6 has long been known as a redox carrier of the thylakoid lumen of cyanobacteria and some eukaryotic algae that can substitute for plastocyanin in electron transfer. Until recently, it was widely accepted that land plants lack a cytochrome c6. However, a homologue of the protein has now been identified in several plant species together with an additional isoform in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This form of the protein, designated cytochrome c6A, differs from the 'conventional' cytochrome c6 in possessing a conserved insertion of 12 amino acids that includes two absolutely conserved cysteine residues. There are conflicting reports of whether cytochrome c6A can substitute for plastocyanin in photosynthetic electron transfer. The evidence for and against this is reviewed and the likely evolutionary history of cytochrome c6A is discussed. It is suggested that it has been converted from a primary role in electron transfer to one in regulation within the chloroplast, and is an example of evolutionary 'bricolage'.

  7. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szabó, György, E-mail: szabo@mfa.kfki.hu; Borsos, István, E-mail: borsos@mfa.kfki.hu

    2016-04-05

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the “equilibrium state” by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  8. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-01-01

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the “equilibrium state” by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  9. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-04-01

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the "equilibrium state" by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  10. Understanding the mind from an evolutionary perspective: an overview of evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Liddle, James R

    2014-05-01

    The theory of evolution by natural selection provides the only scientific explanation for the existence of complex adaptations. The design features of the brain, like any organ, are the result of selection pressures operating over deep time. Evolutionary psychology posits that the human brain comprises a multitude of evolved psychological mechanisms, adaptations to specific and recurrent problems of survival and reproduction faced over human evolutionary history. Although some mistakenly view evolutionary psychology as promoting genetic determinism, evolutionary psychologists appreciate and emphasize the interactions between genes and environments. This approach to psychology has led to a richer understanding of a variety of psychological phenomena, and has provided a powerful foundation for generating novel hypotheses. Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists resort to storytelling, but as with any branch of science, empirical testing is a vital component of the field, with hypotheses standing or falling with the weight of the evidence. Evolutionary psychology is uniquely suited to provide a unifying theoretical framework for the disparate subdisciplines of psychology. An evolutionary perspective has provided insights into several subdisciplines of psychology, while simultaneously demonstrating the arbitrary nature of dividing psychological science into such subdisciplines. Evolutionary psychologists have amassed a substantial empirical and theoretical literature, but as a relatively new approach to psychology, many questions remain, with several promising directions for future research. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. From philosophy to science (to natural philosophy): evolutionary developmental perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Alan C

    2008-03-01

    This paper focuses on abstraction as a mode of reasoning that facilitates a productive relationship between philosophy and science. Using examples from evolutionary developmental biology, I argue that there are two areas where abstraction can be relevant to science: reasoning explication and problem clarification. The value of abstraction is characterized in terms of methodology (modeling or data gathering) and epistemology (explanatory evaluation or data interpretation).

  12. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    OpenAIRE

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    As part of BioMed Central’s open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage...

  13. Evolutionary Rate Heterogeneity of Primary and Secondary Metabolic Pathway Genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Dola; Mukherjee, Ashutosh; Ghosh, Tapash Chandra

    2015-11-10

    Primary metabolism is essential to plants for growth and development, and secondary metabolism helps plants to interact with the environment. Many plant metabolites are industrially important. These metabolites are produced by plants through complex metabolic pathways. Lack of knowledge about these pathways is hindering the successful breeding practices for these metabolites. For a better knowledge of the metabolism in plants as a whole, evolutionary rate variation of primary and secondary metabolic pathway genes is a prerequisite. In this study, evolutionary rate variation of primary and secondary metabolic pathway genes has been analyzed in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Primary metabolic pathway genes were found to be more conserved than secondary metabolic pathway genes. Several factors such as gene structure, expression level, tissue specificity, multifunctionality, and domain number are the key factors behind this evolutionary rate variation. This study will help to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of plant metabolism. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. Quantifying evolutionary dynamics from variant-frequency time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khatri, Bhavin S.

    2016-09-01

    From Kimura’s neutral theory of protein evolution to Hubbell’s neutral theory of biodiversity, quantifying the relative importance of neutrality versus selection has long been a basic question in evolutionary biology and ecology. With deep sequencing technologies, this question is taking on a new form: given a time-series of the frequency of different variants in a population, what is the likelihood that the observation has arisen due to selection or neutrality? To tackle the 2-variant case, we exploit Fisher’s angular transformation, which despite being discovered by Ronald Fisher a century ago, has remained an intellectual curiosity. We show together with a heuristic approach it provides a simple solution for the transition probability density at short times, including drift, selection and mutation. Our results show under that under strong selection and sufficiently frequent sampling these evolutionary parameters can be accurately determined from simulation data and so they provide a theoretical basis for techniques to detect selection from variant or polymorphism frequency time-series.

  17. Monitoring of biological odour filtration in closed environments with olfactometry and an electronic nose

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willers, H.C.; Gijsel, de P.; Ogink, N.W.M.; Amico, D' A.; Martinelli, E.; Natale, Di C.; Ras, van N.; Waarde, van der J.

    2004-01-01

    Air treatment with a compact biological membrane filter, and air quality monitoring with an electronic nose were tested in the laboratory on air from a cage containing six mice. Additional analyses of air to and from the filter were performed using olfactometry and ammonia and hydrogen sulphide gas

  18. Design of synthetic biological logic circuits based on evolutionary algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Chia-Hua; Lin, Chun-Liang; Chang, Yen-Chang; Jennawasin, Tanagorn; Chen, Po-Kuei

    2013-08-01

    The construction of an artificial biological logic circuit using systematic strategy is recognised as one of the most important topics for the development of synthetic biology. In this study, a real-structured genetic algorithm (RSGA), which combines general advantages of the traditional real genetic algorithm with those of the structured genetic algorithm, is proposed to deal with the biological logic circuit design problem. A general model with the cis-regulatory input function and appropriate promoter activity functions is proposed to synthesise a wide variety of fundamental logic gates such as NOT, Buffer, AND, OR, NAND, NOR and XOR. The results obtained can be extended to synthesise advanced combinational and sequential logic circuits by topologically distinct connections. The resulting optimal design of these logic gates and circuits are established via the RSGA. The in silico computer-based modelling technology has been verified showing its great advantages in the purpose.

  19. Gene Coexpression and Evolutionary Conservation Analysis of the Human Preimplantation Embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary developmental biology (EVO-DEVO tries to decode evolutionary constraints on the stages of embryonic development. Two models—the “funnel-like” model and the “hourglass” model—have been proposed by investigators to illustrate the fluctuation of selective pressure on these stages. However, selective indices of stages corresponding to mammalian preimplantation embryonic development (PED were undetected in previous studies. Based on single cell RNA sequencing of stages during human PED, we used coexpression method to identify gene modules activated in each of these stages. Through measuring the evolutionary indices of gene modules belonging to each stage, we observed change pattern of selective constraints on PED for the first time. The selective pressure decreases from the zygote stage to the 4-cell stage and increases at the 8-cell stage and then decreases again from 8-cell stage to the late blastocyst stages. Previous EVO-DEVO studies concerning the whole embryo development neglected the fluctuation of selective pressure in these earlier stages, and the fluctuation was potentially correlated with events of earlier stages, such as zygote genome activation (ZGA. Such oscillation in an earlier stage would further affect models of the evolutionary constraints on whole embryo development. Therefore, these earlier stages should be measured intensively in future EVO-DEVO studies.

  20. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. PMID:25684561

  2. An evolutionary perspective on gradual formation of superego in the primal horde

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erdem ePulcu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Freud proposed that the processes which occurred in the primal horde are essential for understanding superego formation and therefore, the successful dissolution of the Oedipus complex. However, Freud theorized superego formation in the primal horde as if it is an instant, all-or-none achievement. The present paper proposes an alternative model aiming to explain gradual development of superego in the primitive man. The proposed model is built on knowledge from evolutionary and neural sciences as well as anthropology, and it particularly focuses on the evolutionary significance of the acquisition of fire by hominids in the Pleistocene period in the light of archaeological findings. Acquisition of fire is discussed as a form of sublimation which might have helped Prehistoric man to maximise the utility of limited evolutionary biological resources, potentially contributing to the rate and extent of bodily evolution. The limitations of both Freud's original conceptualisation and the present model are discussed accordingly in an interdisciplinary framework.

  3. Floral biology and the effects of plant-pollinator interaction on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Reproductive biology and patterns of plant-pollinator interaction are fundamental to gene flow, diversity and evolutionary success of plants. Consequently, we examined the magnitude of insect-plant interaction based on the dynamics of breeding systems and floral biology and their effects on pollination intensity, fruit and ...

  4. Radiation, Ecology and the Invalid LNT Model: The Evolutionary Imperative

    OpenAIRE

    Parsons, Peter A.

    2006-01-01

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-nothreshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substanti...

  5. 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...... 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......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...

  6. 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.

  7. Distorted wave calculations for electron loss process induced by bare ion impact on biological targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monti, J.M.; Tachino, C.A.; Hanssen, J.; Fojón, O.A.; Galassi, M.E.; Champion, C.; Rivarola, R.D.

    2014-01-01

    Distorted wave models are employed to investigate the electron loss process induced by bare ions on biological targets. The two main reactions which contribute to this process, namely, the single electron ionization as well as the single electron capture are here studied. In order to further assess the validity of the theoretical descriptions used, the influence of particular mechanisms are studied, like dynamic screening for the case of electron ionization and energy deposition on the target by the impacting projectile for the electron capture one. Results are compared with existing experimental data. - Highlights: ► Distorted wave models are used to investigate ion-molecule collisions. ► Differential and total cross-sections for capture and ionization are evaluated. ► The influence of dynamic screening is determined. ► Capture reaction dominates the mean energy deposited by the projectile on the target

  8. Generalized Fokker-Planck theory for electron and photon transport in biological tissues: application to radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olbrant, Edgar; Frank, Martin

    2010-12-01

    In this paper, we study a deterministic method for particle transport in biological tissues. The method is specifically developed for dose calculations in cancer therapy and for radiological imaging. Generalized Fokker-Planck (GFP) theory [Leakeas and Larsen, Nucl. Sci. Eng. 137 (2001), pp. 236-250] has been developed to improve the Fokker-Planck (FP) equation in cases where scattering is forward-peaked and where there is a sufficient amount of large-angle scattering. We compare grid-based numerical solutions to FP and GFP in realistic medical applications. First, electron dose calculations in heterogeneous parts of the human body are performed. Therefore, accurate electron scattering cross sections are included and their incorporation into our model is extensively described. Second, we solve GFP approximations of the radiative transport equation to investigate reflectance and transmittance of light in biological tissues. All results are compared with either Monte Carlo or discrete-ordinates transport solutions.

  9. Regulatory RNA design through evolutionary computation and strand displacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostain, William; Landrain, Thomas E; Rodrigo, Guillermo; Jaramillo, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    The discovery and study of a vast number of regulatory RNAs in all kingdoms of life over the past decades has allowed the design of new synthetic RNAs that can regulate gene expression in vivo. Riboregulators, in particular, have been used to activate or repress gene expression. However, to accelerate and scale up the design process, synthetic biologists require computer-assisted design tools, without which riboregulator engineering will remain a case-by-case design process requiring expert attention. Recently, the design of RNA circuits by evolutionary computation and adapting strand displacement techniques from nanotechnology has proven to be suited to the automated generation of DNA sequences implementing regulatory RNA systems in bacteria. Herein, we present our method to carry out such evolutionary design and how to use it to create various types of riboregulators, allowing the systematic de novo design of genetic control systems in synthetic biology.

  10. The application of evolutionary medicine principles for sustainable malaria control: a scoping study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo, Denise; Booth, Mark

    2016-07-22

    Current interventions against malaria have significantly reduced the number of people infected and the number of deaths. Concerns about emerging resistance of both mosquitoes and parasites to intervention have been raised, and questions remain about how best to generate wider knowledge of the underlying evolutionary processes. The pedagogical and research principles of evolutionary medicine may provide an answer to this problem. Eight programme managers and five academic researchers were interviewed by telephone or videoconference to elicit their first-hand views and experiences of malaria control given that evolution is a constant threat to sustainable control. Interviewees were asked about their views on the relationship between practit groups and academics and for their thoughts on whether or not evolutionary medicine may provide a solution to reported tensions. There was broad agreement that evolution of both parasites and vectors presents an obstacle to sustainable control. It was also widely agreed that through more efficient monitoring, evolution could be widely monitored. Interviewees also expressed the view that even well planned interventions may fail if the evolutionary biology of the disease is not considered, potentially making current tools redundant. This scoping study suggests that it is important to make research, including evolutionary principles, available and easily applicable for programme managers and key decision-makers, including donors and politicians. The main conclusion is that sharing knowledge through the educational and research processes embedded within evolutionary medicine has potential to relieve tensions and facilitate sustainable control of malaria and other parasitic infections.

  11. The role of rules in the evolution of the market system: Hayek’s concept of evolutionary epistemology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krstić Miloš

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Starting from the concept of the Darwinian paradigm that, by using Darwin’s principles of variation, selection, and retention, all domains from biology to economic systems can be explained, the advocates of modern evolutionary epistemology have analyzed the role of thoughtful institutional design in the process of cultural evolution. In light of the issue of how human intention and evolutionary forces interact in socioeconomic processes, this paper examines the views of F. A. Hayek, the most famous follower of evolutionary epistemology, on the evolution of the market economy system. In this paper special attention will be devoted to Hayek’s concept of rational liberalism and his evolutionary epistemology. [Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 179066: Improving the Competitiveness of the Public and Private Sectors by Networking Competences in the European Integration Process of Serbia

  12. Cultural evolutionary theory: How culture evolves and why it matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creanza, Nicole; Kolodny, Oren; Feldman, Marcus W

    2017-07-24

    Human cultural traits-behaviors, ideas, and technologies that can be learned from other individuals-can exhibit complex patterns of transmission and evolution, and researchers have developed theoretical models, both verbal and mathematical, to facilitate our understanding of these patterns. Many of the first quantitative models of cultural evolution were modified from existing concepts in theoretical population genetics because cultural evolution has many parallels with, as well as clear differences from, genetic evolution. Furthermore, cultural and genetic evolution can interact with one another and influence both transmission and selection. This interaction requires theoretical treatments of gene-culture coevolution and dual inheritance, in addition to purely cultural evolution. In addition, cultural evolutionary theory is a natural component of studies in demography, human ecology, and many other disciplines. Here, we review the core concepts in cultural evolutionary theory as they pertain to the extension of biology through culture, focusing on cultural evolutionary applications in population genetics, ecology, and demography. For each of these disciplines, we review the theoretical literature and highlight relevant empirical studies. We also discuss the societal implications of the study of cultural evolution and of the interactions of humans with one another and with their environment.

  13. Human Behavior and Cognition in Evolutionary Economics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Richard R

    2011-12-01

    My brand of evolutionary economics recognizes, highlights, that modern economies are always in the process of changing, never fully at rest, with much of the energy coming from innovation. This perspective obviously draws a lot from Schumpeter. Continuing innovation, and the creative destruction that innovation engenders, is driving the system. There are winners and losers in the process, but generally the changes can be regarded as progress. The processes through which economic activity and performance evolve has a lot in common with evolution in biology. In particular, at any time the economy is marked by considerable variety, there are selection forces winnowing on that variety, but also continuing emergence of new ways of doing things and often economic actors. But there also are important differences from biological evolution. In particular, both innovation and selection are to a considerable degree purposive activities, often undertaken on the basis of relatively strong knowledge.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Jeffrey Scott

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Direct Electron Transfer of Enzymes in a Biologically Assembled Conductive Nanomesh Enzyme Platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seung-Woo; Lee, Ki-Young; Song, Yong-Won; Choi, Won Kook; Chang, Joonyeon; Yi, Hyunjung

    2016-02-24

    Nondestructive assembly of a nanostructured enzyme platform is developed in combination of the specific biomolecular attraction and electrostatic coupling for highly efficient direct electron transfer (DET) of enzymes with unprecedented applicability and versatility. The biologically assembled conductive nanomesh enzyme platform enables DET-based flexible integrated biosensors and DET of eight different enzyme with various catalytic activities. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Deciphering the evolutionary history of open and closed mitosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazer, Shelley; Lynch, Michael; Needleman, Daniel

    2014-11-17

    The origin of the nucleus at the prokaryote-to-eukaryote transition represents one of the most important events in the evolution of cellular organization. The nuclear envelope encircles the chromosomes in interphase and is a selectively permeable barrier between the nucleoplasm and cytoplasm and an organizational scaffold for the nucleus. It remains intact in the 'closed' mitosis of some yeasts, but loses its integrity in the 'open' mitosis of mammals. Instances of both types of mitosis within two evolutionary clades indicate multiple evolutionary transitions between open and closed mitosis, although the underlying genetic changes that influenced these transitions remain unknown. A survey of the diversity of mitotic nuclei that fall between these extremes is the starting point from which to determine the physiologically relevant characteristics distinguishing open from closed mitosis and to understand how they evolved and why they are retained in present-day organisms. The field is now poised to begin addressing these issues by defining and documenting patterns of mitotic nuclear variation within and among species and mapping them onto a phylogenic tree. Deciphering the evolutionary history of open and closed mitosis will complement cell biological and genetic approaches aimed at deciphering the fundamental organizational principles of the nucleus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joosten, Reinoud A.M.G.; Roorda, Berend

    2011-01-01

    We present attractiveness, a refinement criterion for evolutionary equilibria. Equilibria surviving this criterion are robust to small perturbations of the underlying payoff system or the dynamics at hand. Furthermore, certain attractive equilibria are equivalent to others for certain evolutionary

  18. Complexity in Evolutionary Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schuster, P.

    2010-01-01

    Darwin's principle of evolution by natural selection is readily casted into a mathematical formalism. Molecular biology revealed the mechanism of mutation and provides the basis for a kinetic theory of evolution that models correct reproduction and mutation as parallel chemical reaction channels. A result of the kinetic theory is the existence of a phase transition in evolution occurring at a critical mutation rate, which represents a localization threshold for the population in sequence space. Occurrence and nature of such phase transitions depend critically on fitness landscapes. The fitness landscape being tantamount to a mapping from sequence or genotype space into phenotype space is identified as the true source of complexity in evolution. Modeling evolution as a stochastic process is discussed and neutrality with respect to selection is shown to provide a major challenge for understanding evolutionary processes (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  20. Assessment of Student Learning Associated with Tree Thinking in an Undergraduate Introductory Organismal Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James J.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Auvenshine, Stacie

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees provide visual representations of ancestor-descendant relationships, a core concept of evolutionary theory. We introduced "tree thinking" into our introductory organismal biology course (freshman/sophomore majors) to help teach organismal diversity within an evolutionary framework. Our instructional strategy consisted…

  1. Fitness landscapes, heuristics and technological paradigms: a critique on random search models in evolutionary economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frenken, K.

    2001-01-01

    The biological evolution of complex organisms, in which the functioning of genes is interdependent, has been analyzed as "hill-climbing" on NK fitness landscapes through random mutation and natural selection. In evolutionary economics, NK fitness landscapes have been used to simulate the evolution

  2. On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Jordi; Tarnita, Corina E

    2017-10-17

    Biology is marked by a hierarchical organization: all life consists of cells; in some cases, these cells assemble into groups, such as endosymbionts or multicellular organisms; in turn, multicellular organisms sometimes assemble into yet other groups, such as primate societies or ant colonies. The construction of new organizational layers results from hierarchical evolutionary transitions, in which biological units (e.g., cells) form groups that evolve into new units of biological organization (e.g., multicellular organisms). Despite considerable advances, there is no bottom-up, dynamical account of how, starting from the solitary ancestor, the first groups originate and subsequently evolve the organizing principles that qualify them as new units. Guided by six central questions, we propose an integrative bottom-up approach for studying the dynamics underlying hierarchical evolutionary transitions, which builds on and synthesizes existing knowledge. This approach highlights the crucial role of the ecology and development of the solitary ancestor in the emergence and subsequent evolution of groups, and it stresses the paramount importance of the life cycle: only by evaluating groups in the context of their life cycle can we unravel the evolutionary trajectory of hierarchical transitions. These insights also provide a starting point for understanding the types of subsequent organizational complexity. The central research questions outlined here naturally link existing research programs on biological construction (e.g., on cooperation, multilevel selection, self-organization, and development) and thereby help integrate knowledge stemming from diverse fields of biology.

  3. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with unchanged calculation precision. So the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule becomes a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the Ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), are presented. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The precision of structure determination of inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  4. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hateren, J. H.

    2017-01-01

    A new theory that naturalizes biological function is explained and compared with earlier etiological and causal role theories. Etiological (or selected effects) theories explain functions from how they are caused over their evolutionary history. Causal role theories analyze how functional mechanisms

  5. Open Issues in Evolutionary Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fernando; Duarte, Miguel; Correia, Luís; Oliveira, Sancho Moura; Christensen, Anders Lyhne

    2016-01-01

    One of the long-term goals in evolutionary robotics is to be able to automatically synthesize controllers for real autonomous robots based only on a task specification. While a number of studies have shown the applicability of evolutionary robotics techniques for the synthesis of behavioral control, researchers have consistently been faced with a number of issues preventing the widespread adoption of evolutionary robotics for engineering purposes. In this article, we review and discuss the open issues in evolutionary robotics. First, we analyze the benefits and challenges of simulation-based evolution and subsequent deployment of controllers versus evolution on real robotic hardware. Second, we discuss specific evolutionary computation issues that have plagued evolutionary robotics: (1) the bootstrap problem, (2) deception, and (3) the role of genomic encoding and genotype-phenotype mapping in the evolution of controllers for complex tasks. Finally, we address the absence of standard research practices in the field. We also discuss promising avenues of research. Our underlying motivation is the reduction of the current gap between evolutionary robotics and mainstream robotics, and the establishment of evolutionary robotics as a canonical approach for the engineering of autonomous robots.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PW Bateman

    2006-09-01

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

  7. Judgments about Cooperators and Freeriders on a Shuar Work Team: An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Michael E.

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary biological theories of group cooperation predict that (1) group members will tend to judge cooperative co-members favorably, and freeriding co-members negatively and (2) members who themselves cooperate more frequently will be especially likely to make these social judgments. An experiment tested these predictions among Shuar…

  8. Applications of dynamical systems in biology and medicine

    CERN Document Server

    Radunskaya, Ami

    2015-01-01

    This volume highlights problems from a range of biological and medical applications that can be interpreted as questions about system behavior or control.  Topics include drug resistance in cancer and malaria, biological fluid dynamics, auto-regulation in the kidney, anti-coagulation therapy, evolutionary diversification and photo-transduction.  Mathematical techniques used to describe and investigate these biological and medical problems include ordinary, partial and stochastic differentiation equations, hybrid discrete-continuous approaches, as well as 2 and 3D numerical simulation. .

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, William B

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGhee, George R

    2015-12-06

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

  11. Integrating phenotypic data from electronic patient records with molecular level systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunak, Søren

    2011-01-01

    Electronic patient records remain a rather unexplored, but potentially rich data source for discovering correlations between diseases. We describe a general approach for gathering phenotypic descriptions of patients from medical records in a systematic and non-cohort dependent manner. By extracti...... Classification of Disease ontology and is therefore in principle language independent. As a use case we show how records from a Danish psychiatric hospital lead to the identification of disease correlations, which subsequently are mapped to systems biology frameworks....

  12. Evolutionary trees and the rise of modern primatology: the forgotten contribution of St. George Mivart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigoni, Francesca; Barsanti, Giulio

    2011-01-01

    The modern concept of the tree of life originated as a popular, iconic synthesis of the Darwinian evolutionary theory of descent by modification even if Darwin's own trees were hypothetical and abstract. It is generally thought that Ernst Haeckel in 1866 was the first to publish a true evolutionary tree which showed actual taxa. It is apparently forgotten that St. George Mivart beginning in 1865 made significant contributions to the development of evolutionary based trees of life which dealt with primate evolution, including human phylogeny. His trees were built on the most extensive sets of original data published up to that time, and were clearly articulated as working hypotheses. Mivart's trees were surprisingly modern for appearance and for content. Not only are most taxonomic names still in use today, but also many of the issues he raised are still under discussion in current scientific literature. The history of biology and especially that of primatology in the 19th century can benefit from a more thorough knowledge of how the image of the tree was used in scientific writings, especially after Darwin in the context of the theory of evolution by descent from common ancestors. A reappraisal of Mivart's scientific achievements is necessary to better establish the origins and the development not only of evolutionary trees but of modern primatology. The history of primatology, a discipline that is fundamental for investigating the place of humans in nature, would also benefit from a reappraisal of Mivart's role in Victorian biology.

  13. Population genetics of non-genetic traits: Evolutionary roles of stochasticity in gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Mineta, Katsuhiko

    2015-05-01

    The role of stochasticity in evolutionary genetics has long been debated. To date, however, the potential roles of non-genetic traits in evolutionary processes have been largely neglected. In molecular biology, growing evidence suggests that stochasticity in gene expression (SGE) is common and that SGE has major impacts on phenotypes and fitness. Here, we provide a general overview of the potential effects of SGE on population genetic parameters, arguing that SGE can indeed have a profound effect on evolutionary processes. Our analyses suggest that SGE potentially alters the fate of mutations by influencing effective population size and fixation probability. In addition, a genetic control of SGE magnitude could evolve under certain conditions, if the fitness of the less-fit individual increases due to SGE and environmental fluctuation. Although empirical evidence for our arguments is yet to come, methodological developments for precisely measuring SGE in living organisms will further advance our understanding of SGE-driven evolution.

  14. Population genetics of non-genetic traits: Evolutionary roles of stochasticity in gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Mineta, Katsuhiko; Matsumoto, Tomotaka; Osada, Naoki; Araki, Hitoshi

    2015-01-01

    The role of stochasticity in evolutionary genetics has long been debated. To date, however, the potential roles of non-genetic traits in evolutionary processes have been largely neglected. In molecular biology, growing evidence suggests that stochasticity in gene expression (SGE) is common and that SGE has major impacts on phenotypes and fitness. Here, we provide a general overview of the potential effects of SGE on population genetic parameters, arguing that SGE can indeed have a profound effect on evolutionary processes. Our analyses suggest that SGE potentially alters the fate of mutations by influencing effective population size and fixation probability. In addition, a genetic control of SGE magnitude could evolve under certain conditions, if the fitness of the less-fit individual increases due to SGE and environmental fluctuation. Although empirical evidence for our arguments is yet to come, methodological developments for precisely measuring SGE in living organisms will further advance our understanding of SGE-driven evolution.

  15. Human development I: Twenty Fundamental Problems of Biology, Medicine, and Neuro-Psychology Related to Biological Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyge Dahl Hermansen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In a new series of papers, we address a number of unsolved problems in biology today. First of all, the unsolved enigma concerning how the differentiation from a single zygote to an adult individual happens has been object for severe research for decades. By uncovering a new holistic biological paradigm that introduces an energetic-informational interpretation of reality as a new way to experience biology, these papers will try to solve the problems connected with the events of biological ontogenesis involving a fractal hierarchy, from a single cell to the function of the human brain. The problems discussed are interpreted within the frames of a universe of roomy fractal structures containing energetic patterns that are able to deliver biological information. We think biological organization is guided by energetic changes on the level of quantum mechanics, interacting with the intention that again guides the energetic conformation of the fractal structures to gain disorders or healthiness. Furthermore, we introduce two new concepts: “metamorphous top down” evolution and “adult human metamorphosis”. The first is a new evolutionary theory involving metamorphosis as a main concept of evolution. The last is tightly linked to the evolutionary principle and explains how human self-recovery is governed. Other subjects of special interest that we shall look deeper into are the immunological self-nonself discrimination, the structure and function of the human brain, the etiology and salutogenesis of mental and somatic diseases, and the structure of the consciousness of a human being. We shall criticize Szentagothai’s model for the modulated structure of the human cerebral cortex and Jerne’s theory of the immunological regulatory anti-idiotypic network.

  16. The navigation of biological hyperspace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway Morris, Simon

    2003-04-01

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

  17. Diversity of neighborhoods promotes cooperation in evolutionary social dilemmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yongjuan; Lu, Jun; Shi, Lei

    2017-02-01

    Explaining the evolution of cooperative behavior is one of the most important and interesting problems in a myriad of disciplines, such as evolutionary biology, mathematics, statistical physics, social science and economics Up to now, there have been a great number of works aiming to this issue with the help of evolutionary game theory. However, vast majority of existing literatures simply assume that the interaction neighborhood and replacement neighborhood are symmetric, which seems inconsistent with real-world cases. In this paper, we consider the asymmetrical neighborhood: player of type A, whose factor is controlled by a parameter τ, has four interaction neighbors and four replacement neighbors, while player of type B, whose factor is controlled by a parameter 1 - τ, possess eight interaction neighbors and four replacement neighbors. By means of numerous Monte Carlo simulations, we found that middle τ can make the cooperation reach the highest level While for this finding, its robustness can be further validated in more games.

  18. Statistical physics and computational methods for evolutionary game theory

    CERN Document Server

    Javarone, Marco Alberto

    2018-01-01

    This book presents an introduction to Evolutionary Game Theory (EGT) which is an emerging field in the area of complex systems attracting the attention of researchers from disparate scientific communities. EGT allows one to represent and study several complex phenomena, such as the emergence of cooperation in social systems, the role of conformity in shaping the equilibrium of a population, and the dynamics in biological and ecological systems. Since EGT models belong to the area of complex systems, statistical physics constitutes a fundamental ingredient for investigating their behavior. At the same time, the complexity of some EGT models, such as those realized by means of agent-based methods, often require the implementation of numerical simulations. Therefore, beyond providing an introduction to EGT, this book gives a brief overview of the main statistical physics tools (such as phase transitions and the Ising model) and computational strategies for simulating evolutionary games (such as Monte Carlo algor...

  19. Generative models versus underlying symmetries to explain biological pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, S A

    2014-06-01

    Mathematical models play an increasingly important role in the interpretation of biological experiments. Studies often present a model that generates the observations, connecting hypothesized process to an observed pattern. Such generative models confirm the plausibility of an explanation and make testable hypotheses for further experiments. However, studies rarely consider the broad family of alternative models that match the same observed pattern. The symmetries that define the broad class of matching models are in fact the only aspects of information truly revealed by observed pattern. Commonly observed patterns derive from simple underlying symmetries. This article illustrates the problem by showing the symmetry associated with the observed rate of increase in fitness in a constant environment. That underlying symmetry reveals how each particular generative model defines a single example within the broad class of matching models. Further progress on the relation between pattern and process requires deeper consideration of the underlying symmetries. © 2014 The Author. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  20. Evolutionary rescue: linking theory for conservation and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Helen K; Martin, Guillaume; Martin, Oliver Y; Bonhoeffer, Sebastian

    2014-12-01

    Evolutionary responses that rescue populations from extinction when drastic environmental changes occur can be friend or foe. The field of conservation biology is concerned with the survival of species in deteriorating global habitats. In medicine, in contrast, infected patients are treated with chemotherapeutic interventions, but drug resistance can compromise eradication of pathogens. These contrasting biological systems and goals have created two quite separate research communities, despite addressing the same central question of whether populations will decline to extinction or be rescued through evolution. We argue that closer integration of the two fields, especially of theoretical understanding, would yield new insights and accelerate progress on these applied problems. Here, we overview and link mathematical modelling approaches in these fields, suggest specific areas with potential for fruitful exchange, and discuss common ideas and issues for empirical testing and prediction.

  1. Determination of azide in biological fluids by use of electron paramagnetic resonance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minakata, Kayoko; Suzuki, Osamu

    2005-01-01

    A simple and sensitive method has been developed for the determination of azide ion (N 3 - ) in biological fluids and beverages. The procedure was based on the formation of a ternary complex Cu(N 3 ) 2 (4-methylpyridine) x in benzene, followed by its detection by electron paramagnetic resonance. The complex in benzene showed a characteristic four-peak hyperfine structure with a g-value of 2.115 at room temperature. Cu 2+ reacted with N 3 - most strongly among common metals found in biological fluids. Several anions and metal ions in biological fluids did not interfere with the determination of N 3 - in the presence of large amounts of Cu 2+ and oxidants. In the present method, N 3 - at the concentration from 5 μM to 2 mM in 100 μl solution could be determined with the detection limit of 20 ng. The recoveries were more than 95% for N 3 - added to 100 μl of blood, urine, milk and beverages at 200 μM. Our method is recommendable because it takes less than 10 min to determine N 3 - and the produced complex is quite stable

  2. Signatures of selection acting on the innate immunity gene Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) during the evolutionary history of rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirren, B; Råberg, L; Westerdahl, H

    2011-06-01

    Patterns of selection acting on immune defence genes have recently been the focus of considerable interest. Yet, when it comes to vertebrates, studies have mainly focused on the acquired branch of the immune system. Consequently, the direction and strength of selection acting on genes of the vertebrate innate immune defence remain poorly understood. Here, we present a molecular analysis of selection on an important receptor of the innate immune system of vertebrates, the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), across 17 rodent species. Although purifying selection was the prevalent evolutionary force acting on most parts of the rodent TLR2, we found that codons in close proximity to pathogen-binding and TLR2-TLR1 heterodimerization sites have been subject to positive selection. This indicates that parasite-mediated selection is not restricted to acquired immune system genes like the major histocompatibility complex, but also affects innate defence genes. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of evolutionary processes in host-parasite systems, both innate and acquired immunity thus need to be considered. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  3. Cognition and biology: perspectives from information theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Rodrick

    2014-02-01

    The intimate relation between biology and cognition can be formally examined through statistical models constrained by the asymptotic limit theorems of communication theory, augmented by methods from statistical mechanics and nonequilibrium thermodynamics. Cognition, often involving submodules that act as information sources, is ubiquitous across the living state. Less metabolic free energy is consumed by permitting crosstalk between biological information sources than by isolating them, leading to evolutionary exaptations that assemble shifting, tunable cognitive arrays at multiple scales, and levels of organization to meet dynamic patterns of threat and opportunity. Cognition is thus necessary for life, but it is not sufficient: An organism represents a highly patterned outcome of path-dependent, blind, variation, selection, interaction, and chance extinction in the context of an adequate flow of free energy and an environment fit for development. Complex, interacting cognitive processes within an organism both record and instantiate those evolutionary and developmental trajectories.

  4. Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC): the UK national research facility for biological electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, Daniel K; Siebert, C Alistair; Hecksel, Corey; Hagen, Christoph; Mordhorst, Valerie; Grange, Michael; Ashton, Alun W; Walsh, Martin A; Grünewald, Kay; Saibil, Helen R; Stuart, David I; Zhang, Peijun

    2017-06-01

    The recent resolution revolution in cryo-EM has led to a massive increase in demand for both time on high-end cryo-electron microscopes and access to cryo-electron microscopy expertise. In anticipation of this demand, eBIC was set up at Diamond Light Source in collaboration with Birkbeck College London and the University of Oxford, and funded by the Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to provide access to high-end equipment through peer review. eBIC is currently in its start-up phase and began by offering time on a single FEI Titan Krios microscope equipped with the latest generation of direct electron detectors from two manufacturers. Here, the current status and modes of access for potential users of eBIC are outlined. In the first year of operation, 222 d of microscope time were delivered to external research groups, with 95 visits in total, of which 53 were from unique groups. The data collected have generated multiple high- to intermediate-resolution structures (2.8-8 Å), ten of which have been published. A second Krios microscope is now in operation, with two more due to come online in 2017. In the next phase of growth of eBIC, in addition to more microscope time, new data-collection strategies and sample-preparation techniques will be made available to external user groups. Finally, all raw data are archived, and a metadata catalogue and automated pipelines for data analysis are being developed.

  5. Claiming Darwin: Stephen Jay Gould in contests over evolutionary orthodoxy and public perception, 1977-2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheldon, Myrna Perez

    2014-03-01

    This article analyzes the impact of the resurgence of American creationism in the early 1980s on debates within post-synthesis evolutionary biology. During this period, many evolutionists criticized Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould for publicizing his revisions to traditional Darwinian theory and opening evolution to criticism by creationists. Gould's theory of punctuated equilibrium was a significant source of contention in these disputes. Both he and his critics, including Richard Dawkins, claimed to be carrying the mantle of Darwinian evolution. By the end of the 1990s, the debate over which evolutionary thinkers were the rightful heirs to Darwin's evolutionary theory was also a conversation over whether Darwinism could be defended against creationists in the broader cultural context. Gould and others' claims to Darwin shaped the contours of a political, religious and scientific controversy. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. The naturalist view of Universal Darwinism: an application to the evolutionary theory of the firm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoelhorst, J.W.; Finch, J.; Orillard, M.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to contribute to recent efforts to ground evolutionary theory in economics in the principles of Universal Darwinism. The paper contrasts two views of evolution, based on the Ultra-Darwinian and Naturalist theory of biological evolution, both of which are consistent with

  7. 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.

  8. Can evolutionary convergence be tested on Europa?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chela-Flores, Julian [Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Caracas (Venezuela); [Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (Italy)]. E-mail: chelaf@ictp.trieste.it

    2002-09-01

    A major objective in solar system exploration has to be the insertion of appropriate biology-oriented experiments in future missions. We discuss various reasons for suggesting that this type of research be considered a high priority for feasibility studies and, subsequently, for technological development of appropriate melters and submersibles. With the assumption that Darwin's theory is valid for the evolution of life anywhere in the universe, various degrees of convergent phenomena argue in favor of the conjecture that universal evolution of intelligent behavior is just a matter of time and preservation of steady planetary conditions. A preliminary test of this conjecture is feasible with experiments involving evolutionary biosignatures on Europa. (author)

  9. Biologic relativity: Who is the observer and what is observed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2016-05-01

    When quantum physics and biological phenomena are analogously explored, it emerges that biologic causation must also be understood independently of its overt appearance. This is similar to the manner in which Bohm characterized the explicate versus the implicate order as overlapping frames of ambiguity. Placed in this context, the variables affecting epigenetic inheritance can be properly assessed as a key mechanistic principle of evolution that significantly alters our understanding of homeostasis, pleiotropy, and heterochrony, and the purposes of sexual reproduction. Each of these become differing manifestations of a new biological relativity in which biologic space-time becomes its own frame. In such relativistic cellular contexts, it is proper to question exactly who has observer status, and who and what are being observed. Consideration within this frame reduces biology to cellular information sharing through cell-cell communication to resolve ambiguities at every scope and scale. In consequence, it becomes implicit that eukaryotic evolution derives from the unicellular state, remaining consistently adherent to it in a continuous evolutionary arc based upon elemental, non-stochastic physiologic first principles. Furthermore, the entire cell including its cytoskeletal apparatus and membranes that participate in the resolution of biological uncertainties must be considered as having equivalent primacy with genomes in evolutionary terms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Evolutionary Effect on the Embodied Beauty of Landscape Architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Tang, Xiaoxiang; He, Xianyou; Chen, Guangyao

    2018-01-01

    According to the framework of evolutionary aesthetics, a sense of beauty is related to environmental adaptation and plasticity of human beings, which has adaptive value and biological foundations. Prior studies have demonstrated that organisms derive benefits from the landscape. In this study, we investigated whether the benefits of landscape might elicit a stronger sense of beauty and what the nature of this sense of beauty is. In two experiments, when viewing classical landscape and nonlandscape architectures photographs, participants rated the aesthetic scores (Experiment 1) and had a two-alternative forced choice aesthetic judgment by pressing the reaction button located near to (15 cm) or far from (45 cm) the presenting stimuli (Experiment 2). The results showed that reaction of aesthetic ratings for classical landscape architectures was faster than those of classical nonlandscape architectures. Furthermore, only the reaction of beautiful judgment of classical landscape architecture photograph was significantly faster when the reaction button was in the near position to the presenting photograph than those in the position of far away from the presenting photograph. This finding suggests a facilitated effect for the aesthetic perception of classical landscape architectures due to their corresponding components including water and green plants with strong evolutionary implications. Furthermore, this sense of beauty for classical landscape architectures might be the embodied approach to beauty based on the viewpoint of evolutionary aesthetics and embodied cognition.

  12. Network-level architecture and the evolutionary potential of underground metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notebaart, Richard A; Szappanos, Balázs; Kintses, Bálint; Pál, Ferenc; Györkei, Ádám; Bogos, Balázs; Lázár, Viktória; Spohn, Réka; Csörgő, Bálint; Wagner, Allon; Ruppin, Eytan; Pál, Csaba; Papp, Balázs

    2014-08-12

    A central unresolved issue in evolutionary biology is how metabolic innovations emerge. Low-level enzymatic side activities are frequent and can potentially be recruited for new biochemical functions. However, the role of such underground reactions in adaptation toward novel environments has remained largely unknown and out of reach of computational predictions, not least because these issues demand analyses at the level of the entire metabolic network. Here, we provide a comprehensive computational model of the underground metabolism in Escherichia coli. Most underground reactions are not isolated and 45% of them can be fully wired into the existing network and form novel pathways that produce key precursors for cell growth. This observation allowed us to conduct an integrated genome-wide in silico and experimental survey to characterize the evolutionary potential of E. coli to adapt to hundreds of nutrient conditions. We revealed that underground reactions allow growth in new environments when their activity is increased. We estimate that at least ∼20% of the underground reactions that can be connected to the existing network confer a fitness advantage under specific environments. Moreover, our results demonstrate that the genetic basis of evolutionary adaptations via underground metabolism is computationally predictable. The approach used here has potential for various application areas from bioengineering to medical genetics.

  13. Ecological theatre and the evolutionary game: how environmental and demographic factors determine payoffs in evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argasinski, K; Broom, M

    2013-10-01

    In the standard approach to evolutionary games and replicator dynamics, differences in fitness can be interpreted as an excess from the mean Malthusian growth rate in the population. In the underlying reasoning, related to an analysis of "costs" and "benefits", there is a silent assumption that fitness can be described in some type of units. However, in most cases these units of measure are not explicitly specified. Then the question arises: are these theories testable? How can we measure "benefit" or "cost"? A natural language, useful for describing and justifying comparisons of strategic "cost" versus "benefits", is the terminology of demography, because the basic events that shape the outcome of natural selection are births and deaths. In this paper, we present the consequences of an explicit analysis of births and deaths in an evolutionary game theoretic framework. We will investigate different types of mortality pressures, their combinations and the possibility of trade-offs between mortality and fertility. We will show that within this new approach it is possible to model how strictly ecological factors such as density dependence and additive background fitness, which seem neutral in classical theory, can affect the outcomes of the game. We consider the example of the Hawk-Dove game, and show that when reformulated in terms of our new approach new details and new biological predictions are produced.

  14. Bioinformatics education dissemination with an evolutionary problem solving perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungck, John R; Donovan, Samuel S; Weisstein, Anton E; Khiripet, Noppadon; Everse, Stephen J

    2010-11-01

    Bioinformatics is central to biology education in the 21st century. With the generation of terabytes of data per day, the application of computer-based tools to stored and distributed data is fundamentally changing research and its application to problems in medicine, agriculture, conservation and forensics. In light of this 'information revolution,' undergraduate biology curricula must be redesigned to prepare the next generation of informed citizens as well as those who will pursue careers in the life sciences. The BEDROCK initiative (Bioinformatics Education Dissemination: Reaching Out, Connecting and Knitting together) has fostered an international community of bioinformatics educators. The initiative's goals are to: (i) Identify and support faculty who can take leadership roles in bioinformatics education; (ii) Highlight and distribute innovative approaches to incorporating evolutionary bioinformatics data and techniques throughout undergraduate education; (iii) Establish mechanisms for the broad dissemination of bioinformatics resource materials and teaching models; (iv) Emphasize phylogenetic thinking and problem solving; and (v) Develop and publish new software tools to help students develop and test evolutionary hypotheses. Since 2002, BEDROCK has offered more than 50 faculty workshops around the world, published many resources and supported an environment for developing and sharing bioinformatics education approaches. The BEDROCK initiative builds on the established pedagogical philosophy and academic community of the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to assemble the diverse intellectual and human resources required to sustain an international reform effort in undergraduate bioinformatics education.

  15. The biology of gall-inducing arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyuri Csoka; William J. Mattson; Graham N. Stone; Peter W. Price

    1998-01-01

    This proceedings explores many facets of the ever intriguing and enigmatic relationships between plants and their gall-forming herbivores. The research reported herein ranges from studies on classical biology and systematics of galling to molecular phylogeny, population genetics, and ecological and evolutionary theory. Human kind has much to learn and gain from...

  16. Advances in Structural Biology and the Application to Biological Filament Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, David; Koh, Fujiet; Scipion, Clement P M; Ghoshdastider, Umesh; Narita, Akihiro; Holmes, Kenneth C; Robinson, Robert C

    2018-04-01

    Structural biology has experienced several transformative technological advances in recent years. These include: development of extremely bright X-ray sources (microfocus synchrotron beamlines and free electron lasers) and the use of electrons to extend protein crystallography to ever decreasing crystal sizes; and an increase in the resolution attainable by cryo-electron microscopy. Here we discuss the use of these techniques in general terms and highlight their application for biological filament systems, an area that is severely underrepresented in atomic resolution structures. We assemble a model of a capped tropomyosin-actin minifilament to demonstrate the utility of combining structures determined by different techniques. Finally, we survey the methods that attempt to transform high resolution structural biology into more physiological environments, such as the cell. Together these techniques promise a compelling decade for structural biology and, more importantly, they will provide exciting discoveries in understanding the designs and purposes of biological machines. © 2018 The Authors. BioEssays Published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Quantitative analysis of biological fluids by electron probe and X ray spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Girod, Chantal

    1986-01-01

    In order to know the kidney normal operation and to have an insight on cellular transport mechanisms and hormonal regulations at the nephron level, a technique based on the use of an electron probe has been developed for the elemental analysis of micro-volumes of biological fluids. This academic document reports applications of this technique on animals on which such fluids have been sampled at different levels of the nephron. As these samples are available in too small volumes to be dosed by conventional methods, they have been quantitatively analysed by using an electronic probe based analyser in order to determine concentrations of all elements with an atomic number greater than that of carbon. After a presentation of the implemented method and hardware, the author thus describes how an analysis is performed, and reports and discusses an example (analysis conditions, data acquisition, data processing, minimum detectable concentration, reasons for measurement scattering)

  18. Photo-induced regeneration of hormones by electron transfer processes: Potential biological and medical consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getoff, Nikola; Hartmann, Johannes; Schittl, Heike; Gerschpacher, Marion; Quint, Ruth Maria

    2011-08-01

    Based on the previous results concerning electron transfer processes in biological substances, it was of interest to investigate if hormone transients resulting by e.g. electron emission can be regenerated. The presented results prove for the first time that the hormone transients originating by the electron emission process can be successfully regenerated by the transfer of electrons from a potent electron donor, such as vitamin C (VitC). Investigations were performed using progesterone (PRG), testosterone (TES) and estrone (E1) as representatives of hormones. By irradiation with monochromatic UV light (λ=254 nm) in a media of 40% water and 60% ethanol, the degradation as well as the regeneration of the hormones was studied with each hormone individually and in the mixture with VitC as a function of the absorbed UV dose, using HPLC. Calculated from the obtained initial yields, the determined regeneration of PRG amounted to 52.7%, for TES to 58.6% and for E1 to 90.9%. The consumption of VitC was determined in the same way. The reported results concerning the regeneration of hormones by the transfer of electrons from an electron donor offer a new, promising method for the therapy with hormones. As a consequence of the regeneration of hormones, a decreased formation of carcinogenic metabolites is expected.

  19. Photo-induced regeneration of hormones by electron transfer processes: Potential biological and medical consequences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Getoff, Nikola, E-mail: nikola.getoff@univie.ac.a [Section of Radiation Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Hartmann, Johannes [Department of Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproduction, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Schittl, Heike [Section of Radiation Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Gerschpacher, Marion [Department of Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproduction, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Quint, Ruth Maria [Section of Radiation Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna (Austria)

    2011-08-15

    Based on the previous results concerning electron transfer processes in biological substances, it was of interest to investigate if hormone transients resulting by e.g. electron emission can be regenerated. The presented results prove for the first time that the hormone transients originating by the electron emission process can be successfully regenerated by the transfer of electrons from a potent electron donor, such as vitamin C (VitC). Investigations were performed using progesterone (PRG), testosterone (TES) and estrone (E1) as representatives of hormones. By irradiation with monochromatic UV light ({lambda}=254 nm) in a media of 40% water and 60% ethanol, the degradation as well as the regeneration of the hormones was studied with each hormone individually and in the mixture with VitC as a function of the absorbed UV dose, using HPLC. Calculated from the obtained initial yields, the determined regeneration of PRG amounted to 52.7%, for TES to 58.6% and for E1 to 90.9%. The consumption of VitC was determined in the same way. The reported results concerning the regeneration of hormones by the transfer of electrons from an electron donor offer a new, promising method for the therapy with hormones. As a consequence of the regeneration of hormones, a decreased formation of carcinogenic metabolites is expected.

  20. Photo-induced regeneration of hormones by electron transfer processes: Potential biological and medical consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Getoff, Nikola; Hartmann, Johannes; Schittl, Heike; Gerschpacher, Marion; Quint, Ruth Maria

    2011-01-01

    Based on the previous results concerning electron transfer processes in biological substances, it was of interest to investigate if hormone transients resulting by e.g. electron emission can be regenerated. The presented results prove for the first time that the hormone transients originating by the electron emission process can be successfully regenerated by the transfer of electrons from a potent electron donor, such as vitamin C (VitC). Investigations were performed using progesterone (PRG), testosterone (TES) and estrone (E1) as representatives of hormones. By irradiation with monochromatic UV light (λ=254 nm) in a media of 40% water and 60% ethanol, the degradation as well as the regeneration of the hormones was studied with each hormone individually and in the mixture with VitC as a function of the absorbed UV dose, using HPLC. Calculated from the obtained initial yields, the determined regeneration of PRG amounted to 52.7%, for TES to 58.6% and for E1 to 90.9%. The consumption of VitC was determined in the same way. The reported results concerning the regeneration of hormones by the transfer of electrons from an electron donor offer a new, promising method for the therapy with hormones. As a consequence of the regeneration of hormones, a decreased formation of carcinogenic metabolites is expected.

  1. Compressed sensing electron tomography of needle-shaped biological specimens – Potential for improved reconstruction fidelity with reduced dose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saghi, Zineb, E-mail: saghizineb@gmail.com [Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS (United Kingdom); Divitini, Giorgio [Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS (United Kingdom); Winter, Benjamin [Center for Nanoanalysis and Electron Microscopy (CENEM), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Cauerstraße 6, 91058 Erlangen (Germany); Leary, Rowan [Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS (United Kingdom); Spiecker, Erdmann [Center for Nanoanalysis and Electron Microscopy (CENEM), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Cauerstraße 6, 91058 Erlangen (Germany); Ducati, Caterina [Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS (United Kingdom); Midgley, Paul A., E-mail: pam33@cam.ac.uk [Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS (United Kingdom)

    2016-01-15

    Electron tomography is an invaluable method for 3D cellular imaging. The technique is, however, limited by the specimen geometry, with a loss of resolution due to a restricted tilt range, an increase in specimen thickness with tilt, and a resultant need for subjective and time-consuming manual segmentation. Here we show that 3D reconstructions of needle-shaped biological samples exhibit isotropic resolution, facilitating improved automated segmentation and feature detection. By using scanning transmission electron tomography, with small probe convergence angles, high spatial resolution is maintained over large depths of field and across the tilt range. Moreover, the application of compressed sensing methods to the needle data demonstrates how high fidelity reconstructions may be achieved with far fewer images (and thus greatly reduced dose) than needed by conventional methods. These findings open the door to high fidelity electron tomography over critically relevant length-scales, filling an important gap between existing 3D cellular imaging techniques. - Highlights: • On-axis electron tomography of a needle-shaped biological sample is presented. • A reconstruction with isotropic resolution is achieved. • Compressed sensing methods are compared to conventional reconstruction algorithms. • High fidelity reconstructions are achieved with greatly undersampled datasets.

  2. Compressed sensing electron tomography of needle-shaped biological specimens – Potential for improved reconstruction fidelity with reduced dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saghi, Zineb; Divitini, Giorgio; Winter, Benjamin; Leary, Rowan; Spiecker, Erdmann; Ducati, Caterina; Midgley, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Electron tomography is an invaluable method for 3D cellular imaging. The technique is, however, limited by the specimen geometry, with a loss of resolution due to a restricted tilt range, an increase in specimen thickness with tilt, and a resultant need for subjective and time-consuming manual segmentation. Here we show that 3D reconstructions of needle-shaped biological samples exhibit isotropic resolution, facilitating improved automated segmentation and feature detection. By using scanning transmission electron tomography, with small probe convergence angles, high spatial resolution is maintained over large depths of field and across the tilt range. Moreover, the application of compressed sensing methods to the needle data demonstrates how high fidelity reconstructions may be achieved with far fewer images (and thus greatly reduced dose) than needed by conventional methods. These findings open the door to high fidelity electron tomography over critically relevant length-scales, filling an important gap between existing 3D cellular imaging techniques. - Highlights: • On-axis electron tomography of a needle-shaped biological sample is presented. • A reconstruction with isotropic resolution is achieved. • Compressed sensing methods are compared to conventional reconstruction algorithms. • High fidelity reconstructions are achieved with greatly undersampled datasets.

  3. The Genealogical Population Dynamics of HIV-1 in a Large Transmission Chain: Bridging within and among Host Evolutionary Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrancken, Bram; Rambaut, Andrew; Suchard, Marc A.; Drummond, Alexei; Baele, Guy; Derdelinckx, Inge; Van Wijngaerden, Eric; Vandamme, Anne-Mieke; Van Laethem, Kristel; Lemey, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Transmission lies at the interface of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) evolution within and among hosts and separates distinct selective pressures that impose differences in both the mode of diversification and the tempo of evolution. In the absence of comprehensive direct comparative analyses of the evolutionary processes at different biological scales, our understanding of how fast within-host HIV-1 evolutionary rates translate to lower rates at the between host level remains incomplete. Here, we address this by analyzing pol and env data from a large HIV-1 subtype C transmission chain for which both the timing and the direction is known for most transmission events. To this purpose, we develop a new transmission model in a Bayesian genealogical inference framework and demonstrate how to constrain the viral evolutionary history to be compatible with the transmission history while simultaneously inferring the within-host evolutionary and population dynamics. We show that accommodating a transmission bottleneck affords the best fit our data, but the sparse within-host HIV-1 sampling prevents accurate quantification of the concomitant loss in genetic diversity. We draw inference under the transmission model to estimate HIV-1 evolutionary rates among epidemiologically-related patients and demonstrate that they lie in between fast intra-host rates and lower rates among epidemiologically unrelated individuals infected with HIV subtype C. Using a new molecular clock approach, we quantify and find support for a lower evolutionary rate along branches that accommodate a transmission event or branches that represent the entire backbone of transmitted lineages in our transmission history. Finally, we recover the rate differences at the different biological scales for both synonymous and non-synonymous substitution rates, which is only compatible with the ‘store and retrieve’ hypothesis positing that viruses stored early in latently infected cells

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. On the origins of anticipation as an evolutionary framework: functional systems perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurismaa, Andres

    2015-08-01

    This paper discusses the problem of anticipation from an evolutionary and systems-theoretical perspective, developed in the context of Russian/Soviet evolutionary biological and neurophysiological schools in the early and mid-twentieth century. On this background, an outline is given of the epigenetic interpretation of anticipatory capacities formulated and substantiated by the eminent Russian neurophysiologist academician Peter K. Anokhin in the framework of functional systems theory. It is considered that several key positions of this theory are well confirmed by recent evidence on anticipation as an evolutionarily basic adaptive capacity, possibly inherent to the organization of life. In the field of neuroscience, the theory of functional systems may potentially facilitate future studies at the intersection of learning, development and evolution by representing an integrative approach to the problem of anticipation.

  6. An evolutionary theory of human motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Larry C; Mills, Michael; Swenson, Leland; Walsh, R Patricia

    2005-05-01

    The authors review psychology's historical, competing perspectives on human motivation and propose a new comprehensive theory. The new theory is based on evolutionary principles as proposed by C. Darwin (1859) and modified by W. D. Hamilton (1964, 1996), R. L. Trivers (1971, 1972), and R. Dawkins (1989). The theory unifies biological, behavioral, and cognitive approaches to motivation. The theory is neuropsychological and addresses conscious and nonconscious processes that underlie motivation, emotion, and self-control. The theory predicts a hierarchical structure of motives that are measurable as individual differences in human behavior. These motives are related to social problem domains (D. B. Bugental, 2000; D. T. Kenrick, N. P. Li, & J. Butner, 2003), and each is hypothesized to solve a particular problem of human inclusive fitness.

  7. Mathematical methods in biology and neurobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Jost, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Mathematical models can be used to meet many of the challenges and opportunities offered by modern biology. The description of biological phenomena requires a range of mathematical theories. This is the case particularly for the emerging field of systems biology. Mathematical Methods in Biology and Neurobiology introduces and develops these mathematical structures and methods in a systematic manner. It studies:   • discrete structures and graph theory • stochastic processes • dynamical systems and partial differential equations • optimization and the calculus of variations.   The biological applications range from molecular to evolutionary and ecological levels, for example:   • cellular reaction kinetics and gene regulation • biological pattern formation and chemotaxis • the biophysics and dynamics of neurons • the coding of information in neuronal systems • phylogenetic tree reconstruction • branching processes and population genetics • optimal resource allocation • sexual recombi...

  8. Biological design in science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Eugenie C.; Matzke, Nicholas J.

    2007-01-01

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

  9. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubichler, Manfred D; Stadler, Peter F; Prohaska, Sonja J; Nowick, Katja

    2015-12-01

    Function is a central concept in biological theories and explanations. Yet discussions about function are often based on a narrow understanding of biological systems and processes, such as idealized molecular systems or simple evolutionary, i.e., selective, dynamics. Conflicting conceptions of function continue to be used in the scientific literature to support certain claims, for instance about the fraction of "functional DNA" in the human genome. Here we argue that all biologically meaningful interpretations of function are necessarily context dependent. This implies that they derive their meaning as well as their range of applicability only within a specific theoretical and measurement context. We use this framework to shed light on the current debate about functional DNA and argue that without considering explicitly the theoretical and measurement contexts all attempts to integrate biological theories are prone to fail.

  10. Transmission microscopy of unmodified biological materials: comparative radiation dosages with electrons and ultrasoft X-ray photons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sayre, D.; Feder, R.; Spiller, E.; Kirz, J.; Kim, D.M.

    1977-01-01

    The minimum radiation dosage in a specimen consistent with transmission microscopy at resolution d and specimen thickness t is calculated for model specimens resembling biological materials in their natural state. The calculations cover 10 4 -10 7 eV electrons and 1.3-90 A photons in a number of microscopy modes. The results indicate that over a considerable part of the (t,d)-plane transmission microscopy on such specimens can be carried out at lower dosage with photons than with electrons. Estimates of the maximum resolutions obtainable with electrons and photons, consistent with structural survival of the specimen, are obtained, as are data on optimal operating conditions for microscopy with the two particles

  11. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    OpenAIRE

    Roorda, Berend; Joosten, Reinoud

    2011-01-01

    We present attractiveness, a refinement criterion for evolutionary equilibria. Equilibria surviving this criterion are robust to small perturbations of the underlying payoff system or the dynamics at hand. Furthermore, certain attractive equilibria are equivalent to others for certain evolutionary dynamics. For instance, each attractive evolutionarily stable strategy is an attractive evolutionarily stable equilibrium for certain barycentric ray-projection dynamics, and vice versa.

  12. Biophysics and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Denis

    2010-03-13

    Biophysics at the systems level, as distinct from molecular biophysics, acquired its most famous paradigm in the work of Hodgkin and Huxley, who integrated their equations for the nerve impulse in 1952. Their approach has since been extended to other organs of the body, notably including the heart. The modern field of computational biology has expanded rapidly during the first decade of the twenty-first century and, through its contribution to what is now called systems biology, it is set to revise many of the fundamental principles of biology, including the relations between genotypes and phenotypes. Evolutionary theory, in particular, will require re-assessment. To succeed in this, computational and systems biology will need to develop the theoretical framework required to deal with multilevel interactions. While computational power is necessary, and is forthcoming, it is not sufficient. We will also require mathematical insight, perhaps of a nature we have not yet identified. This article is therefore also a challenge to mathematicians to develop such insights.

  13. Evolutionary and developmental modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacquaniti, Francesco; Ivanenko, Yuri P; d'Avella, Andrea; Zelik, Karl E; Zago, Myrka

    2013-01-01

    The identification of biological modules at the systems level often follows top-down decomposition of a task goal, or bottom-up decomposition of multidimensional data arrays into basic elements or patterns representing shared features. These approaches traditionally have been applied to mature, fully developed systems. Here we review some results from two other perspectives on modularity, namely the developmental and evolutionary perspective. There is growing evidence that modular units of development were highly preserved and recombined during evolution. We first consider a few examples of modules well identifiable from morphology. Next we consider the more difficult issue of identifying functional developmental modules. We dwell especially on modular control of locomotion to argue that the building blocks used to construct different locomotor behaviors are similar across several animal species, presumably related to ancestral neural networks of command. A recurrent theme from comparative studies is that the developmental addition of new premotor modules underlies the postnatal acquisition and refinement of several different motor behaviors in vertebrates.

  14. Morphogenesis and pattern formation in biological systems experiments and models

    CERN Document Server

    Noji, Sumihare; Ueno, Naoto; Maini, Philip

    2003-01-01

    A central goal of current biology is to decode the mechanisms that underlie the processes of morphogenesis and pattern formation. Concerned with the analysis of those phenomena, this book covers a broad range of research fields, including developmental biology, molecular biology, plant morphogenesis, ecology, epidemiology, medicine, paleontology, evolutionary biology, mathematical biology, and computational biology. In Morphogenesis and Pattern Formation in Biological Systems: Experiments and Models, experimental and theoretical aspects of biology are integrated for the construction and investigation of models of complex processes. This collection of articles on the latest advances by leading researchers not only brings together work from a wide spectrum of disciplines, but also provides a stepping-stone to the creation of new areas of discovery.

  15. Chitosan to Connect Biology to Electronics: Fabricating the Bio-Device Interface and Communicating Across This Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunkyoung Kim

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Individually, advances in microelectronics and biology transformed the way we live our lives. However, there remain few examples in which biology and electronics have been interfaced to create synergistic capabilities. We believe there are two major challenges to the integration of biological components into microelectronic systems: (i assembly of the biological components at an electrode address, and (ii communication between the assembled biological components and the underlying electrode. Chitosan possesses a unique combination of properties to meet these challenges and serve as an effective bio-device interface material. For assembly, chitosan’s pH-responsive film-forming properties allow it to “recognize” electrode-imposed signals and respond by self-assembling as a stable hydrogel film through a cathodic electrodeposition mechanism. A separate anodic electrodeposition mechanism was recently reported and this also allows chitosan hydrogel films to be assembled at an electrode address. Protein-based biofunctionality can be conferred to electrodeposited films through a variety of physical, chemical and biological methods. For communication, we are investigating redox-active catechol-modified chitosan films as an interface to bridge redox-based communication between biology and an electrode. Despite significant progress over the last decade, many questions still remain which warrants even deeper study of chitosan’s structure, properties, and functions.

  16. Time warping of evolutionary distant temporal gene expression data based on noise suppression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papatsenko Dmitri

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative analysis of genome wide temporal gene expression data has a broad potential area of application, including evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and medicine. However, at large evolutionary distances, the construction of global alignments and the consequent comparison of the time-series data are difficult. The main reason is the accumulation of variability in expression profiles of orthologous genes, in the course of evolution. Results We applied Pearson distance matrices, in combination with other noise-suppression techniques and data filtering to improve alignments. This novel framework enhanced the capacity to capture the similarities between the temporal gene expression datasets separated by large evolutionary distances. We aligned and compared the temporal gene expression data in budding (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and fission (Schizosaccharomyces pombe yeast, which are separated by more then ~400 myr of evolution. We found that the global alignment (time warping properly matched the duration of cell cycle phases in these distant organisms, which was measured in prior studies. At the same time, when applied to individual ortholog pairs, this alignment procedure revealed groups of genes with distinct alignments, different from the global alignment. Conclusion Our alignment-based predictions of differences in the cell cycle phases between the two yeast species were in a good agreement with the existing data, thus supporting the computational strategy adopted in this study. We propose that the existence of the alternative alignments, specific to distinct groups of genes, suggests presence of different synchronization modes between the two organisms and possible functional decoupling of particular physiological gene networks in the course of evolution.

  17. Graphene as a transparent conductive support for studying biological molecules by transmission electron microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nair, R. R.; Anissimova, S.; Novoselov, K. S.; Blake, P.; Blake, J. R.; Geim, A. K.; Zan, R.; Bangert, U.; Golovanov, A. P.; Morozov, S. V.; Latychevskaia, T.

    2010-01-01

    We demonstrate the application of graphene as a support for imaging individual biological molecules in transmission electron microscope (TEM). A simple procedure to produce free-standing graphene membranes has been designed. Such membranes are extremely robust and can support practically any submicrometer object. Tobacco mosaic virus has been deposited on graphene samples and observed in a TEM. High contrast has been achieved even though no staining has been applied.

  18. Topics in mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Hadeler, Karl Peter

    2017-01-01

    This book analyzes the impact of quiescent phases on biological models. Quiescence arises, for example, when moving individuals stop moving, hunting predators take a rest, infected individuals are isolated, or cells enter the quiescent compartment of the cell cycle. In the first chapter of Topics in Mathematical Biology general principles about coupled and quiescent systems are derived, including results on shrinking periodic orbits and stabilization of oscillations via quiescence. In subsequent chapters classical biological models are presented in detail and challenged by the introduction of quiescence. These models include delay equations, demographic models, age structured models, Lotka-Volterra systems, replicator systems, genetic models, game theory, Nash equilibria, evolutionary stable strategies, ecological models, epidemiological models, random walks and reaction-diffusion models. In each case we find new and interesting results such as stability of fixed points and/or periodic orbits, excitability...

  19. Game theory and its applications in the social and biological sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Colman, Andrew M; Humphreys, Peter; Negrine, Ralph

    2013-01-01

    Andrew Coleman provides an accessible introduction to the fundamentals of mathematical gaming and other major applications in social psychology, decision theory, economics, politics, evolutionary biology, philosophy, operational research and sociology.

  20. “Asia's Missing Women” as a Problem in Applied Evolutionary Psychology?

    OpenAIRE

    Robert Brooks

    2012-01-01

    In many parts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, women and children are so undervalued, neglected, abused, and so often killed, that sex ratios are now strongly male biased. In recent decades, sex-biased abortion has exacerbated the problem. In this article I highlight several important insights from evolutionary biology into both the origin and the severe societal consequences of “Asia's missing women”, paying particular attention to interactions between evolution, economics and cult...

  1. 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.

  2. The evolutionary theory of asymmetry by V. Geodakyan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geodakyan, Sergey V.

    2015-08-01

    For more than 150 years, all biological theories, including those of C. Darwin and Mendel, were based on the idea of synchronous evolution. They fit for unitary monomodal systems (asexual, symmetrical) but do not work for binary (dioecious, asymmetrical) ones. Examples of such binary conjugated differentiations are two sexes, DNA-proteins, autosomes-sex chromosomes, right and left brain hemispheres, and hands. For their understanding, "asynchronous" theories are needed. Such theories were proposed by Russian theoretical biologist Vigen A. Geodakyan for sexual, brain and body, and chromosomal differentiations. All theories are interconnected and are based on the principle of conjugated subsystems. This article covers the basic tenets of the evolutionary theory of asymmetry and answers the following questions: What benefits does lateralization provide? What logic, what principle is it based on? Why do brain hemispheres control the opposite sides of the body? Why laterality is closely related to sex? What are the biological prerequisites of terrorism?

  3. Tracing the evolutionary origin of vertebrate skeletal tissues: insights from cephalochordate amphioxus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Luok Wen; Yu, Jr-Kai

    2016-08-01

    Vertebrate mineralized skeletal tissues are widely considered as an evolutionary novelty. Despite the importance of these tissues to the adaptation and radiation of vertebrate animals, the evolutionary origin of vertebrate skeletal tissues remains largely unclear. Cephalochordates (Amphioxus) occupy a key phylogenetic position and can serve as a valuable model for studying the evolution of vertebrate skeletal tissues. Here we summarize recent advances in amphioxus developmental biology and comparative genomics that can help to elucidate the evolutionary origins of the vertebrate skeletal tissues and their underlying developmental gene regulatory networks (GRN). By making comparisons to the developmental studies in vertebrate models and recent discoveries in paleontology and genomics, it becomes evident that the collagen matrix-based connective tissues secreted by the somite-derived cells in amphioxus likely represent the rudimentary skeletal tissues in chordates. We propose that upon the foundation of this collagenous precursor, novel tissue mineralization genes that arose from gene duplications were incorporated into an ancestral mesodermal GRN that makes connective and supporting tissues, leading to the emergence of highly-mineralized skeletal tissues in early vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. THREE-DIMENSIONAL OBSERVATIONS ON THICK BIOLOGICAL SPECIMENS BY HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuji Nagata

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Thick biological specimens prepared as whole mount cultured cells or thick sections from embedded tissues were stained with histochemical reactions, such as thiamine pyrophosphatase, glucose-6-phosphatase, cytochrome oxidase, acid phosphatase, DAB reactions and radioautography, to observe 3-D ultrastructures of cell organelles producing stereo-pairs by high voltage electron microscopy at accerelating voltages of 400-1000 kV. The organelles demonstrated were Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, lysosomes, peroxisomes, pinocytotic vesicles and incorporations of radioactive compounds. As the results, those cell organelles were observed 3- dimensionally and the relative relationships between these organelles were demonstrated.

  5. An evolutionary cascade model for sauropod dinosaur gigantism--overview, update and tests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Martin Sander

    Full Text Available Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM. This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades ("Reproduction", "Feeding", "Head and neck", "Avian-style lung", and "Metabolism". Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait "Very high body mass". Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size.

  6. An evolutionary cascade model for sauropod dinosaur gigantism--overview, update and tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM). This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades ("Reproduction", "Feeding", "Head and neck", "Avian-style lung", and "Metabolism"). Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait "Very high body mass". Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits) were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size.

  7. Algorithmic Mechanism Design of Evolutionary Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Yan

    2015-01-01

    We consider algorithmic design, enhancement, and improvement of evolutionary computation as a mechanism design problem. All individuals or several groups of individuals can be considered as self-interested agents. The individuals in evolutionary computation can manipulate parameter settings and operations by satisfying their own preferences, which are defined by an evolutionary computation algorithm designer, rather than by following a fixed algorithm rule. Evolutionary computation algorithm designers or self-adaptive methods should construct proper rules and mechanisms for all agents (individuals) to conduct their evolution behaviour correctly in order to definitely achieve the desired and preset objective(s). As a case study, we propose a formal framework on parameter setting, strategy selection, and algorithmic design of evolutionary computation by considering the Nash strategy equilibrium of a mechanism design in the search process. The evaluation results present the efficiency of the framework. This primary principle can be implemented in any evolutionary computation algorithm that needs to consider strategy selection issues in its optimization process. The final objective of our work is to solve evolutionary computation design as an algorithmic mechanism design problem and establish its fundamental aspect by taking this perspective. This paper is the first step towards achieving this objective by implementing a strategy equilibrium solution (such as Nash equilibrium) in evolutionary computation algorithm.

  8. Anticipatory Mechanisms in Evolutionary Living Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubois, Daniel M.; Holmberg, Stig C.

    2010-11-01

    This paper deals firstly with a revisiting of Darwin's theory of Natural Selection. Darwin in his book never uses the word "evolution", but shows a clear position about mutability of species. Darwin's Natural Selection was mainly inspired by the anticipatory Artificial Selection by humans in domestication, and the Malthus struggle for existence. Darwin showed that the struggle for existence leads to the preservation of the most divergent offspring of any one species. He cited several times the canon of "Natura non facit saltum". He spoke about the origin of life from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. Finally, Darwin made anticipation about the future researches in psychology. This paper cites the work of Ernst Mayr who was the first, after 90 years of an intense scientific debate, to present a new and stable Darwinian paradigm as the "Evolutionary Synthesis" in 1942. To explain what is life, the Living Systems Theory (LST) by J. G. Miller is presented. It is showed that the Autopoietic Systems Theory of Varela et al is also a fundamental component of living systems. In agreement with Darwin, the natural selection is a necessary condition for transformation of biological systems, but is not a sufficient condition. Thus, in this paper we conjecture that an anticipatory evolutionary mechanism exists with the genetic code that is a self-replicating and self-modifying anticipatory program. As demonstrated by Nobel laureate McClintock, evolution in genomes is programmed. The word "program" comes from "pro-gram" meaning to write before, by anticipation, and means a plan for the programming of a mechanism, or a sequence of coded instructions that can be inserted into a mechanism, or a sequence of coded instructions, as genes of behavioural responses, that is part of an organism. For example, cell death may be programmed by what is called the apoptosis. This definitively is a great breakthrough in our understanding of biological evolution. Hence

  9. The evolutionary history of colour polymorphism in Ischnura damselflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Guillén, Rosa A; Cordero-Rivera, Adolfo; Rivas-Torres, Anais; Wellenreuther, Maren; Bybee, Seth; Hansson, Bengt; Velasquez-Vélez, María I; Realpe, Emilio; Chávez-Ríos, Jesús R; Villalobos, Fabricio; Dumont, Henri

    2018-05-10

    A major challenge in evolutionary biology consists of understanding how genetic and phenotypic variation is created and maintained. In the present study, we investigated the origin(s) and evolutionary patterns of the female-limited colour polymorphism in ischnuran damselflies. These consist of the presence of one to three colour morphs: one androchrome morph with a colouration that is similar to the male, and two gynochrome morphs (infuscans and aurantiaca) with female-specific colouration. We (i) documented the colour and mating system of 44 of the 75 taxa within the genus Ischnura, (ii) reconstructed the evolutionary history of colour and mating system to identify the ancestral state, (iii) evaluated the stability of the colour morph status over time, and (iv) tested for a correlation between colour and mating system. We found that the ances tral female colour of Ischnura was monomorphic and aurantiaca and that colour morph status changed over time; characterised by many gains and losses across the species tree. Our results further showed that colour polymorphism is significantly more frequent among polyandric species, whereas monandric species tend to be monomorphic. Research on some Ischnura species has shown that colour morphs have evolved to reduce male mating harassment, and our finding that the same phenotypic morphs have evolved multiple times (convergent evolution) suggests that several species in this genus might be experiencing similar selective pressures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Predictors of Grandparental Investment Decisions in Contemporary Europe: Biological Relatedness and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coall, David A.; Hilbrand, Sonja; Hertwig, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Across human cultures, grandparents make a valued contribution to the health of their families and communities. Moreover, evidence is gathering that grandparents have a positive impact on the development of grandchildren in contemporary industrialized societies. A broad range of factors that influence the likelihood grandparents will invest in their grandchildren has been explored by disciplines as diverse as sociology, economics, psychology and evolutionary biology. To progress toward an encompassing framework, this study will include biological relatedness between grandparents and grandchildren, a factor central to some discipline's theoretical frameworks (e.g., evolutionary biology), next to a wide range of other factors in an analysis of grandparental investment in contemporary Europe. This study draws on data collected in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe from 11 European countries that included 22,967 grandparent–child dyads. Grandparents reported biological relatedness, and grandparental investment was measured as the frequency of informal childcare. Biological and non-biological grandparents differed significantly in a variety of individual, familial and area-level characteristics. Furthermore, many other economic, sociological, and psychological factors also influenced grandparental investment. When they were controlled, biological grandparents, relative to non-biological grandparents, were more likely to invest heavily, looking after their grandchildren almost daily or weekly. Paradoxically, however, they were also more likely to invest nothing at all. We discuss the methodological and theoretical implications of these findings across disciplines. PMID:24416193

  11. Predictors of grandparental investment decisions in contemporary Europe: biological relatedness and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coall, David A; Hilbrand, Sonja; Hertwig, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Across human cultures, grandparents make a valued contribution to the health of their families and communities. Moreover, evidence is gathering that grandparents have a positive impact on the development of grandchildren in contemporary industrialized societies. A broad range of factors that influence the likelihood grandparents will invest in their grandchildren has been explored by disciplines as diverse as sociology, economics, psychology and evolutionary biology. To progress toward an encompassing framework, this study will include biological relatedness between grandparents and grandchildren, a factor central to some discipline's theoretical frameworks (e.g., evolutionary biology), next to a wide range of other factors in an analysis of grandparental investment in contemporary Europe. This study draws on data collected in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe from 11 European countries that included 22,967 grandparent-child dyads. Grandparents reported biological relatedness, and grandparental investment was measured as the frequency of informal childcare. Biological and non-biological grandparents differed significantly in a variety of individual, familial and area-level characteristics. Furthermore, many other economic, sociological, and psychological factors also influenced grandparental investment. When they were controlled, biological grandparents, relative to non-biological grandparents, were more likely to invest heavily, looking after their grandchildren almost daily or weekly. Paradoxically, however, they were also more likely to invest nothing at all. We discuss the methodological and theoretical implications of these findings across disciplines.

  12. Evolutionary Explanations of Eating Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Kardum

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews several most important evolutionary mechanisms that underlie eating disorders. The first part clarifies evolutionary foundations of mental disorders and various mechanisms leading to their development. In the second part selective pressures and evolved adaptations causing contemporary epidemic of obesity as well as differences in dietary regimes and life-style between modern humans and their ancestors are described. Concerning eating disorders, a number of current evolutionary explanations of anorexia nervosa are presented together with their main weaknesses. Evolutionary explanations of eating disorders based on the reproductive suppression hypothesis and its variants derived from kin selection theory and the model of parental manipulation were elaborated. The sexual competition hypothesis of eating disorder, adapted to flee famine hypothesis as well as explanation based on the concept of social attention holding power and the need to belonging were also explained. The importance of evolutionary theory in modern conceptualization and research of eating disorders is emphasized.

  13. 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)

  14. Electron Resonance Decay into a Biological Function: Decrease in Viability of E. coli Transformed by Plasmid DNA Irradiated with 0.5-18 eV Electrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouass Sahbani, S; Cloutier, P; Bass, A D; Hunting, D J; Sanche, L

    2015-10-01

    Transient negative ions (TNIs) are ubiquitous in electron-molecule scattering at low electron impact energies (0-20 eV) and are particularly effective in damaging large biomolecules. Because ionizing radiation generates mostly 0-20 eV electrons, TNIs are expected to play important roles in cell mutagenesis and death during radiotherapeutic cancer treatment, although this hypothesis has never been directly verified. Here, we measure the efficiency of transforming E. coli bacteria by inserting into the cells, pGEM-3ZfL(-) plasmid DNA that confers resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin. Before transformation, plasmids are irradiated with electrons of specific energies between 0.5 and 18 eV. The loss of transformation efficiency plotted as a function of irradiation energy reveals TNIs at 5.5 and 9.5 eV, corresponding to similar states observed in the yields of DNA double strand breaks. We show that TNIs are detectable in the electron-energy dependence of a biological process and can decrease cell viability.

  15. Selectionist and evolutionary approaches to brain function: a critical appraisal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chrisantha Thomas Fernando

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available We consider approaches to brain dynamics and function that have been claimed to be Darwinian. These include Edelman’s theory of neuronal group selection, Changeux’s theory of synaptic selection and selective stabilization of pre-representations, Seung’s Darwinian synapse, Loewenstein’s synaptic melioration, Adam’s selfish synapse and Calvin’s replicating activity patterns. Except for the last two, the proposed mechanisms are selectionist but not truly Darwinian, because no replicators with information transfer to copies and hereditary variation can be identified in them. All of them fit, however, a generalized selectionist framework conforming to the picture of Price’s covariance formulation, which deliberately was not specific even to selection in biology, and therefore does not imply an algorithmic picture of biological evolution. Bayesian models and reinforcement learning are formally in agreement with selection dynamics. A classification of search algorithms is shown to include Darwinian replicators (evolutionary units with multiplication, heredity and variability as the most powerful mechanism in a sparsely occupied search space. Examples of why parallel competitive search with information transfer among the units is efficient are given. Finally, we review our recent attempts to construct and analyze simple models of true Darwinian evolutionary units in the brain in terms of connectivity and activity copying of neuronal groups. Although none of the proposed neuronal replicators include miraculous mechanisms, their identification remains a challenge but also a great promise.

  16. The citation field of evolutionary economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dolfsma, Wilfred; Leydesdorff, Loet

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary economics has developed into an academic field of its own, institutionalized around, amongst others, the Journal of Evolutionary Economics (JEE). This paper analyzes the way and extent to which evolutionary economics has become an interdisciplinary journal, as its aim was: a journal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, William F

    2012-03-09

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

  18. 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.

  19. A second inheritance system: the extension of biology through culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiten, Andrew

    2017-10-06

    By the mid-twentieth century (thus following the 'Modern Synthesis' in evolutionary biology), the behavioural sciences offered only the sketchy beginnings of a scientific literature documenting evidence for cultural inheritance in animals-the transmission of traditional behaviours via learning from others (social learning). By contrast, recent decades have seen a massive growth in the documentation of such cultural phenomena, driven by long-term field studies and complementary laboratory experiments. Here, I review the burgeoning scope of discoveries in this field, which increasingly suggest that this 'second inheritance system', built on the shoulders of the primary genetic inheritance system, occurs widely among vertebrates and possibly in invertebrates too. Its novel characteristics suggest significant implications for our understanding of evolutionary biology. I assess the extent to which this second system extends the scope of evolution, both by echoing principal properties of the primary, organic evolutionary system, and going beyond it in significant ways. This is well established in human cultural evolution; here, I address animal cultures more generally. The further major, and related, question concerns the extent to which the consequences of widespread animal cultural transmission interact with the primary, genetically based inheritance systems, shaping organic evolution.

  20. Neglect of genetic diversity in implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Laikre; Fred W. Allendorf; Laurel C. Aroner; C. Scott Baker; David P. Gregovich; Michael M. Hansen; Jennifer A. Jackson; Katherine C. Kendall; Kevin Mckelvey; Maile C. Neel; Isabelle Olivieri; Nils Ryman; Michael K. Schwartz; Ruth Short Bull; Jeffrey B. Stetz; David A. Tallmon; Barbara L. Taylor; Christina D. Vojta; Donald M. Waller; Robin S. Waples

    2009-01-01

    Genetic diversity is the foundation for all biological diversity; the persistence and evolutionary potential of species depend on it. World leaders have agreed on the conservation of genetic diversity as an explicit goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Nevertheless, actions to protect genetic diversity are largely lacking. With only months left to the...

  1. Evolutionary Inference across Eukaryotes Identifies Specific Pressures Favoring Mitochondrial Gene Retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Iain G; Williams, Ben P

    2016-02-24

    Since their endosymbiotic origin, mitochondria have lost most of their genes. Although many selective mechanisms underlying the evolution of mitochondrial genomes have been proposed, a data-driven exploration of these hypotheses is lacking, and a quantitatively supported consensus remains absent. We developed HyperTraPS, a methodology coupling stochastic modeling with Bayesian inference, to identify the ordering of evolutionary events and suggest their causes. Using 2015 complete mitochondrial genomes, we inferred evolutionary trajectories of mtDNA gene loss across the eukaryotic tree of life. We find that proteins comprising the structural cores of the electron transport chain are preferentially encoded within mitochondrial genomes across eukaryotes. A combination of high GC content and high protein hydrophobicity is required to explain patterns of mtDNA gene retention; a model that accounts for these selective pressures can also predict the success of artificial gene transfer experiments in vivo. This work provides a general method for data-driven inference of the ordering of evolutionary and progressive events, here identifying the distinct features shaping mitochondrial genomes of present-day species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Quantifying electron transfer reactions in biological systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sjulstok, Emil Sjulstok; Olsen, Jógvan Magnus Haugaard; Solov'yov, Ilia A

    2015-01-01

    which for example occur in photosynthesis, cellular respiration, DNA repair, and possibly magnetic field sensing. Quantum biology uses computation to model biological interactions in light of quantum mechanical effects and has primarily developed over the past decade as a result of convergence between...

  3. Context dependent DNA evolutionary models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Ledet

    This paper is about stochastic models for the evolution of DNA. For a set of aligned DNA sequences, connected in a phylogenetic tree, the models should be able to explain - in probabilistic terms - the differences seen in the sequences. From the estimates of the parameters in the model one can...... start to make biologically interpretations and conclusions concerning the evolutionary forces at work. In parallel with the increase in computing power, models have become more complex. Starting with Markov processes on a space with 4 states, and extended to Markov processes with 64 states, we are today...... studying models on spaces with 4n (or 64n) number of states with n well above one hundred, say. For such models it is no longer possible to calculate the transition probability analytically, and often Markov chain Monte Carlo is used in connection with likelihood analysis. This is also the approach taken...

  4. “Messing with the mind”: evolutionary challenges to human brain augmentation

    OpenAIRE

    Saniotis, Arthur; Henneberg, Maciej; Kumaratilake, Jaliya; Grantham, James P.

    2014-01-01

    The issue of brain augmentation has received considerable scientific attention over the last two decades. A key factor to brain augmentation that has been widely overlooked are the complex evolutionary processes which have taken place in evolving the human brain to its current state of functioning. Like other bodily organs, the human brain has been subject to the forces of biological adaptation. The structure and function of the brain, is very complex and only now we are beginning to understa...

  5. From Extremophiles to Star Trek, The Use of Synthetic Biology in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.; Fujishima, Kosuke; Lima, Ivan Paulino; Gentry, Diana; Phan, Samson; Navarette, Jesica; Palmer, Jesse; Burnier, Andre

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology – the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes – has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids. In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as bio-mining, human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  6. Essays on nonlinear evolutionary game dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ochea, M.I.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory has been viewed as an evolutionary repair of rational actor game theory in the hope that a population of boundedly rational players may attain convergence to classic rational solutions, such as the Nash Equilibrium, via some learning or evolutionary process. In this thesis

  7. Darwin's Difficulties and Students' Struggles with Trait Loss: Cognitive-Historical Parallelisms in Evolutionary Explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Minsu; Nehm, Ross H.

    2014-05-01

    Although historical changes in scientific ideas sometimes display striking similarities with students' conceptual progressions, some scholars have cautioned that such similarities lack meaningful commonalities. In the history of evolution, while Darwin and his contemporaries often used natural selection to explain evolutionary trait gain or increase, they struggled to use it to convincingly account for cases of trait loss or decrease. This study examines Darwin's evolutionary writings about trait gain and loss in the Origin of Species (On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. D. Appleton, New York, 1859) and compares them to written evolutionary explanations for trait gain and loss in a large (n > 500), cross-cultural and cross-sectional sample (novices and experts from the USA and Korea). Findings indicate that significantly more students and experts applied natural selection to cases of trait gain, but like Darwin and his contemporaries, they more often applied `use and disuse' and `inheritance of acquired characteristics' to episodes of trait loss. Although the parallelism between Darwin's difficulties and students' struggles with trait loss are striking, significant differences also characterize explanatory model structure. Overall, however, students and scientists struggles to explain trait loss—which is a very common phenomenon in the history of life—appear to transcend time, place, and level of biological expertise. The significance of these findings for evolution education are discussed; in particular, the situated nature of biological reasoning, and the important role that the history of science can play in understanding cognitive constraints on science learning.

  8. Practical aspects of Boersch phase contrast electron microscopy of biological specimens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walter, Andreas [Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics, Department of Structural Biology, Max-von-Laue-Str. 3, D-60439 Frankfurt (Germany); Muzik, Heiko; Vieker, Henning; Turchanin, Andrey; Beyer, Andre; Goelzhaeuser, Armin [University of Bielefeld, Physics of Supramolecular Systems and Surfaces, Universitaetsstr. 25, D-33615 Bielefeld (Germany); Lacher, Manfred; Steltenkamp, Siegfried; Schmitz, Sam; Holik, Peter [Caesar Research Center, Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2, D-53175 Bonn (Germany); Kuehlbrandt, Werner [Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics, Department of Structural Biology, Max-von-Laue-Str. 3, D-60439 Frankfurt (Germany); Rhinow, Daniel, E-mail: daniel.rhinow@biophys.mpg.de [Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics, Department of Structural Biology, Max-von-Laue-Str. 3, D-60439 Frankfurt (Germany)

    2012-05-15

    Implementation of physical phase plates into transmission electron microscopes to achieve in-focus contrast for ice-embedded biological specimens poses several technological challenges. During the last decade several phase plates designs have been introduced and tested for electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM), including thin film (Zernike) phase plates and electrostatic devices. Boersch phase plates (BPPs) are electrostatic einzel lenses shifting the phase of the unscattered beam by an arbitrary angle. Adjusting the phase shift to 90 Degree-Sign achieves the maximum contrast transfer for phase objects such as biomolecules. Recently, we reported the implementation of a BPP into a dedicated phase contrast aberration-corrected electron microscope (PACEM) and demonstrated its use to generate in-focus contrast of frozen-hydrated specimens. However, a number of obstacles need to be overcome before BPPs can be used routinely, mostly related to the phase plate devices themselves. CryoEM with a physical phase plate is affected by electrostatic charging, obliteration of low spatial frequencies, and mechanical drift. Furthermore, BPPs introduce single sideband contrast (SSB), due to the obstruction of Friedel mates in the diffraction pattern. In this study we address the technical obstacles in detail and show how they may be overcome. We use X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) to identify contaminants responsible for electrostatic charging, which occurs with most phase plates. We demonstrate that obstruction of low-resolution features is significantly reduced by lowering the acceleration voltage of the microscope. Finally, we present computational approaches to correct BPP images for SSB contrast and to compensate for mechanical drift of the BPP. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Various obstacles need to be overcome before Boersch phase plates can be used routinely. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Technical problems include

  9. Practical aspects of Boersch phase contrast electron microscopy of biological specimens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, Andreas; Muzik, Heiko; Vieker, Henning; Turchanin, Andrey; Beyer, André; Gölzhäuser, Armin; Lacher, Manfred; Steltenkamp, Siegfried; Schmitz, Sam; Holik, Peter; Kühlbrandt, Werner; Rhinow, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Implementation of physical phase plates into transmission electron microscopes to achieve in-focus contrast for ice-embedded biological specimens poses several technological challenges. During the last decade several phase plates designs have been introduced and tested for electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM), including thin film (Zernike) phase plates and electrostatic devices. Boersch phase plates (BPPs) are electrostatic einzel lenses shifting the phase of the unscattered beam by an arbitrary angle. Adjusting the phase shift to 90° achieves the maximum contrast transfer for phase objects such as biomolecules. Recently, we reported the implementation of a BPP into a dedicated phase contrast aberration-corrected electron microscope (PACEM) and demonstrated its use to generate in-focus contrast of frozen–hydrated specimens. However, a number of obstacles need to be overcome before BPPs can be used routinely, mostly related to the phase plate devices themselves. CryoEM with a physical phase plate is affected by electrostatic charging, obliteration of low spatial frequencies, and mechanical drift. Furthermore, BPPs introduce single sideband contrast (SSB), due to the obstruction of Friedel mates in the diffraction pattern. In this study we address the technical obstacles in detail and show how they may be overcome. We use X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) to identify contaminants responsible for electrostatic charging, which occurs with most phase plates. We demonstrate that obstruction of low-resolution features is significantly reduced by lowering the acceleration voltage of the microscope. Finally, we present computational approaches to correct BPP images for SSB contrast and to compensate for mechanical drift of the BPP. -- Highlights: ► Various obstacles need to be overcome before Boersch phase plates can be used routinely. ► Technical problems include electrostatic charging, mechanical drift, and image artefacts.

  10. 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...

  11. Older partner selection promotes the prevalence of cooperation in evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guoli; Huang, Jincai; Zhang, Weiming

    2014-10-21

    Evolutionary games typically come with the interplays between evolution of individual strategy and adaptation to network structure. How these dynamics in the co-evolution promote (or obstruct) the cooperation is regarded as an important topic in social, economic, and biological fields. Combining spatial selection with partner choice, the focus of this paper is to identify which neighbour should be selected as a role to imitate during the process of co-evolution. Age, an internal attribute and kind of local piece of information regarding the survivability of the agent, is a significant consideration for the selection strategy. The analysis and simulations presented, demonstrate that older partner selection for strategy imitation could foster the evolution of cooperation. The younger partner selection, however, may decrease the level of cooperation. Our model highlights the importance of agent׳s age on the promotion of cooperation in evolutionary games, both efficiently and effectively. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Mega-phylogeny approach for comparative biology: an alternative to supertree and supermatrix approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Stephen A; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Donoghue, Michael J

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Biology has increasingly recognized the necessity to build and utilize larger phylogenies to address broad evolutionary questions. Large phylogenies have facilitated the discovery of differential rates of molecular evolution between trees and herbs. They have helped us understand the diversification patterns of mammals as well as the patterns of seed evolution. In addition to these broad evolutionary questions there is increasing awareness of the importance of large phylog...

  13. Evolutionary model of an anonymous consumer durable market

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaldasch, Joachim

    2011-07-01

    An analytic model is presented that considers the evolution of a market of durable goods. The model suggests that after introduction goods spread always according to a Bass diffusion. However, this phase will be followed by a diffusion process for durable consumer goods governed by a variation-selection-reproduction mechanism and the growth dynamics can be described by a replicator equation. The theory suggests that products play the role of species in biological evolutionary models. It implies that the evolution of man-made products can be arranged into an evolutionary tree. The model suggests that each product can be characterized by its product fitness. The fitness space contains elements of both sites of the market, supply and demand. The unit sales of products with a higher product fitness compared to the mean fitness increase. Durables with a constant fitness advantage replace other goods according to a logistic law. The model predicts in particular that the mean price exhibits an exponential decrease over a long time period for durable goods. The evolutionary diffusion process is directly related to this price decline and is governed by Gompertz equation. Therefore it is denoted as Gompertz diffusion. Describing the aggregate sales as the sum of first, multiple and replacement purchase the product life cycle can be derived. Replacement purchase causes periodic variations of the sales determined by the finite lifetime of the good (Juglar cycles). The model suggests that both, Bass- and Gompertz diffusion may contribute to the product life cycle of a consumer durable. The theory contains the standard equilibrium view of a market as a special case. It depends on the time scale, whether an equilibrium or evolutionary description is more appropriate. The evolutionary framework is used to derive also the size, growth rate and price distribution of manufacturing business units. It predicts that the size distribution of the business units (products) is lognormal

  14. Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-11-11

    Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator-prey (rotifer-algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result.

  15. Evolutionary optimization with data collocation for reverse engineering of biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Kuan-Yao; Wang, Feng-Sheng

    2005-04-01

    Modern experimental biology is moving away from analyses of single elements to whole-organism measurements. Such measured time-course data contain a wealth of information about the structure and dynamic of the pathway or network. The dynamic modeling of the whole systems is formulated as a reverse problem that requires a well-suited mathematical model and a very efficient computational method to identify the model structure and parameters. Numerical integration for differential equations and finding global parameter values are still two major challenges in this field of the parameter estimation of nonlinear dynamic biological systems. We compare three techniques of parameter estimation for nonlinear dynamic biological systems. In the proposed scheme, the modified collocation method is applied to convert the differential equations to the system of algebraic equations. The observed time-course data are then substituted into the algebraic system equations to decouple system interactions in order to obtain the approximate model profiles. Hybrid differential evolution (HDE) with population size of five is able to find a global solution. The method is not only suited for parameter estimation but also can be applied for structure identification. The solution obtained by HDE is then used as the starting point for a local search method to yield the refined estimates.

  16. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

    Evolutionary computation is becoming a common technique for solving difficult, real-world problems in industry, medicine, and defense. This paper reviews some of the practical advantages to using evolutionary algorithms as compared with classic methods of optimization or artificial intelligence. Specific advantages include the flexibility of the procedures, as well as their ability to self-adapt the search for optimum solutions on the fly. As desktop computers increase in speed, the application of evolutionary algorithms will become routine.

  17. Evolution Acceptance and Epistemological Beliefs of College Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Dynamic Ising model: reconstruction of evolutionary trees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Oliveira, P M C

    2013-01-01

    An evolutionary tree is a cascade of bifurcations starting from a single common root, generating a growing set of daughter species as time goes by. ‘Species’ here is a general denomination for biological species, spoken languages or any other entity which evolves through heredity. From the N currently alive species within a clade, distances are measured through pairwise comparisons made by geneticists, linguists, etc. The larger is such a distance that, for a pair of species, the older is their last common ancestor. The aim is to reconstruct the previously unknown bifurcations, i.e. the whole clade, from knowledge of the N(N − 1)/2 quoted distances, which are taken for granted. A mechanical method is presented and its applicability is discussed. (paper)

  19. Evolution of bow-tie architectures in biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Friedlander

    2015-03-01

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

  20. An Evolutionary Cascade Model for Sauropod Dinosaur Gigantism - Overview, Update and Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM). This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades (“Reproduction”, “Feeding”, “Head and neck”, “Avian-style lung”, and “Metabolism”). Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait “Very high body mass”. Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits) were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size. PMID:24205267

  1. A timeless biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  2. The limits of weak selection and large population size in evolutionary game theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sample, Christine; Allen, Benjamin

    2017-11-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a mathematical approach to studying how social behaviors evolve. In many recent works, evolutionary competition between strategies is modeled as a stochastic process in a finite population. In this context, two limits are both mathematically convenient and biologically relevant: weak selection and large population size. These limits can be combined in different ways, leading to potentially different results. We consider two orderings: the [Formula: see text] limit, in which weak selection is applied before the large population limit, and the [Formula: see text] limit, in which the order is reversed. Formal mathematical definitions of the [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] limits are provided. Applying these definitions to the Moran process of evolutionary game theory, we obtain asymptotic expressions for fixation probability and conditions for success in these limits. We find that the asymptotic expressions for fixation probability, and the conditions for a strategy to be favored over a neutral mutation, are different in the [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] limits. However, the ordering of limits does not affect the conditions for one strategy to be favored over another.

  3. Calculating evolutionary dynamics in structured populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles G Nathanson

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Evolution is shaping the world around us. At the core of every evolutionary process is a population of reproducing individuals. The outcome of an evolutionary process depends on population structure. Here we provide a general formula for calculating evolutionary dynamics in a wide class of structured populations. This class includes the recently introduced "games in phenotype space" and "evolutionary set theory." There can be local interactions for determining the relative fitness of individuals, but we require global updating, which means all individuals compete uniformly for reproduction. We study the competition of two strategies in the context of an evolutionary game and determine which strategy is favored in the limit of weak selection. We derive an intuitive formula for the structure coefficient, sigma, and provide a method for efficient numerical calculation.

  4. Protein electron transfer: is biology (thermo)dynamic?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matyushov, Dmitry V

    2015-01-01

    Simple physical mechanisms are behind the flow of energy in all forms of life. Energy comes to living systems through electrons occupying high-energy states, either from food (respiratory chains) or from light (photosynthesis). This energy is transformed into the cross-membrane proton-motive force that eventually drives all biochemistry of the cell. Life’s ability to transfer electrons over large distances with nearly zero loss of free energy is puzzling and has not been accomplished in synthetic systems. The focus of this review is on how this energetic efficiency is realized. General physical mechanisms and interactions that allow proteins to fold into compact water-soluble structures are also responsible for a rugged landscape of energy states and a broad distribution of relaxation times. Specific to a protein as a fluctuating thermal bath is the protein-water interface, which is heterogeneous both dynamically and structurally. The spectrum of interfacial fluctuations is a consequence of protein’s elastic flexibility combined with a high density of surface charges polarizing water dipoles into surface nanodomains. Electrostatics is critical to the protein function and the relevant questions are: (i) What is the spectrum of interfacial electrostatic fluctuations? (ii) Does the interfacial biological water produce electrostatic signatures specific to proteins? (iii) How is protein-mediated chemistry affected by electrostatics? These questions connect the fluctuation spectrum to the dynamical control of chemical reactivity, i.e. the dependence of the activation free energy of the reaction on the dynamics of the bath. Ergodicity is often broken in protein-driven reactions and thermodynamic free energies become irrelevant. Continuous ergodicity breaking in a dense spectrum of relaxation times requires using dynamically restricted ensembles to calculate statistical averages. When applied to the calculation of the rates, this formalism leads to the nonergodic

  5. Distinguishing between "function" and "effect" in genome biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, W Ford; Brunet, Tyler D P; Linquist, Stefan; Gregory, T Ryan

    2014-05-09

    Much confusion in genome biology results from conflation of possible meanings of the word "function." We suggest that, in this connection, attention should be paid to evolutionary biologists and philosophers who have previously dealt with this problem. We need only decide that although all genomic structures have effects, only some of them should be said to have functions. Although it will very often be difficult or impossible to establish function (strictly defined), it should not automatically be assumed. We enjoin genomicists in particular to pay greater attention to parsing biological effects. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  6. One health-one medicine: unifying human and animal medicine within an evolutionary paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currier, Russell W; Steele, James H

    2011-08-01

    One health is a concept since early civilization, which promoted the view that there was no major distinction between animal and human medicine. Although persisting through the 19th century, this common vision was then all but forgotten in the early 20th century. It is now experiencing a renaissance, coincident with an awakening of the role that evolutionary biology plays in human and animal health, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A number of STIs in humans have comparable infections in animals; likewise, both humans and animals have STIs unique to each mammalian camp. These similarities and differences offer opportunities for basic medical and public health studies, including evolutionary insights that can be gleaned from ongoing interdisciplinary investigation--especially with the molecular analytical tools available--in what can become a golden age of mutually helpful discovery. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  7. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games. PMID:26308326

  8. Evolutionary dynamics on graphs: Efficient method for weak selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Feng; Wang, Long; Nowak, Martin A.; Hauert, Christoph

    2009-04-01

    Investigating the evolutionary dynamics of game theoretical interactions in populations where individuals are arranged on a graph can be challenging in terms of computation time. Here, we propose an efficient method to study any type of game on arbitrary graph structures for weak selection. In this limit, evolutionary game dynamics represents a first-order correction to neutral evolution. Spatial correlations can be empirically determined under neutral evolution and provide the basis for formulating the game dynamics as a discrete Markov process by incorporating a detailed description of the microscopic dynamics based on the neutral correlations. This framework is then applied to one of the most intriguing questions in evolutionary biology: the evolution of cooperation. We demonstrate that the degree heterogeneity of a graph impedes cooperation and that the success of tit for tat depends not only on the number of rounds but also on the degree of the graph. Moreover, considering the mutation-selection equilibrium shows that the symmetry of the stationary distribution of states under weak selection is skewed in favor of defectors for larger selection strengths. In particular, degree heterogeneity—a prominent feature of scale-free networks—generally results in a more pronounced increase in the critical benefit-to-cost ratio required for evolution to favor cooperation as compared to regular graphs. This conclusion is corroborated by an analysis of the effects of population structures on the fixation probabilities of strategies in general 2×2 games for different types of graphs. Computer simulations confirm the predictive power of our method and illustrate the improved accuracy as compared to previous studies.

  9. Adapting to Population Growth: The Evolutionary Alternative to Malthus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Kristinsson

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A long-standing debate on the dynamics of population growth in human history has become polarized between a Malthusian stance and a Boserupian one. The former tends to view population growth as limited by carrying capacity, dependent on environment and technology, whereas the latter sees population growth itself as a major inducement to social, economic and technological developments. In this paper the authors experiment with approaching this debate by using recent developments in evolutionary theory. According to these, evolutionary principles, as expounded by Charles Darwin and subsequent evolutionary scientists, apply not only to biological evolution but also to social or cultural evolution. Here, the role of genes is taken over by culture and, since culture is much more pliable than our DNA, evolution speeds up. As the only organisms on Earth whose evolution relies as heavily on culture as on genes, humans have become extremely adaptable. Their hyper-adaptability suggest that humans, through their cultural evolution, have managed increasingly to adapt to their own growing population, thus succeeding in accommodating ever-growing numbers. This hypothesis fits the Boserupian approach to population very well but less so the Malthusian one, perhaps indicating a gradual shift from a Malthusian regime to a Boserupian one in human history. The hypothesis is discussed and examined through four case studies: The beginning of farming around Göbekli Tepe in southeast Turkey, the productive farming systems of Tiwanaku in South America, the population crisis of late medieval and early modern Iceland, and the ‘collapse’ of Rapa Nui (Easter Island.

  10. Electron reactions in model liquids and biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakale, G.; Gregg, E.C.

    1982-01-01

    Progress is reported in the following studies: (1) Field-dependent electron attachment; (2) Dependence of electron attachment rate on electron-acceptor dipole moment; (3) Electron attachment in i-octane/TMS mixtures; (4) Electron attachment/detachment equilibria; (5) Electron attachment to reversed micelles; (6) Electron attachment to chemical carcinogens; (7) Radiation-induced bacterial mutagenesis; and (8) Bacterial mutagenicity of nitrobenzene derivatives. 14 references

  11. How phenotypic plasticity made its way into molecular biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2009-08-03

    Aug 3, 2009 ... Phenotypic plasticity has been fashionable in recent years. It has never been absent from the studies of evolutionary biologists, although the availability of stable animal models has limited its role. Although opposed by the reductionist and deterministic approach of molecular biology, phenotypic plasticity ...

  12. In-focus electron microscopy of frozen-hydrated biological samples with a Boersch phase plate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barton, B.; Rhinow, D.; Walter, A.; Schroeder, R. [Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max-von-Laue Str. 3, 60438 Frankfurt am Main (Germany); Benner, G.; Majorovits, E.; Matijevic, M.; Niebel, H. [Carl Zeiss NTS GmbH, D-73447 Oberkochen (Germany); Mueller, H.; Haider, M. [CEOS GmbH, Englerstr. 26, 69126 Heidleberg (Germany); Lacher, M.; Schmitz, S.; Holik, P. [Caesar Research Center, Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2, D-53175 Bonn (Germany); Kuehlbrandt, W., E-mail: werner.kuehlbrandt@mpibp-frankfurt.mpg.de [Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max-von-Laue Str. 3, 60438 Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    2011-12-15

    We report the implementation of an electrostatic Einzel lens (Boersch) phase plate in a prototype transmission electron microscope dedicated to aberration-corrected cryo-EM. The combination of phase plate, C{sub s} corrector and Diffraction Magnification Unit (DMU) as a new electron-optical element ensures minimal information loss due to obstruction by the phase plate and enables in-focus phase contrast imaging of large macromolecular assemblies. As no defocussing is necessary and the spherical aberration is corrected, maximal, non-oscillating phase contrast transfer can be achieved up to the information limit of the instrument. A microchip produced by a scalable micro-fabrication process has 10 phase plates, which are positioned in a conjugate, magnified diffraction plane generated by the DMU. Phase plates remained fully functional for weeks or months. The large distance between phase plate and the cryo sample permits the use of an effective anti-contaminator, resulting in ice contamination rates of <0.6 nm/h at the specimen. Maximal in-focus phase contrast was obtained by applying voltages between 80 and 700 mV to the phase plate electrode. The phase plate allows for in-focus imaging of biological objects with a signal-to-noise of 5-10 at a resolution of 2-3 nm, as demonstrated for frozen-hydrated virus particles and purple membrane at liquid-nitrogen temperature. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We implement an electrostatic Boersch phase plate into a dedicated prototypical TEM. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Phase contrast aberration-corrected electron microscope (PACEM) includes a diffraction magnification unit (DMU). Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer DMU minimizes obstruction of low spatial frequencies by the phase plate. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer In-focus phase contrast generation is demonstrated for frozen-hydrated biological specimens.

  13. Industrial Applications of Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez, Ernesto; Tonda, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    This book is intended as a reference both for experienced users of evolutionary algorithms and for researchers that are beginning to approach these fascinating optimization techniques. Experienced users will find interesting details of real-world problems, and advice on solving issues related to fitness computation, modeling and setting appropriate parameters to reach optimal solutions. Beginners will find a thorough introduction to evolutionary computation, and a complete presentation of all evolutionary algorithms exploited to solve different problems. The book could fill the gap between the

  14. Preserving the evolutionary potential of floras in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest, Félix; Grenyer, Richard; Rouget, Mathieu; Davies, T Jonathan; Cowling, Richard M; Faith, Daniel P; Balmford, Andrew; Manning, John C; Procheş, Serban; van der Bank, Michelle; Reeves, Gail; Hedderson, Terry A J; Savolainen, Vincent

    2007-02-15

    One of the biggest challenges for conservation biology is to provide conservation planners with ways to prioritize effort. Much attention has been focused on biodiversity hotspots. However, the conservation of evolutionary process is now also acknowledged as a priority in the face of global change. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a biodiversity index that measures the length of evolutionary pathways that connect a given set of taxa. PD therefore identifies sets of taxa that maximize the accumulation of 'feature diversity'. Recent studies, however, concluded that taxon richness is a good surrogate for PD. Here we show taxon richness to be decoupled from PD, using a biome-wide phylogenetic analysis of the flora of an undisputed biodiversity hotspot--the Cape of South Africa. We demonstrate that this decoupling has real-world importance for conservation planning. Finally, using a database of medicinal and economic plant use, we demonstrate that PD protection is the best strategy for preserving feature diversity in the Cape. We should be able to use PD to identify those key regions that maximize future options, both for the continuing evolution of life on Earth and for the benefit of society.

  15. Lessons in modularity: the evolutionary ecology of colonial invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger N. Hughes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Benthic colonial invertebrates share with higher plants a modular construction and a sessile adult life. Both types of organism show parallel evolutionary responses to common selective forces, but in contrast to the long-established focus on plants, comparable study of colonial invertebrates has developed relatively recently, largely owing to the application of new techniques in image processing and molecular biology. Species whose life cycles are readily completed under laboratory conditions and whose colonies are easily propagated from cuttings provide powerful models for experimentally investigating fundamental evolutionary problems, including metabolic allometry, the manifestation of ageing and the origin of allorecognition systems. Free of the confounding influences of behavioural manipulation and costs of copulation, colonial invertebrates whose water-borne sperm fertilize retained eggs lend themselves well to the experimental study of cryptic female choice, sperm competition and sexual conflict. In these respects, it will be productive to adopt and extend theoretical frameworks developed for flowering plants to guide experimental investigation of modular animals. Since mate choice occurs at the cellular level in modular animals, reproductive isolation is uncorrelated with morphology and cryptic speciation is likely to be widespread.

  16. Evolutionary dynamics of human autoimmune disease genes and malfunctioned immunological genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Podder Soumita

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the main issues of molecular evolution is to divulge the principles in dictating the evolutionary rate differences among various gene classes. Immunological genes have received considerable attention in evolutionary biology as candidates for local adaptation and for studying functionally important polymorphisms. The normal structure and function of immunological genes will be distorted when they experience mutations leading to immunological dysfunctions. Results Here, we examined the fundamental differences between the genes which on mutation give rise to autoimmune or other immune system related diseases and the immunological genes that do not cause any disease phenotypes. Although the disease genes examined are analogous to non-disease genes in product, expression, function, and pathway affiliation, a statistically significant decrease in evolutionary rate has been found in autoimmune disease genes relative to all other immune related diseases and non-disease genes. Possible ways of accumulation of mutation in the three steps of the central dogma (DNA-mRNA-Protein have been studied to trace the mutational effects predisposed to disease consequence and acquiring higher selection pressure. Principal Component Analysis and Multivariate Regression Analysis have established the predominant role of single nucleotide polymorphisms in guiding the evolutionary rate of immunological disease and non-disease genes followed by m-RNA abundance, paralogs number, fraction of phosphorylation residue, alternatively spliced exon, protein residue burial and protein disorder. Conclusions Our study provides an empirical insight into the etiology of autoimmune disease genes and other immunological diseases. The immediate utility of our study is to help in disease gene identification and may also help in medicinal improvement of immune related disease.

  17. Biological shielding design and qualification of concreting process for construction of electron beam irradiation facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petwal, V.C.; Kumar, P.; Suresh, N.; Parchani, G.; Dwivedi, J.; Thakurta, A.C.

    2011-01-01

    A technology demonstration facility for irradiation of food and agricultural products is being set-up by RRCAT at Indore. The facility design is based on linear electron accelerator with maximum beam power of 10 kW and can be operated either in electron mode at 10 MeV or photon modes at 5/7.5 MeV. Biological shielding has been designed in accordance with NCRP 51 to achieve dose rate at all accessible points outside the irradiation vault less than the permissible limit of 0.1 mR/hr. In addition to radiation attenuation property, concrete must have satisfactory mechanical properties to meet the structural requirements. There are number of site specific variables which affect the structural, thermal and radiological properties of concrete, leading to considerable difference in actual values and design values. Hence it is essential to establish a suitable site and environmental specific process to cast the concrete and qualify the process by experimental measurement. For process qualification we have cast concrete test blocks of different thicknesses up to 3.25 m and evaluated the radiological and mechanical properties by radiometry, ultrasonic and mechanical tests. In this paper we describe the biological shielding design of the facility and analyse the results of tests carried out for qualification of the process. (author)

  18. The analysis for energy distribution and biological effects of the clusters from electrons in the tissue equivalent material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Wenzhong; Guo Yong; Luo Yisheng; Wang Yong

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To study energy distribution of the clusters from electrons in the tissue equivalent material, and discuss the important aspects of these clusters on inducing biological effects. Methods: Based on the physical mechanism for electrons interacting with tissue equivalent material, the Monte Carlo (MC) method was used. The electron tracks were lively simulated on an event-by-event (ionization, excitation, elastic scattering, Auger electron emission) basis in the material. The relevant conclusions were drawn from the statistic analysis of these events. Results: The electrons will deposit their energy in the form (30%) of cluster in passing through tissue equivalent material, and most clusters (80%) have the energy amount of more than 50 eV. The cluster density depends on its diameter and energy of electrons, and the deposited energy in the cluster depends on the type and energy of radiation. Conclusion: The deposited energy in cluster is the most important factor in inducing all sort of lesions on DNA molecules in tissue cells

  19. EDEN: evolutionary dynamics within environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münch, Philipp C.; Stecher, Bärbel; McHardy, Alice C.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Summary Metagenomics revolutionized the field of microbial ecology, giving access to Gb-sized datasets of microbial communities under natural conditions. This enables fine-grained analyses of the functions of community members, studies of their association with phenotypes and environments, as well as of their microevolution and adaptation to changing environmental conditions. However, phylogenetic methods for studying adaptation and evolutionary dynamics are not able to cope with big data. EDEN is the first software for the rapid detection of protein families and regions under positive selection, as well as their associated biological processes, from meta- and pangenome data. It provides an interactive result visualization for detailed comparative analyses. Availability and implementation EDEN is available as a Docker installation under the GPL 3.0 license, allowing its use on common operating systems, at http://www.github.com/hzi-bifo/eden. Contact alice.mchardy@helmholtz-hzi.de Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:28637301

  20. Evolutionary Statistical Procedures

    CERN Document Server

    Baragona, Roberto; Poli, Irene

    2011-01-01

    This proposed text appears to be a good introduction to evolutionary computation for use in applied statistics research. The authors draw from a vast base of knowledge about the current literature in both the design of evolutionary algorithms and statistical techniques. Modern statistical research is on the threshold of solving increasingly complex problems in high dimensions, and the generalization of its methodology to parameters whose estimators do not follow mathematically simple distributions is underway. Many of these challenges involve optimizing functions for which analytic solutions a

  1. Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events: challenges and directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Pol, Martijn; Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Visser, Marcel E

    2017-06-19

    More extreme climatic events (ECEs) are among the most prominent consequences of climate change. Despite a long-standing recognition of the importance of ECEs by paleo-ecologists and macro-evolutionary biologists, ECEs have only recently received a strong interest in the wider ecological and evolutionary community. However, as with many rapidly expanding fields, it lacks structure and cohesiveness, which strongly limits scientific progress. Furthermore, due to the descriptive and anecdotal nature of many ECE studies it is still unclear what the most relevant questions and long-term consequences are of ECEs. To improve synthesis, we first discuss ways to define ECEs that facilitate comparison among studies. We then argue that biologists should adhere to more rigorous attribution and mechanistic methods to assess ECE impacts. Subsequently, we discuss conceptual and methodological links with climatology and disturbance-, tipping point- and paleo-ecology. These research fields have close linkages with ECE research, but differ in the identity and/or the relative severity of environmental factors. By summarizing the contributions to this theme issue we draw parallels between behavioural, ecological and evolutionary ECE studies, and suggest that an overarching challenge is that most empirical and theoretical evidence points towards responses being highly idiosyncratic, and thus predictability being low. Finally, we suggest a roadmap based on the proposition that an increased focus on the mechanisms behind the biological response function will be crucial for increased understanding and predictability of the impacts of ECE.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  2. Structure and stability insights into tumour suppressor p53 evolutionary related proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Pagano

    Full Text Available The p53 family of genes and their protein products, namely, p53, p63 and p73, have over one billion years of evolutionary history. Advances in computational biology and genomics are enabling studies of the complexities of the molecular evolution of p53 protein family to decipher the underpinnings of key biological conditions spanning from cancer through to various metabolic and developmental disorders and facilitate the design of personalised medicines. However, a complete understanding of the inherent nature of the thermodynamic and structural stability of the p53 protein family is still lacking. This is due, to a degree, to the lack of comprehensive structural information for a large number of homologous proteins and to an incomplete knowledge of the intrinsic factors responsible for their stability and how these might influence function. Here we investigate the thermal stability, secondary structure and folding properties of the DNA-binding domains (DBDs of a range of proteins from the p53 family using biophysical methods. While the N- and the C-terminal domains of the p53 family show sequence diversity and are normally targets for post-translational modifications and alternative splicing, the central DBD is highly conserved. Together with data obtained from Molecular Dynamics simulations in solution and with structure based homology modelling, our results provide further insights into the molecular properties of evolutionary related p53 proteins. We identify some marked structural differences within the p53 family, which could account for the divergence in biological functions as well as the subtleties manifested in the oligomerization properties of this family.

  3. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    of Computational Intelligence. First, comprehensive surveys of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, evolution strategies, parallel evolutionary algorithms are presented, which are readable and constructive so that a large audience might find them useful and – to some extent – ready to use. Some more general...... kinds of evolutionary algorithms, have been prudently analyzed. This analysis was followed by a thorough analysis of various issues involved in stochastic local search algorithms. An interesting survey of various technological and industrial applications in mechanical engineering and design has been...... topics like the estimation of distribution algorithms, indicator-based selection, etc., are also discussed. An important problem, from a theoretical and practical point of view, of learning classifier systems is presented in depth. Multiobjective evolutionary algorithms, which constitute one of the most...

  4. COEVOLUTIONARY SEMANTICS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION GENESIS AND EVOLUTIONARY RISK (BETWEEN THE BIOAESTHETICS AND BIOPOLITICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. T. Cheshko

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose (metatask of the present work is to attempt to give a glance at the problem of existential and anthropological risk caused by the contemporary man-made civilization from the perspective of comparison and confrontation of aesthetics, the substrate of which is emotional and metaphorical interpretation of individual subjective values and politics feeding by objectively rational interests of social groups. In both cases there is some semantic gap present between the represented social reality and its representation in perception of works of art and in the political doctrines as well. Methodology of the research is evolutionary anthropologicalcomparativistics. Originality of the conducted analysis comes to the following: As the antithesis to biological and social reductionism in interpretation of the phenomenon of bio-power it is proposed a co-evolutionary semantic model in accordance with which the described semantic gap is of the substantial nature related to the complex module organization of a consistent and adaptive human strategy consisting of three associated but independently functional modules (genetic, cultural and techno-rational. Evolutionary trajectory of all anthropogenesis components including civilization cultural and social-political evolution is identified by the proportion between two macro variables – evolutionary effectiveness and evolutionary stability (sameness, i.e. preservation in the context of consequential transformations of some invariants of Homo sapiens species specificity organization. It should be noted that inasmuch as in respect to human, some modules of the evolutionary (adaptive strategy assume self-reflection attributes, it would be more correctly to state about evolutionary correctness, i.e. correspondence to some perfection. As a result, the future of human nature depends not only on the rationalist principles of ethics of Homo species (the archaism of Jurgen Habermas, but also on the holistic and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-22

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

  6. Applications of evolutionary economic geography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.; Puranam, Krishna Kishore; Ravi Kumar Jain B., xx

    2008-01-01

    This paper is written as the first chapter of an edited volume on evolutionary economics and economic geography (Frenken, K., editor, Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, expected publication date February 2007). The paper reviews empirical applications of

  7. Power Laws, Scale-Free Networks and Genome Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Koonin, Eugene V; Karev, Georgy P

    2006-01-01

    Power Laws, Scale-free Networks and Genome Biology deals with crucial aspects of the theoretical foundations of systems biology, namely power law distributions and scale-free networks which have emerged as the hallmarks of biological organization in the post-genomic era. The chapters in the book not only describe the interesting mathematical properties of biological networks but moves beyond phenomenology, toward models of evolution capable of explaining the emergence of these features. The collection of chapters, contributed by both physicists and biologists, strives to address the problems in this field in a rigorous but not excessively mathematical manner and to represent different viewpoints, which is crucial in this emerging discipline. Each chapter includes, in addition to technical descriptions of properties of biological networks and evolutionary models, a more general and accessible introduction to the respective problems. Most chapters emphasize the potential of theoretical systems biology for disco...

  8. Urban Biomining Meets Printable Electronics: End-To-End at Destination Biological Recycling and Reprinting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J. (Principal Investigator); Koehne, Jessica; Gandhiraman, Ram; Navarrete, Jesica; Spangle, Dylan

    2017-01-01

    Space missions rely utterly on metallic components, from the spacecraft to electronics. Yet, metals add mass, and electronics have the additional problem of a limited lifespan. Thus, current mission architectures must compensate for replacement. In space, spent electronics are discarded; on earth, there is some recycling but current processes are toxic and environmentally hazardous. Imagine instead an end-to-end recycling of spent electronics at low mass, low cost, room temperature, and in a non-toxic manner. Here, we propose a solution that will not only enhance mission success by decreasing upmass and providing a fresh supply of electronics, but in addition has immediate applications to a serious environmental issue on the Earth. Spent electronics will be used as feedstock to make fresh electronic components, a process we will accomplish with so-called 'urban biomining' using synthetically enhanced microbes to bind metals with elemental specificity. To create new electronics, the microbes will be used as 'bioink' to print a new IC chip, using plasma jet electronics printing. The plasma jet electronics printing technology will have the potential to use martian atmospheric gas to print and to tailor the electronic and chemical properties of the materials. Our preliminary results have suggested that this process also serves as a purification step to enhance the proportion of metals in the 'bioink'. The presence of electric field and plasma can ensure printing in microgravity environment while also providing material morphology and electronic structure tunabiity and thus optimization. Here we propose to increase the TRL level of the concept by engineering microbes to dissolve the siliceous matrix in the IC, extract copper from a mixture of metals, and use the microbes as feedstock to print interconnects using mars gas simulant. To assess the ability of this concept to influence mission architecture, we will do an analysis of the infrastructure required to execute

  9. Teleology and its constitutive role for biology as the science of organized systems in nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toepfer, Georg

    2012-03-01

    'Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of teleology'. This could be the first sentence in a textbook about the methodology of biology. The fundamental concepts in biology, e.g. 'organism' and 'ecosystem', are only intelligible given a teleological framework. Since early modern times, teleology has often been considered methodologically unscientific. With the acceptance of evolutionary theory, one popular strategy for accommodating teleological reasoning was to explain it by reference to selection in the past: functions were reconstructed as 'selected effects'. But the theory of evolution obviously presupposes the existence of organisms as organized and regulated, i.e. functional systems. Therefore, evolutionary theory cannot provide the foundation for teleology. The underlying reason for the central methodological role of teleology in biology is not its potential to offer particular forms of (evolutionary) explanations for the presence of parts, but rather an ontological one: organisms and other basic biological entities do not exist as physical bodies do, as amounts of matter with a definite form. Rather, they are dynamic systems in stable equilibrium; despite changes of their matter and form (in metabolism and metamorphosis) they maintain their identity. What remains constant in these kinds of systems is their 'organization', i.e. the causal pattern of interdependence of parts with certain effects of each part being relevant for the working of the system. Teleological analysis consists in the identification of these system-relevant effects and at the same time of the system as a whole. Therefore, the identity of biological systems cannot be specified without teleological reasoning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Artificial intelligence in peer review: How can evolutionary computation support journal editors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mrowinski, Maciej J; Fronczak, Piotr; Fronczak, Agata; Ausloos, Marcel; Nedic, Olgica

    2017-01-01

    With the volume of manuscripts submitted for publication growing every year, the deficiencies of peer review (e.g. long review times) are becoming more apparent. Editorial strategies, sets of guidelines designed to speed up the process and reduce editors' workloads, are treated as trade secrets by publishing houses and are not shared publicly. To improve the effectiveness of their strategies, editors in small publishing groups are faced with undertaking an iterative trial-and-error approach. We show that Cartesian Genetic Programming, a nature-inspired evolutionary algorithm, can dramatically improve editorial strategies. The artificially evolved strategy reduced the duration of the peer review process by 30%, without increasing the pool of reviewers (in comparison to a typical human-developed strategy). Evolutionary computation has typically been used in technological processes or biological ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that genetic programs can improve real-world social systems that are usually much harder to understand and control than physical systems.

  11. Artificial intelligence in peer review: How can evolutionary computation support journal editors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej J Mrowinski

    Full Text Available With the volume of manuscripts submitted for publication growing every year, the deficiencies of peer review (e.g. long review times are becoming more apparent. Editorial strategies, sets of guidelines designed to speed up the process and reduce editors' workloads, are treated as trade secrets by publishing houses and are not shared publicly. To improve the effectiveness of their strategies, editors in small publishing groups are faced with undertaking an iterative trial-and-error approach. We show that Cartesian Genetic Programming, a nature-inspired evolutionary algorithm, can dramatically improve editorial strategies. The artificially evolved strategy reduced the duration of the peer review process by 30%, without increasing the pool of reviewers (in comparison to a typical human-developed strategy. Evolutionary computation has typically been used in technological processes or biological ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that genetic programs can improve real-world social systems that are usually much harder to understand and control than physical systems.

  12. Evolutionary disarmament in interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A

    2001-12-22

    Competitive asymmetry, which is the advantage of having a larger body or stronger weaponry than a contestant, drives spectacular evolutionary arms races in intraspecific competition. Similar asymmetries are well documented in interspecific competition, yet they seldom lead to exaggerated traits. Here we demonstrate that two species with substantially different size may undergo parallel coevolution towards a smaller size under the same ecological conditions where a single species would exhibit an evolutionary arms race. We show that disarmament occurs for a wide range of parameters in an ecologically explicit model of competition for a single shared resource; disarmament also occurs in a simple Lotka-Volterra competition model. A key property of both models is the interplay between evolutionary dynamics and population density. The mechanism does not rely on very specific features of the model. Thus, evolutionary disarmament may be widespread and may help to explain the lack of interspecific arms races.

  13. Link between insulin resistance and hypertension: What is the evidence from evolutionary biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ming-Sheng; Wang, Aimei; Yu, Hong

    2014-01-31

    Insulin resistance and hypertension are considered as prototypical "diseases of civilization" that are manifested in the modern environment as plentiful food and sedentary life. The human propensity for insulin resistance and hypertension is a product, at least in part, of our evolutionary history. Adaptation to ancient lifestyle characterized by a low sodium, low-calorie food supply and physical stress to injury response has driven our evolution to shape and preserve a thrifty genotype, which is favorite with energy-saving and sodium conservation. As our civilization evolved, a sedentary lifestyle and sodium- and energy-rich diet, the thrifty genotype is no longer advantageous, and may be maladaptive to disease phenotype, such as hypertension, obesity and insulin resistance syndrome. This article reviews human evolution and the impact of the modern environment on hypertension and insulin resistance.

  14. Radioprotection of the environment: on the context of biodiversity and evolutionary theory. A reference organism has no genetic properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cedervall, Bjoern

    2008-01-01

    The recent efforts to define a basis for radioprotection of the environment include some concepts and ideas related to various endpoints which need a clarification. This paper focuses on the biodiversity concept and the context of individuals of a species as well as that of the species as a gene pool. A major problem with the ambition to radioprotect biodiversity is the concept 'reference organism' which has no genetic properties and therefore is in contradiction with a real biological species. Biodiversity and the species (gene pool) concept are, just as any other areas of biology, integral parts of evolutionary theory. With the reference organism as a basis no meaningful reasoning can take place which relates data on radioactivity levels or mutations to potential effects on populations or biodiversity. It is therefore suggested that the national and international bodies involved in radioprotection of the environment take advantage of evolutionary theory as a reference frame. (author)

  15. Evolutionary economics and industry location

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.

    2003-01-01

    This paper aims to provide the outlines of an evolutionary economic geography of industry location. We discuss two evolutionary explanations of industry location, that is, one that concentrates on spin-offs, and one that focuses attention on knowledge and agglomeration economies. We claim that both

  16. Dynamic Processes in Biology, Chemistry, and Materials Science: Opportunities for UltraFast Transmission Electron Microscopy - Workshop Summary Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabius, Bernd C.; Browning, Nigel D.; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Diehl, Barbara L.; Stach, Eric A.

    2012-07-25

    This report summarizes a 2011 workshop that addressed the potential role of rapid, time-resolved electron microscopy measurements in accelerating the solution of important scientific and technical problems. A series of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Academy of Science workshops have highlighted the critical role advanced research tools play in addressing scientific challenges relevant to biology, sustainable energy, and technologies that will fuel economic development without degrading our environment. Among the specific capability needs for advancing science and technology are tools that extract more detailed information in realistic environments (in situ or operando) at extreme conditions (pressure and temperature) and as a function of time (dynamic and time-dependent). One of the DOE workshops, Future Science Needs and Opportunities for Electron Scattering: Next Generation Instrumentation and Beyond, specifically addressed the importance of electron-based characterization methods for a wide range of energy-relevant Grand Scientific Challenges. Boosted by the electron optical advancement in the last decade, a diversity of in situ capabilities already is available in many laboratories. The obvious remaining major capability gap in electron microscopy is in the ability to make these direct in situ observations over a broad spectrum of fast (µs) to ultrafast (picosecond [ps] and faster) temporal regimes. In an effort to address current capability gaps, EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, organized an Ultrafast Electron Microscopy Workshop, held June 14-15, 2011, with the primary goal to identify the scientific needs that could be met by creating a facility capable of a strongly improved time resolution with integrated in situ capabilities. The workshop brought together more than 40 leading scientists involved in applying and/or advancing electron microscopy to address important scientific problems of relevance to DOE’s research

  17. The Evolutionary Origin of Female Orgasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavličev, Mihaela; Wagner, Günter

    2016-09-01

    The evolutionary explanation of female orgasm has been difficult to come by. The orgasm in women does not obviously contribute to the reproductive success, and surprisingly unreliably accompanies heterosexual intercourse. Two types of explanations have been proposed: one insisting on extant adaptive roles in reproduction, another explaining female orgasm as a byproduct of selection on male orgasm, which is crucial for sperm transfer. We emphasize that these explanations tend to focus on evidence from human biology and thus address the modification of a trait rather than its evolutionary origin. To trace the trait through evolution requires identifying its homologue in other species, which may have limited similarity with the human trait. Human female orgasm is associated with an endocrine surge similar to the copulatory surges in species with induced ovulation. We suggest that the homolog of human orgasm is the reflex that, ancestrally, induced ovulation. This reflex became superfluous with the evolution of spontaneous ovulation, potentially freeing female orgasm for other roles. This is supported by phylogenetic evidence showing that induced ovulation is ancestral, while spontaneous ovulation is derived within eutherians. In addition, the comparative anatomy of female reproductive tract shows that evolution of spontaneous ovulation is correlated with increasing distance of clitoris from the copulatory canal. In summary, we suggest that the female orgasm-like trait may have been adaptive, however for a different role, namely for inducing ovulation. With the evolution of spontaneous ovulation, orgasm was freed to gain secondary roles, which may explain its maintenance, but not its origin. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Arabidopsis CPR5 is a senescence-regulatory gene with pleiotropic functions as predicted by the evolutionary theory of senescence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jing, Hai-Chun; Anderson, Lisa; Sturre, Marcel J. G.; Hille, Jacques; Dijkwel, Paul P.

    2007-01-01

    Arabidopsis CPR5 is a senescence-regulatory gene with pleiotropic functions as predicted by the evolutionary theory of senescence Hai-Chun Jing1,2, Lisa Anderson3, Marcel J.G. Sturre1, Jacques Hille1 and Paul P. Dijkwel1,* 1Molecular Biology of Plants, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and

  19. Gender Inequality in Interaction--An Evolutionary Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopcroft, Rosemary L.

    2009-01-01

    In this article I argue that evolutionary theorizing can help sociologists and feminists better understand gender inequality. Evolutionary theory explains why control of the sexuality of young women is a priority across most human societies both past and present. Evolutionary psychology has extended our understanding of male violence against…

  20. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengistu, Henok; Huizinga, Joost; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste; Clune, Jeff

    2016-06-01

    Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

  1. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huizinga, Joost; Clune, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Hierarchical organization—the recursive composition of sub-modules—is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force–the cost of connections–promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. PMID:27280881

  2. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henok Mengistu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments. Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

  3. The Unicellular State as a Point Source in a Quantum Biological System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Torday

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available A point source is the central and most important point or place for any group of cohering phenomena. Evolutionary development presumes that biological processes are sequentially linked, but neither directed from, nor centralized within, any specific biologic structure or stage. However, such an epigenomic entity exists and its transforming effects can be understood through the obligatory recapitulation of all eukaryotic lifeforms through a zygotic unicellular phase. This requisite biological conjunction can now be properly assessed as the focal point of reconciliation between biology and quantum phenomena, illustrated by deconvoluting complex physiologic traits back to their unicellular origins.

  4. Ant aggression and evolutionary stability in plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

    Mutualistic partners derive a benefit from their interaction, but this benefit can come at a cost. This is the case for plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic associations. In exchange for protection from herbivores provided by the resident ants, plants supply various kinds of resources or nests to the ants. Most ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms are horizontally transmitted, and therefore, partners share an interest in growth but not in reproduction. This lack of alignment in fitness interests between plants and ants drives a conflict between them: ants can attack pollinators that cross-fertilize the host plants. Using a mathematical model, we define a threshold in ant aggressiveness determining pollinator survival or elimination on the host plant. In our model we observed that, all else being equal, facultative interactions result in pollinator extinction for lower levels of ant aggressiveness than obligatory interactions. We propose that the capacity to discriminate pollinators from herbivores should not often evolve in ants, and when it does it will be when the plants exhibit limited dispersal in an environment that is not seed saturated so that each seed produced can effectively generate a new offspring or if ants acquire an extra benefit from pollination (e.g. if ants eat fruit). We suggest specific mutualism examples where these hypotheses can be tested empirically. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  5. Are Prompts Provided by Electronic Books as Effective for Teaching Preschoolers a Biological Concept as Those Provided by Adults?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strouse, Gabrielle A.; Ganea, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Prior research indicates that shared book reading is an effective method for teaching biological concepts to young children. Adult questioning during reading enhances children's comprehension. We investigated whether adult prompting during the reading of an electronic book enhanced children's understanding of a biological…

  6. Grene and Hull on types and typological thinking in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honenberger, Phillip

    2015-04-01

    Marjorie Grene (1910-2009) and David Hull (1935-2010) were among the most influential voices in late twentieth-century philosophy of biology. But, as Grene and Hull pointed out in published discussions of one another's work over the course of nearly forty years, they disagreed strongly on fundamental issues. Among these contested issues is the role of what is sometimes called "typology" and "typological thinking" in biology. In regard to taxonomy and the species problem, Hull joined Ernst Mayr's construal of typological thinking as a backward relic of pre-Darwinian science that should be overcome. Grene, however, treated the suspicion of typological thinking that characterized Hull's views, as well as those of other architects of the New Evolutionary Synthesis, as itself suspicious and even unsustainable. In this paper I review three debates between Grene and Hull bearing on the question of the validity of so-called typological thinking in biology: (1) a debate about the dispensability of concepts of "type" within evolutionary theory, paleontology, and taxonomy; (2) a debate about whether species can be adequately understood as individuals, and thereby independently of those forms of thinking Hull and Mayr had construed as "typological"; and (3) a debate about the prospects of a biologically informed theory of human nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Postmenopausal Health and Disease from the Perspective of Evolutionary Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W. Froehle

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Menopause normally occurs between 45-55 years of age, marks the end of a woman’s reproductive lifespan, and is accompanied by a reduction in estrogen that has substantial physiological effects. The standard medical view is that these changes underlie high postmenopausal disease rates, defining menopause as an estrogen deficiency condition needing treatment. This view stems from the idea that extended postmenopausal longevity is a consequence of recent technological developments, such that women now outlive their evolutionarily-programmed physiological functional lifespan.Increasingly, however, researchers employing an evolutionary medicine framework have used data from comparative demography, comparative biology, and human behavioral ecology to challenge the mainstream medical view. Instead, these data suggest that a two-decade human postmenopausal lifespan is an evolved, species-typical trait that distinguishes humans from other primates, and has deep roots in our evolutionary past. This view rejects the inevitability of high rates of postmenopausal disease and the concept of menopause as pathology. Rather, high postmenopausal disease risk likely stems from specific lifestyle differences between industrialized societies and foraging societies of the type that dominated human evolutionary history. Women in industrialized societies tend to have higher estrogen levels during premenopausal life, and experience a greater reduction in estrogen across menopause than do women living in foraging societies, with potentially important physiological consequences. The anthropological approach to understanding postmenopausal disease risk reframes the postmenopausal lifespan as an integral period in the human life cycle, and offers alternative avenues for disease prevention by highlighting the importance of lifestyle effects on health.

  8. Is economics becoming the Mecca of Biology?: A citation analysis of the relationship between natural and social sciences

    OpenAIRE

    Yalcintas, Altug

    2012-01-01

    This essay argues that articles in economics, especially in the fields of evolutionary and institutional economics, are as much cited in biology as in economics. The citation analysis conducted in the essay suggests that economics is now becoming the Mecca of biology.

  9. Gene family size conservation is a good indicator of evolutionary rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Feng-Chi; Chen, Chiuan-Jung; Li, Wen-Hsiung; Chuang, Trees-Juen

    2010-08-01

    The evolution of duplicate genes has been a topic of broad interest. Here, we propose that the conservation of gene family size is a good indicator of the rate of sequence evolution and some other biological properties. By comparing the human-chimpanzee-macaque orthologous gene families with and without family size conservation, we demonstrate that genes with family size conservation evolve more slowly than those without family size conservation. Our results further demonstrate that both family expansion and contraction events may accelerate gene evolution, resulting in elevated evolutionary rates in the genes without family size conservation. In addition, we show that the duplicate genes with family size conservation evolve significantly more slowly than those without family size conservation. Interestingly, the median evolutionary rate of singletons falls in between those of the above two types of duplicate gene families. Our results thus suggest that the controversy on whether duplicate genes evolve more slowly than singletons can be resolved when family size conservation is taken into consideration. Furthermore, we also observe that duplicate genes with family size conservation have the highest level of gene expression/expression breadth, the highest proportion of essential genes, and the lowest gene compactness, followed by singletons and then by duplicate genes without family size conservation. Such a trend accords well with our observations of evolutionary rates. Our results thus point to the importance of family size conservation in the evolution of duplicate genes.

  10. Formation of dominant mode by evolution in biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furusawa, Chikara; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2018-04-01

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

  11. "Asia's missing women" as a problem in applied evolutionary psychology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Robert

    2012-12-20

    In many parts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, women and children are so undervalued, neglected, abused, and so often killed, that sex ratios are now strongly male biased. In recent decades, sex-biased abortion has exacerbated the problem. In this article I highlight several important insights from evolutionary biology into both the origin and the severe societal consequences of "Asia's missing women", paying particular attention to interactions between evolution, economics and culture. Son preferences and associated cultural practices like patrilineal inheritance, patrilocality and the Indian Hindu dowry system arise among the wealthy and powerful elites for reasons consistent with models of sex-biased parental investment. Those practices then spread via imitation as technology gets cheaper and economic development allows the middle class to grow rapidly. I will consider evidence from India, China and elsewhere that grossly male-biased sex ratios lead to increased crime, violence, local warfare, political instability, drug abuse, prostitution and trafficking of women. The problem of Asia's missing women presents a challenge for applied evolutionary psychology to help us understand and ameliorate sex ratio biases and their most severe consequences.

  12. Evolutionary ancestry and novel functions of the mammalian glucose transporter (GLUT) family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson-O'Brien, Amy L; Patron, Nicola; Rogers, Suzanne

    2010-05-21

    In general, sugar porters function by proton-coupled symport or facilitative transport modes. Symporters, coupled to electrochemical energy, transport nutrients against a substrate gradient. Facilitative carriers transport sugars along a concentration gradient, thus transport is dependent upon extracellular nutrient levels. Across bacteria, fungi, unicellular non-vertebrates and plants, proton-coupled hexose symport is a crucial process supplying energy under conditions of nutrient flux. In mammals it has been assumed that evolution of whole body regulatory mechanisms would eliminate this need. To determine whether any isoforms bearing this function might be conserved in mammals, we investigated the relationship between the transporters of animals and the proton-coupled hexose symporters found in other species. We took a comparative genomic approach and have performed the first comprehensive and statistically supported phylogenetic analysis of all mammalian glucose transporter (GLUT) isoforms. Our data reveals the mammalian GLUT proteins segregate into five distinct classes. This evolutionary ancestry gives insight to structure, function and transport mechanisms within the groups. Combined with biological assays, we present novel evidence that, in response to changing nutrient availability and environmental pH, proton-coupled, active glucose symport function is maintained in mammalian cells. The analyses show the ancestry, evolutionary conservation and biological importance of the GLUT classes. These findings significantly extend our understanding of the evolution of mammalian glucose transport systems. They also reveal that mammals may have conserved an adaptive response to nutrient demand that would have important physiological implications to cell survival and growth.

  13. A sense of life: computational and experimental investigations with models of biochemical and evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Bud; Daruwala, Raoul-Sam; Zhou, Yi; Ugel, Nadia; Policriti, Alberto; Antoniotti, Marco; Paxia, Salvatore; Rejali, Marc; Rudra, Archisman; Cherepinsky, Vera; Silver, Naomi; Casey, William; Piazza, Carla; Simeoni, Marta; Barbano, Paolo; Spivak, Marina; Feng, Jiawu; Gill, Ofer; Venkatesh, Mysore; Cheng, Fang; Sun, Bing; Ioniata, Iuliana; Anantharaman, Thomas; Hubbard, E Jane Albert; Pnueli, Amir; Harel, David; Chandru, Vijay; Hariharan, Ramesh; Wigler, Michael; Park, Frank; Lin, Shih-Chieh; Lazebnik, Yuri; Winkler, Franz; Cantor, Charles R; Carbone, Alessandra; Gromov, Mikhael

    2003-01-01

    We collaborate in a research program aimed at creating a rigorous framework, experimental infrastructure, and computational environment for understanding, experimenting with, manipulating, and modifying a diverse set of fundamental biological processes at multiple scales and spatio-temporal modes. The novelty of our research is based on an approach that (i) requires coevolution of experimental science and theoretical techniques and (ii) exploits a certain universality in biology guided by a parsimonious model of evolutionary mechanisms operating at the genomic level and manifesting at the proteomic, transcriptomic, phylogenic, and other higher levels. Our current program in "systems biology" endeavors to marry large-scale biological experiments with the tools to ponder and reason about large, complex, and subtle natural systems. To achieve this ambitious goal, ideas and concepts are combined from many different fields: biological experimentation, applied mathematical modeling, computational reasoning schemes, and large-scale numerical and symbolic simulations. From a biological viewpoint, the basic issues are many: (i) understanding common and shared structural motifs among biological processes; (ii) modeling biological noise due to interactions among a small number of key molecules or loss of synchrony; (iii) explaining the robustness of these systems in spite of such noise; and (iv) cataloging multistatic behavior and adaptation exhibited by many biological processes.

  14. Culture, Urbanism and Changing Human Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, L M

    2014-04-03

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

  15. From quantum measurement to biology via retrocausality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuno, Koichiro

    2017-12-01

    A reaction cycle in general or a metabolic cycle in particular owes its evolutionary emergence to the covering reaction environment acting as a measurement apparatus of a natural origin. The quantum measurement of the environmental origin underlying the molecular processes observed in the biological realm is operative cohesively between the measuring and the measured. The measuring part comes to pull in a quantum as an indivisible lump available from an arbitrary material body to be measured. The inevitable difference between the impinging quantum upon the receiving end on the part of the environment and the actual quantum pulled into the receiving end comes to effectively be nullified through the retrocausative propagation of the corresponding wave function proceeding backwards in time. The retrocausal regulation applied to the interface between the measuring and the measured is to function as the organizational agency supporting biology, and is sought in the act for the present in the immediate future within the realm of quantum phenomena. Molecular dynamics in biology owes both the evolutionary buildup and maintenance of its organization to the retrocausal operation of the unitary transformation applied to quantum phenomena proceeding backwards in time. Quantum measurement provides the cohesive agency that is pivotal for implementing the retrocausal regulation. In particular, the physical origin of Darwinian natural selection can be seen in the retrocausal regulation applied to the unitary transformation of a quantum origin. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Genome-wide evolutionary characterization and expression analyses of major latex protein (MLP) family genes in Vitis vinifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ningbo; Li, Ruimin; Shen, Wei; Jiao, Shuzhen; Zhang, Junxiang; Xu, Weirong

    2018-04-27

    The major latex protein/ripening-related protein (MLP/RRP) subfamily is known to be involved in a wide range of biological processes of plant development and various stress responses. However, the biological function of MLP/RRP proteins is still far from being clear and identification of them may provide important clues for understanding their roles. Here, we report a genome-wide evolutionary characterization and gene expression analysis of the MLP family in European Vitis species. A total of 14 members, was found in the grape genome, all of which are located on chromosome 1, where are predominantly arranged in tandem clusters. We have noticed, most surprisingly, promoter-sharing by several non-identical but highly similar gene members to a greater extent than expected by chance. Synteny analysis between the grape and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes suggested that 3 grape MLP genes arose before the divergence of the two species. Phylogenetic analysis provided further insights into the evolutionary relationship between the genes, as well as their putative functions, and tissue-specific expression analysis suggested distinct biological roles for different members. Our expression data suggested a couple of candidate genes involved in abiotic stresses and phytohormone responses. The present work provides new insight into the evolution and regulation of Vitis MLP genes, which represent targets for future studies and inclusion in tolerance-related molecular breeding programs.

  17. Evolutionary movement of centromeres in horse, donkey, and zebra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbone, Lucia; Nergadze, Solomon G; Magnani, Elisa; Misceo, Doriana; Francesca Cardone, Maria; Roberto, Roberta; Bertoni, Livia; Attolini, Carmen; Francesca Piras, Maria; de Jong, Pieter; Raudsepp, Terje; Chowdhary, Bhanu P; Guérin, Gérard; Archidiacono, Nicoletta; Rocchi, Mariano; Giulotto, Elena

    2006-06-01

    Centromere repositioning (CR) is a recently discovered biological phenomenon consisting of the emergence of a new centromere along a chromosome and the inactivation of the old one. After a CR, the primary constriction and the centromeric function are localized in a new position while the order of physical markers on the chromosome remains unchanged. These events profoundly affect chromosomal architecture. Since horses, asses, and zebras, whose evolutionary divergence is relatively recent, show remarkable morphological similarity and capacity to interbreed despite their chromosomes differing considerably, we investigated the role of CR in the karyotype evolution of the genus Equus. Using appropriate panels of BAC clones in FISH experiments, we compared the centromere position and marker order arrangement among orthologous chromosomes of Burchelli's zebra (Equus burchelli), donkey (Equus asinus), and horse (Equus caballus). Surprisingly, at least eight CRs took place during the evolution of this genus. Even more surprisingly, five cases of CR have occurred in the donkey after its divergence from zebra, that is, in a very short evolutionary time (approximately 1 million years). These findings suggest that in some species the CR phenomenon could have played an important role in karyotype shaping, with potential consequences on population dynamics and speciation.

  18. Archaeogenetics in evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank

    2016-09-01

    Archaeogenetics is the study of exploration of ancient DNA (aDNA) of more than 70 years old. It is an important part of the wider studies of many different areas of our past, including animal, plant and pathogen evolution and domestication events. Hereby, we address specifically the impact of research in archaeogenetics in the broader field of evolutionary medicine. Studies on ancient hominid genomes help to understand even modern health patterns. Human genetic microevolution, e.g. related to abilities of post-weaning milk consumption, and specifically genetic adaptation in disease susceptibility, e.g. towards malaria and other infectious diseases, are of the upmost importance in contributions of archeogenetics on the evolutionary understanding of human health and disease. With the increase in both the understanding of modern medical genetics and the ability to deep sequence ancient genetic information, the field of archaeogenetic evolutionary medicine is blossoming.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, Francisco Adriano de

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Interactions of electrons with biologically important molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pisklova, K.; Papp, P.; Stano, M.

    2012-01-01

    For the study of interactions of low-energy electrons with the molecules in the gas phase, the authors used electron-molecule cross-beam apparatus. The experiment is carried out in high vacuum, where molecules of the tested compound are inducted through a capillary. For purposes of this experiment the sample was electrically heated to 180 Deg C., giving a bundle of GlyGly molecules into the gas phase. The resulting signals can be evaluated in two different modes: mass spectrum - at continuous electron energy (e.g. 100 eV) they obtained the signal of intensity of the ions according to their mass to charge ratio; ionization and resonance spectra - for selected ion mass when the authors received the signal of intensity of the ions, depending on the energy of interacting electron.