WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary biology perspective

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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 perspectives on ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin

    2017-10-01

    From an evolutionary perspective, ageing is a decrease in fitness with chronological age - expressed by an increase in mortality risk and/or decline in reproductive success and mediated by deterioration of functional performance. While this makes ageing intuitively paradoxical - detrimental to individual fitness - evolutionary theory offers answers as to why ageing has evolved. In this review, I first briefly examine the classic evolutionary theories of ageing and their empirical tests, and highlight recent findings that have advanced our understanding of the evolution of ageing (condition-dependent survival, positive pleiotropy). I then provide an overview of recent theoretical extensions and modifications that accommodate those new discoveries. I discuss the role of indeterminate (asymptotic) growth for lifetime increases in fecundity and ageing trajectories. I outline alternative views that challenge a universal existence of senescence - namely the lack of a germ-soma distinction and the ability of tissue replacement and retrogression to younger developmental stages in modular organisms. I argue that rejuvenation at the organismal level is plausible, but includes a return to a simple developmental stage. This may exempt a particular genotype from somatic defects but, correspondingly, removes any information acquired during development. A resolution of the question of whether a rejuvenated individual is the same entity is central to the recognition of whether current evolutionary theories of ageing, with their extensions and modifications, can explain the patterns of ageing across the Tree of Life. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  14. Evolutionary Biology 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 ...

  15. Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  16. Evolutionary Biology Research in India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  17. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-07-01

    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.

  18. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Evolutionary perspectives on ageing

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reichard, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 70, SI (2017), s. 99-107 ISSN 1084-9521 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-00291S Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Gene-by-environment interactions * Germ-soma distinction * Intraspecific ageing rate * Modified mutation accumulation * Rejuvenation * Retrogression Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 6.614, year: 2016

  20. 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.

  1. Marriage: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisfeld, Glenn E; Weisfeld, Carol C

    2002-12-01

    Marriage is universal, and pair bonding is found in other species too with highly dependent young. So marriage functions as a reproductive social arrangement that traditionally involved the extended family. The sexes are not identical in their biological contributions to children's survival, so they seek somewhat different attributes in a mate. Men seek a young, attractive, sexually faithful bride. Women seek a man who is older, taller, and (as in many other species) socially dominant. Both sexes prefer a kind, healthy, attractive, similar mate who is emotionally attached to them. A spouse who fails to maintain sufficiently high mate value is vulnerable to divorce. Infertility and sexual dissatisfaction predict divorce, as does death of a child, but the more children, the stabler the marriage. Cross-cultural data suggest that cruel or subdominant men (e.g., poor providers) and unfaithful women are prone to divorce. Marriages in which the wife dominates the husband in economic contributions, nonverbal behavior, and decision making tend to be less satisfying. In societies in which wives are economically independent of husbands, divorce rates are high. As women's economic power has risen with industrialization, divorce rates have climbed. Economic and fitness considerations also help explain cultural differences in polygyny, age at marriage, arranged marriage, concern with the bride's sexual chastity, and marriage ceremonies. Other factors also affect marital dynamics, such as state subsidies to families, the sex ratio, and influence of the couple's parents.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. [Evolutionary perspective in precocious puberty].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2014-10-01

    Pubertal development is subject to substantial heritability, but much variation remains to be explained, including fast changes over the last 150 years, that cannot be explained by changes of gene frequency in the population. This article discusses the influence of environmental factors to adjust maturational tempo in the service of fitness goals. Utilizing evolutionary development thinking (evo-devo), the author examines adolescence as an evolutionary life-history stage in its developmental context. The transition from the preceding stage of juvenility entails adaptive plasticity in response to energy resources, social needs of adolescence and maturation toward youth and adulthood. Using Belsky's evolutionary theory of socialization, I show that familial psychosocial environment during the infancy-childhood and childhood-juvenility transitions foster a fast life-history and reproductive strategy rather than early maturation being just a risk factor for aggression and delinquency. The implications of the evo-devo framework for theory building, illuminates new directions in the understanding of precocious puberty other than a diagnosis of a disease.

  7. 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…

  8. An Evolutionary Genetic Perspective of Eating Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayhew, Alexandra J; Pigeyre, Marie; Couturier, Jennifer; Meyre, David

    2018-01-01

    Eating disorders (ED) including anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED) affect up to 5% of the population in Western countries. Risk factors for developing an ED include personality traits, family environment, gender, age, ethnicity, and culture. Despite being moderately to highly heritable with estimates ranging from 28 to 83%, no genetic risk factors have been conclusively identified. Our objective was to explore evolutionary theories of EDs to provide a new perspective on research into novel biological mechanisms and genetic causes of EDs. We developed a framework that explains the possible interactions between genetic risk and cultural influences in the development of ED. The framework includes three genetic predisposition categories (people with mainly AN restrictive gene variants, people with mainly BED variants, and people with gene variants predisposing to both diseases) and a binary variable of either the presence or absence of pressure to be thin. We propose novel theories to explain the overlapping characteristics of the subtypes of AN (binge/purge and restrictive), BN, and BED. For instance, mutations/structural gene variants in the same gene causing opposite effects or mutations in nearby genes resulting in partial disequilibrium for the genes causing AN (restrictive) and BED may explain the overlap of phenotypes seen in AN (binge/purge). © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  10. Precision engineering: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Chris J

    2012-08-28

    Precision engineering is a relatively new name for a technology with roots going back over a thousand years; those roots span astronomy, metrology, fundamental standards, manufacturing and money-making (literally). Throughout that history, precision engineers have created links across disparate disciplines to generate innovative responses to society's needs and wants. This review combines historical and technological perspectives to illuminate precision engineering's current character and directions. It first provides us a working definition of precision engineering and then reviews the subject's roots. Examples will be given showing the contributions of the technology to society, while simultaneously showing the creative tension between the technological convergence that spurs new directions and the vertical disintegration that optimizes manufacturing economics.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Is Exercise Really Medicine? An Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Daniel E

    2015-01-01

    An evolutionary perspective helps evaluate the extent to which exercise is medicine and to explain the exercise paradox: why people tend to avoid exercise despite its benefits. Many lines of evidence indicate that humans evolved to be adapted for regular, moderate amounts of endurance physical activity into late age. However, because energy from food was limited, humans also were selected to avoid unnecessary exertion, and most anatomical and physiological systems evolved to require stimuli from physical activity to adjust capacity to demand. Consequently, selection never operated to cope with the long-term effects of chronic inactivity. However, because all adaptations involve trade-offs, there is no evolutionary-determined dose or type of physical activity that will optimize health. Furthermore, because humans evolved to be active for play or necessity, efforts to promote exercise will require altering environments in ways that nudge or even compel people to be active and to make exercise fun.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Exercise, Affect, and Adherence: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold Lee

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The low rates of regular exercise and overall physical activity (PA in the general population represent a significant public health challenge. Previous research suggests that, for many people, exercise leads to a negative affective response and, in turn, reduced likelihood of future exercise. The purpose of this paper is to examine this exercise-affect-adherence relationship from an evolutionary perspective. Specifically, we argue that low rates of physical exercise in the general population are a function of the evolved human tendency to avoid unnecessary physical exertion. This innate tendency evolved because it allowed our evolutionary ancestors to conserve energy for physical activities that had immediate adaptive utility such as pursuing prey, escaping predators, and engaging in social and reproductive behaviors. The commonly observed negative affective response to exercise is an evolved proximate psychological mechanism through which humans avoid unnecessary energy expenditure. The fact that the human tendencies toward negative affective response to and avoidance of unnecessary physical activities are innate does not mean that they are unchangeable. Indeed, it is only because of human-engineered changes in our environmental conditions (i.e., it is no longer necessary for us to work for our food that our predisposition to avoid unnecessary physical exertion has become a liability. Thus, it is well within our capabilities to reengineer our environments to once again make PA necessary or, at least, to serve an immediate functional purpose. We propose a two-pronged approach to PA promotion based on this evolutionary functional perspective: First, to promote exercise and other physical activities that are perceived to have an immediate purpose, and second, to instill greater perceived purpose for a wider range of physical activities. We posit that these strategies are more likely to result in more positive (or at least less negative affective

  17. 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.

  18. Temporal knowledge and autobiographical memory: an evolutionary perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Skowronski, John J.; Sedikides, Constantine

    2007-01-01

    Section I: Philosophical issues 1. Evolutionary pyschology in the round , Robin Dunbar & Louise Barrett 2. The power of culture , Henry Plotkin 3. Evolution and psychology in philosophical perspective , Matteo Mameli 4. Niche construction, human behavioural ecology and evolutionary psychology , Kevin N Laland 5. Group level evolutionary processes , David Sloan Wilson Section II: The comparative Approach 6. Homologizing the mind , Drew Rendall, Hugh Nottman & John ...

  19. 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.

  20. Evolutionary Perspectives on the Development of Social Exchanges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheese, Brad E.; Graziano, William G.

    2002-01-01

    Argues that apparent incompatibilities between social exchange and developmental perspectives can be resolved by using evolutionary theories to extend the logic of social exchange. Discusses the implications of an expanded evolutionary perspective on social exchange and development, proposing that developmental context and genetic relatedness may…

  1. 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...

  2. An Evolutionary Perspective on the Crabtree Effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas ePfeiffer

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The capability to ferment sugars into ethanol is a key metabolic trait of yeasts. Crabtree-positive yeasts use fermentation even in the presence of oxygen, where they could, in principle, rely on the respiration pathway. This is surprising because fermentation has a much lower ATP yield than respiration (2 ATP vs. approximately 18 ATP per glucose. While genetic events in the evolution of the Crabtree effect have been identified, the selective advantages provided by this trait remain controversial. In this review we analyse explanations for the emergence of the Crabtree effect from an evolutionary and game-theoretical perspective. We argue that an increased rate of ATP production is likely the most important factor behind the emergence of the Crabtree effect.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. Charisma as signal : An evolutionary perspective on charismatic leadership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grabo, Allen; Spisak, Brian R.; van Vugt, Mark

    2017-01-01

    We present an evolutionary perspective on charismatic leadership, arguing that charisma has evolved as a credible signal of a person's ability to solve a coordination challenge requiring urgent collective action from group members. We suggest that a better understanding of charisma's evolutionary

  7. 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.

  8. Oxytocin mediated behavior in invertebrates: An evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockard, Meghan A; Ebert, Margaret S; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2017-02-01

    The molecular and functional conservation of oxytocin-related neuropeptides in behavior is striking. In animals separated by at least 600 million years of evolution, from roundworms to humans, oxytocin homologs play critical roles in the modulation of reproductive behavior and other biological functions. Here, we review the roles of oxytocin in invertebrate behavior from an evolutionary perspective. We begin by tracing the evolution of oxytocin through the invertebrate animal lineages, and then describe common themes in invertebrate behaviors that are mediated by oxytocin-related peptides, including reproductive behavior, learning and memory, food arousal, and predator/prey relationships. Finally, we discuss interesting future directions that have recently become experimentally tractable. Studying oxytocin in invertebrates offers precise insights into the activity of neuropeptides on well-defined neural circuits; the principles that emerge may also be represented in the more complex vertebrate brain. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 128-142, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Regional systems of innovation: an evolutionary perspective

    OpenAIRE

    P Cooke; M G Uranga; G Etxebarria

    1998-01-01

    The authors develop the concept of regional systems of innovation and relate it to preexisting research on national systems of innovation. They argue that work conducted in the 'new regional science' field is complementary to systems of innovation approaches. They seek to link new regional work to evolutionary economics, and argue for the development of evolutionary regional science. Common elements of interest to evolutionary innovation research and new regional science are important in unde...

  10. 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

  11. The Carbon Crisis: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, K.

    2013-12-01

    By the 'carbon crisis' I mean the coupled crises of the depletion of the highest-EROI sources of fossil fuels and the global warming caused by our use of those fossil fuels. (EROI means 'energy return on energy investment'; Hall 2011.) While global warming is arguably more urgent, either of these factors would sooner or later be sufficient by itself to call a halt to our global-scale, energy-intensive, high technology economy. In lethal combination, they threaten to drastically reduce the capacity of the planet to support 7+ billion talking hominids. I will pull the camera back for a very long view and characterize the carbon crisis and our possible responses to it from an evolutionary and ecological perspective. It remains unclear why sapiens emerged rather suddenly as the most successful member of the family Homo about 50 to 60 kya; some argue that this neurological explosion could be due to our ancestors having survived the rigors of the Toba population bottleneck, which presumably would have favoured high adaptability (Ambrose 1998). Whatever the cause, Paleolithic humans deployed an unprecedented combination of technological and social ingenuity (the capacity for adaptive social organization; Homer-Dixon 2001). Aided by the relatively benign climate of the Holocene and ultimately by our increasing ability to tap into the resources of the 'found' ecology, especially the vast stores of hydrocarbons bequeathed by the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras, our population has grown exponentially to its present unsteady pinnacle of (possibly) temporary reproductive success. The question now is what happens next. It was human ingenuity that got us through the ice age, put footprints on the Moon, and brought us to this crisis point; now, only human ingenuity (both social and technical) can get us past it. Our species will finally achieve a sustainable mode of existence on this planet when (in E. Odum's words; 1973) 'the present-day concept of ';unlimited exploitation of

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An Evolutionary Perspective on War Heroism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusch, Hannes; Störmer, C.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are one of the most cooperative and altruistic species on the planet. At the same time, humans have a long history of violent and deadly intergroup conflicts or wars. Recently, contemporary evolutionary theorists have revived Charles Darwin’s idea that human in-group altruism and out-group

  17. Measuring the evolutionary rewiring of biological networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chong Shou

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

  18. Evolutionary computation techniques a comparative perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Cuevas, Erik; Oliva, Diego

    2017-01-01

    This book compares the performance of various evolutionary computation (EC) techniques when they are faced with complex optimization problems extracted from different engineering domains. Particularly focusing on recently developed algorithms, it is designed so that each chapter can be read independently. Several comparisons among EC techniques have been reported in the literature, however, they all suffer from one limitation: their conclusions are based on the performance of popular evolutionary approaches over a set of synthetic functions with exact solutions and well-known behaviors, without considering the application context or including recent developments. In each chapter, a complex engineering optimization problem is posed, and then a particular EC technique is presented as the best choice, according to its search characteristics. Lastly, a set of experiments is conducted in order to compare its performance to other popular EC methods.

  19. An evolutionary behaviorist perspective on orgasm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischman, Diana S.

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary explanations for sexual behavior and orgasm most often posit facilitating reproduction as the primary function (i.e. greater rate of fertilization). Other reproductive benefits of sexual pleasure and orgasm such as improved bonding of parents have also been discussed but not thoroughly. Although sex is known to be highly reinforcing, behaviorist principles are rarely invoked alongside evolutionary psychology in order to account for human sexual and social behavior. In this paper, I will argue that intense sexual pleasure, especially orgasm, can be understood as a primary reinforcer shaped by evolution to reinforce behavior that facilitates reproductive success (i.e. conception through copulation). Next, I will describe an evolutionary account of social shaping. In particular, I will focus on how humans evolved to use orgasm and sexual arousal to shape the social behavior and emotional states of others through both classical and operant conditioning and through both reproductive and non-reproductive forms of sexual behavior. Finally, I will describe how orgasm is a signal of sensitivity to reinforcement that is itself reinforcing. PMID:27799083

  20. Helminths and Cancers From the Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholte, Larissa L S; Pascoal-Xavier, Marcelo A; Nahum, Laila A

    2018-01-01

    Helminths include free-living and parasitic Platyhelminthes and Nematoda which infect millions of people worldwide. Some Platyhelminthes species of blood flukes ( Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum , and Schistosoma mansoni ) and liver flukes ( Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini ) are known to be involved in human cancers. Other helminths are likely to be carcinogenic. Our main goals are to summarize the current knowledge of human cancers caused by Platyhelminthes, point out some helminth and human biomarkers identified so far, and highlight the potential contributions of phylogenetics and molecular evolution to cancer research. Human cancers caused by helminth infection include cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal hepatocellular carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and urinary bladder cancer. Chronic inflammation is proposed as a common pathway for cancer initiation and development. Furthermore, different bacteria present in gastric, colorectal, and urogenital microbiomes might be responsible for enlarging inflammatory and fibrotic responses in cancers. Studies have suggested that different biomarkers are involved in helminth infection and human cancer development; although, the detailed mechanisms remain under debate. Different helminth proteins have been studied by different approaches. However, their evolutionary relationships remain unsolved. Here, we illustrate the strengths of homology identification and function prediction of uncharacterized proteins from genome sequencing projects based on an evolutionary framework. Together, these approaches may help identifying new biomarkers for disease diagnostics and intervention measures. This work has potential applications in the field of phylomedicine (evolutionary medicine) and may contribute to parasite and cancer research.

  1. Promoter Motifs in NCLDVs: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Graziele Pereira; Andrade, Ana Cláudia dos Santos Pereira; Rodrigues, Rodrigo Araújo Lima; Arantes, Thalita Souza; Boratto, Paulo Victor Miranda; Silva, Ludmila Karen dos Santos; Dornas, Fábio Pio; Trindade, Giliane de Souza; Drumond, Betânia Paiva; La Scola, Bernard; Kroon, Erna Geessien; Abrahão, Jônatas Santos

    2017-01-01

    For many years, gene expression in the three cellular domains has been studied in an attempt to discover sequences associated with the regulation of the transcription process. Some specific transcriptional features were described in viruses, although few studies have been devoted to understanding the evolutionary aspects related to the spread of promoter motifs through related viral families. The discovery of giant viruses and the proposition of the new viral order Megavirales that comprise a monophyletic group, named nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV), raised new questions in the field. Some putative promoter sequences have already been described for some NCLDV members, bringing new insights into the evolutionary history of these complex microorganisms. In this review, we summarize the main aspects of the transcription regulation process in the three domains of life, followed by a systematic description of what is currently known about promoter regions in several NCLDVs. We also discuss how the analysis of the promoter sequences could bring new ideas about the giant viruses’ evolution. Finally, considering a possible common ancestor for the NCLDV group, we discussed possible promoters’ evolutionary scenarios and propose the term “MEGA-box” to designate an ancestor promoter motif (‘TATATAAAATTGA’) that could be evolved gradually by nucleotides’ gain and loss and point mutations. PMID:28117683

  2. Promoter Motifs in NCLDVs: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graziele Pereira Oliveira

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available For many years, gene expression in the three cellular domains has been studied in an attempt to discover sequences associated with the regulation of the transcription process. Some specific transcriptional features were described in viruses, although few studies have been devoted to understanding the evolutionary aspects related to the spread of promoter motifs through related viral families. The discovery of giant viruses and the proposition of the new viral order Megavirales that comprise a monophyletic group, named nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV, raised new questions in the field. Some putative promoter sequences have already been described for some NCLDV members, bringing new insights into the evolutionary history of these complex microorganisms. In this review, we summarize the main aspects of the transcription regulation process in the three domains of life, followed by a systematic description of what is currently known about promoter regions in several NCLDVs. We also discuss how the analysis of the promoter sequences could bring new ideas about the giant viruses’ evolution. Finally, considering a possible common ancestor for the NCLDV group, we discussed possible promoters’ evolutionary scenarios and propose the term “MEGA-box” to designate an ancestor promoter motif (‘TATATAAAATTGA’ that could be evolved gradually by nucleotides’ gain and loss and point mutations.

  3. Helminths and Cancers From the Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa L. S. Scholte

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Helminths include free-living and parasitic Platyhelminthes and Nematoda which infect millions of people worldwide. Some Platyhelminthes species of blood flukes (Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, and Schistosoma mansoni and liver flukes (Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini are known to be involved in human cancers. Other helminths are likely to be carcinogenic. Our main goals are to summarize the current knowledge of human cancers caused by Platyhelminthes, point out some helminth and human biomarkers identified so far, and highlight the potential contributions of phylogenetics and molecular evolution to cancer research. Human cancers caused by helminth infection include cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal hepatocellular carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and urinary bladder cancer. Chronic inflammation is proposed as a common pathway for cancer initiation and development. Furthermore, different bacteria present in gastric, colorectal, and urogenital microbiomes might be responsible for enlarging inflammatory and fibrotic responses in cancers. Studies have suggested that different biomarkers are involved in helminth infection and human cancer development; although, the detailed mechanisms remain under debate. Different helminth proteins have been studied by different approaches. However, their evolutionary relationships remain unsolved. Here, we illustrate the strengths of homology identification and function prediction of uncharacterized proteins from genome sequencing projects based on an evolutionary framework. Together, these approaches may help identifying new biomarkers for disease diagnostics and intervention measures. This work has potential applications in the field of phylomedicine (evolutionary medicine and may contribute to parasite and cancer research.

  4. Diabetes and Obesity—An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Kirchengast

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Obesity and type II diabetes belong to the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Initially both diseases were typical of affluent societies. Currently both conditions however are increasingly found in low and middle income countries. In future obesity and diabetes are expected to reach epidemic proportions and affect developing countries to a greater extent than developed ones. A globalization of obesity and diabetes is observable. Recently prevalence rates increased, especially in Asia, the Near and Middle East, the Western Pacific region and even in Sub-Saharan Africa. Evolutionary Anthropology tries to understand the evolutionary mechanisms promoting rising obesity and diabetes type II rates. Homo sapiens evolved in an environment quite different from our recent one. Profound changes in physical activity patterns and nutritional habits during the last 10,000 years and increasingly during the last 200 years increased the risk of obesity and diabetes type II. Consequently our recent environment is called “obesogenic”. This mismatch has been recently observable among societies experiencing rapid cultural changes characterized by Westernization and modernization. This review focuses on obesity and type II diabetes from the viewpoint of evolutionary anthropology.

  5. An Evolutionary Perspective on Toxic Leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Ovidia VREJA

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Charles Darwin’s prediction from 1859, that future psychology was going to be built on principles derived from evolutionary theory came at last to be fulfilled. Nowadays, there are at least four disciplines that attempt to explain human behaviours as evolutionary adaptations (or maladaptations to the natural and/or social environment: human sociobiology, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, memetics and gene–culture coevolution theory (in our view, the most adequate of all. According to gene–culture coevolution theory, articulated language was the singular phenomenon that permitted humans to become a cultural species, and from that moment on culture become itself a selection factor. Culture means transmission of information from one generation to the next and learning from other individuals’ experiences, trough language. So, it is of critical importance to have good criteria for the selection of those individuals from whom we should learn. Yet when humans also choose their leaders from among those role-models, according to the same criteria, this mechanism can become a maladaptation and the result can be toxic leadership.

  6. Ethnic populations of India as seen from an evolutionary perspective

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ethnic populations of India as seen from an evolutionary perspective ... of the world, and; one of the first waves of out-of-Africa migration came into India. ... By studying variation at DNA level in contemporary human populations of India, we ...

  7. Introductory editorial to ?Orgasm: Neurophysiological, Psychological, and Evolutionary Perspectives?

    OpenAIRE

    Klimaj, Victoria; Safron, Adam

    2016-01-01

    No abstract available.(Published: 25 October 2016)Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2016, 6: 33598 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/snp.v6.33598This paper is part of the Special Issue: Orgasm: Neurophysiological, Psychological, and Evolutionary Perspectives. More papers from this issue can be found at www.socioaffectiveneuroscipsychol.net

  8. Attachment in Middle Childhood: An Evolutionary-Developmental Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Middle childhood is a key transitional stage in the development of attachment processes and representations. Here I discuss the middle childhood transition from an evolutionary-developmental perspective and show how this approach offers fresh insight into the function and organization of attachment in this life stage. I begin by presenting an…

  9. An Evolutionary Perspective on Parental and Grandparental Investment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijkoop, M.

    2010-01-01

    Although great effort has been spent on studying the effects of parenting on child development, much less research has focused on factors that predict individual differences in parental investment. In this dissertation, an evolutionary psychological perspective was used to identify characteristics

  10. 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.

  11. [Sexual attraction: a concept analysis using an evolutionary perspective].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shu-Chin; Chu, Chun-Hong; Lu, Zxy-Yann Jane

    2015-02-01

    Medical technology has transformed the body image of women and altered perceptions of beauty and sexual attraction. While "sexual attraction" is a fundamental concept in sexology, the characteristics of this concept have not been studied in the field of nursing. Because nurses provide advice and health education for women, it is essential to clarify the concept of sexual attraction for the benefit of related nursing research and for the further development of nursing knowledge. This study explores the concept of sexual attraction in a Taiwanese social context using concept analysis based on an evolutionary perspective. Inductive inquiry is used to compare and contrast articles from the academic literature, magazines, and newspapers, and data from participant observation and interviews are used to generate exemplars. The process by which the concept of sexual attraction has evolved over time is captured from three distinct aspects: significance, use, and application. The definitional statement of sexual attraction includes the five dimensions of: 1. sexual-oriented psychological dynamics; 2. personal aesthetics and sensory experience; 3. instinct body forces; 4. body language of self; and 5. social and cultural norms. This study scrutinized the changes in attributes that emphasize the biological, objectified body, and stereotyped gender roles of women. Further directions for research and nursing knowledge development are suggested. Examples include identifying the changes in the concept of sexual attraction that result from technological advancement and further clarifying the experiential knowledge of sexual attraction that represents the selfhood and independence of women in Taiwan.

  12. Yin and yang surfaces: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, David

    2014-12-01

    A search of the Chinese medicine literature reveals several conflicting explanations of the division of the body into yin and yang surfaces. This paper attempts to clarify this basic concept and reconcile the differing descriptions of it through an exploration of material from other disciplines. A remarkable similarity exists between the surfaces on the human body that are defined by the pathways of the yin and yang meridians and those that have evolved from the ventral and the dorsal aspects of early vertebrate structure. Many of the evolutionary changes described have parallels in our embryological development and are evident in the underlying anatomy of our limbs. The degree of convergence between the two descriptions strongly supports the definition of the yin and yang surfaces as those traversed by the yin and yang meridians. It also goes a long way towards reconciling the conflicting definitions found in the literature. Finding a solution to this question of yin and yang surfaces that is based on anatomy and evolutionary theories has several advantages. It can throw light on differences in the clinical effects of points on the yin and yang meridians and enable the identification of anomalies in the pathways of the main meridian network. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Threat-detection in child development: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Pascal; Bergstrom, Brian

    2011-03-01

    Evidence for developmental aspects of fear-targets and anxiety suggests a complex but stable pattern whereby specific kinds of fears emerge at different periods of development. This developmental schedule seems appropriate to dangers encountered repeatedly during human evolution. Also consistent with evolutionary perspective, the threat-detection systems are domain-specific, comprising different kinds of cues to do with predation, intraspecific violence, contamination-contagion and status loss. Proper evolutionary models may also be relevant to outstanding issues in the domain, notably the connections between typical development and pathology. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. [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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. Synthetic biology: a utilitarian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kevin

    2013-10-01

    I examine the positive and negative features of synthetic biology ('SynBio') from a utilitarian ethical perspective. The potential beneficial outcomes from SynBio in the context of medicine are substantial; however it is not presently possible to predict precise outcomes due to the nascent state of the field. Potential negative outcomes from SynBio also exist, including iatrogenesis and bioterrorism; however it is not yet possible to quantify these risks. I argue that the application of a 'precautionary' approach to SynBio is ethically fraught, as is the notion that SynBio-associated knowledge ought to be restricted. I conclude that utilitarians ought to support a broadly laissez-faire stance in respect of SynBio. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. An evolutionary perspective on anti-tumor immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David John Klinke

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The challenges associated with demonstrating a durable response using molecular targeted therapies in cancer has sparked a renewed interest in viewing cancer from an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary processes have three common traits: heterogeneity, dynamics, and a selective fitness landscape. Mutagens randomly alter the genome of host cells creating a population of cells that contain different somatic mutations. This genomic rearrangement perturbs cellular homeostasis through changing how cells interact with their tissue microenvironment. To counterbalance the ability of mutated cells to outcompete for limited resources, control structures are encoded within the cell and within the organ system, such as innate and adaptive immunity, to restore cellular homeostasis. These control structures shape the selective fitness landscape and determine whether a cell that harbors particular somatic mutations is retained or eliminated from a cell population. While next-generation sequencing has revealed the complexity and heterogeneity of oncogenic transformation, understanding the dynamics of oncogenesis and how cancer cells alter the selective fitness landscape remain unclear. In this technology review, we will summarize how recent advances in technology have impacted our understanding of these three attributes of cancer as an evolutionary process. In particular, we will focus on how advances in genome sequencing have enabled quantifying cellular heterogeneity, advances in computational power have enabled explicit testing of postulated intra- and intercellular control structures against the available data using simulation, and advances in proteomics have enabled identifying novel mechanisms of cellular cross-talk that cancer cells use to alter the fitness landscape.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Islas Morales, Parsifal

    2018-04-01

    lessons learned from ECB and attempts to find a homologue structure of the eukaryotic nucleolus within the Archaea. We found nanometric structures in S. solfactarius that either are positive to specific nucleolar techniques such as Nucleolar organizer regions NOR silver staining. These is structures are novel and its significance should be revised on the evolutionary cell biology perspective.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Primary Emotional Systems and Personality: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montag, Christian; Panksepp, Jaak

    2017-01-01

    The present article highlights important concepts of personality including stability issues from the perspective of situational demands and stability over the life-course. Following this more introductory section, we argue why individual differences in primary emotional systems may represent the phylogenetically oldest parts of human personality. Our argumentation leads to the need to increasingly consider individual differences in the raw affects/emotions of people to understand human personality in a bottom–up fashion, which can be coordinated with top–down perspectives. In support of this idea, we also review existing evidence linking individual differences in primal emotions as assessed with the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales and the widely accepted Big Five Model of Personality. In this context, we provide additional evidence on the link between primal emotions and personality in German and Chinese sample populations. In short, this article addresses evolutionary perspectives in the evaluation of human personality, highlighting some of the ancestral emotional urges that probably still control variations in the construction of human personality structures. Moreover, we address how individual differences in primary emotional systems can illuminate linkages to major human psychopathologies and the potential advantages and disadvantages of carrying a certain personality trait within certain cultural/environmental niches. PMID:28443039

  15. Primary Emotional Systems and Personality: An Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montag, Christian; Panksepp, Jaak

    2017-01-01

    The present article highlights important concepts of personality including stability issues from the perspective of situational demands and stability over the life-course. Following this more introductory section, we argue why individual differences in primary emotional systems may represent the phylogenetically oldest parts of human personality. Our argumentation leads to the need to increasingly consider individual differences in the raw affects/emotions of people to understand human personality in a bottom-up fashion, which can be coordinated with top-down perspectives. In support of this idea, we also review existing evidence linking individual differences in primal emotions as assessed with the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales and the widely accepted Big Five Model of Personality. In this context, we provide additional evidence on the link between primal emotions and personality in German and Chinese sample populations. In short, this article addresses evolutionary perspectives in the evaluation of human personality, highlighting some of the ancestral emotional urges that probably still control variations in the construction of human personality structures. Moreover, we address how individual differences in primary emotional systems can illuminate linkages to major human psychopathologies and the potential advantages and disadvantages of carrying a certain personality trait within certain cultural/environmental niches.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Neutrons in biology - a perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schoenborn, B.P.

    1994-01-01

    After almost a decade of uncertainty, the field of neutrons in biology is set to embark on an era of stability and renewed vitality. As detailed in this volume, methodologies have been refined, new tools are now being added to the array, the two largest reactor sources have long term programs in place, and spoliation sources are making an impact. By way of introduction, it is pertinent to reflect on the origins of the field and to highlight some aspects that have influenced the progress of the field. In an increasingly competitive environment, it is extremely important that the future capitalize on the substantial investment made over the last two to three decades

  9. Neutrons in biology - a perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenborn, B.P. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    After almost a decade of uncertainty, the field of neutrons in biology is set to embark on an era of stability and renewed vitality. As detailed in this volume, methodologies have been refined, new tools are now being added to the array, the two largest reactor sources have long term programs in place, and spoliation sources are making an impact. By way of introduction, it is pertinent to reflect on the origins of the field and to highlight some aspects that have influenced the progress of the field. In an increasingly competitive environment, it is extremely important that the future capitalize on the substantial investment made over the last two to three decades.

  10. Causes and consequences of coagulation activation in sepsis: an evolutionary medicine perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiusa, Maiara Marx Luz; Carvalho-Filho, Marco Antonio; Annichino-Bizzacchi, Joyce M; De Paula, Erich V

    2015-05-06

    Coagulation and innate immunity have been linked together for at least 450 million years of evolution. Sepsis, one of the world's leading causes of death, is probably the condition in which this evolutionary link is more evident. However, the biological and the clinical relevance of this association have only recently gained the attention of the scientific community. During sepsis, the host response to a pathogen is invariably associated with coagulation activation. For several years, coagulation activation has been solely regarded as a mechanism of tissue damage, a concept that led to several clinical trials of anticoagulant agents for sepsis. More recently, this paradigm has been challenged by the failure of these clinical trials, and by a growing bulk of evidence supporting the concept that coagulation activation is beneficial for pathogen clearance. In this article we discuss recent basic and clinical data that point to a more balanced view of the detrimental and beneficial consequences of coagulation activation in sepsis. Reappraisal of the association between coagulation and immune activation from an evolutionary medicine perspective offers a unique opportunity to gain new insights about the pathogenesis of sepsis, paving the way to more successful approaches in both basic and clinical research in this field.

  11. Ein Klassiker der Padagogik in Evolutionarer Perspektive: Eduard Sprangers "Lebensformen" im Lichte der Modernen Biologie (A Classic of Pedagogics from an Evolutionary Perspective: Edward Spranger's "Forms of Life" in the Light of Modern Biology).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Dieter

    2002-01-01

    Interprets Edward Spranger's "Forms of Life" against the background of the findings of modern biology. Shows how far Spranger's diagnosis of different human types, which are not affected by external influences on characteristics, conform with research hypotheses of modern biological sciences. (CAJ)

  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. The Neural Systems of Forgiveness: An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Billingsley

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Evolution-minded researchers posit that the suite of human cognitive adaptations may include forgiveness systems. According to these researchers, forgiveness systems regulate interpersonal motivation toward a transgressor in the wake of harm by weighing multiple factors that influence both the potential gains of future interaction with the transgressor and the likelihood of future harm. Although behavioral research generally supports this evolutionary model of forgiveness, the model’s claims have not been examined with available neuroscience specifically in mind, nor has recent neuroscientific research on forgiveness generally considered the evolutionary literature. The current review aims to help bridge this gap by using evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience to mutually inform and interrogate one another. We briefly summarize the evolutionary research on forgiveness, then review recent neuroscientific findings on forgiveness in light of the evolutionary model. We emphasize neuroscientific research that links desire for vengeance to reward-based areas of the brain, that singles out prefrontal areas likely associated with inhibition of vengeful feelings, and that correlates the activity of a theory-of-mind network with assessments of the intentions and blameworthiness of those who commit harm. In addition, we identify gaps in the existing neuroscientific literature, and propose future research directions that might address them, at least in part.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Why only humans shed emotional tears : Evolutionary and cultural perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gracanin, A.; Bylsma, L.M.; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.

    Producing emotional tears is a universal and uniquely human behavior. Until recently, tears have received little serious attention from scientists. Here, we summarize recent theoretical developments and research findings. The evolutionary approach offers a solid ground for the analysis of the

  17. Treatment resistance in urothelial carcinoma: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlachostergios, Panagiotis J; Faltas, Bishoy M

    2018-05-02

    The emergence of treatment-resistant clones is a critical barrier to cure in patients with urothelial carcinoma. Setting the stage for the evolution of resistance, urothelial carcinoma is characterized by extensive mutational heterogeneity, which is detectable even in patients with early stage disease. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy both act as selective pressures that shape the evolutionary trajectory of urothelial carcinoma throughout the course of the disease. A detailed understanding of the dynamics of evolutionary drivers is required for the rational development of curative therapies. Herein, we describe the molecular basis of the clonal evolution of urothelial carcinomas and the use of genomic approaches to predict treatment responses. We discuss various mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy with a focus on the mutagenic effects of the DNA dC->dU-editing enzymes APOBEC3 family of proteins. We also review the evolutionary mechanisms underlying resistance to immunotherapy, such as the loss of clonal tumour neoantigens. By dissecting treatment resistance through an evolutionary lens, the field will advance towards true precision medicine for urothelial carcinoma.

  18. Cooperation and conflict in cancer: An evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Featherston

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary approaches to carcinogenesis have gained prominence in the literature and enhanced our understanding of cancer. However, an appreciation of neoplasia in the context of evolutionary transitions, particularly the transition from independent genes to a fullyintegrated genome, is largely absent. In the gene–genome evolutionary transition, mobile genetic elements (MGEs can be studied as the extant exemplars of selfish autonomous lowerlevel units that cooperated to form a higher-level, functionally integrated genome. Here,we discuss levels of selection in cancer cells. In particular, we examine the tension between gene and genome units of selection by examining the expression profiles of MGE domains in an array of human cancers. Overall, across diverse cancers, there is an aberrant expression of several families of mobile elements, including the most common MGE in the human genome, retrotransposon LINE 1. These results indicate an alternative life-history strategy for MGEs in the cancers studied. Whether the aberrant expression is the cause or effect oftumourigenesis is unknown, although some evidence suggests that dysregulation of MGEs can play a role in cancer origin and progression. These data are interpreted in combination with phylostratigraphic reports correlating the origin of cancer genes with multicellularity and other potential increases in complexity in cancer cell populations. Cooperation and conflict between individuals at the gene, genome and cell level provide an evolutionary medicineperspective of cancer that enhances our understanding of disease pathogenesis and treatment.

  19. Jealousy as a function of rival characteristics : An evolutionary perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkstra, P; Buunk, BP

    Following from om evolutionary psychology, men and women differ in the characteristics they value in a partner. Men value physical attractiveness in women because a woman's physical attractiveness is related to her fertility, whereas women value dominance in men since dominance is related to a man's

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Comparative Advantages of Spin-off Firms: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilgehan Uzunca

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available As predicted by evolutionary economics, historical antecedents matter when it comes to the relationship between survival of entrants and organizational capabilities. Spinoff firms provide an exemplary case of such relationship where the founders’ pre-entry capabilities that are inherited from the parent firm increases their survival chances. Looking closer and deeper to the evolutionary spinoff success mechanisms, I examine three specific genetic features which make spinoff firms more advantageous compared to other entrants; namely 1 Genotype: Transfer of blueprint, 2 Phenotype: Organizational learning, and 3 Memes: Informal relations and social capital. A detailed theoretical analysis of each mechanism prevails how they function and provide sustainable competitive advantage to spinoff firms. Testable hypotheses are provided about each mechanism.

  5. 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.

  6. Anthropology and the study of menopause: evolutionary, developmental, and comparative perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sievert, Lynnette Leidy

    2014-10-01

    This work aims to consider how the discipline of anthropology contributes to the study of menopause through evolutionary, developmental, and comparative perspectives. This study was a review of skeletal and ethnographic evidence for menopause and postreproductive life in humans' distant past, hypotheses for the evolution of menopause and long postreproductive life, variation in age at menopause with focus on childhood environments, and the study of variation in symptom experience across populations. Longevity, rather than capacity for menopause, sets humans apart from other primates. Skeletal evidence demonstrates that some Neanderthals and archaic Homo sapiens lived to the age at menopause and that at least one third of women in traditional foraging populations live beyond menopause. The evolutionary reasons for why women experience a long postreproductive life continue to be debated. A developmental perspective suggests that early childhood may be a critical time for the environment to irreversibly influence the number of oocytes or rate of follicular atresia and, ultimately, age at menopause. A comparative perspective examines symptom experience at midlife through participant observation, qualitative interviews, and quantitative instruments to gain a holistic understanding of the meaning, experience, and sociocultural context of menopause. An evolutionary perspective suggests that menopause is not a recent phenomenon among humans. A developmental perspective focuses on the influence of early childhood on ovarian function. A comparative perspective expands clinical norms and provides knowledge about the range of human variations.

  7. The future orientation of constructive memory: an evolutionary perspective on therapeutic hypnosis and brief psychotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Ernest; Erickson-Klein, Roxanna; Rossi, Kathryn

    2008-04-01

    We explore a new distinction between the future, prospective memory system being investigated in current neuroscience and the past, retrospective memory system, which was the original theoretical foundation of therapeutic hypnosis, classical psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy. We then generalize a current evolutionary theory of sleep and dreaming, which focuses on the future, prospective memory system, to conceptualize a new evolutionary perspective on therapeutic hypnosis and brief psychotherapy. The implication of current neuroscience research is that activity-dependent gene expression and brain plasticity are the psychobiological basis of adaptive behavior, consciousness, and creativity in everyday life as well as psychotherapy. We summarize a case illustrating how this evolutionary perspective can be used to quickly resolve problems with past obstructive procrastination in school to facilitate current and future academic success.

  8. Why Shops Close Again : An Evolutionary Perspective on the Deregulation of Shopping Hours

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kosfeld, M.

    1999-01-01

    This paper introduces a new perspective on the deregulation of shopping hours based on ideas from evolutionary game theory. We study a retail economy where shopping hours have been deregulated recently. It is argued that first, the deregulation leads to a coordination problem between store owners

  9. Uxoricide in pregnancy: ancient Greek domestic violence in evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deacy, Susan; McHardy, Fiona

    2013-10-24

    Previous studies of ancient Greek examples of uxoricide in pregnancy have concluded that the theme is used to suggest tyrannical abuse of power and that the violence is a product of the patriarchal nature of ancient society. This article uses evolutionary analyses of violence during pregnancy to argue that the themes of sexual jealousy and uncertainty over paternity are as crucial as the theme of power to an understanding of these examples and that the examples can be seen as typical instances of spousal abuse as it occurs in all types of society.

  10. Consciousness, crosstalk, and the mereological fallacy: An evolutionary perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Rodrick

    2012-12-01

    The cross-sectional decontextualization afflicting contemporary neuroscience - attributing to ‘the brain’ what is the province of the whole organism - is mirrored by an evolutionary decontextualization exceptionalizing consciousness. The living state is characterized by cognitive processes at all scales and levels of organization. Many can be associated with dual information sources that ‘speak’ a ‘language’ of behavior-in-context. Shifting global broadcasts analogous to consciousness, albeit far slower - wound healing, tumor control, immune function, gene expression, etc. - have emerged through repeated evolutionary exaptation of the crosstalk and noise inherent to all information transmission. These recruit ‘unconscious’ cognitive modules into tunable arrays as needed to meet threats and opportunities across multiple frames of reference. The development is straightforward, based on the powerful necessary conditions imposed by the asymptotic limit theorems of communication theory, in the same sense that the Central Limit Theorem constrains sums of stochastic variates. Recognition of information as a form of free energy instantiated by physical processes that consume free energy permits analogs to phase transition and nonequilibrium thermodynamic arguments, leading to ‘dynamic regression models’ useful for data analysis.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  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. Evolutionary psychology: new perspectives on cognition and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosmides, Leda; Tooby, John

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary psychology is the second wave of the cognitive revolution. The first wave focused on computational processes that generate knowledge about the world: perception, attention, categorization, reasoning, learning, and memory. The second wave views the brain as composed of evolved computational systems, engineered by natural selection to use information to adaptively regulate physiology and behavior. This shift in focus--from knowledge acquisition to the adaptive regulation of behavior--provides new ways of thinking about every topic in psychology. It suggests a mind populated by a large number of adaptive specializations, each equipped with content-rich representations, concepts, inference systems, and regulatory variables, which are functionally organized to solve the complex problems of survival and reproduction encountered by the ancestral hunter-gatherers from whom we are descended. We present recent empirical examples that illustrate how this approach has been used to discover new features of attention, categorization, reasoning, learning, emotion, and motivation.

  19. 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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Barton

    2010-08-01

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

  1. Evolutionary history of anglerfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes: a mitogenomic perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimazaki Mitsuomi

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The teleost order Lophiiformes, commonly known as the anglerfishes, contains a diverse array of marine fishes, ranging from benthic shallow-water dwellers to highly modified deep-sea midwater species. They comprise 321 living species placed in 68 genera, 18 families and 5 suborders, but approximately half of the species diversity is occupied by deep-sea ceratioids distributed among 11 families. The evolutionary origins of such remarkable habitat and species diversity, however, remain elusive because of the lack of fresh material for a majority of the deep-sea ceratioids and incompleteness of the fossil record across all of the Lophiiformes. To obtain a comprehensive picture of the phylogeny and evolutionary history of the anglerfishes, we assembled whole mitochondrial genome (mitogenome sequences from 39 lophiiforms (33 newly determined during this study representing all five suborders and 17 of the 18 families. Sequences of 77 higher teleosts including the 39 lophiiform sequences were unambiguously aligned and subjected to phylogenetic analysis and divergence time estimation. Results Partitioned maximum likelihood analysis confidently recovered monophyly for all of the higher taxa (including the order itself with the exception of the Thaumatichthyidae (Lasiognathus was deeply nested within the Oneirodidae. The mitogenomic trees strongly support the most basal and an apical position of the Lophioidei and a clade comprising Chaunacoidei + Ceratioidei, respectively, although alternative phylogenetic positions of the remaining two suborders (Antennarioidei and Ogcocephaloidei with respect to the above two lineages are statistically indistinguishable. While morphology-based intra-subordinal relationships for relatively shallow, benthic dwellers (Lophioidei, Antennarioidei, Ogcocephaloidei, Chaunacoidei are either congruent with or statistically indistinguishable from the present mitogenomic tree, those of the principally deep

  2. Perspectives on the evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolff, Jens; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2016-05-26

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important elements of the innate immune defence in multicellular organisms that target and kill microbes. Here, we reflect on the various points that are raised by the authors of the 11 contributions to a special issue of Philosophical Transactions on the 'evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'. We see five interesting topics emerging. (i) AMP genes in insects, and perhaps in arthropods more generally, evolve much slower than most other immune genes. One explanation refers to the constraints set by AMPs being part of a finely tuned defence system. A new view argues that AMPs are under strong stabilizing selection. Regardless, this striking observation still invites many more questions than have been answered so far. (ii) AMPs almost always are expressed in combinations and sometimes show expression patterns that are dependent on the infectious agent. While it is often assumed that this can be explained by synergistic interactions, such interactions have rarely been demonstrated and need to be studied further. Moreover, how to define synergy in the first place remains difficult and needs to be addressed. (iii) AMPs play a very important role in mediating the interaction between a host and its mutualistic or commensal microbes. This has only been studied in a very small number of (insect) species. It has become clear that the very same AMPs play different roles in different situations and hence are under concurrent selection. (iv) Different environments shape the physiology of organisms; especially the host-associated microbial communities should impact on the evolution host AMPs. Studies in social insects and some organisms from extreme environments seem to support this notion, but, overall, the evidence for adaptation of AMPs to a given environment is scant. (v) AMPs are considered or already developed as new drugs in medicine. However, bacteria can evolve resistance to AMPs. Therefore, in the light of our

  3. Lysosomal enzymes and their receptors in invertebrates: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Nadimpalli Siva; Bhamidimarri, Poorna M

    2015-01-01

    Lysosomal biogenesis is an important process in eukaryotic cells to maintain cellular homeostasis. The key components that are involved in the biogenesis such as the lysosomal enzymes, their modifications and the mannose 6-phosphate receptors have been well studied and their evolutionary conservation across mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrates is clearly established. Invertebrate lysosomal biogenesis pathway on the other hand is not well studied. Although, details on mannose 6-phosphate receptors and enzymes involved in lysosomal enzyme modifications were reported earlier, a clear cut pathway has not been established. Recent research on the invertebrate species involving biogenesis of lysosomal enzymes suggests a possible conserved pathway in invertebrates. This review presents certain observations based on these processes that include biochemical, immunological and functional studies. Major conclusions include conservation of MPR-dependent pathway in higher invertebrates and recent evidence suggests that MPR-independent pathway might have been more prominent among lower invertebrates. The possible components of MPR-independent pathway that may play a role in lysosomal enzyme targeting are also discussed here.

  4. MARKETING OBJECTIVES OF RETAILERS WITH DIFFERENTIATED GOODS: AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tiaojun XIAO; Gang YU

    2006-01-01

    In the real world, revenue maximization behavior may prevail in various markets. To understand this phenomenon, we develop a two-population model with two-vertically integrated channels. Every channel consists of one manufacturer and many (a sufficiently large number of) retailers that sell products in different markets by adopting pure marketing objective strategies: profit maximization and revenue maximization. We study the marketing objective behaviors in the quantity-setting duopoly and the price-setting duopoly situations respectively from an indirect evolutionary point of view. In the quantity-setting duopoly situation, we find that whether the equilibrium is an evolutionarily stable strategy depends on the type of strategic interaction (substitutes or complements), relative unit cost, market scale, etc. We extend it to the case with continuous preferences. We argue that revenue maximization may be an evolutionarily stable strategy and profit maximization strategy may be unstable. Under proper conditions, revenue maximization behavior can coexist with profit maximization behavior. In the price-setting duopoly situation with linear demand functions, we find that profit maximization is always an evolutionarily stable strategy and revenue maximization behavior will gradually become extinct. The extended model has a similar result but the retailers may compromise the two pure strategies.

  5. Body plan of turtles: an anatomical, developmental and evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Uchida, Katsuhisa; Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2012-03-01

    The evolution of the turtle shell has long been one of the central debates in comparative anatomy. The turtle shell consists of dorsal and ventral parts: the carapace and plastron, respectively. The basic structure of the carapace comprises vertebrae and ribs. The pectoral girdle of turtles sits inside the carapace or the rib cage, in striking contrast to the body plan of other tetrapods. Due to this topological change in the arrangement of skeletal elements, the carapace has been regarded as an example of evolutionary novelty that violates the ancestral body plan of tetrapods. Comparing the spatial relationships of anatomical structures in the embryos of turtles and other amniotes, we have shown that the topology of the musculoskeletal system is largely conserved even in turtles. The positional changes seen in the ribs and pectoral girdle can be ascribed to turtle-specific folding of the lateral body wall in the late developmental stages. Whereas the ribs of other amniotes grow from the axial domain to the lateral body wall, turtle ribs remain arrested axially. Marginal growth of the axial domain in turtle embryos brings the morphologically short ribs in to cover the scapula dorsocaudally. This concentric growth appears to be induced by the margin of the carapace, which involves an ancestral gene expression cascade in a new location. These comparative developmental data allow us to hypothesize the gradual evolution of turtles, which is consistent with the recent finding of a transitional fossil animal, Odontochelys, which did not have the carapace but already possessed the plastron.

  6. 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…

  7. The ecology of cancer from an evolutionary game theory perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Jorge M; Santos, Francisco C; Dingli, David

    2014-08-06

    The accumulation of somatic mutations, to which the cellular genome is permanently exposed, often leads to cancer. Analysis of any tumour shows that, besides the malignant cells, one finds other 'supporting' cells such as fibroblasts, immune cells of various types and even blood vessels. Together, these cells generate the microenvironment that enables the malignant cell population to grow and ultimately lead to disease. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of tumour growth and response to therapy is incomplete unless the interactions between the malignant cells and normal cells are investigated in the environment in which they take place. The complex interactions between cells in such an ecosystem result from the exchange of information in the form of cytokines- and adhesion-dependent interactions. Such processes impose costs and benefits to the participating cells that may be conveniently recast in the form of a game pay-off matrix. As a result, tumour progression and dynamics can be described in terms of evolutionary game theory (EGT), which provides a convenient framework in which to capture the frequency-dependent nature of ecosystem dynamics. Here, we provide a tutorial review of the central aspects of EGT, establishing a relation with the problem of cancer. Along the way, we also digress on fitness and of ways to compute it. Subsequently, we show how EGT can be applied to the study of the various manifestations and dynamics of multiple myeloma bone disease and its preceding condition known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. We translate the complex biochemical signals into costs and benefits of different cell types, thus defining a game pay-off matrix. Then we use the well-known properties of the EGT equations to reduce the number of core parameters that characterize disease evolution. Finally, we provide an interpretation of these core parameters in terms of what their function is in the ecosystem we are describing and generate

  8. Relationships and the social brain: integrating psychological and evolutionary perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutcliffe, Alistair; Dunbar, Robin; Binder, Jens; Arrow, Holly

    2012-05-01

    Psychological studies of relationships tend to focus on specific types of close personal relationships (romantic, parent-offspring, friendship) and examine characteristics of both the individuals and the dyad. This paper looks more broadly at the wider range of relationships that constitute an individual's personal social world. Recent work on the composition of personal social networks suggests that they consist of a series of layers that differ in the quality and quantity of relationships involved. Each layer increases relationship numbers by an approximate multiple of 3 (5-15-50-150) but decreasing levels of intimacy (strong, medium, and weak ties) and frequency of interaction. To account for these regularities, we draw on both social and evolutionary psychology to argue that relationships at different layers serve different functions and have different cost-benefit profiles. At each layer, the benefits are asymptotic but the costs of maintaining a relationship at that level (most obviously, the time that has to be invested in servicing it) are roughly linear with the number of relationships. The trade-off between costs and benefits at a given level, and across the different types of demands and resources typical of different levels, gives rise to a distribution of social effort that generates and maintains a hierarchy of layered sets of relationships within social networks. We suggest that, psychologically, these trade-offs are related to the level of trust in a relationship, and that this is itself a function of the time invested in the relationship. ©2011 The British Psychological Society.

  9. Why Shops Close Again : An Evolutionary Perspective on the Deregulation of Shopping Hours

    OpenAIRE

    Kosfeld, M.

    1999-01-01

    This paper introduces a new perspective on the deregulation of shopping hours based on ideas from evolutionary game theory. We study a retail economy where shopping hours have been deregulated recently. It is argued that first, the deregulation leads to a coordination problem between store owners and customers, and second, the ‘solution’ to this problem depends on the specific cost structure of stores and the preferences of customers. In particular, it may happen that, even if extended shoppi...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charbel Niño El-Hani

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT. In this paper, we argue for a taxonomy of approaches to function based on different epistemological perspectives assumed with regard to the treatment of this central concept in the life sciences. We distinguish between etiological and organizational perspectives on function, analyzing two distinct theories related to each perspective: Wright’s selectionist etiological approach and Godfrey-Smith’s modern history theory of functions, in the case of the etiological perspective; and Cummins’ functional analysis and Collier’s interactivist approach to function, among organizational accounts. We explain differences and similarities between these theories and the broader perspectives on function, arguing for a particular way of understanding the consensus without unity in debates about function. While explaining the accounts of function, we also deal with the relationship between this concept and other important biological concepts, such as adaptation, selection, complexity, and autonomy. We also advance an argument for the limits and prospects of the explanatory role of function in evolution. By arguing that changes in functionality are always grounded on changes in systems’ organization, we show that function can never explain the origins of traits. Nevertheless, it can explain the spread of traits in populations, but only when we are dealing with functionally novel traits. Finally, we stress that organizational accounts of function are needed to understand how new functions appear by means of changes in systems’ organization. KEYWORDS: Function; Teleology; Explanation; Etiology; Organization.   RESUMEN. En este artículo, argumentamos a favor de una taxonomía de abordajes sobre función basada en diferentes perspectivas epistemológicas a cerca del tratamiento de este concepto central en las ciencias de la vida. Distinguimos entre perspectivas etiológicas y organizacionales sobre función, analizando dos teorías distintas

  13. 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…

  14. An evolutionary perspective on the immunomodulatory role of hydrogen sulphide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivers-Auty, J

    2015-11-01

    Most preclinical studies on endogenous hydrogen sulphide signalling have given little consideration to the fact that the human body contains more bacterial cells than human cells, and that evolution provides the context for all biology. Whether hydrogen sulphide is pro or anti-inflammatory is heavily debated within the literature, yet researchers have not fully considered that invasive bacteria produce hydrogen sulphide, often at levels far above the endogenous levels of the host. Here I argue that if hydrogen sulphide is an endogenous signalling molecule with immunomodulatory functions, then it must have evolved in the presence of virulent bacteria which produce hydrogen sulphide. This context leads to two competing theories about the evolution of endogenous hydrogen sulphide signalling. The detectable emission theory proposes that bacteria produce hydrogen sulphide as part of normal metabolism and hosts which evolved to detect and respond to this hydrogen sulphide would gain a selective survival advantage. This predicts that the endogenous production of hydrogen sulphide is a mechanism which amplifies the bacterial hydrogen sulphide signal. The opposing protective agent theory predicts that bacterial hydrogen sulphide is an effective defence against the bactericidal mechanisms of the host's immune response. In this case, endogenous hydrogen sulphide production is either at inconsequential levels to alter the immune response, or is involved in the inflammation resolution process. Evidence suggests that the direct interactions of hydrogen sulphide with the bactericidal mechanisms of the innate immune system are most congruent with the protective agent theory. Therefore, I argue that if hydrogen sulphide is an immunomodulatory endogenous signalling molecule its effects are most likely anti-inflammatory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman, Yair

    2014-12-01

    The term "personality" is used to describe a distinctive and relatively stable set of mental traits that aim to explain the organism's behavior. The concept of personality that emerged in human psychology has been also applied to the study of non-human organisms from birds to horses. In this paper, I critically review the concept of personality from an interdisciplinary perspective, and point to some ideas that may be used for developing a cognitive-biological theory of personality. Integrating theories and research findings from various fields such as cognitive ethnology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience, I argue that the common denominator of various personality theories are neural systems of threat/trust management and their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions. In this context, personality may be also conceived as a meta-heuristics both human and non-human organisms apply to model and predict the behavior of others. The paper concludes by suggesting a minimal computational model of personality that may guide future research.

  18. Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman, Yair

    2014-12-01

    The term "personality" is used to describe a distinctive and relatively stable set of mental traits that aim to explain the organism's behavior. The concept of personality that emerged in human psychology has been also applied to the study of non-human organisms from birds to horses. In this paper, I critically review the concept of personality from an interdisciplinary perspective, and point to some ideas that may be used for developing a cognitive-biological theory of personality. Integrating theories and research findings from various fields such as cognitive ethnology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience, I argue that the common denominator of various personality theories are neural systems of threat/trust management and their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions. In this context, personality may be also conceived as a meta-heuristics both human and non-human organisms apply to model and predict the behavior of others. The paper concludes by suggesting a minimal computational model of personality that may guide future research. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A dynamic parking charge optimal control model under perspective of commuters' evolutionary game behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, XuXun; Yuan, PengCheng

    2018-01-01

    In this research we consider commuters' dynamic learning effect by modeling the trip mode choice behavior from a new perspective of dynamic evolutionary game theory. We explore the behavior pattern of different types of commuters and study the evolution path and equilibrium properties under different traffic conditions. We further establish a dynamic parking charge optimal control (referred to as DPCOC) model to alter commuters' trip mode choice while minimizing the total social cost. Numerical tests show. (1) Under fixed parking fee policy, the evolutionary results are completely decided by the travel time and the only method for public transit induction is to increase the parking charge price. (2) Compared with fixed parking fee policy, DPCOC policy proposed in this research has several advantages. Firstly, it can effectively turn the evolutionary path and evolutionary stable strategy to a better situation while minimizing the total social cost. Secondly, it can reduce the sensitivity of trip mode choice behavior to traffic congestion and improve the ability to resist interferences and emergencies. Thirdly, it is able to control the private car proportion to a stable state and make the trip behavior more predictable for the transportation management department. The research results can provide theoretical basis and decision-making references for commuters' mode choice prediction, dynamic setting of urban parking charge prices and public transit induction.

  20. 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).

  1. Transdisciplinary Perspectives in Bioethics: A Co-evolutionary Introduction from the Big History

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Collado-Ruano

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this work is to expand the bioethics notion expressed in the Article 17th of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, concerning the interconnections between human beings and other life forms. For this purpose, it is combined the transdisciplinary methodology with the theoretical framework of the “Big History” to approach the co-evolutionary phenomena that life is developing on Earth for some 3.8 billion years. As a result, the study introduces us to the unification, integration and inclusion of the history of the universe, the solar system, Earth, and life with the history of human beings. In conclusion, I consider to safeguard the cosmic miracle that represents the emergence of life we must adopt new transdisciplinary perspectives into bioethics to address the ecosystem complexity of co-evolutionary processes of life on Gaia as a whole.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Exercise and cognitive function: a hypothesis for the association of type II diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer's disease from an evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brito Gilberto NO

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The association of type II diabetes mellitus (DM2 with Alzheimer's disease (AD has received considerable attention in recent years. In the present paper, a hypothesis for this association from an evolutionary perspective, with emphasis on the close interplay between exercise and cognitive function, will be advanced in order to provide a biological rationale for the notion that the fundamental metabolic features of DM2 act in the brain over a protracted time span to induce the neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease thereby producing cognitive impairment. It is hoped that this hypothesis puts the association of DM2 and AD on firm conceptual grounds from a biological perspective and offers directions for further research.

  5. The hormetic zone: an ecological and evolutionary perspective based upon habitat characteristics and fitness selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, P A

    2001-12-01

    Fitness varies nonlinearly with environmental variables such as temperature, water availability, and nutrition, with maximum fitness at intermediate levels between more stressful extremes. For environmental agents that are highly toxic at exposures that substantially exceed background levels, fitness is maximized at concentrations near zero--a phenomenon often referred to as hormesis. Two main components are suggested: (1) background hormesis, which derives from the direct adaptation of organisms to their habitats; and (2) stress-derived hormonesis, which derives from metabolic reserves that are maintained as an adaptation to environmental stresses through evolutionary time. These reserves provide protection from lesser correlated stresses. This article discusses illustrative examples, including ethanol and ionizing radiation, aimed at placing hormesis into an ecological and evolutionary context. A unifying approach comes from fitness-stress continua that underlie responses to abiotic variables, whereby selection for maximum metabolic efficiency and hence fitness in adaptation to habitats in nature underlies hormetic zones. Within this reductionist model, more specific metabolic mechanisms to explain hormesis are beginning to emerge, depending upon the agent and the taxon in question. Some limited research possibilities based upon this evolutionary perspective are indicated.

  6. 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

  7. A Critical Perspective on Synthetic Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Michel Morange

    2009-01-01

    Synthetic biology emerged around 2000 as a new biological discipline. It shares with systems biology the same modular vision of organisms, but is more concerned with applications than with a better understanding of the functioning of organisms. A herald of this new discipline is Craig Venter who aims to create an artificial microorganism with the minimal genome compatible with life and to implement into it different 'functional modules' to generate new micro-organisms adapted to specific task...

  8. Tritium biological effects and perspective of the biological study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Komatsu, Kenshi

    1998-01-01

    Since tritium is an emitter of weak β-rays (5.7keV) and is able to bind to DNA, i.e., the most important genome component, the biological effects should be expected to be more profound than that of X-rays and γ-rays. When carcinogenesis, genetical effects and the detriments for fetus and embryo were used as a biological endpoint, most of tritium RBE (relative biological effectiveness) ranged from 1 to 2. The tritium risk in man could be calculated from these RBEs and γ-ray risk for human exposure, which are obtained mainly from the data on Atomic Bomb survivors. However, the exposure modality from environmental tritium should be a chronic irradiation with ultra low dose rate or a fractionated irradiation. We must estimate the tritium effect in man based on biological experiments alone, due to lack of such epidemiological data. Low dose rate experiment should be always accompanied by the statistical problem of data, since their biological effects are fairy low, and they should involve a possible repair system, such as adaptive response (or hormesis effect) and 'Kada effect' observed in bacteria. Here we discuss future works for the tritium assessment in man, such as (1) developing a high radiation sensitive assay system with rodent hybrid cells containing a single human chromosome and also (2) study on mammal DNA repair at molecular levels using a radiosensitive hereditary disease, Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome. (author)

  9. Perspective: Reaches of chemical physics in biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruebele, Martin; Thirumalai, D.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical physics as a discipline contributes many experimental tools, algorithms, and fundamental theoretical models that can be applied to biological problems. This is especially true now as the molecular level and the systems level descriptions begin to connect, and multi-scale approaches are being developed to solve cutting edge problems in biology. In some cases, the concepts and tools got their start in non-biological fields, and migrated over, such as the idea of glassy landscapes, fluorescence spectroscopy, or master equation approaches. In other cases, the tools were specifically developed with biological physics applications in mind, such as modeling of single molecule trajectories or super-resolution laser techniques. In this introduction to the special topic section on chemical physics of biological systems, we consider a wide range of contributions, all the way from the molecular level, to molecular assemblies, chemical physics of the cell, and finally systems-level approaches, based on the contributions to this special issue. Chemical physicists can look forward to an exciting future where computational tools, analytical models, and new instrumentation will push the boundaries of biological inquiry. PMID:24089712

  10. Perspective: Reaches of chemical physics in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruebele, Martin; Thirumalai, D

    2013-09-28

    Chemical physics as a discipline contributes many experimental tools, algorithms, and fundamental theoretical models that can be applied to biological problems. This is especially true now as the molecular level and the systems level descriptions begin to connect, and multi-scale approaches are being developed to solve cutting edge problems in biology. In some cases, the concepts and tools got their start in non-biological fields, and migrated over, such as the idea of glassy landscapes, fluorescence spectroscopy, or master equation approaches. In other cases, the tools were specifically developed with biological physics applications in mind, such as modeling of single molecule trajectories or super-resolution laser techniques. In this introduction to the special topic section on chemical physics of biological systems, we consider a wide range of contributions, all the way from the molecular level, to molecular assemblies, chemical physics of the cell, and finally systems-level approaches, based on the contributions to this special issue. Chemical physicists can look forward to an exciting future where computational tools, analytical models, and new instrumentation will push the boundaries of biological inquiry.

  11. 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.

  12. Systems Biology — the Broader Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Bard

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Systems biology has two general aims: a narrow one, which is to discover how complex networks of proteins work, and a broader one, which is to integrate the molecular and network data with the generation and function of organism phenotypes. Doing all this involves complex methodologies, but underpinning the subject are more general conceptual problems about upwards and downwards causality, complexity and information storage, and their solutions provide the constraints within which these methodologies can be used. This essay considers these general aspects and the particular role of protein networks; their functional outputs are often the processes driving phenotypic change and physiological function—networks are, in a sense, the units of systems biology much as proteins are for molecular biology. It goes on to argue that the natural language for systems-biological descriptions of biological phenomena is the mathematical graph (a set of connected facts of the general form [process] (e.g., [activates] . Such graphs not only integrate events at different levels but emphasize the distributed nature of control as well as displaying a great deal of data. The implications and successes of these ideas for physiology, pharmacology, development and evolution are briefly considered. The paper concludes with some challenges for the future.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. An Evolutionary Perspective on Family Studies: Differential Susceptibility to Environmental Influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Sarah; Belsky, Jay

    2016-12-01

    An evolutionary perspective of human development provides the basis for the differential-susceptibility hypothesis which stipulates that individuals should differ in their susceptibility to environmental influences, with some being more affected than others by both positive and negative developmental experiences and environmental exposures. This paper reviews evidence consistent with this claim while revealing that temperamental and genetic characteristics play a role in distinguishing more and less susceptible individuals. The differential-susceptibility framework under consideration is contrasted to the traditional diathesis-stress view that "vulnerability" traits predispose some to being disproportionately affected by (only) adverse experiences. We raise several issues stimulated by the literature that need to be clarified in further research. Lastly, we suggest that therapy may differ in its effects depending on an individual's susceptibility. © 2015 Family Process Institute.

  18. 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.

  19. Children's risky play from an evolutionary perspective: the anti-phobic effects of thrilling experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandseter, Ellen Beate Hansen; Kennair, Leif Edward Ottesen

    2011-06-21

    This theoretical article views children's risky play from an evolutionary perspective, addressing specific evolutionary functions and especially the anti-phobic effects of risky play. According to the non-associative theory, a contemporary approach to the etiology of anxiety, children develop fears of certain stimuli (e.g., heights and strangers) that protect them from situations they are not mature enough to cope with, naturally through infancy. Risky play is a set of motivated behaviors that both provide the child with an exhilarating positive emotion and expose the child to the stimuli they previously have feared. As the child's coping skills improve, these situations and stimuli may be mastered and no longer be feared. Thus fear caused by maturational and age relevant natural inhibition is reduced as the child experiences a motivating thrilling activation, while learning to master age adequate challenges. It is concluded that risky play may have evolved due to this anti-phobic effect in normal child development, and it is suggested that we may observe an increased neuroticism or psychopathology in society if children are hindered from partaking in age adequate risky play.

  20. Children's Risky Play from an Evolutionary Perspective: The Anti-Phobic Effects of Thrilling Experiences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available This theoretical article views children's risky play from an evolutionary perspective, addressing specific evolutionary functions and especially the anti-phobic effects of risky play. According to the non-associative theory, a contemporary approach to the etiology of anxiety, children develop fears of certain stimuli (e.g., heights and strangers that protect them from situations they are not mature enough to cope with, naturally through infancy. Risky play is a set of motivated behaviors that both provide the child with an exhilarating positive emotion and expose the child to the stimuli they previously have feared. As the child's coping skills improve, these situations and stimuli may be mastered and no longer be feared. Thus fear caused by maturational and age relevant natural inhibition is reduced as the child experiences a motivating thrilling activation, while learning to master age adequate challenges. It is concluded that risky play may have evolved due to this anti-phobic effect in normal child development, and it is suggested that we may observe an increased neuroticism or psychopathology in society if children are hindered from partaking in age adequate risky play.

  1. A CO-EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE AND ITS APPLICATION TO THE THEORY OF ORGANIZATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Luciane Scherer

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This article pointed out the reasons and possibilities of co-evolutionary studies, requirements and problems to develop such studies, as well as discuss some of the central theoretical frameworks to the theory of organizations, from the perspective of coevolution (lewin and volberda , 1999. From this, we identify the possible links that can be established between different lenses of study, when integrated into a co-evolutionary study. Such links are drawn by taking the analysis of institutional theory (dimaggio and powell, 1991; meyer and rowan, 1991; scott, 1995, the transaction costs theory (williamson, 1981 and the theory of social relations in economic action (granovetter, 1992. Thus, it is expected to contribute to the discussion about the possibilities for greater integration in organizational studies, when calling attention to the importance of moving toward a more inclusive, taking into account the macro economic and social dynamics and their impact on the level the firm (in terms of effect size, identity, culture and learning processes and its inverse relationships - from the firm to the macro environment.

  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. Progenitor cells in the kidney: biology and therapeutic perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rookmaaker, M.B.; Verhaar, M.C.; Zonneveld, A.J. van; Rabelink, T.J.

    2004-01-01

    Progenitor cells in the kidney: Biology and therapeutic perspectives. The stem cell may be viewed as an engineer who can read the blue print and become the building. The role of this fascinating cell in physiology and pathophysiology has recently attracted a great deal of interest. The archetype of

  5. Forest soil biology-timber harvesting relationships: a perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. F. Jurgensen; M. J. Larsen; A. E. Harvey

    1979-01-01

    Timber harvesting has a pronounced effect on the soil microflora by wood removal and changing properties. This paper gives a perspective on soil biology-harvesting relationships with emphasis on the northern Rocky Mountain region. Of special significance to forest management operations are the effects of soil micro-organisms on: the availability of soil nutrients,...

  6. Silencing of Transposable Elements by piRNAs in Drosophila: An Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Shiqi; Lu, Jian

    2017-06-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are DNA sequences that can move within the genome. TEs have greatly shaped the genomes, transcriptomes, and proteomes of the host organisms through a variety of mechanisms. However, TEs generally disrupt genes and destabilize the host genomes, which substantially reduce fitness of the host organisms. Understanding the genomic distribution and evolutionary dynamics of TEs will greatly deepen our understanding of the TE-mediated biological processes. Most TE insertions are highly polymorphic in Drosophila melanogaster, providing us a good system to investigate the evolution of TEs at the population level. Decades of theoretical and experimental studies have well established "transposition-selection" population genetics model, which assumes that the equilibrium between TE replication and purifying selection determines the copy number of TEs in the genome. In the last decade, P-element-induced wimpy testis (PIWI)-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) were demonstrated to be master repressors of TE activities in Drosophila. The discovery of piRNAs revolutionized our understanding of TE repression, because it reveals that the host organisms have evolved an adaptive mechanism to defend against TE invasion. Tremendous progress has been made to understand the molecular mechanisms by which piRNAs repress active TEs, although many details in this process remain to be further explored. The interaction between piRNAs and TEs well explains the molecular mechanisms underlying hybrid dysgenesis for the I-R and P-M systems in Drosophila, which have puzzled evolutionary biologists for decades. The piRNA repression pathway provides us an unparalleled system to study the co-evolutionary process between parasites and host organisms. Copyright © 2017 Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Genetics Society of China. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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'…

  8. A fungal perspective on conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Barron, Elizabeth S; Boddy, Lynne; Dahlberg, Anders; Griffith, Gareth W; Nordén, Jenni; Ovaskainen, Otso; Perini, Claudia; Senn-Irlet, Beatrice; Halme, Panu

    2015-02-01

    Hitherto fungi have rarely been considered in conservation biology, but this is changing as the field moves from addressing single species issues to an integrative ecosystem-based approach. The current emphasis on biodiversity as a provider of ecosystem services throws the spotlight on the vast diversity of fungi, their crucial roles in terrestrial ecosystems, and the benefits of considering fungi in concert with animals and plants. We reviewed the role of fungi in ecosystems and composed an overview of the current state of conservation of fungi. There are 5 areas in which fungi can be readily integrated into conservation: as providers of habitats and processes important for other organisms; as indicators of desired or undesired trends in ecosystem functioning; as indicators of habitats of conservation value; as providers of powerful links between human societies and the natural world because of their value as food, medicine, and biotechnological tools; and as sources of novel tools and approaches for conservation of megadiverse organism groups. We hope conservation professionals will value the potential of fungi, engage mycologists in their work, and appreciate the crucial role of fungi in nature. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. AID Biology: A pathological and clinical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, Meenal; Tamrakar, Anubhav; Singh, Amit Kumar; Jain, Monika; Jaiswal, Ankit; Kodgire, Prashant

    2018-01-02

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), primarily expressed in activated mature B lymphocytes in germinal centers, is the key factor in adaptive immune response against foreign antigens. AID is responsible for producing high-affinity and high-specificity antibodies against an infectious agent, through the physiological DNA alteration processes of antibody genes by somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class-switch recombination (CSR) and functions by deaminating deoxycytidines (dC) to deoxyuridines (dU), thereby introducing point mutations and double-stranded chromosomal breaks (DSBs). The beneficial physiological role of AID in antibody diversification is outweighed by its detrimental role in the genesis of several chronic immune diseases, under non-physiological conditions. This review offers a comprehensive and better understanding of AID biology and its pathological aspects, as well as addresses the challenges involved in AID-related cancer therapeutics, based on various recent advances and evidence available in the literature till date. In this article, we discuss ways through which our interpretation of AID biology may reflect upon novel clinical insights, which could be successfully translated into designing clinical trials and improving patient prognosis and disease management.

  10. 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

  11. Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Makarov, Dmitrii E., E-mail: makarov@cm.utexas.edu [Department of Chemistry and Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States)

    2016-01-21

    Coupling of mechanical forces and chemical transformations is central to the biophysics of molecular machines, polymer chemistry, fracture mechanics, tribology, and other disciplines. As a consequence, the same physical principles and theoretical models should be applicable in all of those fields; in fact, similar models have been invoked (and often repeatedly reinvented) to describe, for example, cell adhesion, dry and wet friction, propagation of cracks, and action of molecular motors. This perspective offers a unified view of these phenomena, described in terms of chemical kinetics with rates of elementary steps that are force dependent. The central question is then to describe how the rate of a chemical transformation (and its other measurable properties such as the transition path) depends on the applied force. I will describe physical models used to answer this question and compare them with experimental measurements, which employ single-molecule force spectroscopy and which become increasingly common. Multidimensionality of the underlying molecular energy landscapes and the ensuing frequent misalignment between chemical and mechanical coordinates result in a number of distinct scenarios, each showing a nontrivial force dependence of the reaction rate. I will discuss these scenarios, their commonness (or its lack), and the prospects for their experimental validation. Finally, I will discuss open issues in the field.

  12. Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makarov, Dmitrii E.

    2016-01-01

    Coupling of mechanical forces and chemical transformations is central to the biophysics of molecular machines, polymer chemistry, fracture mechanics, tribology, and other disciplines. As a consequence, the same physical principles and theoretical models should be applicable in all of those fields; in fact, similar models have been invoked (and often repeatedly reinvented) to describe, for example, cell adhesion, dry and wet friction, propagation of cracks, and action of molecular motors. This perspective offers a unified view of these phenomena, described in terms of chemical kinetics with rates of elementary steps that are force dependent. The central question is then to describe how the rate of a chemical transformation (and its other measurable properties such as the transition path) depends on the applied force. I will describe physical models used to answer this question and compare them with experimental measurements, which employ single-molecule force spectroscopy and which become increasingly common. Multidimensionality of the underlying molecular energy landscapes and the ensuing frequent misalignment between chemical and mechanical coordinates result in a number of distinct scenarios, each showing a nontrivial force dependence of the reaction rate. I will discuss these scenarios, their commonness (or its lack), and the prospects for their experimental validation. Finally, I will discuss open issues in the field

  13. Developmental and Evolutionary Perspectives on the Origin and Diversification of Arthropod Appendages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jockusch, Elizabeth L

    2017-09-01

    Jointed, segmented appendages are a key innovation of arthropods. The subsequent diversification of these appendages, both along the body axis and across taxa, has contributed to the evolutionary success of arthropods. Both developmental and fossil data are informative for understanding how these transitions occurred. Comparative analyses help to pinpoint the developmental novelties that distinguish arthropod appendages from the lobopodous appendages of other panarthropods, and that distinguish different appendage types. The fossil record of stem group arthropods is diverse and preserves intermediate steps in these evolutionary transitions, including some that cannot be directly inferred based on extant taxa. These lead to hypotheses that can be tested with comparative developmental data, as well as to reinterpretations of developmental results. One developmental novelty of arthropods is the reiterated deployment of the joint formation network, which divides the appendages into segments. The fossil record raises questions about how this joint formation network was first deployed, given the contrasting morphologies of appendages in stem group versus extant arthropods. The fossil record supports a character tree for appendage diversification showing progressive individuation of appendages in an anterior-to-posterior sequence. However, to date, developmental evidence provides at best limited support for this character tree. Recent interpretations of the fossil record suggest that the labrum of extant arthropods is a greatly reduced protocerebral appendage pair; this hypothesis is consistent with the extensive shared developmental patterning of the labrum and jointed appendages. Reciprocal illumination from fossils and developmental patterning in a phylogenetic context both makes sense of some results and helps motivates questions for future research. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative

  14. An evolutionary perspective of AMPK-TOR signaling in the three domains of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roustan, Valentin; Jain, Arpit; Teige, Markus; Ebersberger, Ingo; Weckwerth, Wolfram

    2016-06-01

    AMPK and TOR protein kinases are the major control points of energy signaling in eukaryotic cells and organisms. They form the core of a complex regulatory network to co-ordinate metabolic activities in the cytosol with those in the mitochondria and plastids. Despite its relevance, it is still unclear when and how this regulatory pathway was formed during evolution, and to what extent its representations in the major eukaryotic lineages resemble each other. Here we have traced 153 essential proteins forming the human AMPK-TOR pathways across 412 species representing all three domains of life-prokaryotes (bacteria, archaea) and eukaryotes-and reconstructed their evolutionary history. The resulting phylogenetic profiles indicate the presence of primordial core pathways including seven proto-kinases in the last eukaryotic common ancestor. The evolutionary origins of the oldest components of the AMPK pathway, however, extend into the pre-eukaryotic era, and descendants of these ancient proteins can still be found in contemporary prokaryotes. The TOR complex in turn appears as a eukaryotic invention, possibly to aid in retrograde signaling between the mitochondria and the remainder of the cell. Within the eukaryotes, AMPK/TOR showed both a highly conserved core structure and a considerable plasticity. Most notably, KING1, a protein originally assigned as the γ subunit of AMPK in plants, is more closely related to the yeast SDS23 gene family than to the γ subunits in animals or fungi. This suggests its functional difference from a canonical AMPK γ subunit. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Critical thinking: concept analysis from the perspective of Rodger's evolutionary method of concept analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fábio da Costa Carbogim

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective: to analyze the concept of critical thinking (CT in Rodger's evolutionary perspective. Method: documentary research undertaken in the Cinahl, Lilacs, Bdenf and Dedalus databases, using the keywords of 'critical thinking' and 'Nursing', without limitation based on year of publication. The data were analyzed in accordance with the stages of Rodger's conceptual model. The following were included: books and articles in full, published in Portuguese, English or Spanish, which addressed CT in the teaching and practice of Nursing; articles which did not address aspects related to the concept of CT were excluded. Results: the sample was made up of 42 works. As a substitute term, emphasis is placed on 'analytical thinking', and, as a related factor, decision-making. In order, the most frequent preceding and consequent attributes were: ability to analyze, training of the student nurse, and clinical decision-making. As the implications of CT, emphasis is placed on achieving effective results in care for the patient, family and community. Conclusion: CT is a cognitive skill which involves analysis, logical reasoning and clinical judgment, geared towards the resolution of problems, and standing out in the training and practice of the nurse with a view to accurate clinical decision-making and the achieving of effective results.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Is capitalism in our genes? Competition, cooperation and the idea of homo oeconomicus from an evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Portera Mariagrazia

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last few years a growing number of academic disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences have turned to the evolutionary approach: Evolutionary Economics, among these disciplines, is a thriving subfield of Economics, which adopts Darwin’s evolutionary ideas and concepts for the understanding of economic system and modes of production. Evolutionary hypotheses such as the „selfish gene“ idea, the ideas of „inclusive fitness“, „struggle for life“ and „survival of the fittest“ may suggest - and have indeed suggested - that humans are rational self-interest individuals, doing what they can to increase their own reproductive chances or at least the chances of their close relatives („inclusive fitness“. To put it differently, evolutionary theory seems to suggest that capitalism (in a broad sense is a system that has co-evolved with humans and best fits our evolved psychology. Is this the whole story? Is capitalism „in our genes“? In this paper I argue that conclusions such as „we are born to be rational self-interested agents“ or „capitalism is encoded in our genome“ are the result of a misleading application of Darwin’s evolutionary theory to human socio-economic processes, mainly to justify a (Western society based on selfish principles, but which is not naturally selfish in itself. Evolution seems to be the result of cooperative, not only (or not mainly competitive processes, and the model of Homo oeconomicus, that is the idea that humans are rational self-interested agents always trying to maximize profit, is, also from an bio-evolutionary perspective, nothing more than a fictional exercise.

  19. Taking the conservation biology perspective to secondary school classrooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyner, Yael; Desalle, Rob

    2010-06-01

    The influence of conservation biology can be enhanced greatly if it reaches beyond undergraduate biology to students at the middle and high school levels. If a conservation perspective were taught in secondary schools, students who are not interested in biology could be influenced to pursue careers or live lifestyles that would reduce the negative impact of humans on the world. We use what we call the ecology-disrupted approach to transform the topics of conservation biology research into environmental-issue and ecology topics, the major themes of secondary school courses in environmental science. In this model, students learn about the importance and complexity of normal ecological processes by studying what goes wrong when people disrupt them (environmental issues). Many studies published in Conservation Biology are related in some way to the ecological principles being taught in secondary schools. Describing research in conservation biology in the language of ecology curricula in secondary schools can help bring these science stories to the classroom and give them a context in which they can be understood by students. Without this context in the curriculum, a science story can devolve into just another environmental issue that has no immediate effect on the daily lives of students. Nevertheless, if the research is placed in the context of larger ecological processes that are being taught, students can gain a better understanding of ecology and a better understanding of their effect on the world.

  20. 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.

  1. Maternal capital and the metabolic ghetto: An evolutionary perspective on the transgenerational basis of health inequalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jonathan C K

    2010-01-01

    There is particular interest in understanding socioeconomic and ethnic variability in health status. The developmental origins of disease hypothesis emphasize the importance of growth patterns across the life-course in relation to noncommunicable disease risk. The physiological components of cardiovascular risk, collectively termed the metabolic syndrome, derive in part from a disparity between the homeostatic "metabolic capacity" of vital organs and the "metabolic load" induced by large tissue masses, a rich diet and sedentary behavior. From an evolutionary perspective, the risk of such disparity is decreased by maternal physiology regulating offspring growth trajectory during gestation and lactation. Maternal capital, defined as phenotypic resources enabling investment in the offspring, allows effective buffering of the offspring from nutritional perturbations and represents the environmental niche initially occupied by the offspring. Offspring growth patterns are sensitive to the magnitude of maternal capital during early windows of plasticity. Offspring life-history strategy can then respond adaptively to further factors across the life-course, but only within the context of this initial maternal influence on growth. Maternal somatic capital is primarily gained or lost across generations, through variable rates of fetal and infant growth. I argue that the poor nutritional experience of populations subjected to colonialism resulted in a systematic loss of maternal capital, reflected in downward secular trends in stature. Accelerating the recovery of somatic capital within generations overloads metabolic capacity and exacerbates cardiovascular risk, reflected in increased disease rates in urbanizing and emigrant populations. Public health policies need to benefit metabolic capacity without exacerbating metabolic load. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longa, Victor Manuel

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Language cannot be reduced to biology: perspectives from neuro-developmental disorders affecting language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasanta, D

    2005-02-01

    The study of language knowledge guided by a purely biological perspective prioritizes the study of syntax. The essential process of syntax is recursion--the ability to generate an infinite array of expressions from a limited set of elements. Researchers working within the biological perspective argue that this ability is possible only because of an innately specified genetic makeup that is specific to human beings. Such a view of language knowledge may be fully justified in discussions on biolinguistics, and in evolutionary biology. However, it is grossly inadequate in understanding language-learning problems, particularly those experienced by children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as developmental dyslexia, Williams syndrome, specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorders. Specifically, syntax-centered definitions of language knowledge completely ignore certain crucial aspects of language learning and use, namely, that language is embedded in a social context; that the role of envrironmental triggering as a learning mechanism is grossly underestimated; that a considerable extent of visuo-spatial information accompanies speech in day-to-day communication; that the developmental process itself lies at the heart of knowledge acquisition; and that there is a tremendous variation in the orthographic systems associated with different languages. All these (socio-cultural) factors can influence the rate and quality of spoken and written language acquisition resulting in much variation in phenotypes associated with disorders known to have a genetic component. Delineation of such phenotypic variability requires inputs from varied disciplines such as neurobiology, neuropsychology, linguistics and communication disorders. In this paper, I discuss published research that questions cognitive modularity and emphasises the role of the environment for understanding linguistic capabilities of children with neuro-developmental disorders. The discussion pertains

  5. The effect of stochasticity on the lac operon: an evolutionary perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milan van Hoek

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The role of stochasticity on gene expression is widely discussed. Both potential advantages and disadvantages have been revealed. In some systems, noise in gene expression has been quantified, in among others the lac operon of Escherichia coli. Whether stochastic gene expression in this system is detrimental or beneficial for the cells is, however, still unclear. We are interested in the effects of stochasticity from an evolutionary point of view. We study this question in the lac operon, taking a computational approach: using a detailed, quantitative, spatial model, we evolve through a mutation-selection process the shape of the promoter function and therewith the effective amount of stochasticity. We find that noise values for lactose, the natural inducer, are much lower than for artificial, nonmetabolizable inducers, because these artificial inducers experience a stronger positive feedback. In the evolved promoter functions, noise due to stochasticity in gene expression, when induced by lactose, only plays a very minor role in short-term physiological adaptation, because other sources of population heterogeneity dominate. Finally, promoter functions evolved in the stochastic model evolve to higher repressed transcription rates than those evolved in a deterministic version of the model. This causes these promoter functions to experience less stochasticity in gene expression. We show that a high repression rate and hence high stochasticity increases the delay in lactose uptake in a variable environment. We conclude that the lac operon evolved such that the impact of stochastic gene expression is minor in its natural environment, but happens to respond with much stronger stochasticity when confronted with artificial inducers. In this particular system, we have shown that stochasticity is detrimental. Moreover, we demonstrate that in silico evolution in a quantitative model, by mutating the parameters of interest, is a promising way to unravel

  6. Integrating Biological Perspectives:. a Quantum Leap for Microarray Expression Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanke, Dierk; Kilian, Joachim; Bloss, Ulrich; Mangelsen, Elke; Supper, Jochen; Harter, Klaus; Berendzen, Kenneth W.

    2009-02-01

    Biologists and bioinformatic scientists cope with the analysis of transcript abundance and the extraction of meaningful information from microarray expression data. By exploiting biological information accessible in public databases, we try to extend our current knowledge over the plant model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we give two examples of increasing the quality of information gained from large scale expression experiments by the integration of microarray-unrelated biological information: First, we utilize Arabidopsis microarray data to demonstrate that expression profiles are usually conserved between orthologous genes of different organisms. In an initial step of the analysis, orthology has to be inferred unambiguously, which then allows comparison of expression profiles between orthologs. We make use of the publicly available microarray expression data of Arabidopsis and barley, Hordeum vulgare. We found a generally positive correlation in expression trajectories between true orthologs although both organisms are only distantly related in evolutionary time scale. Second, extracting clusters of co-regulated genes implies similarities in transcriptional regulation via similar cis-regulatory elements (CREs). Vice versa approaches, where co-regulated gene clusters are found by investigating on CREs were not successful in general. Nonetheless, in some cases the presence of CREs in a defined position, orientation or CRE-combinations is positively correlated with co-regulated gene clusters. Here, we make use of genes involved in the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway, to give one positive example for this approach.

  7. Advances in Biological Water-saving Research: Challenge and Perspectives

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lun Shan; Xiping Deng; Suiqi Zhang

    2006-01-01

    Increasing the efficiency of water use by crops continues to escalate as a topic of concern because drought is a restrictive environmental factor for crop productivity worldwide. Greater yield per unit rainfall is one of the most important challenges in water-saving agriculture. Besides water-saving by irrigation engineering and conservation tillage, a good understanding of factors limiting and/or regulating yield now provides us with an opportunity to identify and then precisely select for physiological and breeding traits that increase the efficiency of water use and drought tolerance under water-limited conditions, biological water-saving is one means of achieving this goat. A definition of biological water-saving measures is proposed which embraces improvements in water-use efficiency (WUE) and drought tolerance, by genetic improvement and physiological regulation. The preponderance of biological water-saving measures is discussed and strategies identified for working within natural resource constraints. The technology and future perspectives of biological water saving could provide not only new water-saving techniques but also a scientific base for application of water-saving irrigation and conservation tillage.

  8. THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE ON KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT: EMOTION AND REASON FROM ARISTOTELE TO DAMASIO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Annarumma

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of the reason-emotion dynamics intersects several disciplinary fields, such as psychology, medicine, informatics, linguistics, neuroscience, with a specific relevance for Education Sciences, as it offers interesting perspectives over its influence on the learning process. Such issues are rooted in philosophical reflections by Plato, Aristotle and later by Descartes, Vico and Kant. These dualistic perspectives will be definitively abandoned in favour of a globalist vision of the mind-body relationship, during the first half of the XX century, particularly thanks to Dewey (1933 who, inspired by Darwin’s theories, was the first to support this unity by recognizing an intersection among physical, mental and environmental processes. Over the last decades, an imperatively anti-dualistic analysis has been developing in the field of neurosciences and cognitive linguistics: on the one hand, cognitivism, considering the mind in its function of symbolic manipulation; on the other hand, connectionism, studying neural networks. Furthermore, recent scientific research has allowed mapping in a detailed - albeit admittedly incomplete manner - the complex activity of the brain and highlighting analogies between elementary connections and complex interactions. The systemic perspective is hence considering “mind and body”, “reason and emotion” as two interconnected and essential aspects of human complexity. In this regard, Damasio’s research shows how participation of the organism to conscious experience returns to the consciousness itself those biological requirements which are essential to legitimate it as an object of scientific study. Knowledge is generated by socio-experiential relationships that play a crucial role within knowledge representation. The mind takes therefore an active role in shaping the representation of the world: understanding does not just consist in a mere reproduction of the external world in our mind; instead, it

  9. 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.

  10. Evolutionary Game Analysis of Government Regulation and Enterprise Emission from the Perspective of Environmental Tax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mai, Yazong

    2017-12-01

    In the context of the upcoming implementation of the environmental tax policy, there is a need for a focus on the relationship between government regulation and corporate emissions. To achieve the real effect of environmental tax policy, government need to regulate the illegal emissions of enterprises. Based on the hypothesis of bounded rationality, this paper analyses the strategic set of government regulators and polluting enterprises in the implementation of environmental tax policy. By using the evolutionary game model, the utility function and payoff matrix of the both sides are constructed, and the evolutionary analysis and strategy adjustment of the environmental governance target and the actual profit of the stakeholders are carried out. Thus, the wrong behaviours could be corrected so that the equilibrium of the evolutionary system can be achieved gradually, which could also get the evolutionary stable strategies of the government and the polluting enterprises in the implementation of environmental tax policy.

  11. A Co-evolutionary perspective on the Drivers of International Sourcing of Pharmaceutical R&D to India

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haakonsson, Stine Jessen; Ørberg Jensen, Peter D.; M. Mudambi, Susan

    2013-01-01

    -evolutionary theory perspective embracing both firm-internal and firm-environmental factors for location attractiveness, along with institutional and industry changes. The framework integrates constructs from past research in economic geography, international business, and R&D internationalization. The Indian case......The attractiveness of the Indian pharmaceutical industry as a destination for R&D sourcing by multinational corporations (MNCs) has evolved over the past decades. This evolution has coincided with changes in MNC strategies regarding sourcing location and governance modes. We propose a co...... illustrates how host-country institutional evolution, notably regarding intellectual property rights and education, plays a significant role for international sourcing of pharmaceutical R&D....

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, Rob; van Wermeskerken, Margot

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

  17. Evolutionary history of the porpoise family (Phocoenidae) : A perspective from mitogenomes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ben Chehida, Yacine; Aguilar, A. A.; Borrell, A.; Ferreira, M.; Taylor, B.L.; Rojas-Bracho, L.; Robertson, K.; Thumloup, Julie; Schumacher, C.; Vikingsson, G.A.; Morin, Phillip A.; Fontaine, Michael Christophe

    2017-01-01

    The six species of porpoises inhabit the cold waters of the globe, displaying a textbook example of anti-tropical distribution in marine mammals. Nevertheless, the evolutionary history of the porpoises still remained poorly understood, but this knowledge is crucial to illuminate the conservation

  18. Pheromone-mediated aggregation in nonsocial arthropods: an evolutionary ecological perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B.; van Baalen, E-J.A.; Dicke, M.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2005-01-01

    Although the use of aggregation pheromones has been reported for hundreds of nonsocial arthropod species, the evolutionary ecological aspects of this behavior have received little attention. Despite the elaborate literature on mechanisms, robust data on costs and benefits of aggregation pheromones

  19. The Genetic Precursors and the Advantageous and Disadvantageous Sequelae of Inhibited Temperament: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Patrick T.; Cicchetti, Dante; Hentges, Rochelle F.; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.

    2013-01-01

    Guided by evolutionary game theory (Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005), this study aimed to identify the genetic precursors and the psychosocial sequelae of inhibited temperament in a sociodemographically disadvantaged and racially diverse sample (N = 201) of 2-year-old children who experienced elevated levels of domestic violence.…

  20. War, Trauma and Children's Development: Observations from a Modern Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belsky, Jay

    2008-01-01

    Lethal intergroup conflict has been part of the human experience ever since our species emerged on the African savannah. Modern evolutionary thinking suggests that children's development could have evolved a variety of responses to it, some of which are highlighted upon considering, from the field of behavioural ecology, life-history theory and,…

  1. Contracts and Capabilities: An Evolutionary Perspective on the Autonomy-Paternalism Debate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Deakin (Simon)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractAn evolutionary conception of contract law is suggested as a basis for assessing claims made in the autonomy-paternalism debate. Paternalism forms one part – although by no means the whole – of a discriminating approach to contract enforcement. Selective enforcement is a long-standing

  2. Evolutionary Perspectives on Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Psychiatric Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Matthew C

    2018-05-07

    Evolutionary medicine uses evolutionary theory to help elucidate why humans are vulnerable to disease and disorders. I discuss two different types of evolutionary explanations that have been used to help understand human psychiatric disorders. First, a consistent finding is that psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable, and many, such as schizophrenia, are also highly disabling and appear to decrease Darwinian fitness. Models used in evolutionary genetics to understand why genetic variation exists in fitness-related traits can be used to understand why risk alleles for psychiatric disorders persist in the population. The usual explanation for species-typical adaptations-natural selection-is less useful for understanding individual differences in genetic risk to disorders. Rather, two other types of models, mutation-selection-drift and balancing selection, offer frameworks for understanding why genetic variation in risk to psychiatric (and other) disorders exists, and each makes predictions that are now testable using whole-genome data. Second, species-typical capacities to mount reactions to negative events are likely to have been crafted by natural selection to minimize fitness loss. The pain reaction to tissue damage is almost certainly such an example, but it has been argued that the capacity to experience depressive symptoms such as sadness, anhedonia, crying, and fatigue in the face of adverse life situations may have been crafted by natural selection as well. I review the rationale and strength of evidence for this hypothesis. Evolutionary hypotheses of psychiatric disorders are important not only for offering explanations for why psychiatric disorders exist, but also for generating new, testable hypotheses and understanding how best to design studies and analyze data.

  3. 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.

  4. Decision-Making Under Risk: Integrating Perspectives From Biology, Economics, and Psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Sandeep

    2014-08-01

    Decision-making under risk has been variably characterized and examined in many different disciplines. However, interdisciplinary integration has not been forthcoming. Classic theories of decision-making have not been amply revised in light of greater empirical data on actual patterns of decision-making behavior. Furthermore, the meta-theoretical framework of evolution by natural selection has been largely ignored in theories of decision-making under risk in the human behavioral sciences. In this review, I critically examine four of the most influential theories of decision-making from economics, psychology, and biology: expected utility theory, prospect theory, risk-sensitivity theory, and heuristic approaches. I focus especially on risk-sensitivity theory, which offers a framework for understanding decision-making under risk that explicitly involves evolutionary considerations. I also review robust empirical evidence for individual differences and environmental/situational factors that predict actual risky decision-making that any general theory must account for. Finally, I offer steps toward integrating various theoretical perspectives and empirical findings on risky decision-making. © 2014 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

  5. New perspectives on evolutionary medicine: the relevance of microevolution for human health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rühli, Frank Jakobus; Henneberg, Maciej

    2013-04-29

    Evolutionary medicine (EM) is a growing field focusing on the evolutionary basis of human diseases and their changes through time. To date, the majority of EM studies have used pure theories of hominin macroevolution to explain the present-day state of human health. Here, we propose a different approach by addressing more empirical and health-oriented research concerning past, current and future microevolutionary changes of human structure, functions and pathologies. Studying generation-to-generation changes of human morphology that occurred in historical times, and still occur in present-day populations under the forces of evolution, helps to explain medical conditions and warns clinicians that their current practices may influence future humans. Also, analyzing historic tissue specimens such as mummies is crucial in order to address the molecular evolution of pathogens, of the human genome, and their coadaptations.

  6. Promiscuous behaviour of the bacterial metallohydrolase DapE : an evolutionary and mechanistic perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Uda, Narasimha Rao

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme promiscuity, defined as functional properties other than those for which they are evolved, is considered a key factor in the evolution of new enzyme functions. Many metalloproteins can be alternatively metallated, which may lead to metal-dependent promiscuity. The mechanisms and evolutionary implications of metal-mediated promiscuity appear to be underexplored, especially considering that approximately one-third of structurally characterized proteins are thought to be metalloproteins. ...

  7. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Critical thinking: concept analysis from the perspective of Rodger's evolutionary method of concept analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbogim, Fábio da Costa; Oliveira, Larissa Bertacchini de; Püschel, Vilanice Alves de Araújo

    2016-09-01

    to analyze the concept of critical thinking (CT) in Rodger's evolutionary perspective. documentary research undertaken in the Cinahl, Lilacs, Bdenf and Dedalus databases, using the keywords of 'critical thinking' and 'Nursing', without limitation based on year of publication. The data were analyzed in accordance with the stages of Rodger's conceptual model. The following were included: books and articles in full, published in Portuguese, English or Spanish, which addressed CT in the teaching and practice of Nursing; articles which did not address aspects related to the concept of CT were excluded. the sample was made up of 42 works. As a substitute term, emphasis is placed on 'analytical thinking', and, as a related factor, decision-making. In order, the most frequent preceding and consequent attributes were: ability to analyze, training of the student nurse, and clinical decision-making. As the implications of CT, emphasis is placed on achieving effective results in care for the patient, family and community. CT is a cognitive skill which involves analysis, logical reasoning and clinical judgment, geared towards the resolution of problems, and standing out in the training and practice of the nurse with a view to accurate clinical decision-making and the achieving of effective results. analisar o conceito de pensamento crítico (PC), na perspectiva evolucionista de Rodgers. pesquisa documental realizada nas bases de dados Cinahl, Lilacs, Bdenf e Dedalus, utilizando-se as palavras-chave pensamento crítico e Enfermagem, sem delimitação de ano de publicação. Os dados foram analisados conforme etapas do modelo conceitual de Rodgers. Incluíram-se livros e artigos na íntegra, publicados em português, inglês ou espanhol que abordavam o PC no ensino e prática de Enfermagem, excluindo-se estudos que não abordassem aspectos relacionados ao conceito do PC. a amostra foi constituída por 42 trabalhos. Como termo substituto, destacou-se pensamento analítico e, como

  10. [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.

  11. Evolutionary and neuropsychological perspectives on addictive behaviors and addictive substances: relevance to the “food addiction” construct

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    It has been argued that food cannot be “addictive”, unlike conventional drugs of abuse, because it is an essential part of life. In this paper, evidence is reviewed, largely from an evolutionary psychobiological perspective, that plant-based psychoactive drugs (such as those derived from the opium poppy and the coca leaf) and gambling-related behaviors were once adaptive for human health and survival in a similar manner as energy-based foods were for nourishment. “Evolutionary mismatch” viewpoints contend that certain behaviors were enhanced during the hunter-gatherer lifestyle – from which our genetic endowment had its origins – because they bestowed both survival and reproductive advantages to the species. However, in the context of advanced technology and other rapid environmental changes, these same behaviors have tended to become maladaptive and greatly overexpressed. Similar to the manufactured purification of psychotropic plant-based substances, the reward impact of processed and hyperpalatable foods, with their high levels of sugar, fat, and salt, is much increased from foods produced in nature. It is concluded therefore that what was once beneficial and necessary for our survival has been altered and ultraprocessed into edible products that may be disadvantageous and potentially addictive. PMID:25540603

  12. The neuro-immunological interface in an evolutionary perspective: the dynamic relationship between effector and recognition systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottaviani, E; Valensin, S; Franceschi, C

    1998-04-16

    The evolutionary perspective indicates that an immune-neuroendocrine effector system integrating innate immunity, stress and inflammation is present in invertebrates. This defense network, centered on the macrophage and exerting primitive and highly promiscuous recognition units, is very effective, ancestral and appears to have been conserved throughout evolution from invertebrates to higher vertebrates. It would seem that there was a "big bang" in the recognition system of lower vertebrates, and T and B cell repertoires, MHC and antibodies suddenly appeared. We argue that this phenomenon is the counterpart of the increasing complexity of the internal circuitry and recognition units in the effector system. The immediate consequences were a progressive enlargement of the pathogen repertoire and new problems regarding self/not-self discrimination. Probably not by chance, a new organ appeared, capable of purging cells able of excessive self recognition. This organ, the thymus, appears to be the result of a well known evolutionary strategy of re-using pre-existing material (neuroendocrine cells and mediators constituting the thymic microenvironment). This bricolage at an organ level is similar to the effect we have already described at the level of molecules and functions of the defense network, and has a general counterpart at genetic level. Thus, in vertebrates, the conserved immune-neuroendocrine effector system remains of fundamental importance in defense against pathogens, while its efficiency has increased through synergy with the new, clonotipical recognition repertoire.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Mucor indicus: biology and industrial application perspectives: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, Keikhosro; Zamani, Akram

    2013-01-01

    Mucor indicus, one of the most important strains of zygomycetes fungi, has been the subject of several studies since a couple of hundred years ago. This fungus, regarded as a non-pathogenic dimorphic microorganism, is used for production of several beers and foods. Morphology of the fungus can be manipulated and well controlled by changing a number of parameters. Furthermore, M. indicus can grow on a variety of substrates including lignocellulosic hydrolysates which are mixtures of hexoses, pentoses, and different severe fermentation inhibitors. Indeed, high yield ethanol production is among the most important features of this strain. Presence of considerable amounts of chitosan in the cell wall is another important aspect of the fungus. Besides production of ethanol and chitosan, the biomass of this fungus has shown a great potential to be used as a rich nutritional source, e.g. fish feed. The fungus is also among the oleaginous fungi and produces high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids particularly γ-linolenic acid. Furthermore, the biomass autolysate has a high potential for yeast extract replacement in fermentation by the fungus. Additionally, the strain has shown promising results in heavy metal removal from wastewaters. This review discusses different aspects of biology and industrial application perspectives of M. indicus. Furthermore, open areas for the future basic and applied levels of research are also presented. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Population Genomics and the Statistical Values of Race:An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Biological Classification of Human Populations and Implications for Clinical Genetic Epidemiological Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koffi N. Maglo

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The biological status and biomedical significance of the concept of race as applied to humans continue to be contentious issues despite the use of advanced statistical and clustering methods to determine continental ancestry. It is thus imperative for researchers to understand the limitations as well as potential uses of the concept of race in biology and biomedicine. This paper deals with the theoretical assumptions behind cluster analysis in human population genomics. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, it demonstrates that the hypothesis that attributes the clustering of human populations to frictional effects of landform barriers at continental boundaries is empirically incoherent. It then contrasts the scientific status of the cluster and cline constructs in human population genomics, and shows how cluster may be instrumentally produced. It also shows how statistical values of race vindicate Darwin’s argument that race is evolutionarily meaningless. Finally, the paper explains why, due to spatiotemporal parameters, evolutionary forces and socio-cultural factors influencing population structure, continental ancestry may be pragmatically relevant to global and public health genomics. Overall, this work demonstrates that, from a biological systematic and evolutionary taxonomical perspective, human races/continental groups or clusters have no natural meaning or objective biological reality. In fact, the utility of racial categorizations in research and in clinics can be explained by spatiotemporal parameters, socio-cultural factors and evolutionary forces affecting disease causation and treatment response.

  19. Interfacing DNA nanodevices with biology: challenges, solutions and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinther, Mathias; Kjems, Jørgen

    2016-01-01

    examine the perspective of DNA nanotechnology for such use. We summarize which requirements DNA nanostructures must fulfil to function in cellular environments and inside living organisms. In addition, we highlight recent advances in interfacing DNA nanostructures with biology. (paper)

  20. Interfacing DNA nanodevices with biology: challenges, solutions and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinther, Mathias; Kjems, Jørgen

    2016-08-01

    The cellular machinery performs millions of complex reactions with extreme precision at nanoscale. From studying these reactions, scientists have become inspired to build artificial nanosized molecular devices with programmed functions. One of the fundamental tools in designing and creating these nanodevices is molecular self-assembly. In nature, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is inarguably one of the most remarkable self-assembling molecules. Governed by the Watson-Crick base-pairing rules, DNA assembles with a structural reliability and predictability based on sequence composition unlike any other complex biological polymer. This consistency has enabled rational design of hundreds of two- and three-dimensional shapes with a molecular precision and homogeneity not preceded by any other known technology at the nanometer scale. During the last two decades, DNA nanotechnology has undergone a rapid evolution pioneered by the work of Nadrian Seeman (Kallenbach et al 1983 Nature 205 829-31). Especially the introduction of the versatile DNA Origami technique by Rothemund (2006 Nature 440 297-302) led to an efflorescence of new DNA-based self-assembled nanostructures (Andersen et al 2009 Nature 459 73-6, Douglas et al 2009 Nature 459 414-8, Dietz et al 2009 Science 325 725-30, Han et al 2011 Science 332 342-6, Iinuma et al 2014 Science 344 65-9), and variations of this technique have contributed to an increasing repertoire of DNA nanostructures (Wei et al 2012 Nature 485 623-6, Ke et al 2012 Science 338 1177-83, Benson et al 2015 Nature 523 441-4, Zhang et al 2015 Nat. Nanotechnol. 10 779-84, Scheible et al 2015 Small 11 5200-5). These advances have naturally triggered the question: What can these DNA nanostructures be used for? One of the leading proposals of use for DNA nanotechnology has been in biology and biomedicine acting as a molecular ‘nanorobot’ or smart drug interacting with the cellular machinery. In this review, we will explore and examine the perspective of

  1. Transdisciplinary Perspectives in Bioethics: A Co-evolutionary Introduction from the Big History

    OpenAIRE

    Javier Collado-Ruano

    2016-01-01

    The main objective of this work is to expand the bioethics notion expressed in the Article 17th of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, concerning the interconnections between human beings and other life forms. For this purpose, it is combined the transdisciplinary methodology with the theoretical framework of the “Big History” to approach the co-evolutionary phenomena that life is developing on Earth for some 3.8 billion years. As a result, the study introduces us to t...

  2. Innovation dynamics of Salvadoran agri-food industry from an evolutionary perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peraza Castaneda, E.H.; Aleixandre Mendizábal, G.

    2016-07-01

    This paper presents a holistic approach to analyse the dynamics of innovation of a low-tech sector in a less developed economy, the agri-food industry in El Salvador, in the context of evolutionary economy. This requires using complementary quantitative and qualitative data and methodologies to better understand how Salvadoran agri-food industry innovation system works and how STI public policies can improve the performance of a key sector in terms of national socioeconomic development. The work already done shows a concentrated and vigorous sector with some upstream and downstream connections that innovate depending on firm size, age, R&D activities and use of industrial property rights. (Author)

  3. Evolutionary perspectives on innate immunity from the study of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Genetic and functional genomic approaches have begun to define the molecular determinants of pathogen resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conserved signal transduction components are required for pathogen resistance, including a Toll/IL-1 receptor domain adaptor protein that functions upstream of a conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway. We suggest that this pathway is an ancestral innate immune signaling pathway present in the common ancestor of nematodes, arthropods and vertebrates, which is likely to predate the involvement of canonical Toll signaling pathways in innate immunity. We anticipate that the study of pathogen resistance in C. elegans will continue to provide evolutionary and mechanistic insights into the signal transduction and physiology of innate immunity.

  4. Cognition as the tip of the emotional iceberg : A neuro-evolutionary perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, P.A.; Brummelman, Eddie; Terburg, David

    2015-01-01

    We emphasize the importance of a neuroevolutionary perspective in moving beyond the cognition-emotion dichotomy. Cognitive behavior depends on cortical structures firmly rooted in the emotional brain from which they have evolved. As such, there cannot be cognition without emotion. Endocrine

  5. Cognition as the tip of the emotional iceberg: A neuro-evolutionary perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, P.A.; Brummelman, E.; Terburg, D.

    2015-01-01

    We emphasize the importance of a neuroevolutionary perspective in moving beyond the cognition-emotion dichotomy. Cognitive behavior depends on cortical structures firmly rooted in the emotional brain from which they have evolved. As such, there cannot be cognition without emotion. Endocrine

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruse, Michael

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The grassblade beyond Newton: the pragmatizing of Kant for evolutionary-developmental biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenny Moss

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Much of the philosophical attention directed to Kant’s intervention into biology has been directed toward Kant’s idea of a transcendental limit upon what can be understood constitutively.  Kant’s own wider philosophical practice, however, was principally oriented toward solving problems and the scientific benefits of his methodology of teleology have been largely underappreciated, at least in the English language literature.  This paper suggests that all basic biology has had, and continues to have, a need for some form of heuristic “bracketing” and that a renewal of some form of, albeit flexible, teleological methodological bracketing can better complement the productive assimilation into developmental biology of continuing advances in our understanding of the mesoscale physics and chemistry of soft, excitable condensed matter, than what has been the prevailing and de facto use of a form of bracketing shaped by the neoDarwinian Modern Synthesis.  Further we offer a concept of biogeneric processes and a framework of physico-genetic “dynamical patterning modules”, that can begin to account for the appearance of new Kantian “stocks of Keime und Anlagen”, capable of potentiating some range of possible organismal forms, and provide grounds for moving up the teleological “goalposts”, i.e., expanding the range of what can be accounted for on a constitutive basis. 

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christy Anna Hipsley

    2014-05-01

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

  11. Nuclear and plastid markers reveal the persistence of genetic identity: a new perspective on the evolutionary history of Petunia exserta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segatto, Ana Lúcia Anversa; Cazé, Ana Luíza Ramos; Turchetto, Caroline; Klahre, Ulrich; Kuhlemeier, Cris; Bonatto, Sandro Luis; Freitas, Loreta Brandão

    2014-01-01

    Recently divergent species that can hybridize are ideal models for investigating the genetic exchanges that can occur while preserving the species boundaries. Petunia exserta is an endemic species from a very limited and specific area that grows exclusively in rocky shelters. These shaded spots are an inhospitable habitat for all other Petunia species, including the closely related and widely distributed species P. axillaris. Individuals with intermediate morphologic characteristics have been found near the rocky shelters and were believed to be putative hybrids between P. exserta and P. axillaris, suggesting a situation where Petunia exserta is losing its genetic identity. In the current study, we analyzed the plastid intergenic spacers trnS/trnG and trnH/psbA and six nuclear CAPS markers in a large sampling design of both species to understand the evolutionary process occurring in this biological system. Bayesian clustering methods, cpDNA haplotype networks, genetic diversity statistics, and coalescence-based analyses support a scenario where hybridization occurs while two genetic clusters corresponding to two species are maintained. Our results reinforce the importance of coupling differentially inherited markers with an extensive geographic sample to assess the evolutionary dynamics of recently diverged species that can hybridize. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. I Want to Watch this! An Evolutionary Perspective on the Popularity of Sports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menelaos Apostolou

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available There are many different sports, and some are more popular for watching than others. The present paper attempts to address the question why sports vary in popularity. To this end, an evolutionary framework is employed that indicates that sports have evolved to enable the reliable exchange of information of unobserved traits. Six of these traits are nominated, namely, physical strength, stamina, speed, dexterity, aggression and team spirit. On this basis, it is predicted that sports which require higher competence in these traits, and thus are better in transferring information on these dimensions, are more popular than sports which require less competence. Analysis on data based on 34 different sports supports this prediction. The implications of these finding are further discussed.

  13. De virginibus puerisque: the function of the human foreskin considered from an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, G

    1995-12-01

    The functional significance of the human male foreskin is considered in evolutionary terms. It is postulated that there is a lifetime's reproductive advantage in delaying the age of first coitus, and hence of first childbirth, for some years after puberty, until the parents are better established as providers. Phimosis and preputial adhesions are common in human males because they have selective advantage, tending to impede and therefore delay the onset of sexual activity. The physical signs of female virginity have an analogous function, and have been selected for in the same way. This hypothesis also provides a consistent explanation for the worldwide tradition of circumcision and for the common practice of masturbation by human males.

  14. The image of the God to whom we pray: An evolutionary psychobiological perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay R. Feierman

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Based on knowledge generated through our outer senses and with our use of reasoning and within the scientific discipline of evolutionary psychobiology we can make a reasonable presumption about God. The presumption concerns the image of the God to whom we pray. In the behavior that we use in the non-vocal aspect of petitioning prayer we (all persons of the three Abrahamic faiths relate behaviorally in our «body language» to God as though He is a high status male Lord rather than how modern children relate to a loving father. We do this even though «Father» is used for God in the various English translations of the New Testament an order of magnitude more than the term «LORD». How this paradox could have developed and how it is resolved is presented

  15. Attachment within life history theory: an evolutionary perspective on individual differences in attachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szepsenwol, Ohad; Simpson, Jeffry A

    2018-03-15

    In this article, we discuss theory and research on how individual differences in adult attachment mediate the adaptive calibration of reproductive strategies, cognitive schemas, and emotional expression and regulation. We first present an integration of attachment theory and life history theory. Then, we discuss how early harsh and/or unpredictable environments may promote insecure attachment by hampering parents' ability to provide sensitive and reliable care to their children. Finally, we discuss how, in the context of harsh and/or unpredictable environments, different types of insecure attachment (i.e. anxiety and avoidance) may promote evolutionary adaptive reproductive strategies, cognitive schemas, and emotional expression and regulation profiles. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R; Catley, Kefyn M

    2016-01-01

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

  17. The puzzle of partial migration: Adaptive dynamics and evolutionary game theory perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Leenheer, Patrick; Mohapatra, Anushaya; Ohms, Haley A; Lytle, David A; Cushing, J M

    2017-01-07

    We consider the phenomenon of partial migration which is exhibited by populations in which some individuals migrate between habitats during their lifetime, but others do not. First, using an adaptive dynamics approach, we show that partial migration can be explained on the basis of negative density dependence in the per capita fertilities alone, provided that this density dependence is attenuated for increasing abundances of the subtypes that make up the population. We present an exact formula for the optimal proportion of migrants which is expressed in terms of the vital rates of migrant and non-migrant subtypes only. We show that this allocation strategy is both an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) as well as a convergence stable strategy (CSS). To establish the former, we generalize the classical notion of an ESS because it is based on invasion exponents obtained from linearization arguments, which fail to capture the stabilizing effects of the nonlinear density dependence. These results clarify precisely when the notion of a "weak ESS", as proposed in Lundberg (2013) for a related model, is a genuine ESS. Secondly, we use an evolutionary game theory approach, and confirm, once again, that partial migration can be attributed to negative density dependence alone. In this context, the result holds even when density dependence is not attenuated. In this case, the optimal allocation strategy towards migrants is the same as the ESS stemming from the analysis based on the adaptive dynamics. The key feature of the population models considered here is that they are monotone dynamical systems, which enables a rather comprehensive mathematical analysis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  19. The fossil record of phenotypic integration and modularity: A deep-time perspective on developmental and evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Anjali; Binder, Wendy J; Meachen, Julie; O'Keefe, F Robin

    2015-04-21

    Variation is the raw material for natural selection, but the factors shaping variation are still poorly understood. Genetic and developmental interactions can direct variation, but there has been little synthesis of these effects with the extrinsic factors that can shape biodiversity over large scales. The study of phenotypic integration and modularity has the capacity to unify these aspects of evolutionary study by estimating genetic and developmental interactions through the quantitative analysis of morphology, allowing for combined assessment of intrinsic and extrinsic effects. Data from the fossil record in particular are central to our understanding of phenotypic integration and modularity because they provide the only information on deep-time developmental and evolutionary dynamics, including trends in trait relationships and their role in shaping organismal diversity. Here, we demonstrate the important perspective on phenotypic integration provided by the fossil record with a study of Smilodon fatalis (saber-toothed cats) and Canis dirus (dire wolves). We quantified temporal trends in size, variance, phenotypic integration, and direct developmental integration (fluctuating asymmetry) through 27,000 y of Late Pleistocene climate change. Both S. fatalis and C. dirus showed a gradual decrease in magnitude of phenotypic integration and an increase in variance and the correlation between fluctuating asymmetry and overall integration through time, suggesting that developmental integration mediated morphological response to environmental change in the later populations of these species. These results are consistent with experimental studies and represent, to our knowledge, the first deep-time validation of the importance of developmental integration in stabilizing morphological evolution through periods of environmental change.

  20. 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

  1. Common liability to addiction and “gateway hypothesis”: Theoretical, empirical and evolutionary perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanyukov, Michael M.; Tarter, Ralph E.; Kirillova, Galina P.; Kirisci, Levent; Reynolds, Maureen D.; Kreek, Mary Jeanne; Conway, Kevin P.; Maher, Brion S.; Iacono, William G.; Bierut, Laura; Neale, Michael C.; Clark, Duncan B.; Ridenour, Ty A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Two competing concepts address the development of involvement with psychoactive substances: the “gateway hypothesis” (GH) and common liability to addiction (CLA). Method The literature on theoretical foundations and empirical findings related to both concepts is reviewed. Results The data suggest that drug use initiation sequencing, the core GH element, is variable and opportunistic rather than uniform and developmentally deterministic. The association between risks for use of different substances, if any, can be more readily explained by common underpinnings than by specific staging. In contrast, the CLA concept is grounded in genetic theory and supported by data identifying common sources of variation in the risk for specific addictions. This commonality has identifiable neurobiological substrate and plausible evolutionary explanations. Conclusions Whereas the “gateway” hypothesis does not specify mechanistic connections between “stages”, and does not extend to the risks for addictions, the concept of common liability to addictions incorporates sequencing of drug use initiation as well as extends to related addictions and their severity, provides a parsimonious explanation of substance use and addiction co-occurrence, and establishes a theoretical and empirical foundation to research in etiology, quantitative risk and severity measurement, as well as targeted non-drug-specific prevention and early intervention. PMID:22261179

  2. Molecular characterization of the gastrula in the turtle Emys orbicularis: an evolutionary perspective on gastrulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion Coolen

    Full Text Available Due to the presence of a blastopore as in amphibians, the turtle has been suggested to exemplify a transition form from an amphibian- to an avian-type gastrulation pattern. In order to test this hypothesis and gain insight into the emergence of the unique characteristics of amniotes during gastrulation, we have performed the first molecular characterization of the gastrula in a reptile, the turtle Emys orbicularis. The study of Brachyury, Lim1, Otx2 and Otx5 expression patterns points to a highly conserved dynamic of expression with amniote model organisms and makes it possible to identify the site of mesoderm internalization, which is a long-standing issue in reptiles. Analysis of Brachyury expression also highlights the presence of two distinct phases, less easily recognizable in model organisms and respectively characterized by an early ring-shaped and a later bilateral symmetrical territory. Systematic comparisons with tetrapod model organisms lead to new insights into the relationships of the blastopore/blastoporal plate system shared by all reptiles, with the blastopore of amphibians and the primitive streak of birds and mammals. The biphasic Brachyury expression pattern is also consistent with recent models of emergence of bilateral symmetry, which raises the question of its evolutionary significance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael deBraga

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available A primary goal of university instruction is the students’ demonstration of improved, highly developed critical thinking (CT skills. However, how do faculty encourage CT and its potential concomitant increase in student workload without negatively impacting student perceptions of the course? In this investigation, an advanced biology course is evaluated after structural changes (implemented in 2010 met with a poor student evaluation of the course and the instructor. This analysis first examines the steps used to transform a course to encourage CT and then explains how it can be assessed. To accomplish these goals, the instructor collaborated with an educational developer to redesign the course using a philosophy informed by SoTL. This approach, as we see it, represents a set of principles that demand transparency in the development and application of strategies whose aim is to encourage student learning. However, the SoTL approach would be insufficient to simply promote a set of strategies without some mechanism for evaluating its efficacy. Therefore, we designed a “Graded Response” (GR multiple-choice test to measure CT development and hence to properly evaluate whether the strategies embedded in our SoTL-informed course redesign have adequately met our goals.

  4. Into the Green Economy – Evolutionary Perspectives on Green Economic Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Maj Munch

    The recent ‘greening’ of the economy represents possible one of the most profound examples of economic change. While the environment used to be considered a burden to business this perspec-tive has changed making ‘eco-innovation’ increasingly recognized as a driver of economic devel-opment. Evolu......The recent ‘greening’ of the economy represents possible one of the most profound examples of economic change. While the environment used to be considered a burden to business this perspec-tive has changed making ‘eco-innovation’ increasingly recognized as a driver of economic devel...... of the greening of industry and the economy is of interest because of the focus on the fundamental social and economic difficulties of changing direction in technology. Defining the greening of the economy as a techno-economic paradigm change the paper suggests expanding on Perez’s framework (Perez, 1983, 2000...... problem solving, and simultaneously, the emergence of new green selection criteria on the market. These lead to a series of interrelated eco-innovations, which gain still more force as the green market matures. In the search for the origins of paradigmatic changes, the paper suggests to focus...

  5. Evolutionary and functional perspectives on signaling from neuronal surface to nucleus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cohen, Samuel M.; Li, Boxing; Tsien, Richard W.; Ma, Huan

    2015-01-01

    Reliance on Ca 2+ signaling has been well-preserved through the course of evolution. While the complexity of Ca 2+ signaling pathways has increased, activation of transcription factors including CREB by Ca 2+ /CaM-dependent kinases (CaMKs) has remained critical for long-term plasticity. In C. elegans, the CaMK family is made up of only three members, and CREB phosphorylation is mediated by CMK-1, the homologue of CaMKI. CMK-1 nuclear translocation directly regulates adaptation of thermotaxis behavior in response to changes in the environment. In mammals, the CaMK family has been expanded from three to ten members, enabling specialization of individual elements of a signal transduction pathway and increased reliance on the CaMKII subfamily. This increased complexity enables private line communication between Ca 2+ sources at the cell surface and specific cellular targets. Using both new and previously published data, we review the mechanism of a γCaMKII-CaM nuclear translocation. This intricate pathway depends on a specific role for multiple Ca 2+ /CaM-dependent kinases and phosphatases: α/βCaMKII phosphorylates γCaMKII to trap CaM; CaN dephosphorylates γCaMKII to dispatch it to the nucleus; and PP2A induces CaM release from γCaMKII so that CaMKK and CaMKIV can trigger CREB phosphorylation. Thus, while certain basic elements have been conserved from C. elegans, evolutionary modifications offer opportunities for targeted communication, regulation of key nodes and checkpoints, and greater specificity and flexibility in signaling

  6. Allergy-immunology practice parameters and strength of recommendation data: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Matthew H; Banks, Taylor A; Nelson, Michael R

    2016-03-01

    The practice parameters for allergy and immunology (A/I) are a valuable tool guiding practitioners' clinical practice. The A/I practice parameters have evolved over time in the context of evidence-based medicine milestones. To identify evolutionary trends in the character, scope, and evidence underlying recommendations in the A/I practice parameters. Practice parameters that have guided A/I from 1995 through 2014 were analyzed. Statements and recommendations with strength of recommendation categories A and B were considered to have a basis in evidence from controlled trials. Forty-three publications and updates covering 25 unique topics were identified. There was great variability in the number of recommendations made and the proportion of statements with controlled trial evidence. The mean number of recommendations made per practice parameter has decreased significantly, from 95.8 to a mean of 38.3. There also is a trend toward an increased proportion of recommendations based on controlled trial evidence in practice parameters with fewer recommendations, with a mean of 30.7% in practice parameters with at least 100 recommendations based on controlled trial evidence compared with 48.3% in practice parameters with 30 to 100 recommendations and 51.0% in those with fewer than 30 recommendations. The A/I practice parameters have evolved significantly over time. Encouragingly, greater controlled trial evidence is associated with updated practice parameters and a recent trend of more narrowly focused topics. These findings should only bolster and inspire confidence in the utility of the A/I practice parameters in assisting practitioners to navigate through the uncertainty that is intrinsic to medicine in making informed decisions with patients. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Evolutionary and functional perspectives on signaling from neuronal surface to nucleus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, Samuel M.; Li, Boxing; Tsien, Richard W., E-mail: richard.tsien@nyumc.org; Ma, Huan, E-mail: mahuan@gmail.com

    2015-04-24

    Reliance on Ca{sup 2+} signaling has been well-preserved through the course of evolution. While the complexity of Ca{sup 2+} signaling pathways has increased, activation of transcription factors including CREB by Ca{sup 2+}/CaM-dependent kinases (CaMKs) has remained critical for long-term plasticity. In C. elegans, the CaMK family is made up of only three members, and CREB phosphorylation is mediated by CMK-1, the homologue of CaMKI. CMK-1 nuclear translocation directly regulates adaptation of thermotaxis behavior in response to changes in the environment. In mammals, the CaMK family has been expanded from three to ten members, enabling specialization of individual elements of a signal transduction pathway and increased reliance on the CaMKII subfamily. This increased complexity enables private line communication between Ca{sup 2+} sources at the cell surface and specific cellular targets. Using both new and previously published data, we review the mechanism of a γCaMKII-CaM nuclear translocation. This intricate pathway depends on a specific role for multiple Ca{sup 2+}/CaM-dependent kinases and phosphatases: α/βCaMKII phosphorylates γCaMKII to trap CaM; CaN dephosphorylates γCaMKII to dispatch it to the nucleus; and PP2A induces CaM release from γCaMKII so that CaMKK and CaMKIV can trigger CREB phosphorylation. Thus, while certain basic elements have been conserved from C. elegans, evolutionary modifications offer opportunities for targeted communication, regulation of key nodes and checkpoints, and greater specificity and flexibility in signaling.

  8. Socioeconomic status, education, and reproduction in modern women: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Susanne; Bookstein, Fred L; Fieder, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Although associations between status or resources and reproduction are positive in premodern societies and also in men in modern societies, in modern women the associations are typically negative. We investigated how the association between socioeconomic status and reproductive output varies with the source of status and resources, the woman's education, and her age at reproductive onset (proxied by age at marriage). By using a large sample of US women, we examined the association between a woman's reproductive output and her own and her husband's income and education. Education, income, and age at marriage are negatively associated with a woman's number of children and increase her chances of childlessness. Among the most highly educated two-thirds of the sample of women, husband's income predicts the number of children. The association between a woman's number of children and her husband's income turns from positive to negative when her education and age at marriage is low (even though her mean offspring number rises at the same time). The association between a woman's own income and her number of children is negative, regardless of education. Rather than maximizing the offspring number, these modern women seem to adjust investment in children based on their family size and resource availability. Striving for resources seems to be part of a modern female reproductive strategy--but, owing to costs of resource acquisition, especially higher education, it may lead to lower birthrates: a possible evolutionary explanation of the demographic transition, and a complement to the human capital theory of net reproductive output. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Computing Platforms for Big Biological Data Analytics: Perspectives and Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Zekun; Lan, Haidong; Tan, Guangming; Lu, Mian; Vasilakos, Athanasios V; Liu, Weiguo

    2017-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed an explosion in the amount of available biological sequence data, due to the rapid progress of high-throughput sequencing projects. However, the biological data amount is becoming so great that traditional data analysis platforms and methods can no longer meet the need to rapidly perform data analysis tasks in life sciences. As a result, both biologists and computer scientists are facing the challenge of gaining a profound insight into the deepest biological functions from big biological data. This in turn requires massive computational resources. Therefore, high performance computing (HPC) platforms are highly needed as well as efficient and scalable algorithms that can take advantage of these platforms. In this paper, we survey the state-of-the-art HPC platforms for big biological data analytics. We first list the characteristics of big biological data and popular computing platforms. Then we provide a taxonomy of different biological data analysis applications and a survey of the way they have been mapped onto various computing platforms. After that, we present a case study to compare the efficiency of different computing platforms for handling the classical biological sequence alignment problem. At last we discuss the open issues in big biological data analytics.

  10. 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.

  11. Developmental perspectives on personality: implications for ecological and evolutionary studies of individual differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamps, Judy A; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2010-12-27

    Developmental processes can have major impacts on the correlations in behaviour across contexts (contextual generality) and across time (temporal consistency) that are the hallmarks of animal personality. Personality can and does change: at any given age or life stage it is contingent upon a wide range of experiential factors that occurred earlier in life, from prior to conception through adulthood. We show how developmental reaction norms that describe the effects of prior experience on a given behaviour can be used to determine whether the effects of a given experience at a given age will affect contextual generality at a later age, and to illustrate how variation within individuals in developmental plasticity leads to variation in contextual generality across individuals as a function of experience. We also show why niche-picking and niche-construction, behavioural processes which allow individuals to affect their own developmental environment, can affect the contextual generality and the temporal consistency of personality. We conclude by discussing how an appreciation of developmental processes can alert behavioural ecologists studying animal personality to critical, untested assumptions that underlie their own research programmes, and outline situations in which a developmental perspective can improve studies of the functional significance and evolution of animal personality.

  12. Cortical Motor Organization, Mirror Neurons, and Embodied Language: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fogassi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The recent conceptual achievement that the cortical motor system plays a crucial role not only in motor control but also in higher cognitive functions has given a new perspective also on the involvement of motor cortex in language perception and production. In particular, there is evidence that the matching mechanism based on mirror neurons can be involved in both pho-nological recognition and retrieval of meaning, especially for action word categories, thus suggesting a contribution of an action–perception mechanism to the automatic comprehension of semantics. Furthermore, a compari-son of the anatomo-functional properties of the frontal motor cortex among different primates and their communicative modalities indicates that the combination of the voluntary control of the gestural communication systems and of the vocal apparatus has been the critical factor in the transition from a gestural-based communication into a predominantly speech-based system. Finally, considering that the monkey and human premotor-parietal motor system, plus the prefrontal cortex, are involved in the sequential motor organization of actions and in the hierarchical combination of motor elements, we propose that elements of such motor organization have been exploited in other domains, including some aspects of the syntactic structure of language.

  13. Risk management of biologicals: a regulatory and clinical perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giezen, T.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304823112

    2011-01-01

    Biologicals are a relatively new class of drugs and are important treatment options for a variety of chronic and/or serious conditions. Biologicals have different characteristics as compared to the traditional chemically synthesised drugs, which may result in different risk profiles and the need for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrein, Caitlin M.

    In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class enrollment, academic achievement, interest in a STEM degree program, motivation to pursue a STEM career, and socioscientific decision-making for a sample of students enrolled full-time at Arizona State University. Given a lack of a priori knowledge of these relationships, the Grounded Theory Method was used and was the foundation for a mixed-methods analysis involving qualitative and quantitative data from one-on-one interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and an online survey. Theory development and hypothesis generation were based on data from 44 students. The survey instrument, developed to test the hypotheses, was completed by 486 undergraduates, age 18--22, who graduated from U.S. public high schools. The results showed that higher exposure to HEB was correlated with greater high school science class enrollment, particularly for advanced biological science classes, and that, for some students, HEB exposure may have influenced their enrollment, because the students found the content interesting and relevant. The results also suggested that students with higher K--12 HEB exposure felt more prepared for undergraduate science coursework. There was a positive correlation between HEB exposure and interest in a STEM degree and an indirect relationship between higher HEB exposure and motivation to pursue a STEM career. Regarding a number of socioscientific issues, including but not limited to climate change, homosexuality, and stem cell research, students' behaviors and decision-making more closely reflected a scientific viewpoint---or less-closely aligned to a religion-based perspective---when students had greater HEB exposure

  15. An evolutionary perspective on the trans-generational basis of obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jonathan C K

    2011-07-01

    Until recently, obesity was considered the product of interactions between genotype and lifestyle. However, recent work suggests that the genetic heritability of adiposity has been over-estimated, whilst epidemiological studies show that although many genes are associated with nutritional status, the effect of each is very small. A polygenic basis of obesity risk may arise through bet-hedging of numerous traits to accommodate diverse unpredictable environments, rather than through systematic local adaptation. Such 'fragmentation' of the genetic component of metabolism across multiple alleles may be a necessary pre-requisite for complementary enhancement of phenotypic plasticity. The inter-generational component of obesity refers to phenotypic effects transmitted across generations, arising from exposure to maternal, familial and environmental niches during development. Inter-generational transfers of somatic capital (height, lean mass) may respond to ecological conditions through a slow-response damping system, through the influence of maternal phenotype on offspring growth and body composition. The primary traits subject to inter-generational effects may be physique and life history strategy, with adiposity both aiding and responding as a flexible risk management strategy. The biological processes that underpin the offspring's developmental plasticity appear sensitive to the obesogenic niche. Through this sensitivity, diverse environmental factors can induce excess weight gain from childhood onwards.

  16. Telomere biology in aging and cancer: early history and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Makoto T

    2018-01-20

    The ends of eukaryotic linear chromosomes are protected from undesired enzymatic activities by a nucleoprotein complex called the telomere. Expanding evidence indicates that telomeres have central functions in human aging and tumorigenesis. While it is undoubtedly important to follow current advances in telomere biology, it is also fruitful to be well informed in seminal historical studies for a comprehensive understanding of telomere biology, and for the anticipation of future directions. With this in mind, I here summarize the early history of telomere biology and current advances in the field, mostly focusing on mammalian studies relevant to aging and cancer.

  17. How the unique configuration of the human head may enhance flavor perception capabilities: an evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E Lieberman

    2014-07-01

    configuration of the human pharynx (Figure 1. Unlike other mammals, humans have a relatively short and retracted face, which results in a short oral cavity with a rounded tongue whose inferior margin lies well below the margin of the mandible. Because the hyoid and larynx are suspended from the base of the tongue, the human larynx becomes separated early in postnatal life relative to the oral cavity, causing humans to be the only species with a non-intranarial epiglottis in which the epiglottis does not contact the soft palate [3]. As a result, humans have no separation between the airway and foodway in the oropharynx. The non-intranarial epiglottis makes humans more likely to choke on food than other mammals, but helps humans produce more perceptible speech by setting up a two-tube vocal tract whose horizontal and vertical portions are equal in length and whose cross sectional areas can be modified independently by approximately 10-fold by the tongue [5]. Although this configuration almost certainly evolved for speech, it likely has beneficial consequences for retronasal olfaction. Whereas all other mammals, including chimpanzees, store a bolus of food prior to swallowing anterior to the epiglottis and thus removed from the airway, humans must store the bolus superior to the epiglottis in the pathway of expired air. Thus as humans breathe while chewing between swallows, expired air may be more likely to pick up volatile compounds from foods, which are then transported retronasally to the olfactory epithelium. The hypothesis that derived features of the human head and neck enhance retronasal olfaction needs to be tested. Comparative data are especially needed on retronasal airflow in a variety of mammals including other primates. In addition, more data are needed on retronasal olfactory perception in great apes such as chimpanzees. However, if true, then it is possible that humans may have uniquely enhanced abilities to detect flavor from food, raising several evolutionary

  18. From biology to radiotherapy: state of place and future perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lartigau, E.

    1997-01-01

    From about ten years, several biological parameters have been evaluated in order to determine which ones could be the tests with a predictive value regarding the radiotherapy response for human tumors. The biological studies have been made on the evaluation of tumor oxygenation, of the cell proliferation, of the number of clonogenic cells and the intrinsic radiosensitivity evaluated by the study of the cells fraction surviving to 2 Grays. (N.C.)

  19. What can other animals tell us about human social cognition?An evolutionary perspective on reflective and reflexive processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Hecht

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Human neuroscience has seen a recent boom in studies on reflective, controlled, explicit social cognitive functions like imitation, perspective‐taking, and empathy. The relationship of these higher‐level functions to lower‐level, reflexive, automatic, implicit functions is an area of current research. As the field continues to address this relationship, we suggest that an evolutionary, comparative approach will be useful, even essential. There is a large body of research on reflexive, automatic, implicit processes in animals. A growing perspective sees social cognitive processes as phylogenically continuous, making findings in other species relevant for understanding our own. One of these phylogenically continuous processes appears to be self‐other matching or simulation. Mice are more sensitive to pain after watching other mice experience pain; geese experience heart rate increases when seeing their mate in conflict; and infant macaques, chimpanzees, and humans automatically mimic adult facial expressions. In this article, we review findings in different species that illustrate how such reflexive processes are related to (higher order reflexive processes, such as cognitive empathy, theory of mind, and learning by imitation. We do so in the context of self‐other matching in three different domains – in the motor domain (somatomotor movements, in the perceptual domain (eye movements and cognition about visual perception, and in the autonomic/emotional domain. We also review research on the developmental origin of these processes and their neural bases across species. We highlight gaps in existing knowledge and point out some questions for future research. We conclude that our understanding of the psychological and neural mechanisms of self‐other mapping and other functions in our own species can be informed by considering the layered complexity these functions in other species.

  20. 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.

  1. Increasing water use efficiency along the C3 to C4 evolutionary pathway: a stomatal optimization perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Way, Danielle A; Katul, Gabriel G; Manzoni, Stefano; Vico, Giulia

    2014-07-01

    C4 photosynthesis evolved independently numerous times, probably in response to declining atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but also to high temperatures and aridity, which enhance water losses through transpiration. Here, the environmental factors controlling stomatal behaviour of leaf-level carbon and water exchange were examined across the evolutionary continuum from C3 to C4 photosynthesis at current (400 μmol mol(-1)) and low (280 μmol mol(-1)) atmospheric CO2 conditions. To this aim, a stomatal optimization model was further developed to describe the evolutionary continuum from C3 to C4 species within a unified framework. Data on C3, three categories of C3-C4 intermediates, and C4 Flaveria species were used to parameterize the stomatal model, including parameters for the marginal water use efficiency and the efficiency of the CO2-concentrating mechanism (or C4 pump); these two parameters are interpreted as traits reflecting the stomatal and photosynthetic adjustments during the C3 to C4 transformation. Neither the marginal water use efficiency nor the C4 pump strength changed significantly from C3 to early C3-C4 intermediate stages, but both traits significantly increased between early C3-C4 intermediates and the C4-like intermediates with an operational C4 cycle. At low CO2, net photosynthetic rates showed continuous increases from a C3 state, across the intermediates and towards C4 photosynthesis, but only C4-like intermediates and C4 species (with an operational C4 cycle) had higher water use efficiencies than C3 Flaveria. The results demonstrate that both the marginal water use efficiency and the C4 pump strength increase in C4 Flaveria to improve their photosynthesis and water use efficiency compared with C3 species. These findings emphasize that the advantage of the early intermediate stages is predominantly carbon based, not water related. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  2. The Biology of Cancer Exosomes: Insights and New Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruivo, Carolina F; Adem, Bárbara; Silva, Miguel; Melo, Sónia A

    2017-12-01

    Exosomes are a subclass of extracellular vesicles involved in intercellular communication that are released by all cell types, including cancer cells. Cancer exosomes carry malignant information in the form of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids that can reprogram recipient cells. Exosomes have emerged as putative biological mediators in cancer contributing to major steps of disease progression. A leading role exists for cancer exosomes in specific aspects of tumor progression: modulation of immune response, tumor microenvironment reprogramming, and metastasis. This review will address the functions attributed to cancer exosomes in these three aspects of cancer biology, highlighting recent advances and potential limitations. Finally, we explore alternative strategies to develop better models to study cancer exosomes biology. Cancer Res; 77(23); 6480-8. ©2017 AACR . ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

  3. Perspectives on theory at the interface of physics and biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialek, William

    2018-01-01

    Theoretical physics is the search for simple and universal mathematical descriptions of the natural world. In contrast, much of modern biology is an exploration of the complexity and diversity of life. For many, this contrast is prima facie evidence that theory, in the sense that physicists use the word, is impossible in a biological context. For others, this contrast serves to highlight a grand challenge. I am an optimist, and believe (along with many colleagues) that the time is ripe for the emergence of a more unified theoretical physics of biological systems, building on successes in thinking about particular phenomena. In this essay I try to explain the reasons for my optimism, through a combination of historical and modern examples.

  4. 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

  5. The mammary gland in domestic ruminants: a systems biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Ana M; Bislev, Stine L; Bendixen, Emøke; Almeida, André M

    2013-12-06

    Milk and dairy products are central elements in the human diet. It is estimated that 108kg of milk per year are consumed per person worldwide. Therefore, dairy production represents a relevant fraction of the economies of many countries, being cattle, sheep, goat, water buffalo, and other ruminants the main species used worldwide. An adequate management of dairy farming cannot be achieved without the knowledge on the biological mechanisms behind lactation in ruminants. Thus, understanding the morphology, development and regulation of the mammary gland in health, disease and production is crucial. Presently, innovative and high-throughput technologies such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics allow a much broader and detailed knowledge on such issues. Additionally, the application of a systems biology approach to animal science is vastly growing, as new advances in one field of specialization or animal species lead to new lines of research in other areas or/and are expanded to other species. This article addresses how modern research approaches may help us understand long-known issues in mammary development, lactation biology and dairy production. Dairy production depends upon the knowledge of the morphology and regulation of the mammary gland and lactation. High-throughput technologies allow a much broader and detailed knowledge on the biology of the mammary gland. This paper reviews the major contributions that genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics approaches have provided to understand the regulation of the mammary gland in health, disease and production. In the context of mammary gland "omics"-based research, the integration of results using a Systems Biology Approach is of key importance. © 2013.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-04

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

  7. Review paper Personality and genes: remarks from a biological perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Węgrzyn

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Although there is no doubt that genes’ functions influence human personality, years of studies provided no clear picture on regulation of particular traits by specific genes. In this article, an overview of the complexity of the system of genetic control of personality is presented, and the level of complications of biological processes operating in this system is underlined. The methodology of studies devoted to determine effects of genes on personality traits is discussed, and limitations of various methods in such studies are indicated. Finally, suggestions for further research are listed and commented on. It is likely that to increase the level of our understanding of genetic mechanisms that modulate human personality, researchers conducting further studies will have to focus on using large sample sizes, performing independent replications, considering experiments on animal models, integrating cross-cultural data and epigenetic measures, and performing interdisciplinary experiments which combine methods of various disciplines, such as biology and psychology.

  8. Biologicals in the treatment of psoriasis: The Indian perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajit B Janagond

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disorder characterized by itchy erythematous papules and plaques topped with silvery white scales. It has a chronic relapsing course and is associated with significant morbidity and reduction in the quality of life. Therapy of psoriasis is challenging. Topical therapy forms the first line of treatment for stable plaque psoriasis affecting a limited body surface area and in extensive disease systemic agents are indicated. All these drugs have inherent side effects, and none bring prolonged remission of the disease. The other therapeutic modality for psoriasis is phototherapy, but it is delivered through a specialized machine which can be available only at referral centers. Biologics have revolutionized the management of psoriasis as they can bring a remission of disease up to several years. Although limited availability and high cost prohibit their regular usage, Indian dermatologists are rapidly adopting biologics in the treatment of psoriasis.

  9. PERSPECTIVES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE BIOLOGIC PLUM PRODUCTION IN BULGARIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivanka Vitanova

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The Bulgarian plum cultivars Gabrovska, Nevena, Strinava, Guliaeva and Balvanska slava, breeding in the Plum Experimental Station in the town of Dryanovo and the introduced cultivars Stanley, Chachanska lepotitsa, Opal, Malvazinka, Hramova renkloda, Tuleu timpuriu, Althan’s Gage, Pacific, Mirabell de Nancy, Anna Schpet and Jojo, what are high productive and are tolerant to sharka and other important economic plum diseases are suitable for the biologic plum production. The organic fertilization is a basic element of the technology for the biologic plum production. The fertilization with manure and the green manure with a winter green peas and with a peas-rye mix increased the humus content, influenced positive action on the supplying of the plum plants with the main nutrient macro elements, increased the yield and to be able apply successfully in the plum orchards and at not irrigation conditions.

  10. New perspectives on biological HDL-targeted therapies

    OpenAIRE

    Muthuramu, Ilayaraja; Amin, Md Ruhul; De Geest, Bart

    2017-01-01

    According to a modified high-density lipoprotein (HDL) hypothesis, improving HDL function will lead to a decrease of coronary events. The stringent requirement for proving or refuting this hypothesis is that the causal pathway between the therapeutic intervention and a clinically meaningful endpoint obligatory passes through HDL. Infusion therapy of reconstituted HDL particles and human apolipoprotein A-I gene transfer are biological HDL-targeted therapies that are distinguished by HDL specif...

  11. 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.

  12. Simulation and Analysis of Complex Biological Processes: an Organisation Modelling Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Jonker, C.M.; Treur, J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores how the dynamics of complex biological processes can be modelled and simulated as an organisation of multiple agents. This modelling perspective identifies organisational structure occurring in complex decentralised processes and handles complexity of the analysis of the dynamics

  13. Molecular biology in a distributed world. A Kantian perspective on scientific practices and the human mind

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariagrazia Portera

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years the number of scholarly publications devoted to Kant's theory of biology has rapidly growing, with particular attention being given to Kant's thoughts about the concepts of teleology, function, organism, and their respective roles in scientific practice. Moving from these recent studies, and distancing itself from their mostly evolutionary background, the main aim of the present paper is to suggest an original "cognitive turn" in the interpretation of Kant's theory of biology. More specifically, the Authors will trace a connection between some Kantian theses about the “peculiar” or special nature of the human mind (intellectus ectypus, advanced in the Critique of the Power of Judgement (§ 76, 77, and some specific epistemological issues pertaining to the research practice of contemporary molecular biology.

  14. A systems biology perspective on Nrf2-mediated antioxidant response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Qiang; Pi Jingbo; Woods, Courtney G.; Andersen, Melvin E.

    2010-01-01

    Cells in vivo are constantly exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated endogenously and exogenously. To defend against the deleterious consequences of ROS, cells contain multiple antioxidant enzymes expressed in various cellular compartments to scavenge these toxic species. Under oxidative stresses, these antioxidant enzymes are upregulated to restore redox homeostasis. Such an adaptive response results from the activation of a redox-sensitive gene regulatory network mediated by nuclear factor E2-related factor 2. To more completely understand how the redox control system is designed by nature to meet homeostatic goals, we have examined the network from a systems perspective using engineering approaches. As with man-made control devices, the redox control system can be decomposed into distinct functional modules, including transducer, controller, actuator, and plant. Cells achieve specific performance objectives by utilizing nested feedback loops, feedforward control, and ultrasensitive signaling motifs, etc. Given that endogenously generated ROS are also used as signaling molecules, our analysis suggests a novel mode of action to explain oxidative stress-induced pathological conditions and diseases. Specifically, by adaptively upregulating antioxidant enzymes, oxidative stress may inadvertently attenuate ROS signals that mediate physiological processes, resulting in aberrations of cellular functions and adverse consequences. Lastly, by simultaneously considering the two competing cellular tasks-adaptive antioxidant defense and ROS signaling-we re-examine the premise that dietary antioxidant supplements is generally beneficial to human health. Our analysis highlights some possible adverse effects of these widely consumed antioxidants.

  15. A Biological Perspective on the Meaning of Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2014-01-01

    We have become impatient waiting for a web page to load, but the first member of our species evolved about 150,000 years ago - a geological instant as brief and as transitory as a text message. The shortest generation time of a bacterium is a sprint at under ten minutes, whereas a 200-year old whale, turtle or tree is not unknown. Life is a phenomenon that integrates processes ranging from the near instantaneous reactions of photosynthesis to the more stately pace of evolution. Here I will elucidate these processes with radically different time scales that go to creating and maintaining the diversity of life on earth, the clocks that nature uses to time them, and how modern biology is being used to alter the natural time scales.

  16. Charge Migration in DNA Perspectives from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Chakraborty, Tapash

    2007-01-01

    Charge migration through DNA has been the focus of considerable interest in recent years. A deeper understanding of the nature of charge transfer and transport along the double helix is important in fields as diverse as physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. It has also important implications in biology, in particular in DNA damage and repair. This book presents contributions from an international team of researchers active in this field. It contains a wide range of topics that includes the mathematical background of the quantum processes involved, the role of charge transfer in DNA radiation damage, a new approach to DNA sequencing, DNA photonics, and many others. This book should be of value to researchers in condensed matter physics, chemical physics, physical chemistry, and nanoscale sciences.

  17. The biological sciences in nursing: a developing country perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyriacos, Una; Jordan, Sue; van den Heever, Jean

    2005-10-01

    This paper reports a study to inform curriculum development by exploring the contribution of bioscience education programmes to nurses' clinical practice, their understanding of the rationale for practice, and their perceptions of their continuing professional development needs. The future of the health services worldwide depends on nurse education programmes equipping practitioners to deliver safe and effective patient care. In the developed world, the structure and indicative content of nursing curricula have been debated extensively. However, despite the rapid expansion in nursing roles brought about by social change, there is little information on the educational needs of nurses in developing countries. This study was undertaken in government teaching hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa in 2003. A purposive sample of 54 nurses from a range of clinical settings completed questionnaires and described critical incidents where bioscience knowledge had directed practice. Questionnaires were analysed descriptively, in the main. Analysis of critical incident reports was based on Akinsanya's bionursing model. Most nurses felt that their understanding of the biological, but not the physical sciences, was adequate or better: all felt confident with their knowledge of anatomy, compared with 57.4% (31/54) for microbiology. Respondents attributed the successes and failures of their education programmes to their teachers' delivery of content, ability to relate to practice and management of the process of learning. The biological, but not the physical, sciences were universally (96-100%) regarded as relevant to nursing. However, the critical incidents and nurses' own reports indicated a need for further education in pharmacology (40/54, 74.1%) and microbiology (29/54, 53.7%). To meet the needs of nurses in developing countries, and empower them to meet the increasingly complex demands of their expanding roles, nurse educators need to consider increasing the curriculum

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Systems biology perspectives on minimal and simpler cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xavier, Joana C; Patil, Kiran Raosaheb; Rocha, Isabel

    2014-09-01

    The concept of the minimal cell has fascinated scientists for a long time, from both fundamental and applied points of view. This broad concept encompasses extreme reductions of genomes, the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), the creation of semiartificial cells, and the design of protocells and chassis cells. Here we review these different areas of research and identify common and complementary aspects of each one. We focus on systems biology, a discipline that is greatly facilitating the classical top-down and bottom-up approaches toward minimal cells. In addition, we also review the so-called middle-out approach and its contributions to the field with mathematical and computational models. Owing to the advances in genomics technologies, much of the work in this area has been centered on minimal genomes, or rather minimal gene sets, required to sustain life. Nevertheless, a fundamental expansion has been taking place in the last few years wherein the minimal gene set is viewed as a backbone of a more complex system. Complementing genomics, progress is being made in understanding the system-wide properties at the levels of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Network modeling approaches are enabling the integration of these different omics data sets toward an understanding of the complex molecular pathways connecting genotype to phenotype. We review key concepts central to the mapping and modeling of this complexity, which is at the heart of research on minimal cells. Finally, we discuss the distinction between minimizing the number of cellular components and minimizing cellular complexity, toward an improved understanding and utilization of minimal and simpler cells. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Systems Biology Perspectives on Minimal and Simpler Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xavier, Joana C.; Patil, Kiran Raosaheb

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The concept of the minimal cell has fascinated scientists for a long time, from both fundamental and applied points of view. This broad concept encompasses extreme reductions of genomes, the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), the creation of semiartificial cells, and the design of protocells and chassis cells. Here we review these different areas of research and identify common and complementary aspects of each one. We focus on systems biology, a discipline that is greatly facilitating the classical top-down and bottom-up approaches toward minimal cells. In addition, we also review the so-called middle-out approach and its contributions to the field with mathematical and computational models. Owing to the advances in genomics technologies, much of the work in this area has been centered on minimal genomes, or rather minimal gene sets, required to sustain life. Nevertheless, a fundamental expansion has been taking place in the last few years wherein the minimal gene set is viewed as a backbone of a more complex system. Complementing genomics, progress is being made in understanding the system-wide properties at the levels of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Network modeling approaches are enabling the integration of these different omics data sets toward an understanding of the complex molecular pathways connecting genotype to phenotype. We review key concepts central to the mapping and modeling of this complexity, which is at the heart of research on minimal cells. Finally, we discuss the distinction between minimizing the number of cellular components and minimizing cellular complexity, toward an improved understanding and utilization of minimal and simpler cells. PMID:25184563

  2. Tissue invasion and metastasis: Molecular, biological and clinical perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, W G; Sanders, A J; Katoh, M; Ungefroren, H; Gieseler, F; Prince, M; Thompson, S K; Zollo, M; Spano, D; Dhawan, P; Sliva, D; Subbarayan, P R; Sarkar, M; Honoki, K; Fujii, H; Georgakilas, A G; Amedei, A; Niccolai, E; Amin, A; Ashraf, S S; Ye, L; Helferich, W G; Yang, X; Boosani, C S; Guha, G; Ciriolo, M R; Aquilano, K; Chen, S; Azmi, A S; Keith, W N; Bilsland, A; Bhakta, D; Halicka, D; Nowsheen, S; Pantano, F; Santini, D

    2015-12-01

    Cancer is a key health issue across the world, causing substantial patient morbidity and mortality. Patient prognosis is tightly linked with metastatic dissemination of the disease to distant sites, with metastatic diseases accounting for a vast percentage of cancer patient mortality. While advances in this area have been made, the process of cancer metastasis and the factors governing cancer spread and establishment at secondary locations is still poorly understood. The current article summarizes recent progress in this area of research, both in the understanding of the underlying biological processes and in the therapeutic strategies for the management of metastasis. This review lists the disruption of E-cadherin and tight junctions, key signaling pathways, including urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene (PI3K/AKT), focal adhesion kinase (FAK), β-catenin/zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB-1) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), together with inactivation of activator protein-1 (AP-1) and suppression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity as key targets and the use of phytochemicals, or natural products, such as those from Agaricus blazei, Albatrellus confluens, Cordyceps militaris, Ganoderma lucidum, Poria cocos and Silybum marianum, together with diet derived fatty acids gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and inhibitory compounds as useful approaches to target tissue invasion and metastasis as well as other hallmark areas of cancer. Together, these strategies could represent new, inexpensive, low toxicity strategies to aid in the management of cancer metastasis as well as having holistic effects against other cancer hallmarks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Systems biology of resilience and optimal health: integrating Chinese and Western medicine perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herman van Wietmarschen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Western science has been strong in measuring details of biological systems such as gene expression levels and metabolite concentrations, and has generally followed a bottom up approach with regard to explaining biological phenomena. Chinese medicine in contrast has evolved as a top down approach in which body and mind is seen as a whole, a phenomenological approach based on the organization and dynamics of symptom patterns. Western and Chinese perspectives are developing towards a ‘middle out’ approach. Chinese medicine diagnosis, we will argue, allows bridging the gap between biologists and psychologists and offers new opportunities for the development of health monitoring tools and health promotion strategies.

  6. Conclusions and perspectives: Perspectives for future research-and-development projects on biological

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicot, P.C.; Blum, B.; Köhl, J.; Ruocco, M.

    2011-01-01

    The review of published scientific literature on the biological control of selected pests and diseases has lead to the identification of clear knowledge gaps highlighted in previous chapters. Further bottlenecks were revealed by seeking the possible reasons for the striking discrepancy between the

  7. Explaining financial and prosocial biases in favor of attractive people: Interdisciplinary perspectives from economics, social psychology, and evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestripieri, Dario; Henry, Andrea; Nickels, Nora

    2017-01-01

    Financial and prosocial biases in favor of attractive adults have been documented in the labor market, in social transactions in everyday life, and in studies involving experimental economic games. According to the taste-based discrimination model developed by economists, attractiveness-related financial and prosocial biases are the result of preferences or prejudices similar to those displayed toward members of a particular sex, racial, ethnic, or religious group. Other explanations proposed by economists and social psychologists maintain that attractiveness is a marker of personality, intelligence, trustworthiness, professional competence, or productivity. Evolutionary psychologists have argued that attractive adults are favored because they are preferred sexual partners. Evidence that stereotypes about attractive people are causally related to financial or prosocial biases toward them is weak or nonexistent. Consistent with evolutionary explanations, biases in favor of attractive women appear to be more consistent or stronger than those in favor of attractive men, and biases are more consistently reported in interactions between opposite-sex than same-sex individuals. Evolutionary explanations also account for increased prosocial behavior in situations in which attractive individuals are simply bystanders. Finally, evolutionary explanations are consistent with the psychological, physiological, and behavioral changes that occur when individuals are exposed to potential mates, which facilitate the expression of courtship behavior and increase the probability of occurrence of mating. Therefore, multiple lines of evidence suggest that mating motives play a more important role in driving financial and prosocial biases toward attractive adults than previously recognized.

  8. Sex differences in jealousy in evolutionary and cultural perspective : Tests from the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buunk, BP; Angleitner, A; Oubaid, [No Value; Buss, DM

    1996-01-01

    As predicted by models derived from evolutionary psychology, men within the United States have been shown to exhibit greater psychological and physiological distress to sexual than to emotional infidelity of their partner, and women have been shown to exhibit more distress to emotional than to

  9. 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.

  10. An Evolutionary Perspective of the Relationship Between Corporate Strategy and Performance, Through the Use of Artificial Neural Networks and Genetic AlgorithmsHttp://Dx.Doi.Org/10.5585/Riae.V9i3.1689

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Teixeira Dias

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between Corporate Strategy and Performance, from the perspective of the Evolutionary Theory. As methods of data processing, obtained in secondary databases, we used artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms. The results of processing neural networks and genetic algorithms demonstrate the importance of corporate strategies in determining performance. The evolutionary perspective emphasizes the importance of investing in operations as a factor influencing the adequacy of the organization, in order to achieve an improved performance, in addition to establishing relationships with other organizations, through members of the board.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Evolutionary and ecological perspectives of Late Paleozoic ferns. Part III. Anachoropterid ferns (including Anachoropteris, Tubicaulis, the Sermayaceae, Kaplanopteridaceae and Psalixochlaenaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Galtier, Jean; Phillips, Tom L.

    2014-01-01

    The anachoropterid ferns, previously assigned to the family Anachoropteridaceae, are a group of anatomically preserved late Paleozoic filicalean ferns characterized by a C-shaped foliar xylem with abaxially recurved arms (inversicatenalean anatomy) and two main protoxylem strands. The variously curved to strongly inrolled foliar xylem certainly reflects different evolutionary trends within the morphogenus Anachoropteris. The occurrence of two groups of Tubicaulis is supported by differences i...

  14. The Emergence of New Industries in Space: An evolutionary understanding of industry emergence from a geographical perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tanner, Anne Nygaard

    of industrial organisational economics (Porter 1980) and in evolutionary economics (Dosi 1984, Nelson, Winter 1982). Second, the paper discusses the particularity that characterizes the temporal scope of industry emergence and it is claimed that the literature often lack attention to periods that precede......, which has characterized the field of economic geography. In particular, the framework builds on a critique of the predominant role previous theories have ascribed to chance events....

  15. 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...

  16. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenormand, Thomas; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnston, Susan E.; Wijnker, Erik; Haag, Christoph R.

    2016-01-01

    Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these

  17. Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kussmann, Martin; Morine, Melissa J; Hager, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    We review here the status of human type 2 diabetes studies from a genetic, epidemiological, and clinical (intervention) perspective. Most studies limit analyses to one or a few omic technologies providing data of components of physiological processes. Since all chronic diseases are multifactorial...... at different time points along this longitudinal investigation are performed with a comprehensive set of omics platforms. These data sets are generated in a biological context, rather than biochemical compound class-driven manner, which we term "systems omics."...

  18. Molecular insight into human platelet antigens: structural and evolutionary conservation analyses offer new perspective to immunogenic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-03-01

    Human platelet antigens (HPAs) are polymorphisms in platelet membrane glycoproteins (GPs) that can stimulate production of alloantibodies once exposed to foreign platelets (PLTs) with different HPAs. These antibodies can cause neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, posttransfusion purpura, and PLT transfusion refractoriness. Most HPAs are localized on the main PLT receptors: 1) integrin αIIbβ3, known as the fibrinogen receptor; 2) the GPIb-IX-V complex that functions as the receptor for von Willebrand factor; and 3) integrin α2β1, which functions as the collagen receptor. We analyzed the structural location and the evolutionary conservation of the residues associated with the HPAs to characterize the features that induce immunologic responses but do not cause inherited diseases. We found that all HPAs reside in positions located on the protein surface, apart from the ligand-binding site, and are evolutionary variable. Disease-causing mutations often reside in highly conserved and buried positions. In contrast, the HPAs affect residues on the protein surface that were not conserved throughout evolution; this explains their naive effect on the protein function. Nonetheless, the HPAs involve substitutions of solvent-exposed positions that lead to altered interfaces on the surface of the protein and might present epitopes foreign to the immune system. © 2010 American Association of Blood Banks.

  19. Interdisciplinary research and education at the biology-engineering-computer science interface: a perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tadmor, Brigitta; Tidor, Bruce

    2005-09-01

    Progress in the life sciences, including genome sequencing and high-throughput experimentation, offers an opportunity for understanding biology and medicine from a systems perspective. This 'new view', which complements the more traditional component-based approach, involves the integration of biological research with approaches from engineering disciplines and computer science. The result is more than a new set of technologies. Rather, it promises a fundamental reconceptualization of the life sciences based on the development of quantitative and predictive models to describe crucial processes. To achieve this change, learning communities are being formed at the interface of the life sciences, engineering and computer science. Through these communities, research and education will be integrated across disciplines and the challenges associated with multidisciplinary team-based science will be addressed.

  20. Evolutionary developmental perspective for the origin of turtles: the folding theory for the shell based on the developmental nature of the carapacial ridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Nagashima, Hiroshi

    2011-01-01

    The body plan of the turtle represents an example of evolutionary novelty for acquisition of the shell. Unlike similar armors in other vertebrate groups, the turtle shell involves the developmental repatterning of the axial skeleton and exhibits an unusual topography of musculoskeletal elements. Thus, the turtle provides an ideal case study for understanding changes in the developmental program associated with the morphological evolution of vertebrates. In this article, the evolution of the turtle-specific body plan is reviewed and discussed. The key to understanding shell patterning lies in the modification of the ribs, for which the carapacial ridge (CR), a turtle-specific embryonic anlage, is assumed to be responsible. The growth of the ribs is arrested in the axial part of the body, allowing dorsal and lateral oriented growth to encapsulate the scapula. Although the CR does not appear to induce this axial arrest per se, it has been shown to support the fan-shaped patterning of the ribs, which occurs concomitant with marginal growth of the carapace along the line of the turtle-specific folding that takes place in the lateral body wall. During the process of the folding, some trunk muscles maintain their ancestral connectivities, whereas the limb muscles establish new attachments specific to the turtle. The turtle body plan can thus be explained with our knowledge of vertebrate anatomy and developmental biology, consistent with the evolutionary origin of the turtle suggested by the recently discovered fossil species, Odontochelys. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2015-04-10

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  2. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert; Schofield, P. N.; Gkoutos, G. V.

    2015-01-01

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, N.; Bjerklie, D. M.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Claire Horner-Devine

    2016-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. A New Strategy to Control and Eradicate "Undruggable" Oncogenic K-RAS-Driven Pancreatic Cancer: Molecular Insights and Core Principles Learned from Developmental and Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Sciver, Robert E; Lee, Michael P; Lee, Caroline Dasom; Lafever, Alex C; Svyatova, Elizaveta; Kanda, Kevin; Colliver, Amber L; Siewertsz van Reesema, Lauren L; Tang-Tan, Angela M; Zheleva, Vasilena; Bwayi, Monicah N; Bian, Minglei; Schmidt, Rebecca L; Matrisian, Lynn M; Petersen, Gloria M; Tang, Amy H

    2018-05-14

    Oncogenic K-RAS mutations are found in virtually all pancreatic cancers, making K-RAS one of the most targeted oncoproteins for drug development in cancer therapies. Despite intense research efforts over the past three decades, oncogenic K-RAS has remained largely "undruggable". Rather than targeting an upstream component of the RAS signaling pathway (i.e., EGFR/HER2) and/or the midstream effector kinases (i.e., RAF/MEK/ERK/PI3K/mTOR), we propose an alternative strategy to control oncogenic K-RAS signal by targeting its most downstream signaling module, Seven-In-Absentia Homolog (SIAH). SIAH E3 ligase controls the signal output of oncogenic K-RAS hyperactivation that drives unchecked cell proliferation, uncontrolled tumor growth, and rapid cancer cell dissemination in human pancreatic cancer. Therefore, SIAH is an ideal therapeutic target as it is an extraordinarily conserved downstream signaling gatekeeper indispensable for proper RAS signaling. Guided by molecular insights and core principles obtained from developmental and evolutionary biology, we propose an anti-SIAH-centered anti-K-RAS strategy as a logical and alternative anticancer strategy to dampen uncontrolled K-RAS hyperactivation and halt tumor growth and metastasis in pancreatic cancer. The clinical utility of developing SIAH as both a tumor-specific and therapy-responsive biomarker, as well as a viable anti-K-RAS drug target, is logically simple and conceptually innovative. SIAH clearly constitutes a major tumor vulnerability and K-RAS signaling bottleneck in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in the K-RAS/SIAH signaling pathway, an anti-SIAH-based anti-PDAC therapy will synergize with covalent K-RAS inhibitors and direct K-RAS targeted initiatives to control and eradicate pancreatic cancer in the future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Noah M; Whitehead, Andrew

    2016-09-01

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

  8. Gene/Environment Interaction in Atherosclerosis: An Example of Clinical Medicine as Seen from the Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Mertens

    2010-01-01

    The chronic multifactorial disease of atherosclerosis clearly illustrates the Darwinian paradigm. Recent research, combining the effects of genes and environment, has provided surprising clues to the pathogenesis of this major public health problem. This example makes a strong case for recognizing evolution biology as a basic science for medicine.

  9. Perspectives provided by leopard and other cat genomes: how diet determined the evolutionary history of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; O’Brian, Stephen J.; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies have enabled humans to generate and investigate the genomes of wild species. This includes the big cat family, such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Adding the first high quality leopard genome, we have performed an in-depth comparative analysis to identify the genomic signatures in the evolution of felid to become the top predators on land. Our study focused on how the carnivore genomes, as compared to the omnivore or herbivore genomes, shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with nutrient metabolism, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for hunting and meat digestion. We found genetic evidence that genomes represent what animals eat through modifying genes. Highly conserved genetically relevant regions were discovered in genomes at the family level. Also, the Felidae family genomes exhibited low levels of genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, presumably because of their strict diet, suggesting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our findings can be used for human health enhancement, since we share the same genes as cats with some variation. This is an example how wildlife genomes can be a critical resource for human evolution, providing key genetic marker information for disease treatment. PMID:28042784

  10. Biological and remote sensing perspectives of pigmentation in coral reef organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedley, John D; Mumby, Peter J

    2002-01-01

    Coral reef communities face unprecedented pressures on local, regional and global scales as a consequence of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. Optical remote sensing, from satellites or aircraft, is possibly the only means of measuring the effects of such stresses at appropriately large spatial scales (many thousands of square kilometres). To map key variables such as coral community structure, percentages of living coral or percentages of dead coral, a remote sensing instrument must be able to distinguish the reflectance spectra (i.e. "spectral signature", reflected light as a function of wavelength) of each category. For biotic classes, reflectance is a complex function of pigmentation, structure and morphology. Studies of coral "colour" fall into two disparate but potentially complementary types. Firstly, biological studies tend to investigate the structure and significance of pigmentation in reef organisms. These studies often lack details that would be useful from a remote sensing perspective such as intraspecific variation in pigment concentration or the contribution of fluorescence to reflectance. Secondly, remote sensing studies take empirical measurements of spectra and seek wavelengths that discriminate benthic categories. Benthic categories used in remote sensing sometimes consist of species groupings that are biologically or spectrally inappropriate (e.g. merging of algal phyla with distinct pigments). Here, we attempt to bridge the gap between biological and remote sensing perspectives of pigmentation in reef taxa. The aim is to assess the extent to which spectral discrimination can be given a biological foundation, to reduce the ad hoc nature of discriminatory criteria, and to understand the fundamental (biological) limitations in the spectral separability of biotic classes. Sources of pigmentation in reef biota are reviewed together with remote sensing studies where spectral discrimination has been effectively demonstrated between benthic

  11. 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.

  12. Understanding schizophrenia as a disorder of consciousness: biological correlates and translational implications from quantum theory perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan

    2015-04-30

    From neurophenomenological perspectives, schizophrenia has been conceptualized as "a disorder with heterogeneous manifestations that can be integrally understood to involve fundamental perturbations in consciousness". While these theoretical constructs based on consciousness facilitate understanding the 'gestalt' of schizophrenia, systematic research to unravel translational implications of these models is warranted. To address this, one needs to begin with exploration of plausible biological underpinnings of "perturbed consciousness" in schizophrenia. In this context, an attractive proposition to understand the biology of consciousness is "the orchestrated object reduction (Orch-OR) theory" which invokes quantum processes in the microtubules of neurons. The Orch-OR model is particularly important for understanding schizophrenia especially due to the shared 'scaffold' of microtubules. The initial sections of this review focus on the compelling evidence to support the view that "schizophrenia is a disorder of consciousness" through critical summary of the studies that have demonstrated self-abnormalities, aberrant time perception as well as dysfunctional intentional binding in this disorder. Subsequently, these findings are linked with 'Orch-OR theory' through the research evidence for aberrant neural oscillations as well as microtubule abnormalities observed in schizophrenia. Further sections emphasize the applicability and translational implications of Orch-OR theory in the context of schizophrenia and elucidate the relevance of quantum biology to understand the origins of this puzzling disorder as "fundamental disturbances in consciousness".

  13. Parent perspectives on privacy and governance for a pediatric repository of non-biological, research data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manhas, Kiran P; Page, Stacey; Dodd, Shawn X; Letourneau, Nicole; Ambrose, Aleta; Cui, Xinjie; Tough, Suzanne C

    2015-02-01

    Research data repositories (RDRs) are data storage entities where data can be submitted, stored, and subsequently accessed for purposes beyond the original intent. There is little information relating to non-biological RDRs, nor considerations regarding pediatric data storage and re-use. We examined parent perspectives on pediatric, non-biological RDRs. Qualitative, descriptive methods including both interviews and focus groups were used. Purposive sampling of adult participants in two provincial birth cohorts yielded 19 interviewees and 18 focus group participants (4 groups). Transcripts were analyzed by thematic content analysis. Parent research participants strongly supported the sharing of their own, and their child's, non-biological research data. Four themes emerged: that altruism has limits, that participants have ongoing privacy concerns, that some participants need the assurance of congruent values between themselves and researchers/research questions, and that opinions diverge for some governance issues. The establishment of RDRs is important and maximizes participants', researchers', and funders' investments. Participants as data donors have concerns relating to privacy, relationships, and governance that must be considered in RDR development. © The Author(s) 2014.

  14. Autism as a disorder of biological and behavioral rhythms: Towards new therapeutic perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie eTordjman

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available There is a growing interest in the role of biological and behavioral rhythms in typical and atypical development. Recent studies in cognitive and developmental psychology have highlighted the importance of rhythmicity and synchrony of motor, emotional and relational rhythms in early development of social communication. The synchronization of rhythms allows tuning and adaptation to the external environment. The role of melatonin in the ontogenetic establishment of circadian rhythms and the synchronization of peripheral oscillators suggests that this hormone might be also involved in the synchrony of motor, emotional and relational rhythms. Autism provides a challenging model of physiological and behavioral rhythm disturbances and their possible effects on the development of social communication impairments and repetitive behaviors or interests. This article situates autism as a disorder of biological and behavioral rhythms and reviews the recent literature on the role of rhythmicity and synchrony of rhythms in child development. Finally, the hypothesis is developed that an integrated approach focusing on biological, motor, emotional and relational rhythms may open interesting therapeutic perspectives for children with autism. More specifically, promising avenues are discussed for potential therapeutic benefits in autism spectrum disorder of melatonin combined with developmental behavioral interventions that emphasize synchrony such as the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM.

  15. Autism as a disorder of biological and behavioral rhythms: toward new therapeutic perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tordjman, Sylvie; Davlantis, Katherine S; Georgieff, Nicolas; Geoffray, Marie-Maude; Speranza, Mario; Anderson, George M; Xavier, Jean; Botbol, Michel; Oriol, Cécile; Bellissant, Eric; Vernay-Leconte, Julie; Fougerou, Claire; Hespel, Anne; Tavenard, Aude; Cohen, David; Kermarrec, Solenn; Coulon, Nathalie; Bonnot, Olivier; Dawson, Geraldine

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing interest in the role of biological and behavioral rhythms in typical and atypical development. Recent studies in cognitive and developmental psychology have highlighted the importance of rhythmicity and synchrony of motor, emotional, and interpersonal rhythms in early development of social communication. The synchronization of rhythms allows tuning and adaptation to the external environment. The role of melatonin in the ontogenetic establishment of circadian rhythms and the synchronization of the circadian clocks network suggests that this hormone might be also involved in the synchrony of motor, emotional, and interpersonal rhythms. Autism provides a challenging model of physiological and behavioral rhythm disturbances and their possible effects on the development of social communication impairments and repetitive behaviors and interests. This article situates autism as a disorder of biological and behavioral rhythms and reviews the recent literature on the role of rhythmicity and synchrony of rhythms in child development. Finally, the hypothesis is developed that an integrated approach focusing on biological, motor, emotional, and interpersonal rhythms may open interesting therapeutic perspectives for children with autism. More specifically, promising avenues are discussed for potential therapeutic benefits in autism spectrum disorder of melatonin combined with developmental behavioral interventions that emphasize synchrony, such as the Early Start Denver Model.

  16. High school teachers' perspectives on effective approaches for teaching biology to students with special needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kos, Agnieszka

    The demands of national educational reforms require high school biology teachers to provide high quality instruction to students with and without special needs. The reforms, however, do not provide teachers with adequate teaching strategies to meet the needs of all students in the same context. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to understand high school biology teachers' perspectives, practices, and challenges in relation to teaching students with special needs. This approach was used to develop a substantive model for high school biology teachers who are challenged with teaching students with and without special needs. Data were collected via in-depth interviews with 15 high school teachers in a Midwestern school district. The data were analyzed using open coding, axial coding, and selective coding procedures in accordance with the grounded theory approach. Essential model components included skills and training for teachers, classroom management strategies, teaching strategies, and student skills. The emergent substantive theory indicated that that teacher preparation and acquired skills greatly influence the effectiveness of inclusion implementation. Key findings also indicated the importance of using of a variety of instructional strategies and classroom management strategies that address students' special needs and their learning styles. This study contributes to social change by providing a model for teaching students and effectively implementing inclusion in regular science classrooms. Following further study, this model may be used to support teacher professional development and improve teaching practices that in turn may improve science literacy supported by the national educational reforms.

  17. 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,

  18. Diferenças de gênero no desenvolvimento sexual: integração dos paradigmas biológico, psicanalítico e evolucionista Gender differences in sexual development: biologic, psychoanalytic and evolutionary paradigms integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Parisotto

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available O desenvolvimento sexual masculino e feminino tem sido fonte de incontáveis questionamentos em várias áreas do conhecimento humano ao longo da história da humanidade. Diversas especialidades têm estudado o tópico da sexualidade de forma dissociada, dificultando a sua compreensão global e a abordagem terapêutica de seus transtornos. A busca de integração de diferentes teorias oriundas, tanto dos processos fisiológicos básicos que originam a vida, quanto dos campos mais complexos da psicanálise, tem sido um dos grandes desafios da prática clínica. Propõe-se, então, um artigo com o objetivo de descrever as diferenças de gênero no desenvolvimento sexual humano, à luz dos vértices biológico, psicanalítico e evolucionista, buscando-se pontes de conexão entre estes paradigmas, para uma visão mais integrada do processo de ser masculino ou feminino.Male and female sexual development has been source of many controversies through the human history. Many specialties have studied the sexuality from a disconnected point of view, raising difficulties to its integral understanding and therapeutic approach. The search for integration between physiology and psychoanalysis has been one of the major challenges in clinical practice. In this article we describe gender differences in sexual human development under the biological, psychoanalytical and evolutionary perspectives, searching connections between these paradigms in order to find a more integrated vision of male and female development.

  19. Was Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus introduced into China via the ancient Silk Road? An evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhenqiu; Fang, Qiwen; Zuo, Jialu; Minhas, Veenu; Wood, Charles; He, Na; Zhang, Tiejun

    2017-10-01

    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) has become widely dispersed worldwide since it was first reported in 1994, but the seroprevalence of KSHV varies geographically. KSHV is relatively ubiquitous in Mediterranean areas and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The origin of KSHV has long been puzzling. In the present study, we collected and analysed 154 KSHV ORF-K1 sequences obtained from samples originating from Xinjiang, Italy, Greece, Iran and southern Siberia using Bayesian evolutionary analysis in BEAST to test the hypothesis that KSHV was introduced into Xinjiang via the ancient Silk Road. According to the phylogenetic analysis, 72 sequences were subtype A and 82 subtype C, with C2 (n = 56) being the predominant subtype. The times to the most recent common ancestors (tMRCAs) of KSHV were 29,872 years (95% highest probability density [HPD], 26,851-32,760 years) for all analysed sequences and 2037 years (95% HPD, 1843-2229 years) for Xinjiang sequences in particular. The tMRCA of Xinjiang KSHV was exactly matched with the time period of the ancient Silk Road approximately two thousand years ago. This route began in Chang'an, the capital of the Han dynasty of China, and crossed Central Asia, ending in the Roman Empire. The evolution rate of KSHV was slow, with 3.44 × 10 -6 substitutions per site per year (95% HPD, 2.26 × 10 -6 to 4.71 × 10 -6 ), although 11 codons were discovered to be under positive selection pressure. The geographic distances from Italy to Iran and Xinjiang are more than 4000 and 7000 kilometres, respectively, but no explicit relationship between genetic distance and geographic distance was detected.

  20. Bacterial membrane vesicles, an overlooked environmental colloid: Biology, environmental perspectives and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyofuku, Masanori; Tashiro, Yosuke; Hasegawa, Yusuke; Kurosawa, Masaharu; Nomura, Nobuhiko

    2015-12-01

    Phospholipid vesicles play important roles in biological systems. Bacteria are one of the most abundant organisms on Earth, and bacterial membrane vesicles (MVs) were first observed 50 years ago. Many bacteria release MVs to the environment that mainly consist of the cell membrane and typically range from 20 to 400 nm in size. Bacterial MVs are involved in several biological functions, such as delivery of cargo, virulence and gene transfer. MVs can be isolated from laboratory culture and directly from the environment, indicating their high abundance in and impact on ecosystems. Many colloidal particles in the environment ranging in size from 1 nm to 1 μm have been reported but not characterized at the molecular level, and MVs remain to be explored. Hence, MVs can be considered terra incognita in environmental colloid research. Although MV biogenesis and biological roles are yet to be fully understood, the accumulation of knowledge has opened new avenues for their applications. Via genetic engineering, the MV yield can be greatly increased, and the components of MVs can be tailored. Recent studies have demonstrated that MVs have promising potential for applications such as drug delivery systems and nanobiocatalysts. For instance, MV vaccines have been extensively studied and have already been approved in Europe. Recent MV studies have evoked great interest in the fields of biology and biotechnology, but fundamental questions, such as their transport in the environment or physicochemical features of MVs, remain to be addressed. In this review, we present the current understanding of bacterial MVs and environmental perspectives and further introduce their applications. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Invited review: gravitational biology of the neuromotor systems: a perspective to the next era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgerton, V. R.; Roy, R. R.

    2000-01-01

    Earth's gravity has had a significant impact on the designs of the neuromotor systems that have evolved. Early indications are that gravity also plays a key role in the ontogenesis of some of these design features. The purpose of the present review is not to assess and interpret a body of knowledge in the usual sense of a review but to look ahead, given some of the general concepts that have evolved and observations made to date, which can guide our future approach to gravitational biology. We are now approaching an era in gravitational biology during which well-controlled experiments can be conducted for sustained periods in a microgravity environment. Thus it is now possible to study in greater detail the role of gravity in phylogenesis and ontogenesis. Experiments can range from those conducted on the simplest levels of organization of the components that comprise the neuromotor system to those conducted on the whole organism. Generally, the impact of Earth's gravitational environment on living systems becomes more complex as the level of integration of the biological phenomenon of interest increases. Studies of the effects of gravitational vectors on neuromotor systems have and should continue to provide unique insight into these mechanisms that control and maintain neural control systems designed to function in Earth's gravitational environment. A number of examples are given of how a gravitational biology perspective can lead to a clearer understanding of neuromotor disorders. Furthermore, the technologies developed for spaceflight studies have contributed and should continue to contribute to studies of motor dysfunctions, such as spinal cord injury and stroke. Disorders associated with energy support and delivery systems and how these functions are altered by sedentary life styles at 1 G and by space travel in a microgravity environment are also discussed.

  2. Role of biologics and biosimilars in inflammatory bowel disease: current trends and future perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rawla P

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Prashanth Rawla,1 Tagore Sunkara,2 Jeffrey Pradeep Raj3 1Department of Internal Medicine, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, Martinsville, VA, 2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Clinical Affiliate of The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, USA; 3Department of Pharmacology, St John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD is an idiopathic chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal system. The spectrum is of predominantly two types, namely, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The incidence of IBD has been increasing steadily since 1990, and so the number of agents used in their treatment. Biologics that are derived partly or completely from living biological sources such as animals and humans have become widely available, which provide therapeutic benefits to the IBD patients. Currently, monoclonal antibodies against tumor necrosis factor-alpha (infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, and golimumab, integrins (vedolizumab and natalizumab, and interleukin (IL-12 and IL-23 antagonists (ustekinumab are approved for use in IBD. Biosimilars of infliximab and adalimumab are also available for the treatment of IBD. This review summarizes the clinical pharmacology, studies leading to their approval, overall indications and their use in IBD, usage in pregnancy and lactation, and the adverse effects of these agents. This review also summarizes the recent advances and future perspectives specific to biologics and biosimilars in IBD. Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, biologics, biosimilars, tumor necrosis factor, integrin, interleukin, adalimumab, Humira®, certolizumab, Cimzia®, golimumab, Simponi®, infliximab, Remicade®, vedolizumab, Entyvio, natalizumab, Tysabri®, ustekinumab, Stelara® 

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Biological prevention and/or treatment strategies for radiation myelopathy. Discussion of a new perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nieder, C.; Ataman, F.; Price, R.E.; Kian Ang, K.

    1999-01-01

    Background: Radiosensitivity of the spinal cord makes both curative first-line treatment of numerous malignancies and re-irradiation of recurrent or second tumors more difficult. This review discusses recent advances in basic research that alter the view on the pathogenesis of radiation myelopathy, possibly offering strategies for prevention and/or therapy. Results: Available data of developmental neurobiology and preclinical studies of demyelinating diseases revealed interesting insights into oligodendrocyte development, intercellular signaling pathways, and myelination processes. Current findings suggest that administration of cytokines could increase proliferation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, enhance their differentiation, upregulate synthesis of myelin constituents, and promote myelin regeneration in the adult central nervous system. Other compounds might also be able to modulate progression of pathogenic processes that eventually lead to radiation myelopathy. This offers several possible biological prevention and/or treatment strategies, which currently are being investigated in animal studies. Conclusions: Technical options as well as optimization of fractionation parameters should be given priority in the attempt to reduce iatrogenic neurotoxicity. However, rational biological strategies could offer a new perspective for many patients. (orig.) [de

  7. Freud: the first evolutionary psychologist?

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCroy, D

    2000-04-01

    An evolutionary perspective on attachment theory and psychoanalytic theory brings these two fields together in interesting ways. Application of the evolutionary principle of parent-offspring conflict to attachment theory suggests that attachment styles represent context-sensitive, evolved (adaptive) behaviors. In addition, an emphasis on offspring counter-strategies to adult reproductive strategies leads to consideration of attachment styles as overt manifestations of psychodynamic mediating processes, including the defense mechanisms of repression and reaction formation.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Theologies, ideologies and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scudo, Francesco M

    2010-01-01

    Since a century evolution has mostly been interpreted by two simple, "opposite" kinds of "theories" — i.e. as due either to fitness differences among genotypes or to some other simple mechanism — while bona fide, more complex theories were less popular throughout. In particular by far the most complete theories ever produced were suddenly, almost universally abandoned just after World War II, though not as a consequence of major breakthroughs. The causes of this situation are examined by analogy with much earlier developments and their demise by Cartesianism. The down to earth solutions these "complete" theories provide to the problems of "speciation" and the origins of cells are contrasted with the "miraculous" approaches by systemic neo-Darwinists.

  13. A Population Biology Perspective on the Stepwise Infection Process of the Bacterial Pathogen Pasteuria ramosa in Daphnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebert, Dieter; Duneau, David; Hall, Matthew D; Luijckx, Pepijn; Andras, Jason P; Du Pasquier, Louis; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2016-01-01

    The infection process of many diseases can be divided into series of steps, each one required to successfully complete the parasite's life and transmission cycle. This approach often reveals that the complex phenomenon of infection is composed of a series of more simple mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that a population biology approach, which takes into consideration the natural genetic and environmental variation at each step, can greatly aid our understanding of the evolutionary processes shaping disease traits. We focus in this review on the biology of the bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa and its aquatic crustacean host Daphnia, a model system for the evolutionary ecology of infectious disease. Our analysis reveals tremendous differences in the degree to which the environment, host genetics, parasite genetics and their interactions contribute to the expression of disease traits at each of seven different steps. This allows us to predict which steps may respond most readily to selection and which steps are evolutionarily constrained by an absence of variation. We show that the ability of Pasteuria to attach to the host's cuticle (attachment step) stands out as being strongly influenced by the interaction of host and parasite genotypes, but not by environmental factors, making it the prime candidate for coevolutionary interactions. Furthermore, the stepwise approach helps us understanding the evolution of resistance, virulence and host ranges. The population biological approach introduced here is a versatile tool that can be easily transferred to other systems of infectious disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. The evolutionary psychology of hunger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Shawaf, Laith

    2016-10-01

    An evolutionary psychological perspective suggests that emotions can be understood as coordinating mechanisms whose job is to regulate various psychological and physiological programs in the service of solving an adaptive problem. This paper suggests that it may also be fruitful to approach hunger from this coordinating mechanism perspective. To this end, I put forward an evolutionary task analysis of hunger, generating novel a priori hypotheses about the coordinating effects of hunger on psychological processes such as perception, attention, categorization, and memory. This approach appears empirically fruitful in that it yields a bounty of testable new hypotheses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Thermodynamic perspectives on genetic instructions, the laws of biology and diseased states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevors, Jack T; Saier, Milton H

    2011-01-01

    This article examines in a broad perspective entropy and some examples of its relationship to evolution, genetic instructions and how we view diseases. Living organisms are programmed by functional genetic instructions (FGI), through cellular communication pathways, to grow and reproduce by maintaining a variety of hemistable, ordered structures (low entropy). Living organisms are far from equilibrium with their surrounding environmental systems, which tends towards increasing disorder (increasing entropy). Organisms free themselves from high entropy (high disorder) to maintain their cellular structures for a period of time sufficient to allow reproduction and the resultant offspring to reach reproductive ages. This time interval varies for different species. Bacteria, for example need no sexual parents; dividing cells are nearly identical to the previous generation of cells, and can begin a new cell cycle without delay under appropriate conditions. By contrast, human infants require years of care before they can reproduce. Living organisms maintain order in spite of their changing surrounding environment that decreases order according to the second law of thermodynamics. These events actually work together since living organisms create ordered biological structures by increasing local entropy. From a disease perspective, viruses and other disease agents interrupt the normal functioning of cells. The pressure for survival may result in mechanisms that allow organisms to resist attacks by viruses, other pathogens, destructive chemicals and physical agents such as radiation. However, when the attack is successful, the organism can be damaged until the cell, tissue, organ or entire organism is no longer functional and entropy increases. Copyright © 2010 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Thermodynamic perspectives on genetic instructions, the laws of biology, diseased states and human population control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saier, M. H.

    2014-01-01

    This article examines in a broad perspective entropy and some examples of its relationship to evolution, genetic instructions and how we view diseases. Many knowledge gaps abound, hence our understanding is still fragmented and incomplete. Living organisms are programmed by functional genetic instructions (FGI), through cellular communication pathways, to grow and reproduce by maintaining a variety of hemistable, ordered structures (low entropy). Living organisms are far from equilibrium with their surrounding environmental systems, which tends towards increasing disorder (increasing entropy). Organisms must free themselves from high entropy (high disorder) to maintain their cellular structures for a period of time sufficient enough to allow reproduction and the resultant offspring to reach reproductive ages. This time interval varies for different species. Bacteria, for example need no sexual parents; dividing cells are nearly identical to the previous generation of cells, and can begin a new cell cycle without delay under appropriate conditions. By contrast, human infants require years of care before they can reproduce. Living organisms maintain order in spite of their changing surrounding environment, that decreases order according to the second law of thermodynamics. These events actually work together since living organisms create ordered biological structures by increasing local entropy. From a disease perspective, viruses and other disease agents interrupt the normal functioning of cells. The pressure for survival may result in mechanisms that allow organisms to resist attacks by viruses, other pathogens, destructive chemicals and physical agents such as radiation. However, when the attack is successful, the organism can be damaged until the cell, tissue, organ or entire organism is no longer functional and entropy increases. PMID:21262480

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Development of environmental impact monitoring protocol for offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS): A biological perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Hyewon; Kim, Yong Hoon; Kang, Seong-Gil; Park, Young-Gyu

    2016-01-01

    Offshore geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO_2), known as offshore carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), has been under active investigation as a safe, effective mitigation option for reducing CO_2 levels from anthropogenic fossil fuel burning and climate change. Along with increasing trends in implementation plans and related logistics on offshore CCS, thorough risk assessment (i.e. environmental impact monitoring) needs to be conducted to evaluate potential risks, such as CO_2 gas leakage at injection sites. Gas leaks from offshore CCS may affect the physiology of marine organisms and disrupt certain ecosystem functions, thereby posing an environmental risk. Here, we synthesize current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore CCS with an emphasis on biological aspects and provide suggestions for better practice. Based on our critical review of preexisting literatures, this paper: 1) discusses key variables sensitive to or indicative of gas leakage by summarizing physico-chemical and ecological variables measured from previous monitoring cruises on offshore CCS; 2) lists ecosystem and organism responses to a similar environmental condition to CO_2 leakage and associated impacts, such as ocean acidification and hypercapnia, to predict how they serve as responsive indicators of short- and long-term gas exposure, and 3) discusses the designs of the artificial gas release experiments in fields and the best model simulation to produce realistic leakage scenarios in marine ecosystems. Based on our analysis, we suggest that proper incorporation of biological aspects will provide successful and robust long-term monitoring strategies with earlier detection of gas leakage, thus reducing the risks associated with offshore CCS. - Highlights: • This paper synthesizes the current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). • Impacts of CO_2 leakage (ocean acidification, hypercapnia) on marine

  1. Development of environmental impact monitoring protocol for offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS): A biological perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Hyewon, E-mail: hyewon@ldeo.columbia.edu [Division of Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964 (United States); Kim, Yong Hoon, E-mail: Yong.Kim@rpsgroup.com [RPS ASA, 55 Village Square Drive, South Kingstown, RI 02879 (United States); Kang, Seong-Gil, E-mail: kangsg@kriso.re.kr [Offshore CCS Research Unit, Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering, 32 1312 Beon-gil, Yuseong-daero, Yuseong-gu, Deaejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Young-Gyu, E-mail: ypark@kiost.ac.kr [Ocean Circulation and Climate Change Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, 787 Haeanro, Ansan (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-02-15

    Offshore geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}), known as offshore carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), has been under active investigation as a safe, effective mitigation option for reducing CO{sub 2} levels from anthropogenic fossil fuel burning and climate change. Along with increasing trends in implementation plans and related logistics on offshore CCS, thorough risk assessment (i.e. environmental impact monitoring) needs to be conducted to evaluate potential risks, such as CO{sub 2} gas leakage at injection sites. Gas leaks from offshore CCS may affect the physiology of marine organisms and disrupt certain ecosystem functions, thereby posing an environmental risk. Here, we synthesize current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore CCS with an emphasis on biological aspects and provide suggestions for better practice. Based on our critical review of preexisting literatures, this paper: 1) discusses key variables sensitive to or indicative of gas leakage by summarizing physico-chemical and ecological variables measured from previous monitoring cruises on offshore CCS; 2) lists ecosystem and organism responses to a similar environmental condition to CO{sub 2} leakage and associated impacts, such as ocean acidification and hypercapnia, to predict how they serve as responsive indicators of short- and long-term gas exposure, and 3) discusses the designs of the artificial gas release experiments in fields and the best model simulation to produce realistic leakage scenarios in marine ecosystems. Based on our analysis, we suggest that proper incorporation of biological aspects will provide successful and robust long-term monitoring strategies with earlier detection of gas leakage, thus reducing the risks associated with offshore CCS. - Highlights: • This paper synthesizes the current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). • Impacts of CO{sub 2} leakage (ocean acidification

  2. Exogenous near-infrared fluorophores and their applications in cancer diagnosis: biological and clinical perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hua; Uselman, Ryan R; Yee, Douglas

    2011-05-01

    Near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) imaging is a rapidly growing research field which has the potential to be an important imaging modality in cancer diagnosis. Various exogenous NIR fluorophores have been developed for the technique, including small molecule fluorophores and nanoparticles. NIRF imaging has been used in animal models for the detection of cancer overthe last twenty years and has in recent years been used in human clinical trials. This article describes the types and characteristics of exogenous fluorophores available for in vivo fluorescent cancer imaging. The article also discusses the progression of NIRF cancer imaging over recent years and its future challenges, from both a biological and clinical perspective. in The review also looks at its application for lymph node mapping, tumor targeting and characterization, and tumor margin definition for surgical guidance. NIRF imaging is not in routine clinical cancer practice; yet, the authors predict that techniques using NIR fluorophores for tumor margin definition and lymph node mapping will enter clinical practice in the near future. The authors also anticipate that NIRF imaging research will lead to the development of flurophores with 'high brightness' that will overcome the limited penetration of this modality and be better suited for non invasive tumor targeting.

  3. Spring Blooms Observed with Biochemical Profiling Floats from a Chemical and Biological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant, J. N.; Johnson, K. S.; Sakamoto, C.; Jannasch, H. W.; Coletti, L. J.; Elrod, V.

    2015-12-01

    Recently there has been renewed interest in the mechanisms which control the seasonal increases in plankton biomass (spring blooms). Changes in physical and chemical forcing (light, wind, heat and nutrients) may increase the specific growth rate of phytoplankton. These changes may also shift the predator - prey relationships within the food web structure, which can alter the balance between plankton growth and loss rates. Biogeochemical profiling floats provide a means to observe the seasonal evolution of spring blooms from a physical, chemical and biological perspective in near real time. Floats equipped with optical sensors to measure nitrate, oxygen, chlorophyll fluorescence, and optical backscatter now have a presence in many ocean regions including the North Pacific, Subarctic Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Data from these regions are used to compare and contrast the evolution of spring blooms. The evolution of the bloom is examined using both chemical (oxygen, nitrate) and biooptical (phytoplankton from chlorophyll fluorescence and particulate organic carbon from optical backscatter) sensors under vastly different environmental conditions.

  4. Parental perspectives on consent for participation in large-scale, non-biological data repositories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manhas, Kiran Pohar; Page, Stacey; Dodd, Shawn X; Letourneau, Nicole; Ambrose, Aleta; Cui, Xinjie; Tough, Suzanne C

    2016-01-01

    Data sharing presents several challenges to the informed consent process. Unique challenges emerge when sharing pediatric or pregnancy-related data. Here, parent preferences for sharing non-biological data are examined. Groups (n = 4 groups, 18 participants) and individual interviews (n = 19 participants) were conducted with participants from two provincial, longitudinal pregnancy cohorts (AOB and APrON). Qualitative content analysis was applied to transcripts of semi-structured interviews. Participants were supportive of a broad, one-time consent model or a tiered consent model. These preferences were grounded in the perceived obligations for reciprocity and accuracy. Parents want reciprocity among participants, repositories and researchers regarding respect and trust. Furthermore, parents' worry about the interrelationships between the validity of the consent processes and secondary data use. Though parent participants agree that their research data should be made available for secondary use, they believe their consent is still required. Given their understanding that obtaining and informed consent can be challenging in the case of secondary use, parents agreed that a broad, one-time consent model was acceptable, reducing the logistical burden while maintaining respect for their contribution. This broad model also maintained participant trust in the research and secondary use of their data. The broad, one-time model also reflected parents' perspectives surrounding child involvement in the consent process. The majority of parents felt decision made during childhood were the parents responsibility and should remain in parental purview until the child reaches the age of majority.

  5. 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

  6. Evolutionary robotics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In evolutionary robotics, a suitable robot control system is developed automatically through evolution due to the interactions between the robot and its environment. It is a complicated task, as the robot and the environment constitute a highly dynamical system. Several methods have been tried by various investigators to ...

  7. Further explorations of the facing bias in biological motion perception: perspective cues, observer sex, and response times.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Schouten

    Full Text Available The human visual system has evolved to be highly sensitive to visual information about other persons and their movements as is illustrated by the effortless perception of point-light figures or 'biological motion'. When presented orthographically, a point-light walker is interpreted in two anatomically plausible ways: As 'facing the viewer' or as 'facing away' from the viewer. However, human observers show a 'facing bias': They perceive such a point-light walker as facing towards them in about 70-80% of the cases. In studies exploring the role of social and biological relevance as a possible account for the facing bias, we found a 'figure gender effect': Male point-light figures elicit a stronger facing bias than female point-light figures. Moreover, we also found an 'observer gender effect': The 'figure gender effect' was stronger for male than for female observers. In the present study we presented to 11 males and 11 females point-light walkers of which, very subtly, the perspective information was manipulated by modifying the earlier reported 'perspective technique'. Proportions of 'facing the viewer' responses and reaction times were recorded. Results show that human observers, even in the absence of local shape or size cues, easily pick up on perspective cues, confirming recent demonstrations of high visual sensitivity to cues on whether another person is potentially approaching. We also found a consistent difference in how male and female observers respond to stimulus variations (figure gender or perspective cues that cause variations in the perceived in-depth orientation of a point-light walker. Thus, the 'figure gender effect' is possibly caused by changes in the relative locations and motions of the dots that the perceptual system tends to interpret as perspective cues. Third, reaction time measures confirmed the existence of the facing bias and recent research showing faster detection of approaching than receding biological motion.

  8. 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.

  9. The perspectives of nonscience-major students on success in community college biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim-Rajab, Oriana Sharon

    With more than 36% of nonscience-major community college students unable to successfully complete their general life science courses, graduation and transfer rates to four-year universities are negatively affected. Many students also miss important opportunities to gain some level of science proficiency. In an effort to address the problem of poor science achievement, this research project determined which factors were most significantly related to student success in a community college biology course. It also aimed to understand the student perspectives on which modifications to the course would best help them in the pursuit of success. Drawing heavily on the educational psychology schools of thought on motivation and self-efficacy of science learning, this study surveyed and interviewed students on their perceptions of which factors were related to success in biology and the changes they believed were needed in the course structure to improve success. The data revealed that the primary factors related to student success are the students' study skills and their perceived levels of self-efficacy. The findings also uncovered the critical nature of the professor's role in influencing the success of the students. After assessing the needs of the community college population, meaningful and appropriate curriculum and pedagogical reforms could be created to improve student learning outcomes. This study offered recommendations for reforms that can be used by science practitioners to provide a more nurturing and inspiring environment for all students. These suggestions revolved around the role of the instructor in influencing the self-efficacy and study skills of students. Providing more opportunities for students to interact in class, testing more frequently, establishing peer assistance programs, managing better the course material, and making themselves more available to students were at the forefront of the list. Examples of the potential benefits of increasing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzer, Peggy Mckewen

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

  11. Perspective: Differential dynamic microscopy extracts multi-scale activity in complex fluids and biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerbino, Roberto; Cicuta, Pietro

    2017-09-01

    Differential dynamic microscopy (DDM) is a technique that exploits optical microscopy to obtain local, multi-scale quantitative information about dynamic samples, in most cases without user intervention. It is proving extremely useful in understanding dynamics in liquid suspensions, soft materials, cells, and tissues. In DDM, image sequences are analyzed via a combination of image differences and spatial Fourier transforms to obtain information equivalent to that obtained by means of light scattering techniques. Compared to light scattering, DDM offers obvious advantages, principally (a) simplicity of the setup; (b) possibility of removing static contributions along the optical path; (c) power of simultaneous different microscopy contrast mechanisms; and (d) flexibility of choosing an analysis region, analogous to a scattering volume. For many questions, DDM has also advantages compared to segmentation/tracking approaches and to correlation techniques like particle image velocimetry. The very straightforward DDM approach, originally demonstrated with bright field microscopy of aqueous colloids, has lately been used to probe a variety of other complex fluids and biological systems with many different imaging methods, including dark-field, differential interference contrast, wide-field, light-sheet, and confocal microscopy. The number of adopting groups is rapidly increasing and so are the applications. Here, we briefly recall the working principles of DDM, we highlight its advantages and limitations, we outline recent experimental breakthroughs, and we provide a perspective on future challenges and directions. DDM can become a standard primary tool in every laboratory equipped with a microscope, at the very least as a first bias-free automated evaluation of the dynamics in a system.

  12. 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.

  13. Strategies for structuring interdisciplinary education in Systems Biology: an European perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cvijovic, Marija; Höfer, Thomas; Acimovic, Jure; Alberghina, Lilia; Almaas, Eivind; Besozzi, Daniela; Blomberg, Anders; Bretschneider, Till; Cascante, Marta; Collin, Olivier; Atauri, de Pedro; Depner, Cornelia; Dickinson, Robert; Dobrzynski, Maciej; Fleck, C.; Garcia-Ojalvo, Jordi; Gonze, Didier; Hahn, Jens; Hess, Heide Marie; Hollmann, Susanne; Krantz, Marcus; Kummer, Ursula; Lundh, Torbjörn; Martial, Gifta; Martins dos Santos, V.A.P.; Mauer-Oberthür, Angela; Regierer, Babette; Skene, Barbara; Stalidzans, Egils; Stelling, Jörg; Teusink, Bas; Workman, Christopher T.; Hohmann, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Systems Biology is an approach to biology and medicine that has the potential to lead to a better understanding of how biological properties emerge from the interaction of genes, proteins, molecules, cells and organisms. The approach aims at elucidating how these interactions govern biological

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenormand, Thomas; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnston, Susan E; Wijnker, Erik; Haag, Christoph R

    2016-10-19

    Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these often 'weird' features. We discuss the origin of meiosis (origin of ploidy reduction and recombination, two-step meiosis), its secondary modifications (in polyploids or asexuals, inverted meiosis), its importance in punctuating life cycles (meiotic arrests, epigenetic resetting, meiotic asymmetry, meiotic fairness) and features associated with recombination (disjunction constraints, heterochiasmy, crossover interference and hotspots). We present the various evolutionary scenarios and selective pressures that have been proposed to account for these features, and we highlight that their evolutionary significance often remains largely mysterious. Resolving these mysteries will likely provide decisive steps towards understanding why sex and recombination are found in the majority of eukaryotes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. 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.

  19. Ted Hall and the science of biological microprobe X-ray analysis: a historical perspective of methodology and biological dividends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, B L

    1991-06-01

    This review surveys the emergence of electron probe X-ray microanalysis as a quantitative method for measuring the chemical elements in situ. The extension of the method to the biological sciences under the influence of Ted Hall is reviewed. Some classical experiments by Hall and his colleagues in Cambridge, UK, previously unpublished, are described; as are some of the earliest quantitative results from the cryo-sections obtained in Cambridge and elsewhere. The progress of the methodology is critically evaluated from the earliest starts to the present state of the art. Particular attention has been focused on the application of the method in providing fresh insights into the role of ions in cell and tissue physiology and pathology. A comprehensive list of references is included for a further pursuit of the topics by the interested reader.

  20. 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.

  1. Transformações biológicas: contribuições e perspectivas Biological transformations: contributions and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Gonzaga de Oliveira

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In a moment that amazingly advances are being reached on the development of technologies to obtain high value chemical compounds as polymers, fine chemicals, pharmaceutical industry intermediates and chemical entities, we cannot refuse that a meaningful progress is due to the maturing in knowledge of biological transformations. Biocatalysis and biotransformations are being widespread applied to generate processes and products with incredible success. In this review article we present the main contributions of biotechnology and biological catalytic processes to Chemistry, the most important evolution steps on enzymatic transformations, how it has being applied and which are the perspectives to academic and industrial environments. We also would like to stimulate the community to step out research in biotechnology applicable to chemical and pharmaceutical industries, trying to achieve what we believe to be the ideal layout: integrating chemical transformations, enzymatic conversions and fermentation processes.

  2. Gender Stereotypes on Biology Practical Pedagogy: A Student-Teachers' Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abimbola, I. O.; Dada, F. E.

    2015-01-01

    This study examines ideas of pre-service teachers on goals of biology practical in three purposely selected Colleges of Education. To this end, A researcher designed questionnaire which was adapted titled "views of preservice teachers on biology practical" to elicit information, and findings of a survey administered to 405 preservice…

  3. Is Growing Old Inevitable? A Systems Perspective to Biological Changes and Educational Priorities in Later Adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiamberg, Lawrence B.

    This paper provides a brief review of theory, research, and educational implications for the role of exercise in controlling select biological and physiological changes which have traditionally been assumed to simply "happen" to the older adult. It is noted that recent research has suggested that many biological and physiological effects of…

  4. Exponential Expansion in Evolutionary Economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Peter; Jagtfelt, Tue

    2013-01-01

    This article attempts to solve current problems of conceptual fragmentation within the field of evolutionary economics. One of the problems, as noted by a number of observers, is that the field suffers from an assemblage of fragmented and scattered concepts (Boschma and Martin 2010). A solution...... to this problem is proposed in the form of a model of exponential expansion. The model outlines the overall structure and function of the economy as exponential expansion. The pictographic model describes four axiomatic concepts and their exponential nature. The interactive, directional, emerging and expanding...... concepts are described in detail. Taken together it provides the rudimentary aspects of an economic system within an analytical perspective. It is argued that the main dynamic processes of the evolutionary perspective can be reduced to these four concepts. The model and concepts are evaluated in the light...

  5. Genomic regression of claw keratin, taste receptor and light-associated genes provides insights into biology and evolutionary origins of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerling, Christopher A

    2017-10-01

    Regressive evolution of anatomical traits often corresponds with the regression of genomic loci underlying such characters. As such, studying patterns of gene loss can be instrumental in addressing questions of gene function, resolving conflicting results from anatomical studies, and understanding the evolutionary history of clades. The evolutionary origins of snakes involved the regression of a number of anatomical traits, including limbs, taste buds and the visual system, and by analyzing serpent genomes, I was able to test three hypotheses associated with the regression of these features. The first concerns two keratins that are putatively specific to claws. Both genes that encode these keratins are pseudogenized/deleted in snake genomes, providing additional evidence of claw-specificity. The second hypothesis is that snakes lack taste buds, an issue complicated by conflicting results in the literature. I found evidence that different snakes have lost one or more taste receptors, but all snakes examined retained at least one gustatory channel. The final hypothesis addressed is that the earliest snakes were adapted to a dim light niche. I found evidence of deleted and pseudogenized genes with light-associated functions in snakes, demonstrating a pattern of gene loss similar to other dim light-adapted clades. Molecular dating estimates suggest that dim light adaptation preceded the loss of limbs, providing some bearing on interpretations of the ecological origins of snakes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Radiotherapy of brain metastases of a breast cancer: present strategies, technological innovations and biological perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chargari, C.; Vedrine, L.; Bauduceau, O.; Jacob, J.; Fayolle, M.; Chargari, C.; Campana, F.; Pierga, J.Y.; Idrissi, H.R.; Fourquet, A.; Kirova, Y.

    2010-01-01

    The authors propose an overview of strategies which are presently used for the treatment of brain metastases related to a breast cancer. They outline the perspectives and recent developments of encephalic irradiation with new technologies allowing an increased conformation to be obtained, and also in terms of radiosensitization and radioprotection experiences. Short communication

  7. Mating systems in caridean shrimp (Decapoda: Caridea and their evolutionary consequences for sexual dimorphism and reproductive biology Sistemas de apareamiento en camarones carideos (Decapoda: Caridea y sus consecuencias evolutivas en el dimorfismo sexual y biología reproductiva

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CRISTIÁN CORREA

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we review functional and evolutionary relationships among mating systems of caridean shrimp and specific traits such as general biology/ecology, sexual systems, behavior and morphology. Four mating systems are described based on reports from available literature, and a fifth system is recognized but published information is insufficient to describe it in detail. `Monogamy' occurs in many species inhabiting monopolizable refuges or hosts, especially when environmental conditions restrict the probability of intraspecific interactions. In contrast, free-living species experience higher encounter rates and males can dominate or search. In `neighborhoods of dominance' mating systems, large males have higher reproductive success since they perform better in fights for receptive females. In `pure searching' mating systems, small and agile males do better because they search more efficiently for mates within the population. The fourth mating system is `search & attend' occurring in solitary symbionts, which experience variable ecological and demographic environments: depending on environmental conditions and ontogenetic stages it may either be profitable for males to search or to attend hosts with sexually attractive females. Sexual systems of caridean shrimp are characterized by their high diversity and intraspecific plasticity, including gonochorism and different forms of protandric or simultaneous hermaphroditism. The identified mating systems partially explained this diversity: In monogamous species, low encounter rates and lack of sexual dimorphism favors simultaneous hermaphroditism but gonochory usually occurs among these species probably because mates are not strictly faithful. Species with neighborhoods of dominance mating are gonochoristic because both sexes benefit from being large. Pure searching species have a wide opportunity for the evolution of protandry since small males benefit while the opposite is true for females. In

  8. An interdepartmental Ph.D. program in computational biology and bioinformatics: the Yale perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerstein, Mark; Greenbaum, Dov; Cheung, Kei; Miller, Perry L

    2007-02-01

    Computational biology and bioinformatics (CBB), the terms often used interchangeably, represent a rapidly evolving biological discipline. With the clear potential for discovery and innovation, and the need to deal with the deluge of biological data, many academic institutions are committing significant resources to develop CBB research and training programs. Yale formally established an interdepartmental Ph.D. program in CBB in May 2003. This paper describes Yale's program, discussing the scope of the field, the program's goals and curriculum, as well as a number of issues that arose in implementing the program. (Further updated information is available from the program's website, www.cbb.yale.edu.)

  9. From frog integument to human skin: dermatological perspectives from frog skin biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haslam, I.S.; Roubos, E.W.; Mangoni, M.L.; Yoshizato, K.; Vaudry, H.; Kloepper, J.E.; Pattwell, D.M.; Maderson, P.F.A.; Paus, R.

    2014-01-01

    For over a century, frogs have been studied across various scientific fields, including physiology, embryology, neuroscience, (neuro)endocrinology, ecology, genetics, behavioural science, evolution, drug development, and conservation biology. In some cases, frog skin has proven very successful as a

  10. Extinction phenomena: A biologic perspective on how and why psychoanalysis works

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda A.W. Brakel

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the view that much of the success of classical psychoanalysis is centrally predicated on its biological potency; focusing not on neuropsychology, but on the biology of conditioning. The argument suggests that features of classic psychoanalytic technique--the couch, meetings several times per week with both parties present, and free association--uniquely facilitate intense transferences of various sorts, and that these in turn constitute the multiple and diverse extinction trials necessary to best approximate extinction.

  11. Chinese Herbal Medicine Meets Biological Networks of Complex Diseases: A Computational Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Shuo Gu; Jianfeng Pei

    2017-01-01

    With the rapid development of cheminformatics, computational biology, and systems biology, great progress has been made recently in the computational research of Chinese herbal medicine with in-depth understanding towards pharmacognosy. This paper summarized these studies in the aspects of computational methods, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) compound databases, and TCM network pharmacology. Furthermore, we chose arachidonic acid metabolic network as a case study to demonstrate the regula...

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding physiology: a network biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsen, Peter K; Turan, Nil; Egginton, Stuart; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The overall aim of physiological research is to understand how living systems function in an integrative manner. Consequently, the discipline of physiology has since its infancy attempted to link multiple levels of biological organization. Increasingly this has involved mathematical and computational approaches, typically to model a small number of components spanning several levels of biological organization. With the advent of "omics" technologies, which can characterize the molecular state of a cell or tissue (intended as the level of expression and/or activity of its molecular components), the number of molecular components we can quantify has increased exponentially. Paradoxically, the unprecedented amount of experimental data has made it more difficult to derive conceptual models underlying essential mechanisms regulating mammalian physiology. We present an overview of state-of-the-art methods currently used to identifying biological networks underlying genomewide responses. These are based on a data-driven approach that relies on advanced computational methods designed to "learn" biology from observational data. In this review, we illustrate an application of these computational methodologies using a case study integrating an in vivo model representing the transcriptional state of hypoxic skeletal muscle with a clinical study representing muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The broader application of these approaches to modeling multiple levels of biological data in the context of modern physiology is discussed. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Of mice and women: a comparative tissue biology perspective of breast stem cells and differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dontu, Gabriela; Ince, Tan A

    2015-06-01

    Tissue based research requires a background in human and veterinary pathology, developmental biology, anatomy, as well as molecular and cellular biology. This type of comparative tissue biology (CTB) expertise is necessary to tackle some of the conceptual challenges in human breast stem cell research. It is our opinion that the scarcity of CTB expertise contributed to some erroneous interpretations in tissue based research, some of which are reviewed here in the context of breast stem cells. In this article we examine the dissimilarities between mouse and human mammary tissue and suggest how these may impact stem cell studies. In addition, we consider the differences between breast ducts vs. lobules and clarify how these affect the interpretation of results in stem cell research. Lastly, we introduce a new elaboration of normal epithelial cell types in human breast and discuss how this provides a clinically useful basis for breast cancer classification.

  16. Chinese Herbal Medicine Meets Biological Networks of Complex Diseases: A Computational Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Gu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available With the rapid development of cheminformatics, computational biology, and systems biology, great progress has been made recently in the computational research of Chinese herbal medicine with in-depth understanding towards pharmacognosy. This paper summarized these studies in the aspects of computational methods, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM compound databases, and TCM network pharmacology. Furthermore, we chose arachidonic acid metabolic network as a case study to demonstrate the regulatory function of herbal medicine in the treatment of inflammation at network level. Finally, a computational workflow for the network-based TCM study, derived from our previous successful applications, was proposed.

  17. Chinese Herbal Medicine Meets Biological Networks of Complex Diseases: A Computational Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Shuo; Pei, Jianfeng

    2017-01-01

    With the rapid development of cheminformatics, computational biology, and systems biology, great progress has been made recently in the computational research of Chinese herbal medicine with in-depth understanding towards pharmacognosy. This paper summarized these studies in the aspects of computational methods, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) compound databases, and TCM network pharmacology. Furthermore, we chose arachidonic acid metabolic network as a case study to demonstrate the regulatory function of herbal medicine in the treatment of inflammation at network level. Finally, a computational workflow for the network-based TCM study, derived from our previous successful applications, was proposed.

  18. Biological invasion hotspots: a trait-based perspective reveals new sub-continental patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basil V. Iannone III; Kevin M. Potter; Qinfeng Guo; Andrew M. Liebhold; Bryan C. Pijanowski; Christopher M. Oswalt; Songlin Fei

    2015-01-01

    Invader traits (including plant growth form) may play an important, and perhaps overlooked, role in determining macroscale patterns of biological invasions and therefore warrant greater consideration in future investigations aimed at understanding these patterns. To assess this need, we used empirical data from a national-level survey of forest in the contiguous 48...

  19. The species translation challenge-a systems biology perspective on human and rat bronchial epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poussin, Carine; Mathis, Carole; Alexopoulos, Leonidas G; Messinis, Dimitris E; Dulize, Rémi H J; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Melas, Ioannis N; Sakellaropoulos, Theodore; Rhrissorrakrai, Kahn; Bilal, Erhan; Meyer, Pablo; Talikka, Marja; Boué, Stéphanie; Norel, Raquel; Rice, John J; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Ivanov, Nikolai V; Peitsch, Manuel C; Hoeng, Julia

    2014-01-01

    The biological responses to external cues such as drugs, chemicals, viruses and hormones, is an essential question in biomedicine and in the field of toxicology, and cannot be easily studied in humans. Thus, biomedical research has continuously relied on animal models for studying the impact of these compounds and attempted to 'translate' the results to humans. In this context, the SBV IMPROVER (Systems Biology Verification for Industrial Methodology for PROcess VErification in Research) collaborative initiative, which uses crowd-sourcing techniques to address fundamental questions in systems biology, invited scientists to deploy their own computational methodologies to make predictions on species translatability. A multi-layer systems biology dataset was generated that was comprised of phosphoproteomics, transcriptomics and cytokine data derived from normal human (NHBE) and rat (NRBE) bronchial epithelial cells exposed in parallel to more than 50 different stimuli under identical conditions. The present manuscript describes in detail the experimental settings, generation, processing and quality control analysis of the multi-layer omics dataset accessible in public repositories for further intra- and inter-species translation studies.

  20. The species translation challenge—A systems biology perspective on human and rat bronchial epithelial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poussin, Carine; Mathis, Carole; Alexopoulos, Leonidas G; Messinis, Dimitris E; Dulize, Rémi H J; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Melas, Ioannis N; Sakellaropoulos, Theodore; Rhrissorrakrai, Kahn; Bilal, Erhan; Meyer, Pablo; Talikka, Marja; Boué, Stéphanie; Norel, Raquel; Rice, John J; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Ivanov, Nikolai V; Peitsch, Manuel C; Hoeng, Julia

    2014-01-01

    The biological responses to external cues such as drugs, chemicals, viruses and hormones, is an essential question in biomedicine and in the field of toxicology, and cannot be easily studied in humans. Thus, biomedical research has continuously relied on animal models for studying the impact of these compounds and attempted to ‘translate’ the results to humans. In this context, the SBV IMPROVER (Systems Biology Verification for Industrial Methodology for PROcess VErification in Research) collaborative initiative, which uses crowd-sourcing techniques to address fundamental questions in systems biology, invited scientists to deploy their own computational methodologies to make predictions on species translatability. A multi-layer systems biology dataset was generated that was comprised of phosphoproteomics, transcriptomics and cytokine data derived from normal human (NHBE) and rat (NRBE) bronchial epithelial cells exposed in parallel to more than 50 different stimuli under identical conditions. The present manuscript describes in detail the experimental settings, generation, processing and quality control analysis of the multi-layer omics dataset accessible in public repositories for further intra- and inter-species translation studies. PMID:25977767

  1. Team Research at the Biology-Mathematics Interface: Project Management Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, John G.; Radunskaya, Ami E.; Lee, Arthur H.; de Pillis, Lisette G.; Bartlett, Diana F.

    2010-01-01

    The success of interdisciplinary research teams depends largely upon skills related to team performance. We evaluated student and team performance for undergraduate biology and mathematics students who participated in summer research projects conducted in off-campus laboratories. The student teams were composed of a student with a mathematics…

  2. Distribution and biology of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) of the Czech Republic: present status and perspectives

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zahrádková, S.; Soldán, Tomáš; Bojková, J.; Helešic, J.; Janovská, H.; Sroka, Pavel

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 31, suppl. 1 (2009), s. 629-652 ISSN 0165-0424. [International Perspectives in Mayfly and Stonefly Research. Proceedings of the International Conference on Ephemeroptera /12./ and International Symposium on Plecoptera /16./. Stuttgart, 08.06.2008-14.06.2008] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/06/1133; GA AV ČR 1QS500070505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Ephemeroptera * Czech Republic * occurrence Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.311, year: 2009

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaughan, D.

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs

  6. Adaptation of sensor morphology: an integrative view of perception from biologically inspired robotics perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurzaman, Surya G.

    2016-01-01

    Sensor morphology, the morphology of a sensing mechanism which plays a role of shaping the desired response from physical stimuli from surroundings to generate signals usable as sensory information, is one of the key common aspects of sensing processes. This paper presents a structured review of researches on bioinspired sensor morphology implemented in robotic systems, and discusses the fundamental design principles. Based on literature review, we propose two key arguments: first, owing to its synthetic nature, biologically inspired robotics approach is a unique and powerful methodology to understand the role of sensor morphology and how it can evolve and adapt to its task and environment. Second, a consideration of an integrative view of perception by looking into multidisciplinary and overarching mechanisms of sensor morphology adaptation across biology and engineering enables us to extract relevant design principles that are important to extend our understanding of the unfinished concepts in sensing and perception. PMID:27499843

  7. Biological strategies for enhanced hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass during anaerobic digestion: Current status and future perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Shilva; Fonoll, Xavier; Khanal, Samir Kumar; Raskin, Lutgarde

    2017-12-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant renewable bioresource on earth. In lignocellulosic biomass, the cellulose and hemicellulose are bound with lignin and other molecules to form a complex structure not easily accessible to microbial degradation. Anaerobic digestion (AD) of lignocellulosic biomass with a focus on improving hydrolysis, the rate limiting step in AD of lignocellulosic feedstocks, has received considerable attention. This review highlights challenges with AD of lignocellulosic biomass, factors contributing to its recalcitrance, and natural microbial ecosystems, such as the gastrointestinal tracts of herbivorous animals, capable of performing hydrolysis efficiently. Biological strategies that have been evaluated to enhance hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass include biological pretreatment, co-digestion, and inoculum selection. Strategies to further improve these approaches along with future research directions are outlined with a focus on linking studies of microbial communities involved in hydrolysis of lignocellulosics to process engineering. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. NO, nitrosonium ions, nitroxide ions, nitrosothiols and iron-nitrosyls in biology: a chemist's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, A R; Flitney, F W; Williams, D L

    1995-01-01

    The multiplicity of biological functions thus far attributed to NO has led to suggestions that some effects might be mediated by other, related species instead. The radical nature of NO cannot account for its cytotoxicity, but its reaction with superoxide to form peroxynitite and highly reactive hydroxyl radicals may be important in this context. The ease with which NO can react with and destroy Fe-S clusters is also an important factor. Nitrosonium and nitroxide ions can be produced in vivo and will react under conditions that are physiologically relevant. Both could, in theory, serve in cell signalling or as cytotoxic agents. More direct experimental evidence for their involvement is needed before we can confidently assign them specific biological roles. In this article, Anthony Butler, Frederick Flitney and Lyn Williams discuss the chemistry of NO and related species.

  9. The role of socioscientific issues in biology teaching – from the perspective of teachers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tidemand, Sofie; Nielsen, Jan Alexis

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has documented that students who engage with socioscientific issues can acquire some of the complex competences and skills typically related to scientific literacy. But an emerging field of research on science teachers’ understanding and use of socioscientific issues, has...... documented that a range of challenges hinders the uptake of socioscientific issues. In this study we investigated the interpretation and implementation of socioscientific issues among Danish biology teachers – who teach in a curriculum that, on paper, is permeated by socioscientific issues. We conducted five...... harbour a content-centred interpretation of socioscientific issues which manifests itself in at least three separate ways. First, the teachers generally use socioscientific issues as a means to an end of teaching factual biological content. Second, the teachers had a clear emphasis on mastery of factual...

  10. Systematic synergy modeling: understanding drug synergy from a systems biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Di; Liu, Xi; Yang, Yiping; Yang, Hongjun; Lu, Peng

    2015-09-16

    Owing to drug synergy effects, drug combinations have become a new trend in combating complex diseases like cancer, HIV and cardiovascular diseases. However, conventional synergy quantification methods often depend on experimental dose-response data which are quite resource-demanding. In addition, these methods are unable to interpret the explicit synergy mechanism. In this review, we give representative examples of how systems biology modeling offers strategies toward better understanding of drug synergy, including the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network-based methods, pathway dynamic simulations, synergy network motif recognitions, integrative drug feature calculations, and "omic"-supported analyses. Although partially successful in drug synergy exploration and interpretation, more efforts should be put on a holistic understanding of drug-disease interactions, considering integrative pharmacology and toxicology factors. With a comprehensive and deep insight into the mechanism of drug synergy, systems biology opens a novel avenue for rational design of effective drug combinations.

  11. At the cutting edge: applications and perspectives of laser nanosurgery in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronchi, Paolo; Terjung, Stefan; Pepperkok, Rainer

    2012-04-01

    Laser-mediated nanosurgery has become popular in the last decade because of the previously unexplored possibility of ablating biological material inside living cells with sub-micrometer precision. A number of publications have shown the potential applications of this technique, ranging from the dissection of sub-cellular structures to surgical ablations of whole cells or tissues in model systems such as Drosophila melanogaster or Danio rerio . In parallel, the recent development of micropatterning techniques has given cell biologists the possibility to shape cells and reproducibly organize the intracellular space. The integration of these two techniques has only recently started yet their combination has proven to be very interesting. The aim of this review is to present recent applications of laser nanosurgery in cell biology and to discuss the possible developments of this approach, particularly in combination with micropattern-mediated endomembrane organization.

  12. Team research at the biology-mathematics interface: project management perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, John G; Radunskaya, Ami E; Lee, Arthur H; de Pillis, Lisette G; Bartlett, Diana F

    2010-01-01

    The success of interdisciplinary research teams depends largely upon skills related to team performance. We evaluated student and team performance for undergraduate biology and mathematics students who participated in summer research projects conducted in off-campus laboratories. The student teams were composed of a student with a mathematics background and an experimentally oriented biology student. The team mentors typically ranked the students' performance very good to excellent over a range of attributes that included creativity and ability to conduct independent research. However, the research teams experienced problems meeting prespecified deadlines due to poor time and project management skills. Because time and project management skills can be readily taught and moreover typically reflect good research practices, simple modifications should be made to undergraduate curricula so that the promise of initiatives, such as MATH-BIO 2010, can be implemented.

  13. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaughan, D. (ed.)

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs.

  14. Consortium biology in immunology: the perspective from the Immunological Genome Project.

    OpenAIRE

    Benoist, C; Lanier, L; Merad, M; Mathis, D; Immunological Genome Project,

    2012-01-01

    Although the field has a long collaborative tradition, immunology has made less use than genetics of 'consortium biology', wherein groups of investigators together tackle large integrated questions or problems. However, immunology is naturally suited to large-scale integrative and systems-level approaches, owing to the multicellular and adaptive nature of the cells it encompasses. Here, we discuss the value and drawbacks of this organization of research, in the context of the long-running 'bi...

  15. Ionizing radiation induced cataracts: Recent biological and mechanistic developments and perspectives for future research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainsbury, Elizabeth A; Barnard, Stephen; Bright, Scott; Dalke, Claudia; Jarrin, Miguel; Kunze, Sarah; Tanner, Rick; Dynlacht, Joseph R; Quinlan, Roy A; Graw, Jochen; Kadhim, Munira; Hamada, Nobuyuki

    The lens of the eye has long been considered as a radiosensitive tissue, but recent research has suggested that the radiosensitivity is even greater than previously thought. The 2012 recommendation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) to substantially reduce the annual occupational equivalent dose limit for the ocular lens has now been adopted in the European Union and is under consideration around the rest of the world. However, ICRP clearly states that the recommendations are chiefly based on epidemiological evidence because there are a very small number of studies that provide explicit biological, mechanistic evidence at doses <2Gy. This paper aims to present a review of recently published information on the biological and mechanistic aspects of cataracts induced by exposure to ionizing radiation (IR). The data were compiled by assessing the pertinent literature in several distinct areas which contribute to the understanding of IR induced cataracts, information regarding lens biology and general processes of cataractogenesis. Results from cellular and tissue level studies and animal models, and relevant human studies, were examined. The main focus was the biological effects of low linear energy transfer IR, but dosimetry issues and a number of other confounding factors were also considered. The results of this review clearly highlight a number of gaps in current knowledge. Overall, while there have been a number of recent advances in understanding, it remains unknown exactly how IR exposure contributes to opacification. A fuller understanding of how exposure to relatively low doses of IR promotes induction and/or progression of IR-induced cataracts will have important implications for prevention and treatment of this disease, as well as for the field of radiation protection. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The role of socioscientific issues in biology teaching – from the perspective of teachers

    OpenAIRE

    Tidemand, Sofie; Nielsen, Jan Alexis

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has documented that students who engage with socioscientific issues can acquire some of the complex competences and skills typically related to scientific literacy. But an emerging field of research on science teachers’ understanding and use of socioscientific issues, has documented that a range of challenges hinders the uptake of socioscientific issues. In this study we investigated the interpretation and implementation of socioscientific issues among Danish biology teacher...

  17. Toward a 'all high rate' brachytherapy: organisation, biology and perspectives after treatment of 192 patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hannoun-Levi, J.M.; Ferre, M.; Gautier, M.; Marcie, S.

    2007-01-01

    As a result of radiation protection regulations aimed at reducing the exposure to ionizing radiation from care-givers, low dose rate brachytherapy is usually replaced by a pulsed rate brachytherapy. The center Antoine Lacassagne has directed the outset to the use of a high-dose rate brachytherapy. The implications in terms of organization, biology and the prospects for such a change are the principal questions studied. (N.C.)

  18. Biological agents with potential for misuse: a historical perspective and defensive measures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhalla, Deepak K.; Warheit, David B.

    2004-01-01

    Biological and chemical agents capable of producing serious illness or mortality have been used in biowarfare from ancient times. Use of these agents has progressed from crude forms in early and middle ages, when snakes and infected cadavers were used as weapons in battles, to sophisticated preparations for use during and after the second World War. Cults and terrorist organizations have attempted the use of biological agents with an aim to immobilize populations or cause serious harm. The reasons for interest in these agents by individuals and organizations include relative ease of acquisition, potential for causing mass casualty or panic, modest financing requirement, availability of technology, and relative ease of delivery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified Critical Biological Agents into three major categories. This classification was based on several criteria, which include severity of impact on human health, potential for delivery in a weapon, capacity to cause panic and special needs for development, and stockpiling of medication. Agents that could cause the greatest harm following deliberate use were placed in category A. Category B included agents capable of producing serious harm and significant mortality but of lower magnitude than category A agents. Category C included emerging pathogens that could be developed for mass dispersion in future and their potential as a major health threat. A brief description of the category A bioagents is included and the pathophysiology of two particularly prominent agents, namely anthrax and smallpox, is discussed in detail. The potential danger from biological agents and their ever increasing threat to human populations have created a need for developing technologies for their early detection, for developing treatment strategies, and for refinement of procedures to ensure survival of affected individuals so as to attain the ultimate goal of eliminating the threat from intentional use of

  19. Biological agents with potential for misuse: a historical perspective and defensive measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Deepak K; Warheit, David B

    2004-08-15

    Biological and chemical agents capable of producing serious illness or mortality have been used in biowarfare from ancient times. Use of these agents has progressed from crude forms in early and middle ages, when snakes and infected cadavers were used as weapons in battles, to sophisticated preparations for use during and after the second World War. Cults and terrorist organizations have attempted the use of biological agents with an aim to immobilize populations or cause serious harm. The reasons for interest in these agents by individuals and organizations include relative ease of acquisition, potential for causing mass casualty or panic, modest financing requirement, availability of technology, and relative ease of delivery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified Critical Biological Agents into three major categories. This classification was based on several criteria, which include severity of impact on human health, potential for delivery in a weapon, capacity to cause panic and special needs for development, and stockpiling of medication. Agents that could cause the greatest harm following deliberate use were placed in category A. Category B included agents capable of producing serious harm and significant mortality but of lower magnitude than category A agents. Category C included emerging pathogens that could be developed for mass dispersion in future and their potential as a major health threat. A brief description of the category A bioagents is included and the pathophysiology of two particularly prominent agents, namely anthrax and smallpox, is discussed in detail. The potential danger from biological agents and their ever increasing threat to human populations have created a need for developing technologies for their early detection, for developing treatment strategies, and for refinement of procedures to ensure survival of affected individuals so as to attain the ultimate goal of eliminating the threat from intentional use of

  20. Marine parasites as biological tags in South American Atlantic waters, current status and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantatore, D M P; Timi, J T

    2015-01-01

    Many marine fisheries in South American Atlantic coasts (SAAC) are threatened by overfishing and under serious risk of collapsing. The SAAC comprises a diversity of environments, possesses a complex oceanography and harbours a vast biodiversity that provide an enormous potential for using parasites as biological tags for fish stock delineation, a prerequisite for the implementation of control and management plans. Here, their use in the SAAC is reviewed. Main evidence is derived from northern Argentine waters, where fish parasite assemblages are dominated by larval helminth species that share a low specificity, long persistence and trophic transmission, parasitizing almost indiscriminately all available fish species. The advantages and constraints of such a combination of characteristics are analysed and recommendations are given for future research. Shifting the focus from fish/parasite populations to communities allows expanding the concept of biological tags from local to regional scales, providing essential information to delineate ecosystem boundaries for host communities. This new concept arose as a powerful tool to help the implementation of ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, the new paradigm for fisheries science. Holistic approaches, including parasites as biological tags for stock delineation will render valuable information to help insure fisheries and marine ecosystems against further depletion and collapse.

  1. Overcoming the Newtonian paradigm: the unfinished project of theoretical biology from a Schellingian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gare, Arran

    2013-09-01

    Defending Robert Rosen's claim that in every confrontation between physics and biology it is physics that has always had to give ground, it is shown that many of the most important advances in mathematics and physics over the last two centuries have followed from Schelling's demand for a new physics that could make the emergence of life intelligible. Consequently, while reductionism prevails in biology, many biophysicists are resolutely anti-reductionist. This history is used to identify and defend a fragmented but progressive tradition of anti-reductionist biomathematics. It is shown that the mathematico-physico-chemical morphology research program, the biosemiotics movement, and the relational biology of Rosen, although they have developed independently of each other, are built on and advance this anti-reductionist tradition of thought. It is suggested that understanding this history and its relationship to the broader history of post-Newtonian science could provide guidance for and justify both the integration of these strands and radically new work in post-reductionist biomathematics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. SYSTEMATIC ANALYSIS OF PERSPECTIVE TRENDS IN ECOLOGICAL AND BIOLOGICAL STUDIES OF THE CASPIAN SEA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. M. Abdurakhmanov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available RETRACTED ARTICLEAim. The main purpose of the ecological and biological research (EBR of the Caspian Sea is the information and technical support of decision-making to ensure the environmental management in the region taking into account the increase of anthropogenic impact and change in climatic conditions.Methods. As a basis, we have adopted the method of theoretical and mathematical generalization of a number of scientific papers and systematic analysis of the proposed solutions.Results. Analysis and mathematical processing of published literature sources has convincingly demonstrated the need for international cooperation to optimize the ecological and biological research. It has also confirmed the usefulness of the ecological and biological studies of the Caspian Sea in different directions, and the distribution of effort (cost between them requires coordinated management.Conclusion. It is shown that the data obtained by EBI have both rapid and long-term value. In the future, it is rational to develop suitable approaches to unified structuring of the EBR data, including their spatial and timing. An important task is to create a single interstate information space on the results of EBR using information and communication technologies.

  3. The Motivational Foundations of Prosocial Behavior From A Developmental Perspective-Evolutionary Roots and Key Psychological Mechanisms: Introduction to the Special Section.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidov, Maayan; Vaish, Amrisha; Knafo-Noam, Ariel; Hastings, Paul D

    2016-11-01

    Prosocial behavior is versatile, multifaceted, and complex. This special section seeks to advance coherent, integrative understanding of prosocial development by addressing this topic through the prism of motivations. This conceptual Introduction presents key ideas that provide a framework for thinking about motivation for prosocial behavior and its development. It outlines the evolutionary roots of prosocial behavior, underscoring the interdependent roles of nature and nurture. This is followed by a discussion of several key psychological mechanisms reflecting different motivations for prosocial action (empathy for a distressed other, concern about another's goal, desire to act in accordance with internalized prosocial norms, and guilt). We discuss the critical components of each motivation and highlight pertinent contributions of the special section articles. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. Perspectives of different type biological life support systems (BLSS) usage in space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsev, S. I.; Gitelson, J. I.; Lisovsky, G. M.; Mezhevikin, V. V.; Okhonin, V. A.

    1996-10-01

    In the paper an attempt is made to combine three important criteria of LSS comparison: minimum mass, maximum safety and maximum quality of life. Well-known types of BLSS were considered: with higher plant, higher plants and mushrooms, microalgae, and hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria. These BLSSs were compared in terms of "integrated" mass for the case of a vegetarian diet and a "normal" one (with animal proteins and fats). It was shown that the BLSS with higher plants and incineration of wastes becomes the best when the exploitation period is more than 1 yr. The dependence of higher plants' LSS structure on operation time was found. Comparison of BLSSs in terms of integral reliability (this criterion includes mass and quality of life criteria) for a lunar base scenario showed that BLSSs with higher plants are advantageous in reliability and comfort. This comparison was made for achieved level of technology of closing and for perspective one.

  9. Consortium biology in immunology: the perspective from the Immunological Genome Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoist, Christophe; Lanier, Lewis; Merad, Miriam; Mathis, Diane

    2012-10-01

    Although the field has a long collaborative tradition, immunology has made less use than genetics of 'consortium biology', wherein groups of investigators together tackle large integrated questions or problems. However, immunology is naturally suited to large-scale integrative and systems-level approaches, owing to the multicellular and adaptive nature of the cells it encompasses. Here, we discuss the value and drawbacks of this organization of research, in the context of the long-running 'big science' debate, and consider the opportunities that may exist for the immunology community. We position this analysis in light of our own experience, both positive and negative, as participants of the Immunological Genome Project.

  10. The search for evolutionary developmental origins of aging in zebrafish: a novel intersection of developmental and senescence biology in the zebrafish model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishi, Shuji

    2011-09-01

    regulation. We wish to ascertain whether we can identify such genes promptly in a comprehensive manner. The ease of manipulation using the zebrafish system allows us to conduct an exhaustive exploration of novel genes and small molecular compounds that can be linked to the senescence phenotype and thereby facilitates searching for the evolutionary and developmental origins of aging in vertebrates. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Gender differences in extreme mathematical achievement: an international perspective on biological and social factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penner, Andrew M

    2008-01-01

    Genetic and other biological explanations have reemerged in recent scholarship on the underrepresentation of women in mathematics and the sciences. This study engages this debate by using international data-including math achievement scores from the Third International Mathematics and Sciences Study and country-level data from the World Bank, the United Nations, the International Labour Organization, the World Values Survey, and the International Social Survey Programme-to demonstrate the importance of social factors and to estimate an upper bound for the impact of genetic factors. The author argues that international variation provides a valuable opportunity to present simple and powerful arguments for the continued importance of social factors. In addition, where previous research has, by and large, focused on differences in population means, this work examines gender differences throughout the distribution. The article shows that there is considerable variation in gender differences internationally, a finding not easily explained by strictly biological theories. Modeling the cross-national variation in gender differences with country-level predictors reveals that differences among high achievers are related to gender inequality in the labor market and differences in the overall status of men and women.

  12. Update and future perspectives of a thymic biological response modifier (Thymomodulin).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazzola, P; Mazzanti, P; Kouttab, N M

    1987-01-01

    Thymomodulin (Ellem Industria Farmaceutica spa, Milan, Italy) is a calf thymus acid lysate with immunomodulating activities. It is composed of several peptides with a molecular weight range of 1-10kD. Extensive studies in animal systems showed that Thymomodulin exhibited no, or very little toxicity even when used at high doses. Studies done in vitro and in vivo demonstrated that Thymomodulin is a biologically active compound which regulates the maturation of human and murine pre T lymphocytes, as well as modulate the functions of apparently mature human and animal B and T lymphocytes. It was observed that Thymomodulin can promote myelopoiesis as demonstrated by an increase of granulocyte-macrophage colonies in agar. Although additional studies to examine its target cell lineage are required, it appears that Thymomodulin exhibits specificity toward T cells. Therefore, enhancement of other cell lineage functions by Thymomodulin may be indirect, and mainly due to its effect on T cells. Of major importance is to note that Thymomodulin is prepared in a manner which allows it to maintain its biological activity when administered orally.

  13. A perspective on dose limits and biological effects of radiation on the foetus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Myers, D.K.; Gordon, K.

    1992-01-01

    The potential biological effects of radiation doses to pregnant workers consistent with Canadian regulations and ICRP recommendations are reviewed. These hazards are in general very small compared to the normal hazards associated with human development. Potential carcinogenic effects may well be the major biological problem associated with foetal exposures. Radiation hazards to the embryo are essentially zero for exposures occurring during the first four weeks after conception. The new ICRP recommendations on exposures of pregnant women suggest a number of problems to be solved. These include (a) improvements in current methods of measuring both external radiation doses and intakes of certain radionuclides in Canada, (b) further research on the metabolism of radionuclides in pregnant women, including concentrations of certain radionuclides in foetal/embryonic tissues and also in adjacent tissues of the mother; and (c) socio-economic problems that may be involved in the implementation of the recommendations on exposures of pregnant workers, particularly in small facilities such as nuclear medicine departments in hospitals. (Author) 3 tabs., 21 refs

  14. Reasons for discontinuation of subcutaneous biologic therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a patient perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bolge SC

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Susan C Bolge,1 Amir Goren,2 Neeta Tandon1 1Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, Horsham, PA, USA; 2Health Outcomes Practice, Kantar Health, New York, NY, USA Objective: To examine reasons why rheumatoid arthritis patients discontinued subcutaneous (SQ anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF treatment in the past 12 months, so as to help inform successful, uninterrupted therapy.Methods: Data were collected in March and April 2011 using self-reported, internet-based questionnaires. Study inclusion criteria comprised: rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis; discontinuation of SQ anti-TNF medication (adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, or golimumab within the past 12 months; aged ≥18 years; United States residency; and consent to participate. Patients reported primary and other reasons for discontinuation of their most recently discontinued anti-TNF.Results: Questionnaires from 250 patients were analyzed; 72.8% were female, 80.8% were white, and median age was 51 years. Patients had discontinued etanercept (n=109, adalimumab (n=98, certolizumab (n=24, or golimumab (n=19 within the past 12 months. When prompted about their primary reason for discontinuation, lack of effectiveness (40.8% was cited most often, followed by injection experience (18.4%. Combining prompted primary and other reasons for discontinuation, 60.8% of patients reported lack of effectiveness, while 40.8% reported injection experience, which included: pain/burning/discomfort after injection (14.4%; pain/burning/discomfort during injection (13.2%; injection reactions such as redness/swelling after injection (12.4%; dislike of self-injection (11.6%; dislike of frequency of injection (10.4%; and fear of injection/needles (6.8%. Conclusion: From the patient perspective, there are unmet needs with regard to the effectiveness and injection experience associated with SQ anti-TNF medications, which may lead to discontinuation. Treatment options with a

  15. 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.

  16. Glaucoma: Biological Trabecular and Neuroretinal Pathology with Perspectives of Therapy Innovation and Preventive Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaele Nuzzi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Glaucoma is a common degenerative disease affecting retinal ganglion cells (RGC and optic nerve axons, with progressive and chronic course. It is one of the most important reasons of social blindness in industrialized countries. Glaucoma can lead to the development of irreversible visual field loss, if not treated. Diagnosis may be difficult due to lack of symptoms in early stages of disease. In many cases, when patients arrive at clinical evaluation, a severe neuronal damage may have already occurred. In recent years, newer perspective in glaucoma treatment have emerged. The current research is focusing on finding newer drugs and associations or better delivery systems in order to improve the pharmacological treatment and patient compliance. Moreover, the application of various stem cell types with restorative and neuroprotective intent may be found appealing (intravitreal autologous cellular therapy. Advances are made also in terms of parasurgical treatment, characterized by various laser types and techniques. Moreover, recent research has led to the development of central and peripheral retinal rehabilitation (featuring residing cells reactivation and replacement of defective elements, as well as innovations in diagnosis through more specific and refined methods and inexpensive tests.

  17. 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.

  18. Biology enters the scene-a new perspective on bilingualism, cognition, and dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Thomas H; Robertson, Ian

    2017-02-01

    The question of whether bilingualism can influence cognitive functions in healthy aging as well as in brain diseases is currently a topic of an intense debate. In a study published in this issue of the "Neurobiology of Ageing", Estanga et al. are breaking new ground by combining cognitive and biological approaches. Based on the data from the Guipuzkoa Alzheimer Project, they report that, compared with monolinguals, early bilinguals are not only characterized by a better cognitive performance in several domains and a lower prevalence of Alzheimer's disease but also by lower levels of t-tau in their cerebrospinal fluid. We suggest that sustained activation of noradrenergic signaling pathways associated with bilingualism could provide a possible mechanism linking results of this study with previous observations of delayed onset of dementia in bilinguals. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear decontamination: Recent trends and future perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinod Kumar

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN decontamination is the removal of CBRN material from equipment or humans. The objective of the decontamination is to reduce radiation burden, salvage equipment, and materials, remove loose CBRN contaminants, and fix the remaining in place in preparation for protective storage or permanent disposal work activities. Decontamination may be carried out using chemical, electrochemical, and mechanical means. Like materials, humans may also be contaminated with CBRN contamination. Changes in cellular function can occur at lower radiation doses and exposure to chemicals. At high dose, cell death may take place. Therefore, decontamination of humans at the time of emergency while generating bare minimum waste is an enormous task requiring dedication of large number of personnel and large amount of time. General principles of CBRN decontamination are discussed in this review with emphasis on radiodecontamination.

  20. Socioemotional, Personality, and Biological Development: Illustrations from a Multilevel Developmental Psychopathology Perspective on Child Maltreatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicchetti, Dante

    2016-01-01

    Developmental theories can be affirmed, challenged, and augmented by incorporating knowledge about atypical ontogenesis. Investigations of the biological, socioemotional, and personality development in individuals with high-risk conditions and psychopathological disorders can provide an entrée into the study of system organization, disorganization, and reorganization. This article examines child maltreatment to illustrate the benefit that can be derived from the study of individuals subjected to nonnormative caregiving experiences. Relative to an average expectable environment, which consists of a species-specific range of environmental conditions that support adaptive development among genetically normal individuals, maltreating families fail to provide many of the experiences that are required for normal development. Principles gleaned from the field of developmental psychopathology provide a framework for understanding multilevel functioning in normality and pathology. Knowledge of normative developmental processes provides the impetus to design and implement randomized control trial (RCT) interventions that can promote resilient functioning in maltreated children.

  1. Perspectives of a systems biology of the brain: the big data conundrum understanding psychiatric diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mewes, H W

    2013-05-01

    Psychiatric diseases provoke human tragedies. Asocial behaviour, mood imbalance, uncontrolled affect, and cognitive malfunction are the price for the biological and social complexity of neurobiology. To understand the etiology and to influence the onset and progress of mental diseases remains of upmost importance, but despite the much improved care for the patients, more then 100 years of research have not succeeded to understand the basic disease mechanisms and enabling rationale treatment. With the advent of the genome based technologies, much hope has been created to join the various dimension of -omics data to uncover the secrets of mental illness. Big Data as generated by -omics do not come with explanations. In this essay, I will discuss the inherent, not well understood methodological foundations and problems that seriously obstacle in striving for a quick success and may render lucky strikes impossible. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  2. A systems biology perspective on the role of WRKY transcription factors in drought responses in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Prateek; Rabara, Roel C; Rushton, Paul J

    2014-02-01

    Drought is one of the major challenges affecting crop productivity and yield. However, water stress responses are notoriously multigenic and quantitative with strong environmental effects on phenotypes. It is also clear that water stress often does not occur alone under field conditions but rather in conjunction with other abiotic stresses such as high temperature and high light intensities. A multidisciplinary approach with successful integration of a whole range of -omics technologies will not only define the system, but also provide new gene targets for both transgenic approaches and marker-assisted selection. Transcription factors are major players in water stress signaling and some constitute major hubs in the signaling webs. The main transcription factors in this network include MYB, bHLH, bZIP, ERF, NAC, and WRKY transcription factors. The role of WRKY transcription factors in abiotic stress signaling networks is just becoming apparent and systems biology approaches are starting to define their places in the signaling network. Using systems biology approaches, there are now many transcriptomic analyses and promoter analyses that concern WRKY transcription factors. In addition, reports on nuclear proteomics have identified WRKY proteins that are up-regulated at the protein level by water stress. Interactomics has started to identify different classes of WRKY-interacting proteins. What are often lacking are connections between metabolomics, WRKY transcription factors, promoters, biosynthetic pathways, fluxes and downstream responses. As more levels of the system are characterized, a more detailed understanding of the roles of WRKY transcription factors in drought responses in crops will be obtained.

  3. Behavioral, biological, and chemical perspectives on targeting CRF1 receptor antagonists to treat alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorrilla, Eric P.; Heilig, Markus; de Wit, Harriet; Shaham, Yavin

    2013-01-01

    Background Alcohol use disorders are chronic disabling conditions for which existing pharmacotherapies have only modest efficacy. In the present review, derived from the 2012 Behavior, Biology and Chemistry “Translational Research in Addiction” symposium, we summarize the anti-relapse potential of corticotropin-releasing factor type 1 (CRF1) receptor antagonists to reduce negative emotional symptoms of acute and protracted alcohol withdrawal and stress-induced relapse to alcohol seeking. Methods We review the biology of CRF1 systems, the activity of CRF1 receptor antagonists in animal models of anxiolytic and antidepressant activity, and experimental findings in alcohol addiction models. We also update the clinical trial status of CRF1 receptor antagonists, including pexacerfont (BMS-562086), emicerfont (GW876008), verucerfont (GSK561679), CP316311, SSR125543A, R121919/NBI30775, R317573/19567470/CRA5626, and ONO-2333Ms. Finally, we discuss the potential heterogeneity and pharmacogenomics of CRF1 receptor pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence. Results The evidence suggests that brain penetrant-CRF1 receptor antagonists have therapeutic potential for alcohol dependence. Lead compounds with clinically desirable pharmacokinetic properties now exist, and longer receptor residence rates (i.e., slow dissociation) may predict greater CRF1 receptor antagonist efficacy. Functional variants in genes that encode CRF system molecules, including polymorphisms in Crhr1 (rs110402, rs1876831, rs242938) and Crhbp genes (rs10055255, rs3811939) may promote alcohol seeking and consumption by altering basal or stress-induced CRF system activation. Conclusions Ongoing clinical trials with pexacerfont and verucerfont in moderately to highly severe dependent anxious alcoholics may yield insight as to the role of CRF1 receptor antagonists in a personalized medicine approach to treat drug or alcohol dependence. PMID:23294766

  4. Qualities of effective secondary science teachers: Perspectives of university biology students

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Madelon J.

    This research was an attempt to hear the student voice concerning secondary science teacher effectiveness and to share that voice with those who impact the educational process. It was a snapshot of university freshmen biology students' opinions of the qualities of effective secondary science teachers based on their high school science experiences. The purpose of this study was to compile a list of effective secondary science teacher qualities as determined through a purposeful sampling of university second semester biology students and determine the role of the secondary science teacher in promoting interest and achievement in science, as well as the teacher's influence on a students' choice of a science career. The research was a mixed methods design using both quantitative and qualitative data obtained through the use of a 24 question electronic survey. There were 125 participants who provided information concerning their high school science teachers. Respondents provided information concerning the qualities of effective secondary science teachers and influences on the students' present career choice. The quantitative data was used to construct a hierarchy of qualities of effective secondary science teachers, divided into personal, professional, and classroom management qualities. The qualitative data was used to examine individual student responses to questions concerning secondary science teacher effectiveness and student career choice. The results of the research indicated that students highly value teachers who are both passionate about the subject taught and passionate about their students. High school science students prefer teachers who teach science in a way that is both interesting and relevant to the student. It was determined that the greatest influence on a secondary student's career choice came from family members and not from teachers. The secondary teacher's role was to recognize the student's interest in the career and provide encouragement

  5. Molecular biology in radiation oncology. Radiation oncology perspective of BRCA1 and BRCA2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coleman, C.N.

    1999-01-01

    The breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are used to illustrate the application of molecular biology to clinical radiation oncology. Identified by linkage analysis and cloned, the structure of the genes and the numerous mutations are determined by molecular biology techniques that examine the structure of the DNA and the proteins made by the normal and mutant alleles. Mutations in the non-transcribed portion of the gene will not be found in protein structure assays and may be important in gene function. In addition to potential deleterious mutations, normal polymorphisms of the gene will also be detected, therefore not all differences in gene sequence may represent important mutations, a finding that complicates genetic screening and counseling. The localization of the protein in the nucleus, the expression in relation to cell cycle and the association with RAD51 led to the discovery that the two BRCA genes may be involved in transcriptional regulation and DNA repair. The defect in DNA repair can increase radiosensitivity which might improve local control using breast-conserving treatment in a tumor which is homozygous for the loss of the gene (i.e., BRCA1 and BRCA2 are tumor suppressor genes). This is supported by the early reports of a high rate of local control with breast-conserving therapy. Nonetheless, this radiosensitivity theoretically may also lead to increased susceptibility to carcinogenic effects in surviving cells, a finding that might not be observed for decades. The susceptibility to radiation-induced DNA damage appears also to make the cells more sensitive to chemotherapy. Understanding the role of the normal BRCA genes in DNA repair might help define a novel mechanism for radiation sensitization by interfering with the normal gene function using a variety of molecular or biochemical therapies

  6. Evolutionary approaches to autism: an overview and integration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, A.; Galis, F.

    2011-01-01

    Autism is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, which greatly reduces reproductive success. The combination of high heritability and low reproductive success raises an evolutionary question: why was autism not eliminated by natural selection? We review different perspectives on the

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Perspectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    SEARCHU

    2007-12-04

    Dec 4, 2007 ... Muslim rule during the Middle Ages; the Levant includes the East Mediterranean between the sea and the Syrian Desert, from the Taurus. Mountains to the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula; ..... and biological effects described are largely consistent, starting with the earliest sources in the 9th century and.

  11. Perspectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    changing their chemical composition – water freezes and evaporates, lava ... in space and time, new catalysts and structural compo- nents are ... Mayr, in his influential Growth of Biological Thought, for example .... temporal periodicity becomes converted into a spatial ..... despite having arisen from different taxonomic orders.

  12. 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'.

  13. Perspectiva evolucionária na teoria social crítica de Habermas The evolutionary perspective in Habermas' critical social theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clodomiro José Bannwart Júnior

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Busca-se acompanhar o desenvolvimento da teoria evolucionária no pensamento de Habermas, a partir da afirmação colhida no prólogo de Problemas de Legitimação do Capitalismo Tardio, de 1973: "O caráter programático evidencia que uma teoria da evolução social hoje se encontra apenas esboçada, mas que, no entanto, deveria constituir a base da teoria da sociedade". A atenção é direcionada à forma como Habermas reorienta o sentido evolucionário do desdobramento histórico à luz do conceito de mundo da vida, como esfera de realização da ação comunicativa. Objetiva-se investigar como é projetada nesse modelo de ação, por meio da linguagem, a tarefa de produção e reprodução simbólica do consenso normativo entre os participantes do mundo social, ao mesmo tempo em que Habermas sinaliza haver um telos de integração social imanente à própria prática comunicativa. Nesse sentido, procurar-se-á demonstrar que, assim como a pragmática universal serve de base teórica para a análise de processos de distorção da linguagem e de socialização anormais, a teoria da evolução social serve de parâmetro para uma teoria social crítica com intenção emancipatória de avaliar o desdobramento empírico e contingente da dinâmica histórica.We seek to follow the development of evolutionary theory in the thought of Habermas, starting with the statement taken from the Prologue of Legitimation Crisis, 1973: "The programmatic character of Part I of this book makes clear that a theory of social evolution, although it must be the basis of social theory, is today still scarcely at all developed." Attention is directed to how Habermas reorients the evolutionary meaning of historical development in light of the concept of lifeworld as the sphere of the realization of communicative action. We seek to investigate how Habermas' model assigns, by means of language, the task of symbolic production and reproduction of the normative consensus

  14. Improving processes through evolutionary optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Thomas R

    2011-09-01

    As systems evolve over time, their natural tendency is to become increasingly more complex. Studies on complex systems have generated new perspectives on management in social organizations such as hospitals. Much of this research appears as a natural extension of the cross-disciplinary field of systems theory. This is the 18th in a series of articles applying complex systems science to the traditional management concepts of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling. In this article, I discuss methods to optimize complex healthcare processes through learning, adaptation, and evolutionary planning.

  15. Cumulus Cell Expansion, Its Role in Oocyte Biology and Perspectives of Measurement: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nevoral J.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cumulus expansion of the cumulus-oocyte complex is necessary for meiotic maturation and acquiring developmental competence. Cumulus expansion is based on extracellular matrix synthesis by cumulus cells. Hyaluronic acid is the most abundant component of this extracellular matrix. Cumulus expansion takes place during meiotic oocyte maturation under in vivo and in vitro conditions. Quantification and measurement of cumulus expansion intensity is one possible method of determining oocyte quality and optimizing conditions for in vitro cultivation. Currently, subjective methods of expanded area and more exact cumulus expansion measurement by hyaluronic acid assessment are available. Among the methods of hyaluronic acid measurement is the use of radioactively labelled synthesis precursors. Alternatively, immunological and analytical methods, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, spectrophotometry, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC in UV light, could be utilized. The high sensitivity of these methods could provide a precise analysis of cumulus expansion without the use of radioisotopes. Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize and compare available approaches of cumulus expansion measurement, respecting special biological features of expanded cumuli, and to suggest possible solutions for exact cumulus expansion analysis.

  16. Autophagy in Stem Cell Biology: A Perspective on Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xihang Chen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy is a highly conserved cellular process that degrades modified, surplus, or harmful cytoplasmic components by sequestering them in autophagosomes which then fuses with the lysosome for degradation. As a major intracellular degradation and recycling pathway, autophagy is crucial for maintaining cellular homeostasis, as well as for remodeling during normal development. Impairment of this process has been implicated in various diseases, in the pathogenic response to bacterial and viral infections, and in aging. Pluripotent stem cells, with their ability to self-replicate and to give rise to any specialized cell type, are very valuable resources for cell-based medical therapies and open a number of promising avenues for studying human development and disease. It has been suggested that autophagy is vital for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis in stem cells, and subsequently more in-depth knowledge about the regulation of autophagy in stem cell biology has been acquired recently. In this review, we describe the most significant advances in the understanding of autophagy regulation in hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, as well as in induced pluripotent stem cells. In particular, we highlight the roles of various autophagy activities in the regulation of self-renewal and differentiation of these stem cells.

  17. The present state and perspectives of low-energy heavy ion biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan Chengling; Yu Zengliang

    2004-01-01

    The interaction between low-energy ions and matter has been concerned rarely comparing to that of high-energy ions. It is even more unusual to find studies of the interaction of low-energy ions and complicated organisms. However, the discovery of bioeffects induced by ion beam implantation has opened a new branch in the field of ion beam applications in the life science--Low-energy Heavy Ion Biology. The mutagenic effect of low energy heavy ions was firstly reported in 1986 in rice. Since then, a damage mechanism involved in energy absorption, mass deposition, and charge exchange has been proposed. Accumulating evidence has indicated that these three factors are key determinants in the bioeffects induced by low energy heavy ions, which has opened new opportunities for mutational breeding, gene transferring, cell modification, and cell fusion. In recent years, the ion beam implantation technique has been widely applied in many fields, and increasing research interest in the field has been seen. The authors summarize recent advances in research on the role of low-energy ions in terms of the mechanisms and applications

  18. The European Research Infrastructures of the ESFRI Roadmap in Biological and Medical Sciences: status and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessia Calzolari

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION. Since 2002, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures identified the needs for Research Infrastructures (RIs in Europe in priority fields of scientific research and drafted a strategic document, the ESFRI Roadmap, defining the specific RIs essential to foster European research and economy. The Biological and Medical Sciences RIs (BMS RIs were developed thanks to the active participation of many institutions in different European member states associated to address the emerging needs in biomedicine and, among these, the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS, in virtue of its role in public health and research, has been specifically involved in the national development and implementation of three RIs: the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI, the European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS and the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN. AIM. This article outlines the design and development of these RIs up to the recent achievement of the ERIC status, their importance in the Horizon 2020 programme and their societal and economic potential impact, with special attention to their development and significance in Italy. CONCLUSIONS. The ISS plays a unique role in fostering a coordinated participation of excellence Italian institutes/facilities to different European biomedical RIs, thus contributing to health innovation, healthcare optimization, and healthcare cost containment.

  19. The excluded philosophy of evo-devo? Revisiting C.H. Waddington's failed attempt to embed Alfred North Whitehead's "organicism" in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Erik L

    2011-01-01

    Though a prominent British developmental biologist in his day, a close friend of Theodosius Dobzhansky, and a frequent correspondent with Ernst Mayr, C.H. Waddington did not enter the ranks of "architect" of the Modern Synthesis. By the end of his career, in fact, he recognized that other biologists reacted to his work "as though they feel obscurely uneasy"; and that the best that some philosophers of biology could say of his work was that he was not "wholly orthodox" (Waddington 1975c, 11). In this essay, I take Waddington's self-assessments at face value and explore three potential reasons why his work did not have more of a direct impact: Waddington's explicit support for the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead; a lack of institutional support; and Waddington's occasional marginalization from the core network of American neo-Darwinians. Though excluded from the Modern Synthesis in the mid-20th century, it now appears that Waddington's work does undergird the emerging evo-devo synthesis. Whether this indicates concomitant, if implicit, support for Whiteheadian philosophy is an interesting question not explored here.

  20. Parasites as biological tags for the discrimination of marine fish stocks in Brazil: current status and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris Aparecida Soares

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT. Soares I.A. & Luque J.L. [Parasites as biological tags for the discrimination of marine fish stocks in Brazil: current status and perspectives.] Parasitos como marcadores biológicos para discriminação de estoques de peixes marinhos no Brasil: estado atual e perspectivas. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 38(supl. 3:99-113, 2016. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, BR 465 Km 7, Seropédica, RJ 23890-000, Brasil. E-mail: luqueufrrj@gmail.com The global state of marine fisheries and its effects endanger the future of fishery resources, which may result in extinction of several species as well as threatening the overall integrity of the ecosystems. As the fish consumption growths, marine fishing and related market activities are stimulated increasing the incidence of threatened or exploited species. Aiming the future sustainability, fishery inventories need to be properly identified as a tool for implementation of more efficient policies on the management and conservation of the natural resources. Thus, by the high heterogeneity observed in the Atlantic coast of Brazil as well as the lack of related studies using this tool, the country represents great potential for the use of this technique, to improve our knowledge of local fishing resources. Therefore, the present study highlights the use of parasites as biological markers on identifying fish populations through robust statistical analysis, which represents an efficient and low cost approach and the lack of similar studies in Brazil showing the need of more research efforts on this subject in Brazil.

  1. Architecture and biological applications of artificial neural networks: a tuberculosis perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darsey, Jerry A; Griffin, William O; Joginipelli, Sravanthi; Melapu, Venkata Kiran

    2015-01-01

    Advancement of science and technology has prompted researchers to develop new intelligent systems that can solve a variety of problems such as pattern recognition, prediction, and optimization. The ability of the human brain to learn in a fashion that tolerates noise and error has attracted many researchers and provided the starting point for the development of artificial neural networks: the intelligent systems. Intelligent systems can acclimatize to the environment or data and can maximize the chances of success or improve the efficiency of a search. Due to massive parallelism with large numbers of interconnected processers and their ability to learn from the data, neural networks can solve a variety of challenging computational problems. Neural networks have the ability to derive meaning from complicated and imprecise data; they are used in detecting patterns, and trends that are too complex for humans, or other computer systems. Solutions to the toughest problems will not be found through one narrow specialization; therefore we need to combine interdisciplinary approaches to discover the solutions to a variety of problems. Many researchers in different disciplines such as medicine, bioinformatics, molecular biology, and pharmacology have successfully applied artificial neural networks. This chapter helps the reader in understanding the basics of artificial neural networks, their applications, and methodology; it also outlines the network learning process and architecture. We present a brief outline of the application of neural networks to medical diagnosis, drug discovery, gene identification, and protein structure prediction. We conclude with a summary of the results from our study on tuberculosis data using neural networks, in diagnosing active tuberculosis, and predicting chronic vs. infiltrative forms of tuberculosis.

  2. Radiation, its biological effects and uses: past experiences and future perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bharti, Neha; Pande, Nivedita

    2012-01-01

    Radiation refers to electromagnetic energy that travels through space in the form of particles or waves. It is energy such as heat, light, sound, radio waves and radar. It is everywhere including in the food we eat and the air that we breathe. Biological effects of radiation including cell killing, mutagenesis and carcinogenesis are all due to damage to DNA; Radiation releases OH ions from water molecules, which cause the cell damage due to their oxidizing effect. The mechanism by which radiation causes damage to human tissue, or any other material, is by ionization of atoms in the material. Genetic or heritable effects appear in the future generations of the exposed person as a result of radiation damage to the reproductive cells. Radiation may alter the DNA within any cell. Cell damage and death that result from mutations in somatic cells occur only in the organism in which the mutation occurred and are therefore termed somatic or no heritable effects. Acute radiation dose is defined as a large dose delivered during a short period of time. Genetic or heritable effects appear in the future generations of the exposed person as a result of radiation damage to the reproductive cells. The radiation used for cancer treatment may come from a machine outside the body, or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near tumor cells or injected into the bloodstream. Radiation is used to help remove toxic pollutants, such as exhaust gases from coal-fired power stations and industry. For example, electron beam radiation can remove dangerous sulphur dioxides and nitrogen oxides from our environment and used to help remove toxic pollutants, such as exhaust gases from coal-fired power stations and industry. (author)

  3. Epigenetic Regulation in Particulate Matter-Mediated Cardiopulmonary Toxicities: A Systems Biology Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Garcia, Joe Gn; Zhang, Wei

    2012-12-01

    Particulate matter (PM) air pollution exerts significant adverse health effects in global populations, particularly in developing countries with extensive air pollution. Understanding of the mechanisms of PM-induced health effects including the risk for cardiovascular diseases remains limited. In addition to the direct cellular physiological responses such as mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, PM mediates remarkable dysregulation of gene expression, especially in cardiovascular tissues. The PM-mediated gene dysregulation is likely to be a complex mechanism affected by various genetic and non-genetic factors. Notably, PM is known to alter epigenetic markers (e.g., DNA methylation and histone modifications), which may contribute to air pollution-mediated health consequences including the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Notably, epigenetic changes induced by ambient PM exposure have emerged to play a critical role in gene regulation. Though the underlying mechanism(s) are not completely clear, the available evidence suggests that the modulated activities of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), histone acetylase (HAT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) may contribute to the epigenetic changes induced by PM or PM-related chemicals. By employing genome-wide epigenomic and systems biology approaches, PM toxicogenomics could conceivably progress greatly with the potential identification of individual epigenetic loci associated with dysregulated gene expression after PM exposure, as well the interactions between epigenetic pathways and PM. Furthermore, novel therapeutic targets based on epigenetic markers could be identified through future epigenomic studies on PM-mediated cardiopulmonary toxicities. These considerations collectively inform the future population health applications of genomics in developing countries while benefiting global personalized medicine at the same time.

  4. S5-2: Shifting the Perspective on Biological Movement Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zsolt Palatinus

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Most efforts for understanding biological movement perception seem to agree in assuming a key role of some version of 2D projective geometry being the basis of either computation or invariant detection somewhere between the stimulus and perception. Recent studies invite considering alternatives. Beintemma and Lappe (2002 PNAS 99 5661–5663 constructed sequential walker displays in which points were assigned along limb segments at random position at each frame and still reported correct responses. In our study, point light displays were prepared from motion-capture data of humans performing everyday activities. Animations were rendered either from a fixed camera position or from a curvilinear trajectory around the target. Same mean response time in the two conditions suggests that information for making correct judgments remained accessible despite the superposition of camera movement induced changes on the projection. An alternative approach is offered, based on Gibson's (1986, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates conceptualization of the ambient optic array, a continuous energy field in which perception-action systems are immersed. The registration of these energy distributions manifests in fractal, scale-invariant fluctuations of exploratory movements, suggesting that there may be subtle contributions of previously unrecognized fluctuations. Fractal fluctuations may serve as a modality-general substrate for detection of information for perception and even cognition (Dixon et al., 2012 Topics in Cognitive Science 4 51–62; Stephen & Hajnal, 2011 Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 73 1302–1328 In this work, we consider the possibility that subtle fluctuations in seated posture and head sway moderate the effects of optical energy arrays upon the perceptual system.

  5. Evaluating the Bone Tissue Regeneration Capability of the Chinese Herbal Decoction Danggui Buxue Tang from a Molecular Biology Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Ling Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Large bone defects are a considerable challenge to reconstructive surgeons. Numerous traditional Chinese herbal medicines have been used to repair and regenerate bone tissue. This study investigated the bone regeneration potential of Danggui Buxue Tang (DBT, a Chinese herbal decoction prepared from Radix Astragali (RA and Radix Angelicae Sinensis (RAS, from a molecular biology perspective. The optimal ratio of RA and RAS used in DBT for osteoblast culture was obtained by colorimetric and alkaline phosphatase (ALP activity assays. Moreover, the optimal concentration of DBT for bone cell culture was also determined by colorimetric, ALP activity, nodule formation, Western blotting, wound-healing, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity assays. Consequently, the most appropriate weight ratio of RA to RAS for the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts was 5 : 1. Moreover, the most effective concentration of DBT was 1,000 μg/mL, which significantly increased the number of osteoblasts, intracellular ALP levels, and nodule numbers, while inhibiting osteoclast activity. Additionally, 1,000 μg/mL of DBT was able to stimulate p-ERK and p-JNK signal pathway. Therefore, DBT is highly promising for use in accelerating fracture healing in the middle or late healing periods.

  6. Comparing biological and thermochemical processing of sugarcane bagasse: An energy balance perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leibbrandt, N.H.; Knoetze, J.H.; Goergens, J.F.

    2011-01-01

    The technical performance of lignocellulosic enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation versus pyrolysis processes for sugarcane bagasse was evaluated, based on currently available technology. Process models were developed for bioethanol production from sugarcane bagasse using three different pretreatment methods, i.e. dilute acid, liquid hot water and steam explosion, at various solid concentrations. Two pyrolysis processes, namely fast pyrolysis and vacuum pyrolysis, were considered as alternatives to biological processing for the production of biofuels from sugarcane bagasse. For bioethanol production, a minimum of 30% solids in the pretreatment reactor was required to render the process energy self-sufficient, which led to a total process energy demand equivalent to roughly 40% of the feedstock higher heating value. Both vacuum pyrolysis and fast pyrolysis could be operated as energy self-sufficient if 45% of the produced char from fast pyrolysis is used to fuel the process. No char energy is required to fuel the vacuum pyrolysis process due to lower process energy demands (17% compared to 28% of the feedstock higher heating value). The process models indicated that effective process heat integration can result in a 10-15% increase in all process energy efficiencies. Process thermal efficiencies between 52 and 56% were obtained for bioethanol production at pretreatment solids at 30% and 50%, respectively, while the efficiencies were 70% for both pyrolysis processes. The liquid fuel energy efficiency of the best bioethanol process is 41%, while that of crude bio-oil production before upgrading is 67% and 56% via fast and vacuum pyrolysis, respectively. Efficiencies for pyrolysis processes are expected to decrease by up to 15% should upgrade to a transportation fuel of equivalent quality to bioethanol be taken into consideration. -- Highlights: → Liquid biofuels can be produced via lignocellulosic enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation or pyrolysis. → A minimum of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Bernard

    2008-12-15

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

  8. Fertility and pregnancy: an epidemiologic perspective

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wilcox, Allen J

    2010-01-01

    .... Weaving together history, biology, obstetrics, pediatrics, demography, infectious diseases, molecular genetics, and evolutionary biology, Allen Wilcox brings a fresh coherence to the epidemiologic...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. How long is too long in contemporary peer review? Perspectives from authors publishing in conservation biology journals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivian M Nguyen

    Full Text Available Delays in peer reviewed publication may have consequences for both assessment of scientific prowess in academics as well as communication of important information to the knowledge receptor community. We present an analysis on the perspectives of authors publishing in conservation biology journals regarding their opinions on the importance of speed in peer-review as well as how to improve review times. Authors were invited to take part in an online questionnaire, of which the data was subjected to both qualitative (open coding, categorizing and quantitative analyses (generalized linear models. We received 637 responses to a total of 6,547 e-mail invitations sent. Peer-review speed was generally perceived as slow, with authors experiencing a typical turnaround time of 14 weeks while their perceived optimal review time is six weeks. Male and younger respondents seem to have higher expectations of review speed than females and older respondents. Majority of participants attributed lengthy review times to the 'stress' on the peer-review system (i.e., reviewer and editor fatigue, while editor persistence and journal prestige were believed to speed up the review process. Negative consequences of lengthy review times appear to be greater for early career researchers and can also have impact on author morale (e.g. motivation or frustration. Competition among colleagues were also of concern to respondents. Incentivizing peer review was among the top suggested alterations to the system along with training graduate students in peer review, increased editorial persistence, and changes to the norms of peer-review such as opening the peer-review process to the public. It is clear that authors surveyed in this study view the peer-review system as under stress and we encourage scientists and publishers to push the envelope for new peer review models.

  13. How long is too long in contemporary peer review? Perspectives from authors publishing in conservation biology journals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Vivian M; Haddaway, Neal R; Gutowsky, Lee F G; Wilson, Alexander D M; Gallagher, Austin J; Donaldson, Michael R; Hammerschlag, Neil; Cooke, Steven J

    2015-01-01

    Delays in peer reviewed publication may have consequences for both assessment of scientific prowess in academics as well as communication of important information to the knowledge receptor community. We present an analysis on the perspectives of authors publishing in conservation biology journals regarding their opinions on the importance of speed in peer-review as well as how to improve review times. Authors were invited to take part in an online questionnaire, of which the data was subjected to both qualitative (open coding, categorizing) and quantitative analyses (generalized linear models). We received 637 responses to a total of 6,547 e-mail invitations sent. Peer-review speed was generally perceived as slow, with authors experiencing a typical turnaround time of 14 weeks while their perceived optimal review time is six weeks. Male and younger respondents seem to have higher expectations of review speed than females and older respondents. Majority of participants attributed lengthy review times to the 'stress' on the peer-review system (i.e., reviewer and editor fatigue), while editor persistence and journal prestige were believed to speed up the review process. Negative consequences of lengthy review times appear to be greater for early career researchers and can also have impact on author morale (e.g. motivation or frustration). Competition among colleagues were also of concern to respondents. Incentivizing peer review was among the top suggested alterations to the system along with training graduate students in peer review, increased editorial persistence, and changes to the norms of peer-review such as opening the peer-review process to the public. It is clear that authors surveyed in this study view the peer-review system as under stress and we encourage scientists and publishers to push the envelope for new peer review models.

  14. How Long Is Too Long in Contemporary Peer Review? Perspectives from Authors Publishing in Conservation Biology Journals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Vivian M.; Haddaway, Neal R.; Gutowsky, Lee F. G.; Wilson, Alexander D. M.; Gallagher, Austin J.; Donaldson, Michael R.; Hammerschlag, Neil; Cooke, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Delays in peer reviewed publication may have consequences for both assessment of scientific prowess in academia as well as communication of important information to the knowledge receptor community. We present an analysis on the perspectives of authors publishing in conservation biology journals regarding their opinions on the importance of speed in peer-review as well as how to improve review times. Authors were invited to take part in an online questionnaire, of which the data was subjected to both qualitative (open coding, categorizing) and quantitative analyses (generalized linear models). We received 637 responses to 6,547 e-mail invitations sent. Peer-review speed was generally perceived as slow, with authors experiencing a typical turnaround time of 14 weeks while their perceived optimal review time was six weeks. Male and younger respondents seem to have higher expectations of review speed than females and older respondents. The majority of participants attributed lengthy review times to reviewer and editor fatigue, while editor persistence and journal prestige were believed to speed up the review process. Negative consequences of lengthy review times were perceived to be greater for early career researchers and to have impact on author morale (e.g. motivation or frustration). Competition among colleagues was also of concern to respondents. Incentivizing peer-review was among the top suggested alterations to the system along with training graduate students in peer-review, increased editorial persistence, and changes to the norms of peer-review such as opening the peer-review process to the public. It is clear that authors surveyed in this study viewed the peer-review system as under stress and we encourage scientists and publishers to push the envelope for new peer-review models. PMID:26267491

  15. 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...

  16. Evolutionary computation in zoology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Randall B

    2017-12-01

    Evolutionary computational methods have adopted attributes of natural selection and evolution to solve problems in computer science, engineering, and other fields. The method is growing in use in zoology and ecology. Evolutionary principles may be merged with an agent-based modeling perspective to have individual animals or other agents compete. Four main categories are discussed: genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, genetic programming, and evolutionary strategies. In evolutionary computation, a population is represented in a way that allows for an objective function to be assessed that is relevant to the problem of interest. The poorest performing members are removed from the population, and remaining members reproduce and may be mutated. The fitness of the members is again assessed, and the cycle continues until a stopping condition is met. Case studies include optimizing: egg shape given different clutch sizes, mate selection, migration of wildebeest, birds, and elk, vulture foraging behavior, algal bloom prediction, and species richness given energy constraints. Other case studies simulate the evolution of species and a means to project shifts in species ranges in response to a changing climate that includes competition and phenotypic plasticity. This introduction concludes by citing other uses of evolutionary computation and a review of the flexibility of the methods. For example, representing species' niche spaces subject to selective pressure allows studies on cladistics, the taxon cycle, neutral versus niche paradigms, fundamental versus realized niches, community structure and order of colonization, invasiveness, and responses to a changing climate.

  17. 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.

  18. Introduction: integrating genetic and cultural evolutionary approaches to language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesoudi, Alex; McElligott, Alan G; Adger, David

    2011-04-01

    The papers in this special issue of Human Biology address recent research in the field of language evolution, both the genetic evolution of the language faculty and the cultural evolution of specific languages. While both of these areas have received increasing interest in recent years, there is also a need to integrate these somewhat separate efforts and explore the relevant gene-culture coevolutionary interactions. Here we summarize the individual contributions, set them in the context of the wider literature, and identify outstanding future research questions. The first set of papers concerns the comparative study of nonhuman communication in primates and birds from both a behavioral and neurobiological perspective, revealing evidence for several common language-related traits in various nonhuman species and providing clues as to the evolutionary origin and function of the human language faculty. The second set of papers discusses the consequences of viewing language as a culturally evolving system in its own right, including claims that this removes the need for strong genetic biases for language acquisition, and that phylogenetic evolutionary methods can be used to reconstruct language histories. We conclude by highlighting outstanding areas for future research, including identifying the precise selection pressures that gave rise to the language faculty in ancestral hominin species, and determining the strength, domain specificity, and origin of the cultural transmission biases that shape languages as they pass along successive generations of language learners.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Useful parasites: the evolutionary biology and biotechnology ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    a promising, but still largely unexplored research niche and deserve to be included into the agenda of molecular ecologists, ..... cess involves the generation of double-strand DNA breaks in ...... 2012 Embryonic stem cell potency fluctuates.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Use of biological activities to monitor the removal of fuel contaminants - perspective for monitoring hydrocarbon contamination: A review

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Maila, MP

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil biological activities are vital for the restoration of soil contaminated with hydrocarbons. Their role includes the biotransformation of petroleum compounds into harmless compounds. In this paper, the use of biological activities as potential...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Basic and applied problems in developmental biology and immunobiology of cestode infections: Hymenolepis, Taenia and Echinococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, A

    2015-02-01

    Differentiation and development of parasites, including longevity in host animals, are thought to be governed by host-parasite interactions. In this review, several topics on the developmental biology of cestode infections are discussed from immunobiological perspective with a focus on Hymenolepis, Taenia and Echinococcus infections. The basic premise of this review is that 'differentiation and development of cestodes' are somehow affected by host immune responses with an evolutionary history. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The growing role of biologics and biosimilars in the United States: Perspectives from the APhA Biologics and Biosimilars Stakeholder Conference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi-Lofton, Judy; Skelton, Jann B

    The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) convened the Biologics and Biosimilars Stakeholder Conference on November 30, 2016, in Washington DC. The objectives of the Conference were to determine the key issues and challenges within the marketplace for biologics, follow-on biologics (FOBs), and biosimilars, identify potential roles and responsibilities of pharmacists regarding biologic and biosimilar medications, and identify actions or activities that pharmacists may take to optimize the safe and cost-effective use of biologics and biosimilars. National thought leaders and stakeholder representatives, including individuals from the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a private third-party payer, manufacturers, and several national organizations of health care professionals, participated in the conference. Information shared by this group was supplemented with relevant legal and regulatory information and published literature. Biologics play a valuable role in the treatment of numerous health conditions, but their associated costs, which tend to be greater than those of small-molecule drugs, place a burden on the health care system. Biosimilars (both noninterchangeable and interchangeable) are highly similar copies of the originator biologic and offer the potential to reduce costs and improve patient access to biological products by increasing treatment options and creating a more competitive market. Despite the potential benefits of biosimilars, certain factors may limit their uptake. The conference participants explored issues that different stakeholders think influence the use of biologics, including biosimilars, in the United States. Barriers included technology, prescriber-pharmacist communication, legislation and regulations, limited patient and health care practitioner knowledge of biological products, patient and health care practitioner perceptions of biosimilars, and evolving science or lack of long-term data. After

  11. Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization Workshop

    CERN Document Server

    Trujillo, Leonardo; Legrand, Pierrick; Maldonado, Yazmin

    2017-01-01

    This volume comprises a selection of works presented at the Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization (NEO) workshop held in September 2015 in Tijuana, Mexico. The development of powerful search and optimization techniques is of great importance in today’s world that requires researchers and practitioners to tackle a growing number of challenging real-world problems. In particular, there are two well-established and widely known fields that are commonly applied in this area: (i) traditional numerical optimization techniques and (ii) comparatively recent bio-inspired heuristics. Both paradigms have their unique strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to solve some challenging problems while still failing in others. The goal of the NEO workshop series is to bring together people from these and related fields to discuss, compare and merge their complimentary perspectives in order to develop fast and reliable hybrid methods that maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of the underlying paradigms. Throu...

  12. Evolutionary public health: introducing the concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jonathan C K; Nesse, Randolph M; Sear, Rebecca; Johnstone, Rufus A; Stearns, Stephen C

    2017-07-29

    The emerging discipline of evolutionary medicine is breaking new ground in understanding why people become ill. However, the value of evolutionary analyses of human physiology and behaviour is only beginning to be recognised in the field of public health. Core principles come from life history theory, which analyses the allocation of finite amounts of energy between four competing functions-maintenance, growth, reproduction, and defence. A central tenet of evolutionary theory is that organisms are selected to allocate energy and time to maximise reproductive success, rather than health or longevity. Ecological interactions that influence mortality risk, nutrient availability, and pathogen burden shape energy allocation strategies throughout the life course, thereby affecting diverse health outcomes. Public health interventions could improve their own effectiveness by incorporating an evolutionary perspective. In particular, evolutionary approaches offer new opportunities to address the complex challenges of global health, in which populations are differentially exposed to the metabolic consequences of poverty, high fertility, infectious diseases, and rapid changes in nutrition and lifestyle. The effect of specific interventions is predicted to depend on broader factors shaping life expectancy. Among the important tools in this approach are mathematical models, which can explore probable benefits and limitations of interventions in silico, before their implementation in human populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. Evolutionary perspectives on human height variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stulp, Gert; Barrett, Louise

    Human height is a highly variable trait, both within and between populations, has a high heritability, and influences the manner in which people behave and are treated in society. Although we know much about human height, this information has rarely been brought together in a comprehensive,

  15. Car and motorcycle deaths: an evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Luís dos Santos Medeiros

    Full Text Available Abstract Our aim was to assess differences between men and women in the likelihood of exposure to traffic as drivers of cars and motorcycles, and in the risk of dying from a car or a motorcycle crash, in order to verify the extent to which Darwin's Sexual Selection Theory could have predicted the findings and can help to interpret them. Study population was composed of men and women aged 18 to 60 years residents in the state of Rio de Janeiro between 2004 and 2010, and in the state of Rio Grande do Sul between 2001 and 2010. We built frequency distribution tables and drew bar charts in order to check whether there were differences between the sexes and interactions of sex with age. More men exposed themselves to and died in traffic than women, especially the young. Society should have an especially vigilant attitude towards men on the wheel due to their increased innate tendency to exposure to risk. Darwin's sexual selection theory can be an important ally when postulating hypotheses and interpreting epidemiological findings aiming at improving public policies to reduce the excessive number of traffic deaths, especially in societies where machismo is strong or the stimulus to masculinity is exaggerated.

  16. Car and motorcycle deaths: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, André Luís Dos Santos; Nadanovsky, Paulo

    2016-12-01

    Our aim was to assess differences between men and women in the likelihood of exposure to traffic as drivers of cars and motorcycles, and in the risk of dying from a car or a motorcycle crash, in order to verify the extent to which Darwin's Sexual Selection Theory could have predicted the findings and can help to interpret them. Study population was composed of men and women aged 18 to 60 years residents in the state of Rio de Janeiro between 2004 and 2010, and in the state of Rio Grande do Sul between 2001 and 2010. We built frequency distribution tables and drew bar charts in order to check whether there were differences between the sexes and interactions of sex with age. More men exposed themselves to and died in traffic than women, especially the young. Society should have an especially vigilant attitude towards men on the wheel due to their increased innate tendency to exposure to risk. Darwin's sexual selection theory can be an important ally when postulating hypotheses and interpreting epidemiological findings aiming at improving public policies to reduce the excessive number of traffic deaths, especially in societies where machismo is strong or the stimulus to masculinity is exaggerated.

  17. An Evolutionary Perspective on Pain Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leander Steinkopf

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Pain serves as a signal to elicit care from others. In turn, displaying pain might be attractive because of the benefits it might bring. Additionally, displaying pain is easy, because helpers distinguish poorly between genuine pain and faked pain. Hence, helpers face the problem of distinguishing true sufferers from free riders, while sufferers face the problem of communicating need convincingly. This article will propose solutions to these adaptive problems. Based on theoretical arguments and on empirical insights from lie detection research, it will be argued that the credibility of pain signals cannot be found in features of the signal itself, but in its context. Namely, pain is obviously credible when the context features unforgeable cues, such as an open wound or the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman, but also external cues such as the ice water in cold pressor tasks. In absence of such cues, pain can become credible through costly consequences, such as refraining from rewarding behaviors for a significant period. However, these adaptive mechanisms for communicating need may not be shaped for modern circumstances such as experimental settings and therapeutic encounters.

  18. Communicating Climate Change: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, K. A.; Byrne, J. M.; McDaniel, S.

    2012-12-01

    The most effective way to communicate the scientific "big picture" is to appeal to the intelligence and imagination of that large number of people who really want to know what science has to say, and who really would be likely to support enlightened policies if they were given an unflinching picture of the present human predicament. Staff writers at Life Magazine used to be told, "Never overestimate readers' information; never underestimate their intelligence." In the long run, whatever communications channels may be employed, the best hope of moving forward is to appeal to the intelligence of the public. (Media such as wikis, which invite participation, could be one of the best ways to do that.) There are two salient "big picture" facts to be communicated. The first is the ecological unsustainability of the present human condition. There is not the slightest possibility of a long-term future for a planetary-scale, technologically-intensive society of over 7 billion talking hominids that gets most of its free energy from the combustion of a one-time-only store of biotic waste products laid down in the strata hundreds of millions of years ago. Not only is this limited fuel supply running out, but its waste products are rapidly destabilizing the very climatic conditions that favoured the growth of our complex culture. As Homer-Dixon puts it, we are on the "cusp of a planetary-scale emergency"—obvious to earth scientists, but not obvious to all of even the best-intentioned members of the public. The second crucial fact is that our species' capacity to innovate (technologically, linguistically, socially), unique in the history of life on this planet, has up to now been our most effective survival tool and still remains our best chance for pulling through the present crisis. Herbert Spencer said that the most important adaptive trait is what he called "sagacity"—intelligent adaptability. But our sagacity now faces its toughest test, tougher than the harsh Ice Age in which it was honed. We were clever enough to figure out how to tap into the rich supply of carbon-based fuels left us by the prolific Paleozoic. The question now is whether we are sagacious enough to find way of keeping the lights on that does not undermine the very ecological conditions that made our evolution possible. There will be no miracles, except the miracle of human creativity itself, but this could be miracle enough for the very nature of creativity is solve problems by stepping outside assumed parameters. Innovation can't be managed but it can be fostered like any other evolved human capacity. Above all else we need to give human ingenuity room and means to operate. This is far more important than advocating any particular solutions that currently present themselves (though that should be done, too). We have to talk openly about the barriers to innovation such as vested interests (corporate, academic, political), entrenched assumptions and conceptual blockages of many sorts, and the near-total lack of mechanisms for financing the social and technological innovations we need. People need to be reminded again and again that those past cultures which survived ecological upheavals were the ones willing to tolerate change. In sum: the most salient thing to communicate is the need for ingenuity in fostering ingenuity.

  19. Evolutionary Perspectives on Myrmecophily in Ladybirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amélie Vantaux

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Myrmecophiles are species that usually have developed specialized traits to cope with the aggressiveness of ants enabling them to live in their vicinity. Many coccinellid species are predators of Hemiptera; the latter is also often protected by ants. Therefore these ladybirds frequently interact with ants, and some species have become myrmecophilous. In this paper, we aim to provide an overview of the evolution of myrmecophilous traits in ladybirds. We then discuss the costs and benefits of myrmecophily and the dietary shift to myrmecophagy observed in a few species.

  20. Evolutionary perspectives on the origins of disease

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tem), the higher incidence of problems related to the increased .... the major cause of malaria-related deaths world- wide. ... Another difference is in the prevalence of the pathology ..... [78] Speakman J R 2004 Obesity: The integrated roles of.