WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary developmental biology

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Annelids in evolutionary developmental biology and comparative genomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mcdougall C.

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Annelids have had a long history in comparative embryology and morphology, which has helped to establish them in zoology textbooks as an ideal system to understand the evolution of the typical triploblastic, coelomate, protostome condition. In recent years there has been a relative upsurge in embryological data, particularly with regard to the expression and function of developmental control genes. Polychaetes, as well as other annelids such as the parasitic leech, are now also entering the age of comparative genomics. All of this comparative data has had an important impact on our views of the ancestral conditions at various levels of the animal phylogeny, including the bilaterian ancestor and the nature of the annelid ancestor. Here we review some of the recent advances made in annelid comparative development and genomics, revealing a hitherto unsuspected level of complexity in these ancestors. It is also apparent that the transition to a parasitic lifestyle leads to, or requires, extensive modifications and derivations at both the genomic and embryological levels.

  7. 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'.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Developmental biology, the stem cell of biological disciplines

    OpenAIRE

    Gilbert, Scott F.

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. Cryptic Genetic Variation in Evolutionary Developmental Genetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalise B. Paaby

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary developmental genetics has traditionally been conducted by two groups: Molecular evolutionists who emphasize divergence between species or higher taxa, and quantitative geneticists who study variation within species. Neither approach really comes to grips with the complexities of evolutionary transitions, particularly in light of the realization from genome-wide association studies that most complex traits fit an infinitesimal architecture, being influenced by thousands of loci. This paper discusses robustness, plasticity and lability, phenomena that we argue potentiate major evolutionary changes and provide a bridge between the conceptual treatments of macro- and micro-evolution. We offer cryptic genetic variation and conditional neutrality as mechanisms by which standing genetic variation can lead to developmental system drift and, sheltered within canalized processes, may facilitate developmental transitions and the evolution of novelty. Synthesis of the two dominant perspectives will require recognition that adaptation, divergence, drift and stability all depend on similar underlying quantitative genetic processes—processes that cannot be fully observed in continuously varying visible traits.

  7. 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:

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The diversification of developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Nathan; Dietrich, Michael R; Alomepe, Beverly S; Antrim, Amelia F; ByrneSim, Bay Lauris; He, Yi

    2015-10-01

    In the 1960s, "developmental biology" became the dominant term to describe some of the research that had previously been included under the rubrics of embryology, growth, morphology, and physiology. As scientific societies formed under this new label, a new discipline took shape. Historians, however, have a number of different perspectives on what changes led to this new field of developmental biology and how the field itself was constituted during this period. Using the General Embryological Information Service, a global index of post-World War II development-related research, we have documented and visualized significant changes in the kinds of research that occurred as this new field formed. In particular, our analysis supports the claim that the transition toward developmental biology was marked by a growth in new topics and forms of research. Although many historians privilege the role of molecular biology and/or the molecularization of biology in general during this formative period, we have found that the influence of molecular biology is not sufficient to account for the wide range of new research that constituted developmental biology at the time. Overall, our work creates a robust characterization of the changes that occurred with regard to research on growth and development in the decades following World War II and provides a context for future work on the specific drivers of those changes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Applying Evolutionary Genetics to Developmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Maxwell C. K.; Procter, Andrew C.; Goldstone, Jared V.; Foox, Jonathan; DeSalle, Robert; Mattingly, Carolyn J.; Siddall, Mark E.; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R.

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary thinking continues to challenge our views on health and disease. Yet, there is a communication gap between evolutionary biologists and toxicologists in recognizing the connections among developmental pathways, high-throughput screening, and birth defects in humans. To increase our capability in identifying potential developmental toxicants in humans, we propose to apply evolutionary genetics to improve the experimental design and data interpretation with various in vitro and whole-organism models. We review five molecular systems of stress response and update 18 consensual cell-cell signaling pathways that are the hallmark for early development, organogenesis, and differentiation; and revisit the principles of teratology in light of recent advances in high-throughput screening, big data techniques, and systems toxicology. Multiscale systems modeling plays an integral role in the evolutionary approach to cross-species extrapolation. Phylogenetic analysis and comparative bioinformatics are both valuable tools in identifying and validating the molecular initiating events that account for adverse developmental outcomes in humans. The discordance of susceptibility between test species and humans (ontogeny) reflects their differences in evolutionary history (phylogeny). This synthesis not only can lead to novel applications in developmental toxicity and risk assessment, but also can pave the way for applying an evo-devo perspective to the study of developmental origins of health and disease. PMID:28267574

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. Extended evolutionary psychology: the importance of transgenerational developmental plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karola eStotz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one’s understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one’s view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic (molecular and cellular, behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still grey area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmental psychology.

  2. Extended evolutionary psychology: the importance of transgenerational developmental plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola

    2014-01-01

    What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic (molecular and cellular), behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still gray area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmental psychology.

  3. 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.

  4. Adaptive developmental delay in Chagas disease vectors: an evolutionary ecology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Menu

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae, vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability.We applied four methods: (1 an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2 a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3 a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4 a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause.85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5(th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5(th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of "bad" environmental conditions are sufficiently high.Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test this hypothesis. The importance of these findings is

  5. Evolutionary Developmental Robotics: Improving Morphology and Control of Physical Robots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vujovic, Vuk; Rosendo, Andre; Brodbeck, Luzius; Iida, Fumiya

    2017-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms have previously been applied to the design of morphology and control of robots. The design space for such tasks can be very complex, which can prevent evolution from efficiently discovering fit solutions. In this article we introduce an evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) experiment with real-world robots. It allows robots to grow their leg size to simulate ontogenetic morphological changes, and this is the first time that such an experiment has been performed in the physical world. To test diverse robot morphologies, robot legs of variable shapes were generated during the evolutionary process and autonomously built using additive fabrication. We present two cases with evo-devo experiments and one with evolution, and we hypothesize that the addition of a developmental stage can be used within robotics to improve performance. Moreover, our results show that a nonlinear system-environment interaction exists, which explains the nontrivial locomotion patterns observed. In the future, robots will be present in our daily lives, and this work introduces for the first time physical robots that evolve and grow while interacting with the environment.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. New vistas for developmental biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. Scott F Gilbert1 Rocky S Tuan2. Department of Biology, Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081, USA; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, 1015 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Science Academies' Refresher Course in Developmental Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 8. Science Academies' Refresher Course in Developmental Biology. Information and Announcements Volume 20 Issue 8 August 2015 pp 756-756. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  14. Developmental biology in marine invertebrate symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFall-Ngai, M J; Ruby, E G

    2000-12-01

    Associations between marine invertebrates and their cooperative bacterial symbionts offer access to an understanding of the roots of host-microbe interaction; for example, several symbioses like the squid-vibrio light organ association serve as models for investigating how each partner affects the developmental biology of the other. Previous results have identified a program of specific developmental events that unfolds as the association is initiated. In the past year, published studies have focused primarily on describing the mechanisms underlying the signaling processes that occur between the juvenile squid and the luminous bacteria that colonize it.

  15. 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 ...

  16. The anatomy and ontogeny of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of Lemur catta and Propithecus coquereli (primates): discussion on the parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny and implications for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia L; Smith, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Most anatomical studies of primates focus on skeletal tissues, but muscular anatomy can provide valuable information about phylogeny, functional specializations, and evolution. Herein, we present the first detailed description of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of the fetal lemuriforms Lemur catta (Lemuridae) and Propithecus coquereli (Indriidae). These two species belong to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which is often presumed to possess some plesiomorphic anatomical features within primates. We compare the muscular anatomy of the fetuses with that of infants and adults and discuss the evolutionary and developmental implications. The fetal anatomy reflects a phylogenetically more plesiomorphic condition in nine of the muscles we studied and a more derived condition in only two, supporting a parallel between ontogeny and phylogeny. The derived exceptions concern muscles with additional insertions in the fetus which are lost in adults of the same species, that is, flexor carpi radialis inserts on metacarpal III and levator claviculae inserts on the clavicle. Interestingly, these two muscles are involved in movements of the pectoral girdle and upper limb, which are mainly important for activities in later stages of life, such as locomotion and prey capture, rather than activities in fetal life. Accordingly, our findings suggest that some exceptions to the "ontogeny parallels phylogeny" rule are probably driven more by ontogenetic constraints than by adaptive plasticity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. 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

  18. 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?

  19. Developmental "roots" in mature biological knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Robert F; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L

    2009-04-01

    Young children tend to claim that moving artifacts and nonliving natural kinds are alive, but neglect to ascribe life to plants. This research tested whether adults exhibit similar confusions when verifying life status in a speeded classification task. Experiment 1 showed that undergraduates encounter greater difficulty (reduced accuracy and increased response times) in determining life status for plants, relative to animals, and for natural and moving nonliving things, relative to artifacts and non-moving things. Experiment 2 replicated these effects in university biology professors. The professors showed a significantly reduced effect size for living things, as compared with the students, but still showed greater difficulty for plants than animals, even as no differences from the students were apparent in their responses to nonliving things. These results suggest that mature biological knowledge relies on a developmental foundation that is not radically overwritten or erased with the profound conceptual changes that accompany mastery of the domain.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  1. Evolutionary developmental pathology and anthropology: A new field linking development, comparative anatomy, human evolution, morphological variations and defects, and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, Rui; Smith, Christopher M; Ziermann, Janine M

    2015-11-01

    We introduce a new subfield of the recently created field of Evolutionary-Developmental-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-Anth): Evolutionary-Developmental-Pathology-and-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-P'Anth). This subfield combines experimental and developmental studies of nonhuman model organisms, biological anthropology, chordate comparative anatomy and evolution, and the study of normal and pathological human development. Instead of focusing on other organisms to try to better understand human development, evolution, anatomy, and pathology, it places humans as the central case study, i.e., as truly model organism themselves. We summarize the results of our recent Evo-Devo-P'Anth studies and discuss long-standing questions in each of the broader biological fields combined in this subfield, paying special attention to the links between: (1) Human anomalies and variations, nonpentadactyly, homeotic transformations, and "nearest neighbor" vs. "find and seek" muscle-skeleton associations in limb+facial muscles vs. other head muscles; (2) Developmental constraints, the notion of "phylotypic stage," internalism vs. externalism, and the "logic of monsters" vs. "lack of homeostasis" views about human birth defects; (3) Human evolution, reversions, atavisms, paedomorphosis, and peromorphosis; (4) Scala naturae, Haeckelian recapitulation, von Baer's laws, and parallelism between phylogeny and development, here formally defined as "Phylo-Devo parallelism"; and (5) Patau, Edwards, and Down syndrome (trisomies 13, 18, 21), atavisms, apoptosis, heart malformations, and medical implications. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Hezewijk, René

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Computerised modelling for developmental biology : an exploration with case studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bertens, Laura M.F.

    2012-01-01

    Many studies in developmental biology rely on the construction and analysis of models. This research presents a broad view of modelling approaches for developmental biology, with a focus on computational methods. An overview of modelling techniques is given, followed by several case studies. Using

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swynghedauw, Bernard

    2009-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Developmental and Evolutionary Significance of the Zygomatic Bone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuzé, Yann; Kawasaki, Kazuhiko; Schwarz, Tobias; Schoenebeck, Jeffrey J; Richtsmeier, Joan T

    2016-12-01

    The zygomatic bone is derived evolutionarily from the orbital series. In most modern mammals the zygomatic bone forms a large part of the face and usually serves as a bridge that connects the facial skeleton to the neurocranium. Our aim is to provide information on the contribution of the zygomatic bone to variation in midfacial protrusion using three samples; humans, domesticated dogs, and monkeys. In each case, variation in midface protrusion is a heritable trait produced by one of three classes of transmission: localized dysmorphology associated with single gene dysfunction, selective breeding, or long-term evolution from a common ancestor. We hypothesize that the shape of the zygomatic bone reflects its role in stabilizing the connection between facial skeleton and neurocranium and consequently, changes in facial protrusion are more strongly reflected by the maxilla and premaxilla. Our geometric morphometric analyses support our hypothesis suggesting that the shape of the zygomatic bone has less to do with facial protrusion. By morphometrically dissecting the zygomatic bone we have determined a degree of modularity among parts of the midfacial skeleton suggesting that these components have the ability to vary independently and thus can evolve differentially. From these purely morphometric data, we propose that the neural crest cells that are fated to contribute to the zygomatic bone experience developmental cues that distinguish them from the maxilla and premaxilla. The spatiotemporal and molecular identity of the cues that impart zygoma progenitors with their identity remains an open question that will require alternative data sets. Anat Rec, 299:1616-1630, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Anatomical Record Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 The Authors The Anatomical Record Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Evolutionary and developmental implications of asymmetric brain folding in a large primate pedigree

    OpenAIRE

    Atkinson, Elizabeth G.; Rogers, Jeffrey; Cheverud, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Bilateral symmetry is a fundamental property of the vertebrate central nervous system. Local deviations from symmetry provide various types of information about the development, evolution and function of elements within the CNS, especially the cerebral hemispheres. Here, we quantify the pattern and extent of asymmetry in cortical folding within the cerebrum of Papio baboons and assess the evolutionary and developmental implications of the findings. Analyses of directional asymmetry show a pop...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Bone Marrow Adipocyte Developmental Origin and Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukowska, Joanna; Frazier, Trivia; Smith, Stanley; Brown, Theodore; Bender, Robert; McCarthy, Michelle; Wu, Xiying; Bunnell, Bruce A; Gimble, Jeffrey M

    2018-06-01

    This review explores how the relationships between bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) adipogenesis with advancing age, obesity, and/or bone diseases (osteopenia or osteoporosis) contribute to mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal pathophysiology. Recent studies have re-defined adipose tissue as a dynamic, vital organ with functions extending beyond its historic identity restricted solely to that of an energy reservoir or sink. "State of the art" methodologies provide novel insights into the developmental origin, physiology, and function of different adipose tissue depots. These include genetic tracking of adipose progenitors, viral vectors application, and sophisticated non-invasive imaging modalities. While constricted within the rigid bone cavity, BMAT vigorously contributes to local and systemic metabolic processes including hematopoiesis, osteogenesis, and energy metabolism and undergoes dynamic changes as a function of age, diet, bone topography, or sex. These insights will impact future research and therapies relating to osteoporosis.

  20. Genetics and developmental biology of cooperation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kasper, C.; Vierbuchen, M.; Ernst, Ulrich R.; Fischer, S.; Radersma, R.; Raulo, A.; Cunha-Saraiva, F.; Wu, M.; Mobley, K. B.; Taborsky, B.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 17 (2017), s. 4364-4377 ISSN 0962-1083 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : altruism * behaviour * indirect genetic effects * social behaviour * social effects Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Genetics and heredity (medical genetics to be 3) Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. The extracellular matrix of plants: Molecular, cellular and developmental biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-12-31

    A symposium entitled ``The Extracellular Matrix of Plants: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology was held in Tamarron, Colorado, March 15--21, 1996. The following topics were explored in addresses by 43 speakers: structure and biochemistry of cell walls; biochemistry, molecular biology and biosynthesis of lignin; secretory pathway and synthesis of glycoproteins; biosynthesis of matrix polysaccharides, callose and cellulose; role of the extracellular matrix in plant growth and development; plant cell walls in symbiosis and pathogenesis.

  5. 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.

  6. Applied Developmental Biology: Making Human Pancreatic Beta Cells for Diabetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melton, Douglas A

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the genes and signaling pathways that determine the differentiation and fate of a cell is a central goal of developmental biology. Using that information to gain mastery over the fates of cells presents new approaches to cell transplantation and drug discovery for human diseases including diabetes. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Science Academies' Refresher Course in Developmental Biology 16 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    The objectives of this Refresher Course are to update the participants about the advances in the field of Developmental Biology; various small animal models used and give hands-on training on some modern biotechnological practices. A variety of teaching methods like lectures, discussion and laboratory work shall ...

  8. Evolutionary history of the recruitment of conserved developmental genes in association to the formation and diversification of a novel trait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirai Leila T

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The origin and modification of novel traits are important aspects of biological diversification. Studies combining concepts and approaches of developmental genetics and evolutionary biology have uncovered many examples of the recruitment, or co-option, of genes conserved across lineages for the formation of novel, lineage-restricted traits. However, little is known about the evolutionary history of the recruitment of those genes, and of the relationship between them -for example, whether the co-option involves whole or parts of existing networks, or whether it occurs by redeployment of individual genes with de novo rewiring. We use a model novel trait, color pattern elements on butterfly wings called eyespots, to explore these questions. Eyespots have greatly diversified under natural and sexual selection, and their formation involves genetic circuitries shared across insects. Results We investigated the evolutionary history of the recruitment and co-recruitment of four conserved transcription regulators to the larval wing disc region where circular pattern elements develop. The co-localization of Antennapedia, Notch, Distal-less, and Spalt with presumptive (eyespot organizers was examined in 13 butterfly species, providing the largest comparative dataset available for the system. We found variation between families, between subfamilies, and between tribes. Phylogenetic reconstructions by parsimony and maximum likelihood methods revealed an unambiguous evolutionary history only for Antennapedia, with a resolved single origin of eyespot-associated expression, and many homoplastic events for Notch, Distal-less, and Spalt. The flexibility in the (co-recruitment of the targeted genes includes cases where different gene combinations are associated with morphologically similar eyespots, as well as cases where identical protein combinations are associated with very different phenotypes. Conclusions The evolutionary history of gene

  9. Developmental biology and the study of malformations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, A F

    1976-05-01

    Experimental work on abnormal conditions of incubation in the chick has been undertaken to acquire a scientific approach to malformations. More precise experiments on causing abnormalities had a common origin with experimental embryology. Progress in experimental teratology during the last 50 years is reviewed in a commentary on the 4 principles formulated by Stockard in 1921. The results of cytogenetical studies in man and in other organisms have led to the tracing of some relationships between them. Present knowledge concerning malformations of the neural tube, originating either experimentally, spontaneously, or phenotypically, has been presented and the teratological implications of some recent theories on the expression of the genotype are discussed in particular reference to problems of hormones as teratogens, the implication of carbohydrate metabolism, and teratogenesis. It is speculated that teratogenesis is possibly related to cationic balance in early development and that 1 factor retarding progress in the understanding of malformations is the tendency toward the development of teratology in an adequately close relationship with other branches of cell biology.

  10. Social Defense: An Evolutionary-Developmental Model of Children's Strategies for Coping with Threat in the Peer Group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith J. Martin

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Navigating the ubiquitous conflict, competition, and complex group dynamics of the peer group is a pivotal developmental task of childhood. Difficulty negotiating these challenges represents a substantial source of risk for psychopathology. Evolutionary developmental psychology offers a unique perspective with the potential to reorganize the way we think about the role of peer relationships in shaping how children cope with the everyday challenges of establishing a social niche. To address this gap, we utilize the ethological reformulation of the emotional security theory as a guide to developing an evolutionary framework for advancing an understanding of the defense strategies children use to manage antagonistic peer relationships and protect themselves from interpersonal threat (Davies and Sturge-Apple, 2007. In this way, we hope to illustrate the value of an evolutionary developmental lens in generating unique theoretical insight and novel research directions into the role of peer relationships in the development of psychopathology.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Computer modeling in developmental biology: growing today, essential tomorrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, James

    2017-12-01

    D'Arcy Thompson was a true pioneer, applying mathematical concepts and analyses to the question of morphogenesis over 100 years ago. The centenary of his famous book, On Growth and Form , is therefore a great occasion on which to review the types of computer modeling now being pursued to understand the development of organs and organisms. Here, I present some of the latest modeling projects in the field, covering a wide range of developmental biology concepts, from molecular patterning to tissue morphogenesis. Rather than classifying them according to scientific question, or scale of problem, I focus instead on the different ways that modeling contributes to the scientific process and discuss the likely future of modeling in developmental biology. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenio Andrade

    2008-07-01

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

  18. Bioinformatics approaches to single-cell analysis in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yalcin, Dicle; Hakguder, Zeynep M; Otu, Hasan H

    2016-03-01

    Individual cells within the same population show various degrees of heterogeneity, which may be better handled with single-cell analysis to address biological and clinical questions. Single-cell analysis is especially important in developmental biology as subtle spatial and temporal differences in cells have significant associations with cell fate decisions during differentiation and with the description of a particular state of a cell exhibiting an aberrant phenotype. Biotechnological advances, especially in the area of microfluidics, have led to a robust, massively parallel and multi-dimensional capturing, sorting, and lysis of single-cells and amplification of related macromolecules, which have enabled the use of imaging and omics techniques on single cells. There have been improvements in computational single-cell image analysis in developmental biology regarding feature extraction, segmentation, image enhancement and machine learning, handling limitations of optical resolution to gain new perspectives from the raw microscopy images. Omics approaches, such as transcriptomics, genomics and epigenomics, targeting gene and small RNA expression, single nucleotide and structural variations and methylation and histone modifications, rely heavily on high-throughput sequencing technologies. Although there are well-established bioinformatics methods for analysis of sequence data, there are limited bioinformatics approaches which address experimental design, sample size considerations, amplification bias, normalization, differential expression, coverage, clustering and classification issues, specifically applied at the single-cell level. In this review, we summarize biological and technological advancements, discuss challenges faced in the aforementioned data acquisition and analysis issues and present future prospects for application of single-cell analyses to developmental biology. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European

  19. 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

  20. Human pluripotent stem cells: an emerging model in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zengrong; Huangfu, Danwei

    2013-02-01

    Developmental biology has long benefited from studies of classic model organisms. Recently, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, have emerged as a new model system that offers unique advantages for developmental studies. Here, we discuss how studies of hPSCs can complement classic approaches using model organisms, and how hPSCs can be used to recapitulate aspects of human embryonic development 'in a dish'. We also summarize some of the recently developed genetic tools that greatly facilitate the interrogation of gene function during hPSC differentiation. With the development of high-throughput screening technologies, hPSCs have the potential to revolutionize gene discovery in mammalian development.

  1. The Zebrafish Models to Explore Genetic and Epigenetic Impacts on Evolutionary Developmental Origins of Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishi, Shuji

    2014-01-01

    hand, unexpected senescence-related genes might also be involved in the early developmental process and its regulation. The ease of manipulation using the zebrafish system allows us to conduct an exhaustive exploration of novel genes/genotypes and epigenotype that can be linked to the senescence phenotype, and thereby facilitates searching for the evolutionary and developmental origins of aging in vertebrates. PMID:24239812

  2. In silico Evolutionary Developmental Neurobiology and the Origin of Natural Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szathmáry, Eörs; Szathmáry, Zoltán; Ittzés, Péter; Orbaán, Geroő; Zachár, István; Huszár, Ferenc; Fedor, Anna; Varga, Máté; Számadó, Szabolcs

    It is justified to assume that part of our genetic endowment contributes to our language skills, yet it is impossible to tell at this moment exactly how genes affect the language faculty. We complement experimental biological studies by an in silico approach in that we simulate the evolution of neuronal networks under selection for language-related skills. At the heart of this project is the Evolutionary Neurogenetic Algorithm (ENGA) that is deliberately biomimetic. The design of the system was inspired by important biological phenomena such as brain ontogenesis, neuron morphologies, and indirect genetic encoding. Neuronal networks were selected and were allowed to reproduce as a function of their performance in the given task. The selected neuronal networks in all scenarios were able to solve the communication problem they had to face. The most striking feature of the model is that it works with highly indirect genetic encoding--just as brains do.

  3. The integration of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology: Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) and the developmental basis of evolutionary change.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-07-15

    The growth of evolutionary morphology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was inspired by the work of Carl Gegenbaur (1826-1903) and his protégé and friend Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). However, neither of them succeeded in creating and applying a strictly Darwinian (selectionist) methodology. This task was left to the next generation of evolutionary morphologists. In this paper we present a relatively unknown researcher, Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) who made important contributions towards a synthesis of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  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. 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.

  6. Role of epigenetics in developmental biology and transgenerational inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K

    2011-03-01

    The molecular mechanisms involved in developmental biology and cellular differentiation have traditionally been considered to be primarily genetic. Environmental factors that influence early life critical windows of development generally do not have the capacity to modify genome sequence, nor promote permanent genetic modifications. Epigenetics provides a molecular mechanism for environment to influence development, program cellular differentiation, and alter the genetic regulation of development. The current review discusses how epigenetics can cooperate with genetics to regulate development and allow for greater plasticity in response to environmental influences. This impacts area such as cellular differentiation, tissue development, environmental induced disease etiology, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance, and the general systems biology of organisms and evolution. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Transcriptomic signatures shaped by cell proportions shed light on comparative developmental biology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pantalacci, S.; Gueguen, L.; Petit, C.; Lambert, A.; Peterková, Renata; Sémon, E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 18, feb (2017), s. 29 ISSN 1474-760X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GB14-37368G Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : comparative transcriptomics * developmental biology * transcriptomic signature Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 11.908, year: 2016

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Neural crest cells: from developmental biology to clinical interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noisa, Parinya; Raivio, Taneli

    2014-09-01

    Neural crest cells are multipotent cells, which are specified in embryonic ectoderm in the border of neural plate and epiderm during early development by interconnection of extrinsic stimuli and intrinsic factors. Neural crest cells are capable of differentiating into various somatic cell types, including melanocytes, craniofacial cartilage and bone, smooth muscle, and peripheral nervous cells, which supports their promise for cell therapy. In this work, we provide a comprehensive review of wide aspects of neural crest cells from their developmental biology to applicability in medical research. We provide a simplified model of neural crest cell development and highlight the key external stimuli and intrinsic regulators that determine the neural crest cell fate. Defects of neural crest cell development leading to several human disorders are also mentioned, with the emphasis of using human induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurocristopathic syndromes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Linus J; Kulesa, Paul M; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell-cell interactions, cell-environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions. © 2016 The Authors.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. The evolution of developmental programs : a case study in the gastropod mollusc Patella vulgata

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nederbragt, Alexander Johan

    2002-01-01

    At the interface between evolutionary biology and developmental biology is the so-called field of evolutionary developmental biology (‘evo-devo’ in short). This field asks how different adult animals (species) came into being by heritable changes during their embryonic development. One way to study

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Making developmental biology relevant to undergraduates in an era of economic rationalism in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Key, Brian; Nurcombe, Victor

    2003-01-01

    This report describes the road map we followed at our university to accommodate three main factors: financial pressure within the university system; desire to enhance the learning experience of undergraduates; and motivation to increase the prominence of the discipline of developmental biology in our university. We engineered a novel, multi-year undergraduate developmental biology program which was "student-oriented," ensuring that students were continually exposed to the underlying principles and philosophy of this discipline throughout their undergraduate career. Among its key features are introductory lectures in core courses in the first year, which emphasize the relevance of developmental biology to tissue engineering, reproductive medicine, therapeutic approaches in medicine, agriculture and aquaculture. State-of-the-art animated computer graphics and images of high visual impact are also used. In addition, students are streamed into the developmental biology track in the second year, using courses like human embryology and courses shared with cell biology, which include practicals based on modern experimental approaches. Finally, fully dedicated third-year courses in developmental biology are undertaken in conjunction with stand-alone practical courses where students experiencefirst-hand work in a research laboratory. Our philosophy is a "cradle-to-grave" approach to the education of undergraduates so as to prepare highly motivated, enthusiastic and well-educated developmental biologists for entry into graduate programs and ultimately post-doctoral research.

  12. 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.

  13. Evolutionary Developmental Soft Robotics As a Framework to Study Intelligence and Adaptive Behavior in Animals and Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Corucci

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a comprehensive methodology and simulation framework will be reviewed, designed in order to study the emergence of adaptive and intelligent behavior in generic soft-bodied creatures. By incorporating artificial evolutionary and developmental processes, the system allows to evolve complete creatures (brain, body, developmental properties, sensory, control system, etc. for different task environments. Whether the evolved creatures will resemble animals or plants is in general not known a priori, and depends on the specific task environment set up by the experimenter. In this regard, the system may offer a unique opportunity to explore differences and similarities between these two worlds. Different material properties can be simulated and optimized, from a continuum of soft/stiff materials, to the interconnection of heterogeneous structures, both found in animals and plants alike. The adopted genetic encoding and simulation environment are particularly suitable in order to evolve distributed sensory and control systems, which play a particularly important role in plants. After a general description of the system some case studies will be presented, focusing on the emergent properties of the evolved creatures. Particular emphasis will be on some unifying concepts that are thought to play an important role in the emergence of intelligent and adaptive behavior across both the animal and plant kingdoms, such as morphological computation and morphological developmental plasticity. Overall, with this paper, we hope to draw attention on set of tools, methodologies, ideas and results, which may be relevant to researchers interested in plant-inspired robotics and intelligence.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Islas Morales, Parsifal

    2018-04-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. The Comet Cometh: Evolving Developmental Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Johannes; Laubichler, Manfred; Callebaut, Werner

    In a recent opinion piece, Denis Duboule has claimed that the increasing shift towards systems biology is driving evolutionary and developmental biology apart, and that a true reunification of these two disciplines within the framework of evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) may easily take another 100 years. He identifies methodological, epistemological, and social differences as causes for this supposed separation. Our article provides a contrasting view. We argue that Duboule's prediction is based on a one-sided understanding of systems biology as a science that is only interested in functional, not evolutionary, aspects of biological processes. Instead, we propose a research program for an evolutionary systems biology, which is based on local exploration of the configuration space in evolving developmental systems. We call this approach-which is based on reverse engineering, simulation, and mathematical analysis-the natural history of configuration space. We discuss a number of illustrative examples that demonstrate the past success of local exploration, as opposed to global mapping, in different biological contexts. We argue that this pragmatic mode of inquiry can be extended and applied to the mathematical analysis of the developmental repertoire and evolutionary potential of evolving developmental mechanisms and that evolutionary systems biology so conceived provides a pragmatic epistemological framework for the EvoDevo synthesis.

  17. Creating to understand – developmental biology meets engineering in Paris

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kicheva, Anna; Rivron, Nicolas C.

    2017-01-01

    In November 2016, developmental biologists, synthetic biologists and engineers gathered in Paris for a meeting called ‘Engineering the embryo’. The participants shared an interest in exploring how synthetic systems can reveal new principles of embryonic development, and how the in vitro manipulation

  18. 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).

  19. Gender Differences in the Developmental Cascade from Harsh Parenting to Educational Attainment: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hentges, Rochelle F.; Wang, Ming-Te

    2018-01-01

    This study utilized life history theory to test a developmental cascade model linking harsh parenting to low educational attainment. Multigroup models were examined to test for potential gender differences. The sample consisted of 1,482 adolescents followed up for 9 years starting in seventh grade (M[subscript age] = 12.74). Results supported…

  20. Epigenetic Tracking, a Method to Generate Arbitrary Shapes By Using Evolutionary-Developmental Techniques

    OpenAIRE

    Fontana, Alessandro

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes an Artificial Embryology method (called ``Epigenetic Tracking'') to generate predefined arbitrarily shaped 2-dimensional arrays of cells by means of evolutionary techniques. It is based on a model of development, whose key features are: i) the distinction bewteen ``normal'' and ``driver'' cells, being the latter able to receive guidance from the genome, ii) the implementation of the proliferation/apoptosis events in such a way that many cells are created/deleted at once, ...

  1. Unconventional transport routes of soluble and membrane proteins and their role in developmental biology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pompa, A.; De Marchis, F.; Pallotta, M. T.; Benitez-Alfonso, Y.; Jones, A.; Schipper, K.; Moreau, K.; Žárský, Viktor; Di Sansebastiano, G. P.; Bellucci, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 4 (2017), č. článku 703. E-ISSN 1422-0067 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Autophagy * Exosomes * Intercellular channels * Leaderless proteins * Protein secretion * Trafficking mechanisms * Unconventional secretion Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 3.226, year: 2016

  2. A small great history of the sister Societies of Developmental Biology in Spain and Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmeirim, Isabel; Aréchaga, Juan

    2009-01-01

    We revise the historical evolution of the societies devoted to Developmental Biology from the early activities of the Institut International dEmbryologie (IIE), founded in 1911, with particular emphasis on the more recent constitution of the Spanish Sociedad Española de Biología del Desarrollo (SEBD), founded in 1994, and the Portuguese Sociedade Portuguesa de Biologia do Desenvolvimento (SPBD), founded in 2006. We also describe the role played by The International Journal of Developmental Biology (IJDB) in the constitution of the SEBD and its projection and support to international Developmental Biology societies and individual researchers in the world, according to its mission to be a non-for-profit publication for scientists, by scientists.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Developmental control of transcriptional and proliferative potency during the evolutionary emergence of animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenas-Mena, Cesar; Coffman, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary It is proposed that the evolution of complex animals required repressive genetic mechanisms for controlling the transcriptional and proliferative potency of cells. Unicellular organisms are transcriptionally potent, able to express their full genetic complement as the need arises through their life cycle, whereas differentiated cells of multicellular organisms can only express a fraction of their genomic potential. Likewise, whereas cell proliferation in unicellular organisms is primarily limited by nutrient availability, cell proliferation in multicellular organisms is developmentally regulated. Repressive genetic controls limiting the potency of cells at the end of ontogeny would have stabilized the gene expression states of differentiated cells and prevented disruptive proliferation, allowing the emergence of diverse cell types and functional shapes. We propose that distal cis-regulatory elements represent the primary innovations that set the stage for the evolution of developmental gene regulatory networks and the repressive control of key multipotency and cell-cycle control genes. The testable prediction of this model is that the genomes of extant animals, unlike those of our unicellular relatives, encode gene regulatory circuits dedicated to the developmental control of transcriptional and proliferative potency. PMID:26173445

  5. 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

  6. Fire in the Plio-Pleistocene: the functions of hominin fire use, and the mechanistic, developmental and evolutionary consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attwell, Laura; Kovarovic, Kris; Kendal, Jeremy

    2015-07-20

    Fire is a powerful natural force that can change landscapes extremely quickly. Hominins have harnessed this resource for their own purposes, with mechanistic and developmental physiological consequences. In addition, the use of fire has niche constructive effects, altering selective environments for genetic and cultural evolution. We review the record for hominin fire use in the Plio-Pleistocene, before considering the various functions for its use, and the resultant mechanistic and developmental consequences. We also adopt the niche construction framework to consider how the use of fire can modify selective environments, and thus have evolutionary consequences at genetic and cultural levels. The light that fire produces may influence photoperiodicity and alter hormonally-controlled bodily rhythms. Fire used for cooking could have extended the range of foods hominins were able to consume, and reduced digestion costs. This may have contributed to the expansion of the hominin brain and facial anatomy, influenced by a higher quality cooked diet. Fire may also have allowed dispersal into northern areas with much cooler climates than the hominin African origin, posing novel problems that affected diet and social behaviour.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations.

  10. Endocrine disruptors: from Wingspread to environmental developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markey, Caroline M; Rubin, Beverly S; Soto, Ana M; Sonnenschein, Carlos

    2002-12-01

    The production and release of synthetic chemicals into the environment has been a hallmark of the "Second Industrial Revolution" and the "Green Revolution." Soon after the inception of these chemicals, anecdotal evidence began to emerge linking environmental contamination of rivers and lakes with a variety of developmental and reproductive abnormalities in wildlife species. The accumulation of evidence suggesting that these synthetic chemicals were detrimental to wildlife, and potentially humans, as a result of their hormonal activity, led to the proposal of the endocrine disruptor hypothesis at the 1991 Wingspread Conference. Since that time, experimental and epidemiological data have shown that exposure of the developing fetus or neonate to environmentally-relevant concentrations of certain synthetic chemicals causes morphological, biochemical, physiological and behavioral anomalies in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. The ubiquitous use, and subsequent human exposure, of one particular chemical, the estrogen mimic bisphenol A (BPA), is the subject of this present review. We have highlighted this chemical since it provides an arresting model of how chemical exposure impacts developmental processes involved in the morphogenesis of tissues and organs, including those of the male and female reproductive systems, the mammary glands and the brain.

  11. 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

  12. Report of the NASA Mammalian Developmental Biology Working Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    Development is considered to encompass all aspects of the mammalian life span from initial initial germ cell production through the complete life cycle to death of the organism. Thus, gamete production, fertilization, embryogenesis, implantation, fetogenesis, birth, peri- and postnatal maturation, and aging were all considered as stages of a development continuum relevant to problems of Space Biology. Deliberations thus far have been limited to stages of the development cycle from fertilization to early postnatal life. The deliberations are detailed.

  13. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane I Schroeder

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs and highly methylated domains (HMDs with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo.

  14. Reverse engineering development: Crosstalk opportunities between developmental biology and tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcucio, Ralph S; Qin, Ling; Alsberg, Eben; Boerckel, Joel D

    2017-11-01

    The fields of developmental biology and tissue engineering have been revolutionized in recent years by technological advancements, expanded understanding, and biomaterials design, leading to the emerging paradigm of "developmental" or "biomimetic" tissue engineering. While developmental biology and tissue engineering have long overlapping histories, the fields have largely diverged in recent years at the same time that crosstalk opportunities for mutual benefit are more salient than ever. In this perspective article, we will use musculoskeletal development and tissue engineering as a platform on which to discuss these emerging crosstalk opportunities and will present our opinions on the bright future of these overlapping spheres of influence. The multicellular programs that control musculoskeletal development are rapidly becoming clarified, represented by shifting paradigms in our understanding of cellular function, identity, and lineage specification during development. Simultaneously, advancements in bioartificial matrices that replicate the biochemical, microstructural, and mechanical properties of developing tissues present new tools and approaches for recapitulating development in tissue engineering. Here, we introduce concepts and experimental approaches in musculoskeletal developmental biology and biomaterials design and discuss applications in tissue engineering as well as opportunities for tissue engineering approaches to inform our understanding of fundamental biology. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:2356-2368, 2017. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Spatiotemporal network motif reveals the biological traits of developmental gene regulatory networks in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Man-Sun

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Network motifs provided a “conceptual tool” for understanding the functional principles of biological networks, but such motifs have primarily been used to consider static network structures. Static networks, however, cannot be used to reveal time- and region-specific traits of biological systems. To overcome this limitation, we proposed the concept of a “spatiotemporal network motif,” a spatiotemporal sequence of network motifs of sub-networks which are active only at specific time points and body parts. Results On the basis of this concept, we analyzed the developmental gene regulatory network of the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. We identified spatiotemporal network motifs and investigated their distribution pattern in time and space. As a result, we found how key developmental processes are temporally and spatially regulated by the gene network. In particular, we found that nested feedback loops appeared frequently throughout the entire developmental process. From mathematical simulations, we found that mutual inhibition in the nested feedback loops contributes to the formation of spatial expression patterns. Conclusions Taken together, the proposed concept and the simulations can be used to unravel the design principle of developmental gene regulatory networks.

  5. 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'…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Cell Migration Analysis: A Low-Cost Laboratory Experiment for Cell and Developmental Biology Courses Using Keratocytes from Fish Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Daniel; Aparicio, Gonzalo; Sotelo-Silveira, Jose R.

    2017-01-01

    Cell and developmental processes are complex, and profoundly dependent on spatial relationships that change over time. Innovative educational or teaching strategies are always needed to foster deep comprehension of these processes and their dynamic features. However, laboratory exercises in cell and developmental biology at the undergraduate level…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The Current Status of the Philosophy of Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takacs, Peter; Ruse, Michael

    2013-01-01

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

  12. A Drosophila LexA Enhancer-Trap Resource for Developmental Biology and Neuroendocrine Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lutz Kockel

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Novel binary gene expression tools like the LexA-LexAop system could powerfully enhance studies of metabolism, development, and neurobiology in Drosophila. However, specific LexA drivers for neuroendocrine cells and many other developmentally relevant systems remain limited. In a unique high school biology course, we generated a LexA-based enhancer trap collection by transposon mobilization. The initial collection provides a source of novel LexA-based elements that permit targeted gene expression in the corpora cardiaca, cells central for metabolic homeostasis, and other neuroendocrine cell types. The collection further contains specific LexA drivers for stem cells and other enteric cells in the gut, and other developmentally relevant tissue types. We provide detailed analysis of nearly 100 new LexA lines, including molecular mapping of insertions, description of enhancer-driven reporter expression in larval tissues, and adult neuroendocrine cells, comparison with established enhancer trap collections and tissue specific RNAseq. Generation of this open-resource LexA collection facilitates neuroendocrine and developmental biology investigations, and shows how empowering secondary school science can achieve research and educational goals.

  13. Student-oriented learning: an inquiry-based developmental biology lecture course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malacinski, George M

    2003-01-01

    In this junior-level undergraduate course, developmental life cycles exhibited by various organisms are reviewed, with special attention--where relevant--to the human embryo. Morphological features and processes are described and recent insights into the molecular biology of gene expression are discussed. Ways are studied in which model systems, including marine invertebrates, amphibia, fruit flies and other laboratory species are employed to elucidate general principles which apply to fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation and organogenesis. Special attention is given to insights into those topics which will soon be researched with data from the Human Genome Project. The learning experience is divided into three parts: Part I is a in which the Socratic (inquiry) method is employed by the instructor (GMM) to organize a review of classical developmental phenomena; Part II represents an in which students study the details related to the surveys included in Part I as they have been reported in research journals; Part III focuses on a class project--the preparation of a spiral bound on a topic of relevance to human developmental biology (e.g.,Textbook of Embryonal Stem Cells). Student response to the use of the Socratic method increases as the course progresses and represents the most successful aspect of the course.

  14. Micro-computed tomography imaging and analysis in developmental biology and toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, L David; Winkelmann, Christopher T; Dogdas, Belma; Bagchi, Ansuman

    2013-06-01

    Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) is a high resolution imaging technique that has expanded and strengthened in use since it was last reviewed in this journal in 2004. The technology has expanded to include more detailed analysis of bone, as well as soft tissues, by use of various contrast agents. It is increasingly applied to questions in developmental biology and developmental toxicology. Relatively high-throughput protocols now provide a powerful and efficient means to evaluate embryos and fetuses subjected to genetic manipulations or chemical exposures. This review provides an overview of the technology, including scanning, reconstruction, visualization, segmentation, and analysis of micro-CT generated images. This is followed by a review of more recent applications of the technology in some common laboratory species that highlight the diverse issues that can be addressed. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Developmental Origins of Biological Explanations: The case of infants' internal property bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taborda-Osorio, Hernando; Cheries, Erik W

    2017-10-01

    People's explanations about the biological world are heavily biased toward internal, non-obvious properties. Adults and children as young as 5 years of age find internal properties more causally central than external features for explaining general biological processes and category membership. In this paper, we describe how this 'internal property bias' may be grounded in two different developmental precursors observed in studies with infants: (1) an early understanding of biological agency that is apparent in infants' reasoning about animals, and (2) the acquisition of kind-based representations that distinguish between essential and accidental properties, spanning from animals to artifacts. We argue that these precursors may support the progressive construction of the notion of biological kinds and explanations during childhood. Shortly after their first year of life, infants seem to represent the internal properties of animates as more central and identity-determining that external properties. Over time, this skeletal notion of biological kinds is integrated into diverse explanations about kind membership and biological processes, with an increasingly better understanding of the causal role of internal properties.

  18. Integration of a Faculty's Ongoing Research into an Undergraduate Laboratory Teaching Class in Developmental Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Sang-Chul

    2018-01-01

    Traditional developmental biology laboratory classes have utilized a number of different model organisms to allow students to be exposed to diverse biological phenomena in developing organisms. This traditional approach has mainly focused on the diverse morphological and anatomical descriptions of the developing organisms. However, modern…

  19. Coalescent models for developmental biology and the spatio-temporal dynamics of growing tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smadbeck, Patrick; Stumpf, Michael P H

    2016-04-01

    Development is a process that needs to be tightly coordinated in both space and time. Cell tracking and lineage tracing have become important experimental techniques in developmental biology and allow us to map the fate of cells and their progeny. A generic feature of developing and homeostatic tissues that these analyses have revealed is that relatively few cells give rise to the bulk of the cells in a tissue; the lineages of most cells come to an end quickly. Computational and theoretical biologists/physicists have, in response, developed a range of modelling approaches, most notably agent-based modelling. These models seem to capture features observed in experiments, but can also become computationally expensive. Here, we develop complementary genealogical models of tissue development that trace the ancestry of cells in a tissue back to their most recent common ancestors. We show that with both bounded and unbounded growth simple, but universal scaling relationships allow us to connect coalescent theory with the fractal growth models extensively used in developmental biology. Using our genealogical perspective, it is possible to study bulk statistical properties of the processes that give rise to tissues of cells, without the need for large-scale simulations. © 2016 The Authors.

  20. 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

  1. Information fluency for undergraduate biology majors: applications of inquiry-based learning in a developmental biology course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Kathleen M; Eastman, Deborah A

    2008-01-01

    Many initiatives for the improvement of undergraduate science education call for inquiry-based learning that emphasizes investigative projects and reading of the primary literature. These approaches give students an understanding of science as a process and help them integrate content presented in courses. At the same time, general initiatives to promote information fluency are being promoted on many college and university campuses. Information fluency refers to discipline-specific processing of information, and it involves integration of gathered information with specific ideas to form logical conclusions. We have implemented the use of inquiry-based learning to enhance and study discipline-specific information fluency skills in an upper-level undergraduate Developmental Biology course. In this study, an information literacy tutorial and a set of linked assignments using primary literature analysis were integrated with two inquiry-based laboratory research projects. Quantitative analysis of student responses suggests that the abilities of students to identify and apply valid sources of information were enhanced. Qualitative assessment revealed a set of patterns by which students gather and apply information. Self-assessment responses indicated that students recognized the impact of the assignments on their abilities to gather and apply information and that they were more confident about these abilities for future biology courses and beyond.

  2. Carryover effect of postpartum inflammatory diseases on developmental biology and fertility in lactating dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, E S; Gomes, G; Greco, L F; Cerri, R L A; Vieira-Neto, A; Monteiro, P L J; Lima, F S; Bisinotto, R S; Thatcher, W W; Santos, J E P

    2016-03-01

    The objective of this series of studies was to investigate the effects of inflammatory diseases occurring before breeding on the developmental biology and reproductive responses in dairy cows. Data from 5 studies were used to investigate different questions associating health status before breeding and reproductive responses. Health information for all studies was composed of the incidence of retained fetal membranes, metritis, mastitis, lameness, and respiratory and digestive problems from parturition until the day of breeding. Retained placenta and metritis were grouped as uterine disease (UTD). Mastitis, lameness, digestive and respiratory problems were grouped as nonuterine diseases (NUTD). Study 1 evaluated the effect of disease before artificial insemination (AI), anovulation before synchronization of the estrous cycle, and low body condition score at AI on pregnancy per AI, as well as their potential interactions or additive effects. Study 2 investigated the effect of site of inflammation (UTD vs. NUTD) and time of occurrence relative to preantral or antral stages of ovulatory follicle development, and the effect of UTD and NUTD on fertility responses of cows bred by AI or by embryo transfer. Study 3 evaluated the effect of disease on fertilization and embryonic development to the morula stage. Study 4 evaluated the effect of disease on preimplantation conceptus development as well as secretion of IFN-τ and transcriptome. Study 5 investigated the effect of diseases before AI on the transcript expression of interferon-stimulated genes in peripheral blood leukocytes during peri-implantation stages of conceptus development after first AI postpartum. Altogether, these studies demonstrated that inflammatory disease before breeding reduced fertilization of oocytes and development to morula, and impaired early conceptus development to elongation stages and secretion of IFN-τ in the uterine lumen. Diseases caused inflammation-like changes in transcriptome of

  3. Modularity in developmental biology and artificial organs: a missing concept in tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenas, Petros; Luyten, Frank P; Doblare, Manuel; Nicodemou-Lena, Eleni; Lanzara, Andreina Elena

    2011-06-01

    Tissue engineering is reviving itself, adopting the concept of biomimetics of in vivo tissue development. A basic concept of developmental biology is the modularity of the tissue architecture according to which intermediates in tissue development constitute semiautonomous entities. Both engineering and nature have chosen the modular architecture to optimize the product or organism development and evolution. Bioartificial tissues do not have a modular architecture. On the contrary, artificial organs of modular architecture have been already developed in the field of artificial organs. Therefore the conceptual support of tissue engineering by the field of artificial organs becomes critical in its new endeavor of recapitulating in vitro the in vivo tissue development. © 2011, Copyright the Authors. Artificial Organs © 2011, International Center for Artificial Organs and Transplantation and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Developmental origins of health and disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gluckman, Peter D; Hanson, Mark A

    2006-01-01

    ... development and the onset of many chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis also raises important public health issues. Another fascinating theme in the book concerns evolutionary developmental biology and how the 'evo-devo' debate can cast light on these concepts. Clinicians and basic scientists alike will find this an ...

  5. Development of Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for applications in developmental biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Anjul Maheshwari

    Developmental biology is a field in which explorations are made to answer how an organism transforms from a single cell to a complex system made up of trillions of highly organized and highly specified cells. This field, however, is not just for discovery, it is crucial for unlocking factors that lead to diseases, defects, or malformations. The one key ingredient that contributes to the success of studies in developmental biology is the technology that is available for use. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is one such technology. OCT fills a niche between the high resolution of confocal microscopy and deep imaging penetration of ultrasound. Developmental studies of the chicken embryo heart are of great interest. Studies in mature hearts, zebrafish animal models, and to a more limited degree chicken embryos, indicate a relationship between blood flow and development. It is believed that at the earliest stages, when the heart is still a tube, the purpose of blood flow is not for convective transport of oxygen, nutrients and waster, bur rather to induce shear-related gene expressions to induce further development. Yet, to this date, the simple question of "what makes blood flow?" has not been answered. This is mainly due limited availability to adequate imaging and blood flow measurement tools. Earlier work has demonstrated the potential of OCT for use in studying chicken embryo heart development, however quantitative measurement techniques still needed to be developed. In this dissertation I present technological developments I have made towards building an OCT system to study chick embryo heart development. I will describe: (1) a swept-source OCT with extended imaging depth; (2) a spectral domain OCT system for non-invasive small animal imaging; (3) Doppler flow imaging and techniques for quantitative blood flow measurement in living chicken embryos; and (4) application of the OCT system that was developed in the Specific Aims 2-5 to test hypotheses generated by a

  6. The evolutionary implications of epigenetic inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonka, Eva

    2017-10-06

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

  7. The extended evolutionary synthesis: its structure, assumptions and predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N.; Uller, Tobias; Feldman, Marcus W.; Sterelny, Kim; Müller, Gerd B.; Moczek, Armin; Jablonka, Eva; Odling-Smee, John

    2015-01-01

    Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways—one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the ‘extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism–environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology. PMID:26246559

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. Phytochrome Interacting Factors (PIFs in Solanum lycopersicum: Diversity, Evolutionary History and Expression Profiling during Different Developmental Processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele Rosado

    Full Text Available Although the importance of light for tomato plant yield and edible fruit quality is well known, the PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs, main components of phytochrome-mediated light signal transduction, have been studied almost exclusively in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, the diversity, evolution and expression profile of PIF gene subfamily in Solanum lycopersicum was characterized. Eight tomato PIF loci were identified, named SlPIF1a, SlPIF1b, SlPIF3, SlPIF4, SlPIF7a, SlPIF7b, SlPIF8a and SlPIF8b. The duplication of SlPIF1, SlPIF7 and SlPIF8 genes were dated and temporally coincided with the whole-genome triplication event that preceded tomato and potato divergence. Different patterns of mRNA accumulation in response to light treatments were observed during seedling deetiolation, dark-induced senescence, diel cycle and fruit ripening. SlPIF4 showed similar expression profile as that reported for A. thaliana homologs, indicating an evolutionary conserved function of PIF4 clade. A comprehensive analysis of the evolutionary and transcriptional data allowed proposing that duplicated SlPIFs have undergone sub- and neofunctionalization at mRNA level, pinpointing the importance of transcriptional regulation for the maintenance of duplicated genes. Altogether, the results indicate that genome polyploidization and functional divergence have played a major role in diversification of the Solanum PIF gene subfamily.

  13. The role of mathematical models in understanding pattern formation in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umulis, David M; Othmer, Hans G

    2015-05-01

    In a Wall Street Journal article published on April 5, 2013, E. O. Wilson attempted to make the case that biologists do not really need to learn any mathematics-whenever they run into difficulty with numerical issues, they can find a technician (aka mathematician) to help them out of their difficulty. He formalizes this in Wilsons Principle No. 1: "It is far easier for scientists to acquire needed collaboration from mathematicians and statisticians than it is for mathematicians and statisticians to find scientists able to make use of their equations." This reflects a complete misunderstanding of the role of mathematics in all sciences throughout history. To Wilson, mathematics is mere number crunching, but as Galileo said long ago, "The laws of Nature are written in the language of mathematics[Formula: see text] the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word." Mathematics has moved beyond the geometry-based model of Galileo's time, and in a rebuttal to Wilson, E. Frenkel has pointed out the role of mathematics in synthesizing the general principles in science (Both point and counter-point are available in Wilson and Frenkel in Notices Am Math Soc 60(7):837-838, 2013). We will take this a step further and show how mathematics has been used to make new and experimentally verified discoveries in developmental biology and how mathematics is essential for understanding a problem that has puzzled experimentalists for decades-that of how organisms can scale in size. Mathematical analysis alone cannot "solve" these problems since the validation lies at the molecular level, but conversely, a growing number of questions in biology cannot be solved without mathematical analysis and modeling. Herein, we discuss a few examples of the productive intercourse between mathematics and biology.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of temperature-dependent sex determination in the context of ecological developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Yuiko; Crews, David

    2012-05-06

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is a prime example of phenotypic plasticity in that gonadal sex is determined by the temperature of the incubating egg. In the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta), the effect of temperature can be overridden by exogenous ligands, i.e., sex steroid hormones and steroid metabolism enzyme inhibitors, during the temperature-sensitive period (TSP) of development. Precisely how the physical signal of temperature is transduced into a biological signal that ultimately results in sex determination remains unknown. In this review, we discuss the sex determining pathway underlying TSD by focusing on two candidate sex determining genes, Forkhead box protein L2 (FoxL2) and Doublesex mab3- related transcription factor 1 (Dmrt1). They appear to be involved in transducing the environmental temperature signal into a biological signal that subsequently determines gonadal sex. FoxL2 and Dmrt1 exhibit gonad-typical patterns of expression in response to temperature during the TSP in the red-eared slider turtle. Further, the biologically active ligands regulate the expression of FoxL2 and Dmrt1 during development to modify gonad trajectory. The precise regulatory mechanisms of expression of these genes by temperature or exogenous ligands are not clear. However, the environment often influences developmental gene expression by altering the epigenetic status in regulatory regions. Here, we will discuss if the regulation of FoxL2 and Dmrt1 expression by environment is mediated through epigenetic mechanisms during development in species with TSD. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stearns, Stephen C

    2012-11-07

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

  17. Testing inferences in developmental evolution: the forensic evidence principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsson, Hans C E; Wagner, Günter P

    2012-09-01

    Developmental evolution (DE) examines the influence of developmental mechanisms on biological evolution. Here we consider the question: "what is the evidence that allows us to decide whether a certain developmental scenario for an evolutionary change is in fact "correct" or at least falsifiable?" We argue that the comparative method linked with what we call the "forensic evidence principle" (FEP) is sufficient to conduct rigorous tests of DE scenarios. The FEP states that different genetically mediated developmental causes of an evolutionary transformation will leave different signatures in the development of the derived character. Although similar inference rules have been used in practically every empirical science, we expand this approach here in two ways: (1) we justify the validity of this principle with reference to a well-known result from mathematical physics, known as the symmetry principle, and (2) propose a specific form of the FEP for DE: given two or more developmental explanations for a certain evolutionary event, say an evolutionary novelty, then the evidence discriminating between these hypotheses will be found in the most proximal internal drivers of the derived character. Hence, a detailed description of the ancestral and derived states, and their most proximal developmental drivers are necessary to discriminate between various evolutionary developmental hypotheses. We discuss how this stepwise order of testing is necessary, establishes a formal test, and how skipping this order of examination may violate a more accurate examination of DE. We illustrate the approach with an example from avian digit evolution. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. Attenuated Innate Immunity in Embryonic Stem Cells and Its Implications in Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yan-Lin; Carmichael, Gordon G; Wang, Ruoxing; Hong, Xiaoxiao; Acharya, Dhiraj; Huang, Faqing; Bai, Fengwei

    2015-11-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) represent a promising cell source for regenerative medicine. Intensive research over the past 2 decades has led to the feasibility of using ESC-differentiated cells (ESC-DCs) in regenerative medicine. However, increasing evidence indicates that ESC-DCs generated by current differentiation methods may not have equivalent cellular functions to their in vivo counterparts. Recent studies have revealed that both human and mouse ESCs as well as some types of ESC-DCs lack or have attenuated innate immune responses to a wide range of infectious agents. These findings raise important concerns for their therapeutic applications since ESC-DCs, when implanted to a wound site of a patient, where they would likely be exposed to pathogens and inflammatory cytokines. Understanding whether an attenuated immune response is beneficial or harmful to the interaction between host and grafted cells becomes an important issue for ESC-based therapy. A substantial amount of recent evidence has demonstrated that the lack of innate antiviral responses is a common feature to ESCs and other types of pluripotent cells. This has led to the hypothesis that mammals may have adapted different antiviral mechanisms at different stages of organismal development. The underdeveloped innate immunity represents a unique and uncharacterized property of ESCs that may have important implications in developmental biology, immunology, and in regenerative medicine. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.

  1. Description and developmental biology of the predatory diplogastrid Acrostichus nudicapitatus (Steiner, 1914 Massey, 1962 (Nematoda: Rhabditida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahlawat S.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Acrostichus nudicapitatus (Steiner, 1914 Massey, 1962 is redescribed and illustrated along with observations on its developmental biology. Most morphometrics of the present population agree well with those of A. nudicapitatus (Steiner, 1914 Massey, 1962. The largely oviparous females of A. nudicapitatus lay eggs in single-celled or two-celled stage, 1.5 – 2 h after fertilization. In cultured females, the uterine tract was observed to accommodate occasionally as many as 4 – 6 eggs. The eggs are smooth-shelled, oval in shape measuring 45 – 48 x 23 – 26 μm in dimension. The pole of entry of sperm marks the posterior end of the developing embryo. The embryonation time has been recorded to be 20 – 25 h at 25 ± 2 °C. The first moult occurs inside the egg and the juvenile hatches as second stage juvenile. The gonad development follows the trends found in most rhabditids, however, three prime cells of the 12 vulval precursor cells have been observed to be involved in vulva formation.

  2. Cell migration analysis: A low-cost laboratory experiment for cell and developmental biology courses using keratocytes from fish scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Daniel; Aparicio, Gonzalo; Sotelo-Silveira, Jose R

    2017-11-01

    Cell and developmental processes are complex, and profoundly dependent on spatial relationships that change over time. Innovative educational or teaching strategies are always needed to foster deep comprehension of these processes and their dynamic features. However, laboratory exercises in cell and developmental biology at the undergraduate level do not often take into account the time dimension. In this article, we provide a laboratory exercise focused in cell migration, aiming to stimulate thinking in time and space dimensions through a simplification of more complex processes occurring in cell or developmental biology. The use of open-source tools for the analysis, as well as the whole package of raw results (available at http://github.com/danielprieto/keratocyte) make it suitable for its implementation in courses with very diverse budgets. Aiming to facilitate the student's transition from science-students to science-practitioners we propose an exercise of scientific thinking, and an evaluation method. This in turn is communicated here to facilitate the finding of common caveats and weaknesses in the process of producing simple scientific communications describing the results achieved. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(6):475-482, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  3. A Julia set model of field-directed morphogenesis: developmental biology and artificial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, M

    1994-04-01

    One paradigm used in understanding the control of morphogenetic events is the concept of positional information, where sub-organismic components (such as cells) act in response to positional cues. It is important to determine what kinds of spatiotemporal patterns may be obtained by such a method, and what the characteristics of such a morphogenetic process might be. This paper presents a computer model of morphogenesis based on gene activity driven by interpreting a positional information field. In this model, the interactions of mutually regulating developmental genes are viewed as a map from R2 to R2, and are modeled by the complex number algebra. Functions in complex variables are used to simulate genetic interactions resulting in position-dependent differentiation. This is shown to be equivalent to computing modified Julia sets, and is seen to be sufficient to produce a very rich set of morphologies which are similar in appearance and several important characteristics to those of real organisms. The properties of this model can be used to study the potential role of fields and positional information as guiding factors in morphogenesis, as the model facilitates the study of static images, time-series (movies) and experimental alterations of the developmental process. It is thus shown that gene interactions can be modeled as a multi-dimensional algebra, and that only two interacting genes are sufficient for (i) complex pattern formation, (ii) chaotic differentiation behavior, and (iii) production of sharp edges from a continuous positional information field. This model is meant to elucidate the properties of the process of positional information-guided biomorphogenesis, not to serve as a simulation of any particular organism's development. Good quantitative data are not currently available on the interplay of gene products in morphogenesis. Thus, no attempt is made to link the images produced with actual pictures of any particular real organism. A brief

  4. Evolution and development: some insights from evolutionary theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DAVID JEAN R.

    2001-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Quantitative complete tooth variation among east Asians and Native Americans: developmental biology as a tool for the assessment of human divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, E D

    1996-01-01

    The quantification of total tooth structure derived from X-rays of Vietnamese, Southern Chinese, Mongolians, Western Eskimos, and Peruvian pre-Inca (Huari Empire) populations was used to examine dental divergence and the morphogenetics of change. Multivariate derived distances between the samples helped identify a quasicontinuous web of ethnic groups with two binary clusters ensconced within the web. One cluster was composed of Mongolians, Western Eskimos, and pre-Inca, and the other group consisted of the Southern Chinese and Vietnamese. Mongolians entered the quasicontinuum from a divergent angle (externally influenced) from that of the Southeast Asians. The Chinese and pre-Inca formed the polar samples of the distance superstructure. The pre-Inca sample was the most isolated, its closest neighbor being the Western Eskimos. Univariate and multivariate analyses suggested that the pre-Inca, whose ancestors arrived in America perhaps approximately 30,000 years ago, was the least derived sample. Clearly, microevolutionary change occurred among the samples, but the dental phenotype was resistant to environmental developmental perturbations. An assessment of dental divergence and developmental biology suggested that the overall dental phenotype is a complex multigenic morphological character, and that the observed variation evolved through total genomic drift. The quantified dental phenotype is greater than its highly multigenic algorithm and its development homeostasis is tightly controlled, or canalized, by the deterministic organization of a complex nonlinear epigenetic milieu. The overall dental phenotype quantified here was selectively neutral and a good character to help reconstruct the sequence of human evolution, but if the outlying homeostatic threshold was or will be exceeded in antecedents and descendants, respectively, evolutionary saltation occurs.

  10. A relational developmental systems approach to moral development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpendale, Jeremy I M; Hammond, Stuart I; Atwood, Sherrie

    2013-01-01

    Morality and cooperation are central to human life. Psychological explanations for moral development and cooperative behavior will have biological and evolutionary dimensions, but they can differ radically in their approach to biology. In particular, many recent proposals have pursued the view that aspects of morality are innate. We briefly review and critique two of these claims. In contrast to these nativist assumptions about the role of biology in morality, we present an alternative approach based on a relational developmental systems view of moral development. The role for biology in this approach is in setting up the conditions--the developmental system--in which forms of interaction and later forms of thinking emerge.

  11. 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).

  12. Biological and Psychosocial Processes in the Development of Children’s Appetitive Traits: Insights from Developmental Theory and Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine G. Russell

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available There has been increasing concern expressed about children’s food intakes and dietary patterns. These are closely linked to children’s appetitive traits (such as disinhibited eating and food fussiness/neophobia. Research has examined both biological and psychosocial correlates or predictors of these traits. There has been less focus on possible processes or mechanisms associated with children’s development of these traits and research that links biological and psychosocial factors. There is an absence of research that links biological and psychosocial factors. In the present article, we outline a model intended to facilitate theory and research on the development of appetitive traits. It is based on scholarship from developmental theory and research and incorporates biological factors such as genetic predispositions and temperament as well as psychosocial factors in terms of parent cognitions, feeding styles and feeding practices. Particular attention is directed to aspects such as emotional eating and feeding, self-regulation of energy intake, and non-shared family environments. We highlight the opportunity for longitudinal research that examines bidirectional, transactional and cascade processes and uses a developmental framework. The model provides a basis for connecting the biological foundations of appetitive traits to system-level analysis in the family. Knowledge generated through the application of the model should lead to more effective prevention and intervention initiatives.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shcherbakov Victor P

    2010-03-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Linking Automated Data Analysis and Visualization with Applications in Developmental Biology and High-Energy Physics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruebel, Oliver [Technical Univ. of Darmstadt (Germany)

    2009-11-20

    Knowledge discovery from large and complex collections of today's scientific datasets is a challenging task. With the ability to measure and simulate more processes at increasingly finer spatial and temporal scales, the increasing number of data dimensions and data objects is presenting tremendous challenges for data analysis and effective data exploration methods and tools. Researchers are overwhelmed with data and standard tools are often insufficient to enable effective data analysis and knowledge discovery. The main objective of this thesis is to provide important new capabilities to accelerate scientific knowledge discovery form large, complex, and multivariate scientific data. The research covered in this thesis addresses these scientific challenges using a combination of scientific visualization, information visualization, automated data analysis, and other enabling technologies, such as efficient data management. The effectiveness of the proposed analysis methods is demonstrated via applications in two distinct scientific research fields, namely developmental biology and high-energy physics.Advances in microscopy, image analysis, and embryo registration enable for the first time measurement of gene expression at cellular resolution for entire organisms. Analysis of high-dimensional spatial gene expression datasets is a challenging task. By integrating data clustering and visualization, analysis of complex, time-varying, spatial gene expression patterns and their formation becomes possible. The analysis framework MATLAB and the visualization have been integrated, making advanced analysis tools accessible to biologist and enabling bioinformatic researchers to directly integrate their analysis with the visualization. Laser wakefield particle accelerators (LWFAs) promise to be a new compact source of high-energy particles and radiation, with wide applications ranging from medicine to physics. To gain insight into the complex physical processes of particle

  17. Linking Automated Data Analysis and Visualization with Applications in Developmental Biology and High-Energy Physics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruebel, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge discovery from large and complex collections of today's scientific datasets is a challenging task. With the ability to measure and simulate more processes at increasingly finer spatial and temporal scales, the increasing number of data dimensions and data objects is presenting tremendous challenges for data analysis and effective data exploration methods and tools. Researchers are overwhelmed with data and standard tools are often insufficient to enable effective data analysis and knowledge discovery. The main objective of this thesis is to provide important new capabilities to accelerate scientific knowledge discovery form large, complex, and multivariate scientific data. The research covered in this thesis addresses these scientific challenges using a combination of scientific visualization, information visualization, automated data analysis, and other enabling technologies, such as efficient data management. The effectiveness of the proposed analysis methods is demonstrated via applications in two distinct scientific research fields, namely developmental biology and high-energy physics.Advances in microscopy, image analysis, and embryo registration enable for the first time measurement of gene expression at cellular resolution for entire organisms. Analysis of high-dimensional spatial gene expression datasets is a challenging task. By integrating data clustering and visualization, analysis of complex, time-varying, spatial gene expression patterns and their formation becomes possible. The analysis framework MATLAB and the visualization have been integrated, making advanced analysis tools accessible to biologist and enabling bioinformatic researchers to directly integrate their analysis with the visualization. Laser wakefield particle accelerators (LWFAs) promise to be a new compact source of high-energy particles and radiation, with wide applications ranging from medicine to physics. To gain insight into the complex physical processes of particle

  18. Chromosome-Centric Human Proteome Project Allies with Developmental Biology: A Case Study of the Role of Y Chromosome Genes in Organ Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyfour, Anna; Pooyan, Paria; Pahlavan, Sara; Rezaei-Tavirani, Mostafa; Gourabi, Hamid; Baharvand, Hossein; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2017-12-01

    One of the main goals of Chromosome-Centric Human Proteome Project is to identify protein evidence for missing proteins (MPs). Here, we present a case study of the role of Y chromosome genes in organ development and how to overcome the challenges facing MPs identification by employing human pluripotent stem cell differentiation into cells of different organs yielding unprecedented biological insight into adult silenced proteins. Y chromosome is a male-specific sex chromosome which escapes meiotic recombination. From an evolutionary perspective, Y chromosome has preserved 3% of ancestral genes compared to 98% preservation of the X chromosome based on Ohno's law. Male specific region of Y chromosome (MSY) contains genes that contribute to central dogma and govern the expression of various targets throughout the genome. One of the most well-known functions of MSY genes is to decide the male-specific characteristics including sex, testis formation, and spermatogenesis, which are majorly formed by ampliconic gene families. Beyond its role in sex-specific gonad development, MSY genes in coexpression with their X counterparts, as single copy and broadly expressed genes, inhibit haplolethality and play a key role in embryogenesis. The role of X-Y related gene mutations in the development of hereditary syndromes suggests an essential contribution of sex chromosome genes to development. MSY genes, solely and independent of their X counterparts and/or in association with sex hormones, have a considerable impact on organ development. In this Review, we present major recent findings on the contribution of MSY genes to gonad formation, spermatogenesis, and the brain, heart, and kidney development and discuss how Y chromosome proteome project may exploit developmental biology to find missing proteins.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Developmental biology of Streptomyces from the perspective of 100 actinobacterial genome sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandra, Govind; Chater, Keith F

    2014-01-01

    To illuminate the evolution and mechanisms of actinobacterial complexity, we evaluate the distribution and origins of known Streptomyces developmental genes and the developmental significance of actinobacteria-specific genes. As an aid, we developed the Actinoblast database of reciprocal blastp best hits between the Streptomyces coelicolor genome and more than 100 other actinobacterial genomes (http://streptomyces.org.uk/actinoblast/). We suggest that the emergence of morphological complexity was underpinned by special features of early actinobacteria, such as polar growth and the coupled participation of regulatory Wbl proteins and the redox-protecting thiol mycothiol in transducing a transient nitric oxide signal generated during physiologically stressful growth transitions. It seems that some cell growth and division proteins of early actinobacteria have acquired greater importance for sporulation of complex actinobacteria than for mycelial growth, in which septa are infrequent and not associated with complete cell separation. The acquisition of extracellular proteins with structural roles, a highly regulated extracellular protease cascade, and additional regulatory genes allowed early actinobacterial stationary phase processes to be redeployed in the emergence of aerial hyphae from mycelial mats and in the formation of spore chains. These extracellular proteins may have contributed to speciation. Simpler members of morphologically diverse clades have lost some developmental genes. PMID:24164321

  2. Social network size relates to developmental neural sensitivity to biological motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.A. Kirby

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ability to perceive others’ actions and goals from human motion (i.e., biological motion perception is a critical component of social perception and may be linked to the development of real-world social relationships. Adult research demonstrates two key nodes of the brain’s biological motion perception system—amygdala and posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS—are linked to variability in social network properties. The relation between social perception and social network properties, however, has not yet been investigated in middle childhood—a time when individual differences in social experiences and social perception are growing. The aims of this study were to (1 replicate past work showing amygdala and pSTS sensitivity to biological motion in middle childhood; (2 examine age-related changes in the neural sensitivity for biological motion, and (3 determine whether neural sensitivity for biological motion relates to social network characteristics in children. Consistent with past work, we demonstrate a significant relation between social network size and neural sensitivity for biological motion in left pSTS, but do not find age-related change in biological motion perception. This finding offers evidence for the interplay between real-world social experiences and functional brain development and has important implications for understanding disorders of atypical social experience. Keywords: Biological motion, Social networks, Middle childhood, Neural specialization, Brain-behavior relations, pSTS

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Comparative analysis of biological effect of corannulene and graphene on developmental and sleep/wake profile of zebrafish larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiang; Zhang, Yuan; Li, Xu; Feng, DaoFu; Zhang, ShuHui; Zhao, Xin; Chen, DongYan; Zhang, ZhiXiang; Feng, XiZeng

    2017-06-01

    Little is known about the biological effect of non-planar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) such as corannulene on organisms. In this study, we compared the effect of corannulene (non-planar PAH) and graphene (planar PAH) on embryonic development and sleep/wake behaviors of larval zebrafish. First, the toxicity of graded doses of corannulene (1, 10, and 50μg/mL) was tested in developing zebrafish embryos. Corannulene showed minimal developmental toxicity only induced an epiboly delay. Further, a significant decrease in locomotion/increase in sleep was observed in larvae treated with the highest dose (50μg/mL) of corannulene while no significant locomotion alterations were induced by graphene. Finally, the effect of corannulene or graphene on the hypocretin (hcrt) system and sleep/wake regulators such as hcrt, hcrt G-protein coupled receptor (hcrtr), and arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase-2 (aanat2) was evaluated. Corannulene increased sleep and reduced locomotor activity and the expression of hcrt and hcrtr mRNA while graphene did not obviously disturb the sleep behavior and gene expression patterns. These results suggest that the corannulene has the potential to cause hypnosis-like behavior in larvae and provides a fundamental comparative understanding of the effects of corannulene and graphene on biology systems. Little is known about the biological effect of non-planar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) such as corannulene on organisms. Here, we compare the effect of corannulene (no-planar PAH) and graphene (planar PAH) on embryonic development and sleep/wake behaviors of larval zebrafish. And we aim to investigate the effect of curvature on biological system. First, toxicity of corannulene over the range of doses (1μg/mL, 10μg/mL and 50μg/mL) was tested in developing zebrafish embryos. Corannulene has minimal developmental toxicity, only incurred epiboly delay. Subsequently, a significant decrease in locomotion/increase in sleep at the highest

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Partial differential equations for self-organization in cellular and developmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, R E; Gaffney, E A; Maini, P K

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms governing and regulating the emergence of structure and heterogeneity within cellular systems, such as the developing embryo, represents a multiscale challenge typifying current integrative biology research, namely, explaining the macroscale behaviour of a system from microscale dynamics. This review will focus upon modelling how cell-based dynamics orchestrate the emergence of higher level structure. After surveying representative biological examples and the models used to describe them, we will assess how developments at the scale of molecular biology have impacted on current theoretical frameworks, and the new modelling opportunities that are emerging as a result. We shall restrict our survey of mathematical approaches to partial differential equations and the tools required for their analysis. We will discuss the gap between the modelling abstraction and biological reality, the challenges this presents and highlight some open problems in the field. (invited article)

  8. How insights from cardiovascular developmental biology have impacted the care of infants and children with congenital heart disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Alvin J.; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Lo, Cecilia W.

    2012-01-01

    To illustrate the impact developmental biology and genetics have already had on the clinical management of the million infants born worldwide each year with CHD, we have chosen three stories which have had particular relevance for pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, and cardiac nurses. First, we show how Margaret Kirby’s finding of the unexpected contribution of an ectodermal cell population – the cranial neural crest – to the aortic arch arteries and arterial pole of the embryonic avian heart provided a key impetus to the field of cardiovascular patterning. Recognition that a majority of patients affected by the neurocristopathy DiGeorge syndrome have a chromosome 22q11 deletion, have also spurred tremendous efforts to characterize the molecular mechanisms contributing to this pathology, assigning a major role to the transcription factor Tbx1. Second, synthesizing the work of the last two decades by many laboratories on a wide gamut of metazoans (invertebrates, tunicates, agnathans, teleosts, lungfish, amphibians, and amniotes), we review the >20 major modifications and additions to the ancient circulatory arrangement composed solely of a unicameral (one-chambered), contractile myocardial tube and a short proximal aorta. Two changes will be discussed in detail – the interposition of a second cardiac chamber in the circulation and the septation of the cardiac ventricle. By comparing the developmental genetic data of several model organisms, we can better understand the origin of the various components of the multicameral (multi-chambered) heart seen in humans. Third, Martina Brueckner’s discovery that a faulty axonemal dynein was responsible for the phenotype of the iv/iv mouse (the first mammalian model of human heterotaxy) focused attention on the biology of cilia. We discuss how even the care of the complex cardiac and non-cardiac anomalies seen in heterotaxy syndrome, which have long seemed impervious to

  9. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

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

  10. Darwin in Mind: New Opportunities for Evolutionary Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolhuis, Johan J.; Brown, Gillian R.; Richardson, Robert C.; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary Psychology (EP) views the human mind as organized into many modules, each underpinned by psychological adaptations designed to solve problems faced by our Pleistocene ancestors. We argue that the key tenets of the established EP paradigm require modification in the light of recent findings from a number of disciplines, including human genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and paleoecology. For instance, many human genes have been subject to recent selective sweeps; humans play an active, constructive role in co-directing their own development and evolution; and experimental evidence often favours a general process, rather than a modular account, of cognition. A redefined EP could use the theoretical insights of modern evolutionary biology as a rich source of hypotheses concerning the human mind, and could exploit novel methods from a variety of adjacent research fields. PMID:21811401

  11. Variation in chemical components and biological activity of Pterocarya fraxinifolia Lam. stems at different developmental stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Akhbari

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectives: Pterocarya fraxinifolia Lam. is a deciduous, fast-growing tree from walnut family. The stem barks and fruits of the plant have been used as diaphoretic in traditional medicine. Variation in the quantity and quality of the essential oil and extract of stems of the plant at different developmental stages was evaluated in addition to assessing the antimicrobial, cytotoxic and radical scavenging activities in the present study. Methods: Different developmental stages of the plant’s stem (i.e. vegetative, flowering, immature fruit and mature fruit were subjected to hydro-distillation for obtaining the essential oil. The methanol extract of the samples was obtained by Soxhlet apparatus. Chemical composition of the oils was analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS. Antimicrobial activity of the oils and extracts were determined against three Gram-positive and five Gram-negative bacteria and two fungi by disc diffusion method. Antioxidant activity of the samples was evaluated by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH and β-carotene assays. Total phenolics content of extracts was determined using Folin-Ciocalteau reagent and cytotoxic effect was determined by brine shrimp lethality bioassay. Results: Hexadecanoic acid was one of the major components in all essential oil samples. All samples showed good antimicrobial activity against tested strains. Antioxidant activity of the extracts was comparable to the synthetic standard (butylated hydroxytoluene. The highest total phenolic content and cytotoxic effect were detected for the mature fruit stage of the plant extract and essential oil, respectively. Conclusion: Showing considerable antioxidant and cytotoxic effects, suggested the plant as a good candidate for further investigations.

  12. Metabolism in time and space – exploring the frontier of developmental biology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krejčí, Alena; Tennessen, J. M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 144, č. 18 (2017), s. 3193-3198 ISSN 0950-1991 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : metabolism * mitochondria * aerobic glycolysis Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Genetics and heredity (medical genetics to be 3) Impact factor: 5.843, year: 2016 http://dev.biologists.org/content/144/18/3193

  13. Developmental plasticity: Friend or foe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michels, Karin B

    2017-01-01

    Developmental plasticity - the concept that adaptation to changing and unfavorable environmental conditions are possible but may come at the price of compromised health potentials - has evolutionary grounding as it facilitates survival but dissents with fundamental evolutionary principles in that it may advance the lesser fit. It is an important cornerstone of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Unlike evolutionary adaptation developmental plasticity may be short-lived and restricted to one or few generations and inheritance is uncertain. Potential mechanisms include epigenetic modifications adopted in utero which may not transmit to the next generation; future insights may allow adjustments of the outcomes of developmental plasticity.

  14. 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.

  15. High-Magnification In Vivo Imaging of Xenopus Embryos for Cell and Developmental Biology

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2014-01-01

    Authors: Esther K. Kieserman, Chanjae Lee, Ryan S. Gray, Tae Joo Park and John B. Wallingford Corresponding author ([]()). ### INTRODUCTION Embryos of the frog *Xenopus laevis* are an ideal model system for in vivo imaging of dynamic biological processes, from the inner workings of individual cells to the reshaping of tissues during embryogenesis. Their externally developing embryos are more amenable to in vivo analysis than in...

  16. Infrapatellar Fat Pad Stem Cells: From Developmental Biology to Cell Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Amaral, Ronaldo J F C; Almeida, Henrique V; Kelly, Daniel J; O'Brien, Fergal J; Kearney, Cathal J

    2017-01-01

    The ideal cell type to be used for cartilage therapy should possess a proven chondrogenic capacity, not cause donor-site morbidity, and should be readily expandable in culture without losing their phenotype. There are several cell sources being investigated to promote cartilage regeneration: mature articular chondrocytes, chondrocyte progenitors, and various stem cells. Most recently, stem cells isolated from joint tissue, such as chondrogenic stem/progenitors from cartilage itself, synovial fluid, synovial membrane, and infrapatellar fat pad (IFP) have gained great attention due to their increased chondrogenic capacity over the bone marrow and subcutaneous adipose-derived stem cells. In this review, we first describe the IFP anatomy and compare and contrast it with other adipose tissues, with a particular focus on the embryological and developmental aspects of the tissue. We then discuss the recent advances in IFP stem cells for regenerative medicine. We compare their properties with other stem cell types and discuss an ontogeny relationship with other joint cells and their role on in vivo cartilage repair. We conclude with a perspective for future clinical trials using IFP stem cells.

  17. Infrapatellar Fat Pad Stem Cells: From Developmental Biology to Cell Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo J. F. C. do Amaral

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The ideal cell type to be used for cartilage therapy should possess a proven chondrogenic capacity, not cause donor-site morbidity, and should be readily expandable in culture without losing their phenotype. There are several cell sources being investigated to promote cartilage regeneration: mature articular chondrocytes, chondrocyte progenitors, and various stem cells. Most recently, stem cells isolated from joint tissue, such as chondrogenic stem/progenitors from cartilage itself, synovial fluid, synovial membrane, and infrapatellar fat pad (IFP have gained great attention due to their increased chondrogenic capacity over the bone marrow and subcutaneous adipose-derived stem cells. In this review, we first describe the IFP anatomy and compare and contrast it with other adipose tissues, with a particular focus on the embryological and developmental aspects of the tissue. We then discuss the recent advances in IFP stem cells for regenerative medicine. We compare their properties with other stem cell types and discuss an ontogeny relationship with other joint cells and their role on in vivo cartilage repair. We conclude with a perspective for future clinical trials using IFP stem cells.

  18. The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) genome provides insights into fruit quality and ovule developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zhaohe; Fang, Yanming; Zhang, Taikui; Fei, Zhangjun; Han, Fengming; Liu, Cuiyu; Liu, Min; Xiao, Wei; Zhang, Wenjing; Wu, Shan; Zhang, Mengwei; Ju, Youhui; Xu, Huili; Dai, He; Liu, Yujun; Chen, Yanhui; Wang, Lili; Zhou, Jianqing; Guan, Dian; Yan, Ming; Xia, Yanhua; Huang, Xianbin; Liu, Dongyuan; Wei, Hongmin; Zheng, Hongkun

    2017-12-22

    Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) has an ancient cultivation history and has become an emerging profitable fruit crop due to its attractive features such as the bright red appearance and the high abundance of medicinally valuable ellagitannin-based compounds in its peel and aril. However, the limited genomic resources have restricted further elucidation of genetics and evolution of these interesting traits. Here, we report a 274-Mb high-quality draft pomegranate genome sequence, which covers approximately 81.5% of the estimated 336-Mb genome, consists of 2177 scaffolds with an N50 size of 1.7 Mb and contains 30 903 genes. Phylogenomic analysis supported that pomegranate belongs to the Lythraceae family rather than the monogeneric Punicaceae family, and comparative analyses showed that pomegranate and Eucalyptus grandis share the paleotetraploidy event. Integrated genomic and transcriptomic analyses provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis of ellagitannin-based compounds, the colour formation in both peels and arils during pomegranate fruit development, and the unique ovule development processes that are characteristic of pomegranate. This genome sequence provides an important resource to expand our understanding of some unique biological processes and to facilitate both comparative biology studies and crop breeding. © 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Gene expression analysis of zebrafish melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium reveals indicators of biological function and developmental origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles W Higdon

    Full Text Available In order to facilitate understanding of pigment cell biology, we developed a method to concomitantly purify melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium from zebrafish, and analyzed their transcriptomes. Comparing expression data from these cell types and whole embryos allowed us to reveal gene expression co-enrichment in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, as well as in melanocytes and iridophores. We found 214 genes co-enriched in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, indicating the shared functions of melanin-producing cells. We found 62 genes significantly co-enriched in melanocytes and iridophores, illustrative of their shared developmental origins from the neural crest. This is also the first analysis of the iridophore transcriptome. Gene expression analysis for iridophores revealed extensive enrichment of specific enzymes to coordinate production of their guanine-based reflective pigment. We speculate the coordinated upregulation of specific enzymes from several metabolic pathways recycles the rate-limiting substrate for purine synthesis, phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate, thus constituting a guanine cycle. The purification procedure and expression analysis described here, along with the accompanying transcriptome-wide expression data, provide the first mRNA sequencing data for multiple purified zebrafish pigment cell types, and will be a useful resource for further studies of pigment cell biology.

  20. Comparative developmental psychology: how is human cognitive development unique?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Wobber, Victoria; Hughes, Kelly; Santos, Laurie R

    2014-04-29

    The fields of developmental and comparative psychology both seek to illuminate the roots of adult cognitive systems. Developmental studies target the emergence of adult cognitive systems over ontogenetic time, whereas comparative studies investigate the origins of human cognition in our evolutionary history. Despite the long tradition of research in both of these areas, little work has examined the intersection of the two: the study of cognitive development in a comparative perspective. In the current article, we review recent work using this comparative developmental approach to study non-human primate cognition. We argue that comparative data on the pace and pattern of cognitive development across species can address major theoretical questions in both psychology and biology. In particular, such integrative research will allow stronger biological inferences about the function of developmental change, and will be critical in addressing how humans come to acquire species-unique cognitive abilities.

  1. Introducing biological realism into the study of developmental plasticity in behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groothuis, Ton G G; Taborsky, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing attention for integrating mechanistic and functional approaches to the study of (behavioural) development. As environments are mostly unstable, it is now often assumed that genetic parental information is in many cases not sufficient for offspring to become optimally adapted to the environment and that early environmental cues, either indirectly via the parents or from direct experience, are necessary to prepare them for a specific environment later in life. To study whether these early developmental processes are adaptive and through which mechanism, not only the early environmental cues but also how they impinge on the later-life environmental context has therefore to be taken into account when measuring the animal's performance. We first discuss at the conceptual level six ways in which interactions between influences of different time windows during development may act (consolidation, cumulative information gathering and priming, compensation, buffering, matching and mismatching, context dependent trait expression). In addition we discuss how different environmental factors during the same time window may interact in shaping the phenotype during development. Next we discuss the pros and cons of several experimental designs for testing these interaction effects, highlighting the necessity for full, reciprocal designs and the importance of adjusting the nature and time of manipulation to the animal's adaptive capacity. We then review support for the interaction effects from both theoretical models and animal experiments in different taxa. This demonstrates indeed the existence of interactions at multiple levels, including different environmental factors, different time windows and between generations. As a consequence, development is a life-long, environment-dependent process and therefore manipulating only the early environment without taking interaction effects with other and later environmental influences into account may lead to wrong

  2. Gender differences in stress response: Role of developmental and biological determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rohit Verma

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Stress response is associated with manifestations of various psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders. Hence, it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms that influence this association. Moreover, men and women tend to react differently with stress-both psychologically and biologically. These differences also need to be studied in order to have a better understanding in the gender difference observed for many disorders, which are likely to be contributed by the gender difference in stress reactivity and responses. Such an understanding would have a significant impact on our understanding about how adult health is set during early life and how adult disease could be prevented in men and women.

  3. Can stem cells really regenerate the human heart? Use your noggin, dickkopf! Lessons from developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Paula

    2013-06-01

    The human heart is the first organ to develop and its development is fairly well characterised. In theory, the heart has the capacity to regenerate, as its cardiomyocytes may be capable of cell division and the adult heart contains a cardiac stem cell niche, presumably capable of differentiating into cardiomyocytes and other cardiac-associated cell types. However, as with most other organs, these mechanisms are not activated upon serious injury. Several experimental options to induce regeneration of the damaged heart tissue are available: activate the endogenous cardiomyocytes to divide, coax the endogenous population of stem cells to divide and differentiate, or add exogenous cell-based therapy to replace the lost cardiac tissue. This review is a summary of the recent research into all these avenues, discussing the reasons for the limited successes of clinical trials using stem cells after cardiac injury and explaining new advances in basic science. It concludes with a reiteration that chances of successful regeneration would be improved by understanding and implementing the basics of heart development and stem cell biology.

  4. Quantitative model analysis with diverse biological data: applications in developmental pattern formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pargett, Michael; Umulis, David M

    2013-07-15

    Mathematical modeling of transcription factor and signaling networks is widely used to understand if and how a mechanism works, and to infer regulatory interactions that produce a model consistent with the observed data. Both of these approaches to modeling are informed by experimental data, however, much of the data available or even acquirable are not quantitative. Data that is not strictly quantitative cannot be used by classical, quantitative, model-based analyses that measure a difference between the measured observation and the model prediction for that observation. To bridge the model-to-data gap, a variety of techniques have been developed to measure model "fitness" and provide numerical values that can subsequently be used in model optimization or model inference studies. Here, we discuss a selection of traditional and novel techniques to transform data of varied quality and enable quantitative comparison with mathematical models. This review is intended to both inform the use of these model analysis methods, focused on parameter estimation, and to help guide the choice of method to use for a given study based on the type of data available. Applying techniques such as normalization or optimal scaling may significantly improve the utility of current biological data in model-based study and allow greater integration between disparate types of data. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The Rotator Cuff Organ: Integrating Developmental Biology, Tissue Engineering, and Surgical Considerations to Treat Chronic Massive Rotator Cuff Tears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothrauff, Benjamin B; Pauyo, Thierry; Debski, Richard E; Rodosky, Mark W; Tuan, Rocky S; Musahl, Volker

    2017-08-01

    The torn rotator cuff remains a persistent orthopedic challenge, with poor outcomes disproportionately associated with chronic, massive tears. Degenerative changes in the tissues that comprise the rotator cuff organ, including muscle, tendon, and bone, contribute to the poor healing capacity of chronic tears, resulting in poor function and an increased risk for repair failure. Tissue engineering strategies to augment rotator cuff repair have been developed in an effort to improve rotator cuff healing and have focused on three principal aims: (1) immediate mechanical augmentation of the surgical repair, (2) restoration of muscle quality and contractility, and (3) regeneration of native enthesis structure. Work in these areas will be reviewed in sequence, highlighting the relevant pathophysiology, developmental biology, and biomechanics, which must be considered when designing therapeutic applications. While the independent use of these strategies has shown promise, synergistic benefits may emerge from their combined application given the interdependence of the tissues that constitute the rotator cuff organ. Furthermore, controlled mobilization of augmented rotator cuff repairs during postoperative rehabilitation may provide mechanotransductive cues capable of guiding tissue regeneration and restoration of rotator cuff function. Present challenges and future possibilities will be identified, which if realized, may provide solutions to the vexing condition of chronic massive rotator cuff tears.

  6. Developmental biology, polymorphism and ecological aspects of Stiretrus decemguttatus (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae, an important predator of cassidine beetles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Maria Paleari

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Developmental biology, polymorphism and ecological aspects of Stiretrus decemguttatus (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae, an important predator of cassidine beetles. Stiretrus decemguttatus is an important predator of two species of cassidine beetles, Botanochara sedecimpustulata (Fabricius, 1781 and Zatrephina lineata (Fabricius, 1787 (Coleoptera, Cassidinae, on the Marajó Island, Brazil. It attacks individuals in all development stages, but preys preferentially on late-instar larvae. Its life cycle in the laboratory was 43.70 ± 1.09 days, with an egg incubation period of six days and duration from nymph and adult stages of 16.31 ± 0.11 and 22.10 ± 1.67 days, respectively. The duration of one generation (T was 12.65 days and the intrinsic population growth rate (r 0.25. These data reveal the adjustment of the life cycle of S. decemgutattus with those of the two preys, but suggest greater impact on Z. lineata. However, no preference over cassidine species was shown in the laboratory. Up to 17 different color patterns can be found in adults of S. decemguttatus, based on combinations of three basic sets of color markings. Some of them resemble the markings of chrysomelids associated with Ipomoea asarifolia (Convolvulaceae and are possibly a mimetic ring. Three color patterns were identified in nymphs, none of which was associated with any specific adult color pattern.

  7. Developmental and evolutionary significance of the mandibular arch and prechordal/premandibular cranium in vertebrates: revising the heterotopy scenario of gnathostome jaw evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Adachi, Noritaka; Wada, Naoyuki; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Sugahara, Fumiaki

    2013-01-01

    The cephalic neural crest produces streams of migrating cells that populate pharyngeal arches and a more rostral, premandibular domain, to give rise to an extensive ectomesenchyme in the embryonic vertebrate head. The crest cells forming the trigeminal stream are the major source of the craniofacial skeleton; however, there is no clear distinction between the mandibular arch and the premandibular domain in this ectomesenchyme. The question regarding the evolution of the gnathostome jaw is, in part, a question about the differentiation of the mandibular arch, the rostralmost component of the pharynx, and in part a question about the developmental fate of the premandibular domain. We address the developmental definition of the mandibular arch in connection with the developmental origin of the trabeculae, paired cartilaginous elements generally believed to develop in the premandibular domain, and also of enigmatic cartilaginous elements called polar cartilages. Based on comparative embryology, we propose that the mandibular arch ectomesenchyme in gnathostomes can be defined as a Dlx1-positive domain, and that the polar cartilages, which develop from the Dlx1-negative premandibular ectomesenchyme, would represent merely posterior parts of the trabeculae. We also show, in the lamprey embryo, early migration of mandibular arch mesenchyme into the premandibular domain, and propose an updated version of the heterotopy theory on the origin of the jaw. PMID:22500853

  8. 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...

  9. Genetics and developmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnett, W.E.

    1975-01-01

    Progress is reported on research activities in the fields of mutagenesis in Haemophilus influenzae and Escherichia coli; radioinduced chromosomal aberrations in mammalian germ cells; effects of uv radiation on xeroderma pigmentosum skin cells; mutations in Chinese hamster ovary cells; radioinduced hemoglobin variants in the mouse; analysis of mutants in yeast; Drosophila genetics; biochemical genetics of Neurospora; DNA polymerase activity in Xenopus laevis oocytes; uv-induced damage in Bacillus subtilis; and others

  10. Molecular developmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogorad, L.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains nine chapters. The chapter titles are: Pathology of soft tissue sarcomas: Diagnostic strategy for adult soft tissue sarcomas: Staging of soft tissue sarcomas: Surgical treatment of soft tissue sarcomas: Radiotherapy; Chemotherapy in advanced soft tissue sarcomas: Adjuvant chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcomas; Intra-arterial infusion and perfusion chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities; and Phase II new drug trials in soft tissue sarcomas

  11. Reduce, reuse, and recycle: developmental evolution of trait diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Jill C; Hileman, Lena C; Cubas, Pilar

    2011-03-01

    A major focus of evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) studies is to determine the genetic basis of variation in organismal form and function, both of which are fundamental to biological diversification. Pioneering work on metazoan and flowering plant systems has revealed conserved sets of genes that underlie the bauplan of organisms derived from a common ancestor. However, the extent to which variation in the developmental genetic toolkit mirrors variation at the phenotypic level is an active area of research. Here we explore evidence from the angiosperm evo-devo literature supporting the frugal use of genes and genetic pathways in the evolution of developmental patterning. In particular, these examples highlight the importance of genetic pleiotropy in different developmental modules, thus reducing the number of genes required in growth and development, and the reuse of particular genes in the parallel evolution of ecologically important traits.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The rise of developmental genetics - a historical account of the fusion of embryology and cell biology with human genetics and the emergence of the Stem Cell Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidson, S H; Ballo, R; Greenberg, L J

    2016-05-25

    Genetics and cell biology are very prominent areas of biological research with rapid advances being driven by a flood of theoretical, technological and informational knowledge. Big biology and small biology continue to feed off each other. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of the productive interactions that have taken place between human geneticists and cell biologists at UCT, and credit is given to the enabling environment created led by Prof. Peter Beighton. The growth of new disciplines and disciplinary mergers that have swept away division of the past to make new exciting syntheses are discussed. We show how our joint research has benefitted from worldwide advances in developmental genetics, cloning and stem cell technologies, genomics, bioinformatics and imaging. We conclude by describing the role of the UCT Stem Cell Initiative and show how we are using induced pluripotent cells to carry out disease-in-the- dish studies on retinal degeneration and fibrosis.

  15. Embryonic origins of hull cells in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano through cell lineage analysis : developmental and phylogenetic implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willems, Maxime; Egger, Bernhard; Wolff, Carsten; Mouton, Stijn; Houthoofd, Wouter; Fonderie, Pamela; Couvreur, Marjolein; Artois, Tom; Borgonie, Gaetan

    The development of macrostomid flatworms is of interest for evolutionary developmental biology research because these taxa combine characteristics of the canonical spiral cleavage pattern with significant deviations from this pattern. One such deviation is the formation of hull cells, which surround

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Cognition and Culture in Evolutionary Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmenares, Fernando; Hernández-Lloreda, María Victoria

    2017-01-09

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Phenotypic Plasticity, CYP19A1 Pleiotropy, and Maladaptive Selection in Developmental Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Patrick Malone

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of evolutionary psychology to the study of development and psychopathology depends on adherence to the principles of evolutionary biology. The human brain evolved because selection favored neither size nor complexity but instead the phenotypic plasticity supporting cognitive flexibility. Cell proliferation, migration, elongation, synaptogenesis, synaptic pruning, apoptosis, and myelination occur at varying rates during asynchronous phases of development throughout the brain. Developmentally sensitive periods result from phenotypic plasticity and are vital for adaptation to the environment. The biological systems surrounding the CYP19A1 gene provide mechanisms for neuroprotection and targeted neuronal debridement in response to environmental stress, uniting selection with developmental biology. Updates to Dunbar’s original hypothesis with current primatological data, inclusion of total brain mass, and the introduction of CYP19A1 orthology from nine primate species yields a linear regression, R 2 = .994, adjusted R 2 = .989, F(3, 5 = 143.758, p < .001.

  4. 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.

  5. Editorial overview: Evolutionary psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. A systems biology approach to predictive developmental neurotoxicity of a larvicide used in the prevention of Zika virus transmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Audouze, Karine; Taboureau, Olivier; Grandjean, Philippe

    2018-01-01

    The need to prevent developmental brain disorders has led to an increased interest in efficient neurotoxicity testing. When an epidemic of microcephaly occurred in Brazil, Zika virus infection was soon identified as the likely culprit. However, the pathogenesis appeared to be complex, and a larvi......The need to prevent developmental brain disorders has led to an increased interest in efficient neurotoxicity testing. When an epidemic of microcephaly occurred in Brazil, Zika virus infection was soon identified as the likely culprit. However, the pathogenesis appeared to be complex...... the potential developmental neurotoxicity, and we applied this method to examine the larvicide pyriproxyfen widely used in the prevention of Zika virus transmission. Our computational model covered a wide range of possible pathways providing mechanistic hypotheses between pyriproxyfen and neurological disorders...

  7. Stages in the development of a model organism as a platform for mechanistic models in developmental biology: Zebrafish, 1970-2000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, Robert

    2012-06-01

    Model organisms became an indispensable part of experimental systems in molecular developmental and cell biology, constructed to investigate physiological and pathological processes. They are thought to play a crucial role for the elucidation of gene function, complementing the sequencing of the genomes of humans and other organisms. Accordingly, historians and philosophers paid considerable attention to various issues concerning this aspect of experimental biology. With respect to the representational features of model organisms, that is, their status as models, the main focus was on generalization of phenomena investigated in such experimental systems. Model organisms have been said to be models for other organisms or a higher taxon. This, however, presupposes a representation of the phenomenon in question. I will argue that prior to generalization, model organisms allow researchers to built generative material models of phenomena - structures, processes or the mechanisms that explain them - through their integration in experimental set-ups that carve out the phenomena from the whole organism and thus represent them. I will use the history of zebrafish biology to show how model organism systems, from around 1970 on, were developed to construct material models of molecular mechanisms explaining developmental or physiological processes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Anatomy of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of wildtype and green fluorescent protein-transgenic axolotls and comparison with other tetrapods including humans: a basis for regenerative, evolutionary and developmental studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Tanaka, E M

    2012-01-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in evolutionary, developmental and regenerative studies, particularly because it can reconstitute a fully functional and complete forelimb/hindlimb. Surprisingly, there is no publication that describes all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of this species or provides a comparative framework between these muscles and those of other model organisms and of modern humans. In the present paper we describe and illustrate all these muscles in A. mexicanum and provide the first report about the myology of adults of a model organism that is based on analyses and dissections of both wildtype animals and transgenic animals that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. On the one hand, the inclusion of GFP-transgenic animals allows us to show the muscles as more commonly seen, and thus easier to understand, by current developmental and regenerative biologists. On the other hand, by including wildtype and GFP-transgenic animals and by visualizing these latter animals with and without a simultaneous transmission laser light, we were able to obtain a more complete and clearer understanding of the exact limit of the fleshy and tendinous parts of the muscles and their specific connections with the skeletal elements. This in turn allowed us to settle some controversies in previous anatomical and comparative studies. As most developmental, regenerative and evolutionary biologists are interested in comparing their observations of A. mexicanum with observations in other model organisms, and ultimately in using this information to increase the understanding of human evolution and medicine, we also provide tables showing the homologies between the pectoral and forelimb muscles of axolotls, of model organisms such as mice, frogs and chicken, and of Homo sapiens. An example illustrating the outcomes of using our methodology and of our observations is that they revealed that, contrary to what is often

  9. Anatomy of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of wildtype and green fluorescent protein-transgenic axolotls and comparison with other tetrapods including humans: a basis for regenerative, evolutionary and developmental studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Tanaka, E M

    2012-12-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in evolutionary, developmental and regenerative studies, particularly because it can reconstitute a fully functional and complete forelimb/hindlimb. Surprisingly, there is no publication that describes all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of this species or provides a comparative framework between these muscles and those of other model organisms and of modern humans. In the present paper we describe and illustrate all these muscles in A. mexicanum and provide the first report about the myology of adults of a model organism that is based on analyses and dissections of both wildtype animals and transgenic animals that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. On the one hand, the inclusion of GFP-transgenic animals allows us to show the muscles as more commonly seen, and thus easier to understand, by current developmental and regenerative biologists. On the other hand, by including wildtype and GFP-transgenic animals and by visualizing these latter animals with and without a simultaneous transmission laser light, we were able to obtain a more complete and clearer understanding of the exact limit of the fleshy and tendinous parts of the muscles and their specific connections with the skeletal elements. This in turn allowed us to settle some controversies in previous anatomical and comparative studies. As most developmental, regenerative and evolutionary biologists are interested in comparing their observations of A. mexicanum with observations in other model organisms, and ultimately in using this information to increase the understanding of human evolution and medicine, we also provide tables showing the homologies between the pectoral and forelimb muscles of axolotls, of model organisms such as mice, frogs and chicken, and of Homo sapiens. An example illustrating the outcomes of using our methodology and of our observations is that they revealed that, contrary to what is often

  10. 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…

  11. Dyneins: structure, biology and disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Stephen M

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Reproductive and developmental biology of the emerald ash borer parasitoid Spathius galinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) as affected by temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is an invasive pest of serious concern in North America. To complement ongoing biological control efforts, Spathius galinae Belokobylskij and Strazenac (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a recently-described specialist parasitoid of ...

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. Consumption habits of pregnant women and implications for developmental biology: a survey of predominantly Hispanic women in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago, Sarah E; Park, Grace H; Huffman, Kelly J

    2013-07-01

    Healthy post-pregnancy outcomes are contingent upon an informed regimen of prenatal care encouraging healthy maternal consumption habits. In this article, we describe aspects of maternal intake of food, drink, and medication in a population of predominantly Hispanic women in Southern California. Potential implications for unhealthy prenatal dietary choices are discussed. The Food, Beverage, and Medication Intake Questionnaire (FBMIQ) measures common practices of maternal consumption during pregnancy. The FBMIQ was administered to English and Spanish speaking pregnant and recently pregnant (36 weeks pregnant - 8 weeks post-partum) women over the age of 18 who were receiving care from a private medical group in Downey CA. A total of 200 women completed the FBMIQ. Consumption habits of healthy foods and beverages, unhealthy foods, unhealthy beverages, and medication are characterized in this article. Data indicate widespread consumption of fresh fruit, meats, milk and juice and indicate most women used prenatal vitamin supplements. Studies in developmental neuroscience have shown that certain substances may cause teratogenic effects on the fetus when ingested by the mother during pregnancy. Those potentially harmful substances included in our study were Bisphenol-A (BPA), methylmercury, caffeine, alcohol and certain medications. Our results show that a proportion of the women surveyed in our study consumed BPA, methylmercury, caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications at varied levels during pregnancy. This represents an interesting finding and suggests a disconnect between scientific data and general recommendations provided to pregnant mothers by obstetricians. The results of our study demonstrate that a proportion of pregnant women consume substances that are potentially teratogenic and may impact the health and well being of the offspring. It is important to appraise healthy and unhealthy consumption habits in order to encourage healthy practices and alleviate

  2. Biological and Rearing Mother Influences on Child ADHD Symptoms: Revisiting the Developmental Interface between Nature and Nurture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, Gordon T.; Leve, Leslie D.; Barrett, Douglas; Elam, Kit; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Natsuaki, Misaki N.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Reiss, David; Thapar, Anita

    2013-01-01

    Background Families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report more negative family relationships than families of children without ADHD. Questions remain as to the role of genetic factors underlying associations between family relationships and children’s ADHD symptoms, and the role of children’s ADHD symptoms as an evocative influence on the quality of relationships experienced within such families. Utilizing the attributes of two genetically sensitive research designs, the present study examined associations between biologically related and non-biologically related maternal ADHD symptoms, parenting practices, child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. The combined attributes of the study designs permit assessment of associations while controlling for passive genotype-environment correlation and directly examining evocative genotype-environment correlation (rGE); two relatively under examined confounds of past research in this area. Methods A cross-sectional adoption-at-conception design (Cardiff IVF Study; C-IVF) and a longitudinal adoption-at-birth design (Early Growth and Development Study; EGDS) were used. The C-IVF sample included 160 mothers and children (age 5–8 years). The EGDS sample included 320 linked sets of adopted children (age 6 years), adoptive-, and biologically-related mothers. Questionnaires were used to assess maternal ADHD symptoms, parenting practices, child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. A cross-rater approach was used across measures of maternal behavior (mother reports) and child ADHD symptoms (father reports). Results Significant associations were revealed between rearing mother ADHD symptoms, hostile parenting behavior, and child ADHD symptoms in both samples. Because both samples consisted of genetically-unrelated mothers and children, passive rGE was removed as a possible explanatory factor underlying these associations. Further, path analysis revealed evidence for

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. Incorporating Development Into Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F. Bjorklund

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Developmental thinking is gradually becoming integrated within mainstream evolutionary psychology. This is most apparent with respect to the role of parenting, with proponents of life history theory arguing that cognitive and behavioral plasticity early in life permits children to select different life history strategies, with such strategies being adaptive solutions to different fitness trade-offs. I argue that adaptations develop and are based on the highly plastic nature of infants’ and children’s behavior/cognition/brains. The concept of evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms is introduced, defined as information processing mechanisms evolved to solve recurrent problems faced by ancestral populations that are expressed in a probabilistic fashion in each individual in a generation and are based on the continuous and bidirectional interaction over time at all levels of organization, from the genetic through the cultural. Early perceptual/cognitive biases result in behavior that, when occurring in a species-typical environment, produce continuous adaptive changes in behavior (and cognition, yielding adaptive outcomes. Examples from social learning and tool use are provided, illustrating the development of adaptations via evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms. The integration of developmental concepts into mainstream evolutionary psychology (and evolutionary concepts into mainstream developmental psychology will provide a clearer picture of what it means to be human.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Luok Wen; Yu, Jr-Kai

    2016-08-01

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

  7. Biological and rearing mother influences on child ADHD symptoms: revisiting the developmental interface between nature and nurture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, Gordon T; Leve, Leslie D; Barrett, Douglas; Elam, Kit; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Shaw, Daniel S; Reiss, David; Thapar, Anita

    2013-10-01

    Families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report more negative family relationships than families of children without ADHD. Questions remain as to the role of genetic factors underlying associations between family relationships and children's ADHD symptoms, and the role of children's ADHD symptoms as an evocative influence on the quality of relationships experienced within such families. Utilizing the attributes of two genetically sensitive research designs, the present study examined associations between biologically related and nonbiologically related maternal ADHD symptoms, parenting practices, child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. The combined attributes of the study designs permit assessment of associations while controlling for passive genotype-environment correlation and directly examining evocative genotype-environment correlation (rGE); two relatively under examined confounds of past research in this area. A cross-sectional adoption-at-conception design (Cardiff IVF Study; C-IVF) and a longitudinal adoption-at-birth design (Early Growth and Development Study; EGDS) were used. The C-IVF sample included 160 mothers and children (age 5-8 years). The EGDS sample included 320 linked sets of adopted children (age 6 years), adoptive-, and biologically related mothers. Questionnaires were used to assess maternal ADHD symptoms, parenting practices, child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. A cross-rater approach was used across measures of maternal behavior (mother reports) and child ADHD symptoms (father reports). Significant associations were revealed between rearing mother ADHD symptoms, hostile parenting behavior, and child ADHD symptoms in both samples. Because both samples consisted of genetically unrelated mothers and children, passive rGE was removed as a possible explanatory factor underlying these associations. Further, path analysis revealed evidence for evocative rGE processes in the

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

    CERN Document Server

    Noji, Sumihare; Ueno, Naoto; Maini, Philip

    2003-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Embryological origin of the endocardium and derived valve progenitor cells: from developmental biology to stem cell-based valve repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pucéat, Michel

    2013-04-01

    The cardiac valves are targets of both congenital and acquired diseases. The formation of valves during embryogenesis (i.e., valvulogenesis) originates from endocardial cells lining the myocardium. These cells undergo an endothelial-mesenchymal transition, proliferate and migrate within an extracellular matrix. This leads to the formation of bilateral cardiac cushions in both the atrioventricular canal and the outflow tract. The embryonic origin of both the endocardium and prospective valve cells is still elusive. Endocardial and myocardial lineages are segregated early during embryogenesis and such a cell fate decision can be recapitulated in vitro by embryonic stem cells (ESC). Besides genetically modified mice and ex vivo heart explants, ESCs provide a cellular model to study the early steps of valve development and might constitute a human therapeutic cell source for decellularized tissue-engineered valves. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cardiomyocyte Biology: Cardiac Pathways of Differentiation, Metabolism and Contraction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín-Durán José

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features

  13. 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.

  14. Development links psychological causes to evolutionary explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedyk, Mark; Kushnir, Tamar

    2014-04-01

    Our conscious abilities are learned in environments that have evolved to support them. This insight provides an alternative way of framing Huang & Bargh's (H&B's) provocative hypothesis. To understand the conflict between unconscious goals and consciousness, we can study the emergence of conscious thought and control in childhood. These developmental processes are also central to the best available current evolutionary theories.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Developmental evolution in social insects: regulatory networks from genes to societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linksvayer, Timothy A; Fewell, Jennifer H; Gadau, Jürgen; Laubichler, Manfred D

    2012-05-01

    The evolution and development of complex phenotypes in social insect colonies, such as queen-worker dimorphism or division of labor, can, in our opinion, only be fully understood within an expanded mechanistic framework of Developmental Evolution. Conversely, social insects offer a fertile research area in which fundamental questions of Developmental Evolution can be addressed empirically. We review the concept of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that aims to fully describe the battery of interacting genomic modules that are differentially expressed during the development of individual organisms. We discuss how distinct types of network models have been used to study different levels of biological organization in social insects, from GRNs to social networks. We propose that these hierarchical networks spanning different organizational levels from genes to societies should be integrated and incorporated into full GRN models to elucidate the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms underlying social insect phenotypes. Finally, we discuss prospects and approaches to achieve such an integration. © 2012 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  18. Life Span Developmental Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Eryilmaz

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The Life Span Developmental Approach examines development of individuals which occurs from birth to death. Life span developmental approach is a multi-disciplinary approach related with disciplines like psychology, psychiatry, sociology, anthropology and geriatrics that indicates the fact that development is not completed in adulthood, it continues during the life course. Development is a complex process that consists of dying and death. This approach carefully investigates the development of individuals with respect to developmental stages. This developmental approach suggests that scientific disciplines should not explain developmental facts only with age changes. Along with aging, cognitive, biological, and socioemotional development throughout life should also be considered to provide a reasonable and acceptable context, guideposts, and reasonable expectations for the person. There are three important subjects whom life span developmental approach deals with. These are nature vs nurture, continuity vs discontinuity, and change vs stability. Researchers using life span developmental approach gather and produce knowledge on these three most important domains of individual development with their unique scientific methodology.

  19. 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.

  20. Expression of Msx-1 is suppressed in bisphosphonate associated osteonecrosis related jaw tissue-etiopathology considerations respecting jaw developmental biology-related unique features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehrhan, Falk; Hyckel, Peter; Ries, Jutta; Stockmann, Phillip; Nkenke, Emeka; Schlegel, Karl A; Neukam, Friedrich W; Amann, Kerstin

    2010-10-13

    Bone-destructive disease treatments include bisphosphonates and antibodies against the osteoclast differentiator, RANKL (aRANKL); however, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a frequent side-effect. Current models fail to explain the restriction of bisphosphonate (BP)-related and denosumab (anti-RANKL antibody)-related ONJ to jaws. Msx-1 is exclusively expressed in craniofacial structures and pivotal to cranial neural crest (CNC)-derived periodontal tissue remodeling. We hypothesised that Msx-1 expression might be impaired in bisphosphonate-related ONJ. The study aim was to elucidate Msx-1 and RANKL-associated signal transduction (BMP-2/4, RANKL) in ONJ-altered and healthy periodontal tissue. Twenty ONJ and twenty non-BP exposed periodontal samples were processed for RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. An automated staining-based alkaline phosphatase-anti-alkaline phosphatase method was used to measure the stained cells:total cell-number ratio (labelling index, Bonferroni adjustment). Real-time RT-PCR was performed on ONJ-affected and healthy jaw periodontal samples (n = 20 each) to quantitatively compare Msx-1, BMP-2, RANKL, and GAPDH mRNA levels. Semi-quantitative assessment of the ratio of stained cells showed decreased Msx-1 and RANKL and increased BMP-2/4 (all p Msx-1 (p Msx-1 suppression in ONJ-adjacent periodontal tissue suggested a bisphosphonate-related impairment in cellular differentiation that occurred exclusively jaw remodelling. Further research on developmental biology-related unique features of jaw bone structures will help to elucidate pathologies restricted to maxillofacial tissue.

  1. Expression of Msx-1 is suppressed in bisphosphonate associated osteonecrosis related jaw tissue-etiopathology considerations respecting jaw developmental biology-related unique features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schlegel Karl A

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bone-destructive disease treatments include bisphosphonates and antibodies against the osteoclast differentiator, RANKL (aRANKL; however, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ is a frequent side-effect. Current models fail to explain the restriction of bisphosphonate (BP-related and denosumab (anti-RANKL antibody-related ONJ to jaws. Msx-1 is exclusively expressed in craniofacial structures and pivotal to cranial neural crest (CNC-derived periodontal tissue remodeling. We hypothesised that Msx-1 expression might be impaired in bisphosphonate-related ONJ. The study aim was to elucidate Msx-1 and RANKL-associated signal transduction (BMP-2/4, RANKL in ONJ-altered and healthy periodontal tissue. Methods Twenty ONJ and twenty non-BP exposed periodontal samples were processed for RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. An automated staining-based alkaline phosphatase-anti-alkaline phosphatase method was used to measure the stained cells:total cell-number ratio (labelling index, Bonferroni adjustment. Real-time RT-PCR was performed on ONJ-affected and healthy jaw periodontal samples (n = 20 each to quantitatively compare Msx-1, BMP-2, RANKL, and GAPDH mRNA levels. Results Semi-quantitative assessment of the ratio of stained cells showed decreased Msx-1 and RANKL and increased BMP-2/4 (all p Conclusions These results explain the sclerotic and osteopetrotic changes of periodontal tissue following BP application and substantiate clinical findings of BP-related impaired remodeling specific to periodontal tissue. RANKL suppression substantiated the clinical finding of impaired bone remodelling in BP- and aRANKL-induced ONJ-affected bone structures. Msx-1 suppression in ONJ-adjacent periodontal tissue suggested a bisphosphonate-related impairment in cellular differentiation that occurred exclusively jaw remodelling. Further research on developmental biology-related unique features of jaw bone structures will help to elucidate pathologies restricted to

  2. 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…

  3. Conservation and co-option in developmental programmes: the importance of homology relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Becker May-Britt

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One of the surprising insights gained from research in evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo is that increasing diversity in body plans and morphology in organisms across animal phyla are not reflected in similarly dramatic changes at the level of gene composition of their genomes. For instance, simplicity at the tissue level of organization often contrasts with a high degree of genetic complexity. Also intriguing is the observation that the coding regions of several genes of invertebrates show high sequence similarity to those in humans. This lack of change (conservation indicates that evolutionary novelties may arise more frequently through combinatorial processes, such as changes in gene regulation and the recruitment of novel genes into existing regulatory gene networks (co-option, and less often through adaptive evolutionary processes in the coding portions of a gene. As a consequence, it is of great interest to examine whether the widespread conservation of the genetic machinery implies the same developmental function in a last common ancestor, or whether homologous genes acquired new developmental roles in structures of independent phylogenetic origin. To distinguish between these two possibilities one must refer to current concepts of phylogeny reconstruction and carefully investigate homology relationships. Particularly problematic in terms of homology decisions is the use of gene expression patterns of a given structure. In the future, research on more organisms other than the typical model systems will be required since these can provide insights that are not easily obtained from comparisons among only a few distantly related model species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corning, Peter A

    2008-03-01

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

  5. Evolutionary significance of epigenetic variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Richards, C.L.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Bossdorf, O.; Wendel, J.F.; Greilhuber, J.; Dolezel, J.; Leitch, I.J.

    2012-01-01

    Several chapters in this volume demonstrate how epigenetic work at the molecular level over the last few decades has revolutionized our understanding of genome function and developmental biology. However, epigenetic processes not only further our understanding of variation and regulation at the

  6. 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...

  7. Evolution and developmental genetics of floral display-A review of progress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qing Ma; Wenheng Zhang; Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang

    2017-01-01

    Angiosperms evolved a great diversity of ways to display their flowers for reproductive success by variation in floral color,size,shape,scent,arrangements,and flowering time.The various innovations in floral forms and the aggregation of flowers into different kinds of inflorescences can drive new ecological adaptations,speciation,and angiosperm diversification.Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) seeks to uncover the developmental and genetic basis underlying morphological diversification.Advances in the developmental genetics of floral display have provided a foundation for insights into the genetic basis of floral and inflorescence evolution.A number of regulatory genes controlling floral and inflorescence development have been identified in model plants (e.g.,Arabidopsis thaliana,Antirrhinum majus) using forward genetics and conserved functions of many of these genes across diverse non-model species have been revealed by reverse genetics.Gene-regulatory networks that mediated the developmental progresses of floral and inflorescence development have also been established in some plant species.Meanwhile,phylogeny-based comparative analysis of morphological and genetic character has enabled the identification of key evolutionary events that lead to morphological complexity and diversification.Here we review the recent progress on evo-devo studies of floral display including floral symmetry,petal fusion,floral color,floral scent,and inflorescences.We also review the molecular genetic approaches applied to plant evo-devo studies and highlight the future directions of evo-devo.

  8. 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.

  9. Ontogeny and Evolution Through the Lens of the Developmental Systems Theory (DST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicente Dressino

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The Developmental Systems Theory (DST intends to make a conceptual summary that links ontogenic development to evolution. This theory’s background may be found in the works of Waddington and Bertalanffy, who provided the foundations for the canalization of development and the biological systems theory, respectively. The aim of this work is to make a preliminary conceptual analysis of DST as a theoretical framework for developmental biology in particular and for evolutionary biology in general. For that purpose, we will take into account some of the concepts and proposals that constitute this framework, and we will work with secondary data obtained from the bibliography. We conclude that: 1. DST is able to argue against the gene centrist vision about the explanations that try to justify biological and evolutionary development; 2. DST argues coherently in favor of the role of Epigenetics in ontogeny and evolution; 3. In connection to that, the role of natural selection is restricted to a secondary plane; 4. DST proposes that the nature/nurture dichotomy must be overcome; and 5. DST constitutes a possible methodological research program composed of a series of not necessarily related hypothesis, theories, and methods that may be confirmed in a relatively independent manner from the rest of the theoretical network.

  10. Developmental engineering: a new paradigm for the design and manufacturing of cell-based products. Part II: from genes to networks: tissue engineering from the viewpoint of systems biology and network science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenas, Petros; Moos, Malcolm; Luyten, Frank P

    2009-12-01

    The field of tissue engineering is moving toward a new concept of "in vitro biomimetics of in vivo tissue development." In Part I of this series, we proposed a theoretical framework integrating the concepts of developmental biology with those of process design to provide the rules for the design of biomimetic processes. We named this methodology "developmental engineering" to emphasize that it is not the tissue but the process of in vitro tissue development that has to be engineered. To formulate the process design rules in a rigorous way that will allow a computational design, we should refer to mathematical methods to model the biological process taking place in vitro. Tissue functions cannot be attributed to individual molecules but rather to complex interactions between the numerous components of a cell and interactions between cells in a tissue that form a network. For tissue engineering to advance to the level of a technologically driven discipline amenable to well-established principles of process engineering, a scientifically rigorous formulation is needed of the general design rules so that the behavior of networks of genes, proteins, or cells that govern the unfolding of developmental processes could be related to the design parameters. Now that sufficient experimental data exist to construct plausible mathematical models of many biological control circuits, explicit hypotheses can be evaluated using computational approaches to facilitate process design. Recent progress in systems biology has shown that the empirical concepts of developmental biology that we used in Part I to extract the rules of biomimetic process design can be expressed in rigorous mathematical terms. This allows the accurate characterization of manufacturing processes in tissue engineering as well as the properties of the artificial tissues themselves. In addition, network science has recently shown that the behavior of biological networks strongly depends on their topology and has

  11. Building a developmental toxicity ontology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Nancy; Boobis, Alan; Burgoon, Lyle; Carney, Edward; Currie, Richard; Fritsche, Ellen; Knudsen, Thomas; Laffont, Madeleine; Piersma, Aldert H; Poole, Alan; Schneider, Steffen; Daston, George

    2018-04-03

    As more information is generated about modes of action for developmental toxicity and more data are generated using high-throughput and high-content technologies, it is becoming necessary to organize that information. This report discussed the need for a systematic representation of knowledge about developmental toxicity (i.e., an ontology) and proposes a method to build one based on knowledge of developmental biology and mode of action/ adverse outcome pathways in developmental toxicity. This report is the result of a consensus working group developing a plan to create an ontology for developmental toxicity that spans multiple levels of biological organization. This report provide a description of some of the challenges in building a developmental toxicity ontology and outlines a proposed methodology to meet those challenges. As the ontology is built on currently available web-based resources, a review of these resources is provided. Case studies on one of the most well-understood morphogens and developmental toxicants, retinoic acid, are presented as examples of how such an ontology might be developed. This report outlines an approach to construct a developmental toxicity ontology. Such an ontology will facilitate computer-based prediction of substances likely to induce human developmental toxicity. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. The rise of photoresponsive protein technologies applications in vivo: a spotlight on zebrafish developmental and cell biology [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renee Wei-Yan Chow

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The zebrafish (Danio rerio is a powerful vertebrate model to study cellular and developmental processes in vivo. The optical clarity and their amenability to genetic manipulation make zebrafish a model of choice when it comes to applying optical techniques involving genetically encoded photoresponsive protein technologies. In recent years, a number of fluorescent protein and optogenetic technologies have emerged that allow new ways to visualize, quantify, and perturb developmental dynamics. Here, we explain the principles of these new tools and describe some of their representative applications in zebrafish.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Developmental Immunotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Animal models suggest that the immature immune system is more susceptible to xenobiotics than the fully mature system, and sequelae of developmental immunotoxicant exposure may be persistent well into adulthood. Immune maturation may be delayed by xenobiotic exposure and recover...

  3. The Power and Promise of Developmental Systems Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letitia Meynell

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available I argue that it is time for many feminists to rethink their attitudes towards evolutionary biology, not because feminists have been wrong to be deeply sceptical about many of its claims, both explicit and implicit, but because biology itself has changed. A new appreciation for the importance of development in biology has become mainstream and a new ontology, associated with developmental systems theory (DST, has been introduced over the last two decades. This turn challenges some of the features of evolutionary biology that have most troubled feminists. DST undermines the idea of biologicales sence and challenges both nature /nurture and nature/culture distinctions. Freed from these conceptual constraints, evolutionary biology no longer poses the problems that have justified feminist scepticism. Indeed, feminists have already found useful applications for DST and I argue that they should expand their use of DST to support more radical and wide-ranging political theories.Si les féministes n’ont pas eu tort d’être profondément sceptiques face aux nombreuses revendications de la biologie, leur attitude face à cette science doit être remise en question car la biologie s’est transformée au courant des dernières décennies. La «théorie des systèmes de développement» (developmental systems theory-TDS est une théorie qui s’est considérablement développée et qui a pris beaucoup d’ampleur. Cette théorie n’accepte pas le concept d’essence biologique ce qui pose un défi important à la distinction nature/culture. Une des conséquences de cet apport théorique est que le scepticisme des féministes face à la biologie de l’évolution n’est plus justifié car la biologie ne comporte plus les contraintes essentialistes qui s’avéraient contentieuses. En effet, certaines féministes ont déjà trouvé des applications utiles pour la TDS et nous avançons que les féministes doivent maintenant élargir l’utilisation de la

  4. Developmental Testing of Liquid and Gaseous/Vaporous Decontamination on Bacterial Spores and Other Biological Warfare Agents on Military Relevant Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-11

    Vaporous Decontamination on Bacterial Spores and Other Biological Warfare Agents on Military-Relevant Surfaces 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT... DECONTAMINATION ON BACTERIAL SPORES AND OTHER BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS ON MILITARY-RELEVANT SURFACES Page Paragraph 1. SCOPE...surfaces before and after decontamination . The protocol in this TOP is based on the developed test methodologies from Edgewood Chemical Biological

  5. 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'.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Sukhendu B

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Molluscan Evolutionary Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simison, W. Brian; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

    In the last 20 years there have been dramatic advances in techniques of high-throughput DNA sequencing, most recently accelerated by the Human Genome Project, a program that has determined the three billion base pair code on which we are based. Now this tremendous capability is being directed at other genome targets that are being sampled across the broad range of life. This opens up opportunities as never before for evolutionary and organismal biologists to address questions of both processes and patterns of organismal change. We stand at the dawn of a new 'modern synthesis' period, paralleling that of the early 20th century when the fledgling field of genetics first identified the underlying basis for Darwin's theory. We must now unite the efforts of systematists, paleontologists, mathematicians, computer programmers, molecular biologists, developmental biologists, and others in the pursuit of discovering what genomics can teach us about the diversity of life. Genome-level sampling for mollusks to date has mostly been limited to mitochondrial genomes and it is likely that these will continue to provide the best targets for broad phylogenetic sampling in the near future. However, we are just beginning to see an inroad into complete nuclear genome sequencing, with several mollusks and other eutrochozoans having been selected for work about to begin. Here, we provide an overview of the state of molluscan mitochondrial genomics, highlight a few of the discoveries from this research, outline the promise of broadening this dataset, describe upcoming projects to sequence whole mollusk nuclear genomes, and challenge the community to prepare for making the best use of these data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-22

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csaba, György

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Developmental Scaffolding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giorgi, Franco; Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2015-01-01

    . Within the developmental hierarchy, each module yields an inter-level relationship that makes it possible for the scaffolding to mediate the production of selectable variations. Awide range of genetic, cellular and morphological mechanisms allows the scaffolding to integrate these modular variations...... to the complexity of sign recognition proper of a cellular community. In this semiotic perspective, the apparent goal directness of any developmental strategy should no longer be accounted for by a predetermined genetic program, but by the gradual definition of the relationships selected amongst the ones...

  12. Teaching Real Data Interpretation with Models (TRIM): Analysis of Student Dialogue in a Large-Enrollment Cell and Developmental Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagallo, Patricia; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    We present our design for a cell biology course to integrate content with scientific practices, specifically data interpretation and model-based reasoning. A 2-year research project within this course allowed us to understand how students interpret authentic biological data in this setting. Through analysis of written work, we measured the extent…

  13. 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

  14. Relations between Intuitive Biological Thinking and Biological Misconceptions in Biology Majors and Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed "misconceptions," among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists…

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Immunolocalization of a Histidine-Rich Epidermal Differentiation Protein in the Chicken Supports the Hypothesis of an Evolutionary Developmental Link between the Embryonic Subperiderm and Feather Barbs and Barbules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Holthaus, Karin Brigit; Sukseree, Supawadee; Hermann, Marcela; Tschachler, Erwin; Eckhart, Leopold

    2016-01-01

    The morphogenesis of feathers is a complex process that depends on a tight spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression and assembly of the protein components of mature feathers. Recent comparative genomics and gene transcription studies have indicated that genes within the epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) encode numerous structural proteins of cornifying skin cells in amniotes including birds. Here, we determined the localization of one of these proteins, termed EDMTFH (Epidermal Differentiation Protein starting with a MTF motif and rich in Histidine), which belongs to a group of EDC-encoded proteins rich in aromatic amino acid residues. We raised an antibody against an EDMTFH-specific epitope and performed immunohistochemical investigations by light microscopy and immunogold labeling by electron microscopy of chicken embryos at days 14-18 of development. EDMTFH was specifically present in the subperiderm, a transient layer of the embryonic epidermis, and in barbs and barbules of feathers. In the latter, it partially localized to bundles of so-called feather beta-keratins (corneous beta-proteins, CBPs). Cells of the embryonic periderm, the epidermis proper, and the feather sheath were immunonegative for EDMTFH. The results of this study indicate that EDMTFH may contribute to the unique mechanical properties of feathers and define EDMTFH as a common marker of the subperiderm and the feather barbules. This expression pattern of EDMTFH resembles that of epidermal differentiation cysteine-rich protein (EDCRP) and feather CBPs and is in accordance with the hypothesis that a major part of the cyclically regenerating feather follicle is topologically, developmentally and evolutionarily related to the embryonic subperiderm.

  18. Immunolocalization of a Histidine-Rich Epidermal Differentiation Protein in the Chicken Supports the Hypothesis of an Evolutionary Developmental Link between the Embryonic Subperiderm and Feather Barbs and Barbules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Alibardi

    Full Text Available The morphogenesis of feathers is a complex process that depends on a tight spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression and assembly of the protein components of mature feathers. Recent comparative genomics and gene transcription studies have indicated that genes within the epidermal differentiation complex (EDC encode numerous structural proteins of cornifying skin cells in amniotes including birds. Here, we determined the localization of one of these proteins, termed EDMTFH (Epidermal Differentiation Protein starting with a MTF motif and rich in Histidine, which belongs to a group of EDC-encoded proteins rich in aromatic amino acid residues. We raised an antibody against an EDMTFH-specific epitope and performed immunohistochemical investigations by light microscopy and immunogold labeling by electron microscopy of chicken embryos at days 14-18 of development. EDMTFH was specifically present in the subperiderm, a transient layer of the embryonic epidermis, and in barbs and barbules of feathers. In the latter, it partially localized to bundles of so-called feather beta-keratins (corneous beta-proteins, CBPs. Cells of the embryonic periderm, the epidermis proper, and the feather sheath were immunonegative for EDMTFH. The results of this study indicate that EDMTFH may contribute to the unique mechanical properties of feathers and define EDMTFH as a common marker of the subperiderm and the feather barbules. This expression pattern of EDMTFH resembles that of epidermal differentiation cysteine-rich protein (EDCRP and feather CBPs and is in accordance with the hypothesis that a major part of the cyclically regenerating feather follicle is topologically, developmentally and evolutionarily related to the embryonic subperiderm.

  19. 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...

  20. Developmental delay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nutrition support is essential for the care of the child with developmental delay. After a thorough evaluation, an individualized intervention plan that accounts for the child’s nutrition status, feeding ability, and medical condition may be determined. Nutrition assessments may be performed at leas...

  1. Developmental Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Niels; Hvid, Helge; Kristensen, Tage Søndergaard

    2003-01-01

    Human Deveoplment and Working Life - Work for Welfare explores whether the development of human resources at company level can improve individuals' quality of life, companies' possibilities of development, and welfare and democracy in society. Chapter two discuss the concept "developmental work...

  2. 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.

  3. GC-MS Metabolomic Analysis to Reveal the Metabolites and Biological Pathways Involved in the Developmental Stages and Tissue Response of Panax ginseng

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia Liu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Ginsenosides, the major compounds present in ginseng, are known to have numerous physiological and pharmacological effects. The physiological processes, enzymes and genes involved in ginsenoside synthesis in P. ginseng have been well characterized. However, relatively little information is known about the dynamic metabolic changes that occur during ginsenoside accumulation in ginseng. To explore this topic, we isolated metabolites from different tissues at different growth stages, and identified and characterized them by using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS. The results showed that a total of 30, 16, 20, 36 and 31 metabolites were identified and involved in different developmental stages in leaf, stem, petiole, lateral root and main root, respectively. To investigate the contribution of tissue to the biosynthesis of ginsenosides, we examined the metabolic changes of leaf, stem, petiole, lateral root and main root during five development stages: 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-years. The score plots of partial least squares-discriminate analysis (PLS-DA showed clear discrimination between growth stages and tissue samples. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathway analysis in the same tissue at different growth stages indicated profound biochemical changes in several pathways, including carbohydrate metabolism and pentose phosphate metabolism, in addition, the tissues displayed significant variations in amino acid metabolism, sugar metabolism and energy metabolism. These results should facilitate further dissection of the metabolic flux regulation of ginsenoside accumulation in different developmental stages or different tissues of ginseng.

  4. Introduced species as evolutionary traps

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Developmental plasticity: re-conceiving the genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultan, Sonia E

    2017-10-06

    In recent decades, the phenotype of an organism (i.e. its traits and behaviour) has been studied as the outcome of a developmental 'programme' coded in its genotype. This deterministic view is implicit in the Modern Synthesis approach to adaptive evolution as a sorting process among genetic variants. Studies of developmental pathways have revealed that genotypes are in fact differently expressed depending on environmental conditions. Accordingly, the genotype can be understood as a repertoire of potential developmental outcomes or norm of reaction. Reconceiving the genotype as an environmental response repertoire rather than a fixed developmental programme leads to three critical evolutionary insights. First, plastic responses to specific conditions often comprise functionally appropriate trait adjustments, resulting in an individual-level, developmental mode of adaptive variation. Second, because genotypes are differently expressed depending on the environment, the genetic diversity available to natural selection is itself environmentally contingent. Finally, environmental influences on development can extend across multiple generations via cytoplasmic and epigenetic factors transmitted to progeny individuals, altering their responses to their own, immediate environmental conditions and, in some cases, leading to inherited but non-genetic adaptations. Together, these insights suggest a more nuanced understanding of the genotype and its evolutionary role, as well as a shift in research focus to investigating the complex developmental interactions among genotypes, environments and previous environments.

  11. Computer Simulation of Embryonic Systems: What can a virtual embryo teach us about developmental toxicity? (LA Conference on Computational Biology & Bioinformatics)

    Science.gov (United States)

    This presentation will cover work at EPA under the CSS program for: (1) Virtual Tissue Models built from the known biology of an embryological system and structured to recapitulate key cell signals and responses; (2) running the models with real (in vitro) or synthetic (in silico...

  12. Are Students with Developmental Dyslexia Neurologically Different?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsmith-Phillips, Josephine

    1994-01-01

    Reviews the controversy over a biological basis for developmental dyslexia and illustrates it with two case studies of junior high school students. Reviews neurological evidence for developmental dyslexia, and proposes seven signs characteristic of reading disability that may qualify as dyslexia. (SR)

  13. 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.

  14. Early Developmental Conditioning of Later Health and Disease: Physiology or Pathophysiology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, M. A.; Gluckman, P. D.

    2014-01-01

    Extensive experimental animal studies and epidemiological observations have shown that environmental influences during early development affect the risk of later pathophysiological processes associated with chronic, especially noncommunicable, disease (NCD). This field is recognized as the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). We discuss the extent to which DOHaD represents the result of the physiological processes of developmental plasticity, which may have potential adverse consequences in terms of NCD risk later, or whether it is the manifestation of pathophysiological processes acting in early life but only becoming apparent as disease later. We argue that the evidence suggests the former, through the operation of conditioning processes induced across the normal range of developmental environments, and we summarize current knowledge of the physiological processes involved. The adaptive pathway to later risk accords with current concepts in evolutionary developmental biology, especially those concerning parental effects. Outside the normal range, effects on development can result in nonadaptive processes, and we review their underlying mechanisms and consequences. New concepts concerning the underlying epigenetic and other mechanisms involved in both disruptive and nondisruptive pathways to disease are reviewed, including the evidence for transgenerational passage of risk from both maternal and paternal lines. These concepts have wider implications for understanding the causes and possible prevention of NCDs such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, for broader social policy and for the increasing attention paid in public health to the lifecourse approach to NCD prevention. PMID:25287859

  15. 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...

  16. Biological studies on the tolerance of different developmental stages of the mosquito, Culex Pipiens to gamma radiation through the first five generations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soliman, I Abul Yazid I

    1993-12-31

    The biological effects of irradiating of the immature stages of Culex Pipiens with chronic doses of gamma radiation in the successive generations were studied. The results obtained a re summarized as follow: A- Egg Irradiation. B- Larval Irradiation. C-Pupal Irradiation. D-Combined effect of irradiation and dimilin on (a) Egg stage. (b) Larval Stage. (c) Pupal Stage. 23 tabs.,19 figs.,86 refs. Thesis (Ms.c)

  17. Developmental trends in adaptive memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otgaar, Henry; Howe, Mark L; Smeets, Tom; Garner, Sarah R

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed that memory is enhanced when information is processed for fitness-related purposes. The main objective of the current experiments was to test developmental trends in the evolutionary foundation of memory using different types of stimuli and paradigms. In Experiment 1, 11-year-olds and adults were presented with neutral, negative, and survival-related DRM word lists. We found a memory benefit for the survival-related words and showed that false memories were more likely to be elicited for the survival-related word lists than for the other lists. Experiment 2 examined developmental trends in the survival processing paradigm using neutral, negative, and survival-related pictures. A survival processing advantage was found for survival-related pictures in adults, for negative pictures in 11/12-year-olds, and for neutral pictures in 7/8-year-olds. In Experiment 3, 11/12-year-olds and adults had to imagine the standard survival scenario or an adapted survival condition (or pleasantness condition) that was designed to reduce the possibilities for elaborative processing. We found superior memory retention for both survival scenarios in children and adults. Collectively, our results evidently show that the survival processing advantage is developmentally invariant and that certain proximate mechanisms (elaboration and distinctiveness) underlie these developmental trends.

  18. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

    Mar 15, 2014 ... ... of events: 'Entities that were capable of independent replication ... There have been many major evolutionary events that this definition of .... selection at level x to exclusive selection at x – will probably require a multiplicity ...

  19. Evolutionary relationships among Astroviridae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, Vladimir V.; Goudsmit, Jaap

    2002-01-01

    To study the evolutionary relationships among astroviruses, all available sequences for members of the family Astroviridae were collected. Phylogenetic analysis distinguished two deep-rooted groups: one comprising mammalian astroviruses, with ovine astrovirus being an outlier, and the other

  20. Plant biology in the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazzaz, F A

    2001-05-08

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

  1. The female gametophyte: an emerging model for cell type-specific systems biology in plant development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc William Schmid

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Systems biology, a holistic approach describing a system emerging from the interactions of its molecular components, critically depends on accurate qualitative determination and quantitative measurements of these components. Development and improvement of large-scale profiling methods (omics now facilitates comprehensive measurements of many relevant molecules. For multicellular organisms, such as animals, fungi, algae, and plants, the complexity of the system is augmented by the presence of specialized cell types and organs, and a complex interplay within and between them. Cell type-specific analyses are therefore crucial for the understanding of developmental processes and environmental responses. This review first gives an overview of current methods used for large-scale profiling of specific cell types exemplified by recent advances in plant biology. The focus then lies on suitable model systems to study plant development and cell type specification. We introduce the female gametophyte of flowering plants as an ideal model to study fundamental developmental processes. Moreover, the female reproductive lineage is of importance for the emergence of evolutionary novelties such as an unequal parental contribution to the tissue nurturing the embryo or the clonal production of seeds by asexual reproduction (apomixis. Understanding these processes is not only interesting from a developmental or evolutionary perspective, but bears great potential for further crop improvement and the simplification of breeding efforts. We finally highlight novel methods, which are already available or which will likely soon facilitate large-scale profiling of the specific cell types of the female gametophyte in both model and non-model species. We conclude that it may take only few years until an evolutionary systems biology approach toward female gametogenesis may decipher some of its biologically most interesting and economically most valuable processes.

  2. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Do we need an extended evolutionary synthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2007-12-01

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

  5. Developmental plasticity and the evolution of parental effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uller, Tobias

    2008-08-01

    One of the outstanding challenges for evolutionary biologists is to understand how developmental plasticity can influence the evolutionary process. Developmental plasticity frequently involves parental effects, which might enable adaptive and context-dependent transgenerational transmission of phenotypic strategies. However, parent-offspring conflict will frequently result in parental effects that are suboptimal for parents, offspring or both. The fitness consequences of parental effects at evolutionary equilibrium will depend on how conflicts can be resolved by modifications of developmental processes, suggesting that proximate studies of development can inform ultimate questions. Furthermore, recent studies of plants and animals show how studies of parental effects in an ecological context provide important insights into the origin and evolution of adaptation under variable environmental conditions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papatsenko Dmitri

    2009-10-01

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

  7. Epigenetics: A way to bridge the gap between biological fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicoglou, Antonine; Merlin, Francesca

    2017-12-01

    The concept of epigenetics has evolved since Waddington defined it from the late 1930s as the study of the causal mechanisms at work in development. It has become a multi-faceted notion with different meanings, depending on the disciplinary context it is used. In this article, we first analyse the transformations of the concept of epigenetics, from Waddington to contemporary accounts, in order to identify its different meanings and traditions, and to come up with a typology of epigenetics throughout its history. Second, we show on this basis that epigenetics has progressively turned its main focus from biological problems regarding development, toward issues concerning evolution. Yet, both these different epistemological aspects of epigenetics still coexist. Third, we claim that the classical opposition between epigenesis and preformationism as ways of thinking about the developmental process is part of the history of epigenetics and has contributed to its current various meanings. With these objectives in mind, we first show how Waddington introduced the term "epigenetics" in a biological context in order to solve a developmental problem, and we then build on this by presenting Nanney's, Riggs' and Holliday's definitions, which form the basis for the current conception of "molecular epigenetics". Then, we show that the evo-devo research field is where some particular uses of epigenetics have started shifting from developmental issues to evolutionary problems. We also show that epigenetics has progressively focused on the issue of epigenetic inheritance within the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis' framework. Finally, we conclude by presenting a typology of the different conceptions of epigenetics throughout time, and analyse the connections between them. We argue that, since Waddington, epigenetics, as an integrative research area, has been used to bridge the gap between different biological fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. A teleofunctional account of evolutionary mismatch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofnas, Nathan

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-04-05

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

  13. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Leaves as composites of latent developmental and evolutionary shapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Across plants, leaves exhibit profound diversity in shape. As a single leaf expands, its shape is in constant flux. Additionally, plants may also produce leaves with different shapes at successive nodes. Because leaf shape can vary in many different ways, theoretically the effects of distinct proces...

  15. Genome fluctuations in cyanobacteria reflect evolutionary, developmental and adaptive traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nylander Johan AA

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cyanobacteria belong to an ancient group of photosynthetic prokaryotes with pronounced variations in their cellular differentiation strategies, physiological capacities and choice of habitat. Sequencing efforts have shown that genomes within this phylum are equally diverse in terms of size and protein-coding capacity. To increase our understanding of genomic changes in the lineage, the genomes of 58 contemporary cyanobacteria were analysed for shared and unique orthologs. Results A total of 404 protein families, present in all cyanobacterial genomes, were identified. Two of these are unique to the phylum, corresponding to an AbrB family transcriptional regulator and a gene that escapes functional annotation although its genomic neighbourhood is conserved among the organisms examined. The evolution of cyanobacterial genome sizes involves a mix of gains and losses in the clade encompassing complex cyanobacteria, while a single event of reduction is evident in a clade dominated by unicellular cyanobacteria. Genome sizes and gene family copy numbers evolve at a higher rate in the former clade, and multi-copy genes were predominant in large genomes. Orthologs unique to cyanobacteria exhibiting specific characteristics, such as filament formation, heterocyst differentiation, diazotrophy and symbiotic competence, were also identified. An ancestral character reconstruction suggests that the most recent common ancestor of cyanobacteria had a genome size of approx. 4.5 Mbp and 1678 to 3291 protein-coding genes, 4%-6% of which are unique to cyanobacteria today. Conclusions The different rates of genome-size evolution and multi-copy gene abundance suggest two routes of genome development in the history of cyanobacteria. The expansion strategy is driven by gene-family enlargment and generates a broad adaptive potential; while the genome streamlining strategy imposes adaptations to highly specific niches, also reflected in their different functional capacities. A few genomes display extreme proliferation of non-coding nucleotides which is likely to be the result of initial expansion of genomes/gene copy number to gain adaptive potential, followed by a shift to a life-style in a highly specific niche (e.g. symbiosis. This transition results in redundancy of genes and gene families, leading to an increase in junk DNA and eventually to gene loss. A few orthologs can be correlated with specific phenotypes in cyanobacteria, such as filament formation and symbiotic competence; these constitute exciting exploratory targets.

  16. Plant Fructokinases: Evolutionary, Developmental, and Metabolic Aspects in Sink Tissues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ofer Stein

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Sucrose, a glucose–fructose disaccharide, is the main sugar transported in the phloem of most plants and is the origin of most of the organic matter. Upon arrival in sink tissues, the sucrose must be cleaved by invertase or sucrose synthase. Both sucrose-cleaving enzymes yield free fructose, which must be phosphorylated by either fructokinase (FRK or hexokinase (HXK. The affinity of FRK to fructose is much higher than that of HXK, making FRKs central for fructose metabolism. An FRK gene family seems to exist in most, if not all plants and usually consists of several cytosolic FRKs and a single plastidic FRK. These genes are expressed mainly in sink tissues such as roots, stems, flowers, fruits, and seeds, with lower levels of expression often seen in leaves. Plant FRK enzymes vary in their biochemical properties such as affinity for fructose, inhibition by their substrate (i.e., fructose, and expression level in different tissues. This review describes recently revealed roles of plant FRKs in plant development, including the combined roles of the plastidic and cytosolic FRKs in vascular tissues and seed development.

  17. Genome fluctuations in cyanobacteria reflect evolutionary, developmental and adaptive traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Cyanobacteria belong to an ancient group of photosynthetic prokaryotes with pronounced variations in their cellular differentiation strategies, physiological capacities and choice of habitat. Sequencing efforts have shown that genomes within this phylum are equally diverse in terms of size and protein-coding capacity. To increase our understanding of genomic changes in the lineage, the genomes of 58 contemporary cyanobacteria were analysed for shared and unique orthologs. Results A total of 404 protein families, present in all cyanobacterial genomes, were identified. Two of these are unique to the phylum, corresponding to an AbrB family transcriptional regulator and a gene that escapes functional annotation although its genomic neighbourhood is conserved among the organisms examined. The evolution of cyanobacterial genome sizes involves a mix of gains and losses in the clade encompassing complex cyanobacteria, while a single event of reduction is evident in a clade dominated by unicellular cyanobacteria. Genome sizes and gene family copy numbers evolve at a higher rate in the former clade, and multi-copy genes were predominant in large genomes. Orthologs unique to cyanobacteria exhibiting specific characteristics, such as filament formation, heterocyst differentiation, diazotrophy and symbiotic competence, were also identified. An ancestral character reconstruction suggests that the most recent common ancestor of cyanobacteria had a genome size of approx. 4.5 Mbp and 1678 to 3291 protein-coding genes, 4%-6% of which are unique to cyanobacteria today. Conclusions The different rates of genome-size evolution and multi-copy gene abundance suggest two routes of genome development in the history of cyanobacteria. The expansion strategy is driven by gene-family enlargment and generates a broad adaptive potential; while the genome streamlining strategy imposes adaptations to highly specific niches, also reflected in their different functional capacities. A few genomes display extreme proliferation of non-coding nucleotides which is likely to be the result of initial expansion of genomes/gene copy number to gain adaptive potential, followed by a shift to a life-style in a highly specific niche (e.g. symbiosis). This transition results in redundancy of genes and gene families, leading to an increase in junk DNA and eventually to gene loss. A few orthologs can be correlated with specific phenotypes in cyanobacteria, such as filament formation and symbiotic competence; these constitute exciting exploratory targets. PMID:21718514

  18. Developmental morphological diversity in caecilian amphibians : systematic and evolutionary implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Müller, Hendrik

    2007-01-01

    Caecilians, or Gymnophiona, constitute one of the three extant orders of the Recent Amphibia and are the least known, major living tetrapod clade. Compared to frogs and salamanders, caecilians have an unusual skull morphology. Earlier reports of an unusually high number of individual skull

  19. Single locus affects embryonic segment polarity and multiple aspects of an adult evolutionary novelty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saenko Suzanne V

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The characterization of the molecular changes that underlie the origin and diversification of morphological novelties is a key challenge in evolutionary developmental biology. The evolution of such traits is thought to rely largely on co-option of a toolkit of conserved developmental genes that typically perform multiple functions. Mutations that affect both a universal developmental process and the formation of a novelty might shed light onto the genetics of traits not represented in model systems. Here we describe three pleiotropic mutations with large effects on a novel trait, butterfly eyespots, and on a conserved stage of embryogenesis, segment polarity. Results We show that three mutations affecting eyespot size and/or colour composition in Bicyclus anynana butterflies occurred in the same locus, and that two of them are embryonic recessive lethal. Using surgical manipulations and analysis of gene expression patterns in developing wings, we demonstrate that the effects on eyespot morphology are due to changes in the epidermal response component of eyespot induction. Our analysis of morphology and of gene expression in mutant embryos shows that they have a typical segment polarity phenotype, consistent with the mutant locus encoding a negative regulator of Wingless signalling. Conclusions This study characterizes the segregation and developmental effects of alleles at a single locus that controls the morphology of a lineage-specific trait (butterfly eyespots and a conserved process (embryonic segment polarity and, specifically, the regulation of Wingless signalling. Because no gene with such function was found in the orthologous, highly syntenic genomic regions of two other lepidopterans, we hypothesize that our locus is a yet undescribed, possibly lineage-specific, negative regulator of the conserved Wnt/Wg pathway. Moreover, the fact that this locus interferes with multiple aspects of eyespot morphology and maps to a

  20. 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

  1. Archaeogenetics in evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank

    2016-09-01

    Archaeogenetics is the study of exploration of ancient DNA (aDNA) of more than 70 years old. It is an important part of the wider studies of many different areas of our past, including animal, plant and pathogen evolution and domestication events. Hereby, we address specifically the impact of research in archaeogenetics in the broader field of evolutionary medicine. Studies on ancient hominid genomes help to understand even modern health patterns. Human genetic microevolution, e.g. related to abilities of post-weaning milk consumption, and specifically genetic adaptation in disease susceptibility, e.g. towards malaria and other infectious diseases, are of the upmost importance in contributions of archeogenetics on the evolutionary understanding of human health and disease. With the increase in both the understanding of modern medical genetics and the ability to deep sequence ancient genetic information, the field of archaeogenetic evolutionary medicine is blossoming.

  2. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Context dependent DNA evolutionary models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Ledet

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

  4. EDEN: evolutionary dynamics within environments

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Classification and evolutionary analysis of the basic helix-loop-helix gene family in the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ake; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Debao; Wang, Xuhua; Song, Huifang; Dang, Chunwang; Yao, Qin; Chen, Keping

    2013-08-01

    Helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins play essential regulatory roles in a variety of biological processes. These highly conserved proteins form a large transcription factor superfamily, and are commonly identified in large numbers within animal, plant, and fungal genomes. The bHLH domain has been well studied in many animal species, but has not yet been characterized in non-avian reptiles. In this study, we identified 102 putative bHLH genes in the genome of the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. Based on phylogenetic analysis, these genes were classified into 43 families, with 43, 24, 16, 3, 10, and 3 members assigned into groups A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively, and 3 members categorized as "orphans". Within-group evolutionary relationships inferred from the phylogenetic analysis were consistent with highly conserved patterns observed for introns and additional domains. Results from phylogenetic analysis of the H/E(spl) family suggest that genome and tandem gene duplications have contributed to this family's expansion. Our classification and evolutionary analysis has provided insights into the evolutionary diversification of animal bHLH genes, and should aid future studies on bHLH protein regulation of key growth and developmental processes.

  6. Evolutionary Statistical Procedures

    CERN Document Server

    Baragona, Roberto; Poli, Irene

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Developmental dyscalculia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucian, Karin; von Aster, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Numerical skills are essential in our everyday life, and impairments in the development of number processing and calculation have a negative impact on schooling and professional careers. Approximately 3 to 6 % of children are affected from specific disorders of numerical understanding (developmental dyscalculia (DD)). Impaired development of number processing skills in these children is characterized by problems in various aspects of numeracy as well as alterations of brain activation and brain structure. Moreover, DD is assumed to be a very heterogeneous disorder putting special challenges to define homogeneous diagnostic criteria. Finally, interdisciplinary perspectives from psychology, neuroscience and education can contribute to the design for interventions, and although results are still sparse, they are promising and have shown positive effects on behaviour as well as brain function. In the current review, we are going to give an overview about typical and atypical development of numerical abilities at the behavioural and neuronal level. Furthermore, current status and obstacles in the definition and diagnostics of DD are discussed, and finally, relevant points that should be considered to make an intervention as successful as possible are summarized.

  9. Biological Systematics in the Evo-Devo era

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Minelli

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo suggests a distinction between modular and systemic variation. In the case of modular change, the conservation of the overall structure helps recognizing affinities, while a single, fast evolving module is likely to produce a bonanza for the taxonomist, while systemic changes produce strongly deviating morphologies that cause problems in tracing homologies. Similarly, changes affecting the whole life cycle are more challenging than those limited to one stage. Developmental modularity is a precondition for heterochrony. Analyzing a matrix of morphological data for paedomorphic taxa requires special care. It is, however, possible to extract phylogenetic signal from heterochronic patterns. The taxonomist should pay attention to the intricacies of the genotype→phenotype map. When using genetic data to infer phylogeny, a comparison of gene sequences is just a first step. To bridge the gap between genes and morphology we should consider the spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression, and their regulation. Minor genetic change can have major phenotypic effects, sometimes suggesting saltational evolution. Evo-devo is also relevant in respect to speciation: changes in developmental schedules are often implicated in the divergence between sympatric morphs, and a developmental modulation of ‘temporal phenotypes’ appears to be responsible for many cases of speciation.

  10. Apoptosis in Trypanosomatids: Evolutionary and phylogenetic considerations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello A. Barcinski

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Programmed cell death (PCD or apoptosis, an active process of cell death, plays a central role in normal tissue development and organogenesis, as well as in the pathogenesis of different diseases. Although it occurs in diverse cells and tissues under the influence of a remarkable variety of inducing agents, the resultant ultrastructural and biochemical changes are extremely monotonous, indicating the existence of a common biological mechanism underlying its occurrence. It is generally accepted that a developmental program leading to cell death cannot be advantageous to unicellular organisms and that PCD appeared in evolution to fulfill the organizational needs of multicellular life. However, the recent description of apoptotic death occurring in three different species of pathogenic kinetoplastids suggests that the evolutionary origin of PCD precedes the appearence of multicellular organisms. The present study proposes that a population of pathogenic Trypanosomatids is socially organized and that PCD is a prerequisite for this organization and for the fulfillment of the demands of a heteroxenic lifestyle. This proposal includes possible roles for PCD in the development of the parasite in the insect vector and/or in its mammalian host and suggests experimental strategies to localize the evolutionary origin of PCD within the kinetoplastids.A morte celular programada (PCD ou apoptose, um processo ativo de morte celular, desempenha um papel fundamental no desenvolvimento tecidual normal e na organogênese, assim como na patogênese de diferentes doenças. Embora este processo ocorra em uma gama variada de diferentes células e tecidos, sob a influência dos mais diversos agentes indutores, a resultante morfológica e bioquímica do processo é extremamente monótona, sugerindo que um mecanismo único opere em todas as situações. Era consensualmente aceito que um programa de morte programada não poderia ser vantajoso para organismos unicelulares e

  11. Past climate change on Sky Islands drives novelty in a core developmental gene network and its phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favé, Marie-Julie; Johnson, Robert A; Cover, Stefan; Handschuh, Stephan; Metscher, Brian D; Müller, Gerd B; Gopalan, Shyamalika; Abouheif, Ehab

    2015-09-04

    A fundamental and enduring problem in evolutionary biology is to understand how populations differentiate in the wild, yet little is known about what role organismal development plays in this process. Organismal development integrates environmental inputs with the action of gene regulatory networks to generate the phenotype. Core developmental gene networks have been highly conserved for millions of years across all animals, and therefore, organismal development may bias variation available for selection to work on. Biased variation may facilitate repeatable phenotypic responses when exposed to similar environmental inputs and ecological changes. To gain a more complete understanding of population differentiation in the wild, we integrated evolutionary developmental biology with population genetics, morphology, paleoecology and ecology. This integration was made possible by studying how populations of the ant species Monomorium emersoni respond to climatic and ecological changes across five 'Sky Islands' in Arizona, which are mountain ranges separated by vast 'seas' of desert. Sky Islands represent a replicated natural experiment allowing us to determine how repeatable is the response of M. emersoni populations to climate and ecological changes at the phenotypic, developmental, and gene network levels. We show that a core developmental gene network and its phenotype has kept pace with ecological and climate change on each Sky Island over the last ~90,000 years before present (BP). This response has produced two types of evolutionary change within an ant species: one type is unpredictable and contingent on the pattern of isolation of Sky lsland populations by climate warming, resulting in slight changes in gene expression, organ growth, and morphology. The other type is predictable and deterministic, resulting in the repeated evolution of a novel wingless queen phenotype and its underlying gene network in response to habitat changes induced by climate warming. Our

  12. Evolutionary plant physiology: Charles Darwin's forgotten synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Niklas, Karl J.

    2009-11-01

    Charles Darwin dedicated more than 20 years of his life to a variety of investigations on higher plants (angiosperms). It has been implicitly assumed that these studies in the fields of descriptive botany and experimental plant physiology were carried out to corroborate his principle of descent with modification. However, Darwin’s son Francis, who was a professional plant biologist, pointed out that the interests of his father were both of a physiological and an evolutionary nature. In this article, we describe Darwin’s work on the physiology of higher plants from a modern perspective, with reference to the following topics: circumnutations, tropisms and the endogenous oscillator model; the evolutionary patterns of auxin action; the root-brain hypothesis; phloem structure and photosynthesis research; endosymbioses and growth-promoting bacteria; photomorphogenesis and phenotypic plasticity; basal metabolic rate, the Pfeffer-Kleiber relationship and metabolic optimality theory with respect to adaptive evolution; and developmental constraints versus functional equivalence in relationship to directional natural selection. Based on a review of these various fields of inquiry, we deduce the existence of a Darwinian (evolutionary) approach to plant physiology and define this emerging scientific discipline as the experimental study and theoretical analysis of the functions of green, sessile organisms from a phylogenetic perspective.

  13. Evolutionary plant physiology: Charles Darwin's forgotten synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Niklas, Karl J

    2009-11-01

    Charles Darwin dedicated more than 20 years of his life to a variety of investigations on higher plants (angiosperms). It has been implicitly assumed that these studies in the fields of descriptive botany and experimental plant physiology were carried out to corroborate his principle of descent with modification. However, Darwin's son Francis, who was a professional plant biologist, pointed out that the interests of his father were both of a physiological and an evolutionary nature. In this article, we describe Darwin's work on the physiology of higher plants from a modern perspective, with reference to the following topics: circumnutations, tropisms and the endogenous oscillator model; the evolutionary patterns of auxin action; the root-brain hypothesis; phloem structure and photosynthesis research; endosymbioses and growth-promoting bacteria; photomorphogenesis and phenotypic plasticity; basal metabolic rate, the Pfeffer-Kleiber relationship and metabolic optimality theory with respect to adaptive evolution; and developmental constraints versus functional equivalence in relationship to directional natural selection. Based on a review of these various fields of inquiry, we deduce the existence of a Darwinian (evolutionary) approach to plant physiology and define this emerging scientific discipline as the experimental study and theoretical analysis of the functions of green, sessile organisms from a phylogenetic perspective.

  14. Evolutionary trends in Heteroptera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cobben, R.H.

    1968-01-01

    1. This work, the first volume of a series dealing with evolutionary trends in Heteroptera, is concerned with the egg system of about 400 species. The data are presented systematically in chapters 1 and 2 with a critical review of the literature after each family.

    2. Chapter 3 evaluates facts

  15. 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

  16. Applications of Evolutionary Computation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mora, Antonio M.; Squillero, Giovanni; Di Chio, C; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cagnoni, Stefano; Cotta, Carlos; Fernández De Vega, F; Di Caro, G A; Drechsler, R.; Ekárt, A; Esparcia-Alcázar, Anna I.; Farooq, M; Langdon, W B; Merelo-Guervós, J.J.; Preuss, M; Richter, O.-M.H.; Silva, Sara; Sim$\\$~oes, A; Squillero, Giovanni; Tarantino, Ernesto; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Togelius, J; Urquhart, Neil; Uyar, A S; Yannakakis, G N; Smith, Stephen L; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan; Squillero, Giovanni; Burelli, Paolo; Mora, Antonio M.; Squillero, Giovanni; Jan, Mathieu; Matthias, M; Di Chio, C; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cagnoni, Stefano; Cotta, Carlos; Fernández De Vega, F; Di Caro, G A; Drechsler, R.; Ekárt, A; Esparcia-Alcázar, Anna I.; Farooq, M; Langdon, W B; Merelo-Guervós, J.J.; Preuss, M; Richter, O.-M.H.; Silva, Sara; Sim$\\$~oes, A; Squillero, Giovanni; Tarantino, Ernesto; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Togelius, J; Urquhart, Neil; Uyar, A S; Yannakakis, G N; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan; Squillero, Giovanni; Burelli, Paolo; Esparcia-Alcazar, Anna I; Silva, Sara; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cotta, Carlos; De Falco, Ivanoe; Cioppa, Antonio Della; Diwold, Konrad; Ekart, Aniko; Tarantino, Ernesto; Vega, Francisco Fernandez De; Burelli, Paolo; Sim, Kevin; Cagnoni, Stefano; Simoes, Anabela; Merelo, J.J.; Urquhart, Neil; Haasdijk, Evert; Zhang, Mengjie; Squillero, Giovanni; Eiben, A E; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Glette, Kyrre; Rohlfshagen, Philipp; Schaefer, Robert; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The application of genetic and evolutionary computation to problems in medicine has increased rapidly over the past five years, but there are specific issues and challenges that distinguish it from other real-world applications. Obtaining reliable and coherent patient data, establishing the clinical

  17. Learning: An Evolutionary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Joanna

    2009-01-01

    This paper draws on the philosophy of Karl Popper to present a descriptive evolutionary epistemology that offers philosophical solutions to the following related problems: "What happens when learning takes place?" and "What happens in human learning?" It provides a detailed analysis of how learning takes place without any direct transfer of…

  18. Complex systems, evolutionary planning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bertolini, L.; de Roo, G.; Silva, E.A.

    2010-01-01

    Coping with uncertainty is a defining challenge for spatial planners. Accordingly, most spatial planning theories and methods are aimed at reducing uncertainty. However, the question is what should be done when this seems impossible? This chapter proposes an evolutionary interpretation of spatial

  19. Molluscan Evolutionary Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wanninger, Andreas Wilhelm Georg; Koop, Damien; Moshel-Lynch, Sharon

    2008-01-01

    Brought together by Winston F. Ponder and David R. Lindberg, thirty-six experts on the evolution of the Mollusca provide an up-to-date review of its evolutionary history. The Mollusca are the second largest animal phylum and boast a fossil record of over 540 million years. They exhibit remarkable...

  20. Evolutionary game theory: cells as players.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Developmental language and speech disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiel, G; Brunner, E; Allmayer, B; Pletz, A

    2001-09-01

    Speech disabilities (articulation deficits) and language disorders--expressive (vocabulary) receptive (language comprehension) are not uncommon in children. An overview of these along with a global description of the impairment of communication as well as clinical characteristics of language developmental disorders are presented in this article. The diagnostic tables, which are applied in the European and Anglo-American speech areas, ICD-10 and DSM-IV, have been explained and compared. Because of their strengths and weaknesses an alternative classification of language and speech developmental disorders is proposed, which allows a differentiation between expressive and receptive language capabilities with regard to the semantic and the morphological/syntax domains. Prevalence and comorbidity rates, psychosocial influences, biological factors and the biological social interaction have been discussed. The necessity of the use of standardized examinations is emphasised. General logopaedic treatment paradigms, specific therapy concepts and an overview of prognosis have been described.

  2. Zebrafish: A marvel of high-throughput biology for 21st century toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugel, Sean M; Tanguay, Robert L; Planchart, Antonio

    2014-09-07

    The evolutionary conservation of genomic, biochemical and developmental features between zebrafish and humans is gradually coming into focus with the end result that the zebrafish embryo model has emerged as a powerful tool for uncovering the effects of environmental exposures on a multitude of biological processes with direct relevance to human health. In this review, we highlight advances in automation, high-throughput (HT) screening, and analysis that leverage the power of the zebrafish embryo model for unparalleled advances in our understanding of how chemicals in our environment affect our health and wellbeing.

  3. On Reciprocal Causation in the Evolutionary Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Erik I

    2018-01-01

    might have been underestimated by critics of contemporary evolutionary biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Pagano

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

  5. Ecdysone Control of Developmental Transitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rewitz, Kim; Yamanaka, Naoki; O'Connor, Michael B.

    2013-01-01

    The steroid hormone ecdysone is the central regulator of insect developmental transitions. Recent new advances in our understanding of ecdysone action have relied heavily on the application of Drosophila melanogaster molecular genetic tools to study insect metamorphosis. In this review, we focus...... on three major aspects of Drosophila ecdysone biology: (a) factors that regulate the timing of ecdysone release, (b) molecular basis of stage- and tissue-specific responses to ecdysone, and (c) feedback regulation and coordination of ecdysone signaling....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrangham, R

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Evolutionary Advantages of Free Play During Childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner Greve

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In a theoretical framework of evolutionary developmental psychology, the present study investigates the assumption that free play during childhood is a condition for the development of individual adaptability, which in turn predicts, first, social success and, second, reproductive success. This hypothesis is tested in a study with 238 adults (75.9% females; 18–90 years. Participants were asked to recollect their free play experiences during childhood in detail, to report their current developmental status with respect to several aspects of social success, and to report the number of (own children. Furthermore, individual adaptability (flexibility of goal adjustment is assessed. Results show that the opportunity for free play in childhood significantly predicts both social success and individual adaptability. Social success did not predict reproductive success (number of offspring directly. However, an indirect effect to the number of offspring was found, mediated by individual adaptability. These results suggest that freely playing in childhood is connected to the development of developmental resources, in particular individual adaptability in adulthood, which, in turn, is related to reproductive success (fitness.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, J

    1998-09-01

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

  10. 20170312 - Computer Simulation of Developmental ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rationale: Recent progress in systems toxicology and synthetic biology have paved the way to new thinking about in vitro/in silico modeling of developmental processes and toxicities, both for embryological and reproductive impacts. Novel in vitro platforms such as 3D organotypic culture models, engineered microscale tissues and complex microphysiological systems (MPS), together with computational models and computer simulation of tissue dynamics, lend themselves to a integrated testing strategies for predictive toxicology. As these emergent methodologies continue to evolve, they must be integrally tied to maternal/fetal physiology and toxicity of the developing individual across early lifestage transitions, from fertilization to birth, through puberty and beyond. Scope: This symposium will focus on how the novel technology platforms can help now and in the future, with in vitro/in silico modeling of complex biological systems for developmental and reproductive toxicity issues, and translating systems models into integrative testing strategies. The symposium is based on three main organizing principles: (1) that novel in vitro platforms with human cells configured in nascent tissue architectures with a native microphysiological environments yield mechanistic understanding of developmental and reproductive impacts of drug/chemical exposures; (2) that novel in silico platforms with high-throughput screening (HTS) data, biologically-inspired computational models of

  11. Genome-wide survey and developmental expression mapping of zebrafish SET domain-containing genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Jian Sun

    Full Text Available SET domain-containing proteins represent an evolutionarily conserved family of epigenetic regulators, which are responsible for most histone lysine methylation. Since some of these genes have been revealed to be essential for embryonic development, we propose that the zebrafish, a vertebrate model organism possessing many advantages for developmental studies, can be utilized to study the biological functions of these genes and the related epigenetic mechanisms during early development. To this end, we have performed a genome-wide survey of zebrafish SET domain genes. 58 genes total have been identified. Although gene duplication events give rise to several lineage-specific paralogs, clear reciprocal orthologous relationship reveals high conservation between zebrafish and human SET domain genes. These data were further subject to an evolutionary analysis ranging from yeast to human, leading to the identification of putative clusters of orthologous groups (COGs of this gene family. By means of whole-mount mRNA in situ hybridization strategy, we have also carried out a developmental expression mapping of these genes. A group of maternal SET domain genes, which are implicated in the programming of histone modification states in early development, have been identified and predicted to be responsible for all known sites of SET domain-mediated histone methylation. Furthermore, some genes show specific expression patterns in certain tissues at certain stages, suggesting the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the development of these systems. These results provide a global view of zebrafish SET domain histone methyltransferases in evolutionary and developmental dimensions and pave the way for using zebrafish to systematically study the roles of these genes during development.

  12. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huizinga, Joost; Clune, Jeff

    2016-01-01

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

  14. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henok Mengistu

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Evolutionary constrained optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Deb, Kalyanmoy

    2015-01-01

    This book makes available a self-contained collection of modern research addressing the general constrained optimization problems using evolutionary algorithms. Broadly the topics covered include constraint handling for single and multi-objective optimizations; penalty function based methodology; multi-objective based methodology; new constraint handling mechanism; hybrid methodology; scaling issues in constrained optimization; design of scalable test problems; parameter adaptation in constrained optimization; handling of integer, discrete and mix variables in addition to continuous variables; application of constraint handling techniques to real-world problems; and constrained optimization in dynamic environment. There is also a separate chapter on hybrid optimization, which is gaining lots of popularity nowadays due to its capability of bridging the gap between evolutionary and classical optimization. The material in the book is useful to researchers, novice, and experts alike. The book will also be useful...

  16. Introduction to Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Xinjie

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are becoming increasingly attractive for researchers from various disciplines, such as operations research, computer science, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, social science, economics, etc. This book presents an insightful, comprehensive, and up-to-date treatment of EAs, such as genetic algorithms, differential evolution, evolution strategy, constraint optimization, multimodal optimization, multiobjective optimization, combinatorial optimization, evolvable hardware, estimation of distribution algorithms, ant colony optimization, particle swarm opti

  17. Phenotypic and evolutionary implications of modulating the ERK-MAPK cascade using the dentition as a model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marangoni, Pauline; Charles, Cyril; Tafforeau, Paul; Laugel-Haushalter, Virginie; Joo, Adriane; Bloch-Zupan, Agnès; Klein, Ophir D.; Viriot, Laurent

    2015-06-01

    The question of phenotypic convergence across a signalling pathway has important implications for both developmental and evolutionary biology. The ERK-MAPK cascade is known to play a central role in dental development, but the relative roles of its components remain unknown. Here we investigate the diversity of dental phenotypes in Spry2-/-, Spry4-/-, and Rsk2-/Y mice, including the incidence of extra teeth, which were lost in the mouse lineage 45 million years ago (Ma). In addition, Sprouty-specific anomalies mimic a phenotype that is absent in extant mice but present in mouse ancestors prior to 9 Ma. Although the mutant lines studied display convergent phenotypes, each gene has a specific role in tooth number determination and crown patterning. The similarities found between teeth in fossils and mutants highlight the pivotal role of the ERK-MAPK cascade during the evolution of the dentition in rodents.

  18. 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).

  19. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nipkow, Karl Ernst

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Developmental biology and field performance of Platygaster ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    use

    2011-10-24

    Oct 24, 2011 ... ambient conditions of 23 to 33°C and 37 to 75% relative humidity. The field ... killed in 60% alcohol and dissected immediately in 0.9% saline solution to ... Sampling for AfRGM infestation was conducted at monthly intervals at ...

  4. From developmental biology to heart repair

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Campione, M.; Moorman, A. F.; Kelly, R. G.

    2007-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of cardiac development have fuelled research into cellular approaches to myocardial repair of the damaged heart. In this collection of reviews we present recent advances into the basic mechanisms of heart development and the resident and non-resident progenitor cell

  5. Developmental biology of the Psammomys obesus pancreas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vedtofte, Louise; Bödvarsdóttir, Thóra B; Karlsen, Allan E

    2007-01-01

    The desert gerbil Psammomys obesus, an established model of type 2 diabetes (T2D), has previously been shown to lack pancreatic and duodenal homeobox gene 1 (Pdx-1) expression. Pdx-1 deficiency leads to pancreas agenesis in both mice and humans. We have therefore further examined the pancreas of ...

  6. Some Conceptual Deficiencies in "Developmental" Behavior Genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottlieb, Gilbert

    1995-01-01

    Criticizes the application of the statistical procedures of the population-genetic approach within evolutionary biology to the study of psychological development. Argues that the application of the statistical methods of population genetics--primarily the analysis of variance--to the causes of psychological development is bound to result in a…

  7. Evolutionary Games with Randomly Changing Payoff Matrices

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  8. The four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickham, John W

    2011-05-01

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

  9. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    of population performance will increase in frequency. Yield, one of the fundamental agronomic variables, is not an individual, but a population characteristic. A farmer wants a high yield per hectare; he is not interested in the performance of individual plants. When individual selection and population...... of Evolutionary Agroecology that the highest yielding individuals do not necessarily perform best as a population. The investment of resources into strategies and structures increasing individual competitive ability carries a cost. If a whole population consists of individuals investing resources to compete...

  10. Towards Adaptive Evolutionary Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Sebastian HOlt; Rask, Nina; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents first results from an interdisciplinary project, in which the fields of architecture, philosophy and artificial life are combined to explore possible futures of architecture. Through an interactive evolutionary installation, called EvoCurtain, we investigate aspects of how...... to the development of designs tailored to the individual preferences of inhabitants, changing the roles of architects and designers entirely. Architecture-as-it-could-be is a philosophical approach conducted through artistic methods to anticipate the technological futures of human-centered development within...

  11. Developmental constraints on behavioural flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holekamp, Kay E; Swanson, Eli M; Van Meter, Page E

    2013-05-19

    We suggest that variation in mammalian behavioural flexibility not accounted for by current socioecological models may be explained in part by developmental constraints. From our own work, we provide examples of constraints affecting variation in behavioural flexibility, not only among individuals, but also among species and higher taxonomic units. We first implicate organizational maternal effects of androgens in shaping individual differences in aggressive behaviour emitted by female spotted hyaenas throughout the lifespan. We then compare carnivores and primates with respect to their locomotor and craniofacial adaptations. We inquire whether antagonistic selection pressures on the skull might impose differential functional constraints on evolvability of skulls and brains in these two orders, thus ultimately affecting behavioural flexibility in each group. We suggest that, even when carnivores and primates would theoretically benefit from the same adaptations with respect to behavioural flexibility, carnivores may nevertheless exhibit less behavioural flexibility than primates because of constraints imposed by past adaptations in the morphology of the limbs and skull. Phylogenetic analysis consistent with this idea suggests greater evolutionary lability in relative brain size within families of primates than carnivores. Thus, consideration of developmental constraints may help elucidate variation in mammalian behavioural flexibility.

  12. Evolutionary Musicology Meets Embodied Cognition: Biocultural Coevolution and the Enactive Origins of Human Musicality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan van der Schyff

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite evolutionary musicology's interdisciplinary nature, and the diverse methods it employs, the field has nevertheless tended to divide into two main positions. Some argue that music should be understood as a naturally selected adaptation, while others claim that music is a product of culture with little or no relevance for the survival of the species. We review these arguments, suggesting that while interesting and well-reasoned positions have been offered on both sides of the debate, the nature-or-culture (or adaptation vs. non-adaptation assumptions that have traditionally driven the discussion have resulted in a problematic either/or dichotomy. We then consider an alternative “biocultural” proposal that appears to offer a way forward. As we discuss, this approach draws on a range of research in theoretical biology, archeology, neuroscience, embodied and ecological cognition, and dynamical systems theory (DST, positing a more integrated model that sees biological and cultural dimensions as aspects of the same evolving system. Following this, we outline the enactive approach to cognition, discussing the ways it aligns with the biocultural perspective. Put simply, the enactive approach posits a deep continuity between mind and life, where cognitive processes are explored in terms of how self-organizing living systems enact relationships with the environment that are relevant to their survival and well-being. It highlights the embodied and ecologically situated nature of living agents, as well as the active role they play in their own developmental processes. Importantly, the enactive approach sees cognitive and evolutionary processes as driven by a range of interacting factors, including the socio-cultural forms of activity that characterize the lives of more complex creatures such as ourselves. We offer some suggestions for how this approach might enhance and extend the biocultural model. To conclude we briefly consider the

  13. Evolutionary Musicology Meets Embodied Cognition: Biocultural Coevolution and the Enactive Origins of Human Musicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Schyff, Dylan; Schiavio, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Despite evolutionary musicology's interdisciplinary nature, and the diverse methods it employs, the field has nevertheless tended to divide into two main positions. Some argue that music should be understood as a naturally selected adaptation, while others claim that music is a product of culture with little or no relevance for the survival of the species. We review these arguments, suggesting that while interesting and well-reasoned positions have been offered on both sides of the debate, the nature-or-culture (or adaptation vs. non-adaptation) assumptions that have traditionally driven the discussion have resulted in a problematic either/or dichotomy. We then consider an alternative "biocultural" proposal that appears to offer a way forward. As we discuss, this approach draws on a range of research in theoretical biology, archeology, neuroscience, embodied and ecological cognition, and dynamical systems theory (DST), positing a more integrated model that sees biological and cultural dimensions as aspects of the same evolving system. Following this, we outline the enactive approach to cognition, discussing the ways it aligns with the biocultural perspective. Put simply, the enactive approach posits a deep continuity between mind and life, where cognitive processes are explored in terms of how self-organizing living systems enact relationships with the environment that are relevant to their survival and well-being. It highlights the embodied and ecologically situated nature of living agents, as well as the active role they play in their own developmental processes. Importantly, the enactive approach sees cognitive and evolutionary processes as driven by a range of interacting factors, including the socio-cultural forms of activity that characterize the lives of more complex creatures such as ourselves. We offer some suggestions for how this approach might enhance and extend the biocultural model. To conclude we briefly consider the implications of this approach for

  14. Evolutionary Musicology Meets Embodied Cognition: Biocultural Coevolution and the Enactive Origins of Human Musicality

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Schyff, Dylan; Schiavio, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Despite evolutionary musicology's interdisciplinary nature, and the diverse methods it employs, the field has nevertheless tended to divide into two main positions. Some argue that music should be understood as a naturally selected adaptation, while others claim that music is a product of culture with little or no relevance for the survival of the species. We review these arguments, suggesting that while interesting and well-reasoned positions have been offered on both sides of the debate, the nature-or-culture (or adaptation vs. non-adaptation) assumptions that have traditionally driven the discussion have resulted in a problematic either/or dichotomy. We then consider an alternative “biocultural” proposal that appears to offer a way forward. As we discuss, this approach draws on a range of research in theoretical biology, archeology, neuroscience, embodied and ecological cognition, and dynamical systems theory (DST), positing a more integrated model that sees biological and cultural dimensions as aspects of the same evolving system. Following this, we outline the enactive approach to cognition, discussing the ways it aligns with the biocultural perspective. Put simply, the enactive approach posits a deep continuity between mind and life, where cognitive processes are explored in terms of how self-organizing living systems enact relationships with the environment that are relevant to their survival and well-being. It highlights the embodied and ecologically situated nature of living agents, as well as the active role they play in their own developmental processes. Importantly, the enactive approach sees cognitive and evolutionary processes as driven by a range of interacting factors, including the socio-cultural forms of activity that characterize the lives of more complex creatures such as ourselves. We offer some suggestions for how this approach might enhance and extend the biocultural model. To conclude we briefly consider the implications of this approach

  15. The evolutionary origin and significance of Menopause

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Dual Causality and the Autonomy of Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Walter J

    2017-03-01

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

  17. The Domain of Developmental Psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sroufe, L. Alan; Rutter, Michael

    1984-01-01

    Describes how developmental psychopathology differs from related disciplines, including abnormal psychology, psychiatry, clinical child psychology, and developmental psychology. Points out propositions underlying a developmental perspective and discusses implications for research in developmental psychopathology. (Author/RH)

  18. Evolutionary games in the multiverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S; Traulsen, Arne

    2010-03-23

    Evolutionary game dynamics of two players with two strategies has been studied in great detail. These games have been used to model many biologically relevant scenarios, ranging from social dilemmas in mammals to microbial diversity. Some of these games may, in fact, take place between a number of individuals and not just between two. Here we address one-shot games with multiple players. As long as we have only two strategies, many results from two-player games can be generalized to multiple players. For games with multiple players and more than two strategies, we show that statements derived for pairwise interactions no longer hold. For two-player games with any number of strategies there can be at most one isolated internal equilibrium. For any number of players with any number of strategies , there can be at most isolated internal equilibria. Multiplayer games show a great dynamical complexity that cannot be captured based on pairwise interactions. Our results hold for any game and can easily be applied to specific cases, such as public goods games or multiplayer stag hunts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iordanskiĭ, N N

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

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

  1. A marker of biological age explains individual variation in the strength of the adult stress response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Clare; Nettle, Daniel; Larriva, Maria; Gillespie, Robert; Reichert, Sophie; Brilot, Ben O; Bedford, Thomas; Monaghan, Pat; Spencer, Karen A; Bateson, Melissa

    2017-09-01

    The acute stress response functions to prioritize behavioural and physiological processes that maximize survival in the face of immediate threat. There is variation between individuals in the strength of the adult stress response that is of interest in both evolutionary biology and medicine. Age is an established source of this variation-stress responsiveness diminishes with increasing age in a range of species-but unexplained variation remains. Since individuals of the same chronological age may differ markedly in their pace of biological ageing, we asked whether biological age-measured here via erythrocyte telomere length-predicts variation in stress responsiveness in adult animals of the same chronological age. We studied two cohorts of European starlings in which we had previously manipulated the rate of biological ageing by experimentally altering the competition experienced by chicks in the fortnight following hatching. We predicted that individuals with greater developmental telomere attrition, and hence greater biological age, would show an attenuated corticosterone (CORT) response to an acute stressor when tested as adults. In both cohorts, we found that birds with greater developmental telomere attrition had lower peak CORT levels and a more negative change in CORT levels between 15 and 30 min following stress exposure. Our results, therefore, provide strong evidence that a measure of biological age explains individual variation in stress responsiveness: birds that were biologically older were less stress responsive. Our results provide a novel explanation for the phenomenon of developmental programming of the stress response: observed changes in stress physiology as a result of exposure to early-life adversity may reflect changes in ageing.

  2. An Evolutionary Model of the Environmental Conditions that Shape the Development of Prosociality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Tumminelli O'Brien

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The current review presents a model for how prosocial development is driven by sociocognitive mechanisms that have been shaped by natural selection to translate critical environmental factors into locally adaptive levels of prosociality. This is done through a synthesis of two existing literatures. Evolutionary developmental psychologists have demonstrated a biological basis for the emergence of prosocial behavior early in youth, and work based on social learning theory has explored how social experiences can influence prosociality across development. The model forwarded organizes this latter literature in a way that is specific to how the biological mechanisms underpinning prosociality have evolved. This consists of two main psychological mechanisms. 1 A domain-specific program that is responsive to environmental factors that determine the relative success of different levels of prosociality. It uses the local prevalence of prosocial others (i.e., support and expectations for prosocial behavior (i.e., structure to guide prosocial development. 2 The domain-general process of cultural learning, by which youth adopt local social norms based on the examples of others. Implications and hypotheses are articulated for both the sociocognitive structure of the individual and the role of social contexts.

  3. An integrative model of evolutionary covariance: a symposium on body shape in fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Jeffrey A

    2010-12-01

    A major direction of current and future biological research is to understand how multiple, interacting functional systems coordinate in producing a body that works. This understanding is complicated by the fact that organisms need to work well in multiple environments, with both predictable and unpredictable environmental perturbations. Furthermore, organismal design reflects a history of past environments and not a plan for future environments. How complex, interacting functional systems evolve, then, is a truly grand challenge. In accepting the challenge, an integrative model of evolutionary covariance is developed. The model combines quantitative genetics, functional morphology/physiology, and functional ecology. The model is used to convene scientists ranging from geneticists, to physiologists, to ecologists, to engineers to facilitate the emergence of body shape in fishes as a model system for understanding how complex, interacting functional systems develop and evolve. Body shape of fish is a complex morphology that (1) results from many developmental paths and (2) functions in many different behaviors. Understanding the coordination and evolution of the many paths from genes to body shape, body shape to function, and function to a working fish body in a dynamic environment is now possible given new technologies from genetics to engineering and new theoretical models that integrate the different levels of biological organization (from genes to ecology).

  4. Developmental Perspectives on Nutrition and Obesity From Gestation to Adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Terry T.; Esposito, Layla; Fisher, Jennifer O.; Mennella, Julie A.; Hoelscher, Deanna M.

    2009-01-01

    Obesity results from a complex combination of factors that act at many stages throughout a person's life. Therefore, examining childhood nutrition and obesity from a developmental perspective is warranted. A developmental perspective recognizes the cumulative effects of factors that contribute to eating behavior and obesity, including biological and socioenvironmental factors that are relevant at different stages of development. A developmental perspective considers family, school, and commun...

  5. Developmental Transcriptome for a Facultatively Eusocial Bee, Megalopta genalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Beryl M; Wcislo, William T; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-08-14

    Transcriptomes provide excellent foundational resources for mechanistic and evolutionary analyses of complex traits. We present a developmental transcriptome for the facultatively eusocial bee Megalopta genalis, which represents a potential transition point in the evolution of eusociality. A de novo transcriptome assembly of Megalopta genalis was generated using paired-end Illumina sequencing and the Trinity assembler. Males and females of all life stages were aligned to this transcriptome for analysis of gene expression profiles throughout development. Gene Ontology analysis indicates that stage-specific genes are involved in ion transport, cell-cell signaling, and metabolism. A number of distinct biological processes are upregulated in each life stage, and transitions between life stages involve shifts in dominant functional processes, including shifts from transcriptional regulation in embryos to metabolism in larvae, and increased lipid metabolism in adults. We expect that this transcriptome will provide a useful resource for future analyses to better understand the molecular basis of the evolution of eusociality and, more generally, phenotypic plasticity. Copyright © 2015 Jones et al.

  6. Evolutionary analyses of non-genealogical bonds produced by introgressive descent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bapteste, Eric; Lopez, Philippe; Bouchard, Frédéric; Baquero, Fernando; McInerney, James O; Burian, Richard M

    2012-11-06

    All evolutionary biologists are familiar with evolutionary units that evolve by vertical descent in a tree-like fashion in single lineages. However, many other kinds of processes contribute to evolutionary diversity. In vertical descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit is propagated by replication inside its own lineage. In what we call introgressive descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit propagates into different host structures and is replicated within these host structures. Thus, introgressive descent generates a variety of evolutionary units and leaves recognizable patterns in resemblance networks. We characterize six kinds of evolutionary units, of which five involve mosaic lineages generated by introgressive descent. To facilitate detection of these units in resemblance networks, we introduce terminology based on two notions, P3s (subgraphs of three nodes: A, B, and C) and mosaic P3s, and suggest an apparatus for systematic detection of introgressive descent. Mosaic P3s correspond to a distinct type of evolutionary bond that is orthogonal to the bonds of kinship and genealogy usually examined by evolutionary biologists. We argue that recognition of these evolutionary bonds stimulates radical rethinking of key questions in evolutionary biology (e.g., the relations among evolutionary players in very early phases of evolutionary history, the origin and emergence of novelties, and the production of new lineages). This line of research will expand the study of biological complexity beyond the usual genealogical bonds, revealing additional sources of biodiversity. It provides an important step to a more realistic pluralist treatment of evolutionary complexity.

  7. Biological hierarchies and the nature of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Congreve, Curtis R; Falk, Amanda R; Lamsdell, James C

    2018-05-01

    Hierarchy theory recognises that ecological and evolutionary units occur in a nested and interconnected hierarchical system, with cascading effects occurring between hierarchical levels. Different biological disciplines have routinely come into conflict over the primacy of different forcing mechanisms behind evolutionary and ecological change. These disconnects arise partly from differences in perspective (with some researchers favouring ecological forcing mechanisms while others favour developmental/historical mechanisms), as well as differences in the temporal framework in which workers operate. In particular, long-term palaeontological data often show that large-scale (macro) patterns of evolution are predominantly dictated by shifts in the abiotic environment, while short-term (micro) modern biological studies stress the importance of biotic interactions. We propose that thinking about ecological and evolutionary interactions in a hierarchical framework is a fruitful way to resolve these conflicts. Hierarchy theory suggests that changes occurring at lower hierarchical levels can have unexpected, complex effects at higher scales due to emergent interactions between simple systems. In this way, patterns occurring on short- and long-term time scales are equally valid, as changes that are driven from lower levels will manifest in different forms at higher levels. We propose that the dual hierarchy framework fits well with our current understanding of evolutionary and ecological theory. Furthermore, we describe how this framework can be used to understand major extinction events better. Multi-generational attritional loss of reproductive fitness (MALF) has recently been proposed as the primary mechanism behind extinction events, whereby extinction is explainable solely through processes that result in extirpation of populations through a shutdown of reproduction. While not necessarily explicit, the push to explain extinction through solely population-level dynamics

  8. Can evolutionary convergence be tested on Europa?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-15

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

  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. Do convergent developmental mechanisms underlie convergent phenotypes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, Gregory A.

    2002-01-01

    Convergence is a pervasive evolutionary process, affecting many aspects of phenotype and even genotype. Relatively little is known about convergence in developmental processes, however, nor about the degree to which convergence in development underlies convergence in anatomy. A switch in the ecology of sea urchins from feeding to nonfeeding larvae illustrates how convergence in development can be associated with convergence in anatomy. Comparisons to more distantly related taxa, however, suggest that this association may be limited to relatively close phylogenetic comparisons. Similarities in gene expression during development provide another window into the association between convergence in developmental processes and convergence in anatomy. Several well-studied transcription factors exhibit likely cases of convergent gene expression in distantly related animal phyla. Convergence in regulatory gene expression domains is probably more common than generally acknowledged, and can arise for several different reasons. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Open Issues in Evolutionary Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Evolutionary economics and industry location

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Applications of evolutionary economic geography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience: Insights from Deafness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David; Singleton, Jenny

    2009-01-01

    The condition of deafness presents a developmental context that provides insight into the biological, cultural, and linguistic factors underlying the development of neural systems that impact social cognition. Studies of visual attention, behavioral regulation, language development, and face and human action perception are discussed. Visually…

  17. Detection of genes associated with developmental competence of bovine oocytes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Němcová, Lucie; Jansová, Denisa; Vodičková Kepková, Kateřina; Vodička, Petr; Jeseta, M.; Machatková, M.; Kaňka, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 166, č. 1 (2016), s. 58-71 ISSN 0378-4320 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : oocyte * embryo * bovine * developmental competence * transcription Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.605, year: 2016

  18. Evolutionary ethics from Darwin to Moore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, Fritz

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  20. Evolutionary Explanations of Eating Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Kardum

    2008-12-01

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

  1. Evolutionary equations with applications in natural sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Mokhtar-Kharroubi, Mustapha

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Can An Evolutionary Process Create English Text?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, David H.

    2008-10-29

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

  3. 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.

  4. Evolutionary origin of the Asteraceae capitulum: Insights from Calyceraceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozner, Raúl; Zanotti, Christian; Johnson, Leigh A

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenies based on molecular data are revealing that generalizations about complex morphological structures often obscure variation and developmental patterns important for understanding the evolution of forms, as is the case for inflorescence morphology within the well-supported MGCA clade (Menyanthaceae + Goodeniaceae + Calyceraceae + Asteraceae). While the basal families share a basic thyrsic/thyrsoid structure of their inflorescences, Asteraceae possesses a capitulum that is widely interpreted as a racemose, condensed inflorescence. Elucidating the poorly known inflorescence structure of Calyceraceae, sister to Asteraceae, should help clarify how the Asteraceae capitulum evolved from thyrsic/thyrsoid inflorescences. The early development and structure of the inflorescence of eight species (five genera) of Calyceraceae were studied by SEM, and patterns of evolutionary change were interpreted via phylogenetic character mapping. The basic inflorescence structure of Calyceraceae is a cephalioid (a very condensed botryoid/thyrsoid). Optimization of inflorescence characters on a DNA sequence-derived tree suggests that the Asteraceae capitulum derives from a simple cephalioid through two morphological changes: loss of the terminal flower and suppression of the cymose branching pattern in the peripheral branches. Widely understood as a condensed raceme, the Asteraceae capitulum is the evolutionary result of a very reduced, condensed thyrsoid. Starting from that point, evolution worked separately only on the racemose developmental control/pattern within Asteraceae and mainly on the cymose developmental control/pattern within Calyceraceae, producing head-like inflorescences in both groups but with very different diversification potential. We also discuss possible remnants of the ancestral cephalioid structure in some Asteraceae.

  5. Reproductive and developmental toxicology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gupta, Ramesh C

    2011-01-01

    .... Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology is a comprehensive and authoritative resource providing the latest literature enriched with relevant references describing every aspect of this area of science...

  6. Evolutionary Computing Methods for Spectral Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrile, Richard; Fink, Wolfgang; Huntsberger, Terrance; Lee, Seugwon; Tisdale, Edwin; VonAllmen, Paul; Tinetti, Geivanna

    2009-01-01

    A methodology for processing spectral images to retrieve information on underlying physical, chemical, and/or biological phenomena is based on evolutionary and related computational methods implemented in software. In a typical case, the solution (the information that one seeks to retrieve) consists of parameters of a mathematical model that represents one or more of the phenomena of interest. The methodology was developed for the initial purpose of retrieving the desired information from spectral image data acquired by remote-sensing instruments aimed at planets (including the Earth). Examples of information desired in such applications include trace gas concentrations, temperature profiles, surface types, day/night fractions, cloud/aerosol fractions, seasons, and viewing angles. The methodology is also potentially useful for retrieving information on chemical and/or biological hazards in terrestrial settings. In this methodology, one utilizes an iterative process that minimizes a fitness function indicative of the degree of dissimilarity between observed and synthetic spectral and angular data. The evolutionary computing methods that lie at the heart of this process yield a population of solutions (sets of the desired parameters) within an accuracy represented by a fitness-function value specified by the user. The evolutionary computing methods (ECM) used in this methodology are Genetic Algorithms and Simulated Annealing, both of which are well-established optimization techniques and have also been described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. These are embedded in a conceptual framework, represented in the architecture of the implementing software, that enables automatic retrieval of spectral and angular data and analysis of the retrieved solutions for uniqueness.

  7. An Attachment Theoretical Framework for Understanding Personality Disorders: Developmental, Neuroscience, and Psychotherapeutic Considerations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth N. Levy

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we propose that John Bowlby's attachment theory provides a theoretically coherent, empirically based, and clinically useful model for understanding personality pathology. This theoretical framework brings parsimony and breadth to the conceptualization of the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of personality disorders (PDs. Attachment theory can explain both the intrapersonal and interpersonal difficulties common in those with PDs and is consistent with findings from studies across multiple domains of knowledge, including evolutionary biology, ethology/comparative psychology, developmental psychology, experimental social-personality psychology, and neuroscience.PDs are characterized by significant interpersonal challenges. Recently, these challenges have been hypothesized to stem from underlying maladaptive attachment schemas. Our goal is to outline and elaborate on attachment theory as a foundation for the etiology and pathology of PDs and to highlight the implications of this theory for treatment. We begin with a brief review of attachment, describing its conceptualization and assessment in both children and adults in order to examine PD development. This theoretical foundation is supported by a body of empirical research, from which we present findings from neurobiological and developmental literatures linking attachment and PDs. We then examine the role of attachment in the psychotherapy process and in treatment outcome. Further, we outline research reporting changes in attachment patterns as a result of treatment. Finally, we summarize the implications of attachment theory for understanding PDs and present possible directions for future research.

  8. Wolbachia: Evolutionary novelty in a rickettsial bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anderson Cort L

    2001-11-01

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

  9. Chemical evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aristotelous, Andreas C; Durrett, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Inspired by the use of hybrid cellular automata in modeling cancer, we introduce a generalization of evolutionary games in which cells produce and absorb chemicals, and the chemical concentrations dictate the death rates of cells and their fitnesses. Our long term aim is to understand how the details of the interactions in a system with n species and m chemicals translate into the qualitative behavior of the system. Here, we study two simple 2×2 games with two chemicals and revisit the two and three species versions of the one chemical colicin system studied earlier by Durrett and Levin (1997). We find that in the 2×2 examples, the behavior of our new spatial model can be predicted from that of the mean field differential equation using ideas of Durrett and Levin (1994). However, in the three species colicin model, the system with diffusion does not have the coexistence which occurs in the lattices model in which sites interact with only their nearest neighbors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Developmental immunotoxicity testing of 4-methyl anisole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonk, Elisa C M; Verhoef, Aart; Gremmer, Eric R; van Loveren, Henk; Piersma, Aldert H

    2015-07-01

    The developmental immunotoxicity of 4-methyl anisole (4MA) was investigated in the rat. Four study designs were used, with either premating or post-weaning onset of exposure, continued to postnatal day 50, and with or without additional oral gavage of pups from postnatal day 10 onward. Reduced litter size (benchmark dose lower confidence limit (BMDL) 80mg/kg bw/day) was the most sensitive developmental parameter, with pup relative organ weight effects observed at similar BMDLs, in the absence of maternal toxicity. Eosinophil numbers were reduced at lower doses (BMDL 16mg/kg bw/day). KLH challenge resulted in increased IL-13 and TNF-α responses, and variably reduced IgG production (BMDL 27mg/kg bw/day). T4 levels were reduced by 11% at maximum with a BMDL of 73mg/kg bw/day. Differences between exposure cohorts were limited and were considered to be without biological significance. This study shows that 4MA induces developmental immunotoxicity at doses below those inducing developmental and general toxicity. These observations being independent of the study designs applied suggest that the post-weaning period, included in all designs, is the most relevant sensitive period for inducing 4MA mediated developmental immunotoxicity. Moreover, this study stresses the importance of including developmental immunotoxicity testing by default in regulatory toxicology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Industrial Applications of Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez, Ernesto; Tonda, Alberto

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Reproductive traits and evolutionary divergence between Mediterranean crops and their wild relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriondo, J M; Milla, R; Volis, S; Rubio de Casas, R

    2018-01-01

    Changes in reproductive traits associated with domestication critically determine the evolutionary divergence between crops and their wild relatives, as well as the potential of crop plants to become feral. In this review, we examine the genetic mechanisms of plant domestication and the different types of selection involved, and describe the particularities of domestication of Mediterranean field crops with regard to their reproductive traits, showing illustrative examples. We also explore gene flow patterns between Mediterranean field crops and their wild relatives, along with their ecological, evolutionary and economic implications. Domestication entails multiple selective processes, including direct selection, environmental adaptation and developmental constraints. In contrast to clonal propagation in perennials, sexual reproduction and seed propagation in annuals and biennials have led to a distinct pathway of evolution of reproductive traits. Thus, the initial domestication and further breeding of Mediterranean field crops has brought about changes in reproductive traits, such as higher mean values and variance of seed and fruit sizes, reduced fruit and seed toxicity, non-shattering seeds and loss of seed dormancy. Evolution under domestication is not a linear process, and bi-directional gene flow between wild and crop taxa is a frequent phenomenon. Thus, hybridisation and introgression have played a very important role in determining the genetics of current cultivars. In turn, gene flow from crops to wild relatives can lead to introgression of crop genes into wild populations and potentially alter the characteristics of natural communities. In conclusion, plant evolution under domestication has not only changed the reproductive biology of cultivated taxa, its effects are multifaceted and have implications beyond agriculture. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  13. Etiology of child maltreatment: a developmental-ecological analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belsky, J

    1993-11-01

    This article applies a developmental-ecological perspective to the question of the etiology of physical child abuse and neglect by organizing the paper around a variety of "contexts of maltreatment." The roles of parent and child characteristics and processes are considered ("developmental context"), including an examination of intergenerational transmission. The "immediate interactional context" of maltreatment, which focuses on the parenting and parent-child interactional processes associated with abuse and neglect, is analyzed. Finally, the "broader context" is discussed with 3 specific subsections dealing with the community, cultural, and evolutionary contexts of child maltreatment. Implications for intervention are considered and future research directions are outlined.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billinger, Michael S

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde-Medina, M

    2016-09-01

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

  16. An evolutionary frame of work to study physiological adaptation to high altitudes Un marco conceptual para estudiar adaptaciones fisiológicas a altas altitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ENRICO L. REZENDE

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available How complex physiological systems evolve is one of the major questions in evolutionary physiology. For example, how traits interact at the physiological and genetic level, what are the roles of development and plasticity in Darwinian evolution, and eventually how physiological traits will evolve, remains poorly understood. In this article we summarize the current frame of work evolutionary physiologists are employing to study the evolution of physiological adaptations, as well as the role of developmental and reversible phenotypic plasticity in this context. We also highlight representative examples of how the integration of evolutionary and developmental physiology, concomitantly with the mechanistic understanding of physiological systems, can provide a deeper insight on how endothermic vertebrates could cope with reduced ambient temperatures and oxygen availability characteristic of high altitude environments. In this context, high altitude offers a unique system to study the evolution of physiological traits, and we believe much can be gained by integrating theoretical and empirical knowledge from evolutionary biology, such as life-history theory or the comparative method, with the mechanistic understanding of physiological processesUna de las preguntas más importantes en fisiología evolutiva es como evolucionan los sistemas fisiológicos complejos. Por ejemplo, actualmente sabemos poco sobre la interacción entre varios rasgos a niveles genéticos y fisiológicos, sobre el papel de la plasticidad fenotípica durante distintas etapas del desarrollo y madurez para la evolución fisiológica dentro de un linaje. En este trabajo explicamos el marco conceptual ocupado por fisiólogos evolutivos en la actualidad para estudiar adaptaciones fisiológicas a nivel evolutivo y el papel de la plasticidad dentro de la evolución Darviniana. Citamos ejemplos de como la integración de la fisiología evolutiva y del desarrollo nos permitió un mayor

  17. Evolutionary disarmament in interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A

    2001-12-22

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

  18. Evolutionary computation for reinforcement learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whiteson, S.; Wiering, M.; van Otterlo, M.

    2012-01-01

    Algorithms for evolutionary computation, which simulate the process of natural selection to solve optimization problems, are an effective tool for discovering high-performing reinforcement-learning policies. Because they can automatically find good representations, handle continuous action spaces,

  19. Evolutionary genetics: the Drosophila model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    Evolutionary genetics straddles the two fundamental processes of life, ... of the genus Drosophila have been used extensively as model systems in experimental ... issue will prove interesting, informative and thought-provoking for both estab-.

  20. Evolutionary robotics – A review

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    a need for a technique by which the robot is able to acquire new behaviours automatically .... Evolutionary robotics is a comparatively new field of robotics research, which seems to ..... Technical Report: PCIA-94-04, Institute of Psychology,.

  1. Evolutionary Game Theory: A Renaissance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Newton

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Economic agents are not always rational or farsighted and can make decisions according to simple behavioral rules that vary according to situation and can be studied using the tools of evolutionary game theory. Furthermore, such behavioral rules are themselves subject to evolutionary forces. Paying particular attention to the work of young researchers, this essay surveys the progress made over the last decade towards understanding these phenomena, and discusses open research topics of importance to economics and the broader social sciences.

  2. 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.

  3. Evolutionary origins and early development of number processing

    CERN Document Server

    Geary, David C; Mann Koepke, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Evolutionary origins of C-terminal (GPPn 3-hydroxyproline formation in vertebrate tendon collagen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Hudson

    Full Text Available Approximately half the proline residues in fibrillar collagen are hydroxylated. The predominant form is 4-hydroxyproline, which helps fold and stabilize the triple helix. A minor form, 3-hydroxyproline, still has no clear function. Using peptide mass spectrometry, we recently revealed several previously unknown molecular sites of 3-hydroxyproline in fibrillar collagen chains. In fibril-forming A-clade collagen chains, four new partially occupied 3-hydroxyproline sites were found (A2, A3, A4 and (GPPn in addition to the fully occupied A1 site at Pro986. The C-terminal (GPPn motif has five consecutive GPP triplets in α1(I, four in α2(I and three in α1(II, all subject to 3-hydroxylation. The evolutionary origins of this substrate sequence were investigated by surveying the pattern of its 3-hydroxyproline occupancy from early chordates through amphibians, birds and mammals. Different tissue sources of type I collagen (tendon, bone and skin and type II collagen (cartilage and notochord were examined by mass spectrometry. The (GPPn domain was found to be a major substrate for 3-hydroxylation only in vertebrate fibrillar collagens. In higher vertebrates (mouse, bovine and human, up to five 3-hydroxyproline residues per (GPPn motif were found in α1(I and four in α2(I, with an average of two residues per chain. In vertebrate type I collagen the modification exhibited clear tissue specificity, with 3-hydroxyproline prominent only in tendon. The occupancy also showed developmental changes in Achilles tendon, with increasing 3-hydroxyproline levels with age. The biological significance is unclear but the level of 3-hydroxylation at the (GPPn site appears to have increased as tendons evolved and shows both tendon type and developmental variations within a species.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Developmental Transcriptome for a Facultatively Eusocial Bee, Megalopta genalis

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Beryl M.; Wcislo, William T.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptomes provide excellent foundational resources for mechanistic and evolutionary analyses of complex traits. We present a developmental transcriptome for the facultatively eusocial bee Megalopta genalis, which represents a potential transition point in the evolution of eusociality. A de novo transcriptome assembly of Megalopta genalis was generated using paired-end Illumina sequencing and the Trinity assembler. Males and females of all life stages were aligned to this transcriptome fo...

  7. Genomic Characterization of the Evolutionary Potential of the Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis Facing Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorey, Narimane; Garfield, David A.; Stumpp, Meike; Dupont, Sam; Wray, Gregory A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Ocean acidification (OA) is increasing due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions and poses a threat to marine species and communities worldwide. To better project the effects of acidification on organisms’ health and persistence, an understanding is needed of the 1) mechanisms underlying developmental and physiological tolerance and 2) potential populations have for rapid evolutionary adaptation. This is especially challenging in nonmodel species where targeted assays of metabolism and stress physiology may not be available or economical for large-scale assessments of genetic constraints. We used mRNA sequencing and a quantitative genetics breeding design to study mechanisms underlying genetic variability and tolerance to decreased seawater pH (-0.4 pH units) in larvae of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. We used a gene ontology-based approach to integrate expression profiles into indirect measures of cellular and biochemical traits underlying variation in larval performance (i.e., growth rates). Molecular responses to OA were complex, involving changes to several functions such as growth rates, cell division, metabolism, and immune activities. Surprisingly, the magnitude of pH effects on molecular traits tended to be small relative to variation attributable to segregating functional genetic variation in this species. We discuss how the application of transcriptomics and quantitative genetics approaches across diverse species can enrich our understanding of the biological impacts of climate change. PMID:28082601

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauduer, F

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werren, John H

    2011-06-28

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

  10. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Ontogeny and social dominance: a developmental view of human power patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Patricia H

    2014-04-29

    Developmental science has long evolutionary roots and has historically focused on individual differences. Accordingly, developmental models can inform conversations about phylogeny and personality. The present paper evokes life history theory to describe a theoretical model of competitive behavior that applies to both children and adults (resource control theory: RCT). The model suggests that prosocial and coercive behavior, though different in manifest form, serve similar evolutionary functions. Accordingly, RCT presents a view on social dominance that gives primacy to function over form that contrasts sharply from traditional views. This reformulation gives rise to novel questions (both developmental and non-developmental) and challenges long accepted views on prosociality (e.g., that it is altruistic) and aggression (e.g., that it is maladaptive). Similarly, RCT gives rise to a minority perspective that aligns aggression with social competence.

  13. Ontogeny and Social Dominance: A Developmental View of Human Power Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia H. Hawley

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Developmental science has long evolutionary roots and has historically focused on individual differences. Accordingly, developmental models can inform conversations about phylogeny and personality. The present paper evokes life history theory to describe a theoretical model of competitive behavior that applies to both children and adults (resource control theory: RCT. The model suggests that prosocial and coercive behavior, though different in manifest form, serve similar evolutionary functions. Accordingly, RCT presents a view on social dominance that gives primacy to function over form that contrasts sharply from traditional views. This reformulation gives rise to novel questions (both developmental and non-developmental and challenges long accepted views on prosociality (e.g., that it is altruistic and aggression (e.g., that it is maladaptive. Similarly, RCT gives rise to a minority perspective that aligns aggression with social competence.

  14. Co-Occurrence of Developmental Disorders: The Case of Developmental Dyscalculia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinsten, Orly

    2009-01-01

    Five to seven percent of children experience severe difficulties in learning mathematics and/or reading. Current trials that are focused on identifying biological markers suggest that these learning disabilities, known as Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) and Dyslexia (for reading), are due to underlying brain dysfunctions. One ongoing controversy…

  15. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-04-02

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

  16. Reproductive and developmental toxicology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gupta, Ramesh C

    2011-01-01

    .... With a special focus on placental toxicity, this book is the only available reference to connect the three key risk stages, and is the only resource to include reproductive and developmental toxicity in domestic animals, fish, and wildlife.

  17. Developmental coordination disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Developmental coordination disorder can lead to: Learning problems Low self-esteem resulting from poor ability at sports and teasing by other children Repeated injuries Weight gain as a result of not wanting to participate ...

  18. Facts about Developmental Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... play, learn, speak, behave, and move (for example, crawling and walking). Children develop at their own pace, ... person’s lifetime. Most developmental disabilities begin before a baby is born, but some can happen after birth ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naugler, Christopher T

    2008-09-01

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

  20. The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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