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Sample records for human evolution degenerative

  1. Physiochemical basis of human degenerative disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeliger, Harold I; Lipinski, Boguslaw

    2015-03-01

    The onset of human degenerative diseases in humans, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disease and neurodegenerative disease has been shown to be related to exposures to persistent organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and others, as well as to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, bisphenol-A and other aromatic lipophilic species. The onset of these diseases has also been related to exposures to transition metal ions. A physiochemical mechanism for the onset of degenerative environmental disease dependent upon exposure to a combination of lipophilic aromatic hydrocarbons and transition metal ions is proposed here. The findings reported here also, for the first time, explain why aromatic hydrocarbons exhibit greater toxicity than aliphatic hydrocarbons of equal carbon numbers.

  2. Physiochemical basis of human degenerative disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeliger Harold I.

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The onset of human degenerative diseases in humans, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disease and neurodegenerative disease has been shown to be related to exposures to persistent organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and others, as well as to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, bisphenol-A and other aromatic lipophilic species. The onset of these diseases has also been related to exposures to transition metal ions. A physiochemical mechanism for the onset of degenerative environmental disease dependent upon exposure to a combination of lipophilic aromatic hydrocarbons and transition metal ions is proposed here. The findings reported here also, for the first time, explain why aromatic hydrocarbons exhibit greater toxicity than aliphatic hydrocarbons of equal carbon numbers.

  3. Canine degenerative myelopathy: a model of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardone, Raffaele; Höller, Yvonne; Taylor, Alexandra C; Lochner, Piergiorgio; Tezzon, Frediano; Golaszewski, Stefan; Brigo, Francesco; Trinka, Eugen

    2016-02-01

    Canine degenerative myelopathy (CDM) represents a unique naturally occurring animal model for human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) because of similar clinical signs, neuropathologic findings, and involvement of the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutation. A definitive diagnosis can only be made postmortem through microscopic detection of axonal degeneration, demyelination and astroglial proliferation, which is more severe in the dorsal columns of the thoracic spinal cord and in the dorsal portion of the lateral funiculus. Interestingly, the muscle acetylcholine receptor complexes are intact in CDM prior to functional impairment, thus suggesting that muscle atrophy in CDM does not result from physical denervation. Moreover, since sensory involvement seems to play an important role in CDM progression, a more careful investigation of the sensory pathology in ALS is also warranted. The importance of SOD1 expression remains unclear, while oxidative stress and denatured ubiquinated proteins appear to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of CDM. In this updated narrative review we performed a systematic search of the published studies on CDM that may shed light on the pathophysiological mechanisms of human ALS. A better understanding of the factors that determine the disease progression in CDM may be beneficial for the development of effective treatments for ALS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Human evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Llamas, Bastien; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    The field of human ancient DNA (aDNA) has moved from mitochondrial sequencing that suffered from contamination and provided limited biological insights, to become a fully genomic discipline that is changing our conception of human history. Recent successes include the sequencing of extinct homini...

  5. Has Human Evolution Stopped?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan R. Templeton

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that human evolution has stopped because humans now adapt to their environment via cultural evolution and not biological evolution. However, all organisms adapt to their environment, and humans are no exception. Culture defines much of the human environment, so cultural evolution has actually led to adaptive evolution in humans. Examples are given to illustrate the rapid pace of adaptive evolution in response to cultural innovations. These adaptive responses have important implications for infectious diseases, Mendelian genetic diseases, and systemic diseases in current human populations. Moreover, evolution proceeds by mechanisms other than natural selection. The recent growth in human population size has greatly increased the reservoir of mutational variants in the human gene pool, thereby enhancing the potential for human evolution. The increase in human population size coupled with our increased capacity to move across the globe has induced a rapid and ongoing evolutionary shift in how genetic variation is distributed within and among local human populations. In particular, genetic differences between human populations are rapidly diminishing and individual heterozygosity is increasing, with beneficial health effects. Finally, even when cultural evolution eliminates selection on a trait, the trait can still evolve due to natural selection on other traits. Our traits are not isolated, independent units, but rather are integrated into a functional whole, so selection on one trait can cause evolution to occur on another trait, sometimes with mildly maladaptive consequences.

  6. Kinship and Human Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergendorff, Steen

    This book offers a exiting new explanation of human evolution. Based on insight from Anthropology is shows that human became 'cultured' beings capable of symbolic thought by developing rasting kinship based between groups that could not other wise survive in the harah climate condition during...

  7. In Vitro Examination of Degenerative Evolution of Adrenergic Nerve Endings in Pulmonary Inflamatory Processes in Newborns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilmi Islami

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Morphological aspect of tracheal preparations and pulmonary tissue was studied in vitro. The material was obtained from autopsy of newborns that died from different causes. Examinations were made in different gestational periods (immature 23-29 weeks; premature 30-37 weeks; mature >38 weeks. Material for examination was obtained up to 6 hours after death. Pulmonary and tracheal tissue was incubated for fixation in buffered formalin (10%. Special histochemical and histoenzymatic methods were used for coloring of pulmonary and tracheal tissue and the activity of ATP-ase and dopaoxidase was monitored. Cut out models were made in series of 7μ, 10 μ and 20 μ. In peripheral axons of tracheobronchial pathways, degenerative alterations of adrenergic nerve endings in lung inflammatory processes were documented. These morphologic neuronal changes were described: Walerians degeneration, neuro-axonal degeneration and segment demyelinisation. These changes are well seen with argentafine coloring (Sevier-Munger modification for nerve endings and with dopaoxidase reaction. In mature newborns that died from respiratory distress syndrome, we found different forms of metabolic and toxic degenerative damage in peripheral axons, such as: segment demyelinisation, neurotubular fragmentation, Schwan cell proliferation, fragmentation and bulging out of axonal neurotubules and neurofilaments. In tracheo-bronchial tissue, chromafine granules are homogenously distributed on Lamina propria layer and through glandular structures. This gives as a contradiction, according to some authors, that adrenergic nerve fibers for muscle tissue are absent and that adrenaline and noradrenalin diffuse in muscle tissue from interstice.

  8. Reconstructing human evolution

    CERN Multimedia

    AUTHOR|(CDS)2074069

    1999-01-01

    One can reconstruct human evolution using modern genetic data and models based on the mathematical theory of evolution and its four major factors : mutation, natural selection, statistical fluctuations in finite populations (random genetic drift), and migration. Archaeology gives some help on the major dates and events of the process. Chances of studying ancient DNA are very limited but there have been a few successful results. Studying DNA instead of proteins, as was done until a few years ago, and in particular the DNA of mitochondria and of the Y chromosome which are transmitted, respectively, by the maternal line and the paternal line, has greatly simplified the analysis. It is now possible to carry the analysis on individuals, while earlier studies were of necessity based on populations. Also the evolution of ÒcultureÓ (i.e. what we learn from others), in particular that of languages, gives some help and can be greatly enlightened by genetic studies. Even though it is largely based on mechanisms of mut...

  9. The Changes in the Expression of NF-KB in a Degenerative Human Intervertebral Disc model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhongyi; Yin, Zhanmin; Liu, Chao; Tian, Jiwei

    2015-05-01

    We aim at determining the changes in the expression of NF-kB signaling pathway in degenerative intervertebral discs. We collected normal and degenerated intervertebral discs tissues. The normal and degenerated cells were cultivated and their histopathology and immunofluoresence studies were used to observe the position of NF-kB p65 in the cell. We also treated the nucleus pulposus cells with inflammatory factors and inhibitors. Western blot was used to analyze the expression of different proteins. Real time fluorescence-based quantitative PCR was used for observation of NF-kB regulation of change in gene expression. Immunofluorescence showed that in the non-degenerative group the p65 was found in the cytoplasm of the nucleus pulposus cell while in the degenerated cell group the p65 protein was found in the nucleus of the cell. The expression of p65 increased with increase in the degree of degenerative change of the nucleus pulposus cell. RT-PCR showed that the expression of matrix metalloproteinases, aggrecanases and IL-6 was higher in the degenerative group. The amount of aggrecan and type II collagen was significantly decreased in the degenerative group. IL-1β was able to upregulate the activation of NF-kB and the expression of MMP-13 and ADAMTS-4 was also significantly increased. The effect of these proteins can be inhibited by the NF-kB inhibitor, BAY11-7082. The activation of the NK-kB signaling pathway in a degenerative intervertebral disc is gradually increased, regulating the over-expression of matrix-degrading enzymes. It plays an important role in the degradation of extracellular matrix.

  10. In vitro of quantitative MR imaging of early degenerative changes in human articular cartilage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Ok Wha; Lee, Young Jun; Cha, Sung Suk; Hwa, Ryu Ji

    2004-01-01

    To assess the applicability of quantitative MR microscopy for the detection of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) depletion as an early sign of degeneration in the articular cartilage of humans treated by trypsin. Four cartilage-bone blocks were obtained from the patient who had suffered from osteoarthritis of the knee and underwent a total knee replacement arthroscopy. Each articular cartilage segment was resected as to a round disk shape (8 mm in diameter) with a remnant of subchondral bone 1 mm in thickness. Four different culture solutions were prepared, and these solutions were 0.2 mg/ml of trypsin solution (group 1), 1 mM of Gd (DTPA) 2-mixed trypsin solution (group 2), phosphate buffered saline (PBS) (group 3), and 1 mM of Gd (DTPA) 2-mixed PBS (group 4). The cartilages were cultured and then MR imagings were performed every hour for 5 hrs, and we continued the additional cultures of 24 hrs, 36 hrs and 48 hrs. Three imaging sequences were used: T1-weighted spin echo (TR/TE, 450/22), proton density turbo spin echo with fat suppression (TR/TE, 3000/25), and CPMG (Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill) (TR/TE/TI, 760/21-168, 360). MR imaging data were analyzed with pixel-by-pixel comparisons in all groups. The GAG loss in the articular cartilage was increased proportionately to the culture duration. Mean changes of T1 relaxation time were 1.2% for group 1, -1.9% for group 3, -54.7% for group 2 and -64.2% for group 4 (p< 0.05). When comparing by linear profile on the T1-weighted images, SNR increased and T1 relaxation time decreased for group 2 and 4, as the culture duration increased (p< 0.05). On the correlation analysis, there is significant correlation between GAG loss and Gd (DTPA) 2-enhancement for group 2 (p=0.0431), but there was no significant difference for group 4 (p=0.0918). More enhancement with Gd (DTPA) 2-was noted for group 2 than for group 4. Group 2 showed a diffuse enhancement in all the layers of cartilage, but for group 4, prominent enhancement was noted only in

  11. Climatic Change and Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, John R.

    1995-01-01

    Traces the history of the Earth over four billion years, and shows how climate has had an important role to play in the evolution of humans. Posits that the world's rapidly growing human population and its increasing use of energy is the cause of present-day changes in the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. (Author/JRH)

  12. Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging and studies of degenerative diseases of the developing human brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caviness, V.S. Jr.; Phil, D.; Filipek, P.A.; Kennedy, D.N.

    1992-01-01

    The Rett syndrome is a progressive disorder which is associated with regression of psychomotor development and precipitous deceleration of brain growth during the first year of life. General histopathological surveys in postmortem specimens have identified degeneration of subpopulations of neurons of the nigrostriatal system but no other evidence of degenerative process. Magnetic resonance imaging-based morphometry may usefully guide application of rigorous but demanding quantitative histologic search for evidence of neuronal degeneration. The volumes of the principal set of cortical and nuclear structures of principal interest in the disorder may be measured by currently avaiable MRI-based methods. Opimized levels of precision now allow detection of volumetric changes over time in the same brain of approximately 10% at the 95% confidence level. (author)

  13. Human Amniotic Tissue-derived Allograft, NuCel, in Posteriolateral Lumbar Fusions for Degenerative Disc Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-14

    Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease; Spinal Stenosis; Spondylolisthesis; Spondylosis; Intervertebral Disk Displacement; Intervertebral Disk Degeneration; Spinal Diseases; Bone Diseases; Musculoskeletal Diseases; Spondylolysis

  14. Viral diseases and human evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leal Élcio de Souza

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The interaction of man with viral agents was possibly a key factor shaping human evolution, culture and civilization from its outset. Evidence of the effect of disease, since the early stages of human speciation, through pre-historical times to the present suggest that the types of viruses associated with man changed in time. As human populations progressed technologically, they grew in numbers and density. As a consequence different viruses found suitable conditions to thrive and establish long-lasting associations with man. Although not all viral agents cause disease and some may in fact be considered beneficial, the present situation of overpopulation, poverty and ecological inbalance may have devastating effets on human progress. Recently emerged diseases causing massive pandemics (eg., HIV-1 and HCV, dengue, etc. are becoming formidable challenges, which may have a direct impact on the fate of our species.

  15. Degenerative Nerve Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degenerative nerve diseases affect many of your body's activities, such as balance, movement, talking, breathing, and heart function. Many ... viruses. Sometimes the cause is not known. Degenerative nerve diseases include Alzheimer's disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Friedreich's ...

  16. Can IVF influence human evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanevik, Hans Ivar; Hessen, Dag O; Sunde, Arne; Breivik, Jarle

    2016-07-01

    IVF, a procedure in which pharmacological and technological manipulation is used to promote pregnancy, offers help to infertile couples by circumventing selection at the most fundamental level. Fertility is clearly one of the key fitness-promoting drivers in all forms of sexually reproducing life, and fertilization and pregnancy are fundamental evolutionary processes that involve a range of pre- and post-zygotic screening mechanisms. Here, we discuss the various selection and screening factors involved in fertilization and pregnancy and assess IVF practices in light of these factors. We then focus on the possible consequences of these differences in selection pressures, mainly at the individual but also at the population level, to evaluate whether changes in the reproducing genotype can affect human evolution. The aim of the article is not to argue for or against IVF, but to address aspects of assisted reproduction in an evolutionary context. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Spatial Evolution of Human Dialects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burridge, James

    2017-07-01

    The geographical pattern of human dialects is a result of history. Here, we formulate a simple spatial model of language change which shows that the final result of this historical evolution may, to some extent, be predictable. The model shows that the boundaries of language dialect regions are controlled by a length minimizing effect analogous to surface tension, mediated by variations in population density which can induce curvature, and by the shape of coastline or similar borders. The predictability of dialect regions arises because these effects will drive many complex, randomized early states toward one of a smaller number of stable final configurations. The model is able to reproduce observations and predictions of dialectologists. These include dialect continua, isogloss bundling, fanning, the wavelike spread of dialect features from cities, and the impact of human movement on the number of dialects that an area can support. The model also provides an analytical form for Séguy's curve giving the relationship between geographical and linguistic distance, and a generalization of the curve to account for the presence of a population center. A simple modification allows us to analytically characterize the variation of language use by age in an area undergoing linguistic change.

  18. Canine degenerative myelopathy: biochemical characterization of superoxide dismutase 1 in the first naturally occurring non-human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crisp, Matthew J; Beckett, Jeffrey; Coates, Joan R; Miller, Timothy M

    2013-10-01

    Mutations in canine superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) have recently been shown to cause canine degenerative myelopathy, a disabling neurodegenerative disorder affecting specific breeds of dogs characterized by progressive motor neuron loss and paralysis until death, or more common, euthanasia. This discovery makes canine degenerative myelopathy the first and only naturally occurring non-human model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), closely paralleling the clinical, pathological, and genetic presentation of its human counterpart, SOD1-mediated familial ALS. To further understand the biochemical role that canine SOD1 plays in this disease and how it may be similar to human SOD1, we characterized the only two SOD1 mutations described in affected dogs to date, E40K and T18S. We show that a detergent-insoluble species of mutant SOD1 is present in spinal cords of affected dogs that increases with disease progression. Our in vitro results indicate that both canine SOD1 mutants form enzymatically active dimers, arguing against a loss of function in affected homozygous animals. Further studies show that these mutants, like most human SOD1 mutants, have an increased propensity to form aggregates in cell culture, with 10-20% of cells possessing visible aggregates. Creation of the E40K mutation in human SOD1 recapitulates the normal enzymatic activity but not the aggregation propensity seen with the canine mutant. Our findings lend strong biochemical support to the toxic role of SOD1 in canine degenerative myelopathy and establish close parallels for the role mutant SOD1 plays in both canine and human disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Human failure evolution process and prevention

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Zhenwen

    2006-01-01

    The human failure in the nuclear power plant is analyzed. According to the staff career development and professional qualification 3 stages of the human failure evolution, viz, cognition, logics and emotion are defined. Some human failure prevention measures are brought forward from both the microcosmic and macrocosmic point of view. (author)

  20. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-08-05

    Humans are animals that specialize in thinking and knowing, and our extraordinary cognitive abilities have transformed every aspect of our lives. In contrast to our chimpanzee cousins and Stone Age ancestors, we are complex political, economic, scientific and artistic creatures, living in a vast range of habitats, many of which are our own creation. Research on the evolution of human cognition asks what types of thinking make us such peculiar animals, and how they have been generated by evolutionary processes. New research in this field looks deeper into the evolutionary history of human cognition, and adopts a more multi-disciplinary approach than earlier 'Evolutionary Psychology'. It is informed by comparisons between humans and a range of primate and non-primate species, and integrates findings from anthropology, archaeology, economics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology. Using these methods, recent research reveals profound commonalities, as well striking differences, between human and non-human minds, and suggests that the evolution of human cognition has been much more gradual and incremental than previously assumed. It accords crucial roles to cultural evolution, techno-social co-evolution and gene-culture co-evolution. These have produced domain-general developmental processes with extraordinary power-power that makes human cognition, and human lives, unique.

  1. Distinctively human motivation and another view on human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Prudkov, Pavel N.

    2006-01-01

    Human evolution is a multidisciplinary problem, one of its aspects is the origin and development of distinctively human psychological features. Cognitive properties (language, symbolic thinking) are considered as such features and numerous authors hypothesize its evolution. We suggest that the most important human characteristic is connected with motivation rather than cognition; this is the ability to construct and maintain long-term goal-directed processes having no biological basis. Once...

  2. The impact of 'anthropotechnology’ on human evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blad, S.

    2010-01-01

    From the time that they diverged from their common ancestor, chimpanzees and humans have had a very different evolutionary path. It seems obvious that the appearance of culture and technology has increasingly alienated humans from the path of natural selection that has informed chimpanzee evolution.

  3. On the Evolution of Human Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Philip

    Human linguistic ability depends, in part, on the gradual evolution of man's supralaryngeal vocal tract. The anatomic basis of human speech production is the result of a long evolutionary process in which the Darwinian process of natural selection acted to retain mutations. For auditory perception, the listener operates in terms of the acoustic…

  4. Effects of age, replicative lifespan and growth rate of human nucleus pulposus cells on selecting age range for cell-based biological therapies for degenerative disc diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J S; Lee, S M; Jeong, S W; Sung, Y G; Lee, J H; Kim, K W

    2016-07-01

    Autologous disc cell implantation, growth factors and gene therapy appear to be promising therapies for disc regeneration. Unfortunately, the replicative lifespan and growth kinetics of human nucleus pulposus (NP) cells related to host age are unclear. We investigated the potential relations among age, replicative lifespan and growth rate of NP cells, and determined the age range that is suitable for cell-based biological therapies for degenerative disc diseases. We used NP tissues classified by decade into five age groups: 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. The mean cumulative population doubling level (PDL) and population doubling rate (PDR) of NP cells were assessed by decade. We also investigated correlations between cumulative PDL and age, and between PDR and age. The mean cumulative PDL and PDR decreased significantly in patients in their 60s. The mean cumulative PDL and PDR in the younger groups (30s, 40s and 50s) were significantly higher than those in the older groups (60s and 70s). There also were significant negative correlations between cumulative PDL and age, and between PDR and age. We found that the replicative lifespan and growth rate of human NP cells decreased with age. The replicative potential of NP cells decreased significantly in patients 60 years old and older. Young individuals less than 60 years old may be suitable candidates for NP cell-based biological therapies for treating degenerative disc diseases.

  5. Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development: Evolution and Contributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richman, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Research agrees that a high performance organization (HPO) cannot exist without an elevated value placed on human resource management (HRM) and human resource development (HRD). However, a complementary pairing of HRM and HRD has not always existed. The evolution of HRD from its roots in human knowledge transference to HRM and present day HRD…

  6. Human nature, human culture: the case of cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewens, Tim

    2017-10-06

    In recent years, far from arguing that evolutionary approaches to our own species permit us to describe the fundamental character of human nature, a prominent group of cultural evolutionary theorists has instead argued that the very idea of 'human nature' is one we should reject. It makes no sense, they argue, to speak of human nature in opposition to human culture. The very same sceptical arguments have also led some thinkers-usually from social anthropology-to dismiss the intimately related idea that we can talk of human culture in opposition to human nature. How, then, are we supposed to understand the cultural evolutionary project itself, whose proponents seem to deny the distinction between human nature and human culture, while simultaneously relying on a closely allied distinction between 'genetic' (or sometimes 'organic') evolution and 'cultural' evolution? This paper defends the cultural evolutionary project against the charge that, in refusing to endorse the concept of human nature, it has inadvertently sabotaged itself.

  7. Language evolution and human-computer interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grudin, Jonathan; Norman, Donald A.

    1991-01-01

    Many of the issues that confront designers of interactive computer systems also appear in natural language evolution. Natural languages and human-computer interfaces share as their primary mission the support of extended 'dialogues' between responsive entities. Because in each case one participant is a human being, some of the pressures operating on natural languages, causing them to evolve in order to better support such dialogue, also operate on human-computer 'languages' or interfaces. This does not necessarily push interfaces in the direction of natural language - since one entity in this dialogue is not a human, this is not to be expected. Nonetheless, by discerning where the pressures that guide natural language evolution also appear in human-computer interaction, we can contribute to the design of computer systems and obtain a new perspective on natural languages.

  8. Evolution, lineages and human language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cowley, Stephen; Markos, Anton

    2018-01-01

    and the distributed view of life/language/cognition. The semiosphere evolved, we suggest, as systems found novel ways of tapping into the bio-ecology’s energetics. Accordingly, there are striking parallels between how regulatory genes influence body structures and how, in humans, community histories re-echo during...

  9. Humanities I: Man and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton School District, Wilmington, DE.

    As a result of the evaluation that many English and social studies courses inadequately prepare students for today's world, a humanities program was designed to deal with real social, ethical, and educational problems while retaining the essential skills and ideas of the traditional subjects. This syllabus, the first of three sequential humanities…

  10. Palaeoproteomics for human evolution studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welker, Frido

    2018-06-01

    The commonplace sequencing of Neanderthal, Denisovan and ancient modern human DNA continues to revolutionize our understanding of hominin phylogeny and interaction(s). The challenge with older fossils is that the progressive fragmentation of DNA even under optimal conditions, a function of time and temperature, results in ever shorter fragments of DNA. This process continues until no DNA can be sequenced or reliably aligned. Ancient proteins ultimately suffer a similar fate, but are a potential alternative source of biomolecular sequence data to investigate hominin phylogeny given their slower rate of fragmentation. In addition, ancient proteins have been proposed to potentially provide insights into in vivo biological processes and can be used to provide additional ecological information through large scale ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) screening of unidentifiable bone fragments. However, as initially with ancient DNA, most ancient protein research has focused on Late Pleistocene or Holocene samples from Europe. In addition, only a limited number of studies on hominin remains have been published. Here, an updated review on ancient protein analysis in human evolutionary contexts is given, including the identification of specific knowledge gaps and existing analytical limits, as well as potential avenues to overcome these.

  11. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    Humans are animals that specialize in thinking and knowing, and our extraordinary cognitive abilities have transformed every aspect of our lives. In contrast to our chimpanzee cousins and Stone Age ancestors, we are complex political, economic, scientific and artistic creatures, living in a vast range of habitats, many of which are our own creation. Research on the evolution of human cognition asks what types of thinking make us such peculiar animals, and how they have been generated by evolu...

  12. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

    The biological evolution, including human evolution is mainly driven by environmental changes. Accidental genetic modifications and their innovative results make the successful adaptation possible. As we know the human evolution started 7-8 million years ago in the African savannah, where upright position and bipedalism were significantly advantageous. The main drive of improving manual actions and tool making could be to obtain more food. Our ancestor got more meat due to more successful hunting, resulting in more caloric intake, more protein and essential fatty acid in the meal. The nervous system uses disproportionally high level of energy, so better quality of food was a basic condition for the evolution of huge human brain. The size of human brain was tripled during 3.5 million years, it increased from the average of 450 cm3 of Australopithecinae to the average of 1350 cm3 of Homo sapiens. A genetic change in the system controlling gene expression could happen about 200 000 years ago, which influenced the development of nervous system, the sensorimotor function and learning ability for motor processes. The appearance and stabilisation of FOXP2 gene structure as feature of modern man coincided with the first presence and quick spread of Homo sapiens on the whole Earth. This genetic modification made opportunity for human language, as the basis of abrupt evolution of human intelligence. The brain region being responsible for human language is the left planum temporale, which is much larger in left hemisphere. This shows the most typical human brain asymmetry. In this case the anatomical asymmetry means a clearly defined functional asymmetry as well, where the brain hemispheres act differently. The preference in using hands, the lateralised using of tools resulted in the brain asymmetry, which is the precondition of human language and intelligence. However, it cannot be held anymore, that only humans make tools, because our closest relatives, the chimpanzees are

  13. Environment and Climate of Early Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Naomi E.

    2015-05-01

    Evaluating the relationships between climate, the environment, and human traits is a key part of human origins research because changes in Earth's atmosphere, oceans, landscapes, and ecosystems over the past 10 Myr shaped the selection pressures experienced by early humans. In Africa, these relationships have been influenced by a combination of high-latitude ice distributions, sea surface temperatures, and low-latitude orbital forcing that resulted in large oscillations in vegetation and moisture availability that were modulated by local basin dynamics. The importance of both climate and tectonics in shaping African landscapes means that integrated views of the ecological, environmental, and tectonic histories of a region are necessary in order to understand the relationships between climate and human evolution.

  14. Degenerative-dystrophic diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinner, M.G.

    1983-01-01

    Differential diagnosis of degenerative-dystrophic diseases of lungs, such a s acquired emphysema and progressing dystrophy of lungs, has been elucidated. I t is shown, that roentgenofunctional tests are of a great diagnostic value. Roe ntgenologic and bronchographic rictures of different forms of emphysema and dystrophy of lungs are described

  15. Tempo and mode in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHenry, H M

    1994-01-01

    The quickening pace of paleontological discovery is matched by rapid developments in geochronology. These new data show that the pattern of morphological change in the hominid lineage was mosaic. Adaptations essential to bipedalism appeared early, but some locomotor features changed much later. Relative to the highly derived postcrania of the earliest hominids, the craniodental complex was quite primitive (i.e., like the reconstructed last common ancestor with the African great apes). The pattern of craniodental change among successively younger species of Hominidae implies extensive parallel evolution between at least two lineages in features related to mastication. Relative brain size increased slightly among successively younger species of Australopithecus, expanded significantly with the appearance of Homo, but within early Homo remained at about half the size of Homo sapiens for almost a million years. Many apparent trends in human evolution may actually be due to the accumulation of relatively rapid shifts in successive species. PMID:8041697

  16. Epistatic adaptive evolution of human color vision.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shozo Yokoyama

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Establishing genotype-phenotype relationship is the key to understand the molecular mechanism of phenotypic adaptation. This initial step may be untangled by analyzing appropriate ancestral molecules, but it is a daunting task to recapitulate the evolution of non-additive (epistatic interactions of amino acids and function of a protein separately. To adapt to the ultraviolet (UV-free retinal environment, the short wavelength-sensitive (SWS1 visual pigment in human (human S1 switched from detecting UV to absorbing blue light during the last 90 million years. Mutagenesis experiments of the UV-sensitive pigment in the Boreoeutherian ancestor show that the blue-sensitivity was achieved by seven mutations. The experimental and quantum chemical analyses show that 4,008 of all 5,040 possible evolutionary trajectories are terminated prematurely by containing a dehydrated nonfunctional pigment. Phylogenetic analysis further suggests that human ancestors achieved the blue-sensitivity gradually and almost exclusively by epistasis. When the final stage of spectral tuning of human S1 was underway 45-30 million years ago, the middle and long wavelength-sensitive (MWS/LWS pigments appeared and so-called trichromatic color vision was established by interprotein epistasis. The adaptive evolution of human S1 differs dramatically from orthologous pigments with a major mutational effect used in achieving blue-sensitivity in a fish and several mammalian species and in regaining UV vision in birds. These observations imply that the mechanisms of epistatic interactions must be understood by studying various orthologues in different species that have adapted to various ecological and physiological environments.

  17. The Human Tripeptide GHK-Cu in Prevention of Oxidative Stress and Degenerative Conditions of Aging: Implications for Cognitive Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loren Pickart

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress, disrupted copper homeostasis, and neuroinflammation due to overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines are considered leading causative factors in development of age-associated neurodegenerative conditions. Recently, a new mechanism of aging—detrimental epigenetic modifications—has emerged. Thus, compounds that possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity as well as compounds capable of restoring copper balance and proper gene functioning may be able to prevent age-associated cognitive decline and ward off many common neurodegenerative conditions. The aim of this paper is to bring attention to a compound with a long history of safe use in wound healing and antiaging skin care. The human tripeptide GHK was discovered in 1973 as an activity in human albumin that caused old human liver tissue to synthesize proteins like younger tissue. It has high affinity for copper ions and easily forms a copper complex or GHK-Cu. In addition, GHK possesses a plethora of other regenerative and protective actions including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties. Recent studies revealed its ability to up- and downregulate a large number of human genes including those that are critical for neuronal development and maintenance. We propose GHK tripeptide as a possible therapeutic agent against age-associated neurodegeneration and cognitive decline.

  18. The evolution of human artistic creativity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morriss-Kay, Gillian M

    2010-01-01

    Creating visual art is one of the defining characteristics of the human species, but the paucity of archaeological evidence means that we have limited information on the origin and evolution of this aspect of human culture. The components of art include colour, pattern and the reproduction of visual likeness. The 2D and 3D art forms that were created by Upper Palaeolithic Europeans at least 30 000 years ago are conceptually equivalent to those created in recent centuries, indicating that human cognition and symbolling activity, as well as anatomy, were fully modern by that time. The origins of art are therefore much more ancient and lie within Africa, before worldwide human dispersal. The earliest known evidence of ‘artistic behaviour’ is of human body decoration, including skin colouring with ochre and the use of beads, although both may have had functional origins. Zig-zag and criss-cross patterns, nested curves and parallel lines are the earliest known patterns to have been created separately from the body; their similarity to entopic phenomena (involuntary products of the visual system) suggests a physiological origin. 3D art may have begun with human likeness recognition in natural objects, which were modified to enhance that likeness; some 2D art has also clearly been influenced by suggestive features of an uneven surface. The creation of images from the imagination, or ‘the mind’s eye’, required a seminal evolutionary change in the neural structures underpinning perception; this change would have had a survival advantage in both tool-making and hunting. Analysis of early tool-making techniques suggests that creating 3D objects (sculptures and reliefs) involves their cognitive deconstruction into a series of surfaces, a principle that could have been applied to early sculpture. The cognitive ability to create art separate from the body must have originated in Africa but the practice may have begun at different times in genetically and culturally

  19. Neuron-Based Heredity and Human Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Marshall Gash

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:Abstract: It is widely recognized that human evolution has been driven by two systems of heredity: one DNA-based and the other based on the transmission of behaviorally acquired information via nervous system functions. The genetic system is ancient, going back to the appearance of life on Earth. It is responsible for the evolutionary processes described by Darwin. By comparison, the nervous system is relatively newly minted and in its highest form, responsible for ideation and mind-to-mind transmission of information. Here the informational capabilities and functions of the two systems are compared. While employing quite different mechanisms for encoding, storing and transmission of information, both systems perform these generic hereditary functions. Three additional features of neuron-based heredity in humans are identified: the ability to transfer hereditary information to other members of their population, not just progeny; a selection process for the information being transferred; and a profoundly shorter time span for creation and dissemination of survival-enhancing information in a population. The mechanisms underlying neuron-based heredity involve hippocampal neurogenesis and memory and learning processes modifying and creating new neural assemblages changing brain structure and functions. A fundamental process in rewiring brain circuitry is through increased neural activity (use strengthening and increasing the number of synaptic connections. Decreased activity in circuitry (disuse leads to loss of synapses. Use and disuse modifying an organ to bring about new modes of living, habits and functions are processes are in line with Neolamarckian concepts of evolution (Packard, 1901. Evidence is presented of bipartite evolutionary processes – Darwinian and Neolamarckian – driving human descent from a common ancestor shared with the great apes.

  20. Rooting human parechovirus evolution in time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benschop Kimberley

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Picornaviridae family contains a number of important pathogenic viruses, among which the recently reclassified human parechoviruses (HPeVs. These viruses are widespread and can be grouped in several types. Understanding the evolutionary history of HPeV could answer questions such as how long the circulating lineages last shared a common ancestor and how the evolution of this viral species is shaped by its population dynamics. Using both strict and relaxed clock Bayesian phylogenetics we investigated 1 the substitutions rates of the structural P1 and capsid VP1 regions and 2 evolutionary timescale of currently circulating HPeV lineages. Results Our estimates reveal that human parechoviruses exhibit high substitution rates for both structural P1 and capsid VP1 regions, respectively 2.21 × 10-3 (0.48 – 4.21 × 10-3 and 2.79 × 10-3 (2.05 – 3.66 × 10-3 substitutions per site per year. These are within the range estimated for other picornaviruses. By employing a constant population size coalescent prior, the date of the most recent common ancestor was estimated to be at around 1600 (1427–1733. In addition, by looking at the frequency of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions within the VP1 gene we show that purifying selection constitutes the dominating evolutionary force leading to strong amino acid conservation. Conclusion In conclusion, our estimates provide a timescale for the evolution of HPeVs and suggest that genetic diversity of current circulating HPeV types has arisen about 400 years ago.

  1. Peripheral degenerative joint diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nilzio Antonio da Silva

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most commonrheumatic disorder mainly in a geriatric population. Manifestationsare pain, stiffness and functional loss in the affected joint.According to etiology it is classifi ed as primary (or idiopathicand secondary. Some risk factors for disease development aregenetics, race, age, sex, obesity, occupational activities andarticular biomechanics. Pathogenesis is the same for any cause orlocalization, being catabolic alterations, with synthesis, inhibitionand reparing intent of the cartilage matrix. Metalloproteinases andcytokines (IL-1,IL-6,TNF-α actions promote infl ammatory reactionand cartilage degradation. Pain, the most important symptom,does not correlate with radiologic fi ndings. Peripheral osteoarthritisoccurs predominantly in the knee, hip and hand. Diagnosis is basedon clinical features, laboratorial tests and radiological changes.Rheumatological associations’ guidelines for treatment includenon-pharmacologic (education, physiotherapy, assistive devices,and pharmacologic (analgesics, anti-infl ammatory drugs therapyand surgery. Arthroplasty seems to work better than medicines, butshould be used if other treatments have failed.

  2. Human evolution: humanistic selection and looking to the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krsiak, Miloslav

    2006-10-01

    Cultural evolution has predominated over biological evolution in modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens). Cultural evolution differs from biological evolution not only by inheritance of acquired characteristics but also, as is proposed in the present essay, by another kind of selection mechanism. Whereas selection in biological evolution is executed according to a criterion of reproductive success (the natural selection), selection in cultural evolution appears to be carried out according to human and humanistic criteria (success or fitness in meeting human needs, interests and humanistic values--"humanistic selection"). Many humanistic needs or values do not seem to be prerequisite for reproductive success, yet some of them (e.g. a need for freedom) seem to be inborn. Innateness, humanistic selection (decisive at a community level) and hierarchy of some human needs, interests and values appear to give cultural evolution a generally upward trend although long periods of stagnation or even regression may occur. Modern humans appear to be still at the early stage of their cultural evolution. A further cultural evolution of man appears to be, in contrast to biological evolution, predictable (with an optimistic outlook) and testable. The problem is that the hopeful result of this test will probably be known only in the fairly remote future provided that this species will not become extinct before that.

  3. On The Evolution of Human Jaws and Teeth: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serhat Yalcin

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The jaws and teeth of Homo sapiens have evolved, from the last common ancestor of chimpanzee and men to their current form. Many factors such as the foods eaten and the processing of foods by fire and tools have effected this evolution course. The evolution of the masticatory complex is related to other anatomical features such as brain size and bipedal posture, and leads to important proceedings like the formation of speech and language. In this review, the evolution of human jaws and teeth and its impact on the general course of human evolution is discussed.

  4. Cell-Based Therapies Used to Treat Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease: A Systematic Review of Animal Studies and Human Clinical Trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Oehme

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Low back pain and degenerative disc disease are a significant cause of pain and disability worldwide. Advances in regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies, particularly the transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells and intervertebral disc chondrocytes, have led to the publication of numerous studies and clinical trials utilising these biological therapies to treat degenerative spinal conditions, often reporting favourable outcomes. Stem cell mediated disc regeneration may bridge the gap between the two current alternatives for patients with low back pain, often inadequate pain management at one end and invasive surgery at the other. Through cartilage formation and disc regeneration or via modification of pain pathways stem cells are well suited to enhance spinal surgery practice. This paper will systematically review the current status of basic science studies, preclinical and clinical trials utilising cell-based therapies to repair the degenerate intervertebral disc. The mechanism of action of transplanted cells, as well as the limitations of published studies, will be discussed.

  5. Degenerative disorders of the spine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallucci, Massimo; Puglielli, Edoardo; Splendiani, Alessandra [University of L' Aquila, Department of Radiology, L' Aquila (Italy); Pistoia, Francesca; Spacca, Giorgio [S. Salvatore Hospital, Department of Neuroscience, L' Aquila (Italy)

    2005-03-01

    Patients with back pain and degenerative disorders of the spine have a significant impact on health care costs. Some authors estimate that up to 80% of all adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Disk herniation represents one of the most frequent causes. Nevertheless, other degenerative diseases have to be considered. In this paper, pathology and imaging of degenerative spine diseases will be discussed, starting from pathophysiology of normal age-related changes of the intervertebral disk and vertebral body. (orig.)

  6. Degenerative changes of the skeleton

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoeffken, H.

    1994-01-01

    Primary or secondary degeneration of the articular cartilage induces subchondral bone remodelling, which can be recognized in the bone scan by an enhanced radionuclide uptake. It cannot be distinguished from radionuclide uptake caused by other bone affections. Thus the scintigraphic diagnosis of degenerative bone disease bases essentially on the consideration of its sites of predilection. Degenerative bone changes can be differentiated from inflamation or osteonecrosis by three-phase bone scans. As SPECT provides imaging without superposition, this technique should be preferably used in the detection of degenerative changes of the vertebral column. (orig.) [de

  7. Degenerative disorders of the spine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallucci, Massimo; Puglielli, Edoardo; Splendiani, Alessandra; Pistoia, Francesca; Spacca, Giorgio

    2005-01-01

    Patients with back pain and degenerative disorders of the spine have a significant impact on health care costs. Some authors estimate that up to 80% of all adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Disk herniation represents one of the most frequent causes. Nevertheless, other degenerative diseases have to be considered. In this paper, pathology and imaging of degenerative spine diseases will be discussed, starting from pathophysiology of normal age-related changes of the intervertebral disk and vertebral body. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-04

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

  9. New dates reignite human evolution debate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nolch, G.

    2000-01-01

    Australian research into the Asian fossil record is unearthing controversial evidence with implications for the evolution of humans. Dr Jian-xin Zhao and Prof Ken Collerson from the University of Queensland's Department of Earth Sciences have been studying the fossil record in East Asia for clues to the early migration of hominids out of Africa in collaboration with Chinese archaeologists Dr Kai Hu of Nanjing University and Hankui Xu of Nanjing Institute of Palaeontology, Academia Sinica. Together they have been studying the remains of Nanjing Man, the name given to two Homo erectus skulls and the tooth of a third individual discovered in Tangshan Cave 250 km north-west of Shanghai. Dr Zhao and Prof Collerson have now employed more accurate dating techniques and materials, using a mass spectrometer to analyse the amounts of thorium-230 and uranium-234 in a calcite flowstone above the Nanjing Man fossil bed. Unlike fossil teeth, uranium and thorium became locked into the flowstone's crystal lattice when the calcite became crystallised. Because of this, the U-series decay in the calcite reliably records when the calcite crystallised. Taking into account the half-lives of uranium-234 and thorium-230, Dr Zhao and Prof Collerson determined the age of the calcite flowstone to be 577,000 years old (+44,000/-34,000 years). As the flowstone overlies the fossil bed, this date only defines the minimum age of the Nanjing Man fossil bed. For comparison, the dentine and enamel components of one fossil deer tooth collected from the Nanjing Man fossil bed yielded discordant mass spectrometric U-series ages of 388,000 and 130,100 years, respectively. Dr Zhao says that this 'strongly demonstrates the unreliability of fossil teeth as a chronometer'. Other evidence in the sediments surrounding the fossils has been the presence of flora and fauna that are typical of a glacial period. Dr Zhao therefore believes that the skulls could have been deposited during a glacial period

  10. Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis in dogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suwankong, N.

    2007-01-01

    Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLS) is now recognized as a significant cause of caudal lumbar pain and pelvic limb lameness in dogs. The condition includes lumbosacral intervertebral disc degeneration and protrusion, spondylosis deformans, sclerosis of the vertebral end plates, osteoarthrosis of

  11. Rotary deformity in degenerative spondylolisthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Sung Gwon; Kim, Jeong; Kho, Hyen Sim; Yun, Sung Su; Oh, Jae Hee; Byen, Ju Nam; Kim, Young Chul

    1994-01-01

    We studied to determine whether the degenerative spondylolisthesis has rotary deformity in addition to forward displacement. We have made analysis of difference of rotary deformity between the 31 study groups of symptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis and 31 control groups without any symptom, statistically. We also reviewed CT findings in 15 study groups. The mean rotary deformity in study groups was 6.1 degree(the standard deviation is 5.20), and the mean rotary deformity in control groups was 2.52 degree(the standard deviation is 2.16)(p < 0.01). The rotary deformity can be accompanied with degenerative spondylolisthesis. We may consider the rotary deformity as a cause of symptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis in case that any other cause is not detected

  12. Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Gotanda, Kiyoko M; Svensson, Erik I

    2017-01-19

    Humans have dramatic, diverse and far-reaching influences on the evolution of other organisms. Numerous examples of this human-induced contemporary evolution have been reported in a number of 'contexts', including hunting, harvesting, fishing, agriculture, medicine, climate change, pollution, eutrophication, urbanization, habitat fragmentation, biological invasions and emerging/disappearing diseases. Although numerous papers, journal special issues and books have addressed each of these contexts individually, the time has come to consider them together and thereby seek important similarities and differences. The goal of this special issue, and this introductory paper, is to promote and expand this nascent integration. We first develop predictions as to which human contexts might cause the strongest and most consistent directional selection, the greatest changes in evolutionary potential, the greatest genetic (as opposed to plastic) changes and the greatest effects on evolutionary diversification We then develop predictions as to the contexts where human-induced evolutionary changes might have the strongest effects on the population dynamics of the focal evolving species, the structure of their communities, the functions of their ecosystems and the benefits and costs for human societies. These qualitative predictions are intended as a rallying point for broader and more detailed future discussions of how human influences shape evolution, and how that evolution then influences species traits, biodiversity, ecosystems and humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Evolution of human-driven fire regimes in Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, S

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available stream_source_info Archibald_2012.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 6587 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name Archibald_2012.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 The evolution of human...-tropical countries. re j human evolution j Africa j savanna j human ignition F ire has been a part of the earth system for billions of years(?) but recently - within the last million years at most - humans have provided a new and di erent source of ignition...

  14. Brain Evolution and Human Neuropsychology: The Inferential Brain Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. PMID:22459075

  15. Mitochondrial dysfunction in the neuro-degenerative and cardio-degenerative disease, Friedreich's ataxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Shannon; Kalinowski, Danuta S; Jansson, Patric J; Richardson, Des R; Huang, Michael L-H

    2017-08-04

    Mitochondrial homeostasis is essential for maintaining healthy cellular function and survival. The detrimental involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in neuro-degenerative diseases has recently been highlighted in human conditions, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. Friedreich's ataxia (FA) is another neuro-degenerative, but also cardio-degenerative condition, where mitochondrial dysfunction plays a crucial role in disease progression. Deficient expression of the mitochondrial protein, frataxin, is the primary cause of FA, which leads to adverse alterations in whole cell and mitochondrial iron metabolism. Dys-regulation of iron metabolism in these compartments, results in the accumulation of inorganic iron deposits in the mitochondrial matrix that is thought to potentiate oxidative damage observed in FA. Therefore, the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis is crucial in the progression of neuro-degenerative conditions, particularly in FA. In this review, vital mitochondrial homeostatic processes and their roles in FA pathogenesis will be discussed. These include mitochondrial iron processing, mitochondrial dynamics (fusion and fission processes), mitophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial energy production and calcium metabolism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Sibling rivalry among paralogs promotes evolution of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler-Smith, Chris; Xue, Yali

    2012-05-11

    Geneticists have long sought to identify the genetic changes that made us human, but pinpointing the functionally relevant changes has been challenging. Two papers in this issue suggest that partial duplication of SRGAP2, producing an incomplete protein that antagonizes the original, contributed to human brain evolution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Evolution of the Concept of "Human Capital" in Economic Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perepelkin, Vyacheslav A.; Perepelkina, Elena V.; Morozova, Elena S.

    2016-01-01

    The relevance of the researched problem is determined by transformation of the human capital into the key economic resource of development of the postindustrial society. The purpose of the article is to disclose the content of evolution of the human capital as a scientific concept and phenomenon of the economic life. The leading approach to the…

  18. Within-Host Evolution of Human Influenza Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Katherine S; Moncla, Louise H; Bedford, Trevor; Bloom, Jesse D

    2018-03-10

    The rapid global evolution of influenza virus begins with mutations that arise de novo in individual infections, but little is known about how evolution occurs within hosts. We review recent progress in understanding how and why influenza viruses evolve within human hosts. Advances in deep sequencing make it possible to measure within-host genetic diversity in both acute and chronic influenza infections. Factors like antigenic selection, antiviral treatment, tissue specificity, spatial structure, and multiplicity of infection may affect how influenza viruses evolve within human hosts. Studies of within-host evolution can contribute to our understanding of the evolutionary and epidemiological factors that shape influenza virus's global evolution. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Degenerative disease of the spine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Czervionke, L.F.; Daniels, D.L.

    1991-01-01

    With few exceptions, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is becoming the modality of choice for the evaluation of degenerative disorders of the entire spine. With the implementation of surface coils and continued refinement and development of new pulse sequences, osseous and soft tissue structures of the spine can now be studied in great detail. The introduction of paramagnetic contrast agents has made it possible to differentiate epidural scar from recurrent disc herniation in the postoperative setting and to discern previously undetected degenerative changes within the intervertebral disc itself. This paper discusses the spectrum of degenerative diseases of the spine, including disc degeneration (intervertebral osteochondrosis), disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spondylosis deformans, and osteoarthritis. A brief description of the MR techniques and strategies used to evaluate these disorders is also

  20. Degenerative changes of the skeleton

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoeffken, H.

    1997-01-01

    Degeneration of the articular cartilage induces subchondral bone remodelling, which can be recognized in the bone scan by an enhanced radionuclide uptake. It cannot be distinguished from radionuclide uptake caused by other bony lesions. Thus the scintigraphic diagnosis of degenerative bone disease bases essentially on the consideration of its sites of predilection and on the exclusion of inflammation by three-phase bone scans. Due to the higher spatial resolution compared to planar imaging, SPECT is preferably used in the detection of degenerative changes of the vertebral column. As radionuclide uptake is enhanced already in the early stage of degenerative changes and only in sites of active disease but not in old, healed lesions, SPECT-imaging can make a contribution to the differential diagnosis of back pain. (orig.) [de

  1. Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorlund, J B; Juhl, C B; Roos, E M

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To determine benefits and harms of arthroscopic knee surgery involving partial meniscectomy, debridement, or both for middle aged or older patients with knee pain and degenerative knee disease. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pain and physical function....... RESULTS: The search identified nine trials assessing the benefits of knee arthroscopic surgery in middle aged and older patients with knee pain and degenerative knee disease. The main analysis, combining the primary endpoints of the individual trials from three to 24 months postoperatively, showed a small...... included symptomatic deep venous thrombosis (4.13 (95% confidence interval 1.78 to 9.60) events per 1000 procedures), pulmonary embolism, infection, and death. CONCLUSIONS: The small inconsequential benefit seen from interventions that include arthroscopy for the degenerative knee is limited in time...

  2. Dental Calculus and the Evolution of the Human Oral Microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warinner, Christina

    2016-07-01

    Characterizing the evolution of the oral microbiome is a challenging, but increasingly feasible, task. Recently, dental calculus has been shown to preserve ancient biomolecules from the oral microbiota, host tissues and diet for tens of thousands of years. As such, it provides a unique window into the ancestral oral microbiome. This article reviews recent advancements in ancient dental calculus research and emerging insights into the evolution and ecology of the human oral microbiome.

  3. Skulls and Human Evolution: The Use of Casts of Anthropoid Skulls in Teaching Concepts of Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gipps, John

    1991-01-01

    Proposes the use of a series of 11 casts of fossil skulls as a method of teaching about the theory of human evolution. Students explore the questions of which skulls are "human" and which came first in Homo Sapien development, large brain or upright stance. (MDH)

  4. Early human communication helps in understanding language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenti Boero, Daniela

    2014-12-01

    Building a theory on extant species, as Ackermann et al. do, is a useful contribution to the field of language evolution. Here, I add another living model that might be of interest: human language ontogeny in the first year of life. A better knowledge of this phase might help in understanding two more topics among the "several building blocks of a comprehensive theory of the evolution of spoken language" indicated in their conclusion by Ackermann et al., that is, the foundation of the co-evolution of linguistic motor skills with the auditory skills underlying speech perception, and the possible phylogenetic interactions of protospeech production with referential capabilities.

  5. Rooting human parechovirus evolution in time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faria, Nuno R.; de Vries, Michel; van Hemert, Formijn J.; Benschop, Kimberley; van der Hoek, Lia

    2009-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Picornaviridae family contains a number of important pathogenic viruses, among which the recently reclassified human parechoviruses (HPeVs). These viruses are widespread and can be grouped in several types. Understanding the evolutionary history of HPeV could answer

  6. The evolution of religious belief in humans

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Religion has been a widely present feature of human beings. This review explores developments in the evolutionary cognitive psychology of religion and provides critical evaluation of the different theoretical positions. Generally scholars have either believed religion is adaptive, a by-product of adaptive psychological ...

  7. The evolution of modern human brain shape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, Simon; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Gunz, Philipp

    2018-01-01

    Modern humans have large and globular brains that distinguish them from their extinct Homo relatives. The characteristic globularity develops during a prenatal and early postnatal period of rapid brain growth critical for neural wiring and cognitive development. However, it remains unknown when and how brain globularity evolved and how it relates to evolutionary brain size increase. On the basis of computed tomographic scans and geometric morphometric analyses, we analyzed endocranial casts of Homo sapiens fossils ( N = 20) from different time periods. Our data show that, 300,000 years ago, brain size in early H. sapiens already fell within the range of present-day humans. Brain shape, however, evolved gradually within the H. sapiens lineage, reaching present-day human variation between about 100,000 and 35,000 years ago. This process started only after other key features of craniofacial morphology appeared modern and paralleled the emergence of behavioral modernity as seen from the archeological record. Our findings are consistent with important genetic changes affecting early brain development within the H. sapiens lineage since the origin of the species and before the transition to the Later Stone Age and the Upper Paleolithic that mark full behavioral modernity.

  8. The evolution of modern human brain shape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, Simon; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Gunz, Philipp

    2018-01-01

    Modern humans have large and globular brains that distinguish them from their extinct Homo relatives. The characteristic globularity develops during a prenatal and early postnatal period of rapid brain growth critical for neural wiring and cognitive development. However, it remains unknown when and how brain globularity evolved and how it relates to evolutionary brain size increase. On the basis of computed tomographic scans and geometric morphometric analyses, we analyzed endocranial casts of Homo sapiens fossils (N = 20) from different time periods. Our data show that, 300,000 years ago, brain size in early H. sapiens already fell within the range of present-day humans. Brain shape, however, evolved gradually within the H. sapiens lineage, reaching present-day human variation between about 100,000 and 35,000 years ago. This process started only after other key features of craniofacial morphology appeared modern and paralleled the emergence of behavioral modernity as seen from the archeological record. Our findings are consistent with important genetic changes affecting early brain development within the H. sapiens lineage since the origin of the species and before the transition to the Later Stone Age and the Upper Paleolithic that mark full behavioral modernity. PMID:29376123

  9. [Origin and evolution of human immunodeficiency viruses].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marian, Constantin V

    2009-01-01

    After the diagnosis of the AIDS symptoms, in 1981, and after the discovery of the virus that causes AIDS, in 1983, the virologists have formulated different theories about its origin. Some of them involved natural causes, e.g., HIV origin from SIV strains. Other theories go further to the possibility of a deadly man-made virus escaped from laboratories or voluntary spread by some conspirative organisations. At this moment, the scientists limits themselves to search proofs to sustain the zoonotic origin of HIV from SIV and its accomodation to human body conditions.

  10. Prevalence and evolution of human parvoviruses

    OpenAIRE

    Norja, Päivi

    2012-01-01

    Parvoviruses are minute single-stranded DNA viruses that infect a wide range of mammalians and invertebrates. Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) was discovered in the 1970s and was soon found to cause several diseases, including erythema infectiosum, arthropathy, anemias, fetal hydrops, and fetal death. The B19V titer in blood is high during acute infection. After primary infection, B19V has been shown to persist in tissues of symptomatic and asymptomatic persons. Prior to the commencement of this w...

  11. Human altruism, evolution and moral philosophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    This paper has two central aims. The first is to explore philosophical complications that arise when we move from (i) explaining the evolutionary origins of genetically influenced traits associated with human cooperation and altruism, to (ii) explaining present manifestations of human thought, feeling and behaviour involving cooperation and altruism. While the former need only appeal to causal factors accessible to scientific inquiry, the latter must engage also with a distinctive form of explanation, i.e. reason-giving explanation, which in turn raises important philosophical questions, the answers to which will affect the nature of the ultimate explanations of our moral beliefs and related actions. On one possibility I will explore, this explanatory project cannot avoid engaging with first-order ethical theory. The second aim is to apply lessons from these explanatory complications to the critique of ‘evolutionary debunking arguments’, which seek to debunk morality, or at least objective construals of it (i.e. moral realism), by appeal to allegedly scientific debunking explanations of our moral beliefs that would defeat our justification for them. The explanatory complications brought out in the first half raise difficulties for such debunking arguments. If we avoid begging central philosophical questions then such debunking arguments pose little threat of saddling us with moral scepticism or subjectivism, though they do pose an important challenge for those developing a moral realist view. PMID:28878990

  12. The Importance of Dietary Carbohydrate in Human Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hardy, K.; Brand-Miller, J.; Brown, K. D.; Thomas, M. G.; Copeland, L.

    2015-01-01

    We propose that plant foods containing high quantities of starch were essential for the evolution of the human phenotype during the Pleistocene. Although previous studies have highlighted a stone tool-mediated shift from primarily plant-based to primarily meat-based diets as critical in the development of the brain and other human traits, we argue that digestible carbohydrates were also necessary to accommodate the increased metabolic demands of a growing brain. Furthermore, we acknowledge th...

  13. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 29; Issue 3. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the history of technology. Alfred Gierer. Perspectives Volume 29 Issue 3 September 2004 pp 235-244. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  14. Seven Billion Microcosms: Evolution within Human Microbiomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Tami D

    2018-01-01

    Rational microbiome-based therapies may one day treat a wide range of diseases and promote wellness. Yet, we are still limited in our abilities to employ such therapies and to predict which bacterial strains have the potential to stably colonize a person. The Lieberman laboratory is working to close this knowledge gap and to develop an understanding of how individual species and strains behave in the human microbiome, including with regard to their niche ranges, survival strategies, and the degree to which they adapt to individual people. We employ system-level approaches, with a particular emphasis on using de novo mutations and evolutionary inference to reconstruct the history of bacterial lineages within individuals.

  15. Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Gaurav H; Yang, Danica; Jamerson, Emery C; Snyder, Lawrence H; Corbetta, Maurizio; Ferrera, Vincent P

    2015-07-28

    Macaques are often used as a model system for invasive investigations of the neural substrates of cognition. However, 25 million years of evolution separate humans and macaques from their last common ancestor, and this has likely substantially impacted the function of the cortical networks underlying cognitive processes, such as attention. We examined the homology of frontoparietal networks underlying attention by comparing functional MRI data from macaques and humans performing the same visual search task. Although there are broad similarities, we found fundamental differences between the species. First, humans have more dorsal attention network areas than macaques, indicating that in the course of evolution the human attention system has expanded compared with macaques. Second, potentially homologous areas in the dorsal attention network have markedly different biases toward representing the contralateral hemifield, indicating that the underlying neural architecture of these areas may differ in the most basic of properties, such as receptive field distribution. Third, despite clear evidence of the temporoparietal junction node of the ventral attention network in humans as elicited by this visual search task, we did not find functional evidence of a temporoparietal junction in macaques. None of these differences were the result of differences in training, experimental power, or anatomical variability between the two species. The results of this study indicate that macaque data should be applied to human models of cognition cautiously, and demonstrate how evolution may shape cortical networks.

  16. From Darwinian to technological evolution: forgetting the human lottery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tintino, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    The GRIN technologies (-geno, -robo, -info, -nano) promise to change the inner constitution of human body and its own existence. This transformation involves the structure of our lives and represent a brave new world that we have to explore and to manage. In this sense, the traditional tools of humanism seems very inadequate to think the biotech century and there is a strong demand of a new thought for the evolution and the concrete history of life. The posthuman philosophy tries to take this new path of human existence in all of its novelty since GRIN technologies seem to promise new and unexpected paths of evolution to living beings and, above all, man. For this, the post-human thought, as we see, is a new anthropological overview on the concrete evolution of human being, an overview that involves an epistemological revolution of the categories that humanism uses to conceptualize the journey that divides the Homo sapiens from the man. But, is this right?

  17. Spinal decompensation in degenerative lumbar scoliosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, A.A.; Mullender, M.G.; Pluymakers, W.J.; Castelein, R.M.; van Royen, B.J.

    2010-01-01

    Due to the aging population, degenerative scoliosis is a growing clinical problem. It is associated with back pain and radicular symptoms. The pathogenesis of degenerative scoliosis lies in degenerative changes of the spinal structures, such as the intervertebral disc, the facet joints and the

  18. Fossils, feet and the evolution of human bipedal locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harcourt-Smith, W E H; Aiello, L C

    2004-05-01

    We review the evolution of human bipedal locomotion with a particular emphasis on the evolution of the foot. We begin in the early twentieth century and focus particularly on hypotheses of an ape-like ancestor for humans and human bipedal locomotion put forward by a succession of Gregory, Keith, Morton and Schultz. We give consideration to Morton's (1935) synthesis of foot evolution, in which he argues that the foot of the common ancestor of modern humans and the African apes would be intermediate between the foot of Pan and Hylobates whereas the foot of a hypothetical early hominin would be intermediate between that of a gorilla and a modern human. From this base rooted in comparative anatomy of living primates we trace changing ideas about the evolution of human bipedalism as increasing amounts of postcranial fossil material were discovered. Attention is given to the work of John Napier and John Robinson who were pioneers in the interpretation of Plio-Pleistocene hominin skeletons in the 1960s. This is the period when the wealth of evidence from the southern African australopithecine sites was beginning to be appreciated and Olduvai Gorge was revealing its first evidence for Homo habilis. In more recent years, the discovery of the Laetoli footprint trail, the AL 288-1 (A. afarensis) skeleton, the wealth of postcranial material from Koobi Fora, the Nariokotome Homo ergaster skeleton, Little Foot (Stw 573) from Sterkfontein in South Africa, and more recently tantalizing material assigned to the new and very early taxa Orrorin tugenensis, Ardipithecus ramidus and Sahelanthropus tchadensis has fuelled debate and speculation. The varying interpretations based on this material, together with changing theoretical insights and analytical approaches, is discussed and assessed in the context of new three-dimensional morphometric analyses of australopithecine and Homo foot bones, suggesting that there may have been greater diversity in human bipedalism in the earlier phases

  19. The interactive evolution of human communication systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Nicolas; Garrod, Simon; Roberts, Leo; Swoboda, Nik

    2010-04-01

    This paper compares two explanations of the process by which human communication systems evolve: iterated learning and social collaboration. It then reports an experiment testing the social collaboration account. Participants engaged in a graphical communication task either as a member of a community, where they interacted with seven different partners drawn from the same pool, or as a member of an isolated pair, where they interacted with the same partner across the same number of games. Participants' horizontal, pair-wise interactions led "bottom up" to the creation of an effective and efficient shared sign system in the community condition. Furthermore, the community-evolved sign systems were as effective and efficient as the local sign systems developed by isolated pairs. Finally, and as predicted by a social collaboration account, and not by an iterated learning account, interaction was critical to the creation of shared sign systems, with different isolated pairs establishing different local sign systems and different communities establishing different global sign systems. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  20. Risk and the evolution of human exchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Hillard S; Schniter, Eric; Smith, Vernon L; Wilson, Bart J

    2012-08-07

    Compared with other species, exchange among non-kin is a hallmark of human sociality in both the breadth of individuals and total resources involved. One hypothesis is that extensive exchange evolved to buffer the risks associated with hominid dietary specialization on calorie dense, large packages, especially from hunting. 'Lucky' individuals share food with 'unlucky' individuals with the expectation of reciprocity when roles are reversed. Cross-cultural data provide prima facie evidence of pair-wise reciprocity and an almost universal association of high-variance (HV) resources with greater exchange. However, such evidence is not definitive; an alternative hypothesis is that food sharing is really 'tolerated theft', in which individuals possessing more food allow others to steal from them, owing to the threat of violence from hungry individuals. Pair-wise correlations may reflect proximity providing greater opportunities for mutual theft of food. We report a laboratory experiment of foraging and food consumption in a virtual world, designed to test the risk-reduction hypothesis by determining whether people form reciprocal relationships in response to variance of resource acquisition, even when there is no external enforcement of any transfer agreements that might emerge. Individuals can forage in a high-mean, HV patch or a low-mean, low-variance (LV) patch. The key feature of the experimental design is that individuals can transfer resources to others. We find that sharing hardly occurs after LV foraging, but among HV foragers sharing increases dramatically over time. The results provide strong support for the hypothesis that people are pre-disposed to evaluate gains from exchange and respond to unsynchronized variance in resource availability through endogenous reciprocal trading relationships.

  1. Cultural selection drives the evolution of human communication systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamariz, Monica; Ellison, T Mark; Barr, Dale J; Fay, Nicolas

    2014-08-07

    Human communication systems evolve culturally, but the evolutionary mechanisms that drive this evolution are not well understood. Against a baseline that communication variants spread in a population following neutral evolutionary dynamics (also known as drift models), we tested the role of two cultural selection models: coordination- and content-biased. We constructed a parametrized mixed probabilistic model of the spread of communicative variants in four 8-person laboratory micro-societies engaged in a simple communication game. We found that selectionist models, working in combination, explain the majority of the empirical data. The best-fitting parameter setting includes an egocentric bias and a content bias, suggesting that participants retained their own previously used communicative variants unless they encountered a superior (content-biased) variant, in which case it was adopted. This novel pattern of results suggests that (i) a theory of the cultural evolution of human communication systems must integrate selectionist models and (ii) human communication systems are functionally adaptive complex systems.

  2. Evidence for widespread convergent evolution around human microsatellites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J Vowles

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Microsatellites are a major component of the human genome, and their evolution has been much studied. However, the evolution of microsatellite flanking sequences has received less attention, with reports of both high and low mutation rates and of a tendency for microsatellites to cluster. From the human genome we generated a database of many thousands of (AC(n flanking sequences within which we searched for common characteristics. Sequences flanking microsatellites of similar length show remarkable levels of convergent evolution, indicating shared mutational biases. These biases extend 25-50 bases either side of the microsatellite and may therefore affect more than 30% of the entire genome. To explore the extent and absolute strength of these effects, we quantified the observed convergence. We also compared homologous human and chimpanzee loci to look for evidence of changes in mutation rate around microsatellites. Most models of DNA sequence evolution assume that mutations are independent and occur randomly. Allowances may be made for sites mutating at different rates and for general mutation biases such as the faster rate of transitions over transversions. Our analysis suggests that these models may be inadequate, in that proximity to even very short microsatellites may alter the rate and distribution of mutations that occur. The elevated local mutation rate combined with sequence convergence, both of which we find evidence for, also provide a possible resolution for the apparently contradictory inferences of mutation rates in microsatellite flanking sequences.

  3. Y chromosome diversity, human expansion, drift, and cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiaroni, Jacques; Underhill, Peter A; Cavalli-Sforza, Luca L

    2009-12-01

    The relative importance of the roles of adaptation and chance in determining genetic diversity and evolution has received attention in the last 50 years, but our understanding is still incomplete. All statements about the relative effects of evolutionary factors, especially drift, need confirmation by strong demographic observations, some of which are easier to obtain in a species like ours. Earlier quantitative studies on a variety of data have shown that the amount of genetic differentiation in living human populations indicates that the role of positive (or directional) selection is modest. We observe geographic peculiarities with some Y chromosome mutants, most probably due to a drift-related phenomenon called the surfing effect. We also compare the overall genetic diversity in Y chromosome DNA data with that of other chromosomes and their expectations under drift and natural selection, as well as the rate of fall of diversity within populations known as the serial founder effect during the recent "Out of Africa" expansion of modern humans to the whole world. All these observations are difficult to explain without accepting a major relative role for drift in the course of human expansions. The increasing role of human creativity and the fast diffusion of inventions seem to have favored cultural solutions for many of the problems encountered in the expansion. We suggest that cultural evolution has been subrogating biologic evolution in providing natural selection advantages and reducing our dependence on genetic mutations, especially in the last phase of transition from food collection to food production.

  4. Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Human Sex Differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C. Geary

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Darwin’s (1871 theory of sexual selection and the associated mechanisms of intrasexual competition (e.g., male-male competition and intersexual choice (e.g., female choice of mates have guided the scientific study of sex differences in hundreds of non-human species. These mechanisms and several recent advances in our understanding of the evolution and expression of sex differences in non-human species are described. The usefulness of this theory for approaching the study human sex differences is illustrated with discussion of patterns of women’s mate preferences and choices and with discussion of men’s one-on-one and coalitional competition. A comparison of these aspects of intersexual choice and intrasexual competition in humans and non-human species is provided, as is discussion of cultural variation in the expression of these behaviors. cultural influences (Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974.

  5. The Institutional Approach for Modeling the Evolution of Human Societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Simon T

    2018-01-01

    Artificial life is concerned with understanding the dynamics of human societies. A defining feature of any society is its institutions. However, defining exactly what an institution is has proven difficult, with authors often talking past each other. This article presents a dynamic model of institutions, which views them as political game forms that generate the rules of a group's economic interactions. Unlike most prior work, the framework presented here allows for the construction of explicit models of the evolution of institutional rules. It takes account of the fact that group members are likely to try to create rules that benefit themselves. Following from this, it allows us to determine the conditions under which self-interested individuals will create institutional rules that support cooperation-for example, that prevent a tragedy of the commons. The article finishes with an example of how a model of the evolution of institutional rewards and punishments for promoting cooperation can be created. It is intended that this framework will allow artificial life researchers to examine how human groups can themselves create conditions for cooperation. This will help provide a better understanding of historical human social evolution, and facilitate the resolution of pressing societal social dilemmas.

  6. Rethinking the theory of evolution: New perspectives on human evolution and why it matters for Theology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Wentzel Van Huyssteen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This article addresses the issue of human imagination from the perspective of ‘niche construction’ in the wider discussion about ‘what makes us human’ and what it means to be a ‘self’, specifically for the Christian faith and for theology. In the article, a brief review of human origins and human evolution demonstrates the path and substantive impact of changes in behaviour, life histories and bodies in our human ancestors and us as humans ourselves. In the interactive process of niche construction, potentially changeable natural environments were, and are, acting continuously on variation in the gene pools of populations, and in this way gene pools were modified over generations. It is argued that a distinctively human imagination is part of the explanation for human evolutionary success and can be seen as one of the structurally significant aspects of the transition from earlier members of the genus Homo to ourselves as we are today. There is thus a naturalness to human imagination, even to religious imagination, that facilitates engagement with the world that is truly distinct. This provides fruitful addition to the toolkit of inquiry for both evolutionary scientists and interdisciplinary theologians interested in reconstructing the long, winding historical path to humanity.

  7. Mutation of miRNA target sequences during human evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gardner, Paul P; Vinther, Jeppe

    2008-01-01

    It has long-been hypothesized that changes in non-protein-coding genes and the regulatory sequences controlling expression could undergo positive selection. Here we identify 402 putative microRNA (miRNA) target sequences that have been mutated specifically in the human lineage and show that genes...... containing such deletions are more highly expressed than their mouse orthologs. Our findings indicate that some miRNA target mutations are fixed by positive selection and might have been involved in the evolution of human-specific traits....

  8. The Role of Ontogeny in the Evolution of Human Cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasello, Michael; Gonzalez-Cabrera, Ivan

    2017-09-01

    To explain the evolutionary emergence of uniquely human skills and motivations for cooperation, Tomasello et al. (2012, in Current Anthropology 53(6):673-92) proposed the interdependence hypothesis. The key adaptive context in this account was the obligate collaborative foraging of early human adults. Hawkes (2014, in Human Nature 25(1):28-48), following Hrdy (Mothers and Others, Harvard University Press, 2009), provided an alternative account for the emergence of uniquely human cooperative skills in which the key was early human infants' attempts to solicit care and attention from adults in a cooperative breeding context. Here we attempt to reconcile these two accounts. Our composite account accepts Hrdy's and Hawkes's contention that the extremely early emergence of human infants' cooperative skills suggests an important role for cooperative breeding as adaptive context, perhaps in early Homo. But our account also insists that human cooperation goes well beyond these nascent skills to include such things as the communicative and cultural conventions, norms, and institutions created by later Homo and early modern humans to deal with adult problems of social coordination. As part of this account we hypothesize how each of the main stages of human ontogeny (infancy, childhood, adolescence) was transformed during evolution both by infants' cooperative skills "migrating up" in age and by adults' cooperative skills "migrating down" in age.

  9. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwon, Misook

    The theory of evolution has long generated controversy in American society, but Americans' attitudes about human evolution are often neglected in studies of "culture wars" and the nature of mass belief systems more generally (Berkman and Plutzer 2010; Freeland and Houston 2009). Gallup and other survey organizations have polled about evolution, but offered limited response categories that mask complexity in public opinion (Bishop 2006; Moore 2008). The main problems concerning the leading survey questions about evolution are: first, questions measure only a single dimension, thus they ignore the potential for multidimensionality in people's attitudes. Second, depending on question wording and response options, the results of public opinion surveys vary by polling groups. This is an example of measurement error which misleads the interpretation and impression of American public opinion on the origin of humankind. A number of studies have analyzed Americans' beliefs about evolution and hypothesized about the influential effects of several factors (Deckman 2002; Mazur 2005; Mooney 2005; Miller et al. 2006; Newport 2006; Forrest 2007;Nisbet and Goidel 2007;Scott 2009). However, there remains a lack of complete understanding of what Americans know and believe about human evolution. Given the salience of this issue and the significant influence of public opinion on policy-making in America (Page and Shapiro 1992; Stimson 2004; Newport 2004), the measurement error and explanation of polling results on controversial issues related to this topic are in need of clarification. In this study, I address these deficiencies with analyses of data from a 2008 national survey by Harris Interactive (n= 4,626) that included numerous measures of factual knowledge and beliefs about evolution. The items offer more nuanced response options than the standard three-category question asked for decades by the Gallup poll. The Harris survey also had multiple measures of religiosity and the

  10. Molecular networks and the evolution of human cognitive specializations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontenot, Miles; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-12-01

    Inroads into elucidating the origins of human cognitive specializations have taken many forms, including genetic, genomic, anatomical, and behavioral assays that typically compare humans to non-human primates. While the integration of all of these approaches is essential for ultimately understanding human cognition, here, we review the usefulness of coexpression network analysis for specifically addressing this question. An increasing number of studies have incorporated coexpression networks into brain expression studies comparing species, disease versus control tissue, brain regions, or developmental time periods. A clearer picture has emerged of the key genes driving brain evolution, as well as the developmental and regional contributions of gene expression patterns important for normal brain development and those misregulated in cognitive diseases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorlund, Jonas Bloch; Juhl, C B; Roos, E M

    2015-01-01

    . DATA SOURCES: Systematic searches for benefits and harms were carried out in Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) up to August 2014. Only studies published in 2000 or later were included for harms. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING...... included symptomatic deep venous thrombosis (4.13 (95% confidence interval 1.78 to 9.60) events per 1000 procedures), pulmonary embolism, infection, and death. CONCLUSIONS: The small inconsequential benefit seen from interventions that include arthroscopy for the degenerative knee is limited in time...

  12. THE IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY CARBOHYDRATE IN HUMAN EVOLUTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Karen; Brand-Miller, Jennie; Brown, Katherine D; Thomas, Mark G; Copeland, Les

    2015-09-01

    ABSTRACT We propose that plant foods containing high quantities of starch were essential for the evolution of the human phenotype during the Pleistocene. Although previous studies have highlighted a stone tool-mediated shift from primarily plant-based to primarily meat-based diets as critical in the development of the brain and other human traits, we argue that digestible carbohydrates were also necessary to accommodate the increased metabolic demands of a growing brain. Furthermore, we acknowledge the adaptive role cooking played in improving the digestibility and palatability of key carbohydrates. We provide evidence that cooked starch, a source of preformed glucose, greatly increased energy availability to human tissues with high glucose demands, such as the brain, red blood cells, and the developing fetus. We also highlight the auxiliary role copy number variation in the salivary amylase genes may have played in increasing the importance of starch in human evolution following the origins of cooking. Salivary amylases are largely ineffective on raw crystalline starch, but cooking substantially increases both their energy-yielding potential and glycemia. Although uncertainties remain regarding the antiquity of cooking and the origins of salivary amylase gene copy number variation, the hypothesis we present makes a testable prediction that these events are correlated.

  13. Evolution of circadian rhythms: from bacteria to human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhadra, Utpal; Thakkar, Nirav; Das, Paromita; Pal Bhadra, Manika

    2017-07-01

    The human body persists in its rhythm as per its initial time zone, and transition always occur according to solar movements around the earth over 24 h. While traveling across different latitudes and longitudes, at the pace exceeding the earth's movement, the changes in the external cues exceed the level of toleration of the body's biological clock. This poses an alteration in our physiological activities of sleep-wake pattern, mental alertness, organ movement, and eating habits, causing them to temporarily lose the track of time. This is further re-synchronized with the physiological cues of the destination over time. The mechanism of resetting of the clocks with varying time zones and cues occur in organisms from bacteria to humans. It is the result of the evolution of different pathways and molecular mechanisms over the time. There has been evolution of numerous comprehensive mechanisms using various research tools to get a deeper insight into the rapid turnover of molecular mechanisms in various species. This review reports insights into the evolution of the circadian mechanism and its evolutionary shift which is vital and plays a major role in assisting different organisms to adapt in different zones and controls their internal biological clocks with changing external cues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Temporal Evolution of Design Principles in Engineering Systems: Analogies with Human Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Deb, Kalyanmoy; Bandaru, Sunith; Tutum, Cem Celal

    2012-01-01

    constructed later during optimization. Interestingly, there exists a simile between evolution of design principles with that of human evolution. Such information about the hierarchy of key design principles should enable designers to have a deeper understanding of their problems.......Optimization of an engineering system or component makes a series of changes in the initial random solution(s) iteratively to form the final optimal shape. When multiple conflicting objectives are considered, recent studies on innovization revealed the fact that the set of Pareto-optimal solutions...... portray certain common design principles. In this paper, we consider a 14-variable bi-objective design optimization of a MEMS device and identify a number of such common design principles through a recently proposed automated innovization procedure. Although these design principles are found to exist...

  15. Genetic Markers of Human Evolution Are Enriched in Schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Srinivasan, Saurabh; Bettella, Francesco; Mattingsdal, Morten

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Why schizophrenia has accompanied humans throughout our history despite its negative effect on fitness remains an evolutionary enigma. It is proposed that schizophrenia is a by-product of the complex evolution of the human brain and a compromise for humans' language, creative thinking...... and ancillary information on genetic variants. We used information from the evolutionary proxy measure called the Neanderthal selective sweep (NSS) score. RESULTS: Gene loci associated with schizophrenia are significantly (p = 7.30 × 10(-9)) more prevalent in genomic regions that are likely to have undergone...... phenotypes. The false discovery rate conditional on the evolutionary proxy points to 27 candidate schizophrenia susceptibility loci, 12 of which are associated with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders or linked to brain development. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that there is a polygenic overlap...

  16. Degenerative cerebellar diseases and differential diagnoses; Degenerative Kleinhirnerkrankungen und Differenzialdiagnosen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reith, W.; Roumia, S.; Dietrich, P. [Universitaetsklinikum des Saarlandes, Klinik fuer Diagnostische und Interventionelle Neuroradiologie, Homburg/Saar (Germany)

    2016-11-15

    Cerebellar syndromes result in distinct clinical symptoms, such as ataxia, dysarthria, dysmetria, intention tremor and eye movement disorders. In addition to the medical history and clinical examination, imaging is particularly important to differentiate other diseases, such as hydrocephalus and multi-infarct dementia from degenerative cerebellar diseases. Degenerative diseases with cerebellar involvement include Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy as well as other diseases including spinocerebellar ataxia. In addition to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine imaging investigations are also helpful for the differentiation. Axial fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and T2-weighted sequences can sometimes show a signal increase in the pons as a sign of degeneration of pontine neurons and transverse fibers in the basilar part of the pons. The imaging is particularly necessary to exclude other diseases, such as normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), multi-infarct dementia and cerebellar lesions. (orig.) [German] Klinisch imponieren Kleinhirnsyndrome durch Ataxie, Dysarthrie, Dysmetrie, Intentionstremor und Augenbewegungsstoerungen. Neben der Anamnese und klinischen Untersuchung ist die Bildgebung v. a. wichtig um andere Erkrankungen wie Hydrozephalus und Multiinfarktdemenz von degenerativen Kleinhirnerkrankungen zu differenzieren. Zu den degenerativen Erkrankungen mit Kleinhirnbeteiligung gehoeren der Morbus Parkinson, die Multisystematrophie sowie weitere Erkrankungen einschliesslich der spinozerebellaeren Ataxien. Neben der MRT sind auch nuklearmedizinische Untersuchungen zur Differenzierung hilfreich. Axiale Fluid-attenuated-inversion-recovery(FLAIR)- und T2-gewichtete Sequenzen koennen mitunter eine Signalsteigerung im Pons als Ausdruck einer Degeneration der pontinen Neuronen und transversalen Bahnen im Brueckenfuss zeigen. Die Bildgebung ist aber v. a. notwendig, um andere Erkrankungen wie Normaldruckhydrozephalus

  17. Ardipithecus ramidus and the evolution of the human cranial base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimbel, William H; Suwa, Gen; Asfaw, Berhane; Rak, Yoel; White, Tim D

    2014-01-21

    The early Pliocene African hominoid Ardipithecus ramidus was diagnosed as a having a unique phylogenetic relationship with the Australopithecus + Homo clade based on nonhoning canine teeth, a foreshortened cranial base, and postcranial characters related to facultative bipedality. However, pedal and pelvic traits indicating substantial arboreality have raised arguments that this taxon may instead be an example of parallel evolution of human-like traits among apes around the time of the chimpanzee-human split. Here we investigated the basicranial morphology of Ar. ramidus for additional clues to its phylogenetic position with reference to African apes, humans, and Australopithecus. Besides a relatively anterior foramen magnum, humans differ from apes in the lateral shift of the carotid foramina, mediolateral abbreviation of the lateral tympanic, and a shortened, trapezoidal basioccipital element. These traits reflect a relative broadening of the central basicranium, a derived condition associated with changes in tympanic shape and the extent of its contact with the petrous. Ar. ramidus shares with Australopithecus each of these human-like modifications. We used the preserved morphology of ARA-VP 1/500 to estimate the missing basicranial length, drawing on consistent proportional relationships in apes and humans. Ar. ramidus is confirmed to have a relatively short basicranium, as in Australopithecus and Homo. Reorganization of the central cranial base is among the earliest morphological markers of the Ardipithecus + Australopithecus + Homo clade.

  18. Human balance, the evolution of bipedalism and dysequilibrium syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoyles, John R

    2006-01-01

    A new model of the uniqueness, nature and evolution of human bipedality is presented in the context of the etiology of the balance disorder of dysequilibrium syndrome. Human bipedality is biologically novel in several remarkable respects. Humans are (a) obligate, habitual and diverse in their bipedalism, (b) hold their body carriage spinally erect in a multisegmental "antigravity pole", (c) use their forelimbs exclusively for nonlocomotion, (d) support their body weight exclusively by vertical balance and normally never use prehensile holds. Further, human bipedalism is combined with (e) upper body actions that quickly shift the body's center of mass (e.g. tennis serves, piggy-back carrying of children), (f) use transient unstable erect positions (dance, kicking and fighting), (g) body height that makes falls injurious, (h) stiff gait walking, and (i) endurance running. Underlying these novelties, I conjecture, is a species specific human vertical balance faculty. This faculty synchronizes any action with a skeletomuscular adjustment that corrects its potential destabilizing impact upon the projection of the body's center of mass over its foot support. The balance faculty depends upon internal models of the erect vertical body's geometrical relationship (and its deviations) to its support base. Due to the situation that humans are obligate erect terrestrial animals, two frameworks - the body- and gravity-defined frameworks - are in constant alignment in the vertical z-axis. This alignment allows human balance to adapt egocentric body cognitions to detect body deviations from the gravitational vertical. This link between human balance and the processing of geometrical orientation, I propose, accounts for the close link between balance and spatial cognition found in the cerebral cortex. I argue that cortical areas processing the spatial and other cognitions needed to enable vertical balance was an important reason for brain size expansion of Homo erectus. A novel

  19. Evolution of Attitudes in the Field of Human Research Ethics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Escobar-Melo

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The state of evolution of attitudes in a sample of 142 Medical Students at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota (at the beginning, middle and ending of their studies in the field of Human Research Ethics (HRE is analytically described. A complex scale of attitudes was used, with three components: affective, beliefs-related and behavioral, further divided into three theoretical categories taken from Bioethics: Subject-End/means- Dignity, Benefit and Justice. The relationship between the current medical education process and the attitudes regarding HRE in the sample are analyzed.A small trend towards progress in all categories and in all components of attitudes throughout medical education is described; neither the Benefit nor the Subject-End/means/Dignity categories evolve in a significant way; some significant differences were observed in the Justice category (beliefs and behavioral and in the Subject-End/means-Dignity category (beliefs component. The results allow for asking about the role of formation and evolution of those attitudes throughout the academic process. In conclusion, attitudes seem to be progressing relatively, without a decisive evolution.

  20. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in human evolution and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, D C

    1994-09-13

    Germ-line and somatic mtDNA mutations are hypothesized to act together to shape our history and our health. Germ-line mtDNA mutations, both ancient and recent, have been associated with a variety of degenerative diseases. Mildly to moderately deleterious germ-line mutations, like neutral polymorphisms, have become established in the distant past through genetic drift but now may predispose certain individuals to late-onset degenerative diseases. As an example, a homoplasmic, Caucasian, tRNA(Gln) mutation at nucleotide pair (np) 4336 has been observed in 5% of Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease patients and may contribute to the multifactorial etiology of these diseases. Moderately to severely deleterious germ-line mutations, on the other hand, appear repeatedly but are eliminated by selection. Hence, all extant mutations of this class are recent and associated with more devastating diseases of young adults and children. Representative of these mutations is a heteroplasmic mutation in MTND6 at np 14459 whose clinical presentations range from adult-onset blindness to pediatric dystonia and basal ganglial degeneration. To the inherited mutations are added somatic mtDNA mutations which accumulate in random arrays within stable tissues. These mutations provide a molecular clock that measures our age and may cause a progressive decline in tissue energy output that could precipitate the onset of degenerative diseases in individuals harboring inherited deleterious mutations.

  1. Degenerative leiomyopathy | Henning | SA Journal of Radiology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Degenerative leiomyopathy (DL) is a distinctive form of acquired degenerative visceral myopathy of uncertain aetiology. It occurs mainly in Africa and results in intestinal pseudo-obstruction (IP). Thirtynine patients from the Western Cape region of South Africa have been reported.1 Characteristic clinical features included a ...

  2. Human evolution and osteoporosis-related spinal fractures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan M Cotter

    Full Text Available The field of evolutionary medicine examines the possibility that some diseases are the result of trade-offs made in human evolution. Spinal fractures are the most common osteoporosis-related fracture in humans, but are not observed in apes, even in cases of severe osteopenia. In humans, the development of osteoporosis is influenced by peak bone mass and strength in early adulthood as well as age-related bone loss. Here, we examine the structural differences in the vertebral bodies (the portion of the vertebra most commonly involved in osteoporosis-related fractures between humans and apes before age-related bone loss occurs. Vertebrae from young adult humans and chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons (T8 vertebrae, n = 8-14 per species, male and female, humans: 20-40 years of age were examined to determine bone strength (using finite element models, bone morphology (external shape, and trabecular microarchitecture (micro-computed tomography. The vertebrae of young adult humans are not as strong as those from apes after accounting for body mass (p<0.01. Human vertebrae are larger in size (volume, cross-sectional area, height than in apes with a similar body mass. Young adult human vertebrae have significantly lower trabecular bone volume fraction (0.26±0.04 in humans and 0.37±0.07 in apes, mean ± SD, p<0.01 and thinner vertebral shells than apes (after accounting for body mass, p<0.01. Since human vertebrae are more porous and weaker than those in apes in young adulthood (after accounting for bone mass, even modest amounts of age-related bone loss may lead to vertebral fracture in humans, while in apes, larger amounts of bone loss would be required before a vertebral fracture becomes likely. We present arguments that differences in vertebral bone size and shape associated with reduced bone strength in humans is linked to evolutionary adaptations associated with bipedalism.

  3. Evolution of Human Body Height and Its Implications in Ergonomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İzzet DUYAR

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Body height is an crucial variable in the design and production of all physical spaces, primarily in the manifacturing of clothes and means of transportation. Having such an ergonomic significance, the height of the human being has constantly changed during the course of history. There exist strong data suggesting that this change is still continue. To find out stages of evolution of human height throughout the ages up to the present will help us to illuminate the human-environment relations, and to predict the possible changes that the human height might be subjected to in the future. In view of these reasons, the changes that has occured in human height from the period at which hominids appeared until humans’ transition into settled life have been closely examined. The study was carried out on the basis of the data obtained from the earlier studies in literature. These data, when considered as a whole, reveal that the human height did not continuously increase in a linear fashion in its evolutionary path but recorded some increases and decreases at different stages. The difference between males and females (sexual dimorphism has not shown a steady decrease either; instead, it has exhibited an oscillating pattern. The modern humans as a species is not unique in terms of their height; as a matter of fact, two million years ago hominids had existed at approximately the same height as the Homo sapiens. Although the average height had shown some decrease in Homo erectus, its distribution pattern was not much different than the one observed in the modern human societies. In the findings dated to the early stages of the Upper Paleolithic Age, height showed a tendency to increase again

  4. Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis in dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meij, Björn P; Bergknut, Niklas

    2010-09-01

    Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLSS) is the most common disorder of the caudal lumbar spine in dogs. This article reviews the management of this disorder and highlights the most important new findings of the last decade. Dogs with DLSS are typically neuro-orthopedic patients and can be presented with varying clinical signs, of which the most consistent is lumbosacral pain. Due to the availability of advanced imaging techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging that allow visualization of intervertebral disc degeneration, cauda equina compression, and nerve root entrapment, tailor-made treatments can be adopted for the individual patient. Current therapies include conservative treatment, decompressive surgery, and fixation-fusion of the L7-S1 junction. New insight into the biomechanics and pathobiology of DLSS and developments in minimally invasive surgical techniques will influence treatment options in the near future. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Retrocopy contributions to the evolution of the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haussler David

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolution via point mutations is a relatively slow process and is unlikely to completely explain the differences between primates and other mammals. By contrast, 45% of the human genome is composed of retroposed elements, many of which were inserted in the primate lineage. A subset of retroposed mRNAs (retrocopies shows strong evidence of expression in primates, often yielding functional retrogenes. Results To identify and analyze the relatively recently evolved retrogenes, we carried out BLASTZ alignments of all human mRNAs against the human genome and scored a set of features indicative of retroposition. Of over 12,000 putative retrocopy-derived genes that arose mainly in the primate lineage, 726 with strong evidence of transcript expression were examined in detail. These mRNA retroposition events fall into three categories: I 34 retrocopies and antisense retrocopies that added potential protein coding space and UTRs to existing genes; II 682 complete retrocopy duplications inserted into new loci; and III an unexpected set of 13 retrocopies that contributed out-of-frame, or antisense sequences in combination with other types of transposed elements (SINEs, LINEs, LTRs, even unannotated sequence to form potentially novel genes with no homologs outside primates. In addition to their presence in human, several of the gene candidates also had potentially viable ORFs in chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque, underscoring their potential of function. Conclusion mRNA-derived retrocopies provide raw material for the evolution of genes in a wide variety of ways, duplicating and amending the protein coding region of existing genes as well as generating the potential for new protein coding space, or non-protein coding RNAs, by unexpected contributions out of frame, in reverse orientation, or from previously non-protein coding sequence.

  6. Holocene evolution of the Tabasco delta – Mexico : impact of climate, volcanism and humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nooren, C.A.M.

    2017-01-01

    This research revealed the impact of climate, volcanism and humans on the late Holocene evolution of a tropical delta in southern Mexico. Palynological, tephrochronological, limnological, geomorphological and sedimentological techniques have been applied to reconstruct the evolution of the

  7. Evidence for expansion of the precuneus in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Preuss, Todd M; Chen, Xu; Rilling, James K

    2017-03-01

    The evolution of neurocranial morphology in Homo sapiens is characterized by bulging of the parietal region, a feature unique to our species. In modern humans, expansion of the parietal surface occurs during the first year of life, in a morphogenetic stage which is absent in chimpanzees and Neandertals. A similar variation in brain shape among living adult humans is associated with expansion of the precuneus. Using MRI-derived structural brain templates, we compare medial brain morphology between humans and chimpanzees through shape analysis and geometrical modeling. We find that the main spatial difference is a prominent expansion of the precuneus in our species, providing further evidence of evolutionary changes associated with this area. The precuneus is a major hub of brain organization, a central node of the default-mode network, and plays an essential role in visuospatial integration. Together, the comparative neuroanatomical and paleontological evidence suggest that precuneus expansion is a neurological specialization of H. sapiens that evolved in the last 150,000 years that may be associated with recent human cognitive specializations.

  8. Human sclera maintains common characteristics with cartilage throughout evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuko Seko

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The sclera maintains and protects the eye ball, which receives visual inputs. Although the sclera does not contribute significantly to visual perception, scleral diseases such as refractory scleritis, scleral perforation and pathological myopia are considered incurable or difficult to cure. The aim of this study is to identify characteristics of the human sclera as one of the connective tissues derived from the neural crest and mesoderm. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have demonstrated microarray data of cultured human infant scleral cells. Hierarchical clustering was performed to group scleral cells and other mesenchymal cells into subcategories. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed similarity between scleral cells and auricular cartilage-derived cells. Cultured micromasses of scleral cells exposed to TGF-betas and BMP2 produced an abundant matrix. The expression of cartilage-associated genes, such as Indian hedge hog, type X collagen, and MMP13, was up-regulated within 3 weeks in vitro. These results suggest that human 'sclera'-derived cells can be considered chondrocytes when cultured ex vivo. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our present study shows a chondrogenic potential of human sclera. Interestingly, the sclera of certain vertebrates, such as birds and fish, is composed of hyaline cartilage. Although the human sclera is not a cartilaginous tissue, the human sclera maintains chondrogenic potential throughout evolution. In addition, our findings directly explain an enigma that the sclera and the joint cartilage are common targets of inflammatory cells in rheumatic arthritis. The present global gene expression database will contribute to the clarification of the pathogenesis of developmental diseases such as high myopia.

  9. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witzany, Guenther

    2011-09-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language.

  10. Tracking the Evolution of Smartphone Sensing for Monitoring Human Movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Rosario, Michael B.; Redmond, Stephen J.; Lovell, Nigel H.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in mobile technology have led to the emergence of the “smartphone”, a new class of device with more advanced connectivity features that have quickly made it a constant presence in our lives. Smartphones are equipped with comparatively advanced computing capabilities, a global positioning system (GPS) receivers, and sensing capabilities (i.e., an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and more recently magnetometer and barometer) which can be found in wearable ambulatory monitors (WAMs). As a result, algorithms initially developed for WAMs that “count” steps (i.e., pedometers); gauge physical activity levels; indirectly estimate energy expenditure and monitor human movement can be utilised on the smartphone. These algorithms may enable clinicians to “close the loop” by prescribing timely interventions to improve or maintain wellbeing in populations who are at risk of falling or suffer from a chronic disease whose progression is linked to a reduction in movement and mobility. The ubiquitous nature of smartphone technology makes it the ideal platform from which human movement can be remotely monitored without the expense of purchasing, and inconvenience of using, a dedicated WAM. In this paper, an overview of the sensors that can be found in the smartphone are presented, followed by a summary of the developments in this field with an emphasis on the evolution of algorithms used to classify human movement. The limitations identified in the literature will be discussed, as well as suggestions about future research directions. PMID:26263998

  11. Stereotypic behaviors in degenerative dementias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prioni, S; Fetoni, V; Barocco, F; Redaelli, V; Falcone, C; Soliveri, P; Tagliavini, F; Scaglioni, A; Caffarra, P; Concari, L; Gardini, S; Girotti, F

    2012-11-01

    Stereotypies are simple or complex involuntary/unvoluntary behaviors, common in fronto-temporal dementia (FTD), but not studied in other types of degenerative dementias. The aim was to investigate stereotypy frequency and type in patients with FTD, Alzheimer's disease (AD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) in a multicenter observational study; and to investigate the relation of stereotypies to cognitive, behavioral and motor impairment. One hundred fifty-five consecutive outpatients (45 AD, 40 FTD, 35 PSP and 35 PDD) were studied in four hospitals in northern Italy. Stereotypies were examined by the five-domain Stereotypy Rating Inventory. Cognition was examined by the Mini Mental State and Frontal Assessment Battery, neuropsychiatric symptoms by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and motor impairment and invalidity by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III, and activities of daily living. Stereotypies were present in all groups. FTD and PDD had the greatest frequency of one-domain stereotypies; FTD also had the greatest frequency of two-or-more domain stereotypies; movement stereotypies were the most common stereotypies in all groups. AD patients had fewer stereotypies than the other groups. Stereotypies are not exclusive to FTD, but are also fairly common in PSP and PDD, though less so in AD. Stereotypies may be underpinned by dysfunctional striato-frontal circuits, known to be damaged in PSP and PDD, as well as FTD.

  12. Why men matter: mating patterns drive evolution of human lifespan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shripad D Tuljapurkar

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary theory predicts that senescence, a decline in survival rates with age, is the consequence of stronger selection on alleles that affect fertility or mortality earlier rather than later in life. Hamilton quantified this argument by showing that a rare mutation reducing survival is opposed by a selective force that declines with age over reproductive life. He used a female-only demographic model, predicting that female menopause at age ca. 50 yrs should be followed by a sharp increase in mortality, a "wall of death." Human lives obviously do not display such a wall. Explanations of the evolution of lifespan beyond the age of female menopause have proven difficult to describe as explicit genetic models. Here we argue that the inclusion of males and mating patterns extends Hamilton's theory and predicts the pattern of human senescence. We analyze a general two-sex model to show that selection favors survival for as long as men reproduce. Male fertility can only result from matings with fertile females, and we present a range of data showing that males much older than 50 yrs have substantial realized fertility through matings with younger females, a pattern that was likely typical among early humans. Thus old-age male fertility provides a selective force against autosomal deleterious mutations at ages far past female menopause with no sharp upper age limit, eliminating the wall of death. Our findings illustrate the evolutionary importance of males and mating preferences, and show that one-sex demographic models are insufficient to describe the forces that shape human senescence.

  13. Degenerative spine disorders in the context of clinical findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freund, Michael [Institut fuer Radiologie und Neuroradiologie, Klinikum Aschaffenburg, Am Hasenkopf 1, 63739 Aschaffenburg (Germany) and Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Universitaetsklinikum Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany)]. E-mail: michael.freund@klinikum-aschaffenburg.de; Sartor, Klaus [Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Universitaetsklinikum Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2006-04-15

    Hardly any other structure in the human body is held responsible for so many complaints, pain, and costs as the spine and its degenerative disorders. In the following article, the role of imaging procedures in diagnosing disorders of the spine is presented. Due to the fact that disk herniation represents the most frequent cause for degenerative disorders the anatomy of the intervertebral disk and the pathology of the entities that can cause diseases of the disks are described. In particular, the authors focus on the significance of radiological findings with respect to patient history, subjective symptoms, and objective clinical findings. In addition to presenting the technical procedures and their indications and contraindications also practical tips and tricks in conducting these examinations are presented in this paper.

  14. Degenerative spine disorders in the context of clinical findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freund, Michael; Sartor, Klaus

    2006-01-01

    Hardly any other structure in the human body is held responsible for so many complaints, pain, and costs as the spine and its degenerative disorders. In the following article, the role of imaging procedures in diagnosing disorders of the spine is presented. Due to the fact that disk herniation represents the most frequent cause for degenerative disorders the anatomy of the intervertebral disk and the pathology of the entities that can cause diseases of the disks are described. In particular, the authors focus on the significance of radiological findings with respect to patient history, subjective symptoms, and objective clinical findings. In addition to presenting the technical procedures and their indications and contraindications also practical tips and tricks in conducting these examinations are presented in this paper

  15. ?Lumbar Degenerative Kyphosis? Is Not Byword for Degenerative Sagittal Imbalance: Time to Replace a Misconception

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Chang-Hyun; Chung, Chun Kee; Jang, Jee-Soo; Kim, Sung-Min; Chin, Dong-Kyu; Lee, Jung-Kil

    2017-01-01

    Lumbar degenerative kyphosis (LDK) is a subgroup of the flat-back syndrome and is most commonly caused by unique life styles, such as a prolonged crouched posture during agricultural work and performing activities of daily living on the floor. Unfortunately, LDK has been used as a byword for degenerative sagittal imbalance, and this sometimes causes confusion. The aim of this review was to evaluate the exact territory of LDK, and to introduce another appropriate term for degenerative sagittal...

  16. Peking Man to Socialist Man: The Teaching of Human Evolution in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swetz, Frank J.

    1986-01-01

    Examines the content and methodology of the teaching of human evolution in the schools of the People's Republic of China. Reviews the aims and goals of science teaching and their effects on the teaching of evolution. Emphasizes evolution, compatibility with China's political doctrines, and includes illustrations of instructional materials. (ML)

  17. Inherited Retinal Degenerative Clinical Trial Network. Addendum

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    inherited orphan retinal degenerative diseases and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) through the conduct of clinical trials and other...design and conduct of effective and efficient clinical trials for inherited orphan retinal degenerative diseases and dry AMD; • Limited number and...linica l trial in the NEER network for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, and the ProgSTAR studies for Stargardt disease ) . As new interventions b

  18. Aspects of atypical degenerative lesions of vertebrae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Battikha, J.G.; Garcia, J.F.; Wettstein, P.

    1981-01-01

    Over the last 20 years, several authors have reported aspects of degenerative disease of the vertebral column with irregularity and sclerosis of the margins of the vertebral bodies [2, 4, 7-9, 13, 15, 17]. Twenty cases of such atypical degenerative vertebral lesions have been studied over a two year period and their radiological characteristics have been compared with vertebral lesions of infective origin and in the rheumatoid disorders. (orig.)

  19. The gourmet ape: evolution and human food preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, John R

    2009-09-01

    This review explores the relation between evolution, ecology, and culture in determining human food preferences. The basic physiology and morphology of Homo sapiens sets boundaries to our eating habits, but within these boundaries human food preferences are remarkably varied, both within and between populations. This does not mean that variation is entirely cultural or learned, because genes and culture may coevolve to determine variation in dietary habits. This coevolution has been well elucidated in some cases, such as lactose tolerance (lactase persistence) in adults, but is less well understood in others, such as in favism in the Mediterranean and other regions. Genetic variation in bitter taste sensitivity has been well documented, and it affects food preferences (eg, avoidance of cruciferous vegetables). The selective advantage of this variation is not clear. In African populations, there is an association between insensitivity to bitter taste and the prevalence of malaria, which suggests that insensitivity may have been selected for in regions in which eating bitter plants would confer some protection against malaria. Another, more general, hypothesis is that variation in bitter taste sensitivity has coevolved with the use of spices in cooking, which, in turn, is thought to be a cultural tradition that reduces the dangers of microbial contamination of food. Our evolutionary heritage of food preferences and eating habits leaves us mismatched with the food environments we have created, which leads to problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

  20. Gene expression and adaptive noncoding changes during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babbitt, Courtney C; Haygood, Ralph; Nielsen, William J; Wray, Gregory A

    2017-06-05

    Despite evidence for adaptive changes in both gene expression and non-protein-coding, putatively regulatory regions of the genome during human evolution, the relationship between gene expression and adaptive changes in cis-regulatory regions remains unclear. Here we present new measurements of gene expression in five tissues of humans and chimpanzees, and use them to assess this relationship. We then compare our results with previous studies of adaptive noncoding changes, analyzing correlations at the level of gene ontology groups, in order to gain statistical power to detect correlations. Consistent with previous studies, we find little correlation between gene expression and adaptive noncoding changes at the level of individual genes; however, we do find significant correlations at the level of biological function ontology groups. The types of function include processes regulated by specific transcription factors, responses to genetic or chemical perturbations, and differentiation of cell types within the immune system. Among functional categories co-enriched with both differential expression and noncoding adaptation, prominent themes include cancer, particularly epithelial cancers, and neural development and function.

  1. The Bilingual Brain: Human Evolution and Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kirk Hagen

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available For the past half-century, psycholinguistic research has concerned itself with two mysteries of human cognition: (1 that children universally acquire a highly abstract, computationally complex set of linguistic rules rapidly and effortlessly, and (2 that second language acquisition (SLA among adults is, conversely, slow, laborious, highly variable, and virtually never results in native fluency. We now have a decent, if approximate, understanding of the biological foundations of first language acquisition, thanks in large part to Lenneberg's (1964, 1984 seminal work on the critical period hypothesis. More recently, the elements of a promising theory of language and evolution have emerged as well (see e.g. Bickerton, 1981, 1990; Leiberman, 1984, 1987. I argue here that the empirical foundations of an evolutionary theory of language are now solid enough to support an account of bilingualism and adult SLA as well. Specifically, I will show that evidence from the environment of evolutionary adaptation of paleolithic humans suggests that for our nomadic ancestors, the ability to master a language early in life was an eminently useful adaptation. However, the ability to acquire another language in adulthood was not, and consequently was not selected for propagation.

  2. Degenerative Joint Diseases and Neuroinflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fusco, Mariella; Skaper, Stephen D; Coaccioli, Stefano; Varrassi, Giustino; Paladini, Antonella

    2017-04-01

    Rheumatic and joint diseases, as exemplified by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, are among the most widespread painful and disabling pathologies across the globe. Given the continuing rise in life expectancy, their prevalence is destined to grow. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is, in particular, on its way to becoming the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020, with the rising incidence of obesity in addition to age being important factors. It is estimated that 25% of osteoarthritic individuals are unable to perform daily activities. Accompanying osteoarthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is a chronic systemic disease that often causes pain and deformity. At least 50% of those affected are unable to remain gainfully employed within 10 years of disease onset. A growing body of evidence now points to inflammation, locally and more systemically, as a promoter of damage to joints and bones, as well as joint-related functional deficits. The pathogenesis underlying joint diseases remains unclear; however, it is currently believed that cross-talk between cartilage and subchondral bone-and loss of balance between these two structures in joint diseases-is a critical element. This view is amplified by the presence of mast cells, whose dysregulation is associated with alterations of junction structures (cartilage, bone, synovia, matrix, nerve endings, and blood vessels). In addition, persistent activation of mast cells facilitates the development of spinal neuroinflammation mediated through their interaction with microglia. Unfortunately, current treatment strategies for rheumatic and articular disease are symptomatic and do little to limit disease progression. Research now should be directed at therapeutic modalities that target osteoarticular structural elements and thereby delaying disease progression and joint replacement. © 2016 World Institute of Pain.

  3. Neuro degenerative diseases: clinical concerns

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibanez, V.

    2005-01-01

    Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are the main neuro-degenerative diseases (NDDs) seen clinically. They share some common clinical symptoms and neuro-pathological findings. The increase of life expectancy in the developed countries will inevitably contribute to enhance the prevalence of these diseases. Behavioral disorders, common in NDDs, will produce major care management challenges. Idiopathic Parkinson's disease corresponds to a histopathological diagnosis, based on the observation of a de-pigmentation and a neuronal loss in the substantia nigra, as well as on the presence of intra-neuronal inclusion bodies. AD is insidious with slowly progressive dementia in which the decline in memory constitutes the main complaint. The diagnosis of definite AD requires the presence of clinical criteria as well as the histopathological confirmation of brain lesions. The two main lesions are the presence of senile plaques and neuro-fibrillary tangles. Positron emission tomography (PET) explores cerebral metabolism and neurotransmitter kinetics in NDDs using principally [ 18 F]-deoxyglucose and [ 18 F]-dopa. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic function is altered in PD, as evidenced by the low uptake of [ 18 F]-dopa in the posterior putamen as compared to anterior putamen and caudate nucleus. In contrast, [ 18 F]-dopa uptake is equally depressed in all striatal structures in progressive supra-nuclear palsy. Regional glucose metabolism at rest is preserved in elderly once cerebral atrophy is taken into account. On the contrary, glucose metabolism is globally reduced in AD, with marked decrease in the parietal and temporal regions. PET has proved to be useful to study in vivo neurochemical processes in patients suffering from NDDs. The potential of this approach is still largely unexploited, and depends on new ligand production to establish early diagnosis and treatment follow-up. (author)

  4. Incorporating the gut microbiota into models of human and non-human primate ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, Katherine R

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian gut is home to a diverse community of microbes. Advances in technology over the past two decades have allowed us to examine this community, the gut microbiota, in more detail, revealing a wide range of influences on host nutrition, health, and behavior. These host-gut microbe interactions appear to shape host plasticity and fitness in a variety of contexts, and therefore represent a key factor missing from existing models of human and non-human primate ecology and evolution. However, current studies of the gut microbiota tend to include limited contextual data or are clinical, making it difficult to directly test broad anthropological hypotheses. Here, I review what is known about the animal gut microbiota and provide examples of how gut microbiota research can be integrated into the study of human and non-human primate ecology and evolution with targeted data collection. Specifically, I examine how the gut microbiota may impact primate diet, energetics, disease resistance, and cognition. While gut microbiota research is proliferating rapidly, especially in the context of humans, there remain important gaps in our understanding of host-gut microbe interactions that will require an anthropological perspective to fill. Likewise, gut microbiota research will be an important tool for filling remaining gaps in anthropological research. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. The origins of human parasites: Exploring the evidence for endoparasitism throughout human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-09-01

    It is important to determine the origins of human parasites if we are to understand the health of past populations and the effects of parasitism upon human evolution. It also helps us to understand emerging infectious diseases and the modern clinical epidemiology of parasites. This study aims to distinguish those heirloom parasites that have infected humans and their ancestors throughout their evolution in Africa from those recent souvenir species to which humans have only become exposed following contact with animals during their migration across the globe. Ten such heirloom parasites are proposed, which appear to have been spread across the globe. Six further heirlooms are noted to have limited spread due to the constraints of their life cycle. Twelve souvenir parasites of humans are described, along with their animal reservoirs. While the origins of 28 species of endoparasite have been determined, many more species require further assessment once a more systematic analysis of ancient parasites in other regions of Africa has been undertaken. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The Evolution of Lineage-Specific Regulatory Activities in the Human Embryonic Limb

    OpenAIRE

    Cotney, Justin; Leng, Jing; Yin, Jun; Reilly, Steven K.; DeMare, Laura E.; Emera, Deena; Ayoub, Albert E.; Rakic, Pasko; Noonan, James P.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of human anatomical features likely involved changes in gene regulation during development. However, the nature and extent of human-specific developmental regulatory functions remain unknown. We obtained a genome-wide view of cis-regulatory evolution in human embryonic tissues by comparing the histone modification H3K27ac, which provides a quantitative readout of promoter and enhancer activity, during human, rhesus, and mouse limb development. Based on increased H3K27ac, we find...

  7. Degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: an epidemiological perspective: the Copenhagen Osteoarthritis Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Steffen; Sonne-Holm, Stig; Rovsing, Hans

    2007-01-01

    .001), and between BMI in 1993 and both L4 and L5 olisthesis were found (L4: P = 0.003; L5: P = 0.006). Lumbar lordosis was associated with degenerative spondylolisthesis in women. Occupational exposures to daily lifting or smoking were not associated with degenerative spondylolisthesis. Degenerative...... spondylolisthesis was associated with increased age in both sexes (L4: P lordosis were significantly associated with degenerative spondylolisthesis in women. In men, no individual risk factors for degenerative...

  8. Early Human Evolution in the Western Palaearctic: Ecological Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrión, José S.; Rose, James; Stringer, Chris

    2011-06-01

    This review presents the themes of a special issue dealing with environmental scenarios of human evolution during the Early Pleistocene (2.6-0.78 Ma; MIS 103-MIS 19) and early Middle Pleistocene (0.78-0.47 Ma; MIS 19-base of MIS 12) within the western Palaearctic. This period is one of dramatic changes in the climates and the distribution of Palaearctic biota. These changes have played their role in generating adaptive and phyletic patterns within the human ancestry, involving several species such as Homo habilis, "Homo georgicus", Homo erectus, Homo antecessor and Homo heidelbergensis. In the archaeological record, these species include the Oldowan (Mode 1) and Acheulian (Mode 2) lithic technologies. Taphonomic considerations of palaeoecological research in hominin-bearing sites are provided and evaluated. Syntheses are provided for north Africa, western Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, Britain, and continental Europe. Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions based on multidisciplinary data are given for Ain Boucherit, Ain Hanech and El-Kherba in Algeria, Dmanisi in Georgia, Atapuerca, Cueva Negra, and the Orce Basin in Spain, Monte Poggiolo and Pirro Nord in Italy, Pont-de-Lavaud in France, and Mauer in Germany. The state of the art with the Out of Africa 1 dispersal model is reviewed. A source-sink dynamics model for Palaeolithic Europe is described to explain the morphological disparity of H. heidelbergensis (we will sometimes use the informal name "Heidelbergs") and early Neanderthals. Other aspects debated here are the selective value of habitat mosaics including reconstructions based on mammal and avian databases, and the role of geological instability combined with topographic complexity. This review is completed by addressing the question of whether the appearance of evolutionary trends within hominins is concentrated in regions of highest worldwide biological diversity (biodiversity hotspots). It is concluded that the keys for the activation of evolutionary

  9. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Roffman

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The closest living relatives of humans are their chimpanzee/bonobo (Pan sister species, members of the same subfamily “Homininae”. This classification is supported by over 50 years of research in the fields of chimpanzee cultural diversity, language competency, genomics, anatomy, high cognition, psychology, society, self-consciousness and relation to others, tool use/production, as well as Homo level emotions, symbolic competency, memory recollection, complex multifaceted problem-solving capabilities, and interspecies communication. Language competence and symbolism can be continuously bridged from chimpanzee to man. Emotions, intercommunity aggression, body language, gestures, facial expressions, and vocalization of intonations seem to parallel between the sister taxa Homo and Pan. The shared suite of traits between Pan and Homo genus demonstrated in this article integrates old and new information on human–chimpanzee evolution, bilateral informational and cross-cultural exchange, promoting the urgent need for Pan cultures in the wild to be protected, as they are part of the cultural heritage of mankind. Also, we suggest that bonobos, Pan paniscus, based on shared traits with Australopithecus, need to be included in Australopithecine’s subgenus, and may even represent living-fossil Australopithecines. Unfolding bonobo and chimpanzee biology highlights our common genetic and cultural evolutionary origins.

  10. The Evolution of Trypanosomes Infecting Humans and Primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stevens Jamie

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on phylogenetic analysis of 18S rRNA sequences and clade taxon composition, this paper adopts a biogeographical approach to understanding the evolutionary relationships of the human and primate infective trypanosomes, Trypanosoma cruzi, T. brucei, T. rangeli and T. cyclops. Results indicate that these parasites have divergent origins and fundamentally different patterns of evolution. T. cruzi is placed in a clade with T. rangeli and trypanosomes specific to bats and a kangaroo. The predominantly South American and Australian origins of parasites within this clade suggest an ancient southern super-continent origin for ancestral T. cruzi, possibly in marsupials. T. brucei clusters exclusively with mammalian, salivarian trypanosomes of African origin, suggesting an evolutionary history confined to Africa, while T. cyclops, from an Asian primate appears to have evolved separately and is placed in a clade with T. (Megatrypanum species. Relating clade taxon composition to palaeogeographic evidence, the divergence of T. brucei and T. cruzi can be dated to the mid-Cretaceous, around 100 million years before present, following the separation of Africa, South America and Euramerica. Such an estimate of divergence time is considerably more recent than those of most previous studies based on molecular clock methods. Perhaps significantly, Salivarian trypanosomes appear, from these data, to be evolving several times faster than Schizotrypanum species, a factor which may have contributed to previous anomalous estimates of divergence times.

  11. Genetic Differences Between Humans and Great Apes -- Implications for the Evolution of Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2004-06-01

    At the level of individual protein sequences, humans are 97-100% identical to the great apes, our closest evolutionary relatives. The evolution of humans (and of human intelligence) from a common ancestor with the chimpanzee and bonobo involved many steps, influenced by interactions amongst factors of genetic, developmental, ecological, microbial, climatic, behavioral, cultural and social origin. The genetic factors can be approached by direct comparisons of human and great ape genomes, genes and gene products, and by elucidating biochemical and biological consequences of any differences found. We have discovered multiple genetic and biochemical differences between humans and great apes, particularly with respect to a family of cell surface molecules called sialic acids, as well as in the metabolism of thyroid hormones. The hormone differences have potential consequences for human brain development. The differences in sialic acid biology have multiple implications for the human condition, ranging from susceptibility or resistance to microbial pathogens, effects on endogenous receptors in the immune system, and potential effects on placental signaling, expression of oncofetal antigens in cancers, consequences of dietary intake of animal foods, and development of the mammalian brain.

  12. [Urinary incontinence in degenerative spinal disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Riggo, J; Benčo, M; Kolarovszki, B; Lupták, J; Svihra, J

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the presence of urinary incontinence in patients with chronic degenerative spinal disease and to identify factors affecting the occurrence and changes in urinary incontinence after surgery. The group evaluated comprised 214 patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spinal disease at our department between January 1 and December 31, 2008. The patients were categorised according to the type of their degenerative disease (cervical disc herniation, lumbar disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spinal instability or olisthesis) and the spine level involved (cervical or lumbar spine). The symptoms of urinary incontinence included leakage of urine and non-obstructive chronic urinary retention developing in association with the manifestation of vertebrogenic disorder. Patients with diseases known to increase the risk of incontinence were not included in the study. Based on a retrospective analysis of the patients' clinical notes, the occurrence of urinary incontinence in each type of degenerative spinal disease was assessed. The effect of gender, age, body mass index (BMI), neurological status and spinal disease type on the development of incontinence was statistically evaluated. The efficacy of surgical treatment was assessed on the basis of the patients' subjective complaints at the first follow-up one month after surgery. The data were evaluated by the statistical programme InSTAT (analysis of variance ANOVA, t-test). All tests were two-sided; a 0.05 level of statistical significance was used. Of the 214 patients with degenerative spinal disease, 27 (12.6%) had urinary incontinence. A higher risk of developing incontinence was found in women (p = 0.008) and in patients with radicular weakness (p = 0.023). The patients with urinary incontinence had their BMI significantly lower than patients without this disorder (p = 0.019). Age had no effect. The differences in the occurrence of urinary incontinence amongst the different types of

  13. Hereditary familial vestibular degenerative diseases.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sun, J.; Alphen, A.M. van; Wagenaar, M.; Huygen, P.L.M.; Hoogenraad, C.C.; Hasson, T.; Koekkoek, S.K.; Bohne, B.A.; Zeeuw, C.I. de

    2001-01-01

    Identification of genes involved in hereditary vestibular disease is growing at a remarkable pace. Mutant mouse technology can be an important tool for understanding the biological mechanism of human vestibular diseases.

  14. Plant Polyphenolic Antioxidants in Management of Chronic Degenerative Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.K. Das

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available With the over growing global population, degenerative diseases are on rise, despite using modern medicine for its cure. People prefer alternative systems of medicine like natural therapy and polyherbal therapy due to adverse effects of allopathic medication. According to W.H.O. report about 70% of world population relying on natural plant-based therapy. For a suitable, sustainable and cost effective cure use of polyphenolic natural antioxidants may be an appropriate tool. Now a day’s most food and pharmaceutical products contain synthetic antioxidants. But recent data indicating that, long term use of synthetic antioxidants could have carcinogenic effects on human cells. Thus, search for new natural and efficient antioxidants is need of the hour. Phenolic compounds (polyphenols are products of secondary metabolites and constitute one of the most widely distributed groups of substance in plant kingdom with more than 10,000 phenolic structures. Polyphenols are structurally characterized by the presence of one or more aromatic benzene ring compounds with one or more functional hydroxyl groups. Polyphenols are naturally occurring and most abundant antioxidants in human diets found largely in the fruits, vegetables and beverages. Plant flavonoids are the largest and best studied class of polyphenols which include more than 4000 compounds. Numerous studies confirm that, flavonoids exert a protective action on human health and are key components of a healthy and balanced diet. Epidemiological studies and associated meta-analysis correlate and strongly   suggest that, long term consumption of diets rich in plant flavonoids offer protection against development of chronic and degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases , diabetes , cancer, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. One of the main reasons for the age related diseases is linked with reduction in cellular oxidative stress. The involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS in

  15. Postoperative braces for degenerative lumbar diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Machado, Andre N.; Ayala, Ana Patricia; Rubinstein, Sidney M.; El Dib, Regina; Rodrigues, Luciano M.; Gotfryd, Alberto Ofenhejm; Tamaoki, Marcel Jun; Belloti, João Carlos

    2017-01-01

    This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: The primary objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of orthosis following lumbar spinal surgery for people with degenerative disease on pain reduction and improvement of functional status. Secondary objectives

  16. D-penicillamine induced degenerative dermopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujay Khandpur

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available D-penicillamine interferes with elastin and collagen metabolism and produces several cutaneous and multi-systemic side-effects. We present two cases of Wilson′s disease who on long-term penicillamine therapy developed drug-induced degenerative dermopathy manifesting as skin fragility over pressure sites and cutis laxa-like changes.

  17. Cartilage repair in the degenerative ageing knee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brittberg, Mats; Gomoll, Andreas H; Canseco, José A; Far, Jack; Lind, Martin; Hui, James

    2016-01-01

    Background and purpose Cartilage damage can develop due to trauma, resulting in focal chondral or osteochondral defects, or as more diffuse loss of cartilage in a generalized organ disease such as osteoarthritis. A loss of cartilage function and quality is also seen with increasing age. There is a spectrum of diseases ranging from focal cartilage defects with healthy surrounding cartilage to focal lesions in degenerative cartilage, to multiple and diffuse lesions in osteoarthritic cartilage. At the recent Aarhus Regenerative Orthopaedics Symposium (AROS) 2015, regenerative challenges in an ageing population were discussed by clinicians and basic scientists. A group of clinicians was given the task of discussing the role of tissue engineering in the treatment of degenerative cartilage lesions in ageing patients. We present the outcomes of our discussions on current treatment options for such lesions, with particular emphasis on different biological repair techniques and their supporting level of evidence. Results and interpretation Based on the studies on treatment of degenerative lesions and early OA, there is low-level evidence to suggest that cartilage repair is a possible treatment for such lesions, but there are conflicting results regarding the effect of advanced age on the outcome. We concluded that further improvements are needed for direct repair of focal, purely traumatic defects before we can routinely use such repair techniques for the more challenging degenerative lesions. Furthermore, we need to identify trigger mechanisms that start generalized loss of cartilage matrix, and induce subchondral bone changes and concomitant synovial pathology, to maximize our treatment methods for biological repair in degenerative ageing joints. PMID:27910738

  18. Evolutionary anthropology and genes: investigating the genetics of human evolution from excavated skeletal remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasiou, Evilena; Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-10-01

    The development of molecular tools for the extraction, analysis and interpretation of DNA from the remains of ancient organisms (paleogenetics) has revolutionised a range of disciplines as diverse as the fields of human evolution, bioarchaeology, epidemiology, microbiology, taxonomy and population genetics. The paper draws attention to some of the challenges associated with the extraction and interpretation of ancient DNA from archaeological material, and then reviews the influence of paleogenetics on the field of human evolution. It discusses the main contributions of molecular studies to reconstructing the evolutionary and phylogenetic relationships between extinct hominins (human ancestors) and anatomically modern humans. It also explores the evidence for evolutionary changes in the genetic structure of anatomically modern humans in recent millennia. This breadth of research has led to discoveries that would never have been possible using traditional approaches to human evolution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Monogamy, strongly bonded groups, and the evolution of human social structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapais, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Human social evolution has most often been treated in a piecemeal fashion, with studies focusing on the evolution of specific components of human society such as pair-bonding, cooperative hunting, male provisioning, grandmothering, cooperative breeding, food sharing, male competition, male violence, sexual coercion, territoriality, and between-group conflicts. Evolutionary models about any one of those components are usually concerned with two categories of questions, one relating to the origins of the component and the other to its impact on the evolution of human cognition and social life. Remarkably few studies have been concerned with the evolution of the entity that integrates all components, the human social system itself. That social system has as its core feature human social structure, which I define here as the common denominator of all human societies in terms of group composition, mating system, residence patterns, and kinship structures. The paucity of information on the evolution of human social structure poses substantial problems because that information is useful, if not essential, to assess both the origins and impact of any particular aspect of human society. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Inventing Homo gardarensis: prestige, pressure, and human evolution in interwar Scandinavia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjaergaard, Peter C

    2014-06-01

    In the 1920s there were still very few fossil human remains to support an evolutionary explanation of human origins. Nonetheless, evolution as an explanatory framework was widely accepted. This led to a search for ancestors in several continents with fierce international competition. With so little fossil evidence available and the idea of a Missing Link as a crucial piece of evidence in human evolution still intact, many actors participated in the scientific race to identify the human ancestor. The curious case of Homo gardarensis serves as an example of how personal ambitions and national pride were deeply interconnected as scientific concerns were sometimes slighted in interwar palaeoanthropology.

  1. Evaluation of serum cytokines in cats with and without degenerative joint disease and associated pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruen, Margaret E; Messenger, Kristen M; Thomson, Andrea E; Griffith, Emily H; Aldrich, Lauren A; Vaden, Shelly; Lascelles, B Duncan X

    2017-01-01

    Degenerative joint disease is common in cats, with signs of pain frequently found on orthopedic examination and radiographs often showing evidence of disease. However, understanding of the pathophysiology of degenerative joint disease and associated pain remains limited. Several cytokines have been identified as having a role in pain in humans, but this has not been investigated in cats. The present study was performed to use a multiplex platform to evaluate the concentration of 19 cytokines and chemokines in serum samples obtained from cats with and without degenerative joint disease and associated pain. Samples from a total of 186 cats were analyzed, with cats representing a range of severity on radiographic and orthopedic evaluations and categorized by degenerative joint disease scores and pain scores. Results showed that cats with higher radiographic degenerative joint disease scores have higher serum concentrations of IL-4 and IL-8, while cats with higher orthopedic exam pain scores have higher concentrations of IL-8, IL-2, and TNF-α; increased concentration of IL-8 in degenerative joint disease and pain may be confounded by the association with age. Discriminant analysis was unable to identify one or more cytokines that distinguish between groups of cats classified based on degenerative joint disease score category or pain score category. Finally, cluster analysis driven by analyte concentrations shows separation of groups of cats, but features defining the groups remain unknown. Further studies are warranted to investigate any changes in cytokine concentrations in response to analgesic therapies, and further evaluate the elevations in cytokine concentrations found here, particularly focused on studies of local cytokines present in synovial fluid. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The Evolution of Human Longevity: Toward a Biocultural Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Peter J.

    Homo sapiens is the only extant species for which there exists a significant post-reproductive period in the normal lifespan. Explanations for the evolution of this species-specific trait are possible through "non-deterministic" theories of aging positing "wear and tear" or the failure of nature to eliminate imperfection, or…

  3. REVIEW ARTICLE The evolution of religious belief in humans: A ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-04-04

    Apr 4, 2017 ... evolution, were co-opted for use in flight, which then became a ... activates the same regions as when actual faces are seen and recognized in everyday life, and ... our evolutionary needs kicked in and gave rise to morality.

  4. Evolution of the human brain: design without a designer.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, M.A.; Kaas, John

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary expansion of the brain is among the most distinctive morphological features of mammals. During the past decades, considerable progress has been made in explaining brain evolution in terms of physical and adaptive principles. The objective of this chapter is to present current

  5. Evolution of the human brain : when bigger is better

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, Michel A

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies of the brain in mammals suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development. We are beginning to understand the geometric, biophysical and energy constraints that have governed the evolution and functional organization of the

  6. Religion in human evolution: on some generative and selective mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jeppe Sinding

    2012-01-01

    On the use of moral psychology in reconstructing the evolutionary role of religion in human social development......On the use of moral psychology in reconstructing the evolutionary role of religion in human social development...

  7. Nutritional contribution of plant foods to human diet in evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schnorr, Stephanie Laurel

    2016-01-01

    Diets and food are indisputably core facets of human society. The great apes still rely on plants to supply most of their nutritional needs. Humans, however consume a diet that is nearly unrecognizable from that of early hominin and human ancestors. While the virtues of plant foods are widely

  8. Degenerative Pathways of Lumbar Motion Segments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Rikke K.; Kjaer, Per; Jensen, Tue S.

    2016-01-01

    pathways of degeneration based on scientific knowledge of disco-vertebral degeneration, and (iii) compare these clusters and degenerative pathways between samples. METHODS: We performed a secondary cross-sectional analysis on two dissimilar MRI samples collected in a hospital department: (1) data from...... pathways of degeneration. RESULTS: Six clusters of MRI findings were identified in each of the two samples. The content of the clusters in the two samples displayed some differences but had the same overall pattern of MRI findings. Although the hypothetical degenerative pathways identified in the two...... samples were not identical, the overall pattern of increasing degeneration within the pathways was the same. CONCLUSIONS: It was expected that different clusters could emerge from different samples, however, when organised into hypothetical pathways of degeneration, the overall pattern of increasing...

  9. Is running associated with degenerative joint disease?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panush, R.S.; Schmidt, C.; Caldwell, J.R.

    1986-01-01

    Little information is available regarding the long-term effects, if any, of running on the musculoskeletal system. The authors compared the prevalence of degenerative joint disease among 17 male runners with 18 male nonrunners. Running subjects (53% marathoners) ran a mean of 44.8 km (28 miles)/wk for 12 years. Pain and swelling of hips, knees, ankles and feet and other musculoskeletal complaints among runners were comparable with those among nonrunners. Radiologic examinations (for osteophytes, cartilage thickness, and grade of degeneration) also were without notable differences among groups. They did not find an increased prevalence of osteoarthritis among the runners. Our observations suggest that long-duration, high-mileage running need to be associated with premature degenerative joint disease in the lower extremities

  10. Degenerative cerebellar diseases and differential diagnoses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reith, W.; Roumia, S.; Dietrich, P.

    2016-01-01

    Cerebellar syndromes result in distinct clinical symptoms, such as ataxia, dysarthria, dysmetria, intention tremor and eye movement disorders. In addition to the medical history and clinical examination, imaging is particularly important to differentiate other diseases, such as hydrocephalus and multi-infarct dementia from degenerative cerebellar diseases. Degenerative diseases with cerebellar involvement include Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy as well as other diseases including spinocerebellar ataxia. In addition to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine imaging investigations are also helpful for the differentiation. Axial fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and T2-weighted sequences can sometimes show a signal increase in the pons as a sign of degeneration of pontine neurons and transverse fibers in the basilar part of the pons. The imaging is particularly necessary to exclude other diseases, such as normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), multi-infarct dementia and cerebellar lesions. (orig.) [de

  11. [Degenerative cerebellar diseases and differential diagnoses].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reith, W; Roumia, S; Dietrich, P

    2016-11-01

    Cerebellar syndromes result in distinct clinical symptoms, such as ataxia, dysarthria, dysmetria, intention tremor and eye movement disorders. In addition to the medical history and clinical examination, imaging is particularly important to differentiate other diseases, such as hydrocephalus and multi-infarct dementia from degenerative cerebellar diseases. Degenerative diseases with cerebellar involvement include Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy as well as other diseases including spinocerebellar ataxia. In addition to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine imaging investigations are also helpful for the differentiation. Axial fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and T2-weighted sequences can sometimes show a signal increase in the pons as a sign of degeneration of pontine neurons and transverse fibers in the basilar part of the pons. The imaging is particularly necessary to exclude other diseases, such as normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), multi-infarct dementia and cerebellar lesions.

  12. MR imaging of degenerative disc disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farshad-Amacker, Nadja A.; Farshad, Mazda; Winklehner, Anna; Andreisek, Gustav

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • This systematic literature review summarizes the current knowledge on MR imaging in degenerative disc disease. • Different classification systems for segmental spine degeneration are summarized. • It outlines the diagnostic limitations of MR imaging. - Abstract: Magnet resonance imaging (MRI) is the most commonly used imaging modality for diagnosis of degenerative disc disease (DDD). Lack of precise observations and documentation of aspects within the complex entity of DDD might partially be the cause of poor correlation of radiographic findings to clinical symptoms. This literature review summarizes the current knowledge on MRI in DDD and outlines the diagnostic limitations. The review further sensitizes the reader toward awareness of potentially untended aspects of DDD and the interaction of DDD and endplate changes. A summary of the available classifications for DDD is provided

  13. MR imaging of degenerative disc disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farshad-Amacker, Nadja A., E-mail: nadja.farshad@usz.ch [Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland); Farshad, Mazda [Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich (Switzerland); Winklehner, Anna; Andreisek, Gustav [Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2015-09-15

    Highlights: • This systematic literature review summarizes the current knowledge on MR imaging in degenerative disc disease. • Different classification systems for segmental spine degeneration are summarized. • It outlines the diagnostic limitations of MR imaging. - Abstract: Magnet resonance imaging (MRI) is the most commonly used imaging modality for diagnosis of degenerative disc disease (DDD). Lack of precise observations and documentation of aspects within the complex entity of DDD might partially be the cause of poor correlation of radiographic findings to clinical symptoms. This literature review summarizes the current knowledge on MRI in DDD and outlines the diagnostic limitations. The review further sensitizes the reader toward awareness of potentially untended aspects of DDD and the interaction of DDD and endplate changes. A summary of the available classifications for DDD is provided.

  14. Nanotechnology and nanocarrier-based approaches on treatment of degenerative diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Anindita; Kunjiappan, Selvaraj; Panneerselvam, Theivendren; Somasundaram, Balasubramanian; Bhattacharjee, Chiranjib

    2017-04-01

    Degenerative diseases are results of deterioration of cells and tissues with aging either by unhealthy lifestyle or normal senescence. The degenerative disease likely affects central nervous system and cardiovascular system to a great extent. Certain medications and therapies have emerged for the treatment of degenerative diseases, but in most cases bearing with poor solubility, lower bioavailability, drug resistance, and incapability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Hence, it has to be overcome with conventional treatment system; in this connection, nanotechnology has gained a great deal of interest in recent years. Moreover, nanotechnology and nanocarrier-based approach drug delivery system could revolutionize the treatment of degenerative diseases by faster absorption of drug, targeted interaction at specific site, and its release in a controlled manner into human body with minimal side effects. The core objective of this review is to customize and formulate therapeutically active molecules with specific site of action and without affecting other organs and tissues to obtain effective result in the improvement of quality of health. In addition, the review provides a concise insight into the recent developments and applications of nanotech and nanocarrier-based drug delivery for the treatment of various degenerative diseases.

  15. Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, Andrew H; Li, Yingying; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Pusey, Anne E; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H; Ochman, Howard

    2014-11-18

    Humans are ecosystems containing trillions of microorganisms, but the evolutionary history of this microbiome is obscured by a lack of knowledge about microbiomes of African apes. We sequenced the gut communities of hundreds of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas and developed a phylogenetic approach to reconstruct how present-day human microbiomes have diverged from those of ancestral populations. Compositional change in the microbiome was slow and clock-like during African ape diversification, but human microbiomes have deviated from the ancestral state at an accelerated rate. Relative to the microbiomes of wild apes, human microbiomes have lost ancestral microbial diversity while becoming specialized for animal-based diets. Individual wild apes cultivate more phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species of bacteria than do individual humans across a range of societies. These results indicate that humanity has experienced a depletion of the gut flora since diverging from Pan.

  16. Radiation treatment of painful degenerative skeletal conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaefer, U.; Micke, O.; Willich, N.

    1996-01-01

    The study reported was intended to present own experience with irradiation for treatment of painful degenerative skeletal conditions and examine the long-term effects of this treatment. A retrospective study was performed covering the period from 1985 until 1991, examining 157 patients suffering from painful degenerative skeletal conditions who entered information on the success of their radiation treatment in a questionnaire. 94 of the questionnaires could be used for evaluation. Pain anamnesis revealed periods of more than one year in 45% of the cases. 74% of the patients had been treated without success with drug or orthopedic therapy. Immediately after termination of the radiotherapy, 38% of the patients said to be free of pain or to feel essentially relieved, while at the time the questionnaire was distributed, the percentage was 76%. Thus in our patient material, radiotherapy for treatment of painful degenerative skeletal lesions was successful in 76% of the cases and for long post-treatment periods, including those cases whith long pain anamnesis and unsuccessful conventional pre-treatment. (orig./MG) [de

  17. Inventing Homo gardarensis: Prestige, Pressure and Human Evolution in Interwar Scandinavia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærgaard, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    In the 1920s there were still very few fossil human remains to support an evolutionary explanation of human origins. Nonetheless, evolution as an explanatory framework was widely accepted. This led to a search for ancestors in several continents with fierce international competition. With so litt...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PW Bateman

    2006-09-01

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

  19. The 'other faunivory' revisited: Insectivory in human and non-human primates and the evolution of human diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrew, William C

    2014-06-01

    The role of invertebrates in the evolution of human diet has been under-studied by comparison with vertebrates and plants. This persists despite substantial knowledge of the importance of the 'other faunivory', especially insect-eating, in the daily lives of non-human primates and traditional human societies, especially hunters and gatherers. Most primates concentrate on two phyla, Mollusca and Arthropoda, but of the latter's classes, insects (especially five orders: Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera) are paramount. An insect product, bees' honey, is particularly important, and its collection shows a reversal of the usual sexual division of labor. Human entomophagy involves advanced technology (fire, containers) and sometimes domestication. Insectivory provides comparable calorific and nutritional benefits to carnivory, but with different costs. Much insectivory in hominoids entails elementary technology used in extractive foraging, such as termite fishing by chimpanzees. Elucidating insectivory in the fossil and paleontological record is challenging, but at least nine avenues are available: remains, lithics, residues, DNA, coprolites, dental microwear, stable isotopes, osteology, and depictions. All are in play, but some have been more successful so far than others. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evolution, human-microbe interactions, and life history plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rook, Graham; Bäckhed, Fredrik; Levin, Bruce R; McFall-Ngai, Margaret J; McLean, Angela R

    2017-07-29

    A bacterium was once a component of the ancestor of all eukaryotic cells, and much of the human genome originated in microorganisms. Today, all vertebrates harbour large communities of microorganisms (microbiota), particularly in the gut, and at least 20% of the small molecules in human blood are products of the microbiota. Changing human lifestyles and medical practices are disturbing the content and diversity of the microbiota, while simultaneously reducing our exposures to the so-called old infections and to organisms from the natural environment with which human beings co-evolved. Meanwhile, population growth is increasing the exposure of human beings to novel pathogens, particularly the crowd infections that were not part of our evolutionary history. Thus some microbes have co-evolved with human beings and play crucial roles in our physiology and metabolism, whereas others are entirely intrusive. Human metabolism is therefore a tug-of-war between managing beneficial microbes, excluding detrimental ones, and channelling as much energy as is available into other essential functions (eg, growth, maintenance, reproduction). This tug-of-war shapes the passage of each individual through life history decision nodes (eg, how fast to grow, when to mature, and how long to live). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Evolutionary Medicine: The Ongoing Evolution of Human Physiology and Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rühli, Frank; van Schaik, Katherine; Henneberg, Maciej

    2016-11-01

    The field of evolutionary medicine uses evolutionary principles to understand changes in human anatomy and physiology that have occurred over time in response to environmental changes. Through this evolutionary-based approach, we can understand disease as a consequence of anatomical and physiological "trade-offs" that develop to facilitate survival and reproduction. We demonstrate how diachronic study of human anatomy and physiology is fundamental for an increased understanding of human health and disease. ©2016 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am. Physiol. Soc.

  2. Localizing recent adaptive evolution in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williamson, Scott H; Hubisz, Melissa J; Clark, Andrew G

    2007-01-01

    , clusters of olfactory receptors, genes involved in nervous system development and function, immune system genes, and heat shock genes. We also observe consistent evidence of selective sweeps in centromeric regions. In general, we find that recent adaptation is strikingly pervasive in the human genome......-nucleotide polymorphism ascertainment, while also providing fine-scale estimates of the position of the selected site, we analyzed a genomic dataset of 1.2 million human single-nucleotide polymorphisms genotyped in African-American, European-American, and Chinese samples. We identify 101 regions of the human genome...

  3. Human genetics: measuring the raw material of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armour, John A L

    2009-09-15

    By direct sequencing of two Y chromosomes inherited from the same paternal ancestor, a landmark study has derived a good direct estimate for the rate of base substitution mutations on the human Y chromosome.

  4. Terrorism against Human Rights: Reflections in the light of the Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubens Sotero

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Departing from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we will inquire if there are human rights for terrorists. Initially, we will defend the claim that the Declaration guarantees such rights to terrorists and we will show its consequences. Then we will seek an objective foundation for human rights based on the theory of evolution of species; as such a foundation is missing, we will show some consequences of the lack of this objective foundation.

  5. The Paradox of Isochrony in the Evolution of Human Rhythm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Ravignani

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Isochrony is crucial to the rhythm of human music. Some neural, behavioral and anatomical traits underlying rhythm perception and production are shared with a broad range of species. These may either have a common evolutionary origin, or have evolved into similar traits under different evolutionary pressures. Other traits underlying rhythm are rare across species, only found in humans and few other animals. Isochrony, or stable periodicity, is common to most human music, but isochronous behaviors are also found in many species. It appears paradoxical that humans are particularly good at producing and perceiving isochronous patterns, although this ability does not conceivably confer any evolutionary advantage to modern humans. This article will attempt to solve this conundrum. To this end, we define the concept of isochrony from the present functional perspective of physiology, cognitive neuroscience, signal processing, and interactive behavior, and review available evidence on isochrony in the signals of humans and other animals. We then attempt to resolve the paradox of isochrony by expanding an evolutionary hypothesis about the function that isochronous behavior may have had in early hominids. Finally, we propose avenues for empirical research to examine this hypothesis and to understand the evolutionary origin of isochrony in general.

  6. Endocasts-the direct evidence and recent advances in the study of human brain evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Brain evolution is one of the most important aspects of human evolution, usually studied through endocasts. Analysis of fossil hominid endocasts allows inferences on functional anatomy, physiology, and phylogeny. In this paper, we describe the general features of endocast studies and review some of the major topics in paleoneurology. These are: absolute and relative brain size evolution; brain shape variation; brain asymmetry and lateralization; middle meningeal vessels and venous sinuses; application of computed tomography and virtual imaging; the history of Chinese brain endocast studies. In particular, this review emphasizes endocast studies on Chinese hominin fossils.

  7. 'Lumbar Degenerative Kyphosis' Is Not Byword for Degenerative Sagittal Imbalance: Time to Replace a Misconception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chang-Hyun; Chung, Chun Kee; Jang, Jee-Soo; Kim, Sung-Min; Chin, Dong-Kyu; Lee, Jung-Kil

    2017-03-01

    Lumbar degenerative kyphosis (LDK) is a subgroup of the flat-back syndrome and is most commonly caused by unique life styles, such as a prolonged crouched posture during agricultural work and performing activities of daily living on the floor. Unfortunately, LDK has been used as a byword for degenerative sagittal imbalance, and this sometimes causes confusion. The aim of this review was to evaluate the exact territory of LDK, and to introduce another appropriate term for degenerative sagittal deformity. Unlike what its name suggests, LDK does not only include sagittal balance disorder of the lumbar spine and kyphosis, but also sagittal balance disorder of the whole spine and little lordosis of the lumbar spine. Moreover, this disease is closely related to the occupation of female farmers and an outdated Asian life style. These reasons necessitate a change in the nomenclature of this disorder to prevent misunderstanding. We suggest the name "primary degenerative sagittal imbalance" (PDSI), which encompasses degenerative sagittal misalignments of unknown origin in the whole spine in older-age patients, and is associated with back muscle wasting. LDK may be regarded as a subgroup of PDSI related to an occupation in agriculture. Conservative treatments such as exercise and physiotherapy are recommended as first-line treatments for patients with PDSI, and surgical treatment is considered only if conservative treatments failed. The measurement of spinopelvic parameters for sagittal balance is important prior to deformity corrective surgery. LDK can be considered a subtype of PDSI that is more likely to occur in female farmers, and hence the use of LDK as a global term for all degenerative sagittal imbalance disorders is better avoided. To avoid confusion, we recommend PDSI as a newer, more accurate diagnostic term instead of LDK.

  8. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zihlman, Adrienne L; Bolter, Debra R

    2015-06-16

    The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4-5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition.

  9. Rate of evolution in brain-expressed genes in humans and other primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurng-Yi Wang

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Brain-expressed genes are known to evolve slowly in mammals. Nevertheless, since brains of higher primates have evolved rapidly, one might expect acceleration in DNA sequence evolution in their brain-expressed genes. In this study, we carried out full-length cDNA sequencing on the brain transcriptome of an Old World monkey (OWM and then conducted three-way comparisons among (i mouse, OWM, and human, and (ii OWM, chimpanzee, and human. Although brain-expressed genes indeed appear to evolve more rapidly in species with more advanced brains (apes > OWM > mouse, a similar lineage effect is observable for most other genes. The broad inclusion of genes in the reference set to represent the genomic average is therefore critical to this type of analysis. Calibrated against the genomic average, the rate of evolution among brain-expressed genes is probably lower (or at most equal in humans than in chimpanzee and OWM. Interestingly, the trend of slow evolution in coding sequence is no less pronounced among brain-specific genes, vis-à-vis brain-expressed genes in general. The human brain may thus differ from those of our close relatives in two opposite directions: (i faster evolution in gene expression, and (ii a likely slowdown in the evolution of protein sequences. Possible explanations and hypotheses are discussed.

  10. The Integration Hypothesis of Human Language Evolution and the Nature of Contemporary Languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru eMiyagawa

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa, Berwick, & Okanoya (Frontiers 2013 put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, which holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis.

  11. The evolution of the brain, the human nature of cortical circuits and intellectual creativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier eDeFelipe

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The tremendous expansion and the differentiation of the neocortex constitute two major events in the evolution of the mammalian brain. The increase in size and complexity of our brains opened the way to a spectacular development of cognitive and mental skills. This expansion during evolution facilitated the addition of archetypical microcircuits, which increased the complexity of the human brain and contributed to its uniqueness. However, fundamental differences even exist between distinct mammalian species. Here, we shall discuss the issue of our humanity from a neurobiological and historical perspective.

  12. Cross-cultural Comparison of Learning in Human Hunting : Implications for Life History Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Katharine

    2007-12-01

    This paper is a cross-cultural examination of the development of hunting skills and the implications for the debate on the role of learning in the evolution of human life history patterns. While life history theory has proven to be a powerful tool for understanding the evolution of the human life course, other schools, such as cultural transmission and social learning theory, also provide theoretical insights. These disparate theories are reviewed, and alternative and exclusive predictions are identified. This study of cross-cultural regularities in how children learn hunting skills, based on the ethnographic literature on traditional hunters, complements existing empirical work and highlights future areas for investigation.

  13. Anthropomorphism in Human-Robot Co-evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damiano, Luisa; Dumouchel, Paul

    2018-01-01

    Social robotics entertains a particular relationship with anthropomorphism, which it neither sees as a cognitive error, nor as a sign of immaturity. Rather it considers that this common human tendency, which is hypothesized to have evolved because it favored cooperation among early humans, can be used today to facilitate social interactions between humans and a new type of cooperative and interactive agents - social robots. This approach leads social robotics to focus research on the engineering of robots that activate anthropomorphic projections in users. The objective is to give robots "social presence" and "social behaviors" that are sufficiently credible for human users to engage in comfortable and potentially long-lasting relations with these machines. This choice of 'applied anthropomorphism' as a research methodology exposes the artifacts produced by social robotics to ethical condemnation: social robots are judged to be a "cheating" technology, as they generate in users the illusion of reciprocal social and affective relations. This article takes position in this debate, not only developing a series of arguments relevant to philosophy of mind, cognitive sciences, and robotic AI, but also asking what social robotics can teach us about anthropomorphism. On this basis, we propose a theoretical perspective that characterizes anthropomorphism as a basic mechanism of interaction, and rebuts the ethical reflections that a priori condemns "anthropomorphism-based" social robots. To address the relevant ethical issues, we promote a critical experimentally based ethical approach to social robotics, "synthetic ethics," which aims at allowing humans to use social robots for two main goals: self-knowledge and moral growth.

  14. Simple versus complex degenerative mitral valve disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javadikasgari, Hoda; Mihaljevic, Tomislav; Suri, Rakesh M; Svensson, Lars G; Navia, Jose L; Wang, Robert Z; Tappuni, Bassman; Lowry, Ashley M; McCurry, Kenneth R; Blackstone, Eugene H; Desai, Milind Y; Mick, Stephanie L; Gillinov, A Marc

    2018-07-01

    At a center where surgeons favor mitral valve (MV) repair for all subsets of leaflet prolapse, we compared results of patients undergoing repair for simple versus complex degenerative MV disease. From January 1985 to January 2016, 6153 patients underwent primary isolated MV repair for degenerative disease, 3101 patients underwent primary isolated MV repair for simple disease (posterior prolapse), and 3052 patients underwent primary isolated MV repair for complex disease (anterior or bileaflet prolapse), based on preoperative echocardiographic images. Logistic regression analysis was used to generate propensity scores for risk-adjusted comparisons (n = 2065 matched pairs). Durability was assessed by longitudinal recurrence of mitral regurgitation and reoperation. Compared with patients with simple disease, those undergoing repair of complex pathology were more likely to be younger and female (both P values < .0001) but with similar symptoms (P = .3). The most common repair technique was ring/band annuloplasty (3055/99% simple vs 3000/98% complex; P = .5), followed by leaflet resection (2802/90% simple vs 2249/74% complex; P < .0001). Among propensity-matched patients, recurrence of severe mitral regurgitation 10 years after repair was 6.2% for simple pathology versus 11% for complex pathology (P = .007), reoperation at 18 years was 6.3% for simple pathology versus 11% for complex pathology, and 20-year survival was 62% for simple pathology versus 61% for complex pathology (P = .6). Early surgical intervention has become more common in patients with degenerative MV disease, regardless of valve prolapse complexity or symptom status. Valve repair was associated with similarly low operative risk and time-related survival but less durability in complex disease. Lifelong annual echocardiographic surveillance after MV repair is recommended, particularly in patients with complex disease. Copyright © 2018 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery

  15. Imaging and translational research: neuro degenerative diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hantraye, P.

    2009-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging of neuro-degenerative diseases over the past two decades are the product of breakthroughs in imaging technology, more powerful computers, image-processing software, and expanding knowledge in basic and clinical neuro-science. In addition to the insights into normal brain structure and function that such methods provide, and the information that can be gained from disease-related changes in structure and function, functional imaging offers the promise of monitoring brain lesions and quantifying the therapeutic efficacy of innovative treatments for these largely incurable disorders. (author)

  16. [Degenerative lesions of the peripheral retina].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conart, J-B; Baron, D; Berrod, J-P

    2014-01-01

    Degenerative lesions of the peripheral retina are present from teenage years onwards and increase with age. These abnormabilities are frequent, some of them being benign while others predispose to retinal tears and detachment. In the latter case, the lesions are rhegmatogenous and may justify prophylactic treatment by laser photocoagulation. We distinguish congenital lesions of the peripheral retina and intraretinal, chorioretinal and vitreoretinal degenerations. The holes and tears observed in 2% of the population consist of round atrophic holes, "horseshoe" tears, oral dialyses and giant tears. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Dose Calculation Evolution for Internal Organ Irradiation in Humans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez V, Reina A.

    2007-01-01

    The International Commission of Radiation Units (ICRU) has established through the years, a discrimination system regarding the security levels on the prescription and administration of doses in radiation treatments (Radiotherapy, Brach therapy, Nuclear Medicine). The first level is concerned with the prescription and posterior assurance of dose administration to a point of interest (POI), commonly located at the geometrical center of the region to be treated. In this, the effects of radiation around that POI, is not a priority. The second level refers to the dose specifications in a particular plane inside the patient, mostly the middle plane of the lesion. The dose is calculated to all the structures in that plane regardless if they are tumor or healthy tissue. In this case, the dose is not represented by a point value, but by level curves called 'isodoses' as in a topographic map, so you can assure the level of doses to this particular plane, but it also leave with no information about how this values go thru adjacent planes. This is why the third level is referred to the volumetrical description of doses so these isodoses construct now a volume (named 'cloud') that give us better assurance about tissue irradiation around the volume of the lesion and its margin (sub clinical spread or microscopic illness). This work shows how this evolution has resulted, not only in healthy tissue protection improvement but in a rise of tumor control, quality of life, better treatment tolerance and minimum permanent secuelae

  18. Evolution of the human hip. Part 1: the osseous framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogervorst, Tom; Vereecke, Evie E

    2014-10-01

    Extensive osseous adaptations of the lumbar spine, pelvis, hip and femur characterize the emergence of the human bipedal gait with its 'double extension' of the lumbar spine and hip. To accommodate lumbar lordosis, the pelvis was 'compacted', becoming wider and shorter, as compared with the non-human apes. The hip joint acquired a much more extended position, which can be seen in a broader evolutionary context of verticalization of limbs. When loaded in a predominantly vertical position, the femur can be built lighter and longer than when it is loaded more horizontally because bending moments are smaller. Extension of the hip joint together with elongation of the femur increases effective leg length, and hence stride length, which improves energy efficiency. At the hip joint itself, the shift of the hip's default working range to a more extended position influences concavity at the head-neck junction and femoral neck anteversion.

  19. Appraisal of Microbial Evolution to Commensalism and Pathogenicity in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asit Ranjan Ghosh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The human body is host to a number of microbes occurring in various forms of host-microbe associations, such as commensals, mutualists, pathogens and opportunistic symbionts. While this association with microbes in certain cases is beneficial to the host, in many other cases it seems to offer no evident benefit or motive. The emergence and re-emergence of newer varieties of infectious diseases with causative agents being strains that were once living in the human system makes it necessary to study the environment and the dynamics under which this host microbe relationship thrives. The present discussion examines this interaction while tracing the origins of this association, and attempts to hypothesize a possible framework of selective pressures that could have lead microbes to inhabit mammalian host systems.

  20. Random genetic drift, natural selection, and noise in human cranial evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roseman, Charles C

    2016-08-01

    This study assesses the extent to which relationships among groups complicate comparative studies of adaptation in recent human cranial variation and the extent to which departures from neutral additive models of evolution hinder the reconstruction of population relationships among groups using cranial morphology. Using a maximum likelihood evolutionary model fitting approach and a mixed population genomic and cranial data set, I evaluate the relative fits of several widely used models of human cranial evolution. Moreover, I compare the goodness of fit of models of cranial evolution constrained by genomic variation to test hypotheses about population specific departures from neutrality. Models from population genomics are much better fits to cranial variation than are traditional models from comparative human biology. There is not enough evolutionary information in the cranium to reconstruct much of recent human evolution but the influence of population history on cranial variation is strong enough to cause comparative studies of adaptation serious difficulties. Deviations from a model of random genetic drift along a tree-like population history show the importance of environmental effects, gene flow, and/or natural selection on human cranial variation. Moreover, there is a strong signal of the effect of natural selection or an environmental factor on a group of humans from Siberia. The evolution of the human cranium is complex and no one evolutionary process has prevailed at the expense of all others. A holistic unification of phenome, genome, and environmental context, gives us a strong point of purchase on these problems, which is unavailable to any one traditional approach alone. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:582-592, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Humans and Machines in the Evolution of AI in Korea

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Byoung-Tak

    2016-01-01

    Artificial intelligence in Korea is currently prospering. The media is regularly reporting AI-enabled products such as smart advisors, personal robots, autonomous cars, and human-level intelligence machines. The IT industry is investing in deep learning and AI to maintain the global competitive edge in their services and products. The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP) has launched new funding programs in AI and cognitive science to implement the government’s newly adopted e...

  2. Extracellular Matrix Molecular Remodeling in Human Liver Fibrosis Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Baiocchini

    Full Text Available Chronic liver damage leads to pathological accumulation of ECM proteins (liver fibrosis. Comprehensive characterization of the human ECM molecular composition is essential for gaining insights into the mechanisms of liver disease. To date, studies of ECM remodeling in human liver diseases have been hampered by the unavailability of purified ECM. Here, we developed a decellularization method to purify ECM scaffolds from human liver tissues. Histological and electron microscopy analyses demonstrated that the ECM scaffolds, devoid of plasma and cellular components, preserved the three-dimensional ECM structure and zonal distribution of ECM components. This method has been then applied on 57 liver biopsies of HCV-infected patients at different stages of liver fibrosis according to METAVIR classification. Label-free nLC-MS/MS proteomics and computation biology were performed to analyze the ECM molecular composition in liver fibrosis progression, thus unveiling protein expression signatures specific for the HCV-related liver fibrotic stages. In particular, the ECM molecular composition of liver fibrosis was found to involve dynamic changes in matrix stiffness, flexibility and density related to the dysregulation of predominant collagen, elastic fibers and minor components with both structural and signaling properties. This study contributes to the understanding of the molecular bases underlying ECM remodeling in liver fibrosis and suggests new molecular targets for fibrolytic strategies.

  3. Why human evolution should be a basic science for medicine and psychology students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanza, Paola; Parmigiani, Stefano

    2016-06-20

    Based on our teaching experience in medicine and psychology degree programs, we examine different aspects of human evolution that can help students to understand how the human body and mind work and why they are vulnerable to certain diseases. Three main issues are discussed: 1) the necessity to consider not only the mechanisms, i.e. the "proximate causations", implicated in biological processes but also why these mechanisms have evolved, i.e. the "ultimate causations" or "adaptive significance", to understand the functioning and malfunctioning of human body and mind; 2) examples of how human vulnerabilities to disease are caused by phylogenetic constraints, evolutionary tradeoffs reflecting the combined actions of natural and sexual selection, and/or mismatch between past and present environment (i.e., evolution of the eye, teeth and diets, erect posture and their consequences); 3) human pair-bonding and parent-offspring relationships as the result of socio-sexual selection and evolutionary compromises between cooperation and conflict. These psychobiological mechanisms are interwoven with our brain developmental plasticity and the effects of culture in shaping our behavior and mind, and allow a better understanding of functional (normal) and dysfunctional (pathological) behaviors. Thus, because the study of human evolution offers a powerful framework for clinical practice and research, the curriculum studiorum of medical and psychology students should include evolutionary biology and human phylogeny.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Henneberg

    2013-06-01

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

  5. Radiographic evaluation of degenerative joint disease in horses: interpretive principles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Widmer, W.R.; Blevins, W.E.

    1994-01-01

    Degenerative joint disease in horses is characterized by the progressive deterioration of articular cartilage of synovial joints. The morbidity associated with degenerative joint disease, particularly the loss of function in pleasure and performance horses, costs horse owners millions of dollars each year. Although new drugs, such as polysulfated glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid, are available for the treatment of patients with degenerative joint disease, the success of therapy depends on early diagnosis. Diagnostic imaging strategies, therefore, should focus on accurate and timely diagnosis of degenerative joint disease to provide prompt therapy. Early identification of degenerative joint disease is also beneficial because the use and/or training methods of affected patients may be altered, possibly limiting the progression of the disease. The pathogenesis of degenerative joint disease is complex and multifactorial. Current evidence suggests that initiating factors lead to a final common pathway-breakdown of articular cartilage. There are many diagnostic tests that aid practitioners in detecting degenerative joint disease; however, the most important imaging technique is radiography. During the early stages of the disease, radiographic changes may be slight; therefore, it is essential that practitioners have adequate equipment to obtain high-quality radiographs. Thinning of the joint space, osteophytosis, enthesopathy, changes in subchondral bone, and increased synovium and synovia provide radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease. By understanding the pathophysiology of the disease and how technical alterations affect the subtle radiographic changes, practitioners can more accurately diagnose degenerative joint disease during its early stages and institute proper therapy

  6. Charles Darwin and the evolution of human grammatical systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckingham, Hugh W; Christman, Sarah S

    2010-04-08

    Charles Darwin's evolutionary theories of animal communication were deeply embedded in a centuries-old model of association psychology, whose prodromes have most often been traced to the writings of Aristotle. His notions of frequency of occurrence of pairings have been passed down through the centuries and were a major ontological feature in the formation of associative connectivity. He focused on the associations of cause and effect, contiguity of sequential occurrence, and similarity among items. Cause and effect were often reduced to another type of contiguity relation, so that Aristotle is most often evoked as the originator of the associative bondings through similarity and contiguity, contiguity being the most powerful and frequent means of association. Contiguity eventually became the overriding mechanism for serial ordering of mental events in both perception and action. The notions of concatenation throughout the association psychology took the form of "trains" of events, both sensory and motor, in such a way that serial ordering came to be viewed as an item-by-item string of locally contiguous events. Modern developments in the mathematics of serial ordering have advanced in sophistication since the early and middle twentieth century, and new computational methods have allowed us to reevaluate the serial concatenative theories of Darwin and the associationists. These new models of serial order permit a closer comparative scrutiny between human and nonhuman. The present study considers Darwin's insistence on a "degree" continuity between human and nonhuman animal serial ordering. We will consider a study of starling birdsongs and whether the serial ordering of those songs provides evidence that they have a syntax that at best differs only in degree and not in kind with the computations of human grammatical structures. We will argue that they, in fact, show no such thing.

  7. Stem cell treatment of degenerative eye disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Mead

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Stem cell therapies are being explored extensively as treatments for degenerative eye disease, either for replacing lost neurons, restoring neural circuits or, based on more recent evidence, as paracrine-mediated therapies in which stem cell-derived trophic factors protect compromised endogenous retinal neurons from death and induce the growth of new connections. Retinal progenitor phenotypes induced from embryonic stem cells/induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs/iPSCs and endogenous retinal stem cells may replace lost photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE cells and restore vision in the diseased eye, whereas treatment of injured retinal ganglion cells (RGCs has so far been reliant on mesenchymal stem cells (MSC. Here, we review the properties of non-retinal-derived adult stem cells, in particular neural stem cells (NSCs, MSC derived from bone marrow (BMSC, adipose tissues (ADSC and dental pulp (DPSC, together with ESC/iPSC and discuss and compare their potential advantages as therapies designed to provide trophic support, repair and replacement of retinal neurons, RPE and glia in degenerative retinal diseases. We conclude that ESCs/iPSCs have the potential to replace lost retinal cells, whereas MSC may be a useful source of paracrine factors that protect RGC and stimulate regeneration of their axons in the optic nerve in degenerate eye disease. NSC may have potential as both a source of replacement cells and also as mediators of paracrine treatment.

  8. Canine Degenerative Valve Disease: A Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmenza Janneth Benavides Melo

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Degenerative valvular disease or endocardiosis is the most common cardiovascular pathology in dogs. It is characterized by regurgitation of blood into the atria with decreased cardiac output, leading to volume overload with eccentric hypertrophy and congestive heart failure. This report describes the clinical and autopsy findings of a dog, suggestive of valvular endocardiosis. The patient was admitted to the outpatient Veterinary Clinic “Carlos Martínez Hoyos” at the University of Nariño (Pasto, Colombia. His owner said the dog was sick for two months, with signs of respiratory disease, weight loss, and decay. Clinical examination showed very pale mucous membranes, inspiratory dyspnea, rale, split S2, grade 4 mid-systolic murmur of regurgitation, and abdominal dilatation with sign of positive shock wave. Necropsy evidenced plenty of translucent watery material in the abdominal, chest and pericardium cavity, severely enlarged and rounded heart with thickened atrioventricular valves, moderate reduction in liver size and signs of lobulation, severely diminished and pale kidneys with irregular surface showing the presence of multiple cystic areas in corticomedullary region. Samples were taken from these tissues and fixed in 10% buffered formalin to be processed for histopathological analysis at the Laboratory of Pathology at the University of Nariño, using hematoxylin and eosin stain. This way, degenerative valvular disease was diagnosed.

  9. 3-D MRI for lumbar degenerative diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aota, Yoichi; Kumano, Kiyoshi; Hirabayashi, Shigeru; Ogawa, Yu; Izumi, Yasujiro; Yoshikawa, Koki; Yamazaki, Tatsuo.

    1993-01-01

    Three-dimensional (3-D) magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained from 10 patients with lumbar degenerative diseases were retrospectively reviewed to determine how far 3-D MR imaging is capable of demonstrating nerve roots. In 8 of the 10 patients, the area up to the dorsal root ganglion was visualized on 3-D MR images. Thus, it is capable of detecting a wide area of nerve roots, thereby allowing the determination of running of nerve root, and size and location of dorsal root ganglion. In delineating the area from the dural canal to root cyst, 3-D MR imaging was equal to conventional myelography. The former was superior to the latter in detecting the positional relation between the degenerative intervertebral disc and the nerve root, and herniation-compressed root cyst. In 3 of 9 patients who presented with root symptoms, disturbed nerve roots were of high signal on 3-D MR images. This may suggest that it has the potential for selectively detecting root nerves associated with clinical manifestations. (N.K.)

  10. Stem cell treatment of degenerative eye disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Ben; Berry, Martin; Logan, Ann; Scott, Robert A H; Leadbeater, Wendy; Scheven, Ben A

    2015-05-01

    Stem cell therapies are being explored extensively as treatments for degenerative eye disease, either for replacing lost neurons, restoring neural circuits or, based on more recent evidence, as paracrine-mediated therapies in which stem cell-derived trophic factors protect compromised endogenous retinal neurons from death and induce the growth of new connections. Retinal progenitor phenotypes induced from embryonic stem cells/induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs/iPSCs) and endogenous retinal stem cells may replace lost photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and restore vision in the diseased eye, whereas treatment of injured retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) has so far been reliant on mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Here, we review the properties of non-retinal-derived adult stem cells, in particular neural stem cells (NSCs), MSC derived from bone marrow (BMSC), adipose tissues (ADSC) and dental pulp (DPSC), together with ESC/iPSC and discuss and compare their potential advantages as therapies designed to provide trophic support, repair and replacement of retinal neurons, RPE and glia in degenerative retinal diseases. We conclude that ESCs/iPSCs have the potential to replace lost retinal cells, whereas MSC may be a useful source of paracrine factors that protect RGC and stimulate regeneration of their axons in the optic nerve in degenerate eye disease. NSC may have potential as both a source of replacement cells and also as mediators of paracrine treatment. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Supraorbital morphology and social dynamics in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Spikins, Penny; O'Higgins, Paul

    2018-04-09

    Uniquely, with respect to Middle Pleistocene hominins, anatomically modern humans do not possess marked browridges, and have a more vertical forehead with mobile eyebrows that play a key role in social signalling and communication. The presence and variability of browridges in archaic Homo species and their absence in ourselves have led to debate concerning their morphogenesis and function, with two main hypotheses being put forward: that browridge morphology is the result of the spatial relationship between the orbits and the brain case; and that browridge morphology is significantly impacted by biting mechanics. Here, we virtually manipulate the browridge morphology of an archaic hominin (Kabwe 1), showing that it is much larger than the minimum required to fulfil spatial demands and that browridge size has little impact on mechanical performance during biting. As browridge morphology in this fossil is not driven by spatial and mechanical requirements alone, the role of the supraorbital region in social communication is a potentially significant factor. We propose that conversion of the large browridges of our immediate ancestors to a more vertical frontal bone in modern humans allowed highly mobile eyebrows to display subtle affiliative emotions.

  12. Evolution of social learning does not explain the origin of human cumulative culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enquist, Magnus; Ghirlanda, Stefano

    2007-05-07

    Because culture requires transmission of information between individuals, thinking about the origin of culture has mainly focused on the genetic evolution of abilities for social learning. Current theory considers how social learning affects the adaptiveness of a single cultural trait, yet human culture consists of the accumulation of very many traits. Here we introduce a new modeling strategy that tracks the adaptive value of many cultural traits, showing that genetic evolution favors only limited social learning owing to the accumulation of maladaptive as well as adaptive culture. We further show that culture can be adaptive, and refined social learning can evolve, if individuals can identify and discard maladaptive culture. This suggests that the evolution of such "adaptive filtering" mechanisms may have been crucial for the birth of human culture.

  13. Evolution of invasive placentation with special reference to non-human primates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Pijnenborg, Robert

    2011-01-01

    It is now possible to view human placentation in an evolutionary context because advances in molecular phylogenetics provide a reliable scenario for the evolution of mammals. Perhaps the most striking finding is the uniqueness of human placenta. The lower primates have non-invasive placentae......-eclampsia also occurs in these species, such information may reveal the evolutionary roots of this disease of impaired maternal-fetal interaction....

  14. The Evolution of Human Rights Protection within the EU Legal System

    OpenAIRE

    Tăbușcă Silvia

    2012-01-01

    Having in mind the EU’s policy to rebuild the democratic systems within the former Europeancommunist countries and its involvement in international actions regarding human rights enforcement, thereis no doubt about the importance of individuals rights protection in the European Union’s legal system. In thisrespect, the present paper analyzes the evolution of the principle of EU’s human rights protection. Theresearch done on the EU legislation and courts’ jurisprudence shows that there are thr...

  15. Human Brain Expansion during Evolution Is Independent of Fire Control and Cooking

    OpenAIRE

    Corn?lio, Alianda M.; de Bittencourt-Navarrete, Ruben E.; de Bittencourt Brum, Ricardo; Queiroz, Claudio M.; Costa, Marcos R.

    2016-01-01

    What makes humans unique? This question has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries and it is still a matter of intense debate. Nowadays, human brain expansion during evolution has been acknowledged to explain our empowered cognitive capabilities. The drivers for such accelerated expansion remain, however, largely unknown. In this sense, studies have suggested that the cooking of food could be a pre-requisite for the expansion of brain size in early hominins. However, this appeal...

  16. Chromatin structure and evolution in the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunlop Malcolm G

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary rates are not constant across the human genome but genes in close proximity have been shown to experience similar levels of divergence and selection. The higher-order organisation of chromosomes has often been invoked to explain such phenomena but previously there has been insufficient data on chromosome structure to investigate this rigorously. Using the results of a recent genome-wide analysis of open and closed human chromatin structures we have investigated the global association between divergence, selection and chromatin structure for the first time. Results In this study we have shown that, paradoxically, synonymous site divergence (dS at non-CpG sites is highest in regions of open chromatin, primarily as a result of an increased number of transitions, while the rates of other traditional measures of mutation (intergenic, intronic and ancient repeat divergence as well as SNP density are highest in closed regions of the genome. Analysis of human-chimpanzee divergence across intron-exon boundaries indicates that although genes in relatively open chromatin generally display little selection at their synonymous sites, those in closed regions show markedly lower divergence at their fourfold degenerate sites than in neighbouring introns and intergenic regions. Exclusion of known Exonic Splice Enhancer hexamers has little affect on the divergence observed at fourfold degenerate sites across chromatin categories; however, we show that closed chromatin is enriched with certain classes of ncRNA genes whose RNA secondary structure may be particularly important. Conclusion We conclude that, overall, non-CpG mutation rates are lowest in open regions of the genome and that regions of the genome with a closed chromatin structure have the highest background mutation rate. This might reflect lower rates of DNA damage or enhanced DNA repair processes in regions of open chromatin. Our results also indicate that dS is a poor

  17. Evolution of Humans: Understanding the Nature and Methods of Science through Cooperative Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yeung Chung

    2011-01-01

    This article describes the use of an enquiry-based approach to the study of human evolution in a practical context, integrating role-playing, jigsaw cooperative learning and scientific argumentation. The activity seeks to unravel the evolutionary relationships of five hominids and one ape from rather "messy" evidence. This approach enhanced the…

  18. Diet-microbe co-metabolic interactions in wild primates reveal clues on human evolution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gomez, A. M.; Rothman, J. M.; Petrželková, Klára Judita; Yeoman, C. J.; Vlčková, K.; Umana, J. D.; Carr, M.; Modrý, D.; Tod, A.; Nelson, K.; Stumpf, R. M.; Wilson, B. A.; White, B. A.; Leigh, S. R.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 156, č. 60 (2015), s. 149 ISSN 0002-9483. [Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists /84./. 25.03.2015-28.03.2015, St Louis] Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : wild primates * human evolution Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology

  19. Structural Evolution of Human Recombinant alfaB-Crystallin under UV Irradiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sugiyama, Masaaki; Fujii, Noriko; Morimoto, Yukio

    2008-01-01

    External stresses cause certain proteins to lose their regular structure and aggregate. In order to clarify this abnormal aggregation process, a structural evolution of human recombinant aB-crystallin under UV irradiation was observed with in situ small-angle neutron scattering. The abnormal...

  20. A revised timescale for human evolution based on ancient mitochondrial genomes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fu, Q.; Mittnik, A.; Johnson, P. L. F.; Bos, K.; Lari, M.; Bollongino, R.; Sun, Ch.; Giemsch, L.; Schmitz, R.; Burger, J.; Ronchitelli, A. M.; Martini, F.; Cremonesi, R. G.; Svoboda, Jiří; Bauer, P.; Caramelli, D.; Castellano, S.; Reich, D.; Pääbo, S.; Krause, J.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 23, April 8 (2013), s. 553-559 ISSN 0960-9822 Institutional support: RVO:68081758 Keywords : mitochondrial genome * human evolution * calibration Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology, Ethnology OBOR OECD: Archaeology Impact factor: 9.916, year: 2013

  1. Dynamics of DNA methylation in recent human and great ape evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Hernando-Herraez

    Full Text Available DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification involved in regulatory processes such as cell differentiation during development, X-chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting and susceptibility to complex disease. However, the dynamics of DNA methylation changes between humans and their closest relatives are still poorly understood. We performed a comparative analysis of CpG methylation patterns between 9 humans and 23 primate samples including all species of great apes (chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla and orangutan using Illumina Methylation450 bead arrays. Our analysis identified ∼800 genes with significantly altered methylation patterns among the great apes, including ∼170 genes with a methylation pattern unique to human. Some of these are known to be involved in developmental and neurological features, suggesting that epigenetic changes have been frequent during recent human and primate evolution. We identified a significant positive relationship between the rate of coding variation and alterations of methylation at the promoter level, indicative of co-occurrence between evolution of protein sequence and gene regulation. In contrast, and supporting the idea that many phenotypic differences between humans and great apes are not due to amino acid differences, our analysis also identified 184 genes that are perfectly conserved at protein level between human and chimpanzee, yet show significant epigenetic differences between these two species. We conclude that epigenetic alterations are an important force during primate evolution and have been under-explored in evolutionary comparative genomics.

  2. Comparative Analysis of Gene Expression for Convergent Evolution of Camera Eye Between Octopus and Human

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogura, Atsushi; Ikeo, Kazuho; Gojobori, Takashi

    2004-01-01

    Although the camera eye of the octopus is very similar to that of humans, phylogenetic and embryological analyses have suggested that their camera eyes have been acquired independently. It has been known as a typical example of convergent evolution. To study the molecular basis of convergent evolution of camera eyes, we conducted a comparative analysis of gene expression in octopus and human camera eyes. We sequenced 16,432 ESTs of the octopus eye, leading to 1052 nonredundant genes that have matches in the protein database. Comparing these 1052 genes with 13,303 already-known ESTs of the human eye, 729 (69.3%) genes were commonly expressed between the human and octopus eyes. On the contrary, when we compared octopus eye ESTs with human connective tissue ESTs, the expression similarity was quite low. To trace the evolutionary changes that are potentially responsible for camera eye formation, we also compared octopus-eye ESTs with the completed genome sequences of other organisms. We found that 1019 out of the 1052 genes had already existed at the common ancestor of bilateria, and 875 genes were conserved between humans and octopuses. It suggests that a larger number of conserved genes and their similar gene expression may be responsible for the convergent evolution of the camera eye. PMID:15289475

  3. Migrating microbes: what pathogens can tell us about population movements and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houldcroft, Charlotte J; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Rifkin, Riaan F; Underdown, Simon J

    2017-08-01

    The biology of human migration can be observed from the co-evolutionary relationship with infectious diseases. While many pathogens are brief, unpleasant visitors to human bodies, others have the ability to become life-long human passengers. The story of a pathogen's genetic code may, therefore, provide insight into the history of its human host. The evolution and distribution of disease in Africa is of particular interest, because of the deep history of human evolution in Africa, the presence of a variety of non-human primates, and tropical reservoirs of emerging infectious diseases. This study explores which pathogens leave traces in the archaeological record, and whether there are realistic prospects that these pathogens can be recovered from sub-Saharan African archaeological contexts. Three stories are then presented of germs on a journey. The first is the story of HIV's spread on the back of colonialism and the railway networks over the last 150 years. The second involves the spread of Schistosoma mansoni, a parasite which shares its history with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the origins of fresh-water fishing. Finally, we discuss the tantalising hints of hominin migration and interaction found in the genome of human herpes simplex virus 2. Evidence from modern African pathogen genomes can provide data on human behaviour and migration in deep time and contribute to the improvement of human quality-of-life and longevity.

  4. Constraint, natural selection, and the evolution of human body form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savell, Kristen R R; Auerbach, Benjamin M; Roseman, Charles C

    2016-08-23

    Variation in body form among human groups is structured by a blend of natural selection driven by local climatic conditions and random genetic drift. However, attempts to test ecogeographic hypotheses have not distinguished between adaptive traits (i.e., those that evolved as a result of selection) and those that evolved as a correlated response to selection on other traits (i.e., nonadaptive traits), complicating our understanding of the relationship between climate and morphological distinctions among populations. Here, we use evolutionary quantitative methods to test if traits previously identified as supporting ecogeographic hypotheses were actually adaptive by estimating the force of selection on individual traits needed to drive among-group differentiation. Our results show that not all associations between trait means and latitude were caused by selection acting directly on each individual trait. Although radial and tibial length and biiliac and femoral head breadth show signs of responses to directional selection matching ecogeographic hypotheses, the femur was subject to little or no directional selection despite having shorter values by latitude. Additionally, in contradiction to ecogeographic hypotheses, the humerus was under directional selection for longer values by latitude. Responses to directional selection in the tibia and radius induced a nonadaptive correlated response in the humerus that overwhelmed its own trait-specific response to selection. This result emphasizes that mean differences between groups are not good indicators of which traits are adaptations in the absence of information about covariation among characteristics.

  5. Evolution of the Sinus Venosus from Fish to Human

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjarke Jensen

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The sinus venosus, the cardiac chamber upstream of the (right atrium, is a severely underinvestigated structure. Yet, its myocardium harbors the cardiac pacemaker in all vertebrates. In human, ectopic pacemaking and subsequent pathologies may originate from sinus venosus-derived myocardium surrounding the coronary sinus and the superior caval vein. In ectothermic vertebrates, i.e., fishes, amphibians and reptiles, the sinus venosus aids atrial filling by contracting prior to the atrium (atria. This is facilitated by the sinuatrial delay of approximately the same duration as the atrioventricular delay, which facilitates atrial filling of the ventricles. In mammals, the sinuatrial delay is lost, and the sinus venosus-derived myocardium persists as an extensive myocardial sheet surrounding the caval veins, which is activated in synchrony with the myocardium of the atria. The caval vein myocardium is hardly of significance in the healthy formed heart, but we suggest that the sinus venosus functions as a chamber during development when cardiac output, heart rate, blood pressure and architecture is much more like that of ectothermic vertebrates. The remodeling of the sinus venosus in mammals may be an adaptation associated with the high heart rates necessary for postnatal endothermy. If so, the endothermic birds should exhibit a similar remodeling as mammals, which remains to be investigated.

  6. Evaluation of degenerative changes in articular cartilage of osteoarthritis by Raman spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Yusuke; Ishimaru, Yasumitsu; Kiyomatsu, Hiroshi; Hino, Kazunori; Miura, Hiromasa

    2018-02-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a very common joint disease in the aging population. Main symptom of OA is accompanied by degenerative changes of articular cartilage. Cartilage contains mostly type II collagen and proteoglycans, so it is difficult to access the quality and morphology of cartilage tissue in situ by conventional diagnostic tools (X-ray, MRI and echography) directly or indirectly. Raman spectroscopy is a label-free technique which enables to analyze molecular composition in degenerative cartilage. In this proposal, we aim to develop Raman spectroscopic system for the quality assessment of articular cartilage during arthroscopic surgery. Toward this goal, we are focusing on the proteoglycan content and collagen fiber alignment in cartilage matrix which may be associated with degenerative changes in OA, and we designed an original Raman device for remote sensing during arthroscopic surgery. In this project, we define the grading system for cartilage defect based on Raman spectroscopy, and we complete the evaluation of the Raman probing system which makes it possible to detect early stage of degenerative cartilage as a novel tool for OA diagnosis using human subject.

  7. Honey, Hadza, hunter-gatherers, and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlowe, Frank W; Berbesque, J Colette; Wood, Brian; Crittenden, Alyssa; Porter, Claire; Mabulla, Audax

    2014-06-01

    Honey is the most energy dense food in nature. It is therefore not surprising that, where it exists, honey is an important food for almost all hunter-gatherers. Here we describe and analyze widespread honey collecting among foragers and show that where it is absent, in arctic and subarctic habitats, honey bees are also rare to absent. Second, we focus on one hunter-gatherer society, the Hadza of Tanzania. Hadza men and women both rank honey as their favorite food. Hadza acquire seven types of honey. Hadza women usually acquire honey that is close to the ground while men often climb tall baobab trees to raid the largest bee hives with stinging bees. Honey accounts for a substantial proportion of the kilocalories in the Hadza diet, especially that of Hadza men. Cross-cultural forager data reveal that in most hunter-gatherers, men acquire more honey than women but often, as with the Hadza, women do acquire some. Virtually all warm-climate foragers consume honey. Our closest living relatives, the great apes, take honey when they can. We suggest that honey has been part of the diet of our ancestors dating back to at least the earliest hominins. The earliest hominins, however, would have surely been less capable of acquiring as much honey as more recent, fully modern human hunter-gatherers. We discuss reasons for thinking our early ancestors would have acquired less honey than foragers ethnographically described, yet still significantly more than our great ape relatives. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Proteomic profiling of early degenerative retina of RCS rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zhi-Hong; Fu, Yan; Weng, Chuan-Huang; Zhao, Cong-Jian; Yin, Zheng-Qin

    2017-01-01

    To identify the underlying cellular and molecular changes in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Label-free quantification-based proteomics analysis, with its advantages of being more economic and consisting of simpler procedures, has been used with increasing frequency in modern biological research. Dystrophic RCS rats, the first laboratory animal model for the study of RP, possess a similar pathological course as human beings with the diseases. Thus, we employed a comparative proteomics analysis approach for in-depth proteome profiling of retinas from dystrophic RCS rats and non-dystrophic congenic controls through Linear Trap Quadrupole - orbitrap MS/MS, to identify the significant differentially expressed proteins (DEPs). Bioinformatics analyses, including Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway annotation and upstream regulatory analysis, were then performed on these retina proteins. Finally, a Western blotting experiment was carried out to verify the difference in the abundance of transcript factor E2F1. In this study, we identified a total of 2375 protein groups from the retinal protein samples of RCS rats and non-dystrophic congenic controls. Four hundred thirty-four significantly DEPs were selected by Student's t -test. Based on the results of the bioinformatics analysis, we identified mitochondrial dysfunction and transcription factor E2F1 as the key initiation factors in early retinal degenerative process. We showed that the mitochondrial dysfunction and the transcription factor E2F1 substantially contribute to the disease etiology of RP. The results provide a new potential therapeutic approach for this retinal degenerative disease.

  9. Proteomic profiling of early degenerative retina of RCS rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Hong Zhu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available AIM: To identify the underlying cellular and molecular changes in retinitis pigmentosa (RP. METHODS: Label-free quantification-based proteomics analysis, with its advantages of being more economic and consisting of simpler procedures, has been used with increasing frequency in modern biological research. Dystrophic RCS rats, the first laboratory animal model for the study of RP, possess a similar pathological course as human beings with the diseases. Thus, we employed a comparative proteomics analysis approach for in-depth proteome profiling of retinas from dystrophic RCS rats and non-dystrophic congenic controls through Linear Trap Quadrupole - orbitrap MS/MS, to identify the significant differentially expressed proteins (DEPs. Bioinformatics analyses, including Gene ontology (GO and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathway annotation and upstream regulatory analysis, were then performed on these retina proteins. Finally, a Western blotting experiment was carried out to verify the difference in the abundance of transcript factor E2F1. RESULTS: In this study, we identified a total of 2375 protein groups from the retinal protein samples of RCS rats and non-dystrophic congenic controls. Four hundred thirty-four significantly DEPs were selected by Student’s t-test. Based on the results of the bioinformatics analysis, we identified mitochondrial dysfunction and transcription factor E2F1 as the key initiation factors in early retinal degenerative process. CONCLUSION: We showed that the mitochondrial dysfunction and the transcription factor E2F1 substantially contribute to the disease etiology of RP. The results provide a new potential therapeutic approach for this retinal degenerative disease.

  10. [The evolution of human cultural behavior: notes on Darwinism and complexity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peric, Mikael; Murrieta, Rui Sérgio Sereni

    2015-12-01

    The article analyzes three schools that can be understood as central in studies of the evolution of human behavior within the paradigm of evolution by natural selection: human behavioral ecology (HBE), evolutionary psychology, and dual inheritance. These three streams of thought are used to depict the Darwinist landscape and pinpoint its strong suits and limitations. Theoretical gaps were identified that seem to reduce these schools' ability to account for the diversity of human evolutionary behavior. Their weak points include issues related to the concept of reproductive success, types of adaptation, and targets of selection. An interdisciplinary approach is proposed as the solution to this dilemma, where complex adaptive systems would serve as a source.

  11. Did warfare among ancestral hunter-gatherers affect the evolution of human social behaviors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Samuel

    2009-06-05

    Since Darwin, intergroup hostilities have figured prominently in explanations of the evolution of human social behavior. Yet whether ancestral humans were largely "peaceful" or "warlike" remains controversial. I ask a more precise question: If more cooperative groups were more likely to prevail in conflicts with other groups, was the level of intergroup violence sufficient to influence the evolution of human social behavior? Using a model of the evolutionary impact of between-group competition and a new data set that combines archaeological evidence on causes of death during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene with ethnographic and historical reports on hunter-gatherer populations, I find that the estimated level of mortality in intergroup conflicts would have had substantial effects, allowing the proliferation of group-beneficial behaviors that were quite costly to the individual altruist.

  12. Exaptation in human evolution: how to test adaptive vs exaptive evolutionary hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pievani, Telmo; Serrelli, Emanuele

    2011-01-01

    Palaeontologists, Stephen J. Gould and Elisabeth Vrba, introduced the term "ex-aptation" with the aim of improving and enlarging the scientific language available to researchers studying the evolution of any useful character, instead of calling it an "adaptation" by default, coming up with what Gould named an "extended taxonomy of fitness". With the extension to functional co-optations from non-adaptive structures ("spandrels"), the notion of exaptation expanded and revised the neo-Darwinian concept of "pre-adaptation" (which was misleading, for Gould and Vrba, suggesting foreordination). Exaptation is neither a "saltationist" nor an "anti-Darwinian" concept and, since 1982, has been adopted by many researchers in evolutionary and molecular biology, and particularly in human evolution. Exaptation has also been contested. Objections include the "non-operationality objection".We analyze the possible operationalization of this concept in two recent studies, and identify six directions of empirical research, which are necessary to test "adaptive vs. exaptive" evolutionary hypotheses. We then comment on a comprehensive survey of literature (available online), and on the basis of this we make a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the adoption of the term among scientists who study human evolution. We discuss the epistemic conditions that may have influenced the adoption and appropriate use of exaptation, and comment on the benefits of an "extended taxonomy of fitness" in present and future studies concerning human evolution.

  13. Human contribution in the geomorphologic changes and short-term evolution of the Colombian Caribbean coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rangel B, Nelson

    2009-01-01

    The recent coastline evolution in the Colombian Caribbean coast is associated, among other causes, with an obvious anthropogenic influence over the littoral morphology. Along the 30 coastal cities of this region, there are areas intervened by the man, that the same time are affected by significant setbacks in their coastline. The predominant erosive trend was influenced and affected, in a lot of cases, by a chaotic human expansion and their troubles associated. General analyses in some areas allowed identify the anthropic actions, their influence and negative impacts over the morphology and recent evolution of the littoral.

  14. Degenerative disease of the lumbar spine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, F M; Arana, E

    2016-04-01

    In the last 25 years, scientific research has brought about drastic changes in the concept of low back pain and its management. Most imaging findings, including degenerative changes, reflect anatomic peculiarities or the normal aging process and turn out to be clinically irrelevant; imaging tests have proven useful only when systemic disease is suspected or when surgery is indicated for persistent spinal cord or nerve root compression. The radiologic report should indicate the key points of nerve compression, bypassing inconsequential findings. Many treatments have proven inefficacious, and some have proven counterproductive, but they continue to be prescribed because patients want them and there are financial incentives for doing them. Following the guidelines that have proven effective for clinical management improves clinical outcomes, reduces iatrogenic complications, and decreases unjustified and wasteful healthcare expenditures. Copyright © 2016 SERAM. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  15. Influence of degenerative changes of intervertebral disc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WANG Yi

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available 【Abstract】Objective: To investigate the material properties of normal and degenerated intervertebral discs (IVDs and examine the effect of degenerative changes on IVD pathology. Methods: A computer-based online search was under-taken to identify English articles about material properties of IVDs published from January 1950 to 2011 in PubMed database. The retrieved keywords included material properties, intervertebral disc and degeneration. Based on the principles of reliability, advancement and efficiency, the obtained data were primarily examined, and the original source was retrieved to read the full-text. Repetitive articles were excluded. The data of material properties of normal and degenerated IVDs were summarized and analyzed by meta-analysis. Results: The data of Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, shear modulus, hydraulic permeability and intradiscal pres-sure of normal and degenerated IVDs were obtained. Com-pared with normal IVDs, the Young's modulus and shear modulus of annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus were higher in degenerated IVDs, the Poisson's ratio was lower while the hydraulic permeability and intradiscal pressure were higher. Besides, the degeneration-related alterations in IVDs had an influence both on itself and other spinal structures, leading to diseases such as bulging disc, discogenic pain and spinal stenosis. Meanwhile, the heavy mechanical loading and injury indicated important pathways to IVD degeneration. Conclusions: To a certain extent, the degenerative changes of IVD influence its material properties. And the degeneration-related alterations of composition can cause structural failure of IVDs, leading to injuries and diseases. Key words: Intervertebral disc; Mechanical phenomena; Degeneration; Elastic modulus; Permeability; Pathology

  16. Complex and changing patterns of natural selection explain the evolution of the human hip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Mark; Roseman, Charles C

    2015-08-01

    Causal explanations for the dramatic changes that occurred during the evolution of the human hip focus largely on selection for bipedal function and locomotor efficiency. These hypotheses rest on two critical assumptions. The first-that these anatomical changes served functional roles in bipedalism-has been supported in numerous analyses showing how postcranial changes likely affected locomotion. The second-that morphological changes that did play functional roles in bipedalism were the result of selection for that behavior-has not been previously explored and represents a major gap in our understanding of hominin hip evolution. Here we use evolutionary quantitative genetic models to test the hypothesis that strong directional selection on many individual aspects of morphology was responsible for the large differences observed across a sample of fossil hominin hips spanning the Plio-Pleistocene. Our approach uses covariance among traits and the differences between relatively complete fossils to estimate the net selection pressures that drove the major transitions in hominin hip evolution. Our findings show a complex and changing pattern of natural selection drove hominin hip evolution, and that many, but not all, traits hypothesized to play functional roles in bipedalism evolved as a direct result of natural selection. While the rate of evolutionary change for all transitions explored here does not exceed the amount expected if evolution was occurring solely through neutral processes, it was far above rates of evolution for morphological traits in other mammalian groups. Given that stasis is the norm in the mammalian fossil record, our results suggest that large shifts in the adaptive landscape drove hominin evolution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Language and life history: a new perspective on the development and evolution of human language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, John L; Bogin, Barry

    2006-06-01

    It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches from juvenility to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language.

  18. An overview of the evolution of human reliability analysis in the context of probabilistic risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bley, Dennis C.; Lois, Erasmia; Kolaczkowski, Alan M.; Forester, John Alan; Wreathall, John; Cooper, Susan E.

    2009-01-01

    Since the Reactor Safety Study in the early 1970's, human reliability analysis (HRA) has been evolving towards a better ability to account for the factors and conditions that can lead humans to take unsafe actions and thereby provide better estimates of the likelihood of human error for probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs). The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of recent reviews of operational events and advances in the behavioral sciences that have impacted the evolution of HRA methods and contributed to improvements. The paper discusses the importance of human errors in complex human-technical systems, examines why humans contribute to accidents and unsafe conditions, and discusses how lessons learned over the years have changed the perspective and approach for modeling human behavior in PRAs of complicated domains such as nuclear power plants. It is argued that it has become increasingly more important to understand and model the more cognitive aspects of human performance and to address the broader range of factors that have been shown to influence human performance in complex domains. The paper concludes by addressing the current ability of HRA to adequately predict human failure events and their likelihood

  19. An overview of the evolution of human reliability analysis in the context of probabilistic risk assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bley, Dennis C. (Buttonwood Consulting Inc., Oakton, VA); Lois, Erasmia (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC); Kolaczkowski, Alan M. (Science Applications International Corporation, Eugene, OR); Forester, John Alan; Wreathall, John (John Wreathall and Co., Dublin, OH); Cooper, Susan E. (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC)

    2009-01-01

    Since the Reactor Safety Study in the early 1970's, human reliability analysis (HRA) has been evolving towards a better ability to account for the factors and conditions that can lead humans to take unsafe actions and thereby provide better estimates of the likelihood of human error for probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs). The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of recent reviews of operational events and advances in the behavioral sciences that have impacted the evolution of HRA methods and contributed to improvements. The paper discusses the importance of human errors in complex human-technical systems, examines why humans contribute to accidents and unsafe conditions, and discusses how lessons learned over the years have changed the perspective and approach for modeling human behavior in PRAs of complicated domains such as nuclear power plants. It is argued that it has become increasingly more important to understand and model the more cognitive aspects of human performance and to address the broader range of factors that have been shown to influence human performance in complex domains. The paper concludes by addressing the current ability of HRA to adequately predict human failure events and their likelihood.

  20. The evolution of wealth transmission in human populations: a stochastic model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Augustins, G; Etienne, L; Ferrer, R; Godelle, B; Rousset, F; Ferdy, J-B; Pitard, E

    2014-01-01

    Reproductive success and survival are influenced by wealth in human populations. Wealth is transmitted to offsprings and strategies of transmission vary over time and among populations, the main variation being how equally wealth is transmitted to children. Here we propose a model where we simulate both the dynamics of wealth in a population and the evolution of a trait that determines how wealth is transmitted from parents to offspring, in a darwinian context

  1. SENILE DEGENERATIVE CHANGES IN ADULT LUMBAR SPINE! - A PROSPECTIVE STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garjesh Singh

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available : BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP is a common presenting complaint affecting mostly middle aged and older person and traditionally considered as ageing process, but now-a-days large number of younger people are also affected by this debilitating chronic disorder. The cause of early onset of degenerative spine disease is multifactorial, but genetical predisposition plays very important role. AIMS AND OBJECTIVE: To find out association between genetic predisposition and degenerative spine disease in adult patients and to assess the pattern of MRI findings of various degenerative diseases in lumbo-sacral spine. MATERIAL AND METHOD: The present cross-sectional study had been performed among 100 selected patients in 1yr period, who presented with chief complaint of chronic low back pain. After taking detailed clinical and professional history, MRI of lumbosacral spine had been performed. Total 100 patients were divided in two groups on the basis of genetical predisposition. Prevalence and spectrum of degenerative changes were compared between both groups. RESULTS: Hundred patients of 20 to 35-year age had been selected with mean age of 27yr. Out of 100 patients; 47 were male and 53 were female. The most common degenerative findings were desiccation of disc (95% followed by disc bulge, herniation, spinal canal stenosis, ligamentum flavum hypertrophy, facet joint hypertrophy and modic changes. L4-L5 and L5- S1 were the most commonly involved spinal levels for any degenerative pathology. CONCLUSION: Good association is seen between early onset of degenerative spine disease and genetical predisposition in patients who have history of similar type degenerative spine disease in one or more first degree relatives in comparison to those patients who do not have any genetical predisposition. So it can be concluded that heredity play important role in early onset of degenerative spine disease in adults.

  2. Accelerated evolution of the ASPM gene controlling brain size begins prior to human brain expansion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalay Kouprina

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Primary microcephaly (MCPH is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume. The microcephalic brain has a volume comparable to that of early hominids, raising the possibility that some MCPH genes may have been evolutionary targets in the expansion of the cerebral cortex in mammals and especially primates. Mutations in ASPM, which encodes the human homologue of a fly protein essential for spindle function, are the most common known cause of MCPH. Here we have isolated large genomic clones containing the complete ASPM gene, including promoter regions and introns, from chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus macaque by transformation-associated recombination cloning in yeast. We have sequenced these clones and show that whereas much of the sequence of ASPM is substantially conserved among primates, specific segments are subject to high Ka/Ks ratios (nonsynonymous/synonymous DNA changes consistent with strong positive selection for evolutionary change. The ASPM gene sequence shows accelerated evolution in the African hominoid clade, and this precedes hominid brain expansion by several million years. Gorilla and human lineages show particularly accelerated evolution in the IQ domain of ASPM. Moreover, ASPM regions under positive selection in primates are also the most highly diverged regions between primates and nonprimate mammals. We report the first direct application of TAR cloning technology to the study of human evolution. Our data suggest that evolutionary selection of specific segments of the ASPM sequence strongly relates to differences in cerebral cortical size.

  3. Meat and Nicotinamide: A Causal Role in Human Evolution, History, and Demographics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian C Williams

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Hunting for meat was a critical step in all animal and human evolution. A key brain-trophic element in meat is vitamin B 3 /nicotinamide. The supply of meat and nicotinamide steadily increased from the Cambrian origin of animal predators ratcheting ever larger brains. This culminated in the 3-million-year evolution of Homo sapiens and our overall demographic success. We view human evolution, recent history, and agricultural and demographic transitions in the light of meat and nicotinamide intake. A biochemical and immunological switch is highlighted that affects fertility in the ‘de novo’ tryptophan-to-kynurenine-nicotinamide ‘immune tolerance’ pathway. Longevity relates to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide consumer pathways. High meat intake correlates with moderate fertility, high intelligence, good health, and longevity with consequent population stability, whereas low meat/high cereal intake (short of starvation correlates with high fertility, disease, and population booms and busts. Too high a meat intake and fertility falls below replacement levels. Reducing variances in meat consumption might help stabilise population growth and improve human capital.

  4. Influence of Humans on Evolution and Mobilization of Environmental Antibiotic Resistome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaze, William H.; Krone, Stephen M.; Larsson, D.G. Joakim; Li, Xian-Zhi; Robinson, Joseph A.; Simonet, Pascal; Smalla, Kornelia; Timinouni, Mohammed; Topp, Ed; Wellington, Elizabeth M.; Zhu, Yong-Guan

    2013-01-01

    The clinical failure of antimicrobial drugs that were previously effective in controlling infectious disease is a tragedy of increasing magnitude that gravely affects human health. This resistance by pathogens is often the endpoint of an evolutionary process that began billions of years ago in non–disease-causing microorganisms. This environmental resistome, its mobilization, and the conditions that facilitate its entry into human pathogens are at the heart of the current public health crisis in antibiotic resistance. Understanding the origins, evolution, and mechanisms of transfer of resistance elements is vital to our ability to adequately address this public health issue. PMID:23764294

  5. Simulating the evolution of the human family: cooperative breeding increases in harsh environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smaldino, Paul E; Newson, Lesley; Schank, Jeffrey C; Richerson, Peter J

    2013-01-01

    Verbal and mathematical models that consider the costs and benefits of behavioral strategies have been useful in explaining animal behavior and are often used as the basis of evolutionary explanations of human behavior. In most cases, however, these models do not account for the effects that group structure and cultural traditions within a human population have on the costs and benefits of its members' decisions. Nor do they consider the likelihood that cultural as well as genetic traits will be subject to natural selection. In this paper, we present an agent-based model that incorporates some key aspects of human social structure and life history. We investigate the evolution of a population under conditions of different environmental harshness and in which selection can occur at the level of the group as well as the level of the individual. We focus on the evolution of a socially learned characteristic related to individuals' willingness to contribute to raising the offspring of others within their family group. We find that environmental harshness increases the frequency of individuals who make such contributions. However, under the conditions we stipulate, we also find that environmental variability can allow groups to survive with lower frequencies of helpers. The model presented here is inevitably a simplified representation of a human population, but it provides a basis for future modeling work toward evolutionary explanations of human behavior that consider the influence of both genetic and cultural transmission of behavior.

  6. Simulating the evolution of the human family: cooperative breeding increases in harsh environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Smaldino

    Full Text Available Verbal and mathematical models that consider the costs and benefits of behavioral strategies have been useful in explaining animal behavior and are often used as the basis of evolutionary explanations of human behavior. In most cases, however, these models do not account for the effects that group structure and cultural traditions within a human population have on the costs and benefits of its members' decisions. Nor do they consider the likelihood that cultural as well as genetic traits will be subject to natural selection. In this paper, we present an agent-based model that incorporates some key aspects of human social structure and life history. We investigate the evolution of a population under conditions of different environmental harshness and in which selection can occur at the level of the group as well as the level of the individual. We focus on the evolution of a socially learned characteristic related to individuals' willingness to contribute to raising the offspring of others within their family group. We find that environmental harshness increases the frequency of individuals who make such contributions. However, under the conditions we stipulate, we also find that environmental variability can allow groups to survive with lower frequencies of helpers. The model presented here is inevitably a simplified representation of a human population, but it provides a basis for future modeling work toward evolutionary explanations of human behavior that consider the influence of both genetic and cultural transmission of behavior.

  7. Computerized tomography in the diagnosis of degenerative vertebral diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bokarev, V.S.; Savchenko, A.P.; Ternovoj, S.K.

    1989-01-01

    CT and roentgenography were used for the investigation of 78 patients with the radicular syndrome. The state of the intervertebral disks, intervertebral joints and cerebrospinal canal in degenerative vertebral diseases was assessed. CT permits the detection of hernia, protrusion of the intervertebral disks, deformity of the intervertebral joints, and the narrowing of the cerebrospinal canal as a result of degenerative changes, as well as establishing the cause of the affection of neural structures in the cerebrospinal canal, radicular holes. CT possesses some advantages over roentgenography in the diagnosis of degenerative vertebral diseases

  8. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is associated with low spinal bone density

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Thomas; Christensen, Finn B; Langdahl, Bente Lomholt

    2013-01-01

    and degenerative spondylolisthesis patients. 81 patients older than 60 years, who underwent DXA-scanning of their lumbar spine one year after a lumbar spinal fusion procedure, were included. Radiographs were assessed for disc height, vertebral wedging, and osteophytosis. Pain was assessed using the Low Back Pain...... Rating Scale pain index. T-score of the lumbar spine was significantly lower among degenerative spondylolisthesis patients compared with spinal stenosis patients (-1.52 versus -0.52, P = 0.04). Thirty-nine percent of degenerative spondylolisthesis patients were classified as osteoporotic and further 30...

  9. Sensory exploitation and cultural transmission: the late emergence of iconic representations in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verpooten, Jan; Nelissen, Mark

    2010-09-01

    Iconic representations (i.e., figurative imagery and realistic art) only started to appear consistently some 45,000 years ago, although humans have been anatomically modern since 200,000-160,000 years ago. What explains this? Some authors have suggested a neurocognitive change took place, leading to a creative explosion, although this has been contested. Here, we examine the hypothesis that demographic changes caused cultural "cumulative adaptive evolution" and as such the emergence of modern symbolic behavior. This approach usefully explains the evolution of utilitarian skills and tools, and the creation of symbols to identify groups. However, it does not equally effectively explain the evolution of behaviors that may not be directly adaptive, such as the production of iconic representations like figurines and rock art. In order to shed light on their emergence, we propose to combine the above-mentioned cultural hypothesis with the concept of sensory exploitation. The concept essentially states that behavioral traits (in this case iconic art production) which exploit pre-existing sensory sensitivities will evolve if not hindered by costs (i.e., natural selection). In this view, iconic art traditions are evolved by piggy-backing on cumulative adaptive evolution. Since it is to date uncertain whether art has served any adaptive function in human evolution, parsimony demands paying more attention to the primary and a functional mechanism of sensory exploitation as opposed to mechanisms of models based exclusively on secondary benefits (such as Miller's, for instance, in which art is proposed to evolve as a sexual display of fitness).

  10. Topical Treatment of Degenerative Knee Osteoarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Zengdong; Huang, Rongzhong

    2018-01-01

    This article reviews topical management strategies for degenerative osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. A search of Pubmed, Embase and the Cochrane library using MeSH terms including "topical," "treatment," "knee" and "osteoarthritis" was carried out. Original research and review articles on the effectiveness and safety, recommendations from international published guidelines and acceptability studies of topical preparations were included. Current topical treatments included for the management of knee OA include topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, capsaicin, salicylates and physical treatments such as hot or cold therapy. Current treatment guidelines recommend topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as an alternative and even first-line therapy for OA management, especially among elderly patients. Guidelines on other topical treatments vary, from recommendations against their use, to in favor as alternative or simultaneous therapy, especially for patients with contraindications to other analgesics. Although often well-tolerated and preferred by many patients, clinical care still lags in the adoption of topical treatments. Aspects of efficacy, safety and patient quality of life data require further research. Copyright © 2018 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Primate vocal communication: a useful tool for understanding human speech and language evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedurek, Pawel; Slocombe, Katie E

    2011-04-01

    Language is a uniquely human trait, and questions of how and why it evolved have been intriguing scientists for years. Nonhuman primates (primates) are our closest living relatives, and their behavior can be used to estimate the capacities of our extinct ancestors. As humans and many primate species rely on vocalizations as their primary mode of communication, the vocal behavior of primates has been an obvious target for studies investigating the evolutionary roots of human speech and language. By studying the similarities and differences between human and primate vocalizations, comparative research has the potential to clarify the evolutionary processes that shaped human speech and language. This review examines some of the seminal and recent studies that contribute to our knowledge regarding the link between primate calls and human language and speech. We focus on three main aspects of primate vocal behavior: functional reference, call combinations, and vocal learning. Studies in these areas indicate that despite important differences, primate vocal communication exhibits some key features characterizing human language. They also indicate, however, that some critical aspects of speech, such as vocal plasticity, are not shared with our primate cousins. We conclude that comparative research on primate vocal behavior is a very promising tool for deepening our understanding of the evolution of human speech and language, but much is still to be done as many aspects of monkey and ape vocalizations remain largely unexplored.

  12. A comparison of antemortem tooth loss in human hunter-gatherers and non-human catarrhines: implications for the identification of behavioral evolution in the human fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Cassandra C

    2013-06-01

    Middle and Late Pleistocene fossil hominin specimens with severe antemortem tooth loss are often regarded as evidence for the precocious evolution of human-like behaviors, such as conspecific care or cooking, in ancient hominin species. The goal of this project was to ask whether the theoretical association between antemortem tooth loss and uniquely human behaviors is supported empirically in a large skeletal sample of human hunter-gatherers, chimpanzees, orangutans, and baboons. Binomial regression modeling in a Bayesian framework allows for the investigation of the effects of tooth class, genus, age, and sex on the likelihood of tooth loss. The results strongly suggest that modern humans experience more antemortem tooth loss than non-human primates and identify age in years as an important predictor. Once age is accounted for, the difference between the humans and the closest non-human genus (chimpanzees) is less pronounced; humans are still more likely on average to experience antemortem tooth loss though 95% uncertainty envelopes around the average prediction for each genus show some overlap. These analyses support theoretical links between antemortem tooth loss and modern human characteristics; humans' significantly longer life history and a positive correlation between age and antemortem tooth loss explain, in part, the reason why humans are more likely to experience tooth loss than non-human primates, but the results do not exclude behavioral differences as a contributing factor. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    The traditional theory equating the brain bases of language with Broca's and Wernicke's neocortical areas is wrong. Neural circuits linking activity in anatomically segregated populations of neurons in subcortical structures and the neocortex throughout the human brain regulate complex behaviors such as walking, talking, and comprehending the meaning of sentences. When we hear or read a word, neural structures involved in the perception or real-world associations of the word are activated as well as posterior cortical regions adjacent to Wernicke's area. Many areas of the neocortex and subcortical structures support the cortical-striatal-cortical circuits that confer complex syntactic ability, speech production, and a large vocabulary. However, many of these structures also form part of the neural circuits regulating other aspects of behavior. For example, the basal ganglia, which regulate motor control, are also crucial elements in the circuits that confer human linguistic ability and abstract reasoning. The cerebellum, traditionally associated with motor control, is active in motor learning. The basal ganglia are also key elements in reward-based learning. Data from studies of Broca's aphasia, Parkinson's disease, hypoxia, focal brain damage, and a genetically transmitted brain anomaly (the putative "language gene," family KE), and from comparative studies of the brains and behavior of other species, demonstrate that the basal ganglia sequence the discrete elements that constitute a complete motor act, syntactic process, or thought process. Imaging studies of intact human subjects and electrophysiologic and tracer studies of the brains and behavior of other species confirm these findings. As Dobzansky put it, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" (cited in Mayr, 1982). That applies with as much force to the human brain and the neural bases of language as it does to the human foot or jaw. The converse follows: the mark of evolution on

  14. Imaging of lumbar degenerative disk disease: history and current state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emch, Todd M.; Modic, Michael T.

    2011-01-01

    One of the most common indications for performing magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the lumbar spine is the symptom complex thought to originate as a result of degenerative disk disease. MR imaging, which has emerged as perhaps the modality of choice for imaging degenerative disk disease, can readily demonstrate disk pathology, degenerative endplate changes, facet and ligamentous hypertrophic changes, and the sequelae of instability. Its role in terms of predicting natural history of low back pain, identifying causality, or offering prognostic information is unclear. As available modalities for imaging the spine have progressed from radiography, myelography, and computed tomography to MR imaging, there have also been advances in spine surgery for degenerative disk disease. These advances are described in a temporal context for historical purposes with a focus on MR imaging's history and current state. (orig.)

  15. Degenerative Changes in the Spine: Is This Arthritis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in my spine. Does this mean I have arthritis? Answers from April Chang-Miller, M.D. Yes. ... spine. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Doctors may also refer to it as degenerative ...

  16. Contribution of microglia-mediated neuroinflammation to retinal degenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeira, Maria H; Boia, Raquel; Santos, Paulo F; Ambrósio, António F; Santiago, Ana R

    2015-01-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases are major causes of vision loss and blindness worldwide and are characterized by chronic and progressive neuronal loss. One common feature of retinal degenerative diseases and brain neurodegenerative diseases is chronic neuroinflammation. There is growing evidence that retinal microglia, as in the brain, become activated in the course of retinal degenerative diseases, having a pivotal role in the initiation and propagation of the neurodegenerative process. A better understanding of the events elicited and mediated by retinal microglia will contribute to the clarification of disease etiology and might open new avenues for potential therapeutic interventions. This review aims at giving an overview of the roles of microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in major retinal degenerative diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

  17. A fully organic retinal prosthesis restores vision in a rat model of degenerative blindness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maya-Vetencourt, José Fernando; Ghezzi, Diego; Antognazza, Maria Rosa; Colombo, Elisabetta; Mete, Maurizio; Feyen, Paul; Desii, Andrea; Buschiazzo, Ambra; di Paolo, Mattia; di Marco, Stefano; Ticconi, Flavia; Emionite, Laura; Shmal, Dmytro; Marini, Cecilia; Donelli, Ilaria; Freddi, Giuliano; Maccarone, Rita; Bisti, Silvia; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Pertile, Grazia; Lanzani, Guglielmo; Benfenati, Fabio

    2017-06-01

    The degeneration of photoreceptors in the retina is one of the major causes of adult blindness in humans. Unfortunately, no effective clinical treatments exist for the majority of retinal degenerative disorders. Here we report on the fabrication and functional validation of a fully organic prosthesis for long-term in vivo subretinal implantation in the eye of Royal College of Surgeons rats, a widely recognized model of retinitis pigmentosa. Electrophysiological and behavioural analyses reveal a prosthesis-dependent recovery of light sensitivity and visual acuity that persists up to 6-10 months after surgery. The rescue of the visual function is accompanied by an increase in the basal metabolic activity of the primary visual cortex, as demonstrated by positron emission tomography imaging. Our results highlight the possibility of developing a new generation of fully organic, highly biocompatible and functionally autonomous photovoltaic prostheses for subretinal implants to treat degenerative blindness.

  18. Colloquium paper: uniquely human evolution of sialic acid genetics and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2010-05-11

    Darwinian evolution of humans from our common ancestors with nonhuman primates involved many gene-environment interactions at the population level, and the resulting human-specific genetic changes must contribute to the "Human Condition." Recent data indicate that the biology of sialic acids (which directly involves less than 60 genes) shows more than 10 uniquely human genetic changes in comparison with our closest evolutionary relatives. Known outcomes are tissue-specific changes in abundant cell-surface glycans, changes in specificity and/or expression of multiple proteins that recognize these glycans, and novel pathogen regimes. Specific events include Alu-mediated inactivation of the CMAH gene, resulting in loss of synthesis of the Sia N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) and increase in expression of the precursor N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac); increased expression of alpha2-6-linked Sias (likely because of changed expression of ST6GALI); and multiple changes in SIGLEC genes encoding Sia-recognizing Ig-like lectins (Siglecs). The last includes binding specificity changes (in Siglecs -5, -7, -9, -11, and -12); expression pattern changes (in Siglecs -1, -5, -6, and -11); gene conversion (SIGLEC11); and deletion or pseudogenization (SIGLEC13, SIGLEC14, and SIGLEC16). A nongenetic outcome of the CMAH mutation is human metabolic incorporation of foreign dietary Neu5Gc, in the face of circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, generating a novel "xeno-auto-antigen" situation. Taken together, these data suggest that both the genes associated with Sia biology and the related impacts of the environment comprise a relative "hot spot" of genetic and physiological changes in human evolution, with implications for uniquely human features both in health and disease.

  19. The evolution of body size and shape in the human career

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G.; Richmond, Brian G.

    2016-01-01

    Body size is a fundamental biological property of organisms, and documenting body size variation in hominin evolution is an important goal of palaeoanthropology. Estimating body mass appears deceptively simple but is laden with theoretical and pragmatic assumptions about best predictors and the most appropriate reference samples. Modern human training samples with known masses are arguably the ‘best’ for estimating size in early bipedal hominins such as the australopiths and all members of the genus Homo, but it is not clear if they are the most appropriate priors for reconstructing the size of the earliest putative hominins such as Orrorin and Ardipithecus. The trajectory of body size evolution in the early part of the human career is reviewed here and found to be complex and nonlinear. Australopith body size varies enormously across both space and time. The pre-erectus early Homo fossil record from Africa is poor and dominated by relatively small-bodied individuals, implying that the emergence of the genus Homo is probably not linked to an increase in body size or unprecedented increases in size variation. Body size differences alone cannot explain the observed variation in hominin body shape, especially when examined in the context of small fossil hominins and pygmy modern humans. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Major transitions in human evolution’. PMID:27298459

  20. The spotted gar genome illuminates vertebrate evolution and facilitates human-to-teleost comparisons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braasch, Ingo; Gehrke, Andrew R.; Smith, Jeramiah J.; Kawasaki, Kazuhiko; Manousaki, Tereza; Pasquier, Jeremy; Amores, Angel; Desvignes, Thomas; Batzel, Peter; Catchen, Julian; Berlin, Aaron M.; Campbell, Michael S.; Barrell, Daniel; Martin, Kyle J.; Mulley, John F.; Ravi, Vydianathan; Lee, Alison P.; Nakamura, Tetsuya; Chalopin, Domitille; Fan, Shaohua; Wcisel, Dustin; Cañestro, Cristian; Sydes, Jason; Beaudry, Felix E. G.; Sun, Yi; Hertel, Jana; Beam, Michael J.; Fasold, Mario; Ishiyama, Mikio; Johnson, Jeremy; Kehr, Steffi; Lara, Marcia; Letaw, John H.; Litman, Gary W.; Litman, Ronda T.; Mikami, Masato; Ota, Tatsuya; Saha, Nil Ratan; Williams, Louise; Stadler, Peter F.; Wang, Han; Taylor, John S.; Fontenot, Quenton; Ferrara, Allyse; Searle, Stephen M. J.; Aken, Bronwen; Yandell, Mark; Schneider, Igor; Yoder, Jeffrey A.; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Meyer, Axel; Amemiya, Chris T.; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Holland, Peter W. H.; Guiguen, Yann; Bobe, Julien; Shubin, Neil H.; Di Palma, Federica; Alföldi, Jessica; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Postlethwait, John H.

    2016-01-01

    To connect human biology to fish biomedical models, we sequenced the genome of spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus), whose lineage diverged from teleosts before the teleost genome duplication (TGD). The slowly evolving gar genome conserved in content and size many entire chromosomes from bony vertebrate ancestors. Gar bridges teleosts to tetrapods by illuminating the evolution of immunity, mineralization, and development (e.g., Hox, ParaHox, and miRNA genes). Numerous conserved non-coding elements (CNEs, often cis-regulatory) undetectable in direct human-teleost comparisons become apparent using gar: functional studies uncovered conserved roles of such cryptic CNEs, facilitating annotation of sequences identified in human genome-wide association studies. Transcriptomic analyses revealed that the sum of expression domains and levels from duplicated teleost genes often approximate patterns and levels of gar genes, consistent with subfunctionalization. The gar genome provides a resource for understanding evolution after genome duplication, the origin of vertebrate genomes, and the function of human regulatory sequences. PMID:26950095

  1. The spotted gar genome illuminates vertebrate evolution and facilitates human-teleost comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braasch, Ingo; Gehrke, Andrew R; Smith, Jeramiah J; Kawasaki, Kazuhiko; Manousaki, Tereza; Pasquier, Jeremy; Amores, Angel; Desvignes, Thomas; Batzel, Peter; Catchen, Julian; Berlin, Aaron M; Campbell, Michael S; Barrell, Daniel; Martin, Kyle J; Mulley, John F; Ravi, Vydianathan; Lee, Alison P; Nakamura, Tetsuya; Chalopin, Domitille; Fan, Shaohua; Wcisel, Dustin; Cañestro, Cristian; Sydes, Jason; Beaudry, Felix E G; Sun, Yi; Hertel, Jana; Beam, Michael J; Fasold, Mario; Ishiyama, Mikio; Johnson, Jeremy; Kehr, Steffi; Lara, Marcia; Letaw, John H; Litman, Gary W; Litman, Ronda T; Mikami, Masato; Ota, Tatsuya; Saha, Nil Ratan; Williams, Louise; Stadler, Peter F; Wang, Han; Taylor, John S; Fontenot, Quenton; Ferrara, Allyse; Searle, Stephen M J; Aken, Bronwen; Yandell, Mark; Schneider, Igor; Yoder, Jeffrey A; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Meyer, Axel; Amemiya, Chris T; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Holland, Peter W H; Guiguen, Yann; Bobe, Julien; Shubin, Neil H; Di Palma, Federica; Alföldi, Jessica; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Postlethwait, John H

    2016-04-01

    To connect human biology to fish biomedical models, we sequenced the genome of spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus), whose lineage diverged from teleosts before teleost genome duplication (TGD). The slowly evolving gar genome has conserved in content and size many entire chromosomes from bony vertebrate ancestors. Gar bridges teleosts to tetrapods by illuminating the evolution of immunity, mineralization and development (mediated, for example, by Hox, ParaHox and microRNA genes). Numerous conserved noncoding elements (CNEs; often cis regulatory) undetectable in direct human-teleost comparisons become apparent using gar: functional studies uncovered conserved roles for such cryptic CNEs, facilitating annotation of sequences identified in human genome-wide association studies. Transcriptomic analyses showed that the sums of expression domains and expression levels for duplicated teleost genes often approximate the patterns and levels of expression for gar genes, consistent with subfunctionalization. The gar genome provides a resource for understanding evolution after genome duplication, the origin of vertebrate genomes and the function of human regulatory sequences.

  2. Complexity, Compassion and Self-Organisation: Human Evolution and the Vulnerable Ape Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick P. Winder

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Humans are agents capable of helping others, learning new behaviours and forgetting old ones. The evolutionary approach to archaeological systems has therefore been hampered by the 'modern synthesis' - a gene-centred model of evolution as a process that eliminates those that cannot handle stress. The result has been a form of environmental determinism that explains human evolution in terms of heroic struggles and selective winnowing. Biologists committed to the modern synthesis have either dismissed agency as a delusion wrought in our bodies by natural selection, or imposed a sharp, Cartesian split between 'natural' and 'artificial' ecologies. We revisit the seminal literature of evolutionary biology and show that the paradigmatic fault lines of 21st century anthropology can be traced back to the 19th century and beyond. Lamarck had developed a two-factor evolutionary theory - one factor an endogenous tendency to become more advanced and complex, the other an exogenous constraint that drove organisms into conformity with environment. Darwin tried to eliminate the progressive tendency and imposed linearity constraints on evolution that Thomas Henry Huxley rejected. When experimental evidence falsified Darwin's linear hypothesis, the race began to develop a new, gene-centred model of evolution. This became the modern synthesis. The modern synthesis is now under pressure from the evidence of anthropology, sociology, palaeontology, ecology and genetics. An 'extended synthesis' is emerging. If evolution is adequately summarised by the aphorism survival of the fittest, then 'fitness' cannot always be defined in the heroic sense of 'better able to compete and reproduce'. The fittest organisms are often those that evade selective winnowing, even when their ability to compete and reproduce has been compromised by their genes. Characteristically human traits like language, abstraction, compassion and altruism may have arisen as coping strategies that

  3. Development of modulators against degenerative aging using radiation fusion technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jo, S. K.; Park, H. R.; Jang, B. S.; Roh, C. H.; Eom, H. S.; Choi, N. H.; Seol, M. A.; Kim, S. H.; Choi, H. M.; Park, M. K.; Shin, H. J.; Ryu, D. K.; Oh, W. J.; Kim, S. H; Yee, S. T.

    2012-04-15

    1. Objectives Establishment of modelling of degenerative aging using radiation technology Development of aging modulators using radiation degenerative aging model 2. Project results Establishment of the modeling of degenerative aging using radiation technology - The systematic study on the comparison of radiation-induced degeneration and natural aging process in animals and cells confirmed the biological similarity between these two degeneration models - The effective biomarkers were selected for the modelling of degenerative aging using radiation (10 biomarkers for immune/hematopoiesis, 1 for oxidative stress, 6 for molecular signaling, 3 for lipid metabolism) - The optimal irradiation condition was established for the modelling of degerative aging (total 5Gy with fractionation by over 10 times, lapse of over 4 months) - The molecular mechanisms of radiation-induced degeneration were studied including chronic inflammation (lung), inflammation-related lipid metabolism disturbance, mitochondria biogenesis and dynamics - The radiation degenerative model was evaluated with previously known natural substances (resveratrol, EGCG, etc) Development of aging modulators using radiation degenerative aging model - After the screening of about 800 natural herb extracts, 5 effective substances were selected for aging modulation. - 3 candidate compositions were selected from 20 compositions made from effective substances by in vitro evaluation (WAH2, WAH6, WAH7) - 1 composition (WAH6) was selected as the best aging modulator by in vivo evaluation in radiation-induced aging models and degenerative disease models. 3. Expected benefits and plan of application The modelling of degenerative aging using radiation can facilitate the aging research by providing the useful cell/animal models for aging research A large economic benefits are expected by the commercialization of developed aging modulators (over 10 billion KW in 2015.

  4. Lumbosacral transitional anatomy types and disc degenerative changes

    OpenAIRE

    Chabukovska-Radulovska Jasminka; Matveeva Niki; Poposka Anastasika

    2014-01-01

    Background and purpose: The relationship between presence of lumbo sacral transitional vertebra (LSTV) and disc degenerative changes is unclear. The aim of the study was to examine the relation between different types of LSTV and disc degenerative changes at the transitional and the adjacent cephalad segment. Material and methods: Sixty-three patients (mean age 51.48 ± 13.51) out of 200 adults with low back pain who performed MRI examination of the lumbo sacral spine, classified as po...

  5. Development of modulators against degenerative aging using radiation fusion technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jo, S. K.; Park, H. R.; Jang, B. S.; Roh, C. H.; Eom, H. S.; Choi, N. H.; Seol, M. A.; Kim, S. H.; Choi, H. M.; Park, M. K.; Shin, H. J.; Ryu, D. K.; Oh, W. J.; Kim, S. H; Yee, S. T.

    2012-04-01

    1. Objectives Establishment of modelling of degenerative aging using radiation technology Development of aging modulators using radiation degenerative aging model 2. Project results Establishment of the modeling of degenerative aging using radiation technology - The systematic study on the comparison of radiation-induced degeneration and natural aging process in animals and cells confirmed the biological similarity between these two degeneration models - The effective biomarkers were selected for the modelling of degenerative aging using radiation (10 biomarkers for immune/hematopoiesis, 1 for oxidative stress, 6 for molecular signaling, 3 for lipid metabolism) - The optimal irradiation condition was established for the modelling of degerative aging (total 5Gy with fractionation by over 10 times, lapse of over 4 months) - The molecular mechanisms of radiation-induced degeneration were studied including chronic inflammation (lung), inflammation-related lipid metabolism disturbance, mitochondria biogenesis and dynamics - The radiation degenerative model was evaluated with previously known natural substances (resveratrol, EGCG, etc) Development of aging modulators using radiation degenerative aging model - After the screening of about 800 natural herb extracts, 5 effective substances were selected for aging modulation. - 3 candidate compositions were selected from 20 compositions made from effective substances by in vitro evaluation (WAH2, WAH6, WAH7) - 1 composition (WAH6) was selected as the best aging modulator by in vivo evaluation in radiation-induced aging models and degenerative disease models. 3. Expected benefits and plan of application The modelling of degenerative aging using radiation can facilitate the aging research by providing the useful cell/animal models for aging research A large economic benefits are expected by the commercialization of developed aging modulators (over 10 billion KW in 2015

  6. Axon guidance pathways served as common targets for human speech/language evolution and related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Huimeng; Yan, Zhangming; Sun, Xiaohong; Zhang, Yue; Wang, Jianhong; Ma, Caihong; Xu, Qunyuan; Wang, Rui; Jarvis, Erich D; Sun, Zhirong

    2017-11-01

    Human and several nonhuman species share the rare ability of modifying acoustic and/or syntactic features of sounds produced, i.e. vocal learning, which is the important neurobiological and behavioral substrate of human speech/language. This convergent trait was suggested to be associated with significant genomic convergence and best manifested at the ROBO-SLIT axon guidance pathway. Here we verified the significance of such genomic convergence and assessed its functional relevance to human speech/language using human genetic variation data. In normal human populations, we found the affected amino acid sites were well fixed and accompanied with significantly more associated protein-coding SNPs in the same genes than the rest genes. Diseased individuals with speech/language disorders have significant more low frequency protein coding SNPs but they preferentially occurred outside the affected genes. Such patients' SNPs were enriched in several functional categories including two axon guidance pathways (mediated by netrin and semaphorin) that interact with ROBO-SLITs. Four of the six patients have homozygous missense SNPs on PRAME gene family, one youngest gene family in human lineage, which possibly acts upon retinoic acid receptor signaling, similarly as FOXP2, to modulate axon guidance. Taken together, we suggest the axon guidance pathways (e.g. ROBO-SLIT, PRAME gene family) served as common targets for human speech/language evolution and related disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Skipping Posterior Dynamic Transpedicular Stabilization for Distant Segment Degenerative Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilgehan Solmaz

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To date, there is still no consensus on the treatment of spinal degenerative disease. Current surgical techniques to manage painful spinal disorders are imperfect. In this paper, we aimed to evaluate the prospective results of posterior transpedicular dynamic stabilization, a novel surgical approach that skips the segments that do not produce pain. This technique has been proven biomechanically and radiologically in spinal degenerative diseases. Methods. A prospective study of 18 patients averaging 54.94 years of age with distant spinal segment degenerative disease. Indications consisted of degenerative disc disease (57%, herniated nucleus pulposus (50%, spinal stenosis (14.28%, degenerative spondylolisthesis (14.28%, and foraminal stenosis (7.1%. The Oswestry Low-Back Pain Disability Questionnaire and visual analog scale (VAS for pain were recorded preoperatively and at the third and twelfth postoperative months. Results. Both the Oswestry and VAS scores showed significant improvement postoperatively (P<0.05. We observed complications in one patient who had spinal epidural hematoma. Conclusion. We recommend skipping posterior transpedicular dynamic stabilization for surgical treatment of distant segment spinal degenerative disease.

  8. Bringing Darwin into the social sciences and the humanities: cultural evolution and its philosophical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blancke, Stefaan; Denis, Gilles

    2018-04-10

    In the field of cultural evolution it is generally assumed that the study of culture and cultural change would benefit enormously from being informed by evolutionary thinking. Recently, however, there has been much debate about what this "being informed" means. According to the standard view, an interesting analogy obtains between cultural and biological evolution. In the literature, however, the analogy is interpreted and used in at least three distinct, but interrelated ways. We provide a taxonomy in order to clarify these different meanings. Subsequently, we discuss the alternatives model of cultural attraction theory and memetics, which both challenge basic assumptions of the standard view. Finally, we briefly summarize the contributions to the special issue on Darwin in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, which is the result of a collaborative project between scholars and scientists from the universities of Lille and Ghent. Furthermore, we explain how they add to the discussions about the integration of evolutionary thinking and the study of culture.

  9. A Prospect for Evolutionary Adequacy: Merge and the Evolution and Development of Human Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koji Fujita

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Biolinguistic minimalism seeks a deeper explanation of the design, development and evolution of human language by reducing its core domain to the bare minimum including the set-formation operation Merge. In an attempt to open an avenue of research that may lead to an evolutionarily adequate theory of language, this article makes the following proposals: (i Merge is the elementary combinatorial device that requires no more decomposition; (ii the precursor to Merge may be found in the uniquely human capacity for hierarchical object manipulation; (iii the uniqueness of the human lexicon may also be captured in terms of Merge. Empirical validations of these proposals should constitute one major topic for the biolinguistic program.

  10. The evolution of human mobility based on the public goods game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shiqing

    2017-07-01

    We explore the evolution of human mobility behavior based on public goods game. By using mean field method, the population distribution in different regions is theoretical calculated. Numerical simulation results show that the correlation between the region's degree and its final population is not significant under a larger human migration rate. Human mobility could effectively promote cooperative behavior and the population balance of different regions. Therefore, encouraging individuals to migrate may increase the total benefits of the whole society. Moreover, increasing the cooperation cost could reduce the number of cooperators, and that would happen to the correlation between the region's degree and its final population. The results indicate the total population could not dramatically rise with the region's degree under an unfair society.

  11. Consequences of evolution: is rhinosinusitis, like otitis media, a unique disease of humans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluestone, Charles D; Pagano, Anthony S; Swarts, J Douglas; Laitman, Jeffrey T

    2012-12-01

    We hypothesize that if otitis media is most likely primarily a human disease due to consequences of evolution, rhinosinusitis may also be limited to humans for similar reasons. If otitis media, with its associated hearing loss, occurred in animals in the wild, they probably would have been culled out by predation. Similarly, if rhinosinusitis occurred regularly in animals, they likely would have suffered from severely decreased olfactory abilities, crucial for predator avoidance, and presumably would likewise have been selected against evolutionarily. Thus, both otitis media and rhinosinusitis-common conditions particularly in infants and young children-appear to be essentially human conditions. Their manifestation in our species is likely due to our unique evolutionary trajectory and may be a consequence of adaptations, including adaptations to bipedalism and speech, loss of prognathism, and immunologic and environmental factors.

  12. Micro PIXE investigations. Time sequencing studies in degenerative diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watt, F.; Minqin, R.; Patricia Thong ps

    1999-01-01

    The simultaneously applied techniques of Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE), Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) and Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy (STIM), have been successful in mapping and quantifying trace elements during the progression of several human diseases, in particular those degenerative diseases which have a corresponding animal model. In atherosclerosis, iron has been shown to be present in increased concentrations at the early stage of lesion formation, and when the animal model has been kept anaemic, the artery wall shows a reduced uptake of iron and a delay in lesion formation compared with controls. In Parkinson's disease, there is also an increased concentration of iron in the substantia nigra region of the brain. Although the increase in bulk iron appears to lag behind the dopaminergic cell death, we have detected an increase in localized deposits of iron at the onset of cell death. These two results infer that iron may play a role in both diseases, perhaps through the mediation of free radicals. The induction of epilepsy through the injection of kainic acid has shown that the cell death is accompanied by an increase in calcium levels as early as one day after injection. The increase in calcium is consistent with activation of phospholipase A 2 and free radical damage. (author)

  13. Implications of prion adaptation and evolution paradigm for human neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence indicating that number of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, fronto-temporal dementias, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, propagate in the brain via prion-like intercellular induction of protein misfolding. Prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans, the most prevalent being sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD); they self-replicate and spread by converting the cellular form of prion protein (PrP(C)) to a misfolded pathogenic conformer (PrP(Sc)). The extensive phenotypic heterogeneity of human prion diseases is determined by polymorphisms in the prion protein gene, and by prion strain-specific conformation of PrP(Sc). Remarkably, even though informative nucleic acid is absent, prions may undergo rapid adaptation and evolution in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier. In the course of our investigation of this process, we isolated distinct populations of PrP(Sc) particles that frequently co-exist in sCJD. The human prion particles replicate independently and undergo competitive selection of those with lower initial conformational stability. Exposed to mutant substrate, the winning PrP(Sc) conformers are subject to further evolution by natural selection of the subpopulation with the highest replication rate due to the lowest stability. Thus, the evolution and adaptation of human prions is enabled by a dynamic collection of distinct populations of particles, whose evolution is governed by the selection of progressively less stable, faster replicating PrP(Sc) conformers. This fundamental biological mechanism may explain the drug resistance that some prions gained after exposure to compounds targeting PrP(Sc). Whether the phenotypic heterogeneity of other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding is determined by the spectrum of misfolded conformers (strains) remains to be established. However, the prospect that these conformers may evolve and

  14. Regenerative therapies for equine degenerative joint disease: a preliminary study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Broeckx

    Full Text Available Degenerative joint disease (DJD is a major cause of reduced athletic function and retirement in equine performers. For this reason, regenerative therapies for DJD have gained increasing interest. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs were isolated from a 6-year-old donor horse. MSCs were either used in their native state or after chondrogenic induction. In an initial study, 20 horses with naturally occurring DJD in the fetlock joint were divided in 4 groups and injected with the following: 1 PRP; 2 MSCs; 3 MSCs and PRP; or 4 chondrogenic induced MSCs and PRP. The horses were then evaluated by means of a clinical scoring system after 6 weeks (T1, 12 weeks (T2, 6 months (T3 and 12 months (T4 post injection. In a second study, 30 horses with the same medical background were randomly assigned to one of the two combination therapies and evaluated at T1. The protein expression profile of native MSCs was found to be negative for major histocompatibility (MHC II and p63, low in MHC I and positive for Ki67, collagen type II (Col II and Vimentin. Chondrogenic induction resulted in increased mRNA expression of aggrecan, Col II and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP as well as in increased protein expression of p63 and glycosaminoglycan, but in decreased protein expression of Ki67. The combined use of PRP and MSCs significantly improved the functionality and sustainability of damaged joints from 6 weeks until 12 months after treatment, compared to PRP treatment alone. The highest short-term clinical evolution scores were obtained with chondrogenic induced MSCs and PRP. This study reports successful in vitro chondrogenic induction of equine MSCs. In vivo application of (induced MSCs together with PRP in horses suffering from DJD in the fetlock joint resulted in a significant clinical improvement until 12 months after treatment.

  15. Microglia in Alzheimer’s Disease: Activated, Dysfunctional or Degenerative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Navarro

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Microglial activation has been considered a crucial player in the pathological process of multiple human neurodegenerative diseases. In some of these pathologies, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system and microglial cells (as part of the cerebral immunity play a central role. In other degenerative processes, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD, the role of microglia is far to be elucidated. In this “mini-review” article, we briefly highlight our recent data comparing the microglial response between amyloidogenic transgenic models, such as APP/PS1 and AD patients. Since the AD pathology could display regional heterogeneity, we focus our work at the hippocampal formation. In APP based models a prominent microglial response is triggered around amyloid-beta (Aβ plaques. These strongly activated microglial cells could drive the AD pathology and, in consequence, could be implicated in the neurodegenerative process observed in models. On the contrary, the microglial response in human samples is, at least, partial or attenuated. This patent difference could simply reflect the lower and probably slower Aβ production observed in human hippocampal samples, in comparison with models, or could reflect the consequence of a chronic long-standing microglial activation. Beside this differential response, we also observed microglial degeneration in Braak V–VI individuals that, indeed, could compromise their normal role of surveying the brain environment and respond to the damage. This microglial degeneration, particularly relevant at the dentate gyrus, might be mediated by the accumulation of toxic soluble phospho-tau species. The consequences of this probably deficient immunological protection, observed in AD patients, are unknown.

  16. [Theoretic basis on the same therapeutic program for different degenerative brain diseases in terms of the Governor Vessel: Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Junyan; Wang, Jie; Zhang, Junlong

    2015-05-01

    Through the consultation of TCM ancient classical theory, the relationship of kidney essence, marrow and brain is analyzed. It is discovered that the degenerative brain diseases, represented by Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) share the same etiological basis as "kidney essence deficiency and brain marrow emptiness" and have the mutual pathological outcomes as yang qi declining. The Governor Vessel gathers yang qi of the whole body and maintains the normal functional activity of zangfu organs in the human body through the storage, regulation and invigoration of yang qi. It is viewed that the theory of the Governor Vessel is applied to treat the different degenerative brain diseases, which provides the theoretic support and practice guide for the thought of TCM as the same therapeutic program for the different diseases. As a result, the degenerative brain diseases can be retarded and the approach is provided to the effective prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases in central nerve system:

  17. The significance of the subplate for evolution and developmental plasticity of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Kostović, Ivica

    2013-01-01

    The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate (RMR) in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter) probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates.

  18. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUBPLATE FOR EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENTAL PLASTICITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILOS eJUDAS

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates.

  19. Human evolution, life history theory, and the end of biological reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Cadell

    2014-01-01

    Throughout primate history there have been three major life history transitions towards increasingly delayed sexual maturation and biological reproduction, as well as towards extended life expectancy. Monkeys reproduce later and live longer than do prosimians, apes reproduce later and live longer than do monkeys, and humans reproduce later and live longer than do apes. These life history transitions are connected to increased encephalization. During the last life history transition from apes to humans, increased encephalization co-evolved with increased dependence on cultural knowledge for energy acquisition. This led to a dramatic pressure for more energy investment in growth over current biological reproduction. Since the industrial revolution socioeconomic development has led to even more energy being devoted to growth over current biological reproduction. I propose that this is the beginning of an ongoing fourth major primate life history transition towards completely delayed biological reproduction and an extension of the evolved human life expectancy. I argue that the only fundamental difference between this primate life history transition and previous life history transitions is that this transition is being driven solely by cultural evolution, which may suggest some deeper evolutionary transition away from biological evolution is already in the process of occurring.

  20. Palliative Care and Human Rights: A Decade of Evolution in Standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezer, Tamar; Lohman, Diederik; de Luca, Gabriela B

    2018-02-01

    Human rights standards to address palliative care have developed over the last decade. This article aims to examine key milestones in the evolution of human rights standards to address palliative care, relevant advocacy efforts, and areas for further growth. The article provides an analysis of human rights standards in the context of palliative care through the lens of the right to health, freedom from torture and ill treatment, and the rights of older persons and children. Significant developments include the following: 1) the first human rights treaty to explicitly recognize the right to palliative care, the Inter-American Convention on the Rights of Older Persons; 2) the first World Health Assembly resolution on palliative care; 3) a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture with a focus on denial of pain treatment; 4) addressing the availability of controlled medicines at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem. Development of human rights standards in relation to palliative care has been most notable in the context of the right to health, freedom from torture and ill treatment, and the rights of older persons. More work is needed in the context of the rights of children, and human rights treaty bodies are still not consistently addressing state obligations with regards to palliative care. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Quantifying the Number of Independent Organelle DNA Insertions in Genome Evolution and Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazkani-Covo, Einat; Martin, William F

    2017-05-01

    Fragments of organelle genomes are often found as insertions in nuclear DNA. These fragments of mitochondrial DNA (numts) and plastid DNA (nupts) are ubiquitous components of eukaryotic genomes. They are, however, often edited out during the genome assembly process, leading to systematic underestimation of their frequency. Numts and nupts, once inserted, can become further fragmented through subsequent insertion of mobile elements or other recombinational events that disrupt the continuity of the inserted sequence relative to the genuine organelle DNA copy. Because numts and nupts are typically identified through sequence comparison tools such as BLAST, disruption of insertions into smaller fragments can lead to systematic overestimation of numt and nupt frequencies. Accurate identification of numts and nupts is important, however, both for better understanding of their role during evolution, and for monitoring their increasingly evident role in human disease. Human populations are polymorphic for 141 numt loci, five numts are causal to genetic disease, and cancer genomic studies are revealing an abundance of numts associated with tumor progression. Here, we report investigation of salient parameters involved in obtaining accurate estimates of numt and nupt numbers in genome sequence data. Numts and nupts from 44 sequenced eukaryotic genomes reveal lineage-specific differences in the number, relative age and frequency of insertional events as well as lineage-specific dynamics of their postinsertional fragmentation. Our findings outline the main technical parameters influencing accurate identification and frequency estimation of numts in genomic studies pertinent to both evolution and human health. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. [Human origin and evolution. A review of advances in paleoanthropology, comparative genetics, and evolutionary psychology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markov, A V

    2009-01-01

    In his main work, "On the origin of species", Darwin has refrained from discusion of the origin of man; be only mentioned that his theory would "throw light" on this problem. This famous Darwin's phrase turned out to be one of the most succesful scientific predictions. In the present paper some of the most important recent adavnces in paleoanthroplogy, comparative genetics and evolutionary psychology are reviewed. These three disciplines currently contribute most to our knowledge of anthropogenesis. The review demonstrates that Darwin's ideas not only "threw light" on human origin and evolution; they provided a comprehensive framework for a great variety of studies concerning different aspects of anthropogenesis.

  3. Dynamic Copy Number Evolution of X- and Y-Linked Ampliconic Genes in Human Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lucotte, Elise A; Skov, Laurits; Jensen, Jacob Malte

    2018-01-01

    we explore the evolution of human X- and Y-linked ampliconic genes by investigating copy number variation (CNV) and coding variation between populations using the Simons Genome Diversity Project. We develop a method to assess CNVs using the read-depth on modified X and Y chromosome targets containing...... related Y haplogroups, that diversified less than 50,000 years ago. Moreover, X and Y-linked ampliconic genes seem to have a faster amplification dynamic than autosomal multicopy genes. Looking at expression data from another study, we also find that XY-linked ampliconic genes with extensive copy number...

  4. From evolution to revolution: understanding mutability in large and disruptive human groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitaker, Roger M.; Felmlee, Diane; Verma, Dinesh C.; Preece, Alun; Williams, Grace-Rose

    2017-05-01

    Over the last 70 years there has been a major shift in the threats to global peace. While the 1950's and 1960's were characterised by the cold war and the arms race, many security threats are now characterised by group behaviours that are disruptive, subversive or extreme. In many cases such groups are loosely and chaotically organised, but their ideals are sociologically and psychologically embedded in group members to the extent that the group represents a major threat. As a result, insights into how human groups form, emerge and change are critical, but surprisingly limited insights into the mutability of human groups exist. In this paper we argue that important clues to understand the mutability of groups come from examining the evolutionary origins of human behaviour. In particular, groups have been instrumental in human evolution, used as a basis to derive survival advantage, leaving all humans with a basic disposition to navigate the world through social networking and managing their presence in a group. From this analysis we present five critical features of social groups that govern mutability, relating to social norms, individual standing, status rivalry, ingroup bias and cooperation. We argue that understanding how these five dimensions interact and evolve can provide new insights into group mutation and evolution. Importantly, these features lend themselves to digital modeling. Therefore computational simulation can support generative exploration of groups and the discovery of latent factors, relevant to both internal group and external group modelling. Finally we consider the role of online social media in relation to understanding the mutability of groups. This can play an active role in supporting collective behaviour, and analysis of social media in the context of the five dimensions of group mutability provides a fresh basis to interpret the forces affecting groups.

  5. In Vitro Quantified Determination of β-Amyloid 42 Peptides, a Biomarker of Neuro-Degenerative Disorders, in PBS and Human Serum Using a Simple, Cost-Effective Thin Gold Film Biosensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Yifan; Molazemhosseini, Alireza; Liu, Chung Chiun

    2017-07-20

    A simple in vitro biosensor for the detection of β-amyloid 42 in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and undiluted human serum was fabricated and tested based on our platform sensor technology. The bio-recognition mechanism of this biosensor was based on the effect of the interaction between antibody and antigen of β-amyloid 42 to the redox couple probe of K₄Fe(CN)₆ and K₃Fe(CN)₆. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) served as the transduction mechanism measuring the current output derived from the redox coupling reaction. The biosensor was a three-electrode electrochemical system, and the working and counter electrodes were 50 nm thin gold film deposited by a sputtering technique. The reference electrode was a thick-film printed Ag/AgCl electrode. Laser ablation technique was used to define the size and structure of the biosensor. Cost-effective roll-to-roll manufacturing process was employed in the fabrication of the biosensor, making it simple and relatively inexpensive. Self-assembled monolayers (SAM) of 3-Mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) was employed to covalently immobilize the thiol group on the gold working electrode. A carbodiimide conjugation approach using N -(3-dimethylaminopropyl)- N '-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) and N -hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) was undertaken for cross-linking antibody of β-amyloid 42 to the carboxylic groups on one end of the MPA. The antibody concentration of β-amyloid 42 used was 18.75 µg/mL. The concentration range of β-amyloid 42 in this study was from 0.0675 µg/mL to 0.5 µg/mL for both PBS and undiluted human serum. DPV measurements showed excellent response in this antigen concentration range. Interference study of this biosensor was carried out in the presence of Tau protein antigen. Excellent specificity of this β-amyloid 42 biosensor was demonstrated without interference from other species, such as T-tau protein.

  6. Physical Therapy in Elderly Suffering from Degenerative Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svraka, Emira; Pecar, Muris; Jaganjac, Amila; Hadziomerovic, Amra Macak; Kaljic, Eldad; Kovacevic, Almir

    2017-12-01

    Osteoarthritis of the joints (osteoarthritis or arthritis) represents the largest group of rheumatic diseases. Within rheumatic diseases 50% are degenerative rheumatic diseases, 10% inflammatory and 40% extra-articular. To determine the modalities of physical therapy for elderly with degenerative diseases. The study is retrospective-prospective and descriptive. The survey conducted included 25 patients with degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems in Gerontology Center in Sarajevo, from May 1, 2014- April 30, 2015. As research instruments were used: Questionnaire for users of physical therapy in Gerontology Center in Sarajevo, self-developed, visual-analog scale to assess pain and patient records. Of the total number of patients with degenerative diseases (25), 10 (40%) were male and 15 (60%) were female. The most common degenerative disease is knee osteoarthritis which had 11 patients (29%), 3 males and 8 females. From physical therapy modalities in the treatment of degenerative diseases at the Gerontology Center in Sarajevo, kinetic therapy was administered to all patients, followed by manual massage and TENS in 15 cases (60%). From twenty-two patients, who completed a questionnaire, 11 (50%, 2 male and 9 female) rated their health as poor. Seven patients (32%, 3 male and 4 female) assessed their health as good. Three patients (14%, 2 male and 1 female) rated their health as very poor, and one patient (4%, 1 male) rated its health as very good. The Research Physical therapy in elderly with degenerative diseases is a pilot project, which highlights the need for: Conducting research for a longer time period, with a larger sample; Quality of keeping health records; Implementation of a continuous evaluation of functional status and; Stricter control for optimal effectiveness of physical therapy in order to improve the quality of life of elderly patients.

  7. The colours of humanity: the evolution of pigmentation in the human lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonski, Nina G; Chaplin, George

    2017-07-05

    Humans are a colourful species of primate, with human skin, hair and eye coloration having been influenced by a great variety of evolutionary forces throughout prehistory. Functionally naked skin has been the physical interface between the physical environment and the human body for most of the history of the genus Homo , and hence skin coloration has been under intense natural selection. From an original condition of protective, dark, eumelanin-enriched coloration in early tropical-dwelling Homo and Homo sapiens , loss of melanin pigmentation occurred under natural selection as Homo sapiens dispersed into non-tropical latitudes of Africa and Eurasia. Genes responsible for skin, hair and eye coloration appear to have been affected significantly by population bottlenecks in the course of Homo sapiens dispersals. Because specific skin colour phenotypes can be created by different combinations of skin colour-associated genetic markers, loss of genetic variability due to genetic drift appears to have had negligible effects on the highly redundant genetic 'palette' for the skin colour. This does not appear to have been the case for hair and eye coloration, however, and these traits appear to have been more strongly influenced by genetic drift and, possibly, sexual selection.This article is part of the themed issue 'Animal coloration: production, perception, function and application'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Accelerated Evolution of Conserved Noncoding Sequences in theHuman Genome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prambhakar, Shyam; Noonan, James P.; Paabo, Svante; Rubin, EdwardM.

    2006-07-06

    Genomic comparisons between human and distant, non-primatemammals are commonly used to identify cis-regulatory elements based onconstrained sequence evolution. However, these methods fail to detect"cryptic" functional elements, which are too weakly conserved amongmammals to distinguish from nonfunctional DNA. To address this problem,we explored the potential of deep intra-primate sequence comparisons. Wesequenced the orthologs of 558 kb of human genomic sequence, coveringmultiple loci involved in cholesterol homeostasis, in 6 nonhumanprimates. Our analysis identified 6 noncoding DNA elements displayingsignificant conservation among primates, but undetectable in more distantcomparisons. In vitro and in vivo tests revealed that at least three ofthese 6 elements have regulatory function. Notably, the mouse orthologsof these three functional human sequences had regulatory activity despitetheir lack of significant sequence conservation, indicating that they arecryptic ancestral cis-regulatory elements. These regulatory elementscould still be detected in a smaller set of three primate speciesincluding human, rhesus and marmoset. Since the human and rhesus genomesequences are already available, and the marmoset genome is activelybeing sequenced, the primate-specific conservation analysis describedhere can be applied in the near future on a whole-genome scale, tocomplement the annotation provided by more distant speciescomparisons.

  9. Comparative genomics and the evolution of pathogenicity in human pathogenic fungi.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Moran, Gary P

    2011-01-01

    Because most fungi have evolved to be free-living in the environment and because the infections they cause are usually opportunistic in nature, it is often difficult to identify specific traits that contribute to fungal pathogenesis. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of sequenced genomes of human fungal pathogens, and comparison of these sequences has proved to be an excellent resource for exploring commonalities and differences in how these species interact with their hosts. In order to survive in the human body, fungi must be able to adapt to new nutrient sources and environmental stresses. Therefore, genes involved in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism and transport and genes encoding secondary metabolites tend to be overrepresented in pathogenic species (e.g., Aspergillus fumigatus). However, it is clear that human commensal yeast species such as Candida albicans have also evolved a range of specific factors that facilitate direct interaction with host tissues. The evolution of virulence across the human pathogenic fungi has occurred largely through very similar mechanisms. One of the most important mechanisms is gene duplication and the expansion of gene families, particularly in subtelomeric regions. Unlike the case for prokaryotic pathogens, horizontal transfer of genes between species and other genera does not seem to have played a significant role in the evolution of fungal virulence. New sequencing technologies promise the prospect of even greater numbers of genome sequences, facilitating the sequencing of multiple genomes and transcriptomes within individual species, and will undoubtedly contribute to a deeper insight into fungal pathogenesis.

  10. Evolution of the archaeal and mammalian information processing systems: towards an archaeal model for human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Zhe; Whitman, William B

    2017-01-01

    Current evolutionary models suggest that Eukaryotes originated from within Archaea instead of being a sister lineage. To test this model of ancient evolution, we review recent studies and compare the three major information processing subsystems of replication, transcription and translation in the Archaea and Eukaryotes. Our hypothesis is that if the Eukaryotes arose within the archaeal radiation, their information processing systems will appear to be one of kind and not wholly original. Within the Eukaryotes, the mammalian or human systems are emphasized because of their importance in understanding health. Biochemical as well as genetic studies provide strong evidence for the functional similarity of archaeal homologs to the mammalian information processing system and their dissimilarity to the bacterial systems. In many independent instances, a simple archaeal system is functionally equivalent to more elaborate eukaryotic homologs, suggesting that evolution of complexity is likely an central feature of the eukaryotic information processing system. Because fewer components are often involved, biochemical characterizations of the archaeal systems are often easier to interpret. Similarly, the archaeal cell provides a genetically and metabolically simpler background, enabling convenient studies on the complex information processing system. Therefore, Archaea could serve as a parsimonious and tractable host for studying human diseases that arise in the information processing systems.

  11. Human brain expansion during evolution is independent of fire control and cooking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alianda Maira Cornélio

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available What makes humans unique? This question has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries and it is still a matter of intense debate. Nowadays, human brain expansion during evolution has been acknowledged to explain our empowered cognitive capabilities. The drivers for such accelerated expansion remain, however, largely unknown. In this sense, studies have suggested that the cooking of food could be a pre-requisite for the expansion of brain size in early hominins. However, this appealing hypothesis is only supported by a mathematical model suggesting that the increasing number of neurons in the brain would constrain body size among primates due to a limited amount of calories obtained from diets. Here, we show, by using a similar mathematical model, that a tradeoff between body mass and the number of brain neurons imposed by dietary constraints during hominin evolution is unlikely. Instead, the predictable number of neurons in the hominin brain varies much more in function of foraging efficiency than body mass. We also review archeological data to show that the expansion of the brain volume in the hominin lineage is described by a linear function independent of evidences of fire control, and therefore, thermal processing of food does not account for this phenomenon. Finally, we report experiments in mice showing that thermal processing of meat does not increase its caloric availability in mice. Altogether, our data indicate that cooking is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain hominin brain expansion.

  12. Human Brain Expansion during Evolution Is Independent of Fire Control and Cooking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornélio, Alianda M; de Bittencourt-Navarrete, Ruben E; de Bittencourt Brum, Ricardo; Queiroz, Claudio M; Costa, Marcos R

    2016-01-01

    What makes humans unique? This question has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries and it is still a matter of intense debate. Nowadays, human brain expansion during evolution has been acknowledged to explain our empowered cognitive capabilities. The drivers for such accelerated expansion remain, however, largely unknown. In this sense, studies have suggested that the cooking of food could be a pre-requisite for the expansion of brain size in early hominins. However, this appealing hypothesis is only supported by a mathematical model suggesting that the increasing number of neurons in the brain would constrain body size among primates due to a limited amount of calories obtained from diets. Here, we show, by using a similar mathematical model, that a tradeoff between body mass and the number of brain neurons imposed by dietary constraints during hominin evolution is unlikely. Instead, the predictable number of neurons in the hominin brain varies much more in function of foraging efficiency than body mass. We also review archeological data to show that the expansion of the brain volume in the hominin lineage is described by a linear function independent of evidence of fire control, and therefore, thermal processing of food does not account for this phenomenon. Finally, we report experiments in mice showing that thermal processing of meat does not increase its caloric availability in mice. Altogether, our data indicate that cooking is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain hominin brain expansion.

  13. Understanding Paleoclimate and Human Evolution Through the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye Reed

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the evolution of humans and our close relatives is one of the enduring scientific issues of modern times. Since the time of Charles Darwin, scientists have speculated on how and when we evolved and what conditions drove this evolutionary story. The detective work required to address these questions is necessarily interdisciplinary,involving research in anthropology, archaeology, human genetics and genomics, and the earth sciences. In addition to the difficult tasks of finding, describing, and interpreting hominin fossils (the taxonomic tribe which includes Homo sapiens and our close fossil relatives from the last 6 Ma, much of modern geological research associated with paleoanthropology involves understanding the geochronologic and paleoenvironmental context of those fossils. When were they entombed in the sediments? What were the local and regional climatic conditions that early hominins experienced? How did local (watershed scale and regional climate processes combine with regional tectonic boundary conditions to influence hominin food resources, foraging patterns, and demography? How and when did these conditions vary from humid to dry, or cool to warm? Can the history of those conditions (Vrba, 1988; Potts, 1996 be related to the evolution, diversification, stasis, or extinction of hominin species?

  14. The painted turtle, Chrysemys picta: a model system for vertebrate evolution, ecology, and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenzuela, Nicole

    2009-07-01

    Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) are representatives of a vertebrate clade whose biology and phylogenetic position hold a key to our understanding of fundamental aspects of vertebrate evolution. These features make them an ideal emerging model system. Extensive ecological and physiological research provide the context in which to place new research advances in evolutionary genetics, genomics, evolutionary developmental biology, and ecological developmental biology which are enabled by current resources, such as a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of C. picta, and the imminent development of additional ones such as genome sequences and cDNA and expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries. This integrative approach will allow the research community to continue making advances to provide functional and evolutionary explanations for the lability of biological traits found not only among reptiles but vertebrates in general. Moreover, because humans and reptiles share a common ancestor, and given the ease of using nonplacental vertebrates in experimental biology compared with mammalian embryos, painted turtles are also an emerging model system for biomedical research. For example, painted turtles have been studied to understand many biological responses to overwintering and anoxia, as potential sentinels for environmental xenobiotics, and as a model to decipher the ecology and evolution of sexual development and reproduction. Thus, painted turtles are an excellent reptilian model system for studies with human health, environmental, ecological, and evolutionary significance.

  15. CT findings of isthmic spondylolisthesis and degenerative spondylolisthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Suk Kyeong; Cho, Seong II; Chung, Gyung Ho; Lee, Sang Yong; Han, Young Min; Sohn, Myung Hee; Kim, Chong Soo; Choi, Ki Chul

    1996-01-01

    CT evaluate the finding useful for differential diagnosis and associated abnormalities of isthmic spondylolisthesis and degenerative spondylolisthesis on CT. We reviewed retrospectively the CT images of 164 patients who were diagnosed spondylolisthesis. One hundred twelve patients had isthmic spondylolisthesis and 52 patients had degenerative spondylolisthesis. Isthmic spondylolisthesis most frequently occurred at L5. The degree of anterior displacement was grade I and II. The defect had a horizontal plane, an irregular surface, a sclerotic margin, and protruding hypertrophic bony spur in the spinal canal. The most frequently associated structural abnormality was a herniated nucleus pulposus at the upper level of the defect. Degenerative spondylolisthesis most frequently occurred at L4-5 and were grade I. The degenerative facet joint had a vertical plane, a hypertrophic bony spur, and a vacuum facet phenomenon. We frequently detected a pseudobulging disk. The most frequently associated structural abnormality was a herniated nucleus pulposus at the level of the displacement. In spondylolisthesis, the findings in CT were valuable for differential diagnosis of isthmic and degenerative types and the detection of associated symptomatic abnormalities

  16. High-resolution copy-number variation map reflects human olfactory receptor diversity and evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yehudit Hasin

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory receptors (ORs, which are involved in odorant recognition, form the largest mammalian protein superfamily. The genomic content of OR genes is considerably reduced in humans, as reflected by the relatively small repertoire size and the high fraction ( approximately 55% of human pseudogenes. Since several recent low-resolution surveys suggested that OR genomic loci are frequently affected by copy-number variants (CNVs, we hypothesized that CNVs may play an important role in the evolution of the human olfactory repertoire. We used high-resolution oligonucleotide tiling microarrays to detect CNVs across 851 OR gene and pseudogene loci. Examining genomic DNA from 25 individuals with ancestry from three populations, we identified 93 OR gene loci and 151 pseudogene loci affected by CNVs, generating a mosaic of OR dosages across persons. Our data suggest that approximately 50% of the CNVs involve more than one OR, with the largest CNV spanning 11 loci. In contrast to earlier reports, we observe that CNVs are more frequent among OR pseudogenes than among intact genes, presumably due to both selective constraints and CNV formation biases. Furthermore, our results show an enrichment of CNVs among ORs with a close human paralog or lacking a one-to-one ortholog in chimpanzee. Interestingly, among the latter we observed an enrichment in CNV losses over gains, a finding potentially related to the known diminution of the human OR repertoire. Quantitative PCR experiments performed for 122 sampled ORs agreed well with the microarray results and uncovered 23 additional CNVs. Importantly, these experiments allowed us to uncover nine common deletion alleles that affect 15 OR genes and five pseudogenes. Comparison to the chimpanzee reference genome revealed that all of the deletion alleles are human derived, therefore indicating a profound effect of human-specific deletions on the individual OR gene content. Furthermore, these deletion alleles may be used

  17. A review of the evolution of human reliability analysis methods at nuclear industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira, Lécio N. de; Santos, Isaac José A. Luquetti dos; Carvalho, Paulo V.R.

    2017-01-01

    This paper reviews the status of researches on the application of human reliability analysis methods at nuclear industry and its evolution along the years. Human reliability analysis (HRA) is one of the elements used in Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) and is performed as part of PSAs to quantify the likelihood that people will fail to take action, such as errors of omission and errors of commission. Although HRA may be used at lots of areas, the focus of this paper is to review the applicability of HRA methods along the years at nuclear industry, especially in Nuclear Power Plants (NPP). An electronic search on CAPES Portal of Journals (A bibliographic database) was performed. This literature review covers original papers published since the first generation of HRA methods until the ones published on March 2017. A total of 94 papers were retrieved by the initial search and 13 were selected to be fully reviewed and for data extraction after the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, quality and suitability evaluation according to applicability at nuclear industry. Results point out that the methods from first generation are more used in practice than methods from second generation. This occurs because it is more concentrated towards quantification, in terms of success or failure of human action what make them useful for quantitative risk assessment to PSA. Although the second generation considers context and error of commission in human error prediction, they are not wider used in practice at nuclear industry to PSA. (author)

  18. Brief communication: Hair density and body mass in mammals and the evolution of human hairlessness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandel, Aaron A

    2013-09-01

    Humans are unusual among mammals in appearing hairless. Several hypotheses propose explanations for this phenotype, but few data are available to test these hypotheses. To elucidate the evolutionary history of human "hairlessness," a comparative approach is needed. One previous study on primate hair density concluded that great apes have systematically less dense hair than smaller primates. While there is a negative correlation between body size and hair density, it remains unclear whether great apes have less dense hair than is expected for their body size. To revisit the scaling relationship between hair density and body size in mammals, I compiled data from the literature on 23 primates and 29 nonprimate mammals and conducted Phylogenetic Generalized Least Squares regressions. Among anthropoids, there is a significant negative correlation between hair density and body mass. Chimpanzees display the largest residuals, exhibiting less dense hair than is expected for their body size. There is a negative correlation between hair density and body mass among the broader mammalian sample, although the functional significance of this scaling relationship remains to be tested. Results indicate that all primates, and chimpanzees in particular, are relatively hairless compared to other mammals. This suggests that there may have been selective pressures acting on the ancestor of humans and chimpanzees that led to an initial reduction in hair density. To further understand the evolution of human hairlessness, a systematic study of hair density and physiology in a wide range of species is necessary. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. A review of the evolution of human reliability analysis methods at nuclear industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliveira, Lécio N. de; Santos, Isaac José A. Luquetti dos; Carvalho, Paulo V.R., E-mail: lecionoliveira@gmail.com, E-mail: luquetti@ien.gov.br, E-mail: paulov@ien.gov.br [Instituto de Engenharia Nuclear (IEN/CNEN-RJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2017-11-01

    This paper reviews the status of researches on the application of human reliability analysis methods at nuclear industry and its evolution along the years. Human reliability analysis (HRA) is one of the elements used in Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) and is performed as part of PSAs to quantify the likelihood that people will fail to take action, such as errors of omission and errors of commission. Although HRA may be used at lots of areas, the focus of this paper is to review the applicability of HRA methods along the years at nuclear industry, especially in Nuclear Power Plants (NPP). An electronic search on CAPES Portal of Journals (A bibliographic database) was performed. This literature review covers original papers published since the first generation of HRA methods until the ones published on March 2017. A total of 94 papers were retrieved by the initial search and 13 were selected to be fully reviewed and for data extraction after the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, quality and suitability evaluation according to applicability at nuclear industry. Results point out that the methods from first generation are more used in practice than methods from second generation. This occurs because it is more concentrated towards quantification, in terms of success or failure of human action what make them useful for quantitative risk assessment to PSA. Although the second generation considers context and error of commission in human error prediction, they are not wider used in practice at nuclear industry to PSA. (author)

  20. Pathophysiology of Degenerative Mitral Regurgitation: New 3-Dimensional Imaging Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoine, Clemence; Mantovani, Francesca; Benfari, Giovanni; Mankad, Sunil V; Maalouf, Joseph F; Michelena, Hector I; Enriquez-Sarano, Maurice

    2018-01-01

    Despite its high prevalence, little is known about mechanisms of mitral regurgitation in degenerative mitral valve disease apart from the leaflet prolapse itself. Mitral valve is a complex structure, including mitral annulus, mitral leaflets, papillary muscles, chords, and left ventricular walls. All these structures are involved in physiological and pathological functioning of this valvuloventricular complex but up to now were difficult to analyze because of inherent limitations of 2-dimensional imaging. The advent of 3-dimensional echocardiography, computed tomography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging overcoming these limitations provides new insights into mechanistic analysis of degenerative mitral regurgitation. This review will detail the contribution of quantitative and qualitative dynamic analysis of mitral annulus and mitral leaflets by new imaging methods in the understanding of degenerative mitral regurgitation pathophysiology. © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.

  1. MR imaging of the spine: trauma and degenerative disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilmink, J.T.

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the capabilities and drawbacks of MR imaging in patients with trauma to the spine and degenerative spinal conditions. In spinal trauma MR imaging is secondary to plain X-ray films and CT because of the greater availability and ease of performance of these techniques and their superior capability for detecting vertebral fractures. Magnetic resonance imaging is useful for detecting ligamentous ruptures and intraspinal mass lesions such as hematoma, and for assessing the state of the spinal cord and prognosis of a cord injury. In degenerative spinal disease the necessity is emphasized of critically evaluating the clinical relevance of any abnormal feature detected, as findings of degenerative pathology are common in individuals without symptoms. Magnetic resonance myelography permits rapid and accurate assessment of the state of the lumbar nerve roots (compressed or not). In the cervical region the quality of the myelographic picture is often degraded in patients with a narrow spinal canal. (orig.)

  2. Enhanced vulnerability of human proteins towards disease-associated inactivation through divergent evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina-Carmona, Encarnación; Fuchs, Julian E; Gavira, Jose A; Mesa-Torres, Noel; Neira, Jose L; Salido, Eduardo; Palomino-Morales, Rogelio; Burgos, Miguel; Timson, David J; Pey, Angel L

    2017-09-15

    Human proteins are vulnerable towards disease-associated single amino acid replacements affecting protein stability and function. Interestingly, a few studies have shown that consensus amino acids from mammals or vertebrates can enhance protein stability when incorporated into human proteins. Here, we investigate yet unexplored relationships between the high vulnerability of human proteins towards disease-associated inactivation and recent evolutionary site-specific divergence of stabilizing amino acids. Using phylogenetic, structural and experimental analyses, we show that divergence from the consensus amino acids at several sites during mammalian evolution has caused local protein destabilization in two human proteins linked to disease: cancer-associated NQO1 and alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase, mutated in primary hyperoxaluria type I. We demonstrate that a single consensus mutation (H80R) acts as a disease suppressor on the most common cancer-associated polymorphism in NQO1 (P187S). The H80R mutation reactivates P187S by enhancing FAD binding affinity through local and dynamic stabilization of its binding site. Furthermore, we show how a second suppressor mutation (E247Q) cooperates with H80R in protecting the P187S polymorphism towards inactivation through long-range allosteric communication within the structural ensemble of the protein. Our results support that recent divergence of consensus amino acids may have occurred with neutral effects on many functional and regulatory traits of wild-type human proteins. However, divergence at certain sites may have increased the propensity of some human proteins towards inactivation due to disease-associated mutations and polymorphisms. Consensus mutations also emerge as a potential strategy to identify structural hot-spots in proteins as targets for pharmacological rescue in loss-of-function genetic diseases. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please

  3. Avian influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in humans: epidemiology, evolution, and pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husain, Matloob

    2014-12-01

    New human influenza A virus strains regularly emerge causing seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics. Lately, several zoonotic avian influenza A strains have been reported to directly infect humans. In early 2013, a novel avian influenza A virus (H7N9) strain was discovered in China to cause severe respiratory disease in humans. Since then, over 450 human cases of H7N9 infection have been discovered and 165 of them have died. Multiple epidemiological, phylogenetic, in vivo, and in vitro studies have been done to determine the origin and pathogenesis of novel H7N9 strain. This article reviews the literature related to the epidemiology, evolution, and pathogenesis of the H7N9 strain since its discovery in February 2013 till August 2014. The data available so far indicate that H7N9 was originated by a two-step reassortment process in birds and transmitted to humans through direct contact with live-bird markets. H7N9 is a low-pathogenic avian virus and contains several molecular signatures for adaptation in mammals. The severity of the respiratory disease caused by novel H7N9 virus in humans can be partly attributed to the age, sex, and underlying medical conditions of the patients. A universal influenza vaccine is not available, though several strain-specific H7N9 candidate vaccine viruses have been developed. Further, novel H7N9 virus is resistant to antiviral drug amantadine and some H7N9 isolates have acquired the resistance to neuraminidase-inhibitors. Therefore, constant surveillance and prompt control measures combined with novel research approaches to develop alternative and effective anti-influenza strategies are needed to overcome influenza A virus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. MRI in degenerative diseases of the cervical spine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schubeus, P.; Sander, B.; Hosten, N.; Mayer, H.M.; Weber, U.; Felix, R.

    1994-01-01

    MRI has grown increasingly important in recent years in diagnosis of degenerative diseases of the cervical spine, due to improvements of method that have made it a valuable diagnostic tool. The following contribution gives a brief introduction to the pathophysiology of degenerative changes in the cervical vertebral column and to the indications for MRI, describing within the framework of imaging the present state of MR examination technique. The ranking of the various gradient echo sequences, of the 3D methods and of the administration of contrast media in cervical myelopathy and radiaculopathy is discussed. (orig.) [de

  5. Neuromuscular exercise as treatment of degenerative knee disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ageberg, Eva; Roos, Ewa M.

    2015-01-01

    Exercise is recommended as first-line treatment of degenerative knee disease. Our hypothesis is that neuromuscular exercise is feasible and at least as effective as tradionally used strength or aerobic training, but aims to more closely target the sensorimotor deficiencies and functional...... instability associated with the degenerative knee disease than traditionally used training methods.SUMMARY FOR TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGECurrent data suggests that the effect from neuromuscular exercise on pain and function is comparable to the effects seen from other forms of exercise....

  6. The ongoing evolution of humanness: perspectives from Darwin to de Chardin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. S. Buckeridge

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The nature of humanness is discussed from observations made by Aristotle in 4th-century Greece, through to those of Charles Darwin, Teilhard de Chardin and William Shakespeare. Attempts to define humanness upon a narrow range of criteria, as some have tried, is argued as flawed, for humanness is more elusive than a single or a few demonstrated phenomena. The path that Darwin pursued in determining the place of humans in nature in his book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex is assessed from a 19thcentury perspective; the difficulties he faced, both personally and with the broader public, are reviewed and then evaluated in a modern context. Darwin’s thesis adheres to scientific principles, and is debated, defended and later verified on these principles. This is somewhat at variance to the approach adopted by the priest-scientist de Chardin a century later in his major work, The Phenomenon of Man—in which an attempt is made to reconcile a deep Christian faith with science. De Chardin scores well from a theological viewpoint, but fails on scientific grounds as his thesis moves beyond the realms of empiricism into mysticism. Surprisingly, de Chardin’s predicament of a future wherein human evolution enters a new stage of consciousness through the noosphere (an invisible layer of thought encompassing the globe has been partially realised through the worldwide web, although the nature of the web is almost certainly not what de Chardin might have anticipated, or desired. Science too fails to answer all, particularly the nature of God. Darwin considered the Creator in several of his works and does not dismiss the concept of a farseeing deity, although we are left with the notion that he died agnostic. Humanness is derived from an elevated moral code and this is reflected in our arts, particularly literature, wherein we may temporally reflect upon quintessential human traits such as mercy. However, expression of the arts is only

  7. Rapid recent human evolution and the accumulation of balanced genetic polymorphisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    All evolutionary change can be traced to alterations in allele frequencies in populations over time. DNA sequencing on a massive scale now permits us to follow the genetic consequences as our species has diverged from our close relatives and as we have colonized different parts of the world and adapted to them. But it has been difficult to disentangle natural selection from many other factors that alter frequencies. These factors include mutation and intragenic reciprocal recombination, gene conversion, segregation distortion, random drift, and gene flow between populations (these last two are greatly influenced by splits and coalescences of populations over time). The first part of this review examines recent studies that have had some success in dissecting out the role of natural selection, especially in humans and Drosophila. Among many examples, these studies include those that have followed the rapid evolution of traits that may permit adaptation to high altitude in Tibetan and Andean populations. In some cases, directional selection has been so strong that it may have swept alleles close to fixation in the span of a few thousand years, a rapidity of change that is also sometimes encountered in other organisms. The second part of the review summarizes data showing that remarkably few alleles have been carried completely to fixation during our recent evolution. Some of the alleles that have not reached fixation may be approaching new internal equilibria, which would indicate polymorphisms that are maintained by balancing selection. Finally, the review briefly examines why genetic polymorphisms, particularly those that are maintained by negative frequency dependence, are likely to have played an important role in the evolution of our species. A method is suggested for measuring the contribution of these polymorphisms to our gene pool. Such polymorphisms may add to the ability of our species to adapt to our increasingly complex and challenging environment.

  8. Human impact on the geomorphic evolution of the HOAL catchment, Lower Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pöppl, Ronald; Kraushaar, Sabine; Strauss, Peter; Fuchs, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Since the beginning of human settlement extensive land cover and land use changes have induced significant geomorphic landscape changes as water and sediment dynamics have been transformed. The presented project focuses on the reconstruction of Holocene geomorphic landscape evolution and the assessment of recent geomorphic processes in the Northern foothills of the Eastern Alps in Austria - an area intensively agriculturally used since the middle ages and often overlooked in its geomorphic evolution. The study area is a small catchment (ca. 66 ha) which is located in the western part of Lower Austria comprising a land use history as well as environmental settings typical for wide regions across the Northern foothills of the Eastern Alps in Austria. The catchment elevation ranges from 268 to 323 m a.s.l. and has a mean slope angle of 8%. The climate in this region can be characterized as humid. The lithology mainly consists of Tertiary marly to sandy deposits which are superimposed by Quaternary sediments (e.g. loesses). Dominant soil types are Cambisols, Luvisols, and Planosols. Furthermore, the catchment is used as a Hydrological Open Air Laboratory (HOAL) implemented for the long-term research of water-related flow and transport processes in the landscape (http://hoal.hydrology.at). The main objective of this research project is to reconstruct Holocene landscape evolution by analyzing physical parameters of sediment cores taken from colluvial and alluvial sediment archives with additional 14C and OSL dating as well as by the measurement of truncated and covered standardized Luvisol profiles. First results will be presented at the EGU General Assembly 2016.

  9. The evolution of human influenza A viruses from 1999 to 2006: A complete genome study

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    Fomsgaard Anders

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge about the complete genome constellation of seasonal influenza A viruses from different countries is valuable for monitoring and understanding of the evolution and migration of strains. Few complete genome sequences of influenza A viruses from Europe are publicly available at the present time and there have been few longitudinal genome studies of human influenza A viruses. We have studied the evolution of circulating human H3N2, H1N1 and H1N2 influenza A viruses from 1999 to 2006, we analysed 234 Danish human influenza A viruses and characterised 24 complete genomes. Results H3N2 was the prevalent strain in Denmark during the study period, but H1N1 dominated the 2000–2001 season. H1N2 viruses were first observed in Denmark in 2002–2003. After years of little genetic change in the H1N1 viruses the 2005–2006 season presented H1N1 of greater variability than before. This indicates that H1N1 viruses are evolving and that H1N1 soon is likely to be the prevalent strain again. Generally, the influenza A haemagglutinin (HA of H3N2 viruses formed seasonal phylogenetic clusters. Different lineages co-circulating within the same season were also observed. The evolution has been stochastic, influenced by small "jumps" in genetic distance rather than constant drift, especially with the introduction of the Fujian-like viruses in 2002–2003. Also evolutionary stasis-periods were observed which might indicate well fit viruses. The evolution of H3N2 viruses have also been influenced by gene reassortments between lineages from different seasons. None of the influenza genes were influenced by strong positive selection pressure. The antigenic site B in H3N2 HA was the preferred site for genetic change during the study period probably because the site A has been masked by glycosylations. Substitutions at CTL-epitopes in the genes coding for the neuraminidase (NA, polymerase acidic protein (PA, matrix protein 1 (M1, non

  10. The evolution of human influenza A viruses from 1999 to 2006: a complete genome study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragstad, Karoline; Nielsen, Lars P; Fomsgaard, Anders

    2008-03-07

    Knowledge about the complete genome constellation of seasonal influenza A viruses from different countries is valuable for monitoring and understanding of the evolution and migration of strains. Few complete genome sequences of influenza A viruses from Europe are publicly available at the present time and there have been few longitudinal genome studies of human influenza A viruses. We have studied the evolution of circulating human H3N2, H1N1 and H1N2 influenza A viruses from 1999 to 2006, we analysed 234 Danish human influenza A viruses and characterised 24 complete genomes. H3N2 was the prevalent strain in Denmark during the study period, but H1N1 dominated the 2000-2001 season. H1N2 viruses were first observed in Denmark in 2002-2003. After years of little genetic change in the H1N1 viruses the 2005-2006 season presented H1N1 of greater variability than before. This indicates that H1N1 viruses are evolving and that H1N1 soon is likely to be the prevalent strain again. Generally, the influenza A haemagglutinin (HA) of H3N2 viruses formed seasonal phylogenetic clusters. Different lineages co-circulating within the same season were also observed. The evolution has been stochastic, influenced by small "jumps" in genetic distance rather than constant drift, especially with the introduction of the Fujian-like viruses in 2002-2003. Also evolutionary stasis-periods were observed which might indicate well fit viruses. The evolution of H3N2 viruses have also been influenced by gene reassortments between lineages from different seasons. None of the influenza genes were influenced by strong positive selection pressure. The antigenic site B in H3N2 HA was the preferred site for genetic change during the study period probably because the site A has been masked by glycosylations. Substitutions at CTL-epitopes in the genes coding for the neuraminidase (NA), polymerase acidic protein (PA), matrix protein 1 (M1), non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and especially the nucleoprotein (NP

  11. Human Lsg1 defines a family of essential GTPases that correlates with the evolution of compartmentalization

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    Scheffzek Klaus

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Compartmentalization is a key feature of eukaryotic cells, but its evolution remains poorly understood. GTPases are the oldest enzymes that use nucleotides as substrates and they participate in a wide range of cellular processes. Therefore, they are ideal tools for comparative genomic studies aimed at understanding how aspects of biological complexity such as cellular compartmentalization evolved. Results We describe the identification and characterization of a unique family of circularly permuted GTPases represented by the human orthologue of yeast Lsg1p. We placed the members of this family in the phylogenetic context of the YlqF Related GTPase (YRG family, which are present in Eukarya, Bacteria and Archea and include the stem cell regulator Nucleostemin. To extend the computational analysis, we showed that hLsg1 is an essential GTPase predominantly located in the endoplasmic reticulum and, in some cells, in Cajal bodies in the nucleus. Comparison of localization and siRNA datasets suggests that all members of the family are essential GTPases that have increased in number as the compartmentalization of the eukaryotic cell and the ribosome biogenesis pathway have evolved. Conclusion We propose a scenario, consistent with our data, for the evolution of this family: cytoplasmic components were first acquired, followed by nuclear components, and finally the mitochondrial and chloroplast elements were derived from different bacterial species, in parallel with the formation of the nucleolus and the specialization of nuclear components.

  12. Genes expressed in specific areas of the human fetal cerebral cortex display distinct patterns of evolution.

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    Nelle Lambert

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The developmental mechanisms through which the cerebral cortex increased in size and complexity during primate evolution are essentially unknown. To uncover genetic networks active in the developing cerebral cortex, we combined three-dimensional reconstruction of human fetal brains at midgestation and whole genome expression profiling. This novel approach enabled transcriptional characterization of neurons from accurately defined cortical regions containing presumptive Broca and Wernicke language areas, as well as surrounding associative areas. We identified hundreds of genes displaying differential expression between the two regions, but no significant difference in gene expression between left and right hemispheres. Validation by qRTPCR and in situ hybridization confirmed the robustness of our approach and revealed novel patterns of area- and layer-specific expression throughout the developing cortex. Genes differentially expressed between cortical areas were significantly associated with fast-evolving non-coding sequences harboring human-specific substitutions that could lead to divergence in their repertoires of transcription factor binding sites. Strikingly, while some of these sequences were accelerated in the human lineage only, many others were accelerated in chimpanzee and/or mouse lineages, indicating that genes important for cortical development may be particularly prone to changes in transcriptional regulation across mammals. Genes differentially expressed between cortical regions were also enriched for transcriptional targets of FoxP2, a key gene for the acquisition of language abilities in humans. Our findings point to a subset of genes with a unique combination of cortical areal expression and evolutionary patterns, suggesting that they play important roles in the transcriptional network underlying human-specific neural traits.

  13. Rana computatrix to human language: towards a computational neuroethology of language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2003-10-15

    Walter's Machina speculatrix inspired the name Rana computatrix for a family of models of visuomotor coordination in the frog, which contributed to the development of computational neuroethology. We offer here an 'evolutionary' perspective on models in the same tradition for rat, monkey and human. For rat, we show how the frog-like taxon affordance model provides a basis for the spatial navigation mechanisms that involve the hippocampus and other brain regions. For monkey, we recall two models of neural mechanisms for visuomotor coordination. The first, for saccades, shows how interactions between the parietal and frontal cortex augment superior colliculus seen as the homologue of frog tectum. The second, for grasping, continues the theme of parieto-frontal interactions, linking parietal affordances to motor schemas in premotor cortex. It further emphasizes the mirror system for grasping, in which neurons are active both when the monkey executes a specific grasp and when it observes a similar grasp executed by others. The model of human-brain mechanisms is based on the mirror-system hypothesis of the evolution of the language-ready brain, which sees the human Broca's area as an evolved extension of the mirror system for grasping.

  14. Function and regulation of AUTS2, a gene implicated in autism and human evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nir Oksenberg

    Full Text Available Nucleotide changes in the AUTS2 locus, some of which affect only noncoding regions, are associated with autism and other neurological disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, dyslexia, motor delay, language delay, visual impairment, microcephaly, and alcohol consumption. In addition, AUTS2 contains the most significantly accelerated genomic region differentiating humans from Neanderthals, which is primarily composed of noncoding variants. However, the function and regulation of this gene remain largely unknown. To characterize auts2 function, we knocked it down in zebrafish, leading to a smaller head size, neuronal reduction, and decreased mobility. To characterize AUTS2 regulatory elements, we tested sequences for enhancer activity in zebrafish and mice. We identified 23 functional zebrafish enhancers, 10 of which were active in the brain. Our mouse enhancer assays characterized three mouse brain enhancers that overlap an ASD-associated deletion and four mouse enhancers that reside in regions implicated in human evolution, two of which are active in the brain. Combined, our results show that AUTS2 is important for neurodevelopment and expose candidate enhancer sequences in which nucleotide variation could lead to neurological disease and human-specific traits.

  15. ‘Lumbar Degenerative Kyphosis’ Is Not Byword for Degenerative Sagittal Imbalance: Time to Replace a Misconception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chang-Hyun; Chung, Chun Kee; Jang, Jee-Soo; Kim, Sung-Min; Chin, Dong-Kyu; Lee, Jung-Kil

    2017-01-01

    Lumbar degenerative kyphosis (LDK) is a subgroup of the flat-back syndrome and is most commonly caused by unique life styles, such as a prolonged crouched posture during agricultural work and performing activities of daily living on the floor. Unfortunately, LDK has been used as a byword for degenerative sagittal imbalance, and this sometimes causes confusion. The aim of this review was to evaluate the exact territory of LDK, and to introduce another appropriate term for degenerative sagittal deformity. Unlike what its name suggests, LDK does not only include sagittal balance disorder of the lumbar spine and kyphosis, but also sagittal balance disorder of the whole spine and little lordosis of the lumbar spine. Moreover, this disease is closely related to the occupation of female farmers and an outdated Asian life style. These reasons necessitate a change in the nomenclature of this disorder to prevent misunderstanding. We suggest the name “primary degenerative sagittal imbalance” (PDSI), which encompasses degenerative sagittal misalignments of unknown origin in the whole spine in older-age patients, and is associated with back muscle wasting. LDK may be regarded as a subgroup of PDSI related to an occupation in agriculture. Conservative treatments such as exercise and physiotherapy are recommended as first-line treatments for patients with PDSI, and surgical treatment is considered only if conservative treatments failed. The measurement of spinopelvic parameters for sagittal balance is important prior to deformity corrective surgery. LDK can be considered a subtype of PDSI that is more likely to occur in female farmers, and hence the use of LDK as a global term for all degenerative sagittal imbalance disorders is better avoided. To avoid confusion, we recommend PDSI as a newer, more accurate diagnostic term instead of LDK. PMID:28264231

  16. A Two-Step Theory of the Evolution of Human Thinking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satne Glenda

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Social accounts of objective content, like the one advanced by Tomasello (2014, are traditionally challenged by an ‘essential tension’ (Hutto and Satne 2015. The tension is the following: while sociality is deemed to be at the basis of thinking, in order to explain sociality, some form of thinking seems to be necessarily presupposed. In this contribution I analyse Tomasello’s two-step theory of the evolution of human thinking vis-à-vis this challenge. While his theory is in principle suited to address it, I claim that the specifics of the first step and the notion of perspective that infuse it are problematic in this regard. I end by briefly sketching an alternative.

  17. Prolonged Shedding of Human Coronavirus in Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients: Risk Factors and Viral Genome Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogimi, Chikara; Greninger, Alexander L; Waghmare, Alpana A; Kuypers, Jane M; Shean, Ryan C; Xie, Hu; Leisenring, Wendy M; Stevens-Ayers, Terry L; Jerome, Keith R; Englund, Janet A; Boeckh, Michael

    2017-07-15

    Recent data suggest that human coronavirus (HCoV) pneumonia is associated with significant mortality in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. Investigation of risk factors for prolonged shedding and intrahost genome evolution may provide critical information for development of novel therapeutics. We retrospectively reviewed HCT recipients with HCoV detected in nasal samples by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HCoV strains were identified using strain-specific PCR. Shedding duration was defined as time between first positive and first negative sample. Logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate factors for prolonged shedding (≥21 days). Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) was conducted when ≥4 samples with cycle threshold values of Genome changes were consistent with the expected molecular clock of HCoV. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Convergent evolution of pregnancy-specific glycoproteins in human and horse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleksic, Denis; Blaschke, Lisa; Mißbach, Sophie; Hänske, Jana; Weiß, Wiebke; Handler, Johannes; Zimmermann, Wolfgang; Cabrera-Sharp, Victoria; Read, Jordan E; de Mestre, Amanda M; O'Riordan, Ronan; Moore, Tom; Kammerer, Robert

    2016-09-01

    Pregnancy-specific glycoproteins (PSGs) are members of the carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecule (CEACAM) family that are secreted by trophoblast cells. PSGs may modulate immune, angiogenic and platelet responses during pregnancy. Until now, PSGs are only found in species that have a highly invasive (hemochorial) placentation including humans, mice and rats. Surprisingly, analyzing the CEACAM gene family of the horse, which has a non-invasive epitheliochorial placenta, with the exception of the transient endometrial cups, we identified equine CEACAM family members that seem to be related to PSGs of rodents and primates. We identified seven genes that encode secreted PSG-like CEACAMs Phylogenetic analyses indicate that they evolved independently from an equine CEACAM1-like ancestor rather than from a common PSG-like ancestor with rodents and primates. Significantly, expression of PSG-like genes (CEACAM44, CEACAM48, CEACAM49 and CEACAM55) was found in non-invasive as well as invasive trophoblast cells such as purified chorionic girdle cells and endometrial cup cells. Chorionic girdle cells are highly invasive trophoblast cells that invade the endometrium of the mare where they form endometrial cups and are in close contact with maternal immune cells. Therefore, the microenvironment of invasive equine trophoblast cells has striking similarities to the microenvironment of trophoblast cells in hemochorial placentas, suggesting that equine PSG-like CEACAMs and rodent and primate PSGs have undergone convergent evolution. This is supported by our finding that equine PSG-like CEACAM49 exhibits similar activity to certain rodent and human PSGs in a functional assay of platelet-fibrinogen binding. Our results have implications for understanding the evolution of PSGs and their functions in maternal-fetal interactions. © 2016 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  19. Degenerative Changes of the Spine of Pilots of the RNLAF

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-08-01

    views of the spine taken in standing 7-3 Table 2 Classification of disorders Disorder Levels General: Osteo-arthrosis / Spondylosis / Arthrosis...Deformans Cervical, thoracic, lumbar Scoliosis Cervical, thoracic, lumbar Abnormal alignment Cervical, lumbar Scheuermann’s disease / Enchondrosis Thoracic... lumbar Specific: Degenerative changes in the intervertebral disc / Discopathy Cervical, thoracic, lumbar Presence of Osteophyte’s / Osteophytic

  20. Single photon emission computed tomography in lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ito, S.; Muro, T.; Eisenstein, S.

    1998-01-01

    Analysis of single photon emission computed tomographic images and plain X-ray films of the lumbar vertebrae was performed in 15 patients with lumbar spondylosis and 15 patients with lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. The facet joint and osteophyte images were observed in particular, and the slipping ratio of spondylolisthetic vertebrae was determined. The slipping ratio of degenerative spondylolisthesis ranged from 11.8 % to 22.3 %. Hot uptake of 99mTc-HMDP by both L4-5 facet joints was significantly greater in the patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis than in those with lumbar spondylosis. The hot uptake by the osteophytes in lumbar spondylosis was nearly uniform among the three inferior segments, L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S, but was localized to the spondylolisthetic vertebrae, L4-5, or L5-S, in the patients with spondylolisthesis. Half of the osteophytes with hot uptake were assigned to the 3rd degree of Nathan's grading. It was suggested that stress was localized to the slipping vertebrae and their facet joints in patients with lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. (author)

  1. NONFUSION STABILIZATION IN THE DEGENERATIVE LUMBAR SPINE DISEASES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matjaž Voršič

    2009-04-01

    Conclusions Cosmic is a posterior dynamic nonfusion pedicle screw-rod system for the stabilization of the lumbar vertebral column. It represents the new step in the development of the spinal instrumentation and can efficiently replace the spondylodesis in the treatment of painful degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine.

  2. Regional cerebral blood flow in primary degenerative dementia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawakatsu, Shinobu; Totsuka, Shiro; Shinohara, Masao; Koyama, Hideki; Sagawa, Katsuo; Morinobu, Shigeru; Oiji, Arata; Komatani, Akio

    1991-01-01

    Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was examined, using SPECT by Xe-133 inhalation, in patients with primary degenerative dementia who were subgrouped according to predominant symptoms with respect to amnesia, apraxia, agnosia, aphasia, and personality changes. Also the effect of sex and age at dementia onset on the rCBF patterns was assessed. (author). 26 refs.; 1 fig.; 7 tabs

  3. Time estimation in Parkinson's disease and degenerative cerebellar disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beudel, Martijin; Galama, Sjoukje; Leenders, Klaus L.; de Jong, Bauke M.

    2008-01-01

    With functional MRI, we recently identified fronto-cerebellar activations in predicting time to reach a target and basal ganglia activation in velocity estimation, that is, small interval assessment. We now tested these functions in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and degenerative cerebellar

  4. [Operative treatment of degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czabanka, M; Thomé, C; Ringel, F; Meyer, B; Eicker, S-O; Rohde, V; Stoffel, M; Vajkoczy, P

    2018-04-20

    Degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine and associated lower back pain represent a major epidemiological and health-related economic challenge. A distinction is made between specific and unspecific lower back pain. In specific lower back pain lumbar disc herniation and spinal canal stenosis with or without associated segment instability are among the most frequent pathologies. Diverse conservative and operative strategies for treatment of these diseases are available. The aim of this article is to present an overview of current data and an evidence-based assessment of the possible forms of treatment. An extensive literature search was carried out via Medline plus an additional evaluation of the authors' personal experiences. Conservative and surgical treatment represent efficient treatment options for degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine. Surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation shows slight advantages compared to conservative treatment consisting of faster recovery of neurological deficits and a faster restitution of pain control. Surgical decompression is superior to conservative measures for the treatment of spinal canal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. In this scenario conservative treatment represents an important supporting measure for surgical treatment in order to improve the mobility of patients and the outcome of surgical treatment. The treatment of specific lower back pain due to degenerative lumbar pathologies represents an interdisciplinary challenge, requiring both conservative and surgical treatment strategies in a synergistic treatment concept in order to achieve the best results for patients.

  5. MRI of degenerative cysts of the lumbar spine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khalatbari, K.; Ansari, H.

    2008-01-01

    Degenerative cysts of the lumbar spine encompass a heterogeneous group of cystic lesions that are presumed to share a common aetiology. Some of these cysts may be incidental findings, whereas others may produce acute or chronic symptoms. These cysts have been categorized using various combinations of topographic and pathological characteristics and by their attachment to or communication with a specific spinal structure

  6. MRI of degenerative cysts of the lumbar spine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khalatbari, K. [Department of MRI, Iran Gamma Knife Centre, Iran University of Medial Sciences-Kamrani Charity Foundation, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)], E-mail: khalatbarik@yahoo.com; Ansari, H. [Department of Orthopaedics, Rassoul Akram University Hospital, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2008-03-15

    Degenerative cysts of the lumbar spine encompass a heterogeneous group of cystic lesions that are presumed to share a common aetiology. Some of these cysts may be incidental findings, whereas others may produce acute or chronic symptoms. These cysts have been categorized using various combinations of topographic and pathological characteristics and by their attachment to or communication with a specific spinal structure.

  7. Interacting proteins on human spermatozoa: adaptive evolution of the binding of semenogelin I to EPPIN.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erick J R Silva

    Full Text Available Semenogelin I (SEMG1 is found in human semen coagulum and on the surface of spermatozoa bound to EPPIN. The physiological significance of the SEMG1/EPPIN interaction on the surface of spermatozoa is its capacity to modulate sperm progressive motility. The present study investigates the hypothesis that the interacting surface of SEMG1 and EPPIN co-evolved within the Hominoidea time scale, as a result of adaptive pressures applied by their roles in sperm protection and reproductive fitness. Our results indicate that some amino acid residues of SEMG1 and EPPIN possess a remarkable deficiency of variation among hominoid primates. We observe a distinct residue change unique to humans within the EPPIN sequence containing a SEMG1 interacting surface, namely His92. In addition, Bayes Empirical Bayes analysis for positive selection indicates that the SEMG1 Cys239 residue underwent positive selection in humans, probably as a consequence of its role in increasing the binding affinity of these interacting proteins. We confirm the critical role of Cys239 residue for SEMG1 binding to EPPIN and inhibition of sperm motility by showing that recombinant SEMG1 mutants in which Cys239 residue was changed to glycine, aspartic acid, histidine, serine or arginine have reduced capacity to interact to EPPIN and to inhibit human sperm motility in vitro. In conclusion, our results indicate that EPPIN and SEMG1 rapidly co-evolved in primates due to their critical role in the modulation of sperm motility in the semen coagulum, providing unique insights into the molecular co-evolution of sperm surface interacting proteins.

  8. Socio-hydrologic Perspectives of the Co-evolution of Humans and Water in the Tarim River Basin, Western China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ye; Tian, Fuqiang; Hu, Heping; Liu, Dengfeng; Sivapalan, Murugesu

    2013-04-01

    Socio-hydrology studies the co-evolution of coupled human-water systems, which is of great importance for long-term sustainable water resource management in basins suffering from serious eco-environmental degradation. Process socio-hydrology can benefit from the exploring the patterns of historical co-evolution of coupled human-water systems as a way to discovering the organizing principles that may underpin their co-evolution. As a self-organized entity, the human-water system in a river basin would evolve into certain steady states over a sufficiently long time but then could also experience sudden shifts due to internal or external disturbances that exceed system thresholds. In this study, we discuss three steady states (also called stages in the social sciences, including natural, human exploitation and recovery stages) and transitions between these during the past 1500 years in the Tarim River Basin of Western China, which a rich history of civilization including its place in the famous Silk Road that connected China to Europe. Specifically, during the natural stage with a sound environment that existed before the 19th century, shifts in the ecohydrological regime were mainly caused by environmental changes such river channel migration and climate change. During the human exploitation stages in the 5th and again in the 19th-20th centuries, however, humans gradually became the main drivers for system evolution, during which the basin experienced rapid population growth, fast socio-economic development and intense human activities. By the 1970s, after 200 years of colonization, the Tarim River Basin evolved into a new regime with vulnerable ecosystem and water system, and suffered from serious water shortages and desertification. Human society then began to take a critical look into the effects of their activities and reappraise the impact of human development on the ecohydrological system, which eventually led the basin into a treatment and recovery stage

  9. Both selective and neutral processes drive GC content evolution in the human genome

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    Cagliani Rachele

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mammalian genomes consist of regions differing in GC content, referred to as isochores or GC-content domains. The scientific debate is still open as to whether such compositional heterogeneity is a selected or neutral trait. Results Here we analyze SNP allele frequencies, retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms (RIPs, as well as fixed substitutions accumulated in the human lineage since its divergence from chimpanzee to indicate that biased gene conversion (BGC has been playing a role in within-genome GC content variation. Yet, a distinct contribution to GC content evolution is accounted for by a selective process. Accordingly, we searched for independent evidences that GC content distribution does not conform to neutral expectations. Indeed, after correcting for possible biases, we show that intron GC content and size display isochore-specific correlations. Conclusion We consider that the more parsimonious explanation for our results is that GC content is subjected to the action of both weak selection and BGC in the human genome with features such as nucleosome positioning or chromatin conformation possibly representing the final target of selective processes. This view might reconcile previous contrasting findings and add some theoretical background to recent evidences suggesting that GC content domains display different behaviors with respect to highly regulated biological processes such as developmentally-stage related gene expression and programmed replication timing during neural stem cell differentiation.

  10. The Role of the Baldwin Effect in the Evolution of Human Musicality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Podlipniak

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available From the biological perspective human musicality is the term referred to as a set of abilities which enable the recognition and production of music. Since music is a complex phenomenon which consists of features that represent different stages of the evolution of human auditory abilities, the question concerning the evolutionary origin of music must focus mainly on music specific properties and their possible biological function or functions. What usually differentiates music from other forms of human sound expressions is a syntactically organized structure based on pitch classes and rhythmic units measured in reference to musical pulse. This structure is an auditory (not acoustical phenomenon, meaning that it is a human-specific interpretation of sounds achieved thanks to certain characteristics of the nervous system. There is historical and cross-cultural diversity of this structure which indicates that learning is an important part of the development of human musicality. However, the fact that there is no culture without music, the syntax of which is implicitly learned and easily recognizable, suggests that human musicality may be an adaptive phenomenon. If the use of syntactically organized structure as a communicative phenomenon were adaptive it would be only in circumstances in which this structure is recognizable by more than one individual. Therefore, there is a problem to explain the adaptive value of an ability to recognize a syntactically organized structure that appeared accidentally as the result of mutation or recombination in an environment without a syntactically organized structure. The possible solution could be explained by the Baldwin effect in which a culturally invented trait is transformed into an instinctive trait by the means of natural selection. It is proposed that in the beginning musical structure was invented and learned thanks to neural plasticity. Because structurally organized music appeared adaptive (phenotypic

  11. The Role of the Baldwin Effect in the Evolution of Human Musicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlipniak, Piotr

    2017-01-01

    From the biological perspective human musicality is the term referred to as a set of abilities which enable the recognition and production of music. Since music is a complex phenomenon which consists of features that represent different stages of the evolution of human auditory abilities, the question concerning the evolutionary origin of music must focus mainly on music specific properties and their possible biological function or functions. What usually differentiates music from other forms of human sound expressions is a syntactically organized structure based on pitch classes and rhythmic units measured in reference to musical pulse. This structure is an auditory (not acoustical) phenomenon, meaning that it is a human-specific interpretation of sounds achieved thanks to certain characteristics of the nervous system. There is historical and cross-cultural diversity of this structure which indicates that learning is an important part of the development of human musicality. However, the fact that there is no culture without music, the syntax of which is implicitly learned and easily recognizable, suggests that human musicality may be an adaptive phenomenon. If the use of syntactically organized structure as a communicative phenomenon were adaptive it would be only in circumstances in which this structure is recognizable by more than one individual. Therefore, there is a problem to explain the adaptive value of an ability to recognize a syntactically organized structure that appeared accidentally as the result of mutation or recombination in an environment without a syntactically organized structure. The possible solution could be explained by the Baldwin effect in which a culturally invented trait is transformed into an instinctive trait by the means of natural selection. It is proposed that in the beginning musical structure was invented and learned thanks to neural plasticity. Because structurally organized music appeared adaptive (phenotypic adaptation) e

  12. Neuro degenerative diseases: clinical concerns; Les maladies neuro-degeneratives: problemes cliniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ibanez, V. [Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve (HUG), Unite de Neuroimagerie, Dept. de Psychiatrie (Switzerland)

    2005-04-15

    Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are the main neuro-degenerative diseases (NDDs) seen clinically. They share some common clinical symptoms and neuro-pathological findings. The increase of life expectancy in the developed countries will inevitably contribute to enhance the prevalence of these diseases. Behavioral disorders, common in NDDs, will produce major care management challenges. Idiopathic Parkinson's disease corresponds to a histopathological diagnosis, based on the observation of a de-pigmentation and a neuronal loss in the substantia nigra, as well as on the presence of intra-neuronal inclusion bodies. AD is insidious with slowly progressive dementia in which the decline in memory constitutes the main complaint. The diagnosis of definite AD requires the presence of clinical criteria as well as the histopathological confirmation of brain lesions. The two main lesions are the presence of senile plaques and neuro-fibrillary tangles. Positron emission tomography (PET) explores cerebral metabolism and neurotransmitter kinetics in NDDs using principally [{sup 18}F]-deoxyglucose and [{sup 18}F]-dopa. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic function is altered in PD, as evidenced by the low uptake of [{sup 18}F]-dopa in the posterior putamen as compared to anterior putamen and caudate nucleus. In contrast, [{sup 18}F]-dopa uptake is equally depressed in all striatal structures in progressive supra-nuclear palsy. Regional glucose metabolism at rest is preserved in elderly once cerebral atrophy is taken into account. On the contrary, glucose metabolism is globally reduced in AD, with marked decrease in the parietal and temporal regions. PET has proved to be useful to study in vivo neurochemical processes in patients suffering from NDDs. The potential of this approach is still largely unexploited, and depends on new ligand production to establish early diagnosis and treatment follow-up. (author)

  13. Measure, Then Show: Grasping Human Evolution Through an Inquiry-Based, Data-driven Hominin Skulls Lab.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris N Bayer

    Full Text Available Incomprehension and denial of the theory of evolution among high school students has been observed to also occur when teachers are not equipped to deliver a compelling case also for human evolution based on fossil evidence. This paper assesses the outcomes of a novel inquiry-based paleoanthropology lab teaching human evolution to high-school students. The inquiry-based Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day lab placed a dozen hominin skulls into the hands of high-school students. Upon measuring three variables of human evolution, students explain what they have observed and discuss findings. In the 2013/14 school year, 11 biology classes in 7 schools in the Greater New Orleans area participated in this lab. The interviewed teacher cohort unanimously agreed that the lab featuring hominin skull replicas and stimulating student inquiry was a pedagogically excellent method of delivering the subject of human evolution. First, the lab's learning path of transforming facts to data, information to knowledge, and knowledge to acceptance empowered students to themselves execute part of the science that underpins our understanding of deep time hominin evolution. Second, although challenging, the hands-on format of the lab was accessible to high-school students, most of whom were readily able to engage the lab's scientific process. Third, the lab's exciting and compelling pedagogy unlocked higher order thinking skills, effectively activating the cognitive, psychomotor and affected learning domains as defined in Bloom's taxonomy. Lastly, the lab afforded students a formative experience with a high degree of retention and epistemic depth. Further study is warranted to gauge the degree of these effects.

  14. Measure, Then Show: Grasping Human Evolution Through an Inquiry-Based, Data-driven Hominin Skulls Lab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Chris N; Luberda, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Incomprehension and denial of the theory of evolution among high school students has been observed to also occur when teachers are not equipped to deliver a compelling case also for human evolution based on fossil evidence. This paper assesses the outcomes of a novel inquiry-based paleoanthropology lab teaching human evolution to high-school students. The inquiry-based Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day lab placed a dozen hominin skulls into the hands of high-school students. Upon measuring three variables of human evolution, students explain what they have observed and discuss findings. In the 2013/14 school year, 11 biology classes in 7 schools in the Greater New Orleans area participated in this lab. The interviewed teacher cohort unanimously agreed that the lab featuring hominin skull replicas and stimulating student inquiry was a pedagogically excellent method of delivering the subject of human evolution. First, the lab's learning path of transforming facts to data, information to knowledge, and knowledge to acceptance empowered students to themselves execute part of the science that underpins our understanding of deep time hominin evolution. Second, although challenging, the hands-on format of the lab was accessible to high-school students, most of whom were readily able to engage the lab's scientific process. Third, the lab's exciting and compelling pedagogy unlocked higher order thinking skills, effectively activating the cognitive, psychomotor and affected learning domains as defined in Bloom's taxonomy. Lastly, the lab afforded students a formative experience with a high degree of retention and epistemic depth. Further study is warranted to gauge the degree of these effects.

  15. Founder virus population related to route of virus transmission: a determinant of intrahost human immunodeficiency virus type 1 evolution?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, V. V.; Goudsmit, J.

    1997-01-01

    We and others have shown that in individual human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, the adaptive evolution of HIV-1 is influenced by host immune competence. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that in addition to selective forces operating within the host, transmission bottlenecks

  16. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project : inferring the environmental context of human evolution from eastern African rift lake deposits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cohen, A.; Campisano, C.; Arrowsmith, R.; Asrat, A.; Behrensmeyer, A. K.; Deino, A.; Feibel, C.; Hill, A.; Johnson, R.; Kingston, J.; Lamb, H.; Lowenstein, T.; Noren, A.; Olago, D.; Owen, R. B.; Potts, R.; Reed, K.; Renaut, R.; Schäbitz, F.; Tiercelin, J.-J.; Trauth, M. H.; Wynn, J.; Ivory, S.; Brady, K.; O'Grady, R.; Rodysill, J.; Githiri, J.; Russell, J.; Foerster, V.; Dommain, R.; Rucina, S.; Deocampo, D.; Russell, J.; Billingsley, A.; Beck, C.; Dorenbeck, G.; Dullo, L.; Feary, D.; Garello, D.; Gromig, R.; Johnson, T.; Junginger, A.; Karanja, M.; Kimburi, E.; Mbuthia, A.; Mccartney, T.; Mcnulty, E.; Muiruri, V.; Nambiro, E.; Negash, E. W.; Njagi, D.; Wilson, J. N.; Rabideaux, N.; Raub, T.; Sier, M. J.; Smith, P.; Urban, J.; Warren, M.; Yadeta, M.; Yost, C.; Zinaye, B.

    2016-01-01

    The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to understand the environmental history side of this equation have centered around the

  17. Rapid molecular evolution of human bocavirus revealed by Bayesian coalescent inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehender, Gianguglielmo; De Maddalena, Chiara; Canuti, Marta; Zappa, Alessandra; Amendola, Antonella; Lai, Alessia; Galli, Massimo; Tanzi, Elisabetta

    2010-03-01

    Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a linear single-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Parvoviridae family that has recently been isolated from the upper respiratory tract of children with acute respiratory infection. All of the strains observed so far segregate into two genotypes (1 and 2) with a low level of polymorphism. Given the recent description of the infection and the lack of epidemiological and molecular data, we estimated the virus's rates of molecular evolution and population dynamics. A dataset of forty-nine dated VP2 sequences, including also eight new isolates obtained from pharyngeal swabs of Italian patients with acute respiratory tract infections, was submitted to phylogenetic analysis. The model parameters, evolutionary rates and population dynamics were co-estimated using a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, and site-specific positive and negative selection was also investigated. Recombination was investigated by seven different methods and one suspected recombinant strain was excluded from further analysis. The estimated mean evolutionary rate of HBoV was 8.6x10(-4)subs/site/year, and that of the 1st+2nd codon positions was more than 15 times less than that of the 3rd codon position. Viral population dynamics analysis revealed that the two known genotypes diverged recently (mean tMRCA: 24 years), and that the epidemic due to HBoV genotype 2 grew exponentially at a rate of 1.01year(-1). Selection analysis of the partial VP2 showed that 8.5% of sites were under significant negative pressure and the absence of positive selection. Our results show that, like other parvoviruses, HBoV is characterised by a rapid evolution. The low level of polymorphism is probably due to a relatively recent divergence between the circulating genotypes and strong purifying selection acting on viral antigens.

  18. 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.

  19. A review of the Delta Po evolution (Italy) related to climatic changes and human impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeoni, Umberto; Corbau, Corinne

    2009-06-01

    Climate changes and sea-level rise are important issues, especially for deltas such as the Po Delta, Italy. The evolution of the Po Delta shows a succession in space and a superposition in time of complex environmental natural processes. During the last few centuries, anthropogenic action has played a major role. The formation of the Po Delta began about 2000 years ago and has undergone many phases of development. Between 1500 AD and 1600 AD, the Venetian technicians diverted the Po river course. With these interventions, the "Renaissance delta" was cut off from the hydraulic network and the "modern delta" began to form. Until the middle of the 20th century, progradation of the delta was noticeable due to the abundant sediment supply. In the following decades coastal erosion occurred, this was caused by the reduction of the solid supply of the Po, due to dam and barrier construction and to river bed excavation. These and other interventions (e.g. reclamation, methane extractions from superficial ground water table) have deeply modified the physical and ecological characteristics of the Po Delta. The morphological characteristics of the Po Delta make the largest Italian wetland particularly unstable and very fragile when subjected to human pressure. Furthermore, the delta evidences multiple threats that will probably be exacerbated in the following decades by the effects of expected climatic changes. Only the application of careful policies concerning coastal defence, flood mitigation, anthropogenic subsidence reduction and salt wedge intrusion control will allow reduction of the present or predicted negative effects. This paper reviews how natural and human factors have controlled the Po Delta through time and discusses management strategies taking into account the importance of the human factor and the potential effects of climatic changes.

  20. Evidence Report: Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Other Degenerative Tissue Effects from Radiation Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Zarana; Huff, Janice; Saha, Janapriya; Wang, Minli; Blattnig, Steve; Wu, Honglu; Cucinotta, Francis

    2015-01-01

    Occupational radiation exposure from the space environment may result in non-cancer or non-CNS degenerative tissue diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and respiratory or digestive diseases. However, the magnitude of influence and mechanisms of action of radiation leading to these diseases are not well characterized. Radiation and synergistic effects of radiation cause DNA damage, persistent oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and accelerated tissue aging and degeneration, which may lead to acute or chronic disease of susceptible organ tissues. In particular, cardiovascular pathologies such as atherosclerosis are of major concern following gamma-ray exposure. This provides evidence for possible degenerative tissue effects following exposures to ionizing radiation in the form of the GCR or SPEs expected during long-duration spaceflight. However, the existence of low dose thresholds and dose-rate and radiation quality effects, as well as mechanisms and major risk pathways, are not well-characterized. Degenerative disease risks are difficult to assess because multiple factors, including radiation, are believed to play a role in the etiology of the diseases. As additional evidence is pointing to lower, space-relevant thresholds for these degenerative effects, particularly for cardiovascular disease, additional research with cell and animal studies is required to quantify the magnitude of this risk, understand mechanisms, and determine if additional protection strategies are required.The NASA PEL (Permissive Exposure Limit)s for cataract and cardiovascular risks are based on existing human epidemiology data. Although animal and clinical astronaut data show a significant increase in cataracts following exposure and a reassessment of atomic bomb (A-bomb) data suggests an increase in cardiovascular disease from radiation exposure, additional research is required to fully understand and quantify these adverse outcomes at lower doses (less than 0.5 gray

  1. Shared human-chimpanzee pattern of perinatal femoral shaft morphology and its implications for the evolution of hominin locomotor adaptations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoki Morimoto

    Full Text Available Acquisition of bipedality is a hallmark of human evolution. How bipedality evolved from great ape-like locomotor behaviors, however, is still highly debated. This is mainly because it is difficult to infer locomotor function, and even more so locomotor kinematics, from fossil hominin long bones. Structure-function relationships are complex, as long bone morphology reflects phyletic history, developmental programs, and loading history during an individual's lifetime. Here we discriminate between these factors by investigating the morphology of long bones in fetal and neonate great apes and humans, before the onset of locomotion.Comparative morphometric analysis of the femoral diaphysis indicates that its morphology reflects phyletic relationships between hominoid taxa to a greater extent than taxon-specific locomotor adaptations. Diaphyseal morphology in humans and chimpanzees exhibits several shared-derived features, despite substantial differences in locomotor adaptations. Orangutan and gorilla morphologies are largely similar, and likely represent the primitive hominoid state.These findings are compatible with two possible evolutionary scenarios. Diaphyseal morphology may reflect retained adaptive traits of ancestral taxa, hence human-chimpanzee shared-derived features may be indicative of the locomotor behavior of our last common ancestor. Alternatively, diaphyseal morphology might reflect evolution by genetic drift (neutral evolution rather than selection, and might thus be more informative about phyletic relationships between taxa than about locomotor adaptations. Both scenarios are consistent with the hypothesis that knuckle-walking in chimpanzees and gorillas resulted from convergent evolution, and that the evolution of human bipedality is unrelated to extant great ape locomotor specializations.

  2. Impact of carnivory on human development and evolution revealed by a new unifying model of weaning in mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elia Psouni

    Full Text Available Our large brain, long life span and high fertility are key elements of human evolutionary success and are often thought to have evolved in interplay with tool use, carnivory and hunting. However, the specific impact of carnivory on human evolution, life history and development remains controversial. Here we show in quantitative terms that dietary profile is a key factor influencing time to weaning across a wide taxonomic range of mammals, including humans. In a model encompassing a total of 67 species and genera from 12 mammalian orders, adult brain mass and two dichotomous variables reflecting species differences regarding limb biomechanics and dietary profile, accounted for 75.5%, 10.3% and 3.4% of variance in time to weaning, respectively, together capturing 89.2% of total variance. Crucially, carnivory predicted the time point of early weaning in humans with remarkable precision, yielding a prediction error of less than 5% with a sample of forty-six human natural fertility societies as reference. Hence, carnivory appears to provide both a necessary and sufficient explanation as to why humans wean so much earlier than the great apes. While early weaning is regarded as essentially differentiating the genus Homo from the great apes, its timing seems to be determined by the same limited set of factors in humans as in mammals in general, despite some 90 million years of evolution. Our analysis emphasizes the high degree of similarity of relative time scales in mammalian development and life history across 67 genera from 12 mammalian orders and shows that the impact of carnivory on time to weaning in humans is quantifiable, and critical. Since early weaning yields shorter interbirth intervals and higher rates of reproduction, with profound effects on population dynamics, our findings highlight the emergence of carnivory as a process fundamentally determining human evolution.

  3. Applications of CRISPR/Cas9 in retinal degenerative diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Ying-Qian; Tang, Luo-Sheng; Yoshida, Shigeo; Zhou, Ye-Di

    2017-01-01

    Gene therapy is a potentially effective treatment for retinal degenerative diseases. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has been developed as a new genome-editing tool in ophthalmic studies. Recent advances in researches showed that CRISPR/Cas9 has been applied in generating animal models as well as gene therapy in vivo of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). It has also been shown as a potential attempt for clinic by combining with other technologies such as adeno-associated virus (AAV) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this review, we highlight the main points of further prospect of using CRISPR/Cas9 in targeting retinal degeneration. We also emphasize the potential applications of this technique in treating retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:28503441

  4. Targeting Protein Aggregation for the Treatment of Degenerative Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisele, Yvonne S.; Monteiro, Cecilia; Fearns, Colleen; Encalada, Sandra E.; Wiseman, R. Luke; Powers, Evan T.; Kelly, Jeffery W.

    2015-01-01

    The aggregation of specific proteins is hypothesized to underlie several degenerative diseases, collectively called amyloid disorders. However, the mechanistic connection between the process of protein aggregation and tissue degeneration is not yet fully understood. Here, we review current and emerging strategies to ameliorate aggregation-associated degenerative disorders, with a focus on disease-modifying strategies that prevent the formation of and/or eliminate protein aggregates. Persuasive pharmacologic and genetic evidence now support protein aggregation as the cause of post-mitotic tissue dysfunction or loss. However, a more detailed understanding of the factors that trigger and sustain aggregate formation, as well as the structure-activity relationships underlying proteotoxicity are needed to develop future disease-modifying therapies. PMID:26338154

  5. Human evolution across the disciplines: spotlights on American anthropology and genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Marianne

    2012-01-01

    When thinking about human evolution across the disciplines, terms such as "anthropological genetics" or "genetic anthropology" that brazenly defy the existence of the two-cultures divide seem to promise important insights. They refer to the application of genetic techniques to the past of humankind and human groups, a fact emphasized most strongly by the expression "genetic history." Such daring linguistic alliances have been forming since 1962 when the name "molecular anthropology" was introduced in the American context. This was an opportune moment for biochemists and physical chemists to enter anthropology, because in the U.S. a rapprochement between the fields was aimed for. However, a belief in and a discourse of a hierarchy of disciplines structured along the lines of methodology and epistemic object worked as an obstacle to the achievement of transdisciplinarity. Especially the DNA-sequence, initially approached through the proxy of the protein, was regarded as the most informative historical document due to its distance from the environment and its amenability to rigorous scientific techniques. These notions had a particular power at a time when anthropology was confronted with its legacy of race science. For some, the perceived objectivity of the new molecular approaches and the neutrality of molecules would render anthropology more natural-scientific and by inference less culturally contaminated. Others, to the contrary, believed that this legacy demanded a holistic and ethically reflexive anthropology. The different perceptions thus went along with different understandings of such crucial terms as "anthropology" and "history." In the paper, I revisit interfaces between different anthropological fields in the U.S. context and suggest that the beliefs in a hierarchy of approaches as well as in a nature free from culture embodied in the DNA-sequence has worked as one of the primary obstacles to an integration of these fields.

  6. Parallel or convergent evolution in human population genomic data revealed by genotype networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    R Vahdati, Ali; Wagner, Andreas

    2016-08-02

    Genotype networks are representations of genetic variation data that are complementary to phylogenetic trees. A genotype network is a graph whose nodes are genotypes (DNA sequences) with the same broadly defined phenotype. Two nodes are connected if they differ in some minimal way, e.g., in a single nucleotide. We analyze human genome variation data from the 1,000 genomes project, and construct haploid genotype (haplotype) networks for 12,235 protein coding genes. The structure of these networks varies widely among genes, indicating different patterns of variation despite a shared evolutionary history. We focus on those genes whose genotype networks show many cycles, which can indicate homoplasy, i.e., parallel or convergent evolution, on the sequence level. For 42 genes, the observed number of cycles is so large that it cannot be explained by either chance homoplasy or recombination. When analyzing possible explanations, we discovered evidence for positive selection in 21 of these genes and, in addition, a potential role for constrained variation and purifying selection. Balancing selection plays at most a small role. The 42 genes with excess cycles are enriched in functions related to immunity and response to pathogens. Genotype networks are representations of genetic variation data that can help understand unusual patterns of genomic variation.

  7. The role of play objects and object play in human cognitive evolution and innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Felix; Johannsen, Niels N; Högberg, Anders; Nowell, April; Lombard, Marlize

    2018-01-01

    In this contribution, we address a major puzzle in the evolution of human material culture: If maturing individuals just learn their parental generation's material culture, then what is the origin of key innovations as documented in the archeological record? We approach this question by coupling a life-history model of the costs and benefits of experimentation with a niche-construction perspective. Niche-construction theory suggests that the behavior of organisms and their modification of the world around them have important evolutionary ramifications by altering developmental settings and selection pressures. Part of Homo sapiens' niche is the active provisioning of children with play objects - sometimes functional miniatures of adult tools - and the encouragement of object play, such as playful knapping with stones. Our model suggests that salient material culture innovation may occur or be primed in a late childhood or adolescence sweet spot when cognitive and physical abilities are sufficiently mature but before the full onset of the concerns and costs associated with reproduction. We evaluate the model against a series of archeological cases and make suggestions for future research. © 2018 The Authors Evolutionary Anthropology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of present-day Aboriginal Australians and implications for human evolution in Oceania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagle, Nano; Ballantyne, Kaye N; van Oven, Mannis; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Xue, Yali; Wilcox, Stephen; Wilcox, Leah; Turkalov, Rust; van Oorschot, Roland A H; van Holst Pellekaan, Sheila; Schurr, Theodore G; McAllister, Peter; Williams, Lesley; Kayser, Manfred; Mitchell, R John

    2017-03-01

    Aboriginal Australians are one of the more poorly studied populations from the standpoint of human evolution and genetic diversity. Thus, to investigate their genetic diversity, the possible date of their ancestors' arrival and their relationships with neighboring populations, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity in a large sample of Aboriginal Australians. Selected mtDNA single-nucleotide polymorphisms and the hypervariable segment haplotypes were analyzed in 594 Aboriginal Australians drawn from locations across the continent, chiefly from regions not previously sampled. Most (~78%) samples could be assigned to mtDNA haplogroups indigenous to Australia. The indigenous haplogroups were all ancient (with estimated ages >40 000 years) and geographically widespread across the continent. The most common haplogroup was P (44%) followed by S (23%) and M42a (9%). There was some geographic structure at the haplotype level. The estimated ages of the indigenous haplogroups range from 39 000 to 55 000 years, dates that fit well with the estimated date of colonization of Australia based on archeological evidence (~47 000 years ago). The distribution of mtDNA haplogroups in Australia and New Guinea supports the hypothesis that the ancestors of Aboriginal Australians entered Sahul through at least two entry points. The mtDNA data give no support to the hypothesis of secondary gene flow into Australia during the Holocene, but instead suggest long-term isolation of the continent.

  9. Working Memory: A Cognitive Limit to Non-Human Primate Recursive Thinking Prior to Hominid Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwight W. Read

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper I explore the possibility that recursion is not part of the cognitive repertoire of non-human primates such as chimpanzees due to limited working memory capacity. Multiple lines of data, from nut cracking to the velocity and duration of cognitive development, imply that chimpanzees have a short-term memory size that limits working memory to dealing with two, or at most three, concepts at a time. If so, as a species they lack the cognitive capacity for recursive thinking to be integrated into systems of social organization and communication. If this limited working memory capacity is projected back to a common ancestor for Pan and Homo, it follows that early hominid ancestors would have had limited working memory capacity. Hence we should find evidence for expansion of working memory capacity during hominid evolution reflected in changes in the products of conceptually framed activities such as stone tool production. Data on the artifacts made by our hominid ancestors support this expansion hypothesis for hominid working memory, thereby leading to qualitative differences between Pan and Homo.

  10. Landscapes of human evolution: models and methods of tectonic geomorphology and the reconstruction of hominin landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Geoffrey N; Reynolds, Sally C; King, Geoffrey C P

    2011-03-01

    This paper examines the relationship between complex and tectonically active landscapes and patterns of human evolution. We show how active tectonics can produce dynamic landscapes with geomorphological and topographic features that may be critical to long-term patterns of hominin land use, but which are not typically addressed in landscape reconstructions based on existing geological and paleoenvironmental principles. We describe methods of representing topography at a range of scales using measures of roughness based on digital elevation data, and combine the resulting maps with satellite imagery and ground observations to reconstruct features of the wider landscape as they existed at the time of hominin occupation and activity. We apply these methods to sites in South Africa, where relatively stable topography facilitates reconstruction. We demonstrate the presence of previously unrecognized tectonic effects and their implications for the interpretation of hominin habitats and land use. In parts of the East African Rift, reconstruction is more difficult because of dramatic changes since the time of hominin occupation, while fossils are often found in places where activity has now almost ceased. However, we show that original, dynamic landscape features can be assessed by analogy with parts of the Rift that are currently active and indicate how this approach can complement other sources of information to add new insights and pose new questions for future investigation of hominin land use and habitats. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Impacts of Genome-Wide Analyses on Our Understanding of Human Herpesvirus Diversity and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Daniel W; Szpara, Moriah L

    2018-01-01

    Until fairly recently, genome-wide evolutionary dynamics and within-host diversity were more commonly examined in the context of small viruses than in the context of large double-stranded DNA viruses such as herpesviruses. The high mutation rates and more compact genomes of RNA viruses have inspired the investigation of population dynamics for these species, and recent data now suggest that herpesviruses might also be considered candidates for population modeling. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) and bioinformatics have expanded our understanding of herpesviruses through genome-wide comparisons of sequence diversity, recombination, allele frequency, and selective pressures. Here we discuss recent data on the mechanisms that generate herpesvirus genomic diversity and underlie the evolution of these virus families. We focus on human herpesviruses, with key insights drawn from veterinary herpesviruses and other large DNA virus families. We consider the impacts of cell culture on herpesvirus genomes and how to accurately describe the viral populations under study. The need for a strong foundation of high-quality genomes is also discussed, since it underlies all secondary genomic analyses such as RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation, and ribosome profiling. Areas where we foresee future progress, such as the linking of viral genetic differences to phenotypic or clinical outcomes, are highlighted as well. Copyright © 2017 Renner and Szpara.

  12. The role of play objects and object play in human cognitive evolution and innovation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannsen, Niels N.; Högberg, Anders; Nowell, April; Lombard, Marlize

    2018-01-01

    Abstract In this contribution, we address a major puzzle in the evolution of human material culture: If maturing individuals just learn their parental generation's material culture, then what is the origin of key innovations as documented in the archeological record? We approach this question by coupling a life‐history model of the costs and benefits of experimentation with a niche‐construction perspective. Niche‐construction theory suggests that the behavior of organisms and their modification of the world around them have important evolutionary ramifications by altering developmental settings and selection pressures. Part of Homo sapiens' niche is the active provisioning of children with play objects — sometimes functional miniatures of adult tools — and the encouragement of object play, such as playful knapping with stones. Our model suggests that salient material culture innovation may occur or be primed in a late childhood or adolescence sweet spot when cognitive and physical abilities are sufficiently mature but before the full onset of the concerns and costs associated with reproduction. We evaluate the model against a series of archeological cases and make suggestions for future research. PMID:29446561

  13. Impacts of Genome-Wide Analyses on Our Understanding of Human Herpesvirus Diversity and Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Daniel W.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Until fairly recently, genome-wide evolutionary dynamics and within-host diversity were more commonly examined in the context of small viruses than in the context of large double-stranded DNA viruses such as herpesviruses. The high mutation rates and more compact genomes of RNA viruses have inspired the investigation of population dynamics for these species, and recent data now suggest that herpesviruses might also be considered candidates for population modeling. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) and bioinformatics have expanded our understanding of herpesviruses through genome-wide comparisons of sequence diversity, recombination, allele frequency, and selective pressures. Here we discuss recent data on the mechanisms that generate herpesvirus genomic diversity and underlie the evolution of these virus families. We focus on human herpesviruses, with key insights drawn from veterinary herpesviruses and other large DNA virus families. We consider the impacts of cell culture on herpesvirus genomes and how to accurately describe the viral populations under study. The need for a strong foundation of high-quality genomes is also discussed, since it underlies all secondary genomic analyses such as RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation, and ribosome profiling. Areas where we foresee future progress, such as the linking of viral genetic differences to phenotypic or clinical outcomes, are highlighted as well. PMID:29046445

  14. Evolution of External Consultant Involvement in Human Resource Management in Eastern Europe (1990-2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    József Poór

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to analyze the evolution of Human Resources (HR consulting in transitional economies of Eastern Europe (EE from the political changes till the economic crisis (2008. This article provides insights into the specific socio-economic environment and HR practice of the region.  Following Markham's model (1999 we analyze specific characteristics of four typical ways of external consultant involvement: informative-becnhmarking, design, change and organizational learning consulting.  in this region. In general, before the political changes at the end of the 1980's, in most EE countries , consulting service was redendered by sector  research institutes, controlled by the state or by the different minsitries. Consulting approach in EE countries  were predominant similar to the school of scientific management. HR consulting hardly existed that time. Since changes in the regime's consulting linked to privatization, firm restructuring, and development has been developing significantly in all countries of the region. HR consulting underwent a significant development in the region.

  15. Silver nanoparticle-human hemoglobin interface: time evolution of the corona formation and interaction phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhunia, A. K.; Kamilya, T.; Saha, S.

    2017-10-01

    In this paper, we have used spectroscopic and electron microscopic analysis to monitor the time evolution of the silver nanoparticles (Ag NP)-human hemoglobin (Hb) corona formation and to characterize the interaction of the Ag NPs with Hb. The time constants for surface plasmon resonance binding and reorganization are found to be 9.51 and 118.48 min, respectively. The drop of surface charge and the increase of the hydrodynamic diameter indicated the corona of Hb on the Ag NP surface. The auto correlation function is found to broaden with the increasing time of the corona formation. Surface zeta potential revealed that positively charged Hb interact electrostatically with negatively charged Ag NP surfaces. The change in α helix and β sheet depends on the corona formation time. The visualization of the Hb corona from HRTEM showed large number of Hb domains aggregate containing essentially Ag NPs and without Ag NPs. Emission study showed the tertiary deformation, energy transfer, nature of interaction and quenching under three different temperatures.

  16. Genetic diversity and evolution of human metapneumovirus fusion protein over twenty years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liem Alexis

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human metapneumovirus (HMPV is an important cause of acute respiratory illness in children. We examined the diversity and molecular evolution of HMPV using 85 full-length F (fusion gene sequences collected over a 20-year period. Results The F gene sequences fell into two major groups, each with two subgroups, which exhibited a mean of 96% identity by predicted amino acid sequences. Amino acid identity within and between subgroups was higher than nucleotide identity, suggesting structural or functional constraints on F protein diversity. There was minimal progressive drift over time, and the genetic lineages were stable over the 20-year period. Several canonical amino acid differences discriminated between major subgroups, and polymorphic variations tended to cluster in discrete regions. The estimated rate of mutation was 7.12 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year and the estimated time to most recent common HMPV ancestor was 97 years (95% likelihood range 66-194 years. Analysis suggested that HMPV diverged from avian metapneumovirus type C (AMPV-C 269 years ago (95% likelihood range 106-382 years. Conclusion HMPV F protein remains conserved over decades. HMPV appears to have diverged from AMPV-C fairly recently.

  17. Genetic diversity and evolution of human metapneumovirus fusion protein over twenty years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chin-Fen; Wang, Chiaoyin K; Tollefson, Sharon J; Piyaratna, Rohith; Lintao, Linda D; Chu, Marla; Liem, Alexis; Mark, Mary; Spaete, Richard R; Crowe, James E; Williams, John V

    2009-01-01

    Background Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is an important cause of acute respiratory illness in children. We examined the diversity and molecular evolution of HMPV using 85 full-length F (fusion) gene sequences collected over a 20-year period. Results The F gene sequences fell into two major groups, each with two subgroups, which exhibited a mean of 96% identity by predicted amino acid sequences. Amino acid identity within and between subgroups was higher than nucleotide identity, suggesting structural or functional constraints on F protein diversity. There was minimal progressive drift over time, and the genetic lineages were stable over the 20-year period. Several canonical amino acid differences discriminated between major subgroups, and polymorphic variations tended to cluster in discrete regions. The estimated rate of mutation was 7.12 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year and the estimated time to most recent common HMPV ancestor was 97 years (95% likelihood range 66-194 years). Analysis suggested that HMPV diverged from avian metapneumovirus type C (AMPV-C) 269 years ago (95% likelihood range 106-382 years). Conclusion HMPV F protein remains conserved over decades. HMPV appears to have diverged from AMPV-C fairly recently. PMID:19740442

  18. Inherited Retinal Degenerative Disease Clinical Trial Network. Addendum

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    Stargardt disease, and Usher syndrome represent the predominant forms of inherited orphan retinal degenerative diseases and are estimated to affect...working with Oxford Biomedica and a separate project with academic investigators on gene therapy for Usher lb syndrome (deaf-blindness due to a gene...s. The NEER Network will also develop standard protocols for data collection, mainta i n and expand patient databases, classified by genotype and

  19. Stem Cell-Based Therapeutic Applications in Retinal Degenerative Diseases.

    OpenAIRE

    Huang Yiming; Enzmann Volker; Ildstad Suzanne T

    2011-01-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases that target photoreceptors or the adjacent retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) affect millions of people worldwide. Retinal degeneration (RD) is found in many different forms of retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa (RP), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Effective treatment for retinal degeneration has been widely investigated. Gene-replacement therapy has been shown to improve visual function in inheri...

  20. Cosmology and Particle Physics/Human evolution and infectious disease/Cognitive evolution (1 page - 3 subjects)

    CERN Multimedia

    Carroll, Sean; Hauser, Marc D

    2007-01-01

    "On the theoretical side, particle phenomenologists will continue to develop physics beyond the Standard Model; string theorists are connecting ore strongly to cosmology and astrophysics/With the recent advent of whole-genome sequencing and increasingly complete surveys of genetic variation, we are now routinely studying 500 thousand variations at a time, enabling complete genome wide surveys in many human populations and in specific disease populations./The most exciting developments today sit at the intersection between science and philosophy.

  1. Adjacent segment disease in degenerative pathologies with posterior instrumentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Guadalupe Ramírez Olvera

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To establish the real incidence of adjacent segment disease after fusion, and to identify the levels and predisposing factors for the pathology, as well as the functional results. METHODS: a retrospective case series study with level of evidence IIB, in a sample of 179 patients diagnosed with stenosis of the lumbar spine, spondylolisthesis and degenerative scoliosis, submitted to surgery in the period 2005 to December 2013, with posterior instrumentation and posterolateral fusion, with follow-up from 2007 until May 2014, in which the symptomology and radiographic findings were evaluated, to establish the diagnosis and treatment. RESULTS: the study included 179 patients diagnosed with stenosis of the lumbar spine (n=116, isthmic and degenerative spondylolisthesis (n=50 and degenerative scoliosis (n=13; during the study, 20 cases of adjacent level segment were identified, 80% of which were treated surgically with extension of the instrumentation, while 20% were treated conservatively with NSAIDs and therapeutic blocks. CONCLUSION: An incidence of 11% was found, with an average of 3.25 years in diagnosis and treatment, a prevalence of females and diagnosis of stenosis of the lumbar canal on posterior instrumentation, a predominance of levels L4-L5; 80% were treated with extension of the instrumentation. The complications were persistent radiculopathy, infection of the surgical wound, and one death due to causes not related to the lumbar pathology.

  2. Connecting Malfunctioning Glial Cells and Brain Degenerative Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaminsky, Natalie; Bihari, Ofer; Kanner, Sivan; Barzilai, Ari

    2016-06-01

    The DNA damage response (DDR) is a complex biological system activated by different types of DNA damage. Mutations in certain components of the DDR machinery can lead to genomic instability disorders that culminate in tissue degeneration, premature aging, and various types of cancers. Intriguingly, malfunctioning DDR plays a role in the etiology of late onset brain degenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases. For many years, brain degenerative disorders were thought to result from aberrant neural death. Here we discuss the evidence that supports our novel hypothesis that brain degenerative diseases involve dysfunction of glial cells (astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes). Impairment in the functionality of glial cells results in pathological neuro-glial interactions that, in turn, generate a "hostile" environment that impairs the functionality of neuronal cells. These events can lead to systematic neural demise on a scale that appears to be proportional to the severity of the neurological deficit. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. MR imaging of the spine: trauma and degenerative disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilmink, J.T. [Department of Radiology, University Hospital Maastricht (Netherlands)

    1999-09-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the capabilities and drawbacks of MR imaging in patients with trauma to the spine and degenerative spinal conditions. In spinal trauma MR imaging is secondary to plain X-ray films and CT because of the greater availability and ease of performance of these techniques and their superior capability for detecting vertebral fractures. Magnetic resonance imaging is useful for detecting ligamentous ruptures and intraspinal mass lesions such as hematoma, and for assessing the state of the spinal cord and prognosis of a cord injury. In degenerative spinal disease the necessity is emphasized of critically evaluating the clinical relevance of any abnormal feature detected, as findings of degenerative pathology are common in individuals without symptoms. Magnetic resonance myelography permits rapid and accurate assessment of the state of the lumbar nerve roots (compressed or not). In the cervical region the quality of the myelographic picture is often degraded in patients with a narrow spinal canal. (orig.) With 10 figs., 14 refs.

  4. The development of biomarkers for degenerative musculoskeletal conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayabalan, Prakash; Sowa, Gwendolyn A

    2014-02-01

    With an aging population, degenerative musculoskeletal conditions will become more prevalent with significantly increasing costs to society over the next several decades. The majority of these conditions are diagnosed radiographically, at which point the disease process is often more advanced and challenging to treat. The commonly available radiographic studies also do not adequately provide information as to the exact pain generator and findings often do not correlate either to patient symptoms or function. Personalized medicine involves formulating treatments based on a patient's own biology. The development of biological markers (biomarkers) pertaining to disease is a rapidly growing area within this field of medicine. For degenerative musculoskeletal conditions, biomarkers have the potential to provide an early non-invasive method of assessing the location and severity of tissue damage and presence of inflammation. By outlining mechanisms of disease they could allow the formulation of further treatment targets and through sub-categorizing patients into different groups based on their biomarker profile, one could provide more efficacious treatments for patients. The present article is a review of the development of biomarkers for these purposes specifically as they pertain to degenerative musculoskeletal conditions.

  5. Connecting Malfunctioning Glial Cells and Brain Degenerative Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie Kaminsky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The DNA damage response (DDR is a complex biological system activated by different types of DNA damage. Mutations in certain components of the DDR machinery can lead to genomic instability disorders that culminate in tissue degeneration, premature aging, and various types of cancers. Intriguingly, malfunctioning DDR plays a role in the etiology of late onset brain degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases. For many years, brain degenerative disorders were thought to result from aberrant neural death. Here we discuss the evidence that supports our novel hypothesis that brain degenerative diseases involve dysfunction of glial cells (astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes. Impairment in the functionality of glial cells results in pathological neuro-glial interactions that, in turn, generate a “hostile” environment that impairs the functionality of neuronal cells. These events can lead to systematic neural demise on a scale that appears to be proportional to the severity of the neurological deficit.

  6. The red queen model of recombination hotspots evolution in the light of archaic and modern human genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Lesecque

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Recombination is an essential process in eukaryotes, which increases diversity by disrupting genetic linkage between loci and ensures the proper segregation of chromosomes during meiosis. In the human genome, recombination events are clustered in hotspots, whose location is determined by the PRDM9 protein. There is evidence that the location of hotspots evolves rapidly, as a consequence of changes in PRDM9 DNA-binding domain. However, the reasons for these changes and the rate at which they occur are not known. In this study, we investigated the evolution of human hotspot loci and of PRDM9 target motifs, both in modern and archaic human lineages (Denisovan to quantify the dynamic of hotspot turnover during the recent period of human evolution. We show that present-day human hotspots are young: they have been active only during the last 10% of the time since the divergence from chimpanzee, starting to be operating shortly before the split between Denisovans and modern humans. Surprisingly, however, our analyses indicate that Denisovan recombination hotspots did not overlap with modern human ones, despite sharing similar PRDM9 target motifs. We further show that high-affinity PRDM9 target motifs are subject to a strong self-destructive drive, known as biased gene conversion (BGC, which should lead to the loss of the majority of them in the next 3 MYR. This depletion of PRDM9 genomic targets is expected to decrease fitness, and thereby to favor new PRDM9 alleles binding different motifs. Our refined estimates of the age and life expectancy of human hotspots provide empirical evidence in support of the Red Queen hypothesis of recombination hotspots evolution.

  7. Testing the hypothesis on cognitive evolution of modern humans' learning ability: current status of past-climatic approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneda, Minoru; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Kawahata, Hodaka; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Oguchi, Takashi

    2014-05-01

    The impact of climate change on human evolution is important and debating topic for many years. Since 2010, we have involved in a general joint project entitled "Replacement of Neanderthal by Modern Humans: Testing Evolutional Models of Learning", which based on a theoretical prediction that the cognitive ability related to individual and social learning divide fates of ancient humans in very unstable Late Pleistocene climate. This model predicts that the human populations which experienced a series of environmental changes would have higher rate of individual learners, while detailed reconstructions of global climate change have reported fluent and drastic change based on ice cores and stalagmites. However, we want to understand the difference between anatomically modern human which survived and the other archaic extinct humans including European Neanderthals and Asian Denisovans. For this purpose the global synchronized change is not useful for understanding but the regional difference in the amplitude and impact of climate change is the information required. Hence, we invited a geophysicist busing Global Circulation Model to reconstruct the climatic distribution and temporal change in a continental scale. At the same time, some geochemists and geographers construct a database of local climate changes recorded in different proxies. At last, archaeologists and anthropologists tried to interpret the emergence and disappearance of human species in Europe and Asia on the reconstructed past climate maps using some tools, such as Eco-cultural niche model. Our project will show the regional difference in climate change and related archaeological events and its impact on the evolution of learning ability of modern humans.

  8. The red queen model of recombination hotspots evolution in the light of archaic and modern human genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesecque, Yann; Glémin, Sylvain; Lartillot, Nicolas; Mouchiroud, Dominique; Duret, Laurent

    2014-11-01

    Recombination is an essential process in eukaryotes, which increases diversity by disrupting genetic linkage between loci and ensures the proper segregation of chromosomes during meiosis. In the human genome, recombination events are clustered in hotspots, whose location is determined by the PRDM9 protein. There is evidence that the location of hotspots evolves rapidly, as a consequence of changes in PRDM9 DNA-binding domain. However, the reasons for these changes and the rate at which they occur are not known. In this study, we investigated the evolution of human hotspot loci and of PRDM9 target motifs, both in modern and archaic human lineages (Denisovan) to quantify the dynamic of hotspot turnover during the recent period of human evolution. We show that present-day human hotspots are young: they have been active only during the last 10% of the time since the divergence from chimpanzee, starting to be operating shortly before the split between Denisovans and modern humans. Surprisingly, however, our analyses indicate that Denisovan recombination hotspots did not overlap with modern human ones, despite sharing similar PRDM9 target motifs. We further show that high-affinity PRDM9 target motifs are subject to a strong self-destructive drive, known as biased gene conversion (BGC), which should lead to the loss of the majority of them in the next 3 MYR. This depletion of PRDM9 genomic targets is expected to decrease fitness, and thereby to favor new PRDM9 alleles binding different motifs. Our refined estimates of the age and life expectancy of human hotspots provide empirical evidence in support of the Red Queen hypothesis of recombination hotspots evolution.

  9. Testing the neutral theory of molecular evolution using genomic data: a comparison of the human and bovine transcriptome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McCulloch Alan

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Despite growing evidence of rapid evolution in protein coding genes, the contribution of positive selection to intra- and interspecific differences in protein coding regions of the genome is unclear. We attempted to see if genes coding for secreted proteins and genes with narrow expression, specifically those preferentially expressed in the mammary gland, have diverged at a faster rate between domestic cattle (Bos taurus and humans (Homo sapiens than other genes and whether positive selection is responsible. Using a large data set, we identified groups of genes based on secretion and expression patterns and compared them for the rate of nonsynonymous (dN and synonymous (dS substitutions per site and the number of radical (Dr and conservative (Dc amino acid substitutions. We found evidence of rapid evolution in genes with narrow expression, especially for those expressed in the liver and mammary gland and for genes coding for secreted proteins. We compared common human polymorphism data with human-cattle divergence and found that genes with high evolutionary rates in human-cattle divergence also had a large number of common human polymorphisms. This argues against positive selection causing rapid divergence in these groups of genes. In most cases dN/dS ratios were lower in human-cattle divergence than in common human polymorphism presumably due to differences in the effectiveness of purifying selection between long-term divergence and short-term polymorphism.

  10. Human Rhinovirus Diversity and Evolution: How Strange the Change from Major to Minor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis-Rogers, Nicole; Seger, Jon; Adler, Frederick R

    2017-04-01

    Rhinoviruses are the most common causes of the common cold. Their many distinct lineages fall into "major" and "minor" groups that use different cell surface receptors to enter host cells. Minor-group rhinoviruses are more immunogenic in laboratory studies, although their patterns of transmission and their cold symptoms are broadly similar to those of the major group. Here we present evolutionary evidence that minor-group viruses are also more immunogenic in humans. A key finding is that rates of amino acid substitutions at exposed sites in the capsid proteins VP2, VP3, and VP1 tend to be elevated in minor-group relative to major-group viruses, while rates at buried sites show no consistent differences. A reanalysis of historical virus watch data also indicates a higher immunogenicity of minor-group viruses, consistent with our findings about evolutionary rates at amino acid positions most directly exposed to immune surveillance. The increased immunogenicity and speed of evolution in minor-group lineages may contribute to the very large numbers of rhinovirus serotypes that coexist while differing in virulence. IMPORTANCE Most colds are caused by rhinoviruses (RVs). Those caused by a subset known as the minor-group members of rhinovirus species A (RV-A) are correlated with the inception and aggravation of asthma in at-risk populations. Genetically, minor-group viruses are similar to major-group RV-A, from which they were derived, although they tend to elicit stronger immune responses. Differences in their rates and patterns of molecular evolution should be highly relevant to their epidemiology. All RV-A strains show high rates of amino acid substitutions in the capsid proteins at exposed sites not previously identified as being immunogenic, and this increase is significantly greater in minor-group viruses. These findings will inform future studies of the recently discovered RV-C, which also appears to exacerbate asthma in adults and children. In addition, these

  11. Relevance of East African Drill Cores to Human Evolution: the Case of the Olorgesailie Drilling Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, R.

    2016-12-01

    Drill cores reaching the local basement of the East African Rift were obtained in 2012 south of the Olorgesailie Basin, Kenya, 20 km from excavations that document key benchmarks in the origin of Homo sapiens. Sediments totaling 216 m were obtained from two drilling locations representing the past 1 million years. The cores were acquired to build a detailed environmental record spatially associated with the transition from Acheulean to Middle Stone Age technology and extensive turnover in mammalian species. The project seeks precise tests of how climate dynamics and tectonic events were linked with these transitions. Core lithology (A.K. Behrensmeyer), geochronology (A. Deino), diatoms (R.B. Owen), phytoliths (R. Kinyanjui), geochemistry (N. Rabideaux, D. Deocampo), among other indicators, show evidence of strong environmental variability in agreement with predicted high-eccentricity modulation of climate during the evolutionary transitions. Increase in hominin mobility, elaboration of symbolic behavior, and concurrent turnover in mammalian species indicating heightened adaptability to unpredictable ecosystems, point to a direct link between the evolutionary transitions and the landscape dynamics reflected in the Olorgesailie drill cores. For paleoanthropologists and Earth scientists, any link between evolutionary transitions and environmental dynamics requires robust evolutionary datasets pertinent to how selection, extinction, population divergence, and other evolutionary processes were impacted by the dynamics uncovered in drill core studies. Fossil and archeological data offer a rich source of data and of robust environment-evolution explanations that must be integrated into efforts by Earth scientists who seek to examine high-resolution climate records of human evolution. Paleoanthropological examples will illustrate the opportunities that exist for connecting evolutionary benchmarks to the data obtained from drilled African muds. Project members: R. Potts, A

  12. Imaging fusion (SPECT/CT) in degenerative disease of spine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernal, P.; Ucros, G.; Bermudez, S.; Ocampo, M.

    2007-01-01

    Full text: Objective: To determine the utility of Fusion Imaging SPECT/CT in degenerative pathology of the spine and to establish the impact of the use of fusion imaging in spinal pain due to degenerative changes of the spine. Materials and methods: 44 Patients (M=21, F=23) average age of 63 years and with degenerative pathology of spine were sent to Diagnosis Imaging department in FSFB. Bone scintigraphy (SPECT), CT of spine (cervical: 30%, Lumbar 70%) and fusion imaging were performed in all of them. Bone scintigraphy was carried out in a gamma camera Siemens Diacam double head attached to ESOFT computer. The images were acquired in matrix 128 x 128, 20 seg/imag, 64 images. CT of spine was performed same day or two days after in Helycoidal Siemens somatom emotion CT. The fusion was done in a Dicom workstation in sagital, axial and coronal reconstruction. The findings were evaluated by 2 Nuclear Medicine physicians and 2 radiologists of the staff of FSFB in an independent way. Results: Bone scan (SPECT) and CT of 44 patients were evaluated. CT showed facet joint osteoarthrities in 27 (61.3%) patients, uncovertebral joint arthrosis in 7 (15.9%), bulging disc in 9(20.4%), spinal nucleus lesion in 7(15.9%), osteophytes in 9 (20.4%), spinal foraminal stenosis in 7 (15.9%), spondylolysis/spondylolisthesis in 4 (9%). Bone scan showed facet joint osteoarthrities in 29 (65.9%), uncovertebral joint arthrosis in 4 (9%), osteophytes in 9 (20.4%) and normal 3 (6.8%). The imaging fusion showed coincidence findings (main lesion in CT with high uptake in scintigraphy) in 34 patients (77.2%) and no coincidence in 10 (22.8%). In 15 (34.09%) patients the fusion provided additional information. The analysis of the findings of CT and SPECT showed similar results in most of the cases and the fusion didn't provide additional information but it allowed to confirm the findings but when the findings didn't match where the CT showed several findings and SPECT only one area with high uptake

  13. Cytogenetics, conserved synteny and evolution of chicken fucosyltransferase genes compared to human

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coullin, P.; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A.; Fillon, V.; Mollicone, R.; Groenen, M.A.M.; Adrien-Dehais, C.; Bernheim, A.; Zoorob, R.; Oriol, R.; Candelier, J.J.

    2003-01-01

    Fucosyltransferases appeared early in evolution, since they are present from bacteria to primates and the genes are well conserved. The aim of this work was to study these genes in the bird group, which is particularly attractive for the comprehension of the evolution of the vertebrate genome.

  14. Genomic evidence for the evolution of Streptococcus equi: host restriction, increased virulence, and genetic exchange with human pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew T G Holden

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The continued evolution of bacterial pathogens has major implications for both human and animal disease, but the exchange of genetic material between host-restricted pathogens is rarely considered. Streptococcus equi subspecies equi (S. equi is a host-restricted pathogen of horses that has evolved from the zoonotic pathogen Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (S. zooepidemicus. These pathogens share approximately 80% genome sequence identity with the important human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. We sequenced and compared the genomes of S. equi 4047 and S. zooepidemicus H70 and screened S. equi and S. zooepidemicus strains from around the world to uncover evidence of the genetic events that have shaped the evolution of the S. equi genome and led to its emergence as a host-restricted pathogen. Our analysis provides evidence of functional loss due to mutation and deletion, coupled with pathogenic specialization through the acquisition of bacteriophage encoding a phospholipase A(2 toxin, and four superantigens, and an integrative conjugative element carrying a novel iron acquisition system with similarity to the high pathogenicity island of Yersinia pestis. We also highlight that S. equi, S. zooepidemicus, and S. pyogenes share a common phage pool that enhances cross-species pathogen evolution. We conclude that the complex interplay of functional loss, pathogenic specialization, and genetic exchange between S. equi, S. zooepidemicus, and S. pyogenes continues to influence the evolution of these important streptococci.

  15. Evolution of the human-water relationships in the Heihe River basin in the past 2000 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Z.; Wei, Y.; Xiao, H.; Zou, S.; Xie, J.; Ren, J.; Western, A.

    2015-05-01

    This paper quantitatively analyzed the evolution of human-water relationships in the Heihe River basin of northern China over the past 2000 years by reconstructing the catchment water balance by partitioning precipitation into evapotranspiration and runoff. The results provided the basis for investigating the impacts of societies on hydrological systems. Based on transition theory and the rates of changes of the population, human water consumption and the area of natural oases, the evolution of human-water relationships can be divided into four stages: predevelopment (206 BC-AD 1368), take-off (AD 1368-1949), acceleration (AD 1949-2000), and the start of a rebalancing between human and ecological needs (post AD 2000). Our analysis of the evolutionary process revealed that there were large differences in the rate and scale of changes and the period over which they occurred. The transition of the human-water relationship had no fixed pattern. This understanding of the dynamics of the human-water relationship will assist policy makers in identifying management practices that require improvement by understanding how today's problems were created in the past, which may lead to more sustainable catchment management in the future.

  16. Use of erroneous wolf generation time in assessments of domestic dog and human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mech, L. David; Barber-Meyer, Shannon

    2017-01-01

    Scientific interest in dog domestication and parallel evolution of dogs and humans (Wang et al. 2013) has increased recently (Freedman et al. 2014, Larson and Bradley 2014, Franz et al. 2016,), and various important conclusions have been drawn based on how long ago the calculations show dogs were domesticated from ancestral wolves (Canis lupus). Calculation of this duration is based on “the most commonly assumed mutation rate of 1 x 10-8 per generation and a 3-year gray wolf generation time . . .” (Skoglund et al. 2015:3). It is unclear on what information the assumed generation time is based, but Ersmark et al. (2016) seemed to have based their assumption on a single wolf (Mech and Seal 1987). The importance of assuring that such assumptions are valid is obvious. Recently, two independent studies employing three large data sets and three methods from two widely separated areas have found that wolf generation time is 4.2-4.7 years. The first study, based on 200 wolves in Yellowstone National Park used age-specific birth and death rates to calculate a generation time of 4.16 years (vonHoldt et al. 2008). The second, using estimated first-breeding times of 86 female wolves in northeastern Minnesota found a generation time of 4.3 years and using uterine examination of 159 female wolves from throughout Minnesota yielded a generation time of 4.7 years (Mech et al. 2016). We suggest that previous studies using a 3-year generation time recalculate their figures and adjust their conclusions based on these generation times and publish revised results.

  17. Historical evolution of human anthrax from occupational disease to potentially global threat as bioweapon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amelio, Enrico; Gentile, Bernardina; Lista, Florigio; D'Amelio, Raffaele

    2015-12-01

    Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, which can naturally infect livestock, wildlife and occupationally exposed humans. However, for its resistance due to spore formation, ease of dissemination, persistence in the environment and high virulence, B. anthracis has been considered the most serious bioterrorism agent for a long time. During the last century anthrax evolved from limited natural disease to potentially global threat if used as bioweapon. Several factors may mitigate the consequences of an anthrax attack, including 1. the capability to promptly recognize and manage the illness and its public health consequences; 2. the limitation of secondary contamination risk through an appropriate decontamination; and 3. the evolution of genotyping methods (for microbes characterization at high resolution level) that can influence the course and/or focus of investigations, impacting the response of the government to an attack. A PubMed search has been done using the key words “bioterrorism anthrax”. Over one thousand papers have been screened and the most significant examined to present a comprehensive literature review in order to discuss the current knowledge and strategies in preparedness for a possible deliberate release of B. anthracis spores and to indicate the most current and complete documents in which to deepen. The comprehensive analysis of the two most relevant unnatural anthrax release events, Sverdlovsk in the former Soviet Union (1979) and the contaminated letters in the USA (2001), shows that inhalational anthrax may easily and cheaply be spread resulting in serious consequences. The damage caused by an anthrax attack can be limited if public health organization, first responders, researchers and investigators will be able to promptly manage anthrax cases and use new technologies for decontamination methods and in forensic microbiology.

  18. Human locomotion on ice: the evolution of ice-skating energetics through history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formenti, Federico; Minetti, Alberto E

    2007-05-01

    More than 3000 years ago, peoples living in the cold North European regions started developing tools such as ice skates that allowed them to travel on frozen lakes. We show here which technical and technological changes determined the main steps in the evolution of ice-skating performance over its long history. An in-depth historical research helped identify the skates displaying significantly different features from previous models and that could consequently determine a better performance in terms of speed and energy demand. Five pairs of ice skates were tested, from the bone-skates, dated about 1800 BC, to modern ones. This paper provides evidence for the fact that the metabolic cost of locomotion on ice decreased dramatically through history, the metabolic cost of modern ice-skating being only 25% of that associated with the use of bone-skates. Moreover, for the same metabolic power, nowadays skaters can achieve speeds four times higher than their ancestors could. In the range of speeds considered, the cost of travelling on ice was speed independent for each skate model, as for running. This latter finding, combined with the accepted relationship between time of exhaustion and the sustainable fraction of metabolic power, gives the opportunity to estimate the maximum skating speed according to the distance travelled. Ice skates were probably the first human powered locomotion tools to take the maximum advantage from the biomechanical properties of the muscular system: even when travelling at relatively high speeds, the skating movement pattern required muscles to shorten slowly so that they could also develop a considerable amount of force.

  19. Virulence evolution of the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis by recombination in the core and accessory genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biju Joseph

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neisseria meningitidis is a naturally transformable, facultative pathogen colonizing the human nasopharynx. Here, we analyze on a genome-wide level the impact of recombination on gene-complement diversity and virulence evolution in N. meningitidis. We combined comparative genome hybridization using microarrays (mCGH and multilocus sequence typing (MLST of 29 meningococcal isolates with computational comparison of a subset of seven meningococcal genome sequences. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that lateral gene transfer of minimal mobile elements as well as prophages are major forces shaping meningococcal population structure. Extensive gene content comparison revealed novel associations of virulence with genetic elements besides the recently discovered meningococcal disease associated (MDA island. In particular, we identified an association of virulence with a recently described canonical genomic island termed IHT-E and a differential distribution of genes encoding RTX toxin- and two-partner secretion systems among hyperinvasive and non-hyperinvasive lineages. By computationally screening also the core genome for signs of recombination, we provided evidence that about 40% of the meningococcal core genes are affected by recombination primarily within metabolic genes as well as genes involved in DNA replication and repair. By comparison with the results of previous mCGH studies, our data indicated that genetic structuring as revealed by mCGH is stable over time and highly similar for isolates from different geographic origins. CONCLUSIONS: Recombination comprising lateral transfer of entire genes as well as homologous intragenic recombination has a profound impact on meningococcal population structure and genome composition. Our data support the hypothesis that meningococcal virulence is polygenic in nature and that differences in metabolism might contribute to virulence.

  20. Excavations at Schöningen and paradigm shifts in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conard, Nicholas J; Serangeli, Jordi; Böhner, Utz; Starkovich, Britt M; Miller, Christopher E; Urban, Brigitte; Van Kolfschoten, Thijs

    2015-12-01

    The exceptional preservation at Schöningen together with a mixture of perseverance, hard work, and sheer luck led to the recovery of unique finds in an exceptional context. The 1995 discovery of numerous wooden artifacts, most notably at least 10 carefully made spears together with the skeletons of at least 20 to 25 butchered horses, brought the debate about hunting versus scavenging among late archaic hominins and analogous arguments about the purportedly primitive behavior of Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals to an end. Work under H. Thieme's lead from 1992 to 2008 and results from the current team since 2008 demonstrate that late H. heidelbergensis or early Neanderthals used sophisticated artifacts made from floral and faunal materials, in addition to lithic artifacts more typically recovered at Lower Paleolithic sites. The finds from the famous Horse Butchery Site and two dozen other archaeological horizons from the edges of the open-cast mine at Schöningen provide many new insights into the technology and behavioral patterns of hominins about 300 ka BP during MIS 9 on the Northern European Plain. An analysis of the finds from Schöningen and their contexts shows that the inhabitants of the site were skilled hunters at the top of the food chain and exhibited a high level of planning depth. These hominins had command of effective means of communication about the here and now, and the past and the future, that allowed them to repeatedly execute well-coordinated and successful group activities that likely culminated in a division of labor and social and economic patterns radically different from those of all non-human primates. The unique preservation and high quality excavations have led to a major paradigm shift or "Schöningen Effect" that changed our views of human evolution during the late Lower Paleolithic. In this respect, we can view the behaviors documented at Schöningen as a plausible baseline for the behavioral sophistication of archaic hominins

  1. Molecular Therapy for Degenerative Disc Disease: Clues from Secretome Analysis of the Notochordal Cell-Rich Nucleus Pulposus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matta, Ajay; Karim, M. Zia; Isenman, David E.; Erwin, W. Mark

    2017-01-01

    Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is associated with spinal pain often leading to long-term disability. However, the non-chondrodystrophic canine intervertebral disc is protected from the development of DDD, ostensibly due to its retention of notochordal cells (NC) in the nucleus pulposus (NP). In this study, we hypothesized that secretome analysis of the NC-rich NP will lead to the identification of key proteins that delay the onset of DDD. Using mass-spectrometry, we identified 303 proteins including components of TGFβ- and Wnt-signaling, anti-angiogeneic factors and proteins that inhibit axonal ingrowth in the bioactive fractions of serum free, notochordal cell derived conditioned medium (NCCM). Ingenuity Pathway Analysis revealed TGFβ1 and CTGF as major hubs in protein interaction networks. In vitro treatment with TGFβ1 and CTGF promoted the synthesis of healthy extra-cellular matrix proteins, increased cell proliferation and reduced cell death in human degenerative disc NP cells. A single intra-discal injection of recombinant TGFβ1 and CTGF proteins in a pre-clinical rat-tail disc injury model restored the NC and stem cell rich NP. In conclusion, we demonstrate the potential of TGFβ1 and CTGF to mitigate the progression of disc degeneration and the potential use of these molecules in a molecular therapy to treat the degenerative disc. PMID:28358123

  2. Transcription factor EB: from master coordinator of lysosomal pathways to candidate therapeutic target in degenerative storage diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardiello, Marco

    2016-05-01

    The lysosome is the main catabolic hub of the cell. Owing to its role in fundamental processes such as autophagy, plasma membrane repair, mTOR signaling, and maintenance of cellular homeostasis, the lysosome has a profound influence on cellular metabolism and human health. Indeed, inefficient or impaired lysosomal function has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of degenerative diseases affecting various organs and tissues, most notably the brain, liver, and muscle. The discovery of the coordinated lysosomal expression and regulation (CLEAR) genetic program and its master controller, transcription factor EB (TFEB), has provided an unprecedented tool to study and manipulate lysosomal function. Most lysosome-based processes-including macromolecule degradation, autophagy, lysosomal exocytosis, and proteostasis-are under the transcriptional control of TFEB. Interestingly, impaired TFEB signaling has been suggested to be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of several degenerative storage diseases. Preclinical studies based on TFEB exogenous expression to reinstate TFEB activity or promote CLEAR network-based lysosomal enhancement have highlighted TFEB as a candidate therapeutic target for the treatment of various degenerative storage diseases. © 2016 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of New York Academy of Sciences.

  3. Exercise pulmonary hypertension in asymptomatic degenerative mitral regurgitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magne, Julien; Lancellotti, Patrizio; Piérard, Luc A

    2010-07-06

    Current guidelines recommend mitral valve surgery for asymptomatic patients with severe degenerative mitral regurgitation and preserved left ventricular systolic function when exercise pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is present. However, the determinants of exercise PHT have not been evaluated. The aim of this study was to identify the echocardiographic predictors of exercise PHT and the impact on symptoms. Comprehensive resting and exercise transthoracic echocardiography was performed in 78 consecutive patients (age, 61+/-13 years; 56% men) with at least moderate degenerative mitral regurgitation (effective regurgitant orifice area =43+/-20 mm(2); regurgitant volume =71+/-27 mL). Exercise PHT was defined as a systolic pulmonary arterial pressure (SPAP) >60 mm Hg. Exercise PHT was present in 46% patients. In multivariable analysis, exercise effective regurgitant orifice was an independent determinant of exercise SPAP (Pexercise PHT (P=0.002). Resting PHT and exercise PHT were associated with markedly reduced 2-year symptom-free survival (36+/-14% versus 59+/-7%, P=0.04; 35+/-8% versus 75+/-7%, Pexercise PHT was identified as an independent predictor of the occurrence of symptoms (hazard ratio=3.4; P=0.002). Receiver-operating characteristics curves revealed that exercise PHT (SPAP >56 mm Hg) was more accurate than resting PHT (SPAP >36 mm Hg) in predicting the occurrence of symptoms during follow-up (P=0.032). Exercise PHT is frequent in patients with asymptomatic degenerative mitral regurgitation. Exercise mitral regurgitation severity is a strong independent predictor of both exercise SPAP and exercise PHT. Exercise PHT is associated with markedly low 2-year symptom-free survival, emphasizing the use of exercise echocardiography. An exercise SPAP >56 mm Hg accurately predicts the occurrence of symptoms.

  4. Development of Modulators Against Degenerative Aging Using Radiation Fusion Technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jo, Sung Kee; Jung, U.; Park, H. R.

    2010-04-15

    In this study, we selected final 20 biomarkers for the degenerative aging to develop radiation aging modeling, and validated a few of selected markers to utilize them in the screening of aging modulators. To select the biomarkers of the degenerative aging, 4 categories of aging-related markers (immune/hematopoiesis, oxidative damage, signaling molecule, lipid metabolism) were comparatively analyzed in irradiated and normally aged biosystems (cell lines or mice). In result, most of the biomarkers showed similar changes by irradiation and normal aging. Regarding the immune/hematopoiesis, the decline of immune cell functions (lymphocyte, NK cell) and Th1/Th2 imbalance, and decreased antigen-presenting of dendritic cells were observed and 10 biomarkers were selected in this category. mtDNA deletion was selected for the oxidative damage marker, 6 biomarkers including p21 and p-FOXO3a for signaling molecule biomarkers, and 3 biomarkers including the adipose tissue weight were selected for lipid metabolism. In addition, the various radiation application conditions by single/factionated irradiation and the periods after the irradiation were investigated for the optimal induction of changes of biomarker, which revealed that total 5Gy of 10 or more fractionated irradiations and 4 months or greather period were observed to be optimal. To found the basis for the screening of natural aging modulators, some selected aging biomarkers were validated by their inhibition by well-known natural agents (EGCG, HemoHIM, etc) in aged cell or mouse model. Additionally, by evaluating the reductive efficacy of 5 natural agents on the degeneration of skin and reproductive organs induced by radiation and chemicals (cyclophosphamide, etc), we established the base for the screening of degenerative diseases by various factors

  5. Development of Modulators Against Degenerative Aging Using Radiation Fusion Technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jo, Sung Kee; Jung, U.; Park, H. R.

    2010-04-01

    In this study, we selected final 20 biomarkers for the degenerative aging to develop radiation aging modeling, and validated a few of selected markers to utilize them in the screening of aging modulators. To select the biomarkers of the degenerative aging, 4 categories of aging-related markers (immune/hematopoiesis, oxidative damage, signaling molecule, lipid metabolism) were comparatively analyzed in irradiated and normally aged biosystems (cell lines or mice). In result, most of the biomarkers showed similar changes by irradiation and normal aging. Regarding the immune/hematopoiesis, the decline of immune cell functions (lymphocyte, NK cell) and Th1/Th2 imbalance, and decreased antigen-presenting of dendritic cells were observed and 10 biomarkers were selected in this category. mtDNA deletion was selected for the oxidative damage marker, 6 biomarkers including p21 and p-FOXO3a for signaling molecule biomarkers, and 3 biomarkers including the adipose tissue weight were selected for lipid metabolism. In addition, the various radiation application conditions by single/factionated irradiation and the periods after the irradiation were investigated for the optimal induction of changes of biomarker, which revealed that total 5Gy of 10 or more fractionated irradiations and 4 months or greather period were observed to be optimal. To found the basis for the screening of natural aging modulators, some selected aging biomarkers were validated by their inhibition by well-known natural agents (EGCG, HemoHIM, etc) in aged cell or mouse model. Additionally, by evaluating the reductive efficacy of 5 natural agents on the degeneration of skin and reproductive organs induced by radiation and chemicals (cyclophosphamide, etc), we established the base for the screening of degenerative diseases by various factors

  6. Lower thoracic degenerative spondylithesis with concomitant lumbar spondylosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Po-Chuan; Lee, Shih-Tseng; Chen, Jyi-Feng

    2014-03-01

    Degenerative spondylolisthesis of the spine is less common in the lower thoracic region than in the lumbar and cervical regions. However, lower thoracic degenerative spondylolisthesis may develop secondary to intervertebral disc degeneration. Most of our patients are found to have concomitant lumbar spondylosis. By retrospective review of our cases, current diagnosis and treatments for this rare disease were discussed. We present a series of 5 patients who experienced low back pain, progressive numbness, weakness and even paraparesis. Initially, all of them were diagnosed with lumbar spondylosis at other clinics, and 1 patient had even received prior decompressive lumbar surgery. However, their symptoms continued to progress, even after conservative treatments or lumbar surgeries. These patients also showed wide-based gait, increased deep tendon reflex (DTR), and urinary difficulty. All these clinical presentations could not be explained solely by lumbar spondylosis. Thoracolumbar spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neurophysiologic studies such as motor evoked potential (MEP) or somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP), and dynamic thoracolumbar lateral radiography were performed, and a final diagnosis of lower thoracic degenerative spondylolisthesis was made. Bilateral facet effusions, shown by hyperintense signals in T2 MRI sequence, were observed in all patients. Neurophysiologic studies revealed conduction defect of either MEP or SSEP. One patient refused surgical management because of personal reasons. However, with the use of thoracolumbar orthosis, his symptoms/signs stabilized, although partial lower leg myelopathy was present. The other patients received surgical decompression in association with fixation/fusion procedures performed for managing the thoracolumbar lesions. Three patients became symptom-free, whereas in 1 patient, paralysis set in before the operation; this patient was able to walk with assistance 6 months after surgical decompression

  7. Most of rare missense alleles in humans are deleterious:implications for evolution of complex disease and associationstudies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kryukov, Gregory V.; Pennacchio, Len A.; Sunyaev, Shamil R.

    2006-10-24

    The accumulation of mildly deleterious missense mutations inindividual human genomes has been proposed to be a genetic basis forcomplex diseases. The plausibility of this hypothesis depends onquantitative estimates of the prevalence of mildly deleterious de novomutations and polymorphic variants in humans and on the intensity ofselective pressure against them. We combined analysis of mutationscausing human Mendelian diseases, human-chimpanzee divergence andsystematic data on human SNPs and found that about 20 percent of newmissense mutations in humans result in a loss of function, while about 27percent are effectively neutral. Thus, more than half of new missensemutations have mildly deleterious effects. These mutations give rise tomany low frequency deleterious allelic variants in the human populationas evident from a new dataset of 37 genes sequenced in over 1,500individual human chromosomes. Surprisingly, up to 70 percent of lowfrequency missense alleles are mildly deleterious and associated with aheterozygous fitness loss in the range 0.001-0.003. Thus, the low allelefrequency of an amino acid variant can by itself serve as a predictor ofits functional significance. Several recent studies have reported asignificant excess of rare missense variants in disease populationscompared to controls in candidate genes or pathways. These studies wouldbe unlikely to work if most rare variants were neutral or if rarevariants were not a significant contributor to the genetic component ofphenotypic inheritance. Our results provide a justification for thesetypes of candidate gene (pathway) association studies and imply thatmutation-selection balance may be a feasible mechanism for evolution ofsome common diseases.

  8. A Heme Oxygenase-1 Transducer Model of Degenerative and Developmental Brain Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyman M. Schipper

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1 is a 32 kDa protein which catalyzes the breakdown of heme to free iron, carbon monoxide and biliverdin. The Hmox1 promoter contains numerous consensus sequences that render the gene exquisitely sensitive to induction by diverse pro-oxidant and inflammatory stimuli. In “stressed” astroglia, HO-1 hyperactivity promotes mitochondrial iron sequestration and macroautophagy and may thereby contribute to the pathological iron deposition and bioenergetic failure documented in Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and certain neurodevelopmental conditions. Glial HO-1 expression may also impact neuroplasticity and cell survival by modulating brain sterol metabolism and the proteasomal degradation of neurotoxic proteins. The glial HO-1 response may represent a pivotal transducer of noxious environmental and endogenous stressors into patterns of neural damage and repair characteristic of many human degenerative and developmental CNS disorders.

  9. Age distribution of human gene families shows significant roles of both large- and small-scale duplications in vertebrate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Xun; Wang, Yufeng; Gu, Jianying

    2002-06-01

    The classical (two-round) hypothesis of vertebrate genome duplication proposes two successive whole-genome duplication(s) (polyploidizations) predating the origin of fishes, a view now being seriously challenged. As the debate largely concerns the relative merits of the 'big-bang mode' theory (large-scale duplication) and the 'continuous mode' theory (constant creation by small-scale duplications), we tested whether a significant proportion of paralogous genes in the contemporary human genome was indeed generated in the early stage of vertebrate evolution. After an extensive search of major databases, we dated 1,739 gene duplication events from the phylogenetic analysis of 749 vertebrate gene families. We found a pattern characterized by two waves (I, II) and an ancient component. Wave I represents a recent gene family expansion by tandem or segmental duplications, whereas wave II, a rapid paralogous gene increase in the early stage of vertebrate evolution, supports the idea of genome duplication(s) (the big-bang mode). Further analysis indicated that large- and small-scale gene duplications both make a significant contribution during the early stage of vertebrate evolution to build the current hierarchy of the human proteome.

  10. The Evolution of Integrated Assessment and Emerging Challenges in the Assessment of Human and Natural System Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, L.

    2017-12-01

    Integrated assessment (IA) modeling and research has a long history, spanning over 30 years since its inception and addressing a wide range of contemporary issues along the way. Over the last decade, IA modeling and research has emerged as one of the primary analytical methods for understanding the complex interactions between human and natural systems, from the interactions between energy, water, and land/food systems to the interplay between health, climate, and air pollution. IA modeling and research is particularly well-suited for the analysis of these interactions because it is a discipline that strives to integrate representations of multiple systems into consistent computational platforms or frameworks. In doing so, it explicitly confronts the many tradeoffs that are frequently necessary to manage complexity and computational cost while still representing the most important interactions and overall, coupled system behavior. This talk explores the history of IA modeling and research as a means to better understand its role in the assessment of contemporary issues at the confluence of human and natural systems. It traces the evolution of IA modeling and research from initial exploration of long-term emissions pathways, to the role of technology in the global evolution of the energy system, to the key linkages between land and energy systems and, more recently, the linkages with water, air pollution, and other key systems and issues. It discusses the advances in modeling that have emerged over this evolution and the biggest challenges that still present themselves as we strive to better understand the most important interactions between human and natural systems and the implications of these interactions for human welfare and decision making.

  11. Developing biology teachers' pedagogical content knowledge through learning study: the case of teaching human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Paulina; Cofré, Hernán

    2016-11-01

    This work explores how pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) on evolution was modified by two biology teachers who participated in a professional development programme (PDP) that included a subsequent follow-up in the classroom. The PDP spanned a semester and included activities such as content updates, collaborative lesson planning, and the presentation of planned lessons. In the follow-up part, the lessons were videotaped and analysed, identifying strategies, activities, and conditions based on student learning about the theory of evolution. Data were collected in the first round with an interview before the training process, identifying these teachers' initial content representation (CoRe) for evolution. Then, a group interview was conducted after the lessons, and, finally, an interview of stimulated recall with each teacher was conducted regarding the subject taught to allow teachers to reflect on their practice (final CoRe). This information was analysed by the teachers and the researchers, reflecting on the components of the PCK, possible changes, and the rationale behind their actions. The results show that teachers changed their beliefs and knowledge about the best methods and strategies to teach evolution, and about students' learning obstacles and misconceptions on evolution. They realised how a review of their own practices promotes this transformation.

  12. Raptor Acupuncture for Treating Chronic Degenerative Joint Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Keum Hwa; Buhl, Gail; Ponder, Julia

    2016-12-01

    A permanently captive 21-year-old male bald eagle was diagnosed with chronic degenerative joint disease in the right stifle with severe lameness (Grade 5) based on radiography. Clinical signs included decreased movement, vocalization, non weight-bearing on the affected limb, inappetence, depression, and pododermatitis on the left foot (bumblefoot, Grade 3). The eagle was treated with anti-inflammatory or analgesic drugs including carprofen and celecoxib. As there was no observed clinical improvement with any of the treatments, acupuncture treatment was provided. The eagle was treated with dry needle acupuncture once per week for 2 months and biweekly for another 2 months. The Traditional Eastern Medicine diagnosis of this eagle was Bony Bi syndrome. The selected acupuncture points were ST 36, LI 4, BL 40, BL 60, GB 34, and Ba Feng (Table 3). The lameness score improved from Grade 5 to Grade 1 after 4 months of acupuncture treatment. The observed pododermatitis improved from Grade 3 to Grade 0. Symptoms including inappetence and vocalizations were significantly reduced over the 4 month period. There was no significant improvement in the radiographic signs. In conclusion, acupuncture may be a potential medical option for permanently captive raptors having musculoskeletal conditions, such as degenerative joint disease. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Imaging of demyelinating and degenerative diseases of the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drayer, B.P.

    1987-01-01

    The emergence of cross-sectional brain imaging in the past decade has greatly expanded the role of imaging as a primary diagnostic modality for demyelinating and degenerative brain disorders. To remain an effective neurologic consultant, the radiologist must better understand the neuropathology and functional significance of these disorders. MR imaging has become the dominant imaging modality for multiple sclerosis and all demyelinating and dysmyelinating disorders. Detection is most sensitive with intermediate and T2-weighted spin-echo pulse sequences. Although increased signal intensity in the white matter is a sensitive but nonspecific finding, a knowledge of the patient's history and disease pathoanatomy greatly improves diagnostic specificity. Since an increasing proportion of the population is over 65 years of age, the distinction of normal versus pathologic aging becomes critical. The role of imaging in dementing illness is to distinguish primary degenerative dementia from normal aging changes, vascular medullary artery distribution disease, microangiopathic leukoencephalopathy, communicating hydrocephalus, and mass lesions. The role of MR imaging, including brain iron mapping, is analyzed in bradykinetic, choreiform, and dystonic disorders. The complications of chronic ethanol abuse, including vermian atrophy, central pontine myelinolysis, and Wernicke encephalopathy, are also reviewed

  14. Long term results of radiotherapy of degenerative joint diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindner, H; Freislederer, R

    1982-04-01

    At the Radiologic Department of the Staedt. Krankenhaus Passau, 473 patients with degenerative diseases in the big joints and the spine were irradiated with the caesium unit between 1971 and 1979. Among these patients, 249 could be followed up during a prolonged period (1/2 to 9 years, i.e. 4.2 years on an average). According to the categories of v. Pannewitz, 11% were pain-free at this moment, 21% showed an essential improvement, 29% showed an improvement, and 39% were not influenced by the treatment. 13.5% showed recurrent pains; these were mentioned as 'not influenced' in the statistical analysis. It is proved that the relief of pain does not depend on the age of the patients, but on the anamnesis period, the results of the X-ray examiantion, and the degree of the restriction of mobility. Due to the delay of irradiation, a preliminary treatment mostly produces a less favorable radiotherapeutic result. Compared with other therapeutic methods, the long term results of radiotherapy of degenerative joint diseases are generally favorable. This conclusion is also confirmed by the results of patients checked up more than five years after the treatment.

  15. Raptor Acupuncture for Treating Chronic Degenerative Joint Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keum Hwa Choi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A permanently captive 21-year-old male bald eagle was diagnosed with chronic degenerative joint disease in the right stifle with severe lameness (Grade 5 based on radiography. Clinical signs included decreased movement, vocalization, non weight-bearing on the affected limb, inappetence, depression, and pododermatitis on the left foot (bumblefoot, Grade 3. The eagle was treated with anti-inflammatory or analgesic drugs including carprofen and celecoxib. As there was no observed clinical improvement with any of the treatments, acupuncture treatment was provided. The eagle was treated with dry needle acupuncture once per week for 2 months and biweekly for another 2 months. The Traditional Eastern Medicine diagnosis of this eagle was Bony Bi syndrome. The selected acupuncture points were ST 36, LI 4, BL 40, BL 60, GB 34, and Ba Feng (Table 3. The lameness score improved from Grade 5 to Grade 1 after 4 months of acupuncture treatment. The observed pododermatitis improved from Grade 3 to Grade 0. Symptoms including inappetence and vocalizations were significantly reduced over the 4 month period. There was no significant improvement in the radiographic signs. In conclusion, acupuncture may be a potential medical option for permanently captive raptors having musculoskeletal conditions, such as degenerative joint disease.

  16. Candidate gene investigation of spinal degenerative osteoarthritis in Greek population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liva, Eleni; Panagiotou, Irene; Palikyras, Spyros; Parpa, Efi; Tsilika, Eleni; Paschou, Peristera; Mystakidou, Kyriaki

    2017-12-01

    Few data exist concerning the natural history of degenerative osteoarthritis (OA) of the spine and its associated gene investigation. Degenerative spinal OA demonstrates an international prevalence of 15% in the general population. The aim of this Greek case-control study is to examine gene polymorphisms that have been previously shown or hypothesized to be correlated to degenerative OA. Gene polymorphisms, especially for OA, have never been previously studied in the Greek population. The study was conducted from May 2009 to December 2012. Eligible subjects who agreed to take part in the study were Greek adults from all of Greece, referred for consultation to the Palliative Care and Pain Relief Unit of Aretaieion University Hospital, in Athens, Greece. A total of 601 matched pairs (cases and controls) participated in the study, 258 patients (188 women and 70 men) with clinically and radiologically confirmed degenerative OA and 243 control subjects (138 women and 105 men). All patients presented with chronic pain at the spine (cervical, thoracic or lumbar) caused by sympomatic osteophytes or disc narrowing, whereas clinical diagnosis of OA was based on the presence of both joint symptoms and evidence of structural changes seen on plain conventional X-rays. We investigated genetic variation across candidate OA gene GDF5, CDMP1, CDMP2, Asporin, SMAD3, and chromosomal region 7q22, in a sample of 258 patients with clinically and radiologically confirmed degenerative OA, and 243 control subjects from the Greek population. All subjects (patients and controls) were subsequently matched for the epidemiologic, demographic, and clinical risk factors, to prevent selection biases. A tagging single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) approach was pursued to cover variation across all targeted loci. Single marker tests as well as haplotypic tests of association were performed. There is no conflict of interest, and also, there are no study funding sources. We found significant

  17. In vitro evolution of H5N1 avian influenza virus toward human-type receptor specificity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Li-Mei; Blixt, Klas Ola; Stevens, James

    2012-01-01

    Acquisition of a2-6 sialoside receptor specificity by a2-3 specific highly-pathogenic avian influenza viruses (H5N1) is thought to be a prerequisite for efficient transmission in humans. By in vitro selection for binding a2-6 sialosides, we identified four variant viruses with amino acid....... Unlike the wild type H5N1, this mutant virus was transmitted by direct contact in the ferret model although not by airborne respiratory droplets. However, a reassortant virus with the mutant hemagglutinin, a human N2 neuraminidase and internal genes from an H5N1 virus was partially transmitted via...... respiratory droplets. The complex changes required for airborne transmissibility in ferrets suggest that extensive evolution is needed for H5N1 transmissibility in humans....

  18. A study of the evolution of human microRNAs by their apparent repression effectiveness on target genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Huang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Even though the genomes of many model species have already been sequenced, our knowledge of gene regulation in evolution is still very limited. One big obstacle is that it is hard to predict the target genes of transcriptional factors accurately from sequences. In this respect, microRNAs (miRNAs are different from transcriptional factors, as target genes of miRNAs can be readily predicted from sequences. This feature of miRNAs offers an unprecedented vantage point for evolutionary analysis of gene regulation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we analyzed a particular aspect of miRNA evolution, the differences in the "apparent repression effectiveness (ARE" between human miRNAs of different conservational levels. ARE is a measure we designed to evaluate the repression effect of miRNAs on target genes based on publicly available gene expression data in normal tissues and miRNA targeting and expression data. We found that ARE values of more conserved miRNAs are significantly higher than those of less conserved miRNAs in general. We also found the gain in expression abundance and broadness of miRNAs in evolution contributed to the gain in ARE. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The ARE measure quantifies the repressive effects of miRNAs and enables us to study the influences of many factors on miRNA-mediated repression, such as conservational levels and expression levels of miRNAs. The gain in ARE can be explained by the existence of a trend of miRNAs in evolution to effectively control more target genes, which is beneficial to the miRNAs but not necessarily to the organism at all times. Our results from miRNAs gave us an insight of the complex interplay between regulators and target genes in evolution.

  19. Orbital Dynamics, Environmental Heterogeneity, and the Evolution of the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Matt

    2012-01-01

    Many explanations have been proposed for the evolution of our anomalously large brains, including social, ecological, and epiphenomenal hypotheses. Recently, an additional hypothesis has emerged, suggesting that advanced cognition and, by inference, increases in brain size, have been driven over evolutionary time by the need to deal with…

  20. The evolution of religious belief in humans: a brief review with a ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    DHAIRYYA SINGH

    2017-07-07

    Jul 7, 2017 ... Keywords. religion; evolution; costly signalling; belief. Introduction. Religion is ... form) in evolutionary time scales, evolutionary scholars have tended to .... suggested that while altruism might hurt the genetic fitness of the actor at the .... According to their account, as we developed self-awareness and the.

  1. Dissecting historical changes of selective pressures in the evolution of human pigmentation

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Xin; Wang, Sijia; Jin, Li; He, Yungang

    2018-01-01

    Human pigmentation is a highly diverse trait among populations, and has drawn particular attention from both academic and non-academic investigators for thousands of years. To explain the diversity of human pigmentation, researchers have proposed that human pigmentation is adapted for ultraviolet radiation and driven by natural selection. Although studies have detected signals of natural selection in several human pigmentation genes, none have quantitatively investigated the historical select...

  2. Pedicle subtraction osteotomy in elderly patients with degenerative sagittal imbalance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Kyu-Jung; Kim, Ki-Tack; Kim, Whoan-Jeang; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Jung, Jae-Hoon; Kim, Young-Tae; Park, Hae-Bong

    2013-11-15

    Retrospective, radiographical analysis. To evaluate pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) as a means of correcting severe degenerative sagittal imbalance in elderly patients. PSO in patients with degenerative sagittal imbalance is likely to cause more complications than in patients with iatrogenic flatback deformity. This study analyzed 34 patients who underwent fusion to the sacrum, with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Age of the patients were in the range from 58 to 73 with the mean at 65.5 years. PSO was performed at one segment in all cases, consisting of L3 (n = 26), L4 (n = 4), L2 (n = 3), and L1 (n = 1). The average number of levels fused was 8.15. Ten patients had structural interbody fusion at the lumbosacral junction. Applying PSO at one segment, the mean correction of the lordotic angle at the osteotomy site was 33.3°, of which the loss of correction (LOC) was 4.0° at the last visit. The correction of lumbar lordosis was 33.7° and the LOC was 8.5°. The sagittal C7 plumb was 215.9 mm before surgery, corrected to 35.1 mm after surgery, and changed to 95.9 mm by the last visit. The correction of the sagittal C7 plumb was 119.9 mm and the LOC was 60.9 mm. There was substantial LOC in lumbar lordosis and sagittal C7 plumb. In 10 patients with addition of posterior lumbar interbody fusion, the LOC of lumbar lordosis was 7.4°, which was less than 9° in those without it. PSO for the correction of degenerative sagittal imbalance in elderly patients resulted in correction of sagittal alignment with a significant LOC of lumbar lordosis and sagittal C7 plumb. The LOC of lumbar lordosis occurred at both the osteotomy and non-osteotomy site. The addition of anterior column support is helpful to maintain correction and reduce complications. N/A.

  3. LUMBOSACRAL TRANSITIONAL ANATOMY TYPES AND DISC DEGENERATIVE CHANGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chabukovska Radulovska Jasminka

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Background and purpose: The relationship between presence of lumbo sacral transitional vertebra (LSTV and disc degenerative changes is unclear. The aim of the study was to examine the relation between different types of LSTV and disc degenerative changes at the transitional and the adjacent cephalad segment. Material and methods: Sixty-three patients (mean age 51.48 ± 13.51 out of 200 adults with low back pain who performed MRI examination of the lumbo sacral spine, classified as positive for LSTV, were included in the study. Annular tears, disc degeneration according to Phirmann classification and disc herniations were evaluated and graded at transitional and adjacent cephalad level. Results: The severity of disc degeneration at the transitional level and the adjacent level correlated with the types of LSTV. Severe disc degenerative changes were most frequent in articulated connection LSTV types and incombined LSTV type at the transitional level and in osseus connection LSTV types at the adjacent cephalad level. These changes were more frequent in unilateral articulated connection LSTV subtype (64% vs 54%; and in unilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (25% vs no patients at transitional level, and in bilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (100% vs 50% at the level above. High prevalence of disc herniations was observed in articulated connection LSTV types as well as in unilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype at transitional and the adjacent cephalad level. At the transitional level higher prevalence of disc herniations was characteristic for unilateral articulated connection LSTV sub type (46%vs 41% and for unilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (50% vs no patients. At the adjacent level higher prevalence of disc herniations was observed in bilateral articulated connection LSTV subtype (38% vs 27% and in bilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (50% vs 25%. Conclusions: The compact osseus connection (osseus bridging vs articular

  4. Lumbosacral transitional anatomy types and disc degenerative changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chabukovska-Radulovska Jasminka

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Background and purpose: The relationship between presence of lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LSTV and disc degenerative changes is unclear. The aim of the study was to examine the relation between different types of LSTV and disc degenerative changes at the transitional and the adjacent cephalad segment. Material and methods: Sixty-three patients (mean age 51.48 ± 13.51 out of200 adults with low back pain who performed MRI examination of the lumbosacral spine, classified as positive for LSTV, were included in the study. Annular tears, disc degeneration according to Phirmann classification and disc herniations were evaluated and graded at transitional and adjacent cephalad level. Results: The severity of disc degeneration at the transitional level and the adjacent level correlated with the types of LSTV. Severe disc degenerative changes were most frequent in articulated connection LSTV types and in combined LSTV type at the transitional level and in osseus connection LSTV types at the adjacent cephalad level. These changes were more frequent in unilateral articulated connection LSTV subtype (64% vs 54%; and in unilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (25% vs no patients at transitional level, and in bilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (100% vs 50% at the level above. High prevalence of disc herniations was observed in articulated connection LSTV types as well as in unilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype at transitional and the adjacent cephalad level. At the transitional level higher prevalence of disc herniations was characteristic for unilateral articulated connection LSTV subtype (46%vs 41% and for unilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (50% vs no patients. At the adjacent level higher prevalence of disc herniations was observed in bilateral articulated connection LSTV subtype (38% vs 27% and in bilateral osseus connection LSTV subtype (50% vs 25%. Conclusions: The compact osseus connection (osseus bridging vs articular

  5. Tectonics, orbital forcing, global climate change, and human evolution in Africa: introduction to the African paleoclimate special volume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslin, Mark A; Christensen, Beth

    2007-11-01

    The late Cenozoic climate of Africa is a critical component for understanding human evolution. African climate is controlled by major tectonic changes, global climate transitions, and local variations in orbital forcing. We introduce the special African Paleoclimate Issue of the Journal of Human Evolution by providing a background for and synthesis of the latest work relating to the environmental context for human evolution. Records presented in this special issue suggest that the regional tectonics, appearance of C(4) plants in East Africa, and late Cenozoic global cooling combined to produce a long-term drying trend in East Africa. Of particular importance is the uplift associated with the East African Rift Valley formation, which altered wind flow patterns from a more zonal to more meridinal direction. Results in this volume suggest a marked difference in the climate history of southern and eastern Africa, though both are clearly influenced by the major global climate thresholds crossed in the last 3 million years. Papers in this volume present lake, speleothem, and marine paleoclimate records showing that the East African long-term drying trend is punctuated by episodes of short, alternating periods of extreme wetness and aridity. These periods of extreme climate variability are characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of large, deep lakes in the East African Rift Valley and paralleled by low and high wind-driven dust loads reaching the adjacent ocean basins. Dating of these records show that over the last 3 million years such periods only occur at the times of major global climatic transitions, such as the intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (2.7-2.5 Ma), intensification of the Walker Circulation (1.9-1.7 Ma), and the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution (1-0.7 Ma). Authors in this volume suggest this onset occurs as high latitude forcing in both Hemispheres compresses the Intertropical Convergence Zone so that East Africa

  6. Background studies: human-induced effects on the evolution of shallow land burial sites for radioactive waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-11-01

    This report presents the results of a programme of background research on the human-induced effects on the long term evolution of shallow disposal sites for low level radioactive wastes. The work is intended to support development and use of the TIME2 simulation code. Within the context of climatic change up to the next glacial maximum three areas are addressed: planning and legislative control over site usage, biosphere state changes and intrusion. An appendix presents a discussion of some planning aspects of radioactive waste disposal. (author)

  7. Fatal degenerative neurologic illnesses in men who participated in wild game feasts--Wisconsin, 2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-02-21

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a fatal neurologic disorder in humans. CJD is one of a group of conditions known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, that are believed to be caused by abnormally configured, host-encoded prion proteins that accumulate in the central nervous tissue. CJD has an annual incidence of approximately 1 case per million population in the United States and occurs in three forms: sporadic, genetically determined, and acquired by infection. In the latter form, the incubation period is measured typically in years. Recent evidence that prion infection can cross the species barrier between humans and cattle has raised increasing public health concerns about the possible transmission to humans of a TSE among deer and elk known as chronic wasting disease (CWD). During 1993-1999, three men who participated in wild game feasts in northern Wisconsin died of degenerative neurologic illnesses. This report documents the investigation of these deaths, which was initiated in August 2002 and which confirmed the death of only one person from CJD. Although no association between CWD and CJD was found, continued surveillance of both diseases remains important to assess the possible risk for CWD transmission to humans.

  8. Degenerative periodontal-diseases and oral osteonecrosis: The role of gene-environment interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldi, D.; Izzotti, A.; Bonica, P.; Pera, P.; Pulliero, A.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic-degenerative dentistry diseases, including periodontal diseases and oral osteonecrosis, are widespread in human populations and represent a significant problem for public health. These diseases result from pathogenic mechanisms created by the interaction between environmental genotoxic risk-factors and genetic assets conferring individual susceptibility. Osteonecrosis occurs in subjects undergoing exposure to high doses of DNA-damaging agents for chemo- and radiotherapy of neoplastic diseases. In susceptible patients, ionizing radiation and biphosphonate-chemotherapy induce severe, progressive, and irreversible degeneration of facial bones, resulting in avascular necrosis of the jaw. This may also occur in patients receiving biphosphonate for osteoporosis therapy. Periodontal diseases include chronic, aggressive, and necrotizing periodontitis, often resulting in severe alteration of periodontal tissues and tooth loss. Cigarette smoking and chronic inflammation caused by specific bacteria are the main risk factors for periodontitis. Oxidative damage plays a fundamental pathogenic role, as established by detection of mitochondrial DNA damage in the gingival tissue of patients with periodontitis. Endogenous risk factors in dental diseases include polymorphisms for metabolic enzymes such as glutathione transferases M1 and T1, N-acetyl transferase 2, and CYP 1A1. Other genetic polymorphisms that confer susceptibility to dentistry diseases affect genes encoding metalloproteases (involved in periodontal tissue remodeling and degradation), cytokines (involved in inflammation), prothrombin, and DNA repair activities. These findings provide evidence that dentistry diseases are related to risk factors associated with environmental mutagenesis. This issue warrants future investigations aimed at improving oral health and preventing oral degenerative diseases using molecular and experimental approaches currently utilized in mutagenicity studies.

  9. Degenerative periodontal-diseases and oral osteonecrosis: The role of gene-environment interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldi, D. [Department of Medical, Biophysical, and Dentistry Sciences and Technologies, University of Genoa (Italy); Izzotti, A. [Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Via A. Pastore 1 (Italy); Bonica, P.; Pera, P. [Department of Medical, Biophysical, and Dentistry Sciences and Technologies, University of Genoa (Italy); Pulliero, A., E-mail: alessandra.pulliero@unige.it [Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Via A. Pastore 1 (Italy)

    2009-07-10

    Chronic-degenerative dentistry diseases, including periodontal diseases and oral osteonecrosis, are widespread in human populations and represent a significant problem for public health. These diseases result from pathogenic mechanisms created by the interaction between environmental genotoxic risk-factors and genetic assets conferring individual susceptibility. Osteonecrosis occurs in subjects undergoing exposure to high doses of DNA-damaging agents for chemo- and radiotherapy of neoplastic diseases. In susceptible patients, ionizing radiation and biphosphonate-chemotherapy induce severe, progressive, and irreversible degeneration of facial bones, resulting in avascular necrosis of the jaw. This may also occur in patients receiving biphosphonate for osteoporosis therapy. Periodontal diseases include chronic, aggressive, and necrotizing periodontitis, often resulting in severe alteration of periodontal tissues and tooth loss. Cigarette smoking and chronic inflammation caused by specific bacteria are the main risk factors for periodontitis. Oxidative damage plays a fundamental pathogenic role, as established by detection of mitochondrial DNA damage in the gingival tissue of patients with periodontitis. Endogenous risk factors in dental diseases include polymorphisms for metabolic enzymes such as glutathione transferases M1 and T1, N-acetyl transferase 2, and CYP 1A1. Other genetic polymorphisms that confer susceptibility to dentistry diseases affect genes encoding metalloproteases (involved in periodontal tissue remodeling and degradation), cytokines (involved in inflammation), prothrombin, and DNA repair activities. These findings provide evidence that dentistry diseases are related to risk factors associated with environmental mutagenesis. This issue warrants future investigations aimed at improving oral health and preventing oral degenerative diseases using molecular and experimental approaches currently utilized in mutagenicity studies.

  10. Co-existence of Distinct Prion Types Enables Conformational Evolution of Human PrPSc by Competitive Selection*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haldiman, Tracy; Kim, Chae; Cohen, Yvonne; Chen, Wei; Blevins, Janis; Qing, Liuting; Cohen, Mark L.; Langeveld, Jan; Telling, Glenn C.; Kong, Qingzhong; Safar, Jiri G.

    2013-01-01

    The unique phenotypic characteristics of mammalian prions are thought to be encoded in the conformation of pathogenic prion proteins (PrPSc). The molecular mechanism responsible for the adaptation, mutation, and evolution of prions observed in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier remains unsolved. Using biophysical techniques and conformation-dependent immunoassays in tandem, we isolated two distinct populations of PrPSc particles with different conformational stabilities and aggregate sizes, which frequently co-exist in the most common human prion disease, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The protein misfolding cyclic amplification replicates each of the PrPSc particle types independently and leads to the competitive selection of those with lower initial conformational stability. In serial propagation with a nonglycosylated mutant PrPC substrate, the dominant PrPSc conformers are subject to further evolution by natural selection of the subpopulation with the highest replication rate due to its lowest stability. Cumulatively, the data show that sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease PrPSc is not a single conformational entity but a dynamic collection of two distinct populations of particles. This implies the co-existence of different prions, whose adaptation and evolution are governed by the selection of progressively less stable, faster replicating PrPSc conformers. PMID:23974118

  11. Pedicle screw-rod fixation : a feasible treatment for dogs with severe degenerative lumbosacral stenosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tellegen, Anna R; Willems, Nicole; Tryfonidou, Marianna A; Meij, Björn P

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis is a common problem in large breed dogs. For severe degenerative lumbosacral stenosis, conservative treatment is often not effective and surgical intervention remains as the last treatment option. The objective of this retrospective study was to assess

  12. Health Economics and the Management of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witiw, Christopher D; Smieliauskas, Fabrice; Fehlings, Michael G

    2018-01-01

    Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is the leading cause of spinal cord impairment worldwide. Surgical intervention has been demonstrated to be effective and is becoming standard of care. Spine surgery, however, is costly and value needs to be demonstrated. This review serves to summarize the key health economic concepts as they relate to the assessment of the value of surgery for DCM. This is followed by a discussion of current health economic research on DCM, which suggests that surgery is likely to be cost effective. The review concludes with a summary of future questions that remain unanswered, such as which patient subgroups derive the most value from surgery and which surgical approaches are the most cost effective. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Magnetic resonance imaging of canine degenerative lumbar spine diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karkkainen, M.; Punto, L.U.; Tulamo, R.M.

    1993-01-01

    Degenerative lumbar spine diseases, i.e., sacrolumbar stenosis, intervertebral disk degeneration and protrusion and spondylosis deformans of the canine lumbar spine were studied in eleven canine patients and three healthy controls using radiography and 0.02 T and 0.04 T low field magnetic resonance imaging. The T1 and T2 weighted images were obtained in sagittal and transverse planes. The loss of hydration of nucleus pulposus, taken as a sign of degeneration in the intervertebral disks, could be evaluated in both T1 and T2 weighted images. As a noninvasive method magnetic resonance imaging gave more exact information about the condition of intervertebral disks than did radiography. Sacrolumbar stenosis and compression of the spinal cord or cauda equina and surrounding tissue could be evaluated without contrast medium

  14. Nuclear microscopy in medical research. Investigations into degenerative diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Makjanic, J; Thong, P; Watt, F [National University of Singapore (Singapore). Dept. of Physics

    1997-03-01

    The high energy (1-4MeV) focused ion beam (nuclear microbeam) has found uses in many scientific disciplines through a wide variety of ion beam based techniques. Of the many techniques available, the powerful combination of Particle Induced X-Ray Emission (PIXE), Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS), and Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy (STIM) is proving to be extremely useful, particularly in the characterisation and elemental analysis of thin specimens. In this paper we briefly review these ion beam techniques, as well as the hardware required for their application. Finally, we describe the application of the PIXE, RBS and STIM techniques in conjunction with a scanning focused 2MeV proton microbeam (nuclear microscopy). The examples chosen to illustrate the potential of nuclear microscopy are recent investigations into the degenerative diseases atherosclerosis (coronary heart disease), Parkinson`s disease and Alzheimer`s disease. (author)

  15. Vitamin K, osteoporosis and degenerative diseases of ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeer, Cees; Theuwissen, Elke

    2011-03-01

    The function of vitamin K is to serve as a co-factor during the post-translational carboxylation of glutamate (Glu) residues into γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla) residues. The vital importance of the Gla-proteins essential for normal haemostasis is well recognized. During recent years, new Gla-containing proteins have been discovered and the vitamin K-dependent carboxylation is also essential for their function. It seems, however, that our dietary vitamin K intake is too low to support the carboxylation of at least some of these Gla-proteins. According to the triage theory, long-term vitamin K inadequacy is an independent, but modifiable risk factor for the development of degenerative diseases of ageing including osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.

  16. Cerebral atrophic and degenerative changes following various cerebral diseases, (1)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kino, Masao; Anno, Izumi; Yano, Yuhiko; Anno, Yasuro.

    1980-01-01

    Patients having cerebral atrophic and degenerative changes following hypoglycemia, cerebral contusion, or cerebral hypoxia including cerebrovascular disorders were reported. Description was made as to cerebral changes visualized on CT images and clinical courses of a patient who revived 10 minutes after heart stoppage during neurosurgery, a newborn with asphyxia, a patient with hypoglycemia, a patient who suffered from asphyxia by an accident 10 years before, a patient with carbon monoxide poisoning at an acute stage, a patient who had carbon monoxide poisoning 10 years before, a patient with diffuse cerebral ischemic changes, a patient with cerebral edema around metastatic tumor, a patient with respiration brain, a patient with neurological sequelae after cerebral contusion, a patient who had an operation to excise right parietal lobe artery malformation, and a patient who was shooted by a machine gun and had a lead in the brain for 34 years. (Tsunoda, M.)

  17. Complement, a target for therapy in inflammatory and degenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, B Paul; Harris, Claire L

    2015-12-01

    The complement system is a key innate immune defence against infection and an important driver of inflammation; however, these very properties can also cause harm. Inappropriate or uncontrolled activation of complement can cause local and/or systemic inflammation, tissue damage and disease. Complement provides numerous options for drug development as it is a proteolytic cascade that involves nine specific proteases, unique multimolecular activation and lytic complexes, an arsenal of natural inhibitors, and numerous receptors that bind to activation fragments. Drug design is facilitated by the increasingly detailed structural understanding of the molecules involved in the complement system. Only two anti-complement drugs are currently on the market, but many more are being developed for diseases that include infectious, inflammatory, degenerative, traumatic and neoplastic disorders. In this Review, we describe the history, current landscape and future directions for anti-complement therapies.

  18. Systems Biology Investigations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Evolution in Association with Human Airway Infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Søren Damkiær

    Most knowledge about evolutionary adaptation has been gained from experimental evolution studies, in which organisms have been allowed to evolve under simple, well-defined conditions in the laboratory. While these studies have provided novel insight into the fundamental processes of evolutionary....... aeruginosa DK2 clone lineage during 200,000 generations of evolution in the CF airways from its entrance in the clinic in the 1970’ies until the end of 2010. Genetic analysis showed that the DK2 lineage between 1973 and 2007 accumulated mutations in a near-linear manner with an overall genomic signature...... included fixation of mutations in the rpoD gene encoding the principle sigma factor σ70. The findings presented in this thesis provide insight into the genetic mechanisms and evolutionary processes that shape the adaptation of bacteria colonizing complex natural environments. Increased knowledge...

  19. Associative learning alone is insufficient for the evolution and maintenance of the human mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberman, Lindsay M; Hubbard, Edward M; McCleery, Joseph P

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate from associative learning processes, without evolutionary influence from social-cognitive mechanisms. We disagree with this claim and present arguments based upon cross-species comparisons, EEG findings, and developmental neuroscience that the evolution of mirror neurons is most likely driven simultaneously and interactively by evolutionarily adaptive psychological mechanisms and lower-level biological mechanisms that support them.

  20. From fish to modern humans--comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the head and neck musculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Abdala, V; Lonergan, N; Wood, B A

    2008-10-01

    In a recent paper Diogo (2008) reported the results of the first part of an investigation of the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the head and neck muscles of osteichthyans (bony fish + tetrapods). That report mainly focused on actinopterygian fish, but also compared these fish with certain non-mammalian sarcopterygians. The present paper focuses mainly on sarcopterygians, and particularly on how the head and neck muscles have evolved during the transitions from sarcopterygian fish and non-mammalian tetrapods to monotreme and therian mammals, including modern humans. The data obtained from our dissections of the head and neck muscles of representative members of sarcopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes and therian mammals, such as rodents, tree-shrews, colugos and primates, including modern humans, are compared with the information available in the literature. Our observations and comparisons indicate that the number of mandibular and true branchial muscles (sensu this work) present in modern humans is smaller than that found in mammals such as tree-shrews, rats and monotremes, as well as in reptiles such as lizards. Regarding the pharyngeal musculature, there is an increase in the number of muscles at the time of the evolutionary transition leading to therian mammals, but there was no significant increase during the transition leading to the emergence of higher primates and modern humans. The number of hypobranchial muscles is relatively constant within the therian mammals we examined, although in this case modern humans have more muscles than other mammals. The number of laryngeal and facial muscles in modern humans is greater than that found in most other therian taxa. Interestingly, modern humans possess peculiar laryngeal and facial muscles that are not present in the majority of the other mammalian taxa; this seems to corroborate the crucial role played by vocal communication and by facial expressions in primate and especially in

  1. ASPECTS OF THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NICOLAE PURDĂ

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Human rights protection within the European Community and the European Union has developed judicially, the human rights being protected by the Community Courts as general principles of Community law. The Treaty of Maastricht and the Treaty of Amsterdam have codified the Community law within the area of human rights. The codification of European Union’s concept of human rights in a single document was realized by adopting the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, on 7 December 2000 in Nice, whose provisions acquired legally binding under the Treaty of Lisbon.

  2. Chew Bahir, southern Ethiopia: an archive of environmental history during the evolution and dispersal of anatomically modern humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaebitz, F.; Asrat, A.; Lamb, H. F.; Trauth, M. H.; Junginger, A.; Foerster, V. E.; Guenter, C.; Viehberg, F. A.; Just, J.; Roberts, H. M.; Chapot, M. S.; Leng, M. J.; Dean, J.; Cohen, A. S.

    2016-12-01

    Chew Bahir is a tectonic basin in the southern Ethiopian Rift, close to the Lower Omo valley, site of earliest known fossil of anatomically modern humans. It was drilled in Nov-Dec 2014 as part of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) and the Collaborative Research Center (CRC806) "Our Way to Europe". Two overlapping cores of mostly clayey silts, reaching a composite depths of 280m, were collected and may cover the last 500,000 years, thus providing a potential record of environmental history during the evolution and spread of anatomically modern humans. Here we present the lithology and stratigraphy of the composite core as well as results of high resolution MSCL and XRF scanning data. Initial sedimentological and geochemical results show that the Chew Bahir deposits are a sensitive record of changes in moisture, sediment influx, provenance, transport and diagenetic processes, evident from mineralogy, elemental concentration and physical properties. The potassium record is highly sensitive to changes in moisture balance (Foerster et al. 2015). XRF and XRD data suggest that the process linking climate with potassium concentrations is the diagenetic illitization of smectites during dry episodes with high alkalinity and salinity in the closed-basin lake. The core records will allow tests of the various hypotheses about the influence of environmental change on the evolution and dispersal of anatomically modern humans. Foerster, V., Vogelsang, R., Junginger, A., Asrat, A., Lamb, H.F., Schaebitz, F., Trauth, M.H. (2015): Environmental Change and Human Occupation of Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya during the last 20,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 129: 333-340. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.10.026.

  3. Epidemiology, Phylogeny, and Evolution of Emerging Enteric Picobirnaviruses of Animal Origin and Their Relationship to Human Strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yashpal S. Malik

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Picobirnavirus (PBV which has been included in the list of viruses causing enteric infection in animals is highly versatile because of its broad host range and genetic diversity. PBVs are among the most recent and emerging small, nonenveloped viruses with a bisegmented double-stranded RNA genome, classified under a new family “Picobirnaviridae.” PBVs have also been detected from respiratory tract of pigs, but needs further close investigation for their inhabitant behavior. Though, accretion of genomic data of PBVs from different mammalian species resolved some of the ambiguity, quite a few questions and hypotheses regarding pathogenesis, persistence location, and evolution of PBVs remain unreciprocated. Evolutionary analysis reveals association of PBVs with partitiviruses especially fungi partitiviruses. Although, PBVs may have an ambiguous clinical implication, they do pose a potential public health concern in humans and control of PBVs mainly relies on nonvaccinal approach. Based upon the published data, from 1988 to date, generated from animal PBVs across the globe, this review provides information and discussion with respect to genetic analysis as well as evolution of PBVs of animal origin in relation to human strains.

  4. Socio-hydrologic perspectives of the co-evolution of humans and groundwater in Cangzhou, North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, S.; Tian, F.; Liu, Y.

    2017-12-01

    This study presents a historical analysis from socio-hydrologic perspectives of the coupled human-groundwater system of the Cangzhou region in the North China Plain. The history of the "pendulum swing" for water allocation between the economic development and aquifer environmental health of the system is divided into five eras (i.e., natural, exploitation, degradation and restoration, drought-triggered deterioration, and returning to the balance). The system evolution was interpreted using the Taiji-Tire model. Over-exploitation was considered as the main cause of aquifer depletion and the groundwater utilization pattern was affected by the varying groundwater table. The aquifer depletion enhanced the community sensitivity of humans toward environmental issues, and upgraded the social productive force for restoration. The evolution of the system was substantially impacted by two droughts. The drought in 1965 induced the system from natural condition to groundwater exploiting. The drought from 1997 to 2002 resulted a pulse in further groundwater abstraction and dramatic aquifer deterioration, and the community sensitivity increased rapidly and induced the social productive force to a tipping point. From then on, the system is returning the balance through new policies and water-saving technologies. Along with the establishment of a strict water resource management strategy and the launch of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, further restorations of groundwater environment would be implemented. However, a comprehensive and coordinated drought management plan should be devised to avoid the irreversible change of the system.

  5. Human intronless genes: Functional groups, associated diseases, evolution, and mRNA processing in absence of splicing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grzybowska, Ewa A.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Functional characteristics of intronless genes (IGs). ► Diseases associated with IGs. ► Origin and evolution of IGs. ► mRNA processing without splicing. -- Abstract: Intronless genes (IGs) constitute approximately 3% of the human genome. Human IGs are essentially different in evolution and functionality from the IGs of unicellular eukaryotes, which represent the majority in their genomes. Functional analysis of IGs has revealed a massive over-representation of signal transduction genes and genes encoding regulatory proteins important for growth, proliferation, and development. IGs also often display tissue-specific expression, usually in the nervous system and testis. These characteristics translate into IG-associated diseases, mainly neuropathies, developmental disorders, and cancer. IGs represent recent additions to the genome, created mostly by retroposition of processed mRNAs with retained functionality. Processing, nuclear export, and translation of these mRNAs should be hampered dramatically by the lack of splice factors, which normally tightly cover mature transcripts and govern their fate. However, natural IGs manage to maintain satisfactory expression levels. Different mechanisms by which IGs solve the problem of mRNA processing and nuclear export are discussed here, along with their possible impact on reporter studies.

  6. The evolution of human rights in World Health Organization policy and the future of human rights through global health governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, B M; Onzivu, W

    2014-02-01

    The World Health Organization (WHO) was intended to serve at the forefront of efforts to realize human rights to advance global health, and yet this promise of a rights-based approach to health has long been threatened by political constraints in international relations, organizational resistance to legal discourses, and medical ambivalence toward human rights. Through legal research on international treaty obligations, historical research in the WHO organizational archives, and interview research with global health stakeholders, this research examines WHO's contributions to (and, in many cases, negligence of) the rights-based approach to health. Based upon such research, this article analyzes the evolving role of WHO in the development and implementation of human rights for global health, reviews the current state of human rights leadership in the WHO Secretariat, and looks to future institutions to reclaim the mantle of human rights as a normative framework for global health governance. Copyright © 2013 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Quantification of crypt and stem cell evolution in the normal and neoplastic human colon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baker, Ann-Marie; Cereser, Biancastella; Melton, Samuel; Fletcher, Alexander G.; Rodriguez-Justo, Manuel; Tadrous, Paul J.; Humphries, Adam; Elia, George; McDonald, Stuart A. C.; Wright, Nicholas A.; Simons, Benjamin D.; Jansen, Marnix; Graham, Trevor A.

    2014-01-01

    Human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics remain poorly characterized because transgenic lineage-tracing methods are impractical in humans. Here, we have circumvented this problem by quantitatively using somatic mtDNA mutations to trace clonal lineages. By analyzing clonal imprints on the walls

  8. Centromere Destiny in Dicentric Chromosomes: New Insights from the Evolution of Human Chromosome 2 Ancestral Centromeric Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiatante, Giorgia; Giannuzzi, Giuliana; Calabrese, Francesco Maria; Eichler, Evan E; Ventura, Mario

    2017-07-01

    Dicentric chromosomes are products of genomic rearrangements that place two centromeres on the same chromosome. Due to the presence of two primary constrictions, they are inherently unstable and overcome their instability by epigenetically inactivating and/or deleting one of the two centromeres, thus resulting in functionally monocentric chromosomes that segregate normally during cell division. Our understanding to date of dicentric chromosome formation, behavior and fate has been largely inferred from observational studies in plants and humans as well as artificially produced de novo dicentrics in yeast and in human cells. We investigate the most recent product of a chromosome fusion event fixed in the human lineage, human chromosome 2, whose stability was acquired by the suppression of one centromere, resulting in a unique difference in chromosome number between humans (46 chromosomes) and our most closely related ape relatives (48 chromosomes). Using molecular cytogenetics, sequencing, and comparative sequence data, we deeply characterize the relicts of the chromosome 2q ancestral centromere and its flanking regions, gaining insight into the ancestral organization that can be easily broadened to all acrocentric chromosome centromeres. Moreover, our analyses offered the opportunity to trace the evolutionary history of rDNA and satellite III sequences among great apes, thus suggesting a new hypothesis for the preferential inactivation of some human centromeres, including IIq. Our results suggest two possible centromere inactivation models to explain the evolutionarily stabilization of human chromosome 2 over the last 5-6 million years. Our results strongly favor centromere excision through a one-step process. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Methodological evolutions in human-machine cooperative problem solving with applications to nuclear plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kitamura, Masaharu; Takahashi, Makoto

    2002-01-01

    A new framework for attaining higher safety of nuclear plants through introducing machine intelligence and robots has been proposed in this paper. The main emphasis of the framework is placed on user-centered human-machine cooperation in solving problems experienced during conducting operation, monitoring and maintenance activities in nuclear plants. In this framework, human operator is supposed to take initiative of actions at any moment of operation. No attempt has been made to replace human experts by machine intelligence and robots. Efforts have been paid to clarify the expertise and behavioral model of human experts so that the developed techniques are consistent with human mental activities in solving highly complicated operational and maintenance problems. Several techniques essential to the functioning of the framework have also been introduced. Modification of environment to provide support information has also been pursued to realize the concept of ubiquitous computing. (author)

  10. Evolution of two distinct phylogenetic lineages of the emerging human pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Portaels Francoise

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative genomics has greatly improved our understanding of the evolution of pathogenic mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here we have used data from a genome microarray analysis to explore insertion-deletion (InDel polymorphism among a diverse strain collection of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of the devastating skin disease, Buruli ulcer. Detailed analysis of large sequence polymorphisms in twelve regions of difference (RDs, comprising irreversible genetic markers, enabled us to refine the phylogenetic succession within M. ulcerans, to define features of a hypothetical M. ulcerans most recent common ancestor and to confirm its origin from Mycobacterium marinum. Results M. ulcerans has evolved into five InDel haplotypes that separate into two distinct lineages: (i the "classical" lineage including the most pathogenic genotypes – those that come from Africa, Australia and South East Asia; and (ii an "ancestral" M. ulcerans lineage comprising strains from Asia (China/Japan, South America and Mexico. The ancestral lineage is genetically closer to the progenitor M. marinum in both RD composition and DNA sequence identity, whereas the classical lineage has undergone major genomic rearrangements. Conclusion Results of the InDel analysis are in complete accord with recent multi-locus sequence analysis and indicate that M. ulcerans has passed through at least two major evolutionary bottlenecks since divergence from M. marinum. The classical lineage shows more pronounced reductive evolution than the ancestral lineage, suggesting that there may be differences in the ecology between the two lineages. These findings improve the understanding of the adaptive evolution and virulence of M. ulcerans and pathogenic mycobacteria in general and will facilitate the development of new tools for improved diagnostics and molecular epidemiology.

  11. Social evolution. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagasawa, Miho; Mitsui, Shouhei; En, Shiori; Ohtani, Nobuyo; Ohta, Mitsuaki; Sakuma, Yasuo; Onaka, Tatsushi; Mogi, Kazutaka; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2015-04-17

    Human-like modes of communication, including mutual gaze, in dogs may have been acquired during domestication with humans. We show that gazing behavior from dogs, but not wolves, increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners, which consequently facilitated owners' affiliation and increased oxytocin concentration in dogs. Further, nasally administered oxytocin increased gazing behavior in dogs, which in turn increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners. These findings support the existence of an interspecies oxytocin-mediated positive loop facilitated and modulated by gazing, which may have supported the coevolution of human-dog bonding by engaging common modes of communicating social attachment. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. Human resource management outsourcing in Spanish firms: Evolution over time and implication for devolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora Gottardello

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The paper aim to explore the evolution in the use of HRO in Spanish firms, and determine the differences in the degree of implementation of HRO since 1999 until 2014, and also analyze the relationship between HR outsourcing and devolution of HR responsibilities to line managers in Spanish organizations. Design/methodology/approach: This paper combines quantitative and qualitative methods. Namely the article is based on international Cranet HRM survey data collected from private and public organizations and also interviews with HR external providers. Findings: The analysis of developments, based on the Cranet surveys and interviews with HR external providers shows that during the past few years there has been an increasing use of HRO in parallel with the tendency to devolve more HR responsibility to line managers. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of this research is the limitation of data about reasons for devolution that the CRANET questionnaire provides. However, the interviews carried out enrich the survey data with qualitative results. Practical implications: The findings can be used to guide management teams in outsourcing and devolution decisions to maximize benefits to their organizations. Originality/value: This paper is about the evolution of HRO in Spain as a European Union country where published research on HRO and also its implications is relatively limited. The originality of this paper is mainly the involvement of line manager in the outsourcing process which have been poorly analyzed until now.

  13. Cultural transmission and the evolution of human behaviour: a general approach based on the Price equation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Mouden, C; André, J-B; Morin, O; Nettle, D

    2014-02-01

    Transmitted culture can be viewed as an inheritance system somewhat independent of genes that is subject to processes of descent with modification in its own right. Although many authors have conceptualized cultural change as a Darwinian process, there is no generally agreed formal framework for defining key concepts such as natural selection, fitness, relatedness and altruism for the cultural case. Here, we present and explore such a framework using the Price equation. Assuming an isolated, independently measurable culturally transmitted trait, we show that cultural natural selection maximizes cultural fitness, a distinct quantity from genetic fitness, and also that cultural relatedness and cultural altruism are not reducible to or necessarily related to their genetic counterparts. We show that antagonistic coevolution will occur between genes and culture whenever cultural fitness is not perfectly aligned with genetic fitness, as genetic selection will shape psychological mechanisms to avoid susceptibility to cultural traits that bear a genetic fitness cost. We discuss the difficulties with conceptualizing cultural change using the framework of evolutionary theory, the degree to which cultural evolution is autonomous from genetic evolution, and the extent to which cultural change should be seen as a Darwinian process. We argue that the nonselection components of evolutionary change are much more important for culture than for genes, and that this and other important differences from the genetic case mean that different approaches and emphases are needed for cultural than genetic processes. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. Genetic Variation and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Human Evolution and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Felicia; Hirbo, Jibril; Tishkoff, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    Because modern humans originated in Africa and have adapted to diverse environments, African populations have high levels of genetic and phenotypic diversity. Thus, genomic studies of diverse African ethnic groups are essential for understanding human evolutionary history and how this leads to differential disease risk in all humans. Comparative studies of genetic diversity within and between African ethnic groups creates an opportunity to reconstruct some of the earliest events in human population history and are useful for identifying patterns of genetic variation that have been influenced by recent natural selection. Here we describe what is currently known about genetic variation and evolutionary history of diverse African ethnic groups. We also describe examples of recent natural selection in African genomes and how these data are informative for understanding the frequency of many genetic traits, including those that cause disease susceptibility in African populations and populations of recent African descent. PMID:24984772

  15. Human evolution out of Africa: the role of refugia and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, J R; Stringer, C B

    2012-03-16

    Although an African origin of the modern human species is generally accepted, the evolutionary processes involved in the speciation, geographical spread, and eventual extinction of archaic humans outside of Africa are much debated. An additional complexity has been the recent evidence of limited interbreeding between modern humans and the Neandertals and Denisovans. Modern human migrations and interactions began during the buildup to the Last Glacial Maximum, starting about 100,000 years ago. By examining the history of other organisms through glacial cycles, valuable models for evolutionary biogeography can be formulated. According to one such model, the adoption of a new refugium by a subgroup of a species may lead to important evolutionary changes.

  16. The Evolution of the Right of Individuals to Seise the European Court of Human Rights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Astrid

    2010-01-01

    The year 2009 was a milestone for the European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR" or "the Court") in at least two ways. On the bright side, the Court can celebrate its 50th anniversary and its continuous role as principal promoter of human rights in the now 47 Member States of the Council of Europe...... ("CoE" or "the Council"). However, 2009 was also the year in which the number of pending cases before the Court passed the disturbing 100,000 benchmark. Paradoxically, the main reason for both the Court's success and its current crisis is the right of petition of individuals. The present article...... contains a detailed inquiry into the coming into existence of this central feature of the control machinery of European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("ECHR" or "the Convention") that was labelled a breakthrough in the field of human rights as well as in general...

  17. Mining spatial information to investigate the evolution of karst rocky desertification and its human driving forces in Changshun, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Erqi; Zhang, Hongqi; Li, Mengxian

    2013-08-01

    The processes of karst rocky desertification (KRD) have been found to cause the most severe environmental degradation in southwestern China. Understanding the driving forces that cause KRD is essential for managing and restoring the areas that it impacts. Studies of the human driving forces of KRD are limited to the county level, a specific administrative unit in China; census data are acquired at this scale, which can lead to scale biases. Changshun County is studied here as a representative area and anthropogenic influences in the county are accounted for by using Euclidean distances for the proximity to roads and settlements. We propose a standard coefficient of human influence (SOI) that standardizes the Euclidean distances for different KRD transformations to compare the effects of human activities in different areas. In Changshun County, the individual influences of roads and settlements share similar characteristics. The SOIs of improved KRD transformation types are almost negative, but the SOIs of deteriorated types are nearly positive except for one form of KRD turning to the extremely severe KRD. The results indicated that the distribution and evolution of the KRD areas from 2000 to 2010 in Changshun were affected positively by human activities (e.g., KRD restoration projects) and also negatively (e.g., by intense and irrational land use). Our results demonstrate that the spatial techniques and SOI used in this study can effectively incorporate information concerning human influences and internal KRD transformations. This provides a suitable approach for studying the relationships between human activities and KRD processes at fine scales. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Shared regulatory sites are abundant in the human genome and shed light on genome evolution and disease pleiotropy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Pin; Monahan, Jack; Prendergast, James G D

    2017-03-01

    Large-scale gene expression datasets are providing an increasing understanding of the location of cis-eQTLs in the human genome and their role in disease. However, little is currently known regarding the extent of regulatory site-sharing between genes. This is despite it having potentially wide-ranging implications, from the determination of the way in which genetic variants may shape multiple phenotypes to the understanding of the evolution of human gene order. By first identifying the location of non-redundant cis-eQTLs, we show that regulatory site-sharing is a relatively common phenomenon in the human genome, with over 10% of non-redundant regulatory variants linked to the expression of multiple nearby genes. We show that these shared, local regulatory sites are linked to high levels of chromatin looping between the regulatory sites and their associated genes. In addition, these co-regulated gene modules are found to be strongly conserved across mammalian species, suggesting that shared regulatory sites have played an important role in shaping human gene order. The association of these shared cis-eQTLs with multiple genes means they also appear to be unusually important in understanding the genetics of human phenotypes and pleiotropy, with shared regulatory sites more often linked to multiple human phenotypes than other regulatory variants. This study shows that regulatory site-sharing is likely an underappreciated aspect of gene regulation and has important implications for the understanding of various biological phenomena, including how the two and three dimensional structures of the genome have been shaped and the potential causes of disease pleiotropy outside coding regions.

  19. Evolution of the NANOG pseudogene family in the human and chimpanzee genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maughan Peter J

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The NANOG gene is expressed in mammalian embryonic stem cells where it maintains cellular pluripotency. An unusually large family of pseudogenes arose from it with one unprocessed and ten processed pseudogenes in the human genome. This article compares the NANOG gene and its pseudogenes in the human and chimpanzee genomes and derives an evolutionary history of this pseudogene family. Results The NANOG gene and all pseudogenes except NANOGP8 are present at their expected orthologous chromosomal positions in the chimpanzee genome when compared to the human genome, indicating that their origins predate the human-chimpanzee divergence. Analysis of flanking DNA sequences demonstrates that NANOGP8 is absent from the chimpanzee genome. Conclusion Based on the most parsimonious ordering of inferred source-gene mutations, the deduced evolutionary origins for the NANOG pseudogene family in the human and chimpanzee genomes, in order of most ancient to most recent, are NANOGP6, NANOGP5, NANOGP3, NANOGP10, NANOGP2, NANOGP9, NANOGP7, NANOGP1, and NANOGP4. All of these pseudogenes were fixed in the genome of the human-chimpanzee common ancestor. NANOGP8 is the most recent pseudogene and it originated exclusively in the human lineage after the human-chimpanzee divergence. NANOGP1 is apparently an unprocessed pseudogene. Comparison of its sequence to the functional NANOG gene's reading frame suggests that this apparent pseudogene remained functional after duplication and, therefore, was subject to selection-driven conservation of its reading frame, and that it may retain some functionality or that its loss of function may be evolutionarily recent.

  20. Human fertility variation, size-related obstetrical performance and the evolution of sexual stature dimorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Guégan, Jean-François; Teriokhin, A.T.; Thomas, F.

    2000-01-01

    In several animal species, change in sexual size dimorphism is a correlated response to selection on fecundity. In humans, different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the variation of sexual dimorphism in stature, but no consensus has yet emerged. In this paper, we evaluate from a theoretical and an empirical point of view the hypothesis that the extent of sexual dimorphism in human populations results from the interaction between fertility and size-related obstetric complications. We ...

  1. The Evolution of a Connectionist Model of Situated Human Language Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayberry, Marshall R.; Crocker, Matthew W.

    The Adaptive Mechanisms in Human Language Processing (ALPHA) project features both experimental and computational tracks designed to complement each other in the investigation of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie situated human utterance processing. The models developed in the computational track replicate results obtained in the experimental track and, in turn, suggest further experiments by virtue of behavior that arises as a by-product of their operation.

  2. On the classification and evolution of endogenous retrovirus: human endogenous retroviruses may not be 'human' after all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escalera-Zamudio, Marina; Greenwood, Alex D

    2016-01-01

    Retroviruses, as part of their replication cycle, become integrated into the genome of their host. When this occurs in the germline the integrated proviruses can become an endogenous retrovirus (ERV) which may eventually become fixed in the population. ERVs are present in the genomes of all vertebrates including humans, where more than 50 groups of human endogenous retrovirus (HERVs) have been described within the last 30 years. Despite state-of-the-art genomic tools available for retroviral discovery and the large number of retroviral sequences described to date, there are still gaps in understanding retroviral macroevolutionary patterns and host-retrovirus interactions and a lack of a coherent systematic classification particularly for HERVs. Here, we discuss the current knowledge on ERV (and HERV) classification, distribution and origins focusing on the role of cross-species transmission in retroviral diversity. © 2016 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Evolution of Biotechnology and Information Technology and Its Impact on Human Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena S. Zinovieva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The development of post-industrial society initiates profound economic, technological and cultural change in the way of life of all mankind. The revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of new technologies such as biotechnology and information technology are reflected in all spheres of human activity, directly affecting the human security. The article analyzes the consequences of widespread usage biotechnology and information technology in the foreign policy practice on the basis of the human security theory. The detailed description of the main directions of the use of biometric technology in the foreign policy and consular practices is provided, the challenges and threats to information security associated with biometrics are analyzed, arising from widespread biotechnology are the main challenges and threats to as well as human security threats arising at the present stage of development and application of these technologies. Human security threats associated with the use of biotechnology are placed in the broader context of global trends in scientific and technological development. The recommendations are formulated in the field of foreign policy and international cooperation, which would neutralize new threats to international and personal safety arising at the present stage of development of biotechnology. The authors conclude that in order to ensure ethical regulation of new technologies that address issues of human security, it is necessary to organize multi-stakeholder partnerships at national and international level with the participation of states, representatives of civil society, business and the research community.

  4. Comparative studies of placentation and immunology in non-human primates suggest a scenario for the evolution of deep trophoblast invasion and an explanation for human pregnancy disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Anthony M

    2011-04-01

    Deep trophoblast invasion in the placental bed has been considered the hallmark of human pregnancy. It occurs by two routes, interstitial and endovascular, and results in transformation of the walls of the spiral arteries as they traverse the decidua and the inner third of the myometrium. Disturbances in this process are associated with reproductive disorders such preeclampsia. In contrast, trophoblast invasion in Old World monkeys occurs only by the endovascular route and seldom reaches the myometrium. Recently, it was shown that this pattern is maintained in gibbons, but that the human arrangement also occurs in chimpanzee and gorilla. There is an interesting parallel with results from placental immunology regarding the evolution of the major histocompatability complex class I antigen HLA-C and its cognate receptors. HLA-C is not present in Old World monkeys or gibbons. It emerged in the orangutan and became polymorphic in the lineage leading to gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, and human. Interaction between HLA-C1 and HLA-C2 on the surface of trophoblast and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) expressed by uterine natural killer cells are important regulators of trophoblast invasion. Evolution of this system in great apes may have been one prerequisite for deep trophoblast invasion but seems to have come at a price. The evidence now suggests that certain combinations of maternal genotype for KIRs and fetal genotype for HLA-C imply an increased risk of preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, and recurrent abortion. The fetal genotype is in part derived from the father providing an explanation for the paternal contribution to reproductive disorders.

  5. The Mircen project, neuro-degenerative disease: mechanisms, therapeutics and imaging research Unit URA Cea Cnrs 2210

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hantraye, Ph.

    2006-01-01

    During the post-genomic era, significant advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of disease have been made. The power of functional and molecular imaging in translating this knowledge into effective therapy is now being more and more recognized. Thus, molecular imaging plays a vital role in the early identification of disease-related molecular markers, in the development of molecular-targeted therapies, and in monitoring phenotypic response to therapy both in experimental animals and in human patients. In this context, MIRCen (acronym for Molecular Imaging Research Center ) provides a comprehensive resource available to empower basic, translational, and clinical research through the application of imaging and drug, cell, and gene based technologies. The MIR center will be dedicated to the development of pre-clinical trials for the treatment of various seriously debilitating diseases such as neuro-degenerative diseases, cardiac and hepatic disorders, and infectious diseases (AIDS). Despite the fact that many of these pathologies are still incurable, recent advances in drug, cell and gene therapy point to the feasibility of new therapeutic approaches. The long term goals of MIRCen are therefore to develop and validate: - pertinent animal models for neuro-degenerative, hepatic, cardiac and infectious diseases in rodents as well as non-human primates, - novel technologies for in vivo sensing and imaging of disease-related molecular events,- drug, gene and cell based palliative and or curative therapeutic strategies aiming at protecting and /or restoring damaged or lost functions. (author)

  6. Pedicle marrow signal intensity changes in the lumbar spine: a manifestation of facet degenerative joint disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, J.L.; Kaplan, P.A.; Dussault, R.G.; Anderson, M.W.

    2000-01-01

    Objective. Signal intensity changes in lumbar pedicles, similar to those described in vertebral body endplates adjacent to degenerated discs, have been described as an ancillary sign of spondylolysis on MRI. The purpose of this study was to determine whether pedicle marrow signal intensity changes also occur in association with facet degenerative joint disease.Design. Eighty-nine lumbar spine MRI examinations without spondylolysis were reviewed for marrow signal intensity changes in pedicles and vertebral bodies as well as for facet degenerative joint disease.Results. Five percent (46/890) of lumbar pedicles in 23 patients had marrow signal intensity changes. Ninety-one percent (42/46) of the abnormal pedicles had adjacent degenerative joint disease of the facets, while only 21% (189/890) of normal pedicles had adjacent facet degenerative joint disease (p<0.001). Eighty-nine percent (41/46) of the pedicles with marrow signal intensity changes had adjacent degenerative disc disease.Conclusions. Pedicle marrow signal intensity changes are not a specific sign of spondylolysis; they are commonly seen with adjacent facet degenerative joint disease in the absence of spondylolysis. Pedicle marrow signal intensity changes are probably a response to abnormal stresses related to abnormal motion or loading caused by the degenerative changes in the spinal segment. (orig.)

  7. Pedicle marrow signal intensity changes in the lumbar spine: a manifestation of facet degenerative joint disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrison, J.L.; Kaplan, P.A.; Dussault, R.G.; Anderson, M.W. [Dept. of Radiology, Univ. of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA (United States)

    2000-12-01

    Objective. Signal intensity changes in lumbar pedicles, similar to those described in vertebral body endplates adjacent to degenerated discs, have been described as an ancillary sign of spondylolysis on MRI. The purpose of this study was to determine whether pedicle marrow signal intensity changes also occur in association with facet degenerative joint disease.Design. Eighty-nine lumbar spine MRI examinations without spondylolysis were reviewed for marrow signal intensity changes in pedicles and vertebral bodies as well as for facet degenerative joint disease.Results. Five percent (46/890) of lumbar pedicles in 23 patients had marrow signal intensity changes. Ninety-one percent (42/46) of the abnormal pedicles had adjacent degenerative joint disease of the facets, while only 21% (189/890) of normal pedicles had adjacent facet degenerative joint disease (p<0.001). Eighty-nine percent (41/46) of the pedicles with marrow signal intensity changes had adjacent degenerative disc disease.Conclusions. Pedicle marrow signal intensity changes are not a specific sign of spondylolysis; they are commonly seen with adjacent facet degenerative joint disease in the absence of spondylolysis. Pedicle marrow signal intensity changes are probably a response to abnormal stresses related to abnormal motion or loading caused by the degenerative changes in the spinal segment. (orig.)

  8. Evolution of the auditory ossicles in extant hominids: metric variation in African apes and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quam, Rolf M; Coleman, Mark N; Martínez, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    The auditory ossicles in primates have proven to be a reliable source of phylogenetic information. Nevertheless, to date, very little data have been published on the metric dimensions of the ear ossicles in African apes and humans. The present study relies on the largest samples of African ape ear ossicles studied to date to address questions of taxonomic differences and the evolutionary transformation of the ossicles in gorillas, chimpanzees and humans. Both African ape taxa show a malleus that is characterized by a long and slender manubrium and relatively short corpus, whereas humans show the opposite constellation of a short and thick manubrium and relatively long corpus. These changes in the manubrium are plausibly linked with changes in the size of the tympanic membrane. The main difference between the incus in African apes and humans seems to be related to changes in the functional length. Compared with chimpanzees, human incudes are larger in nearly all dimensions, except articular facet height, and show a more open angle between the axes. The gorilla incus resembles humans more closely in its metric dimensions, including functional length, perhaps as a result of the dramatically larger body size compared with chimpanzees. The differences between the stapedes of humans and African apes are primarily size-related, with humans being larger in nearly all dimensions. Nevertheless, some distinctions between the African apes were found in the obturator foramen and head height. Although correlations between metric variables in different ossicles were generally lower than those between variables in the same bone, variables of the malleus/incus complex appear to be more strongly correlated than those of the incus/stapes complex, perhaps reflecting the different embryological and evolutionary origins of the ossicles. The middle ear lever ratio for the African apes is similar to other haplorhines, but humans show the lowest lever ratio within primates. Very low levels

  9. Offspring mortality was a determinant factor in the evolution of paternal investment in humans: An evolutionary game approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, Diego; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Isabel M

    2017-04-21

    Some researchers support the belief that man evolved philandering behavior because of the greater reproductive success of promiscuous males. According to this idea, deserting behavior from the man should be expected along with null paternal involvement in offspring care. Paradoxically however, the average offspring investment in the human male is far higher than that of any other male mammal, including other primates. In our work, we have addressed this conundrum by employing evolutionary game theory, using objective payoffs instead of, as are commonly used, arbitrary payoffs. Payoffs were computed as reproductive successes by a model based on trivial probabilities, implemented within the Barreto's Population Dynamics Toolbox (2014). The evolution of the parent conflict was simulated by a game with two players (the woman and the man). First, a simple game was assayed with two strategies, 'desert-unfaithful' and 'care-faithful'. Then, the game was played with a third mixed strategy, 'care-unfaithful'. The two-strategy game results were mainly determined by the offspring survival rate (s) and the non-paternity rate (z), with remaining factors playing a secondary role. Starting from two empirical estimates for both rates (s = 0.617 and z = 0.033) and decreasing the offspring mortality from near 0.4 to 0.1, the results were consistent with a win for the 'care-faithful' strategy. The 'desert-unfaithful' strategy only won at unrealistically high non-paternity rates (z>0.2). When three-strategy games were played, the mixed strategy of 'care-unfaithful' man could win the game in some less frequent cases. Regardless of the number of game strategies, 'care' fathers always won. These results strongly suggest that offspring mortality was the key factor in the evolution of paternal investment within the Homo branch. The 'care-faithful' strategy would have been the main strategy in human evolution but 'care-unfaithful' men did evolve at a lesser frequency. It can therefore be

  10. The evolution of human phenotypic plasticity: age and nutritional status at maturity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Timothy B

    2003-08-01

    Several evolutionary optimal models of human plasticity in age and nutritional status at reproductive maturation are proposed and their dynamics examined. These models differ from previously published models because fertility is not assumed to be a function of body size or nutritional status. Further, the models are based on explicitly human demographic patterns, that is, model human life-tables, model human fertility tables, and, a nutrient flow-based model of maternal nutritional status. Infant survival (instead of fertility as in previous models) is assumed to be a function of maternal nutritional status. Two basic models are examined. In the first the cost of reproduction is assumed to be a constant proportion of total nutrient flow. In the second the cost of reproduction is constant for each birth. The constant proportion model predicts a negative slope of age and nutritional status at maturation. The constant cost per birth model predicts a positive slope of age and nutritional status at maturation. Either model can account for the secular decline in menarche observed over the last several centuries in Europe. A search of the growth literature failed to find definitive empirical documentation of human phenotypic plasticity in age and nutritional status at maturation. Most research strategies confound genetics with phenotypic plasticity. The one study that reports secular trends suggests a marginally insignificant, but positive slope. This view tends to support the constant cost per birth model.

  11. Haemophilus influenzae genome evolution during persistence in the human airways in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Melinda M; Ahearn, Christian P; Gent, Janneane F; Kong, Yong; Gallo, Mary C; Munro, James B; D'Mello, Adonis; Sethi, Sanjay; Tettelin, Hervé; Murphy, Timothy F

    2018-04-03

    Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) exclusively colonize and infect humans and are critical to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In vitro and animal models do not accurately capture the complex environments encountered by NTHi during human infection. We conducted whole-genome sequencing of 269 longitudinally collected cleared and persistent NTHi from a 15-y prospective study of adults with COPD. Genome sequences were used to elucidate the phylogeny of NTHi isolates, identify genomic changes that occur with persistence in the human airways, and evaluate the effect of selective pressure on 12 candidate vaccine antigens. Strains persisted in individuals with COPD for as long as 1,422 d. Slipped-strand mispairing, mediated by changes in simple sequence repeats in multiple genes during persistence, regulates expression of critical virulence functions, including adherence, nutrient uptake, and modification of surface molecules, and is a major mechanism for survival in the hostile environment of the human airways. A subset of strains underwent a large 400-kb inversion during persistence. NTHi does not undergo significant gene gain or loss during persistence, in contrast to other persistent respiratory tract pathogens. Amino acid sequence changes occurred in 8 of 12 candidate vaccine antigens during persistence, an observation with important implications for vaccine development. These results indicate that NTHi alters its genome during persistence by regulation of critical virulence functions primarily by slipped-strand mispairing, advancing our understanding of how a bacterial pathogen that plays a critical role in COPD adapts to survival in the human respiratory tract.

  12. Application of stem cell-derived retinal pigmented epithelium in retinal degenerative diseases: present and future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingyue Luo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available As a constituent of blood-retinal barrier and retinal outer segment (ROS scavenger, retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE is fundamental to normal function of retina. Malfunctioning of RPE contributes to the onset and advance of retinal degenerative diseases. Up to date, RPE replacement therapy is the only possible method to completely reverse retinal degeneration. Transplantation of human RPE stem cell-derived RPE (hRPESC-RPE has shown some good results in animal models. With promising results in terms of safety and visual improvement, human embryonic stem cell-derived RPE (hESC-RPE can be expected in clinical settings in the near future. Despite twists and turns, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived RPE (iPSC-RPE is now being intensely investigated to overcome genetic and epigenetic instability. By far, only one patient has received iPSC-RPE transplant, which is a hallmark of iPSC technology development. During follow-up, no major complications such as immunogenicity or tumorigenesis have been observed. Future trials should keep focusing on the safety of stem cell-derived RPE (SC-RPE especially in long period, and better understanding of the nature of stem cell and the molecular events in the process to generate SC-RPE is necessary to the prosperity of SC-RPE clinical application.

  13. Biology and therapy of inherited retinal degenerative disease: insights from mouse models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veleri, Shobi; Lazar, Csilla H.; Chang, Bo; Sieving, Paul A.; Banin, Eyal; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-01-01

    Retinal neurodegeneration associated with the dysfunction or death of photoreceptors is a major cause of incurable vision loss. Tremendous progress has been made over the last two decades in discovering genes and genetic defects that lead to retinal diseases. The primary focus has now shifted to uncovering disease mechanisms and designing treatment strategies, especially inspired by the successful application of gene therapy in some forms of congenital blindness in humans. Both spontaneous and laboratory-generated mouse mutants have been valuable for providing fundamental insights into normal retinal development and for deciphering disease pathology. Here, we provide a review of mouse models of human retinal degeneration, with a primary focus on diseases affecting photoreceptor function. We also describe models associated with retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction or synaptic abnormalities. Furthermore, we highlight the crucial role of mouse models in elucidating retinal and photoreceptor biology in health and disease, and in the assessment of novel therapeutic modalities, including gene- and stem-cell-based therapies, for retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:25650393

  14. Biology and therapy of inherited retinal degenerative disease: insights from mouse models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shobi Veleri

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Retinal neurodegeneration associated with the dysfunction or death of photoreceptors is a major cause of incurable vision loss. Tremendous progress has been made over the last two decades in discovering genes and genetic defects that lead to retinal diseases. The primary focus has now shifted to uncovering disease mechanisms and designing treatment strategies, especially inspired by the successful application of gene therapy in some forms of congenital blindness in humans. Both spontaneous and laboratory-generated mouse mutants have been valuable for providing fundamental insights into normal retinal development and for deciphering disease pathology. Here, we provide a review of mouse models of human retinal degeneration, with a primary focus on diseases affecting photoreceptor function. We also describe models associated with retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction or synaptic abnormalities. Furthermore, we highlight the crucial role of mouse models in elucidating retinal and photoreceptor biology in health and disease, and in the assessment of novel therapeutic modalities, including gene- and stem-cell-based therapies, for retinal degenerative diseases.

  15. Application of stem cell-derived retinal pigmented epithelium in retinal degenerative diseases: present and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Mingyue; Chen, Youxin

    2018-01-01

    As a constituent of blood-retinal barrier and retinal outer segment (ROS) scavenger, retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is fundamental to normal function of retina. Malfunctioning of RPE contributes to the onset and advance of retinal degenerative diseases. Up to date, RPE replacement therapy is the only possible method to completely reverse retinal degeneration. Transplantation of human RPE stem cell-derived RPE (hRPESC-RPE) has shown some good results in animal models. With promising results in terms of safety and visual improvement, human embryonic stem cell-derived RPE (hESC-RPE) can be expected in clinical settings in the near future. Despite twists and turns, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived RPE (iPSC-RPE) is now being intensely investigated to overcome genetic and epigenetic instability. By far, only one patient has received iPSC-RPE transplant, which is a hallmark of iPSC technology development. During follow-up, no major complications such as immunogenicity or tumorigenesis have been observed. Future trials should keep focusing on the safety of stem cell-derived RPE (SC-RPE) especially in long period, and better understanding of the nature of stem cell and the molecular events in the process to generate SC-RPE is necessary to the prosperity of SC-RPE clinical application.

  16. The evolution of the Constitutional Protection of Women’s Human Rights in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra MORENO FLÓREZ

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Human rights were first acknowledged in Colombia in the 1991 Constitution, bringing up a catalogue of specific rights in favour of the female population whose implementation has been possible thanks to the Constitutional Court’s decisive compromise on the struggle against gender discrimination. This way, since the incorporation of the gender perspective in the Colombian Law, great progress has been obtained in the effectiveness of the constitutional normative framework and in the consequent effective protection of women’s human rights in legally relevant different ambits of life.

  17. Evolution of Transcriptional Regulatory Networks in Pseudomonas aeruginosa During Long Time Growth in Human Hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Eva Kammer

    extent these observations relate to natural microbial populations. The focus of this thesis has been to study how regulatory networks evolve in natural systems. By using a particular infectious disease scenario (human associated persistent airway infections caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa...... in global regulator genes facilitate the generation of novel phenotypes which again facilitate the shift in life-style of the bacterium from an environmental opportunistic pathogen to a human airway specific pathogen. These findings are not only applicable to P. aeruginosa specific studies, but suggest that...

  18. Evolution of R5 and X4 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gag sequences in vivo: evidence for recombination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rij, Ronald P. van; Worobey, Michael; Visser, Janny A.; Schuitemaker, Hanneke

    2003-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is in general established by CCR5-utilizing (R5) virus variants, which persist throughout the course of infection. R5 HIV-1 variants evolve into CXCR4-utilizing (X4) HIV-1 variants in approximately half of the infected individuals. We have previously observed an ongoing genetic evolution with a continuous divergence of envelope gp120 sequences of coexisting R5 and X4 virus variants over time. Here, we studied evolution of gag p17 sequences in two patients who developed X4 variants in the course of infection. In contrast to the envelope gp120 sequences, gag p17 sequences of R5 and X4 virus populations intermingled in phylogenetic trees and did not diverge from each other over time. Statistical evaluation using the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test indicated that the different genomic regions evolved along different topologies, supporting the hypothesis of recombination. Therefore, our data imply that recombination between R5 and X4 HIV-1 variants occurs in vivo

  19. Interactions between sedimentary evolution and prehistoric human occupation in the south-central coast of Santa Catarina, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo César Fonseca Giannini

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the human occupation in the south-central coast of Santa Catarina State, in Brazil, the articulation between natural and anthropic processes modeled a strongly domesticated landscape, shaped by the massive construction of shell mounds of monumental dimensions and millenarian permanence. In the coastal plain between Passagem da Barra (Laguna District and Figueirinha Lake (Jaguaruna District, 76 sambaquis were mapped, 48 of which have been dated. Systematic site surveys and radiocarbon datings allowed identifying patterns of spatial distribution in sambaquis according to the sedimentary context at the time of construction, stratigraphy and age. Based on these criteria, the following groups were recognized: five geological-geomorphological contexts of location; three stratigraphic patterns; and four phases of sambaqui occupation in the area, based on site number and type of constructive pattern. The model for sedimentary evolution and time-space distribution of sambaquis shows that sites were built in already emerged areas and that inland sites, away from the lagoons, may have not be preserved or they are not exposed due to the continuous sedimentary filling that characterized this region after the maximum Holocene transgression. The crossing of data, here proposed, shows the importance of integral approaches between archaeology and geosciences for the study of landscape evolution.

  20. Network Structure and Community Evolution on Twitter: Human Behavior Change in Response to the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xin; Brelsford, Christa

    2014-10-01

    To investigate the dynamics of social networks and the formation and evolution of online communities in response to extreme events, we collected three datasets from Twitter shortly before and after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We find that while almost all users increased their online activity after the earthquake, Japanese speakers, who are assumed to be more directly affected by the event, expanded the network of people they interact with to a much higher degree than English speakers or the global average. By investigating the evolution of communities, we find that the behavior of joining or quitting a community is far from random: users tend to stay in their current status and are less likely to join new communities from solitary or shift to other communities from their current community. While non-Japanese speakers did not change their conversation topics significantly after the earthquake, nearly all Japanese users changed their conversations to earthquake-related content. This study builds a systematic framework for investigating human behaviors under extreme events with online social network data and our findings on the dynamics of networks and communities may provide useful insight for understanding how patterns of social interaction are influenced by extreme events.

  1. Socio-hydrological perspectives of the co-evolution of humans and groundwater in Cangzhou, North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Songjun; Tian, Fuqiang; Liu, Ye; Duan, Xianhui

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents a historical analysis from socio-hydrological perspectives of the coupled human-groundwater system of the Cangzhou region in the North China Plain (NCP). The history of the pendulum swing for water allocation between the economic development and aquifer environmental health of the system is divided into five eras (i.e., natural, exploitation, degradation and restoration, drought-triggered deterioration, and returning to equilibrium). The system's evolution was interpreted using the Taiji-Tire model. Over-exploitation was considered as the main cause of aquifer depletion, and the groundwater utilization pattern was affected by the varying groundwater table. The aquifer depletion enhanced community sensitivity toward environmental issues, and upgraded the social productive force for restoration. The evolution of the system was substantially impacted by two droughts. The drought in 1965 induced the system from natural conditions to groundwater exploiting. The drought from 1997 to 2002 resulted in a surge in further groundwater abstraction and dramatic aquifer deterioration, and community sensitivity increased rapidly and induced the social productive force to a tipping point. From then on, the system returns to equilibrium through new policies and water-saving technologies. Along with the establishment of a strict water resource management strategy and the launch of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, further restoration of groundwater environment was implemented. However, a comprehensive and coordinated drought management plan should be devised to avoid irreversible change in the system.

  2. "Pollical palmar interosseous muscle" (musculus adductor pollicis accessorius): attachments, innervation, variations, phylogeny, and implications for human evolution and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello-Hellegouarch, Gaelle; Aziz, M Ashraf; Ferrero, Eva M; Kern, Michael; Francis, Nadia; Diogo, Rui

    2013-03-01

    Most atlases and textbooks dealing with human anatomy do not refer to the "pollical palmar interosseous" (PPI) muscle of Henle. In order to undertake a fresh and detailed study of this muscle and to thus better understand human comparative anatomy and evolution, we: 1) analyze the frequency of the PPI in a large sample of human hands; 2) describe the attachments, innervation and varieties of the PPI in these hands; 3) compare the data obtained with the information available in the literature; and 4) discuss the phylogenetic origin of the PPI and the implications of our observations and comparisons for medicine and for the understanding of human evolutionary history. Within the 72 hands dissected by us, the PPI is present in 67 hands (93%), commonly having a single muscular branch, originating from the medial side of the base of metacarpal I only, inserting onto the medial side of the base of the pollical proximal phalanx and/or surrounding structures (e.g., ulnar sesamoid bone, wing tendon of extensor apparatus), and passing at least partially, and usually mainly, medial to the princeps pollicis artery. A careful study of the human PPI, as well as a detailed comparison with other mammals, strongly suggest that the muscle is evolutionarily derived from the adductor pollicis, and namely from its oblique head. Therefore, we propose that PPI should be designated by the name musculus adductor pollicis accessorius, which indicates that the muscle is most likely a de novo structure derived from the adductor pollicis. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. A perspective on the history and evolution of an Oceans and Human Health "metadiscipline" in the USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandifer, Paul A; Trtanj, Juli M; Collier, Tracy K

    2013-05-01

    We review recent history and evolution of Oceans and Human Health programs and related activities in the USA from a perspective within the Federal government. As a result of about a decade of support by the US Congress and through a few Federal agencies, notably the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, robust Oceans and Human Health (OHH) research and application activities are now relatively widespread, although still small, in a number of agencies and academic institutions. OHH themes and issues have been incorporated into comprehensive federal ocean research plans and are reflected in the new National Ocean Policy enunciated by Executive Order 13547. In just a decade, OHH has matured into a recognized "metadiscipline," with development of a small, but robust and diverse community of science and practice, incorporation into academic educational programs, regular participation in ocean and coastal science and public health societies, and active engagement with public health decision makers. In addition to substantial increases in scientific information, the OHH community has demonstrated ability to respond rapidly and effectively to emergency situations such as those associated with extreme weather events (e.g., hurricanes, floods) and human-caused disasters (e.g., the Deep Water Horizon oil spill). Among many other things, next steps include development and implementation of agency health strategies and provision of specific services, such as ecological forecasts to provide routine early warnings for ocean health threats and opportunities for prevention and mitigation of these risks.

  4. The socio-hydrologic evolution of human-flood interactions on the Charles and Mystic River, eastern Massachusetts, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertz, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Socio-hydrology is an emerging subdiscipline for identifying the emergent properties of human-flood interactions. The Charles and the Mystic Rivers, in eastern Massachusetts, have been the subject of such interactions for hundreds of years. Over time, human dependency and settlement have altered the natural conditions of the rivers, and changed the potential for flood occurrence and property damage. As a result, flood management strategies have been enacted to counter this potential. Before we can assess how human vulnerability and actions related to river flooding will change under future climate conditions, we must first document the evolution of flooding and flood management and understand the motivations and thresholds of response that describe how the system has evolved in the past. We have mined historical data from traditional and non-traditional sources and have developed "mental models" from in-depth interviews of key personnel. We will present the socio-hydrological history of the Charles and Mystic Rivers and recommend how this information can inform future flood management strategies in the face of climate change.

  5. Evolution of pH buffers and water homeostasis in eukaryotes: homology between humans and Acanthamoeba proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baig, Abdul M; Zohaib, R; Tariq, S; Ahmad, H R

    2018-02-01

    This study intended to trace the evolution of acid-base buffers and water homeostasis in eukaryotes. Acanthamoeba castellanii  was selected as a model unicellular eukaryote for this purpose. Homologies of proteins involved in pH and water regulatory mechanisms at cellular levels were compared between humans and A. castellanii. Amino acid sequence homology, structural homology, 3D modeling and docking prediction were done to show the extent of similarities between carbonic anhydrase 1 (CA1), aquaporin (AQP), band-3 protein and H + pump. Experimental assays were done with acetazolamide (AZM), brinzolamide and mannitol to observe their effects on the trophozoites of  A. castellanii.  The human CA1, AQP, band-3 protein and H + -transport proteins revealed similar proteins in Acanthamoeba. Docking showed the binding of AZM on amoebal AQP-like proteins.  Acanthamoeba showed transient shape changes and encystation at differential doses of brinzolamide, mannitol and AZM.  Conclusion: Water and pH regulating adapter proteins in Acanthamoeba and humans show significant homology, these mechanisms evolved early in the primitive unicellular eukaryotes and have remained conserved in multicellular eukaryotes.

  6. From fish to modern humans--comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral and forelimb musculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Abdala, V; Aziz, M A; Lonergan, N; Wood, B A

    2009-05-01

    In a recent study Diogo & Abdala [(2007) J Morphol 268, 504-517] reported the results of the first part of a research project on the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral muscles of osteichthyans (bony fish and tetrapods). That report mainly focused on actinopterygian fish but also compared these fish with certain non-mammalian sarcopterygians. This study, which reports the second part of the research project, focuses mainly on sarcopterygians and particularly on how the pectoral and forelimb muscles have evolved during the transitions from sarcopterygian fish and non-mammalian tetrapods to monotreme and therian mammals and humans. The data obtained by our own dissections of all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of representative members of groups as diverse as sarcopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes and therian mammals such as rodents, tree-shrews, colugos and primates, including humans, are compared with the information available in the literature. Our observations and comparisons clearly stress that, with regard to the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles, the most striking transition within sarcopterygian evolutionary history was that leading to the origin of tetrapods. Whereas extant sarcopterygian fish have an abductor and adductor of the fin and a largely undifferentiated hypaxial and epaxial musculature, extant salamanders such as Ambystoma have more than 40 pectoral and forelimb muscles. There is no clear increase in the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles within the evolutionary transition that led to the origin of mammals and surely not to that leading to the origin of primates and humans.

  7. Environmental Radon Gas and Degenerative Conditions An Overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Groves-Kirkby, C.J. [Medical Physics Department, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton NN1 5BD (United Kingdom)]|[School of Health, University of Northampton, Northampton NN2 7AL (United Kingdom); Denman, A.R. [Medical Physics Department, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton NN1 5BD (United Kingdom); Woolridge, A.C. [School of Health, University of Northampton, Northampton NN2 7AL (United Kingdom)]|[School of Applied Sciences, University of Northampton, Northampton NN2 7AL (United Kingdom); Phillips, P.S. [School of Applied Sciences, University of Northampton, Northampton NN2 7AL (United Kingdom); Phillips, C. [School of Health, University of Northampton, Northampton NN2 7AL (United Kingdom)

    2006-07-01

    Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, has variable distribution in the environment as a decay product of uranium occurring in a wide range of rocks, soils and building materials. Although radon dissipates rapidly in outdoor air, it concentrates in the built environment, and inhalation of {sup 222}Rn and its progeny {sup 218}Po and {sup 214}Po is believed to provide the majority of the radioactive dose to the respiratory system. While the connection between radon and lung cancer has long been recognised and investigated, recent studies have highlighted potential links between radon and other conditions, among them Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases, and Paget Disease of Bone. A strong case exists for clarifying the relationship between radon and these other conditions, not least since radon remediation to reduce lung cancer may conceivably have additional benefits hitherto unrecognized. The present status of the postulated links between environmental radon gas and degenerative conditions is reviewed, and recommendations for further research into levering current anti-radon campaigns are made. (authors)

  8. Health assessment of environmental pollutants: proliferative and degenerative diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stuart, B.O.

    1988-01-01

    In order to achieve a balanced approach to risk assessment between carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health effects one must examine the risk of disease or death in the general population exposed to a particular air pollutant that can be related quantitatively to intensity and duration of exposures (National Academy of Sciences, 1983). Such risk assessment should be based upon careful evaluation of scientific findings of dose-response relationships in the chronically exposed population. Quantitative assessment of environmentally produced disease in man has proven to be complex and demanding. A variety of factors play important roles in this task. As an example, there are induction-latency periods for chronic diseases, including cancer, which may range from five to twenty-five years. The diseases themselves, whether proliferative or degenerative, may follow several stages of progression. There is only sparse epidemiological data on serious health effects that may be due to environmental as compared to occupational exposures. Exposures to chemical or radiological air contaminants do not occur singly but to a multiplicity of agents, and disease processes are frequently markedly affected by the interaction of a variety of factors, particularly that of cigarette smoking. There is growing recognition of potentially sensitive subpopulations, including the elderly and the very young, but adequate techniques for assessing the magnitude of increased risks to these groups have not yet been developed

  9. Environmental Radon Gas and Degenerative Conditions An Overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Groves-Kirkby, C.J.; Denman, A.R.; Woolridge, A.C.; Phillips, P.S.; Phillips, C.

    2006-01-01

    Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, has variable distribution in the environment as a decay product of uranium occurring in a wide range of rocks, soils and building materials. Although radon dissipates rapidly in outdoor air, it concentrates in the built environment, and inhalation of 222 Rn and its progeny 218 Po and 214 Po is believed to provide the majority of the radioactive dose to the respiratory system. While the connection between radon and lung cancer has long been recognised and investigated, recent studies have highlighted potential links between radon and other conditions, among them Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases, and Paget Disease of Bone. A strong case exists for clarifying the relationship between radon and these other conditions, not least since radon remediation to reduce lung cancer may conceivably have additional benefits hitherto unrecognized. The present status of the postulated links between environmental radon gas and degenerative conditions is reviewed, and recommendations for further research into levering current anti-radon campaigns are made. (authors)

  10. Osteoporosis and the Management of Spinal Degenerative Disease (II)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé-Bermejo, Félix; Piñera, Angel R.; Alvarez, Luis

    2017-01-01

    Osteoporosis has become a major medical problem as the aged population of the world rapidly grows. Osteoporosis predisposes patients to fracture, progressive spinal deformities, and stenosis, and is subject to be a major concern before performing spine surgery, especially with bone fusions and instrumentation. Osteoporosis has often been considered a contraindication for spinal surgery, while in some instances patients have undergone limited and inadequate procedures in order to avoid concomitant instrumentation. As the population ages and the expectations of older patients increase, the demand for surgical treatment in older patients with osteoporosis and spinal degenerative diseases becomes progressively more important. Nowadays, advances in surgical and anesthetic technology make it possible to operate successfully on elderly patients who no longer accept disabling physical conditions. This article discusses the biomechanics of the osteoporotic spine, the diagnosis and management of osteoporotic patients with spinal conditions, as well as the novel treatments, recommendations, surgical indications, strategies and instrumentation in patients with osteoporosis who need spine operations. PMID:29299490

  11. Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis in working dogs: current concepts and review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worth, A J; Thompson, D J; Hartman, A C

    2009-12-01

    Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLSS) is characterised by intervertebral disc degeneration, with secondary bony and soft-tissue changes leading to compression of the cauda equina. Large-breed, active and working dogs are the most commonly affected by DLSS. Specific manipulative tests allow the clinician to form a high suspicion of DLSS, and initiate investigation. Changes seen using conventional radiography are unreliable, and although contrast radiography represents an improvement, advanced imaging is accepted as the diagnostic method of choice. Treatment involves decompression and/or stabilisation procedures in working dogs, although conservative management may be acceptable in pet dogs with mild signs. Prognosis for return to work is only fair, and there is a high rate of recurrence following conventional surgery. Stabilisation procedures are associated with the potential for failure of the implant, and their use has not gained universal acceptance. A new surgical procedure, dorsolateral foramenotomy, offers a potential advance in the management of DLSS. everal aspects of the pathogenesis, heritability and optimal treatment approach remain uncertain.

  12. Life is getting better: Societal evolution and fit with human nature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Veenhoven (Ruut)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractHuman society has changed much over the last centuries and this process of 'modernization' has profoundly affected the lives of individuals; currently we live quite different lives from those forefathers lived only five generations ago. There is difference of opinion as to whether we

  13. Evolution of human factors research and studies of health information technologies: the role of patient safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beuscart-Zéphir, M. C.; Borycki, E.; Carayon, P.; Jaspers, M. W. M.; Pelayo, S.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this survey paper is to present and explain the impact of recent regulations and patient safety initiatives (EU, US and Canada) on Human Factors (HF)/Usability studies and research focusing on Health Information Technology (HIT). The authors have selected the most prominent of these

  14. Quantification of Crypt and Stem Cell Evolution in the Normal and Neoplastic Human Colon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann-Marie Baker

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics remain poorly characterized because transgenic lineage-tracing methods are impractical in humans. Here, we have circumvented this problem by quantitatively using somatic mtDNA mutations to trace clonal lineages. By analyzing clonal imprints on the walls of colonic crypts, we show that human intestinal stem cells conform to one-dimensional neutral drift dynamics with a “functional” stem cell number of five to six in both normal patients and individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis (germline APC−/+. Furthermore, we show that, in adenomatous crypts (APC−/−, there is a proportionate increase in both functional stem cell number and the loss/replacement rate. Finally, by analyzing fields of mtDNA mutant crypts, we show that a normal colon crypt divides around once every 30–40 years, and the division rate is increased in adenomas by at least an order of magnitude. These data provide in vivo quantification of human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics.

  15. The cultural evolution of human communication systems in different sized populations: usability trumps learnability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Nicolas; Ellison, T Mark

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the intergenerational transfer of human communication systems. It tests if human communication systems evolve to be easy to learn or easy to use (or both), and how population size affects learnability and usability. Using an experimental-semiotic task, we find that human communication systems evolve to be easier to use (production efficiency and reproduction fidelity), but harder to learn (identification accuracy) for a second generation of naïve participants. Thus, usability trumps learnability. In addition, the communication systems that evolve in larger populations exhibit distinct advantages over those that evolve in smaller populations: the learnability loss (from the Initial signs) is more muted and the usability benefits are more pronounced. The usability benefits for human communication systems that evolve in a small and large population is explained through guided variation reducing sign complexity. The enhanced performance of the communication systems that evolve in larger populations is explained by the operation of a content bias acting on the larger pool of competing signs. The content bias selects for information-efficient iconic signs that aid learnability and enhance usability.

  16. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 evolution in vivo tracked by DNA heteroduplex mobility assays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delwart, E. L.; Sheppard, H. W.; Walker, B. D.; Goudsmit, J.; Mullins, J. I.

    1994-01-01

    High mutation rates and strong selective pressures imposed on human immunodeficiency viruses in vivo result in the formation of pools of genetic variants known as quasispecies. DNA heteroduplex mobility and tracking analyses were used to monitor the generation of HIV sequence diversity, to estimate

  17. Colloquium paper: adaptive specializations, social exchange, and the evolution of human intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosmides, Leda; Barrett, H Clark; Tooby, John

    2010-05-11

    Blank-slate theories of human intelligence propose that reasoning is carried out by general-purpose operations applied uniformly across contents. An evolutionary approach implies a radically different model of human intelligence. The task demands of different adaptive problems select for functionally specialized problem-solving strategies, unleashing massive increases in problem-solving power for ancestrally recurrent adaptive problems. Because exchange can evolve only if cooperators can detect cheaters, we hypothesized that the human mind would be equipped with a neurocognitive system specialized for reasoning about social exchange. Whereas humans perform poorly when asked to detect violations of most conditional rules, we predicted and found a dramatic spike in performance when the rule specifies an exchange and violations correspond to cheating. According to critics, people's uncanny accuracy at detecting violations of social exchange rules does not reflect a cheater detection mechanism, but extends instead to all rules regulating when actions are permitted (deontic conditionals). Here we report experimental tests that falsify these theories by demonstrating that deontic rules as a class do not elicit the search for violations. We show that the cheater detection system functions with pinpoint accuracy, searching for violations of social exchange rules only when these are likely to reveal the presence of someone who intends to cheat. It does not search for violations of social exchange rules when these are accidental, when they do not benefit the violator, or when the situation would make cheating difficult.

  18. Human Evolution, Movement, and Intelligence: Why Playing Games Counts as Smart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kretchmar, R. Scott

    2018-01-01

    The article investigates several ways in which creating, entering, and playing games requires uniquely human levels of intelligence. It examines an element of our evolutionary heritage and the possibility that games (particularly in the form of sport) were among the first elements of culture. It describes sport as a "way of knowing," a…

  19. The cultural evolution of human communication systems in different sized populations: usability trumps learnability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Fay

    Full Text Available This study examines the intergenerational transfer of human communication systems. It tests if human communication systems evolve to be easy to learn or easy to use (or both, and how population size affects learnability and usability. Using an experimental-semiotic task, we find that human communication systems evolve to be easier to use (production efficiency and reproduction fidelity, but harder to learn (identification accuracy for a second generation of naïve participants. Thus, usability trumps learnability. In addition, the communication systems that evolve in larger populations exhibit distinct advantages over those that evolve in smaller populations: the learnability loss (from the Initial signs is more muted and the usability benefits are more pronounced. The usability benefits for human communication systems that evolve in a small and large population is explained through guided variation reducing sign complexity. The enhanced performance of the communication systems that evolve in larger populations is explained by the operation of a content bias acting on the larger pool of competing signs. The content bias selects for information-efficient iconic signs that aid learnability and enhance usability.

  20. Genome-wide comparative analysis reveals human-mouse regulatory landscape and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denas, Olgert; Sandstrom, Richard; Cheng, Yong; Beal, Kathryn; Herrero, Javier; Hardison, Ross C; Taylor, James

    2015-02-14

    Because species-specific gene expression is driven by species-specific regulation, understanding the relationship between sequence and function of the regulatory regions in different species will help elucidate how differences among species arise. Despite active experimental and computational research, relationships among sequence, conservation, and function are still poorly understood. We compared transcription factor occupied segments (TFos) for 116 human and 35 mouse TFs in 546 human and 125 mouse cell types and tissues from the Human and the Mouse ENCODE projects. We based the map between human and mouse TFos on a one-to-one nucleotide cross-species mapper, bnMapper, that utilizes whole genome alignments (WGA). Our analysis shows that TFos are under evolutionary constraint, but a substantial portion (25.1% of mouse and 25.85% of human on average) of the TFos does not have a homologous sequence on the other species; this portion varies among cell types and TFs. Furthermore, 47.67% and 57.01% of the homologous TFos sequence shows binding activity on the other species for human and mouse respectively. However, 79.87% and 69.22% is repurposed such that it binds the same TF in different cells or different TFs in the same cells. Remarkably, within the set of repurposed TFos, the corresponding genome regions in the other species are preferred locations of novel TFos. These events suggest exaptation of some functional regulatory sequences into new function. Despite TFos repurposing, we did not find substantial changes in their predicted target genes, suggesting that CRMs buffer evolutionary events allowing little or no change in the TFos - target gene associations. Thus, the small portion of TFos with strictly conserved occupancy underestimates the degree of conservation of regulatory interactions. We mapped regulatory sequences from an extensive number of TFs and cell types between human and mouse using WGA. A comparative analysis of this correspondence unveiled the

  1. Homeotic evolution in the mammalia: diversification of therian axial seriation and the morphogenetic basis of human origins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron G Filler

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the rising interest in homeotic genes, little has been known about the course and pattern of evolution of homeotic traits across the mammalian radiation. An array of emerging and diversifying homeotic gradients revealed by this study appear to generate new body plans and drive evolution at a large scale.This study identifies and evaluates a set of homeotic gradients across 250 extant and fossil mammalian species and their antecedents over a period of 220 million years. These traits are generally expressed as co-linear gradients along the body axis rather than as distinct segmental identities. Relative position or occurrence sequence vary independently and are subject to polarity reversal and mirroring. Five major gradient modification sets are identified: (1--quantitative changes of primary segmental identity pattern that appeared at the origin of the tetrapods ; (2--frame shift relation of costal and vertebral identity which diversifies from the time of amniote origins; (3--duplication, mirroring, splitting and diversification of the neomorphic laminar process first commencing at the dawn of mammals; (4--emergence of homologically variable lumbar lateral processes upon commencement of the radiation of therian mammals and ; (5--inflexions and transpositions of the relative position of the horizontal septum of the body and the neuraxis at the emergence of various orders of therian mammals. Convergent functional changes under homeotic control include laminar articular engagement with septo-neural transposition and ventrally arrayed lumbar transverse process support systems.Clusters of homeotic transformations mark the emergence point of mammals in the Triassic and the radiation of therians in the Cretaceous. A cluster of homeotic changes in the Miocene hominoid Morotopithecus that are still seen in humans supports establishment of a new "hominiform" clade and suggests a homeotic origin for the human upright body plan.

  2. Chlamydiaceae Genomics Reveals Interspecies Admixture and the Recent Evolution of Chlamydia abortus Infecting Lower Mammalian Species and Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Sandeep J; Marti, Hanna; Didelot, Xavier; Castillo-Ramirez, Santiago; Read, Timothy D; Dean, Deborah

    2015-10-27

    Chlamydiaceae are obligate intracellular bacteria that cause a diversity of severe infections among humans and livestock on a global scale. Identification of new species since 1989 and emergence of zoonotic infections, including abortion in women, underscore the need for genome sequencing of multiple strains of each species to advance our knowledge of evolutionary dynamics across Chlamydiaceae. Here, we genome sequenced isolates from avian, lower mammalian and human hosts. Based on core gene phylogeny, five isolates previously classified as Chlamydia abortus were identified as members of Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia pecorum. Chlamydia abortus is the most recently emerged species and is a highly monomorphic group that lacks the conserved virulence-associated plasmid. Low-level recombination and evidence for adaptation to the placenta echo evolutionary processes seen in recently emerged, highly virulent niche-restricted pathogens, such as Bacillus anthracis. In contrast, gene flow occurred within C. psittaci and other Chlamydiaceae species. The C. psittaci strain RTH, isolated from a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), is an outlying strain with admixture of C. abortus, C. psittaci, and its own population markers. An average nucleotide identity of less than 94% compared with other Chlamydiaceae species suggests that RTH belongs to a new species intermediary between C. psittaci and C. abortus. Hawks, as scavengers and predators, have extensive opportunities to acquire multiple species in their intestinal tract. This could facilitate transformation and homologous recombination with the potential for new species emergence. Our findings indicate that incubator hosts such as birds-of-prey likely promote Chlamydiaceae evolution resulting in novel pathogenic lineages. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  3. AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION IN THE LINE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION IS THE ONSET OF NUTRITIONAL METABOLIC DISEASES, EPIDEMIC OF CANCER AND THE INFECTIOUS DISEASES

    OpenAIRE

    Soroush Niknamian

    2017-01-01

    This study goes deeply through the nutrition of the first primate and analyses the nutrition in the line of human evolution. Simply dividing the shifts in the nutrition through the human evolution, it is obvious that some elements in the diet are more important than the others. Since the beginning of the Neolithic, the ratio of plant-to-animal foods in the diet has sharply increased from an average of probably 65% to 35% during Paleolithic times to as high as 90% to 10% since the advent of ag...

  4. AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION IN THE LINE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION IS THE ONSET OF NUTRITIONAL METABOLIC DISEASES, EPIDEMIC OF CANCER AND THE INFECTIOUS DISEASES - Somayeh Zaminpira - Sorush Niknamian

    OpenAIRE

    Somayeh Zaminpira; Sorush Niknamian

    2017-01-01

    This study goes deeply through the nutrition of the first primate and analyses the nutrition in the line of human evolution. Simply dividing the shifts in the nutrition through the human evolution, it is obvious that some elements in the diet are more important than the others. Since the beginning of the Neolithic, the ratio of plant-to-animal foods in the diet has sharply increased from an average of probably 65% to 35% during Paleolithic times to as high as 90% to 10% since the advent of ag...

  5. Comparative studies of placentation and immunology in non-human primates suggest a scenario for the evolution of deep trophoblast invasion and an explanation for human pregnancy disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael

    2011-01-01

    in the orangutan and became polymorphic in the lineage leading to gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, and human. Interaction between HLA-C1 and HLA-C2 on the surface of trophoblast and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) expressed by uterine natural killer cells are important regulators of trophoblast invasion....... Evolution of this system in great apes may have been one prerequisite for deep trophoblast invasion but seems to have come at a price. The evidence now suggests that certain combinations of maternal genotype for KIRs and fetal genotype for HLA-C imply an increased risk of preeclampsia, fetal growth...... restriction, and recurrent abortion. The fetal genotype is in part derived from the father providing an explanation for the paternal contribution to reproductive disorders....

  6. Bipedality and hair loss in human evolution revisited: The impact of altitude and activity scheduling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dávid-Barrett, Tamás; Dunbar, Robin I M

    2016-05-01

    Bipedality evolved early in hominin evolution, and at some point was associated with hair loss over most of the body. One classic explanation (Wheeler 1984: J. Hum. Evol. 13, 91-98) was that these traits evolved to reduce heat overload when australopiths were foraging in more open tropical habitats where they were exposed to the direct effects of sunlight at midday. A recent critique of this model (Ruxton & Wilkinson 2011a: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 20965-20969) argued that it ignored the endogenous costs of heat generated by locomotion, and concluded that only hair loss provided a significant reduction in heat load. We add two crucial corrections to this model (the altitude at which australopiths actually lived and activity scheduling) and show that when these are included there are substantial reductions in heat load for bipedal locomotion even for furred animals. In addition, we add one further consideration to the model: we extend the analysis across the full 24 h day, and show that fur loss could not have evolved until much later because of the thermoregulatory costs this would have incurred at the altitudes where australopiths actually lived. Fur loss is most likely associated with the exploitation of open habitats at much lower altitudes at a much later date by the genus Homo. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolution of feline immunodeficiency virus in Felidae: implications for human health and wildlife ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecon-Slattery, Jill; Troyer, Jennifer L; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2008-05-15

    Genetic analyses of feline immunodeficiency viruses provide significant insights on the worldwide distribution and evolutionary history of this emerging pathogen. Large-scale screening of over 3000 samples from all species of Felidae indicates that at least some individuals from most species possess antibodies that cross react to FIV. Phylogenetic analyses of genetic variation in the pol-RT gene demonstrate that FIV lineages are species-specific and suggest that there has been a prolonged period of viral-host co-evolution. The clinical effects of FIV specific to species other than domestic cat are controversial. Comparative genomic analyses of all full-length FIV genomes confirmed that FIV is host specific. Recently sequenced lion subtype E is marginally more similar to Pallas cat FIV though env is more similar to that of domestic cat FIV, indicating a possible recombination between two divergent strains in the wild. Here we review global patterns of FIV seroprevalence and endemnicity, assess genetic differences within and between species-specific FIV strains, and interpret these with patterns of felid speciation to propose an ancestral origin of FIV in Africa followed by interspecies transmission and global dissemination to Eurasia and the Americas. Continued comparative genomic analyses of full-length FIV from all seropositive animals, along with whole genome sequence of host species, will greatly advance our understanding of the role of recombination, selection and adaptation in retroviral emergence.

  8. Differential Evolutionary Constraints in the Evolution of Chemoreceptors: A Murine and Human Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo D’Oliveira Albanus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemoreception is among the most important sensory modalities in animals. Organisms use the ability to perceive chemical compounds in all major ecological activities. Recent studies have allowed the characterization of chemoreceptor gene families. These genes present strikingly high variability in copy numbers and pseudogenization degrees among different species, but the mechanisms underlying their evolution are not fully understood. We have analyzed the functional networks of these genes, their orthologs distribution, and performed phylogenetic analyses in order to investigate their evolutionary dynamics. We have modeled the chemosensory networks and compared the evolutionary constraints of their genes in Mus musculus, Homo sapiens, and Rattus norvegicus. We have observed significant differences regarding the constraints on the orthologous groups and network topologies of chemoreceptors and signal transduction machinery. Our findings suggest that chemosensory receptor genes are less constrained than their signal transducing machinery, resulting in greater receptor diversity and conservation of information processing pathways. More importantly, we have observed significant differences among the receptors themselves, suggesting that olfactory and bitter taste receptors are more conserved than vomeronasal receptors.

  9. The Ethics of Human Life Extension: The Second Argument from Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyngell, Chris

    2015-12-01

    One argument that is sometimes made against pursuing radical forms of human life extension is that such interventions will make the species less evolvable, which would be morally undesirable. In this article, I discuss the empirical and evaluative claims of this argument. I argue that radical increases in life expectancy could, in principle, reduce the evolutionary potential of human populations through both biological and cultural mechanisms. I further argue that if life extension did reduce the evolvability of the species, this will be undesirable for three reasons: (1) it may increase the species' susceptibility to extinction risks, (2) it may adversely affect institutions and practices that promote well-being, and (3) it may impede moral progress. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. A new viewpoint on the evolution of sexually dimorphic human faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Darren; Sulikowski, Danielle

    2010-10-21

    Human faces show marked sexual shape dimorphism, and this affects their attractiveness. Humans also show marked height dimorphism, which means that men typically view women's faces from slightly above and women typically view men's faces from slightly below. We tested the idea that this perspective difference may be the evolutionary origin of the face shape dimorphism by having males and females rate the masculinity/femininity and attractiveness of male and female faces that had been manipulated in pitch (forward or backward tilt), simulating viewing the face from slightly above or below. As predicted, tilting female faces upwards decreased their perceived femininity and attractiveness, whereas tilting them downwards increased their perceived femininity and attractiveness. Male faces tilted up were judged to be more masculine, and tilted down judged to be less masculine. This suggests that sexual selection may have embodied this viewpoint difference into the actual facial proportions of men and women.

  11. A New Viewpoint on the Evolution of Sexually Dimorphic Human Faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Burke

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Human faces show marked sexual shape dimorphism, and this affects their attractiveness. Humans also show marked height dimorphism, which means that men typically view women's faces from slightly above and women typically view men's faces from slightly below. We tested the idea that this perspective difference may be the evolutionary origin of the face shape dimorphism by having males and females rate the masculinity/femininity and attractiveness of male and female faces that had been manipulated in pitch (forward or backward tilt, simulating viewing the face from slightly above or below. As predicted, tilting female faces upwards decreased their perceived femininity and attractiveness, whereas tilting them downwards increased their perceived femininity and attractiveness. Male faces tilted up were judged to be more masculine, and tilted down judged to be less masculine. This suggests that sexual selection may have embodied this viewpoint difference into the actual facial proportions of men and women.

  12. THE AGE OF FREE WILL AND HUMAN VALUES : Sex Tourisms Evolution and Its Impact

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Mahfuz; Baghdasaryan, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    This thesis discussed about sex tourism which refers to how sex tourism works and its history. Human trafficking and sex trafficking was discussed as well as sex tourism which is involved directly to tourism industry was explained. The main goal of this thesis was to raise awareness of sex tourism violations. This thesis is about sex tourism and discussed the definition of rules and regulations from different international organizations and international newspapers and magazines as well a...

  13. Parallel or convergent evolution in human population genomic data revealed by genotype networks

    OpenAIRE

    Vahdati, Ali R; Wagner, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Background Genotype networks are representations of genetic variation data that are complementary to phylogenetic trees. A genotype network is a graph whose nodes are genotypes (DNA sequences) with the same broadly defined phenotype. Two nodes are connected if they differ in some minimal way, e.g., in a single nucleotide. Results We analyze human genome variation data from the 1,000 genomes project, and construct haploid genotype (haplotype) networks for 12,235 protein coding genes. The struc...

  14. Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era

    OpenAIRE

    Antoci, Angelo; Sabatini, Fabio; Sodini, Mauro

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to theoretically analyze how human interaction may evolve in a world characterized by the explosion of online networking and other Web-mediated ways of building and nurturing relationships. The analysis shows that online networking yields a storage mechanism through which any individual contribution - e.g. a blog post, a comment, or a photo - is stored within a particular network and ready for virtual access by each member who connects to the network. When someo...

  15. Drift, admixture, and selection in human evolution: a study with DNA polymorphisms.

    OpenAIRE

    Bowcock, A M; Kidd, J R; Mountain, J L; Hebert, J M; Carotenuto, L; Kidd, K K; Cavalli-Sforza, L L

    1991-01-01

    Accuracy of evolutionary analysis of populations within a species requires the testing of a large number of genetic polymorphisms belonging to many loci. We report here a reconstruction of human differentiation based on 100 DNA polymorphisms tested in five populations from four continents. The results agree with earlier conclusions based on other classes of genetic markers but reveal that Europeans do not fit a simple model of independently evolving populations with equal evolutionary rates. ...

  16. Rapid Evolution from the First Episode of Acute Pancreatitis to Chronic Pancreatitis in Human Subjects

    OpenAIRE

    Elie Aoun; Adam Slivka; Dionysios J Papachristou; David C Whitcomb; Ferga C Gleeson; Georgios I Papachristou

    2007-01-01

    Context Growing evidence suggests that recurrent acute pancreatitis leads to chronic pancreatitis, but this sequence is seldom reported in human subjects. The sentinel acute pancreatitis event hypothesis suggests that an initial episode of acute pancreatitis is the first step in a complicated series of events ultimately leading to chronic pancreatitis. Objective To identify patients who evolved from recurrent acute pancreatitis to chronic pancreatitis. Setting The Severity of Acute Pancreatit...

  17. Organization and evolution of Drosophila terminin: similarities and differences between Drosophila and human telomeres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazia Daniela Raffa

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila lacks telomerase and fly telomeres are elongated by occasional transposition of three specialized retroelements. Drosophila telomeres do not terminate with GC-rich repeats and are assembled independently of the sequence of chromosome ends. Recent work has shown that Drosophila telomeres are capped by the terminin complex, which includes the fast-evolving proteins HOAP, HipHop, Moi and Ver. These proteins are not conserves outside Drosophilidae and localize and function exclusively at telomeres, protecting them from fusion events. Other proteins required to prevent end-to-end fusion in flies include HP1, Eff/UbcD1, ATM, the components of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs (MRN complex, and the Woc transcription factor. These proteins do not share the terminin properties; they are evolutionarily conserved non-fast-evolving proteins that do not accumulate only telomeres and do not serve telomere-specific functions. We propose that following telomerase loss, Drosophila rapidly evolved terminin to bind chromosome ends in a sequence-independent manner. This hypothesis suggests that terminin is the functional analog of the shelterin complex that protects human telomeres. The non-terminin proteins are instead likely to correspond to ancestral telomere-associated proteins that did not evolve as rapidly as terminin because of the functional constraints imposed by their involvement in diverse cellular processes. Thus, it appears that the main difference between Drosophila and human telomeres is in the protective complexes that specifically associate with the DNA termini. We believe that Drosophila telomeres offer excellent opportunities for investigations on human telomere biology. The identification of additional Drosophila genes encoding non-terminin proteins involved in telomere protection might lead to the discovery of novel components of human telomeres.

  18. Ecology and Evolution of the Human Microbiota: Fire, Farming and Antibiotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Gillings

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human activities significantly affect all ecosystems on the planet, including the assemblages that comprise our own microbiota. Over the last five million years, various evolutionary and ecological drivers have altered the composition of the human microbiota, including the use of fire, the invention of agriculture, and the increasing availability of processed foods after the Industrial Revolution. However, no factor has had a faster or more direct effect than antimicrobial agents. Biocides, disinfectants and antibiotics select for individual cells that carry resistance genes, immediately reducing both overall microbial diversity and within-species genetic diversity. Treated individuals may never recover their original diversity, and repeated treatments lead to a series of genetic bottlenecks. The sequential introduction of diverse antimicrobial agents has selected for increasingly complex DNA elements that carry multiple resistance genes, and has fostered their spread through the human microbiota. Practices that interfere with microbial colonization, such as sanitation, Caesarian births and bottle-feeding, exacerbate the effects of antimicrobials, generating species-poor and less resilient microbial assemblages in the developed world. More and more evidence is accumulating that these perturbations to our internal ecosystems lie at the heart of many diseases whose frequency has shown a dramatic increase over the last half century.

  19. Evolution of the clonogenic potential of human epidermal stem/progenitor cells with age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zobiri O

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Olivia Zobiri, Nathalie Deshayes, Michelle Rathman-JosserandDepartment of Biological Research, L'Oréal Advanced Research, Clichy Cedex, FranceAbstract: A number of clinical observations have indicated that the regenerative potential and overall function of the epidermis is modified with age. The epidermis becomes thinner, repairs itself less efficiently after wounding, and presents modified barrier function recovery. In addition, the dermal papillae flatten out with increasing age, suggesting a modification in the interaction between epidermal and dermal compartments. As the epidermal regenerative capacity is dependent upon stem and progenitor cell function, it is naturally of interest to identify and understand age-related changes in these particular keratinocyte populations. Previous studies have indicated that the number of stem cells does not decrease with age in mouse models but little solid evidence is currently available concerning human skin. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clonogenic potential of keratinocyte populations isolated from the epidermis of over 50 human donors ranging from 18 to 71 years old. The data indicate that the number of epidermal cells presenting high regenerative potential does not dramatically decline with age in human skin. The authors believe that changes in the microenvironment controlling epidermal basal cell activity are more likely to explain the differences in epidermal function observed with increasing age.Keywords: skin, epidermal stem cells, aging, colony-forming efficiency test

  20. Evolution in a Contemporary Human Population: Intersexual Constraints and Costs of Reproduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stearns, Stephen [Yale University

    2012-03-14

    In this talk I will use an analysis of the population described in the Framingham Heart Study to make three points: (1) Contemporary humans are still evolving, and we can in part predict how they are responding to selection. (2) Selection on males and females differs, and its interaction with intersexual genetic correlations constrains the responses of each sex to selection. In other words, males are constrained by processes occurring in females, and females are constrained by processes occurring in males. (3) There are costs of reproduction in humans that are paid in lifespan, but it is likely that these costs were deferred to a point at which our ancestors would already have died for other reasons. When we detect those costs today, we find evidence that the versions of some genes that make us susceptible to cancer also increase reproductive success early in life. This confirms in humans a central assumption of the evolutionary theory of aging – the existence of genes that mediate a tradeoff between reproduction and survival - that had previously only been confirmed in model organisms like fruit flies and worms.

  1. Ecology and Evolution of the Human Microbiota: Fire, Farming and Antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillings, Michael R; Paulsen, Ian T; Tetu, Sasha G

    2015-09-08

    Human activities significantly affect all ecosystems on the planet, including the assemblages that comprise our own microbiota. Over the last five million years, various evolutionary and ecological drivers have altered the composition of the human microbiota, including the use of fire, the invention of agriculture, and the increasing availability of processed foods after the Industrial Revolution. However, no factor has had a faster or more direct effect than antimicrobial agents. Biocides, disinfectants and antibiotics select for individual cells that carry resistance genes, immediately reducing both overall microbial diversity and within-species genetic diversity. Treated individuals may never recover their original diversity, and repeated treatments lead to a series of genetic bottlenecks. The sequential introduction of diverse antimicrobial agents has selected for increasingly complex DNA elements that carry multiple resistance genes, and has fostered their spread through the human microbiota. Practices that interfere with microbial colonization, such as sanitation, Caesarian births and bottle-feeding, exacerbate the effects of antimicrobials, generating species-poor and less resilient microbial assemblages in the developed world. More and more evidence is accumulating that these perturbations to our internal ecosystems lie at the heart of many diseases whose frequency has shown a dramatic increase over the last half century.

  2. Short term outcome of posterior dynamic stabilization system in degenerative lumbar diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingyuan Yang

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: Dynamic stabilization system treating lumbar degenerative disease showed clinical benefits with motion preservation of the operated segments, but does not have the significant advantage on motion preservation at adjacent segments, to avoid the degeneration of adjacent intervertebral disk.

  3. Transcriptomic alterations during ageing reflect the shift from cancer to degenerative diseases in the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aramillo Irizar, Peer; Schäuble, Sascha; Esser, Daniela; Groth, Marco; Frahm, Christiane; Priebe, Steffen; Baumgart, Mario; Hartmann, Nils; Marthandan, Shiva; Menzel, Uwe; Müller, Julia; Schmidt, Silvio; Ast, Volker; Caliebe, Amke; König, Rainer; Krawczak, Michael; Ristow, Michael; Schuster, Stefan; Cellerino, Alessandro; Diekmann, Stephan; Englert, Christoph; Hemmerich, Peter; Sühnel, Jürgen; Guthke, Reinhard; Witte, Otto W; Platzer, Matthias; Ruppin, Eytan; Kaleta, Christoph

    2018-01-30

    Disease epidemiology during ageing shows a transition from cancer to degenerative chronic disorders as dominant contributors to mortality in the old. Nevertheless, it has remained unclear to what extent molecular signatures of ageing reflect this phenomenon. Here we report on the identification of a conserved transcriptomic signature of ageing based on gene expression data from four vertebrate species across four tissues. We find that ageing-associated transcriptomic changes follow trajectories similar to the transcriptional alterations observed in degenerative ageing diseases but are in opposite direction to the transcriptomic alterations observed in cancer. We confirm the existence of a similar antagonism on the genomic level, where a majority of shared risk alleles which increase the risk of cancer decrease the risk of chronic degenerative disorders and vice versa. These results reveal a fundamental trade-off between cancer and degenerative ageing diseases that sheds light on the pronounced shift in their epidemiology during ageing.

  4. Evolution of life history and behavior in Hominidae: towards phylogenetic reconstruction of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duda, Pavel; Zrzavý, Jan

    2013-10-01

    The origin of the fundamental behavioral differences between humans and our closest living relatives is one of the central issues of evolutionary anthropology. The prominent, chimpanzee-based referential model of early hominin behavior has recently been challenged on the basis of broad multispecies comparisons and newly discovered fossil evidence. Here, we argue that while behavioral data on extant great apes are extremely relevant for reconstruction of ancestral behaviors, these behaviors should be reconstructed trait by trait using formal phylogenetic methods. Using the widely accepted hominoid phylogenetic tree, we perform a series of character optimization analyses using 65 selected life-history and behavioral characters for all extant hominid species. This analysis allows us to reconstruct the character states of the last common ancestors of Hominoidea, Hominidae, and the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Our analyses demonstrate that many fundamental behavioral and life-history attributes of hominids (including humans) are evidently ancient and likely inherited from the common ancestor of all hominids. However, numerous behaviors present in extant great apes represent their own terminal autapomorphies (both uniquely derived and homoplastic). Any evolutionary model that uses a single extant species to explain behavioral evolution of early hominins is therefore of limited use. In contrast, phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states is able to provide a detailed suite of behavioral, ecological and life-history characters for each hypothetical ancestor. The living great apes therefore play an important role for the confident identification of the traits found in the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor, some of which are likely to represent behaviors of the fossil hominins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Lymphocyte concanavalin A capping: a similarity between Down's syndrome and early onset primary degenerative dementia.

    OpenAIRE

    Duijndam-van den Berge, M; Goekoop, J G

    1986-01-01

    Lymphocyte capping with concanavalin A was studied in adult patients with Down's syndrome and aged patients with primary degenerative dementia. In both disorders a decreased capping was found as compared with age-matched and clinically relevant control groups. Colchicine had a strong enhancing effect on capping in Down's syndrome. In primary degenerative dementia the enhancing effect of colchicine was restricted to a subgroup of patients with onset of the dementing illness before the age of 8...

  6. Pathological study of degenerative changes of finger joints in cadavers of aged persons

    OpenAIRE

    岩田,芳之

    1987-01-01

    In the present study, soft x-ray and light microscopic examinations were carried out on 17 interphalangeal (IP) joints and 85 distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints with Heberden's nodes from 15 cadavers. Microradiograms of the IP and DIP joints were analyzed as to the degenerative changes in the antero-posterior and lateral views according to our own criteria. Degenerative changes were more severe in females than in males. Advanced degeneration was found in the index, middle and little fingers,...

  7. Detection of degenerative disease of the temporomandibular joint by bone scintigraphy: concise communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldstein, H.A.; Bloom, C.Y.

    1980-01-01

    Nine patients with facial pain were evaluated with limited bone scans. The scintigrams correlated with microscopy in all patients, although radiographs correlated with microscopy in only five patients. The degenerative disease process in the temporomandibular joint was more extensive in the patients with radiographic and scintigraphic abnormalities than in those with scintigraphic abnormalities alone. The limited bone scan appears useful in detecting early degenerative changes in the temporomandibular joint

  8. MR and MR arthrography to identify degenerative and posttraumatic diseases in the shoulder joint

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Shi-Uk; Lang, Philipp

    2000-01-01

    MR imaging provides a comprehensive evaluation of a wide spectrum of both intraarticular and extraarticular pathology of the shoulder. MR imaging enables the detection or exclusion of degenerative and posttraumatic diseases of the shoulder with a reasonable accuracy. MR arthrography is useful in the visualization of subtle anatomic details and further improves the differentiation. In this article, findings of MR imaging and MR arthrography of degenerative and posttraumatic shoulder diseases (impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and glenohumeral instability) has been reviewed

  9. Degenerative Changes of the Facet Joints in Adults With Lumbar Spondylolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goda, Yuichiro; Sakai, Toshinori; Harada, Taihei; Takao, Shoichiro; Takata, Yoichiro; Higashino, Kosaku; Harada, Masafumi; Sairyo, Koichi

    2017-07-01

    Radiologic analysis using computed tomography. To analyze the degenerative changes of the facet joints in patients with spondylolysis in comparison with control subjects. Defects of the pars interarticularis are thought to result in a reduction of biomechanical stress on adjacent facet joints. Therefore, degenerative changes of the facet joints in patients with spondylolysis are expected to be less than those in patients without spondylolysis. Abdominal and pelvic multidetector computed tomography scans of 2000 subjects, performed for conditions unrelated to low back pain, were reviewed. A total of 107 patients (37 women and 70 men) with L5 spondylolysis were identified [spondylolysis (+) group]. Sex-matched and age-matched controls without spondylolysis were chosen randomly [spondylolysis (-) group]. Subjects in the spondylolysis group were subdivided into either bilateral spondylolysis or unilateral spondylolysis groups for comparison with the control group. Four radiologic findings (narrowing, sclerosis, osteophyte, and bone cyst) indicative of degenerative change of the facet joints adjacent to the L5 pars defects were evaluated and the degree of degenerative change was graded by summing the number of degenerative changes (score range, 0-4). The χ test and Mann-Whitney U test were used for statistical analysis. Significantly more degenerative changes in both L4/L5 and L5/S facet joints were found in the spondylolysis (+) group than in the spondylolysis (-) group (χ test, P spondylolysis (+) group than in the spondylolysis (-) group. Degenerative changes of the facet joints at both L4/L5 and L5/S were more severe in the unilateral spondylolysis (+) group than in the spondylolysis (-) group. Degenerative changes of the facet joints in patients with lumbar spondylolysis were more severe than those without spondylolysis.

  10. Advanced glycation end-products produced systemically and by macrophages: A common contributor to inflammation and degenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byun, Kyunghee; Yoo, YongCheol; Son, Myeongjoo; Lee, Jaesuk; Jeong, Goo-Bo; Park, Young Mok; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini; Lee, Bonghee

    2017-09-01

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their receptor have been implicated in the progressions of many intractable diseases, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis, and are also critical for pathologic changes in chronic degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and alcoholic brain damage. Recently activated macrophages were found to be a source of AGEs, and the most abundant form of AGEs, AGE-albumin excreted by macrophages has been implicated in these diseases and to act through common pathways. AGEs inhibition has been shown to prevent the pathogenesis of AGEs-related diseases in human, and therapeutic advances have resulted in several agents that prevent their adverse effects. Recently, anti-inflammatory molecules that inhibit AGEs have been shown to be good candidates for ameliorating diabetic complications as well as degenerative diseases. This review was undertaken to present, discuss, and clarify current understanding regarding AGEs formation in association with macrophages, different diseases, therapeutic and diagnostic strategy and links with RAGE inhibition. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Signatures of environmental genetic adaptation pinpoint pathogens as the main selective pressure through human evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Fumagalli

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Previous genome-wide scans of positive natural selection in humans have identified a number of non-neutrally evolving genes that play important roles in skin pigmentation, metabolism, or immune function. Recent studies have also shown that a genome-wide pattern of local adaptation can be detected by identifying correlations between patterns of allele frequencies and environmental variables. Despite these observations, the degree to which natural selection is primarily driven by adaptation to local environments, and the role of pathogens or other ecological factors as selective agents, is still under debate. To address this issue, we correlated the spatial allele frequency distribution of a large sample of SNPs from 55 distinct human populations to a set of environmental factors that describe local geographical features such as climate, diet regimes, and pathogen loads. In concordance with previous studies, we detected a significant enrichment of genic SNPs, and particularly non-synonymous SNPs associated with local adaptation. Furthermore, we show that the diversity of the local pathogenic environment is the predominant driver of local adaptation, and that climate, at least as measured here, only plays a relatively minor role. While background demography by far makes the strongest contribution in explaining the genetic variance among populations, we detected about 100 genes which show an unexpectedly strong correlation between allele frequencies and pathogenic environment, after correcting for demography. Conversely, for diet regimes and climatic conditions, no genes show a similar correlation between the environmental factor and allele frequencies. This result is validated using low-coverage sequencing data for multiple populations. Among the loci targeted by pathogen-driven selection, we found an enrichment of genes associated to autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and multiples sclerosis, which lends credence to the

  12. Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date makes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Russell D; Atkinson, Quentin D; Greenhill, Simon J

    2011-04-12

    Historical inference is at its most powerful when independent lines of evidence can be integrated into a coherent account. Dating linguistic and cultural lineages can potentially play a vital role in the integration of evidence from linguistics, anthropology, archaeology and genetics. Unfortunately, although the comparative method in historical linguistics can provide a relative chronology, it cannot provide absolute date estimates and an alternative approach, called glottochronology, is fundamentally flawed. In this paper we outline how computational phylogenetic methods can reliably estimate language divergence dates and thus help resolve long-standing debates about human prehistory ranging from the origin of the Indo-European language family to the peopling of the Pacific.

  13. Frying process in the relation fat/degenerative diseases.

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    Varela, G.

    1998-08-01

    Full Text Available Among the various components of the diet, fat receives very dose attention because of its relationship to several chronic degenerative diseases (CDD. Currently most of the available information on these relationships is derived from epidemiologic or experimental studies in which lipid intake is calculated using food composition tables. In most of these tables the quoted lipid content is that of raw food, whereas most foods are usually consumed only after being subjected to several culinary processes. Often there is no indication of the type of fat used in food processing in general or in frying in particular. But as it known, in the course of these processes the lipid content undergoes important qualitative and quantitative changes and not keeping them in mind may be the underlying cause of the difficulties an the confounding results in studies trying to establish the relationship between lipid intake an health. In the Mediterranean diet, about 50% of total dietary fat is derived not from the food itself but from the cooking fat, of which only a small fraction is eaten raw (as dressings and the greatest proportion is used in thermal culinary processes, mainly deep-frying. The scientific study of the process whereby fat penetrates into fried foods has shown the benefits of this cooking method. If the process is correctly carried out, the amount of fat ingested with fried foodstuffs is not greater than when other procedures involving fat are used (for example, sautening, stewing or canning in oil. Very schematically deep-frying is a technique that replaces a fraction of the water content of food by cooking fat. Consecuently, the fat composition of the fried lean foods will be the same as that cooking fat. The process is more complex with fatty foods, and there are not great changes in the total quantity of fat in the fried food before and after frying. However, there are notable quality changes and these depend on the concentration gradients

  14. Structural and Sequence Similarities of Hydra Xeroderma Pigmentosum A Protein to Human Homolog Suggest Early Evolution and Conservation

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    Apurva Barve

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA is a protein that binds to damaged DNA, verifies presence of a lesion, and recruits other proteins of the nucleotide excision repair (NER pathway to the site. Though its homologs from yeast, Drosophila, humans, and so forth are well studied, XPA has not so far been reported from protozoa and lower animal phyla. Hydra is a fresh-water cnidarian with a remarkable capacity for regeneration and apparent lack of organismal ageing. Cnidarians are among the first metazoa with a defined body axis, tissue grade organisation, and nervous system. We report here for the first time presence of XPA gene in hydra. Putative protein sequence of hydra XPA contains nuclear localization signal and bears the zinc-finger motif. It contains two conserved Pfam domains and various characterized features of XPA proteins like regions for binding to excision repair cross-complementing protein-1 (ERCC1 and replication protein A 70 kDa subunit (RPA70 proteins. Hydra XPA shows a high degree of similarity with vertebrate homologs and clusters with deuterostomes in phylogenetic analysis. Homology modelling corroborates the very close similarity between hydra and human XPA. The protein thus most likely functions in hydra in the same manner as in other animals, indicating that it arose early in evolution and has been conserved across animal phyla.

  15. Facet joint orientation and tropism in lumbar degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichaisak, Witchate; Chotiyarnwong, Chayaporn; Chotiyarnwong, Pojchong

    2015-04-01

    Although degenerative disc disease (DDD) and degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) are two common causes of back pain in elderly, the association between the lumbarfacet joint angle and tropism in these conditions are still unclear. To evaluate the difference in facet joint angles between normal population and lumbar degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis patient. The angle of lumbar facet joints were retrospectively measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine whether there was a difference between degenerative diseases. MRI of patients with DDD, DS, and control group at facet joint between L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1 level were measured in axial view (60 subjects in each group). There was no difference infacetjoint angle in DDD (44.1 ± 11.9) and control (45.6 ± 8.9), but differed in DS (40.1 ± 10. 7) and control group (p = 0.010) at L4-5 level. Facet tropism showed difference between degenerative groups and control group at L4-5 level. DS group showed difference in facet joints angle and tropism when compared with control population, while DDD showed difference only in facet tropism. In addition, longitudinal studies are needed to understand the clinical significant between facet joint angle and tropism in spinal degenerative diseases.

  16. CRISPR Epigenome Editing of AKAP150 in DRG Neurons Abolishes Degenerative IVD-Induced Neuronal Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stover, Joshua D; Farhang, Niloofar; Berrett, Kristofer C; Gertz, Jason; Lawrence, Brandon; Bowles, Robby D

    2017-09-06

    Back pain is a major contributor to disability and has significant socioeconomic impacts worldwide. The degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) has been hypothesized to contribute to back pain, but a better understanding of the interactions between the degenerative IVD and nociceptive neurons innervating the disc and treatment strategies that directly target these interactions is needed to improve our understanding and treatment of back pain. We investigated degenerative IVD-induced changes to dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron activity and utilized CRISPR epigenome editing as a neuromodulation strategy. By exposing DRG neurons to degenerative IVD-conditioned media under both normal and pathological IVD pH levels, we demonstrate that degenerative IVDs trigger interleukin (IL)-6-induced increases in neuron activity to thermal stimuli, which is directly mediated by AKAP and enhanced by acidic pH. Utilizing this novel information on AKAP-mediated increases in nociceptive neuron activity, we developed lentiviral CRISPR epigenome editing vectors that modulate endogenous expression of AKAP150 by targeted promoter histone methylation. When delivered to DRG neurons, these epigenome-modifying vectors abolished degenerative IVD-induced DRG-elevated neuron activity while preserving non-pathologic neuron activity. This work elucidates the potential for CRISPR epigenome editing as a targeted gene-based pain neuromodulation strategy. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Lumbar paraspinal muscle transverse area and symmetry in dogs with and without degenerative lumbosacral stenosis.

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    Henderson, A L; Hecht, S; Millis, D L

    2015-10-01

    To investigate whether dogs with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis have decreased lumbar paraspinal muscle transverse area and symmetry compared with control dogs. Retrospective cross-sectional study comparing muscles in transverse T2-weighted magnetic resonance images for nine dogs with and nine dogs without degenerative -lumbosacral stenosis. Mean transverse area was measured for the lumbar multifidus and sacrocaudalis dorsalis lateralis muscles bilaterally and the L7 vertebral body at the level of the caudal endplate. Transverse areas of both muscle groups relative to L7 and asymmetry indices were compared between study populations using independent t tests. Mean muscle-to-L7 transverse area ratios were significantly smaller in the degenerative lumbosacral stenosis group compared with those in the control group in both lumbar multifidus (0·84 ±0·26 versus 1·09 ±0·25; P=0·027) and sacrocaudalis dorsalis lateralis (0·5 ±0·15 versus 0·68 ±0·12; P=0·005) muscles. Mean asymmetry indices were higher for both muscles in the group with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis than in the control group, but highly variable and the difference was not statistically significant. These findings suggest that dogs with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis have decreased lumbar paraspinal muscle mass that may be a cause or consequence of the -syndrome. Understanding altered paraspinal muscle characteristics may improve understanding of the -pathophysiology and management options for degenerative lumbosacral stenosis. © 2015 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

  18. Degenerative effects in rat eyes after experimental ocular hypertension

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    G. Scarsella

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This study was used to evaluate the degenerative effects on the retina and eye-cup sections after experimental induction of acute ocular hypertension on animal models. In particular, vascular events were directly focused in this research in order to assess the vascular remodeling after transient ocular hypertension on rat models. After local anaesthesia by administration of eye drops of 0.4% oxibuprocaine, 16 male adult Wistar rats were injected in the anterior chamber of the right eye with 15 µL of methylcellulose (MTC 2% in physiological solution. The morphology and the vessels of the retina and eye-cup sections were examined in animals sacrificed 72 h after induction of ocular hypertension. In retinal fluorescein angiographies (FAGs, by means of fluorescein isothiocyanate-coniugated dextran (FITC, the radial venules showed enlargements and increased branching, while the arterioles appeared focally thickened. The length and size of actually perfused vessels appeared increased in the whole superficial plexus. In eye-cup sections of MTC-injected animals, in deep plexus and connecting layer there was a bigger increase of vessels than in controls. Moreover, the immunolocalization of astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP revealed its increased expression in internal limiting membrane and ganglion cell layer, as well as its presence in Müller cells. Finally, the pro-angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF was found to be especially expressed by neurones of ganglion cell layer, both in control and in MTC-injected eyes. The data obtained in this experimental model on the interactions among glia, vessels and neurons should be useful to evaluate if also in glaucomatous patients the activation of vessel-adjacent glial cells might play key roles in following neuronal dysfunction.

  19. Degenerative effects in rat eyes after experimental ocular hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarsella, G; Nebbioso, M; Stefanini, S; Pescosolido, N

    2012-10-08

    This study was used to evaluate the degenerative effects on the retina and eye-cup sections after experimental induction of acute ocular hypertension on animal models. In particular, vascular events were directly focused in this research in order to assess the vascular remodeling after transient ocular hypertension on rat models. After local anaesthesia by administration of eye drops of 0.4% oxibuprocaine, 16 male adult Wistar rats were injected in the anterior chamber of the right eye with 15 µL of methylcellulose (MTC) 2% in physiological solution. The morphology and the vessels of the retina and eye-cup sections were examined in animals sacrificed 72 h after induction of ocular hypertension. In retinal fluorescein angiographies (FAGs), by means of fluorescein isothiocyanate-coniugated dextran (FITC), the radial venules showed enlargements and increased branching, while the arterioles appeared focally thickened. The length and size of actually perfused vessels appeared increased in the whole superficial plexus. In eye-cup sections of MTC-injected animals, in deep plexus and connecting layer there was a bigger increase of vessels than in controls. Moreover, the immunolocalization of astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) revealed its increased expression in internal limiting membrane and ganglion cell layer, as well as its presence in Müller cells. Finally, the pro-angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was found to be especially expressed by neurones of ganglion cell layer, both in control and in MTC-injected eyes. The data obtained in this experimental model on the interactions among glia, vessels and neurons should be useful to evaluate if also in glaucomatous patients the activation of vessel-adjacent glial cells might play key roles in following neuronal dysfunction.

  20. Lipid Profile and Inflammation in Degenerative Valvular Disease

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    Mehmet Yamak

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Degenerative valvular heart disease (DVHD may cause serious cardiac problems and mortality. Determination of the factors related to DVHD may render possible the prevention and/or slowing down the progression of DVHD. In this study, we evaluated the relationship of DVHD with lipid profile, microalbuminuria and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP levels. Methods: 50 patients (age=65.6±12.4 years with DVHD were compared with the control group including 20 patients (age=57.3±13.9 years with left ventricle hypertrophy, but no DVHD. Microalbuminuria, blood lipid parameters and hsCRP levels were measured besides routine biochemical tests. Clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic findings were compared between the groups. Results: Total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels were significantly higher in DVHD group (215.26±48.59 mg/dL vs. 177.45±22.47 mg/dL, p=0.001; 45.04±11.03 mg/dL vs. 38.90±11.82 mg/dL, p=0.043 and 138.49±40.69 mg/dL vs. 114.26±16.07 mg/dL, p=0.001 compared with control group. hsCRP and microalbuminuria levels were relatively higher in DVHD group. Conclusion: Hyperlipidaemia is related to DHVD development, and the progress of DHVD may be related to the inflammatory process. Elevated hsCRP levels may be an indicator of pathologies active in DVHD development. Routine echocardiographic analysis in hypertensive patients with high hsCRP and LDL-cholesterol levels might be useful for screening of DVHD. (The Medical Bulletin of Haseki 2015; 53: 62-6